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In The Name Of God The Most Merciful, Most Compassionate
She was alone, as she was wont to do, worshiping in the eastern section of the temple. Suddenly, she was startled by a strange presence: a man with whom she was not familiar. “I seek refuge from thee with the Most Gracious,” she said, “(Approach me not) if you are conscious of Him!” He sought to calm her by saying, “I am but a messenger of your Lord, (who says,) `I shall bestow upon thee the gift of a son endowed with purity.’”
This startled her most of all. She replied, in shock: “How can I have a son when no man has ever touched me? – for, never have I been an unchaste woman!” The presence replied: “Thus it is; (but) your Lord says, `This is easy for Me; and (thou shalt have a son,) so that We might make him a symbol unto humanity and an act of grace from Us. And it was a thing decreed (by God).”
And so she conceived the child, withdrawing to a far-off place. And when the pangs of childbirth overtook her, she was driven to sit under the trunk of palm tree, and she exclaimed in anguish: “Oh, would that I had died before this, and had become a thing forgotten, utterly forgotten!” Yet, she had the child, and she then came back to her people carrying him, who were clearly shocked.
They exclaimed, “Thou hast indeed done an amazing thing!” They continued: “O Sister of Aaron,” an honorific title for this heretofore pious woman, “Your father was not a wicked man, nor was thy mother an unchaste woman!” She pointed to her newborn child, whereupon they said: “How can we talk to one who (as yet) is a little boy in the cradle?”
The child then said:
Behold, I am a servant of God. He has vouchsafed unto me revelation and made me a prophet, and made me blessed wherever I may be; and He has enjoined upon me prayer and charity as long as I live, and (has endowed me with) piety towards my mother; and He has not made me haughty or bereft of grace. Hence, peace was upon me on the day when I was born, and (will be upon me) on the day of my death, and on the day when I shall be raised to life (again)!
This story, that of the birth of Christ, was culled, not from my copy of the Bible, but rather from the nineteenth chapter of the Koran. It is the second mention, in fact, of this story, the first being in the third chapter. This should come as no surprise, really, for Jesus (and his mother) are very prominent in Muslim belief and reverence.
The Koran is full of passages about Jesus and Mary. The Muslim holy book describes Jesus as being “honored in the world and the hereafter, and one of the intimates of God” (3:45). Christ is also “in the ranks of the righteous” (6:85), described as “a word from God which He send down to Mary (and) and a spirit from Him” (4:171). The Koran even says that Jesus Christ “was strengthened with the Holy Spirit” (2:253, 5:110), although classical exegesis notes that “Holy Spirit” means either divine inspiration or the Angel Gabriel. Jesus, in fact, is mentioned more by name in the Koran than the Prophet Muhammad himself.
That’s why it perplexes me to hear some Christians talk about Muslims “not having Jesus.” We have Jesus all over our faith and belief, we just don’t believe he is the son of God or part of a triune deity. Muslims maintain that Christ was a prophet. It is a major difference in belief, to be sure, but it is not something over which Christians and Muslims should have any enmity or animosity.
Yes, some Muslims claim that Christians and Jews are “enemies,” but I pay no heed to such rabble. It is the product of a criminal, twisted mind, and the overwhelming majority of Muslims do not subscribe to such beliefs. And sadly, there are some Christians who say the same about Muslims and Islam: that we are “enemies,” not to be trusted or accepted into the fabric of society, and our faith is “evil.” Such voices, in both communities, must be ignored and marginalized.
No, Muslims may not adorn their houses with lights during this season, but it does not mean that Jesus does not light their hearts with love and reverence. Muslims may not take Christmas Day off as a religious holiday, but that does not mean that Jesus means nothing to them at all. Yes, it may be that the only businesses open on Christmas Day may be the Muslim-owned ones, but that does not mean that Jesus is not near and dear to those business owners’ hearts.
Muslims in fact are awaiting for the return of Jesus and have been ordered to follow him upon his return.
This common love for Jesus – and all the prophets of God – should be the force to bring Muslims and Christians together. As we all think about Jesus this holiday season, it is my hope and prayer that the forces of hatred and division are no longer paid heed, and people of all faiths and creeds come together in peace. I know that it would be what Jesus would want for us; I know that it is what God wants as well.
Jesus DID NOT eat PORK [Levictus 11:7-8]
Muslims are forbidden from eating Pork.
Jesus DID NOT drink ALCOHOL [Numbers 6:1-4]
Muslims are forbidden from drinking Alcohol.
Jesus PRAYED in PROSTRATION [Matthew 26:39]
Muslims pray in prostration.
Mary the Mother of Jesus was COVERED and Christian women are ordered to COVER [Genesis 24:64-5]
Muslim women are ordered to cover.
