Tag Archives: Birthdays

Christmas is just like al-Mawlid: A Bid`ah!!!


The following article is based primarily, but, not exclusively, upon two previous articles that I’ve already written, one about Non-Islamic holidays, generally (http://www.garethbryant.wordpress.com/2011/10/14/thereasonsmuslimsdonotcelebratenonislamicholidays), and the other specifically about the celebration of the Psuedo-Islamic holiday, known as al-Mawlid (http://www.garethbryant.wordpress.com/2012/02/05/mythoughtsonthemawlid).

It’s so very ironic, how Muslims condemn Christians for celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ (Peace be upon him), when many Muslims, themselves, celebrate the birth of a Prophet as well: Muhammad ibn-`Abdillah, the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him). So, in light of this, I intend to highlight some of the very ironic similarities, between both Christmas & al-Mawlid, respectively.

Brief history of Christmas-

Christmas pic

Christmas, literally meaning, “Christ’s Mass”(Dictionary.com), has been designated to be on December 25th. It is on this day that basically all Christians believe that Jesus was born, even tough there is absolutely no religious nor historical records proving  that Jesus was born on the 25th of December, or even during the Winter, for that matter. Anyway, this particular holiday emerged as the power of Christiandom began to spread & grow within Europe, Africa & the Middle-East. This holiday, “Christmas” was originally a Pagan-Roman holiday, called the Saturnalia, literally, meaning the festival of Saturn.(Encyclopedia Britannica) The Catholic-Church, at the time, was trying to strengthen it’s congregant-base, and realized that the masses of the people, especially in Europe were deeply invested into celebrating the ancient holiday, Saturnalia. So, what began to happen was, in order to keep these newly-converted Christians from turning away from Christiandom, they allowed the common-people to keep their former pagan-holidays, even though, ironically, these holidays represented everything contrary to classic Christian-Doctrine. And, this is how the Saturnalia evolved from celebrating Saturn, to celebrating Jesus, during the 4th-century, which is the closest known time-period when Christmas was officially celebrated.

Brief history of al-Mawlid-

Mawlid pic

The Mawlid, literally, meaning “birthday”, in the Arabic-Language(Lisan-ul-`Arab/The Arabic-Language: Lexicon of the Arabic-Language, Muhammad ibn-Manzhur), was something that Muslims began to celebrate about 3-centuries after the death of Muhammad, commemorating the month & day of his birth, even though: one, he, himself, personally, neither told, nor encouraged, anyone to celebrate his birthday, during his own lifetime; two, none of his Companions (May Allah be please with them all-together) ever celebrated al-Mawlid, neither during nor after the lifetime of Muhammad; three, none of the members of either generation of the Tabi`in (the followers of the Companions of Muhammad [May Allah mercify them all-together]) ever celebrated al-Mawlid; also, ironically, there’s even scholarly debate as to when the actual date of the birth of Muhammad was. Since the Pagan-Arabs were mostly an illiterate people & relied mostly on memory, it’s not definitive to say exactly when the birth of Muhammad truly was, without any credible, historical, tangible record. Moving right along: the formation & origin of the Mawlid, based upon surviving record, begins during the reign of the Khilafah (Islamic-Rulership) of Harun ar-Rashid, the 5th & most well-known of all the Khulafa’ (Islamic-Rulers), from the `Abbasi-period.(Encyclopedia Britannica)

Now…let’s see what’s ironically-similar between these two holidays-

1. They are both celebrations, which are not sanctioned by any revelation from Allah, via textual-scriptures, nor examples of any Prophets/Recipients-of-Revelation.

2. These holidays were never celebrated in the presence of either Jesus or Muhammad; so, there’s no basis of justification to celebrate the births of any of these two Prophets, when even they, themselves, had never celebrated their own birthdays, during their own respective times.

3. Both of these holidays emerged at least 3-centuries after the times of these two respective Prophets (after the ascension of Jesus [Islamically, Muslims don’t believe that Jesus even died in the 1st-place, which is one of the reasons why he has to return] & death of Muhammad).

4. Both of these holidays involve commencement of specific acts of worship, almost exclusively during the celebratory times of the year for these holidays.

5. Both of these holidays have resulted in full-fledged personality-worship of these respective Prophets, like calling upon them for salvation, when salvation is only from Allah, directly, and when worship, in it’s intrinsic/inherent totality, is solely for Allah, and not for anything or anyone created.

