Christmas and Islam: These are two words that are almost never paired with each other. One celebrates the Birth of Jesus Christ and the other is the name of a religion with a following of over 1.6 billion people around the world. Although these two concepts may be vastly different, both share a deep reverence for charity and giving to the needy. This comparison has been displayed recently by a Muslim-owned restaurant in the UK.
Shish Restaurant, a Turkish-Muslim establishment in the United Kingdom, has opened their doors to the needy and elderly to ensure that “No one eat alone on Christmas day”. A flyer on the establishment was recently posted reading “We are here to sit with you”.
— Shish restaurant (@shishsidcup) November 18, 2016
This small philanthropic act has gained a significant amount of traction on social media, highlighting the ways in which Muslims and Christians are more alike than different.
“Lots of people stay home alone for Christmas … They don’t need to. They can come here and have some fun,” Hasan Masud, an employee at Shish, told BuzzFeed News.
This story has resonated with people of different faith groups because it embodies the teaching that every major faith shares; The Golden Rule, which is “do unto others as you would have them done unto you”. This concept is something that is present in both Islam and Christianity. Growing up in a diverse home where my mom is Italian and my dad is Bangladeshi, I found ways to incorporate both traditions based on where there were commonalities.
What this story can teach us is that religion should never bar itself from serving the greater mankind. With harsh ideologies like that of which is spread by ISIS, Muslims need to drive out their darkness with our light. We need to love for each other what we love for ourselves. Only good and come of good.
This article is written by Shaiful Alam