The last week of December is a week of celebrations – when the entire Christian World is engrossed in celebrating the birth of Prophet Isa (May peace be upon him) or the Christ. Yes I am talking of Christmas – falling on 25th December, the birthday of a prophet. Unlike the Christian world, for whom there is no prophet to revere after the Christ, we the Muslims have same respect as we have for any prophet that came to this world before Prophet Muhammad (May peace be upon him). For us, the birthday of a prophet is as respectful as it is for his followers.
So Happy Christmas to all Christians around the globe. And I wish everyone peace, love, prosperity and all the happiness in life. When I went to market today, I saw lot of rush on shops selling Christmas trees. Although these were made of plastic as original trees are not available, these looked colourful and bright with small tiny bulbs glittering all around the trees. Beside the trees, people were also buying presents and gifts for friends and families. Likewise there was lot of rush on confectionary and sweet stores, and bakeries for purchasing exclusively ordered and baked cakes and sweets. So it is going to be fun and exciting night tonight, specially for the children who will await the Santa Claus for him to come and deliver them the gifts to celebrate the birth of the Christ tomorrow. We join them too on this happy day.
The churches and cathedrals all over Pakistan hold special services to celebrate the day with religious fervor. Parties and family reunions are held to share the joy of the birth of the Christ. I remember one Uncle Persey who was a dear friend of my father. On every Christmas we used to be invited for dinner at his house. His only daughter Shirley was of our age and we would play games and make merry. The turkey at dinner table used to be Mrs Persey’s favourite dish, beside a number sweet dishes and cakes. Later the family went to England and we lost any contact with them. Good days.
For us in Pakistan, the day also assumes special importance as on 25th December in 1876, Muhammad Ali Jinnah was born: a man whose relentless efforts despite his illness were to win over Pakistan from the British. Pakistan became a separated homeland for the Muslims of the British India some seven decades later on 14th August 1947. He is therefore revered as the Quiad-e-Azam, the great leader, and the founder and father of Pakistan.
The day is celebrated with the mounting of a special guard of honour by the cadets of the Pakistan Military Academy on the mausoleum of the Quaid in Karachi. The ceremony is witnessed by a large number of people who come to pay homage to the great man who lies buried under the sand he had won over so that Muslims could live in an independent country.
Read more about: Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founding father of Pakistan (Pakistanpaedia)