When Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) was writing letters to the Heads of neighboring states, he referred to Jesus Christ (PBUH) as the messenger of Allah and then invited them to Islam. In his letter to Nagaci, the king of Ethiopia, he wrote:
“… He, the King, the Holy peace insured dominant, and I bear witness that Jesus son of Mary, the Spirit of Allah and his speech was delivered to the Virgin Mary the good bunker. Allah created Jesus from his soul, just as he created Adam with his hand, and I invite you and your soldiers to Allah Almighty, has reached and advised receive my advice, and peace be upon those who follow guidance”.
Insisting on the fact that he knew Jesus (PBUH) and that he was the son of Mary, he wanted them to know that Islam is no different from true Christianity. The Quran, on the other hand, insists on this and reveals the fact that his name was stated before in the holy books:
"Those who follow the Messenger, the unlettered prophet, whom they find written in what they have of the Torah and the Gospel, who enjoins upon them what is right and forbids them what is wrong and makes lawful for them the good things and prohibits for them the evil and relieves them of their burden and the shackles which were upon them. So they who have believed in him, honored him, supported him and followed the light which was sent down with him - it is those who will be the successful." (7:157)
But is that true?
Here we are going to discuss some of those verses and words.
“I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen like you, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. It shall come about that whoever will not listen to My words which he shall speak in My name, I Myself will require it of him. But the prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in My name which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.”(18:18)
Al-Samawal Al-Maghribi was a Jewish mathematician who converted to Islam and had interpretations of the verses of the Old and New Testament. He interprets this verse as referring to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP). The description given in this verse about the future prophet is referring to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) since it’s similar to the description given before about the children of Esau (Jesus). There is another verse that is referring to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) in his point of view:
"The Lord came from Sinai, and dawned on them from Seir; He shone forth from Mount Paran, And He came from the midst of ten thousand holy ones; At His right hand there was flashing lightning for them.” (33:2)
Al-Maghribi states that in this verse, Mount Sinai refers to Moses, Mount Seir refers to Jesus, and Mount Paren refers to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP). 
This chapter is shared between the Hebrew Bible and the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. In verses 1 to 4 of this chapter, we read:
“Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold; My chosen one in whom My soul delights. I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the nations. "He will not cry out or raise His voice, Nor make His voice heard in the street. "A bruised reed He will not break and a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish; He will faithfully bring forth justice. "He will not be disheartened or crushed Until He has established justice in the earth; And the coastlands will wait expectantly for His law.” (42:1-5)
According to the verses above, a prophet was coming from the children of Qedar, the second son of Ishmael , and also the nomadic Arab tribe, which was known as the most significant organized Arab tribe . He is also sent to the same tribe to guide them on the right path. The other point about the prophethood of Muhammad (PBUH&HP) mentioned in this verse is that his religion was universal, willing to stand against gods and goddesses. Everyone waited for his coming, and different tribes would follow him.
“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. “ (14:16-17)
Muslims’ interpretation of this verse states that the two words meaning comforter and famous, were used interchangeably and Jesus in prophesying the coming of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP).  They also relate these verses to a verse of the Quran about Jesus Christ, telling his people about the coming of the next prophet:
“And [mention] when Jesus, the son of Mary, said, "O children of Israel, indeed I am the messenger of Allah to you confirming what came before me of the Torah and bringing good tidings of a messenger to come after me, whose name is Ahmad." But when he came to them with clear evidence, they said, "This is obvious magic.” (61:6)
According to this verse, the name Ahmad is given for Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP), and it means the praised one. According to the translations of the holy bible, the word periklutos means the celebrated or praised one means Ahmad. The word is repeated in John 14, John 15 and 16.
According to the verses above, the coming of Muhammad (PBUH&HP) was prophesied by the former prophets. And many Jews and Christians were aware of the coming of a new prophet. However, many of them rejected his invitation. Why?
You will find out in the next article.
- al-Maghribi, Al-Samawal; Confutation of the Jews (in Arabic). Syria: Dar Al Qalam, 1989, 75-77
- Besharat Ahdein
- Stearns and Langer, 2001, p. 41.
- Zepp, Ira G. A Muslim Primer: Beginner's Guide to Islam. Vol. 1. University of Arkansas Press, 2000, 50-51
Coexistence means living together, cooperating socially and economically of either the people of two countries to fulfill their livelihood or two individuals who might not share the same interests. In other words, coexistence includes being together, not interfering in others’ private affairs, and respecting the rights of others. Islam, which considers both the individual and social needs of human beings, offers a complete package for a thriving social life. Through its teachings, the Prophet’s (PBUH & HP) and infallible Imams’(AS) tradition (Sunnah), and the Quranic teachings, Islam has provided some clear guidelines for Muslims and the followers of other religions peaceful coexistence in the Quran. Here, we focus mostly on what the Quran offers in this regard.
The first point raised about the peaceful coexistence in the Quran is that Muslims should deal with non-Muslims with justice and beneficence, as far as non-Muslims have not expressed any hostility against them and don’t respond to their kindness with hatred (60:8). In Surah Mumtahina, it is said that: “Allah forbids you only in regard to those who made war against you on account of religion and expelled you from your homes and supported [others] in your expulsion, that you make friends with them, and whoever makes friends with them—it is they who are the wrongdoers.”(60:9).
