Offering gifts to some women on Christmas

There is a common practice here in the west, that at christmas time some non-muslims, young and old, get together and gather all of their names, put them in a hat and have all of the names mixed up, then each person choses the name of another person who they will give a gift to on christmas day. This is called chris kringle. This basic idea was taken on by a group of sisters last year and now they want to take this practise on this year also for the end of eid. All that the practice consists of, is each sister randomly assigned another sister for whom she must buy a gift of a set value ($20 ). Some of the sisters invloved believe that this practsie is tashabu of the kufar, is this correct?

Praise be to Allaah.

What some sisters have said to you, that this action is something that is not permitted, is correct, because it involves imitating the kuffaar in two ways.

Firstly it involves celebrating this festival, which is something that is haraam according to sharee’ah, including offering gifts on this festival.

Secondly, it involves imitating the kaafirs in these customs on the day of their celebration of that innovated festival.

In Islam we have only Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adhaa. Any other festivals that have been innovated besides these two amount to nothing, especially if they are the religious festivals of other religions or groups that are beyond the pale of Islam.

Please see Question no. 947

This matter opens the door to bid’ah, and it comes under the general meaning of the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him),

“Whoever innovates anything in this matter of ours that is not part of it will have it rejected.”

(al-Bukhaari, al-Sulh 2499; Muslim, 1718). And Allaah knows best.

Source : Islam Q&A

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