Let’s examine the word that I used to describe both Christmas & al-Mawlid: Bid`ah-

There is a purposeful reason why I’ve chosen this word, “Bid`ah”, to describe both Christmas, as well as al-Mawlid, respectively. This term Bid`ah, literally, meaning “Innovation”, is from the Arabic-verb, “Bada`a”, to change/evolve-Both of these holidays, just like any other holidays which had evolved out of the celebrations of dead-persons, or presumed to be dead-persons (as in the case of Jesus, whom, according to Islamic-texts, has not died as of yet[Noble Qur’an: Chpt.4, V.157], making it one of the reasons why he must return to Earth: to live out the remainder of his life and to die), are not based upon any credible revealed-texts, from Allah. And, the actual religious, Islamic, definition of the term Bid`ah is the following: any action of worship, adopted by Muslims, which is in opposition to the Shari`ah/Islamic-Law.

One of the signature-proofs of this is simple: the story of the 5-righteous individuals who lived before the birth of Noah (Peace be upon him), the names of these persons were: Yaghuth, Ya`uq, Suwa`, Wadd, and Nasir.(Qasas-ul-Anbiya’/Stories of the Prophets, Abul-Fida’ Isma`il ibn-Kathir ad-Dimashqi) His people allowed themselves to be deceived by ash-Shaytan/the Devil, building monuments on their graves; but when the initial generation of people, who did this, died-off, their descendants weren’t informed as to why this was done. Therefore, ash-Shaytan had then encouraged them to take the commemoration of their reverence further, by celebrating firstly, the days of the births of these people, then, the deaths of these people, then, it went further & further, until these people were fully worship, aside from Allah, all together.(Qasas-ul-Anbiya’) And, this is why, Islamically, any & all acts of worship (particularly, in lieu of our discussion, to/for a dead-person) are automatically classified as Mahrum/Prohibited, unless there exists non-abrogated, textual, evidence, from either the Qur’an or the Sunnah/Prophetic-Tradition, which warrants the lawfulness of any & all acts.

Why do Muslims condemn Christmas but not al-Mawlid?

Considering the fact that both Christmas & al-Mawlid are meant to celebrate & commemorate the religious status of two Prophets, both dearly regarded, by both Muslims & Christians, this would actually mean that, if anything, the Muslims would have more of a right to celebrate Christmas than any other Christian…why? I’ll sure tell you why: one day, Muhammad had encountered Jews in al-Madinah (the 1st Islamic-State/Capitol of the Islamic-State, during the lifetime of Muhammad) & he was informed that they were fasting on the 10th-day of Muharram (the 1st-month of the Islamic-Calendar), popularly known as Yawmu-`Ashura’, or simply `Ashura’, literally meaning tenth, in Arabic.(Lisan-ul-`Arab) So, when he learned of this, naturally, Muhammad wanted to know why the Jews were doing this. And, they had explained to him that this fasting, on this day, is meant to commemorate the day that Allah had rescued the Children of Israel from the tyranny in Egypt, by the Reigning-Pharaoh of that time, and Moses (Peace be upon him) had fasted, to show gratitude to Allah. Upon being told this, Muhammad had mentioned that he has more of a right to fast on this day, than any of them.(al-Bukhari)

The reason why he said this is because of the fact that although the Jews religiously claim Moses, it is the Muslims whom are truly more adherent to the revelation that Allah had given Moses than any Jew. Likewise, if the Christians want to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, then, by nature, by default, the Muslims would be more justified, religiously, to celebrate Christmas, by virtue of the fact that Muslims are more in-line to the true teachings of Jesus than any Christian. However, most Muslims will not accept this, because, they’ll be quick to say, “Well Jesus is not our Prophet, Muhammad is.”. Yet, this is not the point: it doesn’t even matter whether or not Jesus was sent to us, as a Prophet or not. I mean, let’s go back to the `Ashura’-Issue: The Muslims were actually commanded to fast during `Ashura’, until Allah had revealed that the obligatory fasting-period for Muslims is during the month of Ramadhan.(Muslim)

So, in conclusion, I know that a lot of people (both Muslim & Non-Muslim alike) will have an opinion/opinions about this particular article. But, that’s okay…it’s just what I expect & this comes with the territory…it’s all in a day’s work. So, please, share your thoughts, concerns, criticisms (as I’m pretty sure that there will be many), and let’s get a discussion going about this entire issue.

