2015’s Dec 24 is commemorated as the birth of Muhammad (PBUH), while the next day, Dec 25, is Christmas – originated from the words “Cristes moesse” or ‘the mass or festival of Christ’- a celebration of the birth of Christ.
The birth of two great individuals of all time, commemorated side by side. This sends a strong message to the Universe. And to me, the message is the (re)birth of Peace.
The word birth in latin is nascent, which means “just coming into existence and beginning to display signs of future potential.” The potential that is exemplified and re-emphasised by the beloved Prophet Muhammad and Jesus Christ (peace be upon them).
The potential, that is, to truly be human being. To be muslim – someone who is in complete submission and therefore an expression of Peace of Perfection and Mercy to the universe. To be christian – someone who says with Saint Paul ‘I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me’, and hence is the ‘peacemaker par excellence’. The potential to be Peace, or rather, for Peace to be. The potential for us to be peacemakers.
But peace can only be when self is not. And self remains as long as there is inner-movement (in the mind). Hence for a self to not be, one needs to stay (still), without any commentaries or analysis of what is happening, without looking any other way. In the words of the Qur’an (QS 6:91), one simply needs to “Say: “God!” – and then leave them to play at their vain talk.” By “saying”, it means expressing, manifesting.
Thus one needs to “say God”, that is, to allow – with complete awareness and submission – God and only God to express. To stay (with Him), without commentaries or analysis. To stay, until there is fana’ (i.e. the passing away from self). To stay, until salaam (Peace) radiantly manifests, enveloping all four corners of the universes.
As Saint Gregory of Nyssa so beautifully puts it, “Peace is indeed the greatest of joy-giving things; and this He wishes each of us to have in such measure as to keep it not only for himself, but to be able to dispense from the overflow of his abundance also to others. For He says, ‘Blessed are the peacemakers’.
Now a peacemaker is one who gives peace to another; but one cannot give to another what one does not possess oneself. Hence the Lord wants you first to be yourself filled with the blessings of peace, and then to communicate it to those who have need of it.”
It is high time for Peace to yet again shine forth in this world. It is starting to do so. Peacemakers are emerging all over the world. Restlessness – which is the other end of the peace spectrum – is growing, gaining momentum for the pendulum to swing the other way.
The commemoration of the birth of the two Great Ones is but good news of such potential. It is an invitation to Peace. It is a call for action to anyone who can and is willing to hear to be peacemaker, first to oneself, then to fellow beings, and then to the whole universes.
Can we hear? Are we willing? Are we staying?
God knows best and He guides the Way.