Wishing someone a Merry Christmas is "totally prohibited" in Islam, according to one Saudi cleric.
Assim Alhakeem issued the edict in response to a question he received on Twitter earlier this week.
"Saying Merry Christmas means that you acknowledge that Allah has a begotten son! No Muslim would do that," Alhakeem tweeted.
His post sparked quite the controversy on the micro-blogging platform, leading to a heated discussion on the matter.
In a follow up tweet, the cleric explained that his stance on the matter doesn't aim to endorse hatred or prevent coexistence.
"However, not congratulating them doesn't mean we are showing hatred or being hostile or refusing to coexist! It is simply following our religion while they follow theirs! We respect their right and they must - as well - respect our right," he wrote.
Nevertheless, many were completely outraged by his statement.
Though some agreed with the cleric ...
Others begged to differ
Well, because ...
Other Muslim clerics joined the discussion
It's about reciprocity
"Oh really? OK Merry Christmas then"
"Please you do NOT speak for God!"
The cleric even opposes "giving gifts" during the holiday season
In a series of posts, Alhakeem told his followers that it is unacceptable for Muslims to give their Christian acquaintances Christmas gifts.
One Twitter user asked the cleric the reason behind his perspective. His response?
"Giving them gifts on such an occasion where they say that this is the day that the son of God was born means that you share with them such false belief. If someone accuses your mother of being a prostitute and you reply to him by praising him and giving him a gift, is this OK?"
This statement hasn't been swallowed by many who criticized Alhakeem's explanation, labeling it "offensive" and "incoherent."