In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Arab News reports: Islam does not prohibit Muslims from exchanging Christmas greetings with Christians, the head of the Muslim World League has said in an earlier interview. Sheikh Dr. Mohammed Al-Issa particularly reiterated that there was no text in Sharia law that disallowed Muslims from extending greetings to Christians. He noted that fatwas regarding the exchange of holiday greetings with non-Muslims were issued by senior scholars in the Islamic world, and it was not permissible to object to any issue related to Sharia jurisprudence. He added that objection was only on issues with definitive consensus, not presumptive ones. https://www.arabnews.com/node/2222176/saudi-arabia
Indeed, if this is exactly the statements and views of Dr Mohammed as reported by Arab News, then it is nothing else but falsehood. Firstly, regarding the statement: “He noted that fatwas regarding the exchange of holiday greetings with non-Muslims were issued by senior scholars in the Islamic world, and it was not permissible to object to any issue related to Sharia jurisprudence. He added that objection was only on issues with definitive consensus, not presumptive ones”.
We remind Arab News that difference of opinion is not always a reason to refrain from rebuttal. “Some people are under the illusion that it is not permissible to disapprove of (one another) with regards to any affair in which difference of opinion is held; so based upon this (illusion of theirs), it becomes impermissible to disapprove of a Munkar (an evil) unless there is complete agreement in doing so. This is a wrong understanding necessitating the closure of the door of enjoining good and forbidding evil. The scholars hold differences of opinion in most of the masaa’il and that which is correct with regards to this statement “Laa Inkaar Fee Masaa’il Al-Khilaaf” is that there should neither be harshness in disapproval nor reprimand with regards to those issues about which there is no manifest proof to be taken as the final (affair). And the basis upon which this is founded is that the issues of khilaaf are of two categories: The First Category: They are those issues about which there is proof necessitating that it be taken as the final (decision); so here the proof must be taken and the other statement (opinion) in opposition is discarded. And whoever follows the statement (opinion) that is established to be in opposition to the proofs, then he is shown disapproval (i.e. clearly stated to him that what he holds is wrong without going into excess). The Second Category: It is those issues of khilaaf about which the proof has not been manifested for it to be taken as the final (decision). It is an affair in which the evidences are either at contention or the views are at variance. This is an issue of ijtihaad, and there is neither disapproval nor reprimand against the one in opposition; rather advice is given for acquaintance with the statement (opinion) that carries more weight. This second category of (khilaaf) is what is intended by the statement Laa Inkaar Fee Masaa-il Al-Khilaaf), which some people have understood in an unrestrictive manner. (1)
Secondly, we remind Arab News that Al-Hukmu Alaa Shay’in Far’un An Tasawwurihee – passing a judgement on something is to be (firmly linked and based) on understanding the affair. Imaam Muhammad Ibn Saaleh Al-Uthaymeen [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “You do not pass a judgement on a thing except after being completely acquainted with it, so that the judgement is in accordance with what the real state of affairs is. And if this is not done, then great error occurs”. (2)
Therefore, honest Muslims – those free from the doubts and desires of Arab News – would ask themselves regarding the reality and reason behind the fact that a Muslim cannot exchange Christmas greetings – on a day in which they celebrate one of their polytheistic beliefs. Shaikh Abu Khadeejah [may Allaah preserve him] forwarded us a Fatwa of Imaam Muhammad Ibn Saaleh Al-Uthaymeen [may Allaah have mercy upon him] as follows: Shaikh Ibn Uthaimīn was asked, “What is the ruling on congratulating the unbelievers during their Christmas celebrations? How are we to respond to them if they congratulate us with Merry Christmas?” So he answered, “Congratulating the non-Muslims during their Christmas celebrations or other religious celebrations is forbidden by a consensus cited by Ibn Al-Qayyim in his book, Ahkām Ahlidh-Dhimmah…* If they congratulate us during their celebrations, then we do not respond to that, because it is not our celebration and it is a celebration that Allah is not pleased with. That is because either it is a celebration that they have innovated into their religion or it is one that is legislated in their religion but was abrogated with the advent of the religion of Islam which the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was sent with to the whole of mankind. It was regarding this that Allah said, “And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted from him, and in the Hereafter, he will be one of the losers.” (Āli ‘Imrān 3:85) Therefore, to accept an invitation from them at Christmas is forbidden because to participate with them (in a Christmas meal) is even more severe than congratulating them.” (Majmū’ Fatāwā 3/45-46, abridged)
In the article written by Arab News, it is stated that Dr Mohammed holds that “When a Muslim greeted another non-Muslim on holidays, this did not mean he was acknowledging another faith”. [End of quote] This does not nullify the fact that exchanging greetings with them on such days is prohibited, as Imaam Muhammad Ibn Saaleh Al-Uthaymeen stated, “If they congratulate us during their celebrations, then we do not respond to that, because it is not our celebration and it is a celebration that Allah is not pleased with. That is because either it is a celebration that they have innovated into their religion or it is one that is legislated in their religion but was abrogated with the advent of the religion of Islam which the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was sent with to the whole of mankind. It was regarding this that Allah said, “And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted from him, and in the Hereafter, he will be one of the losers”. [End of quote] Therefore, the reason above is not in need of consensus nor is there room for difference of opinion because it is very clear to everyone who desires guidance in this affair, even though Arab News carries on fishing in the murky waters and hiding behind personalities to obtain corrupt and unjustified concessions in the name of tolerance, moderation and reformation.