Jesus greeted with ‘PEACE BE UPON YOU’ [John 20:19]
Muslims greet with PEACE BE UPON YOU (“Assalamu Alaikum”)
Jesus FASTED [Matthew 6:16-18]
Muslims fast for Ramadan ( a main pillar of Islam) as well as other times during the year.
Jesus prohibited INTEREST [Deuteronomy 23:19]
Muslims are prohibited from dealing in Interest (taking or giving).
by Shahul Hameed
Muslims believe that Jesus will return at the end of time and will clear all the confusion prevailing in the world regarding his life and mission.
No historical figure has been the subject of as much controversy as Jesus of Nazareth. He is worshipped as the only-begotten Son of God, the Messiah, the Savior, and as God Himself by the Christians of the world.
The Jews believe that he falsely claimed to be the expected Messiah of the Jews.
The rationalists claim that Jesus Christ never existed. According to them, Jesus was a myth, a “fabricated hero”.
Of the dozens of Christian denominations who believe in the second coming of Jesus, the position of the Christian Fundamentalist Churches (or the Evangelicals) is unique.
Their belief system owes a great deal to the Scofield Reference Bible, which was the work of Cyrus Ingerson Scofield (1843-1921), a pastor of the Dallas First Congregational Church. By inserting his own interpretations of particular verses into his Bible, he was able to provide a new narrative to an old story:
Scofield told his audience that the world would end in a final world conflagration called the Armageddon. But, he said, born-again Christians should welcome such a catastrophe because once the final battle began, Christ will lift them up into the clouds.
Thus to the Evangelicals, the most attractive part of the story is that “all true Christians” (meaning the same band of fundamentalist Christians) will be bodily lifted up to heaven during a miraculous event called “the Rapture”, so that they will be spared of the “tribulations” and the trauma to which the non-Christians (who include all other Christians like the Roman Catholics and most Protestant groups) are exposed.
The “dispensationalists” (one group among the Evangelicals) believe in the doctrine of imminent “Rapture”. This, according to them, means that Jesus will come secretly in the clouds and raise dead-and-buried born-again Christians from the dead.
In contrast to the above beliefs, the Muslims hold the following beliefs about the second coming of Jesus:
- Jesus was a real person and a blessed prophet of God who lived some two thousand years ago, preaching to his people, the Israelites.
-Jesus was the Messiah (Masih) prophesied by the earlier Israelite prophets.
- The return of Jesus is a sign of the end times.
- Jesus will clear all the confusion prevailing in the world regarding his life and mission.
- Jesus will follow the law of God as perfected by the final prophet, Prophet Muhammad ( peace be upon him).
About the so-called “crucifixion” of Jesus, God in the Quran says what means:
[And (as for) their saying, "We killed the Messiah, Isa son of Maryam, Messenger of Allah", …They did not kill him and they did not crucify him, but it was made to seem so to them. Those who argue about him are in doubt about it. They have no real knowledge of it, just conjecture. But they certainly did not kill him. Allah raised him up to Himself. Allah is Almighty, All-Wise.] (An-Nisaa’ 4:157-158)
A close look at the above verses point to the following:
The Romans and the Jews did not kill Jesus; they did not crucify him; but it appeared so. The question is: what happened to Jesus then?
And the answer, according to Islam, is: “God raised him up to Himself.”
Considering the context of the event described, it does not seem reasonable to believe that “raising him up” meant, (as some would argue) elevating his spiritual status before God. We should understand that God saved Jesus from an accursed death on the cross (as the Gospels later alleged).
Moreover, the belief in Jesus’ crucifixion stems from the Islamically unacceptable concept of the inherited sin of mankind. And the concept of blood sacrifice by an innocent Son of God to save sinful man is abhorrent to reason, justice, and the very idea of an All-Merciful God.
And for this reason, the “atoning crucifixion” of Jesus could never have happened. In other words, the truth is what the Quran says that Jesus was neither killed nor crucified.
The Quran and the sayings of Prophet Muhammad support the belief that Jesus will certainly return:
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said,
By the One in Whose hand is my soul! The son of Mary is about to come back as a just ruler who will break the cross, kill the swine, and cancel the tribute, and money will be so great in amount that no one will be in need of it, and one act of prostration will be more lovable to a person than the whole world and everything in it. (Al-Bukhari)
The foregoing clearly shows that Jesus will return to the earth. But as Islam has been made perfect by God through Prophet Muhammad, Jesus will not make any addition or subtraction to the teachings of Islam. Rather, he will follow the Shariah (Islamic law) of Muhammad.
