Home / Seasonal Reminders / Christmas / Christmas, Muslims and the Paganisation of Christianity
Christmas, Muslims and the Paganisation of Christianity

Christmas, Muslims and the Paganisation of Christianity

As Muslims who live in the West, we find ourselves surrounded by a culture of capitalism which utilizes anything in its means to further its spread and acceptance. Amid this culture is the widespread acceptance of the 25th of December being the birthday of Jesus Christ. However, as Pastors and Priests of the Christian faith have accepted over the years, this is an erroneous claim. Nevertheless they have continued to re-enact the nativity in their churches and narrate stories surrounding it which clearly demonstrates both their lack of desire for the truth and the way in which they easily accept falsehood and implement it into their religion.

Additionally, there is a phenomenon among a number of Muslims to partake in the Christmas festivities where they erect Christmas trees and exchange gifts. Ignorantly they have assumed that Christmas is typically associated with nationalism rather than theology, and in their fervent desire to assimilate into a British identity they feel obliged to get involved. However, as this article aims to demonstrate, Christmas is deeply theological and additionally, based in pagan and not Christian beliefs.

Christmas, also known as Christ’s Mass, is arguably the most popular celebration that takes place in the West. It is an annual holiday which celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ on the 25th of December. Generally, festivities are combined with both secular and pagan customs and begin on the 24th of December until after Boxing Day (26th of December). For a long time people have assumed that Christmas Day is the actual day of the birth of Jesus Christ, however, there is much proof to the contrary which is found in the bible and the books of history.

A close reading of the New Testament provides no specific date for the birth of Jesus. Additionally, only two gospels of the four actually narrate the nativity story although both apparently contradict each other. The Gospel of Luke describes how the archangel Gabriel came to Mary to inform her of a son to be born to her. She responded that she was a virgin to which the angel then stated ‘nothing will be impossible with God’ to which she replied ‘here I am the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according with the Lord’s word.’1 Whilst pregnant, Mary and her husband traveled to Bethlehem to register for a national census. Having found no room at an inn, they lodged in the barn. Meanwhile an angel appeared to some shepherds nearby and informed them of Jesus’ birth whilst at that moment a ‘heavenly host’ appeared to them and said ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.’2 Based on the accounts in Luke of the shepherds’ activities, the time of year depicted for Jesus’ birth could possibly be either spring or summer thus contradicting the notion that Christ was born in winter. The Gospel of Matthew  narrates a different version of events, and relates that the ‘good news’ was told to Joseph (and not Mary) in a dream, after which he fled with his family to Egypt seeking safety from Herod. Matthew also included the story of the foreign magi (three wise men) although Luke mentions shepherds who are guarding their flock nearby. These contradictions are clearly apparent and have clearly confused most Christians as there is no clear narration detailing Christ’s birth, to the extent that most Christians are ignorant of the fact that Jesus is narrated as having traveled to Egypt in the early part of his life. Although there is a possibility of reconciling the two narrations by means of combining the two stories, it seems extremely questionable that Luke fails to mention the Maji, and Matthew the ‘heavenly host.’ Thus we see many nativity plays which differ from one another where Christians randomly pick and choose events which they believe will increase the entertaining value of the play.

In re-analysing story in the narration of Matthew, it is noticeable that pagan acts manage to sneak into the story. We are told of the magi from the East who come to worship Jesus. Most historians consider the Magis Midian Zoroastrian priests who were experts in astronomy. Some Muslim commentators have argued that ‘worship’ here meant sajdah al ta’dheem (prostration out of respect) which is likely if the story is true as Persians were known to prostrate in front of their kings out of respect. However, the narration of Luke completely disregards the Magi – and it seems probable due to the fact that Luke’s version is more consistent with Christian theology. Additionally he narrates the verse ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests’3 which refutes many Christian beliefs as it implies three things:

  1. that God is not the baby Jesus which is born to Mary based on the fact that God is “in the highest heaven” and Jesus is a baby on Earth;
  2. that Jesus is a man of those ‘on whom His favor rests’;
  3. God is in/above the heavens and not everywhere as most Christians and pantheists claim.

