in category Other Beliefs

How do we judge the use of Christmas gifts and other innovative holidays?

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In a Nutshell: the use of Christmas and other innovative holiday gifts is not encouraged. Muslims are required to follow the teachings of Islam and avoid engaging in practices that contradict or compromise their faith. While Muslims are allowed to interact with people of other faiths and cultures and respect their beliefs, it is important to maintain Islamic principles and values.

Firstly, religious law prohibits the celebration of Christmas and other innovative holidays, whether religious or secular, as this constitutes an innovation in Islam and a way of imitating the disbelievers.

Secondly, in principle, one should not accept gifts given on these occasions, since their acceptance is a confirmation of the validity of their celebration and the perpetuation of it. However, if the giver of the gift persists and it is feared that refusal to accept his or her gift will cause harm, they may be accepted, even if it means explaining to the giver that the gift was not accepted for the innovative celebration but because of the bond of friendship or kinship, etc.

Thirdly, there is no harm in taking advantage of the gifts offered on the said holidays to someone who believes that it is permissible for him to receive them and who acts either out of ignorance or to avoid a misunderstanding, as we have already said.

Shaykh al-Islam, Ibn Taymiyyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

"Just as Islam erases the sins that precede it, so does repentance cancel out the previous sins. This is especially so when it comes to someone who has learned the text dealing with the subject when previously he had not heard and understood it. This is extremely evident."

The above applies to contracts and receipts relating to objects of which one was unaware of the prohibition at the time of their execution due to excusable ignorance or interpretation. Whether the interested party is in one case or another, the said ruling applies to him a fortiori.

When one enters into a transaction which one believed to be lawful on the basis of a personal interpretation before discovering the truth and turning back or referring to us for advice, one retains what one has gained from the contract entered into in the transaction. Whether the transaction is for usury, gambling, or the price of an alcoholic beverage or an invalid marriage or other things.

It is with this in mind that a marriage that was previously tainted with a factor of nullity is maintained, such as one entered into in the absence of a guardian (for the wife) or without witnesses because the persons concerned believed that this was permissible. In all these cases, the late discovery of the nullity of the marriage does not prevent its continuation.

The point here is that when a specific text allows us to be sure that a marriage entered into in the past was forbidden, it is maintained now. An example of this is the certainty of the validity of Islam by someone who was previously a disbeliever. Another example is what is collected on the basis of a lapsed contract, if the cause of the lapse no longer exists. Although this last point is the subject of a difference of opinion within the (Hanbali) doctrine and in others.

"He who believes that he must defend the contrary opinion says to himself that it is a forbidden act and that an interpretation leads to the nullity of the prohibition, and he considers the Muslims as a united block and does not make any distinction between the one who resorts to interpretation and the others." Excerpt from the Collection of Advisory Legal Opinions (12/22)

He (Ibn Taymiyyah, (29/412) said:

"The same is true of any contract that a Muslim enters into on the basis of an interpretation that he deems to be right after reflection or in application of a tradition. It is, for example, like usurious transactions that are considered lawful by those who legalise the use of tricks."


The celebration of Christmas and other innovative holidays is forbidden in Islam, as it constitutes an innovation and imitation of the disbelievers. In principle, it is preferable not to accept gifts given on these occasions, but if there is a fear that refusing to accept the gift will result in harm, they may be accepted while explaining to the giver that it is not because of the innovative celebration, but rather because of the relationship of kinship or friendship. It is important to remember that ignorance can sometimes play a role in these situations and that accepting these gifts does not necessarily have negative consequences if done consciously.

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