This is another Christian Holiday that has its beginnings in Pagan Rituals and is not acceptable for Muslims.
The following is an excerpt from a lecture by Sheikh ABDULLAH HAKIM QUICK
TRYING TO UNDERSTAND WHY WE SHOULDN'T CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS
History of Winter Celebrations
In ancient times, people living in cold areas of the world, such as Europe and Scandanavia, saw the darkness and cold of winter as a symbol of death, since many of them did not survive the winter. They looked to the power of the sun to return warmth and life.
Ancient Northern Europe & Scandanavia:
Dec. 25 - Jan. 6 Celebration of the 12 Nights, time of Winter Solstice
They believed that their celebrations and the objects they placed in their homes at this time affected whether or not their family would survive the winter. This was their way of hoping to ensure the return of the sun and of life.
In these areas, Druids, or types of priests, performed ceremonies and encouraged symbols to help preserve life through winter and help the sun's power to return.
- Yule log: Was to be kept burning in every household (still a Christmas
- Mistletoe & Holly: Symbols of fertility; if a couple needed a child, they were placed under these items to help them be fertile. (Modern tradition says a man & woman found under mistletoe at the same time must kiss).
- Fir Tree: In winter, this is the only tree that is visible alive, still having leaves. Ancient people placed these trees in their homes hoping that it's life would sustain theirs (the Modern Christmas Tree).
Winter, particularly around the time of modern Christmas, was the time of the devil. Small children were told not to go out because the devil, which they called "Nicker", would take them away in his sack (similar to St. Nick and his bag of toys).
Dec. 21 Bacchanalia celebration for their god of wine and sport, Bacchus
Also, Saturnalia, celebration for their main sun god Saturn, in which their arenas were decorated with lights and Christians were sacrificed to wild animals. As Christianity became more powerful in the area, the human sacrifice was replaced with dolls, and were given as gifts to each other at this time.
Ancient Egypt, Persia, Greece and Rome:
These ancient people had a god called Mithras. The similarity between the worship of Mithras and the modern Christian view of Jesus is surprising. He was the son of their main sun god.
- His birthday was Dec. 25
- He was said to have been sacrificed for the sins of the people
- The day of Mithras was Sunday
- He had a special sacrament of bread and wine
- He symbolized the victory of light over darkness
- He was said to have been sacrificed for the sins of the people, they had
a special sacrament of bread and wine
People who celebrate Christmas say that the modern Santa Claus is based on
St. Nicholas, a bishop who lived in the 14th century in what is now Turkey. He did love children, but he was also said to be thin, serious and religious, and fasted most of the time. The modern chubby, jolly, laughing Santa looks more similar to pictures of the ancient gods Bacchus and Saturn, gods of wine, sport and adultery.
Christmas a Mixture of Christianity & Pagan Celebrations
When Christianity was under threat in Rome, they adapted their practices to make it easier for the Romans and Europeans to accept. One aspect of this was to allow the people to keep their traditional pagan ceremonies and festivals by giving them a Christian meaning and purpose.
Recognizing this pagan origin of Christmas, the Church of England banned
the celebration of Christmas until 1647.
Dec. 25 is not Jesus' Birthday
Qur'an 19:16-40 Describes the birth of Jesus, son of Mary, and indicates that dates were ripe at this time. In the Bible, sheep were said to have been out in the fields. Both of these facts indicate that he was born in the summer, not winter.
TRYING TO UNDERSTAND WHY WE SHOULDN'T CELEBRATE CERTAIN HOLIDAYS
Jesus' Teachings Opposite of Modern Christmas
Jesus (pbuh)was a humble prophet who sacrificed material things and taught his followers not to focus on the riches of this life, but to worship God and do good. Modern Christmas' main focus is on buying, spending, and getting gifts. People compete over how much is given and received, and go into deep debt to ensure everyone has enough gifts from them, often paying interest while repaying this debt. This is certainly not in accordance with the teachings
of Jesus (peace be unto him).