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Switch to Forum Live View Easter eggs and chocolate bunnies?
4 years ago  ::  Mar 26, 2010 - 2:54AM #1
Amber
Posts: 1

hi all.  i've got a burning question, and i need a Muslim perspective.  i myself am American, raised Christian but now non-religious.


i was in the grocery store earlier and noticed a presumably Muslim family buying plastic Easter eggs and Easter candy.


i feel sure that there won't be a single, universal, across-the-board answer to this, but i'd be interested in *any* Muslim perspectives on Easter and modern, non-religious traditions surrounding Easter.


in the store, a number of thoughts went through my mind, firstly that Easter is traditionally a "Christian" holiday.  but then it is my understanding that Muslims see Jesus, rather than as a "savior", as one of many prophets, so it isn't as if Muslims have anything againt Jesus.  more recently, i've come to understand that Muslims don't share the "Easter story" with Christian tradition but rather have a considerably more pleasant understanding of how Jesus left the world.  but differences aside, plastic eggs and chocolate bunnies ultimately have nothing to do with Jesus, whether the believer-in-question sees him as a savior or a prophet, crucified or not.


as Muslims don't believe that Jesus was crucified, i can't imagine "Easter" actually being religiously "celebrated", but with regard to the contemporary, materialistic trappings of the occasion (marshmallow Peeps, colorful plastic eggs, chocolate bunnies, etc.) that don't literally factor into either faith's "Jesus story", as a Muslim...well, hypothetically, let's say you're in a store and your child asks to buy a package of colorful plastic eggs.  do your beliefs lead you to reject such things because of their association with the Christian story of Jesus's crucifixion?  do you see them as novelty toys so far removed from any real religious significance as to be ultimately harmless?  or do your feelings fall somewhere in between?  and why do you feel the way you do?


 


just a harmless question from a curious mind.  thanks in advance to anyone who takes the time to humor me.

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4 years ago  ::  Mar 26, 2010 - 8:16AM #2
Abdullah.
Posts: 882

Hi Amber, Welcome!


You are right that Muslims dont share the story of how Jesus [pbuh] left the earth, or that he 'came alive again after 3 days of his [supposed] death', nor do they share the dates of when Jesus [pbuh] was born or left the earth; also Muslims adhere to a guidance that defines for them what celebrations could be allowed or not, hence with all these things put together, such Christmas celebrations have no significance at all in Islam


There is a beutifull and paramount principle in Islam that 'actions are by intentions', i.e it is the intention behind an action that renders the action as to what it is, hence if a person buys what is seen by some as 'easter eggs' and 'easter bunny', but he just sees it as some chocolate goodies to munch, then he'd be doing exactly that and his intention wont be associated in any way with easter; children find such things irresistable too hence parents could buy it for them, so what you saw was probably some of such 'intentions' in action Smile


But i would caution the muslims that even if our intention is not associated with 'easter' at all, yet it may be problematic for us to buy such stuff due to the intention they are made with, i.e, they may be 'tainted' with [non-Islamic] religious reasons [but these days given the overriding corporate maxim, it's probably just for making profits and nothing else], hence Muslims should clarify with a Scholar first if it is ok before they buy


Peace Smile

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4 years ago  ::  Mar 26, 2010 - 5:41PM #3
Ceren
Posts: 1,430

Mar 26, 2010 -- 2:54AM, Amber wrote:


hi all.  i've got a burning question, and i need a Muslim perspective.  i myself am American, raised Christian but now non-religious.


i was in the grocery store earlier and noticed a presumably Muslim family buying plastic Easter eggs and Easter candy.


just a harmless question from a curious mind.  thanks in advance to anyone who takes the time to humor me.




 


Hello,


To be honest, if it were me... I would wait till the "easter season" is over and then buy the candies and chocolate at 50% off :)  That's what my husband and I do after Halloween and we love it!


As an ex-Christian myself (and current Muslim) I personally think that the egg thing and the bunny thing is SO FAR removed from Christianity that I wouldn't have a particular problem buy a egg-shaped or bunny-shaped chocolate. If anything, it's more related to pagan rites of spring than anything else.


If I were a parent, I would also think that this would be a great opportunity to buy bunny-shaped and egg-shaped stuff to teach my children about it, and to teach them the story behind it, the story behind easter, other religions, etc. 


On a different note, I would think that some Muslims could have objections to the chocolate bunny. In Islam, we're sort of careful regarding images of animate objects and people have different standards of "strictness". I think some people would think it's not allowed to create a 3D "chocolate sculpture" of a bunny, but it would also depend on how well the "sculpture" simulates a bunny.


I hope this helped. All the best,


Ceren

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4 years ago  ::  Apr 03, 2010 - 12:05PM #4
ayesha
Posts: 1

Hi All!!


   I was raised Jewish and reverted to Islam a little over a year ago. So as you can tell "colored eggs and chocolate bunnies" were never part of my life. I agree with the Muslim lady that wrote why not just wait until the day after and get everything at half price. I remember when I was very young my Grandfather always called him the "Easter Horse"!! And NO I have no idea why!!!!! I guess since Easter was almost always around the same time as Passover we never gave it too much notice. But then I also remember thinking how bizzare it was that people cut down perfectly good trees, took them inside and hung things on them!!!!!


