Tag Archives: Eid

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

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Author’s-Note:
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

Some Brief Islamic-History (the origins of `Id-il-Adha):

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Author’s note:
This post is based upon the narrations of the history of the most important Islamic holiday, based exclusively upon the work, Qasas-il-Anbiya’ (Stories of the Prophets), by Abil-Fida’ Isma`il ibn-Kathir ad-Dimashqi.

The story & history of the Celebration of Sacrifice (`Id-il-Adha) is such an important Islamic holiday, it is imperative that both Muslims & Non-Muslims know how this celebration became an Islamic holiday in the first place, and why it has such an important status in Islam. The story of the Celebration of the Sacrifice is based upon the stories of Abraham, Sarah, Hager and Ishmael (Peace be upon them).

It goes a lil’ somethin’ like this:

Abraham (the hated son)-
Imagine as a teenager, you’re given the greatest gift of all, guidance from Allah, through direct-revelation. Now, the only problem is that you live in a place where everyone except you worships other than Allah…how is one to deal with that? Well, those of us whom have accepted Islam can relate to this, in certain respects, to a certain degree. I mean none of us reverts are Prophets, or recipients of revelation from Allah. However, we have similar stories as Abraham, which is to decide whether to hold on to the guidance of Allah & turn against your own flesh-and-blood (as well as those whom you’ve known your whole life), or to oppose them in their rebellion against the oneness of Allah. Abraham decided to sacrifice the love of his father & people, in exchange for receiving the love of Allah, which never fades & is always sincere. And, this was not an easy thing for Abraham to go through: He faced being nearly burned-alive, by being catapulted into a blazing make-shift fire-pit, to be used as an example to not go against the grain, of not worshipping the pagan gods of his people, and without the protection of Allah, he surely would have been burned-alive.

Abraham, Sarah, and Hager (one not-so-happy family)-
Abraham & Sarah were married for a long time; yet, unfortunately, they were not able to produce any offspring. So, Sarah, decides to suggest to Abraham to take another wife to marry. He chooses Hager, the once slave of Sarah, as his wife. She gets pregnant, with whom would soon to be Ishmael. But, Hager has decided to hide her own pregnancy from Sarah, to prevent her from becoming jealous of the fact that Hager was able to get pregnant, while Sarah was not. Unfortunately, this plan fails-Sarah is not a happy-camper. When she in fact does find out, she is very angry, it is made well-known how angry she is. Now, Abraham is literally stuck in the middle, in between the joy of being a father-to-be, with his new-wife & being in the “dog-house”, sort of speak, with his first-wife.

So, after the birth of Ishmael, Allah decides to test Abraham, with a very important, yet heart-breaking test as well: Allah has made the decision for Abraham to abandon his new wife & child, and stay with his first wife, for the time being. Now, for any father, at least a good father, anyway, this would never, ever be an easy decision to make. But, then again, this is the Lord of the Universe telling you to do this, so you figure it out. Now, with this in mind, you have to at least try to appreciate what’s goin’ on here: He’s just had a baby, he has no idea where he is to send them, he has no idea how to tell Hager that Allah has commanded him to leave her, and he really has no idea, at the time, whether he’ll ever see either of them ever again.

Hager (the world’s first single-mother)-
So, Abraham decides to take Hager & the new-born, the first-born of Abraham, Ishmael, on a road-trip. Now, obviously, unbeknownst to the two of them (Hager & Ishamel), they’re gonna be left for dead, in a short while. They approach a valley, in what is now known as the Arabian-Peninsula (modern-day Saudi Arabia). It is here where they are commanded to be left. So, once they stop, Abraham leaves them some food & drink, then, starts walkin’-off-Obviously a strange thing to Hager, she calls out to him; yet there’s no response from him. She then asks him whether or not Allah has commanded him to do this, and his reply is yes, he affirms that what he is doing is in fact a direct order from Allah. So, upon that, she encourages him to leave. However, there’s a great dilemma in the midst: She’s ran outta food & drink, really fast, Abraham is nowhere around and she has an infant whose hungry & cranky, from being hungry…what’s a gal to do? Well, she starts doing what any mother would do…she starts running around, to try to find some signs of food, water, life, something, anything, for her child & herself. And, ironically, just as though she had thought her plight had no solution, instantly, a spring of water gushed from underground, underneath the feet of Ishmael. Excited & elated, of course, Hager begins to make a make-shift well, to control/conserve the water. Just as she’s doing this, a flock of birds see them, both Hager & Ishmael, from way up high in the sky. They begin to fly around them, and guess what, they were looking for food & what not in the middle of this wilderness as well. And, soon enough, a nomadic tribe, known as Banu-Jurhum, were traveling through the desert (as is typical of desert/nomadic peoples), in search of water, food, etc. Now, they begin to see the birds, who are swimming around Hager & Ishmael. And, they figured to themselves that there must be someone or something there for these birds to just stop & fly around that particular location. So, naturally, they follow the birds, who lead them indirectly to Hager & Ishmael. They ask for water; but, Hager asks for something much more important: that they do not bring any type of harm to her or her son. They agree, and so does she & these people founded the well of Zamzam & the city of Makkah, together.

