Do Muslims Celebrate Christmas?

As Christmas has just passed one can observe that a lot of non Christians and perhaps even some Muslims partook in the festivities. However, is it religiously ethical to “celebrate” Christmas? People argue that Christmas has become a commercialised global occasion and so being a part of it is a social and cultural celebration, not so much religious.

The truth however, is not the case, no matter how overwhelmingly large the Christmas industry becomes, at the core it is a religious celebration. Christmas as believed by Christians, celebrates the birth of the son of god, which by default goes against the teachings of Islam. In Islam, such a belief is blasphemy- denial of God’s oneness.

Therefore taking part in such celebrations or norms such as decorating a tree for instance isn’t just part of being socially accepted. Instead, it validates the Christian faith, and demeans the Muslim belief.

No ones saying to shun the holiday period or be anti Christmas, just be aware that instead of wishing your colleagues “Merry Christmas” a good Muslim is better off wishing them a “Happy Holiday” 

What is Sunnah?

Sunnah consists of the practices of the prophet Muhammad pbuh during his life aimed at setting an example for Muslims everywhere. Sunnah is inclusive of the Prophet’s routine, practices, and habits. The word Sunnah literally translates to a pathway or flow which in religious context relates to the recommended shari’ah lifestyle.

Sunnah is also relatively synonymous with Hadith. Sunnah (the prophet’s actions) were recorded by his companions in the Hadith.

Muhammad pbuh was the prophet of god, however his job was not just to deliver the holy scripture and be a mere vessel for dissemination of knowledge. The prophet exemplified the words he preached from the Quran. He related the Quran to the people and lived as a moral example so that people better understood the Quran, also avoiding the chance of misinterpretation.

The Quran recognises that the Prophet is the best example for other believers as it commands 3:32 “Obey God and his Messenger”

However this is not to be mistaken for worshipping the Prophet, instead he is shown as the ultimate role model, which is why his way of life is Sunnah, the clear path. By adhering to the Sunnah, Muslims are following the way of life prescribed in the Quran and accordingly becoming closer to Allah and living their lives perpetually following the word of Allah.

What if your Dua is not accepted?

Dua(supplication) is a fundamental aspect of Muslim prayer. People are encouraged to make Dua after each prayer, before bed, before starting something challenging, before anything really. There is no confinement or limitation on Dua.

However sometimes when people want something and make Dua for it they find themselves in facing a stale mate as there Duas are not fulfilled in a miraculous instance.

So there are 3 possibilities that can occur after one makes Dua. (For instance, you pray for a new job- an overly simplified example)

1. The Dua will be granted immediately (you get a job offer the following morning)

2. Allah will not accept your Dua in terms of giving you the job, but will lift the hardship that would have resulted from having no income because of that Dua perhaps you would not run out of food.

3. If neither of the prior two occur, then Allah saves the reward from your dua for the day of judgement, where all your unaccepted Duas from the world will be transformed into good deeds.

So making Dua only results in a win win situation and one should always make Dua and never fail to recognise how just, fair and merciful Allah is.

Surah Al Qadr – Dua for Laylat Al Qadr

97:1

Indeed, We sent the Qur’an down during the Night of Decree.

97:2

And what can make you know what is the Night of Decree?

97:3

The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months.

97:4

The angels and the Spirit descend therein by permission of their Lord for every matter.

97:5

Peace it is until the emergence of dawn.

Innaa Anzalnaahu Fiy Laylatil Qadr (1)

Wa Maa Adraaka Maa Laylatul Qadr (2)

Laylatul Qadri Khayrum Min Alfi Shahr (3)

Tanazzalul Malaaikatu War Ruuhu fiyhaa Bi Idhni Rabbihim Min Kulli Amr (4)

Salaamun Hiya Hattaa Matla’Il Fajr (5)

Ayut Al Kursi – The Verse of the Throne

اللَّهُ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ الْحَيُّ الْقَيُّومُ لاَ تَأْخُذُهُ سِنَةٌ وَلاَ نَوْمٌ لَهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الأَرْضِ مَنْ ذَا الَّذِي يَشْفَعُ عِنْدَهُ إِلاَّ بِإِذْنِهِ يَعْلَمُ مَا بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمَا خَلْفَهُمْ وَلاَ يُحِيطُونَ بِشَيْءٍ مِنْ عِلْمِهِ إِلاَّ بِمَا شَاءَ وَسِعَ كُرْسِيُّهُ السَّمَاو ;َاتِ وَالأَرْضَ وَلاَ يَئُودُهُ حِفْظُهُمَا وَهُوَ الْعَلِيُّ الْعَظِيمُ

 

Allahu la ilaha illa Huwa, Al-Haiyul-Qaiyum La ta’khudhuhu sinatun wa la nawm, lahu ma fis-samawati wa ma fil-‘ard Man dhal-ladhi yashfa’u ‘indahu illa bi-idhnihi Ya’lamu ma baina aidihim wa ma khalfahum, wa la yuhituna bi shai’im-min ‘ilmihi illa bima sha’a Wasi’a kursiyuhus-samawati wal ard, wa la ya’uduhu hifdhuhuma Wa Huwal ‘Aliyul-Adheem

“Allah! There is no god but He – the Living, The Self-subsisting, Eternal. No slumber can seize Him Nor Sleep. His are all things In the heavens and on earth. Who is there can intercede In His presence except As he permitteth? He knoweth What (appeareth to His creatures As) Before or After or Behind them. Nor shall they compass Aught of his knowledge Except as He willeth. His throne doth extend Over the heavens And on earth, and He feeleth No fatigue in guarding And preserving them, For He is the Most High. The Supreme (in glory).”
[Surah al-Baqarah 2: 255]

 

What is Laylatul Qadr?- The Night of Power

The month of Ramadhan has been singled out for special worship . It is a month unlike other months. One reason for this, as defined by the Qur’an, is because the Holy Qur’an was revealed in this month. 

Laylat al-Qadr is to be found in the last five odd nights of the last third of Ramadan. While there is no specific date revealed in the Quran, Laylat al-Qadar is found to be on the last nights of Ramadan. Mostly it is on one of the odd nights: 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th or 29th night. However there is inclination towards the night before the 27 of Ramadan.

Laylatul Qadr is a celebration of the arrival of the final word of God for humans. It is a tribute to the  message revealed to mankind by their Creator, that was sent for the purpose of educating the means to achieve happiness in both the worlds. 


We have indeed revealed this (Message) in the Night of Power:And what will explain to thee what the night of power is?The Night of Power is better than a thousand months.Therein come down the angels and the spirit by Allah’s permission, on every errand:Peace!…This until the rise of dawn!—Sura 97:1-5 (Al-Qadr)

 

Laylatul Qadr is regarded as equal to one thousand months of worship in terms of the reward received. 

Muslims are encouraged to stay awake the entire night praying, reading quran, and doing zhikr for blessings and forgiveness. Considering laylatul Qadr are the holiest nights of the year, it is wise to heed the tremendous benefits of the nights.

 

The Meaning of Islam and Common Misconceptions

The word Islam is derived from the Arabic root “SLM” which means, among other things, peace, purity, submission and obedience. In the religious sense the word Islam means submission to the Will of God and obedience to His law. The connection between the original and the religious meanings of the word is strong and obvious. Only through the submission to the WIll of God and by obdedience to His law can one achieve true peace and enjoy lasting purity. 


Some outsiders call Islam “Mohammedanism” and address the believer of Islam as “Mohammedans”. Muslims both protest and reject the use of these words. If Islam is classified as Mohammedanism, it is implied that the religion takes after a mortal being, namely Muhammad PBUH, similar to perhaps Judaism, Hinduism, etc. Another misconception that may arise is that “Mohammedans, are worshippers of Muhammad as perhaps Christians are of Jesus. However muslims worship God alone. Muhammad PBUH was only a mortal being commissioned by God to teach the word of God and lead an exemplary life. He stands in history as the best model for a man of piety and perfection. He is a living proof of what man can be and of what he can accomplish. 


Moreover Muslims do not believe that Muhammad PBUH founded Islam (in a sense of what its core values are), although it was restored by him in the last stage of the religious evolution. The original founder of Islam is no other than God himself, and the date of the founding of Islam goes back to the age of Adam. Islam has existed in one form or another all along form the beginning and will continue to exist till the end of time. 


From the book “Islam in Focus” by Hammuhad Abdalati

How is the Quran Divided?

The holy book can be divided into four main topics that help grasp the information more easily. 

1. TOHEED – Which refers to the UNITY of Allah SWT, and His unique nature as the one and only creator who has no associates or partners. For man’s success on earth, in his grave and in the hereafter, it is essential to believe in he ONENESS of Allah in his nature and being, as he is, with all his attributes and qualities, without any partners. He is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. There is none besides Allah who has the knowledge of all things eternally or to be aware of and see everything simultaneously and unceasingly. 

2. PROPHETHOOD – This is the next topic about which the Quran clearly states that we must believe in Muhammad PBUH as the final messenger of Allah SWT. It is obligatory and essential to accept whatever the Prophet PBUH has brought. 

3. CRITERIA OF RIGHT AND WRONG – This topic concerns the DO’S and DON’TS of this world such as what is permissible to eat and what is not to gain the pleasure of Allah. Similarly which deeds are prohibited and which not, to gain Allah’s pleasure. 

4. CONDITIONS AFTER DEATH – This is the fourth topic of the Quran and has been referred to in Surah Al-Zilzaal which discusses life after death, the day of judgement and the conditions of the day of judgement. 

From the book “Death” by  Moulana haroon Abbasoomar