Archive for the ‘Islam’ Category

“Islam teaches Love For All, Hatred For None” by Imam Marwan Gill, Interlitq’s Islamic Affairs Editor

Imam Marwan Gill at the Ricardo Gutierrez Children’s Hospital in Buenos Aires, Argentina,, where he and other members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community gave gifts to children over the Christmas period.

 “Islam teaches Love For All, Hatred For None”

by Imam Marwan Gill.

It might at first appear strange to discover that, over Christmas, a Muslim distributed toys at a Buenos Aires children´s hospital. Some of you might think that such an idea is pure fiction and, indeed, this was the initial reaction of one of my friends. In any case, I am quite sure that a great many people will be perplexed as to why a Muslim would engage in such an activity when Islam does not celebrate Christmas as a religious festival.

On the day of my visit, I could detect this same sense of bafflement on the faces of some parents when they saw a Muslim woman in a hijab and a Muslim man in a T-shirt with the message “Love For All, Hatred For None” distributing toys in the Ricardo Gutierrez children’s hospital. And yet this kind of near-incredulity is uncalled-for because, while it is true that as a Muslim I do not celebrate Christmas, it is nonetheless the case that I follow a religion which teaches “Love For All, Hatred For None”. The ultimate goal of Islam is to bring man into communion with God, His Creator. In order to attain this goal, it is essential for a Muslim to serve all of God’s creatures. In the very first chapter of the Holy Quran, God lays down the golden principle of serving mankind without distinction, by referring to Himself as the Lord of all the worlds. (Chapter 1:2)

Hence, if God’s mercy and favours are not limited to any religion or nation but rather encompass the whole of mankind, it is therefore the responsibility of a Muslim to display kindness to God’s entire creation. The qualities of forgiveness, charity, providing education, the giving of alms and a wide spectrum of social services fall into this uplifting category.

For Muslims the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the founder of Islam and the role model for all Muslims, was the exemplar of these above-mentioned qualities and the greatest servant of mankind, being sent not only as a mercy to Muslims but,  according to the Quran, rather as a salvation for the whole of mankind. (Chapter 21:108)

On one occasion, addressing Muslims regarding service to mankind the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:

Verily, Allah will say to his slave when He will be taking account of him on the Day of Judgement:

 ‘O son of Adam, I was hungry and you did not feed me?’  Man will answer: ‘How could I feed you? You are the Lord of the worlds!’  Allah will say: ‘Did you not know that my slave so and so felt hunger, and you did not feed him. Alas, had you fed him you would have found that reward with Me.

‘O son of Adam, I was thirsty and you gave Me nothing to drink.’ Man will reply: ‘How could I give You drink? You are the Lord of the worlds!’ Allah will say: ‘Did you not know that my slave so and so felt thirsty and you did not give him drink. Alas, if you had given him, you would have found that reward with me.

O son of Adam, I became sick and you did not visit Me.’ Man will answer: ‘How can I visit You? You are the Lord of the worlds!’ Allah will say: ‘Did you not know that my slave so and so became sick and you did not visit him. Alas, had you visited him, you would have found Me with him.” (Sahih Muslim)

Therefore, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, which is united worldwide under the spiritual guidance of the Caliph and His Holiness Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, sets out to serve mankind irrespective of religion or background. Working with our resources, which are limited, we have been successful in founding hundreds of schools and many hospitals in remote parts of the world. We also provide water and electricity in the most remote of villages and towns. In the pursuit of these tasks, we do not seek any praise or benefit as, intent on pleasing Allah the Almighty, our sole motivation is humanitarian.

In this connection, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, who founded the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in 1889 and claimed to be the Promised Messiah, writes:

Be kind and merciful to humanity, for all are His (God’s) creatures; do not oppress them with your tongue, or hands, or in any other way. Always work for the good of mankind…Be humble in spirit, kind and gentle, and forgiving, sympathetic towards all and wishing them well, so that you should be accepted.

And so, distributing toys, over Christmas, in a children´s hospital in Buenos Aires does not in any way contradict Islam but in fact constitutes a loyal expression of Islamic teaching, which seeks throughout to build bridges of mutual harmony and love. On that most memorable of days, it was heart-warming to see that very small gestures, having the power to touch hearts, can put a huge smile on the faces of so many people.

 

Read “My journey as a Muslim in Argentina” by Imam Marwan Gill.

Read “Why do Muslims not celebrate Christmas?” by Imam Marwan Gill.

Imam Marwan Gill appointed Interlitq’s Islamic Affairs Editor.

