Praise be to Allaah.
First of all, we ask Allaah
to reward you with good for your keenness to avoid following the ways of the
disbelievers, and your fear of imitating them. This is how the believer is;
he is proud of his faith and his Islam, and he does not agree to be a blind
follower of those with whom Allaah is angry among the Jews and Christians.
But there is nothing wrong
with what your wife and her sisters are doing, as it seems to us. It is not
the haraam kind of imitation, in sha Allaah, because setting aside Saturday
for visits is not because it is a special day, rather it is because this is
easier for them and is more suited to the family’s circumstances, as it is
possible for everyone, because of this day off, to visit. Shaykh al-Islam
Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
With regard to the one who
does something and it so happens that others do it too, and one of them did
not copy the other, then the question of whether this is an imitation or
not is subject to further discussion. End quote.
al-Mustaqeem (p. 82)
He also said:
That which is not
originally taken from them, but they do it too, does not come under the
prohibition on imitating them, but it may mean missing out on the benefits
of being different. Whether it is makrooh or haraam depends on shar’i
evidence as to whether it is imitating them, because we cannot say that we
are imitating them, rather it may be said that they are imitating us. End
al-Mustaqeem (p. 223)
From the words of Ibn
Taymiyah quoted above about the guidelines on what is the haraam kind of
imitation or resemblance, it may be understood that your wife and her
sisters setting aside Saturday for their visits is not haraam according to
sharee’ah, for several reasons:
Visiting relatives is
prescribed in our religion at all times, and it is the practice of our
Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and of our
righteous forbears at all times and in all places. There is nothing wrong
with singling any day out for that, according to circumstances and time.
This is according to scholarly consensus.
Visiting people on Saturdays
is not one of the unique characteristics of the Jews and Christians, and it
is not something that has been adopted from them. Rather it is something
that all people have in common, and is not unique to one nation rather than
another. Rather what is unique to the Jews is taking Saturday as a holy day
on which the people show the outward manifestations of it being a holy day,
that they do not do on other days.
In the answers to questions
no. 21694 and
108996 we have mentioned some of the guidelines on the
imitation of others that is haraam.
As it does not seem that
this action of theirs is imitation of the kuffaar, and there is no fear that
they may do that, then there is nothing wrong with their singling out
Saturdays for such visits, if that is easiest for them and most suited to
Al-Bukhaari (1193) and
Muslim (1399) narrated from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Dinar that Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah
be pleased with him) used to go to Quba’ every Saturday and he used to say:
I saw the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon
him) coming to it every Saturday.
To sum up: If singling out
Saturdays for visits is easier for them, then there is nothing wrong with
it, in sha Allaah, and it does not seem that there is anything wrong with
it. If their circumstances allow them to choose another day, other than
Saturday or Sunday, or they can switch it every time, that is more on the
safe side for them and further removed from imitation of the kuffaar, and is more obviously being different from the kuffaar in their festivals and special days.
And Allaah knows best.