December 24th, 2011
10:00 PM ET

'What's Christmas without chopsticks?' How other faiths celebrate December 25th

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) -
Two days before Christmas, Imam Mohamed Magid, the executive director at the All Dulles Area Muslim Society, preached about Jesus at Friday prayers.

"We live in a country with a majority of Christians, where Christmas is a major holiday... It's a reminder we do believe in Jesus. Jesus' position in Islam is one of the highest prophets in Islam," Magid said, adding that Muslims view Jesus as a prophet on par with Abraham, Moses, Noah and Mohammad.

Often when he says the name of Mohammad or Jesus in conversation, Magid adds the Islamic honorific "Peace be upon him" after his name.

"Jesus is a unifying figure, unifying Muslims and Christians," he said. The Quran, the Islamic scriptures, makes specific mention of Jesus and of his mother Mary. "It's very interesting that there are many places where the prophet (Mohammad) is quoting Jesus."

Christmas has a way of bleeding into other faiths in America.  The Christian holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ in a manger in Bethlehem 2000 some odd years ago is ubiquitous across the country, even if the American tradition has leaned away from the sacred and toward the secular.

Christmas at every corner can be somewhat problematic for those who are not in the estimated 246 million Christians living in the United States.  But for some faiths, the season brings reminders of their own traditions.

CNN's Belief Blog – all the faith angles to the day's top stories

Magid said Muslims believe many of the same things about Jesus that Christians do: Jesus was born of the virgin Mary, he lived a sinless life, he raised the dead, and he preformed miracles. He also said many Muslim scholars believe that Jesus will one day return to the earth, using the Christian vocabulary of "the Second Coming."

Explain it to me: The Hajj

"Certain aspects of our theology are different," he carefully notes, pointing specifically to incarnation, the Christian belief that Jesus was divine. Muslims are perhaps the most ardent monotheists in the world, making them at odds with Christians theologically over not only the Christian doctrine of incarnation, but also belief in the Trinity, that God the Father, the Holy Spirit and Jesus are three in one.

The All Dulles Area Muslim Society is one of the largest Muslim congregations in the country with ties to 5,000 families in the Washington area. Some of the families do put up a Christmas tree and exchange gifts, which one member suspects is often more about cultural assimilation than religious observance.

"I think Muslims, although they believe in Jesus, they give respect to this as a Christian holiday, so they don't pretend to celebrate this in a religious way," Magid said. "A Muslim would not expect a Christian to celebrate his holiday."

My Take: Why we're skipping the Christmas roast

At the Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery three hours north of San Francisco, there is a small Christmas tree set up near the statue of the Buddha.

"Normally we just have flowers, incense and candles, but now we have a tiny Christmas tree. It's really cute," Ajhan Yatiko, a monk in residence who is originally from Canada, said. "It's more like a traditional thing, respecting and appreciating the culture of where we live."

During the holidays, Yatiko said, "The senior monk might give a talk to the lay people which might draw parallels between the Christian faith and the Buddhist faith, as well as the differences, because I think both of those are important aspects of interfaith harmony.

"Sometimes in the West these days there's a kind of tendency to clump all the religions together and say, 'We're all climbing the same mountain,' and I think the intention there is nice. There's a harmonious intention there. But I think it's much nicer to say, 'Let's respect the differences and love and appreciate the differences of the other faiths," Yatiko said.

For the monks at Abhayagiri, life is spent in meditation, community, celibacy and work. They practice Buddhism in the Theravada tradition or the Thai Forest tradition. In their faith tradition, monks cannot handle money, grow their own food or trade, so they live entirely off of the generosity of others.

That means every half moon, about once a week, they head into town for alms rounds, where they walk around in their saffron robes with alms bowls to collect donations. The new moon this week fell on Christmas Eve.

"Everyone we see is going to be wishing us a Merry Christmas, and we'll be doing likewise," Yatiko said a few days before Christmas.

"We don't touch money and live a very simple lifestyle, so the Christmas tradition of exchanging gifts doesn't work so well for us," Yatiko said.

