Pulling the wishbone on Thanksgiving

Q: There is a tradition on thanksgiving where 2 people pull the wishbone of a turkey and whoever is left with the bigger part of the bone that persons wish will come true. I know celebrating thanksgiving is not allowed and I know that only Allah grants things, but if I pull the wishbone with my cousin not with the intention of getting my wishes come true but with the intention of just having fun, is it kufr?

A: Thanksgiving has got nothing to do with Islam. A believer is supposed to thank Allah Ta'ala everyday for the countless favours and bounties that he enjoys from Allah Ta'ala. Similarly a believer should be appreciative and thankful to all those he benefits from. Earmarking one day to express thanks is totally against the teachings of Islam.

Thanksgiving is a custom of the kuffaar and it is not permissible for a believer to celebrate this day as he will be emulating the kuffaar in their customs and traditions. Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said:

من تشبه بقوم فهو منهم

The one who emulates a people will be counted from amongst them (in the sight of Allah Ta’ala).

Apart from this, this action of pulling the "wishbone" is based on superstition and has its roots in shirk. Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) prohibited us in his mubaarak Ahaadith from getting involved in all actions which are based on superstition and shirk. The belief of Islam is that blessings and goodness are only from Allah Ta'ala and are not subject to pulling the "wishbone" of a turkey on "Thansgiving day" as is the belief of the kuffaar. Therefore, it is haraam for you to participate in this action even if you do it for fun.

Hazrat Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) said:

إنا كنا أذل قوم فأعزنا الله بالإسلام فمهما نطلب العز بغير ما أعزنا الله به أذلنا الله

"We were the most disgraced of people. Allah Ta’ala then gave us honour through Islam. If we ever seek honour in something besides that through which Allah Ta’ala has honoured us (Islam), Allah Ta’ala will disgrace us." (Haakim #207)

And Allah Ta'ala (الله تعالى) knows best.


Answered by:

Mufti Zakaria Makada

Checked & Approved:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)