By Sorhaila Latip-Yusoph
December 29, 2014
MUSLIMS will never be complete believers without putting Jesus as part of their lives. In fact, Islam teaches every Muslim to respect Jesus the same way as they should respect all prophets.
Islam honours all the prophets who were sent to mankind. In other words, Muslims will never be called as such without respecting all prophets in general.
In the case of Jesus in particular, most pious Muslims are so passionate in propagating respect for him. He was considered to be one of the prophets who foretold the coming of Muhammad (saw).
As a sign of respect, Muslims do not refer to him simply as "Jesus," but normally add the phrase "peace be upon him." This implies that Islam propagates peace and respect for him.
As Muslims coming from this part of the country, we may not be as passionate as our Christian brothers and sisters in celebrating Jesus' birthday or Christmas, but we are one with them in considering him as God's messiah to propagate faith and God to all humanity.
As readers of the Qur’an, Muslims are obliged to read, understand and propagate the separate chapter that dignifies mother Mary (Mariam to Muslims) and Jesus. In that chapter, the Quran confirms the virgin birth of Jesus, and Mary is considered to have been one of the purest women in all creation. The Quran describes Jesus' birth as follows:
"Behold!' the Angel said, God has chosen you, and purified you, and chosen you above the women of all nations. Mary, God gives you good news of a word from Him, whose name shall be the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, honoured in this world and in the Hereafter, and one of those brought near to God. He shall speak to the people from his cradle and in maturity, and he shall be of the righteous. She said: "My Lord! How shall I have a son when no man has touched me?' He said: "Even so; God creates what He will. When He decrees a thing, He says to it, 'Be!' and it is." [Qur’an 3:42-47]
However, for Muslims and Islam as a religion, the virgin birth is given emphasis to imply that God gave unique importance to Jesus as a prophet and a messiah. In fact, Muslims believe that Jesus was not crucified but was raised bodily to heaven by God. He was considered by the Islamic scriptures to be the prophet awaited for his second coming. Hence, there is no other religion in the world that respects and dignifies Jesus as Islam does.
Dignifying Jesus as part of the Islamic faith is a relevant fact that all Muslims in this country and our Christian brothers and sisters should understand or at least be aware of in order to lessen certain animosities that have been lingering in the minds of Filipinos.
This article hopes to remind everyone that we are one in believing in the existence of the Almighty. We may not be the same in how we value Jesus but we equally give importance to what he is and he will be for all of us.
We may not be the same in what our scriptures tell us to do and not to do; but as a believer of Islam and its tenets, we respect Jesus as God’s important prophet and messiah.
As how the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) respected the Christians as part of his citizens in his time, we are also obliged to respect them as they are today. We are one with you in propagating love, peace and justice in this generation.