Jesus: Peace be with you, Muhammad.
Muhammad: And may the peace and blessings of our Lord also be with you, my brother.
Jesus: Say, my friend, how do you feel about people who claim to follow our teachings, but who fight and bicker with each other over religion?
Muhammad: Well, Jesus, it’s unfortunate. Your followers as well as mine would be wise to remember that we are kindred spirits, and that our messages of brotherhood and peace have the same lesson. They should know that we are brothers, and not foes.
Jesus: That is true, Muhammad, but why do Christians spread division and partake in violence against Muslims? I left Christians with the message that peacemakers were blessed in the eyes of God. I never praise those who use violence against others.
Muhammad: Yes, Jesus, I know that your disciple, Peter, spread your message by telling people to turn away from evil and do good instead. Not everyone had strength to abide by your message like Peter.
Jesus: I told Peter to seek peace and pursue it by all means!
Muhammad: And I told the tribes of Arabia the very same thing. I told my fellow Arabs, and even outsiders and sworn enemies, to forgive people who wrong them.
Jesus: And you told them to love their enemies, did you not?
Muhammad: I did. I told them to treat their enemies with the utmost respect. Striving for peace is the most noble thing any person could do. God told me that. Keeping peace and good relations between different groups of people is the best way to protect humanity. He told me that too.
Jesus: We are in agreement, brother Muhammad. Peace is more favorable than division and war.
Jesus: My followers also seem to forget that forgiveness was one of the most important lessons that I left them with. Even my main prayer, “forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us,” seems to be forgotten among them.
Muhammad: That is one of the reasons why I admire you so much, Jesus. You understand that God will not forgive us until we forgive others.
Jesus: Forgiveness is hard, but it is necessary.
Muhammad: We are in agreement again, my brother. You know very well that I forgave my enemies and let them leave unharmed after the most brutal battles.
Jesus: You are merciful and compassionate. This is why we are kindred spirits. You could have easily taken revenge upon your enemies. Why did you forgive them?
Muhammad: Because our God is not harsh or revengeful. Our God is mild and gentle.
Jesus: Even at a basic level, it seems as though Christians and Muslims have difficulty even speaking to each other. Do you know what I mean?
Muhammad: I do, and it is unfortunate and unacceptable.
Jesus: I told my followers time and time again: only speak words that are beneficial to building positive relations between people.
Muhammad: And I said the same thing. I tried to teach the Arabs that the greatest mark of faith in God is whoever is kindest to others. Do you think my people have forgotten my lesson?
Jesus: I am afraid so, my friend.
Muhammad: What amazes me is that we both spoke about love for humanity, and not simply love for the people closest to us.
Jesus: Love for all people was my ultimate message. Sometimes I feel that it has fallen on deaf ears.
Muhammad: Well, I sympathize with your concern. I tried to emulate you, Jesus, by teaching my peers that none of them truly believes until they wish for their brother what they wish for themselves.
Jesus: This is not my teaching, Muhammad, but rather the teaching of the Almighty.
Jesus: Do you have hope for the future?
Muhammad: Yes, I have faith in humanity, that human beings can transcend their petty differences and see themselves in the image of God, but our followers must treat each other with dignity. Nothing will be accomplished without dignity.
Jesus: I agree. That is the best way to overcome animosity.
Muhammad: Bigotry is the worst.
Jesus: I much prefer generosity.
Muhammad: Yes, and coexistence.