Each year, with the start of December, many discussions, publications, activities are directly focused on the topic of ‘Christmas’; in brief, Christmas becomes the talk of the town. Streets become brighter with different lights and decorations; homes, shops and offices are also very well decorated, in order to welcome Christmas.
The Holy Quran gives great honor and respect to Jesus and Mary (peace be on them), and both are mentioned repeatedly in the Holy Quran. A chapter of the Holy Quran is named after mother Mary and the name of Jesus is actually mentioned more often in the Holy Quran than of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace be on him. Allah Almighty says:
When the angels said, ‘O Mary, Allah gives thee glad tidings of a word from Him; his name shall be the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, honored in this world and in the next, and of those who are granted nearness to God. (3:46)
And We gave Jesus, son of Mary, clear proofs and strengthened him with the Spirit of holiness. (2:254)
The Holy Quran also extended great honor and respect to Mary, to such a high extent that God has named an entire chapter of the Holy Quran by her name, ‘Sura Maryam’, and Maryam is an Arabic name for Mary. The Holy Quran speaks of her righteousness and states:
And remember when the angels said, ‘O Mary, Allah has chosen thee and purified thee and chosen thee above the women of all peoples. (3:43)
The Holy Quran also mentioned about her piety and God cleared her from allegations which were raised against her, by the people of the time. It states that: “Then she brought him (Jesus) to her people, carrying him. They said, ‘O Mary, thou hast brought forth a strange thing. (19:28)
And the example of Mary, the daughter of ‘Imran, who guarded her private parts — so We breathed into him of Our Spirit — and she fulfilled in her person the words of her Lord and His Books and was one of the obedient.” (66:13)
And We made the son of Mary and his mother a Sign, and gave them refuge on an elevated land of green valleys and springs of running water. (23:51)
These verses, just to mention a few, are clear evident to the reality that Islam pays a great honor, respect and dignity to beloved Jesus and Mary (peace be on them). And having affection and respect for such great and noble personalities and to follow their footsteps is part and parcel of Islamic faith. Christmas is a time to remember the work and accomplishment of Jesus; it is a reminder for following their footsteps.
The Prophets and Islam:
Two of the six fundamental articles of Muslim faith are, to believe in all the Prophets of God – the Divine Teachers and to believe in all Divine Books and Scriptures. Therefore, Muslims believe that all prophets were sent by God and that the scriptures in their original form were Divine revelations. It also clearly informs us that in every region of the world and in every age, God did raise messengers and prophets. It sates:
And for every people there is a Messenger. (10:48)
There is no people to whom a Warner has not been sent. (35:25)
There is no denying the fact that the Holy Quran makes it incumbent on every Muslim to believe in all the prophets, but as Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad beautifully says:
When he speaks of Jesus Christ or Moses or Krishna or Buddha with veneration and love, he does so because he has no other option. It is a part of the fundamental article of his faith to extend not just a human courtesy, but to genuinely believe in their truth and honor. In the light of this, this article of faith appears to hold an importance of global scale. It establishes inter- religious peace and harmony and genuinely creates an atmosphere of mutual trust and love. Like the Unity of God it holds the intrinsic quality of being irreplaceable — there is no alternative. (An Elementary Study of Islam, P: 23)
The Holy Quran states:
“This Messenger of Ours believes in that which has been revealed to him from his Lord, and so do the believers: all of them believe in Allah, and in His angels, and in His Books, and in His Messengers, saying, ‘We make no distinction between any of His Messengers.” (2:286)
“Say ye: ‘We believe in Allah and what has been revealed to us, and what was revealed to Abraham and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob and his children, and what was given to Moses and Jesus, and what was given to all other Prophets from their Lord. We make no difference between any of them; and to Him we submit ourselves.” (2:137)
The Founder of the Ahmadiyya Community, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani, may peace be on him, has summarized the Islamic belief in all the prophets, he writes:
One of the principles which forms the basis of my belief refers to the established religions of the world. These religions have met with wide acceptance in various regions of the earth. They have acquired a measure of age, and have reached a stage of maturity. God has informed me that none of these religions were false at their source and none of the prophets impostors. (Tohfa Qaisariya, Roohani Khazain Vol. 12 p.256)
Again he says:
This is a beautiful principle, which promotes peace and harmony, and which lays the foundation for reconciliation, and which helps the moral condition of man. All prophets that have appeared in the world, regardless of whether they dwelt in India or Persia or China, or in some other country, we believe in the truth of them, one and all.(Tohfa Qaisariya, Roohani Khazain Vol. 12 p.259)
We hold great respect and affection for Jesus and Marry in our hearts. We wish “Marry Christmas” to all our Christen brothers and sisters. Also a blessed and prosperous New Year; peace and blessings of Allah be upon the entire humanity.