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:
There is nothing wrong, as far as Islam is concerned, that you share your family’s happiness in Christmas as long as you steer clear of what is prohibited in your religion (such as a table where alcohol or pork is served) and specifically religious rituals.
Responding to the question, Dr. Jamal Badawi, Member of the European Council for Fatwa and Research and the Fiqh Council of North America, states:
Participating in the non-religious aspect of Christmas such as family reunion dinner or visitation is OK. Attempts should be made to avoid situations where alcoholic drinks are served on the same table. Kindness to parents and family without compromising one’s beliefs is an Islamic duty.
During socialization and whenever appropriate, one may share one’s thoughts [on religion] with them, preferably in answer to their questions or comments without being too argumentative.
Moreover, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, adds:
You are allowed to partake of their feasts and celebrations so long as you stay away from their specifically religious rituals, and so long as you are clear in your mind that Christmas has nothing to do with the original teaching of Jesus (peace and blessings be upon him).
While remaining steadfast to your beliefs about Jesus, you are allowed to join them in their feasts in order to reciprocate kindness with kindness. By doing so, you may even be helping them remove their misconceptions about Islam being a fanatical religion. So go ahead and participate in their feasts, and let them know the true image of Islam.
Allah Almighty knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.