Participating in non-Muslim festivals for study purpose
Fatwa No: 196791

  • Fatwa Date:5-2-2013 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 25, 1434
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Question

Assalamu Alikum. We, Bangladeshi Muslims, are surrounded by Hindus and Buddhists. My Question is, can a Muslim participate in Hindus and Buddhists religious festivals? If any one, who is studying religions, join that function to see and know their religious festivals; is he allowed to join their festivals? Please educate me. Jajakaallahu Khira.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His Slave and Messenger.

It is not permissible to join the Hindu or Buddhists or other disbelievers in their festivals and celebrations, neither with the pretext of being their neighbour nor with the pretext of discovering and getting to know about their religions.

If a person needs to know something about their creed and religion because of being a student, he may do so by reading. So, it is absolutely not permissible to participate in their festivals unless one fears harm from them if he does not participate in them while he cannot repel that harm except by attending their festivals; in which case, it can be said that it is permissible to attend their celebrations due to necessity. Allaah Says (what means): {Let not believers take disbelievers as allies [i.e. supporters or protectors] rather than believers. And whoever [of you] does that has nothing [i.e. no association] with Allaah, except when taking precaution against them in prudence.} [Quran 3:28]

Ibn Katheer  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said while interpreting the verse {…except when taking precaution against them in prudence}: "i.e. except he who fears in some countries or at some times from their evil, then he may take precaution against them by his appearance and not by his heart and intention, as it is reported by Al-Bukhari from Abu Ad-Dardaa’,  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him  that he said: “We smile in the face of some people (i.e. non-believers) while our hearts curse them.

For more benefit on the impermissibility of joining non-Muslims in their festivals because they are part of their religion, please refer to Fataawa 117419 and 43067.

Allaah Knows best.

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