Christmas and Mawlid-al-Nabi: Some Strange Parallels

Today the Muslims of the world celebrate Mawlid-al-Nabi, (literally “birth of the prophet”) the festival of the birth of Mohammad, their prophet, according to the Islamic lunar calendar.  This is a sort of popular festival with many strange parallels with the supposedly Christian festival of Christmas.  Given that these parallels are little known or examined, I thought it worthwhile to discuss them today, as they were brought to my attention by one of my favorite blogs [1].

Now, the Somaliland247 blog is not made up of people who are very aware of the pagan origins of Christmas, or the fact that early Christians did not celebrate Christ’s supposed birthday (he was really born in the Autumn at or around the time of the Feast of Trumpets, as can be calculated from recognizing the conception of John the Baptist as occurring shortly after Pentecost, with a resulting birth in the spring around the time of the Passover, and Christ being six months younger being born around the Feast of Trumpets).

Without knowing this background of the pagan celebrations of the birth of Christ (in the wrong part of the year), this blog entry makes a passionate appeal for Muslims to return to the original behavior of the early Caliphs, who did not celebrate the birth of Mohammad.  Even more intriguingly, this blog states that the custom of celebrating the birth of Mohammad did not begin until centuries after the death of their religion’s founder, “when many traces of true religion had vanished and bid’ah [bad innovations] had become widespread.”  We therefore find the same process of corruption taking place in Islam as occurred in Christianity over centuries, as the original faith became corrupted by traditions and compromises with the heathen faiths of neighbors and correspondingly less pure.

The bad innovations of Mawlid-al-Nabi can therefore be compared with the bad innovations of Sunday-keeping (as opposed to the Sabbath), or Christmas and Easter (as opposed to the biblical Holy Days), or the additions to Judaism that were made in the Talmud by the scribes and Pharisees that were also “bad innovations” to the biblical faith as practiced by the godly of the times of ancient Israel.

Despite not being a Muslim, therefore, I support the bloggers at Somaliland247 who are seeking to honor their beliefs by rejecting pagan and heathen innovations and seeking to worship the original faith of their forefathers, as I have the same approach to Christianity.  It is curious, though, that this same process of corruption and bad innovations is so widespread within religions, and that Muslims and Christians should face the same difficulties in stripping away the many layers of false traditions that exist in contemporary religious practice.

[1] http://somaliland247.wordpress.com/2011/02/16/mawlid-al-nabi-the-prophet%E2%80%99s-birthday/

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in Biblical History, Christianity, Church of God, History, Musings and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Christmas and Mawlid-al-Nabi: Some Strange Parallels

  1. ibnekhattana says:

    very well written . totally agree just to add this type of innovation is taking place in Pakistan india (sub continent ) . I am not saying that everyone is practicing, but quite a large number of people in sub continent are following this which is totally something new in ISLAM started around If I am not wrong few hundred years back.

    • So, where exactly did this innovation begin? If it took hundreds of years to start, where did it originate?

      • Nathan it originated from Fatimid Dynasty rulers around the end of 6th century & beginning of 7th century who belonged to the Ismaili branch of Shi’ism then so call Sufism sect pick it up and started also to celebrate this innovation of Prophet’s Birthday to which they don’t even know the exact Date of Prophet’s birth day.

      • So it took about as long for celebrations to develop in Islam as it did in Christianity, with a similar lack of knowledge (or interest) in the original date of birth, or any concern that no one in early or original Islam or Christianity kept the “birthday” of their founder in such a fashion. Do you think that it was the desire of the Fatimids to focus on the person of Mohammad rather than his beliefs that led them to celebrate the birthday–and was there another holiday or Holy Day on that day that they sought to harmonize with Islam? It all seems a bit odd to me.

      • If u watch this video which is also on ma blog, you will know Fatimids rulers order the Celebration of the prophet’s birthday after they saw Egyptian coptic Christians under their rule Celebrating Jesus birthday so then as no one knew which day Prophet Muhammed(pbuh) was born they fixed a day as the Month of prophet’s birthday was know only.

      • I don’t have sound on the computer I usually work on–I’ll try to get on your blog from my laptop and I’ll see if I can watch/listen to the video there. The fact that the Fatimids copied the Copts who were copying pagan Middle Eastern Mithra and Horus/Isis worshipers means that, at least indirectly, Muslims who celebrate the supposed birth of Mohammad are also celebrating a pagan festival. I imagine they would not be pleased to realize that.

      • The Coptic christians celebrate birth of jesus somewhere in january which is different from other christians of Today but still they should be shame of themselve for copying.

      • They use a different calendar from other Christians, and celebrate it close to the Feast of the Epiphany, which is in early January, like the Orthodox Christians (and different from Catholics or Protestants). It’s still shameful, though.

    • But thanks God/Allah these people are minority in Islam

      • I do not celebrate Christmas myself, but that is the minority practice within Christianity by far. I had been unaware until you brought it up that such a festival existed in Islam at all. Vigilance must be kept up to make sure the practice does not spread, though.

  2. Yes Vigilance is wat needed on our part as followers of faith. But nathan even thought these people celebrate Prophet Muhammed’s(pbuh) birthday they are far from the way Christains celebrated Jesus birth, they don’t see Prophet Muhammed(pbuh) as anything other than a prophet while they are celebrating. All they do on the day is sing praise of the prophet & tell his life story which is still wrong in Islam because in Islam its Not allowed to fix a date or do anything the prophet Muhammed(pbuh) himself did not do or tell us muslims to do.

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