Two reports about accepting gifts from non-Muslims in their festivals
Fatwa No: 316801

  • Fatwa Date:17-3-2016 - Jumaadaa Al-Aakhir 8, 1437
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Question

Assallaamu alaykum dear Scholar, my question is whether the following two narrations are authentic, and if so, then in which books are the sources of these two narrations? My confusion is due to the fact that some scholars say that it is premissible to accept gifts from the non-Muslims on their holidays, and they use these narrations as evidence, but they always fail to mention the source of the narrations, so can you please kindly investigate this issue? Your assistance in the matter will kindly be appreciated. May Allaah reward you. 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." Shaykh Al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah, may Allaah have mercy on him, said, "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 that he accepted it."

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 ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

After careful research in the books and references at hand, we could not find that any of the reliable scholars declared these two reports authentic or inauthentic. However, the fact that Shaykhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him brought forth these two reports as evidence in this important issue indicates that he believed that it is valid to bring them forth as evidence.

The first report narrated on the authority of ʻAa'ishah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  her was cited by Ibn Abi Shaybah in his Musannaf. It was narrated on the authority of Jareer that Qaaboos reported on the authority of his father that a woman asked ‘Aa’ishah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  her "We have wet nurses from among the Magians, and they have a festival on which they bring us gifts?" ‘Aa’ishah said, "As for what is slaughtered for that day, do not eat it, but eat from their trees (i.e. vegetables and fruit).

The other report was narrated on the authority of ʻAli  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him and reads: "Abu ʻAbdullaah Al-Haafith narrated on the authority of Abu Al-ʻAbbaas that Muhammad ibn Yaʻqoob reported on the authority of Al-Hasan ibn ʻAli ibn ʻAffaan that Abu Usaamah narrated on the authority of Hammaad ibn Zayd that Hishaam narrated on the authority of Muhammad ibn Seereen that he said, 'ʻAli  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him was given a gift on the Nayrooz festival (Persian festival) and asked, 'What is this?' They replied, 'Oh, Leader of the Believers, today is Nayrooz day.' So he said, 'Then make every day Nayrooz.'" [Al-Bayhaqi: As-Sunan Al-Kubra]

Shaykhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyah may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote:

"As for accepting a gift from them (non-Muslims) on the day of their festival, we have quoted above that ʻAli ibn Abu Taalib  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him was brought a gift on the occasion of Nayrooz and that he accepted it. Ibn Abi Shaybah narrated in his book Al-Musannaf that a woman asked ʻAa'ishah, 'We have wet nurses from among the Magians, and they have a festival on which they bring us gifts?' She  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  her said, 'As for what is slaughtered for that day, do not eat it, but eat from their trees (from what their trees produce).' It was narrated from Abu Barzah that he had some Magian neighbors who used to bring him gifts on the occasion of Nayrooz and Mihrajaan, 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 regards to the rites of their disbelief." [Iqtidhaa' As-Siraat Al-Mustaqeem]

Allaah knows best.

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