Yet Buddhists are called to live generously at every chance, be it in material things or spiritual ones, so at Christmastime the monks bring a truckload of fire wood and a fruit basket to a neighboring Ukrainian Catholic monastery.

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"We do have some rather revered traditions for Christmas Day," said Rabbi Rick Rheins.  "I'm not sure if it was Talmudic or not, to visit the movie theater followed by a Chinese dinner," joked Rheins referring the collection of ancient rabbi teaching called the Talmud.

"What's Christmas without chopsticks?" joked Rheins who is the head of Denver's Temple Sinai, a Reform congregation of about 1,100 families.

"We acknowledge the importance of this day for our Christian neighbors and for my Christian colleagues. And so we don't celebrate Christmas as Jews, but we do thrill for our Christian neighbors," he said. Rheins said the celebration of Hanukkah simultaneously at Christmastime this year will mean he won't be bringing in any Christmas metaphors into services on Friday and Saturday.

As for the Christmas Day itself, including the popcorn and chopsticks, he said, "We encourage our members to do special volunteer work to relieve our Christian neighbors of their responsibilities, whether it's at hospitals or emergency services, to give them the opportunity to spend this time with their family and celebrate this sacred day for them.

"Christians and Jews, especially over the last generation, have really worked so hard to build bridges, not just of tolerance, but also have generated true mutual respect and cooperation," he said. He cited working to fight hunger and poverty together. "These are the expressions of a society where the differences in religion and the expressions of one's faith are less divisive than they are enriching.

"I don't think that was the case a generation ago," Rheins said.

Christmas has a way of seeping into Hindu traditions, as well. At least the tree and presents part.  "Because of the children," Uma Mysorekar, the president of the Hindu Temple Society of North America said.

"The children say, 'Oh, there's a tree in my friend's house.  Why not in my house?' So they will get a small tree, a symbolic tree," Mysorekar said.

"We do look up to Jesus as one of the deities of Christianity," Mysorekar said.

At the Hindu Temple Society of North America in the Flushing area of Queens, New York, Christmas Day will be filled with worshipers coming in and out.  Unlike other faiths, Hindus do not have a set day for communal worship.  The temple is a key part of Hinduism for prayer, worship and offerings.  Christmas will be busier because of the three day weekend, Mysorekar guessed.

Their temple even had a holiday party for the children.

Sacred Spaces: Inside a Hindu temple

"We have a holiday party for them, and we give them gifts and tell them what it's all about.  You know the Hindu festival of Diwali, it is more or less the same, where we give gifts and we meet with friends... So the custom is very easy to relate to."

During Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, lamps are lit in celebration of good triumphing over evil.

"Apart from the religious aspect of it - the concept, theme of Christmas - I think it's very much the same all over," she said.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Buddhism • Christianity • Christmas • Hinduism • Islam

soundoff (2,252 Responses)
  1. Quotomodo

    "I am for liberty of conscience in its noblest, broadest, and highest sense. But I cannot give liberty of conscience to the pope and his followers, the papists, so long as they tell me, through all their councils, theologians, and canon laws that their conscience orders them to burn my wife, strangle my children, and cut my throat when they find their opportunity."
    — Abraham Lincoln

    December 25, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
  2. Theodore Greene

    What happen to the old Christian movies onTV. (Samson!Benhur,the crusifiction of Christ,Barabis,etc. (spelling may be off). Time Warner and direct TV are blowing it!

    December 25, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
  3. Marc

    For the record, the whole reason that everyone thinks that Jesus is the second coming of god is because of a passage mistranslated by King James where Isaiah predicts gods return, Immanuel. The real translation from hebrew to english is that Immanual "was" born, not "will be" born...

    It's all good though... Also, modern day celebrations of Christmas were formed by Sears and Maceys, and have nothing to do with the original way Christmas was celebrated. A matter of fact, it all comes down to The Night Before Christmas, which nearly 100% started the modern day traditions that are shoved down everyone's throuts, not because of religion, but 100% for marketing and sales to skyrocket at the end of the fiscal year; that's all this holiday really stands for; oh, and there is no fact recorded that the 25th of December was Jesus's birthday, and it is also believed that he died about 4 years BC, yes, 4 years "before Christ."

