Passover is the holy day and festival commemorating the biblical event of the Hebrews' escape from enslavement in Egypt.
Many Jews and Christians might be surprised to know that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) instructed Muslims to also commemorate the Exodus of the Hebrews out of Egypt by fasting on the tenth day of the month of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic lunar calendar. The event is called Ashura, referring to the Arabic word for “ten.”
Muslims revere Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) as one of the most important Islamic figures and one of the five most important prophets in the history of humankind chosen by Allah/God.
The Quran details the stories of many of the Hebrew prophets and their early followers. In fact, Islam considers those early followers to be among the first muslims -- in the sense of the literal meaning of “ones who submit themselves to God.”
The Quran and Islamic teachings praise Moses and reminds Muslims and all people to learn from his courage, commitment to speaking the truth, and standing up for justice. Several verses in the Quran also emphasize Moses’ mother's strong faith and trust in Allah/God.
While Muslims and Jews, both tracing their roots to Abraham, commemorate this joyful occasion on different days, our common heritage and history should bring us together in expressing gratitude and thankfulness to our Creator, Allah/God Almighty for saving Moses and his people from the oppression of Pharaoh, and directing them to freedom in the Holy Land, in Palestine, over 3,300 years ago.
Sadly, it is the same Palestine and its long-standing indigenous people that are now subjected to a new form of oppression and bondage. The new Pharaoh is Zionism and its tools of occupation, ethnic cleansing, separation walls, siege, settlements, and land confiscation. This new Pharaoh is not only victimizing Muslims and Christians in the Holy Land, but also Jews by creating animosity and hatred among these three groups.
May the courage and faith of our shared and beloved prophet Moses (peace be upon him) inspire us to strive for justice and freedom for all people, especially those in Palestine.
May our common love for Allah/God and His prophets bring us together as one human race that strives for peace, dignity, and prosperity for all people.
On this day, I am wishing my Jewish friends and neighbors a peaceful and joyful Passover for them and their loved ones.
- Hussam Ayloush
- Hussam has been a lifelong human rights activist who is passionate about promoting democratic societies, in the US and worldwide, in which all people, including immigrants, workers, minorities, and the poor enjoy freedom, justice, economic justice, respect, and equality. Mr. Ayloush frequently lectures on Islam, media relations, civil rights, hate crimes and international affairs. He has consistently appeared in local, national, and international media. Full biography at: http://hussamayloush.blogspot.com/2006/08/biography-of-hussam-ayloush.html