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Who are we to please?
Issa Ahmad Khalid
(A new convert from Italy)
WHO ARE WE TRYING TO PLEASE?
The topic I would like to draw your attention to in this discourse, as a Muslim, is Christian holidays and festivals. As a Muslim, would partaking of such festivities make you any less of a Muslim? That is an answer only you and Allah(swt) can answer. No Muslim has the right to deem who is and who isnt a Muslim, but that should not stop the individual Muslim from asking themselves that very same question with respect to Christian festivals. First of all, what does it mean to be a Muslim? What exactly is a Muslim? A Muslim is one who submits to the Will of Allah(swt). When we carry the moniker of Muslim, we also carry the responsibility of abiding by all the tenants of Islam as put forth by Allah(swt) in The Holy Quran and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad(saas). To deviate from this path should cause one to question their own motives as to why. One thing is certain, as Muslims we must avoid all that associates worship to any other than Allah(swt). So, does participation in Christian festivals damage our Iman? Considering the pagan origins of these festivities, one should really tread cautiously in their opinion that there is no harm it. If one were to really ponder over the Easter Egg and what it represents, as well as the adornment of trees during Christmas and exchanging of gifts, it should cause the Muslim to question their motives as to why they are partaking of such celebrations. Consider the following as it pertains to what was applied to the good name of Prophet Jesus(as) by the Christian church;
Along with the Trinity, some other Christian institutions were born from the Council of Nicea (325 A.D.). They are as follows:
i. The Roman Sun-day (Sunday) was declared the Christian Sabbath.
ii. Adopted the traditional birthday of the Roman Sun God, December 25, as the birthday of Jesus(as). December 25 being that day of the year (northern hemisphere) when the days begin to get longer.
iii. The emblem of the Roman Sun God, the cross of light, was to become the symbol of Christianity.
iv. Incorporated all performed ceremonies of the Sun Gods birthday celebrations into their own Christian ceremonies, such as decorated trees (a pagan practise condemned by the Bible-see Jeremiah 10:2-5), exchanging of gifts, etc.
v. Aspects of the Sun Gods life were applied to Jesus(as), for example, the Sun God coming to earth in human form to shed his blood for the sins of mankind, he was crucified and rose from the dead. St. Augustine, an early church father, was horrified to discover how closely related were the lives of his god Jesus(as) and that of the Roman Sun God.
This should no doubt cause the Muslim to at least question themselves on the issue of joining the Christians is their Christmas and Easter good cheer. Muslims should always keep in mind that shirk is not just to set up an equal to Allah(swt) in the literal sense, but it also has metaphorical connotations. For example, pride and arrogance is a form of shirk, love of wealth and materialism is a form of shirk, and just the same, engaging in festivals that have pagan origins is also shirk. You may agree or disagree, that is fine. We all have the right to follow our own path. Allah(swt) gave us that choice, but with respect to the Christian festivals, I urge you to read the following document I wrote on the Christian holidays before you make that choice.
In that way, you will have a clearer picture of exactly what it is you are getting into. I only say this out of love for my Muslim brothers and sisters, and my concern for their Iman. I have nothing to lose or gain by telling you this. As a Muslim, I have done my part and as such can rest easy knowing that on The Day Of Judgement, Allah(swt) will not question me as to why I did not tell my Muslim brothers and sisters about the pagan practices of the Christians during the holidays and as to why I stood and watched them engage in such festivals without speaking out. Always keep in mind brothers and sisters; I too was a Christian once. In that I ask that you please read the following information as I have extracted it from my book, Examining Christianity feeling that the issues discussed will be relevant to the material presented in this book as a whole. It is for this reason that I have made this information available here and I pray that it will be a wake up call to all Muslims who are of the opinion that sharing in the Christmas and Easter spirit should be the farthest thing from the minds of the Muslims, but it should instead be infused with the need to educate our Christian brothers and sisters on the errors of their practices and the pagan origins of such.
EXAMINING CHRISTIAN HOLIDAYS.
In this discourse, I would like to bring to light the origins of the Christian holidays and to reveal their pagan roots. My purpose is to help our Christian brothers and sisters and perhaps show them how far off from the Worship of the One True God they are, InshaAllah(God Willing).
December the 25th is actually the birthday of the pagan Roman sun-god Quirinus. To the Persians, he is known as Mithra. This is in conjunction with the winter solactise, the time of the year when the days begin to get longer in the northern hemisphere. This day was not celebrated as the birthday of Jesus(as) until the 4th century, following the infamous Council of Nicea in 325 AD. The purpose was to meld the pagan rituals of Rome with the new religion of Catholicism that was being established. All the ceremonies of the sun-gods birthday were incorporated into this Christmas holiday. Ceremonies such as decorating trees (a pagan practice which is condemned by the Bible-see Jeremiah 10:2-5), exchanging of gifts, etc At this we can ask ourselves, When was Jesus(as) actually born? We should not become to dogmatic about such matters, however, there is Biblical evidence, in conjunction with Quranic and historical evidence, which may shed some light on the actual birth date of Prophet Jesus(as). In the Bible we find the following;
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the Angel of the Lord came upon them and the Glory of the Lord shone round them and they were afraid. And the Angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ(Massiah) the Lord. Luke 2:8-11
And likewise we find the following in Surah Maryam:23-25 of The Holy Quran;
And the throes of childbirth drove her (Mary) to the trunk of a palm-tree. She said: Oh, would that I had died before this, and had been a thing quite forgotten. So a voice came to her from beneath her: Grieve not, surely thy Lord has provided a stream beneath thee. And shake towards thee the trunk of the palm-tree, it will drop on thee fresh ripe dates.
