Monday, November 20, 2017 - 2 Rabi' al-Awwal 1439

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Can I spend Christmas time with my non Muslim mother?

Assalamu aleikum,

Respected grand mufti of Egypt,

Me and my brother are in a difficult situation and we need a immediate consultation and your respected opinion on this matter which we can act upon insha\' Allah. So I humbly ask you to please help us.
I\'m feeling very distressed because I wouldn't like to leave my mother alone (she doesn\'t have her family here to spend the christmas with her) and she invited me and my brother over to spend this day with her, I know she wants our company. She is respectful to us and serves us only halaal meat when we visit her for dinners and she greets us on our Eids. Since my parents divorced she has left Islam, may Allah guide her to the right path again, and my intention is not to celebrate but rather my intention is to keep a bond with my mother and I wish to soften her heart towards Islam by showing her that I've not given up on her and the good adab of muslims insha' Allah. Even if non-muslim, she is my mother and I\'m afraid of Allah if I broke her heart, and left her alone and hurt in this time of year. Which may give her a negative impression of the muslim character.

And on the other hand, converts and muslim who a part of their family are non-muslims have to deal with a lot of opinions deeming this and prohibiting us from visiting our family in these times, some even goes as far as saying it\'s shirk and that such an act would be like leaving Islam. May Allah proctect us from such a thing! Allah (swt) knows our intentions that insha' Allah are pure and free from what they accuse us for.

What is your respected opinion in the case of me and my brother?

There's only a few days left now and please, we are truly in need of your advice. May Allah reward your for your help!
Jazakum Allahu khayran
 

Answer


Assalamu alykum

I really would like to thank you for your keenness to know the opinion of religion on the matter of spending time with your mother during Christmas and I equally admire your kindness in keeping ties with your mother and your eagerness to demonstrate an excellent example of how Islam is like.
I am nonetheless appalled by the unauthentic opinions of some self claimed scholars who equate spending time with one's non Muslim family during Christmas and the like with shirk or polytheism! This opinion is rather a mere aberration of the true authentic teachings of Islam both in letter and spirit.

Islam is a religion of mercy and it is an all encompassing value which includes all humans regardless of their religious affiliations, cultural differences and ethnic backgrounds and it encompasses plants, animals along with inanimate objects as well. In other words, the concept of mercy in Islam is so grandeur that it envelopes the whole universe, wouldn't it fit your mother too?

As a matter of fact God in the Quran did not only allow us to keep ties with one's non Muslim families but He raised the level of recommendation and made it an obligatory act which Muslims should abide by and this is obvious in the Quran when God said, " But if they (your parents) endeavor to make you associate with Me that of which you have no knowledge, do not obey them but accompany them in [this] world with appropriate kindness and follow the way of those who turn back to Me [in repentance]… 31:15

In this noble verse, God commanded us to keep warm ties with our families even when they exert their utmost efforts and place pressures on us to leave our religion so what about those who show respect to our religious choices and do not insult our belief in any way or form, should we not even be more eager to show extreme kindness and envelop them with mercy in our sayings and deeds to be a real embodiment of what Islam is all about?

Muslims show utter love to God's creation in general as a sign of reverence to their divine origin and Islam placed unprecedented importance to the concept of high morals and made a unique connection between good ethical standards and between faith and creed. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said "The nearest of you to me in the Day of Judgment are the ones who have the highest morals". Therefore we are commanded to show kindness to people irrespectively and to treat them with mercy and love and to refrain from discriminating against them based on their religious choices, cultural backgrounds or the like.

There is no legal impediment to participating in celebrating the birth of Jesus (peace be upon him). Islam is an open system and its followers believe, respect and honor all the prophets and messengers, and treat the followers of other religions with kindness in accordance to the words of Allah the Almighty:

And dispute ye not with the People of the Book, except in the best way. [Al-'Ankabut, 46]

Jesus the son of Mary, peace be upon him, is one of the Prophets who are characterized with determination, resolution and patience. Prophet Muhammad [pbuh] said: "I am more entitled to Jesus the son of Mary than anyone in this life and in the Hereafter; no prophet has been sent between us." Every Muslim believes that Jesus is a human prophet who performed great miracles, such as reviving the dead and curing the sick by the will of Allah the Almighty. This was not because he was a god or the son of God in the sense of physical procreation—Allah is exalted above this. Celebrating the day of the birth of Jesus is an act of belief regardless of Christian convictions in his regard. Therefore, participate in your friends and family's celebrations, eat with them and refrain from eating pork and drinking alcohol with tact and civility. Do not pay any attention to anyone who wants to ruin the relation between you and your family and others in the name of Islam because Islam is free from all of this.

 
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