Ibn Taymiyyah On Celebrating Christmas (And Other Non-Musilm Festivals)

Ibn Taymiyyah mentions:

“The Sharee’ah ruling is that Muslims should not do any particular thing on the religious festivals of unbelievers which they do not normally do in other days. Rather, they should treat these days like any other ordinary day. The Prophet (saw) had prohibited his Companions from sports and enjoyment on two particular days on which pre-Islamic Arabs used to hold sports.

Likewise, he forbade them to sacrifice their animals at the places where the polytheists used to celebrate their festivals.”

He then goes no to mention:

“The unbelievers celebrate with much pomp and show a festival on the 25th of December in the belief that tr is the birth day of prophet Jesus (alayhis-salaam). The rituals associated with the Christians, fo rexample, lighting fire, preparing sweet dishes, etc. are undesirable. It is an article of faith with Christians that it is a holy day. This view doe snot have any basis in Islaam. This festival is not reported in the days of our pious predecessors. On later days, Muslims appear to have borrowed it from the Christians…

This is a Christin belief and Musilms are forbidden to entertain it.”

He then goes no to mention:

“Muslims are prohibited from joining these religious festivals of the people of the book and other unbelievers; on two grounds:

First: it represents a resemblance to the unbelievers.

Second: these are acts of innovations.

All such festivals and fairs which have come to vogue as a result of innovation are to be treated in the same way, whether these resemble the practice of the unbelievers or not.”

[Taken from “Mukhtasar Iqtidhaa’ As-Siraat Al-Mustaqeem” by Ibn Taymiyyah, p. 17-18]

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