There is a call by some Muslims to celebrate and to congratulate the kuffar on their celebrations, on Thanksgiving and Christmas and so on. Of course, we’re not shocked at this. We are not shocked and this does not come as a surprise to us. Why is that? Because it is natural for those who are weak and impoverished to want to emulate those who are strong and have the upper hand.
The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said ‘Let not one of you eat with his left hand, nor drink with it, for the Shaytan eats with his left hand and drinks with it.’ This hadith is in Muslim. So we don’t want to resemble the Shaytan, we do not want to resemble the people of the hellfire and likewise we do not want to resemble the kuffar. As for the kuffar, the first thing is, why would you want to follow a people whom you know and you’re sure that their end will be in the hellfire? Because collectively we know and we’re sure that they’re all going to end up in the hellfire as a group. We can not individually say this person is going to the hellfire, this person, we can’t do that, but collectively we know their end. So why would we ever want to be like them.
Also, we see that in following them, following them clashes with following the way of the Muslims. Because either you follow the ways of the Muslims or you follow the way of the kuffar…so following the ways of the kuffar clashes or contradicts with following the path and the ways of the Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) and the believers.
So, following the ways of the kuffar also, even though it may be initially as a result of admiration, in itself it leads to further admiration and comfort and it breeds acceptance. Acceptance of their ways and acceptance of their beliefs. This explains, you know, the idea of acceptance and explains why some Muslims congratulate the kuffar on Christmas even though it’s something horrific in Islam. But it has become normal to them, they’re accepting it now whether it may be through constant exposure to it or other reasons…so, following their ways and resembling them leads to their acceptance. And it leads to a kind of comfort between them, those who follow them and the kuffar. So, some Muslims now are inviting their brothers and their sisters to partake in some of the celebrations of the non-Muslims and others are allowing their children to partake in some of the more obviously non-Islamic Eids such as Halloween. And of course it is not befitting for a Muslim who wants righteous children to allow them to celebrate a day when they’re taught that the dead are thought to return, and to beg for candy, dress like a devil. Righteousness doesn’t just come up suddenly but it must start at an early age. So we advise those Muslims to prevent their children from such celebrations and to explain why to them. Because a lot of times parents underestimate the level of understanding of their children. So they’ll give them ridiculous explanations, thinking that the kid won’t understand the real reason and that will just confuse the kid more. If they just tell them the evil of this celebration the child will understand that.
‘It is not allowed for Muslims to attend their’, meaning the disbelievers, ‘holidays and festivals because they are a type of evil and falsehood. If the people of good mix with the people of evil without putting an end to what they’re doing, they become like those who are pleased and influenced by evil.’
So we should be careful how we throw around this term ‘extreme’ and ‘this is extreme’ and so on. And if people think this is extreme then what would they have to say about Umar (Radia Allah Anh) when he said (Arabic) ‘Stay away, keep clear, stay away from the enemies of Allah in the days of their Eid.’ This is Umar (Radia Allah Anh) speaking to us. During his reign there’s another incident. Muslim women they like some of the garments that the women of the kuffar were wearing. So they started to make garments similar to the garments of the women of the kuffar. So when Umar heard of this (Arabic) he wrote to his governor (Arabic). I’ll read what he wrote, he said ‘I have come to know that some of the women of the Muslims have come to wear the clothes of the kuffar. Fear Allah, fear Allah and forbid that and allow anything besides it.’ We’re an Ummah. We’re a seperate Ummah. We’re distinct…and it’s not befitting for us to want to follow those of the kuffar and so on.
So congratulating them is forbidden and whether they are your colleagues at work or at school, it’s still forbidden. And if they do greet you or tell you ‘Merry Christmas’ and so on, you should not respond.
So, and it is also haram to accept invitations to such occasions and gatherings because this is worse than congratulating them, because now you’re actually partaking in this celebration. And also because the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said ‘Whoever imitates a people is one of them.’
And we just wanna stress that the problem with Christmas is that we don’t have hatred for shirk, or that those Muslims who congratulate and so on, they don’t have the hatred in their heart for shirk, or they’re probably used to it because of constant exposure to it and perhaps they do not see its seriousness. Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) says in the Quran (Arabic) ‘And the Jews and the Christians will never accept you until you follow their creed, until you follow their beliefs.’