Imitating the kuffaar falls into two categories:
Imitation that is haraam and imitation that is permitted:
The first type is imitation that is haraam: this means knowingly doing things that are unique characteristics of the religion of the kuffaar and that have not been referred to in our religion. This is haraam and it may be a major sin; in some cases a person may even become a kaafir by doing that, according to the evidence, whether a person does that because he agrees with the kuffaar, or because of his whims and desires, or because of some specious arguments which make him feel that doing it will bring him benefit in this world and the next.
If it is asked, is the one who does that out of ignorance a sinner, such as one who celebrates Christmas? The answer is that the one who is ignorant is not a sinner because he was unaware, but he has to be told, and if he persists he becomes a sinner.
The second type is imitation that is permissible. This means doing something which is not originally taken from the kuffaar, but the kuffaar do it too. This does not involve a prohibition on resembling them, but one may miss out on the benefits of differing from them.
Imitating or resembling the People of the Book (Jews and Christians) and others with regard to worldly matters is permissible only when the following conditions are met:
1 – That should not be any of their traditions or rituals by which they are distinguished.
2 – That should not be part of their religion. A matter can be proven to be part of their religion though a trustworthy source, such as an aayah of the Qur’aan or a hadeeth of His Messenger, or via well-established reports, such as the prostration of greeting which was permitted to the previous nations.
3 – That should not be anything in Islam which refers specifically to that matter. If there is a specific reference in Islam, either approving or disapproving of it, then we must follow what our religion says about it.
4 – This resemblance should not lead to going against any of the commands of sharee’ah.
5 – That should not involve celebrating any of their festivals.
6 – The resemblance should be only according to what is needed, and no more.
See al-Sunan wa’l-Athaar fi’l-Nahy ‘an al-Tashabbuh bi’l-Kuffaar by Suhayl Hasan, p. 58-59
What is the Islamic ruling on the issue of imitating the kuffaar in their customs and dealings? What are the guidelines concerning that in Islamic sharee’ah? Is every imitation of the actions of the kuffaar regarded as a haraam kind of imitation – knowing that there are many things that the kaafirs do that are not haraam and are not condemned by sharee’ah, where the one who does them does not do them merely to imitate the kuffaar, but because he thinks those things are good, as Ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “What the Muslims think is good is good before Allaah”?
Please advise us, may Allaah honour you, and please give me a detailed answer and explain to me the guidelines on this matter.
Praise be to Allah.
The Muslims have no need to imitate any of the other nations in matters of religious rituals and acts of worship, for Allaah has perfected His religion and completed His Favour, and chosen for us Islam as our religion, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):
“This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion”
Islam forbids the Muslims to imitate the kuffaar, especially the Jews and Christians, but this prohibition does not apply to all their affairs, rather it applies to matters of their religion and things that are unique to them, by which they are known.
It was narrated from Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “You will certainly follow the ways of those who came before you hand span by hand span, cubit by cubit, to the extent that if they entered the hole of a lizard, you will enter it too.” We said: “O Messenger of Allaah, (do you mean) the Jews and the Christians?” He said: “Who else?” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1397; Muslim, 4822.
This hadeeth indicates that it is haraam to imitate the Jews and the Christians, and that those who follow them and tread the same path as them are criticized. Islam has reinforced this prohibition, by describing those who imitate the kuffaar as being of them.
It was narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umar said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever imitates a people is one of them.” Narrated by Abu Dawood, 3512; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Irwa’ al-Ghaleel, 2691.
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
This at the very least indicates that it is haraam to imitate them, although the apparent meaning is that the one who imitates them is a kaafir.
Iqtida’ al-Siraat al-Mustaqeem, 237.
The one who imitates the kuffaar feels that inferior and defeated, so he hastens to make up for his feelings of inadequacy by imitating those whom he admires. If these people were to ponder the greatness of Islamic sharee’ah and understand how corrupt is that civilization they are running after, they would realize that they are doing wrong and that they have forsaken something that is perfect and true for something that is imperfect and corrupt.
The types of imitation which are forbidden to us are many.
Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan said:
The things in which the kuffaar are imitated include acts of worship, such as imitating them in matters of shirk, such as building (structures) over graves, building shrines and exaggerating about them. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “May the curse of Allaah be upon the Jews and the Christians, for they took the graves of their Prophets as places of worship.” Al-Bukhaari, 425; Muslim, 531. And he told us that when a righteous man among them died, they would build a place of worship over his grave, and install images therein, and that they were the most evil of mankind. Al-Bukhaari, 417; Muslim, 528. Nowadays there are instances of major shirk because of exaggeration concerning graves, as is well known to scholars and ordinary folk alike. The cause of that is imitation of the Jews and Christians.
