Louis Massignon was not only a French Arabist, Islamologist, traveller, diplomat but also a mystic. In his life path he went from a person practising Catholicism on a purely traditional way through a departure from God and the Church to a deep conversion and personal faith in Jesus Christ. In the meantime he was deeply engaged in studies and a unremitting desire to discover the ultimate Truth. He was mesmerized by Islam, especially its’ mystical layer – Sufism. He pursued grounds on which Christians and Muslims could find a common path to God. While sustaining full Christian orthodoxy in teaching about God he developed an extremely innovative postulates regarding the Christian-Muslim dialogue which can be called the Christian theology of Islam. Some of his postulates have already been incorporated in the doctrine of the Magisterium of the Church, others are still waiting to be implemented. Louis Massignon was not only a theorist of his postulates but also he tirelessly invoked them into his own life. Several years before his death, being a husband and father, he became a priest of the Melkite rite. The life and teachings of Louis Massignon had a huge impact on today’s understanding of the dialogue between Christianity and Islam. This guidance can be systematized in five aspects which correspond to the five pillars of the Muslim faith. The following chapters of this work are dedicated to the presentation of these aspects.
The first chapter ponders on professing faith in One God. Both Islam and Christianity are monotheistic and Abrahamic religions in which Massignon saw a common ground for the encounter between Muslims and Christians. He criticized the followers of both religions for going away from the true core of faith while postulating that their task was to bring each other to salvation.
The second chapter presents Massignon’s thought related to the understanding of prayer by Muslims and Christians. The Arabist took an example from the intercessory attitude of “saints” from both denominations and offered his own life for Muslims so that God would fulfill His plans in their lives. The Badaliya prayer Sodality was soon born out of Massignon’s desire.
The third chapter presents Massignon’s approach to the practice of fasting which is present in Christianity as well as in Islam. The aim of fasting is to improve one’s own spirituality. For Louis Massignon the aim of this improvement was to reach, so called,the “virgin point” of the heart where a direct and very intimate and fruitful encounter between a man and God can take place.
The fourth chapter deliberates on a gesture of alms which was realized for Massignon in the idea of hospitality. For Muslims this idea is realized first of all towards another person while for Christians the most important is the gesture of accepting God into their own lives. Massignon, incorporates both forms, proposes total hospitality consisting of assuming God through unconditional acceptance of a man with all his past, present and future. In the Arabist’s opinion only such alms can have a salvific dimension for the man.
The fifth, last chapter ponders on pilgrimage. For Massignon it was associated with the missionary role of Islam and Christianity; not only for each other but for the whole world. The missionary tools are diverse but the goal of their application is common – the complete unification of all adherents of the Abrahamic religions: Jews, Christians and Muslims. Louis Massignon postulated that the place of this union should be by the Eucharistic Table.
This suggests that the Christian theology of Islam by Louis Massignon is a proposal for a Muslim-Christian dialogue on the theological level. A new offer that thoroughly takes into account and respects the different religious, historical, cultural and linguistic specificities of Christianity and Islam and is also extremely fascinating. A proposal in which the thought and spirit of Louis Massignon are connected to the utter end with the person of Jesus Christ are still present.