Can a Muslim celebrate and greet people on the Gregorian “New Year”?

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Scholars say that celebrating and saying “Happy New Year” is not part of our Islamic tradition and it should not be celebrated or endorsed because it originated as a religious holiday.
They cite the following saying of Prophet Muhammad to support their argument:
“Whoever imitates a people is one of them.”
[Narrated by Abu Dawoud]
Shaykh al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyah said in his book (Iqtidaa’ al-Siraat al-Mustaqeem Mukhaalifat Ashaab al-Jaheem): “Imitating them in some of their festivals implies that one is pleased with their false beliefs and practices, and gives them the hope that they may have the opportunity to humiliate and mislead the weak. End quote from (Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 3/44).
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Ibn al-Qayyim in his book (Ahkaam Ahl al-Dhimmah), where he says: “Congratulating the kuffaar on the rituals that belong only to them is haraam by consensus, as is congratulating them on their festivals and fasts by saying ‘A happy festival to you’ or ‘May you enjoy your festival,’ and so on. If the one who says this has been saved from kufr, it is still forbidden. It is like congratulating someone for prostrating to the cross, or even worse than that. It is as great a sin as congratulating someone for drinking wine, or murdering someone, or having illicit sexual relations, and so on. Many of those who have no respect for their religion fall into this error; they do not realize the offensiveness of their actions. Whoever congratulates a person for his disobedience or bid’ah or kufr exposes himself to the wrath and anger of Allaah.” End quote.
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However, some current scholars say that since the occasion of New Years’ nowadays no longer reflects religious meaning or practice, there is nothing wrong with wishing someone good health and well-being every year.


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