Thursday, December 24, 2009

A tribute to Jesus

A tribute to Jesus on this Christmas;
What does it mean to be religious?
Mike Ghouse

This column is dedicated to Rev. Petra Weldes of the Center for Spiritual Living in Dallas. Some of my conversation with her inspired me to write this tribute to Jesus and what it means to be religious.

When Jesus calls on us to follow him, Krishna suggests us to surrender to him, Allah asks us to submit to his will, and every spiritual master shares similar wisdom in one form or the other, what could they mean?

By the way Jesus did not call on Christians exclusively to follow him, he called on the whole humanity to follow him, neither Allah in Qur’aan addresses Muslims, he addresses the whole universe from the very first verse.

The bottom line: Every effort was made to pull one up from one’s selfish interests that are a source of conflicts with other’s selfish interests, to the larger interests of the society which paves the way for peace and long term security of every one. The idea applies to the nations as well, what is good for one has got to be good for others and vice-versa for a sustainable balance in the society. No nation or we as individuals can have advantages at the cost of others; such benefits are temporary and deleterious to lasting peace.

Whether you are a painter, artist, poet, tailor, sculptor, mechanic, teacher, chef, engineer, janitor, doctor or a builder, you want your output to be good, pleasant, durable, sustainable and co-exist in harmony with its surroundings. God is no different, like a mother, he, she or it wants his creation to co-exist in harmony with what surrounds; life and environment.

Through the great teachers, the creator has communicated that wisdom to everyone of the seven billion of us; for example in one version, Krishna says whenever the balance in a society is lost (adharma), some wise man or woman will emerge from among them and restore that elusive balance to the society (bring righteousness - dharma). In the Qur’aan, God says, he sent a messenger to every tribe, nation and people to create harmony and peace among themselves.

You can see that act played out by Moses, Jesus, Muhammad, Bahaullah, Nanak, Buddha, Mahavir, Confucius, Zarathushtra, Gandhi and the shamans in every native, and earth based traditions. Even among Atheists there will be one who will work on creating peace within and with others. They all have done what a representative of Goodness (or God) ought to do; cultivate a culture of harmony and co-existence, isn’t that religious? No one of God's creation is left out of his grace and mercy, if we can learn to respect the (God) given wisdom of each one of us, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge.

Indeed, you do have a peace maker amongst you; on your board, at your school, city council, business, church or a social club. That one person brings the relief, just as one can bring the grief. Let's do our individual share of good, that's all it take to bring peace on earth.

It is from this perspective; I share the thought that, to be religious is to be a mitigater of conflicts and a nurturer of goodwill. Each one of us has to ask ourselves every moment of the day, is my act, my thought and my words mitigate or aggravate a conflict? Do I see the wisdom in the teachings of the great masters? Am I religious? (One does not have to believe in God to be religious, an Atheist can be religious in the sense, he or she wants to create harmony by mitigating conflicts and nurturing goodwill).

In the name of the creator, whatever name we choose to call or in the interests of co-existence, and in the name of our great teacher Jesus, let’s commit to be the mitigaters of conflict and nurturers of goodwill, on his on his birthday to honor him.

Let’s believe in his message of loving even our enemies is good for us as individuals and the society. Together, let us all see the beauty and wisdom of his teachings without any reserve. Let’s us all receive his message of goodness today and become religious.

Merry Christmas, May God tempt you to be religious and to be like Jesus.

Mike Ghouse is a thinker, writer speaker and an activist of pluralism, interfaith, co-existence, peace, Islam and India. He is a frequent guest at the TV, radio and print media offering pluralistic solutions to issues of the day. His three websites and 22 Blogs are listed on

Feel free to write your comments:


  1. As Salaamu Aleikum Mike,

    Seasons greeting and all the best for you in the upcoming year. May the efforts of thinker and whose to take an active role in creating a more communitive world get strength from their good deeds.


    Maryam Ruhullah

  2. Do you believe that Jesus Christ was the son of God?

  3. He has no names.. and All Names are His Names..For convenience of the humanity.. His Names are Jesus. and so on. The moment we say His Name and close our eyes.. that name goes behind in the Infinite Ocean of Time.. with closed Eyes we are in Arms of the Unknown and Still Known..

    In deepest prayesr.. No Name Remains.. the Self Remains and He Remains... See More.. and further deepest prayers.. One Remains.. Absolute Religious means that total merger has evented... Oneness has manifested in the Self.. Prayers are prestartups to commence that process for getting Unified with the Infinite. And Jesus and others are Earth Reference Standards for the Humanity to proceed ahead on the path of Oneness.. that is Religiousness...w

    hich means that the Self has realized that the Same palpitates in the self and All .. be matter, non matter or life or no life systems... Self has arrived to a point which is beyond logics and illogics.. and the Self has dissolved the self into the Oneness of the Infinite through Jesus and His amazing...infinity filled statements.. available to the mankind...

