Christmas, New year’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Diwali, Vaisakhi etc.
Shaykh ‘Abdul ‘Azīz bin Bāz (رَحِمَهُ الله )
Translated by Abu Tasneem Mousuf bin Haatim
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ
Question: Our brother is saying: ‘It is observed that some of the Muslims along with the Christians take part in the birthday celebration (of Jesus) or as they call it Christmas.’ He seeks guidance (in this affair)?
The answer: It is not allowed for the Muslim man or woman to join the Christians, the Jews or other than them from the disbelievers in their celebrations; rather they are obligated to abandon them due to the fact that ‘Whoever imitates a people then he is from them.’ and the Messenger (ﷺ) warned us from imitating them and adopting their mannerisms.
So it is upon the believers, male and female, to be cautious of that and not to support them in the establishment of these celebrations with anything; because they are celebrations that violate the laws of Allāh, and they are established by the enemies of Allāh. Therefore, it is not allowed to participate in them, nor cooperate with the celebrators, nor support them with anything– not with tea or coffee, or with any other matter, such as utensils and the like. Furthermore, Allāh, the one who is free from every imperfection, says:
⦃وَتَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الْبِرِّ وَالتَّقْوَى وَلا تَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الإِثْمِ وَالْعُدْوَانِ⦄
“And cooperate with each other in righteousness and piety and do not cooperate with each other in sin and transgression.” [al-Mā’idah:2]
As participation with the disbelievers in their celebrations is a type of cooperation upon sin and transgression, it is obligatory for every male and female Muslim to abandon that. And the intelligent person should not be deceived by the activities of the people. It is obligatory to consider the Islamic law and what is mentioned therein. And to carry out the command of Allāh and His Messenger–may he be honoured, granted peace and security, and he should not look at the affairs of people, since most of the creation do not care about what Allāh has legislated. Just as Allāh has said in His Great Book:
⦃وَإِنْ تُطِعْ أَكْثَرَ مَنْ فِي الأَرْضِ يُضِلُّوكَ عَنْ سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ⦄
“And if you obey most of those on earth, they will mislead you away from Allāh’s path.” [al-An‘aam:116]
Allāh, the one who is free from every imperfection, has said:
⦃وَمَا أَكْثَرُ النَّاسِ وَلَوْ حَرَصْتَ بِمُؤْمِنِينَ⦄
“And most of mankind will not believe even if you desire it eagerly.” [Yūsuf:103]
Therefore, it is not allowed to adopt the practices that contradict the religion, even if the people do it. The believer measures his actions and his speech, and the people’s action and their speech, against the Book and the Sunnah: The Book of Allāh and the Sunnah of His Messenger–may the prayer, peace and security be upon him–so whatever agrees with them (i.e. the Book and the Sunnah) or one of them then it is accepted, even if the people leave it. And whatever opposes them or one of them then it is rejected, even if the people do it.
May Allāh grant everyone success and guidance.