I want to wish all my Christian friends Merry Christmas. I would also use this opportunity to highlight that Islam recognizes Jesus (peace be upon him) as a Prophet. Muslims believe that Jesus was a prophet who was given a special message — the Gospel — to convey to all people. This message both confirmed what was taught in the Torah and foretold the coming of Prophet Muhammad. Thus, Jesus has a vital and unique role to play in the Muslim faith.
The Qur’an mentions Jesus, or Isa, 25 times, but differently each time. The Qur’an explains that Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary (19:20–21) and is “highly honored in this and the next world” (3:45–47). Thus, he is called Isa ibn Maryam, or Jesus son of Mary. The Qur’an also refers to him as ruh min Allah (“Spirit from God”), mushia bi’l baraka (“the Messiah—someone blessed by God”), kalimah min Allah (“Word from/of God”), and rasul (Prophet-Messenger) of God.
It is part of my faith to accept Jesus as a pious and righteous man. He, like all Prophets of Islam, brought a message of peace, love and brotherhood for the world. While Christians and mainstream Muslims are still waiting for the second coming of Jesus (peace be upon him), tens of millions of Ahmadi Muslims have accepted Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian as the Messiah, who claimed in 1889 to have come in the spirit of Jesus to reform the world.
Nevertheless, the holiday season is a source of joy and celebration for all Christians. Please accept my humble wishes for the season. I would end my note by reaffirming that Jesus (peace be upon him) is not only the beloved of Christians, but also of all Muslims.
Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Virginia