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CHRISTIANS DAYS.

 

1.      JEWS & CHRISTIANS DAYS & THEIR CELEBRATION

2.      Mother’s Day

3.      VALENTINE DAY CELEBRATING

4.      SAYING MERRY CHRISTMAS

5.      GREETING NON-MUSLIMS

 

 

1. JEWS & CHRISTIANS DAYS & THEIR CELEBRATION

Question :

What is problem in celebrating New Millennium and New Year? What are different festival days of Jews & Christians?

Answer :

Praise be to Allah Alone and blessings and peace be upon the one after whom there is no Prophet. Below are festival days of Jews and Christians.

THE FESTIVALS OF THE JEWS

1. The (Jewish) New Year, which is called the festival of Heesha [Rosh Hashanah]. This is the first day of Tishreen al-Awwal. They claim that it is the day on which the sacrifice Ishaaq (peace be upon him) was ransomed.

2. The festival of Sumaria or Yom Kippur, which for them is a day of forgiveness.

3. The feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) on the fifteenth of Tishreen. On this day they stay in the shade of the branches of trees. It is also called the Festival of the Fast of the Virgin Mary.

4. The Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is the Passover, on the fifteenth of Nisan. This commemorates the flight of the Children of Israel from slavery in Egypt in the thirteenth century BCE. This story is told in the twelfth chapter of the Book of Exodus. The festival lasts for eight days in occupied Palestine, and the Reform Jews celebrate it in their own countries for seven days. During this festival they have a celebration called the Seder, where they read the story of the flight of the Children of Israel in a book called the Haggadah and they eat unleavened bread, as a reminder that when the Children of Israel fled, they ate this kind of bread, because they did not have time to make leavened bread. The Jews still eat unleavened bread during this festival to this day.

5. The Feast of Weeks or Pentecost (Shavuot). They claim that this is the day on which Allah – may He be exalted – spoke to Moosa (peace be upon him).

6. The Day of Atonement, in the tenth month of the Jewish year, when a person goes into seclusion for nine days to worship and fast, This is called the days of repentance.

7. The new moon. They used to celebrate the birth of each new moon, when they used to blow trumpets in Jerusalem and light fires in celebration.

8.  The Jubilee, which is described in the Book of Leviticus.

Among others the most well known are: the festival of victory, or Purim, and the festival of Hanukkah, which is also known as the festival of blessing.

THE FESTIVALS OF THE CHRISTIANS

The festival of the resurrection, which is called Easter. This is the most important annual Christian festival, which is preceded by the long fast (Lent) which lasts for forty days before Easter Sunday. This festival commemorates the return of the Messiah (peace be upon him) or his resurrection after his crucifixion, two days after his death – according to their claims. It marks the end of many different kinds of rituals, which include:

1. The onset of the long fast of Lent, which lasts for forty days before Easter Sunday. They start fasting on a Wednesday known as Ash Wednesday, where ash is placed on the foreheads of those present and they repeat the words, “From dust we came and to dust we shall return.”

2. Fifty days after Easter Sunday, they end with the Feast of Pentecost or Whitsuntide.

3. The Week of Sorrows (or Holy Week), which is the last week of the fasting period of Lent, which refers to the events that led up to the death and resurrection of Jesus (peace be upon him) – as they claim.

4.  Palm Sunday, which is the Sunday before Easter. This is a commemoration of the triumphal entry of the Messiah into Jerusalem.

5. Maundy Thursday, which is a commemoration of the Last Supper of the Messiah, and his arrest and imprisonment.

6. Good Friday (“the Friday of Grief”), which is the Friday before Easter, which refers to the death of Jesus on the cross – or so they claim.

7. Easter Saturday (the “Saturday of Light”), which comes before Easter and refers to the death of the Messiah. It is a day of watching and waiting for the resurrection of the Messiah on Easter Sunday. The Easter festivities conclude with the Thursday of Ascension, when the story of the Messiah’s ascension into heaven is recited in all the churches. The Thursday and Friday before Easter are known as the Great Thursday and the Great Friday, as was mentioned by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him). This Thursday is the last day of their fast, and is also known as the Thursday of the Table or the Feast of the Table. It is mentioned in Soorat al-Maa’idah where Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“‘Eesaa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), said: “O Allah, our Lord! Send us from the heaven a table spread (with food) that there may be for us — for the first and the last of us — a festival and a sign from You…” [Al-Maa’idah 5:114]

Easter is the day when they break their long fast. They claim that on this day, the Messiah (peace be upon him) was resurrected three days after the crucifixion, and Adam was saved from Hell, and other myths. Shams al-Deen al-Dimashqi al-Dhahabi mentioned that the people of Hama would stop working for six days on this occasion, and they would dye eggs and make ka’k [a kind of biscuit], and other kinds of corrupt deeds and mixing that they engaged in at that time.

