Accepting Christmas Gifts From Co-workers
Dealing with non-Muslims is very sensitive. Muslims need to be balanced in their attitude toward them. On the one hand, Muslims have to be just and kind toward non-Muslims in order to reconcile their hearts and show them the tolerance of Islam. On the other hand, Muslims may not compromise the basics of their religion or get involved with them in whatever is related to their rituals or religious practices.
Answering this question, Dr. Hatem Mohammad Al-Haj Aly, professor of fiqh at the Shari`ah Academy of America, said,
Accepting gifts from non-Muslims is a sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). If the gift is related directly to the rituals they have on that day, then we may decline it. If the gift, however, is not related to their rituals, we may accept it.
Imam Ibn Taymiyyah stated that it is permissible to accept the gifts of the non-Muslims on their feasts. He mentioned a report indicating that `Ali accepted the gift of some non-Muslims on the day of Nayrouz. `A’ishah was also asked about the Zoroastrians’ giving gifts to Muslims on their feast and she said, “Whatever they slaughtered for their day, do not eat it, but eat from their trees” (reported by Ibn Abi Shaybah). This means that the meat of the Zoroastrians is not permissible.
We must keep in mind, whenever a Muslim receives gifts from or give gifts to them, that he does this to reconcile their hearts. It should be clear both in heart and to them that we do not celebrate their feasts, particularly one in which they claim that God or part of Him was born — Exalted He is above what they ascribe to Him.