Friday, 12 December 2014


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Participating in any  way in any unislamic religious festival varies from Minimum Haraam to Max Shirq depending on the type of participation or intention. 

For e.g. participating due to mere neighbourly grounds, or official purposes or just for fun WITHOUT sharing a thread of acceptance in yourself about their beliefs or considering their festivities or rituals as "truth/haq" then yes this is tantamount to haraam/sin. 

However if the above is done while one holds their rituals or religious claims/beliefs to be true or haq or right then this is tantamount to shirk and could expel one from emaan. 

I will quickly quote some statements and ahadeeth and keep it short so Muslims abstain from this COMPLETELY 

Umar bin al-Khattaab [May Allaah be Pleased with him] said, “Do not mix with the Mushriks in their places of worship on the days of their festivals, this is because define punishment is upon them .” 

[Ref: Narrated by ‘Abdur-Razaaq in his al-Musannaf (1609); Bayhaqee in as-Sunan al-Kubraa (9/18640) and quoted by Ibn al-Qayyim in Ahkaam Ahl adh-Dhimmah (3/1247) and Ibn Muflih in Adaab ash-Sharee’ah (3/417)]

عن خرشة بن الحر ، قال : رأيت عمر يضرب أكف المترجبين ، حتى يضعوها في الطعام . ويقول : كلوا ، فإنما هو شهر كانت تعظمه الجاهلية

Kharasha ibn al-Hurr narrated that I saw `Umar ibn Khattab he used to beat the people who would not eat, in respect or out of veneration of Rajab (i.e by fasting) till he (`Umar) made them sit to eat and would say Eat! This is the month that the people of ignorance era used to venerate (by over doing things) 

[Ref: Musannaf ibn Abi Shaybah 2/182/2] 

Imaam Muhammad bin Sireen said that Ali bin Abi Taalib (radiallah anhu) was once given a gift of Nawroz (Persian New Year). He asked: “What is this?” The people said: “O Leader of the Believers today is Nawroz.” Ali (radiallah anhu) (rejected it and and said angrily),  “Do you make up every day a Fayroz?” 

Abu Usaamah (the narrator) said: “Ali even disliked taking its (correct) name Nayroz” 

[Sunan al-Kubra lil Bayhaqi (9/392 H. 18865), Chain Saheeh]. 

After narrating it, Imaam Bayhaqi said: “And this contains dislikeness to specify a day for that purpose which the Sharee’ah did not specify”.

Note: all the ahadeeth showing `aisha and other sahaaba accepting gifts on the festival days of non Muslims are weak.  

The prophet (sallalahu `alayhi wa sallam) said (foretelling how the liberal Muslims of today will behave) : 

“You will certainly follow the ways of those who came before you hand span by hand span, cubit by cubit, to the extent that if they entered the hole of a lizard, you will enter it too.” We said: “O Messenger of Allaah, (do you mean) the Jews and the Christians?” He said: “Who else?” 

[Ref: Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1397; Muslim, 4822. ] 

Ibn Hajar `Asqalani rahimahullah remarks on this hadeeth saying :

As for the statement of the Prophet (sallalahu `alayhi wa sallam) “if they entered a lizard's hole, then you will follow them” in this the Prophet has particularly used the example of a lizard for the reason that its hole is extremely narrow. Its hole has openings from two sides. If it enters one opening, it comes out of the another and in this way it deceives the people. It means that if the Jews or Christians did something only with great difficulty in which there will be no benefit even then you will follow them. 

[Ref: Fath al-bari, 6:498]

The scholars have used this hadeeth under the chapters of immitating the kuffar in any and everything they take special as their custom or religion 

Under the verse of this ayat :

“And those who do not witness falsehood, and if they pass by some evil play or evil talk, they pass by it with dignity.” [al-Furqaan 25:72]

Ibn al-Qayyim [May Allaah have Mercy on him] said in Ahkaam Ahl adh-Dhimmah (3/1244):

(From the Salaf – May Allaah be Pleased with them all) Ibn ‘Abbaas and Ad-Dahaak said, “witness falsehood” means the festivals of the Mushriks. Sa’eed bin Jubayr said it refers to ‘Palm Sunday’. 