Gareth Bryant/2012

My Thoughts on the Mawlid (Celebration of the birthday of Muhammad [Peace be upon him]):


I know People are gonna be kinda pissed with me on this one, but, like I always say, “Sometimes, you just gotta say somethin'”.So, here it goes:
During the month of Rabī`-il-Awwal, the 4th-Month on the Islāmic-Calendar, Muslims from all over the Muslim-World are celebrating the Birth of Muhammad (Peace be upon him). This Celebration of his Date of Birth has been an annual, staple, Celebration for Centuries. However, for Muslims: there’s a very Crucial-Question that they must seriously ask themselves: what Islāmic-Justification do they have in celebrating the Birthday of a Dead/Presumably-Dead Person, regardless of whether they’re a Prophetic-Individual or not?
Now, as I’ve said in the Author’s-Note, I know that there are gonna be Some-People whom will not necessarily take very kindly to my Reservations against the Celebration of the Birthday of Muhammad (Peace be upon him).But, let it be…I’m more than willing & able to deal with any & all Backlash that can/will come with this Article.Anyway, there’s yet Additional-Question that Muslims, whom commit themselves to the Celebration of the Birthday of a Dead-Person, must ask themselves: Where did this Practice originate from? Whom from amongst the Muslims originated this Practice? Did they adopt this Practice from Peoples of a Foreign-Religion, that celebrates the Birthdays of the Dead, “Holy-Men”, Righteous-People, etc.?

Now, Islāmically, based upon Principle, which is based upon classic text, any & all Actions to & for a Dead-Person are automatically considered Acts of Worship, and Islāmically, any & all Acts of Worship are automatically Mahrūm/Islāmically-Prohibited, unless there is specific, Non-Abrogated Revelatory/Textual-Evidence, directly from either the Book of Allah (The Qur’ān), or the Prophetic-Tradition (the Sunnah), which warrants the Islāmic-Lawfulness of such an Action.

And, I can say, very confidently in fact, that there is no such Revelatory/Textual-Evidence, from neither The Qur’ān nor the Sunnah, which gives Credence/Validity for Muslims to celebrate the Birthdays of either Prophetic or Non-Prophetic Individuals whom are Dead/Presumably-Dead. And, I simply say this, because there is direct Revelatory/Textual-Evidence in both The Qur’ān & Sunnah which give detail as to how Human-Beings began to deviate from the Purity of Islāmic-Monotheism.

This historical path to ash-Shirk (Ascribing False-Qualities to Allah [Noble-Qur’ān: Chpt.18, V.1-6]) actually begins with the Deaths of Righteous-5 amongst the People of Noah (Peace be upon him), their names are the following: Wadd, Suwā, Yaghūth, Yaūq, Nasr.(Qur’an: Chpt.71, V.23) After their Deaths, the ash-Shaytān/Satan came to the People of Noah, in an Evil-Attempt, which unfortunately worked, to lure them away from worshipping Allah, and to begin worshipping Idols. The People of Noah had begun to build monuments in honor of the Righteousness of these 5-IndividuAls. But, as Time went on, they were inspired by ash-Shaytān to deviate further & even further from the Path of Allah, until they had eventually began to commit Full-Throttle ash-Shirk.(at-Tabarī, as-Suyūtī, ibn-Kathīr, adh-Dhahabī)

So, it was because of the People of Noah, that we as Muslims are in no Position to do anything to or for the Dead, unless it is Islāmically-Legislated, for fear that it may very well lead to ash-Shirk. However, unfortunately, Most-Muslims are not concerned with the Danger in celebrating the Birthday of a Dead-Person, in spite of the Fact that there are no Islāmic-Justifications for it to occur. Even Muhammad (Peace be upon him) himself, once said, “And do not exaggerate in praising me, like the Christians exaggerate in the praise of Jesus the Son of Mary.”.(al-Bukhārī)

Now, in knowing the General-Character of Muhammad, and his Eagerness to prevent anyone from his Nation, especially during his respective lifetime, would he even tolerate the Celebration of his own Birthday. I can confidently say that he would never tolerate such a Thing. So, in Closing, my Final-Statement is the following: People claim to celebrate the Birthday of Muhammad (Peace be upon him) out of some Type of Respect or that they have for him. But, check this out: How can a Person celebrate the Birthday of Muhammad (Peace be upon him), claiming to respect him & love him, when they don’t live their Lives according to the Standards that he lived his Life?

First & foremost, he worshipped Allah, exclusively…he was Respectful to all of Creation, even towards those who oppressed him, even when it came to al-Qitāl (Combat/Battle). He protected the Innocent & never abused his Authority over anyone…he was a loving Father, Husband, Leader, Teacher, Man, and Human. If we truly claim to respect & love Muhammad (Peace be upon him) we had better live our Lives according to how he lived his, as opposed to celebrating something that is not Islāmically-Sanctioned, which can potentially be the Cause for being placed in the Fire. If Allah so chooses to not forgive us for doing something that is a Bid`ah/Religio-Innovation.

Gareth Bryant/2012