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Christian Calendar and Intercalation

CHRISTIAN CALENDAR

Many Muslims today use the Christian calendar system in their daily affairs, not realizing that some of the practices inherent to this calendar are forbidden in Islam (notably intercalation or nasee).

Moreover, many of those who use the Christian calendar, Christians and otherwise, think that it is an accurate system or that it has had a fixed and true reference point. Thus, when the calendar tells us today is the first Tuesday of the month of May of the year 1999 for example, then this is what today actually is. But the truth is, no one knows for sure what the day, the month or the year actually is. Not only that, but the need for correction is continuous and is inescapable. Intercalation, for example, is done at least every four years through the process called the leap year.

The Christian calendar has years that are 365 or 366 days long. It is divided into 12 months that have no relationship to the motion of the moon, and it employs a system of weeks that group the days in sets of 7. It had three main versions: The Roman, the Julian and the Gregorian calendars, the difference between which lies in the way they approximate the length of the tropical year and in their rules for  approximating the occurrence of Easter.

THE ROMAN CALENDAR

Originally, the year started on March 1, and consisted of only 304 days or 10 months (Martius, Aprilis, Maius, Junius, Quintilis, Sextilis, September, October, November, and December). These 304 days were followed by an unnamed and unnumbered winter period. The Roman king Numa Pompilius (c. 715-673 BC, although his historicity is disputed) allegedly introduced February and January (in that order) between December and March, increasing the length of the year to 354 or 355 days. In 450 BC, February was moved to its current position between January and March.

In order to make up for the lack of days in a year, an extra month, Intercalaris or Mercedonius, (allegedly with 22 or 23 days) was introduced in some years. It was the duty of the priesthood to keep track of the calendars, but they failed miserably, partly due to ignorance, partly because they were bribed to make certain years long and others short. Furthermore, leap years were considered unlucky and were therefore avoided in times of crisis, such as the Second Punic War. In order to clean up this mess, Julius Caesar made his famous calendar reform in 45 BC. “Julius Caesar made all odd numbered months 31 days long, and all even numbered months 30 days long (with February having 29 days in non-leap years). In 44 BC, Quintilis was renamed ‘Julius’ (July) in honor of Julius Caesar, and in 8 BC Sextilis became ‘Augustus’ in honor of emperor Augustus. When Augustus had a month named after him, he presumably wanted his month to be a full 31 days long, so he removed a day from February and shifted the length of the other months so that August would have 31 days. This fact, however, is not confirmed, and could be  a fabrication dating back to the 14th century.

THE JULIAN CALENDAR

It was introduced by Julius Caesar in 45 BC. It was in common use until the 1500s. However, some countries (Greece and Russia, for example) used it well into this century. In the Julian calendar, the tropical year is approximated as 365.25 days. This gives an error of 1 day in approximately 128 years. The approximation 365 1/4 is achieved by having 1leap year every 4 years. Furthermore, the way it calculated the Easter occurrence was inaccurate, it had to be refined depending on the fact that most felt that 21 March was the proper day for vernal equinox (because 21 March was the date for vernal equinox during the Council of Nicaea in AD 325). The Gregorian calendar was therefore calibrated to make that day vernal equinox. By 1582 vernal equinox had moved (1582-325)/128 days = approximately 10 days backwards. So 10 days had to be dropped. This change in sequence of the calendar is known in Islam as intercalation, which is prohibited to do for any reason.

THE GREGORIAN CALENDAR

The Gregorian calendar is commonly used today by the non-Muslims. Pope Gregory XIII adopted it in accordance with instructions from the Council of Trent (1545-1563). In the Gregorian calendar, the tropical year is approximated as 365 97/400 days = 365.2425 days. Thus it takes approximately 3300 years for the tropical year to shift one day with respect to the Gregorian calendar. The approximation 365 97/400 is achieved by having 97 leap years every 400 years.

LEAP YEARS

In the Gregorian calendar, every year divisible by 4 is a leap year. Also, every year divisible by 100 is not a leap year, but every year divisible by 400 is a leap year. And so, 1800, 1900 and 2100 are not leap years, while 1600 and 2000 are.

WHO USES THE GREGORIAN CALENDAR?

As we mentioned above not all countries adopted this calendar, and some of those who did, had their own changes added to it. Italy, Poland, Portugal, and Spain adopted it and other Catholic countries followed shortly after, but Protestant countries were reluctant to change. Later, the Orthodox Church in Greece decided to switch to the Gregorian calendar in the 1920s, but they tried to improve on the Gregorian leap year rules, replacing the “divisible by 400” rule.