It is narrated that Ibn Habeeb al-Maaliki said: “Do you not see that it is not permissible for the Muslims to sell to the Christians anything that has to do with their festivals, whether it be meat, condiments or clothing; they should not lend them mounts or help them in any part of their festivals, because that is like venerating their shirk and helping them in their kufr. The authorities should forbid the Muslims to do that. This is the view of Maalik and others, and I do not know of anyone who disagreed with that.

[Ref: Iqtida’ al-Siraat al-Mustaqeem , 2/526; al-Fataawa al-Kubra , 2/489; Ahkaam Ahl al-
Dhimmah, 3/1250]

Ibn Al-Hājj Al-Fāsi mentioned the following in his book Al-Madkhal under the chapter heading “Concerning Some Holidays/Festivals of The Jews and Christians”:

فهذا بعض الكلام على المواسم التي ينسبونها إلى الشرع وليست منه , وبقي الكلام على المواسم التي اعتادها أكثرهم وهم يعلمون أنها مواسم مختصة بأهل الكتاب , فتشبه بعض أهل الوقت بهم فيها وشاركوهم في تعظيمها , يا ليت ذلك لو كان في العامة خصوصا , ولكنك ترى بعض من ينتسب إلى العلم يفعل ذلك في بيته ويعينهم عليه ويعجبه منهم ويدخل السرور على من عنده في البيت من كبير وصغير بتوسعة النفقة والكسوة على زعمه , بل زاد بعضهم أنهم يهادون بعض أهل الكتاب في مواسمهم ويرسلون إليهم ما يحتاجونه لمواسمهم فيستعينون بذلك على زيادة كفرهم , ويرسل بعضهم الخرفان ويعضهم البطيخ الأخضر وبعضهم البلح وغير ذلك مما يكون في وقتهم وقد يجمع ذلك أكثرهم وهذا كله مخالف للشرع الشريف.

What [was mentioned previously] was regarding the festivals/holidays [al-mawāsim] that are [falsely] attributed to the sharī’ah but are actually not.

Now what remains for us to discuss are those festivals that people [meaning Muslims] have become accustom to practicing in spite of knowing that they are solely festivals of the Jews and Christians. For verily some of the people of these times [from amongst the Muslims] imitate them and participate with them in honoring these holidays. Oh, if it had only been that the common people were the only ones doing it! but in fact many of those who are assumed to be people of knowledge also engage in such actions in their homes, assisting his household in celebrating it. Furthermore, he brings happiness to his household, both the elder and the young, by spending generously on them according to his assumption [that such act is worthy simply because it brings happiness]. In fact, some of them even exchange gifts with the Jews and Christians on their festivals/holidays and send for them what they need to conduct their festivals/holiday, and thus what those Muslims are actually doing is assisting the Jews and Christians in increasing their unbelief. Some of them send lamb, and others green melon, and others dates and other fruits that are in season although most of them send all of these things. This, all of what was mentioned, contradicts the noble shari’ah.

 ومن مختصر الواضحة سئل ابن القاسم عن الركوب في السفن فيها النصارى لأعيادهم , فكره ذلك مخافة نزول السخط عليهم لكفرهم الذي اجتمعوا له . قال : وكره ابن القاسم للمسلم أن يهدي إلى النصراني في عيدهم مكافأة له , ورآه من تعظيم عيده وعونا له على مصلحة كفره . ألا ترى أنه لا يحل للمسلمين أن يبيعوا للنصراني شيئا من مصلحة عيدهم لا لحما ولا إداما ولا ثوبا ولا يعارون دابة و لا يعانون على شيء من دينهم لأن ذلك من التعظيم لشركهم وعونهم على كفرهم . وينبغي للسلاطين أن ينهوا المسلمين عن ذلك , وهو قول مالك وغيره لم أعلم أحدا اختلف في ذلك اهـ

Furthermore in Mukhtasar Al-Wādihah [ by Fadl ibn Salamah – 319 A.H ] reported that Ibn al-Qāsim [191 AH, the foremost student of Imām Mālik] was asked about going out with the Christians on the boats they ride during their holidays and he objected to that fearing that the wrath [of Allah] should afflict them on account of their unbelief which brought them together. He [Fadl ibn Salamah] said:

