Saturday, 4 December 2010

Muslims and Christmas

Greetings at Christmas

See 4:86 "If you are greeted with a greeting, then return an even better greeting or return the same. God is Reckoning over all things."

Allah swt does not forget or make mistakes. (see Sublime Qur'an 20:52)

Some popular greetings: "Salaam Aleykum!", "Eid Mubarek!" "Ramadan Kareem!", "Happy Thanksgiving!", "Merry Christmas!", "Happy New Year!", "Hello!", "Greetings!", "Good Morning!", "Have a nice day!", "Have a good weekend!", "Have a safe journey!", "Have a nice time!", "Welcome back!", "Best wishes!", "Nice to see you!" , "God bless you!", "Happy Anniversary", "Happy Birthday"

Here are my search results from Sublime Qur'an on greeting people, speaking to people in a kindly way and what / who to ignore:

search: ritual (not found)
search: congratulate (not found)
search: holiday (not found)
search: christmas (not found)
search: thanksgiving (not found)
search: festival - found in Glorious Qur'an 20:59 in some translations

search: give thanks
root: shin kaf ra http://corpus.quran.com/qurandictionary.jsp?root=%24kr

search: greet

(58:8:20) ... they greet you ...
(4:86:2) ... you are greeted ...
(58:8:23) ... greets you ...
(4:86:3) ... with a greeting, ...
(10:10:5) ... And their greeting (24:61:64) ... a greeting ...
(25:75:8) ... (with) greetings ...
(14:23:15) ... their greetings ...
(33:44:1) ... Their greetings ...

search:

speak kindly
say kind words
treat in a kind manner
be subtle
courteous
courtesy

root: lam ta fa http://corpus.quran.com/qurandictionary.jsp?root=lTf

root: ba ra ra http://corpus.quran.com/qurandictionary.jsp?root=brr

root: ha sin nun http://corpus.quran.com/qurandictionary.jsp?root=Hsn

see also in Glorious Qur'an
17:53
29:46
2:83
4:5
4:8
6:151
17:23

search:

ignore
disregard
pardon
overlook
forget
turn away
leave
forsake
give up
ignorant

search results:

root: waw dal ayn http://corpus.quran.com/qurandictionary.jsp?root=wdE

root: waw lam ya http://corpus.quran.com/qurandictionary.jsp?root=wly

root: nun sin ya http://corpus.quran.com/qurandictionary.jsp?root=nsy

root: Ayn fa waw http://corpus.quran.com/qurandictionary.jsp?root=Efw

root: Ayn ra dad http://corpus.quran.com/qurandictionary.jsp?root=ErD

root: waw dhal ra http://corpus.quran.com/qurandictionary.jsp?root=w*r

root: ta ra kaf http://corpus.quran.com/qurandictionary.jsp?root=trk

root: jim ha lam http://corpus.quran.com/qurandictionary.jsp?root=jhl

Allahu alim
May Allah swt forgive our mistakes and ignorance and increase us in knowledge, insha'Allah

 If someone wishes you Merry Xmas, how about saying, "Thanks! God bless you and your family and Happy New Year!" That's an even better greeting, right?

For people who work Monday to Friday, there is a feeling you get on Friday, known as the "Friday Feeling" because you are looking forward to spending the weekend with your family. The colleagues wish each other "have a nice weekend!" Seems to me, what that shows is a genuine desire for their fellow humans to have a peaceful and blessed time with no bad or illness coming to them or their families. If you are ASSUMING the non-muslims are going to be doing haram activities on the weekend and you are ASSUMING the Christians are going to be doing shirk (associating partners), by this logic presented, then we shouldn't be wishing them a nice weekend either. In fact by this logic, if someone wishes us "Have a nice weekend" we should either "not respond" as per the "Fatwa" on the link or we should smile and politely explain 'I don't celebrate the weekend'!?

Who are we to ASSUME what people mean by "Merry Xmas" ? Are we ASSUMING they are wishing us lots of opportunities to stray from the straight path? Maybe their goodwill wish to us is the same kind of wish as in "Have a nice weekend!", wishing for you peace and health.

See 49:12 about assumption / suspicion

root: za nun nun http://corpus.quran.com/qurandictionary.jsp?root=Znn

see 4:82 about contradiction

root: kha lam fa http://corpus.quran.com/qurandictionary.jsp?root=xlf


Of course we cannot ascribe divinity to aught besides Allah swt, He is the One God and He has neither partners nor offspring. That is the core element of our beliefs as muslims. Alhamdulillah wa subhanallah. (see 112:1 - 112:4)

I was under the impression Christmas was a time for Peace and Goodwill to ALL mankind not just Christians. So just as muslims give thanks every day and every day is technically "Thanksgiving" so is every day for muslims like "Christmas" - spreading peace and goodwill and giving charity and "glad tidings" (just my thoughts on the matter!)