Thus the beginning of their calendar is still different from the rest of the Christian world. In an attempt to unify their Christmas and Easter celebrations, both churches tried to change both Calendars. The meeting happened in Aleppo, Syria (5-10 March 1997), organized by the World Council of Churches and the Middle East Council of Churches, Representatives of several churches and Christian world communions suggested that the discrepancies between Easter calculations could be resolved by adopting calculations of the vernal equinox and the full moon. This new method for calculating Easter should take effect from the year 2001.

WHEN IT HAPPENED?

Was Prophet Eesa (Jesus), alayhis salam, born in the year 0? No. The reasons for this is that there is no year 0 in the Gregorian calendar and that Eesa, alayhis salam, was born before 4 BC. The concept of a year “zero,” which was introduced by the Muslims was not known to Romans when they devised their calendar. Therefore, CE 1 follows immediately after 1 BC with no intervening year zero. The exact year Eesa, alayhis salam, was born is not known. Also, he, alayhis salam, was not born in December.

And when did the 1st century start? In the year CE 1. Therefore, the 2nd century should have started in CE 101. Thus, the 21st century must have started in the year CE 2001 (and not 2000). And although the 20th century started in 1901, the 1900s started in 1900. The Gregorian system therefore is not standard by any means. It is neither accurate nor widely used.

INTERCALATION
[By Syed Khalid Shaukat]

Every calendar except one, at any time in the entire history of the world, has had to make corrections by either adding or subtracting time. The Jewish, Chinese, or Hindu calendars add a thirteenth month periodically, to bring the lunar calendar in line with the solar calendar. This is called “intercalation” or “Nasee” (in Arabic). Two kinds of Nasee’ were in practice at the time of Prophet Muhammad, sallallahu alayhi wasallam. One was inserting a thirteenth month, and the other was transposing a sacred month with another for certain social or political needs and advantages. During the Prophet’s farewell message, two revelations regarding the Islamic calendar were given to humankind, Allah says, “The number of months in the sight of Allah is twelve (in a year). So ordained by Him, the day He created the heavens and the earth. Verily the transposition (of a prohibited month or intercalation) is an addition to disbelief.” [9:36-37]

This indicates that the use of a calendar with intercalation is against nature and prohibited by Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala. Intercalation of a month is used by Jewish, Chinese, and Hindu calendars, while Gregorian calendar uses intercalation of days in several months to increase the number of days to 30 or 31. The one calendar that does not add or subtract time is the Islamic calendar. Despite the figures presented by some calendars, the reality is that among all the prevailing calendars in the world, the Islamic calendar is the oldest in practice in its original form without any correction or modification. The Islamic calendar, because of its inherent cycles of the visible crescent, does not require any corrections, and has remained intact in its principle since it was given to humankind by Allah through Messenger Muhammad, sallallahu alayhi wasallam.

The Christian/Gregorian Calendar and its Pagan roots

I would like to bring to light the origins of the Christian calendar, in order to reveal their pagan roots. My purpose is twofold;

1) To help the Christians by showing them how far off from the Worship of the One True God they are, In shaa’Allah (God Willing), and

2) It is also a warning to all Muslims of the implications of celebrating said holidays, as well as adhering to the Christian calendar in the so-called spirit of
“Good Will” with the Christians.

This seems to be ever more prevalent today as Muslims are integrating with western ideologies not only in the Americas, but also much of Europe. So with that let examine where exactly these concepts originated from, and if in fact they had anything at all to do with Prophet Jesus (‘Eesa Alaihissalaam).

I wish to address the Christian calendar and its “pagan” origins. The majority of the western world follows the “solar calendar” as was implemented by the Christian
Church centuries ago. It should be noted, however, that at one time the Christians, like the Muslims and Jews, followed the “lunar calendar” . Today, Muslims and Jews still adhere to the “lunar calendar” , whereas the rest of the world, with a few exceptions, adhere to the “solar calendar” .

Before we begin though, I would like to point out that the
“solar calendar” is somewhat imperfect. It is this imperfection that causes the addition of an extra day in February every four years. This is called a “Leap Year” . I will not be discussing astronomy here however, but rather the origins of the “solar calendar” and nothing more.

When civilization was still young, and before people knew any better, the most brilliant object they could see was the sun. They thought the sun was God and as such worshipped it. This pagan idea remained with the Christians when they changed the Jewish Sabbath (Saturday) to the Christian day of rest
(Sunday) . The Christians called this rest day “Sun-day” , a day dedicated to the Roman sun-god that I mentioned earlier. This pagan idea also had an influence on the names of the months as we shall now explore;

JANUARY
The Roman year originally began in March, but when the calendar was revised by the Christian Pope Gregory the 13 th, January was made the first month in dedication of “JANUS”, a Roman god who was represented as having two faces, one looking backward and the other forward.

