Attitude to Christmas from point of view of a person of the Islamic Faith

By Ali Syarief

When I was small I was often taught, even told, to learn by heart concerning the Pillars of Faith/Belief and the Pillars of Islam. The Pillars of Faith/Belief such as Belief in God, in the Prophets before the Prophet Muhammad God bless him, the Sacred Books before the Qur’an, Belief in Angels, Belief in Divine Decree together with Belief in the Day of Judgment.

This Dogma can easily be explained authentically “There is no Religion which is very and the most tolerant compared with Islam”.This is my own personal attitude and opinion. What is more I am very attracted or encouraged by a verse from Al Qur’an, in particular a verse from Al Hajj as follows “ya ayuhannsu itta robbakum” which means “Oh! Humankind be devout to (worship) your Gods”. I take the word Roh to mean God. The God of Islam is Allah, The Hindu God is Sangyang Widiwase, The Jewish God is Adonai, the Christian God is Allah (but read Alah).

In connection with Christmas, the Islamic Community almost throughout the world officially holds fast to the decrees of the Religious Teachers that to greet a person with “Merry Christmas” what is more to participate in a religious celebration can be interpreted as a “denial of Faith” except ( there are still those who are moderate) it is a question of the attitude to a Friend, or tolerance between religious communities, there are people who break/do not follow those decrees by visiting Friends who are celebrating Christmas.

Last year ABCTV Australia in a programme leading up to Christmas featured a Report from Jakarta. This programme did indeed attract my attention because it reported on how Christmas was received/welcomed in Jakarta Malls. What touched me deeply was when a Mother/Woman wearing a scarf on her head (jilbab) made this statement that she was very happy with Malls which were decorated with Christmas decorations (in the traditional Christmas way). There were Christmas Trees, Santa Claus, snow with all the other things we see which are associated with Christmas. The rhythm and tunes of the music are what is associated with Christmas. White Christmas. The shop assisrtants wore clothing of various colours such as Santa wears together with the distinctive hat.

It is my impression that when Australians see this programme their opinion will change little by little. In the minds of Western People Islam is regarded as very hard/stern, cruel even barbaric such as the way they regard Amrosi and his associates who murdered hundreds of innocent people and there were many Australians among the victims.

The aattitude of the lady wearing her jilbab represents indeed the attitude of the modern world who cannot deny that the existence of differences is a certainty. The Pillar of Belief guides us to believe/have faith in the Sacred Texts before Al Qur’an and to believe in the Prophets before Muhammad. We can show our appreciation to that Mother/Woman wearing her jilbab, but we can indeed be proud of the local wisdom which indeed is inherent in our culture.

Let us think about the positioning of Borobudur (Buddhist) and Prambanan (Hindu). They are not too far distant from each other. The significance of this is that Buddhists and Hindus could live close to one another in harmony at that time. (I heard this from a Friend.)

Finally I wish to quote again from Al Qur’an “I created the Nations and the Tribes so that you can all get to know one another. And in my eyes they are the most pious and devout”.

So we are different because of Him.

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