ISLAMIC RULING ON MUSLIMS CELEBRATING XMAS,NEW YEAR AND OTHER NON ISLAMIC FESTIVALS

1. Islam is not against  being kind to our non Muslim  neighbours:

Allah says: “Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes –  from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly.
(Quran 60 vs 8)

2. We must not take non-Muslims as our intimate friends and allies:

  Although, Allah does not prohibit us from being kind to them, He however  warns us from taking them as our intimate friends because they may influence us negatively.

“O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as Auliya’ (friends, protectors, helpers, etc.), they are but Auliya’ to one another. And if any amongst you takes them as Auliya’, then surely he is one of them. Verily, Allah guides not those people who are the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers and unjust).
(Q5 vs 51)

“O you who believe! Take not for Auliya’ (friends,protectors and helpers) those who take your religion for a mockery and fun from among those who received the Scripture (Jews and Christians) before you, nor from among the disbelievers; and fear Allah if you indeed are true believers.
And when you proclaim the call for As-Salat [call for the prayer (Adhan)], they take it (but) as a mockery and fun; that is because they are a people who understand not.
(Q5 Vs 57-58)

3 . It is prohibited for us to celebrate their festivals with them or participate in them

“And never will the Jews or the Christians approve of you until you follow their religion. Say, “Indeed, the guidance of Allah is the [only] guidance.” If you were to follow their desires after what has come to you of knowledge, you would have against Allah no protector or helper.
(Q2 vs 120).

We all know that Xmas and Gregorian New year are not even biblical but are products of Romans festival introduced into xtianity. This is where some xtians don’t  celebrate  them

B- حَدَّثَنَا مُوسَى بْنُ  إِسْمَاعِيلَ، حَدَّثَنَا حَمَّادٌ، عَنْ حُمَيْدٍ، عَنْ أَنَسٍ، قَالَ  قَدِمَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم الْمَدِينَةَ وَلَهُمْ  يَوْمَانِ يَلْعَبُونَ فِيهِمَا فَقَالَ ‏”‏ مَا هَذَانِ الْيَوْمَانِ ‏”‏  ‏.‏ قَالُوا كُنَّا نَلْعَبُ فِيهِمَا فِي الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ ‏.‏ فَقَالَ  رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏”‏ إِنَّ اللَّهَ قَدْ أَبْدَلَكُمْ  بِهِمَا خَيْرًا مِنْهُمَا يَوْمَ الأَضْحَى وَيَوْمَ الْفِطْرِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏

Narrated Anas ibn Malik:                             When the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) came to Medina, the people had two days in which they engaged in games. He asked: What are these two days (what  is the significance)? They said: We used to engage ourselves on them in  the pre-Islamic period. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:
Allah has  substituted for them something better than them, the day of sacrifice  and the day of the breaking of the fast.

Reference : Sunan Abi Dawud 1134

The fact  that the Prophet Pbuh said Allah has substituted the non Islamic festivals with something better  than  them  implies that Muslims cannot  combine between the pre- islamic festivals and the Islamic festival because a substitute and the substituted cannot  be combined. One has to pick one and drop the other .

Why should we celebrate with them when our Eids are better in the sight of Allah as seen in the hadith?

