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Showkat
12-09-2006, 01:36 PM
Christmas A day of celebration or Isolation
www.risala.org

The jingle of bells and colourful decorations transform the workplace and offices. The sound of laughter and the humming of Christmas carols. The talk of Christmas parties and New Years eve celebrations come to a near. The festive season supposedly creates a period of goodwill and an end to hostilities and conflict.

However it is not so joyous for all, especially for the Muslim employee. Like all the other workers he has received plentiful cards from his friends wishing him a 'Merry Christmas', which he promptly files away in the bin. As in previous years he is also invited to the annual Christmas party. Last year he couldn't go because he had an urgent appointment at the doctors, or so he told his friends. So what does he do this year? He can't use the ‘doctor’ excuse again. Does he grab his heart and fake a heart attack? Does he grit his teeth and just go to keep the peace?

This is a dilemma faced by Muslims in all walks of life, from the student at school, to the person in the office. As the season of goodwill arrives so too do the anxiety levels for some Muslims. E-mails and greetings received can cause confusion in not knowing how to reply without sounding disrespectful. The invitation 'Hey Mohamed, are you coming to the party' causes discomfort. The Muslim acknowledges the invite with an uncomfortable smile and a mumbled excuse that the questioner cannot make out and assumes he said 'yes’. Calls on the mobiles from non-Muslim friends are conveniently diverted to voicemail. So what does the poor Muslim do?

Many of us can relate to this to some degree. At best, Christmas is a time of discomfort with the thought of going through the annual chore of explaining why you will not be attending the company’s Xmas Party or explaining to Andrew from the IT department that you will definitely not be seeing him at the end of year Xmas lunch! At the other extreme many Muslims succumb to the Christmas spirit and cannot deal with the feeling of being the odd one out in explaining their absence from Christmas parties.

Every year there is pressure on Muslims to take part in the festive action. Children at school are expected to attend the Christmas party, take part in the nativity play and sing in the school carol service. For those who remain outside of this atmosphere they may well become ostracised; branded as extreme or unsocial. Worse still, accusations may be levelled that Muslims are not showing respect to the indigenous culture and adopting an intolerant attitude.

Muslim should not be held ransom to participating in Christmas festivals on the basis of showing respect and tolerance. The mentality of the Muslims should be to politely explain to his colleagues or fellow pupils that Islam has its own festivals and celebrations and that a Muslim is not allowed to partake in any others. Ultimately, the discussion should proceed to explaining that this is due to the belief in Allah (subhanhu wa ta’aala) and it is He (SWT) that has decided the limits for the Muslim. Of course, the Muslim should be available to explain at any time the reasons as to why he believes in a Creator and in the Prophethood of Muhammad (salAllahu alaihi wasallam).

Imitating the disbelievers in any of their religious affairs or in any gesture that distinguishes them as groups is forbidden. Al-Bukhari narrated in his Sahih that Abu Saeed Al-Khudri (ra) reported that Allah's Messenger (salAllahu alaihi wasallam) said,

"You will indeed follow the ways of those before you, hand span by hand span, and cubit by cubit even if they were to enter into a lizards hole, you will follow them." We asked 'is it the Jews and the Christians?' He (salAllahu alaihi wasallam) replied, "Who else!"

This ahadith condemns imitating them. It is a proof for the prohibition of imitating the Jews and the Christians in their occasions, symbols, or any matter related to their belief. Hence, it is not allowed for a Muslim to give Christmas cards, wish anyone a Merry Christmas, buy a Christmas tree or celebrate Christmas in any way.

As a Muslim, the Prophet (salAllahu alaihi wasallam) brought guidance to us with regards to celebrating the festivals of other people. Islam defined for us which festivals the Muslims are allowed to celebrate. It is reported that Anas bin Malik (ra) said: When the Prophet (salAllahu alaihi wasallam) came to Medina, the people had two holidays from the days of Jahiliyyah. He (salAllahu alaihi wasallam) said,

"When I came to you, you had two holidays, which you used to celebrate in Jahiliyyah. Allah has replaced them for you with better days, the days of slaughter (Adha) and the day of Fitr."

Also, Uqbah bin Amer (ra) reported that the Prophet (salAllahu alaihi wasallam) said,

"The day of Arafat and the day of slaughter and the days of Tashriq are our holidays, the people of Islam." [Imam Ahmad]

Thus we have not been given a licence to add to the two celebrations Islam gave us. The Prophet (salAllahu alaihi wasallam) said,

"Whoever brings something that is not from our affair, it is rejected." [Bukhari]

Abu Zakariya
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IbnAbdulHakim
12-09-2006, 01:41 PM
:salamext:

bro it doesnt really cause me discomfort, i was invited to the christmas party/lunch etc and i just kindly declined the offer lol and everyones ok wiv me Alhamdulillaah.

