Carols, Lights, and Fresh Christmas Trees - Is Celebrating Wrong?
Is there anything wrong with a Muslim convert buying a fresh Christmas tree and decorating it with ornaments, lights? For a Muslim, this is forbidden.
The best day of any devout Muslim convert's life is when they recite the shahadah (declaration of faith) and are welcomed into Islam. It is a day of great joy and jubilation and Muslims believe that it is a day when one's sins are washed away. The new Muslim is like a newborn baby, pure and clean. It is also a day when the new Muslim convert stops celebrating Christmas holidays.
One of the more difficult things for a new Muslim convert to accomplish is to go away from Christian Holidays and to follow the sunnah (way of the Prophet). In Islam, one can think of Jesus as a prophet, just like Moses, Abraham, Noah and others, but Muslims do not celebrate their birthdays.
Christmas is about celebrating Jesus birth. Since Muslims are not allowed to celebrate births — not even the Prophet's birth — Christmas is a forbidden celebration for Muslims. Actions like celebrating birthdays or accepting invitations to a birthday party are considered bid'ah (innovations).
Muslim Converts Should Respect Others During the Holidays
Muslim converts should remember this holiday is not only about Jesus and his birth, but about family gatherings and gift giving to others who are less fortunate. For this reason, it's believed that one should be kind and gracious to all neighbors. Muslims are expected to respect the holiday and they must never mock others for their celebrations. Kindness and an easy manner is the best way to show non-Muslims, the real love of Islam.
"And insult not those whom they (disbelievers) worship besides God, lest they insult God wrongfully without knowledge. Thus We have made fair-seeming to each people its own doings; then to their Lord is their return and He shall then inform them of all that they used to do," according to Quran, 6:108.
Muslims are also advised, "Do not argue with the People of the Book unless it is in the politest manner, except for those of them who do wrong. Say: 'We believe in what has been sent down to us and what has been sent down to you. Our God and your God is [the same] One, and we are Muslims before Him.'" (Quran, 29:46).
Fresh Christmas Trees are Still Christmas Trees
In America, there are millions of Muslims and they are surrounded by the joys and laughter of the Christmas season and their minds begin to wonder. They become more and more Americanized in their thinking and begin to ask, "Is it wrong to buy a Christmas Tree and to decorate it just for the children?"
Some Muslims may decide to purchase fresh Christmas trees and leave them in a clay pot with soil and decorate them with lights and ornaments and then after the season is over, the tree is planted outside. Technically, this practice goes against the sunnah and all Muslims are advised to abstain from this practice.
Muslim Holidays Display Outside Christmas Lighting
Many homes on EID (Muslim holidays) do decorate their homes with lights similar to outside Christmas lights and they place decorations on their homes and doors. Is Christmas decorating any different? The difference is that on EID, Muslims are celebrating and praising Allah and sending blessings on the most beloved Prophet Mohammad.
Decorating for Christmas and celebrating with non-believers is against Islam and forbidden. The only holidays that a Muslim celebrates are the two EIDs (al-fitr and al-adha). Many Muslims are tempted to exchange gifts with family members, as this is traditional in America and other westernized cultures.
The Muslim convert who has recently left their family may be sad and depressed at this time of the year as they recall gathering around the Christmas tree singing songs and opening presents. But for a convert, the Christian holiday season is a good time to gather with fellow Muslims and have a religious gathering, such as a lunch served and listening to Quran. This can eliminate feelings of loneliness, while promoting fellowship with individuals who share the same religious beliefs.
Converts to Islam Should Know that Music is Forbidden in Islam
Recent converts to Islam may not be aware, but music, whether it is Christmas music or pop-culture music, is forbidden in Islam except with the use of a drum (ad-duff). It is traditional at Islamic wedding to have a drum there for music. Music is haram (forbidden). If you listen to many Christmas songs, the lyrics state that Jesus is the son of God and this is attributing partners to Allah and this is considered shirk (unforgivable sin).
According to Abdullah bin America, "We wish our Christian neighbors joy and peace of their holiday, but [for Muslims] Christmas has nothing to offer and much to avoid."
*Muslims invoke Allah's blessings on the Prophet Muhammad whenever this name is mentioned.
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