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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 many have continued to re-enact the nativity in their churches and narrate stories surrounding it which arguably suggests a lack of desire for the truth, and an acceptance of falsehoods 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. Unaware, 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 though there seem to be some inconsistencies in the narrations. 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 arguably 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. I would suggest that these variations have caused some confusion amongst most Christians as there seems to be no clear narration detailing Christ’s birth, this has likely left some Christians unaware 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 events are chosen at random to increase the entertainment value of the play.

In re-analysing the story in the narration of Matthew, it is noticeable that pagan acts manage to find their way 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 is a refutation of some 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 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 therefore have apparenly 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, this pagan practice of kissing strangers using mistletoe has been adapted as a means of satisfying 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 heavyset, 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 such as 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 Allāh (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) stated: ‘whoever imitates a people is one of them’17 and Abdullah Ibn al-‘Aas (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanhu) 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.

Allāh 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 Islām. 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 Allāh states,

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

Secondly, Allāh describes Christians as “those who went astray” in the opening chapter of the Qur’ān, 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 Allāh states,

They believe in Allāh 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 Allāh, for Allāh is strict in punishment.21

Muslims, by the grace of Allāh, 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’ān 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 Islām as ʿĀ’isha (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanha) narrates that the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said ‘Whoever innovates something in this matter of ours (Islām) 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 Islām if we were to accept innovations into our faith. To cling to the Qur’ān 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 Allāh 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

About Ahmed Ali

104 comments

  1. Islam is more powerful and peaceful religion than anything eles

  2. A great article with so much to learn…
    Thanks for that!

  3. Asalaamu Alaikum,

    Thank you for your insightful article, most interesting. As a revert to is Islam Mash’Allah, I do disagree with you on a some points.
    For example, my family ‘celebrates’ Christmas and if I were to do as you suggest I would be dishonouring my mother and older sister by rejecting their efforts in making nice food and buying me presents, which I encourage them not to, but they do anyway as it gives them pleasure.

    Additionally as some have suggested here, we as Muslims are expected to respect the values and cultural practices of the nation we reside in and to distance ourselves as you suggest would only result in further barriers being erected between Muslims and non Muslims and surely there is already enough of that in the world?

    If a non Muslim was living in a Muslim majority country how nice it would be (and it does happen) to see them ‘celebrating’ Eid al-Fitr with the local population out of respect for their practices, I firmly believe we should do the same. In my heart and soul God knows Insha’Allah that I am not a pagan and don’t accept their beliefs, I am simply being kind, decent and respectful to my family and all those around me. And Allah knows best……

  4. Are you willing to consider a second opinion?

    One of the most respected journals in the field of archaeology is BAR (Biblical Archaeology Review). An article posted in it this past summer (August 2014) suggests a different theory as to the “origin” of Christmas than proposed in the article above. You might find it interesting: http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-topics/new-testament/how-december-25-became-christmas/

    And they are not alone in this theory:
    http://rare.us/story/no-christmas-didnt-take-the-place-of-a-pagan-holiday/

    http://touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=16-10-012-v

  5. A very well researched and explained article. If read properly, it will answer a lot of basic questions that Muslims have about why we should not celebrate Christmas and the dangers of falling away from the straight path. May Allah protect us and our future generation children.

  6. What the article seems to misunderstand is that as Christians we are celebrating Jesus’ birth, NOT his birthday. There is a difference. Even Muslims would have to admit that Jesus was born. When was he born? We admit that we don’t know, but we do know that he was born. And so we choose to celebrate it. When should we? Given that whatever day we might pick to do so is more likely to be the wrong day than the actual day, should we therefore not celebrate it at all? By no means!! Jesus’ birth is worth celebrating, and since we don’t know what day it was we can celebrate on any day we choose. The majority of Christians have settled on December 25, but there are others who celebrate on January 6. So, December 25, January 6, or some other day on the calendar we celebrate the announcement that, in the person of Jesus, God is with us (see Matthew 1:23) and that reality, not a particular date, is what is important about Christmas.

  7. Samy Merchant

    A Christian (After reading the title): “Say what…You calling me a pagan? Are you saying my religion is paganistic? You piece of bleep…bleep…I’ll…bleep…bleep…you. Go home you bleep…bleep…

    British Salafis:

    “Where we speed up the firing of Gas chambers for you.” TM

  8. The slave of Allah swt

    The word ‘death’ is not the way to go… As it could be misinterpreted and make things worse.. Also research this and make sure it’s all credible before posting it.. I would approach your local mosques and speak to your local community about it rather than interfere in churches…. Think about how our Prophet pbuh would have dealt with this.. Aisha

  9. http://youtu.be/VRNBqwMjGXw
    plz watch and see where it all began

  10. Muslims are living in an age of ignorance.

    Many women wear the clothes, wear the head scarves and the men grow the beards and intentionally mark the foreheads. All this to show their peers.

    But that is the point of the above, when their heads are empty and don’t understand the basics of the divine guidance.

