Celebrating Christmas
Fatwa No: 86876

Question

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?

Answer

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  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

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 (what means): {…Help you one another in Al-Birr and At-Taqwa (virtue, righteousness and piety); but do not help one another in sin and transgression….} [Quran 5:2]. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “Whoever imitates a nation is but one of them.” [Abu Dawood]  Celebrating such festivals comes under the falsehood that should be avoided. Allah Says (what means): {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.} [Quran 25:72]. Many scholars of Quran like Ibn Seereen and Mujaahid  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them interpret “falsehood” as the festivals of non-Muslims. Anas  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him reported: “The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) came to Madeenah while they had two days they celebrated. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) asked, “What are these two days?” They said, ‘These are two days we used to celebrate in our pre Islaamic era. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah 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. Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim  may  Allaah  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.

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