Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Common Innovations in The Ummah - Bid'ah, Kufr and Shirk

Linguistically bid'ah (innovation) means 'a newly invented matter'. The Sharee'ah definition of bid'ah is: "A newly invented way [beliefs or action] in the religion, in imitation of the Sharee'ah (prescribed Law), by which nearness to Allaah is sought, [but] not being supported by any authentic proof - neither in its foundations, nor in the manner in which it is performed." Al-I'tisaam of ash-Shaatibee (1/37).

The Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said: "Every innovation is misguidance and going astray" Reported by Abu Daawood (no. 4607), at-Tirmidhee (no. 2676) and it is saheeh. Ibn Hajr authenticated it Takhreej Ahaadeeth Ibn ul-Haajib (1/137).

And he (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) also said: "... and every innovation is misguidance and all misguidance is in the Hellfire." Reported by an-Nasaa'ee (1/224) from Jaabir bin Abdullaah and it is saheeh as declared by Shaikh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah in Majmoo' ul-Fataawaa (3/58).

The Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) also warned against the People of Innovation, from befriending, supporting or taking from them saying: "Whoever innovates or accommodates an innovator then upon him is the curse of Allaah, His Angels and the whole of mankind." Reported by Bukhaaree (12/41) and Muslim (9/140)

And in his footsteps, we find the Noble Companions and the Taabi'een after them warning from the danger of innovations upon the Ummah, its people and their unity, since it is innovations which have divided the Ummah and split it asunder.

Ibn Abbaas (d. 68H) said: "Indeed the most detestable of things to Allaah are the innovations." Reported by al-Bayhaqee in as-Sunan al-Kubraa (4/316)

Ibn Umar (d. 84H) said: "Every innovation is misguidance, even if the people see it as something good." Reported by Abu Shaamah (no. 39)

Sufyaan ath-Thawree (d. 161H) said:"Innovation is more beloved to Iblees than sin, since a sin may be repented from but innovation is not repented from." Reported by al-Laalikaa'ee (no. 238)

Al-Fudayl bin 'Iyaad (d. 187H) said: "I met the best of people, all of them people of the Sunnah and they used to forbid from accompanying the people of innovation." Reported by al-Laalikaa'ee (no.267)

Al-Hasan al-Basree (d. 110H) said: "Do not sit with the people of innovation and desires, nor argue with them, nor listen to them." Reported by ad-Daarimee in his Sunan (1/121)

Ibraaheem bin Maysarah (d.132H) said: "Whoever honours an innovator has aided in the destruction of Islam." Reported by al-Laalikaa'ee (1/139).

Sufyaan ath-Thawree (d. 161H) said: "Whoever listens to an innovator has left the protection of Allaah and is entrusted with the innovation." Reported by Abu Nu'aym in al-Hilyah (7/26) and Ibn Battah (no.444).

Imaam Maalik (d. 179H) said: "How evil are the people of innovation, we do no give them salaam." Reported by al-Baghawee in Sharh us-Sunnah (1/234).

Imaam ash-Shaafi'ee (d. 204H) said: "That a person meets Allaah with every sin except Shirk is better than meeting Him upon any one of the innovated beliefs." Reported by al-Bayhaqee in al-I'tiqaad (p.158)

Al-Fudayl bin 'Iyaad (d. 187H) said: "Whoever sits with a person of innovation, then beware of him and whoever sits with a person of innovation has not been given wisdom. I love that there was fort of iron between me and a person of innovation. That I eat with a Jew and a Christian is more beloved to me than that I eat with a person of innovation." Reported by al-Laalikaa'ee (no.1149)

Al-Layth bin Sa'd (d. 175H) said: "If I saw a person of desires (i.e. innovations) walking upon the water I would not accept from him." So Imaam as-Shaafi'ee then said: "He (al-Layth) has fallen short. If I saw him walking in the air I would not accept from him." Reported by as-Suyooti in al-Amr bil 'Ittibaa wan-Nahee anil Ibtidaa'.

Al-Fudayl bin 'Iyaad said: "If a man comes to a person to consult him and he directs him to an innovator, then he has made a deception of Islaam. Beware of going to a person of innovation for they divert [people] from the truth." Sharh Usool ul-I'tiqaad of al-Laalikaa'ee (no.261)


by 

Abu Ibraheem Husnayn

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Shirk




The Arabic word shirk is the opposite of tawheed, Allah's oneness and uniqueness, and is more inclusive than polytheism and idolatry. Shirk contradicts the very purpose of creation as expressed in the Quran:
"I have not created jinn or mankind except to worship Me." (Quran 51:56)
Prophets were sent with the mission to eradicate shirk and to invite humanity to single out Allah in worship.

What is Shirk?
Shirk is to associate someone other than Allah in those aspects which are unique to Allah and His exclusive right. Shirk is to worship created beings like Allah is worshipped, to venerate created beings like Allah must be venerated, and to assign a portion of His divinity to someone else.

