Cairo: Prominent Saudi Muslim cleric Abdullah Al Mutlaq has permitted congratulating non-Muslims on their religious holidays, a controversial issue in the kingdom.
Answering a question on a programme aired by the Holy Quran Radio, Al Mutlaq, who is a member of the Saudi Council of Senior Scholars and an adviser at the Royal Court, said offering congratulations to non-Muslims is religiously permissible to promote calls to God. “If one aims to benefit religion and benefit that person, then congratulate them,” he was quoted as saying.
“As you know, we are commanded to behave well with people to set a good example in calling them to the religion of Allah,” Al Mulaq said.
“If the man has [non-Muslims] friends or neighbours and he wants to treat them well to convey to them the religion of Allah in a practical way, then there is nothing wrong in doing this [congratulating them].”
Media reports have recently said that Christmas decorations and gift products were available in shops in Saudi Arabia amid unprecedented Christmas-time displays as part of dramatic reforms in the kingdom and openness to the outside world. Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of Islam.
However, the kingdom’s customs authorities said earlier this week that importing the Christmas tree is banned, dispelling rumours that the famed festive feature is allowed into Saudi Arabia.