On the 25th of December 2011, Muslims in Tower Hamlets gathered in a masjid to ponder and reflect on the life and death of Isa (as) [Prophet Jesus, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him] and to learn some important lessons from the history of Islam. Alhamdulillah the event was a success with over 250 attendees.
The Chairperson for the day was a school teacher who recently returned from studying in Jordan and also experiencing the Arab uprisings first hand. In introducing the event, he spoke about the great blessing in gathering to remember Allah (swt) and his Dhikr (the Quran). He suggested Muslims need to understand the life of Isa (as) and not automatically get caught up in Christmas festivities.
This was followed by a beautiful Qur’an recitation by Imam of the mosque.
The first speaker was Ustadh Muhammed Ali, an Arabic teacher. In discussing the life Isa (as), who holds an honourable position as a prophet in Islam, he contrasted how Christmas is an excuse for the shops to sell goods to make money and for many people to have wild parties and engage in lewd behaviour. He explained the idea of sacrifice in Islam and how the prophets and messengers struggled to establish the deen (way of life) in Islam which is why we need to take lessons from the life of Isa (as).
The second speaker was Ustadh Saffaruk Choudhury, who is a Islamic studies teacher. He discussed the topic of the soul’s journey after death. He explained that death is a certainty and although death brings to end our temporal life, it is however the beginning to our eternal life in the hereafter. He argued, therefore, it is absolutely essential that we know how the soul is taken and what happens to it, so that we may prepare ourselves.
The event ended with a dua (supplication) and dinner.