Abraham comes back to Hager & Ishmael (the greatest family-reunion ever)-
Fortunately, some time later, when Ishmael becomes a pre-teen, basically, he, along with Hager, is reunited with Abraham-Sarah actually had a child of her own by this time; Isaac [Peace be upon him] had already been born. Abraham, Hager & Ishmael start to establish a beautiful relationship, and Abraham begins to make-up for lost-time, for not being there, for both Hager & Ishmael-Abraham & Ishmael had even built the Ka`bah & established the Hajj, together as father & son.

But, just when ya thought it was over, there’s more-
Everything seemed like happily ever after. Yet, there’s still one more thing that Allah commands Abraham to do: He is commanded to kill Ishmael, to slaughter him as a sacrifice to Allah-Now if this isn’t a test, I don’t know what is!!! But, guess what? Abraham, being the Muslim, the Prophet, the man he is, falls in line and proceeds to set out to do what Allah has commanded him to do. But, this time, he does it differently. He actually tells Ishmael what Allah has instructed him to do. Now, any of us, regardless to much of a Prophet our fathers may be, if we were to hear anything remotely close to this, we’re gettin’ the hell outta dodge; however, let’s find out what Ishmael had to say about this.
He tells his father Abraham, that he will endure whatever Allah has set out for him, and he will be patient (i.e. he’s willing to deal with having his young life snuffed out, simply because Allah says so). Now, this is what I call true faith in Allah, something that, unfortunately most of us will never achieve or acquire. But just then, as Abraham is about to strike the neck of Ishmael, with a sharp blade, suddenly, a ram appears, in a thorny bush, unable to escape, Abraham sees the ram, and immediately recognizes it as a sign from Allah, that this was only a test, to see how far he’d be willing to go to please his Lord, and he passed every single one of his tests, with “flying-colors”.

Now, one may ask, “What do this have to do with `Id-il-Adha?”-
I’ll go a lil’ deeper, for those who couldn’t make the connections for themselves-Since the term itself “`Id-ul-Adha” means the Celebration of Sacrifice (as was already, previously mentioned in this article), the stories which were detailed represent how far & deep a sacrifice can take a person, particularly & especially Prophets and/or family-members of Prophets. Abraham sacrificed a life of privilege & comfort among his people, Sarah had sacrificed her husband, and encouraged him to marry another woman, who was younger than she (to ensure that he could have a child), Hager sacrificed herself, possibly putting herself in danger, by agreeing with & encouraging Abraham to leave her & her infant-son, in the desert wilderness of the Arabian-Peninsula, Ishmael sacrificed his own life, to show dutifulness to Allah, then, to his father, a Prophet of Allah.

This is what `Id-ul-Adha represents-
We celebrate these great, righteous, persons, who sacrificed all that they had or wanted, simply to please Allah, the one who created them. And, Hajj (the annual sacred pilgrimage to Makkah, during the 12th month of the Islamic-Calendar, known as Dhil-Hijjah, literally meaning “the possessor of Hajj”), itself, is also directly tied into the origins of `Id-il-Adha.

Now, let’s talk a lil’ bit about Hajj itself-
1. The Zamzam water-well, possesses blessed water, which has quenched the thirst of untold millions of persons, whom have made pilgrimage, from the time that the spring was discovered, until the present-day.

2. The Ka`bah itself, the first building on Earth ever constructed, exclusively built, for the exclusive worship of Allah, originally being a simple altar, built by Adam (Peace be upon him), which is where the famous story of the sacrifices of Cain & Abel took place. After the great-flood, during the time of Noah (Peace be upon him), the altar, along with it’s foundation, were long-lost within the great sands of the Arabian desert. However, Allah (via His plan, which is greater than any & all other plans), had decided to bless Abraham & his descendants, with a Prophet from among them, long after his death, which is actually something that Abraham had actually asked Allah any way. This prayer was duly answered & that Prophet, from among the descendants of Abraham, was none other than Muhammad, the son of `Abdillah (Peace be upon him).

