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PROHIBITION OF JOINING THE UNBELIEVERS IN THEIR FESTIVALS

IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE BENEFICENT, THE MERCIFUL

BEING THE SECOND SERMON FOR THE MONTH OF JUMAADA AL-AKHIRAH,

DATED: 9TH JUMAADAL AL-AKHIRAH, 1445AH (22ND DEC., 2023CE)

TITLED: PROHIBITION OF JOINING THE UNBELIEVERS IN THEIR FESTIVALS, THEIR CELEBRATIONS, AND THEIR SORROW

THE FIRST SERMON

All Praises belong to Allah, the Lord of the worlds, who made it an obligation for the believers to completely free themselves of the unbelievers and of their religion, and of what they worship. We praise Him, Glorified He is. We thank Him for what He has bestowed upon us, of the blessing of Islaam, the blessing of Faith, and the Straight Path. I bear witness that there is no god worthy of worship except Allah alone. He has no partner. I bear witness that our Prophet Muhammad is His servant and Messenger. Allah Ta’alaa sent him to the people with Monotheism, and warned him and forbade him from obeying the unbelievers and polytheists and imitating them. O Allah! Bless Your servant and Messenger Muhammad and his family and companions and grant them abundant peace.

Thereafter…   

O Muslims! Fear Allah as He should be feared, and hasten to seek His forgiveness and Pleasure, in accordance with the Almighty’s saying: And hasten  forth in the way (which leads to) forgiveness from your Lord, and for Paradise as wide as are the heavens and the earth, prepared for Al-Muttaqun (the pious)” (Aal-Imraan: 133).

Dear listeners! It is an annual tradition for Christians, at every end of the Gregorian year and the beginning of a new year, to celebrate some of their religious festivals. Unfortunately, we see some Muslims participating with these them in these festivals, and for this reason we must warn our Muslim brothers against this undesirable and deviant participation. So the topic of our sermon today will revolve around the PROHIBITION OF JOINING THE UNBELIEVERS IN THEIR FESTIVALS, THEIR CELEBRATIONS, AND THEIR SORROWS.

Honorable servants of Allah! You should know, may Allah have mercy on you, that the Sharee’ah of Muhammad – may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him – is the most perfect of all laws, and it abrogates everything that came before it. Allah Ta’alaa will not accept the faith or the deeds from anyone unless the person acknowledges the prophethood of our Prophet Muhammad – may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him – and believes his messages and with all that he brought from his Lord, the Almighty, the Majestic, and he follows His noble Sharee’ah. Part of the perfection and goodness of this Sharee’ah is that it includes all the affairs of human life. Allah Ta’alaa says: “I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and chosen for you Islaam as your religion.” (Al-Maa’idah: 3).

The Prophet, may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him, strongly prohibited imitating the unbelievers from the people of the Book and the polytheists in general, and to be different from them in their acts of worship and their traditions that contradict the Islamic Sharee’ah, and he (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever imitates a people is one of them.” (Abu Daawud).

O Muslims! Islaam has been very keen that this Ummah of Muhammad should have its own independent identity in every area of its affairs and in every of its attributes, and festivals are the most important thing in which one should be distinguished, because they and other customs and traditions are among the most prominent manifestations of the ummah’s identity and among its clearest characteristics that distinguish it from others. Other than that, that is why the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace – when he came to Madeenah – refused for the muslims to participate with the polytheist people of Madeenah in their festivlas, and clarified that the muslims had their own festivals. It is narrated on the authority of Anas, he said: “The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, came to Madeenah, and they had two days in which they played games (as celebration). The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said: Indeed, I indeed came to you and you have two days in which you play games. Allah has substituted two days that are better than them: the Day of Fitr and the Day of Eidul-Adha.” (Narrated by Abu Al-Abbas Muhammad ibn Ishaaq Al-Khorasani Al-Naysaabuuri in his book “Hadith Al-Siraaj”. Its chain of transmission is authentic).

Servants of Allah! Allah Ta’alaa described His believing servants as not witnessing falsehood and not participating in it, so He, Glory be to Him, said: “And those who do not bear witness to falsehood, and when they pass by idle talk, they pass by with honor.” (Al-Furqan: 72). It was reported on the authority of Ibn Abbaas, may Allah be pleased with them, and some of the Tabi’een that they interpreted it (the verse) as meaning: “without witnessing the festivals of the polytheists.” (Tafseer al-Qurtubi 13/79).