    December 25, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • toronto girl

      they also think he 'walked on water', due to a mis-interpretation of the Hebrew. I am fairly fluent in such, and the same word for 'on' can also mean 'beside'. Ancient Hebrew doesn't have the depth that English has!! I am dismayed when I think how much grief and pain the mis-translation of Hebrew by less-than-knowledgeable scholars has caused the tribe.

      December 25, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
  4. Quotomodo

    "Today Christians ... stand at the head of [this country]... I pledge that I never will tie myself to parties who want to destroy Christianity .. We want to fill our culture again with the Christian spirit ... We want to burn out all the recent immoral developments in literature, in the theater, and in the press – in short, we want to burn out the poison of immorality which has entered into our whole life and culture as a result of liberal excess during the past ... (few) years."
    — Adolf Hitler, quoted in: The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, 1922-1939, Vol. 1

    December 25, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • Kanta Kamijyo

      Hitler himself didn't believe in Christianity, but he saw it as useful towards his own goals

      December 25, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • Lyssa

      Hitler was a born Catholic, very religious and more than willing to help the Catholic Church in eradicating Jews.
      Didn't you notice how the Catholic Church didn't say a thing about the Holocaust until it had failed and the war was over?
      The Vatican is in Rome, in Italy – the very close ally of Nazi Germany? Nazis had Catholic priests and Lutheran priests for all the soldiers. Their belt-buckles said "god with us".
      And Martin Luther wrote some very nasty anti-Jew pamphlets. Hitler read those and sought the "final solution". Jews "killed Jesus" and that's why there was such strong support in Nazi Germany for killing Jews.
      History. Learn it.

      December 25, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  5. Quotomodo

    "I do further promise and declare, that I will, when opportunity presents, make and wage relentless war, secretly or openly, against all heretics, Protestants and Liberals, as I am directed to do and to extirpate and exterminate them from the face of the whole earth, and that I will spare neither se.x, age nor condition and that I will hang, waste, boil, flay, strangle and bury alive these infamous heretics; rip up the stomachs and wombs of their women and crush their infants' heads against the wall, in order to annihilate forever their execrable race."
    — Pope Paul III, 1576

    December 25, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • Kanta Kamijyo

      Needless to say, his way of thinking is outdated and inappropriate

      December 25, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
  6. STR

    I am a born again Christian.

    God has taught me beyond doubt that the trinity is not taught anywhere in all the Bible.
    I used to be brainwashed but God has opened my eyes.

    John 17:3
    [Jesus prayed] "This is eternal life that they may know you, the only true God and Jesus who you have sent."
    Even John 3:16 contradicts the trinity and defines God as a seperate being than Jesus Christ..

    John 3:16
    "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begottn son that whoever believes in him will have etertal life."

    1 Tim 2:5-6
    For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all men.

    These are only 3 of the hundreds of contradictions to the trinity in God's word.

    Merry Christmas, Stephen

    December 25, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • k

      God speaks to the whole humanity through His book Quran..

      “Proclaim, He is the One and only GOD. The Absolute GOD. Never did He beget. Nor was He begotten. None equals Him." [112:1]

      “They even attribute to Him sons and daughters, without any knowledge. Be He glorified. He is the Most High, far above their claims.” Quran [6:100]

      “The example of Jesus, as far as GOD is concerned, is the same as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him, "Be," and he was.” Quran [3:59]

      “…anyone who murders any person who had not committed murder or horrendous crimes, it shall be as if he murdered all the people. And anyone who spares a life, it shall be as if he spared the lives of all the people....." Qur'an [5:32]

      Most exalted is the One in whose hands is all kingship, and He is Omnipotent.The One who created death and life for the purpose of distinguishing those among you who would do better. Quran [67.2]

      Subsequent to them, we sent Jesus, the son of Mary, confirming the previous scripture, the Torah. We gave him the Gospel, containing guidance and light, and confirming the previous scriptures, the Torah, and augmenting its guidance and light, and to enlighten the righteous. Quran [5:46]

      Thanks for taking time to read my post. Please take a moment to clear your misconception by going to whyIslam org website.

