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Is it haram to celebrate Thanksgiving?

In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate.

May His blessings and peace be on His Beloved Prophet, the best of creation, and his family, companions and followers.

Assalāmu `alaikum Warahmatullāhi Wabrakatuh,

It is not permissible for a Muslim to celebrate Thanksgiving for the following reasons:

Imam Ahmad and other hadith collectors have reported a hadtih that the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said, "Whoever imitates some people, he is considered as one of them." In another narration the prophet (S.A.W.) said, "A person is not one of us (Muslims), if he imitates others (non-Muslims)."

We can find some reasons behind the prohibition of the imitation of the non-Mulsims in their feasts or holidays and the things that are special to them. The most important reason has to do with imitating them in their feasts and holidays. This is because Islam views the feasts and holidays as one of the worship acts, and therefore, it is not allowed for a Muslim to worship the way the non-Muslims do. Ibadah or worship in Islam has to be according to the teaching of Islam only.

Islam strongly prohibited imitating non-Muslims Even if it is in a worship act. The prophet (S.A.W.) did not allow the Muslims to imitate the Jews by fasting Ashorah the tenth of the month of Muharam. Imam Bukhari and Muslim reported that when the prophet (S.A.W.) arrived to Madinah he found the Jews fasting that day. He asked what is this day? They answered it is a special day when Allah saved mosses and his followers from their enemy,(Pharaoh) so Mosses fasted that day. The prophet (S.A.W.) said, "I have more rights to follow Mosses than you" So he fasted that day and he also ordered the Muslims to fast it and he said, "If I live till next year I’ll fast the ninth" which means the ninth and the tenth.

It is very important to know what is meant by not imitating non-Muslims. It applies only with what is special to them, and their feast celebration activities. But as far as the matter is concerned with living in a mixed society, it is our responsibility as a good Muslim to respect and honor each and every individual in the humanity. With the beautiful character and etiquettes taught to us by the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) it is our obligation to deal with others with love and affection.

And Allah knows best

[Mufti] Mohammad Farhan
Long Island, NY, USA

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