Every year, a large number of Muslims get into the festive spirit and celebrate New Year's day. Whether it's Facebook status updates, Twitter messages or even holding New Years eve parties – many Muslims (especially, but not exclusively in the West) go the whole 9 yards when it comes to ringing in the New Year. But is this a harmless innovation or the first step on a slippery slope?
I believe that it is the latter. Here are 4 reasons why Muslims should NOT celebrate New Years:
4. It is technically inaccurate – & pagan
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 – and therefore, by extension, our daily lives. According to our Hijri calendar (initiated by the great Sahaaba Umar ®), the new year actually begins on the first of Muharram. To learn more about it click here.
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 Western holidays – lies in the pagan Roman festivals associated with Janus – the two headed deity who symbolised change.
3. What exactly is there to celebrate?
Any celebration by Muslims needs to be put into context of the local and global situation of the Ummah. The two Eids amply do so by encouraging prayers, duaa for those suffering and alms to the needy. However, celebrating New Years does no such thing. It is a celebration that is completely 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 New Year's is pretty much exactly the opposite of the “fever and wakefulness” that the Prophet (SAW) 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 (SAW.) 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 liberated Jerusalem and why we're still debating on whether or not it is acceptable to send “Happy New Year” messages.
2. It usually involves un-Islamic practices
Let's be honest. When you picture New Year's Eve celebration, you don't picture people sitting in a segregated environment reading from the Qur'an & Hadiths and reminding each other towards good as the clock strikes midnight. Instead, they are (and I know this is a generalisation) mixed gender events where people wear fashionable clothes, dance and sing songs, etc. It is necessarily an Islam free zone, not least because it has no basis or relationship to Islam.
1. It is against the spirit of Islam
I am well aware that there is a difference of opinion on this matter between scholars, and I respect that. However, there are a few points I'd make to that.
Firstly, the number of scholars who condone the celebration of New Years are in the absolute minority. Secondly, the scholars who do condone it almost never actually celebrate New Years themselves or with their families – at least not in public – showing that even though they may believe it acceptable, it is not preferable. Thirdly, many of them predicate their views based on a number of caveats – that it is no longer a pagan or Christian ritual, that it is good da'wah to non-Muslims and that it not involve any un-Islamic element. Most of these caveats are difficult if not impossible to satisfy adequately.
This is meant to be a gentle reminder and not a harsh rebuke. It would be against the spirit of Islam to not show kindness and respect to non-Muslims. We are encouraged to be warm and welcoming, not least because it will attract others to our faith. But there are many ways to showcase our manners and act as ambassadors for our faith without having to adopt the celebrations of others. By adopting the celebrations of others, we are not harmlessly saying a few words or just enjoying ourselves. We are opening the door to disappearing within the dominant culture, to a future in which our children may have Muslim names, but are otherwise indistinguishable from non-Muslims in their habits, customs and appearances.
This issue occupied the minds of greater people than us – Uthman (R), Ali (R) and many other of the greatest Sahaaba. When the great assemblage of the companions of the Prophet (SAW) had discussed this issue at length, the matter was brought to a close by the wise words of Caliph Umar (R) that are as relevant today as they were then. He said, “The Hijrah has separated truth from falsehood, therefore, let it become the epoch of the era.” 
So this year – as the clock strikes midnight on the 18th of Safar – thank Allah for the blessings of having our own calendar and the two Eids. May Allah give us all many, many more in happiness, health and unity for the whole of the Ummah. Ameen.

101 Responses

  1. Momekh

    I too do not think that there is anything to “celebrate” after every 12 months. Anyone celebrating the turning of another year doesn’t really know WHY.

    And no one celebrates the Islamic New Year (Muharram) for reasons well known.

    And I also wonder why you equate reading the Quran and Hadeeth with celebration? Reading the Quran and celebrating something are two distinct activities.

    Also, and most importantly perhaps, the title of this article is designed to be clicked, whereas your article itself is much more subtle. I love the last para how you say it is a gentle reminder. The title, on the other hand, makes me say, “So Muslims celebrate twice a year on Eids, as sanctioned. What else can we celebrate? “

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    • Sahud

      In reply to momekh he said: “I too do not think that there is anything to “celebrate” after every 12 months. Anyone celebrating the turning of another year doesn’t really know WHY.”
      You are very close-minded and self-centered person I can see that. Well of course you will celebrate a new year. It’s a universal calendar. Just like how you will celebrate your birthday. Another year right? And please let me tell you that Christians also don’t celebrate Ramadhan and other Islamic events. It’s the same thing. The Muslims are not required to celebrate new year even some Christians don’t.

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      • Barry

        I was born Church of England (Christian) but do not subscribe to any religion – HOWEVER I do respect other peoples religious believes of any kind, how sad that it’s not a two way street. As for “Christians also don’t celebrate Ramadhan and other Islamic events” you’re not entirely correct, “celebrate” maybe they don’t but having lived many years in the UAE, Qatar and Oman, I can say that Islamic holy days are held in high regard by other faiths including Christianity, and have experienced the spirit of such events to be embraced by other faiths in a respectful way. One reason I elected to “opt out” of subscribing to any religious belief is due to the “clubism” that many religions portray – if you don’t belong to my “club” then you’re the enemy, which of course is ridiculous. As humans we should all be free to choose and if we can’t live among others because they don’t eat the same bread – then we should learn to live side by side with them. It’s all about reaching out and touching people, regardless of any per-existing conditions or beliefs we each have, let’s not forget in the realm of the universe this is a very very very small planet we all live on.

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  2. Who cares?

    I will be going out, enjoying and celebrating with my friends, because I am not a narrow-minded ideologue.

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    • Open your mind

      As a recent revert, it is separatist “holier than thou” attitudes such as expressed in this article by a so-called “scholar of Islam” that are causing me to question my new faith alltogether

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      • WAJiD

        Salaam,

        1. I am not an Islamic scholar. I don’t claim to be one.

        2. I make it clear that there is an opinion that says it is acceptable to celebrate New Years (albeit as long as it fulfils certain criteria.) Not sure how that is holier-than-thou?

        3. At no point in this article do I advocate separatism. And to claim that it is separatist to not celebrate New Years is not really accurate. There are a million ways to engage with non-Muslims – it doesn’t have to only be Christmas and New Years.

        4. Such spiritual blackmail of the “This is why I don’t pray” / “This is why I am considering quitting Islam” variety is not really appropriate. If you have questions, seek answers. If you have doubts, seek clarity. If you disagree, then provide reasoning with evidence. I will do the same.

