Christmas is celebrated as the day marking the birth of the Prophet Eesa SA, Jesus Christ, and is commemorated on the 25th of December According to the Fatemi calendar, the birth of Prophet Eesa falls on Aashura, the 10th of Moharram.
The birth of the Prophet Eesa is a blessing from Allah. According to the Quran, when the Prophet Eesa was born he uttered these beautiful words:-
*قَالَ إِنِّي عَبْدُ اللَّهِ آتَانِيَ الْكِتَابَ وَجَعَلَنِي نَبِيًّا * وَجَعَلَنِي مُبَارَكًا أَيْنَ مَا كُنتُ وَأَوْصَانِي بِالصَّلَاةِ وَالزَّكَاةِ مَا دُمْتُ حَيًّا * وَبَرًّا بِوَالِدَتِي وَلَمْ يَجْعَلْنِي جَبَّارًا شَقِيًّا * وَالسَّلَامُ عَلَيَّ يَوْمَ وُلِدتُّ وَيَوْمَ أَمُوتُ وَيَوْمَ أُبْعَثُ حَيًّا*
“I am indeed a *servant of Allah*: He hath given me the revelation (al-kitaaab) and made me a prophet; And He hath made me blessed wheresoever I be, and hath enjoined on me prayer and zakaat (alms) as long as I live; (He) hath made me kind and dutiful to my mother, and not arrogant or miserable; So salaam (peace) is on me the day I was born, the day that I die, and the day that I shall be resurrected”. (Surat e Maryam 30:32)
There are 25 verses in the Quran that refer to the Prophet Jesus. Allah sent blessings and benedictions and salaam (peace) towards humanity by sending his rooh (spirit), Jesus, as a prophet, intercessor, a witness (shaheed) unto Allah, and one who spent his life in servitude and preaching the Message of Allah to all mankind.
The inner peace of Jesus Christ is evident in the accounts of his life. He lived his life in the glory and benediction of Allah and the true belief of salvation. He called each and every Christian towards this inner peace that he portrayed as peace and goodwill towards all living beings. Fatemi texts provide an account whereby Jesus once met the prophet Yayha (John the Baptist). Jesus was beaming with happiness, so Prophet Yahya asked him, “How is it that you smile so? Do you not fear the wrath of Allah?” Jesus replied, “Why do you frown so? Are you not hopeful of Allah’s mercy?” Allah sent his archangel Jibraeel with the following judgement between the two prophets, “the one who smiles more is dearer to me.”
During the annual sermons of Ashara (in Moharram), the sermon on the 5th of Moharram, is dedicated to the legacy of Prophet Musa SAW and Prophet Eesa SAW and narrates the events leading upto to his eventual crucifixion. Each year, hundreds of Bohras travel on pilgrimage to Jersulam to pay respects at the tomb of Prophet Eesa.
Jesus is the spirit of Allah (rooh-Allah) and performed many miracles during his lifetime. The “story of Jesus and the third loaf of bread” is regularly narrated to remind believers of his miracles and is a constant reminder to abstain from greed. Some sayings of Prophet Eesa form the foundation of Fatemi beliefs. For example, the saying, “He who is not born twice cannot attain the kingdom of the heavens” expounds the importance of the everlasting soul over the perishing body.
His Holiness Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin remembered the sacrifice of Jesus Christ in one of his speeches in Nairobi. He said:
“His [Jesus Christ’s] sacrifice for the sake of humankind was of great consequence. Similarly, the Prophet Mohammed’s grandson Imam Husain gave many sacrifices for the sake of humanity. These sacrifices are a constant source of guidance that remind us that no sacrifice is too great for the causes of Haq: what is true and right. Amirul Mumineen Ali b Abi Talib has provided us with an unmatched lesson which aids us in our acts of sacrifice. He has told us: show kindness to those who have done you ill.”
Jesus Christ spent his entire life spreading the message of “salaam”, peace. As we rejoice in his memory, we pray that peace prevails across the globe.