Kuwait Law: Christmas


This postcard picture is from the 1960s. Kids celebrating Christmas with Santa Claus near Al Jahra gate and Ministry of Finance in Fahad Alsalem Street. – via @abdullahalkhonaini

A few weeks back I got tagged in an Instagram account of a mother that was hand making Christmas ornaments. The post stated the following: “All Christmas related orders will not be accepted as my family and I are being threatened.” Turns out the mother was getting threats by an Islamic fundamentalist.

This reminded my of an incident I had to personally deal with when it came to q8books. Last year we publicized a “Spooky Book Night” writing competition during Halloween. The purpose of the competition was to get young adults to be creative and express themselves and although a good amount of school students took part and enjoyed it, I started getting threats by email, non-stop. They claimed that they will not support the bookstore anymore and that celebrating a western day is illegal according to commercial law. Funnily enough they didn’t know I was a commercial lawyer at the time and I had never heard of any such laws. So I respectively answered back asking them to highlight laws in question and also giving each one of them a free voucher for books (I honestly thought those people needed to be educated more).

Anyways what I am trying to say is that these people are intolerant and have no legal basis. Kuwait is a civil country and there is no commercial law that makes celebrating Christmas illegal. Also the Kuwaiti constitution clearly states that we all have freedom of belief so its such a shame that I have to write about such issues. I honestly do not understand how celebrating other religions is an offense to Islam. Just keep in mind people of different religions come to Kuwait and give back to our community, they leave their families and its not easy for them. They deserve to celebrate their believes. Be kind, be tolerant, respect others and don’t just repeat what other people are saying without taking a minute to think about it yourself. I sincerely apologize that I have been preaching of late, Merry Christmas to my Christian brothers and sisters and happy new year to all of you.

Feel free to email me [email protected] with any legal questions. I do not have the capacity to answer everyone for free (but I try), and I am happy to annanounce that I am currently working with a great team and therefore we are able to reply back to all emails with a reasonable time frame.

Post by Fajer Ahmed – Legal Counsel
The legal opinions expressed in this post are those of the author Fajer. Opinions expressed by Mark or any other writer on are those of the individual’s and in no way reflect Fajer’s opinion.

53 replies on “Kuwait Law: Christmas”

Many Kuwaiti families celebrate Christmas, with the Christmas trees

Kuwait probably has largest number of citizens in the GCC who celebrate Christmas

Kuwait and Bahrain are the only GCC countries with Christian citizens

Many Muslim Kuwaitis celebrate Christmas because they lived in the USA and UK for university

He agrees with point number 1, 2 and 3, which means that he agrees with everything I’m saying except for the last point (about Muslim Kuwaitis celebrating Christmas because they studying at USA/Europe universities)

I think you misunderstood him

No. Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have never given citizenship to Christians

Kuwait and Bahrain are the only GCC countries who have given citizenship to Christians

I just recently came back from Abu Dhabi, and was surprised by how Christmassy the place was! It was my first time in Abu Dhabi and I was happy to see that the city wasn’t holding back with decorations. I had this assumption that only Dubai was allowed to be all touristy and commercial with Christmas..

I celebrate X-mas and people always say to me, “why do you celebrate X-mas when you’re Muslim”, to which I snarkly reply, “why do you celebrate x-mas when you’re Christian?” Most people are dumbfounded/offended when I say this, but if you do 5-10 minutes of research you’ll find out that Christmas has nothing to do with Christianity. All of it is based on ancient Germanic pagan traditions and then it was “christianized”.

Check this image for speed, and then if you want to find out the truth check the links below for more information:

If the “Islamic fundamentalists” we’re smart and did the same research as I did, they would pull the “it’s based on pagan religions, so it’s haram” card, but they only get upset about it being “Christian” lol.

Not that I believe this at all, but does it matter the origins of the holiday? No it doesn’tt because it is a holiday that for hundereds of years is used to celebrate the birth of Christ…. but hey if that helps you justify celebrating CHRISTmas than by all means….

There’s no reason to believe or disbelieve. Read the Bible, there is no where in it that says the date of the birth of Jesus.

For hundreds of years it’s been celebrated as a Christian holiday because it was Christianezed to garner support for the religion and to get pagans to follow Christianity.

Did you click on any of the links I posted? Please do friend. There is no evidence to justify that Christmas has Christian origins or is based on information from the Bible. Many Christian sects even denounce Christmas due to this fact.

Fantastic write up. As a teacher I asked my Kuwaiti students who had a tree up and got presents etc. about half raised their hands… we had a good discussion about it being okay to celebrate it or not. It was nice to see that they were accepting of it

Thanks for this balanced view…made me tear up. If only we could all be respectful of each other, wouldn’t life be much sweeter.
Christmas is a time for celebrating the birth of Jesus….we all believe that he was born don’t we?

My family and I celebrate Christmas. It’s a lot of fun.

Doesn’t make me any less of a Muslim, I’m not sure why some people make it such a big deal.

We have some christian relatives in my family, and we have been celebrating christmas almost every year since they became part of the family.

Plenty of Kuwaiti’s that I’ve met find it weird, I wish they would be more accepting.

I started working as doctor for two years now and ive made it a habit to celebrate Christmas with the nurses in the hospital, most of whom are christian from India/Philippines.
Seeing the joy in their eyes makes it worthwhile, considering most of them are living far away from their loved ones during this happy occasion.

(Tolernce is the greatest of virtues)

Thank you Fajer for sharing your views about Christmas. For me Christmas is not about religion it is a special day that anyone can celebrate for me Christmas symbolize the time for sharing, forgiveness and loving one another.

Thousands of Kuwaitis are celebrating Christmas right now.. more than 50,000 Kuwaitis are currently study in North America or Europe universities

Christmas has become popular among many Kuwaitis, most Islamists in Kuwait are the Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood are much more tolerant than the Salafis

Kuwait is the best country to live in for Shia Muslims, Shia Muslims in Kuwait have more equality than anywhere else in the Muslim World.. All other Sunni countries treat Shias like sub-humans

Kuwait’s tradition of religious tolerance is noted in the book “Gateways to Asia: Port Cities of Asia in the 13th-20th Centuries”. Here’s a link to the book:

What is a “civil country”? Is it a country that follows the civil law system?

I think this is unrelated but want to know Fajer, Is selling stuff with cross illegal in Kuwait? I mean pendants, rings belts with cross is banned?

Why don’t you print the email addresses and phone numbers that the threats came from? That way we can flood their email accounts with loads of gay porn and sign up their mobile numbers to multiple Nigerian spam sites.

I have been associated with Fajer for very many years now and can with confidence say that we are good friends. Through the last few months I have read much of what she has posted about here but this one takes the cake. Only because she is “preaching” social and religious harmony in a country which is increasingly getting polarized because of religious extremism (Yes! Talk about spooky book nights). So when young people like Fajer speak out publicly on issues such as this, especially in a society where it would be easier to keep quiet, or perhaps even wiser, and most do, I can certainly say there there is hope. If only there are many others like her taking stands on simple issues like expatriate rights, censorship, personal freedom, and even Christmas, truly this country, and the world, would be a better place.

Kudos to you Fajer.

Kuwait holds first place among Gulf states in terms of respect for personal freedoms, and particularly in respect of press freedom. Kuwaiti media are undoubtedly the freest in the region.

Kuwait continues to be the freest country in the region in regard to freedom of expression. Censorship in Kuwait is nothing compared to censorship in other Gulf states

Kuwait always has the highest degree of freedom of expression in the Gulf region

Whether you like it or not, Kuwait’s media is undoubtedly the freest in the Gulf region

The UAE media is all government propaganda. The UAE government abducts Emiratis and tortures them to death. Forced disappearances are common in the UAE

Qatar sentenced a guy to life in jail because he wrote a poem about the Arab Spring in Tunisia

In the UAE, they have flogging and stoning, the UAE government recently sentenced a housemaid to death by stoning:

In Bahrain, the government abducts 12 year old kids, torture them to death and they dump the body remains in the ocean… the Bahraini media is all government propaganda

In Oman, the Omanis aren’t allowed to express their views online or anywhere else, to the point many Omanis have resorted to writing on donkeys

Muslim shouldn’t celebrate Christmas, because of many reasons, first of all this celebration of birth of son of god, which goes against the teaching that God is one, although Muslim and Christians are basically the same, except that Christians believe in trinity, so we go to second reason, it’s well known fact that Jesus pbuh birthday isn’t on 25th of December which is march 28th , back to the first reason, in our religion God doesn’t want any partners or shurk, therefore we cannot participate in something that is goes against the very principle of what is Islam based off.

Anyone Muslim that doesn’t understand these principle he is just namely Muslim, but that doesn’t mean we don’t allow others to celebrate their religion, however from the perspective of business, we find that Christmas is just an excuse for people to buy unnecessarily gifts brainwashing to think that you won’t be happy unless you get PlayStation4 or anything else by the media, which basically it’s business opportunity that making others celebrate it would profound new revenue that generates in which has compete nothing to do with spirit of Christmas, more like spirit of your wallet being drained by the corporation that want new income resources since they cannot satisfied their own greed.

to summarize it, Muslim aren’t allowed to celebrate it, people has right to celebrate their own religion holiday, and it’s now a corporate scam like Valentine to purchase useless stuff for obligated affection.

Wait wait, I’m not Muslim. My family is, are you butthurt?

Why dont you get out of people personal lives and focus on improving yourself? Can’t you just accept people for who they are and what they want?

Does it make you any less of a human?

You misunderstood him

You need to freshen up on your reading comprehension skills

He isn’t unaccepting, you misunderstood what he’s trying to say

I could say the same thing about muslim holidays being an excuse to buy gifts and over indulge…. so let’s not be a hypocrite and generalize the whole holiday.

Muslims are allowed to celebrate whatever they please it is a dangerous thing to say “you are or are not allowed” to do something in your religion and could contribute to the negative views people have

We don’t buy gifts in Holidays, I simply remark that we cannot participate in celebration the core disagreement between Muslims and Christians.

your allowed to participate your holiday, allow us to participate our belief.

live and let live. peace and harmony.

Firstly, your theology needs some adjustment. Jesus is not a literal ‘Son of God’ he is/was an aspect of the one god, as is the spirit of god. The trinity was an explanation of the divinity of Jesus that was clarified in Nicaea when the creed of Christianity was first developed. The Trinity states that all 3 are aspects of the one true god and are part and parcel of the same thing. It clarifies the divinity of Jesus (part of the one true God incarnate on Earth) and the Holy Spirit as all part of the one true God. Explaining this to the uneducated populous became very difficult and so arises the concept of the Son in order to help understanding with the uneducated masses.

When you think about it the earthly concept of a son simply cannot apply to God anyway as a son is defined as the offspring of a man and women. Hence, Jesus was not a literal son.

Secondly, it is definitely NOT a well known fact that Jesus even existed. There is mention of a Jesus in Josephus’ documentation (Roman historian) but this is far from evidence in the generally accepted meaning of the word.

There is certainly zero evidence of a date of birth as the census, apparently taken at the time, did not, in fact, happen as all Roman census records can be traced through the Emperor ruling at the time.

So, Jesus is not a ‘partner’ or another god but rather believed to part of the same one true God. There is no proof anywhere of a birthdate, regardless of what calendar you use.

Yes, Christians coopted the Winter Solstice as their time to celebrate the birth simply because it was easier to use a currently existing holiday instead of persuading the uneducated populous that they should change their holiday date.

As a non believer, I find the early development of religion in the West pretty interesting. If you are genuinely interested don’t read the first thing you come across on the internet. Do a bit of research.

You may be interested to know the concept of the Trinity is totally man made. There is no reference to the Trinity in the Bible at all.

As I said, this concept was decided at a meeting of the Early Church to clarify on some current heresies (Arianism amongst others) and to designate the correct place for Jesus in the theology of the Church.

Definitely not biblical though.

Thank you neoark. I might be late to add my voice to this discussion, but i’ll add it nonetheless.

As neoark put it, Muslims aren’t allowed to celebrate christmas and other religious events that aren’t a part of Islam. Support for this rule is prevalent in the Quran and Sunna. If you’re not a Muslim, do as you please, but don’t go around spreading misinformation and telling people that it’s okay for Muslims to celebrate non-Islamic religious events.

side note: It’s appalling to see so many people talking and arguing about issues they clearly know nothing about, especially when the definitive answer is just one google search away.

I saw a funny post on social media from God which said, “Obviously 10 was too many, so I’ll just leave one- Stop being an asshole. The rest should fall into place.”

