Monday 2 Rabi‘ at-akhir 1440 - 10 December 2018
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Ruling on playing games in which there are celebrations of non-Muslim festivals

Question

My sister and I play a cooking game, and in the game they celebrate a festival of theirs, and we used to change the decor in the restaurant. We stopped doing that, but we cannot go beyond the part of the game that has to do with the celebration. Are we sinning if we continue playing this game?

Answer

Praise be to Allah.

It is not permissible to celebrate the festivals of the non-Muslims, or the innovated festivals that have been made up by some Muslims, even if that is part of a game, because if something is haraam, it is not permissible to be pleased with it or approve of it, let alone take part in it.

The Muslims have no festivals that they celebrate except Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. Any festivals other than that are innovated festivals, and if they are observed as acts of worship, then they are blameworthy innovations; if they are observed as a matter of custom only, then they are forbidden on the grounds of involving imitation of the disbelievers, because they are the ones who are known for inventing and celebrating festivals.

Abd Daawood (1134) and an-Nasaa’i (1556) narrated that Anas said: When the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) came to Madinah, they had two days (festivals) on which they used to play, so he said: “What are these two days?” And they said: We used to play on these two days during the Jaahiliyyah. The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah has replaced them for you with something better than them: the day of al-Adha and the day of al-Fitr.”

Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in as-Silsilah as-Saheehah (2021).

And the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever imitates a people is one of them.” Narrated by Abu Daawood (4031); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Sunan Abi Daawood.

If it is not possible to move beyond this festival in the game, and it is necessary to participate in it, then it is not permissible to carry on playing; there are plenty of other permissible games that are free of that, so there is no need for this game.

Games such as this, which teach children to grow up loving falsehood and being used to it, and make them celebrate Valentine’s Day, Barbie Day and Christmas, are to be avoided and we should teach children to keep away from them.

For more information, please see question no. 237205.

And Allah knows best.

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