Can I give Christmas presents to Muslim friends?



A Mahabba member asked the following question on The City: 'Is it a sin in Islam to give Christmas presents?'

I had a wonderful time of sharing over Christmas with my Muslim friends. I visited one friend who told me that the mosque is saying it is sin to give Christmas presents. This is the first she has heard of this and is very confused. She feels that this could be very divisive. Have you heard of this teaching?

She added that she still got a Christmas present from her friend as a ‘thank you for all you’ve done over the year' gift!

Thanks to some of our specialists on The City, here are some comments to consider.

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Some Muslims do not celebrate birthdays

This may not necessarily be a teaching that you have come across, but for some persuasions in Islam it is a logical conclusion.

If you say Christmas is not something that Muhammad celebrated, it is therefore not sunna (accepted practice) .

Indeed, Wahabi and Deobandi (strict sects within Islam) teach that celebrating birthdays is haram (forbidden).

That includes Jesus’ and, sadly, the little girl’s who lives round the corner.

However, it was nice that she gave you a present, and often the fun of parties and presents is more powerful than dull doctrine.


Incarnation is seen as heresy

Many Muslims will even say that it is wrong to celebrate Muhammad’s birthday, although this celebration is becoming more common in certain parts of the UK.

You may have noticed more green lights and displays in the windows of Muslim houses during December.

Given that Christmas is also a celebration of the incarnation of God in human form on earth, it is a particularly severe heresy in Islam.

Therefore, giving Christmas presents is participating in, and affirming, something that is un-Islamic and wrong.