Pope Gregory the 13th took this into consideration when making January the first month of the year because it suggested both looking back and looking forward.

FEBRUARY
February was named after “FEBRUA”, the Roman feast of purification. Before Julius Caesar, it was the last month of the year but it was placed as the second month on the Roman calendar and the Christians did likewise in their calendar.

MARCH
“MARS”, the Paganic god of war, gave his name to the month of March, for the Romans considered it a noisy and blustering month. When they went to war, they carried a cage full of chickens, which was sacred to “MARS”. Before the battle, they offered corn to the chickens. If the chickens rejected the corn, the Romans feared defeat. If, however, the chickens ate the corn, the Romans were confident of victory.

APRIL
The month of April, which heralds the spring season in the northern hemisphere, takes the name “The Opener” from nature’s opening “Omnia Aperit”, which is Latin for “It Opens All Things”. It was named as such because it is during this month, in the northern hemisphere, that the earth awakens from its winter sleep. The buds appear and bloom in the branches. The birds rejoice and it is heard in their songs. Oddly enough, this is also the time of the year of the Pagan-Roman-Christian Easter celebrations.

MAY
May was dedicated to and received its name from “MAIA”, a female worshipped as a goddess, whose father was “ATLAS”. The whole weight of the world was supposed to have rested on the shoulders of “ATLAS”. Of his seven daughters, “MAIA” was considered to be the most famous because of her beauty and her lovely figure. Her son “MERCURY” became the winged messenger of the gods. Christians now consider May to be the month of “MARY”(ra), the mother of Prophet Jesus (‘Eesa alaihissalaam). It is easy to see the similarities between Maia and Mercury to that of Mary(ra) and Jesus(as)which the Pagan-Christians mixed.

JUNE
June was considered by the Romans as the month of roses. It was dedicated to “JUNO”, the jealous, but so-called wife of the Paganic Roman god “JUPITER”.

“JUNO” is represented in her statues and pictures driving in a chariot drawn by peacocks.

JULY
The Pagan King, Julius Caesar, considered to be one of the greatest men of his time, gave his own name to July. He ordered the seventh month to be named after him.

Pope Gregory the 13 th held Julius Caesar in high esteem and as such his name was carried over unchanged into the Gregorian calendar.

AUGUST
August owes its name to the nephew of Julius Caesar, “AUGUSTUS”, who was first named “OCTAVIUS”. In order to flatter him, the people around him changed his name to Augustus, which means “Noble”. However, since July had 31 days and August only 30 days, the Romans took a day from September and placed it in August, fearing that Augustus might be jealous of Julius Caesar’s extra day in the month of July.

SEPTEMBER, OCTOBER, NOVEMBER, DECEMBER
The name September comes from the Latin word for seventh, as do the names October, November and December, which means eight, ninth and tenth respectively. These months kept their names from the time when the year began in March, before the time of Julius Caesar and was adopted into the Gregorian calendar. Oddly enough, December is also the birth month of the Roman sun-god which also influenced the decision to make January the first month of the “new” Christian calendar. The events of the birth of the Roman sun-god has now become Christian dogma as pertaining to the birth of Prophet Jesus(‘Eesa Alaihissalaam).

The authority to proclaim new moons, change the system, resided with the Caesar
his seat of power ruled, and he was the priest of Janus.

Pontifex Maximus – Etruscan meaning highest priest, bestowed on Caesar as the head of the Pontifical College of Priests of Janus

Cardinals – Latin ‘cardo’ meaning hinge. They assisted the priest of Janus in opening ‘the door’ to the Elysian Fields, the Pagan ‘Heaven’.

so Caesar was the gateway to the after-life for a Roman pagans.

First, the Julian Calendar, then in 1582 Pope Gregory implemented a 10-day adjustment to the calendar designed by Sosigenes for that year. This was obeyed by the ‘papal states’ but the rest of the western world remained on the former timetable, until the time of Benjamin Franklin that the rest of society came into line with Rome. So now, we now have the Gregorian Calendar.

The power of the Caesars had been handed/inherited down to the Popes and Pagan-Christianity.

First, popes were called the Bishop of Rome, and then they used the Caesar’s title, “papal”, a Mithraic title. – therefore, the Caesar now is the Pope.

Days too are named after the Pagan fake deities!