Even though there are many major discrepancies in the nativity story, a brief look at Christianity proves that the early Christians disregarded the birthday of Jesus as is evident through the fact that Iraneus and Tertullian4 did not list Christmas as a Christian festival and omitted it from their list of feasts.5 There is additional proof which states that Christians held birthdays as sinful. Origen6 states, ‘of all the holy people in the Scriptures, no one is recorded to have kept a feast or held a great banquet on his birthday. It is only sinners (like Pharaoh and Herod) who make great rejoicings over the day on which they were born into this world below.’7 Thus theologically, celebrations surrounding birthdays were not only non-existent in early Christianity, but also quite deviant.

This then begs the question, when and where did Christmas come about? We find in most records that Christmas began to be practiced as a festival as early as the 4th century by Roman Christians and gained significant prominence when Charlemagne8 was crowned in the year 800 AD on the 25th of December. Originally, the pagans celebrated a number of festivals during the winter solstice such as Saturnalia, Sol Invinctus and Yule. All of these had a profound contribution in forming Christmas during the spread of Christianity throughout Europe.

Saturnalia was the festival that the pagan Romans celebrated in order to commemorate the temple of Saturn. On this day, just as Christmas day, public festivities would ensue which involved sacrifices and the making and giving of small presents, saturnalia et sigillaricia. Additionally, there was a time of general relaxation, feasting, merry-making, and a cessation of formal rules.9 During Saturnalia, business was postponed and even slaves feasted. There was drinking, gambling, singing, and even public nudity. It was the ‘best of days’ according to the poet Catullus10, a time to ‘eat, drink, and be merry’. Pagans decorated their houses with clippings of evergreen shrubs and decorated living trees with bits of metal and replicas of their God, Bacchus. It is noted that Tertullian complained that too many Christians were imitating paganistic practice of adorning their houses with lamps and wreathes of laurel during the winter solstice. In addition, the Talmud and Mishna11 relate accounts of a pagan festival called Saturnura which has claimed its origins to Adam, the first man, who noticed that the days were getting shorter and assumed that it was punishment for his sin. Afraid that the world was returning to the chaos and emptiness that existed before creation, he fasted for eight days out of repentance. Once he realised that this was the natural cycle of the world, he celebrated for eight days, a tradition which later turned into a pagan festival.12

Another pagan festival which has heavily influenced Christmas is Sol Invinctus which was celebrated by Romans in veneration of solar deities such as Elah Gabal (also known as Baal), Sol and Mithras. Followers of the god’s would gather together on the 25th of December and celebrate Dies Natalis Solis Invicti or ‘the birthday of the unconquered sun’, the object of veneration. They considered the sun ‘unconquered’ due to the fact that it ‘survives’ the reduced daylight hours during the winter solstice. This festival most closely resembles Christmas given that it is on the same day to the extent that a Syriac Bishop wrote, ‘It was a custom of the Pagans to celebrate on the same 25th December the birthday of the Sun, at which they kindled lights in token of festivity. In these solemnities and revelries the Christians also took part. Accordingly when the doctors of the Church perceived that the Christians had a leaning to this festival, they took counsel and resolved that the true Nativity should be solemnised on that day.’13 As is evident, the Church chose the 25th of December as a religious celebration in order to sanctify the fact that Christians were celebrating an openly pagan festival. To that extent the Catholic Encyclopedia states, ‘The well-known solar feast, however, of Natalis Invicti, celebrated on 25th December, has a strong claim on the responsibility for our December date.’14

Most traditions which have passed on to Christians in the UK are derived from Yule which is celebrated in Scandinavia and used interchangeably with Christmas. Although it became a Christian festival during the process of Christianisation, it was deeply pagan and many traditions were carried over into Christianity, especially the way in which Christmas is practiced in the UK and consequently the United States. When the Germanic peoples began to convert, missionaries found it convenient to provide a Christian reinterpretation of popular pagan holidays such as Yule and allowed the pagan celebrations themselves to go on largely unchanged  – examples being that of decorating Christmas trees, eating roasted Pig, and hanging mistletoe and holly. These practices have no basis in Christian texts, and some are actually condemned.

