Muslims and Kuffar Celebrations: Clearing the Doubts

Friday 29-Dec-2023, 12:49PM / 428

No Xmas
Being A Response to a Social Media Muslim Confused about the Phenomenon 

Penned by Aboo Aamir, Is'haaq b. Abdurraheem 
(may Allaah forgive his two parents) 

Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem 
It has become an annual issue among some Muslims, if it is permissible to eat the food of the Christians during their festivals such as Christmas, New Year Celebrations, Easter Celebrations, etc.

While the majority of the people of Sunnah are upon its prohibition the bulk of the sufis, Muslim politicians, and others like them see no problem with it. In fact they see those who prohibit it as extremists, who are unnecessarily harsh towards their Christian neighbours.

They say it is permissible to eat just the food, accept their gifts, but not eat what is slaughtered for their festivals.

Some of them do not see any problem with greeting them on the occasion of their festivals. 

There are however some people with Sunnah traits who rely on some reports brought by Shaykhul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah - rahimahullah - in his popular book 'Iqtidaa as-Siraatil Mustaqeem'.

This piece is to look into those reports and see to their veracity and applicability to the issue at hand.

So saddening that someone, on X app, is so confused about it such that he sees no harm in eating food prepared for Maulid Nabiyy and funerals of dead Muslims.

He said those things are bid'ah but the food there is halal. A height of confusion, no doubt.

He asked 'which one is worse, Nayroos Festival or Maulid Nabiyy?

To him, Nayroos and Mahrajan festivals of the kuffar of old are less worse. 

Islam calls the Muslims to being clearly distinct from the ways of the kuffar including the Christians and the Jews.

It particularly warns the Muslims from following the latter.

The Messenger of Allaah - sallallahu alayhi wa sallam - said: 

'You will certainly follow the ways of those before you an arms length by arms length, such that of they were to enter the hole of a reptile you will follow them.' 

The Sahaba asked if that was not a reference to the Jews and the Christians, he - sallallahu alayhi wa sallam - replied in the affirmative.

He - the Messenger of Allaah - sallallahu alayhi wa sallam - also said: 

'Whoever imitates a people is from among them.'

Therefore the Muslims are expected to remain on their lane as the kuffar remain on theirs.

Loving the kuffar and taking them as allies is a sign of weak faith.

Allaah the Mighty Lord specifically warns the Muslims from taking the Jews and Christians as friends and allies, and He said whoever does so is from them.

Meanwhile Islam does not say we should treat the kuffar who treat us well bad. We are to be good to them when they are good to us.

But the red line is, don't take them as friends.

The Messenger of Allaah - sallallahu alayhi wa sallam - exhibited the traits of opposing the ways of the kuffar such that when he - sallallahu alayhi wa sallam - arrived in Madeenah, he stood opposed to the Jewishs festivals and customs. 

There is no single record that the Messenger of Allaah -sallallahu alayhi wa sallam - ever greeted the Jews of Madeenah on the occasions of their Eid let alone accepting gifts from them.

It was however on record that he used to eat their food and accept gifts from them in other days.

He would rather fast on the day of their Eid, to show that he was not pleased with their culture.

Umm Salamah - radiyallahu anha - recorded that the Messenger of Allaah - sallallahu alayhi wa sallam - used to fast on most Saturdays and Sundays because 'they are days of feast of the idolaters so I love to oppose them.' (Shaykh Ar'naoot says the isnad is hasan).

How would he even greet them on their day of Eeid when he - sallallahu alayhi wa sallam - said,' don't initiate greetings to the Jews and Christians, when you meet them on the path restrain them to the side of the road.'  (Hadeeth Abu Hurairah recorded by Muslim in his Saheeh)

(Scholars say this hadeeth is to be applied in a country where Islam rules and is strong).

So we wonder where the Messenger of Allaah - sallallahu alayhi wa sallam - would .have times to exchange pleasantries with them during their feasts, or will be served or gifted.

He - sallallahu alayhi wa sallam - would repeatedly say

خالفوا اليهود والنصارى
'Oppose the Jews and the Christians...'

