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By ISMC Sisters‟ Circle

25th November 2014

Purpose of the session….
• To a Muslim living in the West, the Christmas Holiday period
can be a little stressful because of the differences in our
attitudes towards holidays and celebrations of the status quo.
• So there can be misunderstandings on these issues with our
Christian even non-Christian colleagues.
• The following session is an attempt to bridge this gap, to
promote an understanding of the Islamic perspective
regarding this topic.

Jesus (AS)
• Many people are unaware how much Muslims
actually respect and admire Jesus (AS), even if they
do not celebrate „Christmas‟.
• A Muslim does not even take the name of Jesus (AS)
without saying Alai-hiss-Salam (peace be upon him).
• Jesus (AS) is mentioned by name 25 times in the
Qu‟ran.
• And many more times by titles, such as „Son of
Mary‟ and „Messiah‟.

Muslims….
• The issue for Muslims is often the pressure to celebrate and
the need to comply with social customs.
• Failure to participate in big celebrations or staff
celebrations makes oneself an object of ostracism.
• Muslims celebrate Jesus (AS) in many other ways, as do
many Christians. I.e. Through his teachings and examples.
• However Christmas has now become a social and
commercial event rather than a religious holiday.

• Generally speaking, Muslims do not celebrate the birth or
death of any Prophets rather they focus on the great actions
and teachings of the Prophets.

25th December
• Jesus (AS) is commonly considered to have
been born on the 25th December.
• However many historians and Christian
scholars state that he was not born on this
day.
• Scholars even differ on the year he was
born.
• So how as the 25th December selected??

• For several centuries the Christian Church paid more attention
to Easter rather than Christmas, and that was the major festival.
• Gradually as the church developed a calendar to commemorate
major events of the life of Jesus (AS) did the celebration of his
birth become significant.
• The Eastern Orthodox & Eastern Rite Churches within the Roman
Catholic church chose January 6th.
• The Western church chose 25th December.
• In the latter half of the 4th century, the Eastern & Western
churches adopted each other‟s festival, making it a twelve day
celebration.
• However today it is more of a one day celebration rather than
12!

Other celebrations on the 25th.
• It isn‟t/wasn‟t just the birth of Jesus (AS) that is/was
celebrated on the 25th.
• The Romans celebrated the Feast of the Invincible Sun on 25th
• Egyptians celebrated this day as the birth day of „Horus‟ God of
light.
• Greeks celebrated this day as the birth of Hercules.
• People in India and China use to celebrate on this day as the
birthday of their Gods before it was even agreed upon as the
birth day of Jesus (AS).

• Much of the celebration of Christmas is actually of
Pagan origin. The Romans celebrated the Feast of
Invincible Sun on 25th December.
• Many Christian scholars contend that Jesus (AS) was
actually born in the Summer which is consistent with
the Quranic account because it was mentioned ripe
dates falling to Mary (may Allah be please with her):

“And shake towards you the trunk of the palm tree, it
will drop upon you fresh ripe dates” [19:25]

Now onto the
„customs‟ of
Christmas.

Gifts…
• Giving gifts is a very old custom, older than the holiday
itself.
• Different areas would compete in terms of festivals.
• The Romans for example would give gifts for the festival of
„Satumalia‟, pagan festivals would also exchange gifts.
• On the Roman New Year, gifts were given to children.

Christmas is GREEN!!!
• Green was originally the colour associated with
Christmas.
• Ancient pre-Christian winter festivals used greenery,
lights and fires to symbolise life and warmth.
• Tree worship was a common feature of religion among
Tectonic and Scandinavian people of Northern Europe
before they converted to Christianity,
• They decorated their houses with evergreen and often
set up trees. This occurred somewhere around
December 21st.

Father Christmas…where did he come
from??
• Saint Nicholas who was the Bishop of Myra in the 4th century
was famous for his kindness to children and generosity to
the poor.
• After he died his popularity and remembrance grew.
• Back then red and white were the hues of traditional bishop
robes.

• Yes many non-Christians celebrate Christmas but
wouldn‟t it seem a bit weird if they felt obliged
to celebrate Eid or join in on Ramadan just
because we do it.
• Same sort of thing….

Imitation
The prophet clearly stated that it is forbidden to blindly imitate.
"If one imitates another nation or people, he will be from them."
[Abu-Dawud]
Allah Says in the Qur‟an: And those who do not witness falsehood,
and if they pass by some evil play or evil talk, they pass by it with
dignity.[25:72].
i.e. if you know a particular practice to be false or based on
falsehood you should avoid it.

Although slightly
different…

There is no real evidence to indicate Jesus
(AS) was born or the 25th December.

What is the name of the original
‘Father Christmas’?

Where did the idea of trees as
decoration come from?

Of Northern Europe

What was originally celebrated on
the 25th December?
Feast of the Invincible Moon
Feast of the Invincible Galaxy

Feast of the Invincible Sun
Feast of the Invincible Stars

Match up the following:
1. Jesus (AS)

a. Originally a 12 day celebration

2. Giving gifts

b. Dress code of bishops 4th century

3. Red & White robes

c. Was believed to born in the summer

4. Saint Nicholas

d. An old custom which became competitive

5. Christmas

e. Famous for generosity to children & poor