Ibn al-Qāsim objected to a Muslim giving a Christian a gift on his holiday in repayment for a gift the Christian had given him [on the occasion of the Christian holiday]. He [Ibn al-Qāsim] considered that honoring their holiday and supporting him in rectifying his unbelief. Do you not see that it is not lawful for a Muslim to sell the Christians anything that helps facilitate their holiday, whether it be meats, condiments, clothing, or lending them a means of transportation, or assisting them in any way in their religion, because that involves giving honor to their shirk [associating others with Allāh] and assisting them in their unbelief. In fact, the rulers must prohibit the Muslims from doing that, and that is the opinion of Mālik and others; indeed, I do not know of any scholars who are in disagreement concerning that.

[Ref: Al-Madkhal, pg. 46 vol.2, Maktabah Al-Turāth - Copied from themadinanway]

Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him)said: 

it is not permissible for the Muslims toattend the festivals of the mushrikeen,according to the consensus of the scholars whose words carry weight. The fuqaha’ who follow the four schools of thought have stated this clearly in their books… Al-Bayhaqi narrated with a saheeh isnaad from ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab that he said: “Do not enter upon the mushrikeen in their churches on the day of their festival, for divine wrath is descending upon them.” And ‘Umar also said: “Avoid theenemies of Allaah on their festivals.” Al-Bayhaqi narrated with a jayyid isnaad from‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr that he said: “Whoeversettles in the land of the non-Arabs andcelebrates their new year and festival andimitates them until he dies in that state, will begathered with them on the Day ofResurrection.” 

[Ref: Ahkaam Ahl al-Dhimmah ,1/723-724)]

Shaykh Muhammad ibn Ibraaheem (may Allaahhave mercy on him)  the grand mufti during the reign of shah faisal  rahimahullah in KSA - wrote to the Minister for Trade, saying: 

From Muhammad ibn Ibraaheem to His Excellency the Minister for Trade, may Allaahpreserve him. Peace be upon you and themercy of Allaah and His blessings.We have been told that last year, some tradersimported gifts for Christmas and the ChristianNew Year, including Christmas trees, and thatsome citizens bought these and gave them asgifts to Christian foreigners in our country,joining them in this festival.This is an evil action which they should nothave done. Undoubtedly you know that this isnot permissible, and you are aware of what thescholars have said about there being scholarlyconsensus on the prohibiton on joining thekuffaar, mushrikeen and people of the Book intheir festivals.We hope that you will issue a ban on these gifts that have been brought into our country and other things that come under the same ruling and are things that are unique to their celebrations.

[Ref: Fataawa al-Shaykh Muhammad ibn Ibraaheem,3/105]

Ibn Taymiyyah [May Allaah have Mercy on him] said:

The festivals of the Mushriks is a time when doubts (i.e. false ideas and beliefs), desires and falsehood is gathered. There is no benefit any of this because of the sweetness one may taste (because of the celebrations) will only be followed with punishment and pain. Therefore, it is has been described as ‘witnessing falsehood’ (cf. 25:72), meaning going to such place and witnessing them. 

[Ref: Iqtidaa’ as-Siraat al-Mustaqeem (1/183)]

Imaam adh-Dhahabee [May Allaah have Mercy on him] said:

Whoever goes to the places of their festivals or witnesses their celebrations then this person is sinful and obnoxious. This is because the person is voluntarily going to witness sinful activities and he is in no position to forbid them. 

The Prophet [Peace and Blessings of Allaah be upon him] said, “If any one of you see a sin then stop it with your hand (if you have the authority to do so) otherwise stop it with your speech (if you are able) and if you can’t, then  at least hate it in your heart, and that is the lowest form of Emaan (i.e. obligatory upon everyone who believes to hate what Allaah has Forbidden).” [Narrated by Muslim (78)]

So how great (of a sin) is it to witness the festivals of the Jews and the Christians? To do as they do? Buying the same products they buy in order to celebrate their festivals? This, in actuality, is giving life to the worship of the cross, innovating new festivals into our religion, and assisting and imitating the Mushriks in their festivals.

But a person may say, ‘But I don’t intend to imitate them in this celebration’. 