C- عَنِ الأَوْزَاعِيِّ، عَنْ  يَحْيَى بْنِ أَبِي كَثِيرٍ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنِي أَبُو قِلاَبَةَ، قَالَ  حَدَّثَنِي ثَابِتُ بْنُ الضَّحَّاكِ، قَالَ ‏:‏ نَذَرَ رَجُلٌ عَلَى  عَهْدِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَنْ يَنْحَرَ إِبِلاً  بِبُوَانَةَ، فَأَتَى النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَقَالَ ‏:‏ إِنِّي  نَذَرْتُ أَنْ أَنْحَرَ إِبِلاً بِبُوَانَةَ ‏.‏ فَقَالَ النَّبِيُّ صلى  الله عليه وسلم ‏:‏ ‏”‏ هَلْ كَانَ فِيهَا وَثَنٌ مِنْ أَوْثَانِ  الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ يُعْبَدُ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالُوا ‏:‏ لاَ ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏:‏ ‏”‏ هَلْ  كَانَ فِيهَا عِيدٌ مِنْ أَعْيَادِهِمْ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالُوا ‏:‏ لاَ ‏.‏ قَالَ  رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏:‏ ‏”‏ أَوْفِ بِنَذْرِكَ، فَإِنَّهُ  لاَ وَفَاءَ لِنَذْرٍ فِي مَعْصِيَةِ اللَّهِ وَلاَ فِيمَا لاَ يَمْلِكُ  ابْنُ آدَمَ ‏”‏ ‏.‏

Narrated Thabit ibn ad-Dahhak:                             In the time of the Prophet (ﷺ) a man took a vow to slaughter a camel at  Buwanah. So he came to the Prophet (ﷺ) and said: I have taken a vow to  sacrifice a camel at Buwanah.
The Prophet (ﷺ) asked: Did the place contain any idol worshipped in pre-Islamic times?       They (the people) said: No.
He asked: Was any pre-Islamic festival observed there?       They replied: No.       The Prophet (ﷺ) said: Fulfil your vow, for a vow to do an act of  disobedience to Allah must not be fulfilled, neither must one do  something over which a human being has no control.
Reference : Sunan Abi Dawud 3313. In-book reference : Book 22, Hadith 72 .Grade: Sahih (Al-Albani)

This hadith is indicates that a Muslim cannot attend a place of gathering where non -Muslims celebrate their festivals.
Hence,it is a sin to attend or participate in Christmas carrol,street carnivals or visitation to father Xmas  etc.

Ibn Qayyim writes: concerning the festivals of jews and christians
Just as it is not permissible for them to celebrate them openly (in an Islamic state), it is not permissible for the Muslims to help them in that or attend with them, according to the consensus of the scholars. This was stated clearly by the fuqaha’ who follow the four imams, in their books.
Then he (may Allaah have mercy on him) quoted the words of the Imams of the madhhabs and the prominent scholars.
Ahkaam Ahl al-Dhimmah (3/1245-1250).

4: Congratulating them on the occasion  of their festivals
:

Greeting them on Christmas and other religious holidays of theirs is haraam, by consensus, as Ibn al-Qayyim, may Allaah have mercy on him, said in Ahkaam Ahl al-Dhimmah:

“Congratulating the kuffaar on the rituals that belong only to them is haraam by consensus, as is congratulating them on their festivals 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, it is still forbidden. It is like congratulating someone for prostrating to the cross, or even worse than that. It is as great a sin as congratulating someone for drinking wine, or murdering someone, or having illicit sexual relations, and so on. Many of those who have no respect for their religion fall into this error; they do not realize the offensiveness of their actions. Whoever congratulates a person for his disobedience or bid’ah or kufr exposes himself to the wrath and anger of Allah.”

5 : Exchanging gifts:

Sheikh Uthaymeen said It is permissible for a Muslim to give gifts to kaafirs and mushriks, with the aim of softening their hearts towards Islam, especially if they are relatives or neighbours.
‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) gave a hullah (suit) to his mushrik brother in Makkah, as was narrated by al-Bukhaari (2619).
But it is not permissible to give a kaafir a gift on the day of one of his festivals, because that is regarded as approving of or participating in celebration of the false festival. 

If the gift is something that will help in celebrating the festival, such as food, candles and the like, then it is even more haraam, and some of the scholars are of the view that this is kufr.
Al-Zayla’i said in Tabyeen al-Haqaa’iq (6/228):

Giving gifts on the occasion of Nayrooz and Mahrjaan [two non-Islamic Persian festivals] is not permissible, i.e., giving gifts on these two days is haraam, and is in fact kufr.

