By Mohammed Khaku
Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus and is a major religious celebration for Christians around the world.
Christianity is the largest religion with over two billion followers following the Bible (Ingeel) – Jesus of Nazareth’s life and his teaching in Galilee in 7 BC. The Christmas holiday is coming upon us, with a Christmas tree, colorful lights, carols, and people going to churches to celebrate the birth of Jesus (Prophet Isa).
However, Christmas is riddled with fairytales, and falsehoods. In fact, the history of Christmas traces the journey of life from Roam empire to today classics – “It’s a Wonderful Lie” to “How Ghost Stole Christmas.”
Family and Friends will arrive home soon to celebrate Christmas. With the snow falling and wind howling, we will try to stay warm with fire on, playing board games, and reading “Christmas Carol” and “Harry Potter.”
It is sad that Christmas celebrations are void of spirituality and has become the economy of gifts -consumerism.
There is forceful discussion among faith leaders if Christmas should be a spiritual or magical or material. But there is no doubt that Santa Claus has won the injustice of capitalism and Jesus Christ loss his message of spirituality.
It has taken thousands of years to build this house of Christmas – materialism, consumerism and its festivities are set in stone to continue for another thousand years.
I am also sure that Christmas will not lose its religiosity in spite of gross consumerism, and despite the death of God by the atheists. And the atheists will still attend the Christmas church service because it’s beautiful.
Why December 25th was chosen the birth anniversary of Jesus Christ?
25 is not the date mentioned in the Bible as the day of Jesus’s birth; the Bible is actually silent on the day or the time of year when Mary was said to have given birth in Bethlehem, Palestine.
The earliest Christians did not celebrate the birthday of Jesus of Nazareth. However, the ancient roots of the Christmas celebrations are various cultures, rituals and history from across the world.
The early Christian leaders weren’t looking for an easy pagan peg to hang on the Christmas tree – they picked December 25 because of Christian eschatology and the crucifixion date of Jesus.
The history tells us that Jesus was crucified around Passover, which allowed the Christian scholars to pin March 25th as a precise death of Jesus.
So, the ancient Christian mysticism scholars assumed that Mary must have conceived on March 25th and nine months from that date leads to December 25th as its birthday. By 354 AD we had the first written record of December 25th as Christ’s birthday.
Who is Jesus Christ – Īsā ibn Maryam (Arabic: عِيسَى ٱبْنُ مَرْيَمَ, Jesus, son of Mary?
I sometimes wonder and wait when will Jesus – the Messiah and Mahdi will knock on our door wanting to know if he can join the celebrations of the birth of Jesus or Prophet Muhammad peace be on them (PBU).
Have we Muslims awaken the masses to the truth of the gospel of Issa, Jesus? Or have we instead fallen to materialism and consumerism in serving the system of the Dajjal (antichrist)?
According of Shia Islam, Jesus is in occultations and will descend from the sky to lead a great battle against ad-Dajjal or the Antichrist.
Jesus in Islam is known as the spirit of Allah, Rohullah, and he is the messenger to whom Injeel – Bible was revealed.
The personality of Jesus plays a central role in Islam. Muslims believe that God delivered the Gospel — Bible – Injeel to Jesus, just as he did Torah – Ta’wrat to Moses and the Old Testament (Zabur) to David and the Koran to Prophet Muhammad.
There is a strong connection of all those messengers that God sent from Adam to Noah to Abraham to Mosses to Jesus to Mohammed to Imam Hussain the martyr of Karbala and beyond to the Mahdi who will return with Jesus.
Each one of them is an integral part and a shining beacon in the rosary of guidance. If you ignore or break one bead out, then all the other beads are scattered and lose their relevance.
Since 9/11 many Muslim communities are building bridges with the Christian communities, but it has gone unnoticed.
It is sad that instead of sharing Islam’s view of Jesus, some of us have adopted the Christian culture in an attempt to integrate or assimilate into the society.
For example, some Muslims take active part in Christmas festivity by lighting their houses, keeping Christmas tree in their homes and give their children Christmas gifts.
This, of course, is not out of an Islamic sense of duty to get to know the Christian neighbor and brethren better or to share with them what we believe regarding Jesus.
Rather, it is usually out of pressure from the kids or inferior complicity to a point that we are willing to embrace a tradition and a culture that is alien to Islam and a celebration that many know to be fairytale.
I say fairytale because even respected scholars in the Christian world have doubted that Jesus was born on the 25th of December.
The best gift you could give on Christmas is YOU: Your heart, your love, for your family and your community.
May Allah (Lord) bless you as I greet you in peace: As-Salaam Alaikum!
Greeting to my fellow Christians on this auspicious occasion of the birthday of Jesus of Nazareth.
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior…” Luke 2:11.