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The Islamic Ruling regarding Celebrating Thanksgiving Day by Shaykh Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad

21 Nov

Today’s scholars, are faced with a task, that scholars of previous times, did not have to reckon with; before the age of globalization, scholars would render religious edicts (fataawa), about their own people, and their own cultural affairs, and their own countries and lifestyle, about which they were uniquely familiar.  Today, scholars face, and sometimes simply take upon themselves, the colossal assignment of electronically rendering religious edicts, about people, places, and cultures, sometimes thousands of miles away, where they have not lived, do not have an intimate working knowledge of, and are woefully unfamiliar with.

Fatwas, that apply to well-known, and necessary matters of worship, aqeeda, theology, and religious practices, can be applied globally, across all nations and people. With regard to such issues, all Muslims are the same, and they all have the same obligations, and responsibilities. For example, in issues of salat, fasting, inheritance, and the like, all Muslims must adhere to the same ah’kaam. However, Muslim, in matters that has to do with tradition, and cultural norms, and regional circumstances, Muslim scholars should refrain from making rulings which prohibit the cultural practices people in faraway lands.

It is not common, and virtually unheard of, for scholars of Egypt to render fatwas against the people of Syria for what they do in their country, or for the scholars of Saudi Arabia to render fatwas against the People of Bahrain for what they do in their country, or for the scholars of Lebanon, or Algeria, to render fatwas against the Muslims of Sudan, for what they do in their country.

Were they to do that, people would be insulted and take hyperbolic umbrage over it. There is a certain respect, and acknowledgement of scholars, to respect the boundaries, intelligence, and independence of Muslim peoples in other countries, to understand their own condition, and to handle their own affairs accordingly. This gentleman’s understanding and respect, should also extend to Muslims, and Muslim converts living in America.

Muslim Americans have lived on this continent, since the 1600’s, long before this country even became a republic. They have endured under slavery, torture, illiteracy, and being bought and sold like cattle, and still managed to hold on to their faith. So to think that American Muslims of today, do not know how to maintain or practice their faith in the midst of a country like the United States of America, is untenable, and untenable is a soft word because it’s more like, ludicrous. It would be unthinkable for an American Muslim scholar or Imam to render a ruling about practices in another country, and be taken seriously.

The Prophet , and his learned companions, knew how to navigate their way through their society in a way as to avoid what was prohibited upon them. This is true for most Muslims, once they know what is prohibited upon them according to the Quran and the Sunna. If we can accept, as the majority of scholars do, that the companions of the Prophet were able to navigate through Arab society using the guidance of the Quran and the Sunna, then how can we not accept the possibility that American Muslims could do the same, without outside help? The reason the Prophet migrated from Mecca to Madinah, was not because they were unable to conduct their affairs morally and comprehensively in an un-Islamic society; the reason he made the Hijra, was because the Muslims under persecution. It is a historical fact that the first Hijra was because of persecution, and the same went for the second Hijra. This is why the Prophet “said the best of you in jaahiliyyah is the best of you in Islam if they understand (the religion). In order for people to understand the religion, they the focus has to be upon the texts.

During the last four or five decades, millions of Americans have converted to Islam, and their families and extended families were not Muslim. People have used Thanksgiving Day for a day of strengthening family ties, keeping in touch with their relatives whom normally, they would not have the opportunity to visit because of work obligations and distance. And in the overwhelming majority of cases, the non-Muslim families, because of love and attachment to the Muslim, accommodates them in every possible way.

It would be grossly irresponsible to say that Thanksgiving, or any observance of it, is prohibited. Because to do so, is to say that people gathering to eat, to be amongst their family and loved ones, and to express their thanks to God, is an abomination, and something that angers God. To render the holiday and all of the practices haraam would say that it is evil, an abomination, and something that God hates. “Say: My Lord forbiddeth only indecencies, such of them as are apparent and such as are within, and sin and wrongful oppression, and that ye associate with Allah that for which no authority hath been revealed, and that ye tell concerning Allah that which ye know not”.[1]

Thus, when a convert to Islam is now told that eating with his family, visiting his grandma, and keeping ties with his family is a shameful, hateful thing to god, it sends a dangerous psychological message, that is antithetical to our faith. To say that doing these things are permissible on other days, but not permissible of the day that it is easiest to accomplish keeping ties, goes directly against the standards of our Prophet in fulfilling godly obligations. Which was to prefer ease. “This religion is easy. No one becomes harsh and strict in the religion without it overwhelming him”.[2] It is easy for scholars from abroad to prohibit something when they have no direct experience upon the matter. This is why we seek to clarify the whole issue of Thanksgiving so that people will be upon clarity بينة.

What is Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving Day is an American cultural holiday that is marked by family gatherings, cooking and feasting, being thankful, watching football, parades, staying home from work, and discounts in the malls on the following day. For many American families, thanksgiving dinner represents a day when the family comes together. For some, it is the only day where so many of the family are present on the same day and in the same place. Maintaining family relationships is prescribed in our scripture, and it is the Sunna of our beloved Prophet .

Is sitting down to a meal with one’s family prohibited on Thanksgiving? Some modern-day scholars of Islam are adamant that participating in any part of thanksgiving; going to dinner, taking off from work, eating turkey, visiting the family, taking advantage of the discounts in the malls,  is expressly prohibited. Some have even likened such behavior as disbelief. However, the evidences from the Quran and the Sunna seems not to support that notion.

Thanksgiving is an American holiday, not a religious holiday

Although Thanksgiving was originated by Christians, it was not born of pagan origin; amongst some of the early Christians in this country, special blessings viewed as coming from God, called for days of thanksgiving.  In its current form as practiced in the United States, it is not a religious holiday; it is an American holiday, observed in one way or another by people of all faiths. A person if they like, can use the occasion to reflect upon the blessings of their Lord, and thank Him. However, observing Thanksgiving Day does not require that a person worship, thank, or show gratitude to other than Allah sub’haanahu wa ta’ala, nor does it require that a person worship other than Him be he Exalted and Glorified.

Contrary to some opinions, there is nothing in the Book or in the Sunna of the Prophet that prohibits a person from being American, living like an American, behaving like an American, or engaging in American culture as long as the lifestyle, behavior or actions do not contradict the Book of Allah, or the Sunna of the Prophet . If America, being American, living like an American or thinking like an American contradicts the wishes of some of the scholars, then the Muslim is not answerable to them in that; we are answerable to Allah for our actions first and foremost.

Operative principles of Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Day centers around five points, all of which are prominently placed values in the religion of Islam.

