| Azlan Othman |
MUSLIMS have been once again advised to be careful not to follow celebrations such as Christmas which “is not in any way related to Islam” and could lead to ‘tasyabbuh’ (imitation) and unknowingly damage the ‘aqidah’ (faith) of Muslims.
Muslims are prohibited from imitating the customs and practices of other religions that are not related to Islamic faith, Imams said in the Friday sermon yesterday.
“In a hadith narrated by Ibnu Umar (may Allah the Almighty be pleased with him), Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, ‘Whoever imitates a people is one of them’,” they added.
“During Christmas celebrations, Muslims following that religion’s acts – such as using their religious symbols like cross, lighting candles, making Christmas trees and singing religious songs, sending Christmas greetings, using signs praising the religion, putting up decorations or creating sounds and doing anything that amounts to respecting their religion – are against Islamic faith,” Imams said.
“Some may think that it is a frivolous matter and should not be brought up as an issue. But as Muslims and as a Zikir Nation, we must keep it (following other religions’ celebrations) away as it could affect our Islamic faith.”
Imams also said Islam does not prohibit its Ummah from interacting with other believers so long as it does not fight or resist Muslims.
“According to the State Mufti’s Fatwa (decree), believers of other religions that live under the rule of an Islamic country according to Islam may practise their religion or celebrate their religious festivities among their community, with the condition that the celebrations are not publicised or displayed openly to Muslims.
“Festivities of religions other than Islam sometimes drive certain Muslims to celebrate. It is not just about the celebration but their faith and belief. And when celebrating such festivities, there certainly exists beliefs and practices that are against the teachings of Islam.
“Sometimes such beliefs are infused with entertainment to enliven or for any other religious purposes which Muslims are unaware of. The Ummah should be careful not to follow such celebrations that are totally not related to Islam.
Imams concluded the sermon by reminding the Ummah not to be influenced by other religions for us to be protected from calamities that it may bring.
Prelude to Christmas celebrations last year, the Religious Enforcement Division under the Syariah Affairs Department, Ministry of Religious Affairs visited several business premises owned by both Muslims and non-Muslims in the Brunei-Muara District which publicly displayed Christmas decorations such as Santa Claus figures, Christmas trees, banners displaying Christmas greetings, and sales personnel dressed like Santa Claus and asked them to remove those.