    With regards to the above. There was a mention of Mithra. The Persians were the known world’s superpower before the Romans. The Romans admired them and adopted their religion.

    In Mithraism, there is a virgin birth, on the 25th December, a saviour of mankind and a son of God.

    Take the Islam of Jesus, mix it with the Roman pagan religion and use a superpower to promote it and you get Western Christianity. With its headquarters in the Vatican City not Nazareth.

    There were two churches after Jesus left, the Pauline church (headed by Paul who never met Jesus) and the Peter church run by one of Jesus’s disciplines. The Pauline church was backed the the superpower, the Peter church was a minority movement which moved towards the East.

    Western Christianity is a significantly altered form of a prior phase of Islam. The Christians, who believe, are our cousins, who we should guide back towards the right path. We should not be fooled by the Roman enhancements.

  11. Even in the knowing, their actions they justify and it is Shaytan who makes everything fair seeming
    The saddest part of this article is where it makes the statement “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.” I doubt that ignorance plays a part in these actions as all Muslims know that Christmas is a pagan celebration and is not part of Islam and the reasons for this. It is not ignorance that sees them taking part in it, but a sorrowful lack of Deen. Astaghfirullah!

  12. Christianity – a merging of Islam and Persian paganism
    What many see and Western Christianity is a convergence of the message of Jesus and an ancient religion of the Persians called Mithraism.

    In Mithraism, there is a savior of mankind, who was born on the 25th December, from virgin birth. So some of the aspects are the same between Islam and Mithraism (virgin birth) but the rest is adopted from Mithraism to please the Romans and water down Islam to suit the empires official religion.

    So essentially, the Roman empire used the message of Jesus as a vehicle to transform its eroding empire over many of the early centuries. May God show the Christians a path back to the true word of Jesus and back to the religion of submission to the one God. Who incidentally, in Aramaic, the language of Jesus, was called “Allaha”.

  13. paganism present everywhere
    may i ask what off hajj,fasting,pilgrimage to mecca and medina bare these not pagans customs incorporated into islam by muhammed

  14. mr
    Ibn kathir explains that Sa’id bin batriq, the patriarch of Alexandria & a famous Christian scholar, mentioned in the year four hundred after the hijrah, that a Christian council convened during the reign of constantine, who built the city that bears his name. In this council the Christians came up with what they called the great trust, which in reality is the GREAT TREACHERY. There were more the two thousand patriarchs in this council. They were in such disarray that they divided into many sects, where some sects had twenty, fifty or hundred members etc.

    When the king saw that there were more than three hundred patriarchs who had the same idea, he,agreed with them and adopted their creed. Constantine who was deviant philosopher, gave his support to this sect,for which, as an honour churches were built and doctrines were taught to young children, who were baptized on thus creed and books were written about it.

    Meanwhile, the king oppressed all the other sects. Another council produced the jacobites, while the nestorians were formed in a third council. These three sects agreed that isa (jesus) was devine, but disputed regarding the manner in which isa’s (jesus) divinity was related to his humanity; were they in unity or did God incarnate in isa (jesus). All three sects accuse each other of hersey and WE BELIEVE ALL THREE OF THEM ARE DISBELIEVERS.

    ‘ … CEASE ! ( IT IS ) BETTER FOR YOU. FOR ALLAH IS ( THE ONLY ) ONE GOD, GLORIFIED BE HE ABOVE HAVING A SON. TO HIM BELONGS ALL THAT IS IN THE HEAVENS AND ALL THAT IS IN THE EARTH. AND ALLAH (GOD) IS SUFFICIENT AS A DISPOSER OF AFFAIRS. Quran 4:171

    Tafsir ibn kathir, volume 3, p60 – p61

  15. Mr.(rtd.airline Capt.)
    Keep it straigt and simple,enjoy the festive season with family gatherings or organise Islamic dawah talk.We should live amoung others like flowers and not like thorns,without giving trouble to any one,specially neighbours.
    If you have a strong foundation of the six articles of faith and the five pillars of Islam,with your gracious manners and wisdom you would not have any problems integrating with the non believers,secularist agnostic and others

  16. mr
    Ibn abbas said “just before Allah (God) raised isa (jesus) to the heavens, isa (jesus) went to his companions, who were 12 inside the house. When he arrived his hair was dripping with water and he said, there are those among you who will disbelieve in me 12 times after he had believed in me. He then asked ‘ who volunteers that his image appears as mine, and he be killed in my place. He will be with me (in paradise)? One of the youngest among them volunteered and isa (jesus) asked him to sit down. Isa (jesus) again asked for a volunteer, and the young man kept volunteering and isa (jesus) asking him to sit down. Then the young man volunteered again and isa (jesus) said you will be that man. The resemblance was cast over that man while isa (jesus) ascended to the heaven from a hole in the house. When the Jews came looking for isa (jesus), they found that young man and crucified him. Some of isa’s (Jesus) followers disbelieved in him 12 times after they had believed in him. They then divided into 3 groups. One group, al ya’qubiyyah (jacobites), said God remained with us as long as he willed then ascended to the heaven. 2nd group, an nasturiyyah (nestorians), said the son of God remained with us for as long as he willed and God took him to him. Another group, the Muslim group, said the servant and messenger of Allah (God) remained with us for as long as Allah (God) willed and Allah (God) took him to him. The 2 disbelieving groups cooperated against the Muslim group and killed them.

