Wa `alaykum as-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
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:
In his response to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:
This is a question of maslahah (public interest). The ruling should be based on the general principles of Islam which teach reciprocating kindness with kindness.
Muslims living in a pluralistic society should respect and tolerate the beliefs and practices of others, if they expect others to respect and tolerate their beliefs and practices.
It is fine to wish Hindus or Christians or anyone else good on the occasions of their festivals as they wish us good on our own festive occasions. By expressing good will in this way, we are not in any way adhering to the underlying beliefs or practices. We are simply wishing them good. Allah orders us to speak in a good way to all people.
It is important for us to remember that we should take common usages and expressions in their intended meanings. In other words, there is no need to project on to these words of goodwill meanings that are not generally intended by them.
In conclusion, we are allowed to wish well to Hindus or Christians on their festive occasions as they do so on our own festive occasions.
Allah Almighty knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.