Birth of Christ and Prophet Muhammad being celebrated on same day this year

In a rare conjunction of dates, the world’s two major Semitic religions, Islam and Christianity, are celebrating the birth of their central figures on the same day here in Bangladesh.

Published : 25 Dec 2015, 06:12 AM
Updated : 25 Dec 2015, 08:15 AM

The sighting of the moon has made that possible, though elsewhere in Europe and the Arab countries the birth of Jesus Christ and Prophet Mohammad have been just a day apart.

Theologians and followers of the two faiths are seeing this Dec 25, Friday, as a historic moment to focus on the harmony and similarities between the two religions.

Christians across the world celebrate the birth of Christ, known as Prophet Isa in Islam, as Christmas on Dec 25.

And Muslims of the world observe Prophet Muhammad’s birth on the 12th day of the Rabi-ul-Awwal month of the Islamic calendar as Eid-e-Miladunnabi.

The Prophet had died on the same day as that of his birth at the age of 63.

This year, the births of both Christ and Muhammad are being celebrated on Dec 25 in Bangladesh, thanks to a coinciding of dates caused by yearly adjustment of calendar time.

In the countries of Europe and the Arab world, however, Eid-e-Miladunnabi was celebrated a day ahead of Christmas.

Half the world’s seven billion people are followers of either of the two religions.

Dhaka University teacher of world religion and culture Kazi Nurul Islam told that it would be worthwhile finding out when in the past had the birthdays of the Christ and Muhammad had been observed on the same day.

“We must highlight on this day that the teachings of all religions are the same when it comes to human well-being. We must follow the message of inter-religious harmony and humanism they preach.”

The Bible says Jesus Christ was born to a virgin mother. The Quran, too, makes a similar reference.

“There are innumerable more similarities between the teachings of the two religions. Religious unity can be achieved through the practise of those teachings,” said Prof Islam.

Website says the last time the birthdays of the two history-moulding prophets coincided was in 1558.

The religious leaders of the two faiths in Oxford are observing the day in a special way.

Prof Islam expressed anguish over the recent incidents of attacks in the country on Christian priests and followers of other faiths.

“Bangladesh was traditionally reputed to have been a country of religious harmony. But, unfortunately, there have been attacks on Christians, the Shia community, and other religious groups of late. This shames us as a nation,” he said.

President Md Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina have greeted the followers of the two faiths on the occasion of Christmas and Eid-e-Miladunnabi.

In his Eid-e-Miladunnabi message, President Hamid said Prophet Muhammad had created a serene society based on truth, equality, and justice in the then Arab society beset with immorality, injustice, deceit, and darkness.

In his Christmas Day message, he said the arrival of Jesus Christ on earth was an unforgettable event. He suffered and made many sacrifices to spread the great message of Christianity to make the world an abode of peace.

The president urged the people of Bangladesh to strive for religious harmony wherever they are.

Prime Minister Hasina, in her message on Eid-e-Miladunnabi, said Prophet Muhammad had arrived to give deliverance to humanity from a world tormented by sin, repression, deceit, superstitions, and strife.

The Prophet had brought in fresh air by establishing a world brotherhood, justice, an egalitarian society, and committing himself to the good of humankind.

Greeting the Christians on the occasion of Christmas, she described Bangladesh as a country of religious harmony and said she believed Christmas would strengthen the bonds between Christians and other communities.