Participation in the holidays of the unbelievers – O Muslims – includes their recognition and approval of them. How is it permissible for a Muslim, who believes in the Oneness of his Lord Almighty and believes in Him, to join those who claim that Allah, Ar-Rahmaan has a son, and those who denied Him and insulted Him, Glory be to Him, the Most High, in their celebration of Christmas? This claim on their part is one of the harshest statements of disbelief and the one that most attracts the wrath of Allah Ta’alaa over what they say. Allah Ta’alaa says: “And they say, “The Most Merciful has taken a son. Indeed, you have indeed come with something terrible. The heavens are almost torn apart from it, and the earth is splitting open, and the mountains are falling down in ruins. To claim that The Most Merciful has a son. And it is not appropriate for the Most Merciful to take a son. Indeed, (it is for) everyone in the heavens and the earth that they approach (Allah) the Most Merciful as a servants. He has numbered them, He counted them as a number. And they will all come to Him on the Day of Resurrection alone (as individulas).” (Maryam: 88-95).

It is narrated on the authority of Abu Hurairah that he said: “The Messenger of Allah, may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him, said: “Allah, Blessed and Most High, said: My servant denied me and he did not have that (right), and he insulted me but he did not have that (right). My denial is that he says: How would he bring us back as we began (in resurrection), and as for his insulting me, is his saying: Allah has a son, and I am the Eternal One Who neither begot nor was begotten, and there is no one equal to Him” (Ahmad and Al-Bukhari).

As for congratulating Christians on Christmas – honorable servants of Allah- it is one of the controversial topics that casts its shadow every year, and contemporary jurists differ in fiqh ruling concerning it, between those who support congratulating them and those who oppose it, and each of the two groups relies on a collection of evidence. The issue – O Muslim brothers – as a matter of fatwa, changes, as is known to all scholars of Fiqh. Those who permitted the greeting said that they do not find anything wrong with congratulating or greeting them, especially to work colleagues, neighbors, or those who have special relationships such as marriage and other things. However, this permission is with special conditions, which includes not believing in the festival like them or accepting any of their religion or laws that are forbidden to us.

Brothers in Faith! There is no doubt that Islaam has permitted (good) coexistence with the people of Dhimma (non-muslims living under muslim rule), and has permitted dealing with them in buying and selling, and being kind and neighbourly, and has commanded fairness and justice with them, and has forbidden oppression and aggression against them. It is also permissible to congratulate an unbeliever on a worldly occasion, such as the birth of a child, or a success he has attained in his business or studies, and so on. Allah Ta’alaa says: Allah does not forbid you to deal justly and kindly with those who fought not against you on account of religion and did not drive you out of your homes. Verily, Allah loves those who deal with equity. It is only as regards those who fought against you on account of religion, and have driven you out of your homes, and helped to drive you out, that Allah forbids you to befriend them. And whosoever will befriend them, then such are the Zalimun (wrong-doers those who disobey Allah). (Al-Mumtahanah: 8-9).

May Allah bless me and you with the Great Glorious Qur’aan, and benefit us with the verses and wise remembrance it contains. I say all these, and I ask Allah for forgiveness for me and for you and for all other muslims for every sin. Seek His forgiveness. Indeed, He is the Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful.

THE SECOND SERMON

All praises are due to Allah, who rewards good deeds and punishes bad deeds. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah alone, He Has no partner and I bear witness that our Prophet Muhammad is His servant and Messenger. O Allah, shower your blessings and peace upon your servant and Messenger, Muhammad, his family and companions.

As to what follows:

Fear Allah as He should be feared, and commit to obeying Him in order to gain His pleasure.

أيها المسلمون،  إنَّ ربنا عز وجل يُبشِّرنا فى محكم كتابه ويقول: { } سورة إبراهيم: 42.

        O Dear Muslim brothers, the evil of injustice, transgression, and aggression is to the extent that its harm spreads exceedingly, its evil is great, and great is what its perpetrator is exposed to. Allah, the Almighty says: (إِنَّمَا السَّبِيلُ عَلَى الَّذِينَ يَظْلِمُونَ النَّاسَ وَيَبْغُونَ فِي الْأَرْضِ بِغَيْرِ الْحَقِّ أُولَئِكَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ) “The cause is only against the ones who wrong the people and tyrannize upon the earth without right. Those will have a painful punishment.” (Surat Al-Shura: 42). He, the Exalted also says: (فَأَمَّا مَنْ طَغَى * وَآثَرَ الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنْيَا * فَإِنَّ الْجَحِيمَ هِيَ الْمَأْوَى) “So as for he who transgressed, And preferred the life of the world. Then indeed, Hellfire will be [his] refuge.” (Surah An-Nazi’at: 37-39). And the Almighty says: (وَكَذَلِكَ أَخْذُ رَبِّكَ إِذَا أَخَذَ الْقُرَى وَهِيَ ظَالِمَةٌ إِنَّ أَخْذَهُ أَلِيمٌ شَدِيدٌ) “And thus is the seizure of your Lord when He seizes the cities while they are committing wrong. Indeed, His seizure is painful and severe.” (Surat Hud: 102).

