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Do Muslims Celebrate Thanksgiving

Do Muslims Celebrate Thanksgiving? Understanding Traditions

Last Updated on February 25, 2024 by Kimberlee Johnson

During Thanksgiving, families all across the United States gather around tables filled with delicious food and revel in the rich aroma of cooking turkey.

It’s a special time to feel thankful and be with loved ones. But sometimes I wonder, “Do Muslims celebrate Thanksgiving?

As someone who has grown up in a place with many different kinds of people and cultures, I’ve seen how Muslims celebrate Thanksgiving in their way, mixing their culture and beliefs.

So, I’ll share whether Muslims join in and how their beliefs connect with this American holiday. Keep reading. 

Do Muslims Have A Thanksgiving Celebration?

Thanksgiving Turkey

Many Muslims celebrate Thanksgiving. Unlike religious holidays, Thanksgiving is a non-religious cultural occasion that aligns well with Islamic values. 

“Thanksgiving Day is a good day to recommit our energies to giving thanks and just giving.”

Amy Grant, American Singer-Songwriter

The focus on gratitude [1], generosity, and communal harmony resonates with the Islamic ethos. It happens to be a favored holiday among Muslims. 

Find out what Native Americans do on Thanksgiving here.

What Does The Quran Say About Celebrating Thanksgiving?

In the Quran, the importance of gratitude is emphasized through the stories of Prophets David and Muhammad. 

Prophet David and his family were instructed to be thankful to Allah, while Allah directed Prophet Muhammad to worship Him and show gratitude.

It means that Thanksgiving is not confined to a specific religious act but encompasses one’s entire life. 

Is Ramadan Similar To Thanksgiving?

Ramadan [2], a significant time for Muslims, can be seen as a form of thanksgiving. 

During this period, nearly every mosque globally welcomes the faithful to partake in iftar, a free dinner to break their fast at sunset. 

This communal meal symbolizes gratitude and unity among Muslims. 

While different from the Thanksgiving holiday, Ramadan and Thanksgiving emphasize coming together, appreciating blessings, and sharing with others. 

How Do Muslims Express Their Gratitude To Allah?

1. Think About The Good Things You Have

Family Taking a Picture

Taking moments to reflect on the positive aspects of your life—such as your well-being, family bonds, and sources of joy—helps you recognize the abundance of blessings you’ve received. 

This contemplative practice nurtures a sense of gratitude and an awareness of the goodness around you.

2. Be Content With What You Have

Genuine gratitude involves finding contentment in your current circumstances. 

Instead of always yearning for more, valuing what you possess demonstrates appreciation for Allah’s provisions.

3. Express Thankfulness With Words

Verbalizing appreciation plays a significant role. 

Employing phrases like “Alhamdulillah” (Praise be to Allah) serves as a vocal acknowledgment of life’s blessings, fostering a consistent awareness of Allah’s benevolence.

4. Do What Allah Says

Displaying gratitude extends to living following the teachings of the Quran. 

By adhering to the guidance outlined in the holy scripture, Muslims exhibit their appreciation for the wisdom and directives provided by Allah.

5. Cultivate Caring Relationships

Demonstrating gratitude encompasses treating family, friends, and neighbors with kindness and respect. 

Upholding these relationships acknowledges the value of positive connections, reflecting thankfulness for the presence of supportive individuals.

6. Express Gratitude To Others

Acknowledging the kindness of others through spoken or written expressions of gratitude is an extension of thankfulness. 

This practice reinforces appreciation for human interactions and gratitude toward Allah for placing such individuals in your life.

7. Share Abundantly

Giving Pack of Food

Generosity and sharing form an essential part of expressing gratitude. 

Muslims embody gratitude through action by extending one’s blessings to those in need through acts of charity, service, and sharing.

Also Read: How Much Should You Give For Zakat At Fitr?

8. Don’t Waste What You’ve Got

Using what you have wisely shows you’re thankful. It’s like saying, “I appreciate what I’ve got, so I’ll use it carefully.” 

Demonstrating responsibility in utilizing one’s blessings—material or otherwise—reveals a sense of appreciation. 

Avoiding wastefulness and practicing mindful consumption align with cherishing what Allah has provided. But what do the Chinese consume every Thanksgiving?

9. Embrace Patience During Challenges

Amid difficult times, maintaining patience and steadfastness showcases gratitude for the opportunity to endure and grow. 

“Muslims don’t just celebrate gratitude on Thanksgiving; they strive to live daily as a testament to their appreciation for the blessings bestowed upon them.”

Howkapow Gift Site

Such resilience conveys reliance on Allah’s wisdom and trust in His guidance.

10. Uphold Virtuous Behavior During Prosperity

Enjoying periods of prosperity, adhering to virtuous actions, and continuing acts of worship exemplify gratitude. 

This practice reflects an understanding that one’s well-being and ease are gifts from Allah, warranting continued devotion and humility.

Read: Which State Eats The Most Turkey During Thanksgiving?

FAQs

Does any religion not observe Thanksgiving?

Yes, Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t celebrate Thanksgiving. 

Instead, their members use the day for door-to-door evangelism, focusing on their religious activities rather than participating in the holiday festivities.

You might also like to read about what religions don’t wear costumes on Halloween here.

Can Muslims observe any holidays?

Yes, Muslims observe two major holidays: Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. 

These holidays are determined by the Islamic or Hijra calendar and hold significant cultural and religious importance for the Muslim community.

But can Muslims wear costumes during Halloween?

What do Muslims say rather than thank you?

Instead of “thank you,” Muslims often use “Alhamdulillah,” which means “glory be to God” in Arabic. 

They might also use “Shukran,” a common Arabic phrase used in all Arabic-speaking countries formally and informally, to express gratitude.

What is the idea behind giving thanks during Ramadan?

During Ramadan, the focus is on reflection and gratitude. 

Muslims appreciate their blessings, offer their required prayers, and thank Allah by saying, “Subhanahu wa ta’ala,” or God the most glorified, the highest.

In Summary

As I’ve come to understand, it’s not about whether there’s a turkey on the table or a parade on the street. 

It’s about the essence of gratitude, a sentiment deeply rooted in Islamic teachings and the Thanksgiving tradition. 

While Muslims may not observe Thanksgiving in the conventional sense, the principles of thankfulness, community, and sharing are intricately placed into their lives.

Like how Muslims express their gratitude to Allah in various ways – contemplation, kindness, and following the teachings – the Thanksgiving holiday emphasizes gratitude, unity, and giving back.

References:

  1. https://www.nytimes.com/2023/06/08/well/mind/gratitude-health-benefits.html
  2. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/religion/festivals/what-is-ramadan-and-why-do-muslims-fast-during-ramadan/articleshow/98861446.cms
Kimberlee Johnson
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