3. Of all of the days of Hajj (which are the 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th of Dhil-Hijjah), Allah has chosen the 9th of Dhil-Hijjah to be the best day of the entire year, for the Ummah (nation) of Muhammad, and it is said by Muhammad (Peace be upon him) that, “whoever fasts on this day is assured to have their sins, from the previous year & the following year automatically forgiven.”.(al-Muslim) And, he also mentioned that, “the Hajj itself is `Arafah.”(an-Nasa’i), and this is because the day of `Arafah, where the pilgrims go to the plain of `Arafah, is only to occur once during Hajj; so, if you don’t get to `Arafah, your Hajj is not accepted as such. So, for all you Muslims out there, make sure that you fast on the day of `Arafah

4. This place, where Hager was running to find food & water for her son & she, is actually in between the two mountain-hills of as-Safa & al-Marwah. She had ran back-and-forth, in between these two mountains, seven times. And, to commemorate her sacrifice of herself to find food & drink for her son & she, we, as Muslims, remember her, by doing this same back-and-forth running, in between as-Safa & al-Marwah, as part of the rites of Hajj, along with revolving around the Ka`bah, seven times, which was initiated by both Abraham & Ishmael, in commemoration of the building of the Ka`bah itself, as the very first building upon the Earth designated for the exclusive worship of Allah, the Lord of the Universe.

And, this, in my conclusion, is the history of the origins of `Id-il-Adha, Hajj, and the promise of Allah, to Abraham, of making Muhammad a messenger from among his own descendants.

Gareth Bryant/2012

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

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Author’s note:
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 Rabi`-ul-Awwal, the fourth month on the Islamic-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 justification do they have in celebrating the birthday of a dead person, regardless of whether they’re a Prophet 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, who commit themselves to the celebration of the birthday of a dead person, must ask themselves: Where did this practice originate from? Whom from among 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, Islamically, based upon principle, which is based upon classic text, any & all actions to & for a dead person are automatically considered acts of worship, and Islamically, any & all acts of worship are automatically prohibited, unless there is specific, non-abrogated evidence, directly from either the book of Allah (the Qur’an), or the Prophetic-Tradition (the Sunnah), which warrants the Islamic lawfulness of such an action.

And, I can say, very confidently in fact, that there is no such evidence, from neither the Qur’an nor the Prophetic-Tradition, which gives credence for Muslims to celebrate the birthdays of either prophetic or non-prophetic individuals whom are dead. And, I simply say this, because there is direct evidence in both the Qur’an & Sunnah which give detail as to how Human beings began to deviate from the purity of Islamic-Monotheism.

This historical path to Shirk (Ascribing false qualities to Allah/Polytheism) actually begins with the deaths of 5 righteous persons from among the people of Noah (Peace be upon him), their names are the following: Wadd, Suwa`, Yaghuth, Yau`q, and Nasr. (Qur’an: Chpt.71, V.23) After their deaths, the Devil 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 the Devil, to deviate further & even further from the path of Allah, until they had eventually began to commit full-throttle polytheism.(Qasas-ul-Anbiya’ [Stories of the Prophets], Ibn-Kathir)

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 Islamically legislated, for fear that it may very well lead to 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 Islamic 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-Bukhari)

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 fight in 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 Islamically 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 (an unsanctioned religious action).

Gareth Bryant/2012

The Reasons Muslims do not celebrate Non-Islamic Holidays:

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We must first examine the meaning of the word “holiday”.

