Saturday, December 21, 2013
THE POSITION OF ISLAM ON CHRISTMAS
Praise be to Allah, who said: “They have taken their scholars and monks as lords besides Allah, and [also] the Messiah, the son of Mary. And they were not commanded except to worship one God; there is no deity except Him. Exalted is He above whatever they associate with Him. " ( 9: 31) . We praise and thank Him for the blessing of Islam which is best of graces. Whomever Allah guides is truly guided and whomever He misleads none can guide. I testify there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad (pbuh) is the servant and apostle of Allah who conveyed the message, discharged the trust, advised the people. Allah used him to clear the air of misconceptions, and he strove in the cause of Allah truly. O Allah shower peace and blessings on him, his household, companions and whoever follow his guidance and footsteps till the day of recompense. Having said that, Worshipers of Allah, I enjoin you and myself to fear Allah, the Almighty- this is a basic requirement for whoever hopes for the hereafter, as evident in the following verse: يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلَا تَمُوتُنَّ إِلَّا وَأَنْتُمْ مُسْلِمُونَ " ( آل عمران : 102 ). " O you who have believed, fear Allah as He should be feared and do not die except as Muslims [in submission to Him]. " ( 3: 102 ) . " تِلْكَ الْجَنَّةُ الَّتِي نُورِثُ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا مَنْ كَانَ تَقِيًّا " (مريم :63) " That is Paradise, which We give as inheritance to those of Our servants who were fearing of Allah. " ( Maryam : 63 ) . Dear Muslims, today’s sermon is on the Islamic view on Christmas due to its relevance at this period as Christians and some ignorant Muslims prepare for the annual celebration. It is imperative to guide our brothers and sisters and save them from the manipulations of the devil in full compliance with the divine instruction thus: " وَذَكِّرْ فَإِنَّ الذِّكْرَى تَنْفَعُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ " ( الذّاريات : 55 ) “And remind, for indeed, the reminder benefits the believers. “ (51: 55) The definition of the feast: The Feast refers to every day taken for celebration in memory of an important event. ( Dictionary of students: p 461 ). Also it means every day celebrated in memory of revered of beloved one. (Lexicon Broker: p 666 ) . Definition of Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah: "The Feast is a generic name which include every day or place, where people gather, and all the activities done in these places and times. The prohibition does not end on the festival alone rather it extends to everything held in reverence including the times and places that have no basis in Islam. (Iqtidhaa siratil mustaqeem, Ibn Taymiyyah, p 176 ). The Milaad: is the birthday. The context here is the Christmas- the birthday of Prophet Isa, the son of Maryam - peace be upon him. "The birth of Jesus Christ and the blessings of the best delivery on Tuesday, the twenty-fourth of December, more than 600 years before the birth of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). (Prophethood and Prophets, Ali Sobuniy) People of the Book in the doctrine of Christ - peace be upon him There is no disagreement over any of the Prophets as exist over Prophet Isa (AS). The Christians fell into disagreement about him resulting into negligence and excesses. The Jews claimed he is a bastard, born without a father. But Christians claimed he is " Son of God" because he was created from God’s spirit, which is an integral part of God, therefore they believe he must the Son of God. The two groups exceeded bound and fell into error and misguidance- one group made him the Son of God, and the other group called him a bastard. In contrast to those positions, the truth is evident in the Qur’an that he is a messenger of Allah sent to the Israelites with guidance and clear signs. His mother was the chaste, honest, and pure virgin who guarded her modesty. Allah said about her thus: مَا الْمَسِيحُ ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ إِلَّا رَسُولٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ مِنْ قَبْلِهِ الرُّسُلُ وَأُمُّهُ صِدِّيقَةٌ كَانَا يَأْكُلَانِ الطَّعَامَ انْظُرْ كَيْفَ نُبَيِّنُ لَهُمُ الْآيَاتِ ثُمَّ انْظُرْ أَنَّى يُؤْفَكُونَ "(المائد :75) “The Messiah, son of Mary, was not but a messenger; [other] messengers have passed on before him. And his mother was a supporter of truth. They both used to eat food. Look how We make clear to them the signs; then look how they are deluded.” (5 : 75 ) The verse refutes the claims of the two groups- Jews and Christians. It also described the human attitude of food consumption of both Issa (AS) and his mother, to emphasis that both are in want, both eat and excrete, however, such is not worthy for God or the son of God, if such exists. Details of Christians’ beliefs in Christ (AS) The holy qur’an gives details of the Christians’ beliefs classifying them into three groups: 1 – Those who believe that Christ is the Son of God, created from His spirit. 2 – Those who believe that Christ himself is "God" incarnated in the body of Jesus and came down to earth to save people from their sins. 3 – Those who believe in the doctrine of trinity. