Navida Sayed, Hounslow, UK
For many devout Christians, the real focus of Easter is about the physical resurrection of Jesus, which is a most crucial facet of the Christian faith. However, Easter has become so heavily commercialised these days you won’t miss seeing bunnies, bonnets and chocolates eggs everywhere. The emphasis around Easter is on the array of vibrant coloured eggs and flowers, which have no direct correlation with the trial, arrest, suffering, and crucifixion of Jesus
The question then arises how did the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus become affiliated with bunnies and eggs? The fact is that there is absolutely no Biblical support, which authorises the keeping of Easter celebrations and no Biblical verses endorsing celebrations including Lent, eggs, baskets, bonnets or egg hunts. *
The entire foundation of Christian belief is based on the supernatural and miraculous resurrection and Jesus’ atonement for the sins of mankind through his death. If we believe that Jesus (peace be on him ) actually died on the cross, we would also have to admit that all his efforts were lost in vain, and that it was, God forbid, a shameful end of his ministry on the cross. Many people are not aware that God saved Jesus (peace be on him) from dying as a result of the most extreme, disgraceful form of punishment, that of crucifixion. He did not die as a criminal, openly and appallingly in the eyes of the world, as it is stated:
‘Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.’ (Galatians 3:13).
Jesus (peace be on him) has been a dominant figure in history for over two thousand years, but more evidence will continue coming to light to prove that Jesus (peace be on him) did not die on the cross, he was not resurrected and he did not ascend to heaven. God the Exalted says in the Holy Qur’an:
‘O Jesus, I will cause thee to die a natural death and will exalt thee to Myself, and will clear thee from the charges of those who disbelieve, and will place those who follow thee above those who disbelieve, until the Day of Resurrection; then to Me shall be your return, and I will judge between you concerning that wherein you differ. (Ch.3 V.56)
Jesus was sent to preach to all the twelve tribes of Israel. Out of the twelve tribes only two tribes were in Palestine while the other ten were found scattered in the lands stretching beyond Palestine. Jesus would have been deemed unsuccessful in his mission if he did not preach to the ten lost sheep of Israel.
“But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of israel”. (Matthew 15: 24)
Prior to his crucifixion, Jesus (peace be on him) instructed his followers:
‘These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, ‘Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.’ (Matthew 10:5-7)
‘But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.’ (Matthew 10:23)
Jesus (peace be on him) escaped the clutches of his persecutors and the son of man continued his mission in search of the lost sheep of Israel. Jesus migrated to the East in search of the lost sheep for which there is ample historical evidence and is recently supported by modern ‘finds’ of archaeology. Jesus found his lost sheep in Persia, Afghanistan and Kashmir, preached to them and comparatively he was much more successful here than in Palestine. He died a natural death and was buried in Srinagar, Kashmir.
The Promised Messiah, Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam has provided substantial evidence in his book ‘Jesus in India’, explaining Jesus’ escape from an ignominious death on the Cross and his subsequent journey to India in quest of the lost tribes of Israel whom he had to gather into his fold as mentioned in the New Testament. **
Regardless of the theological differences regarding the death and resurrection of Jesus (peace be on him) Muslims have always been advised to respect and live peacefully with their fellow Christian brothers and in the sixth year of the Hijrah, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) granted to all Christians a charter. ***
According to this charter:
- The Christians were not to be unfairly taxed
- No bishop was to be expelled from his monastery
- No pilgrim was to be detained from the performance of pilgrimage
- No Christian churches were to be pulled down for the building of mosques
- Christian women married to Muslims were free to enjoy their own religion
- In the case of repair of churches, the Muslims were to help the Christians
We hope and pray that we can live side by side in peace and harmony just as Prophet Jesus and Prophet Muhammad (peace be on them) taught us.
*for further information read http://www.reviewofreligions.org/2927/a-study-of-the-origins-and-features-of-easter/
** For further information read https://www.alislam.org/library/books/jesus-in-india/preface.html