Muhammad Salih Al-Munajjid
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A question answered by Shaikh Muhammad Salih Al-Munajjid regarding: “I would like to no if it is haram to go to the sydney royal easter show. although it is called the easter show it really has nothing to d with easter. i like to go for the craft, fruit, animal shows, they all hav nothing to do with easter.”
Praise be to Allah.
It is not permissible for a Muslim to take part in the festivals and innovated celebrations of the kuffaar, such as Easter, Christmas and so on, because taking part and attending is helping in this evil, and increasing their numbers, and imitating them, all of which is not allowed. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Help you one another in Al-Birr and At-Taqwa (virtue, righteousness and piety); but do not help one another in sin and transgression. And fear Allah. Verily, Allah is Severe in punishment” [al-Maa’idah 5:2]
And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever imitates a people is one of them.” Narrated by Abu Dawood (4031); classed as Sahih by al-Albaani in Irwa’ al-Ghaleel (5/109).
Ibn al-Qayyim said:
It is not permissible for the Muslims to attend the festivals of the mushrikeen, according to the consensus of the scholars whose words carry weight. The fuqaha’ who follow the four schools of thought have stated this clearly in their books… Al-Bayhaqi narrated with a Sahih isnaad from ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab that he said: “Do not enter upon the mushrikeen in their churches on the day of their festival, for divine wrath is descending upon them.” And ‘Umar also said:
“Avoid the enemies of Allah on their festivals.” Al-Bayhaqi narrated with a jayyid isnaad from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr that he said: “Whoever settles in the land of the non-Arabs and celebrates their new year and festival and imitates them until he dies in that state, will be gathered with them on the Day of Resurrection.” (Ahkaam Ahl al-Dhimmah, 1/723-724) The Standing Committee for Issuing Fatwas was asked about Argentinean national celebrations and celebrations that are held in their churches such as Independence Day, and Christian Arab celebrations such as Easter.
They replied: It is not permissible for Muslims to hold such celebrations or attend them or participate in them with the Christians, because that is helping in sin and transgression, and Allah has forbidden that. And Allah is the Source of strength. End quote from Fataawa al-Lajnah al- Daa’imah (2/76).
To sum up: It is not permissible to celebrate the festivals of the kuffaar or to participate in them, whether they do any religious practices in them or limit it to play and entertainment, because just celebrating it is a haraam innovation, but attending their religious rituals is more haraam. The Muslim should spend this day like any other day, and not have any special food or drink on it, or do anything else to show happiness that is done by those who celebrate this festival, such as going out to parks, funfairs and so on, so as to disavow himself of the sins of approving or taking part. And Allah knows best.