1.    Until the present, all the Christians celebrate Easter on the first Sunday after the moon become full in spring, in the period between March 22 and April 25. The Eastern Orthodox Christians observe it later than the other Christians. Its rituals, fasts and days occupy an entire season in the Christian year.

2.  The festival of the birth of the Messiah (may peace be upon him). The Europeans call this Christmas, and it is on December 25 for the majority of Christians. For the Copts it is the day which corresponds to the twenty-ninth of Keehak (the fourth month of the Coptic year).

For Christians, this festival is an annual reminder of the birth of the Messiah (peace be upon him). They have many rituals and acts of worship at this time, when they go to the church and hold special prayers and services. The story of the birth of the Messiah is mentioned in their Gospels – Luke and Matthew. It was first celebrated in 336 CE. The festival is influenced by pagan rituals, when the Romans used to celebrate the god of light and the god of the harvest. When Christianity became the official religion of the Romans, Christmas became the most important festival in Europe.

Saint Nicholas became a symbol of gift-giving at this festival in the European countries, then Father Christmas (Santa Claus) took the place of Saint Nicholas as a symbol of the giving of gifts, especially to children.

1. Many Muslims in different countries have been influenced by these rituals and customs, and the giving of gifts by Santa Claus has become well known in many Muslim-owned stores and shops. How many houses have these gifts entered, and how many Muslim children know about Santa Claus and his gifts.

2. The Christians have many rituals on this day. The Christians of Palestine and neighbouring regions gather on the night of this festival in Bethlehem, the city where the Messiah (peace be upon him) was born, to attend Midnight Mass. Among their other rituals, they celebrate the nearest Sunday to the date of November 30, which is the feast day of Saint Andrew. This is the first day of Advent – the advent of the Messiah (peace be upon him). The festival reaches its peak when they stay up for Midnight Mass, when the churches are decorated and the people sing Christmas carols. The Christmas season ends on January 6. Some of them burn part of the trunk of the Christmas tree, then they keep the part that is not burned, believing that this burning will bring them good luck. This belief is widespread in Britain, France and the Scandinavian countries.

3.  The feast of the Epiphany (ghattaas), which is on January 19. For the Copts it is on the eleventh of Toobah. The origin of this festival, according to them, is that Yahyaa ibn Zakariya (peace be upon them both), whom they know as John the Baptist, baptized the Messiah son of Maryam (peace be upon him) in the River Jordan, and when he was washed, the Holy Spirit came upon him. Because of this, the Christians dip their children in water on this day, and all of them immerse themselves in the water. Al-Mas’oodi mentioned that this day – during his time – was a major event in Egypt, attended by thousands of Christians and Muslims, who would bathe in the Nile, believing that this offered protection from sickness and was a healing. This is what is celebrated by the Orthodox churches, but the Catholic and Protestant churches have a different concept of this festival, whereby they commemorate the “adoration of the Magi”, where the three men who came from the east venerated the infant Jesus.

The origin of the word ghattaas (baptism) is Greek, meaning “emerging.” It is a religious term, referring to the emergence of an invisible being. It was mentioned in the Tawraat that Allah – may He be exalted – appeared to Moosa (peace be upon him) in the form of a burning bush – exalted be Allah far above what they say.

1.  The Christian New Year celebration:

This has become a major celebration in these times, which is celebrated by Christian countries and by some Muslim countries. The Christians have many false beliefs and myths about New Year’s Eve (December 31), as is the case with all their festivals.

Among their beliefs (with regard to New Year’s Eve) is that the one who drinks the last glass of wine from the bottle after midnight will have good luck, and if he is single, he will be the first one among his friends who are present to get married. It is regarded as bad luck for a person to enter the house at New Year without bringing a gift; sweeping out the dirt at New Year means that one is also sweeping away good luck; washing clothes and dishes on this day will bring bad luck; they try to keep the fire burning all night on New Year’s Eve so that it will bring good luck… and other such myths and superstitions. They openly committed immoral actions and engaged in gambling on all their days.

Ruling celebrating these days

The greatest blessing which Allah has bestowed upon His slaves is the blessing of Islam and guidance to the Straight Path. By His Mercy, He has enjoined His believing slaves to ask Him for His guidance in their prayers (salaah), so they ask Him to show them the Straight Path and to help them to adhere to it. He has described this Path as the Path of those on whom Allah has bestowed His Grace, the Prophets, believers in the Truth, martyrs and righteous people, not the path of those who are misguided such as the Jews, Christians and all other kuffaar and mushrikeen.

