In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
In this fatwa:
1- A Muslim is allowed to celebrate any national occasion as long as it does not include any rituals that violate Shariah rulings.
2- So, a Muslim in America can share his family members celebrating Thanksgiving providing that he does not participate in any non-Islamic rituals or have any prohibited (haram) foods or drinks.
In responding to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:
There is no objection in celebrating Thanksgiving so as long as it is a custom and nothing to do with religious rituals.
Customs are fine. People observe various customs such as celebrations associated with the birth of their nation, etc.
There is nothing in Islam to forbid them once they are free of any specific religious rituals.
As pointed out by our eminent jurists, people are free to invent customs as long as they do not violate any of the fundamental principles of the Shariah.
Therefore, a Muslim may participate and partake of the meals served while staying away from any religious rituals associated with them.
Almighty Allah knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.