Another example is their imitation of the festivals of shirk and bid’ah, such as birthday celebrations, whether it is the birthday of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or the birthdays of presidents and kings. Or these festivals of bid’ah and shirk may be named after days or weeks, such as a country’s national day or independence day, or Mother’s Day, or hygiene week, and other days or weeks that are celebrated. All of these have come to the Muslims from the kuffaar, for Islam has only two festivals: Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. Anything else is bid’ah and an imitation of the kuffaar.
From a khutbah entitled al-Hathth ‘ala Mukhaalafat al-Kuffaar (Exhortation to be distinct from the kuffaar)
In the answer to question no. 47060 we have stated that it is forbidden to imitate the kuffaar in the clothing that is unique to them and in the customs that are unique to them, such as imitating them by shaving the beard.
The prohibition on imitating the kuffaar applies to their acts of worship and the customs that are unique to them and by which they are distinguished, not the things that they do and invent from which we may benefit. There is no sin on the Muslims if they share in that, rather the Muslims should be in the forefront of such things.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said:
With regard to the phrase “imitation of the kuffaar”, that does not mean that we should not use anything that they have manufactured. No one says such a thing. At the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and afterwards the people used to wear clothes made by the kuffaar and use vessels made by them.
Imitation of the kuffaar means imitating their clothing and appearance, and the customs that are unique to them. It does not mean that we should not ride what they ride or wear what they wear. But if they ride in a specific way that is unique to them, then we should not ride in that way. If they tailor their clothes in a certain fashion that is unique to them, we should not do likewise. But if we have cars that are similar to theirs and fabric that is similar to theirs, there is nothing wrong with that.
Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 12, question 177.
And he said:
The definition of imitating is when the imitator does something that is unique to those whom he is imitating. Imitation of the kuffaar refers to when a Muslim does something that is one of their unique characteristics. With regard to that which has become widespread among the Muslims and is no longer something by which the kuffaar are distinguished, then this is not imitation of the kuffaar, and it is not haraam because it is an imitation, unless it is haraam for some other reason. What we have said is what is indicated by the meaning of the word tashabbuh (imitation).
Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 12, question 198.
In the answer to question no. 21694 you will find a detailed discussion of the ruling on imitating the kuffaar. See question no. 43160 for further details.
There are both beneficial things and harmful things in non-Muslim civilization. We should not ignore the good things and take the harmful things. This attitude was summed up by Shaykh al-Shanqeeti (may Allaah have mercy on him) who said:
Our attitude towards western civilization may be one of four things, and there is no fifth:
1-Ignoring this civilization, good points and bad alike.
2-Adopting it in whole, good points and bad.
3-Adopting the bad things and not the good.
4-Adopting the good things and not the bad.
The first three are undoubtedly wrong and only one of them is undoubtedly good, which is the last one.
Adwa’ al-Bayaan, 4/382.
With regard to the words of ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him), “What the Muslims think is good is good before Allaah”, this does not refer to things that go against sharee’ah but which may be deemed good on the basis of rational thinking. Imam al-Shaafa’i (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “Whoever thinks something is good issuing a ruling.” It does not refer to when one person thinks a thing is good but the majority of people do not. Rather this phrase may be interpreted in one of two ways, both of which are sound:
1 – That what is meant is traditions and customs that do not go against sharee’ah
2 – That what is meant is the proof of scholarly consensus, for the Muslims are unanimously agreed that thinking a thing is good is consensus which counts as evidence. So this thing must be good before Allaah as well. This is what is indicated by the words, “What the Muslims think is good.”
See al-Mabsoot by al-Sarkhasi, 12/138’ al-Faroosiyyah by Ibn al-Qayyim, p. 298.
These interpretations mentioned above are applicable if we take the words of Ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) as applying to all the Muslims in general. But from the context it seems that he is referring to the companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) only, and not others. What Ibn Mas’ood said was: “Allaah looked into the hearts of His slaves and found that the heart of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was the best of all His slaves’ hearts. So He chose him for Himself and sent him with His Message. Then He looked into the hearts of all His slaves after the heart of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and He found that the hearts of his companions were the best of all His slaves’ hearts, so He made them the helpers of His Prophet, fighting for the sake of his religion. So what the Muslims think is good is good before Allaah and whatever the Muslims think is bad is bad before Allaah.”