1.      Thanking Allah: “And remember! your Lord caused to be declared (publicly): “If ye are grateful, I will add more (favors) unto you; But if ye show ingratitude, truly My punishment is terrible indeed”.[3]

2.      Being grateful: “He showed his gratitude for the favours of Allah, who chose him, and guided him to a Straight Way”.[4]

3.      Reminding yourself of His favors: “Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny”?[5]

4.      Keeping family ties: “Those who join together those things which Allah hath commanded to be joined, hold their Lord in awe, and fear the terrible reckoning

5.      Feeding food.

If the Prophet wanted to make it prohibited for a Muslim to visit his or her family during certain days of the year, then he would have done so, especially since the overwhelming majority of the companions of Rasoolillaah had relatives who continued to engage in pagan worship. Even if they converted to Islam, their family members continued to observe pagan rites, rituals and functions. It is confirmed in authentic hadith that the Prophet himself, as well as numerous companions were present at the Ka’ba while people were engaged in idol worship. However, they themselves, did not participate in anything of idol worship, nor did they engage in prohibited activity.

The Prophet , and his learned companions, knew how to navigate their way through their society in a way as to avoid what was prohibited upon them. This is true for most Muslims, once they know what is prohibited upon them according to the Quran and the Sunna. Thus is our view that scholars, who are not intimately informed about people’s daily lives, and exchanges with their environments, cannot and should not, attempt to micro-manage people’s interactive navigation through life, as they pursue the religious ideals and values for which God holds them accountable.

Errant Islamic rulings which prohibit Thanksgiving

A surprising number of religious edicts or fataawa rendered upon people, events and circumstances which occur in the United States are made by scholars who are qualified and astute in their own regard, but are distressingly uniformed about the details and social-cultural minutia of life in the United States of America. Subsequently, many rulings are made that are faulty, and harms the Muslim in areas of their faith, rather than benefit them. It is common that a fatwa is rendered, usually from abroad, which ends up requiring the Muslim to disobey Allah and His Messenger , or to hate something that Allah loves, or to ignore a basic principle of deen in order to comply with the ruling of an uninformed scholar. This phenomenon is one of the causes of American Muslim moral dysfunction. This problem is further exacerbated when we see that in many Muslim countries, holidays commemorations, and events, other than the two Eids are celebrated with the consent of the scholars while some of the same scholars, render prohibitions against Muslims celebrating anything besides the two Eids here in the United States.

There is hardly a single Muslim country on earth that does not celebrate their National Day, or their Independence Day, or the Prophet’s Birthday or their Revolution Day, or their Election Day, or million man marches as was held in Egypt recently. In Saudi Arabia they celebrate, in addition to the two Eids, the June Solstice on June 21st, the September Equinox on September 22nd, and the New Year on the first of Muharram, or November 5th, and the scholars are silent about that.  There are millions of Muslims who came to America, applied for citizenship and then went to the citizenship celebration held by the U.S government, and the scholars are silent about that. In fact, many of them participate in it every year.

When the Abbasid Dynasty came into being, it started with a huge celebration and feast for the leading Umayyad princes, and ended with them all being slaughtered. Muslims celebrate victories in battle. They celebrated for days when Mu’ammar Qadafhi was killed, they celebrated in the streets of Egypt when Husni Mubaarak was deposed, and they celebrated in the streets of Kuwait, after the Gulf war and the scholars sanctioned it. Even the Muslims, who cry about thanksgiving being haraam, commemorate it every year by arguing about it, so they still participate in the holiday; they just do it by arguing about it. In Pakistan they celebrate Pakistan Independence day on the 14th of August, Pakistan day on the 23rd of March, and Labor Day on the 1st of May, and the scholars are silent about these things and participate in them

Thus many of the fatwaawa (Islamic legal rulings) which prohibit thanksgiving are biased and use a double standard, or are issued by people who may mean well but who do not fully understand western society and how we celebrate our holidays. They are unaware of how we differentiate between the religious and the cultural and they are uninformed about how we navigate our affairs so and sift through the prohibited actions in order to engage in that which is permissible. Some scholars are also uninformed about the operative meaning of the word ‘celebration’ in the modern American context; they infer that by celebration, we mean worship, or that we mean partying, from morning to night, dancing in the streets, and making a spectacle of ourselves. Additionally, the notion of a holiday to many scholars is that it is religiously incumbent, and that participation is mandatory, not optional.  This is not the case not only for Thanksgiving but for many American holidays, even the religious ones.

People in America celebrate thanksgiving differently. There is no one way that the whole population; all 311,591,917 of us, observes the day. For some it is merely a paid or non-paid day off from work, which is permissible in either case. For others, it is a time when shopping bargains are available in the stores and online which is also permissible in Islam since there is no prohibition in purchasing an item that has been discounted.  For others it is a day of preparing a feast for the family and serving it to them which is a praiseworthy action in the religion of Islam. Or spending quality time with the family which also a praiseworthy action according to the Quran and the Sunna. Still for others it is no different from any other day at all. Some people abhor the thought of Thanksgiving, and others simply sleep through the whole day and don’t wake up until the next day. So anyone can see the obvious difficulty and absurdity in rendering any acknowledgement, involvement, celebration or participation in anything that has to do with Thanksgiving as prohibited

Many scholars of Islam, (may Allah bless and strengthen them), are also unfamiliar with the operative meaning and concept of the term ‘holiday’ means in the United States. Holidays in America can be religious, political, cultural or environmental (like earth day), historical (like Presidents Day), or patriotic in nature, like Veterans Day. Since the United States, thus far, is a free society, people generally are free to observe them any way they like. It’s not like religious holidays in the Muslim world whereas on the Eid for example; you aren’t considered to have observed the Eid unless you attended Eid prayer. If a woman is menstruating, she would be considered to have observed the Eid if she attended the prayer even if she didn’t pray.  30,000 people in the city where I live, observed Thanksgiving today by running a 5k race to raise money to feed the homeless, and it’s hard to find an argument that makes raising money to feed homeless people haram.

A Muslim is not obligated to live his or her life based upon the ignorance or misinformation of a well intending scholar.  Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya alluded to this issue very succinctly; when commenting of the necessity of understanding people’s cultural practices, he said: “This is a major foundation that every mufti (legist) or ruler needs; he must be both well-versed (in people’s traditions) as well as matters of command and prohibition and then apply them both simultaneously. Otherwise he will do more harm than good. If he is not intimately aware of an issue in which people have particular understanding, a transgressor will appear to him as the transgressed and the truth will appear to him as falsehood and vice versa.”

Ibn Qayyim went on to say: “Because of his ignorance of the people, their traditions, their conditions and their habits, he (a scholar) will not be able to distinguish (between truth and falsehood), Thus, it is imperative that he understands the machinations of the people, their deceptions, their cultural traditions and their habits because fatwa (religious rulings) change with the changing of time, place culture and condition, and all of this is part of the religion of Allah”.[6] Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya.  There is a fatwa floating around, attributed to our esteemed Shaykh bin Baaz, (RA) that prohibits celebrating any festivals, holidays, or special occasions of non-Muslims. I regret that during my time of study with him, I did not ask him specifically and in detail about Thanksgiving in America. Had I done so, I doubt if he would have found it prohibited but Allah knows best.

