It is perfectly permissible to accept a gift from a non-Muslim, regardless of the intention of the person giving it. It is also permissible to accept gifts from them on their festive occasions, unless these include something forbidden such as wines or the meat of an animal dedicated at the time of its slaughter to anyone other than God. A Muslim should use such occasions to strengthen relations with non-Muslims and introduce Islam to them. This view is stated by Ibn Taymiyyah, and it is given in a fatwa by the Permanent Committee for Research and Fatwa in Saudi Arabia. It is also endorsed by the European Council for Fatwa and Research, Shaikh Abd al-Azeez ibn Baz, Shaikh Abdullah ibn Jibreen and Shaikh Salih al-Fawzan.
It is permissible to give gifts to unbelievers who are not at war with us to win their hearts over and to incline them towards Islam. This is the view of the European Council for Fatwa and Research. Ibn Taymiyyah states the permissibility but excludes giving them gifts on their religious feasts, which he considers forbidden. The Islamic Fiqh Council of the Muslim World League expresses the same view.
Scholars have two different views on this question. The first view makes clear that it is not permissible for a Muslim meeting an unbeliever to start by offering the greeting of peace. If the unbeliever starts by saying assalamu alalikum (i.e. ‘peace be to you’), the Muslim may reply by saying wa alaikum (i.e. ‘and to you’). He may also give the reply in full, wa alaikum assalam, (i.e. ‘and peace be to you too’), if he is certain that when the unbeliever says the greeting he is clearly meaning it. This is the view of the majority of scholars, including Ibn al-Qayyim. Among contemporary scholars who subscribe to this view are Shaikh Abd al-Azeez ibn Baz and Shaikh Salih al-Fawzan
The first view considers such divorce effective. This is the view of most contemporary scholars. They say that such a sham divorce is real and counts against the divorcing husband. The Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America endorsed this view in the final statement concluding its second convention held in Copenhagen in 2004. The statement said: ‘A sham divorce counts against the person resorting to it, since he has spoken the words or appointed someone else to do it on his behalf, whether he intends it or not. Writing is the most important means of documentation in our modern world. As far as religion is concerned, such a divorce is disregarded unless it is intended. This is the weightier scholarly view.
A sham marriage, with no intention to make it a real and permanent marriage as required by Islamic law, is forbidden. According to Islam marriage is a firm pledge, described in the Qur’an in such terms: ‘How can you take it away when each of you has been privy with the other, and they have received from you a most solemn pledge?’ (4: 21) The prohibition is even stronger if the marriage contract is between a Muslim woman and a non-Muslim man, entered into to enable her to get certain benefits.