Holiday (from the Old English; Haligdaeg, which means holy-day):

The day or days of a religious festival.1

It is obvious that even from the definition of the word means that inherently this term has deep religious significance. As Muslims, we are only allowed to partake in celebrations & festivals that have been specifically dictated to us by our Lord, who is Allah; the Lord of the Heavens & the Earth, He who has neither parent nor child, and His Messenger who is Muhammad, the Son of `Abd-il-lah (Peace be upon him); the Seal of the Prophets & Messengers. The one whom the Qur’an was revealed to.2 As Muslims, we only have two holidays; the first being the 1st day of (the 10th month of the Islamic Calendar) Shawwal, which indicates the end of (fasting) Ramadhan. The name of this holiday is called the Celebration of the Feast.3 The second being the 10th day of (the 12th month of the Islamic Calendar) Dhul-Hijjah, which commemorates the sacrifices that Allah commanded Abraham (Peace be upon him) to make, like sacrificing his first born son, Ishmael (Peace be upon him). The name of this holiday is called the Celebration of the Sacrifice.4 Muslims are not allowed to participate in any celebration or festivity, which has any Non-Islamic origins, like the glorification of false gods.5 We also do not celebrate our holidays whenever we want to. Our days of festivities & merriment are standardized, and are only to be observed on the days which Allah and His Messenger (Peace be upon him) legislated.

Examples of some Non-Islamic holidays & their origins:

Valentine’s Day:

Initially, an annual Roman holiday of fertility, the Lupercalia (also called the Lupercalis)6 in honor of Lupercus, the “god of Livestock”. Each year eligible men & women (in every city, town, or village) would be paired together in a lottery. One of the rituals of this holiday was to slaughter innumerable amounts of goats, take the goat blood and smear it upon the eligible women, in the hope that it would give them the potential to conceive. As Christianity spread across continental Europe, the Catholic Church wanted to legitimize the Lupercalia. So, on February 14th, 496 C.E., the Lupercalia was renamed Saint Valentine’s Day in commemoration of two Catholic Saints, both named Valentine.

Easter:

From the name Eastre, the ancient Germanic “goddess of Spring & Fertility”,7 the celebration of Easter was originally a festival commemorating the (Spring Solstice) first day of Spring. Many traditions of early Germanic Easter-type folklore have been preserved to the present-day, like the legend of the “Easter Bunny”. According to Germanic traditions, the Rabbit represented fertility. Another people that contributed to Easter were the ancient Greeks. According to Greek mythology, Persephone,8 (daughter of Demeter the “goddess of the Earth”9) was brought back to life, and returned to the Earth from the Underworld. This legend inspired the Greeks to formulate the belief that Spring represented life, while Winter represented death. Even the Hebrew word Pesach,9 which means “Passover” is linguistically synonymous with the Greek word Pasha, which means “Easter”. Many early Christians (who were of Jewish origin) added the celebration of Easter to Passover, in commemoration of the “Resurrection” of Jesus Christ (Peace be upon him).

Halloween:

Originally a Celtic holiday (from the ancient religion of Druidism). This celebration commemorated the arrival of Autumn & Winter. The name of this holiday was originally called Samhain, which used to begin on the night of October 31st. According to the Druids, the spirits of those who had died the previous year were roaming the Earth on this day. In order to appease these “lost souls” the Druids would make sacrificial offerings; things like food, and other types of gifts were thought to please the dead. Even humans & animals were sacrificed on this day. Large bonfires were also part of the general festivities. By the end of the 1st century, the Roman Empire swept across Europe, even to the British Isles, the home of the Druid-Celts. As a result, the Romans began to emulate religious rituals, and festivals of its conquered peoples. When Christianity became the dominant religion in Europe, the Catholic Church would often Christianize pagan holidays, in order to satisfy their newly converted (formerly pagan) populous. The holiday Samhain was no different. In 835 C.E.,  Pope Gregory IV10 changed the name of Samhain to “ All Saint’s Day”. It was later changed to “All Souls Day”, in 998 C.E., and would later be change to Allhallows Day or Hallowmas, and finally to Halloween. The night before Halloween was named Hallows Eve.

Thanksgiving:

Thanksgiving draws its roots from traditional European harvesting festivals. These festivals commemorated successful harvesting seasons. In the British Isles, a very similar festival was observed on August 1st. According to the traditional method of celebration, this festival was only commenced when a harvesting season was successful; if not then the festival was usually cancelled. The official holiday (modern version) of “Thanksgiving” began in North America, with the Puritans. At first, Thanksgiving was observed on a non-annual basis, depending on circumstances. Usually, Thanksgiving was specifically observed because of times of crisis, or after some type of misfortune had passed.

Christmas:

Originally, a seven-day Roman festival known as the Saturnalia.11 This celebration began on December 17th, which commemorated Saturn the “god of Agriculture”, as well as the (Winter Solstice) first day of Winter. During the Saturnalia, the Romans halted trade, warfare, exchanged gifts, and even gave their slaves temporary freedom. There were many additions to this holiday, like the festival of Mithra12 the Persian “god of Light”. They would glorify Saturn & Mithra by making sacrificial offerings, along with other regular acts of worship. With the combination of the Saturnalia and the festival of Mithra, these festivities extended all the way to January 1st.

