Celebrating a Non-Muslim Holiday? An Essay by

Have you ever wondered about the issue of celebrating or partaking in Non-Muslim holidays, festivals and celebrations? What is the Islamic ruling regarding this? Is it permissible,  is it disliked, is it impermissible? Is there a difference of opinion on this matter?  Insha’Allah, in this short article, I hope that all of these (and related) questions will be clearly answered.

1. Greeting the Kuffaar on Christmas and other similar holidays of theirs is Haraam by Ittifaaq (consensus of the scholars), as Shaykh-ul-Islaam Ibn al-Qayyim said in Ahkaam Ahl adh-Dhimmah:

Congratulating the Kuffaar on the rituals that belong to them is prohibited by consensus, as is congratulating them on their festivals by saying ‘A happy festival to you’ or ‘May you enjoy your festival,’ and so on…”

2. It is prohibited for a Muslim to accept invitations on such occasions, because this is worse than congratulating them, as it implies taking part in their celebrations.

3. Similarly, Muslims are forbidden to imitate the Kuffaar by having parties on such occasions, or exchanging gifts, or giving out sweets or food, or taking time off work, etc. because the Prophet Muhammad said:

مَنْ تَشَبَّهَ بِقَومٍ فَهُوَ مِنْهُمْ
“Whoever imitates a people is one of them.”

This hadeeth was authenticated by a great deal of scholars including Abu Dawood, Ibn Hibbaan, Ibn Hajar, Az-Zarqaani, Adh-Dhahabi, Al-Haythami, Al-’Iraaqi, As-Sakhaawi, As-San’aani, Muhammad Jaarullaah As-Sa’di, Ahmad Shaakir, Ibn Baaz, Al-Albaani, Ibn `Uthaymeen, and others.

Ibn Taymiyyah, in his beautiful and monumental book Iqtidaa’ as-Siraat al-Mustaqeem Mukhaalafatu Ashaab’il-Jaheem (In Pursuit of the Straight Path by Contradicting the People of the Hellfire), said:

“Imitating them in some of their festivals implies that one is pleased with their false beliefs and practices, and gives them the hope that they may have the opportunity to mislead the weak.”

Therefore, whoever does anything of this sort is a sinner, even if he does it out of politeness, friendliness, shyness, or for whatever other reason, because this is hypocrisy in Islam and it makes the Kuffaar feel proud of their ways and festivals.

Please also take note of the following:

1. Remember the hadith of ‘Aa’ishah in Sahih al-Bukhari and Muslim where she narrated that on the Day of Eid , two young girls were doing a special performance for her (singing some songs). When Abu Bakr came to visit the Prophet and found these girls with ‘Aa’ishah, he rebuked them harshly. So the Prophet (who had been facing the wall), said:

يَا أَبَا بَكْر, إنَّ لِكُلِّ قَومٍ عِيدًا, وهَذَا عِيْدُنَا

Abu Bakr, (know that) every group of people has its Eid  (festival). And this is our Eid.”

Eid عيد is the name given to something which returns (Ya’ood), and is used to describe gatherings which happens repeatedly on a regular basis. Therefore, the Prophet clearly stated that the Eid of the people of Islam is the Eid (celebration) after Ramadaan and Eid at the end of the Hajj season. In addition to this, Friday is also considered a Eid for the Muslims, because it is a weekly gathering and is the best day of the week.

2.  The Prophet also explicitly expressed his desire to contradict the ways, celebrations, and festivities of the non-Muslims. In this hadith that has a good chain of narration, as stated by Abu Bakr Al-Athram, Umm Salamah Hind Bint Abi Umayyah said that,

أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم كان يصوم السبت والأحد ، ويقول : هما عيدان للمشركين فأنا أحب أن أخالفهما
The Prophet used to fast on Saturdays and on Sundays, and he would say: “These are two days of Eid for the Mushrikoon. So I love to oppose them (contradict them, differ from them) in these two.”  (For more info on the issue of fasting on Saturdays, see: http://www.islamway.com/?iw_s=Article&iw_a=view&article_id=2325 )

So, for the pagans, Saturday and Sunday was a special holiday for them, a Eid. On these days they would party, celebrate, relax, enjoy, dance, sing.  And in and of itself, there’s nothing wrong with relaxing on Saturday our Sunday, but the mere fact that the Pagans used to do this, was enough reason for our beloved Prophet to differ from their practice and not imitate them and fast on these days (to show his indifference and his disregard for their Eid).

