“The following story by the Prophet Mohammed reminds us of the Gospel according to Matthew:
“Allah will ask a man on the Day of Resurrection: ‘I was sick but you did not visit Me, I asked food from you but you did not feed Me and I asked drink from you but you did not provide Me’, at which the man will ask in astonishment: ‘Thou art God, how can you be sick, thirsty or hungry?’, and Allah will answer: ‘On that day a friend of yours was sick but you did not visit him. If you had visited him, you would have found Me by him. On that day a friend of yours was hungry and you did not give him anything to eat, and on that day a friend of yours was thirsty and you did not give him anything to drink.” Where someone stretches out the hand of mercy and kindness, this is where God is manifest, there is mercy, there is God. Where a mother embraces her child, where we smile at someone, everywhere one makes a sign of kindness, love and mercy, is where the revelation of God’s mercy is made real, where it is made possible to experience God.
God describes His mercy in the Koran as absolute. The only thing which God has “obliged” Himself to do in the Koran is mercy: Sura 6, verse 12 reads as follows: ‘He has decreed that mercy is His attribute.’
Expressed in Christian terms as love, and in Islamic terms as mercy, God therefore reveals Himself in love and mercy experienced and lived here and now in this world. According to this understanding of God as being in dialogue with Man,. Man can, indeed should make the revelation of God real. Love and mercy are therefore the criterion which we as Muslims and Christians share in order to distinguish between a divine offer and a non-divine offer. These are the words of 1 John (4:16): “God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him.”, and in the same vein the words of the Prophet Muhammad: “God says: ‘When I make him My beloved I become his ears to hear, and his eyes to see and his hands to grasp and his feet to walk. When he asks Me I grant him and when he seeks My protection I protect him.’” I wish to see Muslims and Christians growing in mutual understanding and in God’s love and mercy, and I would like to wish to You, Your Holiness, God’s blessing on this path.”
– Prof. Dr. Mouhanad Khorchide, an Islamic scholar, 24 September 2011