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October 20, 2014 | Dhul-Hijjah 26, 1435
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IslamiCity > Articles > Jesus in Islam and Christmas
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Regardless of historical facts and theological differences that Christians may have among themselves or theological differences Muslims may have with Christianity we cannot disregard the sentiments of practicing Christians ..
Audio Jesus in Islam and Christmas

Jesus in Islam and Christmas
12/24/2013 - Religious Interfaith - Article Ref: IC0312-2171
Number of comments: 117
Opinion Summary: Agree:72  Disagree:12  Neutral:33
By: IslamiCity
IslamiCity* -

Christians opposed to Christmas

There are several Christian groups who are opposed to Christmas. For example, they take the verse from the Bible in Jeremiah 10:2-4 as an admonition against decorating Christmas trees.

The King James Version reads: "Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen.... For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not."

In order to understand this subject, it is helpful to trace some of the history of Christmas avoidance, particularly its roots in Puritanism.

The Puritans believed that the first-century church modeled a Christianity that modern Christians should copy. They attempted to base their faith and practice solely on the New Testament, and their position on Christmas reflected their commitment to practice a pure, scriptural form of Christianity. Puritans argued that God reserved to himself the determination of all proper forms of worship, and that he disapproved of any human innovations - even innovations that celebrated the great events of salvation. The name Christmas also alienated many Puritans. Christmas, after all, meant "the mass of Christ." The mass was despised as a Roman Catholic institution that undermined the Protestant concept of Christ, who offered himself once for all. The Puritans' passionate avoidance of any practice that was associated with papal Rome caused them to overlook the fact that in many countries the name for the day had nothing to do with the Catholic mass, but focused instead on Jesus' birth. The mass did not evolve into the form abhorred by Protestants until long after Christmas was widely observed. The two customs had separate, though interconnected, histories.

As ardent Protestants, Puritans identified the embracing of Christianity by the Roman Emperor Constantine in the early 300s CE as the starting point of the degeneration and corruption of the church. They believed the corruption of the church was brought on by the interweaving of the church with the pagan Roman state. To Puritans, Christmas was impure because it entered the Roman Church sometime in this period. No one knows the exact year or under what circumstances Roman Christians began to celebrate the birth of their Lord, but by the mid-300s CE, the practice was well established.

Islam requires Muslims to respect the faith of others

Regardless of historical facts and theological differences that Christians may have among themselves or theological differences Muslims may have with Christianity we cannot disregard the sentiments of practicing Christians who use this occasion to revere Jesus .

Prophet Muhammad was always very respectful towards the Christians. According to Islamic historians, Ibn e Saad and Ibn e Hisham, once there was a delegation of Byzantine Christians, who were traveling from Yemen to Madinah. The delegation was lead by a bishop by the name of Zqyd al-Usquf, who came to discuss a number of issues with Prophet Muhammad . When the time of their prayer came, they asked the Prophet if they could do their worship in the mosque of the Prophet. He answered, "Conduct your service here in the mosque. It is a place dedicated to God."

We should never ridicule the religious beliefs of others, no matter how much we disagree with them. God says in the Quran: "And insult not those whom they worship besides God, lest they insult God wrongfully without knowledge. Thus We have made fair-seeming to each people its own doings; then to their Lord is their return and He shall then inform them of all that they used to do".  Quran, 6:108

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