Muslims and Christmas
Christmas is an annual holiday celebrated by Christians worldwide to commemorate the birth of Jesus. For many Muslims who even do not celebrate the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. It becomes an issue of what stand they should take.
What we should remember that Christmas is really about Jesus. Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, was faced with this question when he established the first peace sanctuary of Medina, where the majority of the people were not Muslims. Here is what he said about the Christians of Najran (Yemen):
"Najran has the protection of God and the pledges of Muhammad, the Prophet, to protect their (the Christians') lives, faith, land, property, those who are absent and those who are present, and their clan and allies. They need not change anything of their past customs. No right of theirs or their religion shall be altered. No church leader, monk or church guard shall be removed from his position."
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.
And let's go to Washington DC to see a brightly decorated Christmas tree welcomes visitors to Sarwat’s house. The only thing exceptional is that the host and her family are Muslims. Sarwat Husain is the president of the San Antonio, Texas, chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), told IslamOnline.net.
"When we came to the US, I was so stunned by the big celebrations. I thought where the story about Jesus is and his teachings in all this, weare not celebrating it the way it is celebrated here. What you see under the surface is the commercialization of Christmas and that is what we don’t like." MrS. Husain from Pakistan recalls.
Mr. & Mrs. Husain invited their neighbors and colleagues to discuss topics mainly about prophets Abraham, Jesus and Muhammad, peace and blessings on all of them.
And Now Lets Know more about Jesus Birth as Husain family do and Know who Jesus is?
Jesus in Islam is a revered Prophet who had a miraculous birth with only a mother, Virgin Mary, and with no father. His miraculous birth and his call to get back to the lost spirituality within the Jewish community and the fact of challenging their way of life grabbed the attention of both the Roman ruler and the Jewish rabbis.
(We gave Moses the Book and followed him up with a succession of Apostles; we gave Jesus the son of Mary clear signs and strengthened him with Holy Spirit. It is that whenever there comes to you an Apostle with what ye yourselves desire not, ye are puffed up with pride? Some ye called imposters and others ye slay!) (Qur'an 2:87)
The story begin by Mary (betook herself to a solitary place to worship Allah as usual. Suddenly she felt afraid. Allah had sent to her His spirit in then semblance of a full-grown man. When she saw him she said:"May the merciful defend me from you! If you fear the Lord leave me and go your way". The angel said to Mary:"Allah bids you rejoice in a word from Him. His name is the Messiah, Jesus the son of Mary. He shall be noble in this world and in the next and shall be favored by Allah".
She said sadly: "Lord, How can I bear a child when no man has touched me". He replied: "Such is the will of Allah. It shall be no difficult task for Me. He shall be a sign to mankind and a blessing from ourselves. This is our degree". Said the Lord.
Thereupon Mary was alarmed. She thought of what people might say about her when she delivers a baby whom she was a virgin untouched by man. People no doubt would think badly of her. Thus, she retired to a far off place. She was overwhelmed by sadness and fear. She often thought of what was in her womb.
For months thereafter, she suffered a lot. She became uninterested in food or drink. She settled down in Nasira her native village. She dwelt in a rural house which was void of any entertainment or pleasure. That house might be the shelter which secluded her from people. She preferred to betake herself to a solitary place to avoid people who might unravel her secret and scandalize her. Sooner or later what she hid would be obvious to everybody. "May the merciful defend her from evil". What would happen to her? She was an upright woman. She couldn't help thinking of what people might say about her. It is really a matter that would make the children grey-haired.
People would think her a prostitute who lost her honor and caused a scandal to her family. She would be accused of being a whore although she was innocent and quite pure and graceful. No doubt, her faith made her a little bit comfortable. Her belief in Allah made her sufferings less, for Allah promised to let her son preach to me in his cradle and in the prime of manhood. That would be a proof of her purity and innocence.
When her parturition came, she was sitting by a tree, she was quite sad. She could do nothing. She sat down angrily. When she gave birth, a voice so thrilling from bellow cried out to her, and sooner she was less afraid. She dried her tears. The voice said:" Do not despair. Your Lord had provided a brook that runs at your feet, and if you shake the trunk of this palm tree, it will drop fresh ripe dates in your lap, rejoice then. Eat and drink and if you meet any mortal say to him: I have vowed a fast to the Merciful and will not speak with any man today".
Carrying the child, she went back to her people who said to her this is indeed a strange thing. They blamed her severely and accused her of being a prostitute. They said: Sister of Aaron, your father was never a whoremonger, nor was your mother harlot.
She made a sign to that who had vowed a fast to the Merciful and that she would not speak to any man. She pointed to the child. But they replied:" How can we speak with a baby in the cradle? Whereupon he spoke and said I am the servant of Allah. He has given me the Gospel and ordained me a prophet. His blessing is upon me whenever I go and He has commanded me to be seated fast in prayer and to give alms to stead poors as long as I shall live. He has exhorted me to honor my mother and has purged me of vanity and wickedness. I was blessed on the day I was born and I shall be on the day of my death, and may peace be upon me on the day when I shall be raised to life".
This saying was a proof of Mary's innocence. It has puzzled people so that everyone in the country was talking about it. They thought highly of the baby and knew that he would be a man of great importance. On the other hand, some ignorant people thought it witchcraft or something invented purposely to absolve her from sin.
They had no faith in Allah's ability to sustain the earth and skies, to create a man from a word and that everything belongs to Him. They did not believe when Allah decrees a thing, He needs only say "Be" and it is.
Muslims believe in Jesus as one of the great Prophets of God and that he is the son of Virgin. He was conceived and born miraculously. Also Muslims believe he will come back to earth before the end of time to restore peace and bring victory for truth and righteousness.
By Nouran Radwan
The Stories of the Glorious Quran Book Rendered to English by F.Amira Zrein Matraji
Treating Christmas with Respect by Abdul Malik Mujahid