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      • muslimah

        AssalamoalikumwRwB…..”open your mind”,i am so happy to see that Allah blessed you with the best of the treasures,by that i mean true guidance.Sis/bro look,people disagree with one another even in the matters of faith but that does’nt mean at all that you start doubting or questioning your faith!Trust me i really love you 4 the sake of Allah,i want better 4 you and want that Allah let us meet in Jannah..celebrating new year is not an issue of dispute at all,as a revert you must not consider these things right now instead ur first concern should be the Faraidh(obligatory acts)..Sis/bro learn about Islam,you did’nt enter this circle of islam out of nowhere,you must have seen sumthing or experience something that really inspired u..Talk to some really authentic sheikh,infact first read Quran,converse directly with Allah,read its translation and most importantly ask God to show you the right path…I ask Allah 4m the depth of my heart to guide you and all of us,give us the strength to follow the Straight path…May Allah clear all ur doubts and make you firm on ur Deen!I’m highly apologetic if any of my words hurt anybody there…JazakAllah khairan!

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      • jasken

        Salamalykum,In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

        All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

        Dear brother/sister in Islam, May Allah help us all lead a righteous life based on Islam!
        It is very important to note that Islam is a complete way of life and it suffices Muslims. At the same time, We should not forget our role in the society. We should be a good example to others. Islam urges us to be kind with all people without any kind of discrimination due to differences in faith or race.

        Muslims have their own identity. In order to keep this identity, Muslim scholars said that Muslims must not celebrate Christmas or holidays of non-Muslims. By participation in Christmas, it is possible that slowly one may lose his or her consciousness of this basic point of difference between Islam and Christianity. Muslims must be very careful in this matter. The greatest danger is for our next generation, who may slowly lose their Islamic faith in tawhid and may start believing in Jesus as “more than a prophet and servant of Allah”.

        We should tell our children that we are Muslims and this is not our holiday. This is the holiday of our Christian neighbors and friends.
        The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Every people have their `Eid…” Some celebrations are of a religious nature, and some others are social and cultural. Some celebrations are based on beliefs and practices that are contrary to Islamic teachings, and some celebrations are not of that nature. Some people claim that Christmas is now a secular holiday and it is very much an American national holiday rather than a religious holiday. But it is wrong to assume that because this holiday is national, it has ceased to be Christian. It is true that this holiday is very popular and it is extremely commercialized; nevertheless it is basically a religious holiday. Its very name and all its symbolism is Christian through and through.

        Christians celebrate at Christmas what they believe to be the “day of the birth of God’s Son” or what they call “God Incarnate”. Thus it is not only a celebration of another religion, it is also a celebration that is based on a belief that is totally against the teachings of Islam. From the Islamic point of view, the belief in the “Son of God” or “God in the flesh” is a blasphemy and kufr (denial of God’s Oneness). By participation in Christmas, it is possible that slowly one may lose his or her consciousness of this basic point of difference.Muslims must be very careful in this matter. The greatest danger is for our next generation, who may slowly lose their Islamic faith in tawhid and may start believing in Jesus as “more than a prophet and servant of Allah”.The argument that “Christmas is, after all, Prophet Jesus’ birthday and so there is no harm in celebrating Christmas” is neither logical nor Islamic. Why should Muslims celebrate Jesus’ birthday? Why not the birthdays of the other 24 prophets and messengers who are mentioned in the Qur’an by name?

        For us Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) is the final Prophet and Messenger of Allah, not Jesus. Christians believe that Jesus was the last one and they say that “after God spoke through many prophets … in these last days he spoke to us through his son whom he made to inherit every thing” (New Testament, Hebrews 1:1). Thus they celebrate his coming, but for us Muslims, Prophet Muhammad was the last Prophet and Allah appointed him for all people and for all times to come.

        I do agree that our little children are deeply affected with the festivities and glitter of this holiday. We should try to take them to some Islamic camps and conferences at this time and give them some other alternate programs and activities. But Muslim families should not have Christmas trees in their homes, nor should they put up lights inside or outside their homes at this time.

        We should tell our children that we are Muslims and this is not our holiday. This is the holiday of our Christian neighbors and friends.

        I am pleased to know that you celebrate Ramadan and `Eids with lights and decoration of your home and exchange gifts with your children. This is very thoughtful, indeed. It is good to decorate our homes and masjids during Ramadan and for `Eids. It is mentioned in one of the Hadiths that even the heaven is especially decorated during the month of Ramadan. Allah Almighty closes the gates of Hell and opens the gates of Paradise during the month of Ramadan.

        We Muslims should give special attention to our own Islamic holidays. In this way our children will be attracted to our own celebrations rather than looking at others.

        Unfortunately, there are some Muslims who do not pay any attention to Ramadan and `Eids. Some of them do not even come to `Eid prayers and even if they come, they do not take their day off from work. Thus their children have no idea about Islamic holidays or they think that Islam is a religion without any festivals and celebrations.

        Explaining the reasons why Muslims don’t celebrate and believe in Christmas, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:

        Christmas was a pagan custom which was adopted into Christianity; it has nothing to do with reverence and love of Jesus, the mighty Messenger of Allah that we Muslims hold in the highest regard and respect. If Jesus were to come today, whether or not he would identify himself with those who celebrate Christmas is a question one should ask seriously.

        If we are celebrating the great teachings of Jesus or other prophets, we must do so everyday. To do so means to practice love, mercy, justice and compassion and to be actively engaged in doing the will of God. May Allah bless you all.

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      • Akhtar

        Jazakallah Khair Brother. “How can we be happy when our brothers are being suppressed/killed/torture all over the world”

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      • Muslim by birth only

        No one is compelled to follow. You follow Islam for your own benefit. The benefit of acquiring every wealth, pleasure, time, and health for a very very long time. God is not in any need, especially the need to be worshiped by his own creation

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      • Abdul Sattar

        assalamu alaikum Br/Sr Open Your Mind,

        EDITED AT REQUEST OF COMMENTER
        Please remember that there is a community of loving believers, and wonderful scholars who welcome you with open arms and are happy that you have joined our faith. We love you for the sake of Allah just for taking the step of joining our community. If you want to meet other people who have recently joined Islam and are looking for a place to find connections and are struggling with some of the same questions you might be, PLEASE check out http://www.taleefcollective.org/.

        Take care,
        wa alaikum assalam
        Abdul Sattar

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      • Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

        @Citizen M
        We generally do not let comments through that insults our authors or other commenters. However, in this case, the comment was approved by the author himself in order to reply to it. Authors are allowed a relatively free hand to approve comments that they would like to address or to remove those that they feel do not add value to the conversation.

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    • naz

      I’m surprised as many do not follow Islam but think they’re Muslims which is why Prophet Mohammad[SAW] feared that: “you will end up following the disbelievers, inch by inch, hand span by hand span, even if they were to enter lizard hole, you will follow them!!”

      Another narration: “The worst speech to Allah is when one man says to another man, “Fear Allah” and he replies: “Worry about your own self!!” So if someone tells you to follow Islam and you say no this is separatism, then you’re saying something that Allah hates.