Anyone who has an understanding of the religion of Allah, in today’s world where truth is confused with falsehood in the hearts of many Muslims, will clearly see that the enemies of Islam are striving to obscure the realities of the religion and to extinguish its light. They are trying to distance Muslims from their religion and cut their ties with it, by all available means. Not only that, they are also trying to distort its image and to produce accusations and lies which will stop humanity from following the path of Allah and believing in that which He revealed to His Messenger Muhamamd ibn ‘Abd-Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). This is confirmed in the words of Allah, may He be glorified and exalted (interpretation of the meanings):

“Many of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) wish that if they could turn you away as disbelievers after you have believed, out of envy from their ownselves, even after the truth (that Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger) has become manifest unto them [Al-Baqarah 2:109]

“A party of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) wish to lead you astray. But they shall not lead astray anyone except themselves, and they perceive not. [Aale ‘Imraan 3:69]

“O you who believe! If you obey those who disbelieve, they will send you back on your heels, and you will turn back (from Faith) as losers” [Aael ‘Imraan 3:149]

“Say: “O people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians)! Why do you stop those who have believed, from the path of Allah, seeking to make it seem crooked, while you (yourselves) are witnesses [to Muhammad as a Messenger of Allah and Islam (Allah’s religion, i.e. to worship none but Him Alone)]? And Allah is not unaware of what you do  [Aale ‘Imraan 3:99]

And there are other similar aayaat.

But in spite of all this, Allah has promised to protect His Religion and His Book, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Verily, We, it is We Who have sent down the Dhikr (i.e. the Qur’aan) and surely, We will guard it (from corruption)” [Al-Hijr 15:9].

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) has told us that a group from among his Ummah will continue to prevail and they will not be harmed by those who let them down or go against them, until the Hour begins. All praise be to Allah. We ask Him, for He is Ever-Near and responds to our prayers, to make us and our brothers in Islam among this group, for He is the Most Generous Bestower.

We say:

Firstly:

The Jews and Christians are pinning great hopes on this millennium, and are awaiting events which they believe, with greater or lesser certainty, will come to pass because they are a result of their research and studies, as they claim. Some of them have religious beliefs that are connected to this millennium, claiming that it is something which is to be found in their corrupted scriptures. Muslims should not pay any attention to such things and should not accept them.

Secondly:

This and other similar occasions involve concealing the truth with falsehood and calling people to kufr, misguidance, promiscuity and atheism, and other things which are clearly unacceptable according to sharee’ah. Examples include the call for unity of all religions; regarding Islam as equal to other, false, religions and sects; seeking the blessing of the cross; openly displaying the symbols and rituals of the Christians and Jews; and other actions which imply either that the superceded laws of Judaism and Christianity are regarded as means of reaching God, or approval of some of their features which contradict Islam, or other things which – according to the consensus of the ummah – imply disbelief in Allah, His Messenger and Islam.

Thirdly:

There is a great deal of evidence in the Qur’aan, Sunnah and saheeh reports that it is forbidden to imitate the kuffaar with regard to things that are exclusively theirs. This includes imitating them in their ‘Eids (festivals).

The prohibition applies not only to their festivals, but to everything that they venerate. One of the texts which specifically forbid imitating them in their festivals is the aayah (interpretation of the meaning):

“… and those who do not witness falsehood [al-zoor]…” [Al-Furqaan 25:72]. This is listed as one of the attributes of the believing slaves of Allah. A group of the Salaf, including Ibn Seereen, Mujaahid and al-Rabee’ ibn Anas interpreted the word al-zoor (falsehood) as referring to the festivals of the kuffaar. It was reported that Anas ibn Maalik (may Allah be pleased with him) said: when the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) came to Madeenah, they had two days when they would play. He said, “What are these two days?” They said, “We used to play on these two days during the Jaahiliyyah.” The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah has given you two days instead of these that are better than them, the day of (‘Eid) al-Adhaa and the day of (‘Eid) al-Fitr.” (Narrated by Imaam Ahmad, Abu Dawood and al-Nasaa’i with a saheeh isnaad).

It was reported that Thaabit ibn al-Dahhaak (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “At the time of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), a man vowed to sacrifice some camels in Bawwaanah. He came to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and said, ‘I have vowed to sacrifice some camels in Bawwaanah.’ The Prophet Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, ‘Were there any idols there that were worshipped during the Jaahiliyyah?’ He said, ‘No.’ He said, ‘Did they hold any of their festivals there?’ He said, ‘No.’ The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: ‘Then fulfil your vow, for there is no fulfilment of any vow which involves disobeying Allah, or with regard to something that the son of Adam does not own.’” (Narrated by Abu Dawood with a saheeh isnaad).

‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab (may Allah be pleased with him) said: Do not enter upon the mushrikeen in their churches on the day of their festival, for the wrath (of Allah) descends upon them. He also said: Avoid the enemies of Allah during their festival.

‘Abd-Allah ibn ‘Amr (may Allah be pleased with them both) said: Whoever lives in the land of the non-Muslims and observes their Nawrooz (New Year) and their Mahrajaan (festivals), and imitates them until he dies in that state, will be gathered with them on the Day of Resurrection.

