Whether you are Jewish, Hindu, Sikh, Bahai, Buddhist, Muslim or belong to any faith, you might be wondering about the celebration. However, I have sent my best wishes to my friends on all their festivities, to name a few; Christmas, Hanukkah, Ramadan, Diwali, Gurpurab, Paryushan, Ridvan, Vesak, Jashan-e Sadeh, Solistice, Native American Day, and so many more festivities. I’ll do my best to include everyone.
Yes, we must join the festivals and commemorations of fellow humans and stay away from the worship part of the festival if we are not comfortable. The most important thing is to be with our neighbors who live on the same street, the same town, and the very same earth.
As a Muslim, I celebrate Christmas, Merry Christmas!
Why should you care? The answer is simple but profound. The more we learn about each other, the fewer the misconceptions and conflicts. All of us want to live with the least apprehensions, don’t we? Knowing each other is a pure antidote for phobias.
Those Muslims who oppose being a part of others’ celebrations must understand the essence of Islam – Islam is guidance for the entire Universe (Aalameen) to function cohesively. The God we worship is not ours but belongs to all. The Prophet (Muhammad pbuh), whom we admire, and who brought the messages of wisdom for humanity, not for any group, but for all. Let’s not own his message or him either, as he belongs to all, as do all the avatars of all religions.
Suppose we claim to respect God and his messengers. In that case, we must emulate them and be kind and merciful, forgiving, and just towards every human regardless of his (means for both genders) faith, race, ethnicity, culture, or other uniqueness.
Islam’s (essence)unstated purpose is to create cohesive societies, where every human feels secure about his (her) uniqueness. Yes, Islam means creating peace and harmony, and I am committed to doing my share of the work. Would you consider joining us?
The definition of Muslim is an exemplary citizen, someone who is accountable for her/his deeds and cares for all that surrounds him; life and matter – and restores harmony when things go wrong. The brand new phrase for the work of a Muslim is Islah al-Alam, and an article is in the making to explain it.
Indeed, the “unstated” purpose of all religions is similar. My friend Bharat Jhunjunwala writes, “A firm belief that there is One (common) God. Therefore, His wisdom as recorded by different believers should concord with each other.” And I affirm it, they do. Since 1993 (For the last 28 years), I have studied religions and their impact on societies.
In the garb of the clergy, some politicians create a mess and claim that their faith is the only way to God. Let me explain, if you claim your faith is superior, you have not understood your faith – religion is about humility that builds bridges and not arrogance that creates conflict. Please reflect on this during the holidays, and attend our classes on Pluralism beginning in February.
Now, I reaffirm (since 1999) that I chose Islam to be my religion, but I will never claim that it is superior to any religion or less than any. My religion works for me as yours works for you. To you is your faith and to me is mine. Would you be willing to affirm that as a Muslim or a person of any faith or no faith? If you can, you are invited to join the Center for Pluralism.
When we live as neighbors, we might as well learn about each other. The best way to build cohesive societies is for its members to understand each other’s sorrows and joys, festivities, and commemorations. Wouldn’t it be nice if you knew a bit about your neighbor’s festival and perhaps invite them to your celebrations to start safe neighborhoods by understanding each other? Every human and every religious group celebrates something or the other in their way, each one is different, but the essence is the same; celebrations and commemorations.
If this resonates with you, would you please contribute your donations to run our programs that bring positive changes to our nation? Please visit our home page for the summary of what we do and donate at https://centerforpluralism.com/donate/.
The following video is about celebrating faiths
The 20 Common Sense Islamic Values contribute towards a better world. Videos: https://worldmuslimcongress.org/20-common-sense-islamic-values/
A Muslims’ Christmas