Severity of Shirk !
There is no issue upon which Islam is so strict as the one of tawheed (monotheism). Therefore, shirk is considered the greatest violation with which the Lord of the heavens and the earth is defied. The severity of shirk can be summarized in the following points:

(1) Shirk makes the Creator like His creation, in that matters that are exclusive to Allah are associated with others who have no right to it. Therefore, Allah declares shirk to be the greatest wrong,

"Indeed to ascribe partners (unto Him) is a tremendous wrong." (Quran 31:13)

(2) Allah has declared that He will not forgive the sin of shirk unless the person repents from it,

"Surely Allah forgives not that a partner should be set up with Him, and forgives all besides that to whom He pleases." (Quran 4:48)

(3) Allah has forbidden Paradise to those who do not repent from committing shirk, condemning him to Hell for eternity,

"Surely whoever associates (others) with Allah, Allah has forbidden to him Paradise and his abode is the Fire." (Quran 5:72)

(3) All the good works a person may have done are lost, become worthless, and are rendered vain if a person dies unrepentant of shirk,

"And certainly, it has been revealed to you and to those before you: if you should associate (anything) with Allah, your work would surely become worthless, and you would surely be among the losers." (Quran 39:65)

(4) Shirk is the deadliest of all major sins. On one occasion, the Prophet, may Allah praise him, asked his companions if they knew what was greatest of all major sins. He then explained to them,

"The major sins are: shirk, not being kind to one's parents...." (Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim)

Types of Shirk

(1) Greater Shirk (Shirk Akbar)

(2) Lesser Shirk (Shirk Asghar)

Definition of Greater Shirk:

Greater Shirk is associating others with Allah in those aspects which are unique to Allah in his person taking a rival or associate unto Allah and making it an equal to Allah.

Shirk in Allah Being the Lord

This category includes:

(i) Atheism (the belief that human beings have no Lord).

Pharaoh denied the existence of Allah and claimed his own self to be the Lord over Moses and the people of Egypt. He announced to people:

"I am your Lord, Most High." (Quran 79:24)

Modern day philosophers that deny the existence of Allah or scientists who consider the universe created itself or has no beginning or end fall under this category. Also, the idea that nature itself is God, or that God dwells within His creation is also shirk.

(b) The belief that Allah shares His rule and control over the creation.

People who fall into this category are those who may believe in Allah's powers and abilities, but also believe that Allah is several "persons," that He is somehow "split" into different beings. An example is Christians who believe that Allah is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, all at the same time. Also, Hindus believe in One God who takes the forms of Brahma – the creator-god, Vishnu – the preserver-god, and Shiva – the destroyer-god. Islam teaches that Allah is One in every sense: perfect, indivisible, and complete.

Another example of this shirk is held by people who pray to the dead. They believe the souls of the saints and other people can meddle in the affairs of mortal men, that somehow the departed souls can cause change in the life of men and women by answering their prayers or in other ways. The truth is that the dead have no power over the lives of the living; they cannot answer anyone's prayers, nor protect them, nor grant their wishes.

Greater Shirk: Shirk In Allah's Names & Attributes

Making Allah like the creation or making the creation like Allah is the essence of shirk on Allah's Names and Attributes. It can be further classified into two types:

(i) Humanizing Allah by giving Him attributes similar to humans is shirk. Depictions of God in paintings and sculpture are of this type. Christianity, the major religion of the West, views God in human terms, as Jesus is considered God incarnate by them, so it naturally produced the likes of Michelangelo who depicted the Face and Hand of 'God' in paintings. Hindus worship countless idols as forms of God. On the contrary, the Muslim tradition has been clear on this point because of the Quran's clear teachings,

"There is nothing like Him, and He sees and hears all things." (Quran 42:11)

(ii) Another form of this type of shirk is when human beings are deified by giving them divine names or qualities. For example, the Christians raise Mary, the mother of the Jesus, to a divine status by giving her some of Allah's attributes, such as the Merciful. They also call Mary the mother of God, 'God' being a reference to her son Jesus. The latter they have called the Living God, the First and the Last – Names reserved for God alone. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah praise him, said:

"Allah Almighty has said: 'The son of Adam... reviled Me and he had no right to do so... As for his reviling Me, it is his saying: Allah has taken to Himself a son, while I am the One, the Everlasting Refuge. I beget not nor was I begotten, and there is none comparable to Me.'" (Saheeh Al-Bukhari, An-Nasai)
Greater Shirk: Shirk in Allah's Right To Worship

In this category of shirk, acts of worship are directed to other than Allah and the reward for worship is sought from the creation instead of the Creator. Praying, bowing, and putting one's forehead on the ground are acts of worship reserved only for Allah.

"So when they ride in the ships, they call upon Allah, being sincerely obedient to Him, but when He brings them safe to the land, lo, they commit Shirk with Him." (Quran 29:65)

Examples of Shirk in Allah's Right To Worship

(1) To love Allah correctly is to worship Him. A form of Greater Shirk is giving someone a portion of love reserved for Allah. Allah is the only One loved for His own sake. Two things beloved for their own sake cannot coexist in one heart. Love of Allah is different from the love of one's parents, spouse, or children as it is coupled with a feeling of His awe and holiness and leads a person to pray to Allah, trust Him, hoping for His mercy, fearing His punishment, and to worship Him alone. Loving other beings as Allah should be loved is shirk in love. A Muslim should not be attached to anything else to a level where it enslaves his heart. Hearts get attached to power, money, glamour, women, music, drugs, and alcohol, to name a few. These things can become the 'god' in one's life who a person chases day and night, and, once he gets the thing he loves, he works hard to please it. That is why the Prophet, may Allah praise him, said a man who worships money will always be miserable[Saheeh Al-Bukhari] and the Quran says,