Fourthly:

We are also forbidden to join in the festivals of the kuffaar for many other reasons, including the following:

Imitating them in some of their festivals implies that one condones and approves of their false beliefs. Imitating them and behaving like them with regard to external matters leads one to imitating them and behaving like them with regard to internal matters such as their corrupt beliefs, and being slowly and subtly won over to their way of thinking.

One of the greatest evils that results from this is that imitating the kuffaar with regard to external appearances generates feelings of love and friendship towards them, which contradicts faith, as Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as Awliyaa’ (friends, protectors, helpers), they are but Awliyaa’ of each other. And if any amongst you takes them (as Awliyaa’), then surely, he is one of them. Verily, Allah guides not those people who are the zaalimoon (polytheists and wrongdoers and unjust).” [Al-Maa’idah 5:51]

“You (O Muhammad) will not find any people who believe in Allah and the Last Day, making friendship with those who oppose Allah and His Messenger…” [Al-Mujaadilah 58:28]

Fifthly:

Based on the above, it is not permissible for a Muslim to celebrate any festival that has no basis in the religion of Islam. This includes the so-called millennium. Neither is he permitted to attend such festivals or take part in them, or to help others do so in any way whatsoever, because this is a sin and is transgressing the limits set by Allah. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“… do not help one another in sin and transgression. And fear Allah. Verily, Allah is Severe in punishment.” [Al-Maa’idah 5:2].

Sixthly:

It is not permissible for a Muslim to co-operate in any way, shape or form with the kuffaar with regard to their festivals. This includes publicizing and announcing their festivals; or by manufacturing clothing and other commemorative items and souvenirs; or by printing cards and books; or offering discounts and prizes to mark the occasion; or organizing sporting events; or producing special slogans or logos.

Seventhly:

It is not permissible for Muslims to consider the festivals of the kuffar – including the millennium – to be auspicious events or blessed times for taking the day off work, getting married, starting a business or beginning new projects, etc. It is not permissible to believe that these days are any different to other days. Such beliefs are nothing but sin upon sin.

Eighthly:

It is not permissible for a Muslim to offer congratulations on the occasion of the kaafir festivals, because this implies a kind of approval of their false beliefs and makes them happy. Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “As for congratulating them for the symbols of kufr that belong exclusively to them, this is haraam according to scholarly consensus, such as congratulating them for their festivals and fasts, and saying, ‘A blessed festival to you’ and the like. Even though the person who says this might not become a kaafir by saying this, it is still forbidden, and it is the same as congratulating them for prostrating to the cross. Indeed, it is an even greater sin with Allah and is more hated by Him than congratulating them for drinking wine, killing people and committing adultery, and so on.

Ninethly:

It is a great honour for the Muslims to follow the Hijri calendar which is based on the Hijrah (migration) of their Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), upon which the Sahaabah (may Allah be pleased with them) agreed and which they adopted without celebration. The Muslims are not permitted to abandon the Hijri calendar and adopt the calendar of any other nation on earth, such as the Gregorian calendar. This is a kind of replacement which involves the substitution of something in which there is no good for something which is good.

Let every believer who cares for his soul strive to save it from the wrath of Allah and His curse in this world and the Hereafter. Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) prayed: “O Allah, Lord of Jibraa’eel, Mikaa’eel and Israafeel, Creator of heaven and earth, Knower of the unseen and the seen, You judge between Your slaves concerning that in which they dispute. Guide me to the truth in matters concerning which there is dispute, by Your leave, for You guide whomsoever You will to the Straight Path. And praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds.”

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2. Mother’s Day

an historical overview and the scholars’ rulings on this Holiday

Question :

What about celebrating “Mother Day” along with Christians?

Answer :

Praise be to Allah and blessings and peace be upon the Messenger of Allah. 

Introduction:

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) told us that his ummah would follow the previous nations, the Jews, Christians and Persians, but this was undoubtedly not praise for their actions, rather it is by way of condemnation and a warning. It was narrated from Abu Sa’eed (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “You will certainly follow the ways of those who came before you, handspan by handspan, cubit by cubit, until even if they entered the hole of a lizard, you will do so too.” We asked, “O Messenger of Allah, (do you mean) the Jews and the Christians?” He said, “Who else?” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 3269; Muslim, 2669). 

It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The Hour will not begin until my ummah follows in the footsteps of those who came before it, handspan by handspan, cubit by cubit.” It was asked, “O Messenger of Allah, like the Persians and Romans?” He said, “Those are the people?”

(Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 6888) 

The ignorant among this ummah, and the innovators and heretics have followed the previous nations, the Jews, Christians and Persians, in their beliefs, ways, manners and dress. Our concern here is to point out in these days their following and imitation of them through the innovation of “Mother’s Day” or “Family Day”, which is a day that the Christians innovated to honour mothers, or so they claim. This then became a day that was venerated, when government departments would be shut and people would get in touch with their mothers or send them gifts and loving messages. But when the day was over, things would go back to the way they were, with people being cut off from their mothers and disobeying them. 