Both passages mentioned deal with the birth of Prophet Jesus(as) and both contain clues as to the approximate time of his birth but before we do this, let us focus on the possible year of his birth. Herod the Great reigned in Judea from 37-4 BC. Three years prior to the end of his reign, Jesus(as) was born. The Romans took a census of the Empire every 14 years for revenue and military purposes, so that a census was taken in 7 BC during Herods reign. A Roman inscription discovered at Antioch indicates that Cyrenius (see Luke 2:2) was involved in taking the census in 7 BC, just as he was in 6-7 AD. The legate of Syria (Cyrenius) was responsible for supervising the governing of Judea, and although Pontius Pilate was not officially appointed governor of Judea until 25-26 AD, he evidently functioned as an agent for the legate as early as 7 BC. Annas was officially appointed high priest in 7 AD, while Caiphas became high priest about 18 AD, but evidence here and in other sources indicate that these men were leaders before their official appointments. It also indicates that Jesus(as) was born in 7 BC. Now, let us focus on the date. In regards to the star of the east followed by the Magi or wise men (see Matthew 2: 1-2), Babylonian astrologers considered Saturn to be the special star of Syria and Palestine, this according to Walter Keller, in his book, The Bible As History page 391. Walter Keller also stated on page 388 of said book that a Rabbinic writer named Abarbanel (1437-1508 AD), reported that Jewish astrologers had ascribed to the conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter in the constellation of Pisces, a sign of the advent of the Messiah. Residing east of Judea, to the Magi or wise men, the star would appear in the west. Evidence from the ancient observatory at Sippar in Babylonia, shows that on May 29th, 7 BC, in the morning sky, for at least 2 hours, the conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter in the constellation of Pisces occurred giving the appearance of a large bright star. Sippar was advanced enough to calculate the second conjunction on October 3rd, 7 BC and the last on December 4th, 7 BC. Keeping this in mind, with the grazing practices of the shepherds (see Luke 2:8-11), who grazed their flocks from March until the beginning of November (scientific investigation of weather in this area of the world, which has not changed significantly in 2000 years, has demonstrated the wisdom of this practice) in conjunction with the astrological evidence from Sippar as well as the Quranic evidence of the fresh ripe dates (see Surah Maryam: 23,24 & 25), all evidence points to the birth of Prophet Jesus(as) being shortly before or after October 3rd, 7 BC. In light of the evidence provided, it is safe to conclude that Jesus(as) was not born on December the 25th as Christians contend.
This relates to the entry of Jesus(as) into Jerusalem. The Jews held a festival of the palms dating back to the time of the Macabees, roughly 200 years before the birth of Jesus(as). The Jews would be celebrating this regardless of whether Jesus(as) entered into Jerusalem or not. It was merely adopted by the Catholic church.
Without question, perhaps the most celebrated of all the Christian holidays. It deals with the very foundation of the Christian faith;
And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain and your faith is also vain.
1 Corinthians 15:14
Yet, where did this festival originate? The Holy Quran is clear on the fact that Jesus(as) was not crucified;
and they killed him not, nor did they cause his death on the cross, but he was made to appear to them as such Surah Al-Nisa:157
This pagan festival is actually a combination of both Astoria(from which the word Easter is derived from), the female goddess of fertility of the northern European Saxons and the Isis-Osiris cult. The lover of Astoria, Attis, dies and is reborn annually, in conjunction with the summer solactice(spring time), the time of the year of the Easter celebrations. The theology of Attis was incorporated into the events of Prophet Jesus(as), according to the Christian church that is. The symbol of Astoria is the EGG, which is part of the Easter celebration (Easter Egg). In the Isis-Osiris cult of ancient Egypt, crucifixion was often a required means of sacrificing the King as the INCARNATION OF GOD for the SALVATION of man. Such bloody sacrifices were accompanied by the belief that the saviours flesh and blood had to be eaten and drank in a cannibalistic sacrament. This is currently practiced by the Catholic church, metaphorically, in all their masses. Yet, one cannot ignore the pagan roots of this act. The Catholic church actually believes in the transubstantiation of this ceremony, instituted by St. Thomas Aquinas in the 12th century, meaning, the Catholics believe that the bread and wine used turns into the actual flesh and blood of Prophet Jesus(as), exactly in line with the ceremony of the Isis-Osiris cult, which dates back to 1700 BC. The notion that Prophet Jesus(as) had to be sacrificed for the salvation of all mankind traces back to this older barbarism. Allah(swt) rejects this savagery (see Genesis 22:1-14, 1 Samuel 15:22, Psalms 4:5, 5:17 among many examples from the Bible). I would like to state that, as a Muslim, it is my responsibility, as it is for all Muslims, to bring to light the truth of such pagan practices in the hopes that, InshaAllah(God Willing), Christians will see the errors of such acts which are nothing more than rituals that draws one away from the Worship of Almighty God.
In conclusion, I would like to remind you that as Muslims, it is our obligation to please Allah(swt). With respect to the Christian holidays, do we share it to please the Christians, or to please Allah(swt). Will such participation in Christian holidays really please Allah(swt)? That is a question all Muslims must ask themselves in light of the information I have provided above. With the pagan origins of such festivals, and Allah(swt) commanding us to keep away from paganism at all levels, again I ask, as Muslims, do we live and die to please the Christians, or to please Allah(swt)? Now, as far as engaging in the Christian holidays is concerned, the million dollar question is;
WHO ARE WE TRYING TO PLEASE?
May Allah(swt) guide us all to the truth, InshaAllah.
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