Archive for the ‘Muslim’ Category

Learning about Jesus

Monday, December 19th, 2011

In my community we mark Christmas by learning about Jesus from the Islamic perspective. I want to educate young Muslims about Jesus and the second coming.  Jesus is very important in Islam, and he heralded the arrival of the prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Learning about Jesus also matters because we live among Christians.

At this time of year in my Qur’an school the children learn about Jesus in the Qur’an. The school is attended by 400 pupils and meets every evening. Children also have the opportunity to learn about Jesus at the Fig tree primary school (a Muslim faith school in Nottingham). Usually at this time of year we watch a film called St Mary, which brings out the Islamic perspective on the birth of Christ.

We invite our local vicar to talk about Christmas on our local community radio station, Dawn 107.6 FM. And I do a yearly Christmas lecture about Jesus for Muslim teens and young people.

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A Christian-Muslim Christmas

Monday, December 19th, 2011

My Christian mother and Muslim father came to Britain from Ghana. When I was a child we prayed a lot. During the day we said prayers with Dad and in the evening when he went out to work we’d pray and read the Bible with Mum.

I’m a Christian now because my mother’s influence was stronger. I enjoy working for the Christian Muslim Forum because it’s important that Christians and Muslims get along. My mother was very soft hearted. She
always said “you must never let the sun go down on your anger.”

When we were children we would celebrate Christmas. We put up a Christmas tree, had presents and had the family over on Christmas day. We played Christian music in the house. Dad didn’t have much of an issue with it. I’m guessing Dad didn’t want to deprive us of Christmas. All our friends at school had Christmas. Even at primary school there’d be trees in the classroom and we’d give gifts. He wanted us to have the same feelings as other kids and not feel somehow different.

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Silent Night

Monday, December 19th, 2011

As a British Muslim I learnt about my faith (Islam) from a young age, I also learnt to understand Christianity through school by being part of the school choir, nativity plays and prayers of thanks. I’m also familiar with Christian hymns and Christmas carols, in fact many of them seem to be stored in my memory and come rushing forth at this time of year when you hear them all around. I understand Christianity to complement my own faith; Muslims have great respect for Prophet Jesus and Christianity has a history in Islam.

I was educated in church schools at primary and secondary level and joined the choir in my early years. At Christmas time we’d go to medical centres and other public places and sing carols to elderly folk and the general public, it was our way of sharing our singing ‘skills’ with our communities. One of my favourite carols is Silent Night; to this day it gives me a feeling of tranquillity and peace each time I hear it.
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Happy Christmas 4 All

Monday, December 19th, 2011

When I was a child our family always liked Christmas time, even if we didn’t celebrate it the way that Christians would.  Depending on what was going on, we’d sometimes have a tree or presents or a turkey dinner.

The story of Jesus, Mary and the virgin birth is very important in the Islamic tradition even if we don’t believe that Jesus was the Son of God. My parents taught me that although we did not agree with all parts of the nativity story, we should not disrespect the values and beliefs of others. We were told to show our disagreements respectfully and politely. I have been to carol services, at school or later with Christian friends. My children have also appeared in nativity plays at their school, just as I did when I was school.
Christmas is a special time in that it is an important part of our cultural calendar. The whole country rallies around this time of the year, and that creates something quite special that goes beyond (even if it is linked to) the basic Christian message of Christmas.  People of all faiths can tap into the Christmas spirit of giving and sharing, being with family and thinking about others.
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My Muslim Hero

Monday, December 19th, 2011

The Muslim contribution to global society, culture, science, religion and spirituality is undeniable. This January, following on from Muslims writing about Christmas, we’re giving Christians and other non-Muslims the chance to write about their favourite Muslims from history.

We’re looking for articles of between 300 to 1000 words in length about any Muslim hero or heroine from the 8th to the 20th centuries.
Please send questions and articles to Claire at Claire@christianmuslimforum.org.
Thanks for your help!
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Creating Muslim Christian Traditions

Monday, December 19th, 2011

Creating Muslim Christmas Traditions

When I was young, one of the things I looked forward to the most during Christmas was opening the doors to my Advent calendar. My favourite calendars were the ones without chocolate traditional European styled posters, with small, thin doors that revealed simple pictures. There was something magical about finding the door, and trying to guess if the days surprise was a colourful candy cane, a wooden horse or a gingerbread cookie. Every year I would stare at the pictures que winter scene for hours imagining myself playing with the glistening snow and the sleigh-riding children.  I would wipe my hands across the Christmas star and carry the glitter on my hands all day long.

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Have a very Muslim Christmas

Monday, December 19th, 2011

Brilliant, multi-coloured lights flash from storefront windows; giant wreaths, shining silver faux icicles and cartoonish depictions of Santa hang low from mall ceilings; giant 15-foot Christmas trees piled high with elaborate, wrapped boxes line entrance corridors; ready-made, delectable Christmas cookies and chocolates intoxicate passers-by with their sweet, comforting smell, and the latest secular Christmas pop tunes pour out from Starbucks and other trendy hot-spots. People crowd the malls looking for the perfect gift or are drawn by the holiday deals. Babies are enthralled by the lights and kids run around with Santa hats. The Christmas spirit is running high, and is only briefly interrupted by the call to prayer. It’s Christmas in Kuwait.

I have to admit, my first trip to Kuwait to meet the in-laws was a cultural shock on many levels. Forget about meeting an extended family so large that after years of marriage, close relatives I have never heard of are still coming out of the woodwork.
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Christmas in London

Monday, December 19th, 2011

Christmas in London is definitely one of my favourite times of year − the atmosphere of happiness, good will and joy is truly heart-warming. As a Muslim, I do not celebrate Christmas, but I do enjoy the festive season. Watching nostalgic films on TV that emphasise the importance of family and love and making the annual trip to Oxford Street and Regent Street to see the Christmas lights have been part of my Christmas routine ever since I can remember; not for any particular religious reason, but because it gives me joy.

However, as a Muslim, Christmas is not merely that. I too celebrate the Virgin Mary’s birth of Jesus, just not on a particular day, and not in the way my Christian brothers and sisters do or in the way that Christmas is celebrated in popular culture. I celebrate it differently.
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Christmas through Muslim Eyes

Monday, December 19th, 2011

How better to honour the birthday of Jesus than by spreading peace and goodwill?  The Christian Muslim Forum is looking for Muslim writers and bloggers for a social media campaign to be run this December.

“Christmas through Muslim Eyes” will be your chance to share your thoughts, ideas and experiences of a festival that dominates British culture.

Your readers may be people who are completely unfamiliar with Islam. This is your opportunity to build friendship by showing what you think of a festival that is very important to them. We are looking for articles of between 300 to 1000 words to be published on our website.  We welcome entries of all types, whether spiritual, reflective and academic or funny, entertaining and personal.

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