Let’s discuss the Islam And Christmas hot topic. As someone concerned with searching for the truth of matters, especially the strangest ones, Santa Claus was a rich subject for me to satisfy my desire. I kept reading, especially from Christian sources, about Christmas, its origin, and Santa Claus, till I came to this conclusion: Santa is coming with Islam this year!
Here we will learn the following:
Islam and Christmas
Christmas day (December 25), as it is secularly experienced now, is a twentieth century innovation of festivities. To illustrate, there is a mythical figure named Santa Claus that plays a pivotal role, feasting, giving (doing charity work), and exchanging gifts. All those semblances were innovated and interjected into Christianity not more than two centuries ago.
These historic facts are readily available for the researcher, but here we are more interested in the fact that it has nothing to do with Jesus’s birth (PBUH) and that early Fathers of the Church considered this a pagan sort of celebration. Moreover, some would even go as far as saying it’s a marketing expedient to mobilize trade and sell goods.
Putting aside the pagan origins and the unorthodox innovated ideas, the most truly commendable and eye catching about nowadays Christmas is the “Christmas spirit” which is all about,
- Sharing of warm-happy feelings
- Friendship, brotherhood, family ties, and kinship strengthening
- Gift exchanging
- Feeding the poor
- Charitably giving spirit
All of that, enveloping everyone and everything, is truly wonderful. THAT IS ABSOLUTELY ISLAMIC!!! Oh sorry. I forgot to mention this is an article about Jesus being a Muslim and how all what is called “Christmas spirit” is SOOO Islamic.
Santa Claus With A Shocking Example
Cal Thomas, an American syndicated columnist who often writes from a Christian perspective, acknowledged uncomfortable truths about Christmas in a December 2003 column.
“I’m not sure it’s worth keeping Christmas anymore,” He began, lamenting that the holiday has become:
“A road show of reindeer, winter scenes, elves and the god substitute, Santa Claus, who serves as a front for merchants seeking to play on the guilt some parents bear for ignoring their kids the rest of the year.”
What is Christmas Reality?
The Encyclopedia Britannica defines Christmas as a Christian festival celebrating the birth of Jesus. Through a careful study, one finds that most of the Christmas customs pre-date the birth of Jesus Christ, and in fact, Christmas in our day is a collection of traditions and practices taken from many cultures and nations.
Most probably, the date of December 25th comes from Rome and was a celebration of the Italic god, Saturn, and the rebirth of the sun god. This was done long before the birth of Jesus. To discover more about the pagan origins of Christmas traditions, refer to this article: Christmas History – Is Christmas A Pagan Holiday?
Can Muslims celebrate Christmas?
Imagine a Christian celebrating “Eid Al-Fitr”, the feast of breaking the fast that Muslims celebrate after the month of Ramadan. How would we judge his act?
Indeed, such celebration is a meaningless act, because it opposes his belief that Muslims are misguided.
Is Christmas haram in Islam?
Sure Christmas is haram in Islam. In the following Ayah, Allah states how it is a disaster to claim a son for Him:
وَقَالُوا اتَّخَذَ الرَّحْمَٰنُ وَلَدًا لَقَدْ جِئْتُمْ شَيْئًا إِدًّا تَكَادُ السَّمَاوَاتُ يَتَفَطَّرْنَ مِنْهُ وَتَنْشَقُّ الْأَرْضُ وَتَخِرُّ الْجِبَالُ هَدًّا أَنْ دَعَوْا لِلرَّحْمَٰنِ وَلَدًا وَمَا يَنْبَغِي لِلرَّحْمَٰنِ أَنْ يَتَّخِذَ وَلَدًا[Quran 19:88-91]
“They say, “The Most Compassionate has offspring.” You have certainly made an outrageous claim, by which the heavens are about to burst, the earth to split apart, and the mountains to crumble to pieces in protest of attributing children to the Most Compassionate. It does not befit ˹the majesty of˺ the Most Compassionate to have children.”
Thus, It is inappropriate for someone who truly loves God to neglect the religious aspect of Christmas and celebrate it, claiming it is a cultural festival.
