What do the Scholars of the mighty shari’ah say regarding this case; should putting on lights during Rabi’ al-Awwal in happiness at the birthday of the Prophet (صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم) be avoided, so that there is no resemblance with Christmas of the non-Muslims, as in these years the month of Rabi’ al-Awwal is coming in the month of December and in this month the non-Muslims put on lights for Christmas?
Questioner: Iftikhar from UK
بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
الجواب بعون الملک الوھاب اللھم ھدایۃ الحق والصواب
Lighting torches and lanterns in the happiness of the birth of the noble Prophet ﷺ has been a sign of the Ahl al-Sunnah and is still today, now electrical lighting is used in place of torches and lanterns. Hence, in the happiness of the noble Prophet ﷺ plenty of lighting should be arranged; there is no harm in this.
Avoiding the resemblance of non-Muslims and diverging from them is in the meaning of avoiding those actions that are not liked by the sharī’ah and are their signs. It is not regarding those actions, which the pure sharī’ah likes and are the signs of the Muslims, so if a group of non-Muslims later takes these as their signs, then Muslims should leave them. In fact, Muslims should continue the action so it remains the sign of Muslims and so upcoming Muslims commemorate it as a religious festival.
As Sayyidī A’lā Hazrat, Imām of the Ahl al-Sunnah, Imām Ahmad Ridā Khān (may Allah shower him with mercy) states in al-Fatāwā al-Ridawiyyah that firstly, who in the world will blindly understand the meaning of ‘opposing polytheists’ as; if polytheists eat bread you stay hungry, they drink water you die thirsty. ‘Opposing polytheists’ is regarding the signs of polytheists, not that if some polytheist adopts some of our actions or an action that our pure sharī’ah has liked is also found amongst a polytheist community, then we leave that action; meaning it will definitely not be left.”
[Fatāwā Ridawiyyah, vol 22, pg 623]
Christmas has been more recent, whereas in the happiness of the birth of the noble Prophet ﷺ Muslims have been lighting torches and lanterns for a a long time. Hence if a non-Muslim does this, it will not be left.
Secondly alongside lights, Muslims should differentiate by displaying a green flag, pictures of the Rawdah Mubārak and of the Ka’bah. Thus the conjecture of ‘resemblance of the disbelievers’ is removed.
واللہ تعالی اعلم ورسولہ اعلم صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم
کتبہ ابو الحسن محمد قاسم ضیاء قادری
Answered by Mufti Qasim Zia al-Qadri
Translated by Hamza Hussain
Read the original Urdu answer here – [Q-ID0316] Should we avoid putting lights up for Mawlid because they resemble Christmas lights?