- Holidays and Celebrations
The Christmas Celebrations and observations of a Muslim
At the outset, I extend my heartfelt wishes to all of you on the auspicious occasion of Christmas. The birth of Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) was a mercy to the mankind which in turn led the whole humankind to the path of peace and salvation. Its remembrance has to be adorned with the same fervor; celebrations at all levels should bear with the essence of the same, must embellish the society with peace and provide a hope of salvation for the mankind.
The Church Services
The popular ways of celebrating the happy occasion must have the vehemence of passion; look at the Church Services, on this particular day all the Christians gather at the Church.They are admonished with the teachings of Jesus Christ. A remembrance of what they have read day in and day out in the Holy Bible. It’s an assembly of the faithful. Every soul has been adorned with the Love of Jesus Christ (pbuh) and a high reverence of Mother Mary (pbuh). Every spoken word that strikes the ear must have an impact over the heart, should get extended to the outer world by means of the spirit of the ‘word of God’.
The visit to the Church in real sense is a visit to God’s abode, an exposure to the Divine teachings, a way to refresh the faith and a course of softening the hearts, the rational outcome of which has to be borne with some constructive efforts that not only purifies the souls and decorates the premises with the ‘word of God’ but they should also beautify the society with the impeccable values. The prominent features of such a society should reflect through more of virtues, less of evils, the majority of the doer of good deeds, a minority of the disobedient of God, majority of supporters of the lesser known ones and a very few who doesn't care this at all. Visiting the Church is a process of recharging the self, so when the believers come out of the Church everything that has connection with them should get rejuvenated.
The Family Gathering
On the auspicious occasion, the assembly of the near and dear ones just multiplies the joy. Today’s advanced and busy life has simply changed the way we look at our relationships, what our elders have set the examples of mutual love and respect, we seldom find ourselves following their footsteps. Such an occasion not only revives the healthy and faithful tradition, but also pricks our minds to pay attention towards this noble aspect of strengthening the family bonding.
The aftermath of the celebration should witness a continuation of this healthy trend of family gathering. The assembly of dear ones itself is an occasion for which, in normal days, we don’t have to wait for another such auspicious occasion to come. Such familial gatherings must soften the hearts to be with them at the time of sorrow and grief and everyone should try to make their days and nights filled with peace and happiness.
The Social Gatherings
It’s an extension of the family gathering, we deem the world to be an abode of God and all the humans are children of single parents, so when an assembly beyond the familial boundaries does arranged, it takes the shape of another family in a broader sense. The same objectives should be realized at the time when people from the cross section gather, some timely advice, expression of a humane concern and an urge to schedule such gathering with regular interval, will serve the purpose. The peace and progress of the society do not always need materialistic progress, it’s a healthy collective conscience that revolutionizes the society in all respects, and this occasion simply reminds the same.
This is one of the most wonderful forms of celebrating the Christmas. Offering gifts to the dear ones and demanding of the gifts from the elder ones. Anything that is gifted for the sake of God cultivates true love and an unbroken bonding. The most heartening forms of gifts are those that are being offered by little hands to the aged ones. The grandchildren offering gifts to their grandparents is a treat to watch. This kind gesture not only reflects the love and respect of the elders in the little hearts but also predicts a bright future of the present generation. Realization of the elders contribution and their sacrifices is a stepping stone for all round development of the personalities, this joyous occasion serves as a parameter to see the same in the little hearts. As a whole, this particular aspect inculcates the idea of offering gifts to those who deserve. Everyone has to be a ‘Santa Claus’ / ‘Saint Nicholas’ in his own way to offer his services as a gift to those who need, his emotional support as an offer to those who are unwell, lending hands as a precious offer to those who are needy, and offering of a lasting gift in the form of ‘good manners’ to the little ones.
The Gift Ideas
For Grandparents – For the righteous elders nothing can be more precious than the gift of love and affection. At the final stage of their lives, the love and affection reflected through caring and sharing attitude and establishing a developmental relationship with them can be simply unmatched. Whatever may be the material things offered, should have this very spirit pasted on it with bold letters:
"Here I present myself to be at your service all the time like your chair and stick, they don’t talk, but I do, they don’t heed to your admonitions, but I do, they can’t reduce your pain but I do with all my love".
For Parents – Nothing can match with the status of parents, they are next to God and our existence is their virtue. Even if we spend every moment in their service can’t be termed as a justification for their love and sacrifices. The gift should be invaluable in the sense it should have an endorsement of our true love, a commitment to fulfill their dreams and a promise to remain their obedient. The gift should have underlined words:
"Nothings matches with the status and dignity of my mom and dad, this is a humble attempt, a kind gesture of expressing of my Love and Reverence and a strong commitment that I will remain your obedient".
For Friends - The spring in our life comes in real sense when it’s filled with friends. With the camaraderie of friends we do understand some realities of life; the gift should be a kind gesture of appreciation for their dynamic role in our lives.
"Your camaraderie is to me what gardens are to the city, the moments spend with you have simply added days to my life. A kind gesture of appreciation not as beautiful and attractive as your friendship is".
Our premises adorn with loads of stuffs and sport a very attractive look. This symbolic decoration is done in anticipation of the coming of Jesus Christ (pbuh) and also as a protection against the pagans and the witches.
Decoration of the premises and the beautification of self is a mark of respect in the sense it reveals the inner self and the love and admiration within. Since it is being done with a noble hope of Jesus’s visit, it has to have an extension of its own, as it’s quite apparent with the colors of decorating stuffs used. The green, gold and red, to name they are just three colors, but the meaning they symbolize encompasses the whole of our life. One has to believe that there is no sense of honor and majesty (the gold color) but accepting and following the ‘words of God’. Following the right path is not going to be easy in any sense, hardships, test and trials and hindrance of internal and external nature are bound to engulf the path over which we intend to continue our journey confidently, so it’s the sacrifice (red color) that makes the journey a cake walk, and shedding the blood in God’s way will be the epitome of such sacrifice. With a heart filled with a feeling of majesty coupled with sacrifice ensures eternal life (the green color) for both the individuals and the groups. Human lives should symbolize the colors of God, the abstract colors represents a brighter society, the shiny colors represents the glittering personalities.
The Wish List
The wish is a true reflection of faith, stronger the faith, the purer and greater is the wish. At this joyous occasion what can be a better 'wish list' than the one that depicts a true sense of celebrations? The love of Jesus Christ (pbuh), concern for sufferings of the humanity, peace and prosperity of the world, amicable living in a plural society, expressive demands to the parents, accomplishment of the tasks, the fulfillment of the dreams of the better half, due decoration of the home, fulfillment of the innocent wishes of the children.
The Christmas Will Come Back Again
This Christmas is bound to come back again after a year, what need to be focused is the way of celebrations; it should appear that the gala events are growing in stature and significance proportionately with our increasing age and the changing situations.
© 2014 – Muhammad Abdullah Javed ( m abdullah javed).