   Just a couple of thoughts from a Muslim woman that has looked at these holidays from two other perspectives.


AyeshaCool

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4 years ago  ::  Apr 04, 2010 - 9:33AM #5
rasheed
Posts: 7

ASA,


Even if you are Christian and practicing Easter rituals. Does it make sense that rabbits lay eggs? So many lies are taught to the children. What does candy have to do with the resurrection of Jesus and dressing up especially on that day. Pagonistic, money making again. It should be the start of our New Year because that is the time everything in nature begins to grow again. As a Muslim who believes in Jesus, I find this bunny stuff to be disrespectiful to Him.  Time is short and we need to stop playing around with sacred beliefs with sport and play. That is my feelings on the subject.


Thank you,


                                          RasheedSmile

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4 years ago  ::  Apr 04, 2010 - 7:22PM #6
Leah
Posts: 2

This one really made me think. I am a Christian, but I am involved with both the religious and secular aspects of the various Christian holidays.


As for this discussion, I am reminded of the great American composer, Irving Berlin, a Jew who celebrated the secular aspects of Christmas, even writing "White Christmas" because he treasured the sentimental traditions, and how they brought amily and friends together. I thought of this when I read the original questions about Muslims and Easter candy.


I like the comment made earlier by the member who saw this as people learning about other's beliefs. I don't know enough about how Muslims feel about re-production of certain images, but I do know that some conservative Christians feel this way, and won't even have photos in their homes. Everybody is different.


I don't think there is a correct answer for an entire religion, because there are so many different people with so many diferent beliefs, who all consider themselves Muslim, Jewish, Christian, etc.


And a note to Rasheed. The only time I have heard of a bunny laying an egg is as a joke in the Cadburry Mini-Egg commercials. Please rest assured we are not teaching our children a bunch of lies.


When I was a child in Sunday School my teacher explained that bunnies, eggs, chicks, lambs, flowers, etc. all symbolize new life. It's not that the bunny laid the egg, it's that the baby bunny, the egg, the chick, the lamb, the blooming flower symbolize new life. In this way the eggs and bunnies can be seen in a religious context for more liberal Christians and some conservatives in that Christ has risen, and that the bunnies, chicks, etc. are symbols of new life. Even though Christ came back as an adult, it's still a new life. 


HOWEVER, for those who are not quite share the same interpretation, or who are not Christians, all the candy is just candy, regardless of its shape.


Christians have a long history of "Christianizing" pagen rituals in similar ways.

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4 years ago  ::  Apr 04, 2010 - 7:42PM #7
rasheed
Posts: 7

ASA,


I am sorry, I was not trying to disrespect anyones religion in reference to bunnies etc,. laying eggs.A lot of people, including myself actually believed that or really did not understand the significance of it. I still do not. Some people still teach santa clause coming to town. It all boils down to how you want to rear your children and your belief system.  There is no debating when we have our own opinions.


                                                    Thank you,


                                                             Rasheed

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4 years ago  ::  Apr 05, 2010 - 7:06PM #8
Dawn23
Posts: 1

Hello everyone, Well I don't really have an opinion on what Muslims  should do about Easter, but the topic definetly got me thinking. 


I would like to share that even for  Christians The tradition of coloring eggs and Easter baskets is probably  something to reconsider if you know the origins of such traditions. It  doesn't have anything to do do with the meaning of the resurrection.


True the egg and the rabbit are symbolic of fertility and rebirth. However, Easter has its roots in in pagan pre christian traditions and the Germans brought the customs a little closer to modern traditions with the coloring of eggs etc.


Most people seem to find these practices harmless, however I would consider whether or not these traditions take anything away from the true meaning of the resurrection or refocus the individual on what the holiday is all about.Did God command us to do celebrate in this way? Just because something is part of our culture doesnt make it ok. After all if we humans were getting it right then Jesus wouldn't have had to rescue us from sin.


As for me, if my favorite chocolate comes in the form of a cute bunny and an egg then I can wait till after easter buy it at 50% off and bite the ears off the bunnies and swallow those chocolate truffle eggs guilt free! keep the basket. Tongue out

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4 years ago  ::  Apr 06, 2010 - 5:46AM #9
JWRandTAXI
Posts: 1

It is purely a pre Christian recognition of the beginning of spring. And renewal. 

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4 years ago  ::  Apr 06, 2010 - 7:07AM #10
visio
Posts: 3,233

Apr 6, 2010 -- 5:46AM, JWRandTAXI wrote:


It is purely a pre Christian recognition of the beginning of spring. And renewal.




 


Yes, that's what we've heard from so many accounts - out of pre-Christianic Anglo-Saxon/Germanic ancient culture.  No big issue or deal.  What matters is as long as it can bring smiles on all people, that's the way to go as long as one doesn't regret when pockets are emptied. Where I am, these choc stuffs are a bit too expensive.   The irony is that we have the cocoa plantation. So all these monopolists must be having their hamper harvest.

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