This was narrated by Qari Ismail Samni (Allah fill his grave with noor), Bolton.
“Shaykh AbulHassan Nadwi (Allah have mercy upon him) visited the UK and a programme was held for Ulama. At the start of the talk, Shaykh mentioned a dream in which he saw the blessed and glorious vision of the Final Messenger, the Seal of the Prophets ﷺ. In the dream, the Prophet ﷺ mentioned that he had his eyes on the Muslims of England (mere nazar England walo par hein).
On hearing this, the Ulama present were delighted and overjoyed. After which Shaykh stated, ‘There is no need to be so happy! Let me explain… if a mother has two children, one is playing in the garden and the second is playing near the fire. Which child does the mother have her eye on? Obviously, the one near the fire. Similarly, the interpretation of the dream is the Prophet ﷺ has his eyes fixated on the people of England because your Imaan is at risk. You may ask how? The Muslims of Makkah and Madinah will not sell their Imaan, because they are surrounded by Muslims and they are living in a Muslim country. At the most, they will commit sins. Same for the people of Pakistan, they will not sell their Imaan. As for the Muslims for India, they live in a Hindu country but totally oppose the actions of the Hindus. They dress differently, worship differently and keep Masjids and Hindu Temples separate.
What I have seen in the UK, especially in the young generation, step by step and inch by inch they follow the non-Muslims in every way; in their dress; in their food; their hairstyles; and their whole lifestyle. You are surrounded by non-Muslims, it is very easy to sell your Imaan living in the West.'”
Mawlana then continued his bayan.
It is December, the time of the year we see festive decorations and lights all around the country. Christmas is coming soon… Living in a non-Muslim country, how should we participate in this Christian festival? Are we allowed to attend Christmas parties? Should we let our children partake in Santa’s Grotto? When they attend school they want to play a part in the nativity play, is this Halal? Further, on Christmas day should we exchange gifts with our families and our Christian neighbours? Can we prepare a turkey dinner on Christmas day and enjoy it with the family? I won’t answer all these questions, but it is food for thought, further to the dream I mentioned in the start.
I will, however, like to touch on an issue increasing in the UK, having a turkey dinner on Christmas day. It is forbidden for a Muslim to prepare a turkey dinner on Christmas because this is an imitation of non-Muslims. It is confirmed in an authentic narration that “whoever imitates a people is one of them.”
Saying that the family gathers on this day and this is not with the purpose of imitating the non-Muslims but due to the fact that this day is a (bank) holiday, then this does not make it permissible for you to do this, because, in essence, you are imitating them. Gathering on this day could be on any other kind of food, why then have specifically a turkey dinner? Is this not imitating them even in the kind of food they eat?
The prohibition of resembling the non-Muslims is not restricted to inward actions [beliefs, actions of the heart] and intentions, but also to outward actions. It is for this reason that the Prophet ﷺ prohibited us from performing the prayer at sunset and sunrise, and he ﷺ said that it rises between two horns of the devil and the polytheist prostate to it at this time, despite the fact that a Muslim prays to Allah and not to the horns of the devil. However, the Prophet ﷺ forbade us from performing the prayer at that time regardless of our intention.
The Prophet ﷺ also used to differ from the people of the book even in the way they combed their hair.
Indeed, there are many narrations of the Prophet ﷺ about differing from the people of the Book in regard to both words and actions.
Therefore, we advise you to fear Allah and not imitate the polytheists and act in conformity with them in their festivals and traditions which are peculiar to them.
One should explain to the family, that it is permissible for the family to gather on that day because it is a holiday but without making this day as a festival and imitating the non-Muslims in their eating traditions and the like. It should be a family gathering like all other gatherings throughout the year [without any special food, settings or decorations].
Ismail Ibn Nazir Satia (One who is in dire need of Allah’s forgiveness, mercy and pleasure)
29 Rabiul Awwal 1440