      December 25, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • Daleri

      "Come near me and listen to this: "From the first announcement I have not spoken in secret; at the time it happens, I am there." And now the Lord GOD has sent Me, and His Spirit." Isaiah 48:16

      Tell the truth, there is the Father, the Son and His Spirit.

      December 25, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • tallulah13

      There's only one god!
      He is the Sun God!
      Ra! Ra! Ra!

      (Just a shout-out to the fine folks behind the Amarna revolution.)

      December 25, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
    • Natalie

      John 1
      1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

      2The same was in the beginning with God.

      3All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

      4In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

      5And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

      My Dear Brother, Jesus is G-d. He's the word made flesh.

      December 25, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
  7. Stefanie

    It's nice to see that there are people who can take something away from this time of year, even if their "religion" doesn't call for it. As a Catholic-turned-atheist, I am quite annoyed with the anti-Christmas sentiment that I hear from so many. I understand that there are quite a few people who do not celebrate Christmas, but that's no reason for me to have to say "Happy Holidays" to someone in my town because of the 3% possibility that they don't have a Christmas tree in their living room. Let's keep in mind that Christmas is NOT a Christian holiday – it is a holiday adopted from the pagan Yule celebration by the Catholic church to win over converts and maintain a thousands-of-year-old European tradition. Jesus wasn't even born in December but sometime in the spring. Christmas is a time to focus on family, on giving, and on appreciating what you have. My family doesn't pray to Jesus or go to church at midnight anymore, but we light our tree and put up Santa decorations because it's a tradition. While Santa and gift-giving were introduced post-Christianity, the general idea of the celebration has been around since before Christianity. Happy Yule, Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas. However anyone greets you at this time of year, you should take it as a friendly gesture instead of snapping that you don't celebrate the said holiday.

    By the way, atheists are not people who don't believe in anything, we just like to believe that the universe is too beautiful to be created by some "being".

    December 25, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • toronto girl

      for those of us who do not celebrate Xmas, I have gotten more than a little tired of those wishing me Merry Xmas particularly when they know darn well I didn't. Lately the acknowledgement that there are others on the planet who don't is appreciated.

      Christianity and Islam both evolved from Judaism, and they have a long track record of discrimination and contempt for those who 'refuse to see the light'. We like what we have just fine.

      December 25, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • Menashe Lavi

      Stephanie, just because Christianity appropriated a more ancient celebration, doesn't make it any less a Christian holiday. And the Christians I know would bristle at your comment that Christmas is not a Christian holiday. It is a Christian holiday that has been ensconced in our culture. And I would counter that saying "Happy Holidays" is a nice way to include everyone at a special time of year. I should think instead of being "forced" to say it, you would want to be friendly, as the season would seem to suggest.

      December 25, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • STR

      Thanks for sharing. That was well written.

      The issue with atheists is that they have no purpose for being.

      As a Christian – I know I have a purpose -to glorify our creator and live in his light.

      December 25, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • Santy Claus ... see I DO exist, you faithless bunch of unbelievers

      If they have no purpose, then why didn't your omniscient god think ahead, and not create them ? Or did it ? Bull.

      December 25, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • SLTsherey

      Beautiful response, Stefanie and my sentiments exactly - from Jewish-turned-Atheist.

      December 25, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
  8. joe223344

    Islam does not believe in Jesus Christ of the Bible, thus they beleive in a false idol. The same is true for anyone who would deny the truth that Jesus Christ is God.

    December 25, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
    • KeithTexas

      Problem with your Religion is that Jesus never claimed to be God

      December 25, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • john768

      Have some tolerance, will you? Stop living in the 5th century.

