Why I Don’t Wish You a Merry Christmas

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by Nadieh Esmaeil

A couple of days ago , one of my colleagues wished me a “Merry Christmas” as she was about to leave for her holidays .I answered her with a happy smile-which did not satisfy her. I could tell she was waiting for me to return the same greeting, and she probably thought (and still thinks) how rude I am. Today I am going to explain why I didn’t and can’t wish her or any other person a merry Christmas.

I take great pride in the fact that I am a Muslim and I practice my religion to the best of my ability. Although Islam teaches us to share other peoples’ feelings-whether it is happiness or sadness, we are not allowed to celebrate or greet anyone Christmas. This is simply because we reject the concept of trinity. The act of ascribing partners to God, whether they are sons, daughters, or other partners, is considered to be blasphemous in Islam. As I have stated in an earlier post, the main principle of Islam is based on “Tawheed”- the belief in the Oneness of God (Allah).Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus-the son of God who is associated with Him as part of his divinity. This is severely condemned by Allah in the Holy Quran. Allah forgives all sins except “Shirk “which is the association of a deity to his Almighty. Allah says in the Holy Quran:

“People of the Book, do not commit excess in your religion, and do not say anything about God except the truth. The  Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary , was nothing more than a messenger of God and His word which he directed to Mary and a soul (created at a command)from Him. So believe in God and His messengers, and do not speak of a ‘Trinity’ – stop, that is better for you-God is only one God, He is far above having a son. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. And sufficient is Allah (God) as Disposer of affairs.”(Quran 4:171)

We Muslims believe that Jesus – peace be upon him- is a messenger of God, and regard him as a very important prophet; but do not believe him to be divine. We do not believe he was crucified either.

“When God says, ‘Jesus, son of Mary’, did you say to people, “Take me and my mother as two gods alongside God”? He will say, “May You be exalted! I would never say what I had no right to say –if I had said such a thing, You would have known it: You know all that is within me, though I do not know what is within You. You alone have full knowledge of things unseen”” (Quran 5:116)

I hope this helps you understand my position and although I cannot greet you a happy Christmas please know that I pray to God to give you good health, peace and happiness everyday of the year.

This post of mine might confuse some of you who have had Muslims greeting them a happy Christmas. Unfortunately many Muslims aren’t aware of this matter and some of them don’t care or know how sinful it is, therefore it is best to learn and follow Islam according to the teachings of the Holy Quran and the prophets rather than the followers since no one is perfect.


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3 responses »

  1. I feel like you’re angry, or maybe just frustrated… I hear you, and I understand that you don’t want to say “Merry Christmas”, because that does acknowledge Jesus as the Christ in a way and that may not be what you believe. I think you should be careful in what you’re saying, though, especially when you’re talking about faiths that aren’t yours, or that you may not know everything about (i.e. Christians don’t say that Mary is a deity or that she comes from divinity)… Maybe take some time to breathe before writing or speak more of your own experience – There’ s no need to be angry here, people are just trying to wish you a happy day, even if it be a day you don’t celebrate.

  2. I think that it is great that you are so faithful to your religion, but I think that you need to open up your heart to the fact that other people don’t believe in what you believe in but they still respect you enough to want to share and celebrate with you. I am catholic but I have no objection to someone wishing me a Happy Diwali or a Happy Hanukkah. I don’t believe that you wanted to come off as radical because I believe that it is important to believe strongly in everything that you believe in. But you state that many Muslims do not care how sinful it is to wish someone a Merry Christmas… does this mean that they are not “true” Muslims in the sense of what a Muslim is?

    I struggled a lot thinking about Catholicism exactly the way you think about being a Muslim. I felt, am I truly a Catholic because I don’t attend church? Or because I don’t follow this specific rule that in written in the bible? Does every single person have to follow every single rule in order to be loved by Allah or by God, or to be considered a true Muslim or Catholic, or even Christian or Buddhist?

    I believe that if everyone had that mentality than we would have a lot more atheists in the world. Don’t you think?

  3. As much as I don’t like jumping on bandwagons, I feel the need to disagree in that I don’t really see the logic here. I don’t think wishing someone a merry Christmas means you’re professing Jesus as Christ. It can just be a way of wishing a person well during their season, just like wishing someone blessings at the start of the year. I would like to think God would judge you on your character and the intentions of your heart in hoping that this person enjoys their holiday. Personally, I just don’t see what God would find so appalling or explicitly “sinful” about it. Then again, it’s not my religion, so I can’t say I know it all.
    Just my opinion here, nothing more.

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