Q&A: Greeting the Kuffaar on Their Festivals

Sunday 30-Dec-2018, 1:39PM / 630

Translation: Aboo Aamal Misbaah Olagunju

Al-Imam Muhammad bin Saalih Al-Uthaymeen rahimahullah was asked:

What is the ruling regarding congratulating the non-Muslims on their Xmas festival?

And how do we respond to them if they greet us on the occasion of their eid? 

And is it permissible to attend ceremonial gatherings organised for these occasions? 

Perhaps these are done out of courtesy or shyness or to avoid embarrassment, or other reasons different from these?

Then the Shaykh - rahmatullaah alayhi - responded thus:

Congratulating (greeting) the non-Muslims for Xmas or other than it from amongst their various religious festivities (New Year, Easter, Harvest, Carnival and the likes) is prohibited by consensus, as it was related by Ibn Qayyim rahimahullah in the book [Ahakaam Ahlul-Dhimah] when he said: 

"And as for congratulating (greeting) for the rituals specific to the disbelievers, it is prohibited according to the consensus, example of this is greeting them for their festivals and fasting by saying: "may the festival bring upon you blessings" or to say a greeting peculiar to the eid or its likes. Concerning this, if the one who says it is safe from disbelief, it is still from prohibitions, it is in the stature of congratulating him (the kaafir) for prostrating to the cross, moreover this is a great sin with Allah, and a more severe abhorrence than congratulating a drunkard (for drinking) and a murderer (for killing), and the one who mounted the private part which is unlawful for him and the likes of these. And majority of those who do not have with them enough (understanding) of the deen falls into this, and do not realize how disgusting it is what they do, hence from greeting (the kuffaar for their eid) they worship with sin or innovation or disbelieve and they have incurred upon themselves the aversion of Allaah and His discontent." (end of his statement rahimahullah)

Indeed congratulating the nonbelievers on their festivals has been something prohibited as this is established in the confirmation stated by Ibn Qayyim, because in it (greeting them) is attesting to what they are perpetrating of the rituals of disbelief, and being pleased with it (disbelief) for them, while he is not pleased with such disbelief for his own soul, rather it is prohibited for the Muslim to be contented with the rituals of disbelief or to congratulate other than himself for them (those rituals), because Allah the exalted is not pleased with that as He says the exalted:

???? ?????????? ??????? ??????? ??????? ???????? ? ????? ???????? ??????????? ????????? ? ?????? ?????????? ???????? ??????
"If you disbelieve, then verily, Allah is not in need of you, He likes not disbelief for His slaves. And if you are grateful (by being believers), He is pleased therewith for you." [Surah Az-Zumar 7]

He again says:

 ????????? ?????????? ?????? ????????? ???????????? ?????????? ????????? ????????? ?????? ???????????? ??????
"This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion." [Surah Al-Ma'idah 3]

And congratulating (greeting) them on that is prohibited, whether you are coworkers for the same employer or not. 

And if they greet us for their eid then we would not respond to them on that because their eid is not for us, and also because they are festivals which Allah the exalted is not pleased with, since they are either innovated in their religion itself or they were once legislated for them, however have been abrogated by the religion of Islam with which Allah sent Muhammad salallahu alayhi wa salaam to the entirety of the creation, and He said on this:
?????? ???????? ?????? ???????????? ?????? ?????? ???????? ?????? ?????? ??? ?????????? ???? ?????????????
"And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers." [Surah Aal-E-Imran 85]

And the Muslim responding to their invitations in relation to these events is prohibited, because this is the height of congratulating them for their festivals, for what that involves of partaking with them in the festivities.

Likewise it is prohibited upon the Muslims to imitate the nonbelievers by organizing celebrations in relation to these occasions, or to exchange presents or to distribute candies or dish out food, or take break from work (business) and the likes of these due to the statement of the prophet salallahu alayhi wa salaam:

"Whoever imitates a people is among them". 

Shaykul Islam ibn Taymiyyah said in his book (iqtidaa siraatal mustaqeem mukhaalafah as'haabul jaheem)

"Imitating them in part of their festivals will give their hearts pleasure with what they are upon of falsehood, and many a time they crave that in taking advantage of occasions and humbling the feeble" (end of his statement rahimahullah)

And whoever do any of those is surely a transgressor whether he does it out of courtesy or humility or shyness or for other reasons different from these, because it is from sycophancy (currying favour) with the deen of Allah, and from the causes of strengthening of the souls of kuffaar and their pride for their religion.

And it is Allah that we beseech to honour the Muslims by their religion and enrich them in steadfastness upon it, and aid them against their adversaries, Indeed He is Al-Qawiy (All-Able) Al-Azeez (Most Honourable).

[Majmoo' al-Fataawa wal-Rasaa'il (3/369)]

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