One of Jesus’ chief functions on his second coming will be to correct the false beliefs that are spread about him and his religion. And then his true followers will be the followers of Prophet Muhammad. The followers of Jesus will merge with the followers of Muhammad.
Muslims do not know when Jesus will come, but they surely believe he will come.
I asked a gathering of Muslims in Sydney recently if I become a Muslim will this guarantee spending eternity in Paradise. They all agreed that it didn't. My reply was swift: "Why should I lose my guarantee to spend eternity with the Lord and pick a religion which has no guarantee whatsoever? I'd be a fool to do so."
Praise be to my Lord and God who saved me from my sin and showed me his love for us through Jesus our Lord regardless of our efforts to be perfect.
The Gospels, an historical record of the life of Jesus, written by disciples and contemporaries of Jesus, has Jesus stating that "it isn't what goes into a man's stomach that makes him impure but what comes out of his mouth." Do you really think that your not eating pork makes you more holy and closer to the Lord than I who eat pork?
I think you are right. But there are still heaps of references to fasting in the Bible. See here: http://www.openbible.info/topics/fasting
Why followers of Islam are followers of Jesus (Peace be Upon him and All the Prophets) Jesus DID NOT eat PORK [Levictus 11:7-8] Muslims are forbidden from eating Pork. Jesus DID NOT drink ALCOHOL [Numbers 6:1-4] Muslims are forbidden from drinking Alcohol. Jesus PRAYED in PROSTRATION [Matthew 26:39] Muslims pray in prostration. Mary the Mother of Jesus was COVERED and Christian women are ordered to COVER [Genesis 24:64-5] Muslim women are ordered to cover. Jesus greeted with ‘PEACE BE UPON YOU’ [John 20:19] Muslims greet with PEACE BE UPON YOU (“Assalamu Alaikum”) Jesus FASTED [Genesis 4:2] Muslims fast for Ramadan ( a main pillar of Islam) as well as other times during the year. Jesus prohibited INTEREST [Deuteronomy 23:19] Muslims are prohibited from dealing in Interest (taking or giving).
I am not telling you how to live your life this is between you and your creator, but your children will only get confused with the practice of both and no wonder they were hurt by their mum not giving them a gift. Children need to be guided and help understand this is the way of the pagans and Christians not ours, we have Eid and give them gifts on those times, my children have never experienced xmas besides what they see at my families but we don’t involve ourselves with their festivities they are happy with that.
Agreed generally reverts know more about Islam than some who in it from birth but it is not the case of all born muslims it really depends on family upbringing and what priority religion had in their growing up, although that is certainly not an excuse for them we should all be seeking knowledge from the cradle to the grave.
Salam (sorry for the long message, i wanted to adress your points)
As for your daughter maybe you should send her to another school were they have different methods of teaching Quran, to learn by rote is not a bad thing but simple meaning must be applied if taught correctly by an enthusiastic teacher the full meaning will come to them later on in maturity as they advance. Quran and Islamic studies is a lifelong study we will always be students of Allah (including scholars). Islam is massive I’ve been at it for 18 yrs and every day I learn something new and the beautiful thing is it never contradicts itself. My children also learn by rote with explanations and they love to hear the stories behind each sura and come home to tell us all about it.
The word ‘fundamentalist’ is yet another word that politics and media play with and make it sound ‘so bad’, ......example if you like mathematics and you want to succeed in this area you need to follow the fundamentals of maths, as in Islam if you want to succeed in this life and the next you need to follow the fundamentals of Islam and that is the sunnah and the Quran. We cannot pick and choose what we want in Islam, it is what it is - the word of God, otherwise it makes us no different to the others who have deviated by man-made desires and innovations.
Assalam Alaikum Andrew
Firstly please understand that I am on this panel for discussion not to force anyone to do anything as it has been implied by some, Muslims should not force anyone to do anything, we are to help mankind toward the truth, in which Allah uses us as his tools to do so, and very importantly it is not our job to change the hearts or to convert anyone it is between the individual and Allah. So when you say let the Christians celebrate their leader ‘let them’, I was not implying to stop them. But what I and others have said on this panel is don’t encourage them by getting involved in their innovation.
To understand this you must believe that the Quran is the final word of God in perfection and majestic in message came to correct the corruption of his religion prior to it….you either believe that fact or you don’t.
Andrew I went to Christian school all my school years had religion classes every day and loathed it, I was bored out of my nut. The only time I enjoyed it was when I was old enough to understand the bible made no sense with contradictions from front to back cover, we’d ask the teachers really curly questions about the passages in the bible and watch them squirm their way out with an answer that made even less sense. The more I learned what was in the bible the more questions I had.
