November 2012 saw the inaugural issue of islam today. This November the magazine marks its 3rd birthday. Three years does not sound much but for all those who have been and are involved, these initial years have been of utmost importance. These have been challenging years not only for ourselves but for all Muslim communities across the world. Despite all the difficulties, we have managed to remain remarkably positive throughout this ‘formative period’, and are looking forward to providing a more visible and positive contribution in the representation of our faith to both Muslims and non – Muslims. Our main focus to address the concerns and aspirations of a vibrant Muslim community by providing readers with inspiration, information, a sense of community has not changed. We will endeavour to provide well-thought views and opinions from a faith-based perspective to help us to further develop our critical thinking ability. Issue 30 which covers the period between the month of November and December 2015 is marked by a number of important occasions in the religious calendar of both Christians and Muslims. For the Shi’a Muslims the end of December coincides also with the end of the season of mourning in which the Prophet Muhammad(s) grandson’s martyrdom is remembered. The birthdays of the prophets Jesus(a) and Muhammad(s) are both commemorated this year in December. The traditional celebration of Milad an- Nabi (birth of the Prophet Muhammad(s)) is expected to fall on around 29th December. Despite the attempt by some narrow-minded Muslims to declare the celebration un-Islamic, the majority of Muslims do commemorate the Milad an-Nabi in their centres, mosques and public places around the world. For Muslims this is a time to honour the last of the divine prophets by commemorating his birth, by reminding others of his beautiful persona, his character, and his exemplary actions and behaviour towards others. These celebrations are meant to reinforce the connection between the believers and the last of all the Prophets. Poetry, eulogies and narrations about the deeds of the Prophet, form the bases of such celebrations. There is nothing irreligious about these celebrations – in fact they provide an opportunity to invite people of other faiths to learn about the life of Muhammad(s). For our part we have marked this occasion with a cover story entitled: ‘Under the government of the Prophet Muhammad(s)’. In this article Dr. Craig Considine reflects upon the life of Prophet Muhammad(s) and the Qur’an, to highlight the basis upon which the pluralistic nature of the Prophet’s state in Medina is illustrated by his covenants with people of other faiths. Dr. Considine, who is a sociologist focusing on Christian – Muslim relations, is able to see through the curtains of meaningless propaganda and highlight the clear pluralistic nature of the first Islamic state in Medina. Drawing from historical accounts we can understand how respectful and inclusive the Prophet was in relation to the Christians who lived in the territories controlled by his government. These important records provide us with a blueprint of how a Muslim should conduct him/herself in relation to the followers of other faiths, especially the Abrahamic ones. The Prophet Muhammad’s words are unequivocal and provide us with a tool to distinguish his true followers from those who claim to be so. Also, as another year of the Christian calendar draws to an end, we would like to take the opportunity to wish a Happy New Year to all our readers, praying that the year to come will bring more cooperation between the people of faiths and a renewed energy to continue our common struggle to make the world a better place, not for some, but for all.
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