Milad is the Islamic festival commemorating the birthday of Mohammed. All Saints Church in Kingtson upon Thames thinks there is an interfaith syncretised opportunity to be found in holding a joint birthday celebration for both Mohammed and Jesus so they put the flags out for both, rejoicing in both, eulogising both, solemnising both, glorifying both, honouring both.
In a promotional flier, the church said the service was marking the birthday of Prophet Muhammad and looking forward to the birthday of Jesus. Westminster Abbey hosted a service in which Mohammed was named in the succession of prophets, they effectively proclaimed to the world that Mohammed is greater than Jesus.
The church organized the event alongside the Kingston Inter Faith Forum and the South London Inter Faith Group. The hour long service included time for Islamic prayer and was followed by the cutting of a birthday cake.
Prominent Christian blogger Archbishop Cranmer castigated the church for its lack of reverence for Jesus.
Cranmer wrote, “Every time a church accords Muhammad the epithet ‘Prophet’, they are rejecting the crucifixion, denying the resurrection of Christ, and refuting that the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, for Muhammad denied all of these foundational tenets of the Christian faith.”
In Islamic theology, Mohammed was ‘The Prophet’ who came to fulfill and complete the partial revelations of all preceding prophets. Muslims believe that his coming was prophesied by Jesus. ‘But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceed from the Father..‘ (Jn 15:26). The ‘Comforter’ or ‘Advocate’ (NIV) whom Christians believe to be the Holy Spirit is, for Muslims, Mohammed.
So when he is declared in Westminster Abbey to be ‘The Chosen One’, it is not simply a benign multi faith expression of ecumenical respect in a commemorative service of reconciliation: it is a dogmatic affirmation of a perfected prophet hood to which Jesus is subordinate, and His divinity thereby denied.
And then there was the act of divine worship in St Mary’s Cathedral, Glasgow, in which it was declared publicly from the Quran that God can have no sons, and so the Gospel writers were engaged in a blasphemous deceit. Every time a church accords Mohammed the epithet ‘Prophet’, they are rejecting the crucifixion, denying the resurrection of Christ, and refuting that the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, for Mohammed denied all of these foundational tenets of the Christian faith. The Jesus he espoused is the plain old one – no more than a prophet, and certainly an inferior one to him.
The Muslim Jesus known as Isa is another Jesus.
Say, “We have believed in Allah and in what was revealed to us and what was revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and the Descendants, and in what was given to Moses and Jesus and to the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and we are Muslims (submitting) to Him (Âl ‘Imran 3:84).
And (for) their saying, “Indeed, we have killed the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, the messenger of Allah”.
And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but (another) was made to resemble him to them. And indeed, those who differ over it are in doubt about it. They have no knowledge of it except the following of assumption. And they did not kill him, for certain (An-Nisa’ 4:157).
The Muslim Jesus did not die.
Rather, Allah raised him to Himself. And ever is Allah Exalted in Might and Wise (An-Nisa’ 4:158).
The Rev. Dr. Gavin Ashenden said, “There are other and considerably better ways to build ‘bridges of understanding”.