- Registration time
- Last login
- Online time
- 756 Hour
- Reading permission
This post was edited by cjamesyee at 2011-12-24 11:23|
A MUSLIM'S SURVIVAL GUIDE for CHRISTMAS HOLIDAYS
Christmas season is upon us. It is nice to enjoy a longbreak from our work and schools and spend the time with thefamily and friends. We may also find many good bargains at theshopping malls. It is the season when millions of christmaswreaths and trees add to the decor in and around the houses,businesses and streets of every town in the country. Thousands ofSantas also come into life all around us. Children write lettersto Santa Claus asking for toys they want for Christmas. Manycivic and church organizations donate food and clothes to thehomeless and the needy. Toys are collected for children who haveno family or whose families can not afford the expenses. TheJewish Hanukkah also falls in the same season.
While the rest of the country is busy and involved in thesecelebrations and activities, what does a small minority of aboutseven million Muslims do? Because Muslims are scatteredthroughout the United States, small Muslim communities sometimesfind it difficult to practice their faith due to the lack of acommunity of believers with whom to interact. Muslims may reactto non-Islamic feasts in three different ways. A good number ofMuslims feel that they can not indulge themselves in activitieswhich have pagan, Christian, Jewish or any origin other thanIslamic. Then there are those who participate in activities suchas Christmas tree decorations and placing toys under the treesfor their children to pick up in the morning of December 25th.They may not hesitate in narrating the story of Santa Claus totheir kids or let them watch television programs about Christmas.Yet another group may be those who are Muslims by name but hadnever really practiced Islam and can be assumed lost in the"mainstream" of America.
Can Muslims participate in Christmas celebrations or anyother similar events such as Halloween and Easter? We need tolook at the Holy Quran and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad(S.A.W.) to find an answer. A fundamental question may have to beaddressed here before saying anything else. Under what conditionscan a Muslim live in a non-Muslim society? This issue requires acareful and detailed answer, which we shall leave for futureissues. One thing should be clear to those who have studied theQuran carefully. It is the primary responsibility of a Muslimliving in a non-Muslim society to preach and present Islamthrough their character and conduct. Islam should be a dominatingforce within and around Muslims instead of being a submissiveentity. Islam should stand tall and distinct from un-Islamic waysfor everyone to see, admire and appreciate. As we look at thelife of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.), we find that whenever therewas a chance of confusing events between Muslims and non-Muslims,the Prophet made a clear separation. We see this in prayer times,fasting and Eid festivals. We do not pray very close to sunriseor sunset so it does not appear that we are worshipping the sun.It is undesirable (Makrooh) to fast only on Saturday or Sunday.The two biggest Islamic feasts are Eidul-Fitr and Eidul-Adha andnothing else should replace the significance of their festivity.
Muslims in America need to get involved in caring for thehomeless and needy. They should develop institutions to providesuch a support. While giving charity and gifts is encouraged allthe times, Christmas season included, special occasions forMuslims to give and launch campaigns should be Ramadan and EidulAdha days. The biggest gifts you would like to give to yourchildren or relatives and friends should not be the Christmastime, but the times of Eids. This will help us develop a distinctcommunity, a caring community that will thus help present Islamproperly to the public.