Is it permissible to accept gifts, edibles which are given by customers and friends at the end of the year, around the time of Christmas?
Is it also permissible to gift items to customers at this time?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.
A Muslim’s belief in the Oneness of Allah Taʿālā and love for this complete and perfect Deen that we have been blessed with, requires a believer to completely disassociate oneself from all practices related to other religions.
It is extremely detrimental to one’s Imaan and absolutely forbidden to accept Christmas gifts etc. in one’s harmony with the celebration of Christmas or as an expression of happiness and veneration upon the celebration of Christmas. The Fuqahaa (Jurists) have expressly mentioned that revering a day that the disbelievers revere may take one out of the fold of Islam.
If however, such items are not given purely for the celebration of the occasion Christmas, and are given more as a token of goodwill at the end of the year, and one accepts such items without having any veneration of Christmas, then the gifts will be permissible to accept and utilize. Such gifting is regarded as social customs and is due to appreciation of the recipient, not expressions of reverence to the festive itself.
However, one should avoid gifting at this particular time. One may gift to his customers a few weeks beforehand, to avoid the similarity of gifting on the occasion of Christmas.
And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best
Mufti Arshad Ali
Darul Iftaa, Jaamia Madinatul Uloom (Trinidad)