      What Muslim are you? Muslim is follower of Islam; Islam means submission to the Will of Allah, and Muslim is one has submitted, another words “Slave of Allah”

      I’m posting few videos to clarify some things:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDLagf1SE-E

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tx_Pux3sXk

      for more information: email me: naz_007999@yahoo.co.uk

      Thank you

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  3. Sereen

    Honestly, at the bottom of it..its No biggie. Not worth an article. Bigger issues to deal with than a ‘ happy new year ‘ wish or family get together on that day. And parties?..Muslims are top class at feasting ..whether Somalia starves or Syrians are oppressed and killed. Sorry for the sarcasm , but this is the harsh truth , so that point is not really valid here. In that case even Eid should be celeberated with guilt.

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    • WAJiD

      Walaikum asalaam,

      Umar (R) presided as Caliph over the meeting of the great Sahaaba that designated the Muslim calendar – and where they explicitly rejected copying non-Muslim celebrations.

      The Prophet (SAW) said that if there was to be a Prophet after him, it would have been Umar (R). It is difficult to imagine someone whose opinions should be listened to and followed more than him.

      Yet when this Sahaaba says that we should put Muharram as the start of our calendar and use the hijrah as start of our epoch – we not only ignore his advice (unanimously agreed by the sahaaba) but are determined to celebrate the opposite of his suggestion by going for a different calendar, a different epoch and a different month.

      Indeed Umar (R) spoke the truth when he said that the hijrah separated truth from falsehood… and it continues to do so even to this day.

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  4. Nuraini

    personally I don’t find a New Year to be about anything but an arbitrary calendar point. and, the western-imported celebratory elements in my country tends to import the concerts and fireworks and hedonism, which made New Year abhorrent to me.

    BUT, from experience with non-Muslim in-laws from whose culture the Gregorian calendar is, their own traditional view of New Year is not about getting drunk. They have a traditional dimension we have not imported along with the drinking festivities. The way I understood it, the celebration is pretty much for having made it alive for another year. Which, despite all your suffering (and really, Muslims aren’t the only group suffering in the world) of all people Muslims should be aware that this is something to be grateful for. I don’t think this attitude of not being happy because not everyone is, is really exemplary at all. When would it be possible for everyone to be happy, while we are still on this side of life? When Muslims especially have been told by God Himself that we *will* be tested and disliked? I mean, was not the Prophet someone who smiled? Are we saying that the suffering of Muslims at his time was not as great as today, and that was why it was ‘ok’ that the Prophet smiled? No offense to Salahuddin, but (1) he really should have smiled sometimes and (2) we should remember he was mostly in the vanguard of war, and presumably not a lot of funny things happened, plus he could actually do something about the suffering he was thinking about, so maybe he was just serious and concentrating. The point is, it is a good thing to pause and reflect that, you know, we made it this far, and what a remarkable thing that is, actually. And that all that you have on that day, even if it’s just life, is worth celebrating about.

    It also marks – though arbitrarily – a psychological new start, a leaving behind and hope for a better year ahead. Again, this letting go of what was and hoping for more chances of life to do better – surely Muslims should know better than anyone the importance and value of this hope and redha. In fact, for this purpose there is probably value in the date being arbitrary since there is no historical event, like expulsion or martyrdom or whatnot to fix your mind to a time in the past, thus discouraging us from the objective to just LET IT GO. and MOVE ON. Maybe we *should* have a New Year day, in light of our various communities’ and sects’ inability to LET the past GO. yes, they were important events, and yes it has consequences felt today, but aside from what we can learn from them for the future, the events themselves are also of the dunya, and attachment to them is attachment to dunya. we have so many markers of remembrance, but no markers whatsoever of letting go.

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  5. Ishaq

    I usually like your articles brother Wajid and I respect your opinion but I respectfully disagree with it. Though I did enjoy reading this and I enjoyed the out look. :)

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  6. Khalidroc

    Celebrating New years is shirk! It has nothing whatsoever to do with Islam. The date is based upon the Gregorian calendar for the birth date of Jesus (supposed birth date in the minds of Xtians). The Gregorian calendar states that these years are AD – Anno Domini – in the year of our lord – wherein the lord referred to is Jesus. We as Muslims accept and acknowledge Allah as our One and Only Lord. Jesus is not lord and so to celebrate new years (the supposed birth date of Jesus) is to put him up as equal in stature with Allah – na3udhu billaahi min dhaalik! So it is shirk!

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    • Irene

      @ Khalidroc:
      To clarify a confusion: New Year (January the 1st) is not the birth day of Jesus (December 25th).
      Christmas is for Christians the celebration of Jesus’ birth, and the celebration lasts for three days (December 25th, 26th and 27th). Christmas Eve is on December 24th.

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  7. WAJiD

    Walaikum asalaam all -

    JazakAllah khairun for the replies. Just wanted to address some of the points being made:

    1. It is not a big deal – don’t make an issue out of it

    The trouble is, the start of a slippery slope never looks like a big deal until you are right down at the bottom. Then you realise you should have done something earlier.

    Adding on a holiday that isn’t ours and has nothing to do with Islam (no one seems to have an answer to that) and defending it so fiercely – don’t be surprised when your children de-value their own Eids because they have all these other holidays to celebrate too…

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    • WAJiD

      2. We’re happy during Eid so why not in New Years?

      I did make the point that:
      - Eid is divinely ordained, New Years is not.
      - Eid encourages Zakat, Qurbani – New Years encourages wasting money on fireworks, parties etc…
      - Eid encourages prayer and duaas (for our brothers and sisters), New Years encourages haraam activities (again, I’m not sure where the Islamic New Years Eve parties are but I have yet to see any evidence of one…)
      - So please don’t equivocate between the two…

      There seems to be the viewpoint (as expressed by Sereen and Nuraini) that there’s lots of pain and suffering going on all the time so we really can’t use that as an excuse not to party, enjoy ourselves and say “Happy New Years”.

      - Did the Prophet (SAW) say that the Muslim Ummah is like a body and if one part of the body suffers then we shouldn’t worry because there’s always suffering and we shouldn’t let that get in the way of our fun? Like I said, it is the exact opposite of the fever and wakefulness that he spoke about.

      - I am not saying that we should be sad all the time. But does that mean therefore that it is somehow ok to celebrate a year just passed that has been so traumatic for the Ummah and a New Year with more of the same?

