Celebrating Diversity: Christmas and Ahmadiyya Islam

Morden Mosque
Celebrating Diversity: Christmas and Ahmadiyya Islam
Dr. Saqib Jahangiri explains the significance of Jesus and Mary for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community at the Morden Mosque, and the importance of peace and mutual understanding for our modern society.

‘Love for All, Hatred for None' is the unique banner upheld by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community are Muslims who believe in the Messiah, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (peace be on him) (1835-1908) of Qadian. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad founded the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in 1889 as a revival movement within Islam, emphasizing its essential teachings of peace, love, justice, and sanctity of life. Today, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is the world’s largest Islamic community under one Divinely appointed leader, His Holiness, Mirza Masroor Ahmad (may Allah be his Helper). The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community spans over 200 nations with membership exceeding tens of millions.

Mirza Ghulam Ahmad claimed to be the metaphorical second coming of Jesus Christ and the Mahdi whose advent Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) foretold.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community believes that God sent Mirza Ghulam Ahmad to end religious wars, condemn bloodshed, and restore morality, justice, and peace. He reformed Muslims of fanatical beliefs and practices by vigorously championing Islam’s true teachings. He also recognized the noble teachings of the great religious founders and saints, including Zoroaster, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Krishna, Buddha, Confucius, Lao Tzu, and Guru Nanak, and explained how their original teachings converge into true Islam.

Christmas is related to the birth of Jesus and Jesus holds great rank in the Ahmadiyya community. There is a whole chapter on Mary in Holy Qur’an and the Holy Qur’an has authenticated the birth of Jesus to the virgin Mary. It states, When the angels said, ‘O Mary, Allah gives thee glad tidings of a word from Him; his name shall be the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, honoured in this world and in the next, and of those who are granted nearness to God.

There is not any particular way to celebrate Christmas; it is just like Christians, but in Islam it is very important to remember all the pious people all the time. Muslims offer prayers five times a day, blessings are revoked on the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), blessings on Abrahim (peace be upon him) and all of their progenies which does cover Jesus too. Every Muslim also recites the Holy Qur’an every day, and there are numerous places in which Jesus and Mary are mentioned. The Holy Qur’an verses are part of the five daily prayers too. Therefore, all around the world, Muslims bestow blessings on Jesus and Mary all the time, which for us is the best way to celebrate Christmas.

The Ahmadiyya community is well integrated into today’s society. On 11th May 2016, the World Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the Fifth Khalifa (Caliph), His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad was asked about the issue of integration of immigrants into Western society on Sveriges Television in Sweden. Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad replied, ‘for me, true integration is to love the country in which you live and to be completely loyal to it. Thus, all immigrants should be loyal to their adopted nation, they should truly love it, they should honour it, they should be law abiding and work for its prosperity and progress.’ Answering another question on terrorism he replied, ‘Anyone who preaches or propagates any form of extremism acts completely against the true teachings of Islam and is to be condemned. We Ahmadi Muslims are peace-loving, and so no Ahmadi Muslim has any desire to join extremist groups. We teach our children…that to be peaceful is an essential part of their faith.’

Our mosques remain open for all, to help break down barriers and build trust, integration and cohesion by enabling a better understanding of Islamic beliefs and their role in modern life. We organise regular peace symposiums and run a free-to-view satellite channel MTA International on Sky 787 dedicated to spreading harmony among and between people regardless of their faiths and backgrounds, further underlining our commitment as a community to promoting integration and mutual respect. We are not funded by any country, government or organisation.

It is our belief that to do good works requires us to make sacrifices of time and money, and that is why the Ahmadiyya Muslim community is entirely self-funding. Members donate willingly to support the work of the community as well as a to a whole host of charitable and humanitarian activities that we carry out, almost all of which are run by volunteers. In essence “Love for All, Hatred for None” is the unique banner upheld by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, and a message that we believe is the basis for lasting peace.