The Messenger of Allah, (ﷺ) said, “Verily, Allah gives respite to the oppressor. But when He seizes him, He does not let him escape.”(Narrated by the two sheikhs on the authority of Abu Musa Al-Ash’ari).

        O people, what is happening to the patient Gaza is injustice, aggression, transgression and a violation of human rights in full view of the world. The siege has created exhausting impact and harm. They are besieged on land, sea and air. Then the Zionist occupation aggression began to destroy their homes and properties, sniffing out their lives, the number of whom no one knows except Allah, including children, women, the elderly and men for no sin committed. All kinds of aggression and injustice is directed continuously against the Palestinian people by these aggressors.

     Do not the Zionists consider the consequences of the oppressors and aggressors in the history of mankind? The Almighty says: (وَتِلْكَ الْقُرَى أَهْلَكْنَاهُمْ لَمَّا ظَلَمُوا وَجَعَلْنَا لِمَهْلِكِهِمْ مَوْعِدًا) “And those cities – We destroyed them when they wronged, and We made for their destruction an appointed time.” (Surah Al-Kahf: 59). And the Almighty also says: (وَلَا يَحْسَبَنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا أَنَّمَا نُمْلِي لَهُمْ خَيْرٌ لِأَنْفُسِهِمْ إِنَّمَا نُمْلِي لَهُمْ لِيَزْدَادُوا إِثْمًا وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ مُهِينٌ) “And let not those who disbelieve ever think that [because] We extend their time [of enjoyment] it is better for them. We only extend it for them so that they may increase in sin, and for them is a humiliating punishment.” (Surah Al Imran: 178).

O Muslims, our Lord the Exalted gives us good tidings in His Book and saying: (وَلَا تَحْسَبَنَّ اللَّهَ غَافِلًا عَمَّا يَعْمَلُ الظَّالِمُونَ إِنَّمَا يُؤَخِّرُهُمْ لِيَوْمٍ تَشْخَصُ فِيهِ الْأَبْصَارُ) “And never think that Allāh is unaware of what the wrongdoers do. He only delays them [i.e., their account] for a Day when eyes will stare [in horror] “ (Surah Ibrahim: 42).

O Muslims, Allah the Almighty says regarding the incomparability between the permissible and the forbidden: (قُلْ لَا يَسْتَوِي الْخَبِيثُ وَالطَّيِّبُ وَلَوْ أَعْجَبَكَ كَثْرَةُ الْخَبِيثِ فَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ يَا أُولِي الْأَلْبابِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ) “Say, “Not equal are the evil and the good, although the abundance of evil might impress you.” So fear Allāh, O you of understanding, that you may be successful.” (Surah Maidah: 100). Recently, a statement came from the Catholic Church, where the Pope announced the permissibility of blessing same-sex marriage in their churches, contrary to their previous position.

Dear Servants of Allah, how does a sound and upright mind equate the evil of homosexuality with the purity of legitimate marriage between a man and a woman? Such a practice is absolutely forbidden in our true religion, even among the Christians themselves and among the Jews!!! The Messenger, peace be upon him condemned it by saying: “The curse of Allah is upon whoever does the act of the people of Lot” (Narrated by Ahmad). On the authority of Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with them: The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said: “Whoever you find doing as the people of Lot did (i.e. homosexuality), kill the one who does it and the one to whom it is done, and if you find anyone having sexual intercourse with animal, kill him and kill the animal.” (Related by Ahmad and the four Imams with a trustworthy chain of narrators).

The topic of homosexuality is one of the latest topics that arouse the interest of people of all religious, intellectual and social spheres, due to the spread of this phenomenon in the world, and the transition of its advocates from the stage of defense to attack, and their challenge to the laws that prohibit and criminalize this act. Thus, you find some institutions falling into this trick. We therefore call on both houses of the legislature – the Senate and the House of Representatives – to reject passing such evil into the laws of our beloved country Nigeria as it was previously rejected under former President Goodluck Jonathan. Allah grants success.

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