    Ever since that happened, ISLAM WAS VEILED UNTIL ALLAH (GOD) SENT MUHAMMAD S.A.W.

    Tafsir ibn Kathir, volume 3, p28 – p29.

  17. Oh man…
    I should have read this before I bought a Xbox for my secret santa at work.

  18. Feast of Easter – Eid al’Maida – سُوۡرَةُ المَائدة
    بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
    سُوۡرَةُ المَائدة :- وَ اِذۡ اَوۡحَيۡتُ اِلَى الۡحَـوَارِيّنَ اَنۡ اٰمِنُوۡا بِىۡ وَبِرَسُوۡلِىۡ‌ۚ قَالُوۡۤا اٰمَنَّا وَاشۡهَدۡ بِاَنَّـنَا مُسۡلِمُوۡنَ‏ ﴿۱۱۱﴾ اِذۡ قَالَ الۡحَـوَارِيُّوۡنَ يٰعِيۡسَى ابۡنَ مَرۡيَمَ هَلۡ يَسۡتَطِيۡعُ رَبُّكَ اَنۡ يُّنَزِّلَ عَلَيۡنَا مَآٮِٕدَةً مِّنَ السَّمَآءِ‌ قَالَ اتَّقُوا اللّٰهَ اِنۡ كُنۡتُمۡ مُّؤۡمِنِيۡنَ‏ ﴿۱۱۲﴾ قَالُوۡا نُرِيۡدُ اَنۡ نَّاۡكُلَ مِنۡهَا وَتَطۡمَٮِٕنَّ قُلُوۡبُنَا وَنَـعۡلَمَ اَنۡ قَدۡ صَدَقۡتَـنَا وَنَكُوۡنَ عَلَيۡهَا مِنَ الشّٰهِدِيۡنَ‏ ﴿۱۱۳﴾ قَالَ عِيۡسَى ابۡنُ مَرۡيَمَ اللّٰهُمَّ رَبَّنَاۤ اَنۡزِلۡ عَلَيۡنَا مَآٮِٕدَةً مِّنَ السَّمَآءِ تَكُوۡنُ لَـنَا عِيۡدًا لِّاَوَّلِنَا وَاٰخِرِنَا وَاٰيَةً مِّنۡكَ‌ۚ وَارۡزُقۡنَا وَاَنۡتَ خَيۡرُ الرّٰزِقِيۡنَ‏ ﴿۱۱۴﴾ قَالَ اللّٰهُ اِنِّىۡ مُنَزِّلُهَا عَلَيۡكُمۡ‌ۚ فَمَنۡ يَّكۡفُرۡ بَعۡدُ مِنۡكُمۡ فَاِنِّىۡۤ اُعَذِّبُه عَذَابًا لَّاۤ اُعَذِّبُه اَحَدًا مِّنَ الۡعٰلَمِيۡنَ﴿۱۱۵﴾
    -: Al’Quran, Surah 5 Al-Maeda
    And when I (Allâh) inspired Hawârîyyûn-(Sahabi & Disciples of ‘Eysā) to believe in Me and My Messenger, they said: “We believe. And bear witness that we are Muslims.” (111) (Remember) when the Disciples said: “O ‘Eysā, son of Maryum! Can your Lord send down to us a table spread (with food) from heaven?” ‘Īsā said: “Fear Allâh, if you are indeed believers.” (112) They said: “We wish to eat thereof and to satisfy our hearts (to be stronger in Faith), and to know that you have indeed told us the truth and that we ourselves be its witnesses.” (113) ‘Īsā , son of Maryam, said: “O Allâh, our Lord! Send us from heaven a Maeda-(table spread with food) that there may be for us – for the first and the last of us – EID-(a festival) and a Sign from You; and provide us sustenance, for You are the Best of sustainers.” (114) Allâh said: “I am going to send it down unto you, but if any of you after that disbelieves, then I will punish him with a torment such as I have not inflicted on anyone among the ‘Alamîn (all mankind).” (115)

    Note:- The word “Eid”-(feast) is mentioned only once in the Quran, – (copied above, link below).
    http://www.quranexplorer.com/quran/?Sura=5&FromVerse=111&ToVerse=115&Script=Usmani

    Our folks overlook this Eid, maybe because of the trait mentioned below:-
    سُوۡرَةُ الزّخرُف :- وَلَمَّا ضُرِبَ ٱبۡنُ مَرۡيَمَ مَثَلاً إِذَا قَوۡمُكَ مِنۡهُ يَصِدُّونَ (٥٧) وَقَالُوٓاْ ءَأَٲلِهَتُنَا خَيۡرٌ أَمۡ هُوَ‌ۚ مَا ضَرَبُوهُ لَكَ إِلَّا جَدَلاَۢ‌ۚ بَلۡ هُمۡ قَوۡمٌ خَصِمُونَ (٥٨)
    Al’Quran, Surah 43 Az-Zukhruf :- And when (Eysa) the son of Maryam is mentioned as an example, behold! your folk laugh out-(in disapproval), (57) And say: Are our ilahs-(deities?) better, or is he? They raise not the objection save for argument. Nay! but they are antagonist folk. (58)
    http://www.quranexplorer.com/quran?Sura=43&FromVerse=57&ToVerse=58&Script=Usmani
    Maybe some jewish traits have infiltrated within the jamah of our ulema.

