NEW YORK – Egyptian-American singer Raef Haggag has released a Muslim Christmas song in both Arabic and English, celebrating the special position of Prophet Jesus in Islam.
“This song shows our love for Prophet Isa (Jesus), peace be upon him. His miraculous birth, his honorable mother Mariam (Mary), and the chain of prophethood that links him, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and all other prophets is central to Islam,” Raef wrote on his Facebook fan page.
“Those who celebrate Jesus from the Christian faith and those who express love for him from the Muslim faith have plenty in common,” he added.
The song, ‘The Muslim Christmas song,’ is a cover of the Christmas carol ‘Deck The Halls.’
“The original tune ‘Deck the Halls’ is a Welsh folk song that has become one of the most recognizable melodies during the Holiday season – the power of music to transcend cultural and religious boundaries is incredible!” Raef wrote.
Widely welcomed by a huge fan-base, the song sparked a debate on social media.
“Amazing Nasheed I always put it on in the car and at home for my young siblings and they absolutely love it and love the lyrics. God bless,” one commented on Facebook.
“What a lovely song my kids love to listen to it and it is made with a lot of love peace and mercy that we should share between us and all the others that we are living with,” another added.
Others criticized the fusion between Islam and Christianity in the song, especially the use of a Christmas carol music.
“Very wrong. Is it will become pluralism? Islam has their own culture. Rasulullah SAW said whoever follows the culture of that people will become one of them. This world near the day of judgment though. I’ll delete this comment if anyone likes to comment mine,” one commented on Raef’s post.
“Probably good intentions but we don’t celebrate Christmas… why make a song about it? Something is wrong here,” one added
However, the majority praised the song as a way to connect followers of both faiths together and find a common ground of love.
“Well, I like the message of peace and coming together that this effort is trying for. A good attempt at healing wounds and seeking understanding,” one commented.
Muslims believe in Jesus as one of the great Prophets of God and that he is the son of the Virgin, Mary, but not the Son of God. He was conceived and born miraculously.
In the Noble Qur’an, Jesus is called “Isa”. He is also known as Al-Masih (the Christ) and Ibn Maryam (Son of Mary).
As for his crucifixion, Muslims believe that Jesus was not crucified but was lifted up to heaven.
Muslims believe that Jesus will come back to earth before the end of time to restore peace and order, fight the Anti-Christ (Al-Masih Al-Dajjal) and bring victory for truth and righteousness.