Why Muslims should celebrate Thanksgiving?

Epigraph: And, truly, thy Lord is gracious to mankind, but most of them are not grateful. (Al Quran 27:74)

Baitul Hameed Mosque and Imam Shamshad A. Nasir

By Imam Shamshad A. Nasir of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community

Baitul Hameed Mosque – 909-627-2252 – 11941 Ramona Ave. – Chino, CA 91710)

Can Muslims celebrate Thanksgiving? Of course they can! Muslims should celebrate Thanksgiving because it’s all about being thankful to God and that is what Islam is all about. As Muslims, we are taught that God blesses us all the time — indeed, every breath we take is a gift from God — and so we should be grateful to God all the time. To this end, Islam teaches prayers of thanks to God for every circumstance and activity — from going to sleep and waking up, to starting and finishing a meal, to entering and leaving a mosque. In short, being thankful to God is part of a Muslim’s daily life and prayers.
Hand-in-hand with this fact is Islam’s requirement to deliver God’s blessings to others in the form of good works, charity or even just a kind word to a stranger so they, too, can feel the warmth of human kindness and perhaps show their thankfulness to God by “paying it forward” however and whenever they can. This is why serving humanity and doing good deeds for God’s sake alone is a requirement of the faith. Saying you care about others means nothing if you don’t prove it with your acts of loving-kindness to God’s creatures and your fellow human beings.
This Thanksgiving Day (and every day before and after it), I am grateful to be free to be thankful to God in the manner I so choose. Freedom of religion is perhaps the greatest liberty we are blessed with in this country. It can be argued that all other freedoms arise from this one essential freedom. In many other nations – especially in so-called Muslim nations — the freedom to practice your religion is either non-existent, outlawed or severely restricted.
To outlaw or limit a person’s God-given right to believe and practice their religion as they choose is the worst form of oppression because it targets not just the body or the mind, but the very soul. To deny anyone’s freedom of faith is to deny their soul’s right to communion with God. And so, in gratitude to America and its Constitution which provides for complete freedom of religious expression, I humbly and gratefully say, “Thank You.”
Thanksgiving also provides Muslims with the opportunity to remember our loved ones who have passed on, and to thank our service men and women for all they do and have sacrificed so we can be free.
On this Thanksgiving, we will spend time with our families in personal thankfulness to God, but we will also show our thankfulness by doing our five daily prayers, by striving to be the best Muslims we can, and by bettering ourselves and our communities and the world in which we live. May God bless us and may we all be ever thankful to Him for all of our continued blessings. Amen.

Additional Reading

Ten Raised to Five Hundred Reasons for Our Gracious God

Traditionally turkeys are cooked for Thanksgiving dinner

6 replies

  1. Imam Shamshad Ahmad Nasir is one of the most active missionaries with an excellent press relation. He is also a very good. Great write that I will be able to use tomorrow at Thanksgiving Dunner I am hosting for a select umber of guests at the famous CHANDNI RESTAURANT here in San Francisco Bay Area.

    I have posted the even as MUSLIMS 4 THANKSGIVING out of strong belief we Muslims must take advantage of this 4 Day long weekend not just for fun and pleasure but to devote some time offering thanks to Allah.

    My emphasis will be on s verse of the Holy Quran in which Allah complains ” SHAKARAN KALEELAN” that mankind offer very little thanks to Allah.

    Thanks to Imam Shanshad Nasir sahib for added clarity.

    Happy Thanksgiving.

    Alhumdo Lillah!

  2. This is in reply to the article published in The Muslim Times , “Why Muslims. Should celebrate Thanksgiving?” By Imam Shamshad A. Naser of Almadiyya Muslim Community USA, On November 28, 2013.

    Thanks for publishing this article article about Thanksgiving. Sure, everything is a blessing and a gift of God Almighty and we must acknowledge that with a humble heart and a content soul. God Almighty has bestowed unaccountable things to us human beings, but most of the time we just take it for granted. We don’t even think about them as a privilege, to us they are just our birth right. Like a warm and a beautiful home, delicious and nice meals that we get, comfortable clothes that we wear, beautiful children and spouse that are a source of happiness for us and many many more.
    Today , right now, even for a moment if we pause and sit in silence and look all around us, we will be able to reflect on our lives and be grateful to God, the most gracious and merciful for all his gifts bestowed upon mankind.

    May God be our guide in every step of the way and may He always extends his shade of love and mercy and shower his choicest blessings on all.

    Today I will end on a famous quote of William Arthur Ward, “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”
    So, let’s take this time to express our thanks for these wonderful blessings. Happy Thanksgivings to all.

    Seema Chowdhury
    Maple, Canada

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