(Not permissible to congratulate saying Merry Christmas)
Mohammad Najeeb Qasmi
The overall Code which is made by Allah, the Exalted, for the birth of mankind i.e. a man getting married to a woman and have intercourse with her, thereafter by Allah’s command, firmness of pregnancy and giving birth of a child. Under no circumstance, Allah Almighty has also created some humans by not following this Code. Allah Almighty created Adam in such a way in which He involved neither a man nor a woman. Since Eve was created from Adam's rib, so, somehow, a man was involved in her creation, but there was no involvement of a woman. Similarly, Allah, the Exalted, created Jesus without a father, only from the mother (Mary daughter of Imran) through His power, in the city of Bethlehem, Palestinian. As, Almighty Allah said in the Verse 59 of Surah A’al Imran (Indeed, the example of Jesus to Allah is like that of Adam. He created Him from dust; then He said to him, "Be," and he was.)
In the light of Quran and Hadith, all Muslims believe that Jesus Christ is the chosen Prophet and Messenger of Allah. In the holy Quran, almost at 25 places, the name of Jesus Christ is mentioned and he was not hanged/crucified, but he was lifted into the heavens and a person similar to him was hanged. As, Allah Almighty has stated in Surah An-Nisa Verses 157 & 158 (And (for) their saying, "Indeed, we have killed the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, the messenger of Allah." And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but (another) was made to resemble him to them). Furthermore, Allah, the Exalted, explicitly explained that Jesus Christ was not hanged/crucified, but he was lifted up. The full detail of this event is elaborated by the holy prophet PBUH and can be found in Ahadith. It is also mentioned in Hadiths that before the day of Resurrection, he will be descended from heavens to the white minaret in the east of Damascus. Then, all nook and corner of the world will be ruled by Muslims under his patronage.
No certain date of Jesus birth is found in any religious authoritative book, even in the book of Christians, it is not mentioned that he was born on 25th December. Without any evidence, they recognized 25th December as Jesus date of birth. Although, what is estimated from texts of the Quran, Hadiths and the Bible is that Jesus was born in the summer season. As per Bible (chapter 2 verse 8), when Jesus was born at the night, at that time the shepherd was grazing his sheep outside. In the last days of December, it is snowing heavily in Bethlehem that no one can dare to go out of his house. And Bible says that the shepherd was grazing his sheep outside. In the month of December, due to heavy snowing in Bethlehem (Palestine), it is impossible to graze sheep outside at night. The holy Quran (Surah Mariam Verse 25) says that immediately after the birth of Jesus, Allah, the Exalted, told Marry “And shake toward you the trunk of the palm tree; it will drop upon you ripe, fresh dates. So eat and drink and be contented.” The whole world knows that the dates become ripe in the summer season, not in winter. Besides, there are more evidence that denote that Jesus was born in the summer season.
Christians believe that Jesus is given birth by Allah Almighty (Allah forbid), i.e. Jesus is the son of Allah, the Exalted. This was strongly denounced by Allah, the Exalted, in Surah Mariam: “And they say, "The Most Merciful has taken (for Himself) a son." You have done an atrocious thing. The heavens almost rupture there from and the earth splits open and the mountains collapse in devastation. That they attribute to the Most Merciful a son. And it is not appropriate for the Most Merciful that He should take a son.” In Surah Ikhlas, Almighty Allah has explicitly said: Say, "He is Allah, (who is) One, Allah, the Eternal Refuge. He neither begets nor is born, nor is there to Him any equivalent”. Thus, in the light of very open instructions/teachings of Quran and Sunnah, all Muslims believe that Jesus is not the son of Allah, the Exalted, but he is a man and there is no compromise in this matter at all.
Christians celebrate Merry Christmas on 25th December with the belief that Allah Almighty has given birth of Jesus on 25th December (Allah forbid). We don’t want to interfere in their religion, but it is our religious obligation that we should not participate in those religious parties/celebrations are being convened on this occasion, and also do not congratulate anyone saying Merry Christmas. As this sentence is totally averse of Quran and Sunnah. Yes! In case, your neighbour or friend is a Christian and he congratulates you on this occasion, then you have to withdraw yourselves by saying other words such as (thanks, etc.) As, the base/belief on which the Merry Christmas celebrated, is quite contrary to Quranic teachings. You could be thoughtful about your neighbour or friend, but on the other hand, there is also the issue of God's wrath and His severe punishment. So, it would be said to them openly that our belief is that Jesus besides being a chosen messenger and prophet, he is not Allah’s son at all. So that, I’m sorry to participate in the celebrations convened on this occasion.
