Muslims Celebrating Christmas

Rul­ing on Cel­e­brat­ing Christ­mas and Con­grat­u­lat­ing Them

Since the pagan fes­ti­val of Christ­mas, cel­e­brat­ed by the Trini­tar­i­an poly­the­ists, is fast approach­ing on the 25th of Decem­ber, we would like on this occa­sion present a fat­wa (Islam­ic rul­ing) for the Mus­lims with regard to cel­e­brat­ing their fes­ti­val or even con­grat­u­lat­ing them. 

It should be not­ed that the Chris­tians believe that Jesus(P) is lit­er­al­ly God, hence to par­tic­i­pate or even greet them on the occa­sion of this fes­ti­val is to implic­it­ly agree with their doc­trine. There­fore Mus­lims should be aware of the bound­aries with regard to Christ­mas and how one should approach it.

Ques­tion :

Syaikh Muham­mad bin Shal­ih al-Uthaymeen rahimahul­lah was asked :

    What is the rul­ing regard­ing wish­ing Mer­ry Christ­mas” to them [the Chris­tians]? What about giv­ing them an answer when they wish us with the same ? Is it per­mis­si­ble to go to the places of fes­tive occa­sions or par­ties which cel­e­brate this occa­sion ? Is some­one con­sid­ered to have sinned when he does some­thing relat­ed to the above with­out intend­ing to do so [his real rea­son] yet he did it only to show respect to his friends, or out of shame, or oth­er rea­sons ? Is it pos­si­ble to do so in these circumstances ?

Answer :

Praise be to God.

To wish the non-Mus­lims with Mer­ry Christ­mas or any of their reli­gious fes­ti­vals is haraam (for­bid­den), by con­sen­sus of the ula­ma (ijma’), as Ibn al-Qayy­im, may God have mer­cy on him, said :

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 God.“Ahkaam Ahl al-Dhimmah

Con­grat­u­lat­ing the kuf­faar on their reli­gious fes­ti­vals is haraam to the extent described by Ibn al-Qayy­im because it implies that one accepts or approves of their rit­u­als of kufr, even if one would not accept those things for one­self. But the Mus­lim should not accept the rit­u­als of kufr or con­grat­u­late any­one else for them, because God does not accept any of that at all, as He says (inter­pre­ta­tion of the meaning):

If you dis­be­lieve, then ver­i­ly, God is not in need of you, He likes not dis­be­lief for His slaves. And if you are grate­ful (by being believ­ers), He is pleased there­with for you…“Qur’an, 39:7

This day, I have per­fect­ed your reli­gion for you, com­plet­ed My favour upon you, and have cho­sen for you Islam as your reli­gion…“Qur’an, 5:3

So con­grat­u­lat­ing them is for­bid­den, whether they are one’s col­leagues at work or otherwise.

If they greet us on the occa­sion of their fes­ti­vals, we should not respond, because these are not our fes­ti­vals, and because they are not fes­ti­vals which are accept­able to God. These fes­ti­vals are inno­va­tions in their reli­gions, and even those which may have been pre­scribed for­mer­ly have been abro­gat­ed by the reli­gion of Islam, with which God sent Muham­mad (P) to the whole of mankind.

God says (inter­pre­ta­tion of the meaning):

Who­ev­er seeks a reli­gion oth­er than Islam, it will nev­er be accept­ed of him, and in the Here­after he will be one of the losers.“Qur’an, 3:85

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

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(P) said :

Who­ev­er imi­tates a peo­ple is one of them.” 

Shaykh al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyah 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 humil­i­ate and mis­lead the weak.“Ibn Taymiyyah, Iqti­daa’ al-sir­aat al-mus­taqeem mukhaal­i­fat ashaab al-jaheem

Who­ev­er does any­thing of this sort is a sin­ner, whether he does it out of polite­ness or to be friend­ly, or because he is too shy to refuse, or for what­ev­er oth­er rea­son, because this is hypocrisy in Islam, and because it makes the kuf­faar feel proud of their religion.

