Thursday, January 03, 2008
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
May God bless Muhammad and his kin and bless Abraham and his kin
Al-Salaamu Aleikum; Peace be upon you; Pax Vobiscum
During these joyful holidays we write to you, our Christian neighbors all over the world, to express our thanks for the beautiful and gracious responses that we Muslims have been receiving from the very first day we issued our invitation to come together to ‘A Common Word’ based on ‘Love of God and Love of Neighbor’ (see www.acommonword.com for the document and the responses).
We thank you and wish you all a joyous and peaceful Christmas Holiday Season commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, may peace be upon him.
We Muslims bear witness that: There is no god but God, without associate, and that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger, and that Jesus is His Servant, His Messenger, His Word cast to Mary, and a Spirit from Him …. (Sahih Bukhari, Kitab Ahadith al-Anbiya’).
We pray, during these blessed days, which have coincided with the Muslim feast of the Hajj or Pilgrimage, which commemorates the faith of the Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him), that the New Year may bring healing and peace to our suffering world. God’s refusal to let Abraham (peace be upon him) sacrifice his son—granting him instead a ram—is to this day a Divine warrant and a most powerful social lesson for all the followers of the Abrahamic faiths, to ever do their utmost to save, uphold and treasure every single human life and especially the life of every single child. Indeed, it is worthy of note that this year Muslim scholars issued a historic declaration affirming the sanctity of human life—of every human life—as an essential and foundational teaching in Islam upon which all Muslim scholars are in unanimous agreement (see details at www.duaatalislam.com).
May the coming year be one in which the sanctity and dignity of human life is upheld by all. May it be a year of humble repentance before God, and mutual forgiveness within and between communities.