      December 25, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
  9. GW

    Eric the co-editor should look at the spelling of "performed"... it's not "preformed". SIGH.

    December 25, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
  10. cap00

    Some typos here – while I'm not a Christian, I don't think Christians believe Jesus "preformed" any miracles. Also, I think that's supposed to be "reform congregation", not "reformed congregation".

    December 25, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
  11. Skata

    A priest and a rabbi went to a prize fight at Madison Square Garden. One of the fighters made the sign of the cross before the opening gong sounded.
    "What does that mean?" asked the rabbi.
    Replied the priest, "Not a damn thing if he can't fight."

    December 25, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
  12. Martha Shields

    Love your article and agree. I am Catholic, yet we go back into the family there are so many other religions. I do not agree with everything about our church, yet the most I got from them was to help others and moral. My father had us go to other faiths to learn their customs. What I did learn and loved was the tradition about all religions. Something that is disappearing these days, hope young people under stand that tradition is about your past and is a part of you. Again, enjoyed your article very much, have a wonderful day!

    December 25, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
  13. Atheist #1

    "HAMMURABI'S CODE" Google It was the first written code of law. Laws came from the need to live in a CIVILIZATION without ANY BARBARIC MIS-DEEDS that could threaten the society people lived in.

    December 25, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
    • Daleri

      The more people there are, the more laws there has to be.

      December 25, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
  14. Skata

    Christmas is a holiday for children, primarily. Santa, elves, Rudolph, Frosty, Charlie Brown, toys, trees, colored lights, wrapped presents, gingerbread cookies... it's sort of like a more festive Halloween, and corporations give their workers a day or two off to spend quality time with their families. It's a warm, fuzzy time to consider peace and goodwill towards mankind, and to help those less fortunate than yourself, or others in dire need. One does NOT need to be religious to appreciate and/or partake in Christmas festivities.

    December 25, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
  15. Harry Drum

    I am sure God is flattered that he/she has so many names! I am sure he wanted no violence against anyone or a any people in his name. Merry Christmas.

    December 25, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
  16. fritz

    This is how:

    December 25, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • Daleri

      The muslims have been killing Christians over there for years now.

      December 25, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
  17. Peace

    First Most Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah and Happy Holiday. May the new year bring everyone happiness, health, peace and from readying some of these posts.....intelligence.

    As a Muslim all I can say is people need to differeniate between "Muslims" and "Islamic Extremist". The same way the rest of the society diffeniates "Christians" and the "KKK."

    If you tell me there is no difference between "Muslims" and "Islamic Extremist" ......would it be fair to assume "Christians" and "KKK" fall under the same category.

    I grew up in a household where we were taught about Abraham, Moses, Virgin Mary, Jesus, the holy ghosts, and angel Gabriel. In addition to the biblical teaching we were taught Prophet Mohammed came years after Christ only because people were still corrupted and heading back to the ancient Pherophs way of teaching.

    Prophet Mohammed did not carry any miracle,,,,,but he spoke with the Angel Gabriel who gave the prophet Mohammed the historical overview of Moses, Jesus and in addition to these holy prophets teaching....more rules and guidlines written word for word because people were too stupid, blind and deaf to love and logic ....kind of like the way the world is heading today (in every race and religion...unfortunately).

    What non-muslims need to understand is you cannot be a Muslim if you don't accept Moses or Christ. It's mandatory to accept and respect them. Please note Muslims do not pray to the prophet Mohammed....he is viewed as a holy prophet same as Moses and Jesus.

    Muslims pray directly to God and no one else. Allah just means God in Arabic. If you read a Arabic Bible....it will refer God as "Allah."

    In Islam Jihad is mentioned .....but ONLY if your civilization is about wiped out like the holocaust. Islam clear cut states...if you take ANY life you are in Hell forever (regardless race or religion).

    Unfortunately people have been preached various interpretation for many hundreds of years after Prophet Mohammed's death.

    Now with all that you going on in the middle east and 9/11 had nothing to with Islam. It is our version of the KKK and Hitler who murder anyone Muslim and Non Muslim if they cannot Dictate or seize any power. They use religion as a front face excuse.

