Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Exceptional Role

Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Exceptional Role

Jesus is unequivocally the central theme of the Christian faith, with an astonishing two billion followers and counting. There is no doubt Jesus has captured the hearts of God fearing people, by initiating hope and peace through his admirable teachings and practices. However, many fail to realize the utmost role Jesus plays in also Islam and Judaism. Although these two faiths do not celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the presence of immense respect and values continue to surround this spectacular, historical being for thousands of years. As a result, it is critical we gain knowledge and diversify our religious perspective of the ample role Jesus has played in not only Christianity, but also in the entwinement of the three predominant religions in this world.

For example, Jesus is commonly known as Isa in the Qur’an. He is regarded so highly that, in fact, the Qur’an mentions him 25 times by the name Isa, 48 times in third-person, and 35 times in first person, and the rest as titles and attributes. However, unlike Christianity, most Muslims believe that God saved Jesus from "death by crucifixion" and ascended bodily to heaven, and will come down to earth again to break the cross and what it stands for and to purify the faith of the believers. However, a sect in Islam called Ahmadiyya Muslim Community believes that Jesus Christ only fell into a swoon on the Cross, but when he was taken down from it, he recovered and migrated to Kashmir, India where he died a natural death at the old age of 120.

On the other hand, in Judaism, Jews believe Jesus did not fulfill the requirements of messianic prophecies that distinguish the criteria for the coming of the messiah. Judaism also has never accepted any of the claimed fulfillments of prophecy that Christianity attributes to Jesus. Thus, Judaism forbids the worship of a person as a form of idolatry, since its central belief is the complete unity and singularity of God. The religious concept of Jesus in these historical religions is broad, and numerous scriptures have been written regarding the complexity of his character. So, it is critical we reflect upon the exceptional role Jesus Christ played in these Abrahamic religions. After all, his presence changed the course of mankind forever.

Sabiha Basit