"And of mankind are some who take (for worship) others besides Allah as rivals (to Allah). They love them as they love Allah. But those who believe love Allah (more than anything else)." (Quran 2:195)

(2) Shirk in supplication. First, supplication or invocation (known as du'a in Arabic) is part of worship as the Prophet, may Allah praise him, said:

"Supplication is the essence of worship." (Abu Daud, Al-Tirmidhi, Ahmad)

Calling upon dead saints, righteous men or those who are absent and far away for help and assistance as Allah should have been prayed to is Greater Shirk. It includes praying, invoking or supplicating to a false deity, prophet, angel, saint, idol, or anything besides Allah. Christians pray to a man, the Prophet of Allah, Jesus, whom they claim to have been God incarnate. Catholics pray to saints, angels, and Mary as the "mother of God." It is also shirk to pray to Prophet Muhammad or to deceased holy men believing that they can answer prayers, as Allah says,

"Say: 'Behold, I have been forbidden to worship those whom you invoke instead of Allah.'" (Quran 6:56)

"And do not invoke besides Allah that which neither benefits you nor harms you, for if you did, then indeed you would be of the wrongdoers." (Quran 10:106)

"If you pray unto them they hear not your prayer, and if they heard they could not grant it you. On the Day of Resurrection they will disown association with you. None can inform you like Him Who is Aware." (Quran 35:14)

(3) Shirk in obedience. Allah is the only Ruler of the affairs of men. Allah is the supreme Lawgiver, the Absolute Judge, and the Legislator. He distinguishes right from wrong. Just like the physical world submits to its Lord, human beings must submit to the moral and religious teaching of their Lord, the Lord who sets apart right from wrong for them. In other words, Allah alone has the authority to make laws, determine acts of worship, decide morals, and set standards of human interaction and behavior. His is the command:

"His is the Creation and Command." (7:54)

"Legislation is not but for Allah. He has commanded that you worship not except Him. That is the correct religion, but most of the people do not know." (Quran 10:40)

Obeying religious leaders in matters of clear disobedience to Allah is a form of Greater Shirk as Allah says:

"They (referring to Jews and Christians) took their rabbis and their monks to be their Lords besides Allah." (Quran 9:31)

They made partners unto Allah not by directly praying to them, but by willfully accepting their rabbis and clergy changing the lawful into prohibited and the forbidden into lawful in Allah's religion. They gave their religious men the authority only Allah has - to set the divine law. For example, the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church has the authority to determine how God is to be worshipped. He has full authority to interpret, change, and cancel both his own laws and those established by earlier popes, so he determines liturgical service and fasting.

(4) Making a vow for other than Allah.

(5) Sacrificing an animal to venerate or please someone other than Allah, like a saint.

(6) Going around the graves of saints. Bowing or prostrating to people or graves.

(7) Fearing other beings as Allah should be feared in afflicting a person with punishment.

(8) Seeking super-natural help and aid from other than Allah of what they are not capable of providing like asking angels or saints for help.

(9) Making a 'middle-man' (intercessor) between one self and Allah, praying to the 'middle-man' and relying on him.

Definition of Lesser Shirk:

Lesser Shirk is what has been specifically called shirk in the Quran and Sunnah, but does not reach the level of greater Shirk. Also, lesser Shirk is said to lead to greater Shirk. Some scholars have said lesser Shirk is so vast that it is difficult to define it precisely. The most important examples of lesser Shirk are:

Charms & Omens:

Wearing charms, talismans, and amulets for protection against the evil eye, bad luck and the like thinking that Allah has placed these powers in them constitute lesser Shirk.

Swearing an Oath in the Name of Other than Allah:

Taking an oath, or swearing, in the name of someone other than Allah is a type of lesser Shirk given that a person does not intend to venerate the one in whose name the oath is being taken, else it turns into greater Shirk. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah praise him, said,

"The one who takes an oath in the name of other than Allah commits disbelief or Shirk."[Ahmad, Abu Daud, Al-Tirmidhi, Nasai, and Hakim]
Riyaa (Showing-Off)

The Messenger of Allah, may Allah praise him, said:

"The thing that I fear most for you is lesser Shirk."

They said: "O Messenger of Allah, what is lesser Shirk?" He said:

"Riyaa (showing off), for Allah will say on the Day when people are recompensed for their actions: 'Go to those for whom you were showing off with your deeds in the world, and see what reward you find with them.'" (Ahmad)

Riyaa is to perform worship in order to be seen and praised by people. Riyaa renders a deed void; the person earns sin instead of reward from Allah, and it exposes him to punishment.

Human beings, by nature like to be praised, are not fond of criticism, and do not like to be seen deficient in any way. Islam views doing religious acts to impress others instead of pleasing Allah - what should have been done for Allah is done for people - as shirk. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah praise him, said:

"Allah (glorified and exalted be He) said: 'I am so self-sufficient that I am in no need of having an associate. Thus he who does an action for someone else's sake as well as Mine will have that action renounced by Me to him whom he associated with Me.'" (Saheeh Muslim)

There is a good chance of a believer falling into riyaa because it is hidden, it sits in the heart, pollutes the intention, and a person has to be extremely vigilant to correct it. Ibn Abbas, one of the Prophet's companions, said,

"Shirk in the Muslim nation is more hidden than a black ant crawling on a black stone in the middle of a moonless night."[Ibn Abi Hatim]

Intention is a simple matter, but sometimes changing it can be difficult. A person has to listen to their heart and see what motivates a certain action. A Muslim has to carefully watch his intention to keep it pure whenever he performs a good deed like salah, giving charity, fasting, serving his parents, or even smiling. Perhaps this is why the saying of Allah's Name has been prescribed before all acts of importance in daily life – eating, drinking, sleeping, going to the toilet, waking up, and going to sleep. Remembering Allah keeps the heart aware of Allah and the intention pure.

