Jesus, Mary & the Holiday Season - A Talk by brother Gabriel Keresztes


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Jesus, Mary & the Holiday Season - A Talk by brother Gabriel Keresztes

  1. 1. The Holiday SeasonWith the heightened hustle and bustle of the city, streets alive with dancing lights, familiespreparing to meet and greet each other, beautifully decorated cone-shaped trees of different sizes,the world seems to come together to celebrate the festival of Christmas that is just around thecorner.For most, it is just yet another holiday season. For many, it is just another ritual celebration. Forsome, it is a cultural activity. For a few, it is a practice, often confused between religion andinnovation. But for Muslims, it is a test of faith, character, and an eminent struggle to stay firmon the teachings of the Qur‟an.Quite a number of Muslims today, especially those living in Christian dominated countries orthose influenced to a large degree by western culture, have been led to consider that taking partin the Christmas celebrations of friends and relatives is, at very least, a harmless pastime if not alegitimate source of pleasure for children and adults alike.The Muslim is thereby reminded of the various ahadith in which the ProphetSallAllahuAlayhiwaSallam warned against imitating the non-believers and encourageddistinguishing oneself from them in dress and manner. Whether taken from the materialistic orthe religious standpoint, Christmas can have no place in the Muslim‟s heart or in his home.A Talk by Gabriel KeresztesChristmas holidays come and go each year with a lot of shopping, excitement, Santa Claus,Christmas trees, decorations andlights. The Christians celebrate, what they believe to be, thebirth of Jesus.With 25th December fast approaching, the Islamic Affairs & Charitable Activities Department,along with KALEMAH, organized a well-prepared talk by brother Gabriel (Jibreel) Keresztes,on the 16th of December in their Auditorium, in order to address questions such as:
  2. 2. What are the origins of Christianity?Was Jesus born without a father?Is Jesus son of God?Did Jesus speak as a baby?Was he crucified?Brother Gabriel Keresztes was raised a Christian, studying the Bible from a very early age. Aftera series of events he was guided to Islam in 2003, when he realized that Muslims were not as hethought, nor was their faith what he learned from Christians in his native country Romania.Since then he has been working to understand and answer the questions that people often haveabout Islam.Being a teacher by profession, brother Jibreel‟s talk was laced with beneficial information aboutthe prophet Jesus, his mother Mary, and facts about the festival of Christmas. The hour and a halfsession offered a much needed clarification to the crowd of 150 men and women, includingmuslims, non – muslims, as well as new muslims present at the auditorium.Jesus and Mary in the Holy Qur’anWho is Jesus?Who is Mary?Jesus was a Prophet. What was his Message?Many Christians are unaware that the true spirit of reverence which Muslims display towardsJesus (alayhis-salam) and his mother Mary spring from the fountainhead of their faith asprescribed in the Holy Quran. Most do not know that a Muslim does not take the name of Jesus,without saying Eesaalayhis-salami.e. (Jesus peace be upon him).Many Christians do not know that Jesus is mentioned 25 times in the Qur‟an and Mary, 34 times.Indeed, an entire chapter is titled “Mary,” who is described as the most pious and righteouswoman of her time, worthy of being emulated; “O Mary, God has chosen thee and purified theeand chosen thee above the women of all peoples” (3:43)For example:“We gave Jesus the son of Mary Clear (Signs) and strengthened him with the Holy Spirit.”(Quran 2:87)
  3. 3. “Behold! The angels said: "O Mary! Allah gives thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his namewill be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honor in this world and the Hereafter and of (thecompany of) those nearest to Allah.”(Quran 3:45)“Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) an apostle of Allah.” (Quran 4:171)“And in their footsteps We sent Jesus the son of Mary, confirming the Law that had come beforehim.” (Quran 5:46)“And Zakariya and John, and Jesus and Elias: all in the ranks of the righteous.” (Quran 6:85)The Quran relates in detail the story of Jesus, including his birth, mission as a prophet to theIsraelites and his crucifixion.In Islam, Jesus is considered to be a Messenger of God, and theMessiah who was divinely chosen to preach the message of monotheism and submission to thewill of God to the Children of Israel.The belief in Jesus (and all other messengers of God) is required in Islam, and a requirement ofbeing a Muslim.Thereby, the talk by brother Jibreel shed light upon the fact that a very essential aspect of Islamis to love Jesus, the son of Mary, as one of the beloved Prophets of God, as well as encouragingthe non-muslims to read for themselves what the Holy Qur‟an says about Mary and Jesus (MayPeace be upon them ).Jesus was MuslimLike all prophets in Islam, Jesus is considered to have been a Muslim (i.e., one who submits tothe will of God), as he preached that his followers should adopt the "straight path" ascommanded by God.The Qur‟anictitles of Jesus are proof to Jesus being muslim.Jesus is mentioned by name intwenty-five places in the Holy Qur‟an. He is also addressed with respect as: "Ibne Maryam" - sonof Mary; as Masi (Heb) Messiah - translated as Christ; "Abd-ullah" servant of Allah; "Rasul -Ullah" - Messenger of Allah.He is spoken of as "the word of God", as "the spirit of God", as a "Sign of God", and numerousother epithets of honor spread over fifteen different chapters. The Holy Qur‟an honors this greatMessenger of God, and over the past fourteen hundred years Muslims continue to hold Jesus as asymbol of truth.