For example, as is common during Christmas, many people including Muslims erect Christmas trees in their homes adorning them with decorations such as tinsel, fairy lights and baubles. Underneath the tree there are usually a pile of presents which are opened on Christmas day. However, all of these practices originate from paganism. Erecting trees and adorning them for celebrations originated from pre-Christianity, to the extent that Jeremiah states in the Old Testament, ‘For the customs of the people are vain: for one cuts a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold;,they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.’15 Additionally, the actual Christmas trees used in Britain stem from Norse paganism (and their celebrations during Yule), while decorations such as baubles represent the sun synonymous with the festival of Sol Invinctus. A practice which resembles Saturnalia is kissing under the mistletoe, and although fornication is explicitly forbidden in Christianity, many people have adopted this pagan practice of kissing strangers using mistletoe as an excuse to satisfy sexual desires – it was first practiced in Britain during solstitial rites among the pagan Druids.

Another major myth and tradition surrounding Christmas is that of Santa Claus. The name is actually a mispronunciation of the Dutch name Sinterklass (from St Nicholas). It is widely held that Santa Claus is a representation of Saint Nicholas and stories surrounding his charitable life. In Germanic and Norse mythology a figure by the name of Odin who was considered a major pagan god who would be ‘seen’ hunting in the sky during Yule. According to Siefker, children would place their boots, filled with carrot, straw or sugar, near the chimney for Odin’s flying horse, Sleipnir, to eat. Odin would then reward those children for their kindness by replacing Sleipnir’s food with gifts or sweets.16 The physical appearance of Odin resembles that of Santa Claus like the beard, hat and staff, and the cloth bag held by the servants to capture naughty children. Although widespread images of Santa Claus are based upon American (and usually capitalist) representations, the notion of a fat bearded flying man  come from entrenched pagan beliefs.

Even though most of the West has immersed itself into the Christmas culture without questioning its origins or pagan connotations, the paganisation of the Christian faith has not gone unnoticed by all, rather we see in the past that Christmas was rejected by many Protestant groups during the 16th century, and in addition, Puritans of 17th century England and America banned the festival of Christmas as pagan. Oliver Cromwell also banned Christmas after the English Civil War due to the belief that it was a pagan belief which encouraged sin and immorality interpolated into the Christian faith. Christians suchas Jehovah Witnesses continue to hold beliefs similar to the Puritans and reject the notion of Christmas altogether.

We also find that the process of secularization has caused Christmas in the past few years to lose all remnants of the Christian faith and has made it a secular holiday with paganistic practices. Capitalist ideals have utilized the festival to make even more money from theologically-ignorant shoppers, causing them to drown in debt. As Muslims we must refrain from becoming involved in such practices whether it is in the name of nationalism or integration. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) stated: ‘whoever imitates a people is one of them’17 and Abdullah Ibn al-‘Aas (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “Whoever lives in the land of the polytheists and celebrates their Nawrooz (New Year) and their festivals imitating until he dies, he will be a loser on the Day of Resurrection.” This is not to say that Muslims should not shop during this period but there are some that are affected by the culture of capitalism and squander during the Christmas period. It is not an innocent festival based on regional customs, but an ideological celebration based on the theological beliefs of Christians and pagans, and used by capitalists to exploit unaware citizens.

Allah the Most High states,

And those who do not witness falsehood, and if they pass by some evil play or evil talk, they pass it by with dignity.18

We as Muslims should pass this festival by with dignity, refraining from the office parties’, Christmas celebrations, the exchange of gifts, and even exchanging Christmas greetings. There are a number of reasons for this; firstly, to become involved in a festival is to sanction the beliefs behind such a festival and as Muslims we are forbidden to sanction anything other than Islam. Just as we as Muslims distance ourselves from celebrations such as Diwali (Hinduism) and Hanukkah (Judaism), we must also do so with Christmas. By celebrating Christmas, not only do we sanction pagan and Christian practices, but we imply that the festival  of polytheism is pleasing to us although Allah states,

This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.19

Secondly, Allah describes Christians as “those who went astray” in the opening chapter of the Qur’an, thus to celebrate something that is not even sanctioned in their religion is to imply that their straying is of no consequence. Thirdly, to take part in their festivities or to give greetings such as ‘merry/happy Christmas’ is to encourage and congratulate them in their actions instead of censuring them for their falsehood. This is in opposition to Qur’anic teachings whereby Allah states,

They believe in Allah and the Last Day; they enjoin what is right, and forbid what is wrong; and they hasten (in emulation) in (all) good works: They are in the ranks of the righteous.20

Help ye one another in righteousness and piety, but help ye not one another in sin and rancour. Fear Allah, for Allah is strict in punishment.21