Andrew M, I really feel for you, and agree absolutely that converts tend to know more than most Muslims brought up in 'Muslim' communities. You will find (even inthis forum) that there are plenty of Muslims who will seek to push their interpretations down your throat and tell you that you HAVE to do certain things, or not do them. Those people refuse to accept the Qur'anic injunction that there is no compulsion in religion.I suggest you continue to do your own reading and make up your own mind. The Qur'an exhorts us to seek knowledge continually, and we also know that everything we do is between us and God. Only God can judge us, though try telling that to certain other Muslims!I hope your wife will come in time to understand that not all factors of Australian life are going to send her to hell. I believe we all can blend into an Australian community, and the way Australians express Islam may well vary from the way other nationalities express it. We will certainly never seek to segregate women into sub-standard conditions in mosques, or immure them at home, or subject them to genital mutilation. We will never carry out 'honour' killings. THese are some of the practices called Muslim, but are really cultural atrocities from countries who have found a way to meld them, in their minds, with Islam.
If you live in Sydney, there is a prayer place (not a mosque) where you can go if you want to move away from male-dominated mosques and find friendly, knowledgeable people to help you. I'll find a way to get the information to you privately.
Bottom line is we cannot pick and choose what we like to hear and what appeals to us from the array of politically motivated and self-appointed sheiks and scholars. We must go back to the sunnah and the Quran for our evidence. Much evidence on this panel was given to you, one being what Allah said in the Quran about ‘their festivals’ and you did not address it. We either follow the Quran and sunnah or we follow some one else’s opinion on the matter and this has been the problem from the beginning, the followers of Moses where given the Torah and have deviated from it the followers of Christ have been given the Injeel and have deviated from that.
To prove your claim that xmas is not bidah you’ll have to show references that it is commanded by any of the prophets and by Allah in any of the original five Books of Allah. If you can’t find it then it is bidah (man-made innovation).
I mean no offence to you this is simply a discussion in kindness and respect.
maraml, please forgive me I did not want to assume or offend but I did say to correct me if I was wrong and you did. I too am born and bred Australian and happy to be one.... there is some parts of culture that is ok like food, certain types of clothing, playing cricket etc.. These things are harmless, but if you follow the sunnah there is a limit, others on this panel have shown plenty of Quranic evidence but you have only so far stated your opinion on the matter. You've given a website showing an article about 138 'scholars' who say one thing (with might I add absolutely NO proof of references anywhere on that website) I can show you many sites with scholars that give a different view with Quran references.
The article only tells about some common ground that we share and no muslim will deny that, how we differ immensely is that Jesus is not the son of God nor is he god and he did not die on the cross. This is the point of deviation this is the point of bidah and major shirk.
DaughterOfAbraham, it is a pleasure to have you on this site. Your balanced and thoughtful comments are a relief and a delight to read. Thank you.Do please have a look at this: The Official Website of A Common Wordwww.acommonword.com. It is so interesting, and is also very refreshing in the authors' appeal for outreach through peace and love and understanding.
Here is what 138 Muslim scholars from across the Schools have to say on this topic:
The Official Website of A Common Wordwww.acommonword.com
muslimlioness, I am Australian and neither you nor anyone else is going to make me turn my back on my own culture. I am not a new Muslim and I was fortunate not to have been taught by fundamentalists. It is the utmost arrogance to say that by wishing people 'Happy Christmas' I am encouraging them in their bidah, because it is NOT their bidah, it is their usual culture. I was also fortunate to have been taught by people who did not allow their own background culture affect their practice of Islam, though I have certainly had forms of Islam, filtered through Pakistani and Saudi culture, forced down my throat over the years.
Please remember that everything we do is between the individual and God. No one can force a Muslim to do or not do anything, because the bottom line is God, not a person. I presume you meant well by making so many assumptions about me, but please don't. I can assure you that your assumptions are incorrect.
Masha-AlLaah! JazakalLaah for sharing this with us. Prophet Jesus, upon whom be peace, is Jewish by birth, understood by Muslims to be as Muslim as all the prophets of Islam from Adam upon whom be peace to Muhammed, God's Peace and Blessings be upon him. We share so much with our bretherin of faith that it seems so silly to fight with each other. AlLaah guide us to enjoin good and dispel evil, aameen.
except christmas history hass pagan origin and was introduced by the church to make conversion comfortable.
This was an excellent article! I shared it with my work colleagues and they all remarked on the excellent moral of the article.
maraml, it seems to me from your comments you want your cake and eat it too. No one is trying to make you feel guilty about anything, it is clear the Prophet said; "Whoever imitates a people is one of them." (Ahmad & Abu Dawood).