So, just to differ from them, to show that we’re different, to indicate that he, in no way, is taking part in their Eid, he would fast on Saturdays and Sundays. It is as if to send a clear message: “I’m not partaking in the Eid of Non-Muslims. I want to differ from them. I love to differ from their practice (of relaxing, enjoying, partying) on these two days.” So, even though it’s permissible to relax on Saturdays and Sundays, he decided to exert himself and fast on these two days just for this particular purpose. Therefore, one can just imagine what our Prophet would’ve said if he were alive today and were asked about Christmas or Thanksgiving!

What would he say upon seeing Muslims greeting and warmly congratulating the Kuffaar on their Eids?

What if he saw his Ummah actually having Christmas trees and lights, imitating the Kuffaar and making these Eids of the disbelievers a part of their lives?

Fully indulging, forget contradicting and trying to differ from them, the Muslims are not even shunning their practices, but are rather completely participating in their traditions! “Followers” of Muhammad as they claim, but yet we see them exchanging Christmas cards and presents with the Kuffaar and making Thanksgiving turkeys. On top of all of this, they are even allowing their children to go and partake with the Kuffaar in trick-or-treating and Halloween-related events.

مَنْ تَشَبَّهَ بِقَومٍ فَهُوَ مِنْهُمْ
“Whoever imitates a people is one of them.”

So the above Prophetic words do not apply, as some ignorant people misunderstand, to normal common things, like wearing a T-shirt, or tie, or sneakers, or driving a BMW or Mercedes-Benz SLR.  Rather, it refers to things that are specific for Non-Muslims and are well-known to be widely practiced by Kuffaar. For ‘Eids’ like Halloween, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, there is no doubt whatsoever that such Eids  fall into this meaning.

3. Ibn al-Qayyim said in his book, Ahkaam Ahl adh-Dhimmah, “It is not permissible for the Muslims to attend the festivals of the disbelievers, according to the consensus of the scholars whose words carry weight.

The Fuqahaa’ who follow the four schools of thought have stated this clearly in their books. Al-Bayhaqi narrated with an authentic isnaad from ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab that he said:

“Do not enter upon the disbelievers on the day of their festival, for divine wrath is descending upon them.”

And ‘Umar also said:

“Avoid the enemies of Allah on their festivals.”

Al-Bayhaqi narrated with an acceptable isnaad from ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Amr that he said:  “Whoever settles in the land of the non-Arabs and celebrates their new year and festival and imitates them until he dies in that state, will be gathered with them on the Day of Resurrection.”

So yes, most definitely, as the Prophet told us, as reported in Saheeh Al-Bukhari:

المرء مع من أحب
“A person will be with the one whom he loved (on the Day of Resurrection).”

You will be with the one whom you loved. “Love” is not just saying, ‘I love Allah, I love Islaam, I love Prophet Muhammad.’ Love is not talk. Talk is cheap!  Love is striving to imitate, to be like, and to follow the practices of someone or something.

Now, ask yourselves this: Are you imitating the Prophet more in your life, or are you abandoning his Sunnah? Forget about whether it’s obligatory or recommended. This isn’t a Fiqh issue. It’s an issue of: Do you really love the Prophet Muhammad such that you will strive to imitate him in every aspect of your life?  Or are you imitating the Kuffaar more in your life?  Do you imitate their traditions more than the traditions of your Prophet? Who do you wish to be resurrected amongst? You will be with those whom you love.


   
  • http://www.muslimyouthmusings.com/ Arif Kabir

    There’s actually a novel in Bangladesh about Umar (radhiAllahu anhu) visiting current-day Bangladesh and aghast at all the Fitan everywhere. Now, I don’t know if that is correct Islamically, but it sure gave another perspective to imagine that Umar or any of the Salaf saw us doing what we do today. May Allah protect us…

  • Sami

    Salam Br. AbdelBasit,

    JAK for the informative article.