Let us understand with simple examples how riyaa may affect worship:

(a) Let us say the basic motive when you stand up to pray is for people to see you, or notice you are praying, wish to be praises for that. This invalidates the act of worship.

(b) Let us say you started off to pray with sincerity, your intention was to pray for Allah, but then you started thinking about pleasing people, and slowly your intention changed. You do one of the two things. If you resist the temptation of getting noticed, it will not have any effect on you because the Prophet, may Allah praise him, said: "Allah has forgiven my ummah for what crosses their minds, so long as they do not act upon it or speak of it." But if you do nothing and do not resist the temptation of doing the act of worship so you may be seen or noticed; instead you slowly start to beautify your salah to be noticed, and so the entire act of worship may become invalid.

(c) Unintended praise is not harmful. The Prophet, may Allah praise him, was asked about that and said: "That is the first glad tidings of the believer." It is not showing off if a person feels happy because he has done an act of worship; actually, it is a sign of his faith. The Prophet, may Allah praise him, said:

"Whoever feels happy because of his good deeds and sad because of his bad deeds, that is the believer."

The Prophet has provided us with words of protection against this inconspicuous shirk that can be said anytime of the day. One day the Prophet delivered a sermon saying,

'O People, fear 'shirk', for it is more hidden than the creeping of an ant.' (At-Tabarani)

Those whom Allah wished asked, 'And how do we avoid it when it is more hidden than the creeping of an ant, O Messenger of Allah?' He replied,

'Allah-humma inna na-oodtho-bika an nush-rika bika shay-ann naa-lamu, wa nas-tagh-fi-ruka limaa laa naa-lam.'

'Say, "O Allah, we seek refuge with You from knowingly committing shirk with You, and we seek Your forgiveness for what we do unknowingly."[Ahmad]
Differences Between Greater Shirk & Lesser Shirk

(1) Both are defined differently.

(2) The greater Shirk expels a person from the fold of Islam, whereas the lesser Shirk does not take one out of Islam, but reduces one's belief in Allah.

(3) A person who dies committing greater Shirk will be in Hell Fire for eternity; this is not the case with one committing lesser Shirk.

(4) Greater Shirk wipes out and annuls all good deeds, whereas lesser Shirk only ruins the deeds it motivates or is a part of.

(5) Greater Shirk is not forgiven by Allah except through sincere repentance done before death; whereas it is up to Allah to punish or forgive lesser Shirk.

source newmuslims.com

Sunday, 3 December 2017

The Methodology of Dawah Manual & Method


The Methodology of Dawah Manual & Method  (The Miraculous Argument)

Our Dawah Manual and Method represents a core concept in Dawah. It highlights how the greatest evidence for the existence of God is the Qur'an itself. By means of what is known as "The Miraculous Argument" it allows the Da'ee to delve straight into a Qur'an focused Dawah conversation; overruling any need to resort to complex and digressive philosophical arguments. It is a manual that offers a structured approach to delivering the message of Islam while detailing practical steps of implementation. It is without doubt useful to both the beginner and seasoned practitioner.

The manual is freely available to anyone around the globe, in order to help them develop their Dawah skills. The methodology of dawah manual is freely available; to be copied, distributed, translated or hosted on websites for the promotion and development of Dawah.

The latest version of the manual (version 6.1) can be downloaded at From Our website


A extract from The Methodology of Dawah -


There are many revelations on Earth that claim to be from some or other Deity or group of Deities. How can one differentiate between them all? What are the criteria used to determine which one we select as the most appropriate or one we can ascribe to The God? Now many contemporary Du’aat play a lot of intellectual gymnastics with Atheists and adherents to other faith systems. This sort of excessive philosophical rhetoric can become overwhelming and is mostly unproductive; often leading to dead ends and very little of the message being imparted. Therefore a more justifiable approach is to bring the Quran in as early as possible, since this does two things in particular:

  1. You are teaching them about Islam from the outset by using the Quran
  2. You are able to avoid the intellectual gymnastics of debate in terms of philosophy or cosmological science.


One should note that we are proving the existence of God via means of rational reflection and through deduction based on the presence of Quran. We provide a rational foundation to why we believe what we believe and in particular why we consider the Quran to be from God. We do not and should not resort to what is known as circular reasoning i.e. simply stating that the Quran is from God, because it states that it is from God in the Quran.

The battle of Aql (intellect) and Naql (Text/Revelation) is an imaginary one, as there is no conflict between the two in reality and anyone who makes it an ‘either or’ is actually confused. This is because although the rational mind leads us to accept that the Quran is from God, it also leads to the understanding that we are limited before God – hence the correct intellect (Sahih Aql) and the Naql (revealed texts) will never clash. The Naql will be accepted over the Aql where there is a perceived contradiction or misunderstanding as we can appreciate the limitation in knowledge possessed by man and as such Allah knows best.


