FT Mufti says okay to wish Christians ‘Merry Christmas’

Christmas trees and decorations on display at the Pavilion mall in Kuala Lumpur December 19, 2016. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng
Christmas trees and decorations on display at the Pavilion mall in Kuala Lumpur December 19, 2016. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

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KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 20 — Muslims are permitted by their faith to wish Christians “Merry Christmas”, Federal Territories Mufti Datuk Dr Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri said.

He cited the Muzakarah National Fatwa Committee Council in Islamic Affairs’ 78th meeting in 2007 that had concluded that sending greetings through cards, emails or text messages to non-Muslims during their festive seasons was permissible (“harus”), as long as such greetings did not glorify non-Muslim faiths or use religious symbols.

“It can be understood that the Merry Christmas greeting is permissible when it is a congratulatory expression on the celebration of other faiths without glorifying their religion.

“It’s no more than a mere greeting to express happiness and enjoyment upon seeing the happiness of those celebrating,” he said in a statement yesterday.

An activist with conservative Muslim group Isma said in December 2014 that it was not proper for Muslims to greet Christians “Merry Christmas”, citing classical and traditional scholars who considered the greeting to be “haram” (forbidden).

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