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Breaking family ties or visiting family on Christmas?

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    Amoeba's Avatar Full Member
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    Breaking family ties or visiting family on Christmas?

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    Which is the worse deed?

    I'm currently in between two bad deeds, I have to choose the least bad of the two.

    Bear in mind since I was about ten years old I have never celebrated christmas. I am fully aware it has nothing really to do with Jesus peace be upon him or the day of his birth, and that most of the traditions are pagan in origin. Christmas to me was always a convenient time when I could catch up with family I hadn't seen in a whole year (due to long distance travel required) - much like a reunion. If it wasn't christmas but on another day it would be all the same to me. As for santa clause, christmas trees, presents, I haven't cared for any of these things nor acknowledged them since I was pre-teen, and mid-teens I actually started to dislike christmas as a whole (apart from seeing family that is). But I don't know if this makes it okay for me to see family on that particular day if my family are gathering on that day because it's christmas.

    I know I have raised this topic before but I can't find it anymore in my posted threads. Nor can I remember the responses. I guess it probably got pruned with the recent forum clean-up.

    The only problem is that if I say no to them it may mean risking severing family ties which is very wrong in Islam. I have been slowly building up good relations with my family over the past four years since "the incident" that caused the family breakup and it would be really horrible if all that was undone again in a moment of insensitivity or intolerance on my part. But is it really insensitivity and intolerance on my part? Because in a way my family aren't giving me a choice (well, they are - they're giving me the choice that I'm either with them or abandoning them). They have however tailored the meal so that I will be able to eat with them (so I'm not eating non-halal meat or anything prepared around non-halal, they're giving up BACON for me, and you know how people like their bacon), which shows they are at least trying and there is hope that they might come around if I'm gentle with them.

    So I have a choice. Go see them on christmas day, acknowledge nothing of christmas without actually making a huge fuss over it (like if my little brothers say something about santa clause I'll very promptly interest them in something unrelated, to keep good parental relations) and just catch up with family, or don't go for the sake of avoiding any association with christmas day altogether and possibly start another rift in this family that doesn't need yet another rift.

    So far I'm beginning to think it would be better to just go, I'm just wondering about your opinions on the matter.
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    Alpha Dude's Avatar Full Member
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    Re: Breaking family ties or visiting family on Christmas?

    You might find this thread useful: http://www.islamicboard.com/advice-s...im-family.html

    I'm inclined to say this out of my own opinion: I see no problem in going with the intention to visit family (especially given the problems that already exist). If you don't intend to celebrate Christmas, there is no issue. This is my uninformed opinion, so don't take it too strongly.

    (Probably not) but is there any way you can go there and leave a few days early instead?
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    Re: Breaking family ties or visiting family on Christmas?



    Insha'Allaah this will help you too:

    Wa `alaykum as-salamu wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

    In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

    All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

    Dear sister in Islam, we are greatly impressed by your question, for it’s related to the affairs of the new Muslims. We seize the chance to earnestly implore Allah from the depths of our hearts to lead all perplexed men and women to the light of Islam, the true religion of Allah. We welcome all our new Muslim brothers and sisters to the fold of Islam.

    Islam is all for treating our parents, relatives, and friends compassionately. As a Muslimah, it is your duty to be most gentle and kind to your parents. You are allowed to participate in the festivities of Christmas or holiday seasons on the condition that you abstain from specific religious rituals associated with them, if any.

    In his response to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto,Ontario, Canada, states:

    I commend you for your zeal to practice your religion while keeping good relations with your parents. Islam is all about keeping good relations and being kind and helpful to your parents. The fact that they are not Muslims should not prevent you or inhibit your visiting them and staying with them and being charitable and kind towards them. Allah says in the Qur’an, (And We have recommended to man his parents; his mother bore him in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning was in two years. Thank Me and your two parents. To Me is the return. But if they try to force you to associate with Me that of which you have no knowledge, then obey them not. Keep their company with kindness in this world, and follow the path of him who turns to Me. Then to Me will be your return, and I shall tell you what you did) (Luqman 31: 14-15).

    Based on this, you ought to be kind to your parents, regardless of your religious differences with them. While doing so, however, you must never compromise the principles of your own religion.

    Now coming to the issue of Christmas, you are allowed to visit your parents, exchange gifts and partake in their feasts, as long as you stay away from their specific religious observances. For as it should be obvious to you that as Muslims we do not believe in the specific Christian dogmas of the divinity of Jesus or the concept of Original Sin. However, this does not mean that you cannot wish them happiness on such occasions; you are certainly allowed to do so, provided you do not compromise your specific beliefs in this matter, and provided you are clear in your own mind about the issue that you are simply wishing them happiness and reciprocating kindness with kindness. Islam teaches us that we must, at all times, reciprocate kindness with kindness and treat all people with fairness and compassion; we are allowed to harbor enmity only towards those who are hostile and aggressive towards us.

    Before concluding, let me also point out an important fact: Islam spread, insofar as it has spread throughout the five continents, not through the sword, but primarily because of the tolerance, fairness, mercy, and compassion manifested by those who claimed to be Muslims. After all, Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) as has been stated clearly in the Qur’an, was sent by Allah (as a mercy for the worlds) (Al-Anbiya’ 21: 107). So I advise you to remain steadfast in your practice of Islam, while being tolerant and compassionate towards your parents, kith and kin, neighbors, Muslims, fellow human beings as well as fellow creatures of Allah.

    Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islam.ca http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/S...=1119503549266
    Allaah knows the best.
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