Celebrate Christmas Or New Year In Islam, When the holy Prophet made it to Madinah on the divine order of his Lord, he met the natives therein with a plethora of festivities. Rather than join in the commemoration, he called them to the heavenly sanctioned ones – Eidul Fitr and Adha – as replacements. The Prophet was never commanded by his Lord, neither did he discretionarily take to participation, to show solidarity or tolerance, like some self-glorified liberals or ‘moderatists’ do claim today. For the submissive mind, it would be deduced that jettisoning the former for the latter signaled that a Muslim should do no other festivity beside Allah’s.
That a Muslim does not celebrate with Christians on occasion of Christmas and/or other festivals is not in any way close to intolerance or extremity. Any Muslim who holds such a stereotype has invariably accused the holy Prophet of unfriendliness with people. Whereas the Prophet symbiotically lived with Christians and Jews in Madinah but distanced himself from their fiestas. He entered their houses; ate their foods, drank their water; spoke with them etc. This gesture of simplicity made many of them embrace Islam despite his apathy to their festivals.
But there was no scholarly argument – be it in the era of yore, or in the days of now – that the Prophet took either active or quasi part in the festivities of the non-Muslims of Madinah or elsewhere. Such never happened. Therefore, wining and dining with them on ordinary days was just a manifestation of what was revealed to him thus:
“…and the food of the people of the Scripture is lawful to you, and yours is lawful to them…” Q5 V5
So who says the food of a Christian friend isn’t a lawful consumable? Who says a Christian neighbour cannot be extended some gesture of fellowship by finishing up his food and even breaking the meat bones for calcium? Who says a Muslim cannot eat Emmanuel’s (or Mary’s) sumptuous, succulent food and even ask for more like Oliver Twist? Who says…? Says who? It’s just that the Christian’s delicacy ordinarily is fundamentally different from his Christmas food. The celebration is the contention, not the celebrator. The festivity is the issue, not the felicitator. The various myths surrounding the day are the cause for alarm, not the mythologists. After all, the Christians hold house warming, convocation, wedding, naming ceremonies et cetera, and we celebrate with them and enjoy their delectable eatables and sweet drinkables.
Celebrate Christmas is a celebration of the birthday of the son of God – as acclaimed. It is rejoicing about the birthday of God, like some other Christianity practitioners would say. This, apparently, is fundamentally contradictory to the tenets of Islam, as enshrined in copious verses of the Qur’an:
“Say: He Allah is One. Allah is the Self-sufficient Master. He begets not, nor was He begotten. There is none coequal or comparable to Him.” Q112 V1-4
“Surely, in kufr (disbelief) are those who say Allah is the Messiah (Jesus), son of Maryam. Say: (o Muhammad), who then has the least power against Allah if He were to destroy the Messiah, son of Maryam, his mother and all those who are on earth together? And to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earths…” Q5 V17.
“Surely, they have disbelieved who say: ‘Allah is the Messiah (Jesus), son of Maryam. Whereas, the Messiah said: ‘O children of Israel, worship Allah, my Lord, your Lord; for whoever sets up a partner with Allah, Allah has forbidden Paradise to him, and the Hell will be his abode…” Q5 V72
“Surely, disbelievers are those who said Allah is three-in-one (trinity). But there is no god but One God. And if they cease not from what they say, surely a painful torment will befall on the disbelievers among them.” Q5 V73
Why will a Muslim celebrate what is against his faith? Why should a Muslim be tagged unbearable sobriquets for upholding scriptural dictates? Isn’t it grossly lax that a Muslim takes pride in jettisoning his faith for liberality? What is wrong with you? Can’t you see that you have been largely overridden by your blurring whim?
Even Christians aren’t in unison regarding the celebration of Christmas. Some of them do not take part in it, because it has no biblical stance. They say since it is nowhere to be found in their Scripture, it is not worth their happiness. So, what then is your headache, o Muslim?
Some Christians, such as Pastor Kumoluyi have never and may never celebrate the festival, because according to them, it is idolatry – that it was invented in Rome centuries back as a mere compromise to usher in fetishists into the Christendom. They say it was smuggled into their religion. Femi Aribisala, a pastor and veteran columnist did a page-consuming, episodic epistle on the topic a few years ago proving that Christmas was not worth the attention of any serious Christian. What then is the business of any serious Muslim in what does not concern him?
My dear brothers and sisters the reason I am writing this article today is because of a national festival that takes place and 25th December that is the festival of Christmas and it is a good opportunity for us after (Surat Al-ikhlas) to tell our young brothers and sisters about the reality of the Prophet Jesus Christ, about the reality of who Jesus Christ is and why we as Muslims love Jesus Christ and why Jesus Christ is our Prophet and how our beliefs are different than the beliefs of those around us.
