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Family, Haram Income, and Maintaining Ties

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: I am inshallah going to visit some immediate family members. These family members buy their food from the haram income they receive. Their income is haram as they have a store in which they sell pork and alcohol. My concern is that I was taught that I cannot eat from what was bought with the haram. If it is true can you give some advice on how to deal with that situation, in a way that I would not harm the feelings of my uncles.

Answer: In the Name of Allah, the Benevolent, the Merciful

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and spirits.

Only the income from the actual haram sales would be considered haram in such cases. You can assume that most of their wealth isn’t from the haram and can eat at their house. After that, if you wish to be spiritually safe, just give some money (e.g. the extent of a normal meal) in charity.

Abu Hurayra (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Whoever desires that Allah expand his provision and extend his life, let him maintain his family ties.” [Bukhari]

Mulla  Ali al-Qari comments that, “to maintain family ties means to be good, loving, and gentle to one’s kin…” [Mirqat al-Mafatih]

Visit the family with a high intention–seeking the pleasure of Allah by maintaining family ties, strengthening relations, and upholding Prophetic excellence of character in your dealings and conduct. With this, you’ll find only the good if you uphold your intention in your actions.

And Allah alone gives success.

wassalam,
Faraz Rabbani

Attending Christmas Festivities of One’s Non-Muslim Family

Answered by Sidi Waseem Hussain

Question: Is it permissible for a convert to attend his family’s Christmas celebrations?

Answer: Assalamu Alaykum Warahmatullah,

It would be permissible to attend such an event, since it would be from keeping ties with ones family. One can attend the social gatherings, but should discretely abstain from actively taking part in any “religious” activities.

[Ibn Abidin, Nashr al-Urf; Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar; Nahlawi, Durar al-Mubaha]

And Allah knows best
Waseem Hussain

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Muslims Having Christmas Trees

Answered by Sidi Waseem Hussain

Question: Is it permissible for muslims to have a Christmas tree in their house?

Answer: Assalamu Alaykum Warahmatullah,

The Christmas tree is amongst things that would be a unique distinguishing characteristic of other religions or traditions and therefore it should be avoided.

[Ibn Abidin, Nashr al-Urf; Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar; Nahlawi, Durar al-Mubaha]

And Allah knows best
Waseem Hussain

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Giving & Recieving Christmas Gifts

Answered by Sidi Waseem Hussain

Question: Is it permissible to receive Christmas-presents from one’s non-muslim family members, neighbors co-workers and the like? What about giving them?

Answer: Assalamu Alaykum Warahmatullah,

There is nothing wrong with accepting such presents, as they are not religious acts in themselves, but social customs. Keeping family ties, being good to one’s neighbors, co-workers and the like is from the general sunna of Islam.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) emphasized the rights of neighbors and those one has any kind of relationship with in numerous hadiths, and these do not distinguish between Muslim and non-Muslims.

Likewise it would be permitted to give presents in December with the intention of strengthening family ties, and promoting the good of Islam.

However, one should try one’s best to do so in a distinct and dignified manner to avoid imitating non-muslim traditions.

Muslim should not import the concept of Christmas-presents when dealing with other Muslims.

[Nahlawi, Durar al-Mubaha; Ibn Nujaym, Ashbah Wa al-Nazair; Mulla khisro, Durar al-Hukkam]

And Allah knows best
Waseem Hussain

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Partaking in a Thanksgiving Dinner: Permitted or Not?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: My non-Muslim parents have invited my family over for dinner on Thanksgiving. There will be other family members and old friends at the dinner and they all look forward to seeing me and my family and it is an opportunity for all of us to get together (as everyone is off work/school). My parents have volunteered to do whatever it takes to accommodate the attendance (no alcohol, no Thanksgiving rhetoric or decorations, a halal meal, etc.). Would it be permitted to partake in this?

Answer:

Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

Regardless of its origins, given that the dinner is not an explicitly  religious  function and that it relates to immediate non-Muslim family members, it would be permitted to attend, especially when there are obvious benefits in attending and obvious harm in not doing so.

And Allah alone gives success.

Wassalam,
Faraz Rabbani