By Karen Andrews, ADNISA Contributor

This the season to be jolly, merry and all that good stuff – right? Well, I’m not so sure about that.

 Thanksgiving is long gone and the magic of Christmas is in the air. Many Muslims are taking part in the celebration and festivities of this holiday season – maybe not being aware that such an act is not permissible. It should be noted that the Christians believe that Jesus is literally God, hence to participate or even greet them on the occasion of this festival is agreeing with their doctrine.

What is the ruling regarding wishing Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas?

To wish the non-Muslims with Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas or any of their religious festivals is haraam (forbidden), by consensus of the ulama (ijma’), as Ibn al-Qayyim, may God have mercy on him, said:

Congratulating the kuffaar on their religious festivals is haraam to the extent described by Ibn al-Qayyim because it implies that one accepts or approves of their rituals of kufr, even if one would not accept those things for oneself. But the Muslim should not accept the rituals of kufr or congratulate anyone else for them, because God does not accept any of that at all, as He says:

“If you disbelieve, then verily, God 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. . .”

“This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion…”

So congratulating them is forbidden, and accepting invitations on such occasions are forbidden, whether they are one’s colleagues at work or otherwise.

Similarly, Muslims are forbidden to imitate the kuffaar by having parties on such occasions, or exchanging gifts, or giving out sweets or food, or taking time off work, etc., because the Prophet (pbuh) said: “Whoever imitates a people is one of them.”

Shaykh al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyah said:

“Imitating them in some of their festivals implies that one is pleased with their false beliefs and practices, and gives them the hope that they may have the opportunity to humiliate and mislead the weak.”

Whoever does anything of this sort is a sinner, whether he does it out of politeness or to be friendly, or because he is too shy to refuse, or for whatever other reason, because this is hypocrisy in Islam, and because it makes the kuffaar feel proud of their religion.

Many of those who have no respect for their religion fall into this error; they do not realize the offensiveness of their actions. Whoever congratulates a person for his disobedience or bid’ah or kufr exposes himself to the wrath and anger of God.”

God is the One Whom we ask to make the Muslims feel proud of their religion, to help them adhere steadfastly to it, and to make them victorious over their enemies, for He is the Strong and Omnipotent.


Excerpts taken from Majmu Fatwa Fadllah al-Syaikh Muhammad bin Shalih al-Uthaymeen, Vol. III, pp. 44-46, no.403


12 thoughts on “Will You Wish Merry Christmas This Christmas?

  1. with all due respect…I think this is a very unrealistic and impractical fatwa

    I work in a multi-cultural environment where there are some Christians who are very well-behaved and nice…they always wish me a happy Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha, so is it haram to treat them in the same nice and respectful way?
    Saying “merry Christmas” to a Christian doesn’t mean that I beleive Jesus is a God…it’s all in the heart…It’s like using the computer or visiting America…if u live in America or use American products, does it mean that you beleive that Americans are the best people on Earth?

    These types of fatwas are the things that widened the gap between the East and the West and increased the hate between the two worlds…


  2. It’s almost pointless to respond to your comment …

    We can clearly see that you live by your “desires”, never mind what the Scholars say or the Prophet (pbuh) or even Allah (S.W.T). Somehow you seem to be more knowledgeable, maybe you should give fatwas that are more realistic and practical to suit your needs.

    It’s people like you who are dragging Islam through the mud not these fatwas, and Allah knows best.

    “You will be large in number, but you will be ghuthaa’a like the froth scum on the surface of a body of water, and Allaah will remove from the hearts of your enemies their fear of you and shall place in your hearts wahn.”

  3. Maha
    I’ve seen your comments on other blogs and I have to tell you – you stand for absolutely nothing and you know what they say about those who stand for nothing – they’ll fall for anything.

    Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (saw) said, “Indeed I have left you upon a clear white path, its night is like its day. No one deviates from it after me, except that he is destroyed.”

