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A Ramadan guide for non-Muslims

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Source: washingtonpost.com

By: Asma Uddin and Shazia Kamal

In the next few weeks, you may come into work and find your co-worker taking a power nap at 9:30am. At break time, you’ll notice she is missing in the discussion about Harry Potter over at the water cooler. At the staff meeting, you will be shocked when she is offered coffee and cookies and refuses ! By lunch time, your concern about her missing at the water cooler compels you to investigate the situation.

Then you remember what she had mentioned last week over a delicious Sushi lunch. Flooded with relief, you go up to her desk, and proclaim with much gusto, “Ramadan Mubarak (Moo-baa-rak)!” Ramadan’s Blessings to you!

The month of Ramadan is a happy occasion; it is the month that the Muslim holy book, the Koran, was revealed to our Prophet Muhammad. Muslims are called by their religion to celebrate the month by coming together in worship, fasting each day for thirty days from dawn until sunset.

While this may seem like a tremendous feat, consider this: Fasting while working is an even greater endeavor. Make it a little easier on your Muslim colleague by following a couple of simple rules:

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Is greeting Christians or others with the traditional Christmas greeting “merry Christmas” or “happy Christmas” permissible in Islam?

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By: Dr. Bilal Philips

Is greeting Christians or others with the traditional Christmas greeting “merry Christmas” or “happy Christmas” permissible in Islam?

It is not permissible for a Muslim to greet Christians with the traditional Christmas greeting because it means celebrating the day of “God’s” birth – a concept absolutely abhorrent to Muslims and in direct contradiction to the Qur’aanic verse, “He (Allah) did not give birth nor was He born.” (Qur’an 112:3)
The date of birth of Prophet Jesus, like that of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon them both) was unknown and it was chosen to match the Saturnalia, the festival of the harvest dedicated to the Roman god of the harvest, Saturn. Christians did not celebrate the birth of Christ for the first 3 centuries after Jesus’ departure because birthday celebration was a known pagan practice. Similarly, Muslims did not celebrate Prophet Muhammad’s birthday until 4 centuries after his death. The practice was started on a state scale by the Fatimid Shi’ite caliphate in Egypt and the date of the Prophet’s death was chosen for the celebration. Dr Bilal