I say: Being a part of their celebrations and imitating them is Haraam. The evidence for this is where the Messenger of Allaah [Peace and Blessings of Allaah be upon him] said after forbidding the Muslims from praying at the time when the sunrises and sets, “Verily it rises in between the horns of the Shaytaan and a time when the Kuffaar prostrate at this time because of this.” [Narrated by Muslim (832)]

The praying person doesn't have the same intention as they do, however he is still prohibited from praying because he will then be like them and be considered as cooperating with them, thus it is Haraam.

Verily, Muslim children participating in such festivals are also effected. Love for these festivals is placed in their hearts because they find enjoyment in them, dressings up, eating nice food etc. 

So how bad is the parent who exposes his children to this, Oh Muslim!? If you don’t forbid your children then you and they will be destroyed. They will gain a Kaafir identity (by partaking and gaining love for their religion). 

So it is not permissible for us to partake in celebrating their festivals and this is something that the Shaytaan has instilled in many people through their ignorance, to the extent that even the scholars have become negligent even though they have knowledge, rather, their knowledge is something harmful to them (i.e. a sin).

[Ref: Adapted from Tashbeeh al-Khamees bi ahl al-Khamees (pg. 10-12)]

Conclusion : 

Allah says

1) If you bring the People of the Book (Jews and Christians) every sign (or proof), they will not follow your orientation,

2) nor will you follow theirs.

3) You will not follow each other's orientation.

4) Should you (Muslims) follow their wishes ( such as their customs, culture, religious festivals for political benefits or otherwise) after the knowledge (of Islam and its rituals being the truth) that has come to you, you would be of the wicked (dhaalimoon).

[Qur`an 2: 145]

Jews and the people of the scriptures used to be pleased to see the Prophet (ﷺ) facing Jerusalem in prayers but when he changed his direction towards the Ka'ba, during the prayers, they disapproved of it. 

[Ref: Saheeh al-Bukhaari 40] 

Here you see how the Non Muslims found peace even seeing Muslims imitate their mere direction of prayer, then what about the condition of Muslims today who give them so much happiness by copying their festivals, customs, rituals and thinking?

Shaykh ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (D. 728 A.H or 1328 gregorian calendar) said : 

وكان من أواخر ما خاطبت به النصراني : أن قلت له : أنتم مشركون وبينت من شركهم ما هم عليه من العكوف على التماثيل والقبور وعبادتها والاستغاثة بها . 
قال لي : نحن ما نشرك بهم ولا نعبدهم وإنما نتوسل بهم كما يفعل المسلمون إذا جاءوا إلى قبر الرجل الصالح فيتعلقون بالشباك الذي [ ص: 462 ] عليه ونحو ذلك . فقلت له : وهذا أيضا من الشرك ليس هذا من دين المسلمين وإن فعله الجهال فأقر أنه شرك حتى إن قسيسا كان حاضرا في هذه المسألة . فلما سمعها قال : نعم على هذا التقدير نحن مشركون .

In my last debate with the Christians I told them that they are mushrikoon (those who associate others in worship or veneration with Allah) and the reason for them being mushrikoon is that you venerate worship your idols and the graves and seek assistance from them (the ones in graves) so he replied “ Neither do we associate them (with Allah) nor do we worship them rather we take them as waseelah (means) just as how (some) Muslims do by going to the graves of pious saints and embracing them and other similar deeds. 

I replied “ And this also is a form of shirk and this is not from the religion of Muslimeen even if some ignorant muslims do it (and I kept discussing) until they accepted this is shirk (associating worship and acts of veneration with Allah) so much so that a Christian scholar who was present there upon hearing this (i.e. our debate) said “ Yes if this is how it is then we are mushrikoon” 

فالنصارى يفرحون بما يفعله أهل البدع والجهل من المسلمين مما يوافق دينهم ويشابهونهم فيه ويحبون أن يقوى ذلك ويكثر 

(It should be noted that) the Christians (and Non Muslims in general) get happy from what the  Ignorant and bid`ati Muslims do because they (ignorant Muslims) happen to agree and imitate their (Christian’s) religion (and customs) and this is what they truly want to overcome (the Muslims) and to increase (their presence and religious practises) in number 

[Ref: Majmoo` al-Fatawa 28/461-462. Translated from Aijaz shaikh’s post] 


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