Abu Hafs and Kabeer (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: If a man were to worship Allaah for fifty years, then on the day of Nayrooz he were to give an egg as a gift to one of the mushrikeen, intending thereby to venerate that day, he would have committed kufr and his good deeds would be cancelled out.

The author of al-Jaami’ al-Asghar said: If he gives a gift to another Muslim on the day of Nayrooz, not intending thereby to venerate that day, but it is the habit of some people to give gifts on that day, then this is not regarded as kufr. But he should not do it on that particular day; he should do it before or after, so that he will not be imitating those people.

The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

“Whoever imitates a people is one of them.”

It says in al-Jaami’ al-Asghar:
A man bought something on the day of Nayrooz which he did not buy before that. If he intended thereby to venerate that day as the mushrikoon venerate it, then he has committed kufr, but if he wanted to eat or drink or enjoy himself, then he has not committed kufr. End of quote.

As for accepting gifts from them during their festivals, scholars differ on this.
Some group of scholars say that this is not permissible. They say that this is tantamount to cooperating with them in manifesting their symbols and propagating their innovations.

(fataawah lajna daaima ,22/38)

Many scholars however opine that this is acceptable and this is the opinion of Aisha –the wife of the Prophet ,Alli and Abu Darda among the companions of the prophet(pbuh ).
It is also the preferred opinion of Sheikhul islam Ibn Taymiya who stated –

As for accepting a gift from them on the day of their festival, we have quoted above that ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib was brought a gift on the occasion of Nayrooz and he accepted it.
Ibn Abi Shaybah narrated that a woman asked ‘Aa’ishah: We have some wet nurses from among the Magians, and they have a festival on which they bring us gifts. She said: As for what is slaughtered for that day, do not eat it, but eat from their vegetables.
It was narrated from Abu Barzah that he had some Magian neighbours who used to bring him gifts on the occasion of Nayrooz and Mahrjaan, and he used to say to his family: Whatever is of fruits, eat it, and whatever is otherwise, reject it.
All of this indicates that the festival does not make it forbidden to accept their gifts, rather the ruling is the same whether it is their festival or not, because that does not involve helping them with the symbols of their kufr.

Then he pointed out that meat slaughtered by a kitaabi (Jew or Christian) is halaal except that which is slaughtered for their festivals, which it is not permissible to eat.
He said (may Allaah have mercy on him): It is only permissible to eat of the food of the people of the Book, during their festivals that which has not been slaughtered for the festival, whether it is bought or received as a gift. As for meat slaughtered by the Magians, the ruling on that is well known, and it is haraam according to all. As for that which is slaughtered by the people of the Book for their festivals  and that which they slaughter as an act of worship to draw close to anything other than Allaah, as the Muslims offer sacrifices as an act of worship to draw closer to Allaah, namely as that which they sacrifice to the Messiah, two views have been narrated from Ahmad concerning that, the most well known of which in his texts is that it is not permissible to eat it even if the name of something other than Allaah has not been mentioned over it. The prohibition on that was narrated from ‘Aa’ishah and ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umar … End quote from Iqtida’ al-Siraat al-Mustaqeem (1/251).

In Conclusion
-It is haram to celebarate non Islamic festivals or to assist them in organising its event or to Congratulate them

-It is not allowed for  Muslims to give them gifts or offer gifts to another Muslim due to their festivals .

-it is allowed for a Muslim to accept their non-slaughtered food but to avoid that which is slaughtered for the purpose of their festival.

A Muslim can however offer and accept gift from them(jews and xtans) including their slaughtered animals outside their festival provided the name of other than Allah is not mentioned on it as its is proven from Quran 5 vs 7. Sahih bukhari. Hadith 2990, Muslim 1775
.

All these are based on the following verses

And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression. And fear Allah ; indeed, Allah is severe in penalty.

Q5 vs 2 and
For you is your religion, and for me is my religion. Q 109  vs 6.

Allah knows best.


____
…May Allah give us a better understanding & guide us to accept the truth

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