What is strange is that the Muslims would feel a need to imitate them in such ways, when Allah has commanded them to honour their mothers and has forbidden them to disobey them, and has made the reward for that (for obeying them) the highest status. 

Definition of the word ‘Eid  

[as Mother’s Day is known in Arabic as “Eid al-umm” or “mothers’ festival”; the word Eid is derive from the root ‘aada/ya’ood meaning to come back or return] 

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said: 

“ ‘Eid (festival) is a name that is given to an occasion which returns, when people gather in a festive manner, whether that is annual or weekly or monthly and so on.”

How many festivals are there in Islam? 

The Muslim may note the large number of festivals that are observed among the Muslims nowadays, such as the Festival of Trees, Workers’ Day (May Day), the anniversary of the king’s accession to the throne, birthdays, etc… There is a long list of such days, but each of these is the innovation of the Jews, Christians and polytheists; they have no basis in Islam. There are no festivals in Islam apart from Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr. 

It was narrated that Anas ibn Maalik said: “During the Jaahiliyyah, the people had two days each year when they would play. When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) came to Madeenah he said, ‘You had two days on which you would play, but Allah has given you something better than them: the day of al-Fitr and the day of al-Adha.” (Narrated by Abu Dawood, 1134; al-Nasaa’i, 1556; classed as saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaani). 

Honouring one’s mother 

Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

Worship Allah and join none with Him (in worship); and do good to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, Al-Masaakeen (the poor), the neighbour who is near of kin, the neighbour who is a stranger, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (you meet), and those (slaves) whom your right hands possess. Verily, Allah does not like such as are proud and boastful [An-Nisa’ 4:36] 

And Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honour” [Al-Isra’ 17:23] 

It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “A man came to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, who among the people is most deserving of my good company?’ He said, ‘Your mother.’ He asked, ‘Then who?’ He said, ‘Your mother.’ He asked, ‘Then who?’ He said, ‘Your mother.’ He asked, ‘Then who?’ He said, ‘Then your father.’”

(Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5626; Muslim, 2548) 

Al- Haafiz ibn Hajar said: 

“Ibn Battaal said: what this means is that the mother should be honoured three times more than the father. He said, that is because of the difficulties of pregnancy, then giving birth, then breastfeeding. These are hardships that are experienced only by the mother, then the father shares with her in raising the child. This is also referred to in the aayah (interpretation of the meaning):

‘And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years’ [Luqmaan 31:14] 

So the recommendation to be dutiful and good refers to both parents, but the mother’s share is greater because of the three things mentioned above. Al-Qurtubi said: what is meant is that the mother deserves a greater share of her child’s honour, and her rights take precedence over those of the father in cases where a choice must be made. ‘Iyaad said: the majority of scholars were of the view that the mother takes precedence over the father in terms of honouring one’s parents. And it was said that both must be honoured equally, and this was narrated by some from Maalik, but the former view is the one which is correct.” (Fath al-Baari, 10/402).

Indeed, even if one's mother is a mushrikah (polytheist), the wise and pure sharee’ah of Islam encourages one to uphold ties of kinship with her:

It was narrated that Asma’ bint Abi Bakr (may Allah be pleased with them both) said: “My mother came to visit me at the time of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and she was a mushrikah. I consulted the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), saying, ‘My mother has come to visit me for some purpose, should I uphold ties of kinship with my mother?’ He said, ‘Yes, uphold ties of kinship with your mother.’” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 2477)

Fatwas of the scholars

1.     The scholars of the Standing Committee said: 

Praise be to Allah Alone and blessings and peace be upon His Messenger and his family and companions. 

Firstly: Eid is a name given to a recurring occasion on which people come together, whether it is annual or monthly or weekly and so on. Eid combines a number of things: a day which recurs, such as Eid al-Fitr and Friday (Jumu’ah); gathering on that day; acts or worship and customs which are done on that day. 

Secondly: whatever is done on that day as a ritual, act of worship or act of veneration that is done in order to seek reward, or that involves imitating the people of the Jaahiliyyah or similar kaafir groups is a forbidden act of innovation (bid’ah) and is included in the general meaning of the hadeeth in which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever innovates something in this matter of ours (Islam) that is not part of it will have it rejected.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari and Muslim).

Examples of that include celebrating the Mawlid (Prophet’s birthday), Mother’s Day, and national days, because in the first case (Prophet’s birthday) that means worshipping in a manner that Allah has not prescribed, and because it involves imitating the Christians and other kaafirs, and in the second and third cases (Mother’s Day and national holidays) it means imitating the kaafirs. As for occasions which are intended to organize work, for example, in the best interests of the ummah, such as traffic week or training sessions for employees and so on, which are not intended as acts of worship or veneration at all, these are customary innovations which are not included in the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), “Whoever innovates something in this matter of ours (Islam) that is not part of it will have it rejected,” so there is nothing wrong with such things, rather they are prescribed in Islam. 

