• A Christmas greeting from Muslims
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  • Written by Mohamad Bashar Arafat

    December 25, 2011

    It is worth noting that there are no detailed descriptions of any other prophet’s story in the Qur’an like that of the story of Prophet Jesus and his miraculous birth. Prophet Muhammad said Jesus is one of God’s greatest prophets and messengers to mankind. Muslims feel reverence toward Prophet Jesus and his family.

    The angels deliver the news to Mary:

    *Behold! O Mary! God gives you good news with a Word from Him. His name will be Jesus Christ, the son of Mary, held in honor in this world and the Hereafter and in (the company of) those nearest to God.* (Meaning of Qur'an, 3:45)

    The Qur’an recorded the question of wonderment by Mary when she said:

    *O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man has ever touched me? He said: Even so, Allah creates what He pleases; when He has decreed a matter, He only says to it, Be, and it is.*(3:47)

    Surah 19, titled Maryam (Mary), gives a full description of the birth and several miracles surrounding Jesus’ birth in verses 16-36, which may be recited daily by 1.5 billion Muslims all over the world in their five daily prayers.

    In addition to the birth of Jesus, the Qur’an recorded many of the miracles, which God bestowed upon Jesus.

    The following verse, among others, is a testimony for all the Muslims that their belief is not complete, if they do not believe in and revere all the prophets and, in particular, Moses and Jesus, their followers and the scriptures they received from Almighty God, who also revealed the Qur’an. It gives a clear message for the family of the house of Abraham to stand united, and not to let the forces of hate, fanaticism, extremism, and ignorance, which existed during the time of Prophet Muhammad, as well as in 2010 and beyond, to separate them:
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    Say ye: 'We believe in God and the revelation given to us and to Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to (all) Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and it is unto Him that we surrender ourselves'.*(2:136)

    Prophet Muhammad himself sought to erase any distinctions between the message he taught and that taught by Jesus, who he called God’s “spirit and word.”

    Prophet Muhammad said: “Both in this world and in the Hereafter, I am the nearest of all people to Jesus, the son of Mary. The prophets are paternal brothers; their mothers are different, but their religion is one.”

    With all of this in mind, it is incumbent on every Muslim, when they say or hear Jesus’ name, to repeat *'alayhis-salam* (peace be upon him).

    Merry Christmas!
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    ** The writer is Imam and president of Civilizations Exchange and Cooperation Foundation, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.*