How We as Muslims Celebrate Christ (part 1 of 2)
Description: Jesus hold a special place in the hearts of Muslims. Part 1: This part summarizes some of the reasons why Muslims honor and love Jesus.
- By Zayn al-Din al-Rikabi (edited by IslamReligion.com)
- Published on 23 Sep 2014
- Last modified on 02 Dec 2018
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We as Muslims share with the Jewish and Christian communities many points of commonality. These include: belief in God, belief that He revealed scriptures to humanity and sent a succession of prophets. The Qur'an, we notice, addresses the Jews and Christians from the vantage point of these points of agreement.
We are concerned in this article with a particular point of commonality between Muslims and Christians – and that is our reverence for Jesus and our recognition that he is the Messiah, the Christ. The Christian world has just recently finished celebrating the occasion of Christ's birth. We as Muslims do not observe Christmas, but we nevertheless celebrate Christ in our lives in a complete way, with constancy and steadfast devotion. Our celebration of Christ is one of faith, remembrance, and emulation.
Muslims honor Christ (peace be upon him) through their faith. What follows is stated in the Qur'an:
1. Faith in the miraculous conception of Christ. Jesus (peace be upon him) was born of a virgin.
The Qur'an says:
"Relate in the Book (the story of) Mary, when she withdrew from her family to a place in the East. She placed a screen (to screen herself) from them; then We sent her Our angel, and he appeared before her as a man in all respects.
She said: ‘I seek refuge with the Most Gracious (God) from you, (come not near) if you fear God.’
He said: ‘Nay, I am only a messenger from your Lord, (to announce) to you the gift of a pure son.’
She said: ‘How can I have a son, when no man has touched me, nor am I unchaste?’
He said: ‘So (it will be). Your Lord says: It is easy for Me, and We will make him a sign to the people and a mercy from Us, and it is a thing ordained.’" (Quran 19:16-21)
2. Faith in the miracle of Christ's birth and the miracles of his infancy.
"At length she brought the (baby) to her people, carrying him (in her arms). They said: ‘O Mary! You have certainly done a thing unprecedented! O sister of Aaron! Your father was not a man of evil, nor your mother an unchaste woman!’
But she pointed to the baby. They said: ‘How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle?’
He (Jesus) said: ‘I am indeed a servant of God. He has given me the Scripture and made me a prophet. And He has made me blessed wheresoever I be, and has enjoined on me prayer and charity as long as I live. And (has made me) kind to my mother, and not overbearing or miserable. So peace is on me the day I was born, the day that I die, and the day that I shall be raised back to life.’" (Quran 19:27-33)
3. Faith in the miracles that took place at Christ's hands.
Jesus Christ performed numerous miracles during the time of his preaching.
For instance, the Qur'an tells us:
"And (God) will make him a messenger to the Children of Israel, (with this message): ‘I have come to you, with a sign from your Lord, in that I make for you out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by God's leave. And I heal those born blind, and the lepers, and I give life to the dead, by God's leave. And I inform you of what you eat and what you store in your houses. Surely therein is a sign for you if you did believe.’" (Quran 3:49)
4. Faith in Christ's ascension.
Muslims believe that God saved Jesus (peace be upon him) from the schemes of his enemies, by having Jesus ascend unto Him. We read in the Qur'an:
"And (for) their saying, ‘Indeed, we have killed the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, the messenger of God.’ And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but (another) was made to resemble him to them. And indeed, those who differ over it are in doubt about it. They have no knowledge of it except the following of assumption. And they did not kill him, for certain.
Rather, God raised him to Himself. And ever is God Exalted in Might and Wise." (Quran 4:157-158)
5. Faith in the Gospel of Jesus.
Muslims believe in the scripture that God revealed unto Jesus. The following verses of the Qur'an attest to this:
"He has sent down upon you, (O Muhammad), the Book in truth, confirming what was before it. And He revealed the Torah and the Gospel." (Quran 3:3)
"And We caused Jesus, the son of Mary, to follow in their footsteps, confirming that which was (revealed) before him in the Torah, and We bestowed on him the Gospel wherein is guidance and a light, confirming that which was (revealed) before it in the Torah – a guidance and an admonition unto those who ward off (evil)." (Quran 5:46)
"(The Day) when God will say: ‘O Jesus, the son of Mary, remember My favor upon you and upon your mother when I supported you with the Holy Spirit and you spoke to the people in the cradle and in maturity; and (remember) when I taught you writing and wisdom and the Torah and the Gospel.’" (Quran 5:110)
God describes the followers of Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, in terms of the Gospel, saying:
"Their similitude in the Gospel is like a seed which sends forth its blade, then makes it strong; it then becomes thick, and it stands on its own stem, (filling) the cultivators with wonder and delight." (Quran 48:29)