The correct Islamic ruling on celebrating Thanksgiving Day

Deeds are reckoned according to intentions, based upon the hadith; “surely deeds are reckoned by intention”.[7] There are several Sunnan and Quranic injunctions that are found in the observance of thanksgiving such as the Prophet’s exhortation upon the believers to feed food; when asked what is the best type of Islam, he replied: “feeding food, and spreading the salaams”[3]. Thanksgiving also is marked by gathering with family and strengthening family bonds, which is a praiseworthy act; “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him maintain the bonds of kinship.[4]”additionally, it is not prohibited in Islam to visit the homes of your relatives, and eat there; “It is no fault in the blind nor in one born lame, nor in one afflicted with illness, nor in yourselves, that ye should eat in your own houses, or those of your fathers, or your mothers, or your brothers, or your sisters, or your father’s brothers or your father’s sisters, or your mother’s brothers, or your mother’s sisters, or in houses of which the keys are in your possession, or in the house of a sincere friend of yours: there is no blame on you, whether ye eat in company or separately. But if ye enter houses, salute each other – a greeting of blessing and purity as from Allah. Thus does Allah make clear the signs to you: that ye may understand”.[8]

There are no verses in the Quran or authentic ahaadeeth of the Prophet that expressly prohibit celebrating thanksgiving. Even though there are scholars who triangulate different ahaadeeth and verses and interpret them to make Thanksgiving prohibited, this is without warrant according to our understanding.

It is not possible to prohibit an entire day, since all the days of the year belong to Allah sub’haanahu wa ta’ala. However, activities that occur on any given day can be prohibited if there is sufficient proof. So based upon the evidences that we have provided, observing Thanksgiving Day by itself, is not prohibited, and just like every other cultural occasion, the activities that one participates in on that day, should be looked upon on a case by case, compartmental basis.

It is permissible for a Muslim to prepare a meal on Thanksgiving Day, or any other day in their own homes, and eat thereof. It is also permissible to invite guests to your home on that day or any other day of the year to eat your food. It is permissible to cook turkey, chicken, duck, lamb, beef, or any other meat that is allowable according to the Book and the Sunna. It is also permissible to go vegetarian if one likes. Allah has made no restrictions on which days people can feast and which days they cannot except in the case of Ramadan.

Likewise, If one sees benefit in taking a paid day off from work to spend with their family or to rest then they should do so. If they see benefit in spending that time with their families over grandma’s house and enjoying a good meal of allowable food, then they should do so. If the see benefit in spending halal money, on permissible items that are discounted in the mall, then they should do so. However, if going to grandma’s house for dinner or preparing a special meal in your own home will cause problems in the family, sour relations with the relatives, or somehow cause you to lose your religion, or disobey Allah and His Messenger, then you should not participate. Likewise, if a person wishes to avoid everything about that day, pay full price instead of the discounted price at the mall, return to their employer, their day’s pay when they took off, and behave as if it is just another day, then they are allowed to do that according to the Kitaab and the Sunna.

Another important point is that, if we can accept that scholars can make ta’weel (interpretation) of divine ordinances so as to render an affair like Thanksgiving to be prohibited, despite that that there are no direct texts that say such, then it should be more acceptable that the opinions of scholars are also subject to interpretation, as to render their opinion erroneous, or invalid. Scholarly opinions are not divine writ. If the Book of Allah, and the ahaadeeth of the Prophet , are subject to interpretation, then so are the opinions of scholars.

Conditions for celebrating thanksgiving:

·        That you thank Allah sub’haanahu wa ta’ala first for the good that He has given you.   It is permissible to thank others as well according to the hadith; “whoever does not thank people, does not thank Allah”.

·        That you thank Him on all of the other days of the year as well, and not pick only that one day to be grateful to Allah sub’haanahu wa ta’ala.

·        That you do not participate in any activity that is prohibited in the religion, such as drinking alcohol, using intoxicants, or displaying lewd, and unlawful behavior.

·        Thanksgiving dinners sometimes invite to overeating or gluttony, so a Muslim must be mindful of that, not just during thanksgiving but during the whole year.

·        That you do not waste food, and if there is excess, then you should feed others with it, or refrigerate it until a later time. But you already knew that.

·        That you do not eat in the name of other than Allah, or eat an animal that was killed in the name of other than Allah.

·        That you do not sit at a table where alcohol and intoxicating beverages are served.

Follow-up question: Is celebrating Thanksgiving imitating the kuffaar?

There is no evidence in the Book or in the Sunna that everything that a non-Muslim does is prohibited. It is impossible for Muslims to not imitate anything at all that a non-Muslim does. They are all; both Muslims and non-Muslims, human beings and inhabitants of this earth. They shop at the same stores; they wear the same brands of clothes, eat the same kinds of foods, use the same types of utensils, use the same brands of computers, and sport around in the same types of automobiles as the so-called unbeliever. Muslims use the same types of tools that non-Muslim use; power drills, electric saws, lawn mowers, and weed whackers.

We also use the same weapons as the non-Muslims use; in fact, Muslims don’t even manufacture weapons; all the advanced weaponry that Muslims use in today’s modern warfare are imitations of the non-Muslim types of weapons.  If you turn on any television (which by the way was invented by the non-Muslim, you will see Muslims in all parts of the world, wearing thobes made in China (atheists), eating on dishes made in France,  wearing diamonds mined in South Africa, bearing military ranks (general, captain, lieutenant , sergeant) invented by the so called kuffaar. So it would seem that 99% of the Muslims in the world have entered into what some scholars would characterize as disbelief.  I’m not buying it. The only one who is free from error and whose opinion must be accepted without question is Rasoolillaah . When we see textual evidence which prohibits virtually every product, action, celebration, festivity, or cause of joy that exists on the planet, as the fatwa prohibiting Thanksgiving seems to say, then we will accept it. Otherwise, we must look at all actions on a case by case basis. And Allah knows best.

Second follow up question: Does Muslims have to celebrate Thanksgiving Day?

No one is saying that you have to celebrate Thanksgiving Day, or to be any way involved in it. People do not have to eat with their family on that day, they don’t have to cook, or even think about cooking if they don’t want to. They don’t have to take off from work, (unless their job is closed that day), or participate in any Thanksgiving related activities. They don’t have to answer the phone when their auntie calls them to ask are they coming, and can they bring some extra plastic cups for the kids. They don’t have to take advantage of 20-50% off, in any Thanksgiving Day sale, and they don’t have to watch the parade, watch football on television, or finger through the big Thanksgiving edition of their city’s newspaper. They don’t even have to get out of bed, except to perform their prayer. They don’t have to get dressed, like they are going somewhere, and if a woman is menstruating, she can sleep through the whole day, and wake up the next day if she wants.

