Wednesday, December 15, 2010

"The meaning has changed for me"

"The meaning has changed for me".... have you heard this before? I mostly hear or read this when Muslims are trying to justify celebrating holidays other than the 2 Eids. Aside from the following hadith telling us that we only celebrate Eid... just about every other holiday that is out there has some sort of pagan, religious or evil origin.

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.'

Lets take Thanksgiving for example. From a very young age, Americans are duped into thinking that Thanksgiving was a day that the pilgrims and Native Americans came together for a feast. The real story goes a little something like this:

In 1637 near present day Groton, Connecticut, over 700 men, women and children of the Pequot Tribe had gathered for their annual Green Corn Festival which is our Thanksgiving celebration. In the predawn hours the sleeping Indians were surrounded by English and Dutch mercenaries who ordered them to come outside. Those who came out were shot or clubbed to death while the terrified women and children who huddled inside the longhouse were burned alive. The next day the governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony declared "A Day Of Thanksgiving" because 700 unarmed men, women and children had been murdered.

You can read more here if you like:

So back to my point. Even if you share this information with some, they will tell you that it does not mean that to them and its all about family and food. So lets create an imaginary holiday with a similar history and see how it sounds.

Victory Day is celebrated through out La La Land. Long ago, brave fighters from La La Land rode thousands of miles on horseback to a far away land called Splovia. The LaLa soldiers were on a mission and they plundered, killed, raped and burned their way through Splovia. It was said that Splovians were evil and wicked people. The blood ran in the streets of Splovia like rivers. When the battles were over, the King of La La Land declared the mission accomplished and the first Victory day was celebrated by burning a final village of Splovians to the ground and stringing up the bodies for all to see. In modern times, Victory day is celebrated with huge feasts and red and white flags flying. Families travel long distances to see each other and even exchange Victory candles. No one really thinks too much about the murderous past of the day because its 'All about family and food'.

How about we replace La La Land with Europe and Splovia with the 'Holy Land'. Now we have the crusades. Should we celebrate that? I mean come on!!??? It isn't about a murderous rampage... its about family and food! right?

Perhaps my little scenario is far fetched, but when I do my research on most holidays it amazes me that no one cares what they are really about. I'm not saying that we have to protest non Muslim holidays, we should just avoid them and go about our lives. Why do we need to participate in these things? They either involve shirk, pagan rituals, murder or nationalism. None of which we are supposed to give a second thought.

If commercialism wants to take the Christian holidays and make them into a marketing ploy, so be it, but why would we want to support their misguided greed? Santa and the Easter Bunny want one thing from everyone... their money. I don't even understand why Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus on December 25th... he was most likely born in the spring. The only reason the early Church established it in December was to appeal to the pagans of the time and make their transition easier to Christianity.

So saying that the meaning has changed for you is sort of like saying that you know better than Allah and his messenger. That you know whats best. May Allah make it easy for us all to follow the straight path.