This letter appears in today's Leicester Mercury:
As Muslims we will show love for Jesus
Ahmadiyya Muslim Community wishes all the people of Leicestershire and Rutland a merry Christmas and happy new year.
Although we may not put up stockings and Christmas lights in our houses during the holiday season, make no mistake, as members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, we celebrate the life of Jesus – and all prophets – all year.
Although our views diverge from Christians regarding the divinity of Jesus, Muslims hold a deep reverence for the Prophet Jesus who we, too, regard as the Messiah and whose name is mentioned no fewer than 25 times in the Holy Qu'ran.
As a Muslim, I invoke God's blessings every single day on Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
But I also choose to show my love for the Prophet Jesus, not with Christmas decorations and frantic holiday shopping trips, but by invoking blessings on him on a regular basis as well. In our five daily prayers, we beseech God to bless us as he did Abraham and his people, which included Jesus.
As we all attempt to navigate another stressful holiday season, may we all remember his patience, steadfastness and unconditional love for humanity and make that a part our faith and lives.
Dr Habib Akram, president, Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Leicester