Below is a list of criteria that anyone of sound mind would use to justify and distinguish a revelation as being attributed to God almighty.

  Preserved in wording & Meaning

  •Logical view of God

  •Internally consistent and profound

  •Externally consistent and profound

  •Miraculous Nature

  •Applicable Guidance and Purpose
Just before we discuss how the Quran meets the above criteria it is extremely important to highlight the context within which the Quran was revealed. This is because once you come to understand and appreciate how the Quran was revealed before mankind or moreover the people at the time of revelation it will add an extra dimension to the realisation that it would become infinitely more difficulty for this body of text to be the concoction of one or more groups of individuals. 

www.JustDawah.Org


                           
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Friday, 1 December 2017

Pagan Origins of Birthdays

The following is a list of quotes from writings and writers, ancient and modern, religious and secular, attesting to the Pagan origins and nature of celebrating one’s supposed day of birth. Of course many contemporary, secularized people will object and say that “birthdays” no longer have any religious significance(despite the fact that all the ancient pagan rituals are maintained and preserved in the modern celebrations). However if you profess to be a Muslim, a Jew, or a Christian, you should not be doing this; Especially after you become aware that the word “secular” has the same definition as `irjaa(separating beliefs from actions, i.e. separating public actions from privately held beliefs(religion)). Yet “religion” is, from the Latin “religare”, “that which binds”, thus making Secular Humanism a religion in its own right.

“Shaytan has gained the mastery over them, and caused them to forget Allah’s Remembrance. Those are Shaytan’s party; why, Shaytans party, surely, they are the losers!,” –[Qur'an: Surah al-Mujadilah: 58:19].

Say: O Kafirun! (disbelievers),  I do not worship what you worship, and you do not worship what I worship. Nor will I worship what you worship, nor will you worship what I worship. You have your religion and I have my religion.´ —[Qur'an: Surah al-Kafirun: 109:1-6]
“Whoever imitates a people is from them,” –[Sunan Abu Dawud]

“Abu Sa’id al-Khudri reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace and blessings be upon him) as saying: ‘You would tread the same path as was trodden by those before you inch by inch and step by step so much so that if they had entered into the hole of the lizard, you would follow them in this also. We said: Allah’s Messenger, do you mean Jews and Christians (by your words)” those before you”? He said: ‘Who else (than those two religious groups)’?,” –[Sahih Muslim].

“The Prophet (may peace and blessings be upon him) also said: ‘The Day of Judgment will not come until my Nation closely imitates the nations before them.” It was asked: “Like the PERSIANS and ROMANS, Messenger of Allah?” He (may peace and blessings be upon him) replied: “Who are the nations (I could mean) except those?” [Sahih Bukhari].

“Originally the idea [of birthday greetings and wishes for happiness] was rooted in magic. The working of spells for good and evil is the chief usage of witchcraft. One is especially susceptible to such spells on his birthday, as one’s personal spirits are about at that time. Dreams dreamed on the birthday eve should be remembered, for they are predictions of the future brought by the guardian spirits which hover over one’s bed on the birthday eve. Birthday greetings have power for good or ill because one is closer to the spirit world on this day. Good wishes bring good fortune, but the reverse is also true, so one should avoid enemies on one’s birthday and be surrounded only by well-wishers. “Happy birthday” and Many (more) happy returns of the day” are the traditional greetings”, -[The Lore of Birthdays, Linton, p. 20]…

“The giving of birthday gifts is a custom associated with the offering of sacrifices to pagan gods on their birthdays. Certainly the custom was linked with the same superstitions that formed the background for birthday greetings. The exchange of presents is associated with the importance of ingratiating good and evil fairies on their or our birthdays [ibid].

“The traditional birthday cake and candles also have their origin in ancient pagan idol worship. The ancients believed that the fire of candles had magical properties. They offered prayers and made wishes to be carried to the gods on the flames of the candles. Thus we still have the widely practiced birthday custom of making a wish, then blowing out the candles. The Greeks celebrated the birthday of their moon goddess, Artemis, with cakes adorned with lighted candles…” -[Should Christians Celebrate Birthdays?: Do Birthdays Have Pagan Origins?, Bob Theil].

“The Egyptians discovered to which of the gods each month and day is sacred; and found out from the day of a man’s birth, what he will meet with in the course of his life, and how he will end his days, and what sort of man he will be,” [Herodotus, Persian Wars, Book II, ch. 82].

“Since it was believed that the positions of the stars at the time of birth influenced a child’s future, astrological horoscopes came into being, purporting to foretell the future, based on the time of birth. “Birthdays” are intimately linked with the stars, since without the calendar, no one could tell when to celebrate his birthday. They are also indebted to the stars in another way, for in early days the chief importance of birthday records was to enable the astrologers to chart horoscopes,” [The Lore of Birthdays, p. 53].

Rawlinson’s translation of Herodotus includes the following footnote: “Horoscopes were of very early use in Egypt and Cicero speaks of the Egyptians and Chaldeans predicting a man’s destiny at his birth”…

Furthermore, the book “The Lore of Birthdays” (New York, 1952) by Ralph and Adelin Linton, on pages 8, 18-20 had this to say:

“The Greeks believed that everyone had a protective spirit or DAEMON(jinn) who attended his birth and watched over him in life. This spirit had a mystic relation with the god on whose birthday the individual was born”.