When the Messenger of Allaah - sallallahu alayhi wa sallam - arrived in Madeenah he found the people doing two festivals, he never wasted time to tell them that Allaah had exchanged both with Eeidul Adha and Eeidul Fitr.

He also said every nation has its festival, Adha and Fitr are festivals of the Muslims. Bukhari and Muslim recorded it.

The above should be enough for a labeeb - an intelligent person, but some people will like to hold to some straw when they drown.

Their first shub'hah is holding to the mutlaq (absoluteness) in the Statement of our Lord - the Mighty:

وطعام الذين أوتوا الكتاب حل لكم...
'...and the food of the People of the Book is lawful to you.'
In Soorah Maidah. 

They hold to the mutlaq of this Verse to say the food of the Christians and the Jews is lawful to the Muslims even during their festivals.

They said Allaah - the Mighty - did not put an exception.

This premise is faulty because we are sure none of them would eat pork served by the Christians on that basis.

We are also sure if they see a Christian make his slaughter in the Name of Jesus, they will not eat it.

Or will you?

Also, when you see a Christian pick a goat killed by a car and cook it, you will not eat it.

Will you? Yes, you.

So there are implied taqyidaat to that Verse.

Food and slaughters during their festivals is another exception.

Whoever worships Allaah with mutalaqaat - absolute proofs - would fall into serious errors.

Some of the Sahabah had misunderstood the Verse below, such that they almost misapplied it. It is also about food. See it:

Qataadah bn Madh'uum - radiyallahu anhu - a veteran of Nadr War thought this Verse:

'Those who believe and do righteous good deeds, there is no sin on them for what they ate (in the past), if they fear Allah (by keeping away from His forbidden things)...'

'...and believe and do righteous good deeds, and again fear Allah and believe, and once again fear Allah and do good deeds with Ihsan (perfection). And Allah loves the good-doers.' Maidah: 93

He thought the Verse did not prohibit taking of liquor, until Umar b. Khattab - radiyallahu anhu- corrected him.

Even food prepared by Muslims can become haram if it is for haram and heretical purposes.

So it is a great mistake from you, to think that food prepared for Maulid and funeral of dead Muslims is not Haram.

Some things are not haram itself but for another thing.

In Usool Fiqh that is referred to as:

الحرام لغيره
Things that are haram for other reasons.

Then eating maulid and fidau food is encouraging the evildoers in their act.

Allaah says we should only cooperate in what is good and piety not in evil and disobedience.

That Verse of  'cooperate on what is good and piety' is a very fundamental basis in the shariah of Islam.

So stop aiding the heretics in their heresy by eating their food, drinks, slaughter, they made for their heresies.

Is that clear?

Islam says haram is clear as well as haram, in between both are doubtful matters, you save your Deen and dignity by avoiding doubtful matters.

He - sallallahu alayhi wa sallam - said: 'Whoever falls into a doubtful matter falls into haram.'

Get that clear!

In the work of Shaykhul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah - rahimahullah - in 'Iqtidaaus Siraatil Mustaqeem' after setting the beautiful and strong premises as to the reasons why Muslims must oppose all the kinds of celebrations of the kuffar such that he said it is not permissible to aid them in anyway, he said that it is however permissible to accept gifts from the kuffar during their festivals, including their food but not what is slaughtered for the festival!

Apart from the fact that the reports are at best mauqoof, they are also weak, as will be shown, Inshaa Allaah.

The Imaam added that, taking those gifts must not be such that will be seen as aiding them in their Deen.

Shaykh Uthaymeen, rahmatullaah alahy, commenting, said: 'This is strange...'

He built that position on on three reports that stopped at the Sahabah, not the Prophet - sallallahu alayhi wa sallam. 

Is it not strange?

Shaykh Uthaymeen - rahimahullah - said further : 'This is because accepting gifts from the non-Muslims (during their Eeid) translates to being pleased with them (over their Deen)...'

That is the basic implication. No sensible person will dispute it.

