Treating Christmas with Respect
Christmas is an annual Christian religious holiday commemorating the birth of Prophet Jesus, peace be upon him. For many Muslims who do not even celebrate the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, it becomes an issue of what stand they should take.
There have been a number of legitimate criticisms of the holiday from Muslims and non-Muslims based on theological and cultural considerations. However, this cannot be used to disregard the holiday as merely an exercise in ancient pagan practices, for instance, or excessive consumerism. Muslims have to remember that for practicing Christians, Christmas really is about Jesus .
Prophet Muhammad , was so accommodating of Christians that according to the two earliest Islamic historians, Ibn e Saad and Ibn Hisham, the Prophet even allowed a delegation of 60 Byzantine Christians from Najran in Yemen to worship in his own mosque in Madinah. Lead by their bishop (Usquf), they had come to discuss a number of issues with him. When time of their prayer came, they asked the Prophet's permission to perform this in the mosque. He answered, "conduct your service here in the mosque. It is a place consecrated to God."
God expects us to stay away from mocking the religious beliefs of others, no matter how much we disagree with them. He says in the Quran: "And insult not those whom they (disbelievers) worship besides God, lest they insult God wrongfully without knowledge. Thus We have made fair-seeming to each people its own doings; then to their Lord is their return and He shall then inform them of all that they used to do" (Quran, 6:108).
We also have to remember that even if for many nominal Christians, the celebration is not really about participating in religious traditions, Christmas is a time for families to get together. In a number of cases it is the only time of year families get together, either because family members are scattered in different parts of the country or the world, because of communication and relationship problems, or because in America today, the family unit is becoming weaker and weaker.
Christmas is a great time to relate to our neighbors. We should not forget though, that "relating" does not mean "preaching". Dawa cannot be made in a rude manner. Allah says in the Quran: "Invite (all) to the Way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful advice, and reason with them by ways that are the best and most gracious: because your Lord knows best, (those) who have strayed from His Path, and those who receive guidance " (Quran, 16:125).
In particular, when dealing with Jews and Christians, Allah says: "Do not argue with the People of the Book unless it is in the politest manner, except for those of them who do wrong. Say: 'We believe in what has been sent down to us and what has been sent down to you. Our God and your God is [the same] One, and we are Muslims before Him'" (Quran, 29:46).
This may not be an occasion to emphasis the differences as much as the commonality of our beliefs, unless someone is really asking you about them.
A starting point for a discussion about Christmas could be the Islamic belief in all Books revealed by Allah and all Prophets sent by Him. In this discussion, special emphasis could be made on Prophet Jesus . Non-Muslims are often surprised to discover that Muslims also believe in this noble Prophet and his great mother Mary (peace be upon her).
Remember that respect does not mean compromise. This article is not asking you to compromise anything. You have freedom of religion given by God to believe in what you believe in. But in a world where conflict is increasing, a Muslim should be a bridge- builder and a peacemaker. It was due to the Muslim practice of Islamic ideals of respect and tolerance that the key of the holiest Christian Shrine in Jerusalem, the church of the Holy Sepulcher, remains entrusted with a Muslim family, as it has been for over 1400 years.
These are the lessons which need to be learned by those extremists who attack Christians during their worship in Nigeria and those extremists who burn Masjids in the USA.
Abdul Malik Mujahid, is the President and Director of Sound Vision Foundation Inc. He is an Imam in the Chicago area and a founding member of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago (CIOGC).
Even some Christians (Jehova witness) testify that christmas is not the day Jesus was born. Christmas is one of the days of d Roman gods.
Islam does not support christmas.
Christians that Christmas celebrations as practiced nowdays ( eg the
decoration of Christmas trees and kissing under the mistletoe) are not
in accordance to the traditions of Jesus or his followers. The former
is even explicitly condemned in the Bible. Furthermore we need to make
it clear that 25th Dec is not the birthday of Jesus SAW
to dangerous compromise of belief and faith. Haba! You need to review this
presentation with decorum and without necessarily compromising the fundamentals/
basic creed of Al- Islam
together every december... and i believe that we have our right of deen. i just attend for
the family get together purpose and not to practice what they ought to greet and so on... i
do hope and pray that someday they would going to ask me some ideas to open up better
discussion about jesus in islam...
of my people here is disturbing. One wonder whether they
actually understand a little about how Prophet relate
with people of other faiths. Afterall Allah do not assigned
muslims to chase/wipe out non muslims. The political class
are not helping, the problem is more political than religious.
Thanks for bringing the advise on bonding with the people of other faith and quoting verses from The Holy Quran. I somehow would like to advise that bonds should not be built by encouraging wrong beliefs. In islam, we don't celebrate birthdays besides Christmas does not mark the birth of Esa' Alyahi Salam, it is adopted by the chirstian faith from pagans. Muslims should refrain from celebrating this festival as if you really ask why chirstmas is celebrated then the people from the chirstian faith would say that it marks the birth of Jesus(pbuh), when you ask them ok and who was Jesus(pbuh) they would say in return, the son of God. If anyone then accomodates the festival and participates in this then they are actually comitting the biggest sin, i.e. shirk. Yes, our beloved Prophet(pbuh) was accomodating of other faiths and we should follow the example, but lets not build bridges on wrong things. We should first understand ourselves to understand our religion and then we should behave in the way recommended by Islam.