Narrated by Ahmad, 3418; classed as saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaani in Takhreej al-Tahhaawiyyah, 530.
Whatever the case, it is not correct to quote the words of Ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) as evidence for thinking as good that which is forbidden in Islam, such as imitating the mushrikeen.
And Allaah knows best.
The prohibition of imitating the disbelievers (non-Muslims) in their festivals, looks, and clothing is
not judged as Kufr that takes a person out of the fold of Islam. A person does not become a Kaafir (non-Muslim) unless he does something because of loving the non-Muslims and having affection for them.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen may Allaah have mercy upon him said:
“With regard to the saying of the Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ): “Whoever imitates a people is one of them.”; the very least that can be said about this Hadeeth is that it is forbidden to imitate them, although the apparent meaning implies that the one who imitates them becomes a Kaafir like them. However, if the imitation is not in the matters of creed (belief) or in a deed that leads to Kufr, then it is only forbidden.” [End of quote]
The statement of Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah may Allaah have mercy upon him does not mean that he is of the view that whoever does that is absolutely a Kaafir, because he did not authoritatively say that. This becomes clear in his full statement after that, where he said: “It may be interpreted that he is like them to the extent that he imitated them in, if it is a disbelief, or a disobedience, or a slogan (of disobedience), then his ruling is as such accordingly.” [End of quote]
Ibn Taymiyyah on Participating in the Festivals and Annual Celebrations of the Unbelievers
It is reported from Imām Ahmad bin Hanbal (rahimahullāh) that it is not permissible for Muslims to witness (or participate) in the annual festivities of the Jews and Christians. And he (rahimahullāh) used as proof the saying of Allah concerning the believers:
وَالَّذِينَ لَا يَشْهَدُونَ الزُّورَ وَإِذَا مَرُّوا بِاللَّغْوِ مَرُّوا كِرَامًا -25:72
“And they are those who do not witness falsehood, and if they pass by some evil play or evil talk, they pass by it with dignity.” (Al-Furqān: 72) Imām Ahmad said: Meaning the unbelievers on Palm Sunday and their annual festivals.
Abdul-Malik bin Habeeb from the companions of Imām Mālik (rahimahullāh) stated: “Do not help them with anything that is related to their festivals because that honours and venerates their polytheism and aids them in their unbelief. And it is upon the ruler to prohibit the Muslims from that, and that is the saying of Mālik (rahimahullāh) and others.” I do not know any differing [among the scholars] concerning this matter. And eating the slaughtered meat from their festivals enters into this prohibition ― and this is something agreed upon, rather I hold this (i.e. eating the food from their festivals) to be even worse. (See Majmoo’ Al-Fatāwa of Shaikhul-Islām Ibn Taymiyyah, 25/326)
It is not permissible for the Muslims to imitate the unbelievers in anything that is particular (or specific) to their celebrations and festivals―not in their food, or clothes, or in their bathing (for an event they are celebrating), or in their lighting of fires or candles―and it is not allowed for a Muslim to change his habits of work or life or worship or other than that on the day of their celebration. It is not allowed to organise a food event (party or waleemah), or to exchange gifts, or to sell items that aid their festivals (e.g. Christmas trees, Birthday cards, etc). Do not send children and so on to participate in play that is related to the festivals of the unbelievers, and do not beautify yourselves due to it being the day of their festival.
And in general, it is not allowed for the Muslims to single out anything special on their days of annual celebration from their symbolic acts. Rather, the days of their annual events is like any other day for the Muslims―the Muslims do not do anything special or different in resemblance of the unbelievers [on these days].
