THE RULING ON CHRISTIAN FESTIVALS

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

BEING THE FOURTH SERMON FOR THE MONTH OF J. ULA, DATED 29TH J. ULA, 1444 AH

(23RD DECEMBER, 2022 CE).

TITLED: THE RULING ON CHRISTIAN FESTIVALS AND THE PROHIBITION ON IMITATING THE UNBELIEVERS

All Praises belong to Allah, the Lord of the unverse, who says in his Glorious Book: (لِكُلِّ أُمَّةٍ جَعَلْنَا مَنْسَكًا هُمْ نَاسِكُوهُ) “For every nation We have ordained religious ceremonies” (Al-Hajj: 67). And He said, Glorified and Exalted He is: (يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لا تَتَّخِذُوا عَدُوِّى وَعَدُوَّكُمْ أَوْلِيَاءً تُلْقُوْنَ إِلَيْهِمْ بِالْمَوَدَّةِ وَقَدْ كَفَرُوا بِمَا جَاءَكُمْ مِنَ الْحَقِّ) “O you who believe! Take not My enemies and your enemies (i.e. disbelievers and polytheists, etc.) as friends, showing affection towards them, while they have disbelieved in what has come to you of the truth (i.e. Islamic Monotheism, this Quran, and Muhammad SAW)” (Mumtahanah: 1). And He, the Most Exalted, said: (قَدْ كَانَتْ لَكُمْ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ فِي إبراهيمَ وَالَّذِينَ مَعَهُ إِذْ قَالُوا لِقَوْمِهِمْ إِنَّا بُرَءآؤُاْ مِنْكُمْ وَمِمَّا تَعْبُدُونَ مِنْ دُونِ اللهِ كَفَرْنَا بِكُمْ وَبَدَا بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكُمُ الْعَدَاوَةُ وَالْبَغْضَاءُ أَبَداً حَتَّى تُؤْمِنُوا بِاللهِ وَحْدَهُ) “Indeed there has been an excellent example for you in Ibrahim (Abraham) and those with him, when they said to their people: “Verily, we are free from you and whatever you worship besides Allah, we have rejected you, and there has started between us and you, hostility and hatred for ever, until you believe in Allah Alone” (Mumtahanah: 4). He, the Most Exalted, also said: (قَدْ كَانَتْ لَكُمْ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ فِي إبراهيمَ وَالَّذِينَ مَعَهُ إِذْ قَالُوا لِقَوْمِهِمْ إِنَّا بُرَءآؤُاْ مِنْكُمْ وَمِمَّا تَعْبُدُونَ مِنْ دُونِ اللهِ كَفَرْنَا بِكُمْ وَبَدَا بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكُمُ الْعَدَاوَةُ وَالْبَغْضَاءُ أَبَداً حَتَّى تُؤْمِنُوا بِاللهِ وَحْدَهُ) “O you who believe! Take not as friends the people who incurred the Wrath of Allah” (Mumtahanah: 13). We praise Him, Glorified and Exalted He is, we thank Him, we believe in Him, and we trust in Him. We seek refuge in him from the evil of our own souls, and from our bad deeds. He whom Allah guides is the one who is guided and nothing that can mislead him, and whoever is let astray, none can guide Him. I testify that there is no god worthy of worship except Allah alone. He has no partner. And I bear witness that Muhammad is his servant and His Messenger. O Allah! May your Blessings and Peace be upon him and his household and companions and those that follow with goodness till the of Recompense.

Thereafter… O servants of Allah, I enjoin you and myself to fear Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, for it is the way of the righteous, the men of understanding. Allah Ta’alah says: (يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلَا تَمُوتُنَّ إِلَّا وَأَنْتُمْ مُسْلِمُونَ) “O you who believe! Fear Allah (by doing all that He has ordered and by abstaining from all that He has forbidden) as He should be feared. [Obey Him, be thankful to Him, and remember Him always], and die not except in a state of Islam (as Muslims) with complete submission to Allah.” (Aal-Imraan: 102).. (يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُوا رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُمْ مِنْ نَفْسٍ وَاحِدَةٍ وَخَلَقَ مِنْهَا زَوْجَهَا وَبَثَّ مِنْهُمَا رِجَالاً كَثِيرًا وَنِسَاءً وَاتَّقُوا اللهَ الَّذِي تَسَاءَلُونَ بِهِ وَالأَرْحَامَ إِنَّ اللهَ كَانَ عَلَيْكُمْ رَقِيبًا) “O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam), and from him (Adam) He created his wife [Hawwa (Eve)], and from them both He created many men and women and fear Allah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship). Surely, Allah is Ever an All-Watcher over you.” (An-Nisaa: 1). (يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللهَ وَقُولُوا قَوْلاً سَدِيدًا * يُصْلِحْ لَكُمْ أَعْمَالَكُمْ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَمَنْ يُطِعِ اللهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ فَازَ فَوْزًا عَظِيمًا) “O you who believe! Keep your duty to Allah and fear Him, and speak (always) the truth. He will direct you to do righteous good deeds and will forgive you your sins. And whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger (SAW) he has indeed achieved a great achievement (i.e. he will be saved from the Hell-fire and made to enter Paradise).” (Al-Ahzaab: 70-71).