Sunday – dies solis , day of the sun:

Since Babylon was established, pagans have worshipped the sun.
Baal, Shamash, Moloch, Ahura-Mazda, Dagon, Sol, Marduk, Mithras, Krishna, Amon-Ra, Aton, Woden(Odin), Zeus, Deus, and the Druid/Teutonic ‘God’. This began with the first king Nimrod.

In 321 CE, Constantine I, gave the term Sun-Day, which he called Sol Invictus Mithras (day of the unconquerable sun, Mithras). This was a Universal Edict. Romans considered anyone who did not worship the sun to be an atheist and a traitor, since Caesar was the sun enthroned in a man.

Mondaythe Day-of-the-Moon:

To the Romans, lunae dies
Moon was identified with Artemis (Diana) – Artemis is depicted with the crescent moon beneath her feet as if riding in a boat – exactly as you will see Mary in Roman Catholic illustrations.

Tuesday – Tyr’s Day – day of Tiu:

Teutonic Druid – Celtic idol,The Druids still worship the sun at Stonehenge every summer solstice.
Tyr or Tiu, was the Paganic Norse deity of war, considered the son of Odin(Woden). The French call this day Mardi (Mar’s Day), after Mars – the Roman deity of war.
French celebrate Mardi Gras – ‘fat Tuesday’ – bearing the name of the Roman deity.

WednesdayWodin, Odin’s Day

Considered highly skilled in magic, this Celtic deity was, to the Teutonic pagans, the husband of Freya, or Frigga. The Romans honoured Mercury on this day, calling it Mercurii dies (Mercury’s Day).

This mid-week evening was highly regarded as a night of majik – the Druids met to hold hands in a circle, chant, enchant, cast spells and do it while surrounding a burning cross – the symbol of Wodin (Odin)cross with the circle – the sun.

The Druids were very nationalistic, so it was difficult for Rome to conquer them. The only way Christianity could win them over was to absorb their culture. This is called inculturation.

Syncretism – the attempt to reconcile or combine differing beliefs in philosophy or religion by uniting them – mixes two or more behaviors together, re-inventing the meaning “on the surface”.
(syncretism – from “syn-together” and French “cretin – idiot” , from Swiss French “crestin”)

Thursday – the Celtic Thor’s Day – the deity of thunder and son of Woden and Freya:

The same as Taranus, Thor was associated with thunder.

The Dutch donder, or Germanic donder – one of Santa’s reindeer.
The Romans honoured Jupiter on this day, which was originally IU-PITAR, meaning Jovis-father.

“Jove” – Zeus. The Altar of Zeus, used at every Olympic game is lit by a torch. The altar is T-shaped – Thor’s emblem was the hammer, secretly interpreted as the letter T – harkening back to Tammuz (Babylonian Duzu), – the son of Nimrod and Semiramis.

Friday – Old English Frigedaeg – Frey Day or Frigga Day

Frigga –wife of Woden. The Greeks honoured Aphrodite on this day, and the Romans venerated Venus(Astarte). This day was the Egyptians day of Isis – depicted with the symbol of the fish on her head. The fish symbol pre-dates the Egyptians coming from the Phoenician/Philistine cult of Dagon. (Judge 16:23, 1Sam5:2).
Dag is Hebrew for fish and Latin – Pisces. Chosen by the pagans for fertility symbol because fish lays thousands of eggs.

The Greek word ichthys(ikhthus) doesn’t mean Christ, but fish.

Saturday – the Greco-Roman Day of Saturn

Saturn was the Romans deity of agriculture – Greeks is ‘Cronus’
This day was dedicated to Saturnus – the big party at the end of the Roman year at the Solstice, Saturnalia.

Also Sater Day – SATYR – a goat-legged half man with horns and pointed ears, was believed to be a drunken lecherous demon with an abnormal sexual appetite. (Observe the western culture’s weekend parties now – the satyr profile: drunkenness, orgiastic revelry, mischievousness)

Though the Gregorian calendar came into force long after the birth of Prophet Jesus(Nabi ‘Eesa alaihissalaam), the Christian church was reluctant to sever its ties, its links and its umbilical cord from its idolatrous, pagan past.

It is little wonder that Israel Zangwill, a Jewish author in his book “Children of the Ghetto”, summed up this phenomenon with these words;

“Scratch the Christian and you will find the pagan-spoiled.”

The hypothesis of Christianity History itself indicates on the outset that as the Pagans were absorbed into Christianity, it was the policy to accept everything they were accustomed to celebrating also.