And if the Muslims resemble them deliberately, then a group of scholars from the early and later times expressed their dislike (and prohibition) of that. As for imitating them in that which is specific to them in the examples that have preceded, then there is no difference among the scholars concerning that. Indeed, a group of scholars regarded it to be unbelief (kufr) to imitate the unbelievers in those matters that venerate the symbols of unbelief. (See Majmoo’ Ar-Rasā’il wal-Masā’il of Shaikhul-Islām Ibn Taymiyyah, 1/-3/237)
Imitating the Celebrations of the Unbelievers
Islam forbids imitation of the practices of other religions, and to participate in the festivals of those religions. The Disciple, Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) stated that when the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) migrated to Madinah, he saw that the people celebrated two specific days annually. Some scholars have stated that they were the holidays of the Persians. So the Prophet asked, “What are these two days?” They informed him that these were days of celebration of festivals from before the advent of Islam (i.e. from the era of jāhiliyyah). So he said,
إِنَّ اللَّهَ قَدْ أَبْدَلَكُمْ بِهِمَا خَيْرًا مِنْهُمَا يَوْمَ الأَضْحَى وَيَوْمَ الْفِطْرِ
“Indeed Allah has replaced these days with days better than them: the Day of Adhā and the Day of Fitr.” (Abu Dāwūd, no. 1134) The Day of Adhā is the ‘Eid celebration after the annual Hajj pilgrimage, and the Day of Fitr is the ‘Eid celebration after the fasting month of Ramadān. Islam does not allow for newly introduced practices borrowed from other religions because it considers those religions to be either manmade or a distortion of the messages of previous prophets as is clearly the case with the Christian religion and its celebration of Christmas.
So integration into any society should never entail a Muslim contradicting the commands of the Messenger, nor his guidance. When a Muslim seeks to resemble the non-Muslims in such matters it shows that he is not confident about his own religious identity and seeks the favour and approval of other faiths— and he attains that through imitating their religious practices. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said,
مَنْ تَشَبَّهَ بِقَوْمٍ فَهُوَ مِنْهُمْ
“Whoever resembles a people is from them.” (Abu Dawūd, no 4031) The more a person resembles a group of people, the more he counted among them. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) informed the Muslims, “You will surely follow the ways of those who came before you, handspan by handspan, cubit-length by cubit-length such if one of them enters into a lizards hole, you too will enter it.” They asked the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), “Do you intend the Jews and Christians?” He replied, “Who else?” (Bukhārī and Muslim)
It is obligatory for a Muslim to avoid gathering at the non-Muslim places of worship and where they hold mass. The Prophet’s Companion, Abdullah Ibn ‘Amr (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “Whoever settles in the lands of the non-Muslims, then he celebrates their festivals of Nayrūz and Mahrajān (of the Persians), and he imitates them and then he dies whilst in that state, he will be gathered with them on the Day of Resurrection.” (Sunan Al-Kubrā of Al-Bayhaqī, 9/234, Ibn Taymiyyah stated that its chain of narration is authentic in Iqtidā As-Sirāt Al-Mustaqīm, 1/457)
Similarly, the Companion, ‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattāb (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “Do not visit the polytheists in their churches on the days of their celebrations because that is when Allah’s anger descends upon them.” (Sunan Al-Kubrā, 9/234, Abdur-Razzāq in Al-Musannaf, no. 1609, Ibn Taymiyyah stated that its chain of narration is authentic in Iqtidā As-Sirāt Al-Mustaqīm, 1/455).
Ibn Taymiyyah after his citation of several narrations in this topic stated, “So if the anger of Allah descends upon them on the day of their festival due to their practices, then whoever joins them in their practices or in some of their practices, then is he not also subject to the same punishment?” (Al-Iqtidā, 1/458) He proceeds to explain that the texts prove that the greater one’s participation in the religious celebrations of the non-Muslims, the more he exposes himself to Allah’s anger.
And all praise is for Allah, Lord of all creation.
