REFLECTIONS: What is Christmas for a Muslim?

As a faithful follower of Islam, I cherish my friendship and good relations with Christians, and so I greet them Merry Christmas even if I don’t celebrate it. I also join them if I’m invited as they celebrate Christmas with good food, and I make sure I eat only halal. I also give gifts to Christians who I should be thankful for their help or any good they did to me.

These things I do, keeping a good remembrance of Jesus, Son of Mary, a holy person, about whom the Qur’an has high regard, as well as his mother Mary, his grandfather Zacaria and his cousin John The Baptist.

My faith in One God, which we Muslims call Allah, and fidelity to the teachings of Nabi Muhammad, Seal of Prophets, peace be upon him and his descendants, is the more enhanced when I keep affection of my Christian friends, acquaintances and neighbors, and feel the spirit of Christ Jesus a.s. birth, which the Qur’an refers to when Jesus Son of Mary said: “Peace on the Day I was born”.

I am aware that historians disagree on the exact date of the birth of Jesus a.s. just as any historical important event would have some problem about reckoning a significant date. It would be problematic to find the exact date of the birth of this honored man, which for us Muslims is a revered Prophet of Allah. I sense, the goodness of Christians is inspired by their deep appreciation of the teachings of Jesus a.s.

The Qur’an has cited the deep spirituality of Christian Priests and noted the devotion of  the companions of Jesus a.s. calling them ‘hawariyyuun’ or men of purity.

The only concern I have really is that Christmas has become oriented towards materialism and its true meaning getting lost in the midst of worldly glitter. We can only pray for Allah’s forgiveness for our forgetfulness.

In all humility, I say, peace be upon you, Christ Jesus, Son of Mary… And Merry Christmas and Allah’s blessing, be on all those who sincerely remember you on the day it is thought you were born. (MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. Engineer Zamzamin Lumenda Ampatuan was on his third term as mayor of Rajah Buayan town in Maguindanao, when he was appointed Agriculture Undersecretary for Policy and Plans in December 2019. He had previously served in other national posts, including Trade Undersecretary and Energy Undersecretary. He posted this on his FB page on Christmas Day. MindaNews was granted permission to publish this)