The first athar - report - came from Alee b Abee Taalib - Al-Khalifah Ar-Raashid - radiyallahu anhu:

Al-Bayhaqee recorded in his Sunan Al-Kubra with this isnad:

أخبرنا أبو عبد الله الحافظ، ثنا أبو العباس محمد بن يعقوب ثنا الحسن بن علي بن عفان، ثنا أبو أسامة، عن حماد بن زيد، عن هشام، عن محمد بن سيرين،

A major defect in the isnad is the inqitaa - cut in in chain - between Alee b. Taalib and Muhammad b. Seereen.

Muhammad b. Seereen, who was born second year in the reign of Uthman bn Affaan, was a great Taabiyy but he never met Alee b. Taalib.

Obviously therefore, the narration is weak due to the cut in the chain.

As for the narration from the Mother of the Believers, Aaishah, radiyallahu anha, in Musannaf Ibn Abee Shaybah who said

حدثنا جرير, عن قابوس, عن أبيه: أن امرأة سألت عائشة-رضي الله عنها...

That Qaaboos is Ibn Abee Dhibyaan, declared weak by the people of hadeeth.

Al-Bukhari said that the narrator from this Qaaboos said it all, that is Jareer bn Abdilhameed, he said: 'We got to him (as learners) after he became corrupt'.

Even Ibn Hibban - in Kitaab Majrooheen - said same about him.

As for the athar of Abu Bar'zah, also recorded by Ibn Abee Shaybah:

حدثنا وكيع, عن الحسن بن حكيم, عن أمه, عن أبي برزة

The mother of that Al-Hasan bn Hakeem was a Majhoolah, unknown. That also is obviously a dent on the report.

So you can now see that none of the reports is reliable to establish this basis.

Mind you, all of them stopped at the doorsteps of certain Sahaba, yet they are weak back to them.

The agreed sources of our Shariah are Qur'aan, Sunnah and Ijmaa.

Kindly take note.

The next question is why did the Shaykhul Islam used them?

The simple answer is that he thought the reports are reliable.

He is excused as people of knowledge do say.

Hope that is clear.

One of the great fasaad - corruption of the Deen - that postulation based on those weak reports would cause in the Deen is that it will open then door to the Muslims being lax towards the mushrikoon of all places at all times.

So if some Muslims come out tomorrow to accept gifts and food from the people of Sango, Oya, Obatala, Esuodara, Ogun, Osun, etc, during their festivals, tomorrow, we will be helpless, our religion will lose its principles.

You self will look very stupid.

So that door must be closed.

Fatawa from  some contemporary erudite scholars of the Deen on the issue:

One: Shaykh Al-Albaani - rahimahullah - was asked if Muslims could eat kuffar food during their festivals such as Xmas, he - rahimahullah - replied:

لا ، ولا يجوز تأييد الكفار على عاداتهم الدينية ،
'No it is not permissible to aid the kuffar in their religious customs...'

مهما كانت أشكالها وصورها طعاما لباسا تعييدا ،
'no matter the form and picture, food, clothing, emulation...'

كل هذا لا ينبغي و(لا) يجوز طعام الذين أوتوا الكتاب يعني الأكل المعتاد إذا كان ذبيحة حل

all of this is not proper, the food of the people of the book is permissible that when it is lawful slaughter... 

وإلا فلا هات لنشوف ايش عندك ؟
' otherwise no, can you bring (proofs to counter this) from your side?

(Take note of the challenge from the Shaykh).

The questioner said:

أنا عندي صلح يرى إن شاء الله .
'I come in peace, Inshaa Allaah.' 

See the fatwa HERE

Shaykh Al-Fawzaan was asked the same question, he said no.

See this link:


On eating food prepared for Maulid Nabiyy, Shaykh Fawzaan - hafidhahullaah - said eating anything that has to do with it even fruits is aiding them in their heresy. He said the food is haram.

See HERE

Also on eating food prepared at the funerals of dead Muslims, Shaykh Fawzaan - hafidhahullaah - said what is in the Sunnah is to prepare food for the bereaved not otherwise. So he said such is bid'ah and haram.

See HERE

Here, the Shaykh - hafidhahullaah - said we can't greet them or have anything to do with them during their festivals especially Xmas.

‏What else, brother? I am waiting for you.

وصلى الله على نبينا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه أجمعين.

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