You say practicing what non muslims do during xmas has not effected your deen...Allahu Allam (Allah knows best) but you are encouraging them in their biddah, in their innovations that did not come from ANY of the Prophets and not from Allah. These matters have nothing to do with your deen and there is much proof, Allah also said;
“and follow not their vain desires, diverging away from the truth that has come to you. To each among you, We have prescribed a law and a clear way” [al-Maa’idah 5:48]
“For every nation We have ordained religious ceremonies which THEY must follow” [al-Hajj 22:67] – which means, a festival which is for them alone.
I seems to me (correct me if Im wrong) that you are a fairly new Muslim, if so thats ok I get it, I was there once and I too struggled with certain things, but in time and more knowledge we get closer to what Allah expects from us inshalla.
May Allah (swt) keep us all in the straight path, amen.
Let me share interesting facts with you, most of the aussie volunteer colleagues I work with find "Christmas celebrations Commercial", as the companies wish to cash out their products rather. When I asked them about the significance of the Christmas tree, because Quraan mentions dates tree with a water channel to nourish Maryum(AS) and the feotus inside, they remarked its more of an American tradition than ours. Honestly speaking they didn't know about the tree or the socks or even the real date of Christ birth. Majority said this is not the real thing but commercialism.
Similarly when I enquired about the Boxing day I collected four answers: We put away all decorations in boxes and give boxes of not wanted items back to the shops; its a British tradition to hold sports the very next day; we put presents in boxes and give those boxes away and its because of the boxing matches held long time back. Again, its not a religious occasion but a past practice. So if you wish to enjoy or remain isolated, its your own decision. I know Islam doesn't prohibit me from mixing up except where Haram/Halal and certain Islamic prohibitions matter. I suggest to reason out before jumping to conclusions or pre-conceived notions. Take care!
Just like individuals differ from each other in respect of genetics and society which determine their personality displaying their mannerism, people have degrees of variations in their opinions. Despite the fact that Musalmaan believe in all Books of Almighty Allah SWT and their respective bearer Prophets Ibrahim (AS), Nooh (AS), Moosa(AS), Esa(AS) and Muhammad (SAW), when it comes to demonstrating their personal views regarding any of them, they may tend to differ (as displayed by comments).
For me there's nothing wrong in wishing back Merry Christmas to the community I have come to share my values with, because I belive in all Prophets and Messengers mentioned in Quraan. In fact I want to know about likewise festive occasions of other people of the books as they make up whole population of Australia. If Australia wants culture and values of its own then this is where to begin with. Respect and share festive and reverence occasions with its diverse cultural people beginning with indiginous/aboriginees. For Musalmaan, Prophet Muhammad SAW parted ways from Jews and Christians Scholars where Islam outruled the previous pathways.
So long I dont have to compromise on Islam, I have no issues. Another thing is that birthdays are not religious obligations but man concieved observance.
“Help you one another in Al‑Birr and At‑Taqwa (virtue, righteousness and piety); but do not help one another in sin and transgression. And fear Allaah. Verily, Allaah is Severe in punishment”[al-Maa'idah 5:2]
Assalamu Alaikum Marmal...... how then do you describe what constitutes shirk?
What is the one thing that Allah does not forgive? shirk... so why do you congratulate others on committing it? Im not saying to be arrogant about it or others religions but we should not encourage it!
Knowing that it is pagan tradition that christians shouldn't even be festive about it themselves according to the bible, but we also know that Jesus is celebrated as a god and son of god at xmas time ....is this not major shirk?
He is Allah, the One! (1)
Allah, the eternally Besought of all! (2)
He begetteth not nor was begotten. (3)
And there is none comparable unto Him. (4)
No one is saying we are not to be polite in all manners of our dealing with non muslims that is a given in Islam.
I was not 'got at' as you so arrogantly put it it comes from years of study and I am still a student of Allah. Allah mentions to seek knowledge and we must all do this it is mandatory.
What muslims are 'forcing' non muslims to turn their backs on themselves?...... bizarre comment to make I know no one doing such a thing!
Thank you , Andrew. I deplore the way Muslims can be 'got at' and induced to be arrogant towards other religions. I refuse to accept that being polite and saying 'Happy Christmas' constitutes any kind of shirk. Far from shirk, it embodies kindness and politeness and the Qur'an requires those things of us. Even Christians know that the date of Christmas was originally pagan, but so what. No one but pagans care about that. Christians and non-Christians simply celebrate the season either as a way of honouring the birth of Christ, who is so important in Islam, or as a cultural time of holiday and celebration. Muslims have no right to try to force non-Muslim society into turning its back on itself. The Qur'an says that 'There is no compulsion in religion,' and that 'I will not believe what you believe, and you will not believe what I believe; you to your religion and me to mine'. I do wish more Muslims would remember this.
