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Hussam has been a lifelong human rights activist who is passionate about promoting democratic societies, in the US and worldwide, in which all people, including immigrants, workers, minorities, and the poor enjoy freedom, justice, economic justice, respect, and equality. Mr. Ayloush frequently lectures on Islam, media relations, civil rights, hate crimes and international affairs. He has consistently appeared in local, national, and international media. Full biography at: http://hussamayloush.blogspot.com/2006/08/biography-of-hussam-ayloush.html

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

What Christmas means to this Muslim

As a Muslim who grew up with many Christian relatives, friends, and neighbors, I was always surrounded by Christmas and its festivities. At the many private and Christian schools that I attended, I remember, like all my peers, enjoying the candy and mostly the presents. Though it was not a Muslim holiday, Muslims that I knew appreciated the festive, generous and caring spirit that came with that holiday.

As I grew up, I learned that the holiday is a commemoration and celebration of the birth of Jesus (peace be upon). Yes, I know that historians agree that Jesus was definitely not born on that specific date. And I know that this specific date and some of its traditional practices are actually rooted in a Roman pagan holiday. And I realize that today's Christmas has been so commercialized and mostly devoid of its spiritual meaning. And for Muslims in specific, I know that we strongly disagree with our Christian brothers and sisters on the deity of Jesus. However, to me Christmas is about remembering the great blessing sent by God to mankind: Jesus the son of Mary.

As a Muslim, this day serves to remind me about the miraculous birth of Jesus Christ, his teachings, his sacrifices, and his believing and persevering mother. It is a day to thank Allah (God) for sending us Jesus and all other prophets before and after him. To Muslims, Jesus is one of the most important prophets sent by the Almighty, he is the Messiah/Christ who was mentioned and praised throughout the Quran. Like Christians, Muslims await his second coming after which he will lead a struggle to bring peace and justice to our suffering world.

I might not have a Christmas tree (btw, that's one of the leftover pagan aspects of the holiday), I might not host a Christmas dinner or exchange Christmas gifts, and I will not attend a Christmas mass; however, I will certainly pray in gratefulness to God for sending us Jesus. I will join my Christian friends and relatives in celebrating Jesus's birth by recommitting myself to his true teachings of faith in God, and justice, care, mercy, and love for fellow human beings.

Have a safe, blessed, and merry Christmas.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this! There is so much ignorance out there towards Islam, and a lot of it is propagated by some news stations, as well as ministers who don't know anything about Islam other than what they hear others say.

I'm an interfaith minister and believe in the best of all religions, and I know that Islam is a very peaceful and loving religion when practicing the true Islam.

There are extremists in every religion and it's sad that people will hold against everyone the actions of a few.

Please keep educating the masses. Sure do appreciate it and I appreciate you!

Karen :)

Anonymous said...

GOD BLESS YOU ALL. LET US ALL BE SUPPORTIVE OF OTHERS THAT IS WHAT GOD WANTS OF US. THANK YOU FOR THIS BROTHER HUSSAM SOME OF BOTH PARTIES ARE IGNORANT OF OTHER ANONYMOUS.

Unknown said...

Shouldn't you be promoting your ideas in some Arab country? I suggest Pakistan. Here in America your ideas about who Jesus is are a dime a dozen.

Anonymous said...

Hey "unknown" above me, this is the internet. They get it in Pakistan, too. That's why it's called the "worldwide" web. Get your miserable head out of your ass and show some support for a Muslim who is hate-free.

Mike Sawaf said...

Alhamdu lillah wassalat ala jamee (all) prophets of God. May Almighty Bless you and bless all beleivers on this earth and in the hereafter.

Ehsan Sawaf

Martha said...

Thank you Hussam! Some of us "Christians" really need the reminder that all humankind breathe the same air, walk the same earth, and seek peace and compassion. Jesus' message of hope, love, and dedication is consistent with wisdom teachers of all faiths, and those with faith is humankind rather than a deity. May we open our minds to this message and create a world of peace in 2013.

Anonymous said...

ummm...Pakistan isn't an arab country...

Anonymous said...

You know what is funny "Unknown", u r not only showing us how much you hate freedom of speech when it comes to Muslims, but u r also showing us how ignorant u are by calling Pakistan an "Arab" country

NickQuidwai said...

Br. Hussam Salaam Well presented Luckily I share some of your upbringing too. I love Christmas as to me it means LOVE, sharing, family togetherness Despite the commercialism.
I was not sure about "Christ" so I Googled http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christ The part that is challenging to present is that Hazrat Eesaa will return but as a follower of Mohammed (PBH) just before the end times. That is our belief and other do not have to believe that. Allah gave us free will but has also given free reign to Satan who spreads discord. May he be punished for his evil ways at the appropriate time by Allah. Iqbal Quidwai

Bader Al-Sane said...

Thank you Hussam, well said