There is much controversy during these days every year, regarding congratulating Christians on their festivals, between those who say it is permitted and those who prohibit it and between those who support or oppose it. The Mufti of Egypt and the Sheikh of Al-Azhar sided with those who permitted congratulating them, and absolutely support it by a direct order from the regime and its head. During his interview with the Nazra Program broadcasted on Sada Al-Balad Channel, presented by journalist Hamdi Rizk, on 10/12/2021, he said congratulating the Christians is permissible and not prohibited, and the celebration of the New Year, dated on the day of the birth of Issa (as), is allowed. On Thursday, 13/12/2021, Sheikh Al-Azhar phoned Pope Tawadros, Pope of Alexandria, to congratulate him for the New Year, according to what was published on Al-Youm As-Sabi which stated that the Sheikh of Al-Azhar had confirmed in press statements that there are narratives that Islam does not know that want to kidnap people’s minds, mislead them and tell them how to walk in the streets. It forbids them to congratulate Christians on their festivals, and other things that I call a “priesthood” that has nothing to do with Islam. Al-Youm As-Sabi also reported on Thursday, 23/12/2021, the Mufti’s assertion that congratulating a Muslim to a non-Muslim on their various occasions is an obligatory and desirable matter, and he continued in his statements, “therefore in these fatwas we rely on the societal depth of stability and achieving harmony among the members of the same society, so we at the Egyptian Dar Al Iftaa say that there is an umbrella that should control the issue of the fatwa. This umbrella is for societal stability, all fatwas should be in line for achieving this objective.
The statement of the permissibility to congratulate the Christians and considering it a reward, was not announced by them only, but it was the position of those who follow them from the Egyptian scholars, and all the scholars who are affiliated with the puppet regimes, who want to draw closer to their masters in the West. It is obvious that they did not base their statements on Hukum Shar’i, but purely on the mind or a deceptive understanding that twists the neck of evidences that are not related to the matter, without explaining the reality of this celebration and its basis. In order to clarify the truth and make it clear to the people, we must explain the reality of this day for non-Muslims, and if it is permissible for them to participate in it or not? What is the duty of Muslims towards others? Finally, why is this matter brought up every year, especially recently?
The least that can be said about the reality of this day and this celebration is that the Christians consider it the day of the birth of God or the son of God according to what they claim, and this is considered a grave sin by Allah (swt):
[وَقَالُوا اتَّخَذَ الرَّحْمَنُ وَلَداً * لَقَدْ جِئْتُمْ شَيْئاً إِدّاً * تَكَادُ السَّمَاوَاتُ يَتَفَطَّرْنَ مِنْهُ وَتَنْشَقُّ الْأَرْضُ وَتَخِرُّ الْجِبَالُ هَدّاً * أَنْ دَعَوْا لِلرَّحْمَنِ وَلَداً * وَمَا يَنْبَغِي لِلرَّحْمَنِ أَنْ يَتَّخِذَ وَلَداً]
“And they say, “The Most Merciful has taken [for Himself] a son.” * You have done an atrocious thing * The heavens almost rupture therefrom and the earth splits open and the mountains collapse in devastation * That they attribute to the Most Merciful a son * And it is not appropriate for the Most Merciful that He should take a son” [Maryam: 88-92].
Therefore, merely congratulating them on this day is an affirmation of what they are upon; of attributing the child to Allah (swt) and their participation is a great sin from which the sky is almost rupturing and the earth is torn open from the great crime of those who claim that Allah has a son. Ibn Al-Qayim said in Ahkam Ahl Adh-Dhimma: “As for congratulating the Kuffar in their specific rituals, it is forbidden by consensus, such as congratulating them on their festivals and fasting, by saying: Eid Mubarak to you, or congratulate them on this festival and the like. If the one who extends these congratulations is safe from being a kaffir, then he has committed a forbidden act. It is like congratulating them of prostrating to the cross. It is considered a grave sin by Allah, and is most hated by Him than drinking alcohol, killing an innocent soul, committing the prohibited fornication/adultery and the like, and many of those who do not value the Deen fall into that, nor do they know the ugliness of what they have committed. One who congratulate a person for doing a sin, bid’ah or kufr, he has exposed himself to Allah’s anger and wrath.” Thabit b. ad-Dahhak said that in the time of God’s Messenger a man took a vow to slaughter camels at Buwana and came and told him. Allah’s Messenger (saw) asked: «هَلْ كَانَ فِيهَا وَثَنٌ مِنْ أَوْثَانِ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ يُعْبَدُ؟»“whether the place contained any idol worshipped in pre-Islamic times?” and was told that it did not. He (saw) asked: «هَلْ كَانَ فِيهَا عِيدٌ مِنْ أَعْيَادِهِمْ؟»“whether any pre-Islamic festival was observed there? and was told that no such thing was observed. He (saw) then said to the man: «أَوْفِ بِنَذْرِكَ، فَإِنَّهُ لَا وَفَاءَ لِنَذْرٍ فِي مَعْصِيَةِ اللَّهِ وَلَا فِيمَا لَا يَمْلِكُ ابْنُ آدَمَ»“Fulfil your vow, for a vow to do an act of disobedience to Allah must not be fulfilled, neither must one to do something over which a human being has no control.” Narrated by Abu Dawood and originally in the two Sahihs. The evidence in this Hadith is that slaughtering in the place of the idolatrous feast is a disobedience to Allah (swt) because the Prophet (saw) said: «لَا وَفَاءَ لِنَذْرٍ فِي مَعْصِيَةِ اللَّهِ»،“There is no fulfillment of a vow involving an act of disobedience.”
