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Imam Malik (رحمه الله)

Ibn al-Hajj al-Fassi [737 A.H] – Celebrating Non-Muslim Holidays & Exchanging Gifts  

Written by Ustadh Abdus Shakur Brooks

I was asked concerning the rule of exchanging gifts during Christmas or participating in related activities. Below follows  a detailed discussion I translated by the erudite Maliki scholar Ibn Al-Hājj Al-Fāsi [737 A.H/ Cairo] who addressed this matter centuries before us in Cairo, Egypt where there was a presence of some Jewish and Christian communities. It shows that this matter was an issue of concern long before modern times. Ibn Al-Hājj makes the matter clear  first by explaining what the people were doing during his time, then addressing the rule by stating the position of the early Imams and foremost the book of Allah and the sunnah.

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“For the one who gives up arguing…”

Abu Umamah al-Bahili رضي الله عنه narrated that the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم said:


أنا زعيم بيت في رَبَضِ الجنة لمن ترك المراء وإن كان مُحِقَّا، وبيت في وسط الجنة لمن ترك الكذب وإن كان مازحًا، وبيت في أعلى الجنة لمن حَسُن خلقه

I am the leader of a house in Paradise. I guarantee a house in Jannah for one who gives up arguing, even if he is in the right; and I guarantee a home in the middle of Jannah for one who abandons lying even if he is joking; and I guarantee a house in the highest part of Jannah for one who has good manners.”

[Abu Da’wud, 4800; also found in ‘Tahdhib al-Kamal’, 3/498; ‘Mu’jam al-Kabeer’, 7488; ‘al-Bayhaqi’, 10/249 and others – graded as Hasan by al-Albani in ‘Saheeh al-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb’, 6/3; and Ibn Baz in ‘Khashiyah Buloogh al-Maraam’, 810]

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