Greeting and Congratulating Non-Muslims on Their Holidays: Halal or Haram?

One of the most controversial topics in the US and the West more broadly that is a source of division and confusion among Muslims every year is the permissibility or prohibition of Muslims congratulating non-Muslims with regards to their holidays and partaking in those celebrations. There is significant pressure on Muslims living in the US to integrate into the melting pot culture of America. This pressure comes both from non-Muslims as well as Muslims. On the issue of celebrating non-Muslim holidays, like Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, etc., converts/reverts as well as second and third generation Muslims face the most pressure.

Most contemporary scholars maintain the traditional consensus view of absolute prohibition for such greetings and celebrations. They go as far as saying that if a Muslim were to be approached by a non-Muslim congratulating them on one of their festivals that it is prohibited for them to return the greeting and in doing so may lead one to commit a sin and even an act of kufr (disbelief).

However, a small group of contemporary scholars has broken from this consensus and opined that it is absolutely permissible for Muslims, not only to congratulate non-Muslims on their holidays but also to partake in them if they so desire. In fact, some have gone as far as to say that it is an obligation to partake in them if they are converts/reverts and their families are still non-Muslims. This disagreement causes lay Muslims to have confusions and leads them to doubt the unity of Islam and its laws. It also causes many of them to doubt the spirit of Islam and the message it came with. Last but not least, it leads some to a faith-crisis that affects their sense of identity as Muslims.

A big question is: What are the short-term and long-term ramifications of the fatawa of permissibility on Muslims living as religious minorities in the West? 

The reality is, scholars of Islam did not differ on the prohibition of congratulating non-Muslims on their festivals at all in their fatawa up until the end of the 20th Century. It is my opinion that it was only after the events of 9/11 that contemporary scholars started to give unprecedented fatawa on this issue. I would like to explore the reasons behind this shift.

In doing so, I will bring into light most of the major fatawa associated with this topic and will determine, through a critical analyses, whether ijma‘ (consensus of scholars) was legitimately broken due to the sudden outpouring of fatawa after the events of 9/11. Additionally, I conducted a survey of 100 Muslims in the  US and asked them what are the effects and ramifications of Muslims celebrating and/or partaking in the religious festivals of non-Muslims. Survey participants were Muslims from across varied backgrounds, schools of thought, with differing views on the permissibility or prohibition of congratulating non-Muslims on their festivals.

Fatawa of Permissibility

There are several prominent scholars and Islamic personalities who issued a fatwa that it is permissible for the Muslims living in the  US, and the West in general, to congratulate and/or partake in the religious festivals of the inhabitants of the country even if they may be non-Muslims. Among them are Yusuf al-Qaradawi, Abdullah bin Bayyah/Hamza Yusuf, and Suhaib Webb. For our purpose here, I will limit this paper to the opinions of these scholars and personalities for the following reasons; a) in one way or another, these individuals have a wide influence on Muslims in the US, b) their opinions are sufficient for the reader to get an overall picture of the opinion of permissibility, and c) to avoid redundancy since the opinions of other scholars fall under the general fatwa of permissibility.

Yusuf al-Qaradawi

Al-Qaradawi1 was asked a question on whether or not it is permissible for a person to congratulate the non-Muslims on their festivals, especially Christmas, and to exchange gifts with them because he feels that it is rude not to do so. In replying to the question, al-Qaradawi states that it is permissible based on the following principles:

  1. Allah has ordered the Muslims to deal justly with the non-Muslims and to be kind to them based on the verse of the Quran (al-Mumtahinah: 8) that states, “Allah does not forbid you to deal justly (al-birr) and kindly with those who fought not against you on account of religion and did not drive you out of your homes. Verily, Allah loves those who deal with equity.” 
  2. The Prophet ordered Asma’ bint Abi Bakr, when her polytheist mother came and visited her, by saying: “Keep good relations with your mother”. He states that if this is the (good) stance we must have with the polytheists, then the stance towards the People of the Book is even more lenient.
  3. Allah has allowed for Muslims to eat from the meat of the People of the Book and marry their women (al-Ma’idah: 5). Furthermore, he cites the verse of the Quran (al-Rum: 21) in which Allah says that He has put affection and mercy between the spouses so we can live in peace. He argues by asking, how is it possible for a man to live in harmony, peace, and love with a woman from the People of the Book and not congratulate her or her family on their holidays?
  4. The validity of congratulating non-Muslims on their holidays is emphasized in the Quran especially in the case when they also congratulate Muslims on Islamic holidays. He cites the verse of the Quran that states we must return the greeting of those that greet us (al-Nisa’: 86). He argues that it is from the characteristics of a Muslim that he should not be rude and return good with good.
  5. The Prophet ﷺ accepted gifts from non-Muslims, including the Christian priest of Egypt, and based on that, it is permissible for Muslims to exchange gifts with them on the condition that they do not contain items which are forbidden for Muslims such as pork and alcohol.

Refutation of al-Qaradawi

First: Allah has ordered Muslims to deal justly with non-Muslims and to be kind to them based on the verse in the Quran:

“Allah does not forbid you to deal justly and kindly with those who fought not against you on account of religion and did not drive you out of your homes. Verily, Allah loves those who deal with equity.” (al-Mumtahina: 8)

By citing this verse, al-Qaradawi claims that it is permitted to congratulate non-Muslims on their holidays because this constitutes being kind and just to them. However, to draw this conclusion from this verse is a mistake because being kind and just to others is not permissible if it involves disobedience to Allah. As the Prophet ﷺ said: “There is no obedience to any human being if it involves sin; obedience is only in that which is right and proper.”2 In this case, there is clear disobedience to Allah when non-Muslims commit acts of shirk and sin and the Muslim congratulates them on those days in which those acts are committed.

Second: The Prophet ﷺ ordered Asma’ bint Abi Bakr, when her polytheist mother came and visited her, by saying: “Keep good relations with your mother.”3 Again, this is a hadith that is `amm (general) and mutlaq (absolute), thus, it says nothing about holidays. In addition, it is an application of “behave with them in this world kindly.” To apply this verse to mean that it is permissible to congratulate and/or partake in non-Muslim holidays would be contradictory to other Islamic texts, such as when Allah ordered us not to listen to our parents if they order us to commit acts of shirk or other sins:

“But if they strive with you to make you join in worship with Me others that of which you have no knowledge, then obey them not, but behave with them in the world kindly.” (Luqman: 15).