This is the right time to tell our young brothers and sisters of this great man and this great personality and what we believe about this man and what and how our beliefs are different from the other beliefs because many of our young children they ask us why don’t we celebrate Christmas? why can’t we have a Christmas tree? why can’t we do this and do that? and to this we respond that my dear brothers and sisters, Allah has made different people upon different religions and each person should follow his own religion especially when they believe this religion is right.
Yes, my dear brothers and sisters, we tolerate other beliefs and we allow others to believe as they want to believe. Islam does not force anybody to believe anything, but we do believe in the truth that Allah is one and we say that anybody who believes other than this (Islam) is wrong and mistaken in this regard and we do not preach intolerance. We do not preach hatred of others but we do preach that Allah is one and anybody who believes other than this, they are mistaken in their belief and it is up to them and Allah will decide their fate but our job is to preach and our job is to tell others our beliefs and it’s their job if they want to listen or if they don’t want to listen and that’s between them and Allah so we tell our young brothers and sisters that every religion has its own has its own days of celebration, its own holy days Buddhists don’t celebrate festivals of Islam or Celebrate Christmas so we don’t celebrate Buddhist festivals.
Christians don’t celebrate the festivals of the other religions like Hinduism and similarly we as Muslims we do not celebrate Christmas or any holy days of other religions because by celebrating those holy days it’s as if we are celebrating the concept behind the holy day and for many Christians the 25th of December is the celebration of the birth of a man they called the Son of God (Astagfirullah) and we don’t believe God has a son so if we were to celebrate that day it’s as if we too are saying or we believe that God has a son (Auzbillah) and we don’t believe that God has a son so we say to them that we are not going to celebrate on this day even though of course our religion teachers as good manners and we can say to them a generic statement such as ”may God bless you” such as ”may God guide you” we should not say ”Merry Christmas” because these phrases could be problematic we don’t want to bless Christmas.
We don’t believe in Christmas or celebrate Christmas, we don’t believe Jesus Christ was the son of God and we’re celebrating his birth in that manner, but we can say something generic such as may ”God bless you” such as a ”happy day today” “I wish you the best” something like this that doesn’t use the word Christmas doesn’t use any Christian slogan or Christian phrase. We can make a generic phrase and we as Muslims it’s a good opportunity to tell the people around us that we also believe in Prophet Jesus so much so that no Muslim can be a Muslim unless and until he loves the Prophet Jesus (Isa)and he believes in Jesus Christ and it is completely permissible to say Jesus Christ because Jesus Christ is the Latinized version of al Masih Isa. Al Messiah a is Christ means the one whom Allah has anointed, Messiah means the one Allah has wiped, anointed, he’s been chosen and Christos is the Latinized of Al-Masih, Christos is the one who’s been anointed so they say Christ is Messiah, this is the English or the Latin translation and Isa (AS) which is the Aramic of Isa, when they translated it to Latin, it became Jesus so there’s nothing wrong with saying Jesus Christ.
He is Christ, He is Messiah and Allah calls him in the Quran: ”Al-Masih Ia Ibnu Maryam” more than eight times in the Quran. Allah says: Al Masih ISA, Jesus Christ so we can say Jesus Christ and we should say that Christ is our Prophet and we love Him. The true love and no Muslim is a Muslim until he believes in Jesus Christ and you know my dear brothers and sister that Jesus Christ has been blessed in ways that no other Prophet has been blessed with. Allah gave him so many blessings, he is one of the mightiest Prophets, He is one of the best prophets ever to walk on the face of this earth and that’s the point of our religion.
Jesus Christ was a great prophet, He never claimed to be the Son of God, much less one of a Trinity so my dear brothers and sisters we as Muslims believe in Jesus Christ and we believe we are the true followers of Jesus Christ. This is another point, my young brothers and sisters that we need to understand, do not think that Christians follow Jesus and we follow Muhammad (pbuh) this is wrong, we follow Jesus and Muhammad (pbuh). We follow Moses and Abraham. We are the ones following all the Prophets of Allah and others who say that Jesus is the Son of God have mistaken, they have misunderstood, they are not following the actual teachings of Jesus Christ.
My young brothers and sisters in Islam know that Jesus Christ is our prophet and we are the true followers of Jesus Christ and our Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said that when Jesus returns back to this earth, He will judge by the Sharia, by the laws of Islam and his own followers will recognize that they made a mistake and they will then embrace the true faith and that is monotheism that is Allah subhana WA Ta’ala is one.
My dear brothers and sisters in Islam (Surat Al Ikhlas) teaches us that our Lord is one Lord, our God is one God, it is such a simple belief and yet so many other religions don’t believe in this, our job is to all to preach to others that we have one perfect God, He is unique, all other beings must turn to him, He doesn’t have a child nor is He begotten and there is nothing similar to him.
May Allah make us of those who preach this message, who believe this message, who teach this message. (Aameen)
BY: SANNI KAY. YUSUF