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“…distributing toys at Christmas in a children´s hospital does not contradict Islam…”: Imam Marwan Gill, Interlitq’s Islamic Affairs Editor

Imam Marwan Gill at the Ricardo Gutierrez Children’s Hospital in Buenos Aires, Argentina,, where he and other members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community gave gifts to children over the Christmas period.

January 2018: Interlitq blog to publish “Love For All Hatred For None” by Imam Marwan Gill.

Read “My journey as a Muslim in Argentina” by Imam Marwan Gill.

Read “Why do Muslims not celebrate Christmas?” by Imam Marwan Gill.

Imam Marwan Gill appointed Interlitq’s Islamic Affairs Editor.

“Love For All Hatred For None” by Imam Marwan Gill to be published in Interlitq blog

Imam Marwan Gill at the Ricardo Gutierrez Children’s Hospital in Buenos Aires, Argentina,, where he and other members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community gave gifts to children over the Christmas period.

January 2018: Interlitq blog to publish “Love For All Hatred For None” by Imam Marwan Gill.

Read “My journey as a Muslim in Argentina” by Imam Marwan Gill.

Read “Why do Muslims not celebrate Christmas?” by Imam Marwan Gill.

Imam Marwan Gill appointed Interlitq’s Islamic Affairs Editor.

“…Islam also teaches respect for the beliefs and sentiments of others”: Imam Marwan Gill

Imam Marwan Gill meeting His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad – Caliph of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community

Read “Why do Muslims not celebrate Christmas?” by Imam Marwan Gill.

 

Why do Muslims not celebrate Christmas?

In many parts of the world, Christians celebrate the 25th of December as the birthday of Jesus (peace be upon him), born to the Virgin Mary in Bethlehem. However, if we take a closer look at the Gospels, we do not find any proof to support the belief that Jesus was born on the 25th of December.

Moreover, according to the Holy Bible, not only the date is uncertain, but it is even the case that the month has not been specified. Similarly, nor has the Holy Quran specified the date, but according to the Holy Quran the prophet Jesus was definitely born in summer. The Holy Quran states that Jesus was born to Virgin Mary at a time when dates grew in peak on the trees and were very ripe. (Chapter 19:26)

Indeed, according to the Holy Quran, the Virgin Mary was commanded to wash the baby and clean herself in a fountain. (Chapter 19:25)

From both verses, it is clear that the birth of Jesus did not take place in winter, but rather in the summer, and most likely during the months of July or August. In Palestine, it is July or August when dates grow on trees and are most ripe. In any case, during the winter months, it would be too cold to take a bath outside in a fountain, especially for a newly-born child.

This Quranic account can also be seen in the Bible. In Luke it is mentioned that Jesus was born at a time when shepherds would abide in the field to keep watch over their flock by night. (Luke 2:8)

It is clear that in a country like Palestine, it is more likely that shepherds would sleep outside in the field during summer months.

However, even if we were to know with any certainty the actual date when Jesus was born, Islam does not celebrate the birthdays of prophets and the founders of religions. According to Islam, no prophet has celebrated his own birthday or instructed his disciples to do so. Even the birthday of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the founder of Islam, was never celebrated during his lifetime by his disciples, and neither has it been celebrated by his followers after his demise. Muslims are commanded in the Holy Quran to follow all the practises and conducts of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), because he was the perfect human being and all his actions were divinely guided. (Chapter 3:32)

Therefore, because the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) never celebrated his own birthday or the birthdays of other prophets, Muslims follow his example and do not celebrate the birthday of any prophet.

Islam does not have any desire to celebrate the birthday of any prophet, but it seeks to be faithful to their spiritual practises and moral virtues.

However, Islam also teaches respect for the beliefs and sentiments of others. In view of this precept, Muslims are instructed not to abuse the false idols of the idol worshippers for the sake of mutual peace and harmony in society. (Chapter 6, verse 109).

Elaborating further this touchstone for peace, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835-1908), whom Muslims from the Ahmadiyya Community believe to be the Promised Messiah and whose advent was prophesied by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), writes in one of his books[1]:

Therefore, this principle lays down the foundation of love, peace and harmony, and supports moral values, in that we consider all those prophets true who appeared in the world—whether in India, or Persia or China or any other country…. In light of this principle, we honour all religious founders who fall under this description whether they are the founders of the religion of the Hindus, or the religion of the Persians, or the religion of the Chinese, or the religion of the Jews or the religion of the Christians.

Therefore, people subscribing to this kind of belief—who defame the prophets of other nations by declaring them false—are always enemies of peace and harmony, because there is no greater mischief than abusing the elders of other nations…. If we have an objection over the teaching of a religion, we should not attack the honour of the prophet of that religion or mention him in an unseemly manner. Rather, we should object only on the current practices of that nation.

