Greetings on Merry Christmas , a note for Muslims in Indonesia
By Farsijana Adeney - Risakotta
Currently my friends in Indonesia are discussing the Islamic decree (Fatwa) of the Indonesian Ulama Council ( MUI ) on pronunciation of Merry Christmas to Christians . I , am a Christian who works with fellow Indonesian citizens , women , youth , children , those from all walk of everyday life . My happiness is to share knowledge and deepening of everyday human life in various places where I have been to people around. I write about the life of people who encounter their life, in storytelling through oral and written speech.
I live the life of the people I have met to understand the journey of their life upheaval . I am amazed to find the strength that flows out in view ourselves every single human beings . Strength is like a breath , people rooting in the breath with the Creator . I am also touched by the encounter , any companions appear to bring the faith to turn the sincerity of friendship and human community nurtured daily .
MUI fatwa related to pronunciation ban Merry Christmas was released in 1984 . At that time the Chairman of the MUI was Buya Hamka . Prior to 1984, there was no prohibition pronunciation Merry Christmas . As religious people , religious institutions such as the explanation of the MUI receives in respect for giving guidance to the Muslims . Why the1984 Fatwa emerging is determined by various factors, including the depth of faith that needs to be known by the people about the teachings of Islam itself ? At Christmas in 2012, I was invited to celebrate together with congregation of Javanese Christian Church (GKJ) in Kulon Progo. I was deeply moved when the Secretary of Regent, a Muslim attending the Christmas celebration that was carried out in the church. As a Muslim, her own faith is rooted in the Koran becomes essentially to reflect the Islamic understanding of Jesus Christ whom is called Isa Al-Masih. Her decomposition of the Koran was done very deeply, so I felt that moment actually, Christmas was being celebrated by both Christians and Muslims in addition to government officials attended by public figures.
The celebration was wonderful, touching a deep conscience of every human being. Since both Christians and Muslims actually reflect on the sanctity of the birth of the baby Jesus Christ that inspires their community to also live in purity and sincerity as a holy baby. The depth of faith is not a barrier to understand each other, even as a way to strengthen each other, even bring atonement to them. Family, neighbors, villages and entire districts can live in harmony.
Differences of Islam and Christianity and Judaism are described in the Qur'an ( see Adeney - Risakotta , 2009) . Muslims believe that the miracle of God reveales in His Word revelation in the Koran . Through the prophet Muhammad , Muslims believe , God's salvation to human beings can be fulfilled . Prophet Muhammad is believed by Muslims as the last prophet . While in Christianity , the Bible does not mention derived of prophet Muhamaad SAW, because the revelation of Bible occurs first of the Qur'an , but the Muslim interpretate the coming of prophet as written in the Bible. Christians believe that miracle is Jesus Christ , the sanctity exceeds the first man, Adam by whom God's salvation was fulfilled as seen through the Hebrew Bible . Christ’s holyness causes miracles happen and the greatest miracle of God to this world is to give Jesus Christ , was born , serving man , died and rose again to bring salvation to humankind .
When Christians celebrate Christmas , Christians celebrate the coming of God's peace in the world through the birth of Jesus Christ . Immanuel means God with us , God who became a person to live like ordinary people and lived in a way that introduces people back to God 's ways . The Bible describes the birth of Jesus Christ in an animal cage , when Mary and her fiance, Joseph on their way to participate in the census in Egypt .
Depiction of Jesus who is far from the splendor also written in the Book of Maryam in the Qur'an. Jesus was born of a woman chosen by God, holy woman whose name became one of the books in the Qur'an, Maryam. Both Scripture describes the birth of Jesus Christ, who was born beyond the normal way human beings, an abnormal birth that shows the wonders of God's omnipotence and power to give life to Him to bring peace in the world.
To understand more on the Word of God in Bible and Koran, I would like to link to my another article titled “Christmas: Comparison of the Word in the Bible and the Koran to the analysis of conspiracy Adventists in the United States?”.
Prohibition MUI Fatwa is based on the revelation of the Quran that recognizes Jesus Christ as prophet not as God . Prohibition issued by MUI Fatwa is to preserve the faith of Muslims so as not to conflict with the teachings of Islam. Although , the revelation of the Koran decreases very similar to the Bible's revelation of the birth of baby Jesus the Messiah who was born of a virgin named Mary and whose life is holy on earth as shown on so much work miracles Jesus did.
So now if Muslim friends congratulate Christmas to their fellows sisters and brohters, I think the decision was already made with a very deep sense , rooted in Islam itself . Through Islam , God reveals His love to humankind to love , respect and strengthen the path of Allah . Thus, giving the greetings of Merry Christmas to Christians , in my opinion , the Muslims will not reduce the slightest faith in God as taught in Islam . Saying Merry Christmas to fellow citizens in Indonesia , they are mostly Christian , I think the same as Indonesia receive religious pluralism , including Christianity that as to be part of the mosaic beauty of God's creation as related in the Koran. Happiness of humankind is religious living together in harmony to practice the teachings of Allah revealed in the miracles that God has given to human beings.
Like all Christians , celebrate Christmas reminds us of the holiness and humanity of Jesus Christ who accepts to live in order to get as much human suffering and the wisdom of God's help come to the salvation . Joy in Christmas celebrations often then equated with events that stop human debauchery at the point of pleasure without responsibility to others in need. Christmas celebration is to bring back the miracle working God who heals people, both within the family, society and the state to establish justice and peace so that everyone gets a chance to experience the true joy that is on his faith in God. Merry Christmas 2013 and New Year 2014.