And Allah is the Source of strength. May Allah send blessings and peace upon our Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions. 

Standing Committee for Academic Research and Issuing Fatwas, Fatawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 3/59, 61 

2.     They also said: 

It is not permissible to celebrate the so-called Mother’s Day and similar innovated festivals because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever innovates something in this matter of ours (Islam) that is not part of it will have it rejected.” He (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did not celebrate Mother’s Day and neither did any of his companions (may Allah be pleased with them) or the salaf (earliest generations) of this ummah. Rather it is an innovation (bid’ah) and imitation of the kuffaar.       Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 3/86 

3.     Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz said: 

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to say in his Jumu’ah (Friday) khutbah: “The best of speech is the Book of Allah and the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). The worst of matters are those which are newly-innovated and every innovation is a going astray.”

4.     Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan said: 

Some of these innovated or mushrik festivals may be known as “days” or “weeks”, such as the National Day or Mother’s Day or Cleanliness Week and so on. All of these occasions have been imported to the Muslims from the kuffaar, because in Islam there are only two festivals: Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. Everything else is an innovation (bid’ah) and imitation of the kuffaar. The Muslims must beware of that and not be influenced by the large numbers of so-called Muslims who do that and are ignorant of the true teachings of Islam, and who do such things because of ignorance, or who are not ignorant of the true teachings of Islam but do these things deliberately, in which case the matter is more serious.  

“Indeed in the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad) you have a good example to follow for him who hopes for (the Meeting with) Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah much [Al-Ahzaab 33:21 – interpretation of the meaning] 

5.   Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen was asked about the ruling on celebrating so-called Mother’s Day. He replied: 

All festivals that go against the festivals that are prescribed in Islam are bid’ahs and innovations that were not known at the time of the righteous salaf, and they may have come from the non-Muslims, in which case as well as being innovations they also entail imitating the enemies of Allah. The Islamic festivals are well known to the Muslims, namely Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, and the weekly festival (Jumu’ah or Friday).

There are no other festivals in Islam apart from these three. All festivals which have been introduced apart from these are to be rejected and are false according to the law of Allah, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever innovates something in this matter of ours (Islam) that is not part of it will have it rejected,” i.e., it will be thrown back at him and will not be accepted by Allah.

According to another version, “Whoever does something that is not in accordance with this matter of ours (Islam) will have it rejected.” Once this is clear, it is not permissible to celebrate the holiday mentioned in the question, which is known as Mother’s Day, and it is not permissible to introduce any of the symbols of that holiday such as expressing joy and happiness, giving gifts and so on.

The Muslim must be proud of his religion and adhere to the limits set by Allah for His slaves, as Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

....This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.... [Al-Maa'idah 5:3] 

 6.     Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said, commenting on a similar topic: 

From this the perfection of Islamic sharee’ah should be clear to you, and you should be able to understand some of the wisdom behind the commands of Allah to His Messenger to be distinct from the kuffaar and to differ from them in all ways, so that being different will become a protection against falling into evil and into the same things as other people did.

And Allah knows best.

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3. VALENTINE DAY CELEBRATING

Question:

In recent times the celebration of Valentine’s Day has become widespread, especially among female students. This is one of the Christian holidays. They wear all red clothes, including their shoes, and they exchange red flowers… We hope that you can tell us the ruling on celebrating such holidays. What do you advise the Muslims to do with regard to such things? May Allah keep you and take care of you.

Answer :

Celebrating Valentine’s Day is not permitted for several reasons: 

1 – It is an innovated celebration which has no basis in sharee’ah.

2 – It calls for people to keep their hearts and minds busy with these foolish things that go against the guidance of the pious predecessors (may Allah be pleased with them), so it is not permitted on this day to do any of the customs associated with that holiday, whether that be connected to food, drink, clothing, exchanging gifts or anything else. The Muslim should be proud of his religion and not be so weak of character that he follows everyone who makes a noise. I ask Allah to protect the Muslims from all temptations, visible and invisible, and to take care of us and give us strength. And Allah knows best. 

The Fatwa of Shaykh ‘Abd-Allah ibn ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn Jibreen concerning celebrating this day 

He was asked: the celebration of the so-called Feast of Love (Valentine’s Day) has become widespread among our boys and girls. This (Valentine) is the name of a saint who is venerated by the Christians, and this day is celebrated every year on February 14. They exchange gifts and red roses, and they wear red clothes. What is the ruling on celebrating this day, or exchanging gifts on this day? May Allah reward you with good.

He answered:

Firstly, it is not permissible to celebrate such innovated festivals, because this is a newly-invented innovation (bid’ah) which has no basis in sharee’ah. So it is included in the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her), who said that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever innovates something in this matter of ours (i.e., Islam) which is not part of it, will have it rejected” – i.e., it will be thrown back upon the one who innovated it.