God is the One Whom we ask to make the Mus­lims feel proud of their reli­gion, to help them adhere stead­fast­ly to it, and to make them vic­to­ri­ous over their ene­mies, for He is the Strong and Omnipotent. Ruling on Celebrating Christmas and Congratulating Them 1Endmark

Tak­en from Maj­mu Fat­wa Fadl­lah al-Syaikh Muham­mad bin Shal­ih al-Uthaymeen, Vol. III, pp. 44 – 46, no.403
Cite this arti­cle as : Syaikh Muham­mad bin Shal­ih al-Uthaymeen, Rul­ing on Cel­e­brat­ing Christ­mas and Con­grat­u­lat­ing Them,” in Bis­mi­ka Allahu­ma, Decem­ber 18, 2006, last accessed May 27, 2024, https://​bis​mikaal​lahu​ma​.org/​c​h​r​i​s​t​i​a​n​i​t​y​/​m​u​s​l​i​m​s​-​c​e​l​e​b​r​a​t​i​n​g​-​c​h​r​i​s​t​m​a​s​-​r​u​l​i​ng/

12 Comments

  1. IN REF TO COMMENT FROM saba said on 20 Decem­ber 2007 :
    WOULD LIKE TO POINT OUT THAT OUR BELOVED PROPHET MUHAMMED(PBUH )STATED BEFORE EVERY KUTHBAALL INAVATIONS ARE MISGUIDANCE AND EVERY MISGUIDANCE IS THE HELL FIRE.” FOLLOW THE 2 THINGS THATLEAVE (QURAN WORD OF ALLAH SWT & MY SUNNA.[SOORAH ISRA STATES WHEN TRUTH IS HEARLD AT FALSEHOOD- FALSEHOOD DAMINISHES FOR FALSE HOOD BY ITS NATURE IS BOUND TO PERISH (ALLAH AKBAR).

    ISSA BIN MURIAM (PBUH) IS NOT SON OF GOD. HE WILL RETURN AND RECTIFY HIS DEEN BY BREAKING THE CROSS AND ESTABLISHING THE TRUTH AND ON THE DAY OF JUDGEMNT HE WILL BE ASKED REGARDING THE STATMENT AND HE WILL SAYDID NOT CLAIM THATH WHICH THEY SAY.

    BROTHERS AND SISTERS FEAR ALLHA AND DO NOT CAUSE FITNA AND FISADE XMASS IS FROM THE PAGANS AND ISSA BIN MARIAM PBUH SAID DO NOT WORSHIP IDOLS AND PAGANISAM.

  2. Rai math­ew ..Its not haram .exreme peo­ple are­ways there in every religion.

    We are allowed to par­take of their feasts and cel­e­bra­tions so long as you stay away from their specif­i­cal­ly reli­gious rit­u­als, and so long as you are clear in your mind that Christ­mas has noth­ing to do with the orig­i­nal teach­ing of Jesus (peace and bless­ings be upon him).

    While remain­ing stead­fast to your beliefs about Jesus, you are allowed to join them in their feasts in order to rec­i­p­ro­cate kind­ness with kind­ness. By doing so, you may even be help­ing them remove their mis­con­cep­tions about Islam being a fanat­i­cal reli­gion. So go ahead and par­tic­i­pate in their feasts, and let them know the true image of Islam.

  3. I see this arti­cle above was wri­iten on 18 Decem­ber 2006 in the year of Our Lord;A.D Date used in reck­on­ing dates after the sup­posed year Christ was born, in AD 2000
    Please do not use the chris­t­ian dat­ing sys­tem, that a sin too..Did not the Prophet or Allah for­bade you to use a pagan sin­ful dat­ing sys­tem. Any­time you use the chris­t­ian dat­ing sys­tem you are doing the same thing you are doing while con­grat­u­lat­ing us on Christmas.…

  4. The Fat­wa giv­en by Sheikh Al-‘Uthaimin is absolute­ly right.

    Whoso­ev­er con­grat­u­lates some­one with dis­obe­di­ence, sin or dis­be­lief shall fall under God’s Wrath.

