04 January 2019 - 16:34
News ID: 442813
Ayatollah Arafi to Pope Francis: ‎
Rasa – The head of the Islamic Seminaries of Iran said, “Jesus Christ is one of the greatest ‎prophets. His birth was such a great blessing for mankind that God gave glad tidings to his ‎mother, Mary, before his birth.”‎

RNA – In a letter, Ayatollah Alireza Arafi, the head of the Islamic Seminaries of Iran, ‎congratulated Pope Francis and the Christians of the world on the new Gregorian year and ‎the birth of Jesus Christ: ‎

In the Name of God, the Most Gracious the Most Beneficent

To His Eminence Pope Francis, the Leader of the Roman Catholic Church,‎


I would like to extend my most heartfelt congratulations to you, to all the Christians and ‎Muslims of the world, and to all of those who seek peace and justice in the world, on the ‎birth anniversary of Jesus Christ.‎

The divinely-sent messengers were extraordinary men whose mission was to call all human ‎beings to fulfill their covenant with their Creator, promising them a felicitous life in the ‎Hereafter in return. They sought to solace the bereaved, shelter the helpless, heal the sick, ‎and relieve human pains.‎

They have been beacons of guidance for their true followers in the darkness of uncertainties, ‎and their teachings have served to revive the dead hearts. Their exemplary conduct has been ‎a guide for mankind as to a pure life, something that any worshipper of God deserves.‎

Jesus Christ is one of these prophets, and among the greatest ones. His birth was such a ‎great blessing for mankind that God gave glad tidings to his mother, Mary, before his birth:‎

‎“Oh Mary! God gives you glad tidings of a Word from Him, whose name is the Messiah, ‎Jesus son of Mary; he will be honored in this world and the Hereafter and will be among the ‎near-stationed [to God].” [Quran, 3:45]‎

During his short yet extremely fruitful time as prophet, he never cease to make every ‎attempt to guide the people. He traveled from town to town day and night in order to ‎deliver the message of God to His servants.‎

He ate simple food and dressed plainly and spent most of his time with the poor and the ‎needy in order to sooth them and relieve their pain. He never tried to win the favour of the ‎tyrants and kept away from them. He censured the hypocrites who used religion as a cover ‎for their wrongdoings, and accepted the sincere people who sought to walk the path to the ‎truth with open arms.‎

He confirmed Moses’ religion and fulfilled The Law and he guided his followers to a correct ‎understanding of that religion and acting based on its teachings. He promoted the love of ‎God and that of His servants as the essence of the teachings of all prophets and he never ‎accused man of having a foul nature.‎

‎“So peace be upon him the day he was born, and the day he dies, and the day he is raised ‎alive” [Quran, 19:33].‎

Those who truly loved him never submitted to the will of oppressors. They made every ‎effort to help the oppressed and soon they were joined by many other people all around the ‎world.‎

And today, more than ever, the world needs to follow his lead so that the blessed ways of ‎the divinely-sent prophets may be revived in the world, and that the world may become ‎worthy of meeting him one more time. Amen.‎

As the head of the Islamic Seminaries in Iran, I would like to offer you and all the Christians ‎of the world my heartiest congratulations on the occasion of the blessed birthday of Jesus ‎Christ (may peace and blessings be upon him).‎

Respectfully, ‎

Alireza Arafi
Head of the Islamic Seminaries of Iran


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