I write this letter as a Singaporean Muslim.
I address this letter to the believers of this church, the priest and pastors, our interfaith workers, and all people who commemorate the birth of Jesus, Peace and Blessings be upon him, & Lady Mary, the purest woman of this world and most eminent in the next world.
Recent events such as the evil ISIS torturing our Christian brethren in Mosul and the very recent shootings and unfortunate incident of innocents being held hostage in Sydney – all of which claiming to be done under the name of Islam has caused great upset, anger and hate for the rest of the world.
This outrages us as much as it outrages you and hurts us as much as it hurts you and angers us as much as it angers you, perhaps it angers us even more so because these evil perpetrators have hijacked our religion and misused it to fulfill their hidden motives and agendas.
Although these incidences and acts of terror are happening outside of Singapore, the ripples of their actions are starting to hit our shores.
One of our greatest blessings which we share in common, amongst many others, is to have been born in Singapore. My closest friends are Hindus, Christians, Catholics, Buddhists and Muslims and believers of many other faiths. And i really wouldnt have it any other way. Neither will i tolerate anyone, regardless of who they are, to threaten this peace and love that we share amongst us.
The majority of Muslims, 99.999% of us, are lovers of our Prophets and Messengers. All of them. They are one and we prefer none of God’s messengers over the others and unto Him do we submit. In fact, it is part of the faith of a Muslim to believe in the Holy Bible and Jesus upon him be peace as with the Torah – the scriptures of the Jews and Moses, upon him be peace. Believing in them is a testimony of our Faith.
In 628 AD, a delegation from St. Catherine’s Monastery came to the Prophet Muhammad, Peace be upon him, and requested his protection. He responded by granting them the following charter of rights.
St. Catherine’s Monastery is located at the foot of Mt. Sinai in modern-day Egypt and is the world’s oldest monastery. It possesses a huge collection of Christian manuscripts, second only to the Vatican, and is a world heritage site. It also boasts the oldest collection of Christian icons. It is a treasure house of Christian history that has remained safe for 1,400 years under Muslim protection.
The following was penned in the Charter of Rights.
“This is a message from Muhammad son of Abdullah, as a covenant to those who adopt Christianity, near and far, we are with them. Verily I, the servants, the helpers, and my followers defend them, because Christians are my citizens; and by God, I hold out against anything that displeases them. No compulsion is to be on them. Neither are their judges to be removed from their jobs nor their monks from their monasteries. No one is to destroy a house of their religion, to damage it, or to carry anything from it to the Muslims’ houses. Should anyone take any of these, he would spoil God’s covenant and disobey His prophet. Verily, they are my allies and have my secure charter against all that they hate. No one is to force them to travel or to oblige them to fight. The Muslims are to fight for them. If a female Christian is married to a Muslim, it is not to take place without her approval. She is not to be prevented from visiting her church to pray. Their churches are to be respected. They are neither to be prevented from repairing them nor the sacredness of their covenants. No one of the nation of Muslims is to disobey the covenant till the Last Day (end of the world).”
This promise is eternal and universal. Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) ordered Muslims to follow it until the Day of Judgment just as we follow his last sermon before his passing.
The charter imposes no conditions on Christians for enjoying its privileges. It is enough that they are Christians. They are not required to alter their beliefs, they do not have to make any payments and they do not have any obligations. This is a charter of rights without any duties.
I know i do not speak for myself alone but the majority of Muslims, not just in Singapore but all over the world. We stand with you in solidarity. We pray with you and for you. Our peace is yours and your peace is ours. Every word in the Charter stands ture as it was in he time of the Prophet as it does today. Previously, perhaps it was enough that we knew in our hearts that there are good people on all sides, but with the negative media only showing evil and injustice, our hearts are now in turmoil.
The intention of this letter is to restore peace and to assure our fellow brethren that we are one. Muslims celebrate the Prophet Muhammad on varying occasions. In the coming month of December, i would like to join you in your gatherings to celebrate Jesus. His birth, life, message, teachings, the second coming, the Messiah, the Spirit of God & the Virgin Mary, our Holy Mother. Let us work harder together, as brothers and sisters and continue to live in harmony and stand united against attacks on any religious communities. With love and prayers, on behalf of my Muslim friends all over. PS: I do apologise however, as i understand there are different sectors within the Christian community itself and perhaps you may or may not identify with this letter, but my message of peace and solidarity stands nonetheless.
I sent this letter over 200 churches in Singapore, but i dont think that is all of them. I have tried looking for various sources for the email address and in my process could have spammed a couple of churches. (Im sorry) I hope that this reaches out to people of goodness on both sides to send a message that we need to do a lot more to reach out to one another and bridge our communities. If not now, then when? If not you, then who?