Offering Christmas Wishes; PBNU: It's OK,in Spirit of Brotherhood



Petir Garda Bhwana

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Nahdlatul Ulama Executive Board (PBNU) chairman Robikin Emhas said, non-theologically, Muslims offering Christmas wishes in the spirit of brotherhood pose no problem. 

    “It’s enough by respecting what another religious community is practicing and letting it transpire without making a fuss about it. Let them practice what they believe, while we focus on what we believe. That is the point,” said Robikin in a press release on Monday. 

    Furthermore, he quoted the opinion of Egyptian ulema, Syekh Yusuf Qaradawi, who determined that one’s intent to offer a Christmas wish defines whether it should be done or not. He maintains that it is tolerable if it is done to respect or empathize with fellow Christians.

    “Moreover, Christmas wishes are meant to express elation for the birth of the Prophet Isa. Now based on this guidance and limitations, can Christmas become a moment to further unite the nation’s brotherhood? I say definitely,” said the PBNU chairman. 

    He further elaborates that positivity toward conveying Christmas greetings does not stop with words alone, but is vast in its practice. This is why he called for an inter-religious forum that will open a dialogue to further unite Indonesia’s plural population. 

    In terms of Christmas wishes, the PBNU chairman reminds that the limit to tolerance for Muslims remains in Holy Quran’s Al-Kafirun verse; “For you is your religion, and for me is my religion.”