Christmas

 

Prayers for the Day that JESUS Comes

hashie bala

Near Christmas, a wave of happiness and excitement can be seen among Christians. Why should they not be happy? They want to celebrate the birthday of Jesus Christ.[1]

   

I sincerely say from the bottom of my heart:

   

"My Christian Brothers and Sisters, Merry Christmas!"

   

In my religion, Islam, Jesus Christ is one of God's greatest Prophets. He is the son of the greatest woman of his time, Mary (AS)[2]. Lady Mary became pregnant, by God's will, without having a husband.[3]

Jesus would speak with Mary while inside her womb, and calm her[4]. In order to free his mother from accusations, he started speaking to people from the cradle while he was coming to this world:

    

"Verily, I am the servant of Allah, he has given me the Scripture and made me a prophet."[5]

   

Yes, Muslims consider Jesus to be not Son of God, but one of his best servants. A Prophet, like others, who with God's permission, brought  numerous miracles[6] to attract people's attention to their Creator's power. He came to invite people to God's satisfaction and bring good tidings of the last Prophet.

    

"Oh children of Israel, Indeed I am the messenger of Allah sent to you ... and I am a bearer of glad-tidings of a messenger who comes after me, whose name shall be Ahmad."[7]

    

But there are always evil spirited ones, who are dissatisfied with God's satisfaction. They laid schemes so the Messiah would get out of their way. They aimed to nail the Prophet of God to a cross, but by God's will, the Messiah was neither crucified, nor killed[8]. Instead,  he ascended to the heavens [9]to stay until when the people are able to appreciate him.[10]

    

Perhaps what I know about Jesus (AS) from my religion (Islam), is different from that which Christians believe in, but there is no doubt that we share at least one thing:  Anticipation and expectation for the day the Messiah will return among us."

     

Some of us Muslims make prayers for that return every day, perhaps even more than Christians! We believe that the last succeesor to our Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), the savior at the end of days, is Mahdi (AS)[11]. With his coming, the world will be purified of all its oppression, poverty, illness, and sadness, and all people will taste peace, happiness, health, and security[12]. At that time, Jesus Christ will also return to the Earth and accompany the Mahdi on this mission[13].

These are the words of our Prophet Mohmmad (PBUH) who said:

    

"I swear by he who established me as the righteous tidings giver, if there is but one day remaining from the life of this world, God will make that day so long, until my son Mahdi emerges. After he emerges, Jesus, will come down, and pray behind him. Then the Earth will be enlightened by Divine Light, and the Mahdi's government will extend to the East and West of the world."[14]

    

During these days in which many people are overwhelmed with happiness and preparing themselves for Christmas and the New Year, there are others that are suffering in poverty and neediness, fear and insecurity, pain and sickness, and war and bloodshed.

Let us, regardless of what part of this Earth we come from, what religion we follow, what language we speak, use the birth of Jesus Christ as an opportunity to pray for the coming of the day of the salvation of all people.

That very day on which Jesus Christ will return!

     


[1] Most Christians celebrate the 25th of December as the birthday of Jesus, even though there is no definitive evidence pointing to its exact date, or even year! According to Encylopedia Americana, these birthday celebrations were introduced from the 4th century. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, the ceremony on the 25th of December was a pagan tradition that was assimilated into Christianity. Some scholars believe that this date comes from the traditions of sun worshippers who converted into Christianity. In reality, it was the day of "the birth of the invincible sun" among the Mithraists (refer to: The Catholic Encyclopedia, New York, Robert Appleton Publications, 1911, page 725). Furthermore, some Christians cite the Bible to show that Jesus's Birthay did not seem to have happened in cold, winter weather. For exampe in the Book of Luke (Chapter 2, Section 8) it states that when Jesus was born, shepherds were grazing their sheep in the desert, something that does not happen in the winter.

[2] The Holy Quran, Surah Ali 'Imran,Verse 42

[3] Surah Ali 'Imran, Verse 45,47

[4] Surah Maryam, Verse 24

[5] Surah Maryam, Verse 5

[6] Surah Maidah,Verse 110

[7] Surah As-saff, Verse 6

[8] Surah Nisa, Verse 157

[9] Surah Nisa,Verse 158

[10] Surah Nisa, Verse 159

[11] Shias believe that Mohammad ibn al-Hassan al-Askari, known as Hojjat ibn al-Hassan, the son of Hassan al-Askari (the 11th Shia Imam), is the 12th and last Imam, and the promised Mahdi. Some of his titles include "Imam Zaman", "Waliul Asr", " Qa'ime Aale Mohammad", and "Promised Mahdi".

[12] Bihar Al-Anwar, 53:172

[13] Hilyat Al-Abrar,6:307

[14] Kamal Al-Din,1:280

 

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