    Please remember historically – The Church did the same exact thing to the Christians until the public got frustrated and split religion and government.

    I would advise to be caution of what you research on the internet because any clown can create a website.

    You have evil so called Muslims – creating websites with false Biblical passage to sprew hate.

    You have Islamaphobe Christians, Jews and Hindus – Who are creating fake "Quran" websites and altering the holy langauge or taking bits and peices of a sentence. I recall my grammar school teacher always told us "YOU NEED THE WHOLE SENTENCE" for the correct interpretation.

    "Kill all non-believers" does not mean the same as "ONLY in self defense, kill non-believers but do not take more lives than is needed".

    Didn't the bible preach an "eye for an eye" – without the full context, it can be interpreted ....just get revenge. But we all know Christ preached "Peace" and that was not what he had in mind.

    If you ask why Muslims don't speak out....how can we?

    Native Americas didn't have a voice.
    Blacks did not have a voice until Martin Luther King Jr came.
    Italians and Irish when first immigrated here in the 1940's were treated like dirt.
    Jewish people suffered in Europe during the Hitler Era and still face racism in America.

    Muslims are fairly a new breed to this country. Regardless what we say – there will be people people who will never listen because we are not Christians.

    The whole battle between Jews and Muslims......has nothing to do with religion.....both sides using it as excuse for Political, Power struggle. Is this something Moses, Christ or Prophet Mohammed would have wanted.

    The Arabs want "ILLEGAL" occupy land back and the Jews want the right to exist in their holy land.
    Both side need a baby sitter and start to man up.

    People need to understand – the world changes through time geographically, culturally and intellectually.
    We need to stop sitting around and pity ourselves of what we are owed ...............and start accepting and loving our neighbors.

    Regardless what you claim to believe in or not believe in...when you die......we are all going to the SAME place regardless how you interperet it.

    I would encourage everyone to put their bigotry aside and start preaching love and tolerance for all before we all self destruct.

    I wish you all Peace and Love for the coming 2012.

    December 25, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • MCR

      Thank you. Excellent post. Shalom-Salaam!

      December 25, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
    • Chris

      I applaud your comment! Peace to you and yours (and ours, and theirs, and etc.)

      December 25, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
    • moebar

      i have to disagree with you on one thing about Islam....in Islam only one type of person goes to hell forever.....only those who actively reject god go to hell forever....everyone else serves a jail time in hell......

      December 25, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
    • Plug1

      So called Muslims should really learn about Islam before trying to talk about it.

      December 25, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
    • toronto girl

      i concur, excellent post. Shalom Salaam!!

      December 25, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • moebar

      most people dont now everything about their religion.....

      December 25, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
    • Andre

      Beautifully said.It needs to be said louder and more often however..

      December 25, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
    • MikeK47

      I agree with your original thought about the difference between Muslims and extremists, and I respect that. That said tho learning about Jesus and regaurding him merely as a prophet may be the same but fall well short of the respect and fear Christians give him. Christians believe he was not only a prophet but he is also God and the High Priest.

      You say Muslms pray to Allah, as you said God just his name in a different language. If this is true are you all priests? Only a priest is allowed to make requests and confer with God. So do you reguard Jesus as your High Priest? Christians pray to Christ so that he will bring the prayers to the Father. We are cut off from the Father and have means of communication by proxy. We are given the Holy Spirit so we may talk through Him to make requests to Jesus. Is that not in accordance with the Torah? Muslims are still under the law correct?

      December 25, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • michael

      wish there were more people in the world like you. peace to you and yours

      December 25, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • Peace

      Thank you everyone – I do wish everyone a wonderful Holiday season!!

      moebar – As I mentioned above. There are many interpretation of the Quran which has been passed down traditionally.
      The Quran does not permit any humans from taking a life. I don't believe there is Jail. My understanding is you wait in your grave until Judgement Day (when the world destructs) and than face your verdict. If you were bad – the guilt will haunt you in your grave and If you were good Allah (God) rests you in peace until Judgement Day. I agree with you no one truely 100% knows their religion . This is why it is very important to learn tolerance.

