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Christmas and Muslims – Q&A with Dr. Shabir Ally

There have been some questions about Christmas and Muslims sent in to Dr. Shabir Ally. Here he answers these questions from non-Muslims and Muslims.

The first question is from a non-Muslim, can an employer give his Muslim employee a Christmas gift? It depends on the Muslim individual themselves. So in this case we can ask the Muslim what is appropriate for them.

The second question is can we say Merry Christmas to our non-Muslim neighbours? We know that not everyone celebrates Christmas in our societies so a better approach would be to say happy holidays. There are many holidays happening at this time.

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The third question is do Muslims believe in Santa Claus? There are different approaches here. Some say Santa is myth and they don’t want to pass it on to their children. In this case we can be sensitive to other parents in the neighbourhood because of the way they raise their children. We have to be careful when teaching our children the myth of Santa Claus because it can cause them to question about Allah later on. Teach your child to be sensitive around other non-Muslim children and not tell them he doesn’t exist.

The fourth question is can my sister, who became a Muslim, still join my family for a Christmas gathering? It depends what is meant by celebrating. They can’t do anything haram by drinking. However, they can have a family dinner together. They shouldn’t disassociate themselves from the family. They should continue to build strong family ties whether they are Muslim or not.