XMAS: The hidden origins
By: Linta Mustafa
In the present time, ask any person about what they know about Christmas. You’ll mostly get the same answer, ‘It’s the birthday of Jesus’, ‘It’s a warm celebratory event where people get together and give each other gifts’ or ‘it is a Christian celebration’. Now, even I did not know the exact details of the origin of Christmas but listening to the lecture of Raja Zia ul Haq, I was shocked.
The lecture portrayed an in-depth study of the origin of Christmas. Starting from the birth month, it was told that Prophet Isa (AS) was not born in winters especially in the freezing month of December as everyone claims. While people celebrate Christmas in winters, Prophet Isa (AS) or Jesus as commonly known among Christians was in fact born in the summer. From Quranic perspective when Prophet Isa’s (AS) birth is mentioned, it is stated that when Maryam (AS) was told by Jibreel (AS) to go out of the city, she went near a palm tree and ate the dates that were on them. It is a known fact that dates are ripe only in summers, in the scorching heat. With reference to Bible, when the birth of Prophet Isa (AS) is mentioned, a flock of sheep are illustrated to be outside. In Jerusalem, sheep can be outside only in heat not in cold winters.
Now the important question that every Muslim asks with respect to Christmas is, “Can I also celebrate Christmas?” or “Can I wish Merry Christmas to my Christian friends/neighbours?” The answer to these two questions is relatively simple. To the first one, we have our own two beloved celebrations i.e., Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Azha. Why not celebrate them? Why is it that we as Muslims have fun celebrating the festivals of other religions, but when it comes to our own, we sleep all day or just pass it off as any other regular day? To answer the second, the Prophet (ﷺ) said: He who copies any people is one of them. (Abu Dawood)
We also need to understand why Muslims feel drawn towards such celebrations. Practicing Muslim families are the last ones to have genuine fun or express love for each other. Their life tends to stifle and suffocate. It begins with duties and ends with them.
In contrast, the Prophet (ﷺ) was a man who played with kids, gave them candy, and took them for camel rides. He was most expressive about his love for his wives and his Sahabah, to the extent that each of them assumed that the Prophet (sa) loved him the most because of the attention they got. They felt fulfilled.
The capitalist society today via the social media has successfully targeted human psychology. They keep controlling the minds and behaviour. Their mission is that we stay needy all the time. Hence each celebration is an answer to our desires and makes them rich.
At the end of the day, do not be satisfied by the surface of everything; it is necessary to do an extensive study of whatever concept we take. Our Deen was completed long ago, now our job is to follow it. And it starts today, with us and our families.