Muslims, by the grace of Allah, have been afforded a complete way of life which details that which is best and most beneficial for the entire human race. We have the Qur’an and sunnah, and to cling to them is an aspect of the faith, regardless of the taunts of liberal Muslims and non-Muslims who may call us ‘radicals’ and ‘fundamentalists’. To be fundamental is a part of Islam as A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) narrates that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said ‘Whoever innovates something in this matter of ours (Islam) that is not a part of it will have it rejected.’22

Christmas remains a stark warning and example to Muslims of what can happen to Islam if we were to accept innovations into our faith. To cling to the Qur’an and sunnah as understood by the salaf is the only way to remain within the sanctified parameters of our deen. Christmas is a phenomenon that should encite the awareness of the Muslim laity to be mindful about those from whom they take their religion and  religious knowledge. We thank Allah for preserving our faith and pray that he bestow upon us the ability to stay on the Straight Path.

 

 

___________________________________________________________
Notes:
1. Luke 1:31-38
2. Luke 2:8-15
3. Luke 2:8-15
4. Early distinguished fathers and scholars of the Christian Church.
5. The Catholic Encyclopedia
6. An early Christian scholar and theologian who is considered one of the most distinguished early fathers of the Christian Church.
7. Origen, in Levit., Hom. VIII, in Migne P.G., XII, 495
8. Considered the father of Europe
9. http://www.cs.utk.edu/~mclennan/BA/SF/WinSol.html
10. http://www.ancientworlds.net/aw/Article/242252
11. Important Jewish texts
12. Avodah Zara 8a
13. Cited in MacMullen. R. Christianity and Paganism in the Fourth to Eighth Centuries. Yale:1997
14. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04636c.htm
15. Jeremiah 10:3-4
16. Siefker. P. Santa Claus, Last of the Wild Men: The Origins and Evolution of Saint Nicholas, Spanning 50,000 Years. McFarland:1997
17. Related in Sunan Abu Dawud
18. Surah al-Furqan 25:72
19. Surah al-Ma’idah 5:3
20. Surah Aali Imran 3:114
21. Surah al-Ma’idah 5:2
22. Related in Sahih al-Bukhari

DISCLAIMER: All material found on Islam21c.com is for information purposes only. The views expressed on this site or on any linked sites do not necessarily represent those of MRDF & Islam21c.


 

About Ahmed Ali

81 comments

  1. Why not give greetings for Christmas?
    Assalaamu aleikum,

    I have Christian neighbours who go out of their way every year to come and give me their best wishes and greetings for Eid ul-Fitr and Eid ul-Adha, and being a good neighbour, I also give them my greetings for Christmas and Easter because it’s something that they value. This article is great in disproving the basis of the holiday itself, but the advice to not even give greetings to someone who greets you doesn’t seem very Islamic. Even if they don’t greet you, it seems like a neighbourly thing to do. Am I wrong in my opinion?

  2. Quandary
    This is a well researched article and always a much debated topic.

    What are Muslims living in the UK to do??? The fact of the matter is, we have chosen to live in the UK and continue to live here and raise our famillies here. We cannot live in isolation and have to interact with the majority non Muslim population, although many Muslims would rather not (Sad, but true).

    In my humble opinion there is nothing wrong with wishing others a happy Christmas and a happy new year and I think it’s good to exchange Christmas cards in order to show respect and build a bond with my non Muslim neighbours and friends. The key question therefore has to be: Does Islam forbid us from wishing others a happy Christmas and new year and exchanging cards and gifts? In other words, Am I committing a sin by doing so? For those who are of the opinion it is sinful ,then please show me clear evidence of this from the Qur’an and Sunnah.

    Until such time when I am provided with clear, unequiviocal evidence then I remain of the view I have shared above.

    Have a merry Chistmas and a happy new year.:)

  3. Christianity is the Roman religion with Islam and Mithraism
    The Persian empire were the superpower before the Roman empire. The Romans admired the Persians and took a number of concepts, including their pagan religion called Mithraism. In Mithraism, they have a virgin birth of a male, occurring on the 25th December. The boy is the son of God and the saviour of mankind.

    Later on when Jesus arrived and brought about the religion of submission to God, the Romans took over the religion. They gradually mixed up concepts of Islam with mithraism to create Western Christianity. As the Roman empire was in demise, they used Christianity as a tool to prop up their empire.

