Why (and How) Should Muslim Americans ‘Celebrate’ Christmas?

By: Dr. Faheem Younus

Source: The Huffington Post

Every December, Muslim youth, parents and converts in the Western countries face a familiar dilemma: Why (or how) should they “celebrate” Christmas?

On this issue, Muslim scholars are divided. Integrators like the British Cabinet Minister, Baroness Warsi admonish immigrant Muslims to “celebrate Christmas in traditional style, with carols, Santa … and Nativity plays.” Instigators like the Indian televangelist Zakir Naik caution British youth against saying “Merry Christmas” as it would be haram (religiously forbidden) and be like “building your place in hell.” Innovators like the Egyptian scholar Ahmad Deedat shrug off the controversy altogether. “Since we believe in Jesus and if we knew his date of birth” — the only sticking point for him — “why would we not commemorate the birth of Christ?”

Now if my head is spinning, imagine the dizziness of a Muslim convert whose family might still be decorating a Christmas tree.

For Muslim Americans, craving for pragmatic solutions, such theological gridlock is frustrating. Does it provide for a juicy discussion? Absolutely. But nothing fruitful comes out of these discussions.

So let me share the practices of five devout Muslims and true blue Americans — known to me — who join the holiday spirit with their communities in positive ways.

One: A hijab wearing Muslim women told me how she gave $20 gift cards to her garbage collectors before Christmas, thinking about the prophets who used to embrace the “untouchables” in the communities.

Two: Three years ago, a young Muslim youth leader urged me to support him in adopting Christian families. He collaborated with Muslims communities and local churches and ended up adopting nearly 150 families over two Christmas seasons.

Read More:

2 replies

  1. On many occasions, I have given my solid argued views with concrete proofs and evidence that let alone Muslims, Christians should even give up celebrating Christmas. Reason is one and undeniable, it’s proved unanimously that Jesus was not born on 25th December and it’s a pagan festival.

    The second reason that deters this celebration is logical outcome of such celebrations, only waste of money and time; no moral, social or communal gain. There is no focus on teachings of Jesus.

    I do not agree with both mindsets. Warsi has no authority to advise such thing. Her statement reflects deep political pressure she has on her head every time in a society where Islam-phobic is a table-talk according to her own statement she gave some time ago. Her regular emotional and irrational statements again reveal these stateswomen (Thatcher, Markel, Benazir etc) instinctual shortcomings which are discriminately overlooked by pseudo progressive and modern society advocators. Whereas Zakir has an extreme approach in this regard. This is absolutely un-Islamic not to reciprocate with at least same warm and sincere greetings if someone greets you with sincerity. A true Muslim must show his/her sincere and affections towards friend(s) who wishes to share his/her moments of happiness provided that it remains within teachings of Qur’an and Sunnah and to wish Christmas greetings in reciprocation is as according to Islam but not celebration or participate such gatherings where un-Islamic things are practiced.

Leave a Reply