Brothers in Faith! This is the fourth and the last meeting in the month of Jumaada-Al-uula, the fifth Islamic lunar month and the topic of our sermon today will be about: The Ruling on Christian festivals and the prohibition on imitating the unbelievers.

O Muslim brothers! The Sharee’ah of Islam came with a categorical prohibition against imitating the unbelievers in anything: in acts of worship, dealings, morals, habits, and appearances. And the texts of the Sharee’ah in this regard is more than can be enumerated. So, contradicting the polytheists, and being free of them, is one of the foundations of the religion. A breach of it is a breach of the religion. So, the Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) used to be purposefully, ever and always different from them.

When he came to Madinah as an emigrant, and saw the Jews fasting ‘Aashuraa, he ordered the Muslims to fast a day before or after it, so as to be different from them (the Jews). Even changing of the Qiblah from Baytul-Maqdis to the Ka’abah is to be different from their Qiblah: (وَمِنْ حَيْثُ خَرَجْتَ فَوَلِّ وَجْهَكَ شَطْرَ المَسْجِدِ الحَرَامِ وَحَيْثُ مَا كُنْتُمْ فَوَلُّوا وُجُوهَكُمْ شَطْرَهُ لِئَلَّا يَكُونَ لِلنَّاسِ عَلَيْكُمْ حُجَّةٌ إِلَّا الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا مِنْهُمْ) “And from wheresoever you start forth (for prayers), turn your face in the direction of Al-Masjid-al-Haram (at Makkah), and wheresoever you are, turn your faces towards, it (when you pray) so that men may have no argument against you except those of them that are wrong-doers…” (Baqarah: 150). A group of the predecessors said: “It means: lest the Jews be evidence against you (muslims) by the fact of your Qiblah being the same, and then saying: We have or share the same Qiblah, so it is as if we our religions are the same. So, Allah pre-empted that claim by their making the Qiblah different.

Among the subtleties in this subject-matter is what the scholars deduced from the fact that the fasting of Muslims, their breaking of the fast, and their E’id are based on the sighting of the crescent, and this is contrary to what the unbelievers are upon, whereby they establish it (the day of their festival) by calculation, and the Sunnah brought hastening the breaking of fast and delaying the Sahuur as opposed to them, and also the prohibition of from sitting the way they sit. It is narrated from Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with both of them) that he saw a man reclining on his left arm while sitting in Salaat, and he (Ibn ‘Umar) said to him: “Do not sit like that. That is the way those who are being punished sit.” And in a narration, “This is the (way of) praying of those with whom Allah is angry.” (Abu Daawud)

O my beloved people in Allah! It is not permissible to participate with the unbelievers in their festivals for the following reasons:

Firstly: It is an imitation, and “whoever imitates a people is one of them.” (Abu Daawud). (Al-Albaani regarded it as a good sound hadith). It means it is imminent danger. Abdullah ibn Amru ibn Al-‘Aas said: “Whoever builds in the land of the polytheists, performs their New Year and their festivals, and imitates them until he dies, he will lose out on the Day of Resurrection.”

Secondly: Participation is a form of affection and love for them. Allah Ta’alah says: (لا تَتَّخِذُوا الْيَهُودَ والنَّصَارَى أَوْلِيَاءَ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاءُ بَعْضٍ) “O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as Auliya’ (friends, protectors, helpers, etc.), they are but Auliya’ to one another.” (Al-Maaidah: 51). And He, the Most Exalted says: (يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لا تَتَّخِذُوا عَدُوِّى وَعَدُوَّكُمْ أَوْلِيَاءً تُلْقُوْنَ إِلَيْهِمْ بِالْمَوَدَّةِ وَقَدْ كَفَرُوا بِمَا جَاءَكُمْ مِنَ الْحَقّ) “O you who believe! Take not My enemies and your enemies (i.e. disbelievers and polytheists, etc.) as friends, showing affection towards them, while they have disbelieved in what has come to you of the truth (i.e. Islamic Monotheism, this Quran, and Muhammad SAW)” (Al-Mumtahanah: 1).