Therefore, if anything in that teaching is found objectionable, it can either be because the teachings of that prophet have been altered, or because a mistake has been made in the explanation of his teachings.

Following this Islamic teaching, on behalf of Muslims from the Ahmadiyya Community who are united worldwide under the spiritual caliphate of His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, I would like to wish my Christian brothers and sisters a very happy Christmas.

 

[1] A Gift for the Queen pp.25-31

 

Read Imam Marwan Gill’s article, “My journey as a Muslim in Argentina”.

Imam Marwan Gill appointed Interlitq’s Islamic Affairs Editor.

“Why do Muslims not celebrate Christmas?” by Imam Marwan Gill

Imam Marwan Gill meeting His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad – Caliph of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community

Interlitq blog publishes “Why do Muslims not celebrate Christmas?” by Imam Marwan Gill.

 

Why do Muslims not celebrate Christmas?

In many parts of the world, Christians celebrate the 25th of December as the birthday of Jesus (peace be upon him), born to the Virgin Mary in Bethlehem. However, if we take a closer look at the Gospels, we do not find any proof to support the belief that Jesus was born on the 25th of December.

Moreover, according to the Holy Bible, not only the date is uncertain, but it is even the case that the month has not been specified. Similarly, nor has the Holy Quran specified the date, but according to the Holy Quran the prophet Jesus was definitely born in summer. The Holy Quran states that Jesus was born to Virgin Mary at a time when dates grew in peak on the trees and were very ripe. (Chapter 19:26)

Indeed, according to the Holy Quran, the Virgin Mary was commanded to wash the baby and clean herself in a fountain. (Chapter 19:25)

From both verses, it is clear that the birth of Jesus did not take place in winter, but rather in the summer, and most likely during the months of July or August. In Palestine, it is July or August when dates grow on trees and are most ripe. In any case, during the winter months, it would be too cold to take a bath outside in a fountain, especially for a newly-born child.

This Quranic account can also be seen in the Bible. In Luke it is mentioned that Jesus was born at a time when shepherds would abide in the field to keep watch over their flock by night. (Luke 2:8)

It is clear that in a country like Palestine, it is more likely that shepherds would sleep outside in the field during summer months.

However, even if we were to know with any certainty the actual date when Jesus was born, Islam does not celebrate the birthdays of prophets and the founders of religions. According to Islam, no prophet has celebrated his own birthday or instructed his disciples to do so. Even the birthday of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the founder of Islam, was never celebrated during his lifetime by his disciples, and neither has it been celebrated by his followers after his demise. Muslims are commanded in the Holy Quran to follow all the practises and conducts of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), because he was the perfect human being and all his actions were divinely guided. (Chapter 3:32)

Therefore, because the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) never celebrated his own birthday or the birthdays of other prophets, Muslims follow his example and do not celebrate the birthday of any prophet.

Islam does not have any desire to celebrate the birthday of any prophet, but it seeks to be faithful to their spiritual practises and moral virtues.

However, Islam also teaches respect for the beliefs and sentiments of others. In view of this precept, Muslims are instructed not to abuse the false idols of the idol worshippers for the sake of mutual peace and harmony in society. (Chapter 6, verse 109).

Elaborating further this touchstone for peace, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835-1908), whom Muslims from the Ahmadiyya Community believe to be the Promised Messiah and whose advent was prophesied by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), writes in one of his books[1]:

Therefore, this principle lays down the foundation of love, peace and harmony, and supports moral values, in that we consider all those prophets true who appeared in the world—whether in India, or Persia or China or any other country…. In light of this principle, we honour all religious founders who fall under this description whether they are the founders of the religion of the Hindus, or the religion of the Persians, or the religion of the Chinese, or the religion of the Jews or the religion of the Christians.

Therefore, people subscribing to this kind of belief—who defame the prophets of other nations by declaring them false—are always enemies of peace and harmony, because there is no greater mischief than abusing the elders of other nations…. If we have an objection over the teaching of a religion, we should not attack the honour of the prophet of that religion or mention him in an unseemly manner. Rather, we should object only on the current practices of that nation.

Therefore, if anything in that teaching is found objectionable, it can either be because the teachings of that prophet have been altered, or because a mistake has been made in the explanation of his teachings.

Following this Islamic teaching, on behalf of Muslims from the Ahmadiyya Community who are united worldwide under the spiritual caliphate of His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, I would like to wish my Christian brothers and sisters a very happy Christmas.

 

[1] A Gift for the Queen pp.25-31

 

Read Imam Marwan Gill’s article, “My journey as a Muslim in Argentina”.

Imam Marwan Gill appointed Interlitq’s Islamic Affairs Editor.