  4. Excellent article! Even the christians have no idea what they are celebrating, most have never read the bible or gone to church. jazakallah for this great lesson.

  5. Mahmoud Ziyada, Cairo, Egypt.

    Ma sha Allah!
    “Christmas remains a stark warning and example to Muslims of what can happen to Islam if we were to accept innovations into our faith”.

    Ma sha Allah!
    Jazak Allaho khairan, dear brother.
    My heartfelt greetings and prayers for you.

    [u][/u]

  6. The article assumes Paganism is bad, but where does Islam stand in comparison?
    Yes the date for Christmas has been arbitrarily celebrated at the same period as ancient pagan celebrations – what’s new?

    Readers here should realise that Paganism is a superstition, as is Islam. However, Paganism doesn’t involve hero-worshipping a character such as Mohamed in Islam, and of course this is a GOOD thing! Reading the Islamic Koran and Sunnah we can see that there are a number of behaviours exhibited by Mohamed that we would wish to discourage our neighbours to exhibit.

    I’d also like to say that Eid al-Adha (Festival of Sacrifice) is a truly awful celebration. How can you celebrate the cruelty of Allah in subjecting Abraham to the turmoil and anguish of having to slaughter his own son to prove his loyalty to Allah? If your Grandfather abused his influence over his son in this matter (asking his son to kill his grandson) he would be denounced – probably imprisoned – immediately. The crime occurs the moment Allah asks for the sacrifice; that he magically later turns the son into a sheep/goat is irrelevant.
    Think about it.

  7. Oh the hypocrisy!
    Soo we have to adapt to Islam in the UK without Musilms having to do the same? Ergo let’s ban hijab because we live in a secular society where women and men are equal, or maybe get rid of mosques because this country is Christian. It matters not whether paganism is part of Christmas or whether the date is correct: Islam came from moon gods and the prophet mysteriously received divine ‘messages’- what’s the difference? Don’t pour scorn of someone elses religion if can’t accept them pouring scorn on yours….Or you could leave the country and leave us in peace!

  8. Christmas is beneficial
    As a Muslim, I support Christmas. If it weren’t for Xmas, I’d only get one set of presents each year (on my Birthday). So I think Christmas is beneficial for everyone and should be encouraged by all faiths. :)

  9. Excellent!!!
    Assalam alaikum,

    I think what Nizami has said is absolutely correct for Muslims.They should never adapt other religious cultures or imitate them. Islam is truthful religion which has definite rules and regulations to be followed.No one has the right to add or remove some thing from it.

  10. Thankyou
    A very good insight and a eye opener for many muslims and Christians.
    People need to take heed!!!!!

  11. A really good article!

  12. Circulation!
    this article has to be circulated!!

  13. Thank you ‘An very unimportant person’. Christmas marks the beginning of the life of a very special person, recognized in all Abrahamic faiths (Jesus, that is). There is no historical evidence to say when Jesus, the Christ was born. He could have been born in any other month of the year for all that the historical evidence shows. Perhaps that is not the point.

    The point is, dear brother or sister, that for two-thirds of His life we know almost nothing about what Jesus got up to, how he lived and so on. Barely three years of His life are recorded and, as you say, the various books a filled with contradiction.

    Perhaps that fact that it is human nature to celebrate the birth of a new life into this world, whether it be to a family of faith or a family with none is something in itself to recognise and give thanks for. After all, are we not all made in the image of God? He in his magnificence has allowed us to decide whether or not to believe.

    Christmas is NOT the central core of the Christian faith, and, if you strip away all the commercialisation of it, you will find a very common human experience; birth. The same is true with the birthday of The Prophet (peace be upon him), something Muslims worldwide acknowledge and celebrate.

  14. Thankyou!
    As a former Christian I would like to highlight the aim of the author which seems to me to be nasiyah (sincere advice). With that in mind I would like to take this opportunity to ask Allah to reward him and his family as these articles go a long way in increasing us in faith.

  15. not really knowing

    not help but a possibility?
    why not be straight forward and tell them you don’t celebrate Xmas or yet better give them something on Eid. Or option 2 is that you don’t do anything! Of course, it does seem a bit cold but if you give them presents back I guess they’ll assume you’re also enjoying the ‘festive season’.

