Question and answer details
|Dear Sheikh, As-Salamu `alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barkatuh. Is it wrong for me, a convert for about 5 years, to let my children celebrate Christmas as we did before we embraced Islam? We have never celebrated this holiday because of Jesus, but only as a folk tradition.|
AnswerWa`alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
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.
Brother in Islam, we are greatly impressed by your question, for it’s related to the affairs of the new Muslims. We seize the chance to earnestly implore Allah from the depths of our hearts to lead all perplexed men and women to the light of Islam, the true religion of Allah. We welcome all our new Muslim brothers and sisters to the fold of Islam.
As for your question, you have to bear in mind the fact that it is wrong to let your kids celebrate Christmas for many reasons. The most important one is that Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) once saw people celebrating non-Islamic holidays, and he disapproved of the act and explained to them that Allah has given Muslims two better ones (i.e., `Eid al-Fitr and `Eid al-Adha). Therefore, we should obey the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) and develop a Muslim identity in ourselves and our children.
In addition to this already sufficient reason, you have to dissociate your children from the Christmas spirit, even if you don’t celebrate it for Jesus (peace be upon him). Actually, Jesus was not born on that day. It was the Roman god Mithra’s birthday that was celebrated on that day and the Christians made it Christ’s birthday to compete with the popular Roman holiday.
Therefore, your children should learn the truth, and at the same time, you can exchange gifts on other occasions, such as during the Islamic holidays, or on other occasions such as at the end of the school year. If you start celebrating Christmas with your children, even as a non-religious holiday, you will be setting a wrong example for them and you will be creating a conflict that they will suffer from in the future. They take you as their role model and you should live up to it. As insignificant as you may think it is, in reality, it is not.
Dear brother, try to get your children out of the holiday spirit by spending quality time with them, by traveling with them (if possible), and by decreasing their exposure to the holiday influence on TV and in shopping malls.
The above Fatwa is excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.islamicity.com
Nevertheless, Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi, President of the Fiqh Council of North America, states:
Instead of celebrating Christmas, Dr. Siddiqi further says: