Every passing year’s end comes up with the Christmas bells ringing all around the world. December is a month which is most sacred and awaited among all the Christians living in any part of the world. Christmas is particularly an event which is not only confined to Christians only but many non-Christians also take full part in Christmas celebrations. That’s quite a nice practice since its always pleasant to find reasons to celebrate and to share happiness. But this pleasure for sake of little joy and happiness is never given a leverage in regard with the religious matters. That is the main concern of all the second thoughts given on celebrating Christmas by non-Christians.
Christmas and Muslim Ideology
Muslims in particular find this matter of celebrating Christmas always controversial and a topic for debate. There are some rituals particularly associated with Christmas celebrations and exchanging gifts is one of them. If we don’t see it on religious grounds then there is nothing wrong in buying gifts for Christmas. But putting light on Islamic teachings in this regard, we can find some verses or their interpretations by scholars which go against this very practice.
Some of the religious scholars have strictly prohibited the act of presenting gifts to Christians since their beliefs are not acceptable by Muslims in any case. The concept behind Christmas is almost contradictory to that of Muslims’ so they call it haram. On a wider scope, we can find different thoughts on this matter.
In reference to Muslim Research
Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen said:
“Similarly it is forbidden for the Muslims to imitate the kuffaar by holding parties on these occasions, or exchanging gifts, or distributing sweets or other foods, or taking time off work and so on, because the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever imitates a people is one of them.”
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn e Taymiyah has quoted very clearly in his book that:
Imitating them on some of their festivals implies that one is happy with the falsehood they are following, and that could make them (the non-Muslims) take this opportunity to mislead those who are weak in faith. End quote.
Considering the above fatwas given by the scholars, we don’t need a single second to decide whether it is haram or halal to exchange gifts on Christmas. But still calling out something haram needs proper research and accurate information too. As a matter of fact, there is also a group of scholars whose belief is completely different and they call it halal and permissible practice according to Islamic teachings.
European Council for Fatwa and Research
There is also no objection to accepting gifts and presents from them, and to return their gifts in kind, on condition that these gifts are not unlawful in themselves, such as being alcohol or pork. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) accepted the gift of the King of Egypt and several others (At-Tahawi’s Sharh Mushkil Al-Athar).
This is again a satisfying statement or fatwa coming out from a great scholar of Islam. That must have put you in a confusion to decide whether it is haram or halal to buy a gift for you Christian friends and fellows. Just be with whatever your religion gives you and that, in this case, is upto your ability of decision making between right and wrong.