  16. An very unimportant person

    rectifying Jezel (with all respect)
    I don’t understand how you managed to come to the conclusion that God made man on Xmas or that Xmas is even found in the Christian creed (you do not mention the specific one you are talking about). As far as it stands, Xmas has nothing to do with Christianity and on Sunday a local church admitted it in the sermon.

    The article happens to address this point in an attempt to highlight that “Even though most of the West has immersed itself into the Christmas culture without questioning its origins or pagan connotations, the paganisation of the Christian faith has not gone unnoticed by all, rather we see in the past that Christmas was rejected by many Protestant groups during the 16th century, and in addition, Puritans of 17th century England and America banned the festival of Christmas as pagan. Oliver Cromwell also banned Christmas after the English Civil War due to the belief that it was a pagan belief which encouraged sin and immorality interpolated into the Christian faith. Christians suchas Jehovah Witnesses continue to hold beliefs similar to the Puritans and reject the notion of Christmas altogether.”

    As for being Abrahamic faiths, its a shame that Christians don’t manage to reflect their Abrahamic claims in their theology and traditions – Xmas being a prime example.

  17. I’ve just been given two lovely Christmas presents from my workmates. I don’t celebrate Christmas and never gave out any presents/cards to receive these. And now I feel bad for not giving anything back. What would be the best thing to do in your opinion?

  18. another unimportant person

    to an unimportant person
    No problem enjoy the holiday – but just don’t celebrate Christmas. Don’t single out the 25th December as a special day to be merry and give out presents. In fact don’t do this for any other day – because as you pointed out the prophet told us that Allah only legislated two Eids – and clearly he didn’t tell us this for nothing.

  19. Interesting, but does this miss the point?
    Brother Nizami’s article is well-researched and factual, of that there is no doubt. However, the celebration of Christmas marks the beginning of what Christians believe to be ‘God made man’, as it says in the Christian creed. There are numerous biblical references to the ‘coming of the messiah’ and, for Christians, Jesus, the Christ represents the messiah, the Chosen One.

    The fact that much of the Christmas story lacks historical accuracy, and that modern-day celebrations and customs have more in common with pagan beliefs misses the point; both Islam, Christianity and Judaism are Abrahamic faiths. As such, all have a belief in the power of one, true God, and, at the end of time, we will be judged; not by what we say, but rather by what we do, both to ourselves, to others of the faith, and especially to those of no faith or who are in some way less fortunate than ourselves!

  20. An unimportant person

    have we gone too far?
    having read the article I must admit that there are strong points whichmust be considered, but with the comments also in mind, where is the line? If I want to enjoy myself at this time of the year simply because I get time of work, things are on sale, good programs on TV etc why not? And of course if everybody is ‘merry’, of course its cause for celebration. Xmas has now gone beyond paganism, just as Hajj and tawaf did during the prophets time. Moreover, do I seriously need referential proof to kick and lay back? Of course I dont mean celebrations, which in itslef is misused ’cause nobody celebrates Xmas, everybody just enjoys the fact that they’re on holiday. So before someone tries to argue that Allah has legislated only 2 Eid’s, I’m not arguing that we need a third one but that there are some times of the year that society slows down for holidays. As such, can we argue that we shouldn’t work cause Allah has not legislated a weekend nor summer holidays?

    Of course some scholars argue that it is haram to go on holiday quoting Imam Ahmad that there’s no sightseeing in Islam. But then again, did the prophet drive a car and speak to Umar ibn Khattab on a Nokia N96?

  21. nah, I would’ve confiscated your Christmas tree!! “For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.” lol

  22. why, cause then you wouldn’t have celebrated it? lol

  23. Da’wah
    I wish I had read this before Christmas!!

  24. How legitimate is ‘happy holidays’ – are they sanctified by Allah??

  25. holydays
    And it was eid bro, come on, you’ve already forgotten?!

  26. Happy holiday
    Notice KSI’s very diplomatic wishing of merriment to all who have holidays due to existing national days of certain paganistic origin which are nonetheless taken in positive spirit by those unaccepting of their origin as days off to rest our exhausted souls ;)

    In the spirit of such joyous days of non-pagan intentions to simply laze around, happy holidays :D

  27. Interesting
    Interesting discussion, however the fact remains, Nizami explained the meaning of this statement before quoting it and after stating it as shown below. It’s very objective and the words ‘I think’ or ‘I feel’ don’t come into it and so there is no opinion here, even if he personally is against it.

