When scholars talk about imitating non-Muslims they do not mean imitating them in technology or using certain utilities, rather they mean imitating them in matters of identity and religion. Scholars divide the imitation of non-Muslims into two categories, permissible imitation which includes imitating them in worldly matters, and impermissible imitation which imitating them in things that are unique characteristics of their religion.
The matter of imitating non-Muslim has been mentioned several times in the Qur’an and Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), although the main text in this issue is what Ibn `Umar narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Whoever imitates a people, he is one of them.” (Abu Dawood). Furthermore, scholars divide the imitation of non-Muslims into two categories: Imitation that is haram (impermissible) and imitation that is halal (permissible).
The impermissible imitation means knowingly doing things that are unique characteristics of the religion of the non-Muslims and that have not been referred to in our religion. Such imitation may be a major sin; in some cases a person may even become a disbeliever by doing that.
The permissible imitation means doing something which is not originally taken from the non-Muslims, but the non-Muslims do it too.
The prominent Muslim scholar,Sheikh Muhammad Iqbal Nadvi, Director and Imam of Al-Falah Islamic Center, Oakville, Ontario, Canada, and former Professor at King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, states: “Imitation includes copying their religious beliefs, their faith-based attires, their life styles that are contradictory to Islam. Imitation does not of course include copying their habits that are not faith-based and does not contravene Islamic teachings.”