My dear brothers and sisters we should not encourage this event in any way, because what in effect is occuring is we are encouraging and congratulating them in their 'shirk'.
Andrew M and maramal,
Assalamu Alaikum, I found both your comment very interesting in regard that you are both reverts as am I and a proud muslim for 20yrs alhumdulila. Like maramal i also tend to 'hang out' more so with reverts than 'cradle muslims' as it was put due to much the same reasons and i guest the reason is that mostly as reverts we are not caught up by nationalistic, cultural and traditional ties that some muslims have that have nothing to do with Islam.
Why Andrew your wife doesn't want to hear Jesus name in this period I fail to understand? He was a great Prophet that will come back and finish his mission as you may already know.
I on the other hand have completely let go of what is a pagan tradition of xmas, which also has nothing to do with christianity. The bible itself warns about the pagan tradition of the use of xmas trees and in the bible it is noted that God loathed and warned against all things pagan. As muslims we have our own traditions that we follow as our prophet did, he did not celebrate xmas nor did Jesus for that matter, hence this should be our guide. My children know they have a family that celebrate xmas and families that don't and they love and look so forward to Eid, gifts, visiting and the rewards that come with it.
Please read the following website for the actual truth about Christmas celebrations and you will soon realise that it is a form of shirk and that we should not follow it or celebrate it - nor should Christians......there are other ways to tolerate another´s religion than joining in on pagan celebrations like Christmas....would you follow shaytan into the hellfire just because everyone else was going'??? >And before you start thinking oh here is another cradle muslim...i´m actually a revert!!!! ]i have family that celebrate xmas and i simply do not...we give presents to them throughout the year and especially during Eid ...we accept presents off them during Christmas, however we don´t celebrate it with them as they don´t celebrate Eid with us and we give them presents during Eid...this is tolerating...and the comment about culture vs religion not being the same...well all i can say is that in Islam we live it...we do not merely practise it....so culture-tradition is the same as religion...please forgive me if i have offended anyone as it wasn´t my intention...just wanted you all to know the truth about xmas
Andrew M, it's sad that your wife has so little understanding of her religion, yet doesn't know it. I am a convert and find that converts in general tend to know far more about Islam than 'cradle Muslims' because we take the time and trouble to read widely before making the decision to convert. I get very upset and frustrated by the ignorance shown by so many Muslims and as a result I mix only with other converts.As regards Christmas, I see it as a cultural festival as well as a religious one. Christians who practice their religion see it as religious but the others don't. I celebrate it because it is part of my cultural heritage, though not as a religious occasion. I give small gifts to family and friends and receive them in return, cook mince pies and Christmas cake and have a more-or-less traditional Christmas lunch. My Muslim faith is not compromised by this and in fact I think that it is very silly for Muslims to make a big deal of separateness if they live in a non-Muslim country. We all need to get along and there is no reason why Muslims shouldn't join in Christmas celebrations if they want to. I am not alone in this view, though I may be the only one to say it aloud.In your case, good on you for sending gifts to your family. You can't suddenly change your whole culture when you convert to Islam and no one has the right to try to make you. It is always between the individual and God. Sometimes you may need to remind other Muslims of this, if they try to pressure yo or make you feel guilty.
As a convert to Islam, from Christianity, my first step was to buy three books on Islam, then to join discussion groups, with Muslims. Thus I accept the content of this article.
My western education did not include any teaching of the rudimentaries of Islam.
My eldest child attends a madrassa, where she learns the Koran, by rote, in Arabic. She is not being educated correctly, to my mind. She has no understanding of our religion, and does not like going to madrassa.
Thus, little wonder the devotees of both religions do not understand each other.
My wife, a Muslim since birth, will not discuss Christmas with our children, and has no knowledge that I have sent Christmas presents to our children who are with my Christian parents over this holiday time. She has not inquired.
As our children live in a western culture, with its' tradition, our eldest has knowledge of Jesus, from me, and the youngest just comprehends that Santa will come.
I am sure many in this forum will have comment on this, and I hope you may enlighten me with your feelings about this. The key I think, is to educate our children, something that is not being done by both Christians and Muslims in general.
Thanks, Andrew M.
Muslims and Christians both love Jesus (and Mary). I reflected on this recently when I read that a "church" in New Zealand (St Matthew-in-thecity) had, once again, put up a billboard designed to to insult Mary. A couple of years ago they put up a disgusting billboard featuring Mary and Joseph in bed with sexualised comments about God. I can't imagine any Muslim group insulting Mary or Jesus like some who call themselves "Christian" do.I know that Muslims and Christians have different opinions on the nature of Jesus, but give me any day Muslims' respect for Jesus over the filth spouted by some so called Christians who should know better.