Let’s hear it directly from the Catholic organization itself; the Catholic Cardinal John Henry Newman’s book, The Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine, published in 1878, states in chapter 8: “The rulers of the Church from early times were prepared, should the occasion arise, to adopt, to imitate, or to sanctify the existing rites and customs of the population, as well as the philosophy of the educated class. The use of temples and those dedicated to particular saints, and ornamented on occasion with branches of trees (wreaths), incense, lamps, candles, votive offerings on recovering from illnesses, holy water, holy days and seasons (the entire Church calendar), use of calendars, processions, blessings on the fields, sacerdotal vestments, the ring in marriage, chants, the Kyrie Eleison — are all of Pagan origin, and sanctified by adoption into the Church.”

There you have it. But, you may ask, “If Easter was a Pagan festival celebrating the impregnation of ‘Mother Earth’, how did it get mixed up with Christianity??”

The present-day “Roman-Christianity’s” “Pagan Connection” started with one man more than any other. In 325 CE, the Roman Emperor Constantine I convened what is now called the Nicene Council, gathering 220 elders (bishops) together, in order to unify basic doctrines (teachings), and establish common practices. This “universalizing” produced the Roman Catholic Church (RCC). The Latin word “Catholic” means universal. There was no “Catholic” on planet Earth prior to this Council. The only Council mentioned in the Writings conducted by the first Nazarenes is mentioned at Acts 15, the purpose of which was to determine how to accommodate Roman Pagan practices and rituals into the true teachings of ‘Eesa (alaihissalaam)(Biblical Jesus).

In order to blend practices into universal (Pagan) behavior, the Shabbat (Sabbath) was abolished , along with Passover and other annual observances which even Prophet ‘Eesa (alaihissalaam) observed. This was a prophecy revealed to Prophet Daniel (Arabic Daanyal alaihissalaam).

In the prophecy, four “beasts” or kingdoms would arise, which are clearly (1) Babylon, (2) Media- Persia, (3) Greece, and (4) Rome.

At Dani’el 7:25, the 4th beast is clearly described:

“The fourth beast is a fourth kingdom that will appear on Earth (Rome). It will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole Earth, trampling it down and crushing it. The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom (Caesars/Khasars/Kaisers/Czars ~ Julius Caesar up to Constantine). After them another king will arise, different from the earlier ones (Constantine “fused” the sun worshippers with the Nazarene writings, and was not of the family name “Caesar”); he will subdue three kings. He will speak against the Most High, and oppress His saints, and try to change the set times and the law”.

The changing of the “set times” (or seasonal appointments decreed at Deut. 16 and Lev. 23) were wiped-out and replaced with Pagan observances, imposed by a Pagan king,namely Constantine.

HYPOTHESIS

Due to compromise, syncretism, ignorance, confusion, and the intentional deceit of humanity by fallen spatial beings, mythological Pagan designs were assimilated into the lives of most every person. Unwittingly, Christianity has embraced ancient Babylonian customs rooted in sun worship. The customs were re-invented so as to have different meanings, yet behind them remain the cunning ruses of an ancient spatial being, who seeks to be worshipped by means of trickery, perpetrated upon everyone alive. There is so much Paganism active in cultures today, there can be no doubt that it was deceitfully placed into our traditions in the name of so-called “Western Culture & trends” , then through fraud and disguise and vulgarity obscured with new meanings. This camouflaged Paganism pollutes and rots the spiritual condition of all mankind, which was later injected to other parts of the world through missionaries,crusades, Britishers, imperialists etc.

Again I remind the reader that my only wish was to show the extent in which paganism has crept into the lives of Christians and much of the world over the centuries. While there is no obligation of the part of non-Muslims to relinquish their following of the “Gregorian Calendar” , it is incumbent upon all who profess Islam as religion and call themselves Muslims to adhere solely to the “Islamic Calendar” and not allow yourselves to become influenced with the “Christian Sun-Calendar”
which, without question, has its roots in “paganism” . As Muslims, and Christians for that matter, we must strive to everything in our power to please Almighty God, and to avoid such idolatrous practices, focusing all our worship to the One True Allah, to Whom all Praise is due.

Christians must come to realize that any celebrations that have become ritualistic dogma over the centuries were never promulgated by Prophet Jesus(Qur’anic ‘Eesa alaihissalaam), nor were they practiced by him. Prophet Jesus’(‘Eesa alaihissalaam) sole purpose was to propagate “monotheism” , and to even attribute these “pagan” concepts to this great messenger of Almighty  Allah would only serve to further dishonour him.

As a Muslim, it is my duty and obligation to transmit this information to the best of my ability, and it is a task I take quite seriously. I pray that my efforts are not in vain with respect to not only our Christian counterparts, but to my Muslim brothers and sisters as well who find themselves partaking of “holiday cheer” , contrary to Islamic teachings.