Many of us embark on triumphal celebrations reflected within our faith and culture during the winter months; the Jewish communities celebrate Hanukah; the Hindu communities celebrate Makar Sankranti and the Christians celebrate Christmas. Each faith tradition is celebrated in various ways with family/community gatherings with festive banquets, and gift giving. In sharing the same holiday zeal, Moorish American Islamic communities across the country celebrate the physical birth of their Holy Divine Prophet Drew Ali every January 8th.
It was referred as “Moorish Christmas” by Prophet Drew Ali to give his followers a clear understanding of the importance of his coming. Prophet Drew Ali stated to his followers; “If you’re going to celebrate Christmas why not make it my birthday.” It was his way to transition the mindset and actions of his followers to a new lifestyle and customs befitting of Moorish American Moslems.
At the time of the very first Moorish Christmas January 8th, 1926 many of the followers were new converts to Islam from Christianity. It was an era when the faith of Islam practice from a Moorish perspective was viewed as foreign or new age religion; not only to the followers of Prophet Drew Ali but the general population. During the mid-1900 people were not exposed to a plethora of religious beliefs like today; when Prophet Drew Ali introduced Moorish Christmas to his followers he knew he needed to make a connection for Moorish Americans who were accustomed to the Christian celebrations of Christmas.
It is reflected in our Holy Koran that we as Moorish Moslems comprehend the inner life by what we see and do, we show our connection to Allah through ceremonies and forms. Our Beloved Prophet knew of the importance his followers needed to have an outward show of celebrations with gift giving, family gathering, and community festivities with food, fun, and fellowship. Moorish American Moslems celebrate with a fixed purpose and understanding of their true history and Divine relationship with Allah.
As Moorish Americans, we are to worship under our own vine and fig tree as noted by our Beloved Prophet Drew Ali on the back of every Circle 7 Koran. Our Beloved Prophet Drew Ali is the very one who guided us back to the Divine vine and fig tree of our ancient Forefathers.
January 8th-15th Our Moorish Islamic Candelabrum
One of several customs done a few days prior leading up to January 8th is to place a photo of our Beloved Prophet surrounded with seasonal adornments along with gifts to loved ones in paying tribute to Allah’s love though is a welcome display of race pride, faith, and love. We also have our “Moorish Islamic Candelabrum” in representing A Spiritual Journey of Return. Seven candlesticks; six red and 1 white embedded in a tray of sand, the single white candle signifies “Perfect Man” attribute of our Beloved Prophet. The six red candles represent the stages in our journey across the hot arid desert to the founding of the Holy City. It reflects how we left out of Paradise and how we must return to our beginning, the oneness with Allah. There are several levels of understanding to our Moorish Islamic Candelabrum, however, the most basic is referenced within our Circle 7 Koran.
"20. From Allah's own Record Book, we read: The Triune Allah breathed forth, and stood seven spirits before His face. The Hebrews call these seven Spirits, Elohim.
21. And these are they who, in their boundless power, created everything that is, or was.
22. These Spirits of the Triune Allah moved on the face of boundless space and seven others were and every other had its form of life.
23. These forms of life were but the thought of Allah, clothed in the substance of their ether planes.
24. Men call these ether planes the planes of protoplast, of earth, of plant, of beast, of man, of angel and of cherubim.
25. These planes with all their teeming thoughts of Allah, are never seen by eyes of man in flesh; they are composed of substance far too fine for fleshy eyes to see, and still they constitute the soul of things.
26. And with the eyes of soul all creatures see these ether planes, and all forms of life.”
The first candle is lit sunset of Jan 8th with each candle to be lit each day at sunset with the last candle lit on the eve of the 14th which is the start of the 15th day of our Moorish New Year.
Today, we continue to celebrate our Divine Prophet Noble Drew Ali birthright, by hosting community celebrations, and public educational forums. While though some Moorish Americans continue to acknowledge January 8th as Moorish Christmas, others prefer “Moorish American Saviors Day” or “Prophet Drew Ali Day.” No matter how it is referenced it is celebrated in honoring a true Divine Prophet of Allah, Noble Drew Ali; with community and family gatherings; along with gift giving, public lectures and traditional meals. Every Moorish Islamic holy day/holiday is celebrated with an abundance of love and unity; always through informing, educating and uplifting.
To learn more about the Moorish American Islamic community of
The Moorish Science Temple of America-1928, please visit our website at www.msta1928.org
Always Peace and Forever Love Praise to Allah.