      MCR – Shalom-Salaam to you tooo.....I pray one day our children can play in peace 🙂

      Plug1 – I agree...... My mom always said – it is always the idiots who talk too much.
      The less they have up their head... so the more they open their mouth to compensate.

      December 25, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
    • Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays

      Beautiful comment. You defended your faith in a productive, not an attacking, way. Peace be with you in the coming year!

      December 25, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • Peace

      Not sure if my previous post went through.

      To learn more ...please check out this DVD.

      MikeK47 – nope we are not considered Priest. Just humans praying directly to Allah (God).

      Prophet Mohammed sit closer to the heart. But Prophet Mohammed, Moses and Jesus are highly respected as prophets (more than angels and saints)....but below Allah (God).

      Also to clarify....

      Halal means the animal is slaughtered in a Humane way. Like the Jewish faith we don't eat anything from a Pig or Animal Blood.

      Some FYI
      There are absolutely no 72 Virgins unless you are Schizaphranic.

      We also believe the same story as Adam and Eve, Noah's Ark, Abraham's sacrifice.

      We have 2 holiday (ramadan/eid and another eid)

      ramadan eid – we fast the month. This was when the releavations was revealed. Pregnant women, children, elderly and the sick excused. If you cant fast...no one forces.

      the other eid is the story of abraham sacrificing his son and Allah (God) replaced with another animal. We sacrifice a animal...but we must give the meat to the poor, starving and needy first....than you eat.

      Most of you watched Disney's Aladdin...lol...or the hit show "I dream of Geanie"

      The Genie is from the Quran ("Jinn") there are good ones and evil ones (witches and warlock). Black Magic and Voodoo are called Tabeez........and nope neither one grants 3 wishes and no flying carpets haha.

      December 25, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
    • moebar

      by jail i meant that some people according to Islam will go to hell and once they have been cleansed of their sins then they will go to heaven with the exception of those who actively reject god...

      December 25, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
    • Peace

      moebar – yes I agree with that as well.

      However my initial comment states in Islam if you take a life you go to hell.
      Only Allah (God) can judge if you will be in hell eternity or forgiven. Humans cannot speculate anything.

      My apology....but I am not quite sure why you disagree with my comment about Islam forbidding to take another person's life including their own.

      December 25, 2011 at 9:18 pm |
  18. Bootyfunk

    here's some neat things Jesus said:

    Mathew 10:34-36
    34 "Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.
    35 "For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
    36 and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household."

    Luke 14:26 (King James Version)
    26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

    Luke 9:59-62 (King James Version)
    59 And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.
    60 Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.
    61 And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.
    62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

    37 "Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes; truly I say to you, that he will gird himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and will come up and wait on them.
    38 "Whether he comes in the second watch, or even in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves.”

    Mathew 15:21-28
    21 Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon.
    22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.”
    23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”
    24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”
    25 The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.
    26 He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”
    27 “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”
    28 Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.

    December 25, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • Daleri

      "To the pure all things are pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled. "

      December 25, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • Daleri

      "To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled"

      December 25, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
  19. Atheist #1

    "HAMMURABI'S CODE" Google It was the first written code of law. Laws came from the need to live in a CIVILAZATION without any BARABARIC MIS-DEEDS that could threaten the society people lived in.

    December 25, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
  20. buck

    I've always liked this scripture Mt 11:25..where Jesus said" I publicly praise you, Father, Lord of Heaven and Earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and intellectual ones and have revealed them to Babes"
    I never could understand why people just can't take Jesus at his word when he says he is the Son of God, and not God himself. People blindly follow traditions and others, few investigate for themselves with an open mind.....if people tell you that the "Trinity doctrine" is a mystery, it's because they can't prove it! Wake up people! you can start your own investigation on this subject by simply googling "1 John 5:7"......and go from there

    December 25, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.