Islamic View on Christmas and New Year Celebration
If you ask Why Don’t Muslims Celebrate Christmas? Muslims have many good reasons not to celebrate such a day:
A. Following Prophet Muhammad’s (SAW) teachings in Not Celebrating Christmas
Although Hollywood and consumerism have played a great role in making Christmas mainstream, this does not change the fact that Christmas is a Christian religious festival with pagan roots. Prophet Muhammad (saw) taught his companions to avoid celebrating other nations’ religious festivals.
حَدَّثَنَا مُوسَى بْنُ إِسْمَاعِيلَ، حَدَّثَنَا حَمَّادٌ، عَنْ حُمَيْدٍ، عَنْ أَنَسٍ، قَالَ قَدِمَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم الْمَدِينَةَ وَلَهُمْ يَوْمَانِ يَلْعَبُونَ فِيهِمَا فَقَالَ ” مَا هَذَانِ الْيَوْمَانِ ” . قَالُوا كُنَّا نَلْعَبُ فِيهِمَا فِي الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ . فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ” إِنَّ اللَّهَ قَدْ أَبْدَلَكُمْ بِهِمَا خَيْرًا مِنْهُمَا يَوْمَ الأَضْحَى وَيَوْمَ الْفِطْرِ ”Sunan Abi Dawud 1134
Narrated Anas ibn Malik: When the Messenger of Allah (saw) came to Medina, the people had two days on which they engaged in games. He asked: What are these two days (what is the significance)? They said: We used to engage ourselves on them in the pre-Islamic period. The Messenger of Allah (saw) said: Allah has substituted for them something better than them, the day of sacrifice and the day of the breaking of the fast.
Accordingly, there is no room in Islam for Christmas, Halloween, Hanukkah etc. In light of Prophet Muhammad’s teachings, Muslims are to celebrate only two religious feasts: “Al-Adha” and “Al-Fitr”.
B. Christmas does not befit ˹the majesty of˺ the Most Compassionate
Christians believe that Jesus, God’s incarnate, was born on that day. The dogma of God’s incarnation in human form is absolutely rejected in Islam because it negates the concept of God’s perfection. How can the Almighty God accept the flaws of human nature?!
How can the Eternal God die?! Therefore, it is forbidden for a Muslim to participate in a festival that is based on describing God in a negative way. Read these verses, which beautifully depict the reaction of the heavens and mountains regarding such lies attributed to God.
C. The exact date of Jesus’ birth is not known
Surprising, but true! Can December be the month when Jesus was born?
Remember those shepherds who were “Living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night”? (Luke 2:8).
The weather in December around Bethlehem is often miserably cold, wet and rainy. No shepherd in his right mind would have kept his flocks outside at night at that time of the year!”
Enhancing this truth, the Noble Quran mentioned a hint about Prophet Jesus birth. In the story about Mary giving birth to Prophet Jesus, Allah (the only true God) says:
وَهُزِّىٓ إِلَيْكِ بِجِذْعِ ٱلنَّخْلَةِ تُسَـٰقِطْ عَلَيْكِ رُطَبًۭا جَنِيًّۭا[Qur’an 19:25]
And shake toward you the trunk of the palm tree; it will drop upon you ripe, fresh dates,”
Surely, December is not the month of ripe, fresh dates.
How Islam is “the Christmas Spirit”?