It's so good to hear someone say how wrong it is for Muslims to revile Jews and Christians. Those who do it clearly don't understand the context in which it is said in the Qur'an.
you know maraml for someone who wants your interprtation of unity with non muslims you have displayed over and over your hostility toward your fellow muslims and how you like to segregate yourself from them because they don't see Islam your way..... all we see is a massive contradiction on your part AND you've offered no Islamic proof of your claims.
Well as you said it between you and Allah.
BTW....Why cant you tell us all about this prayer place we could all beneifit from it, if its as you claim?
Ps. regarding giving greetings as a muslim, it is not compulsory but a sunnah to give ‘salams’ but once one is given to you it is fard (compulsory) to respond, (or do you have a problem with that to?)this is a reminder to myself as much as to all muslims, inshalla.
Some Christians celebrate Christmas, and do not use Santa or Father Christmas to help them.
My daughter, who attends a madrassa, does not enjoy her time there.
Her teachings do not include knowledge of anything other than "rote" Quaran.
She does not understand the Koran. I do. I read it in English.
As Muslims, we all believe the Christians have the wrong end of the stick.
There are many "age-old" traditions for celebrating the life of Jesus, Moses, Abraham, It’s just a day of observance. Gets "people" thinking about their religion.
If the Christians want to celebrate their leader, why bother them?
We know they think different to us.
Fundamentalists still stone women, in the middle-east.
My wife, a Muslim by birth, did not contact her children on Christmas Day.
They do feel hurt.
They are with their parents-in-law, who are not overtly Christian, but follow a western tradition.
My wife and I are both Muslim and yet we have different views of Christmas and western traditions.
And our children know it. It is sad that their mother does understand. Myself and our children probably know more about Islam than many Muslims, and certainly more than my wife, who learnt the Quaran by "rote".
@maraml Thank you very much. A Common Word is indeed an excellent site.
@maraml...."No one can force a Muslim to do or not do anything, because the bottom line is God, not a person" .... LOL you too are a person LOL! Then why don't you practice what you preach ... why don't you read, learn and obey the Commandments of The Only One Creator of the universe instead of trying to be extra smart LOL!!! You truly are a drone!!!
@maraml I don't know who you are, but you are sure very cunning! You are probably a "drone"! You talk about the Quran but you ignore the fact that the Quran also warns that attributing a son/partner/father/mother/etc. to The One Creator is the greatest sin in His sight for which He will eternally punish whoever does so. And then again you say that it is OK for Muslims to congratulate the Christians on their celebration of "the birth of the only begotten son of god", something that is most hateful in the sight of The Only One Creator of the universe! Muslims don't stop Christians (or anyone else for that matter) from worshiping/celebrating whatever it is they want, but Muslims do remind each other, as commanded by The Only One Creator of the universe, to not part take or not congratulate people for their shirk/kufr/disobedience to The Only One Creator of the universe.
Yes, there is no compulsion in religion, but that is to follow a certain religion. However, if one claims to be following a religion then they must follow all of the commands of that religion or else they are hypocrites. For example, if one does not want to be a Muslim, then there is absolutely no compulsion upon him/her to be a Muslim, but if a person claims to be a Muslim out of their own freewill then they must obey all the commandments of The Only One Creator of the universe. If a person claims to be a Muslim but does not obey all the commandments of The Only One Creator of the universe such a person is a hypocrite. So what are you???
Basically you are trying to be just another one of the thousands of ""Saint" Pauls" in Islam are you? The so called "siant" Paul pretended to be a believer in Jesus Alaihessalam and then started saying things about him that were not true, and eventually tricked people into committing all sorts of shirk/kufr in the very name of Jesus Alaihessalam, Subhan Allah. Please do fear The Only One Creator of the universe and change yourself so that He may reward you with eternal Paradise as opposed to eternal hell!
@maramlIt is really not for you to think how you want to obey/worship The One Creator of the universe, if it is indeed Him alone you worship! Believing in and worshiping The One Creator of the universe also means to obey His every command and that of His final Prophet Sul Allahu Alahie Wa Sullum. So, in the interest of your own well being (especially in the Hereafter) I urge you to study a lot more deeper and thoroughly the religion you claim you have "reverted" to insh'Allah. Please let us all strive to not be like what "Saint" Paul was to Christianity ... we may very well get away on this earth but when death comes there is no getting away ... each one of us has a very clear choice and it's very clear as to what The Truth is!
I agree with your statement, "that it is silly for Muslims to make a big deal of separateness..." In fact I think it silly for people of any faith, whether they live in the dominant culture or not, to make 'a big deal of separateness'. That is why I find your statement "I only mix with other converts" to be somewhat inconsistent.
When religion divides humanity it serves the interests of men, not God.
