In a business like a supermarket where you get sale for e.g. Christmas or Divali/Phagwa or Valentines etc items, Yogurts, sausages, hot dogs, mouthwash etc, is this permissible?
Also what about decorating the business place for these occasions, is that permissible?
It is not permissible for a Muslim to express happiness and joy on the occasion of the religious festivals and celebrations of others. It is also not permissible to propagate and to show one’s pleasure and consent to these festivals and celebrations. Similarly, it will not be permissible for one to extend greetings on these occasions to the respective communities that celebrate these festivals. These are all principles which have been well accepted and explained by the great jurists (scholars) of Islam. In this regard, some of the Islamic verdicts given on this, are:-
1) If a Muslim gives a gift to some of the mushrikeen and through this, he intends to show respect to their religious festival of that day, then he has committed (kufr) disbelief with Allah’. (Fatawa Al Tatar Khaniya vol.1 pg.304).
2) The act of going out and visiting the religious festival of the fire worshippers (and in general, visiting the religious festivals of non-Muslims) and also agreeing and being pleased with them in what they do on that day of their religious festival is an act of kufr. (Al Fatawa Bazaaziya- Kitabul Fatawa vol.1 pg.305).
3) In the famous book of religious verdicts Al Fatawa Tatar Khaniya, it states, ‘When a Muslim says to a non-Muslim on his religious festival, greetings to you on such and such occasion, he has committed kufr’. (Al Fatawa Tatar Khaniya vol.5 pg.522- Kitabul Fatawa vol. 1 pg.305).
From these authentic Fatawas (verdicts) of the great jurists, it becomes clear that it is not permissible for a Muslim to be happy with, and to express joy on the religious occasions of non- Muslims. It will also not be permissible to advertise, propagate or show agreement with them in their celebrations.
Based on what you have asked about, it is quite apparent and clearly understood that advertising a special sale on the occasions of Christmas, Divali, Valentines etc. is a support to these occasions. A Muslim grocer is not allowed to declare sales on these occasions. This shows his consent and agreement to these, and it shows that he considers these to be special significant occasions, hence, he declares a sale in his supermarket. It is also not permissible for a Muslim to decorate his supermarket for these occasions. This is a clear indication that one is happy with these non-Islamic religious festivals and that one is expressing joy in this manner. This is not permissible in Islam.
With respect to purchasing items from stores and supermarkets on the occasions of their different sales (religious or non religious) then this is permissible. The act of purchasing is not a sign of support for the occasion, it is simply about fulfilling the need in getting certain products and items. Besides this, a Muslim always purchases such items through the year, whether there is a sale or not. Hence, purchasing on any occasion will be permissible since it is done based on a need to get an item.
And Allah knows best,
Mufti Waseem Khan.