Secondly, this involves imitating and resembling the kuffaar in venerating that which they venerate and respecting their festivals and holidays, and imitating them in some of their religious practices. In the hadeeth it says, “Whoever imitates a people is one of them.”

Thirdly, the things that result from that, such as partying, idle play, singing, music, insolence, impertinence, unveiling, wanton display, mixing of men and women, and the appearance of women before non-mahrams, etc., are all things which are haraam, or are means which lead to immorality. So it should not be justified as an excuse for relaxation and entertainment, or claims that they will not overstep the mark, because that is not right. The one who  cares about himself should keep away from sin and all that leads to it.

 On this basis, it is not permissible to sell these gifts and roses, if one knows that the purchaser will celebrate these holidays, give them as gifts or otherwise use them to honour these days, so that the vendor will not be sharing in the guilt of the one who does this innovated action. And Allah knows best. 

The Fatwa of the Standing Committee 

The Standing Committee was also asked a question about this holiday:

Some people celebrate the fourteenth day of February of each Christian year as the Day of Love (Valentine’s Day), where they exchange gifts of red roses and wear red clothes, and congratulate one another. Some of the bakeries make sweets that are red in colour, with hearts drawn on them, and some stores have advertisements for their products that are especially for this day. What is your opinion?

The Committee replied:

It is haraam for the Muslim to help with this festival or any other haraam celebration in any way, be it food, drink, buying, selling, manufacturing, corresponding, advertising or in any other way, because all of that constitutes helping one another in sin, transgression and disobedience towards Allah and His Messenger, and Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“....Help you one another in Al‑Birr and At‑Taqwa (virtue, righteousness and piety); but do not help one another in sin and transgression. And fear Allah. Verily, Allah is Severe in punishment....” [Al-Maa’idah 5:2]  

So the Muslim must adhere to the Qur’aan and Sunnah in all his affairs, especially at times of fitan (temptation and tribulation) and when corruption is widespread.

Finally, we offer our brothers the following advice: 

1 – They should urge the khateebs of the mosques to tell the people and warn them. They should explain this matter to the imaam of the mosque and tell him when this day is approaching.

 2 – Every teacher should explain the reality of this holiday and warn his or her students about it. They will be answerable before Allah tomorrow. They should explain that it is haraam.

 3 – Those who go around and check on people and the headquarters of organizations should be notified of any shops which are selling gifts for this day or which put up pictures showing what the gift is or how it is wrapped. 

4–   Each person should make his family members aware of this. Whoever has sisters in school or brothers should tell them and warn them about this matter, because many people are unaware of this holiday and what it means. 

5 –  We should not accept congratulations on Valentine’s Day, because it is not a holiday or an Eid for the Muslims. If the Muslim is congratulated on this occasion, he should not return the congratulations. Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “With regard to congratulating others with the congratulations used by the kuffaar on such occasions, it is haraam by scholarly consensus, such as congratulating them on the occasion of their festivals or fasts, wishing them a blessed festival, etc. Even if the one who says this is free of kufr, it is still haraam. It is like congratulating someone for prostrating to the cross. It is even worse with Allah and more hated by Him than congratulating someone for drinking alcohol, or committing murder or adultery, etc. Whoever congratulates a person for sin, innovation (bid’ah) or kufr exposes himself to the hatred and wrath of Allah.”

6 – We must explain the true nature of this holiday and other festivals of the kuffaar to those Muslims who have been deceived by them, and explain to them that it is essential for the Muslim to be distinguished by his religion and to protect his belief (‘aqeedah) from anything that may damage it. This should be done out of sincerity towards the ummah and in fulfilment of the command to enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil.

We ask Allah to protect the Muslims from the harm of temptations and from the evil of their own selves and the plots of their enemies.

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4. SAYING MERRY CHRISTMAS

Question :

Is a Muslim allowed to say: ‘Marry Christmas’ to his Christian friend ?

Answer :

First of all, it is ‘merry Christmas’ and not ‘Marry Christmas’ as many people think. It means "happy feast, or happy Christmas. According to Webster's dictionary, "merry" means delightful.

The concept of Christmas itself is not among the basic tenets of Christianity that clash with the Islamic faith, like Trinity or divinity of Jesus. It is believed to be celebration of the birth of Christ.

Congratulating any people for their festival or feast does not imply your approval of their faith or the conceptual idea behind this feast. It is rather a way of showing good manners and expressing your thanks to your neighbor or friends from the other faiths.

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5. GREETING NON MUSLIMS

 

Question:                                                                                                  

 

We are in a predominant Christian country. Is it allowed for us, Muslims, to celebrate a New Gregorian Year with the Christians or with our fellow Muslims?