    Religious means that you now know how That smiles through oceans.. how That kisses through breeze.. how a fellow of any part of the world carries the same Love which is oscillating in any other human being on any part of the Earth..Love is same let it be anywhere and from anyone... Prayers could be in different words.. but all prayers make you close your eyes.. and then prayers make you fly into His World.. on the wings of Prayers you can fly from anywhere : prison or garden or church...Prayers just connect the self with Him.. that is religiousness..Me+Rest = God.. and in this equation + is Jesus or Krishna or Allah or Mahavir... between Me and the Rest + is required and that plus is Jesus.... Merry Christmas to All.. drbmsharma.

  4. I have come to believe that Jesus saves us because he teaches the most difficult lesson: how to forgive and even love our enemies. His ability to forgive his tormentors while hanging on the cross still moves people today. It challenges and moves me to tears. That is truly God's heart.

  5. Mike, In my church tonight will be read, "Each night a child is born is a holy night."
    Each of us has within us the seeds of greatness, compassion and light. Thank you for your very inclusive statement. At the last PWR plenary the Dalai Lama appealed to deists and non-deists. Peace, Rosemary

  6. truth has sprung up from the earth, and justice looked down from heaven

    merry christmas
    john dayal
    New Delhi

  7. Dear Mike,

    Peace Be Upon You

    I've read your article titled: "A Tribute To Jesus", on which i just have a question.. You said: "... By the way Jesus did not call on Christians to follow him, he called on humanity to follow him,..."

    When i read the Quran i found something interesting in that regard.. In Surat Ale-'Emran (chapter 3, verse 49), Almighty Allah said about Jesus, describing a part of his mission, then Jesus (PBUH) talking on his own behalf describing his mission: "... And a messenger to Bani Israil i.e. Jews...).

    Again, in Surat Al-Ma'idah (chapter 5, verse 72), Almighty Allah said that Jesus addressed Bani Israil i.e. Jews, by saying: "... And Christ i.e. Jesus, said: O' Bani Israil (Jews) worship Allah; my God and your God..."

    Again, in Surat Az-Zukhrof (chapter 43, verse 59), Almighty Allah described Jesus by saying: "... He is just a servant on whom we've bestowed and we've made him a model to Bani Israil i.e. Jews...).

    There are other few examples in the Quran, but for the sake of time, i think those three examples would be enough..

    Conclusively, does this mean that we should believe that Jesus PBUH was sent as a prophet and a messenger to the Jews ONLY, not all the humanity..?

    Thank you..

    Ahmed Elzaree, MD

  8. Ahmed,

    Jesus was as much of a Rahmutul Aalameen as Prophet Muhammad was. They were all to bring harmony in the world, that was their purpose. No one came exclusively for a group, although they may have addresses a specific people.

    Thanks for sharing the ayaats.


  9. Thanks, Mike.
    Every tribute of this magnitude should ideally be within theological boundary, which will not lessen the spiritual message by one atom.
    By minimum theological compliance, I mean, unintended deification of Jesus (PBUH), for spiritual or interfaith harmony, runs the risk of committing the greatest disrespect of Jesus (PBUH) whom we love and whose teachings we treasure, as one of the greatest messengers of God. You have quite disturbingly presented Jesus (PBUH) as equal to Allah (SWT), implying Jesus authored the Bible, and Allah (SWT) authored the Quran. (in your words, "By the way Jesus did not call on Christians to follow him, he called on humanity to follow him, neither Allah in Qur’aan addresses Muslims, and he addresses the universe from the very first line.")

    So, referring to Jesus (PBUH) as a great messenger of God as much as possible, while extolling, following and propagating his timeless ethical and humanitarian teachings, will contribute much more to interfaith harmony and mutual respect among these two Abrahamic faith.
    Not .01% of Christians in the world still know how the Holy Quran honors and the Muslims revere Jesus (PBUH), believing in whom is an article of faith.

    No amount of spirituality can compensate for the existence of this pervasive ignorance which should be eradicated at all costs, the peace dividends from which will be revolutionary and incalculable.

    Saiful Amin Bhuiyan, CPA

  10. Mike G house,

    1) Why did you use the picture of Mariam (A) in your article? Do you believe (in divine pictures) what Christians believe?

    2) How come you are comparing Mohammad (PBUH) with gandhi by putting them together in your example of wise/good/righteous persons??? How dare you???
    I have serious doubt about religion you follow.

    Can anyone see what this guy is trying to do, please try to read between the lines and be aware of this guy and his thoughts....

  11. Prophets, peacemakers, harmonizers... are all listed together... That is the reason you will find the name of Jesus, Mohammad, Gandhi and others together. They are all doing God's work. Their purpose was to bring harmony among people.

    Islam is not a restrictive, confined religion of a tight noose, it is an universal all embracing religion, so are the others. We as individuals have made religions different to deceive our own insecurities to believe that others have to be inferior for us to be good.

    Prophet Muhammad in his last sermon assigned the responsibility to each one to read and understand the book, he did not assign the clergy to interpret it, and attempts to homogenise goes against the grain of diversity that is nature. Our thumb prints are different, eyes are different, so should be our thoughts. Religions is about figuring out how to exist in harmony - and every religion is beautiful in that regard.