Marami, I appreciate your comment as you have helped me justify myself.
You appear to have an overall grasp and understanding of Islam, and convey your view quite clearly, which has added to my knowledge.
@Andrew MIt is indeed important to understand what we are told about anything in life by The One Creator of the universe. Learning and teaching each other, including our children, about what The One Creator of the universe commands us in the Quran, the last revelation to mankind and jinn, is the only way to truly benefit all on earth as there is no one even close to the level of knowledge, wisdom and instruction that The One Creator of the universe has!
@DaughterOfAbraham Yes, but they are minorities, similar to the minorities in all religions who for example may see it as their duty to kill someone.
The example you use of the church-sect vilifying Mary is equally abhorent as of those Muslims who kill others in the name of Allah.
I am married to a Muslim, who does not accept Jesus's name being mentioned in our house.
These are all minorities. You are right in what you conclude, but be aware that the majority of Christians are also appalled by the wrong you describe.
Do you have a view on expected Muslim behaviour at Christmas time? Sure, attitudes will differ from country to country, dependant on the dominant culture, but do you have a view to share from your standing?
I think your view is important to share.
Thanks, Andrew M.
Hi. Please don't miss the whole truth. Jesus is God. God created you. You came from Him. We all did. We all belong to Him, but our choices of heart of Who He is separates us from Him. We have to follow HIS ways, not what the many different religions dictate by any MAN's idea. I know the Koran says that Jesus will come back and say that He made a mistake and that all Jews and Christians must be killed. That is not the same Jesus in the Bible. That is not the Jesus Who loves you and died for your sins. If you ask Him SINCERELY, He will supernaturally let you know His reality. But your heart must be sincere. He loves everyone and wants us all to be one. There is only one TRUE God. He made us all and has a plan for salvation. We little humans set up different rules. We are taught that from generation to generation, and sincerely believe it with all our hearts. But it takes us off the path to heaven and puts us on a path to eternal torment. Eternal. That was never God's plan for our eternity. But by our belief we either reject the one Almighty God or we take Him into our lives and experience His reality, His peace, His love, the amazing things He wants to do in you, His powerful Love! He died to give you all this. Please don't exclude yourself from Him. He paid a high price for your soul, so that your eternal destiny would be with Him in glory and inexpressible beauty and happiness. He came to rescue us ALL from eternal torture in hell. I would have gone there if I died in recent years. I now follow His commands and love Him with all my heart. Please, please...open your heart to Him, the Jesus of the Christian Bible.
Will it be possible for you and your wife to have a sitting with your lovely family members every weekend and read translated version of Quraan for comprehension of all? I think that would redress your grudge that your wife and daughter (Mashallah) know Quraan by rote alone. Just ensure the environment is as affectionete as Allah SWT. :-)
Regarding Allah's "rahmah", your lovely daughter, does she learn Quraan alone? If yes, a mate or group learning will solve the issue. If not, enquire if she would like to learn it from some other Qaree. Teachers are said to be next to parents because they are supposed to be affectionate and instruct interestedly, yet be vigilent for errors.
Do not forget to appreciate her learning and even reward when she excels in Tilawat of it. I hope you and your wife listen to her lessons...and that may be a good moment to translate the verses she read/recite for her/others comprehension.
All the best!
Not only can Western society learn from Islamic views on Jesus, but we would do well to appreciate other things as well. For example: Eid-al-Adha. Abraham is the father of us all (Christians, Jews, Muslims) but for some reasons Christians don't think about their religious orgins in the way that Jews and Muslims do. I think they should.
What if Islamic views of gambling and alcohol became prevalent in the West? The end result would be a better society with a reduction in the crime aqnd other harms caused by these evils.
I am a Christian but I feel kinship with my Islamic Brothers and Sisters.
Dear Andrew. I believe that most Muslims respect Jesus and that some "Christians" who do not show respect could learn much from Muslims about this. When MyPeace Australia launched its billboard campaing saying that Jesus was a prophet of Islam some ignorant Christians took offence. They failed to understand 1. The basics of Islam and 2. that for Muslims to show respect to Jesus in no way detracts from the Christian understanding of Jesus. I found their outbursts embarrassing and ignorant.
Expected Muslim behaviour at Christmas time? Christmas may be based ona pagan festival but it may also be at that time of year because maybe Jesus was born then(who knows?) or because the Jewish festival of hannukah is then. Every Christian festival (Easter, Pentecost) has a Jewish mirror. Even if the timing has a pagan origin it is a time when many stop to remember the birth of Jesus and to spend time with family (even those who have no faith and who succumb to commercialism may get this benefit from it). If people disagree then I believe we need to show each other mutual respect and be polite.
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