What Christmas Means to Muslim Communities Around the World


Christmas is a Christian festival that celebrates the birth of Jesus on whom we pray. Christians refer to him as Jesus Christ, the son of God (astagfirula), while Muslims believe he was a prophet of God. Both Christians and Muslims believe he was the Messiah, a word that means savior or liberator. 

Jesus on whom we pray is mentioned in the Holy Quran in Arabic. His name is Issa. The story of his birth is also mentioned, though it is a little different from the Christian story. Muslims respect Prophet Jesus and, like Christians, believe in his second coming. 

So many Christians would have a church service to remember the birth of Jesus, usually held in the evening or sometimes even at midnight. Jesus is the light, and his coming is the power of light over darkness. 

What religious celebrations are there in the winter? Christmas is celebrated on various days and in various ways, for example, in France and Namibia they will have an evening meal on the 24th of December before or after Mass, in Egypt and Ethiopia it is celebrated on the 7th of January. 

And in many countries such as the UK, it is celebrated on the 25th of December. Lights, lamps, and candles have nothing to do with Christmas, but they are examples of people celebrating during these months. 

It is not only religions that celebrate during these months, but cultures as well, such as Kwanzaa, a seven-day festival where candles are also lit and is a celebration of African American history and culture that is widely celebrated in the United States. 

Muslims do not have a festival of light like Hindus, Sikhs, or Jewish people, but we can respect their celebrations. The Holy Quran mentions Allah as the light or a Lord in Islam. There are major festivals Edul Adha, Eidul Fitr, and Lailatul Qadar, so Muslims do have time for celebration too. 

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