    I am a Muslim, it works for me as others faiths work for them. My religion would not lose an ounce of faith in me to respect other faiths.

    May Allah guide us all.

    Mike Ghouse

  12. Thank you Mike! This is great.

    Petra Weldes

  13. I am honored Dr. Weldes, this article is dedicated to you.

  14. Mike,

    You have not answered my question: do you believe that Jesus Christ was the son of God?

    Your tribute to Christ will have meaning only when you accept him as the son of God!

  15. Dear Anonymous,

    I appreciate your question, are you over 18?

    Please read the article again, it is not about black or white, hot or cold, life isn't that way. The article is a tribute to the workd of Jesus, my belief or anyone's belief is immaterial.

  16. Of course, Jesus was the Son of God. Just not the only one.

  17. Every effort was made to pull one up from one’s selfish interests that are a source of conflicts with other’s selfish interests,... . . . . .
    that is the absolute truth.

  18. Greetings of peace and blessings,

    So true Rev, Eileen!

    Mike, thank you for expressing you thoughts. I honor your comments regarding the Prophet Muhammad's last sermon. Living in peace and harmony with all of creation is crucial to the very existence of humankind in this life and the next.

    May Allah be with you always!
    Maryam Amatullah

  19. Mike,
    I thought your readers might also be interested in my most recent talk on the metaphysical interpretation of Christmas.
    Listen here:


  20. Petra, thanks for sharing this, I want to absorb as much as I can and hope others too. thank

  21. This is beautiful. I feel so blessed to have read it. May I live these words as my reality, making each day a day of Love shared. May Allah bless and reward you for your faith and how you use your talents to serve Allah.



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quraan burning

Planned Muslim Response to Qur'an Burning by Pastor Jones on September 11 in Mulberry, Florida

August 19, 2013| Dallas, Texas

Mike Ghouse
Text/Talk: (214) 325-1916

Mirza A Beg
(205) 454-8797


We as Muslims plan to respond to pastor Terry Jones' planned burning of 3000 copies of Quran on September 11, 2013 in positive terms.

Our response - we will reclaim the standard of behavior practiced by the Prophet concerning “scurrilous and hostile criticism of the Qur’an” (Muhammad Asad Translation Note 31, verse 41:34). It was "To overcome evil with good is good, and to resist evil by evil is evil." It is also strongly enjoined in the Qur’an in the same verse 41:34, “Good and evil deeds are not equal. Repel evil with what is better; then you will see that one who was once your enemy has become your dearest friend.”

God willing Muslims will follow the divine guidance and pray for the restoration of Goodwill, and on that day many Muslim organizations will go on a “blood drive” to save lives and serve humanity with kindness.

We invite fellow Americans of all faiths, races, and ethnicities to join us to rededicate the pledge, “One nation under God”, and to build a cohesive America where no American has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of fellow Americans. This event is a substitute for our 10th Annual Unity Day Celebration ( held in Dallas, but now it will be at Mulberry, Florida.

Unwittingly Pastor Jones has done us a favor by invigorating us by his decision to burn nearly 3000 copies Quran on September 11, 2013. Obviously he is not satisfied by the notoriety he garnered by burning one Qur'an last year.

As Muslims and citizens we honor the free speech guaranteed in our constitution. We have no intentions to criticize, condemn or oppose Pastor Terry Jones' freedom of expression. Instead, we will be donating blood and praying for goodness to permeate in our society.

We plan to follow Jesus Christ (pbuh), a revered prophet in Islam as well as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) – that of mitigating the conflicts and nurturing good will for the common good of the society.

We hope, this event and the message will remind Muslims elsewhere in the world as well, that violence is not the way. Muslims, who react violently to senseless provocation, should realize that, violence causes more violence, and besmirches the name of the religion that we hold so dear. We believe that Prophet Muhammad was a mercy to the mankind, and we ought to practice what we believe and preach. We must not insult Islam by the negative reactions of a few.

We can only hope it will bring about a change in the attitude of the followers of Pastor Jones, and in the behavior of those Muslims who reacted violently the last time Pastor sought notoriety – We hope this small step towards a bridge to peaceful coexistence would propel us towards building a cohesive society.

Like most Americans a majority of Muslims quietly go about their own business, but it is time to speak up and take positive action instead of negative reaction. May this message of peace and goodwill reverberate and reach many shores.

Lastly, we appreciate the Citizens of Mulberry, Florida, Honorable Mayor George Hatch, City Commissioners, police and Fire Chiefs for handing this situation very well. This will add a ‘feather of peace’ in the City’s reputation. We hope Mulberry will be a catalyst in showing the way in handling conflict with dignity and peace.

We thank the Media for giving value to the work towards peace rather than conflict.


Thank you.


The people in Dallas are making an effort to understand and clean their own hearts first, when we are free from bias, it would be easy to share that with others. Islam teaches us in so many ways to "respect the otherness of others" and it is time we find simple practical ways of doing it.