    Many legitimate scholars argue that holidays that don’t have a religious origin are not included under the above daleel (i.e. they would differentiate between Thanksgiving,Mothersday, etc. and Christmas,Easter,Valentines Day and so forth).

    Also, I don’t personally celebrate these holidays as I believe its best to stay away from doubtful matters. However, I just wanted to make aware that there are difference in this regard.

    Food for thought: http://www.suhaibwebb.com/islam-studies/american-customs-what-is-permissible/

    Sami

  • http://www.youtube.com/abdelbaasit1 Abd Al-Baasit

    Of course, there will always be difference of opinion on every issue.

    But the issue here is not, (quote on quote) religious holidays vs. “Non-religious” holidays.

    It’s أعياد (`Eids) of the non-Muslims vs. the `Eids that Allah has given us – people of Islaam.

    In the Saheeh, the Prophet tells Abu Bakr: إن لكل قوم عيدا “Every people have their `Eid. وهذا عيدنا And THIS is our `Eid.”

    He said, the Day of `Arafah (this coming Thursday), the Day of Nahr (Friday) and the Days of Tashreeq (following 3 days) عيدنا أهل الإسلام are the `Eids (annual days of celebration) for us, People of Islaam.

    …. So the point, is – we want to try & differ from the traditions, the practices, the annual celebrations of the non-Muslims, in sha Allah. * Not whether it is permissible or impermissible, or religious or non-religious. * As the Prophet said about those 2 days the Kuffaar took as days of relaxation & party – أريد أن أخالفهما I want to differ from them, in this practice of theirs. * It wasn’t a religious/non-religious issue. It was about, being different.

    + Finally, I want to leave you with this hadeeth to think about (in my next comment). :)

  • http://www.youtube.com/abdelbaasit1 Abd Al-Baasit

    Of course, there will always be difference of opinion on every issue.

    But the issue here is not, (quote on quote) religious holidays vs. “Non-religious” holidays.

    It’s أعياد (`Eids) of the non-Muslims vs. the `Eids that Allah has given us – people of Islaam.

    In the Saheeh, the Prophet tells Abu Bakr: إن لكل قوم عيدا “Every people have their `Eid. وهذا عيدنا And THIS is our `Eid.”

    He said, the Day of `Arafah (this coming Thursday), the Day of Nahr (Friday) and the Days of Tashreeq (following 3 days) عيدنا أهل الإسلام are the `Eids (annual days of celebration) for us, People of Islaam.

    …. So the point, is – we want to try & differ from the traditions, the practices, the annual celebrations of the non-Muslims, in sha Allah. * Not whether it is permissible or impermissible, or religious or non-religious. * As the Prophet said about those 2 days the Kuffaar took as days of relaxation & party – أريد أن أخالفهما I want to differ from them, in this practice of theirs. * It wasn’t a religious/non-religious issue. It was about, being different.

    + Finally, I want to leave you with this hadeeth to think about (in my next comment). :)

  • http://www.youtube.com/abdelbaasit1 Abd Al-Baasit

    The hadeeth was authenticated by Abu Daawood (in his Sunan), An-Nawawi (in Al-Khalaasah), Ibn Taymiyyah (in the book which I referenced to him in the above article, towards the beginning), Al-Baghawi (in Sharh as-Sunnah), Ibn Al-`Arabi (in عارضة الأحوذي), `Abdul-Haqq Al-Ishbeeli (in Al-Ahkaam As-Sughraa), Ibn Al-Mulqin (in his Sharh of Bukhaari), Ibn Hajar (in Buloogh al-Maraam, etc), Al-`Ayni (in ‘Umdah al-Qaari), and Al-Albaani (in Saheeh al-Jaami`, Saheeh Abi Daawood, Saheeh an-Nasaa’i, Takhreej Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh, Salaat al-`Eedayn).