    Hadiths about Eysa (alay-salaam)
    Narrated Abu Huraira:
    Rasul-Allah, Muhammad-( صلي الله عليه وسلم) said, “Both in this world and in the Hereafter, of all the people I am the nearest to Eysa, the son of Maryam. The Rasuls-(Apostles) are like paternal brothers; their mothers are different, but their religion is one.”
    Volume 4, Book 55, Number 657:

  19. As a Christian I am dismayed by the general lack of godliness in my country, but it’s nothing new and even back in the biblical times the Hebrews were constantly turning away from God and becoming corrupt.It seems the prophets’ main task was to berate them and to urge them back on the right track. My point here however is that you are correct in pointing out that what goes on around us at this time of year has absolutely nothing whatever to do with the fact that God became a human being and walked amongst us. What we experience today is pure invention, a weave of many different threads, but mainly based on pagan Yule and American consumerism. I reject the latter entirely, but on the whole I am quite happy to take part in a mid Winter festival of feastng, family reunion, and generosity to strangers. I repeat, it has othing to do with the birth of the Supreme Being as a human and many Christians choose to mark that momentous event in some other private way – if at all.

  20. KEN PLEASE READ THIS!
    Ken,

    You wrote many things that I can and would like to reply to. But I am busy at work and would like to quickly reply on one thing you wrote. You wrote, ” In the Garden of Eden God’s name is plural Elohim ‘im’ is the same as ‘s’ in English. ”

    This is completely INCORRECT. “Elohim” = “Eloh” + “im”. ‘Eloh’ meaning Allah, and ‘im’ meaning a plural of respect! In Hebrew and Arabic: you have a ‘plural of numbers’ and a ‘plural of respect’. In this case of ‘Elohim’, this is certainly a plural of respect to the One and Only “Eloh” meaning Allah!

    Brother Ken, I highly advise you to carry out some more research with an open heart and no bias, and a willingness to understand things for what they ARE rather than what they appear to be. Follow your heart, use reason and logic.. and I pray for you that God Al-Mighty will guide you to the Straight Path!

    Good luck Brother…

  21. Abdelaziz Benyounes

    May Allah Bless you
    Jazaka Allah Khairan.
    This a very Important issue for the muslims who live in the west.
    Today i was reading an article about the Prince of Qatar and his wife coming to Marrakesh in Morocco to celbrate the new years .
    and i am ashamed of this

  22. crucifiction
    KEN- i have to correct your statement claiming that Muslims agree with you that Jesus died and rose again, Jesus was in fact not crucified nor killed, many verses from the bible can attest to that.

  23. only one thing to Ken
    Ken i need to say somehting here. when you are translating from one language to other. you should keep in mind the culture of that language too. see in arabic and hebrew there are more than one plural one is to show more than one and one is to show respect. even in urdu and hindi u find same. you see the problem is you dont understand language other than english it seems thats why you are misunderstanding that im as pluarl its just a plural of respect you may find it alot in quran too.

  24. Fahiq Kohistani

    Turn to the truth
    To all respected Christians. I understand that an article which is written that opposes the practices of Christians, whether true or untrue, is difficult to accept. However, I invite you to study sincerely, with an open mind and to do independent research on Jesus (pbuh), the bible, his life and his message as well as what Islam has to say about him. And understand that this is the Islamic perspective and Islam is about shedding light on the truth even if it be against a Muslim. I challenge you to challenge yourself, and if your faith is true then studying the Islamic perspective will not detract anything from you and the worst that will happen is that you will learn increase your own knowledge about another religion.

    [u]Start by reading Chapter 19 of the Quran ‘Maryam’ (Mary the mother of Jesus) at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CVJ-tIbvZo%5B/u%5D

    May God, the Most High, guide us upon the truth.

  25. Too many kafr commenting here. Is this an Islamic website? Non-Muslims bring confusion, and deviant Muslims are worst. Those modernists and corrupted brothers and sisters must refrain from deviations and come back to the Salafi way, the way according to the Qur’an, Sunna, and Shari’a. Those who celebrate with the kafaar are misguided and should fear Allah (swa).

