The statement of ‘Umar, “Avoid entering upon the idolaters into their temples on the day of their festival” has preceded. This is the ruling of entering upon them during their celebrations and their seasons which they erect to display their supremacy and their happiness with their religion. Sadly for some of the people knowledge, they go to the likes of these celebrations which the idolaters of India hold and they deliver a speech there while there is an idol in front of them which they erected to display a symbol of disbelief and idolatry. To Allah is the complaint of this act of theirs, for indeed, by Allah, they are misguided and misguide [others] and by this they insert the enormity of idolatry and its adherents into the hearts of Muslims.
Ibn Taymiyyah said in Iqtida’ al-Sirat al-Mustaqim: “Al-Khallal said in his Jami„: Chapter on the Detestability of Muslims Going to the Festivals of the Idolaters. He narrated from al-Muhanna’: I asked Ahmad about attending these festivals which take place near us in Syria like Tur Yanur and Dayr Ayyub and its likes, the Muslims attend it and attend the markets and they bring sheep and cows and flour and wheat and barley and other than that although they only enter the markets for business and do not enter with them into the monasteries. He said: When they do not enter with them into the monasteries and only attend the market, there is no harm, since Ahmad stated the like of what has come from ‘Umar of the prohibition of entering their temples during their festivals, and this, as we mentioned, is from the matter of drawing attention to the prohibition of doing as they do.”
I say: He only negated harm from attending their markets in their festivals and their seasons when they do not stay away from our markets in our festivals and our seasons, for when they stay away from our markets we stay away from attending their markets because the believer has pride [for his faith]. And when only hostility remains, we treat them as they treat us. It is not hidden what is in attending their markets of a certain level of esteem for their festival and respecting it and adorning it for them and increasing their numbers; it has been reported that one who increases the numbers of a people he is from them.
As for accepting gifts from them on the day of their festival, we have mentioned previously about ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (Allah be pleased with him) that he was offered a gift on Nayruz and he accepted it. And Ibn Abi Shaybah narrated in al-Musannaf: Jarir narrated to us from Qabus from his father that a woman asked ‘A’ishah: “We have foster parents from the Zoroastrians and when they have a festival they offer us gifts,” so she said: “As for what is slaughtered for that day, do not eat [it], but eat from [the fruits of] their trees.” And he said: Waki’ narrated to us from al-Hakam ibn Hakim from his father from Abu Barzah that he had Zoroastrian neighbours who would offer him gifts on Nayruz and Mahrajan, so he would say to his family: “Whatever is fruit, eat it, and whatever is other than that, return it.”
All this proves that the festival has no effect in prohibiting the acceptance of gifts; rather its ruling in the festival and outside of it is the same, because there is no support of them in this for the symbols of disbelief. However, accepting the gift of disbelievers from the abode of war and the people of protection (dhimmah) is a separate issue in which there is disagreement and detail, and this is not its place.
As for the ruling of offering gifts to them on the day of their festival, Ibn al-Qasim was asked about riding on boats in which Christians ride on their festivals, and he disliked it for fear that punishment will descend on them due to their idolatry which they were united upon, and Ibn al-Qasim disliked for a Muslim to gift something to a Christian during their festival in exchange for his [gift] [Mawlana Zafar: So what about when it is not in exchange, but an initial gift?]: “I consider it part of glorifying his festival and helping him for the benefit of his disbelief. Do you not see that it is not permissible for Muslims to buy from the Christians something that will benefit their festival, neither meat nor curry, nor lending an animal, nor any help in any part of their festival, because that is part of glorification of their idolatry and helping them in their disbelief? The rulers should ban the Muslims from this. This is the view of Malik and others. I do not know any disagreement in this.” This was mentioned in Iqtida‟ al-Sirat al-Mustaqim.
I say: It is not hidden what is incorporated in the composite nationalism which the Congress calls to, of elevating the word of disbelief and displaying the supremacy of the idolaters, so how is it permissible for a sane Muslim to say it is permissible to participate with them in this and support them in it? There is no power and no might except with Allah.
In sum, forming nations by hometowns, colours and languages, if it is merely for knowing one another, then it is like forming them by ancestries. He Almighty said: “We made you into nations and tribes that you may know one another.” (49:13). And if it is for racism and tribalism so the white [person] is repelled by the black [person] and the Arab by the non-Arab and the Indian by the non-Indian, it is unethical in the Shari’ah and in the intellect. It is not hidden that the composite nationalism devised by the politicians in this time is not for mere recognition of one another, rather for racism and tribalism as is visible, and this is from that which the Shari’ah has come to abolish, so whoever claims that it is established by the Qur’an and hadith, he has caught himself in ignorance and in deprivation from the light of knowledge, so understand. Allah has charge of your guidance.
They say that the European politicians consider composite nationalism to be from the greatest of their weapons, by which they incite the people of Europe to fight other nations, so what is [the blame] on us if we use this weapon and we return thereby their plot towards them and we incite the peoples of the inhabitants of India to adopt composite nationalism amongst them to shake the foundations of the authority of Christians over their lands and eradicate them from their land? We say: Then, confess that you adopted this from Europe not from the Qur’an and Sunnah, and we will say: There is no harm in this if the rule of Islam is dominant over them. As for when the rule of idolatry is dominant, that is more severe on the Muslims than the authority of the Christians and more harmful for them in their religion as we explained.
Furthermore, if we were to concede that the idolaters of India want what you want of eradicating the authority of the Christians from the land of India and expelling them from it – and to prove this will take stripping away the thorns from a cactus tree [i.e. it will be extremely difficult to prove] – then they only want a majoritarian government in the shadow of Britain, saying with their mouths what is not in their hearts, with hatred for the people of Islam appearing on their mouths and their deeds, and what their breasts conceal is greater. For betrayal is their symbol and scheming is their cover as we have experienced from them more than once, and one who tries something whose quality has been experienced [before] will become regretful. And Allah Almighty knows best.
In sum, composite nationalism is not from the Shari’ah at all. This is the book of Allah speaking to us the truth, and this is the Sunnah of our Prophet (upon him blessing and peace) inviting us to truth, so understand, and Allah has charge of your guidance.