Celebrating Christmas With Christian Parents

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Question and Answer Details

Name of Questioner

Selma   - Canada

Title

Celebrating Christmas With Christian Parents

Question

Dear scholars, As-salamu `alaykum. I became Muslim 3 years ago Al-hamdu lillah. I am married now and have a one-year-old baby girl. My parents are Catholics. My question is that Xmas (Christmas) is around the corner now. I really need your advice about visiting my parents for Xmas. My parents have been good so far about me being Muslim. It was hard at the beginning. Can you please get back to me in this regard?

Date

29/Dec/2005

Name of Counsellor

Ahmad Kutty

Topic

Children & Parenthood

Answer

Wa `alaykum as-salamu wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Dear sister in Islam, we are greatly impressed by your question, for it’s related to the affairs of the new Muslims. We seize the chance to earnestly implore Allah from the depths of our hearts to lead all perplexed men and women to the light of Islam, the true religion of Allah. We welcome all our new Muslim brothers and sisters to the fold of Islam.

Islam is all for treating our parents, relatives, and friends compassionately. As a Muslimah, it is your duty to be most gentle and kind to your parents. You are allowed to participate in the festivities of Christmas or holiday seasons on the condition that you abstain from specific religious rituals associated with them, if any.

In his response to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:

I commend you for your zeal to practice your religion while keeping good relations with your parents. Islam is all about keeping good relations and being kind and helpful to your parents. The fact that they are not Muslims should not prevent you or inhibit your visiting them and staying with them and being charitable and kind towards them. Allah says in the Qur’an, (And We have recommended to man his parents; his mother bore him in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning was in two years. Thank Me and your two parents. To Me is the return. But if they try to force you to associate with Me that of which you have no knowledge, then obey them not. Keep their company with kindness in this world, and follow the path of him who turns to Me. Then to Me will be your return, and I shall tell you what you did) (Luqman 31: 14-15).

Based on this, you ought to be kind to your parents, regardless of your religious differences with them. While doing so, however, you must never compromise the principles of your own religion.

Now coming to the issue of Christmas, you are allowed to visit your parents, exchange gifts and partake in their feasts, as long as you stay away from their specific religious observances. For as it should be obvious to you that as Muslims we do not believe in the specific Christian dogmas of the divinity of Jesus or the concept of Original Sin. However, this does not mean that you cannot wish them happiness on such occasions; you are certainly allowed to do so, provided you do not compromise your specific beliefs in this matter, and provided you are clear in your own mind about the issue that you are simply wishing them happiness and reciprocating kindness with kindness. Islam teaches us that we must, at all times, reciprocate kindness with kindness and treat all people with fairness and compassion; we are allowed to harbor enmity only towards those who are hostile and aggressive towards us.

Before concluding, let me also point out an important fact: Islam spread, insofar as it has spread throughout the five continents, not through the sword, but primarily because of the tolerance, fairness, mercy, and compassion manifested by those who claimed to be Muslims. After all, Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) as has been stated clearly in the Qur’an, was sent by Allah (as a mercy for the worlds) (Al-Anbiya’ 21: 107). So I advise you to remain steadfast in your practice of Islam, while being tolerant and compassionate towards your parents, kith and kin, neighbors, Muslims, fellow human beings as well as fellow creatures of Allah.

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islam.ca








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