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The charge of Christanity being borrowed from paganism

By James Selvaraj Annaswamy

It is often stated by the muslims that the christians borrowed the rituals and beliefs of the pagans in their faith. For this, several stuffs are mentioned by them which they say are corresponding with the paganism. One such allegation is the Jesus's task of atonement on the cross which He accomplished for the whole mankind that is analogous with the stories of the pagan gods like Mithra, Dionysus and Attis etc.


One needs to know that in the the Mosaic law too, there exists various kinds of sacrifices of the animals and one of these sacrifices is the "Sacrifice for sins" which God commanded to be done every year for the atonement. The pagans offers sacrifices to their gods of the animals which is rendered as " BALI PRATHA" in India. One can find numerous sects of paganism that offers these kind of sacrifice to their gods in India upto this day. Abraham, the one who is claimed to be the Father of the Jewish, Christian and Islamic faith by the adherants of these faiths was commaded by God to offer his son to God Himself which he followed and as he was about to kill his son, God restricted him and provided a ram that substituted his son and he made sacrifice to God Almighty. This story can be found in the Holy Bible and in the Qur’an as well. In fact, the muslims observes “Eid ul Zuha” in the memory of this event and sacrifices a goat, sheep , cow, buffalo or a camel unto Allah. The muslims are commaded in their book for this which can be found in Qur’an chapter 2 verse 196:-



“And perform properly (i.e. all the ceremonies according to the ways of Prophet Muhammad SAW), the Hajj and 'Umrah (i.e. the pilgrimage to Makkah) for Allah. But if you are prevented (from completing them), sacrifice a Hady (animal, i.e. a sheep, a cow, or a camel, etc.) such as you can afford, and do not shave your heads until the Hady reaches the place of sacrifice. And whosoever of you is ill or has an ailment in his scalp (necessitating shaving), he must pay a Fidyah (ransom) of either observing Saum (fasts) (three days) or giving Sadaqah (charity - feeding six poor persons) or offering sacrifice (one sheep). Then if you are in safety and whosoever performs the 'Umrah in the months of Hajj, before (performing) the Hajj, (i.e. Hajj-at-Tamattu' and Al-Qiran), he must slaughter a Hady such as he can afford, but if he cannot afford it, he should observe Saum (fasts) three days during the Hajj and seven days after his return (to his home), making ten days in all. This is for him whose family is not present at Al-Masjid-al-Haram (i.e. non-resident of Makkah). And fear God much and know that God is Severe in punishment.” ( Surah Baqrah verse 196, Hilali- Khan’s Translation)

Secondly, like Judaism, hinduism and other faiths, the muslims too performs the pilgrimage (or Hajj) every year which is one of the 5 pillers of Islamic faith which they are commanded to perform as corroborated from the above quoted ayah of the Qur’an, their holy book.


Keeping these facts in mind, if we will be alleging that the muslims borrowed the practice of sacrifice and pilgrimage from the pagan faiths who too perform these things then will they accept? Certainly not. They will be saying that it was commanded by Allah to Mohammad, their prophet to perform these things and that is the reason they do so.

So from the Islamic perspective too if one may think on these facts, he will conclude that though the pagans too perform the practice of pilgrimage and sacrifice but Allah too commanded in Qur’an to do the same to the muslims and their reasoning and claims that Christians borrowed stuffs from paganism remains no longer justified as they can also be questioned and accused of doing the same which they do to the Christians. 


Satan too demands worships or someone may prostrate to him instead of God as he asked Jesus to bow down to himself while he was tempting Him in the wilderness (Luke 4:6-7). Therefore alleging that since satan demanded prostrating and hence it is satanic act will not be justified. Isn’t it?


In the same manner alleging that Christanity stole its beliefs and practices from paganism is not justified as we have the prophetic words of prophet Isaiah who foretold the sufferings of Messiah and His task of atonement in the 53rd Chapter of his book to which the muslims rejects as their book denies that Jesus was crucified and died in Surah Nisa verses 157-158 and hence they have no option except to take refuge in the jewish interpretation of this passage according to which this was spoken for the nation of Israel and not Messiah. The jews only do so to deny that Jesus is the Messiah whereas the muslims do so since there book denies that.


Well that is a different matter but this act of alleging by them that the Christian beliefs are borrowed from paganism stands nowhere justified and sound AS THEY CAN ALSO BE ACCUSED OF THE SAME USING THEIR OWN STANDARDS WHICH THY USE TO CLAIM THE CHRISTANITY BEING BORROWED FROM PAGANISM.

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