Is It Haram To Celebrate Christmas in Islam?

As the end of the year approaches, Christians and non-Christians all over the world start preparing for Christmas festivities – one of the most popular Christian festivals. While their friends and neighbors decorate Christmas trees, their houses, and exchange gifts, Muslims, especially kids also feel tempted to celebrate the occasion.

But, as Muslims, we must first ask ourselves if it is haram to celebrate Christmas in Islam. And the answer is yes, it’s haram for Muslims to celebrate Christmas (source).

Muslims are not permitted to celebrate Christmas or any other religious festival. They cannot take part in the celebrations by decorating their houses, having a tree, or holding dinner parties. However, some scholars believe that there is no harm in using the standard greeting of people such as Merry Christmas (source).

Christmass decorations
Photo Courtesy: Antonio Castagna

Table of Contents:

1. Is It Haram to Celebrate Christmas in Islam?
2. Why Shouldn’t Muslims Celebrate Christmas?
3. Is It Haram to Wish Someone or Say Merry Christmas?
4. Can I Celebrate Christmas with my Non-Muslim Family?
5. Is Having a Christmas Tree Haram?
6. Fatwa about Muslims Celebrating Christmas

Is It Haram to Celebrate Christmas in Islam?

Yes, it is haram to celebrate Christmas in Islam. To understand why Muslims should not celebrate Christmas, first, we need to understand why Christians celebrate Christmas.

Why Do Christians Celebrate Christmas?

Among Christians, Christmas is celebrated as the “day of the birth of God’s son – Jesus Christ” also known as “God Incarnate”. The tradition of Christians celebrating Christmas as a religious festival dates back to the 9th century.

Muslims, on the other hand, believe that Jesus Christ is only a prophet of Allah SWT, and believing him to be the “son of God” is blasphemy and denial of God’s oneness.

About Hazrat Essa, the son of Mary, Allah says in the Holy Quran:

Indeed, those who say, “Allah is the Messiah, son of Mary,” have fallen into disbelief. Say, ˹O Prophet,˺ “Who has the power to prevent Allah if He chose to destroy the Messiah, son of Mary, his mother, and everyone in the world altogether?”

Surah Al-Maidah, verse 17 (source)

Why Shouldn’t Muslims Celebrate Christmas?

Muslims should not celebrate Christmas because it is neither celebrated as an innovation (bid’ah) or an imitation of the nonbelievers. (source)

Celebrating Christmas or the birth of any other prophet is haram and an innovation (bid’ah). About innovation in Islam, Allah SWT says in the Holy Quran:

O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: Nor say of Allah aught but the truth

Surah An-Nisa, verse 171 (source)

On the other hand, we also shouldn’t imitate non-Muslims by celebrating their festivals. Muslims do not have any festivals apart from the Eids – Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul-Adha, and the day of Friday (Youm Al-Jumu’ah).

About imitating non-Muslims, the companion of the Prophet’s (peace be upon him), Abdullah Bin ‘Amar bin al-‘Aas said:

Whoever celebrates the Persian New Year’s Day or their carnival and imitates them till his death he will be resurrected with them on the Day of Judgment.

Islam Web (source)

Learn more about whether celebrating new years is haram or not.

Islam is a complete way of life and it’s important for Muslims to keep their separate identity. By celebrating Christmas and other such festivals, we are taking part and promoting their religion.

As Muslims, we must stay vigilant, not forget our role in society, and be an example for our brothers and sisters.

Also, Muslim scholars such as Sheikh Ahmad Kitty point out that by celebrating Christmas, it’s possible to lose sight of the basic differences between Islam and other religions. (source) There’s especially a great danger for our generation to lose sight of Tawhid and actually start believing that Jesus Christ is more than just a Prophet of Allah SWT.

It’s our duty as Muslims to show our children and others via example that Christmas is not our holiday, but rather a festival of our non-Muslim neighbors and friends.

However, it’s important to remember that Islam teaches us to be kind to every without any regard to their race, religion, or color. Muslims must show kindness to their family, friends, neighbors, and other people without any discrimination.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) says:

Every act of kindness is charity

Sahih Al Bukhari: 6021 (source)

Is It Haram to Wish Someone or Say Merry Christmas?

When it comes to saying “Merry Christmas”, we found that Muslim scholars have two different opinions.

  1. Saying “Merry Christmas” is not permissible in Islam because it is a religious greeting and Muslims are not allowed to adopt the custom and traditions of other religions (source).
  2. Muslims are allowed to use the standard greeting of people such as “Merry Christmas”. This does not mean that they are adhering to any other dogmas of Christianity such as crucifixion or trinity unless they intend to do so (source).

Can I Celebrate Christmas with my Non-Muslim Family?

Many Muslims and especially converts often wonder whether they’re allowed to celebrate Christmas with their non-Muslim friends and family. We found that some scholars say that it’s permissible to celebrate Christmas with your family since it would be about keeping ties with one’s family (source).

Islam places great importance upon family relationships and Muslims should not isolate themselves from their families. A Muslim respects their parents, is kind to them, and keeps strong family ties regardless of whether their parents are Muslims or not.

However, it’s important to abstain from actively taking part in “religious” activities and avoid the Haram aspects such as drinking alcohol or dancing.

While celebrating with your family, make it clear that you’re part of the celebrations out of the love you have and will not be participating in any religious activity.

Is Having a Christmas Tree Haram?

Christmass Tree
Photo Courtesy: Five Furlongs

Since celebrating Christmas is haram in Islam, it is also not permissible for Muslims to have a Christmas tree (source).

Islam discourages Muslims from imitating or practicing any non-Muslim acts of worship, rituals, or symbols.

Prophet Mohammed (Peace of Allah be upon him) said:

Whoever imitates a people becomes one of them

Narrated by Abu Dawood, 4031 (source)

While this hadith was addressing clothing, many interpret it as applicable to other actions.

So, even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, it is best to avoid having a Christmas tree in a Muslim household because doing so comes under the impression of imitating Christians (source).

Fatwa about Muslims Celebrating Christmas

Our Goal at HalalGuidance is not to tell you what is haram or not, instead, our goal is to retrieve all the information out there to help you make your own decision. To stick to our mission, we’ve compiled several fatwas.

A fatwa is a legal ruling on a point of Islamic law given by a qualified jurist. Therefore, we’ll let the experts help guide your decisions.

First Fatwa About Celebrating Christmas

Sheikh Muhammad Salih al-Munajjid was asked:

What do you say to Muslims in the United Kingdom who celebrate at Christmas time by holding dinner parties in their houses on Christmas or afterwards, for their Muslim families?

To which the Sheikh replied:

There is no doubt that what is mentioned of celebrations is haram, because it is an imitation of the unbelievers. It is well known that the Muslims do not have any festival apart from ‘Eid al-Fitr and ‘Eid al-Adha , and the weekly “‘Eid” which is Friday (Yawm al-Jumu‘ah).

Sheikh Salih al-Munajjid (source)

Second Fatwa About Celebrating Christmas

On IslamWeb, another person asked the following question about celebrating Christmas:

Can a Muslim celebrate Christmas? Is there any Aalim who tells that it is Haram to celebrate? If so who? Is there any Fatwa about celebrating Christmas? Is it written in the holy Qur’an about Christmas?”

To which he received the following response:

A Muslim is neither allowed to celebrate the Christmas Day nor is he allowed to congratulate them. Nor, does a Muslim celebrate any of their other feast days. A Muslim celebrates only the Islamic ‘Eed days

Islam Web (source)

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