Narrated Abdullah ibn Mas’ud, radyAllahu anhu:

“Allah’s Apostle, may Allah’s peace and blessings be on him said: ‘There is none amongst you with whom is not an attache from amongst the jinn (devil). They (the Companions) said: Allah’s Apostle May Allah’s peace and blessings be on him with you too? Thereupon he said: Yes, but Allah helps me against him and so I am safe from his hand and he does not command me but for good’”, –[Sahih Muslim 6757, similar narration 6759 by 'Aisha, radyAllahu anha].

“The Romans also subscribed to this idea. . . . This notion was carried down in human belief and is reflected in the “guardian angel”, the “fairy godmother” and the “patron saint”(the dead Sufi master for the Sufis). . . . The custom of lighted candles on the cakes started with the Greeks. . . . Honey cakes round as the moon and lit with tapers were placed on the temple altars of [Artemis]. . . . *”Birthday” candles, in folk belief, are endowed with special magic for granting wishes*. . . . Lighted tapers and sacrificial fires have had a special mystic significance ever since man first set up altars to his gods. The birthday candles are thus an honor and tribute to the birthday child and bring good fortune…”

Thus birthdays had their origin in mythology and magic, with horoscoping also playing a role.

“Nay, indeed, the law does not permit us to make festivals at the birth of our children, and thereby afford occasion of drinking to excess,” [Josephus. Translated by W. Whiston. Against Apion, Book II, Chapter 26. Extracted from Josephus Complete Works, Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids (MI), 14th printing, 1977, p. 632].

In their essay titled “Birthdays, Jewishly,” Lisa Farber Miller and Sandra Widener point out that the Encyclopedia Judaica is very blunt on this topic:

“The celebration of birthdays is unknown in traditional Jewish ritual.”

“There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD,” [Deuteronomy 18:10-12].

“You are wearied in the multitude of your counsels; Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, And the monthly prognosticators Stand up and save you From what shall come upon you. Behold, they shall be as stubble, The fire shall burn them; They shall not deliver themselves From the power of the flame” [Isaiah 47:13-14].

“But some have felt, basically by seeing certain alleged manger scenes, that the Magi/wise men came from the East and gave Jesus presents on the day of His birth,” -[Should Christians Celebrate Birthdays?: Do Birthdays Have Pagan Origins?, Bob Theil].

Well, there are a few issues with this.

First, the wise men definitely were not with `Isa, alayhi salam, on the day of His birth. The Bible is clear that he had already been born:

1 “Now AFTER Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him” [Matthew 2:1-2].

“Furthermore, notice that they came to worship Him, not celebrate His birthday. It was customary in those times (and still is today) to provide gifts when meeting royalty. Thus, the wise men meeting Jesus and providing presents should not be construed as a birthday celebration”.

Late, Orthodox Catholics were against the celebration of birthdays. The Catholic Encyclopedia states:

“Origen, glancing perhaps at the discreditable imperial Natalitia, asserts (in Lev. Hom. viii in Migne, P.G., XII, 495) that in the Scriptures sinners alone, not saints, celebrate their birthday [Martindale C. Christmas, 1908].

Here is some of what Origen wrote:

“…of all the holy people in the Scriptures, no one is recorded to have kept a feast or held a great banquet on his birthday. It is only sinners (like Pharaoh and Herod) who make great rejoicings over the day on which they were born into this world below” -[Origen, in Levit., Hom. VIII, in Migne P.G., XII, 495) (Thurston H. Natal Day. Transcribed by Thomas M. Barrett. Dedicated to Margaret Johanna Albertina Behling Barrett. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume X. Copyright 1911 by Robert Appleton Company. Online Edition Copyright 2003 by K. Knight. Nihil Obstat, October 1, 1911. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York].

History of celebration of birthdays in the West:

“It is thought that the large-scale celebration of birthdays in Europe began with the cult of Mithras, which originated in Persia but was spread by soldiers throughout the Roman Empire. Before this, such celebrations were not common; and, hence, practices from other contexts such as the Saturnalia were adapted for birthdays. Because many Roman soldiers took to Mithraism, it had a wide distribution and influence throughout the empire until it was supplanted by Christianity.”

“Christmas is also relevant because December 25th was the day of celebration of the birthday of the sun-god Mithra. Perhaps it should also be mentioned that one of the key features of Mithraism was Sunday observance. The reason that this seems to be relevant is that the Roman Emperor Constantine, the first Roman Emperor to make a profession of Christ, was also the first Emperor to make Sunday laws–which he began to do on March 7, 321. Also, a few years later, the Council of Nicea that Constantine convened in 325 A.D. declared Sunday to be the “Christian day” of worship (for more information, please see the article Europa and the Book of Revelation).”

“According to the fourth century historian Epiphanius, some who observed Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month, claimed that Emperor Constantine mandated a Sunday observance of it in the Council of Nicea in 325 in order to somehow honor his birthday,” -[Should Christians Celebrate Birthdays?: Do Birthdays Have Pagan Origins?, Bob Theil]:

“You changed the Passover to Constantine’s birthday” -(Epiphanius. The Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis, Books II and III (Sects 47-80), De Fide). Section VI, Verse 9,4. Translated by Frank Williams. EJ Brill, New York, 1994, pp. 410-411).

