Seasons Greetings from an Ahmadi Muslim!
FOR Christians, the 25th of December is probably one of the most awaited and celebrated day of the year. On the occasion of Christmas, as an Ahmadi Muslim, I humbly wish all those who celebrate this day a day full of peace, joy and celebration.
As a Muslim, one might question why Muslims would need to do this?
The answer is quite simple - because this is what Islam teaches us. God says in the Holy Quran: "Allah forbids you not respecting those who have not fought against you on account of your religion… Allah loves those who are equitable." (60:9). Islam teaches that Muslims must be respectful to people of all faiths and cultures; the Holy Quran prohibits discrimination of any kind.
This time of the year is a reminder to value and practice the teachings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who strived to develop and implement inter-faith harmony. More than 1400 years ago, the Prophet of Islam wrote the Charter of Medina, which guaranteed equal rights and freedom to Christians and Jews of that time. Within this covenant, he declared that the religious liberties of all Christians must be ensured by all Muslims:
"Christians are my citizens, and by God, I hold out against anything that displeases them. No compulsion is to be on them. Neither are their judges to be removed from their jobs nor their monks from their monasteries. No one is to destroy a house of their religion, to damage it, or to carry anything from it to the Muslims' houses. Their churches are to be respected. No one of the Muslims is to disobey this covenant till the Last Day."
His Holiness, the fifth Caliph of Islam, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad has also emphasised this notion: "…irrespective of differences of background, I believe that on the basis of humanity, we are all joined together, and should therefore be united."
As an Ahmadi Muslim, may the peace and blessings of God be upon us all. May we all continue to strive towards tolerance, respect and harmony.