In my heart, I have a great respect for all people’s rights. Growing up in a multi-cultural family with different sides finding faith in different belief systems, I respect other’s religious holidays and beliefs, though I may not be of their same faith. Thus, I have a great respect for people’s right to practice the holiday of Easter.
My grandparents were Catholic, and on Easter Sunday, like most Christians, my siblings and I took part in racing around their backyard searching for Easter eggs and eating sweet candies. I can remember the joy that filled the yard as I competed with my brother (who happened to be king of Easter egg hunting), while we searched desperately to find our eggs that often had an extra surprise in them—money!
For many Christians, this day of celebrating has a deeper meaning to them than just a sun-filled, candy-hunting day for kids. For many Christians, Easter is the day they celebrate the belief in Jesus (peace be upon him) rising from the dead. The day symbolizes to them the day of resurrection, and they are reminded of the sacrifices that Jesus (pbuh) made so many thousands of years ago. Some faith-filled Christians spend the morning in church, coming closer to their Lord, before spending quality family time by partaking in fun activities.
Easter belongs to the Christians, as this is a holiday not celebrated by those of other faiths, as many other religions do not believe Jesus Christ (pbuh) to be God. In the traditional Jewish practices, Jesus (pbuh) is often not acknowledged, and in Islamic practice, Jesus (pbuh) is believed to be a beloved prophet of God and not God Himself.
I have had the pleasure of speaking with some modern followers of Judaism who recognize Jesus (pbuh) to be another prophet of God, though many others are still awaiting the arrival of their prophesied messiah.
Though different faiths carry different beliefs, it is interesting, at the least, to see how many similarities they share, as almost all await a messiah. Many Muslims are awaiting the second coming of Jesus (pbuh), and some, like Christians, believe that Jesus (pbuh) will descend from the skies in the latter days to save mankind.
Though this popular mainstream Christian belief has made its way into mainstream Muslim belief, it is not shared by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, who believe that Jesus, as a prophet of God, has passed, and the prophecy of his second coming has already occurred through the messiah of the time, Ghulam Ahmad (pbuh).
Ahmadiyya Muslims believe that the second coming of Jesus, written in both the new and old testament, as well as in the Quran, is a metaphor in that the prophecy meant a man would come in the latter days that resembles Jesus (pbuh) in his likeness, and this man would bring the world together through peace, restoring the true teachings of the Islamic faith.
It seems much of religion is the same in that its underlining objective is to spread peace, but oh how interpretation is everything! We see this in those causing havoc in the world in the name of religion, and in the name of God, altering beautiful concepts for sick, personal objectives–how unfortunate to say the least (but that is another article for another time!)
All in all, I feel blessed to have the knowledge I have obtained being raised in a multi-religious family, as it gives me an understanding, appreciation, and respect for all views. My belief is that if we were all more informed on different cultures and beliefs, we would learn to respect one another, spread peace and love to each other, and no longer force our religious views on someone else. My belief is that true knowledge and understanding will bring the world together again. In conclusion, happy Easter to all of my Christian neighbors!