By Khaled Elomar
As a devout Muslim, I keep hearing from others that wishing anyone a Merry Christmas is Blasphemous.
In my opinion, and that is purely my opinion, I don’t believe it is Sacrilegious if your intentions are correct and pure. You need not agree with me at all. I am not seeking to change your opposing point of view. The main objective of this post is to stop you from referring to me or anyone like me as a Mushrik (an associate with Allah) by alleging that I have agreed to the concept of Associating a Partner with Allah swt.
I do not intend to offend anyone with the below. If I do, I profusely and unconditionally extend my unlimited apology to those that feel offended by my unbiased and neutral perception of the topic.
There are several points to cover in order to convey my opinion and explanation. One needs to understand;
• Islamic Interactions with the People of The Book (Ahl Al Kitaab) – Christians and Jews. This part deals with the Understanding and Appreciating the principles and morals of the Quran and Prophecies (Ahadeeth) that permit/condone honest dialect and relationships with Ahl Al Kitaab.
1. Islamic Greeting and Reciprocation Majority of scholars reported that greeting Non-Muslims with “Peace Be Upon You” (Assalamu Alaykum) is not permitted. Imam Muslim reported that the Prophet pbuh said, “Don’t start with the (salam) Islamic greeting when encountering Jews or Christians.”
The Hanafies say that if a Christian or Jew, the people of the book, greet a Muslim person with Asslamu Alaykom, it is permitted to return salam and others say it’s obligatory.
Ibn Abbass said, “Whoever says Assalamu Alakum to you, you have to return his greeting even if he was a Majos (fire-worshipper). He was referring to a verse from the Quran (Chapter An-Nesa’ verse 86), which is translated to; … “When a courteous greeting is offered to you, meet it with a greeting still more courteous, or at least of equal courtesy.” … So when a Non-Muslim says to me Ramadan Kareem or Eid Mubarak in good gesture and not because he/she are about to convert/revert to Islam, it is obligatory for me to return the gesture and be courteous to wish them a Merry Christmas; and that does not mean that I am agreeing with the “reasons” of Christmas nor “associating” an entity with Allah swt.
2. Marrying into Ahl Al Kitaab – Christians or Jews.
It is permissible for a Muslim man to marry a non-Muslim woman if she is Christian or Jewish. The evidence for that is the Chapter Al-Maa’idah verse 4 in which Allah swt says: … “Made lawful to you this day are At Tayyibaat [all kinds of Halal (lawful) foods, which Allah has made lawful (meat of slaughtered eatable animals, milk products, fats, vegetables and fruits)]. The food (slaughtered cattle, eatable animals) of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) is lawful to you and yours is lawful to them. (Lawful to you in marriage) are chaste women from the believers and chaste women from those who were given the Scripture (Jews and Christians) before your time when you have given their dowry (Mahr) desiring chastity (i.e. taking them in legal wedlock) not committing illegal sexual intercourse, nor taking them as girlfriends” …
One of the obligations of marrying a Non-Muslim woman, who chooses to remain on her faith, is that you escort her, walk her, drive her etc to her place of worship. So is driving your Non-Muslim wife to a Church or Synagogue associating you with Non-Islamic practices? I doubt that very much …
3. Actions are Measured and Judged by Intent: On the authority of Omar bin Al-Khattab (ra), who said: I heard the messenger of Allah pbuh say: “Actions are but by intention and every man shall have but that which he intended” Me wishing people a Merry Christmas is not associating an entity with Allah. My intentions are simply implementing what I am ordained and obliged to do which is;
- Make Dawah
- Be courteous to people
- Respect others
- Reciprocate with the same or better means
- Show Love and Tolerance to others and simply
- Being a Human
By the will of Allah swt, my actions, understanding and implementation of Islam has reverted a few people to Islam (Alhamdulilah) … Contrary to what some people say that I am committing Kufr or Shirk … My intentions are clear and pure. Whatever I do, I will be judged for those actions as so will you. So, when you judge me and call me a Mushrik or Kaffir for saying Merry Christmas you will be judged for those false, unfounded and completely unacceptable judgements.
Allah will judge you and I. We are not here to judge one another.
So, in conclusion, to all my non-Muslim friends, on behalf of my family and I, I extend to you all a very Merry Christmas and a Wonderful New Year. Stay Human, stay Loving and remain Strong for Humanity.
Now there is only one more thing to say: I wish you all a very Merry Christmas.
Much Love and Respect,