Just some of the celebrations that are to be avoided by Muslims
April Fools’ Day
Also called All Fools’ Day, in most countries the first day of April. It received its name from the custom of playing practical jokes on this day—for example, telling friends that their shoelaces are untied or sending them on so-called fools’ errands. Although the day has been observed for centuries, its true origins are unknown and effectively unknowable. It resembles festivals such as the Hilaria of ancient Rome, held on March 25, and the Holi celebration in India, which ends on March 31. (Ref: Encyclopaedia Britannica)
Holiday in honour of mothers that is celebrated in countries throughout the world. In its modern form the day originated in the United States, where it is observed on the second Sunday in May. Many other countries also celebrate the holiday on this date, while some mark the observance at other times of the year. During the Middle Ages the custom developed of allowing those who had moved away to visit their home parishes and their mothers on Laetare Sunday, the fourth Sunday of Lent. This became Mothering Sunday in Britain, where it continued into modern times. (Ref: Encyclopaedia Britannica)
Contraction of All Hallows’ Eve, a holiday observed on October 31, the evening before All Saints’ (or All Hallows’) Day. The celebration marks the day before the Western Christian feast of All Saints and initiates the season of Allhallowtide, which lasts three days and concludes with All Souls’ Day. Halloween had its origins in the festival of Samhain among the Celts of ancient Britain and Ireland. On the day corresponding to November 1 on contemporary calendars, the new year was believed to begin. That date was considered the beginning of the winter period, the date on which the herds were returned from pasture and land tenures were renewed. During the Samhain festival the souls of those who had died were believed to return to visit their homes, and those who had died during the year were believed to journey to the otherworld. People set bonfires on hilltops for relighting their hearth fires for the winter and to frighten away evil spirits, and they sometimes wore masks and other disguises to avoid being recognized by the ghosts thought to be present. It was in those ways that beings such as witches, hobgoblins, fairies, and demons came to be associated with the day. The period was also thought to be favourable for divination on matters such as marriage, health, and death. (Ref: Encyclopaedia Britannica)
Easter, Latin Pascha, Greek Pascha, principal festival of the Christian church, which celebrates the Resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his Crucifixion. The earliest recorded observance of an Easter celebration comes from the 2nd century, though the commemoration of Jesus’ Resurrection probably occurred earlier. (Ref: Encyclopaedia Britannica)
Valentine’s Day, also called St. Valentine’s Day, holiday (February 14) when lovers express their affection with greetings and gifts. The holiday has origins in the Roman festival of Lupercalia, held in mid-February. The festival, which celebrated the coming of spring, included fertility rites and the pairing off of women with men by lottery. At the end of the 5th century, Pope Gelasius I replaced Lupercalia with St. Valentine’s Day. It came to be celebrated as a day of romance from about the 14th century. Although there were several Christian martyrs named Valentine, the day may have taken its name from a priest who was martyred about 270 CE by the emperor Claudius II Gothicus. According to legend, the priest signed a letter “from your Valentine” to his jailer’s daughter, whom he had befriended. (Ref: Encyclopaedia Britannica)
Read this article:
The Birthday of the Prophet and Birthdays in General
Read this article: https://istiqaamah.net/ruling-on-celebrating-prophets-birthday/?nowprocket=1
Thanksgiving Day, annual national holiday in the United States and Canada celebrating the harvest and other blessings of the past year. Americans generally believe that their Thanksgiving is modelled on a 1621 harvest feast shared by the English colonists (Pilgrims) of Plymouth and the Wampanoag people. The American holiday is particularly rich in legend and symbolism, and the traditional fare of the Thanksgiving meal typically includes turkey, bread stuffing, potatoes, cranberries, and pumpkin pie. (Ref: Encyclopaedia Britannica)
Holi (in Hinduism)
Hindu spring festival celebrated throughout North India on the full-moon day of Phalguna (February–March). Participants throw coloured water and powders on one another, and, on this one day only, license is given for the usual rankings of caste, gender, status, and age to be reversed. In the streets the celebrations are often marked by ribald language and behaviour, but at its conclusion, when everyone bathes, dons clean white clothes, and visits friends, teachers, and relatives, the ordered patterns of society are reasserted and renewed. Holi is particularly enjoyed by worshippers of the god Krishna. Its general frivolity is considered to be in imitation of Krishna’s play with the gopis (wives and daughters of cowherds). (Ref: Encyclopaedia Britannica)
Ruling on Muslims’ following the Kafir (disbelievers) in their Special occasions, propagating and celebrating them – Alifta
Statement from the Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’ concerning the ruling on celebrating the Gregorian Year 2000 and related issues
All praise be to Allah, Alone, and peace and blessings be upon the Last of the Prophets.
The questioners have asked about the ruling on dedicating attention to the Gregorian millennium, celebrating it, and other issues relating to the event. It is sufficient for us to quote just two of the posed questions:
The first question says, “Nowadays we see the programs that the mass media is broadcasting about the celebrations and preparations held for the arrival of the Year 2000, and the beginning of the third millennium. The Kafirs (disbelievers) from among the Jews, Christians, and others, are very happy about it and pin their hopes on this event. My question, Your Eminence, is that some Muslims have become interested in it and are considering it a happy occasion to get married or do business on. Others are advertising this event in their shops or companies, and doing other things that offend Muslims. What is the Shari‘ah (Islamic law) ruling on celebrating this event and exchanging verbal congratulations and cards on it? May Allah reward you with the best for the efforts you exert for Islam and Muslims!”
