My Mom called and asked me what time will I arrive home this coming Christmas. She’s already been making her list of menus and ornaments and had her wish-list ready (you know, so that we kids do not mess up with the gifts!).
But then I heard this Imam said as a Muslim we shouldn’t be celebrating Christmas. It’s haram. How am I going to tell that to my Mom who has been so supportive of my conversion to Islam? She even googled how to wear hijab when I told her I was in this phase of covering up.
I used to assure her that nothing would change as I became a Muslim. Now we can’t sit and share this joyous holiday together anymore? She won’t be able to defend me in front of my relatives who are pretty skeptical about me becoming a Muslim.
New Muslim Guide To Survive Christmas
Surely, if you’re a born Muslim, you have no reason to celebrate a non-Muslim celebration. It doesn’t mean you get to insult their celebrations. It only means that it’s none of your business.
But if you’re a revert, or you have non-Muslim family members who do celebrate Christmas, it is very important to be understanding and join them as long as you are not doing activities that compromise your tauhid or contradict specific Islamic rules like drinking alcohol and such.
- Gift exchanging
To exchange gift is actually a sunnah. Abu Huraira reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Give each other gifts and you will love each other.”
Source: al-Adab al-Mufrad 594; Grade: Hasan (fair) according to Ibn Hajar
- Dinner together
Spending time with your family members is an act of kindness. Not only to sit at the dining table and eat together, but also when you help preparing the meal, chatting and hanging out with them. You will be rewarded as have done a good deed.
It is reported on the authority of ‘Abdullah that the Messenger of Allah said:
The best of’ deeds are the (observance of) prayers at their proper time, and kindness to the parents.
حَدَّثَنَا عُثْمَانُ بْنُ أَبِي شَيْبَةَ، حَدَّثَنَا جَرِيرٌ، عَنِ الْحَسَنِ بْنِ عُبَيْدِ اللَّهِ، عَنْ أَبِي عَمْرٍو الشَّيْبَانِيِّ، عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ “ أَفْضَلُ الأَعْمَالِ – أَوِ الْعَمَلِ – الصَّلاَةُ لِوَقْتِهَا وَبِرُّ الْوَالِدَيْنِ ” .
Reference : Sahih Muslim 85 e
In-book reference : Book 1, Hadith 162
USC-MSA web (English) reference : Book 1, Hadith 155
- Talk before the gathering
Explain to them that as a Muslim, there are do’s and don’ts that you would have to comply with and would therefore appreciate if they could be supportive of that. Tell them that as a Muslim, you are highly encouraged to serve your parents, thus celebrating a holiday like Christmas is important to you. But at the same time you need to serve God first and thus would value their understanding in allowing you to not participate in certain matters of the celebration.
- Be firm about the forbidden activities
You must have a strong mind to say no to participating in any forbidden activities. Drinking alcohol, to name one, must be avoided.
May Allah give you ease and strength this coming holiday season. Enjoy your time with your parents!
Sources: https://abuaminaelias.com/dailyhadithonline/2012/11/24/give-gifts-love-one-another/, https://sunnah.com/muslim/1/162