    ‘There is additional proof which states that Christians held birthdays as sinful.’

    Origen6 states “of all the holy people in the Scriptures, no one is recorded to have kept a feast or held a great banquet on his birthday. It is only sinners (like Pharaoh and Herod) who make great rejoicings over the day on which they were born into this world below”7.

    ‘Thus theologically, celebrations surrounding birthdays were not only non-existent, but also impermissible in early Christianity.’

    Anyways, I hope we can leave it at that. Oh yeh and if we could courteously stop accusing people of hypocrisy, which is what started this all off. Happy holidays!

  28. disagreement
    Again, I disagree. The fact that Nizami is a Muslim and quoting Origin as to the evil of birthdays, seems to resonate a clear display of anti ‘birthdayism’. HOwever, it is granted that not all Muslims celebrate the prophet’s bday (although it seems most do).

  29. Clarification
    It can’t apply to the prophet Mohammed (saw), because the scriptures of religions before Islam don’t hold authority in Islamic law, neither do the words of Origen. These quotes are used specifically here in the context of Christian tradition.

    For example, if the bible said something was permissible, it doesn’t mean it’s permissible islamically, and vice versa, if it said something was impermissible, it does not make it impermissible islamically. It’s a whole different kettle of fish and therefore there can be no hypocrisy, as these quotes have not been established as Islamic principles to adhere to (they may bear similar traits but are not authoritative islamically speaking).

    As I said this argument is not about whether birthdays are islamically allowed or not. By all means this discussion can take place, about whether Islam endorses the birthday of the Prophet Mohammed (saw)or not, and I’m not alluding to its endorsement in any way (in fact I personally disagree with those who do), but it shouldn’t get mixed up with this article, because this is not what the author was touching upon, although I agree wholeheartedly that there is some similarity.

    This article is strictly with regards to the origins of Christmas in Christianity and the contradictions therein.

  30. I don’t think so
    Dear KSI, I beg to differ in regards to Muhammad’s argument. I believe he was also attempting to argue that birthdays are generally against the religious norm. He quotes Origen: “of all the holy people in the Scriptures, no one is recorded to have kept a feast or held a great banquet on his birthday. It is only sinners (like Pharaoh and Herod) who make great rejoicings over the day on which they were born into this world below”. Yes, it was in regards to Jesus, but equally applies to prophet Mohammed

  31. Harry and justanotherbro
    I think you’ve both missed the mark with your comments and that’s not meant to be offensive. Allow me to explain why.

    Brother Nizami was writing about:
    1. The fact that Christmas claims to have it’s origins in the birth of Christ – which is false.

    2. The fact that Christmas has its origins in pagan rituals.

    3. The fact that therefore muslims should not follow its celebration, even if others do.

    He was not talking about whether people can celebrate occasions or not, or specifically whether we should celebrate birthdays. These are not what he discussed.

    Therefore Harry’s example of celebration of the prophet’s birthday has nothing to do with point 1 – 3 because he didn’t say don’t celebrate Jesus’ birthday (although he doesn’t encourage it anyway), he says that it wasn’t even his birthday in the first place.

    And therefore although another bro has answered Harry’s point, Harry’s point is not valid in the first place as I just showed and should be put right and not answered in this way, as the direction of the discussion is now straying away from the article content (although justanotherbros argument is also valid, but as i believe not in keeping with the specific content of the article).

  32. justanotherbro

    to harry
    Islam does not sanction celebrating the birth of Mohammad (peace be upon him). There are some Muslims that do – and as you quite rightly say that is hyprocrisy due to the arguments laid out in the article. It is also completely incorrect since there are numerous scholarly opinions regarding which day our prophet was actually born. Admittedly the differences are not that severe since the different suggested dates only differ by about a 10 day period. But never the less the practice of celebrating the prophet Muhammad’s birth should not be done since the celebrating of Birthday’s has pagan routes.

  33. Hypocrisy
    Don’t Muslims celebrate Mohammed’s birthday?? Whats with the hypocrisy?

  34. I cenrtainly think so, or it could possibly that Muslims have reached a level of ignorance where they do not know the fundamentals of faith

  35. I guess the question is, are most Muslims inclined towards irja’?

  36. Having told people about the ‘paganisation of Christmas’ it seems to me that many do not want to know. Therefore what do we do? It is not about takfeer but if somebody rejects truth and prefers to follow Christian tradition knowingly, is that not a rejection of Islam? Their excuse: “stop being an extremist!”.

