A few of you wanted to know who was the author of this reading. His name is Christopher T.R. Hewers, and he is currently a Fellow in Christian-Muslim Relations at St. Ethelburga’s Centre in London, England. He earned his PhD in 1998 and a post-graduate diploma (2003) from the University of Birmingham (Centre for the Study of South Asian Religions and Christianity University). He has also completed a number of graduate degrees and attained Postgraduate Certificates in Inter-religious studies and in Open and Distance Education. He is currently a member of the Al-Mahdi Institute. Established in 1993, the institute seeks to students with a structured degree course in the field of Arabic and Islamic sciences within a multi-cultural and pluralist society.
Here is an excerpt from the introduction of his book “Understanding Islam: An Introduction”
The author is a Christian, and as such it is clear that he cannot accept everything Islam teaches or see the world in exactly the same way a Muslim does. Were that so, then the author would have to become a Muslim immediately or risk being condemned as a hypocrite. To accept that the Qur’an is the ultimately revealed scripture from God that corrects all others and that Muhammad was the infallible sinless Prophet of God, in the way that Muslims believe, would make it necessary to leave the Christian faith and become a Muslim. Nevertheless, the author’s position is that Muslims are cousins in faith in the one God, and this requires that we take seriously the message of the Qur’an and the lived example of Muhammad and ask what Christians might learn from this. The Qur’an is held by Muslims to be guidance for all humanity and not just for Muslims; similarly, Muhammad was sent with a universal mission to all humankind (Q. 34:28)
As I mentioned in the discussion, his approach of explaining the Islamic worldview for a Western audience is useful to us in explaining Islam to our attendees. The link to his book is here:
I have bought and read this book, and I definitely recommend it. Here is chapter 1 of the book: