Welcome to my blog!

This blog is an honest look at what life is like for this particular American convert to Islam. We're taught in Islam to cover our sins, to not air them, for fear of lessening the severity of sinning. In this blog, I may relate past indiscretions from time to time. This isn't to make light of them, but in the interest of educating Muslims and non-Muslims alike as to the realities of life as an American convert, I present my mistakes honestly. I make no excuses for them, nor do I claim that they were okay to make. I am not perfect, and I make no pretenses as to that. If others can learn from my past, know that Islam, and religion in general, is open for people no matter what mistakes they've made, then I will gladly air my sins when needed.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Celebrating non-Eid holidays as a Muslim.

Holidays, ranging from one's birthday to Christmas, is something that converts tend to have issues with. Do we celebrate them or not? Are they forbidden or not? Is the secular celebration of Christmas, the warmth of family and friends in the cold of winter (or heat, if you're in the southern hemisphere, I suppose), the loving exchange of gifts, something to be avoided simply because it isn't one of our celebrations? Simply because of what it means to some people, when almost every American, regardless of their religious beliefs, celebrates this holiday?
I hear a lot, about a variety of subjects, that, "It's wrong." Or, "It's haram." Or, "Muslims shouldn't do this because it might lead them astray from their faith."
If one's faith is so easily replaced, one doesn't have a good foundation in it and probably doesn't really believe it, anyway. Real faith isn't so easily tempted by the sparkles of a holiday that another faith started.
Some say that celebrating non-Muslim holidays is bi'dah, or innovation, and is forbidden. Is it? No one's claiming Halloween/Thanksgiving/birthdays/or even a secularly-celebrated Christmas are Islamic holidays. Wouldn't that be the innovation, claiming that Thanksgiving is celebrated because we're Muslim, that Islam calls for it? Wouldn't holidays just fall under "culture," anyway? Islam didn't come to replace culture, it came to enhance it.
People get worked up over the origins of holidays, but seriously - no one but pagans celebrate Halloween in a religious sense, and no one but Christians celebrate Christmas in a religious sense. And even a lot of those are in it for the consumerism. 
I celebrate Halloween because it's fun to dress up and get candy. I have precious few blue clothes so alas, I'm going as a kitty (again) this year, and not as the TARDIS.
I celebrate Thanksgiving because it's Thanksgiving, when you're thankful you have family and food and a roof over your head and clothes on your back.
I celebrate Christmas because I grew up celebrating Christmas, even when I didn't fully realise that it's celebrating the supposed birth of Jesus, peace be with him. I celebrate my family, food, and presents ... roughly in that order. And given that we have people trampling others to death and then getting angry when the police tell them to leave the store in the name of getting Christmas presents, I doubt a lot of the people who do view it as a religious holiday are being true to what it's supposed to mean.
I celebrate Easter because I like Easter egg hunting. Oaky, I don't celebrate Easter. I just like to dye, hide, and hunt eggs.
I don't celebrate St. Patrick's Day.
I celebrate the 4th of July because hey, fireworks. 
I celebrate my birthday because IT'S MAH BIRFDAY, FOO'! And I'm extremely glad that Mom took her life in her own hands when she let Dad put this lil' bun in her oven.
The holidays I really have difficulty getting excited over are the two Muslim holidays, the festival (Eid) after Ramadan and the Eid after the pilgrimage days are over. I'm not around Muslims a lot, I don't have any Muslim family, and I'm not as active in the community as I'd like, due to transportation and money restrictions.
The meanings of holidays change over time, and shunning one based on what it used to represent is silly. And as my friend pointed out, there's no harm in celebrating something if it doesn't go against your beliefs.


No comments:

Post a Comment