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      • Nuraini

        brother, it is true muslims have the two eids that unite us all. but at the same time, in real terms today, chinese muslims have the chinese new year, persians have nowrouz, most of us have independence or national days for our respective countries, kings’ birthdays, historical days, harvest festival days, and so forth. the issue with taking issue with new year’s day on principle – not its means of celebration – is that you must also invalidate all of these other holidays or festivities. i’m pretty sure that in the old days when the muslim missionaries came to distant lands and saw the local celebratory days, they asked them, quite apart from *how* the day was celebrated, what is this festival *about*. and that’s why many of the above commemorative days are even still around, while others were rejected. many of them, at the time the missionaries encountered them, were celebrated in prohibited ways (say, nowruz), yet today have turned into quite acceptable celebrations. some of them still shared today between muslim and non-muslim groups of the same race/nation, show this divide in *means* of celebration (say, chinese new year, chingming), while the positive *reason* for commemoration continues to be shared. by the article’s reasoning, they never should have been accepted in the first place because it is impossible to separate from its means of celebration, which is the same thing as what the festival is about. elsewhere in the world, this has been shown not to be true.

        yes, we should all feel when part of us is suffering. however, the most useful people to others are those who are neither desensitised to others’ suffering nor are they so paralysed by their empathy that they don’t acquire and shore up their own strength – because if you have little, you can give little, and that includes positivity and cheerfulness. please re-look not just at your article text, but your choice of pictures and captions – to me they intend to rebuke, provoke, and presupposes a meaning for the holiday that becomes your straw man, yet may not be entirely true to many. being pictures, they speak more than the text.

        is it not the opinion of the scholars, that even those of us in the most grievous suffering, MUST be thankful nonetheless to Allah, because in our suffering, and perhaps even the suffering itself, is still innumerable blessings from Him? and therefore even if the ummah is in a sorry state, the ummah still have things to be grateful for, and MUST reflect on and be happy about? therefore while one differ on “why pick this calendar “, or maybe express concern that it is difficult for your local situation to not be carried away by the *prevailing* celebration style today, or whether it’s locally relevant, i don’t think it is intellectually honest to say that “to be happy for what has happened in the past year is a bad thing, essentially because we collectively _did not get more_ than what we did”. and because we do not have more than we think we _should have_, thinking and hoping for a better year is inappropriate. masha-Allah brother, do you realise the implication of your reasoning? that because we didn’t have MORE than what Allah gave us, we should not be happy for what He DID? yes last year was a ‘crappy’ year for Muslims like a lot of years. but that was what Allah gave us, and it is for us to be grateful for it, and reflect on WHY we suffer and WHY in our hearts we feel resentful for what He gave to us that we are unable to feel happy or see anything good in it. truly redha is the most difficult part of our religion, and i speak as someone who struggles with it right now, but we must realise the danger of this feeling of unsatisfaction because it is a sign of a lack of redha, and very dangerous to iman, and i feel i must intervene and caution you of it and i apologise if it’s taken the wrong way.

        lastly, i have no direct interest in this matter, neither celebrating nor even observing new year’s day, nor am i in the West so the issue of how far to assimilate is not even relevant to me. however, because of my extended family, i know it is not fair to say the things said in this article, and I think the reasoning behind the stated disapproval of the new year commemoration is one that is disempowering of the ummah, distrustful of Allah, and exclusivist about distinct, valued, yet non-Arab cultural elements that we have – somewhat hypocritically – tolerated in other non-Arab nations in ages past who happen to be considered “Muslim” races today. i think there’s quite enough of this mindset now, and i quite resent this mindset of paranoia and fear encroaching into countries that have until recently been able to adopt holidays other then the eids with a mindset of positivity and strength, which incidentally made life a whole lot easier for converts and probably why entire kingdoms could convert in those days – but which is now re-introducing unnecessary difficulty for today’s converts that were never imposed on their predecessors a hundred years ago.

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    • WAJiD

      3. It is unfriendly or separatist to not celebrate New Years

      - It is really unfortunate when some Muslims (and non-Muslims) reduce the parameters of being friendly and relationship with non-Muslims to celebrating Christmas/ New Years etc…

      - There is so much more that we can have in common without compromising our Islamic values. Whether it be sports, charity, environmental activism, science etc… There are so many occasions where we can get together.

      - A large section of Non-Muslims do not celebrate New Years. More than 28% of Americans will not be celebrating this New Year showing that it is perfectly possible to be friendly, a citizen of your country and not celebrate… http://goo.gl/EAHfE

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      • love-islam

        I dont understand whey are we muslims are so weak in faith. If ALLAH Subhan Wa Tallah sys him self that he perfected our religon and choose for us ISLAM, until whey you guys will be following the disbelivers halydays ect…….stop imating theire celebration, they will never be you friends or protector they are enimeis of ALLAH you all can go head and celebrate with them, but alwys remember your grave and teh day of akhra the of day of resurrection you all will be resurrected with them. sis/brs respect your religon before its too late be proud of who you are dont let this dunya world to diseive you be strong as a real muslim, Islam is the ony religon will survive. Look around you how many people revort to islam, and islam keep growing ALHAMDULIAHA, stop talking nagatave about your religon. LA HOWLAH BILAH QUWATA ILAH BILAH. peace to you all, may ALLAH Subhana Wa Tallah guide all of you in the straight path. AMEEN

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      • Irene

        @love-islam:
        No offense, you say “peace on you all” at the end of your comment, but you say at the beginning that “the disbelivers” will “never be your friends or protectors” and that they are “enemies of Allah”. I am Christian, do you consider me an enemy?

        I think this is hypocripical, to wish peace like… an automatism, without reflecting on the bigger value behind these words.

        Peace among believers of different religions is really important to me. Even my name, in Greek, means peace.

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  8. muslimah

    JazakAllah Khairan wa Ahsan al Jaza brother…May Allah accept ur tireless efforts,put barakah in ur knowledge,work and family and bless you all with Jannat-ul-firdous…kindly remember me in ur duaz…once again Jazak Allah khair to you and ur whole team

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  9. Nuha

    Jazakallah Khairan . I have a doubt, If any non-muslim says ‘Happy New Year’ to us , is it ok to respond to them .

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  10. Singingbluejay

    I celebrate two eids and we get together for Christmas and new year holidays as it is an opportunity to spend time with family which is sometimes difficult in our hectic lifestyles. With all due respect to all of you- lighten up! Stop making islam boring and making people feel guilty. Everyone knows what their duties in islam are and we are all responsible for instilling these values in our children and families. Instead of moaning about this article and debating about this issue, get out there and do something proactive by helping all our Muslim brothers and sisters who are misguided. Isn’t that what Umar RA did?? Instead of talking about things, he did them. And people followed……oh and smile :) There are much larger issues going on in the world than this article.

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    • love-islam

      Do you think is fun to celebrate the New Year or XMS? you are so wrong stop fooling your self. do they celebrate your holiday? of cours……..NOT……………becouse they dont care about islam. You should read the QURAN/HATHIS so that you can understand the sharia the law. and remember islam is NOT boreing religon. islam is most beautifull religon in the world. And think about good stuff that islam provide us. ALLAH Subhana Wa Tallah promis us PARADISE of cours if your beliver you belive in it.