This marked the first day of the month of the new year (According to the Julian Calendar). As Christianity swept across Europe, the Catholic Church began to adopt and Christianize traditional pagan holidays once practiced by their new converts, as an incentive to keep them as Christians. The Saturnalia was eventually renamed “Christmas”, in honor of the “birth” of Jesus Christ (Peace be upon him), even though there is no known religious, or historical proof that Jesus (Peace be upon him) was even born in the Winter, much less on December 25th. In fact, December 25th was the birth of Mithra, according to ancient Persian mythology.

It has become very clear that the holidays so many people from around the world know & love have pagan origins. For those who claim to be monotheistic (particularly Jews & Christians), you must now evaluate what you allow yourselves, and your families to celebrate as holidays. If you claim to be an upright Jew or Christian, yet still partake in these types of holidays, then you have a serious theological dilemma. According to the teachings of the Old Testament (the Torah), idolatry is the worst thing that a human being could commit. However, the holidays that represent this same type of abomination have been preserved by the same people who claim to shun polytheism, and are still celebrated as though nothing is wrong, why?

Allah tells us: “They took their Rabbis, and Priests, and the Christ, the Son of Mary as lords besides Allah, and they were not commanded except to worship one god. There is no god except Him. Glorified is He above whatever they associate”.13

When Muhammad (Peace be upon him) related this verse for the first time to his Companions (May Allah be pleased with them all-together), one of them, a former Jew, by the name of `Ady bin-Hatim proclaimed that the Rabbis were not worshiped.

Then (Muhammad) he asked him: “Did they not make unlawful what Allah made lawful, and lawful what Allah made unlawful, so you also made it lawful? He (`Ady bin-Hatim) replied: Of course!!! He (Muhammad) said: That is their worship”.14 Based on that Prophetic statement, the Jews & Christians definitely worshiped their scholars, because they made unlawful what Allah made lawful for them, and lawful what Allah made unlawful for them, and they listened to their scholars. They worshiped them because they listened to them when they were wrong.

The fact that so many pagan holidays (like Halloween & Valentine’s Day) are celebrated by the Christians validates that statement. Allah also tells us: “So do not make with Allah rivals, and you know better”.15 The meaning of this verse is not to worship anything other than Allah, or give anything the same status that Allah possesses, like Divinity. Only Allah possesses Divinity, and does not share His Divinity with anything. Both the Jews & Christians are guilty of making rivals with Allah.

As He says in His Book: “And the Jews say Ezra is the Son of Allah, and the Christians say the Christ is the Son of Allah. That is their statement from their own mouths. They (imitate) repeat the statement of those who disbelieved from before. Allah has cursed them, they are rejectors”.16

1 Webster’s Dictionary

2 Noble Qur’an: Chpt. 4, V. 39

3 Fataw-al-Islamiyyah (Islamic Verdicts), the Permanent Committee of Islamic Jurists, Saudi Arabia

4 Fataw-al-Islamiyyah; Qasas-ul-Anbiya’ (Stories of the Prophets), Isma`il Ibn-Kathir ad-Dimashqy

5 Noble Qur’an: Chpt. 7, V. 138; Kitab-ut-Tawhid (The Book of Islamic-Monotheism), Muhammad ibn-`Abd-il-

Wahhab; The Right Way, Ahmad ibn-Taymiyyah

6 www.ask.com

7 Encarta Encyclopedia

8 Encyclopedia Britannica

9 Encarta Encyclopedia

10 Encyclopedia Britannica

11 Encarta Encyclopedia

12 Encarta Encyclopedia

13 Noble Qur’an: Chpt. 9, V. 31; Kitab-ut-Tawhid

14 Musnad-Ahmad, Ahmad ibn-Hanbal; Sunan-ut-Tirmidhy, Muhammad ibn-`Isa ibn-Surat ibn-Musa ibn-ud-Dhahhak as-Sulaymy at-Tirmidhy ; Kitab-ut-Tawhid

15 Noble Qur’an: Chpt. 2, V. 22; Kitab-ut-Tawhid

16 Noble Qur’an: Chpt. 9, V. 30; Qasas-ul-Anbiya’

Gareth Bryant/2011