To every people we have appointed rites (of sacrifice) that they must observe. 22:67
As discussed above, the Muslims have been warned by Allah (SWT) and His Messenger against following or imitating the non-Muslims in things that are characteristic of their religions or beliefs. This is more emphasized in the case of their `Eids or holidays, which always hold religious or ideological non-Islamic meanings, and on which the kuffaar indulge in many evil practices. Differing from them on such occasions includes the following:
Avoiding Their Days
The Muslims should completely avoid the kuffaar’s celebrations. This includes places where they perform their holiday practices, and indulging with them in such practices, such as:
• Christmas and New Year parties,
• Halloween trick-or-treat,
• Thanksgiving celebration and dinner,
• Fourth of July fireworks,
• First of April lies,
• Birthday parties, anniversaries, etc.
Avoiding Their Ways On Their Days
The Muslims should avoid copying the kuffaar’s practices on such occasions, such as:
• setting up Christmas trees in the Muslims’ houses or offices,
• inviting friends to a Turkey dinner on Thanksgiving day,
• purchasing or wearing Halloween costumes,
• Holding birthday or anniversary parties for family members, etc.
Avoiding Congratulating Them
The Muslims should avoid congratulating the kuffaar on their occasions. For, how could one bring oneself to congratulate them or wish them well because of their disobedience to Allah (SWT)? One must refrain from expressions such as: happy Thanksgiving, happy birthday, happy New Year, etc. The only possible happiness is in true Iman!
In this regard, Shaykh Muhammad (saw) Bin Salih al-`Uthaymeen said:
“Congratulating the kuffaar with Christmas or other religious holidays is unanimously prohibited. Ibn ul-Qayyim (ra) reported this in his book, ‘Ahkaamu Ahlith-Thummah’. He said:
‘Offering congratulations to the kuffar for rites pertaining to kufr is something unanimously prohibited. Examples of this are to say to them, ‘Blessed holidays’, ‘Happy holidays’, and the likes. The one who says this, if he is not to be considered a kaafir, is at least committing a great prohibition. His action is equivalent to congratulating them for prostrating themselves to the cross; it is a sin more serious and more hated by Allah (SWT) than to drink alcohol, kill a human soul, practice adultery, or commit other sins in which those who disregard the Deen indulge themselves – without realizing the ugliness of what they do. Thus, anyone who congratulates a person for a sin, a bid`ah, or an act of disbelief, would expose himself to Allah’s abhorrence and wrath.’
Congratulating the kuffaar with their religious holidays is thus prohibited, as Ibn ul-Qayyim notes, because it indicates an approval and acceptance of their rites of kufr. Even if a person does not accept this kufr for himself, he is still prohibited to accept any of the rites of kufr or congratulate others for them. The reason for this is that Allah (SWT) does not accept that, as He says:
This day I have perfected your religion for you, have completed My favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion. Al-Maa`idah 5:3
Congratulating them on these occasions is equally prohibited, whether or not they were colleagues at work.
Furthermore, if they congratulated us on their holidays, we may not respond to that (by congratulating them back), because these holidays are not our holidays, and are not permitted by Allah (SWT). They were either innovated by them, or were previously legislated (by Allah) but were later abrogated by the Islamic religion with which Allah (SWT) sent Muhammad (saw) to all people; and He (SWT) says:
He who seeks a religion other than Islam, it will not be accepted from him; and he is among the losers in the Hereafter. Aal `Imraan 3:85.
Also, it is prohibited for a Muslim to answer their invitation on such occasions. This is worse than to congratulate them on them, because it involves associating with them in the celebrations.
And it is prohibited for the Muslims to imitate the kuffaar on these occasions by holding parties, exchanging gifts, distributing sweets or food, taking vacation, and so on. The Messenger (saw) said:
He who imitates a people is one of them. Ahmad & Abu Dawood
Shaykh ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah said in ‘Iqtidaa’ us-Siraat il-Mustaqeem’:
‘Resembling them in some of their holidays brings into their hearts assurance that their falsehoods are acceptable, and would sometimes lead them to take advantage of the situation and oppress the weak.’
Whoever does any of this would be sinning, regardless of whether he did it out of flattery, kindness, shyness, or other reasons. This action involves compromising Allah’s Deen, and provides a means of strengthening the spirit of the disbelievers and their pride for their religion.”
Avoiding Their Ways In The Islamic Celebrations
The Muslims should avoid celebrating the Islamic `Eids in a way that copies the ways of the kuffaar, such as:
• mingling between men and women, and shaking each others’ hands,
• indulging in drinking, dancing, and other forms of sinning,
• Improper clothing, etc.
Avoiding To Innovate New Days
Muslims should avoid initiating or encouraging innovated occasions or `Eids in imitation to those of the kuffaar, such as:
• the day of the Earth,
• The day of US Muslims, etc.
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