Saudi cleric Sheikh Abd Al-Aziz Fawzan Al-Fawzan said that while there is more leniency regarding secular or national holidays, participating in Christmas celebrations, congratulating Christians on their holiday, and sending them gifts is not permitted because Christmas "is based upon a corrupt dogma that was refuted by the Quran." His comments were broadcast on the Kuwaiti Al-Resala TV channel on December 3, 2017.
Program host: "A sister is asking if it is permitted to congratulate non-Muslims on their holidays and to participate in them."
Abd Al-Aziz Fawzan Al-Fawzan: "First, we should ask ourselves whether these holidays, like Christmas, are in keeping with the shari'a. Has this holiday been acknowledged by Islam, so we can congratulate them on it? Secondly, is it a secular or a national holiday? When it comes to national holidays, people who are citizens of a certain country can participate. This also holds true for days commemorating things that happen in that country – like the Unknown Soldier Day, Independence Day, and so on. In such cases, there is more leniency, because these holidays are not days of worship and of getting closer to God.
"But Christmas is a holiday of worship. It is just as their worshipping of God by wearing the cross, by praying in churches, and so on.
"How can we possibly join them in a religious holiday which is based upon a corrupt dogma that was refuted by the Quran? It is not permitted to join them in celebrating these holidays, because attending the celebrations and exchanging gifts with them is tantamount to saying to them: Your holiday is legitimate and true, and so I'm joining in. This is not permitted.
"It is not permitted to participate in Christmas celebrations. It is not permitted to congratulate them on Christmas, to give them presents, or to attend the celebrations."