 

Answer:                                                                                                     

Most jurists that are specialized in Fiqh of Muslim minorities and are aware of the cultures of western societies tend to agree that celebrating non-religious feasts, such as Independence Day and Labour Day, is not forbidden. As for religious feasts, such as Christmas, most scholars forbid celebrating it, others, such as Sheikh Ahmad Kutty and Dr. Jamal Badawi, permit new converts to attend their families celebrations without participating in anything purely religious related to these celebrations.

It is difficult to categorize certain feasts like Thanksgiving and New Year as religious.

Generally speaking, we can say that it is forbidden for the Muslim to participate in any religious aspect of the celebration, except Islamic celebrations of the two `Eids, and it is allowed to take part in the general, non-religious aspects of the celebrations of other feasts.

It is important to note here that congratulating non-Muslims on their religious or non-religious feasts and exchanging gifts on these occasions is part of the good relations that we are commanded to keep with them and a practical example of the concept of “birr” that Islam has emphasized when it comes to Muslim-non-Muslim relations, especially if those non-Muslims congratulate and exchange gifts with us on our Islamic feasts

Muslims are commanded to deal justly and kindly with their non-Muslim neighbors or friends. Therefore, there is nothing wrong in exchanging gifts with them. Muslims are allowed to congratulate non-Muslims on their festive days and this becomes more of an obligation if the non-Muslims offer their greetings on Islamic festive occasions. Allah Almighty says: “When you are greeted with a greeting, greet in return with what is better than it, or at least return it equally….” (An-Nisa’ 4:86)

However, Muslims are not to celebrate or participate in the religious festivities of non-Muslims, but they can participate in national celebrations and festivities as citizens of those lands while observing Islamic manners and controls in all matters.

Indeed the permissibility of congratulating non-Muslims on their festive days becomes more of an obligation if they offer their greetings on Islamic festive occasions, as we are commanded to return good treatment with similar treatment, and to return the greeting with a better one or at least with the same greeting. Allah Almighty says: “When you are greeted with a greeting, greet in return with what is better than it, or at least return it equally….” (An-Nisa’ 4:86)

A Muslim must never be less charitable or pleasant or indeed of lesser manners than any other, as the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) stated in the hadith: “The most perfect believers in terms of their iman are those who possess the most beautiful manners.” (Reported by Ahmad, At-Tirmidhi, Ad-Darmi, and Abu Dawud), and he (peace and blessings be upon him) also stated: “Verily I have been but sent to perfect the most noble of manners.” (Reported by Ahmad, Al-Bukhari in Al-Adab Al-Mufrad and Al-Bazzar in Kashful Astar)

The significance of this increases dramatically if we are interested in inviting them to Islam and making them like Muslims, which is an obligation upon us all, as this cannot be achieved by treating them roughly, sternly and violently, but rather by beautiful manners and sublime ethics. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) dealt with the polytheists of Quraysh in the most beautiful of ways and manners throughout his life in Makkah despite their animosity, persecution, oppression and extreme insult of him (peace and blessings be upon him) and his companions. This was epitomized by the fact that due to the incredible trust they had in him, they deposited their wealth and possessions with him, in fear that they may be lost or stolen. When the Prophet fled Makkah to Madinah, he left behind `Ali (may Allah be pleased with him), whom he commanded to return the deposits and trusts that were with him (peace and blessings be upon him).

Thus, there is nothing to prevent a Muslim or an Islamic center from congratulating non-Muslims, either verbally or by sending a card that contains no symbols or icons of religious implications that may contradict Islamic faith and principles, such as a cross, for the concept of the crucifixion is totally outlawed and denied by Islam.

Indeed, one finds in the customary words of congratulations nothing that carries any explicit or implicit recognition of any aspects of their faith or belief, nor any condoning thereof.

There is also no objection to accepting gifts and presents from them, and to return their gifts in kind, on condition that these gifts are not unlawful in themselves, such as being alcohol or pork. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) accepted the gift of the King of Egypt and several others (See: At-Tahawi's Sharh Mushkil Al-Athar).

We also wish to mention that some jurists, such as Ibn Taymiyah and his student the great scholar Ibn-ul-Qayyim, adopted stringent measures and restricted the permissibility of this issue and the participation of Muslims in the celebrations of non-Muslims. We adopt this same stance, advising Muslims not to celebrate the festivities of non-Muslims, whether mushriks or People of the Scripture, as we find some ignorant Muslims celebrating Christmas as they would normally celebrate `Eid Al-Fitr and Al-Adha, and maybe even more so. This is unlawful, as we Muslims have our unique festivities. But we see no objection to congratulating others on their festivities if there is some relationship or fellowship link that deems positive social interaction and beautiful exchange a must according to our sublime and noble Islamic Shari`ah.

As for patriotic or national celebrations and festivities, such as Independence Day, Union Day, Mother’s Day, Childhood Day and the such, there is no objection whatsoever to a Muslim congratulating others in those regards, and indeed to participate therein as a citizen of those lands, while observing Islamic manners and controls in all matters.

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: http://www.ecfr.org

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