By Imam Shamshad – Baitul Hameed Mosque – Chino, CA
December 25th is when most Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus (peace be upon him). But seeing the picture of snow in Jerusalem on the Dec. 13th page 2 of the Daily Bulletin reminded me that, in the New Testament (Luke 2:8), Jesus is reported to have been born when the shepherds were staying in the fields with their flocks at night. Clearly, December was too cold for shepherds to be sleeping outside at night, so based on Luke 2:8, Jesus was not born near the end of December.
Chapter 19 in the Quran (Koran) is named in honor of Mary, the mother of Jesus. It says that when Mary gave birth to Jesus, there were ripe dates on the palm trees. Dates start to ripen and are harvested in the area of the Dead Sea only from August to September.
But Dec. 25th IS the birthday of a god — the Roman sun god, Sol Invictus. This is why the birthday of Jesus is celebrated on Dec. 25th — he just replaced the sun god. The real question is: if Christians know a holiday is based on some pagan god’s birthday, why do they still continue to celebrate it? Don’t they consider this disrespectful to Jesus? What if your birthday was celebrated by all your friends and family on a day they all knew was not really your birthday? How would that make you feel?
In the interest of honoring Jesus in the season closer to his actual birth date, why not move the date back four months? At least stop holding it on the “birthday” of the Roman sun god. At the very least, it is more respectful to Jesus to remember him in the month when he was most probably born. Unless the country’s retailers won’t go for it; in which case, it will become just another example of Jesus being trampled in the mad dash for the almighty dollar.