The Words of the Ahmed Family
Dr. Andrew Wilson, who assisted Abdelmoumin Ahmed in completing the work, feels that United Visions is an important addition to our published explanations of the Principle. He recently wrote to Dr. Kwak Chung-hwan about it, and the following is from that letter.
Abdelmoumin Ahmed, leader of FFWPU and UPF in the Sudan, has written a very important book expressing the core teachings of the Divine Principle for Muslims. This book, United Visions, contains his investment of deep and mature heart and love for True Parents and the Muslim world. I can endorse it as an excellent book for teaching the Principle to interested Muslims.
The book is faithful to the Principle. United Visions is firstly a Principle text. It covers all the chapters of the Divine Principle, from the "Principle of Creation" and the "The Human Fall" to "The Second Advent." It concludes with the declaration that Korea is the nation where the Second Advent of the Lord will occur.
About 15 percent of the book is taken directly from the text of the Divine Principle.
United Visions is entirely based on the Qur'an. It quotes the Qur'an constantly, the Bible only rarely. Thus, it respects the revelation of the Qur'an as the foundational truth upon which the Principle can be taught.
This is an essential point for reaching Muslims, who revere the Qur'an. No other Unificationist text for Muslims is based on the Qur'an.
We have to keep in mind that most Muslims do not accept the Bible at all; they consider it a corrupt text and quite inferior to the Qur'an. On the strength of its reverence for the Qur'an alone, United Visions is the first book coming out of the Unification movement that devout Muslims can take seriously as a religious text.
United Visions is sensitive to Muslim viewpoints. This book wisely and carefully avoids the pitfalls of the Christian-based Divine Principle and speaks to the way Muslims understand history Jesus and the providence. God is called "Allah" throughout. The names of all the figures found in the Bible are written with Arabic pronunciation, thus, Jesus is Isa; John the Baptist is Yahya; Abraham is Ibrahim, and Jacob is Yuqub.
In the "Fall of Man," the Qur'an account does not mention the order of the spiritual and physical falls. Iblis (Lucifer) simply gives the fruit to both Adam and Eve at the same time. Therefore there is no foundation for the book to tackle this subject. At the same time, the Qur'an is richer than the Bible in material about angels and Lucifer's motivation. The chapter also has to deal with the common Muslim belief that the Garden of Eden is not on earth but in the spirit world, in order to argue that the true meaning of the Fall was loss of God's ideal on earth. (Many Muslims believe that Adam and Eve were like angels in heaven, and the consequence of the Fall was simply life on earth in a mortal body.)
In Part II, after chapters on Moses and Jesus there is a new chapter, "The Providence of Restoration under the Leadership of Muhammad." Here we have a careful and insightful analysis of the early history of Islam in terms of courses to build the foundation of faith and the foundation of substance, and the successes and failures along the way. It mentions many events and central people in the life of Muhammad and his followers that westerners are ignorant of.
Notably, it points out how God has promoted Islam on the foundation of Muhammad and his followers burning faith, but it also recounts how failures to establish the foundation of substance left a trail of internal strife through the pages of Islamic history (e.g. between Sunni and Shi'a Muslims).
In the discussion of parallels, the book looks for parallels in Islamic history to the United Kingdom, Divided Kingdom, period of Exile and Return, and so on. In particular, it lifts up the idea that Islam was raised by God with a role to play in preparing the world for the Second Advent of the Messiah.
While the Divine Principle looks to figures in the history of Western philosophy and thought, this book examines the contribution of select Muslim caliphs, imams, theologians, philosophers and Sufi saints toward raising Islam to be prepared for the coming of the returning Lord.
I want to recommend this book for our movement's work with people of the Muslim faith. It is fortunate that Abdelmoumin has also written a version in Arabic, which can be appreciated by Muslims.
Dr. Wilson is director of Scriptural Research and professor of Scriptural Studies at UTS