    Narrator: Anas Ibn Maalik. * When the Prophet came to Madeenah, ولهم يومان يلعبون فيهما the People of Madeenah had 2 days in which they used to enjoy themselves & play and have fun. * {So, Br. Sami, it’s nothing religious.} The hadeeth says,

    كان لهم يومان في كل سنة يلعبون فيهما , فلما قدم النبي _ صلى الله عليه وسلم _ المدينة قال : كان لكم يومان تلعبون فيهما وقد أبدلكما الله بهما خيرا منهما , يوم الفطر ويوم الأضحى

    They used to have 2 days (imagine, Thanksgiving/Christmas) in every single year (i.e. annual), in which they used to play and party. When the Prophet arrived to Madeenah, he asked them: ما هذان اليومان؟ “What are these 2 days of yours?” What did they say? They said: كنا نلعب فيهما في الجاهلية “We used to play on these 2 days every year, in the time of Jaahiliyyah.”

    + They didn’t say, we sacrifice for the gods. Or this is the day of Jesus Christ’s birth, or the day of Hubal and Laat. Or any relgious-related issue… no! They simply said, we used to play on these 2 days, every single year, in the pre-Islamic period.

    The Prophet says to them: إن الله قد أبدلكم بهما خيرا منهما, يوم الفطر ويوم الأضحى “Surely, Allah has indeed replaced these 2 days for you, with 2 days that are Better than them! The Day of Fitr, and the Day of Adhaa.”

    So – my dear brother – this is the issue. Not religious or otherwise, or halaal or haraam. * It’s just that, Allah has given us in exchange for these man-made holidays, Holidays that are Better! So instead of celebrating thanksgiving, we have the Day of Adha —- a Day of Shukr and thanksgiving to Allah. :) Give gifts & ‘turkeys’ to the non-Muslims on This day, on Our god-given day of celebration, no on theirs. What better way of Da’wah? Tell them that this is Our annual day of celeberation. Party on your day of `Eid, not on their day.

    Catch my drift?

  • zuhwra

    Asalamm aleikum

    My daughter is 6 yrs old, and was told to dress up as a doll for the xmas school play ( it was santas xmas presents) was this haram for her?

    Jaza kallakheir.

  • zuhwra

    Asalamm aleikum

    My daughter is 6 yrs old, and was told to dress up as a doll for the xmas school play ( it was santas xmas presents) was this haram for her?

    Jaza kallakheir.

  • AbdulBasit

    Hey everybody – I just found out that the book I referred to in the article (by Shaykh-ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah), اقتضاء الصراط المستقيم مخالفة أصحاب الجحيم (In Pursuit of the Straight Path by Contradicting the People of the Hellfire) … this book is available in English under the title “The Right Way”, published by Darussalam, Riyadh.

  • AbdulBasit

    Hey everybody – I just found out that the book I referred to in the article (by Shaykh-ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah), اقتضاء الصراط المستقيم مخالفة أصحاب الجحيم (In Pursuit of the Straight Path by Contradicting the People of the Hellfire) … this book is available in English under the title “The Right Way”, published by Darussalam, Riyadh.

  • AbdulBasit

    الله أعلم Allah knows best. This is from the issues that relate to attending public schools & the requirements of that.

    It is well-known that if you attend public schools, you will end up participating in Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving projects and activities, Halloween-related activities, and the same goes for Christmas, etc.

    So it’s not about, this particular Christmas play (and whether she dresses up like a doll or like Santa). It goes deeper into the issue of attending public schools vs. Muslim schools.

    * But there’re not a lot of fulltime Muslim schools, sadly. So many times Muslim children end up having to attend public schools.

    As a parent, one must try his/her best to educate the child about Islaam, to counter the non-Islamic teachings they’re getting throughout the week. Not just putting them in a Sunday school or… but really teaching them the meaning of Islaam, what it means to be a Muslim, who is Allah, etc.

    Conclusion: Some things are requirements in public school, some are not. You have to make the judgment إن شاء الله. I don’t want to say whether dressing up like a doll (as a present of Santa) for a Christmas school play is HALAAL or HARAAM… just realize that whatever children are brought up upon, whatever children are shown, taught, and made accustomed to – especially during their young years (until around 13) – it will have an effect on them.

    Allah knows best
    - AbdulBasit Khan

  • AbdulBasit

    الله أعلم Allah knows best. This is from the issues that relate to attending public schools & the requirements of that.

