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to want my muslim dh to participate in christmas?

(111 Posts)
firstontheway Thu 30-Oct-08 13:16:47

It's never been a problem before, we've discussed what will happen when we have kids etc, and we agreed that although we will be raising little one to be muslim, one half of her family (mine) are extremely lapsed christians and therefore she can celebrate both eid and christmas. With the priviso of course that we explain what christmas is, why as muslims we do not see it as a religious event, but as a nice opportunity to visit grandparents/swap pesents/ eat nice food etc etc.

However things seem to have changed now our first baby is on the way (not even due till March!) and he seems to be backtracking a bit and suggesting it's not allowed within the islamic faith and from next year we should think about 'dropping it'. Which I understand if I was suggesting my parents took her to church or something, but they would never go against our religion like that, nor would we present it as a religious festival (at least until she is old enough to understand nativity plays etc at which point we teach religious tolerance grin ). Am just a bit upset as my parents would be DEVESTATED if we didn't go to them for christmas... they live a while away from us and while we see dh's parents all the time, it's really special when we see mine, and isn't family what christmas is all about anyway?

Probably a bit premature, I'm hoping he'll change his mind when we go to my parent's this year and he sees how fun and wonderful it is. But just a bit hormonal and upset.

dinny Thu 30-Oct-08 13:19:13

you have converted to Islam presumably?

themildmanneredaxemurderer Thu 30-Oct-08 13:20:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

QuintessentialShadows Thu 30-Oct-08 13:23:24

I think you should post this in Religion Philosophy instead of AIBU, if you want some good suggestions how to handle this.

There are muslim mumsnetters who I am sure would be able to discuss this with you.

But as far as I know, Jesus was a prophet in Islam, and as such, you could celebrate his birth.

firstontheway Thu 30-Oct-08 13:25:12

Yes, I convered before I met him.
But before we married, we discussed all matters like this and how I feel very strongly that despite being muslim, I'm not going to 'ignore' my roots. I was raised catholic, my family have not converted and so therefore he had to accept me as a convert, not a born muslim.

firstontheway Thu 30-Oct-08 13:26:51

Thats a good idea, will do QS smile

CoteDAzur Thu 30-Oct-08 13:27:33

"it's not allowed within the Islamic faith"

I'm technically Muslim (never believed nor practiced, although born into the faith) and this is the first time I am hearing that it is not allowed in Islam to have a Christmas meal.

I am guessing you are not going to be going to church together for Mass, nor will you be expecting him to sing Christmas carols about the baby Jesus, so it is just a dinner - what is his problem with that?

Did you convert to Islam before marrying him?

QuintessentialShadows Thu 30-Oct-08 13:28:12

There should be away of celebrating the family oriented part of Christmas without buying into the doctrine. It is an added bonus, your children will grow up with an understanding of not just one, but two religions and two cultures. It will widen their horizon. And you will have to find away of instilling in them that "some people believe this, others believe that, and this is ok."

SmugColditz Thu 30-Oct-08 13:29:31

If you are caring "What Christmas is all about" are you going to be happy to have no Christmas at all? to pass the 25th of December as any other bank holiday? Cos you don't saound very happy,, and it's a big thing he;'s asking you to 'just drop' - he might be thinking you'll change your mind after the baby arrives, and will drop the idea of Christmas altogether.

TotalChaos Thu 30-Oct-08 13:29:34

I'ld always understood that Jesus was regarded as a prophet in Islam. Religious Muslim friends were always happy to send Xmas cards out (presumably on that basis).

CoteDAzur Thu 30-Oct-08 13:29:42

Yes, Jesus is accepted as a prophet, a messenger of Allah, so nothing wrong with celebrating his birth.

Kewcumber Thu 30-Oct-08 13:30:00

why do you have to celebrate it as a religious festival? I am atheist I celebrate Christmas. Its a time for Family to get together and celebrate the dark nights of mid-winter...

Kewcumber Thu 30-Oct-08 13:31:29

aren;t Christinaity and Islam both Abrahamic religions? Can;t beleive there isn;t common ground to be found.

QuintessentialShadows Thu 30-Oct-08 13:32:40

If you are interested in more about Jesus, Mary, Joseph, in Islam, this is quite a good site from my brief reading on it.

Kewcumber Thu 30-Oct-08 13:39:56

and this from www.jannah.org/articles/xmas.html

"Another point regarding the Christmas season is the position
of Jesus (PBUH) in Islam. If Christmas represents a feast of
celebration of the birthday of Jesus, then we should observe it
according to the Islamic principles and honor Jesus as a prophet
of God. Christmas trees and fairy tales of Santa Claus should
have nothing to do with such celebrations.

These holidays are a perfect time to pick up the Holy Quran and
other Islamic books and start reading. As the month of December
draws to a close, let us also pledge to be better Muslims, insha'
Allah. Our new year's eve should not be at a bar or a "party". It
should rather be at the prayer rug. If you are thinking of a
gathering at your house, consider reading the Holy Quran together
and an activity that involves remembrance of Allah as well"

Kewcumber Thu 30-Oct-08 13:42:21

no Xmas tree or santa if your DC's are going to be moslem but nothing to stop you visiting your parents who have those things and to honor the brith of the prophet JEsus according to islamic principles.

Do you know any other mixed faith families and how they handle it?

CoteDAzur Thu 30-Oct-08 13:42:49

There is a whole chapter on Mary in the Quran, which talks about what a wonderful woman she is. Needless to say, this is a singular honor, as not many women are thus revered in Islam.

firstontheway - I think you need to read the Quran and the hadith and take down notes of the parts that support multiculturalism, tolerance, etc. In my experience, the only way to sway Muslims on religious issues is to quote Quran & hadith to them smile

firstontheway Thu 30-Oct-08 13:46:42

I think his main point is that although christianity and islam are both very closely linked in belief, and Jesus is a prophet within islam, it is not allowed to celebrate other religious holidays. and ie to celebrate the birth of Jesus is certainly a Christian tradition, as Jesus is viewed as the son of God, where in islam Jesus is a prophet just like Noah, Moses, Mohammed pbut etc.

But my point is that christmas can surely be just a lovely holiday, where you get time off school, visit family, get presents etc, and as QS mentioned, give us an excellent opportunity to talk about other religions and why we believe what we do etc. And DH is very keen to teach any children we have about other religions so it's certainly not a bigoted thing. I honestly think he's just genuinely worried that as muslims we're not allowed to celebrate it. And perhaps also worried it will overtake Eid as being their 'favourite' holiday as in this country we feel you do not get a sense of occasion as much as you do for christmas.

firstontheway Thu 30-Oct-08 13:49:22

But I want the tree... I WANT THE TREE!!! grin

Kewcumber Thu 30-Oct-08 13:49:52

first on the way - I think he is partly right though in that althouh you can celebrate anything you like you have to celebrate it according to islamic principles ie you can't make a bigger deal of it than Eid etc.

Don;t see anything wrong with visitng your paretns and letting them celebrate however they want to - having a lovely family meal and wacthing reruns of Only fools and Horses and tehm buying your DC presents isn;t agaist any islamic principles though is it?

Kewcumber Thu 30-Oct-08 13:50:26

could you hide one in the garage?

firstontheway Thu 30-Oct-08 13:56:48

pmsl at me smuggling a xmas tree into the garage, decorating it with tinsel and lights and 'visiting it' on a regular basis!

I see your point, and that is my main worry myself... I know how amazing christmas is for a child, and while if we lived in an islamic country then it would be the same for Eid, we don't. And we just have to strive to make Eid celebrations just as important and fun as christmas.

ItsNotOnlyTheGoodBits Thu 30-Oct-08 14:12:55

Not Muslim, but Hindu and thought it might help to have another 'different religious' point of view on this.

When we were younger we never celebrated Christmas in the religious sense. It was just a day to enjoy with family and have a fab big meal...and the leftovers for a week afterwards.

My parents never stopped us from joining in Christmas celebrations at school though. Their pov was that as immigrants they had to embrace the culture and festivals of the country they were living in. (Thankfully they don't see themselves as immigrants any more) So they made damn sure that we were not allowed to excuse ourselves from the annual curch service at Christmas - although most of my friends thought I would be, as they found it boring, I like being in church so it never bothered me. They would also attend any concerts/productions that we took part in around this time.

The main thing they taught us about Christmas was loving and respecting family and sacrifice of our needs/wants for society in general. We did get one present as children, mainly so we wouldn't feel left out of the playground comparisons in January. As we got older presents were more things that we needed e.g. clothes, books etc.

We always exchanged presents with friends and also send cards. In fact my parents have already started writing theirs as they send so many!

Why not tell your husband that it is more the family aspect that you are interested in celebrating? And also there is the respect to be shown to your family regardless of religion.

By the way - we never had a Christmas tree and never wanted one. But now that Baby GoodBits is here I might change that! grin

TheHedgeWitch Thu 30-Oct-08 14:19:27

Message withdrawn

Blu Thu 30-Oct-08 14:22:12

Most of the 'trappings' of christmas are not religious, anyway. Tell him that many many religious christians delliberately avoid the whole santa thing, and that for the majority of the UK population, it is a cultural celebration rather than religious.
Christmas Tree, Father Christmas, presents, turkey, pud - none of it is religious.

Half of DPs family are muslim, and I have started to think how I would approach sourcing a halal turkey, should they visit us one christmas - as they keep threatening promising. They certainly wouldn't want to miss ou on any festivities, anyway!

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