Motivational / Under 450 words

How to greet others during Christmas

cupcakesA brother forwarded me a link to a video where a young, seemingly overzealous and clearly mistaken, speaker claims that saying ‘Merry Christmas’ is worse than murder.

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I do not know this person, and there is no need to mention names (and please do not link to any videos in the comments, or they will be deleted), but I must say that such type of rhetoric has harmed Islam far more than the rhetoric non-Muslim haters spew.

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It truly amazes me that anyone with a positive IQ, and an atom’s weight of understanding, actually believe that in our religion saying ‘Merry Christmas’ is worse than murdering someone?!?! Think about what you are saying!!!

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cakeTo add insult to this, this speaker assumed this is what Ibn al-Qayyim said; and this is a smear to the reputation of Ibn al-Qayyim. [And here I add: the Salafis of today have done more to harm the reputation of Ibn Taymiyya, Ibn al-Qayyim and the actual salaf than all the non-Salafis combined have!]

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Ibn al-Qayyim actually writes that congratulating non-Muslims for their kufr beliefs, realizing that you are congratulating them for those beliefs, is worse than congratulating them for acts of transgression and sin, such as fornication and murder.

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cake[Notice the vast difference between what this speaker said and what Ibn al-Qayyim wrote]. Even Ibn al-Qayyim allows the return of generic greetings to non-Muslims that does not incorporate theological praise of un-Islamic beliefs. And that is Ibn al-Qayyim’s view, and there are other views as well.

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It is my position (based on many classical scholars) that there is absolutely nothing wrong with saying a generic greeting, even on the occasion of a non-Muslim holiday.

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holiday-cake-decorExamples of this are: ‘May God bless you’, and ‘Best wishes’ and other such neutral phrases (or even Islamicaly positive statements – for each of these can be a du’a for hidaayah as well!!).

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The evidences for this are beyond this small posting, but I merely wanted to point out that we need to be careful of having a little knowledge, for a little knowledge is a very dangerous thing.

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(Again, please no posts or videos or names in the comments: it is typically not my methodology to mention names and I don’t intend to give this speaker any more attention. My point is to correct this misinterpretation and Ibn al-Qayyim’s reputation.)

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(Reproduced from a FB post by Sheikh Dr Yasir Qadhi, on 22nd Dec 2013. http://www.facebook.com/yasir.qadhi)
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