Participating in Thanksgiving in any way is not a religious obligation. The deen of Allah is easy, and the Lord that we worship is above pettiness of any kind. He is also very clear about what He wants us to do, and about what He wants us to stay away from. Thus, if someone wants to declare something haram, and declare that anyone who participates in a thing is committing a sin against Allah, then they need to bring clear evidence, otherwise, they risk forging a lie against Allah sub’haanahu wata’ala, and that’s what we have an issue with.

When someone, says that something is haram, then they are speaking on behalf of Allah sub’haanahu wa ta’ala, and they need to bring conclusive proof, and not just their dislike for something or dislike for a certain people. It is not permissible in Islam for anyone to render something prohibited on their own accord. 7:32 “Say: Who hath forbidden the beautiful (gifts) of Allah, which He hath produced for His servants, and the things, clean and pure, (which He hath provided) for sustenance? Say: They are, in the life of this world, for those who believe, (and) purely for them on the Day of Judgment. Thus do We explain the signs in detail for those who understand”.[9]

Personal sentiment by itself, is not enough to manufacture law. Law is made by the use of textual evidence, or decisive proof, not merely that people do not like Christians, or don’t like America, or don’t like the kuffaar, or don’t like the Pilgrims, or don’t like the idea of families getting together and expressing their gratitude for each other on that day, or don’t like turkey, or don’t like what some people did in celebration of Thanksgiving, or don’t like the oppressors of hundreds of years ago. A Muslim should not let their dislike for a people, prevent them from being just. “O ye who believe! Stand out firmly for Allah, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you, make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is closer to piety: and fear Allah. For Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do”.[10]

A Muslim may engage in any activity that is not expressly prohibited by Allah, or His Messenger, or by a unanimous consensus of Muslim scholars. They can engage in any activity that does not compromise their faith, does not require from them that they ascribe partners with Allah, does not require or encourage that they disobey Allah or His Messenger (SAWS), and that does not place them or their religion, or the practice thereof, in harm. They can engage in any activity that does not invite to haram, or leads to haram, or that glorifies something that is haram. Muslims are not allowed to engage in any activity that promotes or glorifies, kufr, shirk, disobedience to Allah and His Messenger, or that makes a mockery of our noble religion. We don’t do Christmas, Easter, or Halloween, since all of these celebrate, commemorate, or invite to disbelief, or glorifies evil, as in the case of Halloween. . If you don’t want to have anything to do with the Thanksgiving Day, then leave it alone completely; there is no blame in that, as long as you fulfill your other obligations to Allah. Wal Al-humdu lillaahi Rabbil aalameen.

Shaykh Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad in the Imam and Executive Director of Masjid Ibrahim Islamic Center in Sacramento California, you can reach him at imamluqman@masjidibrahim.com, or visit the Masjid website at http://www.masjidibrahim.com

A Fatwa About Celebrating Your Country’s National Day [By Sheikh `Abd Allah b. Bayyih]

Every country has its National Day. This day is not a religious festival. The new holidays that we as Muslims are prohibited from introducing into our lives are new religious holidays. We are not prohibited from other occasions where people get together for one reason or another. People celebrate their marriages, they celebrate the birth of a new child. They might celebrate any number of other occasions, and there is nothing wrong with this, as long as their celebration is not a religious observance.

It is essential to clear up the misunderstanding that many people have about this issue. Due to this misunderstanding, people have been placed in great difficulties, since so many religious people have been made to think that by observing these non-religious holidays they are committing some sort of sin.

Observing these days is not sinful. In Islamic Law, the default ruling for an activity – barring any evidence to the contrary – is that of permissibility. We should consider how scholars related to such events in the past. There was a tradition that hailed to before the time of Islam known as `Atîrah. It was a day in the month of Rajab where an animal would customarily be slaughtered. Scholars of the Hanbalî school of law regarded it as permissible. Mâlikî scholars disliked it, since it was a practice from the times of ignorance before Islam.

Nevertheless, Hanbalî scholars saw no problem with it. They argued that there is no text forbidding it. The fact that people from since bygone days had a day in Rajab where they would traditionally slaughter an animal – called a rajabi or an `atîrah – is something that is permissible by default. If people want to get together on a day in the month or Rajab or Sha`bân or any other time that of the year that suits their customs to slaughter an animal and have a feast, then that is up to them.

The same can be said for the anniversary of a country’s independence – which is usually what is meant by the “national day” in the countries of Africa and Asia that used to be colonial possessions. There is nothing in Islam to prohibit this.

We need to properly understand the hadîth where the Prophet (peace be upon him), upon his arrival in Madinah, found that the people there had two festive days wherein they would play and enjoy themselves and said: “Allah – most blessed and exalted – has replaced them with what is better: `Îd al-Fitr and `Îd al-Adhâ.” [Sunan Abî Dâwûd (1134) and Sunan al-Nasâ’î (1556)]

These were pagan religious holidays tied in with their idols. The Prophet (peace be upon him), therefore, mentioned to them the two religious holidays of the Muslims, `Îd al-Fitr and `Îd al-Adhâ. This does not imply in any way that people are forbidden to engage in any public assembly or celebration whatsoever. As long as participating in these celebrations does not entail any sinful conduct, people should be allowed to celebrate. It is unwise to raise objections, disturb people in their traditions, and cause division in society when there is no text form the Qur’ân and Sunnah to forbid those traditions, nor any scholarly consensus even within the schools of thought. Islamic Law is easy with regard to matters wherein there is no clear objection and where the disapproval that is expressed is not based upon any unequivocal evidence. People should be allowed the scope to express their customs. The principle of maintaining ease and facilitation is an essential principle of Islamic Law. Allah says: “He has not placed any difficulty upon you in religion.” [Sûrah al-Hajj: 78] He says: “Allah desires that He should make light your burdens.” [Sûrah al-Nisâ': 28] Anas relates that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Make things easy and do not make things difficult. Give glad tidings and do not become divided.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (69) and Sahîh Muslim (1734)] We say again that the religion of Islam, essentially, seeks to make things easy for the people. The other opinions and views that scholars have on this matter should be treated with respect. Nevertheless, those opinions are not sacred scripture.

And Allah knows best. By Sheikh Abdullah Ibn Bayah


[1] Quran, 7:33.

[2] Collected by Bukhaari.

[3] Quran, 14:7

[4] Quran, 16:121

[5] Quran, 55:49.