  26. I agree that, for the sake of a nice nativity play, Christians have tried to put it all into one simple story with the shepherds and the wise men all gathering round the crib.
    As you rightly say Mary and Joseph had to travel to Bethlehem (fulfilling a prophecy in the Book of Micah – 5:2)

    But it is clear that the magi did not arrive at the time of the birth – the Bible states that they went to see the child in a house in Bethlehem.
    When Herod asked the Jewish leaders where their Messiah would be born, they knew immediately that it would be Bethlehem Ephrathah and quoted this verse to him.
    It is probable that the magi set out when they saw the star and arrived many months later.
    That is why King Herod ordered that all boys under 2 years old (not just all new born babies) should be put to death.

    Every Christian that I know is well aware that just after the visit of the magi, before Herod’s orders were carried out, Joseph had another dream and was warned to go into Egypt for a while. As a result of that, more of the things which had puzzled the Jewish rabbis is explained by Matthew – ‘This fulfills the prophecy “Out of Egypt I have called my son.”‘

    Incidentally, I agree that most Christians steer well clear of astrology and the like, but Psalm 19 tells us that the Heavens declare the Glory of the Lord and the skies procalim His handiwork.
    Often the devil tries to counterfeit God’s true originals (no one every tries to counterfeit a £9 note) and astrology is a counterfeit of the real thing.
    Perhaps the magi had the real thing.
    Up there in heaven are the stars which God named and man still uses many of those names.
    In the constellation of Virgo there is a virgin with a child (Coma) – It is quite possible that the sign they saw in the sky occurred in this constellation.
    Later there is the sign of Aries, a fish (the symbol used by early Christians) and then a man pouring out water from a pitcher (Jesus pouring out the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost) – finally we come to Leo (the Lion of the tribe of Judah – Revelation 5:5-6) who will bring everything to its rightful conclusion.
    The sun makes its way through these constellations and God mentions some of them in Job 38:31-33.

    I will conclude with a comment or two on the 3 numbered paragraphs in your article:
    In the Garden of Eden God’s name is plural Elohim ‘im’ is the same as ‘s’ in English.
    In the book of Genesis ‘God said, “Let us make man in our own image” and God created man in his own image’
    At the tower of Babel God again says, “Let us go down and confound their language.”
    In Isaiah 6 God asks, “Whom shall I send and who will go for us?”
    In Zechariah 12, talking about the last days God says, “They will look upon Me whom they have pierced and will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son.” – who is the ‘Me’ and who is the ‘Him’ ? By the way later in that chapter God also foretells that will become the stumbling block on which all nations wll fall.
    Islam have Mecca and Medina why not let the Jews have Jerusalem? It is mentioned hundreds of times in the Jewish Scriptures but only once in the Koran (if that?)

    So God is not a human being – He is love and for love to be in operation there has to be more than one entity.
    Also one of the names given for Jesus is ‘Immanuel’ which means “God with us.”
    Jesus Christ was put to death because the Jews said he was committing the sin of blasphemy by calling himself ‘God’ – All he had to do to avoid the cross was to say, “You’ve got it wrong guys, I’m not saying that I’m God!”

    Yes Christmas is important but more important is the fact that this baby grew up, died and rose again and, as you Muslims agree, will return and destroy the Anti-Christ.
    Then we will all, especially the Jews, will look on the one they pierced and mourn for him as they would for an only son, which he is – God’s only son.

    I hope you fellas find time to read all that and I wish you well for the future.

    Ken

  27. HI – Much of what your article says is true, especially about the pagan and commercial aspects of Christmas and I’m sure you are right to use these as a challenge to fellow Muslims to be aware and beware. As you say, it is very likely that the birth of Jesus the Messiah was in the springtime.
    Most Christians these days agree with this but choose to continue using this date as it provides an opportunity to get their message across.

    Sadly some of your comments on Christianity and the gospels display a lack of understanding –
    There is no contradiction –

    The two Gospels which comment on the birth of Jesus look at the story from different angles –

    Throughout his gospel Matthew relates everything to a kingdom, kings, wise men, Jewish thinking of the Messiah – the King of the Jews.
    He tells the story from Joseph’s perspective and of how Joseph’s mind was put at ease, when what Mary had been told was confirmed to him through a dream.
    Matthew quotes more extensively from the prophecies in the Jewish scriptures which their scribes (men) would be more familiar with.

    On the other hand Luke is writing his gospel (and the Book of Acts) to explain to a Greek philosopher that what he had been hearing was correct and setting out certain facts in order.
    Luke was a doctor and seems to have chatted with the ladies more than the average Jewish scholar, so, often his accounts give a little more detail.
    He tells how Mary, a virgin, was informed by a visit from the angel Gabriel (he is never referred to as an archangel in the Bible).
    Gabriel was in action on earth well before Muhammad met up with him.
    Luke also quotes some of the prophecies and incidentally, it is Luke who reports the disciple Peter’s sermon (Acts 3:22) that Jesus is the fulfillment of the prophecy that ‘God will raise up a servant like unto Moses from among his brothers’ – Jesus (a Jew) would appear to fulfill that prophecy much more adequately than Muhammad (an Arab) don’t you think?

    I agree that, for the sake of a nice nativity play, Christians have tried to put it all into one simple story with the shepherds and the wise men all gathering round the crib.

