Note: The Following is a fictional story which should serve as a framework for a little Christmas Dawah
Twas the night before Christmas, all was still
Down the road came my good friend Bill
And I will not rhyme anymore as it is hurting my head trying to think up a way to make the entire conversation rhyme!
Bill: Merry Christmas, Ismail.
Me: How are you, Bill?
Bill: I am fine on this festive eve, will you not wish me Merry Christmas
Me: Sorry my friend, I do not believe in Christmas. Can I ask you a question though?
Bill: Go ahead
Me: Why do you celebrate Christmas? What is so special about this day?
Bill: It is the day our Lord and Savior Jesus was born?
Me: before we get into the Lord issue, you sure he was born on this day?
Bill: Yes, why do you ask?
Me: Because according to Biblical data, he was born in Summer.
Bill: It is Summer
Me: Not in the Nothern hemisphere
Bill: Oh yeah, you are right about that, you sure about this?
Me: Yes, researchers point out that Jesus was born in May, but you do not need to take my word for it, just google it
Bill: I will, but then how did 25 December become known as Christmas day?
Me: Historians differ over the exact reason, they do agree that it is on this day the sun reversed its southward retreat and due to that some ancient pagan religions used to worship the birth of the Sun-God on this day. Some argue that over time, it became known as the day the Son of God was born, but others regard it as an unrelated coincidence.
Bill: Very interesting, so if people know this, why is Christmas still such a big deal?
Me: Because it has been commercialized. It is the time of the year in which businesses make the most money and in order to keep this up, they need to keep Christmas special. This is why a lot of money is spend on Christmas movies, special tv shows, decorations and that annoying jingle bells song that plays in all the shops. ;)
Bill: Haha, the song is annoying but Christmas is such a beautiful time of the year in which families gather and enjoy the festive spirirt.
Me: Sadly, it is also the time of the year in which the most car accidents, intoxication and fornication occur.
Bill: That is true, so.....don't you Mozlems celebrate any holidays at all?
Me: We celebrate the two Eids, which are the Day of Ramadan and the third day of the Hajj
Bill: oh yes, you did tell me about fasting in Ramadan and the Hajj before. Thats the journey Malcolm X made, right?
Me: The same one. :)
Bill: Well that was educational, but I'm curious now as to why you know so much about Jesus
Me: Well, we Muslims believe that Jesus was the prophet of God who came with the same message as Muhammad, Moses, Abraham and all the other prophets, which is that we should worship God alone. Sadly, over time pagan beliefs crept into Christianity, most dominantly is the belief in a begotten son a God which we regard as blasphemous. In order to find out when and how the followers of Jesus started worshipping him, I studied the history of Christianity and the Bible.
Bill: And that is how you discovered all this, very impressive. You know, we have been friends for a while but I we never got down to discussing our religious differences before. Today has been quite interesting, but now I need to get going. Maybe I'll research the history of your religion and bring you some facts that you did not know next time. ;)
Me: Please go ahead and do so, although I studied my own religion's history before studying others. In fact, here are some DVDs and books to get you started.
Bill: Thank you, Ismail. I won't say Merry Christmas to you again, so......happy holidays!
Me: Enjoy your holidays too, hope you find it spiritually uplifting. May God guide us both to what pleases him.
Inshaa Allah, such conversations could open the door to Bill becoming Bilal. Or we could just avoid the whole conversation, wish him Merry Christmas and let him continue living a life involved in Shirk while we face the consequences for avoiding our duty of Dawah.
Allah knows best.