There is substantial difference of opinion among Christians and Muslims on their belief in Isa (Alaihis Salam)
1) Nasara (Christians) believe that Isa (Alaihis Salam) is son of Allah, the Almighty, while in the light of Quran and hadith the whole Muslim Ummah (Nation) believes that Allah has no son or daughter, as Allah, the Almighty has repeatedly clarified this in the holy Quran. In Surah Al-Ikhlas also this has been clearly asserted that Allah, the Almighty neither begets nor is He begotten. Allah, the Almighty had created Adam (Alaihis salam) without any role of a man and woman, and Eve (Alaihas salam) was created without any role of a woman merely by with Allah's command. Allah, the Almighty created Isa (Alaihis Salam) by a woman (Maryam –Alaihas Salam) without any role of a male. Christians do not believe in Adam and Eve (Alaiham Assalam) as son and daughter of Allah, despite the fact that Allah, the Almighty had created Adam (Alaihis Salam) without any role of man and woman and created Eve (Alaihas Salam) without any role of a woman, then how come that Isa (Alaihis Salam) who was created without a man (in similar circumstances), is believed to be Allah’s son? Our intellect also demands that it is not befitting to the Almighty Allah Who is the Creator, Lord and Sustainer of the whole universe that He begets nor is He begotten.
2) Christians believe that Isa (Alaihis Salam) shares Allah's right of being worthy of worship. Trinity is an integral part of Christianity, which means three in one or one in three. Christians believe that Allah is one but includes three entities in one; god father, god son, the holy ghost. The Christian till to date stick to this belief. As for Islam, there is no place of trinity in it. Hundreds of verses of the Holy Quran refute this belief. According to Islamic creed Allah is one and nothing is like unto Him neither in His self nor in His attributes. In Surah Maryam, Allah strongly refutes this belief saying it is such a terrible evil thing whereby the heavens are almost torn.
3) Christians believe that Jews had crucified Isa (Alaihis Salam). However, in the light of teachings of Quran and Hadith, the whole Muslim nation is unanimous that Isa (Alaihis Salam) was neither killed nor was he crucified, but rather he was ascended to heaven prior to his crucifixion and a person resembling him was crucified in his place. He will descend down on the earth prior to the doomsday. He will spend his life following the Shari’ah of Muhammad (PBUH) and will enforce the teachings of the Holy Quran and Hadith.
4) Christians believe that the last Messenger Muhammad (PBUH) who is from the descendants of Ismail (Alaihis salam) the second son of Ibrahim (Alaihis Salam) born in Makkah is not a Messenger of Allah, the Almighty and anyone who believes in Muhammad (PBUH) as a messenger of Allah exits from the fold of Christianity. On the other hand, in the religion of Islam besides believing in Muhammad (PBUH) as the last Messenger it is also necessary to believe in Ibrahim, Musa, Isa (Alaihim Assalam). Now, the reader can easily decide as to which religion subscribes to extremism.
Summary: To exchange greetings on the occasion of New Year is a practice of non-Muslims. However, the rituals and functions organized on this occasion are not motivated by a specific religion’s ideology and it has now become a social norm. Therefore, though it is not unlawful to exchange greeting on such occasion, however, the Holy Quran and Hadith are replete with teachings of not adopting the non-Muslims’ rituals. Therefore, we should avoid exchanging such greetings, because the leader of all prophets Muhammad (PBUH), his companions, mufassireen (Quran commentators), muhadditheen (scholars of Hadith) and other scholars of Islam, none of them has been reported to have exchanged greeting on the occasion of New Year even at the beginning of Hijri year. But to exchange greeting by saying “Merry Christmas” is a pure religious matter. The belief with which the people celebrate Christmas day saying “Merry Christmas” is absolutely contrary to Islamic teaching, for Christians believe that Isa (Alaihis Salam) was born on 25th December and fathered by Allah, the Almighty. In addition they also believe in trinity, i.e. they believe that Allah, the Almighty instead of being one entity is comprised of three entities; god father, god son and the holy ghost. This belief is very dangerous and contrary to Islamic teachings. It is a matter of great sorrow that some Muslims initiate greeting each other saying “Merry Christmas” which has no room in the religion of Islam. Therefore, Muslims should not exchange greeting on this occasion. Those Muslims residing in Western countries or studying with Christians or employed with Christians or doing business with Christians should not proactively greet them on this occasion. However, if they are greeted by Christians they should say other words of prayer to them. It is worth mentioning that not a single reliable religious book even the bible itself having thousands of copies, mentions that Isa (Alaihis Salam) was born on 25th December.