    Ken

  28. Ramadhan Kipruto

    Muslims Be Very Careful With Imitations/Innovations!!!!
    This will Inshallah serve as a warning to Muslims who continue to adamantly imitate and innovate practices into this beautiful Deen against the wishes of our beloved Rasul (SAW) e.g. Milad of the Prophet (SAW), celebrating the advent of the Hijri New Year Hijaab beauty contests etc.

  29. none
    complain about christmas and those that follow the truth of christianity while you follow a man that had relations with a child… looted… stole… killed or had killed many… lived off his wife’s income and then have the audacity to criticize jesus whom never committed a crime… was good to all people… and was an example of the highest merit… now tell me which one i should respect and follow and single out to celebrate his birth his life and his death on designated days since the actual ones are unknown…

  30. A correction
    Muhammad Nizami writes in the opening paragraph that the celebration of Christmas on December 25 “clearly demonstrates both their [pastors and priests] lack of desire for the truth and the way in which they easily accept falsehood and implement it into their religion.” This is not quite true.

    Pastors and priests desire truth as much as the next person. And, as the article points out, we are quite aware that the actual date of Jesus’ birth is unknown. Given that the date is unknown, but that his birth is an historical reality (it had to happen on one of 365 days), no date would be more right; and no date would be more wrong than another.

    What would be wrong, from a Christian point of view, would be to not celebrate it at all. The celebration isn’t about the day at all — Christmas is after all 12 days long, not one — and the celebration is about the fact that he came, not a memorial to the day that he came.

  31. A great article with so much to learn,,
    Jzk for that!
    🙂

  32. Celia R. Javadi

    Mrs.
    The information that the celebration of Christmas on December 25 was an attempt of the somewhat early church to Christianize one of the most important Roman celebrations, Saturnalia, has been well documented in the Church for a very long time. Some denominations of Christianity do NOT celebrate Christmas for this reason. It has also been well-documented that the Messiah probably was born in the spring according to scriptural accounts of His birth. This is nothing new.
    Personally, I love mid-winter holidays – because I hate winter. I need some kind of winter holidays to break up the cold, the darkness, the physical gray monotony of winter. I do NOT celebrate Halloween. I go from my birthday (colorful dinner w/ family and candles) to Thanksgiving Day (colorful dinner w/ family) to Christmas Eve and Christmas (colorful dinner w/ family and quiet church) to New Year’s Eve and Day (colorful dinner w/family) to St. Valentine’s Day (red and white mallow candy hearts) and then struggle through until grass starts greening, crocuses break through the snow, and trees start budding. I don’t celebrate anything in extravagance, I just need to break up the winter.
    That being said, the way that Christmas is celebrated in Western cultures today has nothing whatsoever to do with Christianity, with the miraculous birth of the Messiah to a virgin, with God whose Word became flesh, with anything other than excess. The way Christmas is celebrated in Western cultures today frightens me. It has become a mockery of what it purports to celebrate.
    This year Christmas carols celebrating Santa Clause were being played on the radio, even Christian radio, beginning the day after Halloween, all accompanied by advertisements whose sole purpose was to sell Christmas gifts. The autumn colors had not even begun on the trees. So much for Christmas being a winter holy-day.
    I remember the magic of the story of the angels and the shepherds, and up to 2 years later, the coming of the Magi from Pars which resulted in the family of the Messiah fleeing to Egypt and an enormous slaughter of local boys aged 2 and under by Herod the Great, a very disturbed man who apparently suffered from bipolar disorder with psychotic features.
    I am celebrating Christmas on a very small scale this year. I don’t want to be a part of this madness of secular Christmas. I want to return to the magic of the midnight mass and a few gifts and a colorful meal with my family. I sent cards to the few people who mean the most to me – because the sending of Christmas cards has become nearly meaningless and an excuse for further deforestation. I did not partake in the “gift exchange” where I work. The madness needs to stop.
    I appreciate your article. Your points are well-taken and many of them find agreement in much of Christiandom. While as Christians we believe that the Messiah was both truly man and truly God rather than only man, we are in agreement that he was conceived via God’s spoken Word.

  33. Adam started it
    Ramadaan Chanukkah and Advent were all one holiday called Kalenda once. Muslims have lost all their knowledge and are just full of hate and division now so they even criticise the ones who know better . God bless the Muslims who have assimilated into Christmas Maeda Al-Masih, the same time the Quran was revealed and the same time Gibrail announced the conception of Jesus to Maryam. Only the ignorant people try to cause division. Allah has a painful doom in stor for those who make divisions.

  34. Luke 2:1-5 says during the time of Jesus’ birth, it was the Quirinius Census which began. The census began in early summer & ended next year, according to Josephus.

    “Started in the earliest in the summer of C.E. 6. and completed at the latest in the autumn of C.E. 7.” [Emil Schürer, Fergus Millar (editor), Geza Vermes The history of the Jewish people in the age of Jesus Christ Vol I, (Continuum, 1973) – Page 424 – footnote 123).

