Receiving Christmas Gifts from Company in a Non-Muslim Country
NOTE: It should be noted that the below answer is the English translation of the Fatwa issued by Jamia Uloom Islamia Allama Yusuf Banuri Town, Karachi, Pakistan.
We work for a British company and often work from abroad. The majority of workers are Christians here and we Muslims are few in numbers. When the time of Eid comes & we celebrate then these Christians regularly participate in it and greet us. when their religious day Christmas comes we do not attend because it is not permissible for us. The company on this occasion distribute Christmas presents among its staff which comprises of 1000, 1100 members. We try to avoid taking this gift. but it has a computerized card system, everyone gets the gift by clicking it. if no one takes it shows on the company’s record And they inquire about it. So what is the Shari’ah ruling for us in this situation?
Although it is permissible to take presents given by the non-Muslims on such occasions provided there is no regard and respect of their religious festivals in the heart but it is still better not to take them on the basis of similitude. However, there is no harm in taking it on the basis of expediency as mentioned above. The fatwa is in Fataawa Shaamiyah:
’’ولو أهدی لمسلم ولم یرد تعظیم الیوم بل جری علی عادة الناس لایکفر وینبغي أن یفعله قبله أو بعده نفیًا للشبهة‘‘.(شامی،ج:۶، ص:۷۵۴،ط:سعید)۔
In “Your problems and their solutions (By Maulana Yusuf Ludhianvi Shaheed)” is:
Question: The Christian employees of our company organize a Christmas party every year one or two days before Christmas Eve during office hours. As an act of courtesy, We Muslims also attend the party and eat cakes, etc. Is it right for Muslim employees to eat this food?
Answer: It is permissible. (Vol: 2, Page: 131)
The answer is in Fataawa Mahmodiyah:
Question: If the relatives of a Muslim lives in a Hindu village and cook food like puri kachori etc. which is significantly related to Hindu’s religious festivals like Holi, Diwali, etc.., is eating their food permissible for us or not?
Answer: It is better not to take the festival food that Hindus give to Muslim neighbors and associates. but if it is taken out of some expediency, then this food will not be considered haraam according to Shariah. (Vol: 18, Page: 34, Farooqia)