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit and that the three are one, and the one is three. According to the book of the Stories of the Prophets, it stated: "The Christians fabricated a doctrine that God is a composite of three divine persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and these are all one. Then God (God the father or God the son, based on their disagreement) descended in human form to be embodied in Maryam who gave birth to Jesus.” Jesus Christ (AS) did not say or know about this idea. However, when the Christians ministered among the pagans who worship divine persons, belief in incarnation, the cross and redemption, they accepted Christianity still harboring these idolatry doctrines, and reconciling between it and their newly found religion. They deify Christ and say that God descended from him "Person of the Son" united with the " father " and " Holy Spirit " and embodied in " the womb of Mary ," and then came as god in human form. One wonders how Jesus could be god when he was born through the vagina of a woman like other human beings. How could he be god while he eats, drinks, sleeps, feels pain and gets tired and uses the toilets, Allah is above what the wrong-doers say . Quran’s response to these false doctrines: The Quran responds and refutes the Christians’ falsehood and misguidance about Jesus exposing their disbelief and stubbornness. Allah says" " يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ لَا تَغْلُوا فِي دِينِكُمْ وَلَا تَقُولُوا عَلَى اللَّهِ إِلَّا الْحَقَّ إِنَّمَا الْمَسِيحُ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ وَكَلِمَتُهُ أَلْقَاهَا إِلَى مَرْيَمَ وَرُوحٌ مِنْهُ فَآمِنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَرُسُلِهِ وَلَا تَقُولُوا ثَلَاثَةٌ انْتَهُوا خَيْرًا لَكُمْ إِنَّمَا اللَّهُ إِلَهٌ وَاحِدٌ سُبْحَانَهُ أَنْ يَكُونَ لَهُ وَلَدٌ لَهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَكَفَى بِاللَّهِ وَكِيلًا " ( النِّساء : 171 ). O People of the Scripture, do not commit excess in your religion or say about Allah except the truth. The Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, was but a messenger of Allah and His word which He directed to Mary and a soul [created at a command] from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers. And do not say, "Three"; desist - it is better for you. Indeed, Allah is but one God. Exalted is He above having a son. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. And sufficient is Allah as Disposer of affairs. " (4: 171 ) . " لَقَدْ كَفَرَ الَّذِينَ قَالُوا إِنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ الْمَسِيحُ ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ وَقَالَ الْمَسِيحُ يَا بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ اعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ رَبِّي وَرَبَّكُمْ إِنَّهُ مَنْ يُشْرِكْ بِاللَّهِ فَقَدْ حَرَّمَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ الْجَنَّةَ وَمَأْوَاهُ النَّارُ وَمَا لِلظَّالِمِينَ مِنْ أَنْصَارٍ (72) لَقَدْ كَفَرَ الَّذِينَ قَالُوا إِنَّ اللَّهَ ثَالِثُ ثَلَاثَةٍ وَمَا مِنْ إِلَهٍ إِلَّا إِلَهٌ وَاحِدٌ وَإِنْ لَمْ يَنْتَهُوا عَمَّا يَقُولُونَ لَيَمَسَّنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِنْهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ (73) أَفَلَا يَتُوبُونَ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَيَسْتَغْفِرُونَهُ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ (74) مَا الْمَسِيحُ ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ إِلَّا رَسُولٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ مِنْ قَبْلِهِ الرُّسُلُ وَأُمُّهُ صِدِّيقَةٌ كَانَا يَأْكُلَانِ الطَّعَامَ انْظُرْ كَيْفَ نُبَيِّنُ لَهُمُ الْآيَاتِ ثُمَّ انْظُرْ أَنَّى يُؤْفَكُونَ"(المائدة : 75) He said the bulk of exalted in Surah asserting their disbelief in that dogma stray : " They have certainly disbelieved who say, "Allah is the Messiah, the son of Mary" while the Messiah has said, "O Children of Israel, worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord." Indeed, he who associates others with Allah - Allah has forbidden him Paradise, and his refuge is the Fire. And there are not for the wrongdoers any helpers. They have certainly disbelieved who say, "Allah is the third of three." And there is no god except one God. And if they do not desist from what they are saying, there will surely afflict the disbelievers among them a painful punishment. So will they not repent to Allah and seek His forgiveness? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. The Messiah, son of Mary, was not but a messenger; [other] messengers have passed on before him. And his mother was a supporter of truth. They both used to eat food. Look how We make clear to them the signs; then look how they are deluded. " (5: 75 ) If the Jews and Christians show amazement about Jesus because he was born without a father, then the case of Adam is more amazing because he was created without a father and without a mother. Allah says: إِنَّ مَثَلَ عِيسَى عِنْدَ اللَّهِ كَمَثَلِ آدَمَ خَلَقَهُ مِنْ تُرَابٍ ثُمَّ قَالَ لَهُ كُنْ فَيَكُونُ (59) الْحَقُّ مِنْ رَبِّكَ فَلَا تَكُنْ مِنَ الْمُمْتَرِينَ" (آل عمران :59- 60) “Indeed, the example of Jesus to Allah is like that of Adam. He created Him from dust; then He said to him, "Be," and he was. The truth is from your Lord, so do not be among the doubters."