Reflection: Being Muslim During Christmas
As a Muslim, I don't celebrate Christmas. We don't celebrate Christmas because of the different religious beliefs. We believe in Jesus as a prophet. Yet I still enjoy some of the festivities. I will wish you Merry Christmas and I hope you will wish me Eid Mubarak. It's about being respectful. When I was younger and didn't know how to talk about Eid, I would say it's like Christmas for Muslims.
It's a time of giving and we believe in giving charity. Friends and family would get together to enjoy food and the time off work. We are thankful for the blessings and guidance given to us.
We drive around the neighborhood to see the lights. There is always the anticipation of when the streets would be decorated. Sometimes, there wouldn't be many decorations or none there at all. Near my home, there is a company that makes up a whole Christmas scene with lights and we would wait in a long line to drive around and see it.
No one wants to miss out on a holiday shopping sale. The classic songs are catchy and I sing along to them. I don't have a playlist of them, but when a song is on, you'll see me smile and nod along to the beat.
One question I would get asked is why I get the day off for Eid. It's my religious holiday. They would feel jealous and wonder why I got to skip school. They got two weeks off and for them it's a national holiday. For me, it's not a national holiday.
For example, look at Malaysia. It is a country where a majority is Muslim. The national holidays include more than the Muslim holidays of Eid. They include Christmas, Chinese New Year, and Deepavali.
Only recently, Eid was added to calendars in the United States. It would be great to one day see it be a national holiday.
Photo Credit: Fida Islaih