Third: Eid is a religious and doctrinal issue, not worldly customs, as evidenced by the hadith: “Every people have a festival, and this is our own festival.” And their festival is an indication of a creed that is corrupt, polytheistic and infidel.

Fourthly: Allah, Glorified and Exalted He is, praised His believing servants in suratul-Furqaan, (stating) part of the characteristics of the servants of Ar-Rahmaan (Allah): (( والّذِينَ لَا يَشْهَدُونَ الزُّورَ …) “And those who do not witness falsehood…” (Al-Furqaan: 72). Scholars explained this verse as referring to the festivals of the polytheists. And it is not permissible to give them festival greeting cards or sell it to them or any of the necessities of their festival, such as lights, trees, and food, nor turkey or anything else, or sweets that are in the form of props or other things.

Lastly, dear honorable Muslims, one of the great principles and fundamentals of Islam is the prohibition of imitating the infidels, and the command to eschew being guided by them in general and in their festivals in particular. The basis of this issue is in the Book of Allah, the Sunnah of His Messenger (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) and the guidance of the righteous predecessors. And for its purpose, Shaykhul-Islaam, Ibn Taymiyah authored his book, ‘Iktidaai Siraatal Mustaqeemi Fi-Mukhaalifati Ashaabil Jaheem’.

I say all these, asking forgiveness from Allah, the Greatest, for myself and for you. So, seek forgiveness from Him and repent unto Him, for He is the Most-Forgiving, the Most-Merciful.

THE SECOND KHUTBAH

All Praises are due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds, who creates what and who He wills and as He wills. He will not be asked about His actions but they will be asked. Blessed is Allah, the best of creators. Thereafter, may the peace and blessings be upon the best of Allah’s creation, the Master of the former and the latter (mankind) our Master and leader, Muhammad, his family and companions, and those who follow them in righteousness until the Day of Judgment.

Thereafter,

Dear servants of Allah, it is worthy of note at the moment to mention a brief history of Prophet ‘Eesaa (Jesus) the son of Maryam, peace and blessings be upon him. There is no doubt that the date of Christ’s birth was not 25th of December, especially since the wet season is in the summer month. What is the approximate date of birth of the Christ, peace and blessings be upon him?

The Answer goes thus:

The issue of determining the birth date of ‘Eesaa, (Jesus), the son of Maryam, peace be upon him:

1. It is of the unseen matters that no one can be certain of, unless such person is among those that Allah sends revelation to, because there is no way to know that except by that process (of revelation), due to the severance of the chains of transmission between us and that era, and due to the difference in the transmission in specifying the date of his birth, peace be upon him.

2. That knowing the that time is a non-beneficial knowledge, ignorance of which is harmless. If there is any benefit in knowing that, there would have reach us evidences in that regard. Then, if we know the date of his birth then what is the time of the birth of Moses, Abraham, and other prophets and messengers? What is the use of knowing the time?

Brothers in faith, Maryam, the daughter of Imran, was a righteous and pious woman. She was so devoted to worship to the extent that there was none like her in devotion and worship, … the angel gave her glad tiding of her being chosen by Allah, … (وَإِذْ قَالَتِ الْملائِكَةُ يا مَرْيَمُ إِنَّ اللهَ اصْطفاكِ وطهَّركِ واصْطَفَاكِ عَلَى نِساءِ الْعالمَينَ (42) يا مَرْيَمَ اقْنُتِي لِرَبِّكِ وَاسْجُدِي وَارْكَعِي مَعَ الرَّاكِعِينَ) “And [mention] when the angels said, “O Mary, indeed Allah has chosen you and purified you and chosen you above the women of the worlds. ( 43 )   O Mary, be devoutly obedient to your Lord and prostrate and bow with those who bow [in prayer].” (Al-Imran: 42-43).

