Sunday 24 December 2023

Buya Yahya explains the meaning of tolerance in Islam. What is the law regarding saying `Merry Christmas`?


As Christmas approaches, there is usually a debate regarding whether Muslims can say it to Christians. This is because those who do not wish Merry Christmas are considered to have no religious tolerance towards Christians.

However, on the other hand, in Islamic teachings it is stated that saying ‘Merry Christmas’ is haram. Therefore, the form of tolerance is to allow Christians to celebrate Christmas according to their teachings.

However, what is true tolerance, especially in saying ‘Merry Christmas’ to Christians.

Responding to this, Buya Yahya explained that true tolerance is mutual respect without forcing. For example, during Eid al-Fitr, Muslims cannot force Christians to celebrate it. This is because it is not mandatory for them.

“Tolerance is  don’t force others to follow you. So because tolerance is wrong in its application. For example, if you are tolerant of Eid al-Fitr, you should not force Christian employees to say ‘Happy Hari Raya’ or give gifts, that’s how it should be. “Like reciting the Koran, it is not mandatory for Christians,” said Buya Yahya in a video uploaded to the Al-Bahjah TV YouTube channel, some time ago.

Thus tolerance means the absence of coercion, including saying Christmas. Buya Yahya explained why Muslims don’t say it because Christmas is a celebration of the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ, while in Islamic teachings Isa AS is a prophet.

 “What does it mean to say ‘Merry Christmas’? Saying it means celebrating the birth of Jesus who is God for Christians. So, if we (Muslims) don’t worry because the Prophet Isa is not God for Muslims.

Therefore, from these different teachings, you should already understand why Muslims do not celebrate Christmas. Buya Yahya said, this is not a problem. The reason is, Christians also don’t have a problem if Muslims don’t say it.

“So if saying it is haram is not a problem, it is actually the problem with Muslims who are stupid. “Christians don’t have a problem if Islam doesn’t say Christmas,” he continued.

Thus, respecting each other’s beliefs without forcing them is what is called tolerance. Muslims should not force Christians to celebrate Eid al-Fitr and other celebrations. On the other hand, Christians should not force Christians to say Christmas for them.

Meanwhile, for things that are mandatory, namely, helping each other. Buya Yahya said, if Christians are having difficulties, then Muslims are obliged to help them. This also applies vice versa.

“In Islam there is no tolerance for obligations, for example if our sick neighbor is obliged to give, if our Christian neighbor is sick, we are obliged to give him food, give him medicine, for our Christian neighbor who is hungry we are obliged to give, so that is not tolerance but an obligation,” he explained.

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