Here we are... in the holiday season for most Americans, and those of us who don't celebrate the same holidays are left wondering what to do? What's more challenging is what to do with family members who do celebrate these holidays. Do we follow along with everyone as if nothing is different? Do we sit quietly during time of prayer and worship in a manner we don't follow?
Things are tough... for everyone. I've found recently that I wish to run the other direction when it comes to these holidays. Family feels it necessary to take time out of the celebration to explain to us why they believe we are wrong, why we are going to hell, or they will mention how they politely don't mention religion, but yet must tell us what else in our life is not up to their standard or another thing we are doing wrong.
Have holidays become the time to take each person to a measuring stick and verify if they are good enough or not? Time and time again it is proven that we don't measure up. Eventually will we be forbidden to come? Probably not... then we would miss out on the intense wisdom and guidance that everyone has to give in the form of criticism and critiquing. Last time I checked, I don't get paid to come to the holiday events, so I didn't realize it would be my semi-annual review on how I am living my life.
In Islam, we are taught to keep family ties and that it is a major sin to break these family ties. My question is, how far does this go? **I go forward from this thought making intention to find hadiths on what exactly is expected.** If we walk away from each family event feeling less successful as a human being, are we expected to continue putting ourselves through such trial so that they are not upset by us refusing their ultimate wisdom on our continued failures?
In the case of being preached to, should we take this same time to discuss our viewpoint on the holidays, the background and history and what we feel is the correct stance in such instances. Oh no, that would be rude, inconsiderate and downright disrespectful.
How much tolerance is necessary for family?