Should Muslims celebrate Christmas?

 Indeed, the example of Jesus to Allah is like that of Adam. He created Him from dust; then He said to him, “Be,” and he was. (Qur’an; Surah Ali ‘Imran (The House/Family of Imran), Ch 3, ayah/ verse 59)

Where Christmas is concerned, we usually come across three kinds of Muslims;

  1. Muslims who don’t celebrate Christmas
  2. Muslims who celebrate Christmas to show love and respect for prophet Jesus (peace be upon him)
  3. Muslims who celebrate Christmas to prove how “secular” they are to their non-Muslim friends.

This article is a message for those Muslim brothers/ sisters who come under the second category of Muslims. It goes without saying that those Muslims who don’t celebrate Christmas already know the gravity of being a part of this festival.

We all love and respect Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him); it is this reason due to which many of our brothers/ sisters are inclined to participate in Christmas. For those Muslims celebrating Christmas is a mark of respect for the Messiah. However, before they decide to celebrate Christmas this year, they should go through the following few points:

1.      We are Muslims.

As much as we respect the Messiah, we need to remember that we are not Christians, we are Muslims. It may sound like a stupid thing to say (we already know we are Muslims and they are Christians) but when we overlook this simple fact, we are prone to end in disbelief. How? We will find out at the end of the article.

Muslims are those who follow Islam, therefore we need to know what Islam says about the festivals that followers of Islam can celebrate. Going back to the ahadith we see that there is absolutely no festival like “Christmas” for the followers of Islam.

2.      “But it is an important day even from Islamic point of view”

Many Muslims argue that Jesus (peace be upon him) is an important person—a prophet sent by Allah (swt), he will be sent back to fight and kill Dajjal (Antichrist) and this shows his (peace be upon him) importance for Muslims, so what is the harm in celebrating his (peace be upon him) birthday? The answer is very simple; celebrating birthdays is unIslamic! But if the term “unIslamic” sounds too harmless to be taken seriously then kindly read the article “celebrating birthdays—an Islamic perspective” to know the gravity of celebrating birthdays.

3.      Christmas, a sign of respect & love?

One prophets “respect” should not equal to another ones disrespect. Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) didn’t order that his (peace be upon him) birthday be celebrated. Even if he had ordered, he was a prophet to Israelite. Any command that goes against the last Book of Allah (swt) i.e., the Qur’an holds no importance to us. And we know that Qur’an says:

“Verily in the messenger of Allah you have the best example for him who hopes in Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah much.” (Qur’an; Al-Ahzab (The Clans/Coalition/Combined Forces), Ch. 33, ayah 21)

“In Muhammed (saw) is the best example for us” and we know Muhammad (saw) didn’t celebrate birthdays (those who are thinking about the birthday of prophet Muhammed, peace be upon him may refer to the article “Milad-un-Nabi—an Islamic perspective”).

Besides, who has ingrained this lie in our minds that celebrating birthdays is a symbol of love/ respect? If this was true than why don’t we find any proof about Prophet Moses (pbuh) celebrating the birthdays of the prophets that came before him? Or Prophet Jesus (pbuh) celebrating the birthdays of the prophets that came before him? Or Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) celebrating the birthday of Prophet Jesus (pbuh) or any other prophet?

a)      Celebrating birthdays comes from ancient pagans, and prophet Muhammed (pbuh) said:

“The most hated persons to Allah are three: (1) A person who deviates from the right conduct, i.e., an evil doer, in the Haram (sanctuaries of Mecca and Medina); (2) a person who seeks that the traditions of the Pre-Islamic Period of ignorance should remain in Islam (3) and a person who seeks to shed somebody’s blood without any right.”  (Sahih Bukhari: Book #83, Hadith #21)

b)     Celebrating the birthday of any prophet is a bid’ah, and about bid’ah prophet Muhammed (pbuh) said:

…If anyone introduces an innovation, he will be responsible for it. If anyone introduces an innovation or gives shelter to a man who introduces an innovation (in religion), he is cursed by Allah, by His angels, and by all the people.  (Sunan Abu dawood: Book #39, Hadith #4515)

4.      25th dec, birthday of Prophet Jesus (pbuh), really?

When we read the Bible, we find that 25th dec is not the day on which prophet Jesus (pbuh) was born! To know more about it kindly refer to the article “Christmas—should Christians celebrate it”.

Now that we know that Christmas has no basis even in the Bible, we may wonder whose birthday were we about to celebrate in the name of “Christmas”?

The origin of Christmas goes back to the ancient Babylon. In Egypt it was always believed that the son of Isis was born in December 25th. Paganism celebrated this famous birthday over most of the known world for centuries before the birth of Christ.

Conclusion: we need to be very careful not to take part in unIslamic festivals because we may not realize it but Satan may be tricking us into celebrating a pagan festival in the name of “Christmas” or in the name of “respect and love” for a pious figure.

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