[6] Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya (D. 751 A.H.) quoted from: “Ii’laan al-Muwaqqi’een an Rabbil aalameen” vol. 4, p. 157

[7] Collected by Muslim.

[8] Quran, 34:61.

[9] Quran, 7:32.

[10] Quran, 5:8.

 

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34 responses to “The Islamic Ruling regarding Celebrating Thanksgiving Day by Shaykh Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad

  1. aneasypath

    November 21, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    Reblogged this on An Easy Path.

     
    • Mahtab Hossain, FCA

      November 22, 2012 at 6:45 am

      It is an Excellent article.
      I do agree with the views in this article. There should not be any barrier for the well informed Muslims to join the Thanksgiving Dinner hosted by any American friends. Muslims should have the broard mind to join the American Celebration.
      If Muslims do not drink Alcohol, eat Pork etc, there must not be any problem to participate such Party.It is a great opportunity for the Muslims to join their fellow American Friends and enjoy their Celebration.

       
  2. Maryam Mahmoud

    November 25, 2012 at 4:51 am

    Assalaamu alaikum, question. How does this not conflict with the hadeeth that mentions Muslims only having two Eids? Thanksgiving may not in itself have roots in Christianity nor does it incite evil (well, not counting gluttony) but how does it fit in to the American/Canadian Muslim’s life keeping in mind the hadeeth I mentioned? BarakAllahu feek

     
    • Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad

      November 25, 2012 at 10:37 am

      Alaikum salaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh, Dear Maryam, ma sha Allah, that is my daughters name. To answer your question; Thanksgiving is not the Eid, and the meaning of the hadith that you mentioned, does not rule out all celebrations from then until the Day of Judgment. This seems to be the understanding of the majority of scholars, especially given that since the time of the Prophet (SAWS) Muslims have participated in, and held millions of different celebrations of all kinds and dimensions that have been attended by them or about which they have been silent. When the King Feisal Mosque was built in Southern California, there was a huge celebration that included feasting, the presence of politicians and many shuyookh from Saudi Arabia and the celebration itself cost over a million dollars, and there were no fatwaawa that I am aware of that prohibited it. There is not a single Muslim country on earth that does not celebrate their National Day, or their Independence Day, or the Prophet’s Birthday (SAWS) or their revolution Day, or their Election Day, or million man marches as was held in Egypt recently. In Saudi Arabia they celebrate, in addition to the two Eids, the June Solstice and the September Equinox, and the scholars are silent about that. There are millions of Muslims who came to America, applied for citizenship and then went to the citizenship celebration held by the U.S government, and the scholars are silent about that. In fact, many of them participate in it every year. When the Abbasid Dynasty came into being, it started with a huge celebration and feast for the leading Umayyad princes, and ended with them all being slaughtered. Muslims celebrate victories in battle. They celebrated for days when Mu’ammar Qadafhi was killed, they celebrated in the streets of Egypt when Husni Mubaarak was deposed, and they celebrated in the streets of Kuwait, after the Gulf war. Even the Muslims, who cry about thanksgiving being haraam, commemorate it every year by arguing about it. In Pakistan they celebrate Pakistan Independence day on the 14th of August, Pakistan day on the 23rd of March, and Labor Day on the 1st of day of May, and the scholars are silent about these things and participate in them. so in response to your question; the Prophet (SAWS) said: “whatever I have forbidden upon you, stay away from it wand whatever I have commanded you to do, do of it what you are able, for surely, those who came before you were destroyed because of their excessive questioning, and because of their differences with their Prophets” [Bukhaari and Muslim]. Thus, a Muslim should concentrate first and foremost on those things that are clear in the religion. We know for a fact that, fornication, adultery, murder, stealing lying, false testimony, disobedience to the parents, corruption, bribery, backbiting, swine, intoxicants, homosexuality, muslim on muslim killing, and transgression are all prohibited by the Book and by the Sunna. Likewise, we know that prayer, charity, fasting, hajj, honoring the parent, caring for the poor, the wayfarer and the orphan, justice, goodness, maintaining relations with the relatives, cleanliness, honesty, public service, removing something injurious from the road, returning the salaams, and respecting the elderly, were all sanctioned by our Lord and are part of our religion. We should stick to those things. Muslims have a whole lot more to worry about than someone enjoying halal food on Thanksgiving Day, and Allah knows best. Abu Marayam

       
      • Maryam Mahmoud

        December 6, 2012 at 11:24 am

        Assalaamu alaikum, barakAllahu feek for replying and forgive my late reply. I understand all that you were saying but I am just, as we would say, playing devil’s advocate here. Yes, countries such as those you mentioned celebrate those holidays and the scholars are silent about it. I highly doubt it is because they WANT to be silent about it or that they really do not see a problem with these days. As much as people think it is the scholars who hold the reigns, it is most of the time the governments themselves who put lid on certain opinions. So I wouldn’t count their silence as meaning they don’t see a problem with it.

         
      • Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad

        December 6, 2012 at 3:12 pm

        Alaikum salaam wa rahmatullah yaa Marayam! It is true that many of our scholars are under pressure from repressive governments and often have to remain silent for their own safety and the safety of their families and that is unfortunate. However, that being the case it makes us have to look at their rulings with regard to us with a critical eye and sometimes we need to re-examine what they say and put it through a re-test using the Quran and sunna, and applying the accepted principles of legal rendering, (principles accepted by all scholars). We cannot afford to accept every ruling from abroad at face value without any second glance because as you stated, they are limited, and because since they are limited, there is a greater propensity for error and bias. Our goal is to follow the Quran and the sunna, and remain independent, and not become a colony, ruled by people who themselves are limited in their ability to lead the ummah.

         
      • abu zaid

        November 5, 2013 at 9:34 am

        Barakallaahu fees…
        So brother, what your saying is, just because you see Muslims in other regions of the world celebrating these various festivals, that’s makes it OK? I lived in ksa for 5 years, and I have never seen anyone participate or even advertise or promote those anniversaries you mentioned, wallaahi. Additionally, I have heard Saudi scholars with my own ears denounce celebrating these so-called national days and such. The masses or the majority don’t dictate whats permissible in Islam.. I’m sure you know this all too well akhi. We have our holidays, and this is clear. What harm are we causing by NOT celebrating thanksgiving? And is it possible in not celebrating it, we may be avoiding sin? At best, this should be consider a grey matter, and as the. Prophet sullaahu alaihi was sallam said, stay clear from grey matters to avoid the potential of falling into haram. Sticking with whats clear is our safety net akhi. I’m not saying that on some level we Muslims in the west don’t assimilate, because as you mentioned, its difficult not to.. with some things! However, why purposefully assimilate with celebrations, and anything else that obviously has roots in Christianity.. or any other faith other than Islam? We have enough garbage to try to avoid.. their celebrations are easy, InshaAllaah. If anything, have a feast on a different day. This way, at least there is some level of distinction made. May Allaah guide us all akhi.

