There are many well-known scholars who advise Muslims not to say “Happy Christmas” to Christians during christmas days. In their understanding, saying “Happy Christmas” would mean that we agree with the Christian’s belief that Jesus is son of God . I have personally always said “HappyChristmas” to my Christian colleague and they always say “Happy Eid” to me on Eid celebrations. Never in mind I have thought that I am agreeing with their concepts when I say, “Happy Christmas” and i am sure same is the case with them when they say ‘Happy Eid’ to me. What are your views on this subject? I would appreciate if you could give references from Islamic sources as well.
Since this subject is neither discussed in the Quran nor in any authentic Hadith, this means that whatever the scholars are saying is based on their understanding of Deen. We, very humbly, disagree with this understanding based on the following arguments;
-It can be said with absolute confidence that no Muslim who understands the message of Islam would agree with these Christian beliefs. This opinion, that by saying ‘Happy Christmas’ we are agreeing with the Christians’ beliefs, is very far-fetched. As far as the Islamic sources are concerned this is what we think;
-In the Quran, Allah (SWT) has allowed marriage with Christian women (Ma’idah 5:5). Did Allah not know (God forbid) that these women believe that Jesus is son of God? Did Allah (SWT) not know (God forbid) that these women also believe in the concept of trinity? In addition, did Allah not know (God forbid) that these women do not believe in Muhammad (PBUH) as the Prophet of Allah and also do not believe in the Quran as a book of Allah? Despite all this Allah allowed marriage with Christian women. Both Quran and Ahadith strongly advise Muslim men to be good to their wives. Are Christian wives exempt from these directives? On Christmas day, why would a good Muslim not say “Happy Christmas” to his wife and her relatives? In our humble view, our respected scholars have taken an incorrect and a very strong line on this issue and sadly this is bringing a bad reputation to the beautiful religion of Islam.
-In the Quran, Allah has also allowed food of People of the Book (Ma’idah 5:5).
-In the Quran, Allah has advised Muslims to protect worship places of all
faiths, including churches and synagogues (Al-Hajj 22:40).
-In the Quran, Allah has advised Muslims to invite people to Deen with wisdom and sincere exhortations (Nahl 16:125-126). However, for People of the Book (Jews & Christians), Allah has advised Muslims to be especially nice when it comes to debating religion (Ankaboot 29:46)
-In the Quran, Allah says that true Muslims do not differentiate between Allah’s messengers (Baqarah 2:136, 285) (Al-e-Imran 3:84). Keeping these verses in mind, how can Muslims celebrate Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) birthday with such religious zeal and fervour, and take such negative viewpoint when it comes to celebrating Jesus’ birthday?
Last but not the least, all Muslims living in the West, or any other Christian country, must ask these respectable scholars that when we accept the citizenship of these countries, are we actually submitting to the religion of that particular country? Surely, no one in their wildest imagination is doing that. Likewise, while saying ‘Happy Christmas’ to their Christian friends, no one in their wildest imagination is thinking about the concept of trinity or divinity of Jesus (PBUH).
Keeping all the Quranic directives in mind it is absolutely clear that God Almighty wants muslims to be inclusive, kind and gracious in their interactions with people of other faiths particularly people of the book as we share a common heritage with them. Unless we are friendly towards them our misunderstandings will never get cleared up and we will always remain alien to each other despite having a common father in Ibrahim(pbuh).
May Allah give us correct understanding of our Deen and may we become good ambassadors of the religion of Islam.
Hope the answer helps you,