It all starts when the leaves begin to change color here in New England. October comes, Halloween rolls around, and the arguments begin. I guess that the idea that we argue at all is silly, but it is our duty as Muslims to advise our brothers and sisters of things that they are doing wrong. It becomes personal, and people get accused of trying to shove their ideas down others throats, when in fact we are only sharing the rulings of some of our best scholars.
A few more weeks pass and we come across Thanksgiving... and yet again, more arguing. Every excuse in the book is thrown up there. Things like... it not a religious holiday, and its a time to be with family and thank God for what we have. At its origin, it was a Religious holiday. The people that celebrated it were Christian, and they were thanking God. If only those Wampanoag Indians knew what would become of their land and tribe they never would have sat down. Over time Thanksgiving has become something else to Americans, but we should not, and can not forget its origin.
Now that we are past the turkey, we bump smack into Santa Clause. Christmas is here! If there is anything I don't understand, it is how any Muslim can justify celebrating Christmas. It is a celebration that glorifies something that is a huge sin in Islam. Shirk. Christian celebrate Christmas because they believe it was the day that Isa (Jesus) was born. They see Isa as God himself. Even if it has become a Santa filled commercialized spending fest, it is still based on a religious holiday. One that is not ours.
As a revert I understand how hard it is to explain to friends and family that you will not be celebrating these holidays. It takes time, but if you ask your family to respect your faith and are firm in that, inshallah they will understand. A lot of reverts (myself included) will have nice memories of time spent with family and friends during the holiday season. But let us try to remember that its not the holiday that made us happy, it is the people that we love. Find ways to keep that feeling alive without comprimising your faith.
Finally, I'd just like to say that we are commanded by Allah to obey him and obey his messenger. That is the most simple thing to understand and its easy to follow.
Anas (ra), a companion of prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) reported that when the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) migrated from Makkah to Madinah, the people of Madinah used to have two festivals. On those two days they had carnivals and festivity. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) asked the Ansaar (the Muslims of Madinah) about it. They replied that before Islam they used to have carnivals on those two joyous days. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) told them: 'Instead of those two days, Allah has appointed two other days which are better, the days of Eid-al-Fitr and Eid-al-Adha.'