” O people of the book, be not excessive in your faith unjustly, and do not follow the desires of a people who already went astray, misled many and squandered the right path,”. (Al-Māidah – 77)
Nowadays, quite a number of Muslims, especially those living in Christian dominated countries or those influenced to a large degree by western culture, have been led to consider that taking part in Christmas celebrations of friends and relatives, is at the very least, a harmless pastime if not a legitimate source of pleasure for children and adults alike.
In many instances, pressure to conform to the practices of society is too great for those of weak resolve to withstand. Parents are often tempted to give in to the pleading of children who have been invited to a Christmas party or who are unable to understand why they alone are being prevented from joining the festivities they witness all around them or why they cannot receive gifts on this occasion like other children.
Unfortunately, we do not realize that by being part of these festivities, we are not only wasting our time and wealth but we are also promoting paganism. Our involvement in such practices corrodes our Īmān and Islāmic identity. Sadly, many a time we tend to believe that promoting Islāmic character and mannerism means conforming to every other individual’s ideologies. On the contrary, the meaning of Islāmic mannerism is to adhere to one’s faith, values and identity without conforming to the lifestyles of others.
So let us analyze the origin and beginning of Christmas through a series of questions & answers.
WAS JESUS (ISA A.H) BORN ON DECEMBER 25?
- The New Testament gives no date or year for Jesus’ birth. This suggests that the earlier Christians lacked interest or knowledge of Jesus’ birth.
- Joseph A. fitzmyer – Professor Emeritus of biblical studies at the catholic university of America, former president of the catholic biblical association- writing in the Catholic Church’s official commentary on the New Testament, writes about the date of Jesus’ birth. Though the year of Jesus’ birth is not reckoned with certainty, the birth did not occur in C.E. 1. The Christian era, supposed to have its starting point in the year of Jesus’ birth, is based on a miscalculation introduced by Dionysius Exiguous.”
- The Depascha Computus, an anonymous document believed to have been written in North Africa around 243 C.E., placed Jesus’ birth on March 28.
- Clement, a bishop of Alexandria, thought Jesus was born on November 18.
- Based on historical records, Fitzmeyer presumes that Jesus’ birth occurred on September 11, 3 B.C.E.
HOW DID CHRISTMAS COME TO BE CELEBRATED ON DECEMBER 25th?
- The origin of Saturnalia: At the time of solstice (December 25 in the Julian calendar) Saturnus, the god of seed and sowing (Greek mythology) was honoured and venerated with a festival.
- Roman pagans first introduced the holiday of saturnalia, a weeklong period of lawlessness celebrated between December 17th and the 25th. During this period, roman courts were close. Roman law dictated that no one could be punished for damaging properties or injuring people during the weeklong celebration. The festival began when roman authorities chose an enemy of the state to represent the lord of misrule. Each roman community selected a victim whom they forced to indulge in food and other obscene physical pleasures throughout the week. At the festival’s culmination, Romans believed that they were eradicating the forces of darkness by brutally murdering this innocent man or woman. In addition to human sacrifice, other pagan customs like widespread intoxication, going from house to house while singing naked; rape and other sexual license were in vogue.
- In the 4th century C.E., Christianity imported the saturnalia festival hoping to convert the pagan masses to Christianity. Christian leaders succeeded by promising the pagans that they could continue to celebrate saturnalia. The problem was that there was nothing intrinsically Christian about saturnalia. To remedy this, the church named saturnalia’s concluding day, December 25th, to be Jesus’ birthday. Hence, we can conclude that Christmas festivities are based on one of the greatest lie in human history.
THE ORIGINS OF CHRISTMAS CUSTOMS
1.The origin of the Christmas tree :
Just as early Christians recruited Roman pagans by associating Christmas with the saturnalia, likewise worshippers of the Asheira cult and its offshoots were recruited by the church sanctioning ‘Christmas tree’. Pagans had long worshipped trees in the forest, or brought them into their homes and decorated them, and this observance was adopted and painted with a Christian veneer by the church.
2. The origin of mistletoe :
Norse mythology recounts how the god Baker was killed using a mistletoe arrow by his rival god Hoder while fighting for the female Nanna. Druids’ rituals use mistletoe to kill their human sacrificial victims. The Christian custom of ‘kissing under the mistletoe’ is a later synthesis of obscene physical license of saturnalia with the Druidic sacrificial cult.
3. The Origin Of Christmas Presents:
In pre-Christian Rome, the emperors compelled their citizens to bring gifts and offerings during the Saturnalia. Later, the Catholic Church gave this custom a Christian flavour by re-rooting it in the supposed gift gifting of Santa Claus.
4. What about the dumpy little man in the red coat (You will love this one)
Nicholas was a strong believer that Jews are the children of the devil. Later on, Celtic and German pagans that revered him and believed him to be a deity formed a cult. That is how he received his Dutch name, Santa Claus. Ancient writers depicted Santa Claus with the ugliest complexion possible. So where did the friendly looking Santa in the red coat come?
In 1931, the coca cola Corporation contracted the Swedish commercial artist Haddon Sundblom to create a coke drinking Santa. Sundblom modeled his Santa on his friend Lou Prentice, chosen for his cheerful, chubby face. The corporation insisted that Santa’s fur-trimmed suit be bright, Coca Cola red.
Thus Santa Claus was born, blend of a Christian crusader, a pagan god and a commercial idol.
- Christmas is a lie of the Machiavellian aristocrats. There is no record in history that Nabi Isa (Alayhis Salām) was born on December the 25th.
- Many of the most popular Christmas customs are modern incarnations of the most depraved pagan rituals ever practiced on earth.
- It is most definitely against the pristine requisites of Islām to participate in the festivities of Christmas.
- The beloved Nabi (صلى الله عليه و سام) has said: “whoever emulates a nation is from among them.”