The World Book Encyclopedia notes:

“Christmas…In 354 A.D., Bishop Liberius of Rome ordered the people to celebrate on December 25. He probably chose this date because the people of Rome already observed it as the Feast of Saturn, celebrating the birthday of the sun (Sechrist E.H. Christmas. World Book Encyclopedia, Volume 3. Field Enterprises Educational Corporation, Chicago, 1966, pp. 408-417).

“Hence, it would seem to follow that since those who professed Christ as late as the third century did not celebrate birthdays, that it was not after a Roman Emperor implemented Sunday, that perhaps he and others were amenable to adopting other practices of Mithraism–one of which was birthday celebrations. This is apparently how birthdays became to be celebrated amongst those that professed Christianity. A celebration for the date of Jesus’ birth in Rome probably began near this time, but was mandated no later than 354 A.D.”

“Thus the “birthday of the sun” festivities were a major factor in the date chosen for followers of Greco-Roman Christianity to celebrate. And once those that professed Christ began to widely celebrate that “birthday”, other birthday celebrations became more common,” -[Should Christians Celebrate Birthdays?: Do Birthdays Have Pagan Origins?, Bob Theil].

“Back in 1969 Anton Lavey wrote The Satanic Bible.

On page 96 on the 1976 version, it mentions birthdays: “THE highest of all holidays in the Satanic religion is the date of one’s own birth. This is in direct contradiction to the holy of holy days of other religions, which deify a particular god who has been created in an anthropomorphic form of their own image, thereby showing that the ego is not really buried.

The Satanist feels: “Why not really be honest and if you are going to create a god in your image, why not create that god as yourself.” Every man is a god if he chooses to recognize himself as one. So, the Satanist celebrates his own birthday as the most important holiday of the year. After all, aren’t you happier about the fact that you were born than you are about the birth of someone you have never even met? Or for that matter, aside from religious holidays, why pay higher tribute to the birthday of a president or to a date in history than we do to the day we were brought into this greatest of all worlds?

Despite the fact that some of us may not have been wanted, or at least were not particularly planned, we’re glad, even if no one else is, that we’re here! You should give yourself a pat on the back, buy yourself whatever you want, treat yourself like the king (or god) that you are, and generally celebrate your birthday with as much pomp and ceremony as possible”"-[Should Christians Celebrate Birthdays?: Do Birthdays Have Pagan Origins?, Bob Theil].

CONCLUSION: Celebrating “Birthdays” originated in magic and Pagan mythology. Besides the fact that we humans are spiritual beings having a human experience and not vice versa, and thus do not know the date of our actual birth, rather what we know is our “earth” day, “birthdays” were traditionally celebrated by followers of Mithra. After a sun-worshiping emperor(Constantine) made a profession of Christ and passed the first Sunday law, he did not consider that there were problems with celebratory aspects of Mithraism/Saturnalia as long as Christ and believers, and not Mithra, were the focus of the celebrations.

“But should we be following the example of the Romans who mixed practices of Mithraism into their religion or of those who first accepted Christ?, “-[Should Christians Celebrate Birthdays?: Do Birthdays Have Pagan Origins?, Bob Theil]

“Whoever imitates a people is from them,” -[Sunan Abu Dawud].

And Allah knows best.

By Yusha Evans


Our Website is www.JustDawah.org

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

A Brief History Of Christmas

The Christmas Tree here in ancient carvings shows the Pagan custom... The fish symbol you see today stems from these same pagan customs.... The Roman Pontiff is simply a regurgitation of the old pagan sun god’s hat dating back to Nimrod of Ancient Babylon 2234 B.C.
In ancient pagan times, the last day of winter in the Northern Hemisphere was celebrated as the night that the Great Mother Goddess gives birth to the baby Sun God. It is also called Yule, the day a huge log is added to a bonfire, around which everyone would dance and sing to awaken the sun from its long winter sleep.
In Roman times, it became the celebrations honouring Saturnus (the harvest god) and Mithras (the ancient god of light), a form of sun worship that had come to Rome from Syria a century before with the cult of Sol Invictus. It announced that winter is not forever, that life continues, and an invitation to stay in good spirit.The last day of winter in the Northern Hemisphere occurs between the 20th and 22 December. The Roman celebrated Saturnalia between 17 and 24 December.
The early Christians to avoid persecution during the Roman pagan festival, early Christians decked their homes with Saturnalia holly. As Christian numbers increased and their customs prevailed, the celebrations took on a Christian observance.
But the early church actually did not celebrate the birth of Christ in December until Telesphorus, who was the second Bishop of Rome from 125 to 136AD, declared that Church services should be held during this time to celebrate "The Nativity of our Lord and Saviour." However, since no-one was quite sure in which month Christ was born, Nativity was often held in September, which was during the Jewish Feast of Trumpets (modern-day Rosh Hashanah). In fact, for more than 300 years, people observed the birth of Jesus on various dates.
In the year 274AD, solstice fell on 25th December. Roman Emperor Aurelian proclaimed the date as "Natalis Solis Invicti," the festival of the birth of the invincible sun. In 320 AD, Pope Julius I specified the 25th of December as the official date of the birth of Jesus Christ.

