Celebrating Our Destruction
Have We Gone Crazy?
“This day have those who reject faith given up all hope of your religion: yet fear them not but fear Me. This day have I perfected your religion for you completed my favor upon you and have chosen for you Islam as your (Deen).” TMQ 5:3
Muslims have celebrated for centuries from the time of the Prophet (saw) through today that Allah (swt) blessed us by revealing a complete way of life (Deen) that if we sincerely practice will bring us the best of both, this life (dunya) and the next one (al-Akhiirah). Yet Muslims who live in the United States often enter the end-of-year celebrations in the Western world facing difficult choices in a divided environment.
Many Muslims wonder whether it is wise or even permitted to participate in non-Islamic celebrations. Some Muslims say “certain Western gatherings are worse than others”, such as invitations to Mother’s Day and birthday gatherings being highly questionable and best avoided, but invitations to events like Halloween is clearly forbidden in celebration of Shaytaan-related themes and actions.
Unfortunately, even so-called “neutral” holidays like Thanksgiving have anti-Islamic origins (e.g., genocide of Native Americans that enabled so-called “Pilgrims” and other Western settlers to be here) that cannot be ignored especially by Muslims who claim to stand for justice and righteousness. No matter how old or cherished these U.S. traditions are to our non-Muslim acquaintances, we cannot just join in because “we found our fathers doing this.”
In addition, Muslim parents who either don’t understand or cannot withstand the onslaught of Western Capitalist culture often feel embarrassed or apologetic for refusing to let their children join the “joy” of Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Year’s invitations and celebrations from their non-Muslim neighbors, friends, and co-workers. Thus, some Muslim parents succumb to these social pressures and let their children join these non-Islamic activities either hoping no long-term harm occurs to their children’s identities or (even worse) seeing no problem with Muslim children engaged in secular celebrations.
Muslims who either willingly or desperately (due to no immediate relocation options) continue to live in non-Muslim countries are always accountable to Allah (swt) for their actions regardless of where we live on this earth. In addition, Muslims must protect their personal practices and, equally important, offer an alternative to these secular Western celebrations that corrupt human personalities, consume valuable resources, and poison popular culture.
“you are the best of peoples evolved for mankind enjoining what is right forbidding what is wrong and believing in Allah. If only the People of the Book had faith it were best for them; among them are some who have faith but most of them are perverted transgressors” TMQ 3:110
The Muslim Ummah is meant to be the leader – not followers, and no matter how many other people join in these secular celebrations. Quran also states:
“Were you to follow the common run of those on earth they will lead thee away from the Way of Allah. They follow nothing but conjecture: they do nothing but lie” TMQ 6:116
How can the sincere people in American society ever see an alternative and solution to these silly celebrations if Muslims who have the BEST alternative ever in the Revelation of Allah (swt) of the Holy Qur’an and His (swt) example of The Prophet Muhammad (saw) refuse to publicly take a stand and offer a choice? Even worse, why would non-Muslims ever believe that Islam has anything positive or valuable to offer if Muslims who claim to believe in that message are busy following the crowds into Christmas and other events instead of turning everyone’s attention to Allah (swt)?
Of course, Allah (swt) has given Muslims a great opportunity to offer a choice in celebrations to the U.S. citizens to demonstrate a change in lifestyle through our presence. For example, Muslims can make an extra effort to publicize the only two true holidays in Islam: Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adhaa, and invite these same non-Muslims to witness the rituals, and more importantly the meaning of Allah’s (swt) Holidays. Muslims can also politely decline joining these Western celebrations, while carefully offering a clear explanation based on the reason every human being should accept Islam and that our basic and sole purpose in life is only to worship Allah (swt) and seek His (swt) Pleasure and Forgiveness.
Finally, Muslims can also use the vacation time from work and school to strengthen our own Aqeedah (creed) by reviewing as a family the Qur’an, Sunnah, Islamic History, Fiqh, and other aspects of Islamic culture. We can also use this free time to strengthen our own community connections by gathering in Muslim homes, masjids, and centers so Muslim families, and especially our youth who may sometimes feel “confused” about where they fit in non-Muslim societies. We can remind and help each other to be a unique group in society as part of an international Ummah.
When The Prophet (saw) first arrived in Madinah, he (saw) redefined forever the relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims in establishing the first Islamic State. In narrating the first full written constitution (Mithaaq-ul-Madiinah) in world history, the Prophet (saw) said all Muslims are “one community (Ummah) – distinct from all the rest of mankind” (Ibn Ishaq’s Seerah).
Let us Muslims live up to this legacy and help raise the status of ourselves and humanity by sharing the sweetness of Islam with our non-Muslim neighbors, friends, and citizens. We will all be better for this change in both this life and the next one, insha-Allah.
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