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  11. Abba

    There is nothing to celebrate in a new year, a birthday, marriage anniversary or many such dates. These are milestones as time passes. As said in many comments above, the Gregorian Calander is like it not is used in many countries and out of circumstance Muslims living in the west surrounded more. If the non-Mulsims we are living and working with conisder it an important event, what is probiliting then saying, May You have a Happy New Year.

    I am not a muslim driven by too many technicalities, but my brothers who are extremely more practicing then me have sent me Happy New Year and I have either resiprocated or kept quite. I do not initatite a Happy New to a Muslim Brother, but find it kind to say Happy Birthday to a Non-Muslim

    Wish everyone Allah’s Blessings all the time

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  12. Hassen

    The main take-away from the article is the point that we shouldn’t just following what everyone else does (not just holidays, but generally preferring to ‘fit in’ at the expense of preserving our own Muslim identities). I think the author does a good job of concluding with this at the end:

    “We are opening the door to disappearing within the dominant culture, to a future in which our children may have Muslim names, but are otherwise indistinguishable from non-Muslims in their habits, customs and appearances.”

    We are opening the door…

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  13. Fezz

    Nice article. Not as funny as your others though!

    I think its difficult as often on this day people have some time off and its the only chance to meet old friends. I was 50-50 on deciding what to do. Although having read this I probably wont stay up until the “new year” and will going to bed and catching up on some Z time

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  14. Abba

    Where has a minority remained with zero impact of dominant culture? To do by guiding our children to isolate and ignore every aspect, which may be religiously neutral and not even forbidden but do so as not to be a part of the surrounding environment, isolates and retards the growth potential for children. Leading and parenting is to maximize the growth potential within Islamic bounds. When we increase the domain of these bounds to cover human kindness and interaction with present environments the results are counterproductive at a community level. Example of Muslim communities in India and UK are examples of negative sociology-economic impact of extreme isolation. The story is not new. After 1857 in India Muslims resisted for a long time even to learn English language. Muslims in India and Pakistan are still suffering from that mindset. But for the Aligarh Muslim University the situation would have been worse.

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  15. ahsan arshad

    salaam alaykum,
    a pertinent issue, not of kufr or shirk but as the author put it “going on a slippery slope”… When it is preferrable to abstain from doubtful matters in our religion then what about slippery slopes?
    Some of the comments are surprising to see such as “it is not a big deal”, “stop making islam difficult”.
    The topic has been discussed with academic integrity and it should be read academically keeping in mind that an action (small or big) done with the right intention (sincerely and for the sake of Allah only) cannot be small in the sight of Allah. If one believes that islam is a religion revealed by God/Allah and then islamic sources has guidance on a topic…then abstaining or enjoining in an act consistent with that guidance is inshallah worthy of reward which will come very handy.
    I request a more serious attitude!

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    • Mahmud

      Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

      A Muslim woman marrying other than a Muslim man produces nothing but zina. The marriage is not valid.

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      • Kelly

        Produces nothing but zina? Was that the opinion of the Prophet (pbuh) with his daughter Zainab bint Muhammad?

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  16. HPUnited

    What’s even worse is the New Years Resolution. “I’m going to lose weight”, “I’m going to quit smoking”. By February, it’s all but forgotten.

    Only morons make resolutions. Write down your goals, set a plan and work! You want to lose weight, it takes months of exercise and a strict diet.

    New Years is just another weekend of self-indulgence and elated emotions.

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  17. Greg Abdul

    This argument has a typical flaw Muslims make when discussing these issues. Celebrating in Islam is either haram or halaal and the particular day is not what makes the celebration sinful. For example, if you spent Christmas day studying the Sunnah, that is a halaal celebration of Christmas. It’s just like when we do family day at most masjids. Family day is an innovation that did not happen in the Prophet’s time. Yet no one argues that when we gather for a bayan and briani we are engaged in haram actions.

    To answer the four points made here:

    1) “Against the spirit of Islam is not an evidentiary position. It’ a what-I-like statement. Legal positions in Islam are not validated by minority versus majority, but by the legitimacy of the origin of the opinion. If the scholar is legitimate and engaged in sincere ruling, we don’t do polls in Islam to see who likes what opinion the most. Sharia is not a popularity contest, as you infer in your first point.
    2) This I answer in my introduction. You are arguing against the day and not the how of celebrating. Taking alcohol and mixing with women in order to commit zina is never halaal, no matter the day, but your argument is against a certain day.
    3) This is your weakest and most incorrect point. We Muslims celebrate two Eids as Allah commands and none of us dare disobey Allah with the excuse that “suffering exists in the world. Muslims are not stoics and you seem to want to say that any non-Muslim expression of happiness is haram, which is extremely counter productive. Hating non-Muslims for their celebrations certainly is no way to win them over to Islam.
    4) This may be your strongest point, but it is in practice, quite baseless. No one worships Julius or Augustus Caesar as a god anymore, even though we use months that immortalize their names in our daily lives. The same thing goes for Janus. Muslims all over the world use the Christian calendar and none of us are denying Allah because we say January, July or August. The purpose of a calendar is that it is a method of calculating days and as such it is only a mathematical model which is either properly applied or not. It’s scientific method, not worship.

    You are being divisive. If a Christian calendar is haram, why isn’t the computer or a car a Christian creates just as haram? People like you want to teach us about the evils of non Muslims, but whenever we look at these kind of Salafi arguments we see that the main people hating the West in reality are chasing after the West faster than the same Muslims you want to criticize. My Imam taught us this past Friday about the importance of resolving to be better Muslims this coming year. I thinks it’s pretty obviously that is a halaal teaching. He is my teacher. You are not.

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    • WAJiD

      Salaam brother Greg Abdul,

      Even though, (as you so helpfully pointed out) I am not your teacher permit me to narrate this:

      Abdullah ibn Amr ibn Al As (may Allah be pleased with him) – the great sahaaba who the Prophet (SAW) blessed with permission to write down his hadith in his lifetime- said:

      “Whoso enters/resides in the land of non-Muslims and celebrates their New Years and their festivities and imitates them until he dies and he is upon it, he will be brought back to life with them on the Day of Resurrection”
      [Sunan Al Bayhaqi]

      I hope this is evidentiary enough for you.

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      • Greg Abdul

        as salaam alaikum brother,

        Celebration – The action of marking one’s pleasure at an important event or occasion by engaging in enjoyable, typically social activity.

