Q: I would like to inform Your Eminence regarding a large electroluminescent billboard placed on the facade of an organization in
This billboard displays English numbers in red; its width is four meters and its height is two meters. These digits are displayed in descending order denoting the days left until the end of the year and the start of the third millennium.
It is, thus, a sort of celebrating the new year, that is, Christmas.
On 2/7/1420 AH, the day of sending that letter, there were eighty-one days left until the start of the new year and the billboard was ready to display the digits "2000" in four cells. This billboard represents an acknowledgment of their
calendar and history, participation (Part No. 26; Page No. 400) in their traditions and festivals, a neglect for Muslim history, a type of offence to their sensitivities, deception of the Muslim scholars and literate people, and propagation of this Christian concept. We ask Allah to grant you, and those in charge, success in removing this billboard as a support to the Muslims. May Allah protect you.
It is not permissible for Muslims who believe in Allah and the Last Day to express their interest in celebrating the millennium and other occasions related to
the Christians or other non-Muslims. Accordingly, it is not permissible to use the Gregorian calendar, schedule certain events to take place on the millennium - like the conclusion of marriage or the start of a new business, or consider such occasions as festivals. This implies being pleased with their traditions and practices, adulating them, and propagating the celebration of their festivals in which the cross is revered, falsehood is esteemed, and what Allah and His Messenger have forbidden is committed. Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) states,
...but do not help one another in sin and transgression. And fear Allâh. Verily, Allâh is Severe in punishment.
It was authentically reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him) that he stated,
Anyone who imitates any people is one of them.
Muslims who are satisfied with Allah as their Lord, Islam as their Din (religion), and Muhammad (peace be upon him) as their Prophet and Messenger must follow Al-Sirat-ul-Mustaqim (the Straight Path), which was the path of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his honorable Sahabah (Companions - may Allah be pleased with them). Istiqamah (steadfastness) on Al-Sirat demands that Muslims avoid the path of those upon whom Allah has invoked His anger and those who went astray, namely,
the Christians, and other (Part No. 26; Page No. 401) non-Muslims. Muslims must not follow their false beliefs, imitate their behavior and style of dress, mix with them in their festivals, churches, and places of worship; rejoice at their occasions, or send congratulations to them. In fact, Muslims must deny all these actions, turn to Allah, and ask Him for guidance and steadfastness until the Day of Resurrection.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.