    “Herod was finally obliged to order the census, and it was probably taken in the summer of the year 6 B.C.” (Johann Jakob Herzog, Philip Schaff, Albert Hauck – The new Schaff-Herzog encyclopedia of religious knowledge – Funk and Wagnalls Company, 1911 – Page 375).

    However, Nikos Kokkinos claimed it began on late spring (Nikos Kokkinos, Chronos, Kairos, Christos, p. 140-141).

    Since Quirinius Census began in summer or spring & Luke 2 alludes to this time plus Mary was expecting a child (Jesus), this indicates Jesus was born near the summer/spring time.

  35. One word summary for Christmas is ‘Love’ not ‘Capitalism’
    Christians I know would not presume to deny the truth that Jesus or Mohammed (pbuh) represent a universal truth. As a Christian who celebrates Christmas, I would suggest one watch the 1994 remake of movie, “Miracle of 34th Street,” to learn western society’s mythological interpretation of the meaning of Santa Claus and Christmas.

    The core of Christ’s message to me is to love God above all else and to treat others as I would want them to treat me. Everything else is just details.

    Christians would be willing I believe, to say something like this: Jesus is truth. Jesus is love. If asked by an off-world alien who knew nothing of our world, to project a one-word description of Jesus’ message a Christian would say: Love.

    The Christian wouldn’t choose the word “Worship.” Nor would Christians use Christmas or any other time to denigrate our differences, instead, we use this moment to celebrate our core value: love.

    I believe ultimately our God of Love brings each of us into undeserved, prevenient grace to awaken us to love and tolerance. That would seem to be the essence of my (Methodist) official church motto: “Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors.” It’s sometimes important to note that we can not force Open Hearts. It must be given birth freedom to occur naturally within each of us. It can not be forced. It happens when it happens and it seems to occur through many different paths.

    I write a layman’s blog called “United Methodist Church Unofficial Layman’s Open Forum,” which bears an underlying mission of world peace. My work is un-scholarly in nearly every respect. I find much beauty in your scholarship as bearing much truth.

    A caution I offer my Methodist may apply elsewhere: Be careful you do not strut around the room, tisk-tisking, and pointing your finger at the guilty. What goes around comes around. Spending money in the economy on needless useless junk is a socially self-editing process through the guiding hand of self-interest. Take your profits and go out and do good with them.

    Our challenge in Christianity isn’t to deny self-interest, our challenge is to learn to find a niche for “service to others” above “service to self.”

    I am the soul and consciousness that will realize when a service-to-others niche matches the needs I see, not necessarily my church, nor anyone else, but me. I will know it when I see it.

    Look inward with love to find your own answer.

  36. True Islam
    What on earth is true Islam? I suppose it’s what you say it is. Oh and let me guess, your opinion must be the true opinion and anything else is haraaam or kufr!

    Saying something is haraam doesn’t make it so. I have asked for clear proof from Qur’an and Sunnah, not diatribe.

  37. It never stops to amuse me. No matter what is proven, no matter how clear is demonstrated that this is totally pagan, they continue to claim “I don’t see anything wrong” or “a way to get gifts” or “to be nice to neighbors”. Totally Haraaaaaam.
    These brothers and sisters should meditate more about the kufaar practices, and the greetings in the name of a false deity.
    Shame on them for they are putting a small price to Islam. They need to blend-in! Well, the story does not end here. Then, they don’t see anything wrong about Halloween (it is just candy!!, what’s wrong with a bit of candy and children smiles?), then it is easter (it is just a bit of chocolate in the shape of an egg…!!), and then is, of course, the need to look integrated and politically correct.
    At that rate, these deviated Muslims are not Muslims any more.
    Please, please, brothers and sisters, if you don’t see anything wrong it is because YOU have something wrong.
    Fear Allah, be brave, keep up true Islam, avoid innovations and deviations!
    And we know what the price is!

    • “At that rate, these deviated Muslims are not Muslims any more.”

      Please oh Britiah Salafi, don’t slaughter me. I’m too young to die. I got a family. Please…please…..

  38. Death to following blindly- Learn about your deen Muslims – Its the perfect and straight way
    Jazak Allahu Khiran, What a splendid article.

    Muslims need to get back to worshipping Allah the way HE commanded us to and follow the pure way of the Prophet SAW. very simple

    I am posting this article everywhere I can InShahAllah.

    People who says Christmas is about being together are kidding themselves, its about partying, getting drunk, materialism, spending money you don’t have, and lying to kids.

  39. Good article
    Unfortunately, we have things like the picture in this article, a christmas tree erected in a Muslim (supposedly) land (Dubai) to please foreigners and “blend-in” better with the kafir.
    I say to the real Muslims in Dubai, burn that tree and chop the head of those who promote it!

    • aaah did take long for a muslim to demand the chopping off of heads!

    • As a Muslim, I must advice you brother there is no place in Islam for such narrow minded, extreme and violent views. It is people like you that are giving Muslims a bad name.