The second question says, “The Jews and the Christians are preparing to celebrate the arrival of the Year 2000 according to their calendar, in an extraordinary way to promote their plans and beliefs in the world, particularly in Muslim countries. Some Muslims have been influenced by this propaganda and have also started preparing for it and many of them are announcing sales on this occasion. We fear that this may affect the Muslims’ ‘Aqidah (creed) in relation to their loyalties to non-Muslims. We hope you will explain the ruling on Muslims’ following the Kafir (disbelievers) in their special occasions, propagating and celebrating them, and the ruling on giving workers the day off in some organizations and companies to mark this occasion?
Does doing any of these or similar things, or approving them, have any effect on a Muslim’s ‘Aqidah?”
Having studied the questions, the committee answered as follows:
Islam and the guidance to the Straight Path are the greatest blessings that Allah has bestowed upon His Servants. It is through His Mercy that Allah (Exalted be He) obligates His Believing Servants to ask Him for guidance during Salah (Prayer). They ask Him to guide them to and keep them on the Straight Path. Allah (Glorified be He) describes this Straight Path as being the path of those on whom He has bestowed His Grace from among the Prophets, the Siddiqin (the followers of the prophets who were first to believe in them, such as Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq), the martyrs, and the righteous, and not the path of those who have gone astray from the Jews, Christians, and other Kafirs (disbelievers) and Mushrikin (those who associate others with Allah in His Divinity or worship).
Once this is learned, it is obligatory on a Muslim to realize the greatness of Allah’s Blessing upon them. They should give thanks to Allah (Glorified be He) in words, deeds, and beliefs. They should guard this blessing, protect it, and adopt the means necessary to keep from loss.
An insightful look into Allah’s Din (Religion) in today’s world, in which the truth and falsehood have become mixed and confused for many people, will clearly see the efforts the enemies of Islam are exerting to destroy its realities, extinguish its light, distance Muslims from it, and sever all their connections with it by any possible means. Not only that, but they are also attempting to distort its image and bring accusations and forge lies against it, to avert people from the Way of Allah,and from Iman (Faith) in what Allah revealed to His Messenger, Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah (peace be upon him).
Allah (Exalted be He) confirms this by saying (what means): Many of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) wish that if they could turn you away as disbelievers after you have believed, out of envy from their ownselves, even after the truth (that Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم is Allâh’s Messenger) has become manifest unto them.
And: A party of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) wish to lead you astray. But they shall not lead astray anyone except themselves, and they perceive not.
He (Glorified and Exalted be He) also says: O you who believe! If you obey those who disbelieve, they will send you back on your heels, and you will turn back (from Faith) as losers.
And: Say: “O people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians)! Why do you stop those who have believed, from the Path of Allâh, seeking to make it seem crooked, while you (yourselves) are witnesses [to Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم as a Messenger of Allâh and Islâm (Allâh’s religion, i.e. to worship none but Him Alone)]? And Allâh is not unaware of what you do.“
There as also many other Ayahs (Qur’anic verses) to this effect.
Nevertheless, Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) has made a promise to protect His Religion and Book, as He says: Verily, We, it is We Who have sent down the Dhikr (i.e. the Qur’ân) and surely, We will guard it (from corruption). All praise is to Allah! Moreover, the Prophet (peace be upon him) has informed that a group of his Ummah (nation based on one creed) will continue on the Truth, triumphant, and they will not be harmed by those who forsake or oppose them until the Day of Judgment. All praise is to Allah! We ask Allah (Exalted be He), Who is the Ever-Near and the Responsive, to make us and our Muslim brothers among this group. Indeed, He is the Most Generous Bestower.
The Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’ has seen and heard about the huge preparations and great interest shown by the Jews, the Christians, and those so-called Muslims who are influenced by them to mark the end of the year and welcome the new millennium according to the Gregorian calendar, and the committee cannot but provide advice and clarification for all Muslims on the facts of this occasion and give the ruling of the sanctified Shari‘ah on it, so Muslims will be enlightened about their Din and beware of the deviations of those who earned Allah’s Anger and those who went astray.
First: The Jews and the Christians have attached events, sufferings, and pinned hopes on the arrival of this millennium, which they are certain – or almost certain – that they shall come to pass, as they are the outcome of their researches and studies, as they claim. They have also attached some of their creedal issues to this millennium, which they claim to have been mentioned in their distorted books. It is obligatory on Muslims not to pay attention to this or believe it; instead they should be content with the Book of their Lord (Exalted be He) and the Sunnah of His Prophet (peace be upon him), and any theory or opinion contrary to these is just an illusion.