First of all, Jesus, as all Messengers of God, was a Muslim in the sense that he believed that “There is only One God worthy of worship and that Muhammad (saw) was His last Messenger”… AND YES … all Messengers believed this. God states in Qur’an; which is the final all authentic word of Allah,
وَإِذْ أَخَذَ ٱللَّهُ مِيثَـٰقَ ٱلنَّبِيِّـۧنَ لَمَآ ءَاتَيْتُكُم مِّن كِتَـٰبٍۢ وَحِكْمَةٍۢ ثُمَّ جَآءَكُمْ رَسُولٌۭ مُّصَدِّقٌۭ لِّمَا مَعَكُمْ لَتُؤْمِنُنَّ بِهِۦ وَلَتَنصُرُنَّهُۥ ۚ قَالَ ءَأَقْرَرْتُمْ وَأَخَذْتُمْ عَلَىٰ ذَٰلِكُمْ إِصْرِى ۖ قَالُوٓا۟ أَقْرَرْنَا ۚ قَالَ فَٱشْهَدُوا۟ وَأَنَا۠ مَعَكُم مِّنَ ٱلشَّـٰهِدِينَ[Qur’an 3:81]
And [recall, O People of the Scripture], when Allah took the covenant of the prophets, [saying], ‘Now that you have been given the Book and wisdom if there comes to you a messenger confirming what you have, you must believe in him and support him.’ He added, ‘Do you affirm this covenant and accept this commitment?’ They said, ‘Yes, we do.’ Allah said, ‘Then bear witness, and I too am a Witness’.”
This verse clearly states that God/Allah has taken a covenant from all His Messengers to humanity to worship only Him and to believe in Muhammad peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and in what he came with.
Secondly, Muhammad (saw) was sent by Allah, as a final Messenger being the best human created by God and the best among His Messengers, to deliver the final Divine Revelation “Qur’an” and guide Humanity to the righteous path out of the darkness and into the light of Islam. Muhammad was of the best manners and had the noblest characters, Allah describes him in Qur’an saying,
وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلَىٰ خُلُقٍ عَظِيمٍۢ[Qur’an 68:4]
And you ˹O Muhammad˺ are truly ˹a man˺ of outstanding character.”
Furthermore, Abu Huraira reported Muhammad (saw) as saying:
عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم “ أَنَا سَيِّدُ وَلَدِ آدَمَ وَأَوَّلُ مَنْ تَنْشَقُّ عَنْهُ الأَرْضُ وَأَوَّلُ شَافِعٍ وَأَوَّلُ مُشَفَّعٍ ” [Sahih Muslim]
I shall be the most eminent among the descendants of Adam on the Day of Resurrection and I will be the first intercessor and the first whose intercession will be accepted (by Allah).”
This means that he was foretold of his eminent status on Judgment Day.
“The Christmas Spirit” in Qur’an
Finally, being a good human, a productive person of knowledge and efficiency, and a reformer in this life are core teachings of Islam. In fact, those are essential requirements for being a Muslim mentioned by Allah in the Qur’an and Muhammad (saw) in his Sunnah right after bringing up elements of faith and before acts of worship. Allah reviled in Qur’an,
إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ وَعَمِلُوا۟ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتِ سَيَجْعَلُ لَهُمُ ٱلرَّحْمَـٰنُ وُدًّۭا[Qur’an 19:96]
Verily, those who believe [in the Oneness of Allah and in His Messenger (Muhammad SAW)] and work deeds of righteousness, the Most Beneficent (Allah) will bestow love for them (in the hearts of the believers and angels/on earth and in heavens).”
Indeed, that correlation between true belief and righteous doing is mentioned more than sixty times in Quran only in this form. Adding to that, there are more in other forms.
Also, Muhammad’s teachings (saw) are all about; obedience, love, and mercy to parents, righteous living, compassion, giving of all sorts (material and moral), mercy to all, brotherhood in Islam, strengthening of kinship, hardworking, learning, equality, justice.
Thus, all that would rectify/reform the world and the life of all those in it. This, if any, shows how pivotal in Islam are good characters, righteous deeds, spreading happiness, and worshiping Allah alone.
conclusion – Islam, Christianity, and Christmas
Christmas is not a genuine Christian religious occasion or celebration. Simply put, Jesus was most probably born in the spring or autumn rather than December. Numerous early Church Fathers considered celebrating birthdays as a pagan custom.
Christmas is prohibited in Islam for a variety of reasons. Finally, the so-called “Christmas Spirit” is a wonderful thing that Muhammad (PBUH), the final Messenger to humanity, encourages. He was not alone; all previous Messengers had done the same.
Tell us what you think now and how you feel about this?