Congratulate non-Muslims on their festivals

Q: On 12/8/1420 A.H. Notices were placed on the roads of Riyadh conveying congratulations from the Banque Saudi Fransi on the New Year.Employees of the Banque Saudi Fransi wish the Saudi people a merry year. Respected shaykh, it undoubtedly hurts every Muslim to find things like this common in the land of Tawhid (belief in the Oneness of Allah/monotheism) and Al-Haramayn Al-Sharifayn (the Two Sacred Mosques, the Sacred Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet's Mosque in Madinah).I hope that Your Honor will clarify the ruling of Islam on this matter.

A: A Muslim is prohibited to congratulate the disbelievers, Christians, Jews or whomever, on their distinctive occasions. This involves a sort of agreeing with them on their falsehood and being loyal to them. Similarly, a Muslim is prohibited to congratulate his Muslim brother on the feasts and celebrations of the disbelievers. By doing so, a Muslim imitates them. (Part No. 1; Page No. 439) It was authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) stated, Anyone who imitates a people becomes one of them. The Shaykh of Islam Ibn Taymiyyah commented on this Hadith saying, "This Hadith at least implies that it is prohibited for a Muslim to imitate the disbelievers though it apparently signifies the disbelief of the imitator. Allah (Exalted be He) states, And if any amongst you takes them as Auliyâ’, then surely he is one of them. Muslims must resent disbelievers, dissociate themselves from them and hate their disbelief and disobedience to Allah, as Allah (Exalted be He) states, You (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) will not find any people who believe in Allâh and the Last Day, making friendship with those who oppose Allâh and His Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) He (Glorified be He) states, O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as Auliyâ’ (friends, protectors, helpers), they are but Auliyâ’ of each other. And if any amongst you takes them as Auliyâ’, then surely he is one of them. Verily, Allâh guides not those people who are the Zâlimûn (polytheists and wrong-doers and unjust). Thus, Muslims are not permitted to express joy or congratulate disbelievers on their festive occasions, whether by word of mouth, posters, newspapers, magazines, cards or the like. The legal authorities must remove these notices.May Allah grant us sucks May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.