Second: This and other similar occasions are never devoid of mixing the truth with falsehood, and inviting to Kufr (disbelief), Dalalah (deviation from what is right), licentiousness, atheism, and the emergence of Munkar (that which is unacceptable or disapproved of by Islamic law and Muslims of sound intellect).Among these invitations are the calls to unify the religions, equate Islam with false creeds and sects, ask for the blessing of the Cross, and practice the Jewish and Christian rites. This is in addition to the words and deeds that either imply that the distorted abrogated Christian and Jewish creeds can lead to Allah, or express approval of some of their beliefs which contradict the Din of Islam or constitute Kufr (disbelief) in Allah, His Messenger, and Islam, by the Ijma‘ (consensus) of the Muslim Ummah. Moreover, this occasion is one of the means of alienating Muslims from their Din.
Third: The Qur’an, Sunnah, and authentic Athar (narrations from the Companions) give detailed evidence on the prohibition of imitating the disbelievers in what is particular to them. This includes imitating them in their ‘Eids or celebrating them. ‘Eid (festival) is a generic term which (in the context of these reports) includes every day or occasion which is repeated and is venerated by the Kafirs, or any place in which the Kafirs hold religious gatherings, or any action which they do in these places or at these times – all of that is part of their ‘Eids or festivals. The prohibition applies not only to their festivals, but to any times or places which they venerate that have no basis in the Din of Islam; and all the invented acts that they do at them are prohibited also. The days preceding and following their festivals are also covered by this prohibition, as pointed out by Shaykh Al-Islam, Ibn Taymiyyah (may Allah be merciful to him).
One of the Ayahs (Qur’anic verses) which specifically forbid imitating Non-Muslims in their festivals is Allah’s Saying: And those who do not bear witness to falsehood This is stated as one of the characteristics of Allah’s Believing Servants. A group of the Salaf (righteous predecessors), including: Ibn Sirin, Mujahid, and Al-Rabi‘ ibn Anas, interpreted the word “Al-Zur (falsehood)” as referring to the festivals of the Kafirs. It was authentically reported that Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “When the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) came to Al-Madinah, they had two days on which they would celebrate. He (peace be upon him) asked, ‘What are these two days?’ They said, ‘We used to celebrate on these two days during the Jahiliyyah (pre-Islamic time of ignorance).’ The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “Allah has given you two days instead of these that are better than them: the Day of Al-Adha (the Festival of the Sacrifice) and the Day of Al-Fitr (the Festival of Breaking the Fast).” (Reported by Al-ImamAhmad, Abu Dawud, and Al-Nasa’y, through Sahih [authentic] Sanad [chain of narrators])
It was authentically narrated by Thabit ibn Al-Dahhak (may Allah be pleased with him) that he said, “A man vowed to sacrifice some camels in Buwanah (a hill beyond Yanbu`) during the lifetime of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). So, he came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said, ‘I have vowed to sacrifice some camels in Buwanah.’ The Prophet (peace be upon him) asked, “Were there any idols of the Jahiliyyah (pre-Islamic time of ignorance) there that were worshipped?” They said, ‘No.’ He (peace be upon him) asked, ‘
‘Were any of their festivals held there?’ They said, ‘No.’ The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, ‘Fulfill your vow, for there is no fulfillment of a vow which involves disobedience to Allah, or with regard to a thing the son of Adam does not own.’” (Reported by Abu Dawud through a Sahih Sanad)
‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “Do not enter to the Mushrikin (those who associate others with Allah in His Divinity or worship) in their churches on the day of their festivals, for Wrath descends upon them.” He (may Allah be pleased with him) also said, “Keep away from the enemies of Allah on their festivals.”
It is also reported that `Abdullah ibn `Amr ibn Al-`As (may Allah be pleased with them both) said, “Anyone who settles in the land of the non-Muslims and celebrates their Nayruz (New Year’s Day) and their Mahrajaan (two non-Islamic Persian festivals), and keeps imitating them until they die in that state, will be gathered with them on the Day of Resurrection.”
Fourth: Muslims are prohibited from observing the festivals of the Kafirs for many reasons, some of which are:
- Imitating them in some of their festivals will give them delight and complacency in their falsehoods.
- Imitation and similarity in external matters will inevitably leads one to imitating them and behaving like them in internal matters such as their corrupt beliefs, and being slowly and subtly won over to their way of thinking.
