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Holiday Myths: Video Review

Ah, October-if you haven't seen it already, malls, schools, and grocery stores will soon be decorated in garish orange and black paraphernalia in preparation for the age old ritual of Halloween.

What tugs the heartstrings though, is not the gaudy decorations, the sales of cavity-inducing candy and plastic pumpkins, but the adorable children dressed like Pokemon, the Teletubbies, Spiderman or Wonderwoman. Oh, and let's not forget: devils and witches.

Halloween, as Islamic scholar Abdullah Hakim Quick explains in the video Holiday Myths, is really about Celtic rituals, many Christians agree.

Historically, like so many other rituals, it has been adapted by Christianity as a way to make the religion more acceptable to the people of the North, who lived far away from the Middle East, where this message, once a message of the Oneness of God, was being preached by Prophet Jesus, peace be upon him.

Quick is also an historian and he clearly presents the history behind celebrations like Halloween, Christmas, Easter and New Year's. He points out that these occasions, which are usually marked by excessive consumerism and superstition, are in reality a hodge podge of Christian beliefs, pagan rituals, and local cultural influences.

He also gives an excellent explanation of specific traditions associated with various holidays.

For example, he talks about how Santa Claus is often associated with St. Nicholas. But who really was St. Nicholas?

He was definitely not an overweight, overbearing man who slid down chimneys once a year. Rather, he was a Christian bishop who lived during the fourth century in Turkey. In fact, he was really a thin man, since he fasted regularly. The chubby Santa is a product of paganism.

Quick also reminds us how Prophet Jesus and his teachings stand in stark contrast to the crass materialism now associated with the December 25 holiday, which was supposed to be inspired by this Prophet's birth.

But Quick doesn't just expose the paganism behind the partying. He also suggests practical ways Muslims can take an exception from these rituals, without offending or condemning those who practice them.

For instance, he mentions the common ground worshippers of One God have in objecting to practices like Halloween. There is also a brief question and answer session at the end of the video which deals with issues like gift-giving on some of these occasions.

This is a good video for parents and teens who wants to know Muslim perspective on popular holidays.

........... Order this video Holiday Myths

by Samana Siddiqui


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