ONE now wonders if Zakir Naik, the controversial Islamic preacher who is banned in his own birth nation, has issued his own fatwa (a formal ruling or interpretation on a point of Islamic law given by a qualified legal scholar) when he advised Muslims against wishing “Merry Christmas” to those who are celebrating the religious festivity recently.
Or to sarcastically put it, to mislead Muslims in his host country to the extent that it can disrupt the peace and harmony among the multi-ethnical, multi-cultural and multi-religious Malaysians.
This is because his narrow-minded view runs afoul with that of Muslim World League head Sheikh Dr Mohammed Al-Issa who holds the view that Islam does not prohibit Muslims from exchanging Christmas greetings with Christians.
Al-Issa particularly reiterated that there was no text in Sharia law that disallowed Muslims from extending greetings to Christians.
He also clarified that there was no religious text that prohibited such greetings, and when a Muslim greeted another non-Muslim on their religious celebration, this did not mean he/she is acknowledging another faith.
In fact, Al-Issa indicated that extending best wishes to non-Muslims who are celebrating their religious festivity “is an apparent interest that serves the reputation of Islam.”
“The purpose of these greetings is to promote co-existence and harmony in a world that is in dire need of that,” justified head of the Makkah-based non-governmental organisation (NGO) which aims to clarify the true message of Islam.
To re-cap, Zakir had on last Friday (Dec 23) Zakir posted a photo caption on his Twitter page which is meant to insinuate that “if a Muslim wishes Merry Christmas, then he/she is admitting that God/Allah is the biological father to Jesus/Isa” on his Twitter account – only to receive tongue lashing from netizens of all faiths.
To put the above argument into perspective, Christmas which is observed on Dec 25 every year is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ and is deemed as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world. – Dec 28, 2022
Main pic credit: Arab News