    It is well-known that if you attend public schools, you will end up participating in Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving projects and activities, Halloween-related activities, and the same goes for Christmas, etc.

    So it’s not about, this particular Christmas play (and whether she dresses up like a doll or like Santa). It goes deeper into the issue of attending public schools vs. Muslim schools.

    * But there’re not a lot of fulltime Muslim schools, sadly. So many times Muslim children end up having to attend public schools.

    As a parent, one must try his/her best to educate the child about Islaam, to counter the non-Islamic teachings they’re getting throughout the week. Not just putting them in a Sunday school or… but really teaching them the meaning of Islaam, what it means to be a Muslim, who is Allah, etc.

    Conclusion: Some things are requirements in public school, some are not. You have to make the judgment إن شاء الله. I don’t want to say whether dressing up like a doll (as a present of Santa) for a Christmas school play is HALAAL or HARAAM… just realize that whatever children are brought up upon, whatever children are shown, taught, and made accustomed to – especially during their young years (until around 13) – it will have an effect on them.

    Allah knows best
    - AbdulBasit Khan

  • AbdulBasit

    But as for a direct answer from myself, I would say: I don’t think that this is a very serious matter (the case you mentioned). However, you must make sure that you are teaching her about Islam, and as she grows older, how we must differ from the non-Muslim practices and traditions.

  • AbdulBasit

    But as for a direct answer from myself, I would say: I don’t think that this is a very serious matter (the case you mentioned). However, you must make sure that you are teaching her about Islam, and as she grows older, how we must differ from the non-Muslim practices and traditions.

  • Shahin136

    @Abd al-Baasit Khan-thank you so much for writing this! I’ve been looking everywhere for an explanation of that hadeeth about imitating people and I was also one of those who thought it referred to wearing T-shirts and jeans and stuff and i was also looking to find which non-muslim holidays we could or could not celebrate and this answered all my questions.
    @Arif Kabir-I’ve heard many sheikhs say the word “Salaf” and my friend told me she’s Salafi. What does that mean? i’ve researched on this but I can’t seem to find any authentic website that answers my question.

    • Abd al-Baasit Khan

      As for your question – Shahih136 – about the Arabic word سَلَف (salaf), literally this word means, “that which came before, that which preceded”. As it occurs in the Qur’an (8:38): “Tell the disbelievers (O Muhammad), if they desist and cease (fighting/attacking the Muslims), يغفر لهم ما قد سَلَف then ‘everything that has preceded’ will be forgiven for them.”

      So this is the origin of the term, linguistically speaking. * As for its meaning in Islam, and when it’s used by speakers, it is a reference to: “The Pious Predecessors” (as you find it translated in some places), or “The Righteous Forefathers”. i.e. those pious great Muslims who came before us. And sometimes you’ll hear some Islamic speaker use the phrase, السَّلَفُ الصَّالِح “As-Salaf As-Saalih”, which basically has the same meaning as just mentioned.

      Specially, and in most cases, when we use this term (Salaf), it is particularly referring to the 1st 3 generations of Muslims [i.e. the Prophet & his Companions (صَحَابَة), then the following generation (called the تَابِعُون [Taabi'oon], or the Successors), and then the generations after them]. * Why are these three considered special? Due to a statement of the Prophet, wherein he stated: “The best of all generations humanity has ever seen is my generation (i.e. of his Companions), then the generation that will follow them, and then the generation that will follow them.” — And he stopped. 300 years. {And FYI, all of the 4 famous Imams of the Muslims, Abu Haneefah, Maalik, Shaafi’ee, Ahmad lived in this time period, these three hundred years.}

      + Last note: As for a very recent phenomenon that has emerged (and truth be told, it was some of our very recent Scholars, and Hadeeth specialists of this era, who coined this term with the best of intentions), of calling oneself a “Salafi” سَلَفِي …which btw, as u can probably guess now, means someone who is following the “Salaf”, the way and methodology of our Pious Predecessors … I personally have seen some dangers/problems arise from this kind of labeling, such as harsh exclusiveness, and many extreme groups calling themselves “Salafis” emerging, who malign and attack many of our Scholars here in the West, and are always busy in refuting and “warning” against individuals, etc.

