Easter brings happy thoughts of bunnies, colored eggs and chocolate to the mind of many people. But it is supposed to be a solemn holiday in remembrance of the life of Prophet Eesa (AS). A study of its history, though, reveals a tradition rooted deeply in pagan practices, an incorporation that Islam rejects.
Of course, the holiday named Easter was not always celebrated; not until over two hundred years after Eesa (AS) was taken to the heavens. The coming of spring has been celebrated, however, by the non-believers for a very long time; they even had gods of the spring. Springtime is when the animals have their babies, and the plants begin growing new leaves. The mushrikeen believed they needed to praise and worship these gods in order to bring the springtime and relieve them from winter. We know that Allah alone brings the new life each spring.
The symbol of the Norse Goddess of fertility, named Ostara was the hare (a rabbit-like animal). Ancient Babylonian cults used eggs as part of their spring worship. The rabbit is an animal which gives birth to a lot of babies, and eggs represent new birth. Other European mushrikeen have their influence in Easter, too. The name of their goddess of fertility was Eostre.
Now we come to how Eesa (AS) has come to be a part of this holiday. Another pagan goddess’s companion was named Attis. Attis died, and came back to life over a weekend. Friday was called Black Friday because that was supposedly the day Attis died, and on Sunday, Attis came back to life. This is the exact belief of the Christians who celebrate Easter today, except they believe it is what happened to Prophet Eesa (AS).
When the Romans were brought into Christianity, the two religions came together, and like they had done before, the Christians invented something new in order to please the mushrikeen. When Easter began being celebrated, Romans and Christians used to argue about which was the authentic original god to be worshipped at Easter, Attis or Eesa (AS)!
As Muslims we know from the Qur’an that Allah had not allowed the Jews and Romans to kill Eesa (AS) anyhow:
“And because of their saying (in boast), ‘We killed Messiah Eesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), the Messenger of Allah,’ — but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but it appeared so to them [the resemblance of Eesa was put over another man (and they killed that man)], and those who differ therein are full of doubts. They have no (certain) knowledge, they follow nothing but conjecture. For surely; they killed him not [i.e. Eesa, son of Maryam]:
But Allah raised him [Eesa] up [with his body and soul] unto Himself [and he is in the heavens]. And Allah is Ever All Powerful, All Wise.” [al-Nisa, 4:157-158]
And in addition, Allah refutes the idea that He has a son:
“It befits not (the Majesty of) Allah that He should beget a son [this refers to the slander of Christians against Allah, by saying that Eesa is the son of Allah]. Glorified be He. When He decrees a thing, He only says to it: ‘Be!’ and it is.” [Maryam, 19:35]
We can push aside the bunnies and eggs, since only certain pagan cults worship these directly anymore. Then we get to the real problem of this holiday: open shirk, that is, making partners with Allah and worshipping others besides Allah. Along with the pagans around the world, Christians use Easter as a time to make shirk with Allah. They have the belief that Eesa (AS) was the son of Allah, and he died in order to enable Allah to forgive them from their sins. Allah does not need help, He is As-Samad (The One Whom all creatures need, and He needs no one). Allah alone is Al-Gafur (The One Who Forgives), and Ar-Raheem (The Merciful).
Alhamdulillah we have Islam to make things like this clear for us. Look in the Qur’an, in surah Al-Maaidah, ayaat 116-118 to read the words that Eesa (AS) himself will say, when Allah asks him if he told people to worship him and his mother (Maryam AS). May Allah guide the Christians we know to the truth and light of Islam, leaving imitation of the mushrikeen. Ameen.
Pop Quiz! What small surah states for us these ideas all together:
1) Allah never needs anyone, but we all need Him.
2) Allah does not have a son.
3) Allah was never born.
Answer: Surah Al-IKhlaas