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  • Writer's pictureRaya Shokatfard

Jesus was not born on Dec 25 (Christmas)

On December 25, Christians around the world will gather to celebrate the birth of Jesus born supposedly in Bethlehem.

Trees are decorated and gifts are put under the tree and exchanged among friends and family.


So, how did December 25 come to be the birth of Jesus?


First Confusion


Biblical scholarship has recently called the identification of Bethlehem as Jesus’ birthplace into question: If Jesus was indeed born in Bethlehem, why is he called a Nazorean and a Galilean throughout the New Testament, and why is Bethlehem not mentioned as Jesus’ birthplace outside of the infancy narratives in the Gospels? This has caused some to wonder if Jesus was actually born in Nazareth.[i]


2nd Confusion: Jesus Birth Date

This is such a prominent part of the story that at the time of his birth there were the presence of shepherds watching over their flocks. Luke 2:7-8.

This can only be in the summer or early fall.

Also, the 4 wiremen who had come a long distance to bring gifts for the baby, used stars as guide to find his location. Again, this can only be done in the summer. Matthew 2:11

But looking at the history, it is made clear why December 25 was chosen as his birth time.

Christmas was chosen as a convenient celebratory day on the same day of a pagan holiday that celebrated the winter solstice, according to The History Channel and many other sources. The holiday was celebrated as the Roman pagan solstice, or "birthday of the unconquered sun," which began on December 17 and ended December 25.

In order to bring Christianity to the Romans, this day was chosen in order to make the transition easy for them as well as familiar and joyful.

By this point, Christianity was already a burgeoning religion, and within a handful of decades, Constantine the Great would officially adopt it as the religion of the Roman Empire. Early Christians would have freely shared in the good times of these pagan festivals, as a Christian scribe would write several centuries later:

'It was a custom of the Pagans to celebrate on the same December 25 the birthday of the Sun, at which they kindled lights in token of festivity. In these solemnities and revelries, the Christians also took part.'

Less than a century later, Pope Julius I officially established that same date as Christ’s birthday, conveniently appropriating the existing pagan shenanigans as a key Christian date.[ii]


This history is forgotten and millions celebrate this pagan based holiday without knowing the origin.

Prophet Muhamad has clearly instructed the Muslims not to take part in any celebrations that has a pagan base. In fact, birthdays were never celebrated by any of the prophets of the past or by their sincere followers.

Muslims have 2 Eids (festivals) and are recommended to rejoice and celebrate these days as a form of thanks giving to Allah and for ending the month of fasting in one Eid and remembering Abraham’s sacrifice and feeding themselves, family, friend and poor with the slaughtered animals.

“…as compared with the life of the hereafter, the life of this world is nothing but a brief passing enjoyment” (Quran, Ar-Rad: 26).



[i] https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-topics/new-testament/where-was-jesus-born/ [ii] https://www.history.co.uk/article/the-pagan-roots-of-christmas#:~:text='It%20was%20a%20custom%20of,the%20Christians%20also%20took%20part.

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5 Comments


andylovesgames
Apr 15, 2023

On second thought, not Eid al-Milad, Eid al-Isa (Festival of Jesus, or Feast of Jesus). Not necessarily to celebrate his birth, but to honor him and his mother Mary, and celebrate his miracles and works as a prophet. And celebrate it from January 6th-7th every year, now that’s an ideal winter holiday for Muslims to establish and celebrate, and it could be effective in giving dawa to Christians.

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andylovesgames
Apr 25, 2023
Replying to

I can respect that 👍🏻

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andylovesgames
Apr 12, 2023

I mean, I agree that it’s extremely unlikely that Jesus (pbuh) was born on December 25th, but as a westerner, dodging the winter holiday season is super difficult. All the joy and beauty that it brings, as well as gift exchanges, feasts (as long as there’s no ham or wine), and being with our friends and families.


Interestingly, Armenian Christians don’t even celebrate Christmas on December 25th, but instead they celebrate it on January 6th. Perhaps as Muslims we could do something similar to that, we could use January 6th or 7th as a day to honor Jesus and Mary (peace be upon them). We could call it Eid al-Milad, as an alternative to Christmas (even though it actually means…


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andylovesgames
Apr 11, 2023

Assalamu Alaikum,

Maybe an Islamified version of Hanukkah might make a better alternative to Christmas? 🤷‍♂️


After all, it is a holiday celebrated by pure monotheists.

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