I know I know it’s early January and Christmas just passed and I should have written this last month, but hear me out! I wanted to have all these Christmasy photos to show you with the written text that’s why it’s coming out now. Also, I am still looking back fondly of all the great food I had!
Let’s get right to it:
Can Muslims celebrate Christmas?
The answer is different depending on who you ask. There are Islamic school of thoughts that completely forbids it and others that are relaxed with it. There is also cultural interpretation along side the religion and so on. Nothing is an easy answer and nothing is a harsh yes or no like some might lead you to believe. The answer almost always depends on a whole host of things. In my case, YES Muslims can celebrate Christmas if they want to.
Living in this Europe (London!) with my multinational friends who come from all kinds of backgrounds and races, I had to adjust. It was not by force, but by friendship and the surroundings I have and when you are living in London you can hardly escape all the festivities and to be honest I don’t want to escape them! I love all the lights and all the cheer! I even captured in on video to show you hehe.
In the Islamic faith we believe Jesus is one of the prophets sent on this Earth from God. We have a whole chapter (Sura) in the Quran about Holy Mary. We share a lot of the prophets and their stories, so if people want to honour him then why not. There is even a really cool Iranian TV series showing the story of Holy Mary and the birth of Jesus. The date of the birth of Jesus is believed to be different depending on text, but I am not here to discuss that. Besides, as Muslims (ok some Muslims), we celebrate the birth of our own prophet as well: Prophet Mohammad and here is a post that explain that: The Validity of Celebrating the Prophet’s Birth in Islam: Analyzing the Debate. Celebrating prophets and the holy messages they brought us is a thing. Regardless of all theses debates, I am here to tell you about me and my views!
This is how I see it: The last month of the year in Europe has the shortest days of the years, the least amount of sunshine, the longest darkest nights and the most festive lights and spirit. To some that’s the festive joyful season of Christmas, the month when Jesus Christ is born, to others it is winter solstice or a big marketing shambles for consumers to consume. To me however, it is time off taken from the craziness of last minute deadlines to be with people close to my heart, to eat until my tummy is full and happy. If gifts come with that too then I am even happier. To be honest, I need multiple celebrations in every month of winter at this rate.
What do Muslims Celebrate?
I hear you. I am being greedy. I do my own Islamic celebrations known as Eid 1 (Eid Al Fetra) and Eid 2 (Eid Al Adha) and now this! Yes I am afraid so. I am a hoarder of happiness, gifts, good compay and delicious food #SorryNotSorry! The Eid celebrations entail the same exact things: Family, Food and Gifts (or sometimes bits of money from the elders). The thing you should be aware of however is that Eid is not tied to a season like Winter or Spring. It is tied to specific months: Ramadan and Thu Alhuja. These months are based on the Arabic calendar and that is based on the moon movement, which falls in different seasons each year. It moves approximately by 31 days every year. Also our celebrations are related to Islamic practices. For the first Eid, it comes after fasting and the second Eid, it comes after the once in a life time Islamic pilgrimage.
Bottom line, live and let live. Enjoy the moments with your loved ones, eat and be happy! :)