        Mostly my adab is wrong. My imam is big on being humble and kind and I am a little too much into Malcolm X so maybe I am a wheel that’s a little too squeaky. Please forgive me. Thank you for citing the hadeeth. Al hamdulillah. But my point remains. If on Christmas day even, you go into a masjid and study Islam and that is your celebration, then certainly you are not on the path of those who worship other than Allah. I am not saying we should say Merry Christmas. Christmas is clearly haram. However, the non Muslims have non religious holidays. The way of the non Muslims is computers, cars and the internet, yet here we Muslims are using their inventions. They have invented a calendar that many of us use. I have never heard that using a Christian calendar is haram. They celebrate the first day of their calendar every year. My point, which I only have my Imam’s word on, is in my mind, just like Mawlid. Some of us want to argue about a certain day. If you go to the masjid and learn Islam and that gives you the most pleasure you have on this earth, then clearly, insha Allah, your celebration is not one that normally leads to the fire. This is my simple point. Many of us have extra time off because we work or do business with Christians this time of year. If our enjoyment – if our celebrating – is Islam is the issue, not what day it is….at least in my mind and my limited understanding.

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      • Johnny Blaze

        Brother Wajid I have tremendous respect for you, soldier on brother.

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      • love-islam

        Aslam aliykum Wajid brother i realy like what you said thats exactly our beloved prophet Peace and belissing of ALLAh be upon his said they will be brought together on the day of resrrection.

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      • Kelly

        Can you provide a reference for the hadith ““Whoso enters/resides in the land of non-Muslims and celebrates their New Years and their festivities and imitates them until he dies and he is upon it, he will be brought back to life with them on the Day of Resurrection”” I do not see it in Bukhari, Muslim, Abudawud, or Muwatta. Also, how valid is the hadith?

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  18. Fiona

    Assalam Walaikum! This is from
    My blog : http://therevertdiaries.blogspot.com

    While many Muslims around the world do not adhere to taking resolutions for the new year as it is based on the Christian calendar, it is a tradition that many of us reverts have practiced prior to Islam.

    I will be making a resolution this year, as I did last year and I will explain to you the reasoning behind this.

    In the country we live in, the new year is also a synonym of winter, a time where everything has been stripped down, ready to come back to life.
    We, humans, subhannallah, have been created by Allah, like plants and animals, like the sky and the sea and everything else around us. We live in sync with the world around us. It is the science behind the faith, mashallah.
    Our bodies are ready for new beginnings in spring, our minds feel hopeful, we often feel more positive and more creative at that time of the year for that reason. Allah has given us seasons, and we must appreciate them all for how they affect us.

    I feel that taking resolutions can be helpful if they are linked to our deen, inshallah.

    So let me tell you a story, my story.
    On the 1st of January  2011, I took a resolution. I told myself that this was the year I would convert to Islam. On the 12th of June 2011, I took my shahada at Tooting Mosque. A week later, my fiancé and I had taken our Nikkah.
    On the 1st of January 2012, I decided to eat hallal meat only. That was a difficult part of my convertion, but mashallah, I managed to stick to it, with the help of Allah’s kindest and guidance.
    On the 1st of January 2013, Inshallah, I will start doing my 5 daily prayers.

    For reverts it is important to keep improving our deen at the speed which is right for us. Rushing ourselves when we aren’t ready may take us away from the deen. Some sisters mashallah, manage to change all these things at once, others may take months, or years.

    I make duah for all of my sisters to have a wonderful year 2013, filled with happiness, prosperity, health, wealth, learning, and most importantly with the beauty of the deen. Ameen.

    Salaams!

    xx

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    • saf

      salam sister MASHALLAH very nice words and as long as our attention are not out of islam thats what counts …ALLAH SWT he knows better that we dont celebrate new years in the attention like none muslims but be positive its just a new day which we can remember its and remembering day what we will do in the ful year otherwise i wouldnt be able to remember the day we started ect ect..i wouldnt even remember the age of my kids if i didn’t have a calender and accordiing to islam i dont even no what date i gave birth ect..the intension counts the most like when we do GUSAL we have to have the intension that to purified our selfs and when doing WUDO we have to have then intention and for your intention ALLAH SWT rewards you….its like this HADITH that a man built a house and asked PROPHET PBUH to go to his house and bless it WHEN our PROPHET PBUH arrived he asked the man why have u bulit a window and the replied from that person was for fresh air and the light to come in the room upon hearing that PROPHET PBUH said that if you would have said that its for to hear the AZAAN you would have been rewarded from ALLAH SWT…its like me what ever i do like i put carpet in the house and put lyno in the kitchen my intentions are to do my NAMAAZ and to lkeep it clean in the month of RAMADAN and to read the QURAN and IN SHA ALLAH that is what iam going to do this year 2014 and MAY ALLAH SWT reward you for every thing you have gaved up for ISLAM i pray that ALLAH SWT gives u heath and make it easy for u IN SHA ALLAH…and remember sister the devil is your BIGGEST enemy he hates u and will try to distract u to go back to your religion its going to be tough on you but dont let the devil win you be strong and i pray that ALLAH SWT guides u and protects u in every way AMEEN SUMA AMEEN…

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  19. aisha

    LIke so many of the comments above, I can’t help but disagree with this article. New Year’s has no religious foundation, even if the calendar we follow does. It isn’t seen as a religous holiday. It seems this article is saying not to celebrate New Year’s at least partially because the Gregorian calendar has a non-Islamic foundation. In that case- we shouldn’t be following the Gregorian calendar. In my personal opinion, New Year’s can be celebrated, but doesn’t have to. As long as you make sure you’re not involved in any haram.
    Saying New Year’s is wrong to celebrate is like saying birthdays or anniversaries are haram. It’s such a controversial and argued topic, you’re just opening a can of worms. I think both arguments are valid and it’s just making a big deal out of nothing… we have more important issues to discuss, or learn from.

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  20. Mohammed

    If I want to enjoy myself with my family and friends what’s wrong with that.
    *Comment edited to make it compliant with our Comment Policy*

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  21. Mohsin saudagar

    Assalamalaikum…….plz I request 2 translate in Hindi if u can I can understand but not that much

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  22. Mohsin Versiani

    Please please please…. Can anyone answer me, that in Pakistan we celebrate our two Eids and many other Religious festivals according to Hijri calender but we also celebrate festivals like Independence Day, Defence Day etc according to Christian calender.. So this calender has now become a part of our culture I may say… And we Celebrate New Year on 1st Muharram and 1st January as well.. So is there any problem to send new year wish messages??

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  23. Amina

    Where are your references. You mention that scholars are in a minority that disagree, which ones?

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    • WAJiD

      Walaikum asalaam,

      The information is freely available on the net and by discussing with Islamic scholars. I encourage you to do the research yourself as it will be more meaningful.

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  24. Sharif

    An excellent and well written article Dr Akhter – some interesting points raised in response though I hope I’m forgiven for saying that many of us can make the points with better adab. I feel given there is ikhtilaf on the issue it is perhaps an issue of urf and Muslims should consider celebrating it to be part of the wider society they live in instead of a closed off society that we presently are.