Accordingly, non-Muslims are in two groups — the first group who are in peace with Muslims and live peacefully with them. The Islamic government and Muslims of society should respect this group and recognize their rights. The second group is those who act against Muslims, Islam, and the Islamic government. Undoubtedly, they should be counteracted, and there would be no place for peace in this case . That’s why Imam Ali (AS) had devoted a share of public treasury (Bayt al-mal) to help the needy people of other religions. It means that an Islamic government does not overlook non-Muslims, but recognizes their rights and supports them. (10:57)
Humans naturally tend to reject any imposed idea or belief. And, the Quran never orders something which opposes to human’s nature. Hence, non-Muslims are not compelled to convert to Islam (2:256), and they are free to keep their religion. In Surah An’am, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH & HP) is told that: “Had Allah wished, they would not have ascribed partners [to Him]. We have not made you a caretaker for them, nor is it your duty to watch over them.” (6:107). Based on these verses, along with some others, Islam recognizes other Abrahamic religions, and no Muslim is permitted to force any non-Muslim to accept Islamic ideas. Still, Muslims should let non-Muslims to retain their own religious views and beliefs and to live peacefully in society.
If Muslims want to discuss their religious viewpoints with followers of other religions, they are told: “not to argue with the People of the Book, except in a manner which is best” (29:46). It means to exchange peacefully with logical reasoning and argument. Even in their discussions with polytheists, Muslims are prevented from insulting those whom they invoke besides Allah Almighty; otherwise, they would affront Allah Almighty out of hostility (6:108) . It should be noted that the aim of these discussions should be clarifying the truth and not obliging others to convert. As stated above, no one is forced to accept what we believe. This manner ensures Muslims and non-Muslims peaceful coexistence in the Quran.
In surah Baqara, it is stated that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH & HP) and the faithful have faith in what has been sent down to him (PBUH & HP) from Allah Almighty, and they believe in Allah Almighty, His angels, His scriptures and His apostles, and they make no distinction between any of His apostles (2:285). It means that a real believer should recognize all previous Prophets sent by Allah Almighty and what they have brought to humans from Him . Besides, in Ayat 62, the followers of other religions like the Jews, the Christians, and the Sabaeans who are faithful to Allah and the Day of Judgement and act righteously are told to have their reward from Allah Almighty (2:62). This is another proof that Islam recognizes other religions. Also, it reveals that there have been faithful people among the followers of other religions who truly believed in Allah almighty according to the teachings of their faith.
In dealing with the opponents of Islam, Islam orders Muslims to accept if they offer peace and declare a ceasefire and emphasizes that: “Allah does not allow you any course [of action] against them” (4:90). In other verses, Muslims are told that: “If they incline toward peace, then you [too] incline toward it” (8:61).
Another example that demonstrates Islamic teachings promote peaceful coexistence in the Quran with non-Muslims is that in the Quran, Muslims are told that: “the food of those who were given the Book is lawful to you, and your food is lawful to them” (5:5). Besides, according to the Quran, Muslim men can marry the chaste ones from among faithful women, and chaste women of those who were given the Book before Muslims, once their dowries are paid to them (5:5). These two instances show that Muslims are free to fraternize with non-Muslims and exchange with them in society.
What has been mentioned above are only some of the many Islamic guidelines that encourage treating others kindly and behaving friendly with the followers of other religions. That makes them incline slightly towards Islam, such that after a Christian boy who had converted to Islam changed his bad behavior with his mother, the mother was attracted and converted to Islam, too. This, together with many instances of the way that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH & HP) and Infallible Imams (AS) treated non-Muslims, proves Islam's deep care for the way Muslims deal with others which should ultimately lead them toward tolerance and maintaining a peaceful coexistence as stated in the Quran.
- M. A. Amini, “The principle of peaceful coexistence with non-Muslims in Islam,” Ma’rifat Journal, no. 165, p. 35-52.
- M. H. Tabataba’ei, “Translation of Tafsir Al-Mizan, “vol. 2, p. 681.
In this article, you can read some narrations about the day of Ghadir.
Chapter One: The place of Eid Ghadir in the religion
I went to Imam Sadiq (AS) and said: Do Muslims have Eid other than Eid al-Adha, Eid al-Fitr, and Friday?
Imam (AS) said: Yes, the day when the Messenger of God (PBUH&HP) appointed the Commanders of the Faithful (to the caliphate and guardianship.
The Messenger of Allah (PBUH&HP) said:
Ghadir Day is the highest Eid of my nation and it is the day that Allah Almighty commanded. On that day, I will appoint my brother Ali ibn Abi Talib as the flag bearer (and commander) of my ummah, so that the people after him will be guided by him, and that is the day when Allah completed the religion and completed the blessings on my ummah, and He liked Islam as a religion for them.
