How permitted are we? | Muslims

In the recent display – both in the physical and virtual sense – of views, as regards the latitude granted to Muslims in partaking in some aspects of the current lurking festivities of the Christians, comes the spring up of the above question. Firstly, Islam is a unique dictate of Allah that doesn’t have any of its aspect lifted, either or directly, from any other external form of worship, and none of its principles is tied with those of any other external religion. So, knowing this sets us on the footage that any other quest of spirituality outside the fold of Islam would, in any measure, not be accepted.

Secondly, the knowledge of the festivities in reference will enable a thorough comparison between such knowledge and the fact, that Islam is not associated with external religious principles, established above. This distinction will therefore make clear what may be confusing as to whether Muslims have the unrestricted latitude or massive restriction to participate in those festivities.

Islam, being a monotheistic faith, gives ZERO room to engaging in practices that have spiritual inclination beyond the realms of Islam, and anyone found guilty of this, has been tagged with committing shirk. Surah Al-Fatiha declares that “Thee do we worship, and Thine aid we seek.” This shows that seeking to worship any idol other than Allah has gone against the monotheistic nature of Islam.

Surah Al-Maida, verse 72, says “They have certainly disbelieved who say, ‘Allah is the third of three.’ And there is no god except one God. And if they do not desist from what they are saying, there will surely afflict the disbelievers among them a painful punishment.” This proves another point that Allah is unique and complete in His oneness, and He should not be placed beside any other, in order to achieve a status of ‘completeness’, just as we see among the People of The Book believe.

In Surah Al-Ma’idah, verse 90, Allah says “O you who have believed, indeed, intoxicants, gambling, [sacrificing on] stone alters [to other than Allah], and divining arrows are but defilement from the work of Satan, so avoid it that you may be successful.” Christmas and New Year, which are, respectively, the celebration of Jesus Christ’s birthday and the celebration of god Saturn, in the Roman pagan festival of Saturnalia, as said by scholars, have no basis in Islam, for their roots are ingrained in faiths outside Islam.

As regards the Christmas food, which carries the bulk of the controversial debate, there have been diverse scholarly opinions on its permissibility, in which some opine that it can be consumed, as long as it’s halaal, while the other divide said it shouldn’t be consumed, as it came from a shirk activity, and Allah knows best.

The ultimate point I wish to make here is that intentionality and deliberateness on upholding the injunctions on our Islamic faith goes a long way in every phase of our lives, as Islam has come to help us navigate every area of our lives, including the matter of the controversial Christmas. We will only be acquainted with Islam, if only we seek the sincere knowledge on it, so as to live a honourable life, even if there seem to be chaos in the world.

May we be among those that live our lives based on the dictates of Islam and not among those that hypocritically adjust to fit into the societal norms, at the expense of our Islam, Aameen.

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