Abdullah bin Amr bin Al-Aas said: “Whoever follows the lands of the non-Arabs, and copy their Nowruz and their festivals, and imitates them until he dies, and he is like this, he will be resurrected with them on the Day of Resurrection.” The Commander of the Faithful, Omar Ibn Al-Khattab, the Companions, and the other imams of the Muslims stipulated that they should not display their festivals in the Lands of the Muslims. Muslims, but they celebrate it secretly in their homes, and that is why everyone who said congratulations has violated the Shariah evidence, and what the honourable companions were upon. Nor do they say that this is a matter of kindness or returning their congratulations to us on our festivals and their participation in them. Being kind to them is not by the approval of what they are upon of kuffr, polytheism and misguidance, but rather by advising them and calling them to the truth we follow, a call to make them enter into the Deen of Allah and save them from Allah’s torment on the Day of Resurrection. This is the pinnacle of kindness to them. As for congratulating them, on top of what it contains of an acknowledgment of falsehood they are following, it deceives them, misleads them, and calls for eternity in Hellfire. Returning their congratulations and their participation in our festivals is not by falling into their falsehood, but by abstaining from this falsehood and be innocent of it, a clear innocence that puts them in a position to think correctly and are guided by it to the clear truth. This way, the words of Allah (swt) are fulfilled:
[لَّا يَنْهَاكُمُ اللَّهُ عَنِ الَّذِينَ لَمْ يُقَاتِلُوكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ وَلَمْ يُخْرِجُوكُم مِّن دِيَارِكُمْ أَن تَبَرُّوهُمْ وَتُقْسِطُوا إِلَيْهِمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُقْسِطِينَ]
“Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes – from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly” [Al-Mumtahina: 8].
Such kind of false fatwas would not have surfaced, and we wouldn’t have had the need to respond to them, if Islam had a state that implements its rulings on the Islamic lands, so that it shades with its justice Muslims and others, and erases all types of class and sectarianism and everything that motivates its existence or prepares the atmosphere for it. For centuries, the Christians and us lived in Egypt and elsewhere in Muslim countries, we did not need to raise such matters or talk about those fatwas. Everyone knew their rights and duties towards the Islamic State, that takes care of everyone alike regardless of religion, colour, race or sect, and the only beneficiary of raising these matters and occupying the people with it, is the West that seeks to distract the Ummah with side struggles that distract them from their fateful cause that restores glory and dignity to them, which is the restoration of the Khilafah Rashidah (Rightly-guided Caliphate) on the method of the Prophethood, and the resumption of Islamic life through it. This is the only way that ends this controversy and disappoints the West’s quest to ignite it.
And the consequence here is with the sincere sons of the Ummah in general and our sons in the armies in particular, for they are the ones who have the power and they are the only ones who are able to achieve victory for their Ummah and enable it to establish a state of its glory. A Khilafah that will make the West forget the whispers of Satan. Who will carry the banner of the Messenger of Allah (saw) truly? And give victory to Allah, His Messenger, and His Deen, and establish it anew?
[يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ اسْتَجِيبُواْ لِلّهِ وَلِلرَّسُولِ إِذَا دَعَاكُم لِمَا يُحْيِيكُمْ وَاعْلَمُواْ أَنَّ اللّهَ يَحُولُ بَيْنَ الْمَرْءِ وَقَلْبِهِ وَأَنَّهُ إِلَيْهِ تُحْشَرُونَ]
“O you who have believed, respond to Allah and to the Messenger when he calls you to that which gives you life. And know that Allah intervenes between a man and his heart and that to Him you will be gathered” [Al-Anfal: 24]
Member of the Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir in Wilayah Egypt