In Christianity we are taught:

Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for knew heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. (New Testament, King James Version, 2 Peter 3:12–13)

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Luke 11:42

(Jesus said) “But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and neglect justice and the love of God; these you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.”

Matthew 5:20

(Jesus said) “For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”

Compared to Christian practice, we in Islam observe more detailed prescriptions, similar to the Jews. This is right (“these you ought to have done”), but it bears the same danger as for those, namely to forget about what is really important.

Sharia, or, to be more precise, the scholarly teachings of Sharia, discern several categories of prescriptions:

  • Wadjib: Obligatory - What we have to do; e.g. regular prayer, teethe (called Zakat), and some more.

  • Mustahab: Welcome/particularly good - Giving alms (Sadaqa) beyond Zakat (e.g. to Non-Muslims in need), voluntary prayer and many more. Most rules of the “Kingdom of Heaven” as contained in Matthew 5-7 parallel Mustahab commandments in Islam.

  • Mubah: Neutral. Everything that is neither particularly good nor particularly bad.

  • Makruh: Not recommended. Comprises bad behaviour (e.g. overcharge people, greed and luxury), what seduces to do haram things (e.g. sit at a table with people drinking alcohol) things Muhammad (p.b.u.h) disliked according to hadith or where it is disputed whether it may be forbidden (e.g. some kinds of music, children playing with puppets or cuddly animal toys)

  • Haram: forbidden. Quite a lot of things, comprising the parallel to the 10 Commandments but also promiscuity, drinking alcohol, building statues of people and many more.

Now, if someone does what is wadjib and avoids what is haram but does nothing beyond, he would formally obey Sharia, but he is quite like the Pharisees of whom Jesus said, “you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”

The Quran promises (final) Jannah to those who believe and do good deeds. Belief comprises also to be eager to do the Will of God, out of love, and this should by itself engender good deeds (Jesus said, “a good tree bears good fruit”).

Many Muslim are not well acquainted to the message of the Kingdom of God at present that has come to us through Jesus (p.b.u.h) as they mistrust the traditional Gospel accounts, let alone the Gospel Hadith collection attributed to Thomas (that contains the the most explicit Hadith on this but is weak in reliability). Nevertheless, a Muslim who fervently believes in God and does good deeds here on earth is certainly part of it.


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