         
      • Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad

        November 5, 2013 at 10:08 am

        Perhaps you should read the text of the article once more. What I am saying is, that if someone wants to declare something haram, and declare that anyone who participates in a thing is committing a sin against Allah, then they need to bring proof. What may seem like a gray area for some people, may not be a grey area for others. It is very unlikely that the companions of the Prophet (SAWS) never ate with, or participated with anything with their non-Muslim relatives, especially after the Prophet (SAWS) encouraged maintaining relations with them. The Prophet’s uncle, Abbaas used to preside over zam zam distribution to the hajjis while they were committing acts of shirk around the ka’ba and the Prophet (SAWS) allowed him to do that. The bottom line is that when someone, says that something is haram, then they are speaking on behalf of Allah sub’haanahu wa ta’ala, and they need to bring conclusive proof, and not just their dislike for something or dislike for a certain people. That is not enough to produce law. Law is made by the use of textual evidence, or conclusive proof, not merely that people don’t like Christians, or don’t like America, or don’t like the kuffaar, don’t like the Pilgrims, or don’t like the idea of families getting together and expressing their gratitude for each other. Muslims around the world commit many acts everyday that are clearly prohibited and people say nothing, and then wait until Thanksgiving and want to make a hue and cry that people spend time with their families who many times they haven’t seen all year. Let’s focus on the haram that Muslims have already fallen into, like Muslim on Muslim killing, rape, bribery, spousal abuse, drug and alcohol use, and calling each other kaafir, and the ridiculous ways that we argue back and forth while our communities are crumbling, instead of trying to make something that has clear benefit for people, haram, without any accompanying evidence except for our own whims. And Allah knows best.

         
  3. Yasin Najaa

    November 5, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    as salaam alayka, I just wanted to say that your post is very informative. However, I understand your point of view but I just don’t believe we as Muslims should follow the oppressor in his oppression, meaning Thanksgiving was celebrated after the killing and murder of many of the (Purtocsant ) Indians, excuse the spelling please, this tribe is from the east coast and its reported that the white people who came here made a treaty with them and that night burned the Indians alive while they where sleeping, and killed the men who were able to come out and defend their land and families. So the next day the white people had a feast called Thanksgiving. Allah say’s in his book that he don’t like the oppressor so why should we as Muslims support the oppressors oppression if Allah don’t like oppression shouldn’t we feel the same way. We can pick any day to bring the family together, why pick a day that’s remembered for the slaughtering of innocent people because of the lust for power and control by an oppressive people.

     
    • Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad

      November 5, 2013 at 11:59 pm

      Wa alaikum, No one is saying that you have to celebrate Thanksgiving, or to be any way involved in it. People do not have to eat with their family on that day, they don’t have to cook, or even think about cooking if they don’t want to. They don’t have to take off from work, (unless their job is closed that day), or participate in any Thanksgiving related activities. They don’t have to answer the phone when their auntie calls them to ask are they coming, and can they bring some extra plastic cups for the kids. They don’t have to take advantage of 20-50% off, in any Thanksgiving Day sale, and they don’t have to watch the parade, watch football on television, or finger through the big Thanksgiving edition of their city’s newspaper. They don’t even have to get out of bed, except to perform their prayer. They don’t have to get dressed, like they are going somewhere, and if a woman is menstruating, she can sleep through the whole day, and wake up the next day if she wants.
      The deen of Allah is easy, and the Lord that we worship is above pettiness of any kind. He is also very clear about what He wants us to do, and about what He wants us to stay away from. So what I am saying is, that if someone wants to declare something haram, and declare that anyone who participates in a thing is committing a sin against Allah, then they need to bring clear evidence, otherwise, they risk forging a lie against Allah sub’haanahu wata’ala, and that’s what I have an issue with.
      When someone, says that something is haram, then they are speaking on behalf of Allah sub’haanahu wa ta’ala, and they need to bring conclusive proof, and not just their dislike for something or dislike for a certain people. That is not enough to produce law. Law is made by the use of textual evidence, or decisive proof, not merely that people don’t like Christians, or don’t like America, or don’t like the kuffaar, don’t like the Pilgrims, or don’t like the idea of families getting together and expressing their gratitude for each other, or don’t like what some people did in celebration of Thanksgiving, or don’t like the oppressor.
      I don’t think that Muslims should really support our oppressors either but guess what, we support the oppressor bigtime, and it ain’t just ‘whitey’. We spend billions upon billions of dollars supporting companies and institutions that are involved in all sorts of oppression, notwithstanding that we have become pretty adept at meting out oppression ourselves, of all kinds, but that’s another story. Hey, if you don’t want to have anything to do with the holiday, then leave it alone completely, no one can blame you for that, and Al-humdu lillaahi Rabbil aalameen.

       
  4. Daud Shahid Shabazz

    November 6, 2013 at 11:01 am

    I would not infringe on anyones right to participate in any festivities as long as it is not in contradiction to Islam. With that being said, I don’t see myself sitting at a table with alcohol and swine which most Christians partake in on most of their holidays.

     
  5. Yasin Najaa

    November 6, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    as salaam alayka, so what your saying is that Muslims who call it haram to celebrate other holidays are wrong, and you was just bring out that point. However, somethings are morally incorrect and even though there is no textual prof its still wrong to do as a moral issue ex, like a husband and wife kissing in the middle of the street there is not textual prof for it, but its haram because that’s something Muslim shouldn’t partake in. Because it don’t look good.

     
  6. Saida Abdul-Aziz

    November 9, 2013 at 4:01 am

    All I have to say is you are the bomb! Keep it coming Imam, I do love your ability to take on difficult and controversial topic with such finesse.

     
  7. UmmMahmoud

    November 18, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    *Disclaimer, I am not arguing about celebrating, however I’ve lived in KSA for over ten years and they do not celebrate the equinox, the solstice, the islamic new year, nor the prophets (peace be upon him) birthday or anyone elses. Nor are the scholars silent about this. This is misinformation feeding into the ignorance of those that want to follow their desires.

