To celebrate Christmas, a splendid ceremony was organized by Fr.Francis Nadeem Coordinator, National Council for Interfaith Dialogue, Pakistan (NCID) at St. Joseph’s Church, Lahore Cantt at 05.00 hours on 23 December, 2011. The honorable guests included Mr.G.M. Malik, Coordinator Muslim Christian Dialogue Forum (MCDF) Minhaj-ul-Quran International, Mr.Sohail Raza, Director Interfaith Relations, MQI, Hafiz Ghulam Farid Deputy Director Interfaith Relations MQI, and Allama Muhammad Shafaat Rasool Chairman Markaz Bilal. Haji Walait Qaiser, Hafeez Ch, Qazi Mahmood, Dr. Munawar Chand Chairman Hindu Welfare Council, Jassi Singh Sikh Singer, Taranjeet Singh and others participated in the ceremony.
Addressing the ceremony, Mr. Muhammad Mustafa (G.M. Malik) Coordinator Muslim Christian Dialogue Forum (MCDF) Minhaj-ul-Quran International said: “I say merry Christmas to all the Christian brothers and sisters. Christmas is the birth anniversary of Jesus Christ. Almighty Allah has described the birth of Jesus Christ in the Holy Quran in detail. The Holy Quran tells us about the good and pious character of Hazrat Maryam a.s. the noble mother of Jesus Christ.” Emphasizing the significance of the occasion, Mr Malik said that the Muslim faith in the Prophets included Jesus Christ and it is an essential part of our Iman in Islam. On this occasion, he delivered the Christmas message of Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri to the community of Christian brothers and sisters.
The message of Shaykh-ul-Islam reads:
“The Christian community around the world is celebrating the festive and auspicious occasion of Christmas today. I, on my own behalf and on behalf of Minhaj-ul-Quran International, take this opportunity to felicitate the entire community on this happy occasion.
Christmas is the birth anniversary of Jesus Christ. Allah Almighty sent him with a message of peace, enlightenment, and harmony at a time when the world was afflicted with ignorance and mired in the abyss of darkness and moral degradation. Through his sustained struggle, he revolutionized the course of human history and reformed the mankind through his preaching. The teachings and message of Jesus Christ continue to remain as relevant today as they were in the past.
There is no gainsaying the fact that essential message espoused by every divine religion is peace and welfare of the humanity. Hence, the followers of all religions are duty-bound to work for peace and harmony in the world. The Muslims believe in the Prophethood of Jesus Christ and Bible being the divine book. It is about time the humanity emphasized the shared commonalities and girded up its loins to face the challenges of terrorism and extremism in a concerted manner. The tendency of blaming religions and cultures as breeder of terrorism and extremism must be shunned as terrorism is a global phenomenon. Minhaj-ul-Quran International, on its part, is engaged in a struggle for promoting peace, interfaith dialogue and harmony”.