In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
In this fatwa:
1- Islam does not allow religions to be corrupted under the pretext of bringing them together.
2- It is permissible to establish a college where Islam and Christianity are taught as a form of comparative religions but not as a form of producing a third religion out of the two, for such a thing cannot be accepted by either Muslims or Christians.
Addressing the issue in detail, the prominent Muslim scholar Sheikh Tajuddin Hamid Al-Hilali, Former Mufti of Australia and New Zealand, answers:
Islam calls for co-operation and encourages every effort that is intended for bringing people together and removing tension.
Almighty Allah says:
“Say: O People of the Scripture. Come to an agreement between us and you: that we shall worship none but Allah, and that we shall ascribe no partners unto Him, and that none of us shall take others for lords beside Allah. And if they turn away, then say: Bear witness that we are they who have surrendered (unto Him).” (Aal `Imran 3:64)
If the purpose of this college is to bring about graduates who are well acquainted with religious sciences in the form of comparative religions, then there is nothing wrong with that.
However, if the purpose is to produce a third religion out of these two or the merging of the two religions, then such a thing is totally unacceptable for both Muslims and Christians.
I agree with you that we should try to alleviate the tension between us and we should remove any misunderstanding about Islam. This can be achieved however, by returning to the Divine fountain of these religions and purifying them from corruption.
Both Muslim and Christians agree that religion should be used to call for peace, love and co-existence, not to slaughter innocent people.
Almighty Allah knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.