- One of the gravest ensuing corruptions is that imitating the Kafirs in external matters generates a kind of love, friendship and loyalties that are incompatible with Iman (Faith), as Allah (Exalted be He) says:
O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as Auliyâ’ (friends, protectors, helpers), they are but Auliyâ’ of each other. And if any amongst you takes them (as Auliyâ’), then surely he is one of them. Verily, Allâh guides not those people who are the Zâlimûn (polytheists and wrong-doers and unjust).
He (Glorified be He) also says:
You (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) will not find any people who believe in Allâh and the Last Day, making friendship with those who oppose Allâh and His Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم)
Fifth: Based on the above, it is not permissible for a Muslim who believes in Allah as their Lord, Islam as their religion, and Muhammad as their Prophet to celebrate any festival that has no basis in the Din of Islam, and that includes the so-called new millennium. Neither are they permitted to attend such festivals or take part in them, or to help others do so in any way whatsoever, because this is sin and transgression of the limits set by Allah. Allah (Exalted be He) says: …but do not help one another in sin and transgression. And fear Allâh. Verily, Allâh is Severe in punishment.
Sixth: It is not permissible for a Muslim to cooperate, in any way, with the Kafirs with regard to their festivals – including the new millennium under discussion – by publicizing and announcing them, or propagating them by any means, whether through the mass media, or by setting up digital clocks and notice boards, manufacturing clothing and memorabilia, printing cards or school notebooks, announcing sales, offering prizes, organizing sport events, or producing special slogans or logos.
Seventh: It is not permissible for Muslims to consider the festivals of the Kafirs – including the millennium – to be happy occasions or blessed times for taking the day off work, getting married, starting a business or beginning new projects, etc. It is not permissible to believe that these days are more special than other days; because these are just like any other days.This is a corrupt belief that does not change the reality of these days in the slightest. Such beliefs are nothing but sin upon sin. We ask Allah to keep us safe and sound.
Eighth: It is not permissible for a Muslim to congratulate the Kafirs on their festivals, as this implies a kind of approval of their false beliefs and makes them happy.
Ibn Al-Qayyim (may Allah be merciful to him) said:
“As for offering congratulations on the special ritualistic occasions of Kufr (disbelief), this is agreed to be Haram (prohibited), such as congratulating them (the Kafirs) for their festivals and fasts by saying, ‘Happy or blessed festival to you’ and the like. Even if the one who says so escapes committing Kufr, it is still Haram. It is like congratulating someone for prostrating to the Cross; in fact it is even more sinful in the Sight of Allah and more hateful than congratulating someone for drinking Khamr (intoxicants), killing a soul, or committing adultery, and so on. Many of those who have no respect for their Din fall into this error; they do not realize the abhorrence of their action. Anyone who congratulate a person for committing an act of disobedience, Bid‘ah (innovation in religion) or Kufr exposes themselves to the Hate and Wrath of Allah.”
Ninth: It honors the Muslims to abide by the Hijri (lunar) calendar which is based on the date of Hijrah (migration) of their Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to Madinah, upon which the Sahabah (Companions of the Prophet, may Allah be pleased with them) consensually agreed, and they dated events according to it without celebrating it. Muslims have followed in their footsteps and passed on this heritage for fourteen centuries to our present day. Therefore, it is not permissible for a Muslim to abandon the Hijri calendar and adopt the calendar of any other nation on earth, such as the Gregorian. This means exchanging that which is better for that which is worse.
We, therefore, advise all Muslims to have Taqwa (fear/wariness of offending Allah) and to act in obedience to Allah, keep away from sins, and to exhort one another to persevere in this and be patient.
Let every believer be true to their soul and strive to save it from the Wrath of Allah and His Curse in this world and the Hereafter by actualizing their knowledge and Iman. They should take Allah as their Guide, Helper, Lawgiver, and Protector, for He is the Best Protector and the Best Helper. Indeed, sufficient is your Lord as a Guide and Helper.
Let them also repeat the Du‘a’ (supplication) of the Prophet (peace be upon him):
“O Allah! Lord of Jibril, Mika’il, and Israfil, Creator of the heavens and the earth, Knower of the Unseen and the Seen, You will judge between Your servants concerning that over which they used to differ. Guide me to the truth of that wherein they differed, by Your leave, for You guide whomsoever You will to the Straight Path.”
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds!
May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.
The Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’