A Muslim's story of Christmas

2016-12-26 09:15

Five years ago today I posted a message online. The title alone speaks volumes.My purpose in penning this blog piece is that instead of Christians and Muslims luxuriating in their differences they must find common cause through their differences.As Theodore Zeldin puts it in his book " The Hidden Pleasures of Life" we must use our disagreements positively so that our differences ( I speak as a Muslim) shouldn't keep us apart and must become fertile instead of the kind toxicity informed by hate and prejudice.

Here's my affirmation. It was Jalal Uddin Rumi who spoke about each religion being a source of light and not darkness and that belief was a stairway towards enlightenment.

I humbly urge people reading this to get hold of our holy book The Quran, turn to Chapter 19. Both Jesus and his mother Mary are revered in Muslim belief.One third of the Quran is about them and the prophets that Christianity hold in reverance.

Allow me to expand on this.

The Quran is full of passages about Jesus and Mary. It describes Jesus as being “honored in the world and the hereafter, and one of the intimates of God” (3:45). He is also “in the ranks of the righteous” (6:85), and is described as “a word from God which He send down to Mary (and) and a spirit from Him” (4:171). It even says that Jesus “was strengthened with the Holy Spirit” (2:253, 5:110), although classical exegesis notes that “Holy Spirit” means either divine inspiration or the Angel Gabriel.

You will learn that Prophet Jesus is mentioned more by name in the Qoran than the Prophet Muhammad himself. Don't take my word for this fact.

Did you know Jews and Christians are referred to as " the people of [the Book or Ahle Kitab]"?

Read the Quran with a parachute mind.

That’s why it perplexes me to hear some Christians talk about Muslims “not having Jesus.” We have Jesus all over our faith and belief, we just don’t believe he is the son of God or part of a triune deity. Muslims maintain that Jesus was a prophet. It is a major difference in belief, to be sure, but it is not something over which Christians and Muslims should have any enmity or animosity.

Yes, some Muslims claim that Christians and Jews are “enemies,” but I pay no heed to such rabble. It is the product of a criminal, twisted mind, and the overwhelming majority of Muslims do not subscribe to such beliefs. And sadly, there are some Christians who say the same about Muslims and Islam: that we are “enemies,” not to be trusted or accepted into the fabric of society, and our faith is “evil.”

Such voices, in both communities, must be ignored and marginalized.

This common love for Jesus( all the prophets of God , in fact) should be the glue to bring Muslims and Christians together.

As people of the Christian faith about Jesus this holiday season, it is my fervent hope and prayer that the forces of hatred and division are no longer paid heed, and people of all faiths and creeds come together in peace.

I know that it would be what Jesus and Muhammad would want for us; I know that it is what God wants as well.

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