Imam Sadiq (AS) said:
The day of Ghadir is the great feast of Allah, God did not send a prophet, unless he took this day as Eid and recognized its greatness, and the name of this day in heaven is the day of the covenant and on earth, the day of the firm covenant and public presence.
Imam Sadiq (AS) was asked: do believers have any other Eid besides Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha and Friday? And he answered:
Yes, they have a bigger Eid and that is the day when the Commander of the Faithful (AS) was raised in Ghadir, and the Messenger of God placed the issue of guardianship on the shoulders of men and women.
Ammar bin Hariz says:
On the eighteenth day of the month of DhulHija, I arrived at the service of Imam Sadiq (AS) and found him fasting. The Imam said to me: Today is a great day, Allah has given it greatness and on that day he completed the religion of the believers and completed the blessings on them and renewed the previous covenant.
Imam Reza (AS) said:
My father quoted his father (Imam Sadiq (AS)) as saying:
Ghadir Day is more famous in the sky than on earth.
Ali (AS) said:
Today (Eid Ghadir) is a very great day.
On this day, the opening has come and the status (of those who deserved it) has risen, and the proofs of Allah have been clarified, and the position of purity has been clearly spoken, and today is the day of the completion of religion and the day of the covenant.
Imam Sadiq (AS) said:
I swear by God, if the people knew the true virtue of "Ghadir Day", the angels would shake hands with them ten times a day, and the gifts of God to the one who knew that day cannot be counted.
Imam Sadiq (AS) said:
... The day of Ghadir among the days of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha and Friday is like the moon among the stars.
Imam Sadiq (AS) said:
When the Day of Judgment comes, the four days will hasten to Allah as the bride will hasten to her chamber. Those days are: Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha and Friday and Ghadir.
Chapter 2: The merits and demerits of Ghadir
The Prophet (PBUH&HP) (on the day of Ghadir) said:
O Muslims! Let those present inform the absentees: I recommend the one who believes in me and acknowledges me to the guardianship of Ali, beware that the guardianship of Ali is my guardianship and my guardianship is the guardianship of my God. This was a covenant from my Lord which He commanded me to deliver to you.
Imam Sadiq (AS) said:
Eid Ghadir is the day when the Prophet (PBUH&HP) raised Ali (AS) as the flag bearer for the people and revealed his virtue on this day and introduced his successor, then he fasted that day in gratitude to the Almighty Allah and that day is the day of fasting, worship, feeding, and visiting religious brothers. That day is the day of gaining the pleasure of the merciful Allah and rubbing the dust of the devil's nose.
Ali (AS) (in the sermon of Eid Ghadir) said:
When you reach each other, shake hands with each other and give gifts to each other on this day; whoever was there and heard these words, let him go to the poor, let the rich go to the poor, and let the strong go to the weak, prophet (PBUH&HP) commanded me so.
The Commander of the Faithful (AS) said:
... How will it be for someone who is responsible for the living expenses of a number of believing men and women (on the Day of Ghadir), if I guarantee him/her to Allah that he will be safe from disbelief and poverty.
Imam Sadiq (AS) said:
Eid Ghadir is a day of worship, prayer, thanksgiving, and praise to Allah, and it is a day of joy and happiness for the sake of our family, may God bless them, and I would like you to fast that day.
It was narrated from Imam Sadiq (AS) that he said:
One dirham to brothers with faith and knowledge on the day of Eid Ghadir is equal to one thousand dirhams, so give alms to your brothers on this day and make every believing man and woman happy.
Imam Sadiq (AS) said:
Ghadir is the day of Eid and joy and happiness and the day of fasting is as a thanksgiving for divine blessings.
Ali (AS) said:
Return home after the gathering (on the day of Ghadir), may Allah have mercy on you. Develop for your family, do good to your brothers, thank Allah for the blessing He has given you, unite so Allah will unite you, do good so Allah will establish your friendship, give each other Allah's blessing and congratulations, as Allah has congratulated you on this day by rewarding you many times over other Eids, such rewards will not be except on the day of Eid Ghadir.
I said to Imam Sadiq (AS): Do Muslims have any other Eid besides those two?
He said: Yes, the greatest and best Eid.
I said: What day is it?
He said: The day when Amir al-Mu'minin was appointed as the flag bearer of the people.
I said: on that day, what should we do?
He said: Fast and send greetings to Muhammad and his family and seek acquittal from the oppressors because the prophets instructed the successors to observe Eid on the day when the successor is chosen.
Imam Sadiq (AS) said:
On the day of Eid-ul-Ghadir, remember Allah with fasting and worship and remembrance of the Prophet and his family, because the Messenger of Allah instructed the Commanders of the Faithful to observe Eid on that day, just as the prophets instructed their successors to observe that day as Eid. They did the same.
- The Holy Quran.
- Amali Sheikh Sadough, Islamic Library.
- QurbalAsnad Abdullah Ja'far al-Humairi, Al-Bayt.
- Mesbah Al-Muttahid, Sheikh Tusi, Shiite Fiqh Foundation.
- Wasael Shiah, Sheikh Har Ameli, Islamic Library.
- Safinat al-Bahar, Sheikh Abbas Qomi, Aswa.