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The ruling on accepting gifts on their festivals [Sheikh Salih Al Munajid]

We have already stated above that it is not permissible to give gifts on their festivals because this is helping them in their falsehood. It is also not permissible to accept a gift from a Muslim who is imitating them, because by accepting it one is helping him to imitate them and this implies that one approves of what he is doing and that one is not rebuking him for doing this Haraam action.

With regard to accepting a gift from a disbeliever if he gives something to a Muslim at the time of the disbelievers' festival, this is like being given a gift at other times, because it does not involve helping them in their disbelief. There is some difference of opinion with regard to this matter, based on whether one should accept a gift from a disbeliever who is at war with the Muslims as opposed to a disbeliever who is living under the protection of Islamic rule.

It should also be noted that their gifts may be of two types:

1. Gifts other than meat that has been slaughtered for the occasion of their festival, such as sweets, fruits and so on: there is a difference of opinion based on the question of accepting gifts from the disbelievers in general. It seems that it is permissible because it was reported that ‘Ali, may Allaah be pleased with him, accepted their gifts, and it was reported that a woman asked ‘Aa’ishah, may Allaah be pleased with her: “We have some birds from the Magians which they had during their festival and they gave them to us.” She said: “If they were slaughtered for that occasion, do not eat them, but eat from their trees [i.e. fruits etc.].” (Reported by Ibn Abu Shaybah in Kitaab al-At’imah in his Musannaf, 5/521, no. 16342. In Al-Iqtidaa’ it says: "We have some wet- nurses." The editor of Al-Iqtidaa’ said: "Perhaps what is meant by this is relatives through Radhaa’ah i.e. breastfeeding.")
Abu Barzah, may Allaah be pleased with him, said that he had Magian tenants who used to give him gifts on Nawrooz and Mahrajaan, and he used to tell his family: "If it is, then you can eat it, but if it is anything else, then reject it." (ibid. no. 26346)
Shaykh al-Islaam, may Allaah have mercy on him, said: “All of this indicates that refusing to accept their gifts has no effect on their festival. The ruling on accepting their gifts at the time of their festival and at other times is the same, because this does not entail helping them in the rituals of their Kufr.” (Al-Iqtidaa’, 2/455-555)

2. A gift may be of meat that was slaughtered on the occasion of their festival: this should not be eaten, because
of the reports of ‘Aa`ishah, may Allaah be pleased with her, and Abu Barzah, may Allaah be pleased with him, narrated above, and because it has been slaughtered according to the rituals of Kufr.

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