Merry Christmas from the Muzzies

Merry Christmas Everyone


The tree’s up, gifts have been bought and three homemade Christmas puddings are chilling in the cold cupboard. So far so good – this Muslim household is on track for Christmas.



Peace, love, joy, gratitude and a spirit of giving and goodwill – what’s not to get behind? I mean, think about it, are any of those against your religion?

There’s nothing like travel to teach you that the Christmas you thought was a monolithic certainty in your homeland has different faces all across the world. Folks don’t even keep to the same date. Even the nativity, enacted in schools and depicted on Christmas cards, probably didn’t occur exactly as we’ve been led to believe through the centuries. Joining a widespread outpouring of diverse positivity in no way compromises my beliefs.



I think they’d get a much more confusing message if we said, “We don’t do Christmas because those people believe in different things from us.” This way they understand that although people see things differently this doesn’t stop them working together for good. Would you decline an opportunity to celebrate positivity because the person offering it wasn’t your religion, race, nationality, blood type or star-sign? When we celebrated Eid earlier this year, none of the people I invited to join us were muslim but that didn’t stop anyone from coming.

In a world where pain and injustice are rife, anything that encourages us to look beyond our own needs and extend kindness and love to our fellow man is to be supported.



Here in Canada food drives and toy drives are in full swing, and supermarkets bristle with displays of ready-bagged groceries you can purchase for charity. Just this morning I found myself going through the coat closet when a local lady announced she was making a delivery of outdoor clothing to an outreach program that works with people living on the street.

I think it’s like the deal with pink shirts – men who are secure in their own sexuality don’t have a problem wearing one. The same goes for those who hold a particular religious belief – why limit your exposure to others to protect it if it’s a part of who you are? We shouldn’t fear challenging our beliefs; it’s what’s called spiritual growth. After all, faith is a personal journey for everyone – whatever label you give it, whether you think you’re on a journey or not – it’s a universal human experience. In the words of Muhammad Ali,


“A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.”


So, on behalf of my brothers from other muthas and sistas with similar vistas, I’d like to extend some Warm & Fuzzies from the Muzzies! Merry Christmas everyone, and if someone says “Happy Holidays” give them a hug and tell them it’s Christmas.

You can read more about our Muslim Christmas experience (and peruse the diverse views expressed in the comments) in a previous post:
A Merry Muslim Christmas

By Aisha Ashraf

An autistic Irish immigrant in a cross-cultural marriage, Aisha Ashraf is the archetypal outlander, writing to root herself through place and perspective. Published in The Rumpus, The Maine Review, River Teeth, HuffPost and elsewhere, her work explores the legacy of trauma, the nature of being an outsider and the narrow confines of belonging. She currently lives in Canada.


  1. Interesting. I always think it’s probably more than a bit wrong that we celebrate Christmas when we aren’t religious ourselves at all but the idea of it being a time for recognising the good in other people is a really nice way to think about it.

  2. Simply beautiful. Thank you. From a Canadian Christian in Qatar, there’s no greater joy than when a Muslim friend wishes me a Merry Christmas. It’s not even about the holiday. It’s about the acknowledgement of who I am and what the day means to me. Likewise, I am so happy when I get the chance to greet them with “Eid Mubarak”. What a privilege to be able to share in another’s happiness.
    The disappointment usually comes when I see towns in North America ban the right to show a Nativity scene or display “Merry Christmas” publicly for fear of offending.
    And I really wonder … whether historically accurate or not, could the thought of a child being born really be considered that offensive?
    Beautiful writing.

  3. It is great to just celebrate something so positive. As you say, peace, good will, what is not to love? Merry Xmas Aisha and I hope the holidays are full of fun, love and laughter for you and your family x

  4. I love this, I wish that everyone would just embrace each other’s celebrations. As a teacher, we try to teach the children about all the different celebrations and do our little bit to take part. How can it be wrong to be a part of something that makes people so happy 🙂

    1. Hopefully the next generation will be able to stamp out some of the ignorance we have failed to. Mr Mandela, bless his soul, said it best,
      “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”
      Merry Christmas to you too Jen xxx

  5. Merry Christmas to you – I think it has become less about religion and more about families imo anyway, but I’m not religious. I think you make some very good points. Have a great one.

  6. You dont even understand how much i agree with what you said. “Peace, love, joy, gratitude and a spirit of giving and goodwill – what’s not to get behind? I mean, think about it, are any of those against your religion?” is genius. thank you for sharing this x

  7. Love this post and love your attitude! I am in total agreement. There is nothing wrong with embracing other cultures or and their celebrations. Christmas is so much more than a religious holiday. Many people do not focus on the religious aspect and just enjoy everything else that comes with it. What’s not to like? Thanks!

  8. But dont your kids get confused ?
    you stated “When we celebrated Eid earlier this year, none of the people I invited to join us were muslim but that didn’t stop anyone from coming.

    Inviting someone is different it’s an invitation to be invited to celebrate your function like a birthday party, wedding ect it’s different

    1. Kids don’t stop to think about invitations – how many kids have you seen wait to be asked to join a game or group? If it seems fun and brings joy they dive straight in. I think putting limitations on who benefits from the joy we spread runs counter to some fundamental aspects of our existence.

  9. Brill post 🙂 My husband is a born again Christian and I’m not religious in the slightest, I see no reason not to celebrate Christmas or any other religious festival though! Bring them all on 😀

  10. I love this post! What a wonderful attitude. We are Baha’is, so this is something I have given a great deal of thought to as well. The balance we have found is to attend Christmas parties and do some Christmas crafts at home, but we don’t put up a tree or have Santa bring any presents. But we have our Christmas traditions, like looking at the lights downtown and making a gingerbread house. And like you, we try to focus on the true spirit of the holiday – peace, love, and goodwill. Merry Christmas!

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