The Permissibility of Eating with Your non-Muslim Family and Relatives During All Seasons, by Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad

In the United States, many Muslims are coverts to Islam, and it is common for many Muslim converts that they have close relatives who are not Muslim. Oftentimes new Muslims are the only Muslims in their family. Their families continue to gather during certain times of the year to celebrate holidays, birthdays, baby showers, and other commemorative occasions. Food and sharing food is a bonding element in American culture and in virtually every other culture on the planet.

Question: Is it permissible for a Muslim to eat with their non-Muslim family during their holidays such as Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter?

Answer: Is is not the Sunna of the Prophet ﷺ  to boycott eating with you your family on any occasion, as long as the food you eating s permissible (halal). You can eat with your non-Muslim family even if they just got home from worshipping Jesus (AS) on Easter Sunday and were wearing rabbit foots and had big gold crosses around their necks . It would still be permissible. You can’t haram eating with your non-Muslim family, during this season, or any other season. That is insane. Sometimes it’s your family that’s feeding you in the first place. If you think that eating your grandma’s mac and cheese on Thanksgiving makes you or someone else a kaafir, then you are mistaken.

Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him maintain the bonds of kinship.” [Muslim]. 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”. [34:61]

It is permissible in Islam to invite guests to your home on any day or any of the year except where forbidden by sharia law, 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. This is regardless of what other people (non-Muslims) are doing on that day.

If the Prophet ﷺ 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 ﷺhad 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 ﷺ 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. Personally, I would not visit my non-Muslim relatives on their religious holidays because religious holidays are personal to people of that religion. It is a matter of preference, not a matter of law. There is a difference. And Allah Knows best.

Abu Laith Luqman Ibn Abdulkarim Muhammad Ahmad

Imam Luqman Ahmad is an Imam and Resident Scholar at the Toledo Masjid al-Islam in Toledo Ohio. He can be reachd at imamabulaith@yahoo.com

Is it permissible for a Muslim to pray for a non-Muslim? By Shaykh Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad

Exam Day: Duaa to Perfect Your Memory and Increase Your Knowledge | Muslim  Girl

Even before answering the question, it is important that a Muslim believes and understands that Allah is not only the Lord of the Muslims, He is the Lord of non-Muslims as well. Therefore we must entirely dismiss any notion that Muslims somehow have a monopoly on Allah sub’haanahu wa ta’ala as a Lord. Allah is the Lord of the heavens and the earth and everything in between. That is a fact and is central to the creed of Islam. “Lord of the heavens and the earth and that which is between them. The Merciful” [78:37]. Denying such is considered heresy (kufr) by agreement of all the scholars of Islam combined. There is no animate, or inanimate being or object in this universe, dead or alive, created or not yet created to our knowledge except that Allah is its Lord. So let’s get that out the way.

Making du’aa, or supplicating to Allah for or on behalf of a non-Muslim is permissible in any affairs of the dunya except according to some scholars, if they are active enemy combatants. Specifically if you’re making du’aa that Allah guides them, give them tawfiq (success) to the deen, or to soften their hearts, in which case you can make that du’aa even for a enemy combatant who is an idolater. Ibn Hajar al-Haytami (died 1556 CE), in his book, Tuhfatul Muh’taaj says that it is permissible for a Muslim to make du’aa for a kaafir (unbeliever) for good health, or for guidance. Making du’aa that a non-Muslim be guided to Islam is mustahabb (recommended). There is no disagreement about that amongst the scholars of Islam.

Abdullah Ibn Umar reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “O Allah, strengthen Islam with one of two men whom you love more: Abu Jahl or Umar ibn al-Khattab.” Ibn Umar said, “The most beloved of the two was Umar.” [at-Tirmithi]. Sometimes the Prophet (SAWS) used to pray against the unbelievers, and sometimes he used to pray for them, as mentioned by ibn Hajar al-As’alaani (died 1449 CE), in Fat’h al-Baari. This was depending upon the circumstance. If he was at war with a particular group of non-Muslims, he wasn’t likely to pray for their long life and increase in their wealth. However if it was under peaceful and amicable circumstances then there is no harm in praying for a non-Muslim in the general affairs of the dun’ya. Likewise, it is no harm for you to say to your relative, co-worker, or neighbor for example, who might be sick; “may Allah heal you, or may Allah make it easy on you, or give you good health, or may Allah protect you, or may Allah guide you to Islam, or anything in that vein.

Al-Bayhaqi (died 1066 CE) relates in Shu’bul Eemaan about a Jewish man who milked a goat and gave some to the Prophet (SAWS) and the Prophet said, “may Allah make you beautiful and make your hair black“, (i.e.) give you good health.

The well-known early scholar of hadith, Ibn Abi Shayba (died 849 CE) had a section in his famous “alMusannaf” entitled ‘Section regarding du’aa for a idolater‘ where he mentions a narration of Ibrahim an-Nakhi (died 714 CE); that, “A Jewish man came to the Prophet (SAWS) and said, “pray for me”. The Prophet (SAWS) said, “May Allah increase you in your wealth, your children, give you good health and a long life“. Furthermore, Ibrahim an-Nakh’i holds the view that there is no harm in praying for a Christian or a Jew.

The overwhelming majority of the companions of the Prophet were converts to Islam. They had parents, children, cousins, aunts and uncles, relatives, clan embers and neighbors who were all non-Muslim. It is inconceivable that they never prayed for their health, well being, prosperity, overcoming a difficulty, or their guidance to Islam. I don’t know of anyone of the people of knowledge who has ever said that you cannot pray for an unbeliever except for one who clearly died in a state of unbelief, in which case it is not permissible to ask Allah for their forgiveness. And Allah knows best.

Abu Laith Luqman Ibn Abdulkarim Muhammad Ahmad

imamabulaith@yahoo.com

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