Jesus and the Holiday Spirit

There was a time in history when Christmas was more than getting thirty percent off the newest flat-screen at BestBuy, or anticipating Macy’s super holiday sale. There was a time when it was a celebration of Jesus the son of Mary. As Muslims we can argue the origins of Christmas until we are blue in the face, but instead I’d like us to use this time to remind ourselves of who Jesus was and what he stood for. He was a great Messenger of Allah, a brother of our Messenger Muhammad in the realm of prophecy. Allah Adorns the Qur’an with mention of Jesus and His blessed mother Mary. Below you will find a unique description of Jesus by Ka’b Al’Ahbar (with a minor edit). I hope we use this to instill some true Jesus spirit into the Holidays.

قال كعبُ الأحبارِ * كان عيسى بنُ مريمَ رجلاً أحمرَ إلَى البَيَاضِ ما هو * سبطَ الرأسِ ولم يدهِنْ رأسَه قطُّ * وكان عيسى يمشي حافِيًا * ولم يَتَّخِذْ بيتًا ولا حِلْيَةً ولا متاعاً ولا ثِياباً ولا ورقاً إلا قوتَ يومه * وكان حيثما غابت الشمس صفّ قدميه وصلى حتى يُصْبِح * وكان يُبْرِئُ الأكمه والأبرص ويُحيي الموتى بإذن الله * وكان يخبرُ قومُه بما يأكلون في بيوتهم وما يَدَّخِرون لِغَدٍ * وكان يمشي على وجهِ الماءِ في البحر * كان أشعثَ الرأسِ صغيرَ الوجهِ * زاهدًا في الدنيا راغبًا في الآخرة حَرِيْصًا على عبادة الله * وكان سَيّاحًا في الأرض ….فرفعه الله إلى السماء

Kaʿb al-Aḥbār narrates,

ʿIsa ibn Maryam was a man of rosy-white complexion, with lank hair which was never dyed. He would walk bare-footed, claiming nothing in the way of shelter, finery, wares, garments, or money; of the latter he would procure only enough to subsist for the day. Once the sun would set, he would align himself and pray until morning. He would restore sight to the blind, heal those afflicted with leprosy, and revive the dead – all with the license of God. He would inform his people of that which they were consuming in their own homes and of that which they were secretly and protectively safeguarding for their future. He would, in the very midst of the sea, walk upon the surface of the water. He had shaggy, tousled hair and a slender, delicate face. He was ascetic in matters of this world, vigorously exuberant towards the hereafter, ever-vigilant in his devotions to God. He was an itinerant who wandered the earth…..It was then that God raised him up to the heavens.

Moutasem Atiya


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