ZAKIRIN-SUFI-35- Prophet Jesus and Prophet Muhammad in the Qur'an for Inter-Religious and Believers Dialogue

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Christmas is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, observed primarily on December 25[a] as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world. İs celebrated religiously by a majority of Christians, as well as culturally by many non-Christians,

Belief in (Jesus, Musa, Muhammed and all) Prophets (May Allah's Peace be upon all of them).

Islam emphasizes the universality of the institution of prophethood. It is an Islamic article of Faith to believe in all Prophets; from Adam through Abraham, Moses, Jesus to Muhammad (peace be upon them) [Qur'an 2:184] all Prophets were models of excellence who were commissioned to guide humankind [Qur'an 2:213]

The significance of Jesus in Islam is reflected in his being mentioned in the Quran in 93 verses with various titles attached such as "Son of Mary" and other relational terms, mentioned directly and indirectly, over 187 times.

According to the Quran, Muhammad is the last in a chain of prophets sent by God (33:40).Muhammad is also referred to with various titles such as the Messenger of Allah, Prophet, unlettered, Nabi-Allah (the Prophet of Allah), Abdullah (the Servant of Allah), Fakhr al-Kainat, Fahr al-‘Alam, Mafhar al-‘Alam etc. and many verses about Muhammad refer directly or indirectly to him.

All sincere ones would do well to reflect on the verse in the Quran reaffirming Islam's eternal message of spiritual unity: "Say: 'We believe in God and the revelation given to us and to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and message given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to all Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and it is unto Him that we surrender ourselves." [Qur'an 2:136]

Interfaith engagement, especially with the People of the Book, is a way to build understanding, find commonalities of belief and social responsibility, and encourage one another in faith and good works.

It was a Christian priest, Waraqah, cousin of Khadija (Prophet Mohammad’s first and only wife for 25 years) who first testified that Prophet Mohammad (p) had received divine revelation.

And a Christian king, Najashi of Abyssinia (Ethiopia), gave asylum to 80 Muslims who migrated from Mecca because of persecution by pagan Arabs. In fact, the Quran says, “…nearest among them in love to the believers will you find those who say, ‘We are Christians’ because among these are men devoted to learning and men who have renounced materialism, and they are not arrogant” (5:82).

Dialogue allows different others to understand one another, accommodate misperceptions, and approach a process of mutual learning, and ultimately, reciprocal recognition.

Indeed, through dialogue different people remain respectful to the acts and thoughts of one another. Belief in the one God who reaches out to us in dialogue and elevates every human being to this dialogue of salvation and love of God and one another is the single first principles which makes all equal.

Thus, inter religious dialogue does not simply aim at mutual understanding and respect, as much as the world today needs these among all peoples; rather, inter religious dialogue reaches its deepest level in spiritual companionship when believers join with one another, though they may practice differently and hold in-commensurable doctrines, in serving God and one another.

I believe that Said Nursi’s interfaith initiative in Turkey has been instrumental in encouraging Muslim scholars and religious leaders to pursue interfaith dialogue in their own communities.

On the global stage, an outstanding Muslim leader promoting inter-religious dialogue is Fethullah Gülen. The movement to which his ideas and recommendations have given inspiration is one of the primary advocacy groups for dialogue in the world today.

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