Christmas parties — one ‘sheik’ says yes to them!

Q: what is your opinion on Christmas parties and that type of party that resembles them. Our local sheik said it is okay in America if our intention is to show the good side of islam. Also the shiek said so long as we do not drink or eat pork. Can i have your opinion.

Q. Regarding Thanksgiving and Christmas parties…am  I to contribute to them at work? Is it allowed? Can I go and eat from thanksgiving events. (this question was asked prior and is a re-run-2008)

A.(The following answer had been given prior with minor modifications. We do not know the context of your sheiks response. Kindly do not pit one against another. Ask us or ask him. Show our answer to him for greater clarification)

  • To give sadaqah is allowed in Islam. Should events have a need for your food, and such giving is indeed need-based, as a Muslim you should help. To give sadaqah to an oppressor, greedy person, or a person that is to use that energy or towards haram is not allowed. Islam sanctions peace and wishers for you to promote it in every manner possible.
  • If it is a event is filled with merry-making, then one has to weight the religious and secular (employment) consequences. It would be favored that you do what your religion wishes for you to do as you take part in such an event. If it is known that negativity (loss of job, etc) would prevail by a lack of your presence or  financial contribution, then merely give your donation, and refrain from being part of the process as a first choice. Should not attending prove fatal to your employment security, then attend the event for the shortest time period possible, thereafter politely excuse yourself.  Do not eat that which is forbidden, and try not to eat from events that you are not spiritually part of. (To eat the food of a wrong doer would make you weak in your religious ways.)
  • Should such an event not prove to be mandatory then to go would not be correct, as Allah states: do not help in wrongful behaviors.   To voluntarily attend and socialize at a place where alcohol is being served, pig is being eaten, etc. as well as other vices of sin is occurring would be a sin (by all traditional religious standards.). However, should negative consequences be attributed to you not attending, then do so with reserve and limitation, as mentioned above.
  • To attend and justify such actions is to fall in within the category of people that view ‘good as evil and evil as good’ والمعروف منكراً والمنكر معروفاً. For such lopsided people, there lot is only going to be pain and anguish, Rasulullah (SAW) has warned us that such people would eventually come by and we should be beware of them and their false analogies. Joining hands with them would only compound to our ummah’s grief, pain and sorrow.
  • The sin of such events is due to the following: intermingling in a free manner, the presence of alcohol, pork and other haram meats and substances, resembling a non-Muslim way of life, being part of something you know is wrong, etc, etc.
  • People of diversity and religious sensitivity do understand the dilemma you are undergoing. No person should be forced to do what they deem inappropriate, or is against what they value and cherish.

Allah certainly knows best.

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2 responses to “Christmas parties — one ‘sheik’ says yes to them!

  1. worried mother

    As-salaam-alaikum. I respect the straight and righteous path of intermingling that the Imam has indicated on this subject but, I would just like to indicate that we have no control of people serving pork or alcohol at work gatherings, however alcohol is not usually an issue in Utah. I always look to myself and my inner beliefs and have to respect others beliefs. As part of living in America we must associate with non-Muslims and do some dawah or interfaith work. If we want to be understood as Muslims then we must go out of our box of comfort. With this said, I am speaking of work parties, although they cannot hold it against you not to participate but, just be sure not to eat the food, or better if it is a potluck bring a halal dish and they will truly like you. Otherwise, you will be the outsider and not part of the work social environment which can be a lonely and cold place. I encourage during our Eid holidays for you to bring a treat for co-workers, I know they like our rice pudding, or semolina. However, I think a lot of our youth already feel left out during the Christmas holidays and to cut them off from friends, college gatherings, work associates, etc. during this time will just be more isolating. I also always attend a gathering based on the time of the gathering and location. A work boss, must attend, but, leave early if they are serving alcohol before it becomes messy. If you stay clear of late night gatherings, you will avoid a lot. Another option I have done was host a “holiday” (not Christmas) party in my home, no alcohol allowed, no pork allowed but, I allowed them to bring non-halal chicken/meat and just did not eat that and made my own halal main entree. I found people were kind enough to bring some vegetarian dishes, like quiches to accomodate me and we had a great time, drinking cocoa, non-spiked punch, wassail, etc. I only offer this comment as a mother, I know that the Imam is correct in the guidance and knowledge he has provided on this subject. Also, giving a holiday gift, I always give during Eid, is not a crime that does not represent Christmas, like Santa Claus, Xmas tree ornament, etc. After all we do have respect for Prophet Jesus/Issa(pbuh) too.

  2. وعليكم السلام ورحمة الله وبركاته
    Everything went well with the above comment, but the last sentence made some people think that the author of this comment is implying that Prophet Jesus pbuh is linked to Christmas. Read the last sentence as a separate sentence and your issue is resolved. I am sure the author of this comment agrees that prophet ‘jesus’ pbuh has nothing to do with Christmas.
    However, in viewing this comment: many readers have appreciated the above comment(s.) Great practical tips for dealing with people/environment.
    May you be blessed for taking out the time to share your tips, Ameen.