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 .
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.