Hmm i guess its different for others :?
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Kittygyal
12-09-2006, 01:46 PM
Assalmualikum Warhmathullahi Warbarakathuhu

well it's hard for me i mean all of my family/janoration's are ALL christains && they do christmas && i don't but they don't like me being a muslimah but i am not going to refuse just for them even though i love them i will still not sacrafice myself just for them. I know it's hard when there's like over 100+ people whom are non-muslims && you are thy only one whom is a muslim but then again ALLAH knows best. If someone whom is a muslim && a non-muslim called them to a christmas party it's okay to say i can't come but for me it's very hard as my ALL of my family are christains ALLAH A3LIM

Ma'assalama
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Curious girl2
12-09-2006, 06:56 PM
Its probably hard when you are the only muslim in the family, as I am at the moment. But I really cant imagine any decent person objecting to a muslim not attending a work Christmas party. There was a brother at the place I used to work many years ago and obviously he didnt celebrate Christmas or go to the party (neither did I actually), but no-one objected in anyway. I dont think many people sent him Christmas cards either but I do remember several sending him Eid cards. Perhaps I was lucky, as it was very much a *live and let live* work place, but I think for many muslims it isnt really an issue.

Peace CG
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Fishman
12-09-2006, 06:59 PM
:sl:
I have to celebrate Christmas, because my parents say they will be sad if I don't.
:w:
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north_malaysian
12-11-2006, 05:42 AM
We Malaysians dont work on Christmas... as it'll fall on Monday... We'll be having 3 days of break.... a good time for vacation..

hey.... 31st December is Eid, and 1st January is New Year.... So it'll be 4 straight days of holiday (30th December until 2nd January)... hmm.. another good time for a vacation......

and I have 14 days of annual leave left.... hmm.....
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Asyur an-Nagi
12-11-2006, 09:45 AM
my family celebrate christmas also. i will be there just to show that i am a better person and respect them still eventhough i am a muslim.
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north_malaysian
12-11-2006, 09:56 AM
Originally Posted by Asyur an-Nagi
my family celebrate christmas also. i will be there just to show that i am a better person and respect them still eventhough i am a muslim.
Wow.... that must be great... :happy:

How's Christmas in Indonesia? Is it as "Westernised" as Malaysian or Singaporean Christmas celebrations? (I saw several reindeers in Carrefour last weekend)
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Asyur an-Nagi
12-11-2006, 10:20 AM
yep. it's always the same reindeers, snow crystals, and santa claus :)
but i respect my fellow indonesian christian dentists who reject those stereotype of christmas. they told me that christmas is a special moment to rethink their existence, gather a spirit to contribute better, and to share that noble values to close relatives. they refuses the 'worldly' glow of christmas.

i don't celebrate christmas with them, though.
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glo
12-11-2006, 10:55 AM
Originally Posted by Asyur an-Nagi
yep. it's always the same reindeers, snow crystals, and santa claus :)
but i respect my fellow indonesian christian dentists who reject those stereotype of christmas. they told me that christmas is a special moment to rethink their existence, gather a spirit to contribute better, and to share that noble values to close relatives. they refuses the 'worldly' glow of christmas.
That sounds lovely! :)

With Christmas having become such a secular and commercial festival, it is becoming increasingly difficult for Christians to hang to the true values and meaning behind Christmas ...
Most people I know just laugh about the story of Jesus' birth, or ignore it - it is seen as a myth, an old tale told in church to anybody gullible enough to listen ... imsad

Peace
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glo
12-11-2006, 07:32 PM
Originally Posted by Showkat
As in previous years he is also invited to the annual Christmas party. Last year he couldn't go because he had an urgent appointment at the doctors, or so he told his friends. So what does he do this year? He can't use the ‘doctor’ excuse again. Does he grab his heart and fake a heart attack? Does he grit his teeth and just go to keep the peace?
LOL :D
I used to feel obliged to come to the annual office Christmas do, because I didn't want to offend! I always felt very uncomfirtable ad out of place - just wishing for the eening to come to an end!

Luckily, nowadays I have the confidence to politely decline the offer ...

I cannot think of a worse way of celebrating Christmas than paying a fortune to have the dubious 'pleasure' of watching my colleagues, their spouses and complete strangers getting wasted and starting to act in peculiar (and often inapproriate) ways!

Peace
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Umar001
12-11-2006, 07:49 PM
Originally Posted by Fishman
:sl:
I have to celebrate Christmas, because my parents say they will be sad if I don't.
:w:
Wa Aleykum Salam and Salam Aleykum

How will you celebrate Christmas? Am sure your parents will be or are sad that your muslim, too.
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north_malaysian
12-12-2006, 06:17 AM
Originally Posted by Asyur an-Nagi
the 'worldly' glow of christmas.
.
or ... commercialization of Christmas
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north_malaysian
12-12-2006, 06:19 AM
Originally Posted by glo
Most people I know just laugh about the story of Jesus' birth, or ignore it - it is seen as a myth, an old tale told in church to anybody gullible enough to listen ... imsad
Even non-Christians in my country dont laugh at the story....... :cry:

BTW, christmas season is the best time to shop...... "SALE" here and there...
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