      In general, there’s basically nothing wrong with saying you’re a “Salafi”, IF and only if you clarify along with mentioning this ‘label’, what its intended meaning is – so that no one thinks that this is some kind of “new sect”, or cult or whatever…

      • Shahin136

        Jazakallah khair brother for the detailed explanation and I hope you keep writing for MYM in the future to benefit a lot of people.

    • Abd Al-Baasit

      BTW, u may also wanna listen to this important 3 min. clip – from a lecture by Dr. Bilal Philips:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbGlzlS3O9g ;)

  • http://muslimyouthmusings.com Arif

    There’s actually a novel in Bangladesh about Umar (radhiAllahu anhu) visiting current-day Bangladesh and aghast at all the Fitan everywhere. Now, I don’t know if that is correct Islamically, but it sure gave another perspective to imagine that Umar or any of the Salaf saw us doing what we do today. May Allah protect us…

  • http://lawaonline.com/blog/love-valentine-day/ valentine day and islam

    The Festival of Love was one of the festivals of the pagan Romans, when paganism was the prevalent religion of the Romans more than seventeen centuries ago. In the pagan Roman concept, it was an expression of “spiritual love”. There were myths associated with this pagan festival of the Romans, which persisted with their Christian heirs. Among the most famous of these myths was the Roman belief that Romulus, the founder of Rome, was suckled one day by a she-wolf, which gave him strength and wisdom. The Romans used to celebrate this event in mid-February each year with a big festival. One of the rituals of this festival was the sacrifice of a dog and a goat. Two strong and muscular youths would daub the blood of the dog and goat onto their bodies, then they would wash the blood away with milk. After that there would be a great parade, with these two youths at its head, which would go about the streets. The two youths would have pieces of leather with which they would hit everyone who crossed their path. The Roman women would welcome these blows, because they believed that they could prevent or cure infertility.

  • Sumiaya

    so that means we can’t celebrate birthdays? like we can’t even wish people happy birthday?

    • Shiney

      nope, no birthdays. because the Prophet (SAW) said we only have 2 Eids (an Eid in Arabic means a day that is celebrated every year on the same day) and birthdays fall under the linguistic meaning of Eid. and for the most part, wishing someone on their b-day means acknowledging it, which shouldn’t have been done. but in the end, scholars differ as to how strict or lenient they want to be with this issue or birthdays.

      • Sumaiya

        ok JazakAllah!

      • Shaheer

        Shahin, I do remember that the Prophet(saw) said we only have two eids but i am failing to find the reference. Can you please help me with that? jazakAllah khairan

        • Yughni

          He said words to this effect on numerous occasions, but here’s just one quick example [transmitted by Abu Dawud & An-Nasaa'i; authentic]: When the Prophet came to Madinah, he found the people celebrating 2 holidays or festivals (and as far as we know, they were not religious fesitvals. They were just, يومان في كل سنة يلعبون فيهما  - as Anas Ibn Maalik said, “two days every year, in which the people would party, celebrate, take the day off”; essentially, 2 holidays/’Eids). So when he came to Madinah, he asked them: ما هذان اليومان؟

          “What are these 2 days?”

          They replied, كنا نلعب فيهما في الجاهلية “We used to play on these days (take the day off & just celebrate) in the days of Jaahiliyyah (before Islam).”

          So what did the Prophet say? ♦ He said, إن الله قد أبدلكم بهما خيرا منهما, يوم الفطر ويوم الأضحى “Then surely, Allah has already replaced these 2 days for you, with 2 days that are better than them: the day of Fitr, and the day of Adhaa.”

          ○ See: “Saheeh Sunan An-Nasaa’ee”, #1555. And “Saheeh Sunan Abi Daawood”, #1134. It was authenticated by Abu Daawood himself (1134), Ibn Taymiyyah in his book referred to in the article (Iqtidaa’ As-Siraat Al-Mustaqeem, 1/485 – wherein he said: “Its isnaad meets the criteria of Imaam Muslim”), An-Nawawi, Al-Baghawi, Ibn Al-’Arabi Al-Maaliki, ‘Abdul-Haqq Al-Ishbeeli, Ibn Al-Mulqin, As-Suyooti, Ibn Hajar Al-’Asqalaani, Al-’Ayni Al-Hanafi, Al-Albaani, etc.