Or we can say "Bah Humbug!" like the Scrooge! :o)

I guess it comes down to what it means to "celebrate". If celebrating is drinking and indulging in luxury and not thinking of others and not being grateful to Allah swt then of course that is different from "celebrating" by performing good deeds (see http://quranaddict.blogspot.com/2010/11/good-deeds.html ) and thanking Allah swt. I like to think that every time I (try to) do good deeds, insh'Allah, that is a "celebration" of my faith. Every little thing we say "Alhamdulillah" and "SubhanAllah" for; isn't that a "celebration" in itself ? Why take a day off from "celebrating" the bounties Allah swt bestows on us? Allah swt gave us loving families, safe travel, good food, warm shelter, and even if we try to count the blessings Allah swt bestowed on us we could not do it! see (14:34 and 16:18) Alhamdulillah wa shukr. Insha'Allah, I am not going to stop "celebrating" my beliefs just because on 25th December other people are celebrating (their beliefs) too! (See 109:6)

No argument from me Brothers and Sisters, as always, just trying to think out loud and ponder the Sublime Qur'an as instructed by Allah swt:

search:

reflect
ponder
give thought

search results:

root: dal ba ra http://corpus.quran.com/qurandictionary.jsp?root=dbr

root: fa kaf ra http://corpus.quran.com/qurandictionary.jsp?root=fkr

See also 47:22 - 47:24 which mentions "ties of kinship" and reflecting/pondering the Sublime Qur'an. SubhanAllah.

Allahu Alim, may Allah swt make it easy for us to reflect and ponder the Sublime Qur'an and be guided to the Straight Path and do good works. Insha'Allah

 I personally think we have to be careful not to mix religion and culture.

I don't personally see how having time away from work or school and visiting family can be a "religious innovation", when the "culture of the land" has determined the likelihood of family and friends being accessible to visit and not at work or school.

I would even go so far as to say that carrying out our religious obligations such as being kind to relatives, giving in charity, and spreading Dawah for example are more likely to be done when you are NOT at work, i.e. in your "free time"

My personal view is that we can't just pretend the Gregorian Calendar doesn't exist. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregorian_calendar We have to be practical and make the most of what we have available to us. We have to recognise the blessings and opportunities to fulfil our religious obligations, rather than seek out the "haram". Insha'Allah. Allahu Alim.

May Allah swt increase us in knowledge and understanding and forgive us if we make mistakes, insha'Allah

I like to think of Qur'an 21:51 to 21:67 as a lesson. Alhamdulillah

As far as I understand it, Abraham pbuh uses the beliefs of the polytheists to prove a point. They were polytheists because they believed the statues had powers and worshipped them. Abraham pbuh proved that the statues had neither power to harm nor power to benefit them and that the statues could not even speak. (Just my interpretation, I am not a scholar...)

Look at 7:148. I think this shows there is a difference between having ornaments purely for decoration and beauty and having "something ornamental" that you think has magic powers, something that you worship.

I have cups with snowmen on, and a biscuit jar with gingerbread men and reindeers on, purely for decoration, without a bad conscience, Insha'Allah. I don't worship them, of course. If anything, when I see my house looking nice and tidy and well-presented, I say "Alhamdulillah" and I'm grateful for my blessings to have a nice home. I guess now we are on the subject of "representational art" or non-representational art, abstract art, islamic art... here's an interesting link : http://encyclopedia.farlex.com/Islamic+art

Going by this logic, in theory I could have a "Jesus (pbuh) on the cross" hanging on the wall, couldn't I, if it was purely for decoration? (I don't by the way) Sounds like a slippery slope? Usually (from my experience) if one has that on their wall, it is not usually there purely for decoration. Though I know some people wear the crucifix on a chain as a fashion accessory and are not remotely religious. I did that when I was a teenager in my ignorance. I guess there are grey areas. Having something purely as a decoration (snowman cups) and having something to remind you of your beliefs (Tasbih beads in your pocket / duas on cards) and having an idol or a false deity - something physically there that you worship/ pray to / invoke / kiss / believe has powers (Statues / stones )

And SubhanAllah, only Allah swt alone knows what is in our hearts. May He swt guide us to and keep us on the straight path, insha'Allah.

Ornaments and Worldly Life can be read about here in the Sublime Qur'an.

Indulging in ornaments and preferring this worldly life over the hereafter:

3:14
28:79
43:35

Reminder that ornaments / jewellery  and utensils are a Bounty from Allah swt and to be grateful for them:

13:17
16:14
35:12

Allahu Alim

Salaam Aleykum to you all

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