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A Christmas present to a Muslim

First of all … I am a Muslim (not a very devout one, but still I am a Muslim).

I don’t believe that Jesus is God’s son because according to Al Ikhlas verse 3 “God neither begets nor is born.” I, however, believe that Jesus (frequently mentioned in Al Quran as Isa al Masih) is a messenger of God, just like Abraham and Muhammad (pbuh). I know my Christian friends will not be angry by reading these lines. This is the part where we are different right? If not, then there will be no Christian and Muslim, right? (More diverse more festive; what’s so good about black and white?)

Therefore, there lies my ideological foundation of my religion. Up to now, despite various temptations, nothing has succeeded in making me discard that.

As Christmas is approaching, the Muslim world is brewing with annual, ongoing, never ending and relentless (I think I am running out of adjectives here [each adjective leads to different stories]) debates about whether Muslims are allowed to extend Christmas greetingsto their Christian friends.

It’s funny though. Despite various fatwas forbidding Muslims to extend X-Mas greetings, many Muslims still ‘participate’ in Christmas celebrations. How come?  

Well, have you gone to malls lately? In Jakarta, there is no mall which is absent with Christmas decorations. They were so festive that I love it (please note, I am still a Muslim. I just like the decorations. Am I allowed to do that? Or not? oh well) The Christmas nuance – decorated Christmas trees  and artificial snows (made of cottons, I guess) – is oddly enjoyed not only by Christian visitors! Some Muslims enjoy them too!


I swear that I watched a woman donning head scarf standing in a crowd of Christmas carol performance(Dang, I did not take a photo). Some (also Muslim women, indicated by their attires) just narcissistically took photos in front of Christmas trees (The photo on the left is from Al Arabiya. Read its story here). While some others joined an adventure to get branded goods in best prices (hail Christmas and New Year discounts!). The shoppers –dominated by women (no sexism intended) – bought various clothing for their husbands, male family members, their children and themselves.

Can such actions be branded in the participation of Christmas celebration? Well, let God decide it… I am not interested to join in the debates in this post. I do not think I have adequate theological knowledge on the matter. Please humbly forgive me for that.

Now, I am working in an office which is dominated by Christians. Even, in my section, I am the only Muslim here. And guess what? I am really appreciated by them.

Every time we have luncheon or dinner together in a fancy restaurant, my colleagues will always remind me to get halal food. They even always warn me if the served dishes contain haram food. Some will remind me not to forget my weekly Friday prayer.

This week, they invited me to a Christmas treat. And I willingly joined them. (Why not? it’s just a gathering which coincidentally happens next to Christmas time. Therefore it is labeled so.)

As usual, we had dinner at a restaurant. Also as always, I was warned about which dishes contain haram ingredients. By the end of the day, my colleague Leah Smith gave me a Christmas present. And it is very beautiful.

So here is my Christmas present …..

Quranic Christmas present: 
Lovely isn’t it? She handwrote the Arabic writings and the Indonesian translation of the verse. She made the frames by herself. I was so honored to be given the present. Thank you Leah for giving it to me! I really apreciate all of your efforts!

So, will I extend Christmas greetings to them? Yeah sure! I will extend the greeting as a sincere gesture of a friend to a friend. I still believe that my basic ideology aforementioned on the second line will not be tainted just because of the greeting.  I think God really knows my intention of conveying such greetings. (I meant no harm to you God, please not :) ). This gesture is to help me maintain my good relationship with my Christian friends.

The very last of all ... Religion is about me and my Creator right?


Ps: please do not leave theological comments or debates in this post . If you insist, you better drop your comments here. Thanks!!

Comments

  1. Invictus
    By William Henley

    Out of the night covers me black as the pit from pole to pole
    I thank whatever gods may be for my unconquerable soul
    In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud
    Under the bludgeonings of chance my head is bloody, but unbowed
    Beyond this place of wrath and tears looms but the horror of the shade
    And yet the menace of the years finds and shall me unafraid
    It matters not how strait the gate, how charged with punishments the scroll.
    I AM THE MASTER OF MY FATE....
    I AM THE CAPTAIN OF MY SOUL.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice quote Daniel. Thx for dropping by at my blog ;)

      I AM THE MASTER OF MY FATE....
      I AM THE CAPTAIN OF MY SOUL.

      Delete
  2. [_Can such actions be branded in the participation of Christmas celebration?_]

    It's more of a secular celebration, commodified by capitalists (*snap) making it even less and less related to its actual religious root. I guess.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes brother you are right !! But still there may be silly ulama out there who will forbid Muslims to participate in such 'celebrations'

      Probably you have heard that the Banda Aceh administration has banned New Year's Eve celebration (despite how secular it is!)

      Delete
    2. Actually despite your political statement in the post, one can sense that you have a slight moral conflict too, like in this one:

      [_Why not? it’s just a gathering which coincidentally happens next to Christmas time._]

      *) thus the trolling begins hihihi.

      Delete
    3. Actually i was not hesitated when they asked me

      It is just my style to show tha I have a slight moral conflict

      *ngeles

      Delete

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