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Christ-Mass or Christmas?

Muslim Contribution
By Mensur Ganibegovic
Freelance writer — the US
Christ-mas

Many people around the world will be celebrating Christmas, a holyday believed to be held in commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ.

For many Christians, it is a special time of the year wherein Christmas trees are lit up, presents given, and greetings exchanged — all rather warm atmospheres one might conclude when observing this very scene from the outside.

Yet, on the inside, it is an atmosphere that others might question and ask: Is this really a "holy" day? A mere innovated belief? Or is it simply a marketing tool?

Since Christian beliefs are derived mostly from the teachings of the Bible, especially from the New Testament, it almost becomes a must upon the questioner to examine this matter with evidence from the Bible itself.

The Scripture, thus, becomes a destination for a truth seeker concerning such occasions as Christmas and the like. As a result, proofs are needed to support this belief. So, "where to look?" one might ponder. Which chapter, what verse, and what passage of the Bible?

The answer is that there is no such chapter, verse, or passage that speaks of celebrating Christmas. Nor did Jesus himself mention anything about celebrating his birthday, if one carefully examines the claims.

And no one cares to dispute this fact except those who busy themselves with imaginative interpretations of the Scripture, while they themselves bare no actual proof from the Scripture itself.

So could this really be a mere innovated festival? "You bet" is the answer.

Such is not the answer of a single person, scholar, or intellectual, rather it was marked as a clear-cut innovated festival by a mid-seventeenth-century government. This ruling party was the then English parliament.

According to the Cromwell Association, "During the 1650s, a parliamentary legislation was passed to reinforce the structure that had been put in place by the end of the 1640s."

Likewise, "specific penalties were to be imposed on anyone found holding or attending a special Christmas church service, and it was ordered that shops and markets were to stay open on the 25th of December (Christmas)."

It was so serious to the extent that markets were not even allowed to be closed for business — a clear governmental intervention that would stand in total opposition to today's so-called "economic traditions" with respect to holydays.

"The Lord Mayor was repeatedly ordered to ensure that London stayed open for business on the 25th of December, and when it met on the 25th of December, 1656, the Second Protectorate Parliament discussed the virtues of passing a further legislation clamping down on the celebration of Christmas," it states.

Business?

Moreover, Christmas today, as an innovated festival, has become more of a corporate tool than anything else. It takes no genius to testify to this fact. People all around the world purchasing all sorts of "special offer" products bear witness to this very trend.

As a result, it becomes the time of the season when there is an interest in the financial budget, rather than a religious interest, in the minds of companies that are selling and buying.

So, it is not strange to see people hurrying and busying themselves with buying Christmas icons, which are more like idols, Christmas trees, which formerly helped produce the air we breathe, lights that waste electricity, and the like.

Therefore, no real benefits are gained through these means, but rather the product sellers are the ones gaining true benefit, i.e., people's money.

"Every year, about 34 million trees are sold, and several million seedlings are planted to replace them," said Bates, a professor of ornamental horticulture at Pennsylvania State.

Furthermore, Christmas trees are actually very biodiversity-friendly trees that help the nature, especially the atmosphere, produce clean fresh air.

"Christmas tree farms help reduce soil erosion, create habitats for wildlife, capture carbon dioxide, and produce oxygen," he said.

Yet, 34 million of them are cut off every year. Everyone knows that a tree does not grow overnight. Therefore, it simply makes one wonder and contemplate on the sheer waste and pointless consumption done for the occasion. It makes one question: Would Jesus approve of this?

Muslims' Fault Too

In this same regard, unfortunately, when one compares this to what some Muslims have fallen into, one simply notices that it is the same trap. Many Muslims today are claiming that in Islam one should celebrate Prophet Muhammad's birthday, or Mawlid An-Nabi as they call it in Arabic.

It is true that Muslims must respect Prophet Muhammad, follow his teachings, and narrate his words to others and that the same is to be believed concerning all other Prophets as well.

However, it is not true that Muslims should celebrate the Prophet's birthday by holding a festival on a certain day every year in order to commemorate his birthday. Rather, such innovated occasions are clearly baseless within the Islamic religion, if one carefully studies them in light of the Qur'an and the Prophet's example.

God states in the Noble Qur'an,

{Or do they have partners (false gods) with Allah who have instituted for them a religion that Allah has not allowed?} (Ash-Shura: 21)

And Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) himself warned against such innovations by stating, "Whoever does something that is not part of this matter of ours (i.e., Islam) will have it rejected" (Reported by Muslim in Sahih Muslim), and, "The best of speech is the Book of Allah, and the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad. The most evil of things are those which have been invented (in religion)."

As for a truth seeker, the truth becomes clear and separate from falsehood, thus opening for him an understood yet sad view, that a few really care about Jesus, while many care only for wealth and money.

To sum up, Christmas has become a more business tool than anything else; a commemorated marketing tool — nothing more, nothing less.

Everything proves that, today, only a few are slaves of God, whereas many are slaves to money.

Related Links:
Can Muslims Celebrate Christmas?
Is Jesus on Your Christmas List?
I Don’t Celebrate Christmas, I’m Not “Old Scrooge”

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