In explaining the reason for the verse’s revelation, the scholars of tafsir stated that it was revealed in the case of Sa‘ad ibn Abi Waqas, whose mother ordered him to obey her and disbelieve in Islam. Upon this, Allah revealed the above verse ordering all the believers to be obedient to their parents except in the case that involved disbelief or shirk.4

Third: Yes, Allah has allowed Muslims to eat from the meat of the People of the Book and marry from their womenfolk. The question is: If a Muslim marries such a woman, then how would it be possible for him to live in harmony, peace, and love with her while not congratulating her or her family on their holidays? This type of qiyas (analogical reasoning) is flawed in that one of the major pillars of qiyas is missing, and that is the ‘illah (operative cause).5 The ‘illah in this case is that the Jews and the Christians have a Divine Scripture, which entails that Muslims can eat from their meat and marry from them. However, it is not permissible for anyone to make qiyas on this because the ruling is khass (specific) or muqayyad (restricted) to only these two acts. One of the rules for making an allegorical interpretation (ta’wil) is that khass and muqayyad are not open for additional interpretations.6 Additionally, qiyas can never be as high in authority as the definitive evidences or ijma‘. What this means is that the end result of qiyas must be in conformity with the intentions of the Shari‘a to determine its harmony with the Islamic texts.7 And in the case of congratulating and partaking in the holidays of the non-Muslims, an ijma‘ has been reported on its prohibition by scholars such as Ibn al-Qayyim, hence, rendering this qiyas invalid.

Fourth: al-Qaradawi also cites the verse where Allah states, “When you are greeted with a greeting, greet in return with what is better than it, or (at least) return it equally.” (al-Nisa’: 86). Again, the usage of verses from the Quran for purposes other than what they were intended for in their context is a flawed methodology. This verse is specific in the greeting that is common among Muslims, which is to say salam ‘alaykum or what is similar to it. When mentioning this verse, all the scholars of tafsir mention it in the context of saying salam ‘alaykum, and none of them made it general to include all types of greetings.8

Additionally, the scholars of fiqh, such as Imam Ahmad9, al-Jassas10, al-Nawawi11 and Ibn Qudama12 stated the limitation to which a Muslim can greet a non-Muslim: a) not to initiate the greeting, b) not to say wa rahmat Allah, and c) to confine it to saying only “and upon you.” Furthermore, even if we were allowed to interpret this verse as applying to all types of greetings, then there are other limitations that must be taken into account if we are presented with a greeting that contains kufr connotations. For example, it would be prohibited to return the greeting of a person who greets a Muslim by saying “May the peace of the son of God be upon you”, or “May Jesus, the son of God, be your Savior.” Applying the verse in this scenario according to the methodology that is used by al-Qaradawi and others would necessitate that the Muslim should return the greeting with the same greeting. However, we know that this would be forbidden for a Muslim to do, as it contains phrases of shirk. Likewise, it would be incorrect to use the above verse from the Quran to apply in cases of all types of greetings; ones that contain a neutral meaning or those that contain a religious concept behind it, as is in the case of Christmas, etc.

In the case of the greeting, “Merry Christmas,” this expression is explicitly religious as the etymology of the word Christmas derives from ‘Christ’ and the religious service of mass with its ritual of the Eucharist. To say “Merry Christmas” is to literally utter celebration towards the act of worshiping Jesus.

Fifth: Finally, al-Qaradawi claims that the Prophet ﷺ accepted gifts from non-Muslims including the Christian priest of Egypt, and based on that it is permissible for Muslims to exchange gifts with them on their holidays. Again, it should be clear by now that the methodology of using texts that are ‘amm for specific cases is incorrect. There is no doubt that we are allowed to exchange gifts and food with the non-Muslims on the basis of humanitarian gesture or having good manners. But to use the example of the Prophet ﷺ accepting a gift from a Christian priest to mean that it is permissible for Muslims to accept gifts without any restrictions, besides it containing pork or alcohol, is incorrect. It is similar to saying that it is permissible for a Muslim to give a ‘gift’ that is intended as a bribe to a person of authority, such as a judge, and to justify it with the above hadith. Clearly, it can be said that such a ‘gift’ would be forbidden in this case due to the intention or reasoning behind it. Similarly, the exchanging of gifts during non-Muslims holidays is forbidden. 

There is nothing wrong with giving gifts to people that we love and those that we want to show an appreciation for. The Prophet ﷺ encouraged his Ummah to exchange gifts by saying, “Exchange gifts as that will lead to increasing your love for one another.”13 However, the problem arises when such gift giving is connected to a specific occasion or has religious overtones. If Muslims are to give gifts to their loved ones or even Christian neighbors, etc., then it should not be given on such occasions that have any semblance of religious significance and meaning.

Abdullah bin Bayyah/Hamza Yusuf

Bin Bayyah14 in his book, Sina‘at al-Fatwa wa Fiqh al-Aqalliyyat, quotes the exact same proofs and principles as al-Qaraḍawi, but he adds the following commentary:

The Scholars have disagreed upon this issue of congratulating the non-Muslims (on their festivals). In the madhhab of Imam Ahmad there are three opinions: a) it is prohibited, b) it is disliked and c) it is permissible. It is this last opinion (of permissibility) that Sheikh Taqi al-Din Ibn Taymiyyah chose due to its maslaḥah (overall good) and this is the opinion that we choose as well. Therefore, it is permissible to congratulate them (non-Muslims), to console them on their grief, and to visit their sick. Al-Mardawi has quoted all of these narrations in his book, al-Inṣaf. And what is mentioned in some of the other books in regard to Ibn Taymiyyah may not be in agreement with his confirmed opinions.15

Refutation of Bin Bayyah/Hamza Yusuf

Upon further examination and analysis of the statement of Bin Bayyah, I discovered that his statements are inaccurate and misleading in several ways:

The scholars did not differ on this issue at all as there was ijma‘ on the prohibition of congratulating non-Muslims on their holidays. This consensus was reported by Ibn al-Qayyim when he said, “Congratulating the non-Muslims on their rituals that belong only to them is haram by consensus (of the scholars).”16 Therefore, this ijma‘ that was established cannot be broken under any circumstance as is well known among the scholars of fiqh and usul. And for those that claim that ijma‘ was not established on this issue, then the burden of proof lies upon them to establish their statement. Neither Bin Bayyah nor any of the others modern scholars giving fatwa of permissibility have shown anything that would nullify the statement of ijma‘ by Ibn al-Qayyim.

In reality, there are only two opinions in the madhhab of Imam Ahmad, haram and makruh, and not three as Bin Bayyah stated. Additionally, the context of the two opinions in the madhhab was not in regard to congratulating kuffar on their festivals, but rather it was in the context of congratulating them on non-religious happy occasions, as Ibn al-Qayyim mentions. Furthermore, al-Mardawi states, “The second opinion is that it is not prohibited but disliked as reported in the books of Ri‘ayah and al-Hawiyayn in the chapter of jana’iz.”17 Al-Mardawi goes on to quote the example of the Prophet visiting the sick Jewish boy in order that he may accept Islam. Thus, it can be said without a doubt that the context of makruh was not in regards to congratulating non-Muslims on their festivals and holidays but with regard to visiting them when are sick or general greetings on non-religious occasions.

With regard to Ibn Taymiyyah choosing the opinion of permissibility in congratulating non-Muslims on their festivals, this is misleading and also incorrect as al-Mardawi states the context in which Ibn Taymiyyah chose this ‘permissibility’ by saying: “It (visiting their sick) is permissible for a clear maslahah (overall good) such as the hope that they will accept Islam. This opinion was preferred by Ibn Taymiyyah.”18 Furthermore, how can it be possible for Ibn Taymiyyah to choose the opinion of permissibility when he clearly and unequivocally is of the opinion that congratulating and partaking in these festivals, regardless of it being religious or non-religious, is completely forbidden?19 Additionally, for Bin Bayyah to state that Ibn Taymiyyah’s ‘confirmed’ opinion is that of permissibility is extremely misleading, because his ‘confirmed’ opinion is what is relayed by him in his famous masterpiece, Iqtida’ al-Sirat al-Mustaqim fi Mukhalafati Ashab al-Jaḥim, which is completely and solely dedicated to the issue of congratulating and partaking in the festivals of non-Muslims.

Suhaib Webb

Among those that also allowed congratulating non-Muslims on their festivals is Suhaib Webb. On December 26, 2012 he posted on his personal Facebook page what can be considered a justification for greeting non-Muslims on Christmas and New Year’s. He states:

The European Fatwa Council; made up of 20 of the world’s greatest Muslim Jurists, stated that it is permissible to greet people on these days (exchange gifts even) as long as it does not involve approving any creedal differences between us, or open evil (drinking and so on). In other words, a simple happy holidays is not a sin or going to take that person out of Islam. It is reported with authentic chains that Ali (ra) celebrated the Persian New Year, even eating ice cream with Imam Abu Hanifa’s relative. Many of the fatwa quoted by sincere folks are rooted in an age of empire and war (the crusades) or a social reality that does not fit ours in the West. Most importantly, a person should ask those who use words like “haram” “kufur” “Halal” and “encouraged” about their religious training. Yelling and over blown emotionalism does not equal training and scholarship. Allah knows best. (Webb, 2012).

Refutation of Suhaib Webb

As for the claim that it was reported with an ‘authentic chain’ that ‘Ali celebrated the Persian New Year’s by eating ice cream with the relatives of Imam Abu Hanifah, then this is inaccurate. Although Webb does not mention the source of this story (a common practice, unfortunately, of ‘intellectuals’), I did research and found it in the book Siyar A‘lam al-Nubala’, by Imam al-Dhahabi.20 Upon further examination of the story, the scholars found a defect in the chain of narration which renders this story to be weak and not ‘authentic’ as Webb alleges. The chain contains Isma‘il ibn Hammad ibn Nu‘man ibn Thabit, the grandson of Imam Abu Hanifah, whom the scholars of hadith have declared to be ‘weak’ and ‘someone who cannot be trusted’ due to his statements and positions on the creation of the Quran.21 There are other defects in the chain, but suffice it to say that based on this analysis of one of the narrators, it can be concluded, at the very least, that this story is not ‘authentic’ as Webb inaccurately asserts.

Effects on Muslims

When some Muslims read or hear of these fatawa that permit them to congratulate non-Muslims in their holidays, a sense of calm and ease overcome them. They no longer have to think twice about the issue and can congratulate and greet their non-Muslim friends, co-workers, classmates, or neighbors with a huge smile and full confidence. They feel that Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance that ‘accepts’ the diversity that is present among humankind. They feel that it is perfectly acceptable in Islam to take and follow a ‘second opinion’ on this matter, especially if it brings them comfort and ease.

In conducting a survey among Muslims in the US, I found that 10% of respondents said that when seeking this opinion of permissibility, they follow it because: a) it is easy and comforting and because b) they want to follow the ‘easy’ path in Islam no matter what.

When asked whether congratulating non-Muslims is a form of ‘kindness’ and ‘respect’, 34% of respondents said yes.

When some Muslims feel the favors and tolerance of non-Muslims towards them, they feel that they must be as courteous and respectful to them as they are. After all, this is what the teachings of Islam are: To be kind to those who are kind to you and be patient with those who are rude to you (al-Baqarah: 109, Ᾱl ‘Imran: 186, Taha: 130, & al-Ahzab: 48). So they see that to congratulate non-Muslims on their holidays is the least amount of respect they can show towards them. When asked whether they feel that being ‘kind’ and ‘respectful’ means they should congratulate non-Muslims on their holidays, 34% of respondents said yes.

As for the Muslim who is suffering from mistreatment, discrimination, and rudeness from non-Muslims, he sees the holidays as a means to show them the true akhlaq (manners) of a Muslim in order to exhibit in himself the mannerism of the Prophet when he was mistreated by the polytheists of Makkah. He also hopes that they will have a more positive attitude towards Islam, eventually leading them to accept Islam as their religion. When asked whether they use the religious holidays as a form of da‘wah (proselytizing), 16% replied, “Yes, I congratulate and partake in the holidays with them to show the beauty and tolerance of Islam.”

Many contemporary scholars and Islamic leaders have voiced their concern about Muslims losing their Islamic identity as a result of them participating in the celebrations of non-Muslims. When conducting the survey, I wanted to confirm whether or not those fears were legitimate and real. I asked respondents, whether or not they believe that the future Muslim generations in the US will lose their Islamic identity (eventually) by partaking in the non-Muslim religious holidays: 43% said yes while another 27% said maybe.

If we were to put aside all the juristic arguments aside and just ponder over this for a moment, we will realize the following:

  1. The negative effects that are brought about by the fatawa of permissibility outweigh their supposed and potential positive effects.
  2. There has been no documented evidence or sociological data that Muslims as minorities face a backlash or negative treatment brought about simply due to them abstaining from congratulating and/or participating in the holidays of non-Muslims.
  3. The fatawa of permissibility go against the consensus of the classical scholars.
  4. The effectiveness of Islamic da‘wah that is preached and advocated by those who permit the congratulating of non-Muslims in their religious festivals is actually obtained by those that abstain from congratulating and/or partaking in their holidays in the sense that it generates potential curiosity, conversations, and an opportunity for an extended religious dialogue.
  5. The prohibition of congratulation safeguards the creed and belief of Muslims from dilution and/or contamination with external beliefs of kufr or shirk.

Point number five is especially critical given the fact that some Muslims are raised in a household environment that condones the practice of congratulating and even celebrating the holidays of non-Muslims. To them, celebrating Christmas by receiving and giving gifts to their non-Muslim friends and family, and even among themselves, is innocent and full of fun.

When asked whether Eid was more or less fun than Christmas, about 10% of respondents said Christmas was more fun than Eid with another 10% saying it was the same. Some of the respondents commented, “Children think Christmas is more fun,” while another respondent noted, “We failed to make Eid more fun.” It is statements such as these that confirm what many of us have personally overheard children telling their parents, e.g., “We love celebrating Christmas because it is more fun than Eid.”

Additionally, when such holidays arrive, schools hold a celebration and gift-giving ceremonies of their own that tend to glamorize such festivals and make them appear more attractive to children. By following fatawa of permissibility, the Muslim community struggles with the questions of what to do and how to react when their children go to school and partake in these ceremonies. Some choose not to send their children to school for that day but others worry that taking their kids out of school somehow sacrifices their education.

The reality is, however, that this sacrifice brings about several benefits for their children: a) there is no real education or learning taking place during these days, b) they instill in their children the importance of a distinct Muslim identity, c) they save their children from partaking in the ceremonies that clearly involve immoral and despicable acts, d) they spend quality time with their children since they rarely see each other except on the weekends, and most importantly d) they will be fulfilling their responsibility as shepherds22 who protect and guard their flock from any adulteration and contamination in regard to their Islamic `aqidah (creed).

In the end, a great deal is at stake. Some today, even among supposed Muslim “leaders” in the West, prefer not to delve into these issues as they view the entire conversation as “of little relevance,” as somehow beneath them or not worthy of serious concern. Contrast this with the view of scholars throughout history who unanimously recognized that a seemingly small thing like a greeting could entail kufr and shirk. We would do well to remember the words of the Prophet :

“A man utters a word pleasing to Allah without considering it of any significance for which Allah exalts his ranks (in Jannah); another one speaks a word displeasing to Allah without considering it of any importance, and for this reason he will sink down into Hell.” (Sahih al-Bukhari)

About the Author: Shaykh Dr. Ali Ahmed has pursued knowledge from India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE, Mauritania, and Morocco. He has obtained two Bachelors degrees (in Islamic Studies and in Biochemistry), a Masters in Fiqh and Usul al-Fiqh, and is currently pursuing his PhD in Islamic Judiciary. He also has fifteen years of experience as an imam and youth director in California, USA.

End Notes

1. Even though al-Qaradawi does not live in the US or the Western world, he is considered to be a mufti for the Muslims living there. In fact he is the current presiding Chairman of the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR) based in Ireland. Furthermore, he is one of the most influential scholars of our time whose influence is not confined to the Islamic world, as his fatawa plays a role in shaping the identity of some Muslims in the West (Polka, 2013, p. 49).

2. Al-Bukhari, Sahih al-Bukhari, hadith no. 7257, vol. 9, 88; Muslim, Sahih Muslim, hadith no. 1840, vol. 3, 1469.

3. Al-Bukhari, Sahih al-Bukhari, hadith no. 2620, vol. 3, 164.

4. Isma‘il ibn ‘Umar ibn Kathir, Tafsir al-Quran al-‘Adhim, (Bayrut: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 1st ed., 1419H ), vol. 6, 239; Muhammad ibn Jarir Al-Ùabari, Jami‘ al-Bayan fi ta’wil al-Quran, (Bayrut: Mu’assat al-Risalah), vol. 20, 12; Ahmad Ibn ‘Ali ibn Muhammad ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani, Fath al-Bari Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari, (Bayrut: Dar al-Ma‘rifah, 1379H), vol. 10, 400.

5. Mohammad Hashim Kamali, Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence, (Kuala Lumpur: Ilmiah Publishers, 3rd ed., 2000), 200.

6. Ibid., 89.

7. Ibid., 199

8. Ibn Kathir, Tafsir al-Quran al-‘Adhim, vol. 2, 325-326; Al-Tabari, Jami‘ al-Bayan…, vol. 8, 87-90; Fakhr al-Din Al-Razi, Mafatih al-Ghayb, (Bayrut: Dar Ihya’ al-Turath al-‘Arabi, 3rd ed., 1420H), vol. 10, 161-163; Muhammad Tahir ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Ashur, Al-Tahrir wa al-Tanwir, (Tunisia: Al-Dar al-Tunisiyyah, 1984), vol. 5, 145.

9. Ibn al-Qayyim, Ahkam Ahl al-Dhimmah, vol. 152-157; Al-Khallil, Abu Bakr Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Harun ibn Yazid al-Baghdadi, Ahkam Ahl al-Milal, (Bayrut: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2nd ed., 2003), 387-391.

10. Ahmad ibn ‘Ali Abu Bakr al-Razi Al-Jassas, Ahkam al-Qur’an, (Bayrut: Dar Ihya’ al-Turath al-‘Arabi, 1405H), vol. 3, 571.

11. Abu Zakariyya Yahya ibn Sharaf al-Dimashqi Al-Nawawi, Al-Minhaj Sharh Sahih Muslim, (Bayrut: Dar Ihya’ al-Turath al-‘Arabi, 2nd ed., 1392H), hadith 2163, vol. 14, 144-145.

12. Abu Muhammad ‘Abdullah ibn Ahmad ibn Muammad ibn Qudamah, Al-Mughni, (Cairo: Maktabat al-Qahirah, 1968), vol. 9, 363.

13. Muhammad ibn Isma‘il ibn Ibrahim ibn al-Mughrah Al-Bukhari, Al-Adab al-Mufrad, (Bayrut: Dar al-Basha’ir al-Islamiyyah, 3rd ed., 1989), Hadith no. 240, vol. 1, 221.

14. In my research, I could not find any literature pertaining to congratulating and partaking in the religious festivals of non-Muslims in the US that can be authentically associated to Hamza Yusuf. However, given the fact that Hamza Yusuf is the close student of Bin Bayyah, it can cautiously be concluded that the views and fatawa given by Bin Bayyah are also the views and opinions of Hamza Yusuf, unless there is some indication otherwise.

15. Bin Bayyah, Ṣina‘at al-Fatwa wa Fiqh al-Aqalliyyat, 342.

16. Ibn al-Qayyim, Aḥkam Ahl al-Dhimmah, vol. 1, 162.

17. ‘Ala’ al-Din ‘Ali ibn Sulayman Al-Mardawi, al-Insaf fi Ma‘rifat al-Rajih min al-Khilaf, (Bayrut: Dar Ihya’ al-Turath al-‘Arabi, 2nd Edn., n.d.), vol. 4, 234.

18. Ibid, vol. 4, 234.

19.  Ibn Taymiyyah, Iqtida’ al-Sirat al-Mustaqim…, 210-213; Ibn al-Qayyim, Ahkam Ahl al-Dhimmah, vol. 1, 162.

20. Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn ‘Uthman Al-Dhahabi, Siyar A‘lam al-Nubali’, (Cairo: Dar al-Hadith, 1st Edn., 2006), vol. 6, 395.

21. See Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn ‘Uthman Al-Dhahabi, Mizan al-I‘tidal, (Bayrut: Dar al-Ma‘rifah, 1st Edn., 1963), vol. 1, 226; Ahmad Ibn ‘Ali ibn Muhammad ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani, Tahdhib al-Tahdhib, (India: Dairat al-Ma‘arif al-Nidhamiyyah, 1st Edn., 1326H), vol. 1, 290; Ahmad Ibn ‘Ali ibn Muhammad ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani,, Lisan al-Mizan, (India: Dairat al-Ma‘arif al-Nidhamiyyah, 2nd Edn., 1971), vol. 1, 398-399.

22. This idea of being a shepherd is taken from a ḥadith of the Prophet that states: “All of you are shepherds and each of you is responsible for his flock. An Imam is a shepherd and he is responsible for those in his care. A man is a shepherd in respect of his family and is responsible for those in his care. The woman is a shepherd in respect of her husband’s house and is responsible for those in her care. The servant is a shepherd in respect of his master’s property and is responsible for what is in his care. All of you are shepherds and each of you is responsible for his flock.” (al-Bukhari, vol. 5: 2 & Muslim, Sahih Muslim, vol. 3, ed. n.d.: 1459).

 

 

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27 COMMENTS

  1. Congratulating is a form of encouragement. How is encouraging shirk and batil “ a form of ‘kindness’ and ‘respect’”?

    Congratulating people with their shirki holidays (which is a part of their ibadaat) because you fear their response is a form of cowardliness, deception and disrespect.

    “As for the claim that it was reported with an ‘authentic chain’ that ‘Ali celebrated the Persian New Year’s by eating ice cream with the relatives of Imam Abu Hanifah, then this is inaccurate.”

    Even is this story were to be true (which it isn’t) you have to take into account that muslims by that time formed the authority in Persia. Their social position (strong) was totally different form minority muslims in the West (weak) now. They already did iqaamat ad-Din. We are still in the beginning fase of properly establishing the religion.

    • “How is encouraging shirk and batil “ a form of ‘kindness’ and ‘respect’”?”

      Yes, a valid point. Most of the so-called celebrity “scholars” don’t have any grounding in actual knowledge and just work as performers – regardless if they claim they studied in Syria or Mauritania or what not.

      It is a fiqh ruling that if one’s parents are nonMuslims, and they ask him to drop them at their church/temple, the son/daughter should refuse, because there is no such thing as obedience to parents in disobedience to Allah (and what worse form of disobedience than committing shirk or facilitating it for someone!).

      They do have permission to pick them up from the church/temple and bring them home.

      This is very relevant to the west and the situation of many converts. How many western-based “scholars” do you see talking about these kind of rulings and such situations?

  2. It is incredibly ironic that the west’s own leftist and liberal establishment itself is against “Merry Christmas” and pushes the “Happy Holidays” or “Winter Break” narrative as a deliberate religion-neutral greeting trying to undo the Christian domination of western secularism. Of course, they have their own atheistic progressive liberal agenda to push, but here it is worth noting that while their own secular democracy agents are trying to undo the whole “Merry Christmas” narrative, we have so-called “Muslims” who want Muslims to attend mass on Christmas.

    The author missed out on another evil justification of Christmas celebrations, that E^isa, a^laihis salam, is a prophet of Islam and we love him too.

  3. The article doesn’t establish the underlying reasons why congratulating non-Muslims on their holidays will cause “adulteration and contamination in regard to their Islamic aqidah (creed)”. Throughout the article it makes this “contamination” claim but fails to provide a logical and practical analysis of why this would happen. I would appreciate if the author could briefly provide this analysis or refer to the article if such analysis was already covered.

    • It already did happen. Mawlid is literally a bootleg version of Christmas. The Ismaili Shi’a Fatimids established this innovation while they ruled Egypt (the population remained Sunni). Most likely they were influenced by the Christian Copts celebrating Jesus’ birthday. The innovation was then adopted by Sufis – and from there it got to the muslim masses.

      • Typical of propaganda-fed juhalaa like you parroting the same propaganda script. Christmas is a problem not for the celebration of the birth of E^isa a^laihis salam, but because it is the *Christians’* celebration of what they call “son of God”.

        This is a hadith from Sahih Muslim. The Prophet, sal Allahu a^alaihi wa sallam, “celebrated” his Mawlid weekly by fasting and thanking Allah for his birth.
        عن أبي قتادة الأنصاري رضي الله عنه أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم سئل عن صوم الاثنين فقال فيه ولدت وفيه أنزل علي

        Mawlid is a “celebration” for Muslims who love the Prophet as the greatest blessing and mercy of Allah. I say “celebration” in quotation commas because as Muslims our celebration only comprises of thanking and praising Allah and doing the things legislated by the Sharia, like distributing food to the poor, discussing seerah and events from the Prophet’s life, reciting salawat on him, nasheeds, and so on.

        Of course, there are so many faux Sufis who have introduced haram acts into not just Mawlid, but any and every aspect of deen – just as there are faux “Salafis” who have introduced riba banking right in the heart of Makkah and cinemas and rock concerts right next to Makkah within the territories of Hil (i.e., Miqat, i.e., Jeddah), but I wonder if you would ever run your mouth like that against those masters of deception!

      • Brother do you know Arabic?

        That hadith doesn’t say anything about celebrating in the sense we’re using it now. It’s about fasting the mondays i.e. every monday. If you want to show love for the Prophet follow his Sunnah. What people today call Mawlid (festivities on 12 Rabi’ al Awwal) has absolutely no basis in the Tradition. It’s a Shi’i Ismaili copy of Coptic Christmas.

        If there had been any basis to it it wouldn’t have deteriorated to the state it has: singing, dancing, intermixing of the sexes in large festivals (often with women who have incorrect hijaab), ghurafaat and blatant shirk – with masses of people going to the graves of mystics and “holy men” to beg for good fortune. I’ve seen all this with my own two eyes. Worse than the fahisha present is utter absense of Tawheed.

      • I do know Arabic and that’s why I posted the hadith.

        You with your expansive knowledge of Arabic, have failed to see

        1) that the ***reason*** the Prophet gave for fasting on Mondays is his birth being on that day and the revelation coming on that day!
        2) and that the hadith establishes that one can (and should) thank Allah for any blessing that he wishes (the additional blessing mentioned is the start of the Wahiy)

        It is a direct and solid proof for marking of birthdays (or any other blessing of Allah) and thanking Allah for it.

        Of course, we are Muslims and our “celebrations” center around thanking Allah and doing acts of piety like fasting, reciting Quran, charity, etc.

        The rest of your diatribe is just a reading out of the script handed to you by those who can’t see beyond their noses.

        Hajj is a pillar of Islam which does have a “basis” in Islam.

        Have you seen the state of the modern Haji and the state of the two holy cities recently – what with Victoria’s Secret stores right in the holy cities, along with Jewish owned franchise chains, all installed after “removal” of local businesses. Hajis & Hajjas intermingling, with improper hijabs. The list goes on.

        I do not contest the fact that a lot of wrong goes on in many Mawlid gatherings as does in many “Salafi”ist gatherings, but your exaggerations are way over the top propaganda material, and frankly it’s quite boring reading/listening to the same scripted diatribe being repeated by any and every real or perceived “follower of the Salaf”.

        Can you please elaborate what you saw with your own two eyes – which year, which city, what exactly you saw, etc. I’m curious.

        The matter is simple. We do not have any restrictions on thanking Allah for any blessing. We thank Allah by doing acts that are legislated in Shariah or permissible.

        Mawlid is a collection of many individual acts:
        Reciting Quran
        Reading Seerah
        Reciting salawat and poetry in honor of the Prophet
        Charity to poor
        Fasting
        Serving meals to people
        … and so on.

        Now if a haram act goes on, like intermingling, we condemn it and try to stop it. If people still persist, we abstain from those people who insist on haram acts, regardless if they organize Mawlid or anything else.

        I know many Sufi teachers who refuse to go to any Mawlid where intermingling is present, or even other male-only gatherings where nasheed recitations are organized like concerts (neon lighting, music, etc.)

        That doesn’t mean the principle itself is wrong for the sincere.

        For the insincere, religion is the biggest and best business, regardless of which sect you belong to. I can show you examples a dime a dozen!

        I can show you “conventions” and other “religious” events organized by modern “followers of the Salaf” who will detest Mawlid gatherings but promote all sorts of halal fawahish.

        Of course, we carry on the Sunnah every day of our lives. That doesn’t mean we can’t mark days that have significance to us in terms of blessings of Allah and there isn’t a blessing greater than the Prophet who taught us Tawheed.

  4. So is there any evidence that the Prophet ’alayissalām or his companions celebrated his Mawlid or their birthdays on one specific day each year, or did this come after them? Just asking

  5. The only day a birth is celebrated is the day it happens. If its a boy the men swung their swords or fire their weapons n the word gets out. If its a girl they pass sweets and give thanks.

    In many Muslim societies people dont even keep track of their age. Maturity is on the onset of puberty. You are an elder once you get grey hair.

    Everything else modern self entertainment.

  6. Ok, let me rephrase my question barakAllāhufeek: is there any evidence that the Prophet ’alayhissalām or his companions radiAllāhu ‘anhum ajma’een marked/singled out/gathered in any way shape or form for his Mawlid or any of their birthdays on one specific day each year, or did this come after them?

    • I understood your question. No need to rephrase it. Don’t shift the goal post.

      My question to you was – define “celebrate”, what you understand from it.

      1) Does “celebrate birthday” mean putting up a pine tree and a reindeer? If so, this “celebration” is haram.
      2) Does “celebrate birthday” mean intermingling of sexes? If so, this “celebration” is haram.
      3) Does “celebrate birthday” mean fasting? If so, this “celebration” has a basis in Shariah and it is a rewardable action.
      4) Does “celebrate birthday” mean reading Quran and discussing tafseer and ahkam? If so, this “celebration” is rewardable.
      5) Does “celebrate birthday” mean giving charity to poor Muslims? If so, this “celebration” is rewardable.
      6) Does “celebrate birthday” mean reciting poetry in honor of the Prophet? If so, this “celebration” is rewardable.
      7) Does “celebrate birthday” mean vain singing and dancing? If so, this “celebration” is haram.
      8) Does “celebrate birthday” mean reading ahadith and talking about their scholarly commentaries? If so, this “celebration” is rewardable.
      9) Does “celebrate birthday” mean reading the Prophetic seerah for rejuvenating our faiths and lives. If so, this “celebration” is rewardable.

      I’m quite sure you will find examples from the Prophet’s sal Allahu a^laihi wa sallam life and the sahaba’s life for “birthday celebration” actions 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9. If you can’t find evidence for these in the Quran and Sunnah, do let me know.

      ******************************

      Now coming to the 2 points of

      A) Organizing gatherings for it – As long as someone doesn’t declare it fard or wajib, you can’t hold it against them, because to call something fard or wajib, evidence is required from the Shariah. If you want to call it haram, bring evidence from the Shariah that holding gatherings is haram.

      It is mibah to hold any gathering of permissible actions (like an office meeting). It is permissible and also reward-worthy to hold a voluntary gathering of good for the remembrance of Allah and His Prophet, sahih hadith, evidences this.

      If you want to call holding a voluntary gathering of good like discussing Seerah or remembering Allah as haram, you need to bring evidence that it is haram for two or more people to voluntarily get together only to remember Allah and praise Him and praise His Prophet.

      B) Marking a specific day of the year – The Prophet marked a specific day of the week for “celebrating” his birthday (by thanking Allah by fasting), the actual day of his birth, Monday. There is enough evidence in there that it is not only permissible, but actually reward-worthy to do any voluntary act of worship.

      Your possible objection: “Why don’t you do these good things it every day of the year?”
      Our reply: We do. We don’t restrict ourselves to this day for thanking Allah for the greatest blessing of His. Did you ever see any of us saying that it is not allowed to do any of the good activities of the Mawlid the rest of the year? Do you see any of us saying that Mawlid can be “celebrated” only on the 12th of Rabi^ ul Awwal, and on no other day?

      Your possible objection: “But it isn’t established with certainty that the 12th of Rabi^ ul Awwal is the actual date of the Prophet’s birth.”
      Our reply: Firstly, it is established with sound chains and the opinion of the jumhur. Secondly assuming it isn’t, so what? Remember, we established that doing these acts any day of the year are equally reward-worthy. You can charge us guilty of calling a non-birthday as a birthday, but that is not haram. There are tons of ikhtilafat of the u^lema on tons of matters, historical, or juridical. If you want to tell us it is haram to do these voluntary acts of worship on the 12th of Rabi^ ul Awwal, please bring us evidence for it.

      Your possible objection: “But the governments all mark the 12th as holiday.”
      Our reply: Yes, because the opinion of the jumhur is that it falls on the 12th of Rabi^ ul Awwal. Even if the governments are mistaken on marking the specific date, they are well within the opinion of many scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah.

      ****************

      The problem with you people is you have no tafaqquh or knowledge of fiqh, and think you are very smart!

      See also my reply to @Akh above.

      • Allāhu yajzeeka Kul al-khair. I didn’t ask for the hukm shar’i regarding marking/singling out/gathering for the Mawlid bārakAllāhufeek. I said “is there any evidence that the Prophet ’alayhissalām or his companions radiAllāhu ‘anhum ajma’een marked/singled out/gathered in any way shape or form for his Mawlid or any of their birthdays on ONE SPECIFIC DAY EACH YEAR? Or did this practice come after them?

        Its important to establish this point first before defining “celebrate”. Thats why I’m rephrasing may Allāh bless you.

      • Again, please do not try to be unnecessarily difficult with what you think are “smart” and “logical” questions.

        We could go all night with this. Your “may Allah bless you” stinks of typical condescension from the likes of you.

        Hukm Shari^y is pertinent to the issue at hand and needs to go side-by-side with this. And you have the answer in my reply above. You even know these evidences from before, but your ego, lack of knowledge and lack of tafaqquh prevents you from accepting the truth, so you want to look for “smart” ways to reach your pre-decided conclusion.

        Final response to your supposedly “intelligent” question which you think will lead to the conclusion you want to attain:

        You said:
        *************
        “is there any evidence that the Prophet ’alayhissalām or his companions radiAllāhu ‘anhum ajma’een marked/singled out/gathered in any way shape or form for his Mawlid or any of their birthdays on ONE SPECIFIC DAY EACH YEAR? Or did this practice come after them?
        *************
        Let’s break down the key aspects of your question

        1. Birthdays themselves
        2. Gatherings
        3. ONE SPECIFIC DAY EACH YEAR

        Our reply to your smartness:

        1. The Prophet sal Allahu a^laihi wa sallam – marked and singled out the day of his birth. He did it on a weekly basis on the day of the week of his blessed birth – by an act of worship (fasting) that he taught his ummah.

        Hukm Shari^y – The Prophet EXPLICITLY mentioned his BIRTH (and revelation) as the reason for his fasting Mondays. It PROVES we can thank Allah for our or our children’s BIRTHDAYS or ANY other blessing by ANY act of worship. The Prophet’s birth is the greatest blessing.

        2. As for voluntary gatherings of good and voluntary worships – there are numerous ahadith and actions of the sahaba evidencing it.

        Hukm Shari^y – We can voluntarily gather for any gathering of goodness. Sahih ahadith tell us that they are means of immense rewards.

        3. So now we are left with your query regarding – (shock, horror)- one specific day each year (and that day being 12th Rabi^ ul Awwal, and I already said no one restricts the celebration of the Mawlid to one specific day of the year)?

        To answer your question, not that I know of. (If you’re happy at my answer, I suggest you mark this as an occasion of joy, and celebrate it every week or every year!!)

        So what is the Hukm Shari^y on voluntarily gathering for voluntary acts of goodness/worships on “ONE SPECIFIC DAY EACH YEAR”?

        It is not just mibah, but actually a means of immense rewards to gather voluntarily on any specific or random day of the year vide 1 & 2 above, and because the Prophet sal Allahu a^laihi wa sallam has said:

        من سن في الإسلام سنة حسنة فله أجرها وأجر من عمل بها من بعده من غير أن ينقص من أجورهم شيء، ومن سنَّ في الإسلام سنَّة سيئة فعليه وزرها ووزر من عمل بها من بعده من غير أن ينقص من أوزارهم شيء

        The Hukm Shari^y would change if someone called it (singling out ONE SPECIFIC DAY and gathering for any act) as obligatory because it is not something made obligatory by Allah and His Prophet.

        If you have issues with reading comprehension, then please learn these skills first before commenting further and arguing over this issue.

        If the only thing that causes you a heartache is labeling those gatherings as “Mawlid”, feel free to label them something else – “Gathering for discussing the greatness of the Master of Messengers of Allah” perhaps?

