Celebrating Christmas

  • Publish date:20/12/2013
  • Section:Fataawa
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My girlfriend is a teacher in the Netherlands where most schools celebrate Christmas. Can she celebrate Christmas, although she does not have the intention to celebrate it?
All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger, may Allah exalt his mention as well as that of his family and all his companions.
It is not permitted for this woman or any other Muslim to participate in the festivals of non-Muslims because it is a kind of cooperation in the disobedience of Allah. Allah says (interpretation of meaning): {…Help you one another in Al-Birr and At-Taqwa (virtue, righteousness and piety); but do not help one another in sin and transgression….}[5:2]. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: "Whoever imitates a nation is but one of them." [Abu Daawood]  Celebrating such festivals comes under the falsehood that should be avoided. Allah says (interpretation of meaning): {And those who do not bear witness to falsehood, and if they pass by some evil play or evil talk, they pass by it with dignity.}[25:72].
Many scholars of Qur'aan like Ibn Seereen and Mujaahid  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  them interpret "falsehood" as the festivals of unbelievers. Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, reported: "The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) came to Madeenah while they had two days they celebrated. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) asked, "What are these two days?" They said, 'These are two days we used to celebrate in our pre Islamic era. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: "Allah has replaced them with two better days: 'Eed Al-Adh-Haa and 'Eed Al- Fitr."
Therefore, no Muslim is allowed to participate in the festival celebration of non-Muslims or greet them on this occasion. Imaam Ibn Al-Qayyim  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him reported the consensus of all scholars that greeting non-Muslims on their religious occasions is forbidden. Know that partially participating in such occasions is enough to involve one in sin even if one does not intend to participate wholly in the celebration.
Allah knows best.
Fatwa answered by: The Fatwa Center at Islamweb

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