Christmas

Winter is coming

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Winter is coming

It’s that time of year when clocks are changed and we recognise ‘winter is coming’.

The Celtic festival of Samhain, marks the end of harvest and the beginning of the darker half of the year, coinciding with Halloween or All Hallows Eve. Samhain was seen as a liminal time, when the boundary between this world and the Otherworld could more easily be crossed. That’s why people dressed in masks to fool the spirits.

And in this darkness, we celebrate with Light and fire. Bonfires and Fireworks. And burning a guy!

For Hindus Diwali, the Festival of light (Nov8th) symbolises the spiritual victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance.

In the words of the sufi mystic, Jelaluddin Rumi,

 There is hope after despair and many suns after darkness.

In the Qur’an, Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth - Al Nur (Surah 24:35) And Hasrat. Isa (Jesus) is also called Light of God Nurullah ((4:174).

And Jesus is known as the ‘Light of the World’…

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:5) 

With so much ‘Light’ in common it is so important in these dark days to strive to maintain the bonds of peace. To spread the light and help create interfaith harmony and community cohesion. To overcome hatred with LOVE (mahabba). 

We want to be able to Coexist,  and live together without killing each other!  

The opposite of xenophobia, the hatred of the ‘other’ is Phileo-xenia, love for stranger, the biblical word for hospitality. Practice hospitality. And thus entertain angels unawares… This is the way of Love.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.
— Martin Luther King Jr

Or in the words of J.K.Rowling’s Albus Dumbledore:

Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times…. If one only remembers to turn on the light.

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How can I share Jesus with Muslims at Christmas?

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How can I share Jesus with Muslims at Christmas?

Here are some resources, courtesy of Answering Islam, to share the love of Christ with Muslims during Christmas and New Year season.

There are recommended links to articles, tracts and even a Christmas card insert for Muslims in English, Turkish and Tamil.

They can also be used via social media, e-mail, etc.


Christmas card inserts

Share a Christmas card: https://www.mahabbanetwork.com/blog/greet-muslim-friend-christmas

Share about the star at Christmas: https://www.mahabbanetwork.com/blog/following-the-star

 

Christmas articles

A Muslim perspective on Christmas: Don’t cancel Christmas on behalf of Muslims like me – I love it

Finding common ground with Muslims in the Christmas story: https://christianityexplained.net/to/muslims/christmas-quranic-commonalities/

Can I wish a Muslim Merry Christmas? http://www.answering-islam.org/authors/oskar/merry_christmas.html

Explaining the real Christmas to Muslims: http://www.answering-islam.org/authors/oskar/christmas_crime.html

 

New Year’s reflection

Talking with Muslims around New Year about life's questions: http://www.answering-islam.org/authors/oskar/good_enough.html

How do I greet my Muslim friend at Christmas?

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How do I greet my Muslim friend at Christmas?

Looking for a Christmas card with a difference to share the Gospel with Muslims in a culturally relevant way?

Christianity Explained has put together an evangelistic Christmas card for Muslims in various formats.

It contains a link to a more detailed article which is also found in the attachment.

The project aims to explain the Gospel to Muslims in a culturally relevant way.

There are a number of ways you can use the Christmas card, such as putting it on social media.

Time spent in prayer will yield more than that given to work. Prayer alone gives work its worth and its success. Prayer opens the way for God Himself to do His work in us and through us. Let our chief work as God’s messengers be intercession; in it we secure the presence and power of God to go with us.
— Andrew Murray 

Feedback

Whoever designed the Christmas Card has done a excellent job. The words gets right to the psychic of a Muslim mind… FANTASTIC :-)
— From a Muslim Background Believer

Can I give Christmas presents to Muslim friends?

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CAN I GIVE CHRISTMAS PRESENTS TO MUSLIM FRIENDS?

A Mahabba member asked the following question on The City: 'Is it a sin in Islam to give Christmas presents?'

I had a wonderful time of sharing over Christmas with my Muslim friends. I visited one friend who told me that the mosque is saying it is sin to give Christmas presents. This is the first she has heard of this and is very confused. She feels that this could be very divisive. Have you heard of this teaching?

She added that she still got a Christmas present from her friend as a ‘thank you for all you’ve done over the year' gift!

Thanks to some of our specialists on The City, here are some comments to consider.

If you want to join The City and be part of the conversation, you can sign up here.


Some Muslims do not celebrate birthdays

This may not necessarily be a teaching that you have come across, but for some persuasions in Islam it is a logical conclusion.

If you say Christmas is not something that Muhammad celebrated, it is therefore not sunna (accepted practice) .

Indeed, Wahabi and Deobandi (strict sects within Islam) teach that celebrating birthdays is haram (forbidden).

That includes Jesus’ and, sadly, the little girl’s who lives round the corner.

However, it was nice that she gave you a present, and often the fun of parties and presents is more powerful than dull doctrine.

 

Incarnation is seen as heresy

Many Muslims will even say that it is wrong to celebrate Muhammad’s birthday, although this celebration is becoming more common in certain parts of the UK.

You may have noticed more green lights and displays in the windows of Muslim houses during December.

Given that Christmas is also a celebration of the incarnation of God in human form on earth, it is a particularly severe heresy in Islam.

Therefore, giving Christmas presents is participating in, and affirming, something that is un-Islamic and wrong.