    So, in what sense would a Mus­lim con­grat­u­late a Chris­t­ian with Jesus alleged cru­ci­fix­ion or direct­ing prayer and wor­ship to objects oth­er than God like Jesus, Mary, cross­es, images, icons, etc..?!

    This is even worse than con­grat­u­la­tion with drink­ing alco­hol, killing inno­cent soul, com­mit­ting adul­tery, etc..

    And how will a Mus­lim invite those mis­guid­ed peo­ple to the truth while he him­self express­es his agree­ment, glad­ness and con­grat­u­la­tion with their acts of disbelief?!

    Unfor­tu­nate­ly, many Mus­lims do not real­ize the ugli­ness of this act, may Allah for­give us all.

  5. Peace be upon those who fol­low the Guidance.

    There is no prob­lem” unless you want to have one real­ly. The word kafir” is unbe­liev­er, a per­son who does not believe in Islam. I can­not call you a Mus­lim (believ­er), nei­ther would you agree on me call­ing you one if are not a Muslim.

    As for the world car­ing for Islam, it is there prob­lem if they want to get brain­washed by there gov­ern­ments and media (very trust­wor­thy sources on Islam and weapons of mass destruction
    lol) and then claim the baised and anger against Islam as there own research (gullible).

    gul·li·ble [gúll?b’l]
    adjective
    eas­i­ly duped : tend­ing to trust and believe peo­ple, and there­fore eas­i­ly tricked or deceived

  6. Here is your real prob­lem, guys.

    The civil­i­sa­tion of those you con­sid­er as kafir’ and kuf­fur’ are more amaz­ing and dig­ni­fied than that of Islam. That’s why the world does not real­ly care to such things or would lis­ten to Islam.

  7. Mer­ry christ­mas to all of you who cel­e­brate it !
    If Islam can show me a dig­ni­fied civil­i­sa­tion today, I will learn it thor­ough­ly. Iraq is occu­pied, Soma­lia and Afghanistan are very poor. Alba­nia, the one and only mus­lim-major­ing coun­try in Europe, is even the poor­est on the con­ti­nent ! Bangladesh owns its title, the inter­na­tion­al bas­ket­place”. While Nige­ria and Indone­sia are includ­ed as 5 most cor­rupt countries.

    The world civil­i­sa­tion is now led by the West, Jews, and East Eas­ians (Japan­ese, Chi­nese). None of them are muslims.
    Only this what the world is now need to see :)

  8. Christ­mas is just the hol­i­day of Mithra.

  9. God is the One Whom we ask to make the Mus­lims feel proud of their reli­gion, to help them adhere stead­fast­ly to it, and to make them vic­to­ri­ous over their ene­mies, for He is the Strong and Omnipotent.

    —-

    If He is so, then no Islam­ic coun­cil is qual­i­fied to dic­tate to Mus­lims what is halal and what is haraam, for only Allah knows best. So why don’t you guys prac­tise what you preach and walk the talk ?

  10. What is Mar­ry Krishmas ?

  11. Salaam.

    Maybe you should read this arti­cle on Islam Online which con­tra­dicts this article.

    Think about it.. how are Mus­lims imi­tat­ing non-Mus­lims by wish­ing some good­will upon them dur­ing their fes­ti­vals or any oth­er time ? Does­n’t the Quran tell us to wish good­will for others ?

    Pray­ing with them and fol­low­ing their reli­gious cus­toms is of course imi­tat­ing them and is haraam. But wish­ing them ? You should also be care­ful to use the word con­sen­sus”. It is a very vague word when used with­out a list of rep­utable sources which that word is refer­ring to.

  12. Mer­ry Christ­mas to all of you who are read­ing this and a great and cel­e­brat­ed 2007. May God be with you :)

    Love your broth­ers and sis­ters and send your ener­gy our for peace in the world.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *