Jamaat Ahmadiyya al Mouslemeen
Friday Sermon of Hazrat Amirul Momeneen Zafrullah Domun
24 DECEMBER 2010
After reciting the Tashahhud, the Ta’uz and the first chapter of Al Fatiha Imam Zafrullah Domun said:
We are almost at the end of another year. Almost all around the world at this time of the year is a period of merrymaking. Today is the eve of what is known as Christmas. Around the world a majority of Christians celebrate the birth of Hazrat Isa as, son of Mary tomorrow 25th December. When we reflect about the importance that this festival has taken over the years we will note that at times something which is not true may have many adherents celebrating it. And Christmas is only one example.
Almost all historians who have studied the history of Christianity know that Hazrat Isa as was not born at this time of the year. The two most important reasons advanced are that according to Luke we know that when Jesus was born shepherds were in their filed attending to their flocks. But since in December it is winter shepherds cannot attend to their flocks in such unfavorable weather conditions. Second, Jesus' parents came to Bethlehem to register in a Roman census (Luke 2:1-4). Such censuses were not taken in winter, when temperatures often dropped below freezing and roads were in poor condition. Taking a census under such conditions would have been self-defeating. So if he was not born in December when was he born? Again according to historians he was born most likely in September. Then the question arises why is it that almost all Christians around the world celebrate his birth on 25th December each year?
We get the answer from those who have investigated this matter thoroughly and they say that this decision was taken by the early Church Fathers in order to bring the Romans into Christianity and to celebrate a festival that they used to celebrate on that day. In fact the Romans who were pagans began to convert to Christianity en masse when their Emperor Constantine became a Christian in the year 309 CE. The Romans used to celebrate the return of the sun on December 25. In fact December 21st is the winter solstice (shortest day of the year and thus a key date on the calendar), and December 25 is the first day that ancients could clearly note that the days were definitely getting longer and the sunlight was returning. Since no one knows the day of his birth, the Roman Catholic Church felt free to choose this date. The Church wished to replace the pagan festival with a Christian holy day (holiday). The psychology was that it is easier to take away an unholy (but traditional) festival from the population, when you can replace it with a good one. Otherwise, the Church would have left a void where there was a long-standing tradition, and risked producing a discontented population and a rapid return to the old ways. So we should note that for almost 300 years there were no Christmas in Christendom. It was something that started to be celebrated about three hundred years after Jesus’ death. But just see what importance it has today! As years went by and Christians extended their dominion over the world so people around the world started celebrating this unchristian festival in a Christian way. What is most unfortunate is that with the disenchantment of the people with Christianity in especially Europe nowadays this festival is more a commercial phenomenon that has totally lost its religious significance if it had any. Hence we may even say that in Christianity the basis of this festival is almost nothing. It has nothing to do with the Founder namely Hazrat Isa as and it has everything to do with commercial activities. Hence according to some estimates in the US alone approximately an average of $616 per person will be spent this Christmas. There are about 300 million people in the USA. So you can multiply to have an idea how many billions of dollars are spent each year on a festival that has nothing to do with Jesus Christ although it is done in his name.
As a good Ahmadi who declares that we want to uphold the teachings of Islam as explained by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, we should stay far away from this so-called national festival. An Ahmadi should try as best as he can not to give gifts to his children on the occasion of Christmas as others will do. We should help our children to understand that we do not in any way celebrate this pagan festival. We know that in the past when knowledge about our faith was not well spread some of us might have indulged our children on this occasion. If we did so in the past we should desist now. We should try to give gifts to our children whenever we wish to. But if there is any particular day for gift giving I think it should be on the occasion of our festivals, namely the two Eids and not on the occasion of a fictitious Christian festival. We are not here to follow others. We should have enough self esteem to think that we can set a trend that others will follow. Sooner or later the developed and developing world will understand that the way Christmas has been celebrated with the untold damage to the environment will have to be stopped or changed. The sooner the world realizes this the better it will be for everyone. Even tiny Mauritius doubles its average waste per person during the month of December. That is why these days we see all sorts of campaign that are being launched on TV to help Mauritians to understand how much they damage the environment during the month of December and that they have to change if they want to leave a better Mauritius to the future generations.
So when we reflect about Christmas we see that in the beginning it was a pagan festival, then the Christian fathers tried to convert it into a religious one having no basis in fact, but eventually it has turned out to be an occasion for great commercial activities in most catholic countries. This is what happens when some people thinking that they are infallible as popes introduced new practices in their religion. What was originally bad eventually becomes bad whatever your best intentions to improve it and give it a religious coloring. The leaders of the Church thought of doing what was expedient. However by so doing they introduced new things into the church and eventually they departed completely from the teachings that they received. Similarly they have introduced the concept of trinity and the ascension of Jesus and his mother to the heavens, the celibacy of priests and many other practices that they were not ordained to practice. Today , those who know history are well aware that the Christians although they are quite numerous in the world, yet their teachings are impracticable and they have lots of difficulties to explain their dogmas especially to Muslims. In the Holy Quran Allah has condemned them for their innovations and despite their influence on the world Allah has said they have incurred His Displeasure and they will be punished.
Now when we look at Islamic history we understand that a Messiah was prophesized to appear in the Muslim Umma as one had appeared among the Jewish people. In fact there are many hadiths to this effect. Let me relate some to you. The Holy Prophet saw is reported to have said:
So Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad declared that two of the revelations that Allah gave him about this matter are as follows:
There are many other revelations in which he was told about how he was Jesus son of Mary that was foretold. But before dying he explained clearly in his book “Al Wassiyyat” how the Jamaat should be run after his death. But unfortunately after the death of his first caliph, Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Ahmad (1889-1965), the second caliph introduced a few doctrines that were not compatible with the teachings of the Promised Messiah himself. In view of the importance that he was given in the Jamaat, all members thought that whatever he said was to be followed like the Holy Quran. He has introduced a concept of khilafat that makes it impossible for an appointee of Allah to fare within Jamaat Ahmadiyya. This system of khilafat has been copied on the system of papacy among the Christians and it has created a lot of havoc within the Jamaat. The caliph through its missionaries and caliph have created khilafat into a dogma just like the Christians have been doing about the infallibility of their popes who have introduced several unchristian dogmas or practices within the church. Today due to the brainwashing that Ahmadis have been subjected to since their birth no one dares to challenge what they have been told while remaining an Ahmadi. Some are criticizing but they have declared themselves to be no longer Ahmadi. You can even hear them on YouTube.
But we say that according to what Allah said to the Promised Messiah, the Jamaat should have expected many people mandated by Allah through revelations to guide the Jamaat. But such is the hold of the teachings of the second caliph on the members of the Jamaat that they do not even care if they abandon the Promised Messiah’s teachings provided that apparently they are loyal to the khilafat limited to their own understanding. Succeeding caliphs have continued to repeat what they think they were told by the second caliph and they persist in rejecting all those who might say that they have a mandate from Allah to bring the Jamaat back to its main teachings. They even at times go so far as saying that such people cannot come as long as they, as caliphs are present. I for one maintain that the Jamaat’s leadership have been drifting since some time now because they have forced Ahmadis to adopt unislamic practices. Once the leadership is corrupt nothing can be done with them. They should be replaced as soon as possible if we are keen to safeguard the Jamaat as a whole.
Anyhow personally I will continue to tell Ahmadis around the world that Allah has directed me through revelations to take care of Jamaat Ahmadiyya. Some of its teachings have already been corrupted by its leadership. In the beginning of the week Allah said to me “Fastaqim kama omirta, falaa takoum menal momtareen , falaa takoum menal kaneteen”. This may be translated as “Stand up as you have been ordained and be not amongst those who doubt, be not amongst those who are disheartened”. The leadership of Jamaat Ahmadiyya has done enormous wrong in the sight of Allah when it forced Ahmadis in Mauritius and elsewhere to harm their own brothers and sisters. I have written lengthily on this matter and soon I am publishing another booklet in Creole entitled “Social Boycott- practice of the enemies of the Holy Prophet saw” to show how far the practices of the Ahmadis in Mauritius resemble those of the Kuffars of Mecca who tried to kill the Holy Prophet saw.
Anyhow whatever we see with Christmas today is a vivid reminder of what can go wrong when some religious leaders think that they can do whatever they want to maintain their sway over the minds of their followers. May Allah protect us from such leaders. May we and all those who follow us be always served by leaders who understand the meaning of true servantship. May they be those whom we would love and who would love us. May they be those for whom we would pray and who would pray for us. May they be the means for our salvation and not our destruction. Ameen