  4. To only one path and to bubbles

    there are many fatwas that say you can greet your christian friends, so i have the right to take the (easiest fatwa) according to the prophet’s teachings…..what if a Muslim man is married to a Christian woman? he shouldn’t greet her?
    Christians are not our enemies unless they show it clearly….and you people don’t know me to judge me…

    Prophet Mohammad used to have a jewish neigbor and before he died he put his shield at the a Jewish man’s house to keep it for him…

    And bubbles…at least I stand for myself and I don’t hide under a knick name…my English blog says everything about me and my articles here…read about Islam a lot first…read ALL my articles and poems first then come and discuss whatever you want…


    I won’t argue anymore here becasue there is a Hadith by prophet Mohammad that says (he whoever leaves void arguments will have a high place in heaven)


  5. It is very clear that Islam does not allow celebrating festivals from any religion other than Islam. Whatever, your opinions or views maybe, if you want to argue you may do it gently and politely. It would not be a good idea to do something unislamic (arguing agressively) to prove something which is Islamic.

    • Celebrating any Christmas holiday is forbidden, but that is not the topic of discussion. I didn’t say we should celebrate Christmas. There is a difference. the relation between Musims and Christians has created lots of controversary among scholars…and again:
      Why did Islam opermit Muslim men to marry Christian women if Islam prevents gongratulating Christians?
      If a Muslim is born to a Muslim father and a Christian mother, how would the son treat his mother?
      There is a much deeper view of the whole issue.
      Maybe everyone here needs to read about Sheikh Khaled Al-Jundi who is a notable Islamic scholar married to a Christian woman.

  6. I understand what you are trying to say. And my previous comment was not against you but all the participants who were responsing to the article.

    It is true that a Muslim can marry a Christian. But Christanity has changed over a period of time and its not the same anymore. One can only marry a Christian who beleives in the first original bible and not the one used today which says Jesus is the son of God as it is shirk to beleive so. Original Christanity does not have any festival like Christmas. These festivals were created as Christanity evolved and changed by the involvement of the Church and Pope who changed the word of God under satanic influence.

  7. I apologize if I came across too aggressive, but it pains me to see “Muslims” making excuses and pretty much bowing down to please the Christians just to make them feel good and do you know what we get in return other than a FAKE smile and a FAKE happy eid greeting, these same sweet, polite, well-mannered, well-behaved, innocent, kind hearted, loving people are the same people who are killing our Muslim brothers and sisters and they wish us (Muslims) to be wiped off the face of the earth, these same people feel that the world will be a better place without MUSLIMS, and they ‘ALL’ feel the same way.

    Maha says: “I work in a multi-cultural environment where there are some Christians who are very well-behaved and nice…”

    … what their breasts conceal is far worse.” (Aal-Imran: 118).

    My apologies again to Maha, ADNISA, bubbles…I don’t want to argue and that was not my intent. I fear for my kids future, I fear for Islam and what is happening with todays’ “Modern day Muslims” who are always trying to find a way to reform what is already perfected…

  8. Clearly, people who still care about these things are diminishing in number, even in Saudi Arabia. Its good that you follow the quranic teachings in whatever you do. But I cannot agree with you when you say that every Christians and non-muslim is trying to destroy muslims or Islam. There ar many powerful Christian and Jew people who wish to do so but that doesn’t mean its everyone. Clearly, the power of Islam from people’s heart will reduce as we progress in time. The best you can do is make sure your family and children do not become part of this modern efforts to reform religion and follow the west.

  9. Interesting topic – keep up the good work!

    I just want to say that i’ve recently embraced Islam. All of my family and most of my friends are non-muslim. During the holdiays and on birthdays they still call me to wish me a merry christmas or happy birthday or whatever… and they expect me to say the same to them – which of course i do because i don’t want to hurt their feeligs. I know that i shouldn’t say merry christmas… to them but i still do anyway, and i probably will contiue to simply because they’re family, and i don’t want to loose them. I’m really not sure what to do – i’m torn. I want to do the right thing but i can’t. I feel like a total looser – very tough decision…

  10. Its good that you take these things seriously. What I do when someone says Merry Christmas to me? I just say Thank you. Sometimes people ask how did I spend my christmas. I simply say I don’t celebrate Christmas and they understand. People don’t get offended if you don’t wish them but maybe it’s different with family members. May God help you with your decision.

  11. You are a recent convert to Islam. May Allah bless you for making the right decision. I would appreciate if you would be interested in writing a short story about who you are, what you do, about your life and how you converted to Islam. It can be a very interesting article and a good motivation for others.

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