(Al-Imran: 59-60 . Miracles of Jesus - peace be upon him : The Miracles of Jesus are many some of which are mentioned in the Qur’an. His miracles are like all the miracles of the prophets, they do not indicate the divinity but indicates truthfulness of his prophecy. Some of the miracles include: healing the sick, healing the blind and the lame, raising of the dead, and providing news about some of the unseen, and the talking in the cradle, etc. Allah says: إِذْ قَالَ اللَّهُ يَا عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ اذْكُرْ نِعْمَتِي عَلَيْكَ وَعَلَى وَالِدَتِكَ إِذْ أَيَّدْتُكَ بِرُوحِ الْقُدُسِ تُكَلِّمُ النَّاسَ فِي الْمَهْدِ وَكَهْلًا وَإِذْ عَلَّمْتُكَ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَالتَّوْرَاةَ وَالْإِنْجِيلَ وَإِذْ تَخْلُقُ مِنَ الطِّينِ كَهَيْئَةِ الطَّيْرِ بِإِذْنِي فَتَنْفُخُ فِيهَا فَتَكُونُ طَيْرًا بِإِذْنِي وَتُبْرِئُ الْأَكْمَهَ وَالْأَبْرَصَ بِإِذْنِي وَإِذْ تُخْرِجُ الْمَوْتَى بِإِذْنِي..." (المائدة :110) "[The Day] when Allah will say, "O Jesus, Son of Mary, remember My favor upon you and upon your mother when I supported you with the Pure Spirit and you spoke to the people in the cradle and in maturity; and [remember] when I taught you writing and wisdom and the Torah and the Gospel; and when you designed from clay [what was] like the form of a bird with My permission, then you breathed into it, and it became a bird with My permission; and you healed the blind and the leper with My permission; and when you brought forth the dead with My permission; ... " (5: 110 ) SECOND KHUTBAH All praises are due to Allah. May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon Prophet Muhammad, his household, companions and believers till the end of time. Servants of Allah , the Almighty said in His Holy Book: "مَا كَانَ لِلنَّبِيِّ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَنْ يَسْتَغْفِرُوا لِلْمُشْرِكِينَ وَلَوْ كَانُوا أُولِي قُرْبَى مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُمْ أَنَّهُمْ أَصْحَابُ الْجَحِيمِ" ( التَّوبة: 113 ) "It is not for the Prophet and those who have believed to ask forgiveness for the polytheists, even if they were relatives, after it has become clear to them that they are companions of Hellfire. " ( 9 : 113 ) Brothers and Sisters in faith, the death of the former president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela has become a source of confusion for some Muslims who are ignorant of their religion and lack understanding. Surprisingly! Some of them ask forgiveness for him, saying: "O Allah, forgive your servant Mandela and have mercy on him" Some even compare him with Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), recounting his achievements one after the other, what an absurdity! Allah says: And We will regard what they have done of deeds and make them as dust dispersed." ( 25: 23) Imam Shafi'i said: The true personality of a person is in the core of his knowledge and piety. If these are absent, then his personality is meaningless. The knowledge mentioned here is faith in Allah. Whatever the height and achievement of a person in life, if he is not a believer there is no hope of reward for him. Allah granted him good things of the world including wealth and children, longevity and wellness, etc. Allah says: "مَثَلُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا بِرَبِّهِمْ أَعْمَالُهُمْ كَرَمَادٍ اشْتَدَّتْ بِهِ الرِّيحُ فِي يَوْمٍ عَاصِفٍ لَا يَقْدِرُونَ مِمَّا كَسَبُوا عَلَى شَيْءٍ ذَلِكَ هُوَ الضَّلَالُ الْبَعِيدُ " ( إبراهيم : 18 ) “The example of those who disbelieve in their Lord is [that] their deeds are like ashes which the wind blows forcefully on a stormy day; they are unable [to keep] from what they earned a [single] thing. That is what is extreme error." (Ibrahim : 18) Islam acknowledges and respects true achievers and people of honour. The Prophet affirmed truthfulness of Shaytan on what he revealed to Abu hurairah when he caught him stealing of some of the things kept in his care thus: “He said the truth but he is (by nature) a liar” The Prophet also confirmed that king negus possessed the characters of justice and support for the truth when he approved migration of some of his companions to his country: "He is a king that never allow injustice against anyone" Mandela is a model for African leaders in characters of humility and patience, sacrifice and selflessness and much more, perhaps for this reason, Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradawi visited him about two years ago. Thus the International Union for Muslim Scholars sent a delegation comprising of a chairman, the secretary-general and some members to the people and government of South Africa, with sincere condolences for the demise of leader Nelson Mandela - who was a symbol of the struggle for freedom, justice and dignity ... Oh Allah descend peace; flowing with continuous tranquility and security upon Nigeria and all other Muslim nations. O Allah accept the worship of the pilgrims of hajj and Umrah, and grant us all Your pleasure, And the last of our call will be, "Praise to Allah, Lord of the worlds!"