          So in Islam, we have our own, distinct celebrations and holidays. Allah has given us better, as the Prophet said. And we should be content with what He has given us, and really make a Big Deal out of our God-given holidays/festivals instead of continuously trying to hold on to, and justify our celebration of the non-Muslim holidays.

          - And Allah Knows Best.

  • Usama891

    jazakallahukheir

  • Vandy

    This article is POORLY written, deceptive and outright incorrect. The texts have been misused and cherry picked in order to propagate a certain view. Ibn Taymiyah did NOT say that! Fear Allah – he said the opposite!

    • http://www.muslimyouthmusings.com/ Arif Kabir

      Please provide your evidence for such a claim.

    • Yughni

      Vandy (may Allah have mercy on you), your comment carries no weight unless you provide clear proof for what you’re trying to say… But in fact, if you have ever read the book by Shaykh Al-Islam, Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him), [أحكام أهل الذمة] “Ahkaam Ahl adh-Dhimmah” – you would not be saying this. Ibn Al-Qayyim, رحمه الله, proves therein that this “certain view” (as you said) is the clear consensus of the Scholars of the 4 Schools of Thought. This is exactly what he said, • It is NOT permissible for the Muslims to attend the festivals (أَعْيَاد) of the disbelievers, according to the consensus of the scholars who words carry weight! • On top of this, we even have explicit reports from the Prophet’s Companions forbidding this. See `Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab’s statement cited in the article, as well as ‘Abdullaah Ibn ‘Amr (رضي الله عنهما)’s statement about settling in the lands of the disbelievers and celebrating their festivals and imitating them until death (how such a person will be gathered with them on the Day of Judgment). ♦ This article proves, with clear evidence, how this is something that was known to be impermissible from the beginning of Islam.

      And btw, Ibn Qayyim’s teacher (Ibn Taymiyyah, يَرْحَمُهُ اللهُ) said the exact same thing – if you have ever read his book [and based on your comment, it's pretty clear you haven't]: اقتضاء الصراط المستقيم مخالفة أصحاب الجحيم [Iqtidaa' As-Siraat Al-Mustaqeem, Mukhaalafatu As'haabi'l-Jaheem]. • His conclusions are not ambiguous, rather he undeniably proved the impermissibility of celebrating the festivals of the disbelievers, etc.

      Do you read Arabic, Vandy?  >> These are *his* words, not mine [and they leave no room for doubt]:

      مشابهتهم في بعض أعيادهم توجب سرور قلوبهم بما هم عليه من الباطل، وربما أطمعهم ذلك في انتهاز  الفرص واستذلال الضعفاء  Imaam Ibn Al-Qayyim (يَرْحَمُهُ اللهُ) was also explicit on this issue,

      وأما التهنئة بشعائر الكفر المختصة به فحرام بالاتفاق، مثل أن يهنئهم بأعيادهم وصومهم، فيقول: عيد مبارك عليك، أو تهْنأ بهذا العيد ونحوه، فهذا إن سلم قائله من الكفر فهو من المحرمات وهو بمنزلة أن يهنئه بسجوده للصليب بل ذلك أعظم إثماً عند الله، وأشد مقتاً من التهنئة بشرب الخمر وقتل النفس، وارتكاب الفرج الحرام ونحوه، وكثير ممن لا قدر للدين عنده يقع في ذلك، ولا يدري قبح ما فعل، فمن هنّأ عبداً بمعصية أو بدعة، أو كفر فقد تعرض لمقت الله وسخطه  

