Jesus and Muhammad lived in different times and in different contexts. An absolute comparison of the careers of these two men is not a satisfactory method in understanding the similarities and differences between their teachings. This book approaches this topic from a different perspective. The time that Muhammad preached in Mecca is compared to the time Jesus spent preaching throughout Palestine. This improves the similarities in contexts between them and makes a comparison more valid. The number of similarities outweighs the number of differences when looking at the four books of the Gospel and the chapters of the Qur'an revealed in Mecca. On issues related to prayer, the Oneness of God, charity, the Hereafter and forgiveness the teachings in these two books are practically the same. A number of core theological issues surfaced in the Book of John do clash with Qur’anic teachings about the person of Jesus. These differences and the possible reasons for them are explored in this book. The conclusion of this book is that Muslims and Christians have more shared values and even theological similarities than differences. It is recommended that Muslims and Christians should spend more time understanding these commonalities.
Hummel, assistant professor in the department of public administration at Bowie State Univ., Md., who focuses on the role of religiosity in public decision-making, starts this work with a simple question: what if there were more Christians and Muslims could do to foster understanding and respect, rather than antagonism and distrust? To achieve this end, the author sets up a comparison of the lives and teachings of Jesus and Muhammad, but told from a Muslim perspective. Hummel attempts to bridge gaps between Christian and Muslim communities by exploring the teachings of Jesus and Muhammad in the Gospels and the Quran, respectively. The result is a text that is one part interreligious dialogue and one part defense of Islam's teachings and claims concerning Muhammad. As such, the book is part of a lineage of texts by Muslim apologists (for example, Ahmed Deedat and Zaid Shakir), but unlike those writers Hummel strikes a conciliatory tone often missing in other polemics. As he states, Christian readers may find his interpretations uncomfortable; however, many readers will find this book helpful in understanding how to interpret the Quran in the context of Christianity's core texts and how Muslims view Jesus and his teachings. In a context where the Muslim voice is often muffled, this is a welcome work to help non-Muslims better understand where Islam stands in relation to Jesus and the Gospels.