Thanks once again to Oz for the heads up here (see you in Manchester 🙂 ). Yasir Qadhi posted this on his Facebook profile. It’s worth a look at the link to see the differing opinions on the subject.
“A brother forwarded me a link to a video where a young, seemingly overzealous and clearly mistaken, speaker claims that saying ‘Merry Christmas’ is worse than murder.
I do not know this person, and there is no need to mention names (and please do not link to any videos in the comments, or they will be deleted), but I must say that such type of rhetoric has harmed Islam far more than the rhetoric non-Muslim haters spew.
It truly amazes me that anyone with a positive IQ, and an atom’s weight of understanding, actually believe that in our religion saying ‘Merry Christmas’ is worse than murdering someone?!?! Think about what you are saying!!!
To add insult to this, this speaker assumed this is what Ibn al-Qayyim said; and this is a smear to the reputation of Ibn al-Qayyim. [And here I add: the Salafis of today have done more to harm the reputation of Ibn Taymiyya, Ibn al-Qayyim and the actual salaf than all the non-Salafis combined have!].
Ibn al-Qayyim actually writes that congratulating non-Muslims for their kufr beliefs, realizing that you are congratulating them for those beliefs, is worse than congratulating them for acts of transgression and sin, such as fornication and murder. [Notice the vast difference between what this speaker said and what Ibn al-Qayyim wrote]. Even Ibn al-Qayyim allows the return of generic greetings to non-Muslims that does not incorporate theological praise of un-Islamic beliefs. And that is Ibn al-Qayyim’s view, and there are other views as well.
It is my position (based on many classical scholars) that there is absolutely nothing wrong with saying a generic greeting, even on the occasion of a non-Muslim holiday. Examples of this are: ‘May God bless you’, and ‘Best wishes’ and other such neutral phrases (or even Islamicaly positive statements – for each of these can be a du’a for hidaayah as well!!). The evidences for this are beyond this small posting, but I merely wanted to point out that we need to be careful of having a little knowledge, for a little knowledge is a very dangerous thing.
Again, please no posts or videos or names in the comments: it is typically not my methodology to mention names and I don’t intend to give this speaker any more attention. My point is to correct this misinterpretation and Ibn al-Qayyim’s reputation.”