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    • WAJiD

      Walaikum asalaam brother Sharif,

      JazakAllah khairun for your kind response. Urf – or the acceptable following of customs related to the land you are residing in – has limits. It does not include the imitation of non-Muslims in their festivals…

      I agree with you that we should be less closed off and we should engage more.

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  25. Sal

    AOA Wajid

    Firstly I commend your efforts to try to educate young people on Islam and getting a message out there. It is heartening to see someone with conviction and spirit going forward and speaking for what you believe in.
    I am a muslim, and what I feel is correct is that I dont have the knowledge you have, and that is part of the problem of the reactions on message boards. However, I feel there are certain realities we need to get into perspective. I was born in the UK, we come from a moderate background and we are educated. The UK has given us a lot, not least of all a top class education, and the means to make money and live our lives freely. When i look back at my home country, I love it for what it is, but there are massive inequalities, corruption and other things that would make it impossible to live there. We should ALWAYS respect our fellow people, under the laws of the land – this is not an Islamic state, and we are bound by the laws – we are however FREE to make our own choices with regards to Special occasions and what we choose to celebrate or not. I believe, that New Years Day, in our day to day life, is NOTHING haraam, IF we are not harming others, choose to spend it with our family and friends, and if in some way it inspires us to do better for the year ahead then so be it. We celebrated by watching the fireworks, everyone reading 2 Nafals after salaah and we had food and talked about the year ahead. This should be something we encourage – not something we try and tell people is haraam. We live in England. We are living in a country that will hopefully house our children and their children. They will mix with the local population. We will teach them good things and about Islam. But – and this is where the issues start arising – if you suddenly start splitting yourselves from your neighbours and the people whose land you are living in, you risk totally alienating your children from everything that they could be. They will never become the well rounded individuals you want them to be. Sure, if you are living in an Islamic state, by all means, you have the environment and the people around you to say these kind of things, where everyone around you believes the same. Most people in the UK are moderate – they read salaah and they are trying their best – surrounded by a lot of haraam things. I believe if you are trying to appeal to people and bring them closer to Islam, you need to be showing compassion, love and kindness, and DRAW people in, so they listen to you and not react. That is an approach that will make people listen to you. Instead, people will now start asking…”Is it haraam to wish someone Happy New year??” It is about being middle of the road and finding a balance.
    I hope I did not sound like I was attacking you but I feel people need to understand what we are doing before approaching people with things that they will not listen to. A prime example – go to jumma in a lot of UK cities, and you will see people switching OFF when they go to jumma. They read salaah and run away. Why? No one is drawing them in. They are depressed, stressed out, in their daily lives and want to be inspired. They are getting zero inspiration there – they are just fullfilling their fard and leaving. That is not Islam. That is not going to promote love in Islam. It will promote half baked people who just know a certain amount and are unwilling to want to know more because no one has led them. It will be people like YOU who can lead. With light.

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    • WAJiD

      Walaikum asalaam,

      JazakAllah khairun for your kind response – and I appreciate the way you put your views across.

      I agree with you 100% on the following points:

      - We need to do more to inspire our youth and fellow Muslims (e.g. in Jummah, during khutbahs etc…) In fact, I wrote an article about exactly that point just previous to this about how we need to take our Eids as seriously as others take Christmas.

      - We do not live in a Muslim country and should respect the laws of the land. We also should be grateful for the opportunity to live in relative peace and harmony.

      - We should try and be as welcoming as possible to non-Muslims and not separate ourselves from them. We should try and engage with them and take an active part in society as much as we can.

      Where the disagreement comes is whether or not taking part in their celebrations automatically precludes the above. I don’t believe it does.

      I worry brother Sal. I worry a lot because I see the logic that you and many others disagreeing with the article provide seems to say that if we don’t take part in New Years, if we somehow don’t condone this celebration and others, if we don’t take part – then we are making ourselves unfriendly, unlikeable, divided and secluded. We are turning people off.

      Follow that line of thinking and apply it to other situations. That logic can be used to justify not wearing a headscarf. Surely this creates uncalled for barriers and makes many non-hijaabi Muslim girls uncomfortable – so lets get rid of it. And having a beard is just a sunnah isn’t it? Why needlessly antagonise people from the faith when studies show that non-Muslims prefer clean shaven people and trust them more? How about going to club but just drinking orange juice (the perennial favourite of many young Muslims in the UK)? After all, not going to the pub/ club means you are a virtual recluse anyway so why not go but maintain our Islamic values by not drinking. This may not be the way you are thinking, but this is the logic that you are employing and it would become hypocritical if we suddenly said that others could not apply that logic to other scenarios for the same reason.

      The reality is that the case against celebrating New Years has the weight of ahadith, statements of the scholars, 1400 years of the Muslim ummah not doing so. It also take into consideration what the effect on the Muslims will be in the future.

      Unfortunately, the case for celebrating New Years really has much less evidence in any of those departments.

      I simply don’t believe that our engagement with non-Muslims or those far from the faith requires us to compromise on our principles.

      Again, I hope I have not offended. As stated in this article – that was never my intent.

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  26. peace

    What ever is haram and forbidden is already clearly described and explained Allhamdulilah. Matters like this are for the scholars and fuqaha to argue and talk about and come up with answers. Please also avoid qouting hadith with out proper context and when you do not have the proper qualifications. It is a tabboo topic and we have bigger problems to take care of…………….

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  27. Ayatullah

    Agreed …not disputing whatever…My own question is How About going to watch FIre works (even in so called shariah COuntries like Dubai and Malaysia) not in anyway Partaking in the event but just to see the beauty in it. Do you have any knowledge about fatwas passed on that? even though Problems of free mixing is definately there.

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  28. love-islam

    Ya ALLAH plase guide all these people all you act like muslms but in reality you are NOT look at this guy saying hes from UK who cares where u from whatevere you are dont foreget your religon, and stop talking about muslams nagative, if you are inlove with non muslms then go ahead and be friend with them that they not kik you out of thire land, this is shows how muslms are so weak in faith. So what i live in Canada and i practice my religon i dont care about poeple what they say, i dont obey people i obey my lord ALLAH Subhanna Wa Tallah, if you live your life as a disobedience you will die in the same way. Dont let this dunya to desive you,

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    • mustafa

      Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

      Yes, I agree with you 100% brother, it is a shame it has come to this. Subhanallah, we will both stay firm until we both meet Allah inshaa Allah even if other Muslims and non Muslims mock us. We will see who is closer to Allah and His Messenger.

      We are not in need of any other Muslims as well.

      I have two points to make:
      1) Your link is dead. I tried accessing it…..I clicked your name and nothing happens.
      2) You have to spell better and write better so that your message comes across better. Remember, Allah has prescribed ihsan, so when you do something, perfect it!