  37. Dodgy?
    The matter of the fact is that there exists Muslims who celebrate Christmas yearly, a few of which I met who were having Christmas Turkey etc. this year. Ignorance is rife among the Muslim community, especially among S.Asians and Africans. As Muhammad stated in his article on Arabic and the Qur’an we need to shun this culture of ignorance and liberalism (which tends to stray into kufr) and encourage the Muslim community to be more theologically aware.

  38. Excellent essay
    MashaAllaah this is a very informative essay that strikes upon many ambiguos topics for not only the muslims but christians as well. It is extremely well structured and I find myself in agreement with almost all of it. However as Ammar said above, how is it possible for the muslims to not see this as a ‘religious’ festival but as a ‘common’ one? Especially as Nizaami has pointed out that the name Christmas is synonymous of ‘Christ’s mass’.
    Again thanks for this!

  39. very true, but can the same be said of Muslims? Do most Muslims know why they’re MUslims? I think this is one reason why certain Muslims who do not practice their faith believe that Islam can be passed on like an ethnicity!!

  40. Very informative
    I think one of the main problems with people these days, regardless of religious background, is that they prefer and feel more secure to be sheep and to just follow the flock. Hardly anyone bothers to investigate why we do certain things. Christmas has just become an opportunity for the rich to become richer.

  41. New Year
    Mashallah a good article. Does the discussed paganism also apply for the new year?

  42. A very good article which has actually made me understand the importance of celebrating only festivals such as Eid which have been ordained by God. I’ve started to tell all my friends about the origins of Christmas, and now they think I’m an Extremist!(lol). A guess I know how many practising Muslims feel now…

  43. Laith Maitland

    Really good article which informs

  44. The Demise of Christmas
    A brilliant article well timed. I know most people won’t heed the article, but it needs to be said in a clear manner for those who are sincere in their quest to find the truth. Christmas? Too easy…

  45. actually,
    So what is a proper way in Christianity? There is no clear definitions set of what is permisable and impermisable, which in effect leaves a Christian to be whatever they want. Does Nizami offend? We have no idea as to his intentions but is it easy to inform people that the have practised a lie all their lives? As John said, “I feel offended by this article although I find no holes in Nizami’s argument”, which demonstrates that John is offended at the idea that Christmas is Pagan although he accepts this fact to be true.

    To be frank, Nizami is a Muslim writing from an Islamic perspective, seeking to highlight fraudulent practices in the world today. Regardless of the feelings of people, the truth must be disseminated and falsehood crushed. Of course there are ways of saying things, but generally nobody likes to be proven wrong, no matter how ‘intellectual’ or ‘academic’ they are.

  46. Ps
    Ps. I just noticed a contradiction in my last statement, lol! How can a religion of God not be truthful? And in fact I think that this point could be the impetus for this article and the main reason for muslims to offer Islam to everyone as a completely truthful religion of Allah.

  47. Understandable
    Agree, it’s understandable that it may come across like that, because what seems like an innocent time for fun has been critiqued in such an academic way, which is the last thing that people who are celebrating really want.

    I think the author is just trying to highlight issues with Christianity and Christmas specifically, because I have to say there is a lot of misleading information given by the church to unknowing christians and others which is not truthful, and really if a religion of God is not about truth then what’s the point in following it?

  48. Hi John
    I don’t think Nizami intends to offend although one could feel that. John, in Islam getting together and being sociable is fine, after all that is part of our human nature but we cannot just let that overide root reasons for doing what we do, and if something has roots which are contrary to our very own convictions then we cannot just say ‘is that such a bad thing’. Lets enjoy good things in a good (meaning proper here) way.

  49. As a Christian, I feel offended by this article although I find no holes in Nizami’s argument. I have come to discover that Christianity has many Pagan traditions which has started to bother me for some time. However, what else is there? Christmas is a time to get together – is that such a bad thing?

  50. Death to ignorance
    Really beneficial article, the Muslims have needed something like this for a long time. I think we should start an intiative to post this article in every church and mosque in the UK! Who’ll join me?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

 
Scroll To Top