Home Family and Marriage Educate your kids about Jesus and Christmas

Educate your kids about Jesus and Christmas

By Bayynat editor

An article published on OnIslam discussed the issue of Muslims’ celebrating Christmas.

 Every year, around Christmas time, many Muslims living in the West, wonder what to do about the holidays, what to tell their children about Christmas and Jesus (a.s.) and why they are different.

What are you going to say this year when your children will ask you, “Why Muslims do not celebrate Christmas?!” The writer attempts to answer the aforementioned question by providing the reader with methods about teaching our children about Christmas, the character of Prophet Issa (a.s.), and the sanctimony of the celebration.

Respect your neighbors

Prophet Muhammad (p) was faced with this question when he arrived in Medina to consolidate the first Muslim community. Muslims were then a minority living among Christian and Jews.

The Prophet (p) said: “Najran has the protection of God and the pledges of Muhammad, the Prophet, to protect their (the Christians') lives, faith, land, property, those who are absent and those who are present, and their clan and allies. They need not change anything of their past customs. No right of theirs or their religion shall be altered. No church leader, monk or church guard shall be removed from his position.”

It is important that Muslim parents teach their children to respect other people’s beliefs. It is essential to point out the fact that Muslims hate whatever Allah did not permit, but they do not hate the people of different beliefs. There is always room for people of other faiths to learn and grow. We do not give up on them. They have their own customs and we have ours.

Allah says in His holy Book: “You have your religion, and I have mine.” (109:6)

Teach your children to stay away from mocking the beliefs of other people. Almighty Allah says, “And insult not those whom they (disbelievers) worship besides God, lest they insult God wrongfully without knowledge. Thus We have made fair-seeming to each people its own doings; then to their Lord is their return and He shall then inform them of all that they used to do.” (6:108).

Tell Your Kids the Story of Jesus

Inform your child that Christmas comes from the word Christ used to call Jesus Christ. The “Mass” is a religious ceremony. Christ means “the Messiah” or “messenger” of God. It is an honorific title.

Jesus is known in Arabic as Issa (a.s.) as mentioned in the Quran.

Muslims have an utmost respect for Prophet Jesus (a.s.). Every time Muslims mention the name Jesus, they add “Peace be upon him. In the Quran, the name of Prophet Jesus is mentioned five times more than the name of Prophet Muhammad.

Impress upon your child that Prophet Jesus (a.s.) is important in both Islam and Christianity. However, there are major differences in what we believe happened to him.

Read the passages in the Qur’an pertaining to Jesus (a.s.) and his mother, Mary. Go to the third chapter of the Quran called “The Family of Imran” and also go to the nineteenth chapter of the Quran called “Mariam”.

The Quran, like the Bible, confirms that Jesus (a.s.) was born from a mother but not from a father. It confirms that Jesus’ birth was miraculous.

(Remember) when the angels said, “O Mary, God gives you good news of a word from Him (God), whose name is the Messiah Jesus, son of Mary, revered in this world and the Hereafter, and one of those brought near (to God).  He will speak to the people from his cradle and as a man, and he is of the righteous.” She said, “My Lord, how can I have a child when no mortal has touched me?” He said, “So (it will be). God creates what He wills. If He decrees a thing, He says to it only, ‘Be!’ and it is.” (3:45-47)

However, Muslims believe Jesus (a.s.) was able to speak when he was a baby in order to defend his mother against the neighbors’ accusations and in order to preach. Christians, on the other end, believe Jesus started preaching when he was thirty years old.

Then she (Mary) pointed to him. They said: ‘How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle?' He (Jesus) said: ‘Verily! I am a slave of God, He has given me the Scripture and made me a Prophet.” (19:29-30).

Because of his miraculous birth, Christians believe Jesus is the son of God. Muslims believe he (peace be upon him) is only a prophet.

Such was Jesus, the son of Mary; it is a statement of truth, about which they vainly dispute. It is not befitting to the majesty of God, that He should beget a son. Glory be to Him! When He determines a matter, He only says to it, ‘Be' and it is.” (19:34-35).

Both Christians and Muslims believe Jesus (a.s.) performed many miracles during his life. The Qur’an says that he (a.s.) healed the blind and the leper and was also able to raise the dead with the help of Allah.

I have come to you with a sign from your Lord.  I make for you the shape of a bird out of clay, I breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by God’s permission.  I heal the blind from birth and the leper.  And I bring the dead to life by God’s permission.  And I tell you what you eat and what you store in your houses.” (3:49)

The Bible agrees with the Qur’an on the miracles, but does not mention that Jesus spoke in his cradle, neither does the Bible mention Jesus could breathe life into a bird made of clay.

Christians believe Jesus was martyred on the cross to atone people’s sins (Bible Romans 4:25).  Muslims think a person who looked alike Jesus (a.s.) was put on the cross. Muslims also believe nobody can be responsible for another person’s sins.

They did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, but they thought they did.” (4:156).

Celebrate Our Muslim Identity

One way to help children to be proud of being Muslim is to let them know there is nothing wrong to be different.

Christmas sets makes some kids feel left out; but when parents educate them about the root of this religious occasion and tell them more about the message of Prophet Jesus, they will become aware of their faith, and hence their identity.

Teaching them about Jesus (a.s.) at an early age and letting them know the difference between Christians’ and Muslims’ beliefs, will empower them with the ability to tell people about these differences with confidence.

Encourage your children to say proudly, “I’m a Muslim.”

Comments

1

Name: Ahmed Zeitoun
Subject: christmas
Comment: Salam Hi i just want to know if it is haram to celebrate christmas in my house when my wife is a christian? She does not beleive in christmas but enjoys seeing all her family get together. thank you
Answer: This is not forbidden, provided that no forbidden acts are committed.

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