Joining Yuletide events not haram, Muslims told
COTABATO CITY—Muslims are not prohibited from joining the Christmas celebration or cooperating with Christians in observing the event, according to the Philippine Grand Mufti, the highest Islamic official in the country.
“We do not celebrate, but we participate,” said Sheikh Abu Hurairah Udasan of the Philippines’ Dharul Ifta (House of Opinion).
Udasan, who preaches both Muslim and Christian doctrines on such timely issues as terrorism, noted a “misconception” on Muslims attending Christmas parties.
He said he found nothing wrong in Muslims cooperating with Christians to celebrate Christmas. He cited as examples the Christmas parties in government agencies, including those held in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
The mufti said it would be good to look at other Muslim countries like Malaysia, “where official days like Christmas and Chinese holidays are recognized by the government, as an example of a harmonious country as far as religion is concerned.”
“There are no great differences among us, because (each one follows) his own religion. (But) in Islam, we have to abstain ourselves from celebrating Christmas,” Udasan said.
“Some of us Muslims, now the considered minority, would have to cooperate. There is nothing wrong in participating. It just meant that there is a friendly relation between the two religions. It’s just a matter of pakikisama (gesture of goodwill),” he said.
While Muslims should not “oppose this celebration,” he said, they “should not be encouraged to believe that Jesus Christ was born on
Muslims regard Christ as among the major prophets of God. He was known as Nabi Isa, the son of Maryam.