🕌 DAILY ISLAMIC RULING 🕌
RULING ON NEW YEAR CELEBRATIONS AND WISHES
It is not permissible for the Muslims to exchange greetings on the occasion of the Gregorian New Year , and it is not permissible for them to celebrate it. Both of these matters involve imitation of the non-Muslims, and we have been forbidden to do that.
The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said:
“Whoever imitates a people is one of them.” (Narrated by Abu Dawud, 4031; classed as sahih by al-Albani in Sahih Sunan Abi Dawud)
Moreover, offering greetings on this day that comes back each year comes under the heading of celebrating it and taking it as a festival, which is also forbidden.
As Muslims, we have our own calendar that has been in constant use for 1400 years. Even though we may end up using the Gregorian calendar due to circumstances beyond our control, we know for a fact that Allah has ordained the use of the lunar calendar for us in our worship.
According to our Hijri calendar (initiated by the great Sahaaba Umar raḍyAllāhu ‘anhu (may Allāh be pleased with her), the new year actually begins on the first of Muharram.
The Gregorian calendar (so called because it was developed by Pope Gregory) decided on the 1st of January as the New Year to celebrate the circumcision of Jesus. Its origin – like so many modern-day holidays – lies in the pagan Roman festivals associated with Janus – the two headed deity who symbolised change.
What Exactly is There to Celebrate?
Any celebration by Muslims needs to be put into context of the local and global situation of our fellow human beings. The two Eids amply do so by encouraging prayers, duaa for those suffering and alms to the needy. However, celebrating the New Year does no such thing.
It is a celebration that is cut off from the reality of the rest of the Ummah. The starvation in Somalia, the murder in Syria, the imprisonment of Gaza, the ethnic cleansing of Burma – celebrating the New Year is pretty much exactly the opposite of the “fever and wakefulness” that the Prophet ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) spoke about when he said we were like one body.
Salahuddin Ayyubi was once asked why he hardly ever smiled even though this was a sunnah of the Prophet ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him). He replied,
“How can I smile when I know that Masjid Al Aqsa is being defiled and the Muslims are suffering?!” That attitude, dear brothers and sisters, is why he achieved what he did and why are some of us still debating on whether or not it is acceptable to send “Happy New Year” messages. Let’s fear Allah and obey His commands always.
May Allah grant us strength. Aameeen.