     
    • Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad

      November 18, 2013 at 10:33 pm

      Perhaps that is true, and when I lived in Saudi Arabia, I don’t remember them outwardly celebrating any of those other holidays either. However, these holidays are listed in official documents and tourism tracts, as official holidays of the Kingdom, and I do not fault them for that. Nevertheless, it is a known fact that Muslims from all over the Muslim world routinely celebrate on numerous occasions other than the two Eids. Oftentimes the celebrations are much more lavish, and elaborate, than anything that Muslims might do here in the way of Thanksgiving. When the King Fahd in Culver City was opened, the Saudi Government spent over 1 million dollars in the celebration, and when the Buruj Tower opened up in Dubai, millions of dollars was spent and they celebrated in the streets, shot off fireworks, and had parties, and so on. I have no problem with them celebrating their accomplishments. I didn’t hear about any scholars condemning any of that, as an imitation of the kuffaar, or as violating the only two celebrations allowed rule.
      This is not simply about thanksgiving. It is part of a much larger problem. Today’s scholars, are faced with a task, that scholars of previous times, did not have to reckon with; before the age of globalization, scholars would render religious edicts (fataawa), about their own people, and their own cultural affairs, and their own countries and lifestyle, about which they were very familiar. Today, scholars face, and sometimes simply take upon themselves, the colossal assignment of rendering religious edicts about people, places, and culture, where they do not live, do not have an intimate working knowledge of, and are woefully unfamiliar with.
      Fatwas, that apply to well-known, and necessary issues of worship, aqeeda, theology, and religious practices, can be applied globally across the board. In such issues, all Muslims are the same, and they have the same obligations, and responsibilities. However, Muslim scholars, should refrain from making rulings, which prohibit cultural practices of a people in faraway lands. And scholars should stop singling out American Muslims with these ridiculous fatwas, which they dare not apply to their own people, in their own countries.

       
      • Saida Abdul-Aziz

        November 19, 2013 at 12:23 pm

        Dear Imam. I just read a comment on Thanksgiving from a sister who has been living in KSA for 10 years. What is her role in the society? Does she have a tract to citizenship there, make any decision, have the ability to voice her opinions in public, gather in a group for political discussions with or without permission, or even drive a car? Or, must she remain in service or living there on the charity of the wealthy until her usefulness has gone, her youth and health have gone, or children grown up and need mates? While I think the KSA is a special place because it houses Allah’s House, and serves as the resting place for our Prophet Muhammed (PBUH), also I think the people there are prone to do what all people do. I live in Turkey currently and I have lived in Egypt. In Egypt, I had a path to citizenship through my husband had we chosen to permanently immigrate, because he was there for 5 years, so did our children. I could also have pursued some less desirable familial avenues for immigration. In Turkey, there is also a process,I just have not investigated it becaasue I work here , but my home is the USA. No matter how long she stays in KSA, she has no way to achieve the level of respect that the United States affords immigrants allowing a path to citizenship, even if that path is not perfect. I wish we could concern ourselves with the haram that Allah has clearly identified- fornication, alcohlism, domestic violence, pedophelia, shall I go on. KSA is no eutopia, it is inhabited by human beings who might not celebrate holidays, but will rape your children, beat their wives, drink, fornicate, and do all matter of other human sins like every other place and every other people except those who choose to serve Allah and follow the example of his Prophet (PBUH). Imam you lived in KSA, Sudan, and a few other places as a man free to transverse society. You know that what I am saying is true. It is time for us to find cultural advocates for our way of life, leadership with the capacity and knowledge to Islamize what is permissible and teach us how to avoid what is not rather than continuing to believe that eutopia and heaven on earth can exists in the embodiment and accoutrements of others. Preach on Imam!

         
  8. Kham

    November 22, 2013 at 3:20 am

    Asslamualaykum I wanted to remind you that when you reply a Salam you need to say wa alaykum as slam not Alaikum.

     
  9. UmmAskia

    November 25, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    AsSalaamuAlaikum!

    How do Amerikkkkans FORGET THE LAND STOLEN & Genocide COMMITTED BY EUROPEANS , AGAINST ORIGINAL PEOPLE LIVING HERE?! ” THANKS GIVING ” for WHO?! Same with HALLOWEEN,Easter, Christmass, which too many Muslims HERE ALSO PRACTICE! As for Veterans Day, yeh, I SUPPORT MY RELATIVES/Neighbors , Etc……….., Blindly following ORDERS TO KILL MUSLIMS & other innocent VICTIMS! Oh and let’s NOT FORGET , Nuclear Bombing of HIROSHIMA/NAGASAKI, Japan!

     
  10. Meghan

    November 25, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    Salam aliekum….Wow Imam, you have real strength to deal with all the backlash. We have the most perfect tolerant religion but the least tolerant people, I cant read anymore of these comments….God help us all, forgive us all, peace to you and Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Black Friday Shopping!!!!

     
  11. Amina

    November 25, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    Assalam wa alikum!
    My question is, can we eat Turkey or not?

     
  12. Yasmine Parish

    November 25, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    I was unaware this was even a question. I am a convert to Islam. I go back and forth between living in the city and living with my mom because of money. However, with that said, my family is all Christians. The holiday in question is an odd one because it has nothing to do with religion. It has to do with the Native Americans showing the White Man how to survive in America. The typical eating of turkey and corn, along with others traditional feasting was originated from the first feast which was with the first White people and the Natives. And btw I’m White and Native American. Honestly I think that y’all in the Middle East just like fighting… Goodness. Over a strictly American culture that celebrates being thankful for another year with family and friends….. -_-… ummmm ok……My mind is still trying to process the very idea this is an Issue. This does not compute. :D Y’all seriously need to chill out on this whole arguing,You might want to try to smile just a little, it might help with all this unnecessary tension. And remember if you don’t want to partake no one will force you. You do what you feel in your heart is right.

     
  13. Ashiji

    November 25, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    Assalamualiekum,
    The comments are really funny. The Muslims here are adamant that Thanksgiving is haram where you don’t find any rulings against it but how about living in a non Muslim country and paying taxes to this OPRESSOR not only to the Native Americans but other nations as well and working in their Economy where most of the business is run by loans. And by the way there are rulings against this. But oh no we will live here but celebrating the Thanksgiving is Haraam. Very funny

     
  14. Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad

    November 25, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    What gets me is how a Muslim scholar can come to the United States for an advanced degree at one of our universities, applies for citizenship, swears an oath of allegiance to our government and constitution, buys a house in the suburbs courtesy of our interest based banking system, shops at Walmart, installs cable television to watch American movies on his big screen T.V., and then decries that the rest of us are imitating the kuffaar/infidels when we visit grandma’s house on Thanksgiving Day.

     
  15. Emma

    November 26, 2013 at 6:45 am

    As an American raised in a loosely Christian home, I can easily say I have never had alcohol, I have hated the sight and smell of pork since I can remember, and always held high morals. Upon converting to Islam, not much in my way of life changed as far as those every day things. I love spending time with my family and Thanksgiving is a time where A LOT of friends and family have the ability to get together. It is not competing with Eid as some people try to say. It is no more than a dinner amongst friends/family. I made a very traditional Thanksgiving dinner (a few days early) and we had about 40 people over, all of which happened to be Muslim. Dinner fell between prayers and everyone (including all the kids) was sure to pray both before and after the meal. We didn’t forget God because we ate turkey and potatoes- in fact we came together and remembered Allah as we should every day!
    Friday, my winter tree and snowflakes are going up. We live in Florida, so some resemblance of my winter life up north is needed, but that’s a whole other story!