  4. 4. - Greeting of ‘Peace’ Jesus (pbuh) greeted his disciples like a Muslim, by saying: “Peace be unto you”, when he appeared before them after his so-called „resurrection‟ (John 20:19). Muslims use the same words to greet, (but in Arabic): “AssalaamuAlaikum” - Jesus did not eat Pork In both Bible and Holy Qur-an Allah (God) condemns the touching & eating of swine flesh. "And the swine, though he divided the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you. “Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcass shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you." - Sujood (Prostration) Jesus used to pray like a Muslim, and did prostration (Sajda), touching his forehead to the ground: “And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed....” (Matthew 26:39) - Worshipping One God Jesus was commanded by Allah to worship Him, One God. “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’” (Mark 12:28-30) "And God spoke all these words, saying: I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me." (Exodus 20:1-3) Jesus declared that God is One. - Belief in the other Prophets Belief in all the messengers of Allah is a basic requirement to be called a Muslim. Allah tells the Muslims in Quran: “Say (O Muslims): We believe in Allah and that which is revealed unto us and that which was revealed unto Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes, and that which Moses and Jesus received, and that which the Prophets received from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and unto Him we have surrendered. ” (Qur’an 2:136)Thus, Jesus (pbuh) practiced Islam, i.e., Submission and he got Islam, i.e., Peace.
  5. 5. The Crucifixion of JesusWas Jesus crucified?Brother Jibreel explained how the Holy Qur‟an rejects the claim that Jesus was killed onthecross. Instead, Allah mentions that He has saved him as a sign.“That they said (in boast), "We killed Christ Jesus theson of Mary, the Apostle of God"; but theykilled him not, norcrucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and thosewho differtherein are full of doubts, with no (certain)knowledge, but only conjecture to follow for of asurety theykilled him not. “ (Qur’an 4:157)“Nay, God raised him up unto Himself; and God is exalted in Power, Wise.” (Qur’an 4:158)“And there is none of the People of the Book but mustbelieve in him before his death; and on theDay of Judgment He will be a witness against them.” (Qur’an 4:159)Based on the Ahadithof Prophet Muhammad (SallAllahuAlayhiwasallam), Muslims believe thatProphet Jesus will return to earth at a timewhen Muslims will be in a dire need of a leader. Hewill notinitiate a new religion but rather obey the Holy Quran and theteachings of ProphetMuhammad and lead Muslims to victory overthe disbelievers.Relationship between Man & GODWho is GOD?Is there a need for someone to be between you & GOD?Can GOD have a son?The most important of all the commandments, according to Jesus, is to know God as the onlyGod. Jesus further emphasized this in the Gospel.In John 17:1, Jesus lifted his eyes to heaven and prayed, addressing God as Father. Then inverse three, he said to God as follows: “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the onlytrue God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” (John 17:3)The Qur‟an emphasizes on the fact that God is ONE, Allah, and he cannot have a son, referringto Jesus as Jesus ibnMaryam, i.e., Jesus son of Mary. He is not a son of God.The following Surah, from the Qur‟an, Surah Ikhlas is a very important Surah from the HolyQuran because it proclaims the Oneness (Tawhid) and Absolute nature of Divine Essence ofAllah. He is Eternal, beyond the bounds of time and space. Allah does not give birth nor is Hegiven birth to and Allah is beyond comparison.
  6. 6. “SAY: "God is Unique!!God, the Source [of everything].He has not fathered anyone nor was He fathered, and thereis nothing comparable to Him!"(Qur’an, Surah 112)This Surah thereby directly supports the relationship between Man & GOD, also confirming thedeclaration (Shahadah) of Islam: “There is no god but Allah.”This is the commandment of Allah, and the Message brought by all the Messengers andProphets, that of Monotheism, belief in ONE GOD.ConclusionBrother Jibreel ended his talk with a hadith from the Prophet MuhammadSallAllahualayhiwasallam, commemorating the essence of the Love of Allah for Man, HisCreation, his slaves, thereby confirming that there is no need for any intercessor between us andAllah, as He is Al-Waddud (Most Loving), He is Ar-Rahman (The Compassionate), He is Ar-Rahim (Most Merciful). (Sacred Hadith) The Prophet {SalallahualaihiWa Salam} mentioned that Allah said:- Myself, Mankind and Jinn are in a great serious state. I create them, then they worship other gods that they make for themselves; I bless them with my bounties, then they thank someone else for what I sent them; My Mercy descends to them while their evil deeds ascend to Me; I endear them with my gifts even though I have no need to any of them while they alienate themselves from Me with their sins even though they are desperate for my help.Whoever returns to Me, I accept him no matter how far he is; and whoever turns away from Me,I approach him and call on him. Whoever leaves a sin for my sake, I reward him with many gifts and whoever seeks to please Me, I seek to please him. Whoever acknowledges My Will and Power in whatever he does, I make the iron bend for his sake.My dear people are those who are with Me.Whoever thanks Me, I grant him more blessings; whoever obeys Me, I raise him and endear him more.
  7. 7. Whoever disobeys Me, I keep the doors of My Mercy open for him; if he returns to Me, I bestowhim with My Love since I love those who repent and purify themselves for My Sake. If he does not repent, I still treat him by putting them in hardship to purify him. Whoever favors Me over others, I favor them over others. I reward every single good deed tentimes over or seven hundred times over to countless times over.I count every single bad deed asone unless the person repents and ask for My Forgiveness in which case I forgive even that one. I take into account any little good deed and I forgive even major sins. My Mercy supersedes My Anger; My Tolerance supersedes My Blame;My Forgiveness supersedes My Punishment as I am more merciful with My slaves than a mother with her child.(Narrated by Al-Bukhari.In a Hadith Qudsi)Source:-From Madarij Al-Salikeen by Ibn-Qayem Al-jawzyia Reference: