A New Convert Torn Between Celebrating `Eid and Christmas

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Question and Answer Details

Title

A New Convert Torn Between Celebrating `Eid and Christmas

Question

Dear scholars, As-Salamu `alaykum. I am the only Muslim in my family (they are Christian), as I am a convert. With the Christmas season approaching I am feeling torn. I do have a small group of Muslim friends to celebrate `Eid with, but I am feeling funny about attending these celebrations without my family (they would be welcomed but won't go). As well, I feel out of place attending all my family Christmas celebrations as I know everyone hates that I am a Muslim. Can you give me some advice on how to get through `Eid and Christmas without being torn apart emotionally? Thank you for your time

Date

03/Nov/2005

Name of Mufti

Ahmad Kutty

Topic

Customs & Traditions, Da`wah to Non- & New Muslims

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 questioner, we invoke Allah to grant you happiness, blessings and joy on the day of `Eid! We implore Allah, Most High, to make the approaching `Eid Al-Fitr a moment of blessing and joy for every Muslim, Amen!

In Islam, `Eid is a day of joy, thanksgiving, worship, brotherhood, solidarity, and morality. A Muslim should take the advantage of this day to bring himself nearer to Allah, Most High.

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

I understand your predicament. You are advised to seek solace and strength in Allah. You are allowed to participate in the general festivities of your family relating to the Christmas or the holiday season [as long as alcohol or pork are not served], while abstaining from the specific religious rituals associated with the same. You ought to remember the struggle of Jesus against the cumbersome formalities of the Judaic religion prevailing in his time. Jesus kept away from them in spirit and soul while participating in them. You may also do the same.

You should participate in `Eid celebration with full heart. It should be easy for you to do the same if you were to reflect on the fact that `Eid Al-Fitr is instituted by Allah to celebrate our achievements in the blessed month of Ramadan; it is at once a sublime thanksgiving and a great spiritual victory.

As compared to this, the Christmas celebration was never instituted by Allah, nor was it celebrated by the early Christians who were the closest to the pristine teachings of Jesus. It is rather a compromise made to the pagan religious cults flourishing in the lands that were conquered by Christians.

In order to seek spiritual solace and comfort in Allah, you are advised to make use of the following the following supplications:

Hasbiya Allahu la ilaha illahuwa `alayhi tawakkaltu wahuwa rabbu al-`arshi al-`azim (Allah is sufficient for me; there is no god but He; in Him alone I place all my trust; He is the Lord of the mighty throne.)

While reading this, it is worth remembering the words of Allah, (Whoever trusts in Allah, He suffices him/her.) (At-Talaq 65: 3)

Read also the following:

Allahumma ya muqalliba al-qulub, thabbit qalbi `ala dinika. Allahumma ya muqalliba al-qulub, thabbit qalbi `ala al-haqqi. Allahumma ya muqalliba al-qulub, thabbit qalbi `ala ta`atika. (O Allah! You are the twister of hearts! Make my heart firm on Your religion. O Allah! You are the twister of hearts! Make my heart firm on truth. O Allah! You are the twister of hearts! Make my heart firm on obedience to You.)

May Allah grant you true solace and comfort, Amen.

The convert on our staff advises that you make the most of your `Eid by spending it with your Muslim friends and exchanging gifts. You might also want to eat with them special foods that you used to have at Christmas (such as cookies). This way, some of the joy and happy memories of past Christmases will then be associated with `Eid and you wonít miss Christmas so much.

As Sheikh Ahmad advised, you can participate in your familyís celebrations if alcohol and pork are not served. If they insist on serving these items, arrange to visit your parents at another time on Christmas. For example, if your family gathers for dinner, visit your parents in the late morning or early afternoon and bring them gifts.

If you are still living at home and alcohol or pork will be served at the family gathering, make arrangements in advance to meet your Muslim friends at that time so that you donít spend the day alone.

Whatever you do, do not get into arguments with family members at this time. Let the gathering be a happy one for all. If they tease you about your Islam, try to take it in stride and not be angered about it, but ask them not to make fun of your religion. Such gatherings are not the best time to make da`wah not by word but by your example. If they persist, then quietly leave. Make arrangements ahead with your Muslim friends so that you can go to them if the family gathering gets uncomfortable.








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