     
  16. Aminah

    November 26, 2013 at 6:46 am

    As salaamu alakium, I understand your position regarding family and a time of year when most non muslim family members here in America are off from work and have the opportunity to gather. It is a part of our religion to keep the family ties. In Islam we have two celebrations, and only two. If we start allowing ourselves to sit and gather during this time, not only do I feel it confuses our children but will also put the Muslim in and around things that are forbidden. My family smoke, drink and curse during these types of gathering. So not only from a position of what we should celebrate(eid) but from the position of staying away from this type of fitna. I do not agree at all!!!! Maybe we can take the time to durind our celebrations or just on a normal day to have family time. May Alla guide us to what is correct and save us from the ways of the Dunya!!! Ameen

     
  17. Kamilah (Humble Mom) @ Noor Janan Homeschool

    November 26, 2013 at 7:04 am

    AsSalaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatulahi wa Barakatuhu.

    This is a very emotionally charged article as well as the comments. This is the problem with many things we do as Muslims. There is little patience or understanding of the other side. If you want to celebrate Thanksgiving, then do it, think it over but don’t propagate it. If you don’t want to celebrate Thanksgiving, then don’t do it, think it over and keep it private. If you want to share Islamic law, wisdom and historical context, do it, without passing judgement. We should make sure our decisions to do or not do something is based on wisdom, not ignorance or not tied to an emotional nostalgia to something. We are encouraged to keep ties with our family and there are many ways to do it, Thanksgiving being one of them. However, we also have a responsibility to train our children and put them in environments that are spiritually fulfilling, as well as have halal food and drinks. The decisions we make should not be just about what is good for us, but what is good for our immediate family (especially the children that are watching our examples), and what is good for our communities. May Allah give all of success in our decision making.

     
  18. Bill Carter

    November 26, 2013 at 8:46 am

    why do we have to complicate things in matters like this. Did the Prophet PBUH or his companions during their caliphate establish or celebrate anything outside of the two Eids? If Allah SWT has given us two Eids, why else do we need more? that might be a starting point to build out what one should do. Where there any new celebrations established by the Sahabih’s RA?

     
  19. doreen gibson

    November 28, 2013 at 5:32 am

    This has all been very interesting and eye-opening. I agree that proof must be brought if one days something is haram. What gets me is that people read what our brother explained already and still ask/comment negatively on what has been clearly explained before.
    I live in acountry where we never had such a thing as “thanksgiving” in november. We had our “harvest”(still do) and gradually with american influence- thanksgiving n haloween are becoming the norm/style gradually over the years. Sis. Doreen

     
  20. Saida Abdul-Aziz

    December 5, 2013 at 12:49 am

    I love you Imam! May Allah protect you and your family, continue to bless your efforts and intentions and guide you to His light. Your sister in faith
    Saida

     
  21. doreen gibson

    December 5, 2013 at 4:18 am

    Yes muslims are killing each other. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.)has said that threegenerations would not be of him. We are long past three generations. Today you can go to Mecca in saudi Arabia and see the hajin(today’s so called Arabs) throwing food to those of African heritage as tho they are animals. That’s wrong. The first Arabs(the word means black) were black until yacub’s children intermixed with the original Arabs and brought about these hajin or mixed people that are called Arabs today. Their actions are despicable and not in line with the actions and principles of the Prophet(s.a.w.) and Islam.

     
  22. Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad

    November 24, 2012 at 9:43 am

    You don’t have to agree, and I respect that. You cannot condemn a practice simply because of its origin or because of who did it first; the origin of killing goes back to Qaabeel (Cain) who killed his brother out of jealousy; yet, we know that in the sharia, that some types of killing are permissible. The origin of the dawaan was with the Persians, yet the Khalif Umar (RA) instituted the practice during his administration. Some people say that the origin of picnics in America come from pic-a-nigger, yet they way it is practiced today does not reflect that. Deeds are reckoned by the intention. Anyone can see the obvious difficulty and absurdity in rendering any acknowledgement, involvement, celebration or participation in anything that has to do with Thanksgiving as prohibited. Which part do you want to prohibit? The turkey itself? Eating on that day? Eating with family on that day? Responding to an invitation to eat on that day? Taking off from work on that day? Earning overtime pay on that day? Making a turkey sandwich the next day? Shopping at a discount on that day or the next day? It’s difficult because, all of these things are associated with Thanksgiving Day. Even the ways Muslims argue back and forth about its permissibility have become a tradition of Thanksgiving Day. So the Muslims who make the day haram are still commemorating the day with activity that was not practiced by the Prophet (SAWS). They are still celebrating Thanksgiving day by arguing about it. It is impossible to make a particular day haram since all of the days of the year belong to Allah sub’haanahu wa ta’ala. However, a person can deem a particular action prohibited as long as there is proof. Eating your grandma’s Turkey on Thursday, November 22nd is not haram. The issue from a fiqh perspective is not whether or not it is permissible, it is whether or not it is prohibited. If anyone says that it is, then they must prove it. .

     
  23. Yasin Najaa

    November 6, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    To prohibit the ethical part of it and it’s origins. That’s what I would call haram in that holiday. But I understand your point you can’t make something haram with no clear prof but what about qiyas.

     
  24. Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad

    November 6, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    There is a certain legal threshold that is needed when we say that something is haram. something can be unethical but not haram, or undesirable but not haram. Many Muslims today, unfortunately are inclined towards extremism and fanaticism, so we have to be more careful when we say something is haram without evidence. There have been numerous instances where Muslims killed or maimed other Muslims for celebrating the Prophet’s birthday (which there is difference of opinion of scholars whether it is haram or not). Nevertheless, the point is, that Muslims routinely call each other Kaafir, kill each other, and fight each other over issues like the issue of Thanksgiving, Baby showers, birthdays and the like. Scholars of our salaf used to used the phrase; I do not like this or do not like that, without rendering something haram without evidence. Notwithstanding that rendering something haram without evidence is a major sin (kabeerah). A few years ago, Muslims were killed for watching the world cup because someone said it was haram. Our intention is to base our faith upon knowledge and to try to curb the tide of extremism and moral dysfunction among Muslims, not only in the United States but as far as this blog reaches.

     
  25. Yasin Najaa

    November 6, 2013 at 10:13 pm

    I was speaking for me I would never call it haram or say that to someone else, but I would say that I don’t like. Thanks I see your point

     

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