Imitating Kufar

The imitation of kufar is a very wide subject. This cannot be enclosed within small boundaries. Many a times people think that even talking like kuffar is imitation and it is forbidden. Let us first see what does our religion say about imitating kufar.

Beloved prophet Muhammad pbuh said Narrated by Abu Dawood (4031)
“Whoever imitates a people is one of them.” 
So, whoever follows kufar is one of them. Now, mostly people mistake this hadith and virtually stop doing anything which they find out is related to kuffar. But scholars have clarified the misconception in great detail. According to scholars, the imitation or following kufar include, food, style, clothing, speech etc. But what it does not include is the custom. For example, the people living in west wear pants and suits. This is their life style. So Muslims also wear the same type of clothing. It is no more an imitation because it is a common dressing of almost all people across the globe. So one cannot quit wearing pants or suit because it is kufar's dress. According to the history, trousers or modern day pants were not designed by kufars but it is a dress of muslims. Allahu alam.

But the clothing which is exclusively indicative of a particular non muslim society should not be worn because it will depict an imitation. For example, the dress worn by monks, dress worn in churches or dress worn by hindu pandits etc. such dressing is exclusively indicative of a particular non muslim group which makes the wearer of it one of them.

Similarly, there is food. Some food is specifically eaten by non muslims. But muslims can eat all that is halal. But even from the halal food, the food which is made by kufar, or made to celebrate some festival which is not islamic etc is not halal. And any such food eaten or made would be an imitation of kufar.

The styles, in clothing or hair or make up which is totally un islamic, is also imitation. For example, the modern day spike sin hair, or hair cut which leaves some hair on head, or beard which is not proper is all un islamic because it is done by kufar. The spikes hair style used to be made by the pagans. Allahu alam.

About imitating kufar, Shaikh Muhammad ibn Uthymeen said;
“Imitation of the kuffaar may be in appearance, clothing, food and other things because it is a general word which refers to a person doing something that is done exclusively by the kuffaar, in such a way that whoever sees him would think that he is one of the kuffaar. This is the guideline. But if the thing has become widespread among both Muslims and kaafirs, then this imitation is permissible, even if it was originally taken from the kuffaar, so long as it is not haraam in and of itself, such as wearing silk.”
Majmoo’ Duroos wa Fataawa al-Haram al-Makki (3/367).

Thus, everything cannot be generalised to imitation of kufar, similarly, everything cannot be done in the name of modernism or cultural-ism which is not part of islam. There is another aspect to it as well as pointed out by the scholars. And that is that some things that used to be done by kuffar at a particular time period remained their exclusively, but now, with the passage of time, some practices have gone world wide. But still, whatever act coincides with islamic principles, we should not do it. And whatever is just part of culture which does not affect islam in any way, there is no harm in it. And Allah knows all the bets. 
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