– Then the angels announced to Mary that Allah will grant her a son whom He will create with the word “Be” and it shall be”. The name of this child will be the Messiah, ‘Eesaa, the son of Maryam. He shall a point of focus in the world and the hereafter, and a messenger to the Children of Israel. He shall teach the Book, the Wisdom, the Taorah, and the Gospel. He shall also possess those traits and miracles that others do not have.

(إِذْ قَالَتِ الْمَلائِكَةُ يَا مَرْيَمُ إِنَّ اللهَ يُبشِّرُكِ بِكَلِمَةٍ مِّنْهُ اسْمُهُ الْمَسِيحُ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ وَجِيهاً فِي الدُّنْيَا والآخِرَة وَمِنَ المْقرَّبِينَ  – وَيُكَلِّمُ النَّاسَ فِي الْمَهْدِ وَكَهْلاً وَمِنَ الصَّالِّحينَ – قَالَتْ رَبِّ أَنَّى يَكُونُ لِي وَلَدٌ وَلم يَمْسَسْنِي بَشَرٌ قَالَ كَذَلِكِ اللهُ يَخْلُقُ مَا يَشَاءُ إذا قَضَى أَمْراً فَإِنَّمَا يَقُولُ لَهُ كُنْ فَيَكُونُ ) [آل عمران /45-47].

“[And mention] when the angels said, “O Mary, indeed Allah gives you good tidings of a word from Him, whose name will be the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary – distinguished in this world and the Hereafter and among those brought near [to Allah] ( 46 )   He will speak to the people in the cradle and in maturity and will be of the righteous.” ( 47 )   She said, “My Lord, how will I have a child when no man has touched me?” [The angel] said, “Such is Allah; He creates what He wills. When He decrees a matter, He only says to it, ‘Be,’ and it is.” (Al-Imran: 45- 47)

– Then, Allah informed about the complete tiding of the angel to Maryam about her son ‘Eesaa, peace be upon him, so Allah mentions about the honouring of ‘Eesaa and the support with miracles:

.. ( وَيُعَلِّمُهُ الْكِتابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَالتَّوْرَاةَ وَالْإِنجِيلَ (48) وَرَسُولاً إِلَى بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ أَنِّي قَدْ جِئْتُكُمْ بِآيةٍ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ أَنِّي أَخْلُقُ لَكُمْ مِنَ الطِّينِ كَهَيْئَةِ الطَّيْرِ فَأَنْفُخُ فِيهِ فَيَكُونُ طَيْراً بِإِذْنِ اللهِ وَأُبْرِئُ الْأَكْمَهَ وَالْأَبْرَصَ وَأُحْيِي الْمَوْتَى بِإِذْنِ اللهِ وَأُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِمَا تَأْكُلُونَ وَمَا تَدَّخِرُونَ فِي بُيُوتِكُمْ إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لَآيَةً لَكُمْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ مُؤْمِنِينَ (49) وَمُصَدِّقاً لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيَّ مِنَ التَّوْرَاةَ وَلِأُحِلَّ لَكُمْ بَعْضَ الَّذِي حُرِّمَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَجِئْتُكُمْ بِآيَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ فَاتَّقُوا اللهَ وَأَطِيعُونِ(50) إِنَّ اللهَ رَبِّي وَرَبُّكُمْ فَاعْبُدُوهُ هَذَا صِراطٌ مُّسْتَقِيمٌ ) [آل عمران/48 – 51 ].

“( 48 )   And He will teach him writing and wisdom and the Torah and the Gospel (49)   And [make him] a messenger to the Children of Israel, [who will say], ‘Indeed I have come to you with a sign from your Lord in that I design for you from clay [that which is] like the form of a bird, then I breathe into it and it becomes a bird by permission of Allah. And I cure the blind and the leper, and I give life to the dead – by permission of Allah. And I inform you of what you eat and what you store in your houses. Indeed in that is a sign for you, if you are believers. ( 50 )   And [I have come] confirming what was before me of the Torah and to make lawful for you some of what was forbidden to you. And I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, so fear Allah and obey me. ( 51 )   Indeed, Allah is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him. That is the straight path.” (Al- Imran: 48- 51)

– And to Allah, the Exalted belongs absolute perfection in the creation. He creates whatever He wills and as how He wills. He created Adam from dust without a father nor a mother. He created Hawaa from Adam’s rib, as a father without a mother. He made the offspring of the sons of Adam to be from a father and a mother. And Jesus was created from a mother without a father. Glory be to the All-Knowing Creator.