I would advise that we should avoid building bridges on wrong things and always remain with the truth.
A very good lecture was conducted by brother Yusha Evans in Kingston Masjid, UK and I would like to share this with all brothers - http://youtu.be/aMDd11vw_WY
I would request all of the readers to watch the video and understand the truth and stay away from celebrating such festivities as otherwise the believers involved will be going back to the days of jahiliya.
May Allah(swt) guide us all to the righteous path.
i think that all Your saying is good but as long as they say that Allah had a Son then its a very big problems b'se thats when Allah is very much Angered so please be more careful when trying to preach all this out. b'se Allah can will punish u
It's great but with points of correction brothers and sisters. There has never been a time when Muslims attack Christians during their worship in Nigeria. Dob not just believe in the propaganda diisseminated by the western media just because you live in the west. You can contact us to hear the reality of anything that happen in Nigeria or conduct your research with fairness by yourself.
New Year of the Christian Era falls on Jummah
This is a test for some muslims that celebrate them along with kuffar. Some Muslims do celebrate these kuffar holidays or festivals and qoute Quran ignorantly to justify their actions. May Allah protect us. Amin
Don't forget whom we are forever grateful to. We as Muslims owe no man nothing, epically to even be put into a position of possible compromising.
Compromise in the name of respect God forbid,will take him he should know well.
and for the taking advantage of xmass to get to gether, is a form of admiring what they are doing being that xmass is a religiuos occation, why cant we take advantage of islamic occations, you may contact ( )to know more about the islamic perspective on the chrismass. thank you.
If God bore a son, then the mother of Jesus cannot be called the 'Virgin' Mary, she slept with God! (this is ofcourse blasphemy!!!)
It is just amazing how a person can believe in the Miracles performed by the Prophet Isa but fails to believe that the Creator of the whole universe, responsible for the Miracles performed by Prophet Isa, could just wish for a believing and pure woman to bear a pure and believing child by saying 'Be'and it is!.
May Allah Guide all those seeking the Truth to the Straight path. Ameen
Of course The Prophet saws allowed the christians
to pray in a mosque but he also said in authentic ahadeeth that ..." IF you copy their practices, you are one of them " . WHY is this missing from the article ?
is it OK if a christian delegation requests in 2009 to conduct their mass/sunday prayer in a mosque ? The author should reply .
In advocating politness one MUST ALSO clearly
point out the prohibitions NOW..ie after the Quranic revelations have been completed since 1430 years ago !
Regarding X mas and in response to an it is correct that Biblical
Christanity will continue to spread. But you will be surprised to
know that Christanity in most of the underdeveloped country
spreading among the ignorant and those needs two square meal
to remain alive. Accepting a religion not knowing what it is but
bear necessity. Whereas Islam is growing at a fast rate in the
Western world among the Intellectual, learned people who
embrace Islam knowing what it is. Christmas is knocking at the
door like all other years this year I do wish all my Christen
Friends but to utter surprise when I came to know that Holy
Prophet Jesus was not born at all on the 25 Dec. If some goes
through the history it will be much clear to them.
Therefore we should be realistic with other human being who don't believe in islam that they are in big delusion.Cristian claim jesus he is the son of god but God never had a son and he has never be gotten by any one. Jesus the son of marry is one of the beloved messager of Allah, my question to cristians are what about prophet Adam (SA) who never been given birth by any human-being, what can we call him?
May Allah forgive us and not to make us among those who associate him with his creation.
Whowever Allah is the judge of every soul and as a human being we are obliged not to do Allah's work and creat peace with everyone. Peace to all of you!!!!!!!
From a Catholic Friend
Per the guidance of Allah s.w.t. and our Prophete s.a.w., Yes we are required to respect our fellow human beings including their religious practices.
However, as muslims we are all asked to spread the word of Allah s.w.t. and in the first place by our own conduct. So the guidance should be to first know what to talk about or guide the others about. And second, in my humble view "amr bil maaruf and nah'yi an'il munkar" is about being firm and polite in correcting a wrong belief and/or practice when we know it of course based on correct knowledge and guidance of Quran and sunna. Christmas is not about Jesus but rather about the modern day idols this is a historical fact and celebrating it does not ligitimate its practice.
Wa'Allahu aa'lam (and Allah knows best).
Everyone should read this to understand the amount of respect the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had for other faiths.
In response to the first comment.....saying the "Propht Jesus" is no different than saying Jesus Christ or Jesus the Messiah.
Both of these words mean prophet or messenger.....In your response you only restated what the author stated in his first sentence....
Thank you and May Allah bless you. Gualm Hassan