Ask a Scholar November 23



I sent out greeting cards to all my contacts in my mailing list with generic greetings which read as follows HAPPY HOLIDAYS MERRY CHRISTMASWE WISH EVERYONE A HEALTHY HAPPY AND PROSPEROUS new year the question is some one has accused me of being a KAFIR to send this type of email??? is this accusation correct?

There is nothing wrong in wishing Christians Merry Christmas or Hindus Happy Divali or Jews Happy Rosh Hashanah. By doing so, you are not in any way subscribing to the specific dogmas or rituals associated with those celebrations. Instead, you only wish them well on their happy occasions.
Muslims are to greet others as we would like them to greet us. The generic Islamic greeting is salaam or peace: the full words are Assalaamu Alaikum: I greet you with peace. According to a report from the Prophet (peace be upon him), Allah ordered Adam to greet the angels with salaam and also told him: “This shall be the words of greeting for you and your children.”

However, there is no harm in using the standard greeting common to people. If you are greeting Christians, you may wish them Happy or Merry Christmas. It does not mean that you are adhering to the specific Christian dogmas of Trinity, Crucifixion, and so on unless you intend it. We are not to project onto commonly understand words or expressions meanings extraneous to them.
One rule of jurisprudence states: “Matters are to be judged by their intents/purposes.” So, one must judge such words of greeting according to their intents: They are gestures of goodwill towards fellow human beings.
They go a long way in creating in promoting tolerance, cooperation, and empathy for one another – noble goals in Islam which Muslims ought to strive for and realize.
Just as Christians greet Muslims happy ‘Eid, we can greet Christians merry Christmas. Islam is all about reciprocating kindness with kindness. The Qur’anic mandate for Muslims is clear:
“When you are greeted with a greeting [of peace], answer with an even better greeting, or [at least] with the like thereof. Verily, Allah keeps count of all things.” (Qur’an: 4; 86).
Now coming to your sending the greeting card as described, if you sent these cards to the Christians, there is nothing wrong, or undesirable about it; but if you had sent them to everyone, it would have been better for you to wish them Happy Holidays, or Happy New Year, etc., which everyone would appreciate.
However, to allege that because of your simple mistake in this gesture of goodwill, you will go out of the fold of Islam is a grave error. Islam does not allow us to put out people from faith because of our mistakes or errors or even sins. As Imam Abu Hanifah and others said, people, go out of the fold of Islam either by denouncing it or by denying the fundamentals of the Islamic faith. The Islamic creedal statement reads, “We do not arrogate to ourselves the right to declare anyone who prays towards the qiblah (i.e. Ka’bah) as an infidel.”
I pray to Allah to purge our hearts off ill-feeling and rancor and create tolerance, acceptance, and love towards each other.

Assalamualaikum sheikh I have a question… My father has some amount of money deposited in a Islamic bank and they provide some amount of money which the bank people call it as profit …every month some amount of money is provided by the bank on my fathers fixed deposit sometimes more and sometimes less but no fixed profit … the amount varies every month … it’s an Islamic bank … is it halal to take the profit that is given by the Islamic bank … please can you advice me on this

The dividends your father received from the Islamic bank is the profit accrued on the amount he has deposited.

Islamic banks make money by investing the amount in ethical shares or companies. They are giving you from the profit they make on such investments. So, it is a lawful income; your father can use it as he wishes. The bank is not giving it as gratis or a charity. They divide the profit according to the terms of the contract with the depositors – your father included.

Therefore, your father should have no qualms or inhibitions about using the halal profit accruing on the amount he has deposited.

If he has some lingering doubts, he should cleanse the profit thus made by giving out some amount of it in charity. Allah says, “Verily, good deeds wipe out the bad.” (Qur’an: 11: 114)


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