10 replies

  1. The title of the video might have been better as “should Muslims celebrate Christmas?” The fact that the video is attempting to argue against Muslims doing so would in itself seem to imply that there is a concern, and thus that some Muslims actually do already celebrate Christmas (and even putting aside attempts to infer an answer from the video, we know some Muslims do). Hence the awkwardness of the video title: should Muslims celebrate Christmas? The video wishes to say no. However, do Muslims celebrate Christmas? The video comes close to conceding that yes, some do (and in this regard, the video’s picture of a Christmas tree outside a masjid in Beirut is worth a smile).

    As for Christmas having Christian roots, indeed, that is obvious, but to be fair, as others have noted in more nuanced discussions on this topic, this leaves open the question: what are we to make of modern persons who are not Christians (nor Muslims) who celebrate Christmas, or offer Christmas felicitations? For example, are we going to say with a straight face that if an atheist wishes friends, family, classmates, or co-workers, a merry Christmas, that atheist has converted to theism (Christianity specifically)? Or can we agree that employing the felicitation today is not the same as endorsing the faith?

    And this brings us to the oft-used line, man tashabaha bi-qawmin, fa-huwa minhum, a line that strikes me as thrown around far too uncarefully by some Muslims out there. Let’s flip the logic of this application around. I have Muslim family members, Muslim friends, Muslim co-workers, and Muslim acquaintances online. Each year, I wish them all a blessed feast (ᶜīd mubārak) during each of the two major Islamic ᶜīdayn. Should we argue that in so doing, I have imitated Muslims to the point of myself becoming Muslim? However, if the answer is no, can we agree there needs to be a more nuanced (and hopefully consistent) approach to the application of the relevant Hadīth?

    • //e. Let’s flip the logic of this application around.//
      The verdicts of God and his commandments are not something for compromising. You may do whatever you want. That would not change the fact that the Christmas is related specifically to a separate religion, and it bears the meanings of Shirk that Islam is against of. الإسلام يعلو ولايُعلى عليه

      • The question was about the consistent application of the relevant line. If me employing an ³īd felicitation does not entail I wholly endorse (and convert to) Islam, by the same logic, another person employing a Christmas felicitation does not entail that person wholly endorses (or converts) to Christianity.

        You wish to say shirk is the difference, but this still brings us back to the question: how does employing the felicitation by itself entail shirk if employing the felicitation does not entail endorsing the faith beyond the felicitation?

      • // ³īd felicitation does not entail I wholly endorse..//
        But who has said it’s ok to endorse any theme of shirk partially?
        Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) said:
        You indulge in (bad) actions which are more insignificant to you than a hair while we considered them at the time of Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) to be great destroying sins”.[Al-Bukhari].
        What if Anas, the companion of the prophetﷺ, saw our days?, what would he say? You, also, know that many things begin as tiny mistakes, yet they end massively.
        ومُعظَمُ النارِ مِنْ مُستَصْغرِ الشَرِرِ

        Would you give your felicitations for a gay couple who just got married if they are co workers? Why?

  2. A typical word exchange I usually come across every December for the past couple of years…

    Non-Muslim fellow western citizen: “See you soon mate and Merry Christmas, oh sorry I forgot you don’t celebrate Christmas do ya? Coz of your religion or something”.

    Me (replying): “Oh yeah sure, no it’s ok, Merry Christmas to you too. I believe in Christ but don’t celebrate Christmas but you don’t believe in Christ or religion or God but you celebrate Christmas? Interesting.”

    • Most people in the west just see it as a cultural holiday where you give gifts, sit around a table and spend quality time with the family. Religion barely enters the minds of the average person.

      • I believe that giving another color for this religious day is not a solution for the mistakes muslims do in the west. We have seen them put the tree inside the masjids even! I’m not sure how many things can be done under the dome of “culture”.

      • I think that’s a fair question to ask with regards to how far one should do something for the sake of culture after all there is controversy amongst Muslims over celebrating Mawlid or venerating Saints as is the custom of several countries.

        I am curious however as to the apparent desire of some to distance themselves from the wider culture to which they are born into feeling that it is in opposition to their faith which inevitably causes division as it seen as disrespectful to the host culture. What is the opinion of Muslim scholars as to how to answer this dilemma?

  3. Absolutely: if I give Diwali greetings, it does not entail that I believe in a pantheon of gods. Some Muslims seem to believe that they are the sole custodians of ensuring shirk is shirked.

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