As-Salamu `Alaykum sister,
May your family growth in strength and harmony in Islam, `in sha’ Allah.
Thank you for sharing with us your story. I must say that it sounds like your children grow up in a very cheerful home environment.
Childhood is indeed a very special period of one’s life, full of magic and wonder, and each new day the imagination is ready to explore the world. Having experienced this for yourself, this is probably what you wanted to pass on to your children. This is the beauty of Islam, which many of us seem to miss out on.
Islam is a religion of knowledge and a religion that is rooted in the natural laws, so there is much to wonder about. The more we can learn and understand our religion in daily life, the more we are able to appreciate Allah’s creation.
“The sun and the moon follow a reckoning. And the herbs and the trees do adore (Him). And the heaven, He raised it high, and he made the balance, That you may not be inordinate in respect of the measure. And keep up the balance with equity and do not make the measure deficient. And the earth, He has set it for living creatures; Therein is fruit and palms having sheathed clusters, And the grain with (its) husk and fragrance. Which then of the bounties of your Lord will you deny?” (Qur’an 55: 7-13)
How is it that the sun and the moon appear when they do, and how is it they make things grow and nourish us and the vegetation, and how is it that they know when to appear and change the tides and create the winds? How is it that the herbs and trees follow the laws of Allah and possess the nourishment we need in right proportions and heal us when we are ill? How is it that trees attract the precious rain that we need and hold the soil together so that it does not become lost to the winds?
There is much magic and wonder in knowing how this affects us especially through a child’s eye. The Xmas tree was originally a pine tree which possesses healing properties for the kidneys, the bladder, and rheumatism. It is a tree that represents patience and tenacity – qualities that Islam tries to instill in us.
The Xmas tree, combined with the season of presents, might create joy, but along with that joy comes the increased desire for material things while ignoring the fact that we might be upsetting the natural order of things. It is a shame that today we feel that the only way we can enjoy ourselves is through material gain, no matter how well intended.
As Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
“Your love for a thing causes blindness and deafness.” (Abu Dawud 41: 5111)
Islam is a continuation of the other revealed religions, and in this sense, there is no contradiction, so therefore it is honorable, indeed, to teach your children to respect other religions; but Xmas is actually a pagan practice which has nothing to do with the Prophet `Isa (Jesus).
It is an annual practice that has become essentially materialistic, so it cannot be equated with the `Eid, which represents the culmination of renewing our covenant with our Creator by showing appreciation for, as opposed to indulgence in, the bounties of Allah.
“”If somebody innovates something which is not in harmony with the principles of our religion, that thing is rejected.” (Al-Bukhari 3: 49 861)
Infuse this appreciation of creation with your desire to make your children’s childhood a cherished experience, and it will firmly prepare their healthy minds and bodies for their future lives, in sha’ Allah.
“There is none amongst the Muslims who plants a tree or sows seeds, and then a bird, or a person or an animal eats from it, but is regarded as a charitable gift for him.” (Al-Bukhari 3: 39 #513)
Instead of continuing the practice of the `Eid tree, why not try to spend some time with the children out in the garden, or if you do not have a garden, the local park or even better, the countryside. Make regular trips and try to explore while enjoying it. Select seeds to grow in containers and observe the different circumstances that they grow under, and learn about the needs of what is planted.
Explore what is going on in this growth and what goes into the fresh foods that you eat. In other words, explore the bounties of Allah and notice the order of things. Try to distance the relationship between `Eid and Xmas over a period of time so that it becomes natural to the children to see them as different, and they no longer desire to have a Xmas-cum-`Eid.
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