Accepting food from celebration of ahlul bida’ and the kuffar

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There are two questions from sisters:

  1. Our disbeliever neighbors and colleagues give us food during their celebrations (i.e. birthdays and Christmas), is it permissible for us to accept and eat those foods?
  2. My non-practicing Muslim in-laws celebrate birthdays. They share with us slices of cake that come from those celebrations, may we eat them?

Zaynab El-Kateb:

There is a fatwa from Sheikh Jamal Al Harethy (i.e. Abu Forayhan), regarding your question:

  • If the food was on a kufr or bid’a celebration, then you should refuse to take it. This is because by taking it, it means that you approve of what they’re doing. Of course, in the case of Christmas, it is haram to participate in or extend greetings during its celebrations in any way.
  • If the celebration is that of the bid’a of celebrating the Prophet’s birth, you should also refuse to take the food; in fact, you must reject it.
  • If the celebration in question is a birthday celebration, then this is a lesser degree of bid’a, but it is still wrong. However, in such an instance, the Sheikh says: “you can take it (the food) but you still need to advise them that this (celebration) is wrong. However, it is better and a more pious act to refuse to take any of the food.”



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