      He stated that, ♦ Congratulating the disbelievers on the rituals that belong only to them is Haraam (Prohibited) by CONSENSUS, as is congratulating them on their ‘Eids (Festivals/Holidays) and fasts by saying, ‘A happy festival to you’, or ‘May you enjoy your festival’, and so on. IF the one who says this has been saved from kufr (he is not involved in kufr), it is still prohibited. It is like congratulating someone for prostrating to the cross, or even worse than that! It is even greater a sin in Allah’s sight than congratulating someone for drinking wine, or murdering someone, or having illicit sexual relations, and so on. And MANY of those who have no respect or appreciation for their Religion fall into this error, and they do not realize the offensiveness (“qabh” – lit. hideousness) of their actions. So whoever congratulates a person for his disobedience (to God) or bid’ah (religious innovation) or kufr (disbelief), exposes himself to the wrath and anger of Allah! ♦  End quote from his words, may Allah have mercy on him.○ So Vandy, please think long & hard before you speak without knowledge, and please go back and read the works of these Scholars of Islam before making false accusations.    - Thank you! ☺

  • Abu Abdillah

    As-Salaamu ‘Alaikum,

    It’s Muharram. The month in which Allah’s Final Messenger sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam fasted the most outside of Ramadhan. It’s a Thursday. One of the days we are recommended to fast on a regular basis. I look forward to feasts on our ‘Eids, the days in which our Prophet stated substituted for other eids. I am an American convert of over 30 years. Our Messenger would fast differently than others who were also ordered to fast before us, and to make it a POINT to differ from those previous communities. My non-Muslim family and the culture that I grew up in has me in a position – since I am living in the US – where their practices already have a greater impact on my life than I do on theirs. Holding proudly and tightly onto Islam and standing out and up for it is getting like holding onto hot coals. I can invite my family for eids or other days if I really want them to come together or be with them or want my children to know them or want to give them da’wah on my terms or where I have a real say and a likelihood to be listened to. Such an event can be planned well in advance (years even) so they can take the day off or travel as can I. I want to put more effort into OUR ‘Eids than theirs. I fasted today and I pray it was accepted.

    BTW Sorry I am not a ‘youth’. Just sharing. AND I don’t despise my family (at least not most of them), I like turkey and football too, but…

  • malik

    great article! may Allah reward you.

  • Eman

    So according to this when a Muslim marry a girl from the people of the book he has to prohibit her from celebrating her holidays …Islam never said she had to convert ..and one of the reasons men are allowed to marry people of the book is because we do believe in Jesus and Moses (Pbu)..so if we apply this ruling the girl would have to give up her religion and convert which Islam never said so…

    • Arif Kabir

      Where did he say that?

    • AbdulBasit Khan

      Eman, may Allah increase you in knowledge and bless you, this is an incorrect extrapolation. The Prophet’s own wife, Safiyyah, رضوان الله عليها وصلى الله عليه وسلم, who was of Jewish heritage – when she embraced Islam, she still would visit her Jewish family every week on the Sabbath. So she embraced Islam, yet she did not give up keeping ties with her family and relatives *on their religious day*.

      So even more so, for a Jewish or Christian woman married to a Muslim man, she practices her religion and keeps to her traditions and festivals.

      You said, “Islam never said she had to convert” – I concur, Eman. You’re absolutely right. The above ruling applies for Muslims only. She, being a non-Muslim, maintains her religion and what it entails. This is part of the tolerance of this beautiful deen.

  • Kamrun

    Assalamualaikum, can you advice me in this issue that im goin through,my 6yr old daughter who attends public school or doing a winter show, her class will be singin, Santa is coming to Town, Is it permissible for her to participate in this show, if i dont allow her to participate, during rehersals and the day of the show they will make her sit by the bench by herself.What advice can you give me, asap Jazakh Allah Khair

  • http://www.about.me/aziza.begum Aziza

    Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu Kamrun,

    Here is a quote from a longer fatwa located at: http://islamqa.info/en/4237

    “(Children should) Not (be) attending parties where there is dancing, music and singing, or joining in celebrations of immorality or the festivals of kufr;”

    Also there is a comment above by the author about a similar issue. Based on the above quote, it may be best for your daughter not to participate and perhaps arrangements can be made with the teacher. InshaAllah you can try to explain it to your daughter in a way that will make her feel proud of being different instead of feeling left out.

    I pray that everything will work out by Allah’s grace.

  • Abdullah Salim

    Assalaam aleikum. Thanks for open us our eyes on how to protect from them. but if someone Christian give you a gift, may I receive it?

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