As the date of Christmas approaches, many Muslims search for the ruling legal (fatwa) of the Christmas celebration.
Some Muslims love to commemorate this occasion to have fun and enjoy the joyful vibes that come before the new year.
There is a controversy over the allowance of Christmas celebrations, as some Muslims think it’s permitted to participate in this holiday and congratulate the Christians.
On the other side, other Muslims think the occasion isn’t related to Islam, so they shouldn’t celebrate. What resolve this argument is to brief on the scholar’s fatwa.
Table of Contents:
Is Christmas Haram in Islam?
The Muslim scholars ruled that celebrating Christmas for Muslims is not permissible, as it’s a religious feast related to Christianity.
Christianity’s tenet is believing in Jesus (AS) as a son of God, and this dogma is against the monotheism in Islam.
Moreover, some scholars believe that Christmas and other non-Muslim holidays are falsehoods.
According to the Quran, as Allah says:
“And [they are] those who do not testify to falsehood, and when they pass near ill speech, they pass by with dignity”(25:72) Al-Furqan
In Islam, there are only two feasts that Muslims celebrate, which are: Eid Al-Adha and Eid Al-Fitr.
When prophet Muhammed (PBUH) came to Medina, there were two days in which people played. He asked:” What are these two days?” They said, “These are two days we used to play, in our Jahiliyyah! The Prophet said, “Allah has replaced them with two better days. ‘Eed al-Adhha and Eed Al-Fitr”.
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Is it permissible to wish “Merry Christmas” in Islam?
It’s common among some Muslims that they congratulate Christians on Christmas to share the joy with them.
However, from the Islamic point of view, congratulating Christians on Christmas or any other religious occasion is prohibited, as it represents accepting their beliefs and participating in the festival’s celebration.
Islamic view on Christmas and new year
Muslim scholars warn of celebrating Christmas and new year, as they support the polytheistic belief of Christianity.
According to the Sunnah, Muslims who celebrate Christmas and new year become like Christians as they imitate them. Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) said:” Whoever imitates a people becomes one of them”.
Moreover, Muslim scholars consider celebrating Christmas and new year as a misleading innovation, as they are against the Sunnah.
Prophet Muhammed said:
“The evilest matters in religion are those that are newly invented, for every newly invented matter is an innovation, every innovation is misguidance, and every misguidance is in the Hellfire”.
What did the Quran say about Christmas?
The Quran Does not speak about Christmas or the date of the birth of Jesus. Although Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus (AS) on Christmas day, Catholics believe that he was born in December, but orthodox celebrate his birth in January. On the other side, his birth date is unknown in Islam.
Generally, Christians believe that Jesus’ birthplace is the manger, but in Islam, his mother (lady Mary) gave birth under a palm tree, as Allah says:
“Then the pains of labour drove her to the trunk of a palm tree. She cried, “Alas! I wish I had died before this and was a thing long forgotten”.(19:23) Maryam.
Allah mentioned Jesus (AS) twenty-five times in Quran as one of his prophets:
“Jesus˺ declared, “I am truly a servant of Allah. He has destined me to be given the Scripture and to be a prophet}(19:30) Maryam.
Unlike the Bible, which mentioned the prophet Isa (AS) as God’s son.
Is Having a Christmas tree for decoration allowed in Islam?
Decorating home and other places with Christmas trees is one of the most popular traditions of this festival. It’s an evergreen tree decorated with light, symbolic of the birth of Jesus.
Some Muslims prefer to buy these trees as home decoration. But the scholar ruled that it’s not allowed in Islam to buy them even if the intention is not for celebrating as this custom is a kind of imitating Christians in their traditions.
Furthermore, imitating the disbelievers’ traditions it’s not permissible in Islam, such as dressing up in Santa Claus costumes and exchanging gifts on Christmas day.
Christmas History – Is Christmas A Pagan Holiday?
Annually, Christians celebrate Christmas on December 25 as a religious holiday for Jesus’s birth anniversary. The roots of this occasion go back to the ancient roman event, where Romans celebrated the unconquered sun on the same day. Later they celebrated a festival called “Saturnalia”.
In the 4th century, December 25 became the day of Christmas which the Romans celebrated in the church.
In the 9th century, this occasion became the main holiday. The idea of celebration developed in Germany by adding several traditions, such as Christmas trees.
In England, people continued celebrating Christmas until the 17th century when Oliver Cromwell ruled England and decided to cancel this festival.
In the United States, Christmas became a federal holiday after the American Revolution in 1870.
Christmas became a holiday again in the 19th century, as the Americans resurrected it.
The major symbol of Christmas is Santa Claus which is distinguished by the famous iconic old man with a white beard and red clothes.
The origins of this character go back to St.Nicholas, who was a Turkish monk known for his giving and helping the poor and sick.
Most Common Christmas Traditions
Besides the history of Christmas, Muslims should know the most popular traditions of this occasion to avoid imitating:
- Decorating Christmas tree with lights, ornaments, and baubles.
- Singing Christmas carols in the churches.
- Exchanging gifts such as secret Santa and white elephant.
- Dressing up in Christmas outfits.
- Joining Christmas celebrations in the streets.
6 trusted Facts about Christmas History
- The date of Christmas is based on Gregory Calender, but no trusted source mentioned the exact birthday of the prophet Jesus (AS).
- The roots of the “Christmas” word go back to the phrase “Cristes Maesse”, which means Christ’s mass.
- The immigrants play the main role in developing Christmas celebrations, as they added the customs of giving holiday cards and gifts, as well as using trees in decorating.
- In the old ages, before the Christmas celebration, midwinter’s time was for the pagan celebrations of the season in many countries.
- Before Christmas day, there is Christmas eve when the churches sing carols and ring bells.
- The roots of the Christmas tree go back to the Germans who use them in decorating the temple. They were symbolic of fertility and new life.
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Conclusion – What Muslims should do at Christmas?
Christmas is a Christian holiday that Christians celebrate on 25 Dec. According to the Islamic view, it’s not allowed for Muslims to celebrate this occasion or share in its tradition such as decorating the tree, exchanging gifts, and congratulating Christians.
The celebration of this holiday is forbidden as it supports its polytheistic beliefs that violate Islamic teachings. Moreover, Christmas is not among the feasts that Muslims should celebrate as they are: Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.
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