What a great time to be Malaysians! It’s December 25 and that means it’s Christmas.
So Happy Birthday Jesus and Merry Christmas to all Malaysians and let’s celebrate it with joy.
And what makes it even greater is the fact that Christmas Eve fell on the same day as Maulidur Rasul, or the celebration of the birthday of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.
Now how about that? Two great prophets being celebrated on two back-to-back days.
This is a good time for us all to rejoice and remember the spirit of brotherhood among us.
And we have been reminded of this spirit by none other than one of Malaysia’s favourite pop stars, Stacy Anam, of Akademi Fantasia fame.
The Sabahan singer became a Muslim last August and she was even reported to have tried out fasting just to get a feel of it before her conversion.
Last week, she had posted on her Instagram account a video of Christmas carollers singing “O Holy Night” to celebrate the Christmas season.
No wrong in that, of course. Seeing that she was a Christian and would most probably be celebrating it with her family who are still Christians, it was definitely a nice gesture.
I am a Muslim, yet have relatives who are Taoist, Buddhists, Hindus and Christians. And I celebrate Chinese New Year, Hari Raya, Deepavali and, yes, Christmas, together with the entire family, with vigour.
But surprise! Stacy was attacked on social media by people who questioned her intentions as if it was a big sin for her to share the joy of a celebration.
Stacy, stand tall and do not be apologetic.
Year in and year out, we hear the same thing. The overzealous and unreasonable Muslims who think themselves as holier and try to impose their narrow mind on everyone.
A Muslim will burn in hell if they wished others Merry Christmas, for whatever reason unexplainable. And this is the same for any other festivals or celebrations that aren’t what they deem “Islamic”, they say.
Living in a multicultural and multireligious country, or specifically, the world, we cannot afford to create divisiveness and exclusivity if we want to live in peace and harmony.
It would be apt to celebrate the life of the prophets by emulating them.
Muhammad, for example, always preached understanding and non-violence against neighbours and citizens of different faiths under his government.
And was it not Jesus who preached to “love thy neighbour as thyself”, no matter race, religion or creed? Weren’t these two wise men chosen by God to teach humans?
So if you have even an ounce of faith in you, do the world a favour and just look at your neighbour and, it doesn’t matter who they are, just wish them a blessed Maulidur Rasul and a Merry Christmas.