      And before you start calling me a sell out etc i share the view of most practising Muslims, if you cam out of your puritarian salafi bubble you would see that your narrow minded interpretation is and always will be in the minority of this ummah.

  40. 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?

    • You should, as Shaikh Yasir Qadhi says, give a general greeting like, “God bless you,” or “May you have a very happy day,” etc. But don’t mention Christmas as then you are then really validating non-Islamic beliefs associated with Christianity. But go ahead and DEFINATELY greet them. The neighborly, Muslim thing to do.

      • You are such a backwards minded person, why can’t you mention Christmas? You’re not living in the 7th century anymore you foolish twit… stop using fatwas from then. Go and comb your beard instead of offering advice on delicate issues, people like you only see things in black and white.

  41. 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.:)

    • After reading your unfortunate comments, let me say this: it is very clear that you read this article not with your (Muslim) brain. I wish you “FARASAT=Sharpness and depth to differ what is good and bad according to Islam, not to your own pleasure, in stead of -marry christmas” Believe me this will be more beneficial for your Afterword.

    • Assalamo alaykum.

      Interesting to hear your views. Prophet (peace be on him) said that Allah said, “Son of Adam curses/insults Me, and he has no right to do so. Son of Adam lies against me, and he has no right to do so. He curses me by saying that I have taken a son…”

      There is nothing wrong with being direct. Be polite, and say the truth. “I am a Muslim. I believe no one is the son of God. God does not have a son or a father.”

      If you really wish happiness and goodness to your fellow Christians, then invite them to “worship none but Allah, and that Muhammad is His servant and messenger.”

      You can be respectful, and still disagree with Christmas.

      I can not encourage or partake in christmas greetings or activities. I fear the punishment of a tremendous Day if I disobey my Lord.

      It’s natural to want to fit in society. Fear Allah, and not the people. Because ALL power, respect, and wealth belongs to Allah.

      osama

    • Christmas mocks the Aramaic phase of Islam. It takes advantage of prophet Jesus’s Islam by overlaying ancient Persian/Roman pagan worship. If you think that Allah would accept Muslims partaking in pagan celebrations, you would be wrong. Jesus is the word of God (which means, by the authorisation given by God, guidance given by Jesus was the equal of the Quran) and any Muslim would follow his direct guidance, but engaging in the Roman version is not for Muslims.

  42. 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.

  43. 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.

  44. 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]

  45. 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.

    • Why don’t you keep those LIES to yourself or go to places suitable to your standard!!!?

    • Approx 80% of humans believe of God or some universal energy. There even a bit of the brain dedicated to belief in God – active in 80% and deactive in the rest. Check out newscientist web site.

      If you tried to explain to a monkey that he’s having a “bad hair day”, he would be clueless. Why? The answer is simple, he doesn’t possess that capability. The fortunate ones have an active God module, they are known as Muslims.

  46. 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!

  47. What’s The Purpose of life ?
    What’s The Purpose of life ?

    Here you will get the answer :

    http://www.islamtomorrow.com/purpose.htm

    or

    Islam Guide: A Brief Illustrated Guide to Understanding Islam, Muslims, & the Quran

    http://www.islam-guide.com/

    or

    The quran miracles encyclopedia

    http://www.55a.net/firas/en1/
    or

    Islam house

    http://aslam-ahmd.blogspot.com/

    or

    The Religion of Islam

    http://www.islamreligion.com/

    or

    converts

    http://converts-ahmd.blogspot.com/

  48. 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. 🙂

  49. 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.

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

  51. A really good article!

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

  53. 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.

  54. 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.

  55. 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’.

  56. 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.

  57. 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?

    • Assalamo alaykum.

      Thank them, and explain to them why you can’t accept the gifts.

      I would say: I am a Muslim. I love Jesus more than my parents. And, I don’t worship anyone except Allah. We believe Allah does not have a son. How can He have a son when He has no wife?

      I can accept them at a later time. Give them a CD or book. Order free at http://www.missiondawah.com

      Allah knows best.

      osama

  58. 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.

  59. 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!

  60. 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?

  61. 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

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

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

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

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

  66. 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 😀

  67. 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!

  68. 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).

  69. 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.

  70. 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

  71. 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).

  72. 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.

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

  74. 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

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

  76. 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!”.

  77. 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.

  78. 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!

  79. 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!!

  80. 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.

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

  82. 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…

  83. Laith Maitland

    Really good article which informs

  84. 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…

  85. 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.

  86. 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.

  87. 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?

  88. 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.

  89. 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?

    • Hi John,

      Keep ties with your family even if they want to cut ties with you. This is the advice of the last prophet.

      There is no compulsion in religion. Life is a test. Who do you love more? Who has done the most for you?

      I love Jesus. I love my parents too. But, I don’t worship them.

      Islam calls to “Worship nothing but Allah, and Muhammad is his slave and messenger.”

      Jesus is a Muslim just like Moses, Abraham, and Noah are Muslims.

      May Allah guide us to the straight way. I hope you accept Islam. Quran.com onereason.com

  90. 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?

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