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M. Bakri Musa

Seeing Malaysia My Way

My Photo
Location: Morgan Hill, California, United States

Malaysian-born Bakri Musa writes frequently on issues affecting his native land. His essays have appeared in the Far Eastern Economic Review, Asiaweek, International Herald Tribune, Education Quarterly, SIngapore's Straits Times, and The New Straits Times. His commentary has aired on National Public Radio's Marketplace. His regular column Seeing It My Way appears in Malaysiakini. Bakri is also a regular contributor to th eSun (Malaysia). He has previously written "The Malay Dilemma Revisited: Race Dynamics in Modern Malaysia" as well as "Malaysia in the Era of Globalization," "An Education System Worthy of Malaysia," "Seeing Malaysia My Way," and "With Love, From Malaysia." Bakri's day job (and frequently night time too!) is as a surgeon in private practice in Silicon Valley, California. He and his wife Karen live on a ranch in Morgan Hill. This website is updated twice a week on Sundays and Wednesdays at 5 PM California time.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Season's Greetings and Happy Holidays!

To My Readers and Contributors:
Season's Greetings and Happy Holidays!

The traditional holiday season in America begins with Thanksgiving, a secular celebration on the last Thursday of November, and ends with the equally secular New Year’s festivities. Sandwiched in between are the religious celebrations of Christmas, Hanukah, and Kwanzaa.

Many lament the increasing commercialization of these holidays, in particular Christmas. Paradoxically, as Christmas becomes increasingly commercial and secular, more and more Americans are joining in the celebrations.

The spirit of sharing and generosity of Christmas, exemplified by the exchanges of gifts, is infectious. Goodwill begets more goodwill, regardless of our faith.

This holiday season is unique in that it will be sandwiched by two Muslim Holy Days. It began with the Eid-ul Fitr in the first week of November, and will end with Eid-ul Adha on January 10th. The next time for such a coincidence will be in 33 years time.

In mood and festivities, Eid-ul Fitr is more like Christmas. Eid-ul Adha, with its central theme of Qurban (sacrifice), is more like Thanksgiving.
Christmas celebrates the birthday of Christ, one of Allah’s prophets. That is reason enough for Muslims to pay deference to such occasions. In symbolism, Christmas should be the equivalent of Maulud-ul Nabi, the birthday of Allah’s Last Messenger, Muhammad, s.a.w.

As we celebrate this festive season, we pause to count and reflect on our many blessings.

If we woke up this morning in good health and our wits with us, then we are indeed blessed. We thank Almighty Allah. As a physician, I am only too aware of the many who are not so fortunate.

If you have your family with you to celebrate the holidays, then you are doubly blessed. Enjoy and treasure the moments you have together; you never know how many more such occasions you will have in the future. If your family is young, you will discover much too quickly that children grow up very fast. Soon, much too soon, they will leave the comfort and warmth of your home to venture on their own. My own children are literally all over the globe. However we are blessed to live in this age of jet planes, telephones and the Internet enabling us to connect with one another with relative ease.

Blessed indeed are those who have family and friends to share the holidays. If we have a roof over our head and food on the table, we count ourselves among the fortunate, for we are only too aware of the fate of millions less fortunate.
If we have a job, we count our blessings even more, and not only for the income it provides. I am privileged to have a job that not only provides generously but also immense personal fulfillment. For in serving my fellow humans, I am serving Allah.

I wish the same blessings and more upon my friends, readers and contributors. May the Good Lord look kindly and generously upon you and your loved ones. May you continue to enjoy good health and all the other blessings and beneficence of Allah. And may you have a safe and joyous holiday.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Holiday to you!

4:11 PM  

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