A senior leader in the Muslim society of Zimbabwe last Saturday at an interfaith religious discussion held in the capital revealed that there is no religion that is wrong.
He said the fact that people have different faiths does not make any religion wrong or another righteous than the other.
Sheikh Kader Shahadat, who was chairing a discussion attended by Christians too, acknowledged the presence of people from others religious groups and hailed the government for giving people the right to exercise their religions.
The discussion was hinged on different topics among them, “Do Muslims believe in Jesus Christ? Do all religions lead to the same God?”
Sheikh Shahadat said: “We know that there is a prophet called Jesus Christ, we also read the Holy Bible as Muslims. The belief in Jesus is required in Islam, like all prophets in Islam, Jesus is considered a Muslim as he preached that his followers should adopt the “straight path” as commanded by God.”
According to the Sheikh, the Quran mentions Jesus by name twenty-five times.
However, the view of rejecting Jesus as the son of God invited religious tensions from most Christians who attended the discussion as the Sheikh argued that Jesus was divinely chosen to preach the message of monotheism and submission to the will of God to the Children of Israel.
Thomas Musonza, a Christian with the United Family Inter-denomination (UFI), said the failure to believe that Jesus is God’s son is “unacceptable and blasphemous among the Christians”.
“If Muslims read the Holy Bible, why then doubt that Jesus is the son of God? We accept the fact that there are different religions, and no religion should discard another.
“What will happen if one believes that Jesus is the son of God?” asked Musonza.
Sheikh Shahadat however did not dismiss the view and belief by the Christians that Jesus is the son of God, but encouraged tolerance among different faiths.
“The way I see it, there is no religion that is wrong. There are people who have devotion to their religions, and no one can claim that they are enlightened of one religious more than the pundits of that religious practice,” added the Sheikh.
One of the attendants, only identified as Maaike said that the Majority of Muslims believe that Jesus Christ is a highly important figure in the Islamic faith.
“Islam, just like Judaism has no compatibility with the view that Jesus is part of the deity. Some Jews deny that Jesus was their Messiah and as a result some Islamic texts forbid the association of partners with God, emphasizing the notion of God’s divine oneness,” said Maaike.
Many movements and groups hold different views on Jesus Christ and therefore place a different amount of importance on his as part of their faith.