Christmas official, but not generally observed
In 325AD, Constantine the Great, the first Christian Roman emperor, introduced Christmas as an immovable feast on 25 December. He also introduced Sunday as a holy day in a new 7-day week, and introduced movable feasts (Easter). In 354AD, Bishop Liberius of Rome officially ordered his members to celebrate the birth of Jesus on 25 December.
However, even though Constantine officiated 25 December as the birthday of Christ, Christians, recognising the date as a pagan festival, did not share in the emperor's good meaning. Christmas failed to gain universal recognition among Christians until quite recently. In England, Oliver Cromwell banned Christmas festivities between 1649 and 1660 through the so-called Blue Laws, believing that Christmas should be a solemn day.
When many Protestants escaped persecution by fleeing to the colonies all over the world, interest in joyous Christmas celebrations was rekindled there. Still, Christmas was not even a legal holiday until the 1800s. And, keep in mind, there was no Father Christmas (Santa Claus) figure at that time.

Christmas becomes popular
The popularity of Christmas was spurred on in 1820 by Washington Irving's book The Keeping of Christmas at Bracebridge Hall. In 1834, Britain's Queen Victoria brought her German husband, Prince Albert, into Windsor Castle, introducing the tradition of the Christmas tree and carols that were held in Europe to the British Empire. A week before Christmas in 1834, Charles Dickens published A Christmas Carol (in which he wrote that Scrooge required Cratchit to work, and that the US Congress met on Christmas Day). It was so popular that neither the churches nor the governments could not ignore the importance of Christmas celebrations. In 1836, Alabama became the first state in the US to declare Christmas a legal holiday. In 1837, T.H. Hervey's The Book of Christmas also became a best seller. In 1860, American illustrator Thomas Nast borrowed from the European stories about Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of children, to create Father Christmas (Santa Claus). In 1907, Oklahoma became the last US state to declare Christmas a legal holiday. Year by year, countries all over the world started to recognise Christmas as the day for celebrating the birth of Jesus.

Have a merry Christmas
Today, many of the pagan uses are reflected in Christmas. Jesus was born in March, yet his birth is celebrated on 25 December, the time of solstice. The Christmas celebrations end the 12th day of Christmas (6 January), the same amount of days that the return of the sun was celebrated by ancient and Roman pagans. It thus is no surprise that Christian puritans - or even conservative Christians - often are upset that Christmas "is not as religious as it was meant to be," forgetting that Christmas was not celebrated at all until fairly recently.

Does Christmas have Biblical Evidence?
The word 'Christmas' does not exist in the Bible. The Bible has closed lips on the entire feast of Christmas, with one exception, the decoration of a tree. The Bible itself criticizes the decoration of the (Christmas) trees:
"The customs of the people are worthless, they cut a tree out of the forest, and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel, they adore it with silver and gold, they fasten it with hammer and nails so it will not totter" (Jeremiah 10-3,4).
European Pre-Christian pagans superstitiously believed that the green trees had special protective powers. In fact the use of the Christmas tree began only in the 17th century in Strasbourg, France and from there it spread to Germany, Britain and then to the U.S. "Tree worship was a common feature of religion among the Teutonic and Scandinavian peoples of northern Europe before their conversion to Christianity…German settlers brought the Christmas tree custom to the American colonies in the 17th century. By the 19th century its use was quite widespread". (Compton's Encyclopedia, 1998 Edition)

Was Jesus born on Dec. 25?
Neither the date 25th Dec. nor any other date on Jesus' birth is mentioned in the Bible. It was not until the year 530 C.E. that a monk, Dionysus Exigus, fixed the date of Jesus' birth on Dec. 25th. . "He wrongly dated the birth of Christ according to the Roman system (i.e., 754 years after the founding of Rome) as Dec. 25, 753". (Encyclopedia Britannica, 1998 ed.) This date was chosen in keeping with the holidays already indoctrinated into pagans beliefs.

Roman pagans celebrated Dec. 25th as the birth of their 'god' of light, Mithra.
"In the 2nd century A..D., it (Mithraism) was more general in the Roman Empire than Christianity, to which it bore many similarities" (The Concise Columbia Encyclopedia, 1995 ed.)
Other pagan 'gods' born on Dec. 25th are: Hercules the son of Zeus (Greeks); Bacchus, 'god' of wine (Romans); Adonis, 'god' of Greeks, and 'god' Freyr of Greek-Roman pagans.

What about Santa Claus?
If aliens descended on earth during the Christmas season, they would undoubtedly believe Christmas as being Santa's birthday. The words 'Santa Claus', appear nowhere in the Bible.
However, Saint Nicholas (Santa Claus) was a real person, a bishop, who was born 300 years after Jesus. According to legend, he was extremely kind and set out at night to bring presents to the needy. After his death on 6th of Dec., school boys in Europe began celebrating a feast day each year.
Queen Victoria later changed the celebration date from Dec. 6th to Dec. 24th eve.

Did Jesus or his Companions Celebrate Christmas?
If Jesus meant his followers to celebrate Christmas, he would have practiced it himself and enjoined it on his followers. There is no mention in the entire Bible that any of his followers ever celebrated Jesus' birthday like Christians do today.
"The church did not observe a festival for the celebration of the event of Christmas until the 4th century" (Grolier's Encyclopedia)
Thus we see that neither the Bible nor Jesus and his companions say anything about the celebration of Christmas which currently involves fanfare, commercialization, and extravagant spending, devoid of any spiritual relevance.