Well when we went to Christmas mass at 7pm in ahmadi these little S*#t kids were there. A few ofthem were walking out the door as we were walking up and one of them turned around and mockingly(while laughing) did the sign of the cross. Two other unparented arab kids stayed a little bit longer only to be ushered out as well. One of those little undisciplined kids pushed the doors open while mass was going on and yelled a phrase in Arabic with the last word being “JIHAD”! He may have been no older that 13 years old and I wanted to go back there and choke the shit out of him! Then about a few minutes after that some of them if not the same ran up to the same doors and started beating on them and yelling again. It was truely sad because we are there for the same reason as for when muslims go to the mosque, to pray and ask for forgiveness and here we are looking at that kid with anger and hate when he was interrupting the service. And believe me looking around the room, their were people of all ages with pissed off looks on their faces.

I see what you say but don’t get the wrong idea these peoplewyou talk about are most probably children of extreme parents or Saudis OR uncivilized people which we have a special name for in Arab, judging by what you said ahmadi is probably the best place to find all three of those I mentioned haha, civilized kuwaits don’t even like going there

Non-Christians who “celebrate” christmas, do not “worship” Jesus. They just do the fun stuff.. decorate a tree, eat sweets given by Christian friends, go for a party, dinner at a friends place … stuff like this.

We celebrate EVERY feast in Bombay, whether it is a Christian or non christian feast. At Diwali, we burst fireworks, we put out small lamps outside our house, even Rangoli (designs made on the floor with coloured powder). Holi … we “celebrate” by putting colour on each other. Raksha Bandhan … we tie fancy threads to our brother’s wrists. Eid… we visit our Muslim friends homes to wish them, give the little kids Eidi (some cash) and gifts and also head out to the famous places that serve Biryani and Firni (famous delicacies that are served during Eid).

This does not mean we, “WORSHIP” other deities and “God” etc. We just partake in the fun. I am true to my God and my religion.

We just need to ACCEPT that there are people who believe in something else and that does not make them bad. A good heart, tolerance, kindness is what a human being needs to have, even if you do not believe in a God.

And even if you do not want to do the fun stuff, it’s okay. It’s your life. But please DO NOT dish out your judgmental opinions on people and TELL them what to do and not do based on your beliefs. Thank you.

Thanks Neoark for sharing the Quran chapter. I was totally not getting it why Islamic state was hunting down and persecuting Christians in Iraq and Syria who usually don’t harm anybody. Now it all makes sense as the basic Christian doctrine ,is like, not acceptable at all in Islam. I can also understand now the animosity towards celebrating or wishing Christmas in Kuwait.

Its really tough to expect lay people to understand this fact about Christmas especially when they are invited here to work and contribute but their religion is not welcome. I think the best solution would be to prominently indicate that Christians or for that matter other religions like Sikhism, Buddhism, etc are also not welcome. I think they should create a law banning/deporting all Christians from the Arab states so there would be no issues where a Muslim would have to face a Christian or talk about Christmas.

Kuwait isn’t obligated to celebrate a holiday that has nothing to do with it

Kuwait isn’t obligated to have Christmas trees everywhere. Westerners are only 1% of Kuwait’s population. Westerners are 40% of Dubai’s population

Kuwait has no reason to put up Christmas trees. Thailand and China don’t have Christmas trees everywhere

Oman didn’t have Christmas trees everywhere

Christians in Kuwait are free to celebrate Christmas and buy Christmas trees. The state of Kuwait isn’t obligated to put up Christmas trees and decorations everywhere at malls. This isn’t an obligation. Westerners are only 1% of Kuwait’s total population. Christians are a minority.

Muslim holidays like Eid aren’t celebrated in America, the United Kingdom and other Western countries. I have never seen any Western countries having Eid decorations or celebrating it

In the 1980s and 1990s, Westerners formed a bigger percentage of the total population, therefore Kuwait had more Christmas trees and decorations than today

FYI, the parliament no longer has Islamist MPs.

There are only 3 Islamist MPs in the parliament

Perhaps the State of Kuwait doesn’t feel obligated anymore to put up Christmas trees everywhere because Western expatriates are only 1% of Kuwait’s total population

Christians are only 10% of Kuwait’s total population

In the 1980s, there were MANY more Westerners/Christians than today

True then again isn’t in our culture either to celebrate these holidays as they never were part of our culture , disregarding religion and stuff, I see no reason for Kuwait as a government and nation to celebrate it but it should be celebrated by people who want it simple tolerance and live and let live rule is needed, personal opinion keep religion to yourself and society as a whole might start advancing

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