Are we allowed to celebrate Christmas ? I am asking this question on the behalf of teenagers living in this country, England.


It is indeed a sad sign of the times we live in that the verdicts of the righteous ulama of the past are so easily cast aside and disregarded in favour of the ‘pirs’ and ‘shaykhs’ of the modern era. May Allah give the youth of the Ahlus Sunnah true inner discernment in these troubled times.

The prohibition of celebrating the festivals of the non-Muslims is something mentioned clearly by the Fuqaha’ of the past.

In ‘al-Durr al-Mukhtar’ it is stated:

“Gifting something in the name of an-nayruz or al-mihrajan (two festivals of the zoroastrians in which they exchange gifts) is impermissible i.e. exchanging presents in the name of these two days is haram. If a person intended veneration of these days like the way in which the polytheists revere them then he has committed kufr. Al-Imam Abu Hafs al-Kabir has said: ‘If a man worshipped Allah for 50 years then he gifted an egg to a polytheist on the day of nayruz intending reverence of that day then indeed he has committed kufr and his deeds are lost.”

[Al-Durr al-Mukhtar Vol 6 pg 754]

Dawate Islami’s Dar ul-Ifta Ahl al-Sunnah has thus mentioned:

“In ‘Fayruz al-Lughaat’ it is mentioned regarding ‘Christmas day’:

“The major celebration of the Christians and according to them the day of the birth of Hazrat Isa (peace be upon him) 25th December the celebration day of the Christians”

[Fayruz al-Lughaat pg 1003]

The involvement of Muslims in the activities of Christmas day, giving greetings and other than that is not permissible in any way, in some forms it is Kufr.”

[Dar ul-Ifta Ahl al-Sunnah, Jamia Masjid Kanz al-Iman, Babri Chowk, Bab al-Madinah, Karachi, Pakistan]

Al-Habib Zayn bin Sumayt Ba Alawi (hafizahullah) (al-Madinah al-Munwwarah), one of the leading Shafi’i scholars of our times, was asked regarding this matter recently by this faqir and the shaykh confirmed that celebrating christmas is completely impermissible including the exchanging of christmas greetings. He also pointed out that it is impermissible to attend their religious gatherings and it is particularly abhorrent when a person who is in a position where other Muslims follow him does this.

May Allah preserve the righteous Ulama and give us tawfiq to stay upright on the way of our righteous predecessors in these turbulent times.

The following are some references from the righteous Imams of the Shaf’ii school on this matter:

Shaykh ul-Islam al-Hafizh ibn Hajar al Haytami (رحمة الله عليه) states while explaining the impermissibility of following and resembling the disbelievers:

“Then I saw from one of our Iater Imams that which supports what I have said, so he stated: ‘From amongst the most reprehensible of innovations is the conforming of the Muslims with the christians in their celebrations through resemblance in their food and the giving and receiving of gifts from them on that day and those most involved in this are the people of Misr. Indeed the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wa sallam) has said: {Whosover resembled a people then he is from them}”.

[Al-Fatawa al-Kubra al-Fiqhiyyah, Imam Ahmad bin Hajar al-Haitami, volume 4, page. 238- 239]

The Shafi’i jurist Imam al-Shirwani (رحمة الله عليه) states:

“The one who concords with the disbelievers on the days of their celebrations should be given ta’zir (a discretionary punishment whose relative amount is left for the Muslim ruler to decide under an Islamic state).’

He then mentions:

‘and also one who congratulates a dhimmi (christian or jewish resident under an Islamic state) on the day of their celebration.’

[Hashiyah al-Shirwani ‘Ala Tuhfat al-Muhtaj Bi Sharh al-Minhaj, Imam ‘Abd al-Hamid al-Shirwani, Chapter 9 pg 212]

The Seal of the Hadith Scholars, The Mufassir, The prolific author, The Mujaddid Imam of the 10th Hijri Century al-Imam al-Hafizh Jalal ud Din al-Suyuti (رحمة الله عليه) states:

[Note: al-Imam al-Suyuti is the author of ‘Husn al-Maqsid fi Amal il-Mawlid’ – an entire treatise dedicated to the evidences supporting the commendability of commemorating the Mawlid of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وصحبه وسلم)]

“From the reprehensible innovations and evil acts is the resemblance of the disbelievers and concordance with them upon their cursed celebrations and festive seasons the way that many of the ignorant Muslims participate with the christians in their Easter celebrations which are the largest of their celebrations and that which many of the people take part in winter claiming it to be the birth of Sayyiduna Isa (alayhi al-salam) so everything they do in this from the evil acts such as lighting fire preparing special foods, buying candles and other than these is from the evil acts and innovations. For indeed taking these days as seasons of festivity is from the religion of the christians and there is no basis for it in Islam. There is no mention of this birth date from the pious predecessors rather its origin is taken from the christians.”

[al-Amru Bil-Ittiba’ Wa al-Nahyu ‘An al-Ibtida’, Imam Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti, pg145-150]

Allah knows best.

Answered by Mawlana Ibrar Shafi

Please also see:

[Q-ID0543] What is the ruling on wishing ‘Merry Christmas’, exchanging gifts and having parties during Christmas?

[Q-ID0542] Is it permissible to buy items during the Christmas sales?

[Q-ID0413] Can we wish people ‘Happy Holiday’ instead of ‘Happy Christmas’?

The Scholars of the past on resembling and imitating the disbelievers [Christmas]

[Q-ID0136] The ruling on saying ‘Merry Christmas’ or ‘Shub Diwali’

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