        Or does praising the Prophet cause you heartaches in general with or without the “Mawlid” tag?

        **********

        Ahadith tell us that our hearts become dead by arguing with stubborn and ignorant people. I won’t respond any further. You (or anyone else with your mindset) can have the last word and consider yourself a winner.

        Salam.

  7. wa ‘alaikum assalām wa rahmatullāhi wa barakātuhu brother.

    So, is that a ‘yes’, ‘no’ or ‘I don’t know’ to the my question habbibi? still waiting for an answer barakAllāfeek.

    • I’m not going to entertain your trolling. The answer is there in the very explicit words you want.

      Like I said, you can think you have won, you are on haq, and you have baseerah. It’s all in your head.

      Allah will show us the truth on Judgement Day.

      I can help the blind of sight, but I can’t help the blind of hearts (see 22:46 to get an apt description of yourself)

  8. O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm for Allah, witnesses in justice, and do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do. (5:8)

    Brother, a hukm of tabdee’ or takfeer can only be established after bayān al hujja. If the bayān is understood by the interlocetor then qiyām al hujja is established. If the bayān is not understood by the interlocutor then there is no qiyām. Even less so if there is no bayān to begin with. Further more this hukm, for the most part can only by derived and executed by an ‘ālim mujtahid.

    A kharijii is a mubtadi’ and to some of ahlul ‘ilm a kaafir. I don’t think there is sufficient evidence from our discourse to make a hukm of tabdi’ or takfeer upon me because as of yet my hāl, for the most part is unknown. So, could be considered an act of dhulm and Allāhu ‘alum.

    Also, issues pertaining to actions of the heart are Allāhu subhānahu wa ta’ala’s department, so lets not assume what our brothers hearts conceal of nifaaq, or hatred of the Prophet ‘alayhissalām na’outhobillah min thalik.

    To conclude. My question is important, integral rather, and shouldn’t spark irrational anger and hatred for the one upon haq and baseerah. The yearly Mawlid is considered an act of ‘ibaadah whereby people seek to draw close to Allāh ‘Azza wa Jāl, so would be great to see daleel that the Prophet ‘alayhissalām and his companions did it (aka marked/singled out/gathered in any way shape or form for his Mawlid or any of their birthdays on one specific day each year)

    Anyway, if any one else can answer my question tufudhalo

    May Allah soften your heart and guide you to all that is good in the dunya and ākhirah and remove the hatred you feel towards your Muslim brothers.

    • You knew I caught your game when I asked you to define “celebrate”. You then went off on a tangent to rephrase your question, and kept on shifting the goal posts. If you were honest, you would have stuck to your original question and proceeded to define “celebrate”

  9. I reiterate; issues pertaining to actions of the heart are Allāhu subhānahu wa ta’ala’s department, so lets not assume what our brothers hearts conceal.

    Lets deal with the mas-alla barakAllāfeek.

    My question is simple, answerable and unambiguous.

    “is there any evidence that the Prophet ’alayhissalām or his companions radiAllāhu ‘anhum ajma’een marked/singled out/gathered in any way shape or form for his Mawlid or any of their birthdays on ONE SPECIFIC DAY EACH YEAR? Or did this practice come after them?”

    I didn’t ask you about the hukm.

    I didn’t ask you if the Hadith where the prophet fasted on Mondays and Thursdays can be used as a daleel to celebrate birthdays.

    I asked you:

    “DID THEY DO AFOREMENTIONED ON ONE SPECIFIC DAY EACH YEAR FOR HIS MAWLID OR THEIR BIRTHDAYS”?

    A for yes or B for no. Which one A or B?

    is it clear?

      • Invoking Quran, Sunnah and Ijma^a of the Sahaba doesn’t make you less of a troll.

        By the way, it’s supposed to be ijma^a of the scholars. Even one sahabi’s actions are a proper daleel.

        ********************

        For any other brothers or sisters, if you can prove to me that you have more knowledge of Quran, Sunnah, Sayings & Actions of Sahaba, Ijma^a of Mujtahid Scholars – more than the below mentioned scholars who called the Mawlid as not just permissible but rather a means of immense blessings and rewards – then I’m willing to listen to you:

        1) Imam Abu Shama (one of the teachers of Imam Nawawi)

        2) Imam Sakhawi

        3) Shaykh Ibn Hajar al-Haytami

        4) Imam Ibn al-Jawzi

        5) Shaykh Ibn Kathir (he eulogized the leader for the acts of charity on the 12th of Rabi^ ul Awwal and called the Mawlid blessed in his al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya)

        6) Imam Subki

        7) Imam Shawkani

        8) Mullah Ali al-Qari

        9) Ahmad ibn Zayni Dahlan, Mufti of Mecca before the despots took over

        10) Imam Jalaluddin al-Suyuti

        11) Imam Wajihuddin Shaybani al-Zubaidi

        12) Imam Shihab al-Qastalani

        13) Imam Shamsuddin bin Nasir al-Dimashqi

        14) Imam Ibn Dahiya

        15) Hafiz al-Iraqi

        16) Imam Mohammed bin Abu Bakr Abdullah al-Qaisi al-Dimashqi

        17) Ameerul Mumineen fi al-Hadith Ibn Hajar al-A^sqalani (quoted by Imam Suyuti)

        18) Sayyid Ja’far al-Barzanji al-Shafi^iy

        19) Muhammed ibn Alawi al-Maliki

        20) Qadi I^yad ibn Musa al-Yahsubl, the author of the famous al-Shifa

        21) Imam Ahmad Dardir al-Maliki

        22) Ibn A^abidin

        23) Azhari Imam Ibrahim al-Bajuri

        This list is only a sample. By no means exhaustive.

  10. May Allah bless you and increase your ranks for this very clear and concise article. I have to be more careful when “intellectuals” of our ummah decide to give out fatwas like hot potatoes!

  11. What do you think about this argument by one of the leading hadith scholars of our era in the person of Hatim al-‘Awni? http://dr-alawni.com/articles.php?show=187 He states that it’s allowed PROVIDED that this congratulation doesn’t contain any expression indicating being in agreement with their religion (sorry for the messed up translation).

    • What do all these “scholars” think about simply being a nice person and saying “Happy Holidays”? Is it that much of a Fard or Wajib to greet nonMuslims for their festivals? Or will we all be sent to Auschwitz if we didn’t greet them for Christmas?

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