Avoid Christmas Wishes: Malaysian NGO

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Wednesday, December 24 2014
Last Updated on Wednesday, December 24 2014 11:21
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Avoid Christmas WishesCAIRO – A leading Malaysian Muslim NGO has urged Muslims to avoid saying Christmas wishes, calling them to respect the Islamic teachings that nullify the religious and ritual nature of the Christmas.

“You (The non-Muslims) seem to have misinterpreted the condemnation of celebration of Christmas as a matter of disrespect for Christians,” Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) activist Abu Ameen said in a commentary cited by The Rakyat Post on Sunday, December 21.

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“It is an integral part of our faith to reject celebrations that have not been prescribed and/or that have a basis in falsehood, as inevitably they lead to misguidance and alterations in faith, as has happened in Christianity.”

Citing the views of traditional and conservative scholars on the issue, Abu Ameen said that wishing Merry Christmas is forbidden in Islam.

The Isma activist believes that shunning Christmas greeting protects the tenets of Islam in the Asian country.

“Surely no one has a right to condemn us for this,” Abu Ameen insisted.

Christmas is the main festival on the Christian calendar. Its celebrations reach its peak at 12:00 PM on December 24 of every year.

Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas on January 7.

Muslims believe in Jesus as one of the great Prophets of God and that he is the son of Mary but not the Son of God. He was conceived and born miraculously.
In the Noble Qur’an, Jesus is called “Isa”. He is also known as Al-Masih (the Christ) and Ibn Maryam (Son of Mary).

As for his crucifixion, Muslims believe that Jesus was not crucified but was lifted up to heaven.

Muslims believe that Jesus will come back to earth before the end of time to restore peace and order, fight the Anti-Christ (Al-Masih Al-Dajjal) and bring victory for truth and righteousness.

The true followers of Jesus will prevail over those who deny him, misrepresent him and reject him.

Respect

The Isma activist asserted that Muslims’ right not to celebrate Christmas should be “respected” by the country’s Christians.

“They (The Christians) have the right to believe what they want to believe and to celebrate what they want to celebrate but it is also equally important for them to respect our right not to celebrate or wish them accordingly,” Abu Ameen said.
The Isms member called on Muslims to show the true-face of Islam during that day by promoting virtue, tolerance and equality.

“As Muslims, our actions throughout the year, not just at Christmas time, should show how good Muslims behave and how we are faithful to our belief and dedicate all things to the Mercy of Almighty Allah.

“In a world which has lost all sense of God and has turned to alcohol and consumerism to drown its sorrows, we as Muslims can show there is a better way of life for all mankind to experience peace — not by kissing under the mistletoe or visiting Santa, but instead by embracing Islam,” he said.

Muslim Malays form about 60% of Malaysia's 26-million population, while Christians make up around 9.1%.

In an earlier fatwa, prominent scholar Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi said that greeting Christians and Jews in their festive days is permissible if they are at good terms with Muslims.

Qaradawi said the Noble Qur'an encourages Muslims to greet others quite affably.

"Allah Almighty says: "When you are greeted with a greeting, greet in return with what is better than it, or at least return it equally…) (An-Nisa’ 4: 86)

"And: "Verily, Allah loves those who deal with equity," (Al-Mumtahinah 60: 8), Qaradawi added.

Source: OnIslam.net