Finally, Al-Allaamah Saaleh Al-Fawzaan [may Allaah preserve him] stated: At present when someone desires something he would say, “Such and such a person has given a verdict on this (affair)” without considering whether it has a basis in the Book and the Sunnah. And you say to him, “This verdict is wrong”, he says, “It has nothing to do with me” as long as the verdict was given by such and such (person)”. And if the verdict is not in agreement with his desires, he says, “This verdict is not correct or it is a harsh one”. They gather lies and the mistakes of the scholars in a book and present it to the people, and spread it amongst the people with their assumptions, saying, “The Religion of Islam is easy. It does not make things uneasy for the people”. And when it is said to them, “Examine it (i.e. these verdicts) under the Book and Sunnah”, they say, “These are statements of the scholars”. Is the scholar greater than the Book and the Sunnah? Are his statements not to be examined under the Book and the Sunnah!? This is how the people of desires act, and Allaah’s Refuge is sought. They are those who ‘took their rabbis and monks to be lords besides Allaah’. (see footnote 1)
And when they are forbidden from innovation in religious affairs about which the Messenger of Allaah warned against, they say, “Such and such a person acts upon this and he is a scholar or that he is a righteous person”, “And that this is acted upon by the people of such and such a country and they are people who possess righteousness and piety”. We say, righteousness and piety does not suffice, rather there has to be conformity to the Book and the Sunnah. Therefore, to take the statements of the scholars and the worshippers as sound legal verdicts without examination under the Book and the Sunnah was a way of the people of the pre-Islamic era of ignorance, and they are those who took their rabbis and their monks as lords besides Allaah. (3)
All praise and thanks be to Allaah, all the above does not negate peaceful coexistence with non-Muslims. Must read articles below.
The Islamic Shariah on the Foundation of Muslim Relations With Non-Muslims Who Do Not Show Aggression and Hostility: http://www.shariah.ws/articles/szsumlh-the-foundation-of-muslim-relations-with-non-muslims-who-do-not-show-aggression-and-hostility.cfm
Living With non-Muslims in the West with fine conduct- By Shaikh Abu Khadeejah [may Allaah preserve him]: https://abukhadeejah.com/living-with-non-muslims-in-the-west-with-fine-conduct/
Informing The Authorities of Terrorist Plots – By Shaikh Abu Khadeejah [may Allaah preserve him]: https://masjidfurqan.co.uk/2014/07/03/informing-the-authorities-of-terrorist-plots-by-ustaadh-abu-khadeejah-may-allaah-preserve-him/
Al-Allaamah Salih Aal Ash-Shaikh: Shariah Calls for Protection of Life and Property: http://www.shariah.ws/articles/csuslgk-shaikh-salih-aal-ash-shaikh-shariah-calls-for-protection-of-life-and-property.cfm
Al-Allaamah Salih Al-Fawzan: The Islamic Shariah Provides Security for Muslims and Non-Muslims and Those Who Violate It Are Kharijites Who Are to Be Fought and Severely Punished
The Prophet of Islam would not kill diplomats, ambassadors, emissaries or foreign delegations even if they were sent by the worst of his enemies
To be continued InShaaAllaah
Footnote 1: Shaikh Abdul Waahid Abu Khadeejah [may Allaah preserve him] quotes Al-Allaamah Ahmad Bin Yahyah An-Najmi [may Allaah have mercy upon him] as follows: Then Shaikhul-Islaam mentioned the saying of Allaah: [اتَّخَذُوا أَحْبَارَهُمْ وَرُهْبَانَهُمْ أَرْبَابًا مِّن دُونِ اللَّهِ – They have taken their “ahbaar” and “ruhbaan” as lords besides Allah..] [at-Tawbah: 31]
The “Ahbaar” are the scholars, and the “Ruhbaan” are the general worshippers – and the habit of the people is to refer back to these two groups and take to their speech and opinions. Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, rebuked the unbelievers because they took the Ahbaar and Ruhbaan (the scholars and worshippers) as Lords besides Allaah whereby they made them as legislators of Religious Law (i.e. the Revelation). They would make halaal for them that which Allaah had made haraam, so they would then consider it to be halaal. And they would make haraam for them that which Allaah had made halaal, so they would then consider it to be haraam. This however does not necessitate, in an absolute sense, exiting from Islaam, rather this point it requires further explanation. So sometimes the one who falls into this reaches the point whereby he exits Islaam, and this is when they take them as legislators of Religious Law (i.e. the Revelation). So they take their legislation and they give it precedence over an above that which Allaah has legislated in His Book, and that which the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) legislated, and they believe that this legislation that is not from Allaah and His Messenger is equal to Allaah’s Legislation or an increase upon it.
However, if they seek verdicts (fatwas) from them and they issue fatwas making haraam what is halaal, or making halaal what is haraam. So they obey them in making haraam the halaal matters, and making halaal the haraam matters by way of acting upon those verdicts – and the people obey them whilst they know they are sinning and they affirm the fact that it is a sin, yet they still follow them but they know internally what is halaal is halaal and what is haraam is haraam. This is then a major sin. https://abukhadeejah.com/ahmad-an-najmees-kitaab-at-tawheed-chapter-5-the-explanation-of-tawheed-and-the-shahaadah-laa-ilaaha-illallaah/
[Ref 1: Ibaaraat Moohimah. page25]
[Ref 2: An Excerpt from Sharh Al-Usool Min Ilm Al-Usool. page 604]
[Ref 3: An Excerpt from Sharh Masaa’il Al-Jaahiliyyah. pages 74-77]