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  29. ahsan arshad

    @ peace
    1. I dont understand how you can say that the topic is taboo? Issues in islamic law are disagreed by scholars but that does not make it taboo. Students of knowledge are required to look at the evidence of both sides, weigh them and adopt stronger opinions on such issues. Frankly speaking, compared to other issues this topic is not disagreed by scholars to a great extent.
    2. The fact that we have important issues to take care of – such as of palestine and israel – well lets solve it… its not that easy, is it?
    Whatever is part of islam is important. Some issues are of primary importance and some of secondary-but that does not mean that secondary issues should not be discussed or neglected. That would be non sense and no “scholar with proper qualifications” would endorse it

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  30. peace

    The reason I dislike arguments like this is we as an ummah have lost the ability to follow the basics of islam. We feel no shame in lying, back biteing, eatting riba, ignoring rights of our parents, our siblings, keeping rahm relations, we are lazy about doing five prayers on time, fail to show kindness to other humans esp if they are not muslim or follow a different thought process, and other creations of Allah, we do not support truth and speak out against injustice but……….. we will all dive into the haram and halal discussion of new year celebration, question the permissibility of saying happy new year etc etc.
    If you have achieved all the basics and corrected that, your nafs is undercontrol, riya is out, you are able to speak thruth, avoid kabair sins and then sagair then dissuss this…..otherwise leave people alone. You donot like it……………donot do it………Simple as that…..Only a Mufti has authority to pass a fatwa and that is also limited by time and circumstances……..

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  31. peace

    The reason I called it taboo is beacuse it has already been talked about and agreed and disagreed on. Read books of fiqh and learn and follow your madhab rather than argue.
    As for the bigger problems……Issue of Palistine, Kashmir, Iraq, Afganistan, Syria, and many many many others…..that is not the big problem in my opnion. They are symptoms. Like for example Malaria causes fever, As a doctor you do not just worry about fever and treat pt with acetaminophen, you worry about the cause of malaria and need to take medication to kill the parasite and also remove patient from the area so he dosent get reinfected or get rid of the water swamps that breed the mosquito. Then only you get a lasting cure.
    We as a muslim believe that Allah is all powerful and nothing can happen unless he wills it. So the big question we need to ask is Why is this happening to us. What is Allah teaching us here, where did we go wrong??If we can answer that question and do an honest soul searching, then we can get the answer. I hope you get my point……….

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  32. Abdul Sattar

    Br. Wajid,

    1. My initial comments to you were based on a disagreement on how someone’s specific situation was being handled and answers.

    2. I was unfair in my critique with you and asked the moderators to cut out the portions of my comment that were unfair and inappropriate.

    3. I don’t wish to engage you on this topic as so much has already been said, but didn’t want to leave bad feelings, and wanted to apologize for my harsh comments. I’ve found the rest of your articles to be very beneficial mashAllah.

    4. However, whenever someone reaches out and says they are struggling with their faith, my thought is that their situation takes precedence over a matter of furoo’.

    5. For example, when someone is uncomfortable with converting to Islam because of their dog that they love their family dog so much, I would tell them -” follow the Maliki opinion, keep the dog, but convert if you believe. We’ll deal with such little issues later.”

    6. I felt this approach when dealing with those fresh to Islam was left out of the your answer, and I had a strong disagreement with that. We need a certain amount of love and gentleness with our new brothers and sisters, you know what I mean?

    I wish you the best, forgive me for the harsh critique.

    jazakAllahu khairan,
    Abdul Sattar

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    • WAJiD

      Walaikum aslaam,

      Thank you for the reply. I did not feel that I was harsh to the brother or sister in my reply, but I accept that I could have gone out of my way to be more explicitly welcoming.

      JazakAllah khairun for the reminder.

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  33. Sarah

    I really enjoyed your article regarding Christmas & happened to stumble accross this also.
    I do not know enough regarding the Muslim rules etc to be able to make any for of opinion, but enjoyed the debate and points of view from readers.
    I know the calendar initially created by the pope etc, but over time it has been used genetically world wide (as have the genetic use of metric measurement etc) for the purposes of recording historical events ( im not on about religion) but so that births/deaths/marriages were recorded correctly. The day war ended (any war you like) and as international business suppliers/exporters used an international figure that was recognised globally. As a non-Muslim I see New Year as the end of a year in which we have all worked so hard, a national holiday in which we all finally as a family get to spent uninterrupted time together and a chance to be thank full for what we have and to bid a fond farewell to all those we may have lost

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  34. Sarah

    Sorry, my last comment, posted before I had finished…….
    It can mean different things to different people. At work today, I saw my friend (Muslim) and wished her a happy new year and did she enjoy it. She explained they did not celebrate it and about your own new year. Nobody took offence and we laughed when I said I take it back merely wished her a ‘Happy New Calendar’ !!
    I

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    • WAJiD

      Dear Sarah,

      Thank you for your messages and kind words… Indeed, I am convinced that the majority of non-Muslims are like yourself – friendly, open-minded and more than willing to understand that just because we may have different celebrations/ values/ faiths – doesn’t mean we can’t share our short time on this planet together in some harmony…

      We may have different celebrations marked on our calendars… but we can all agree on the kittens.

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  35. Sarah

    Sorry, did it again (im using a mobile sorry!)

    I do however want to comment about something said by ‘Love-Islam’ : I think you are wrong to say that non Muslims “will never be your friends or protectors and are the enemies of Allah” this is not the way in which to promote yourself. Why does the world always have to be a case of ‘us & them’ ? Why promote doubt and distrust?
    You make Islam appear aggressive and this it is exactly the opposite??
    People are my friends for who they are and their character. Im afraid that their gender, ethnic origin or religion do not factor in whether I like a person or not. I find that ignorance & intolerance does not discriminate. They are alive and well in every culture.
    “Never assume to be mighty & above all others and cast judgement or distain to those below – it makes it all the more painful the day you may have to pass them on your way back down to the bottom”

    On that note I shall at least wish you happy new Calendar’ and I hope it’s one with kittens on like mine haha

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  36. Sarah

    Thank you for your reply Wajid

    If anything brings people together its animals and sports!

    The world needs education and with that eliminates the fear of the unknown of people who have different religions and cultures.

    With education, comes travel. Every person should visit a Country of less fortune. Not for the purposes of pity, but to see that when you strip away the materialistic wealth, see those who genuinely have nothing, it’s only then that you see a true person. It makes you realise what truly is important…….to me, I believe that it is important to understand the differences in people and be happy for their celebrations.
    In the existence of the world, our time here is a meer blink of an eye, yet so much of people’s time is consumed with hatred of others, self righteousness and the belief that those with different opinions, religions, skin colour are inferior.
    I’d rather enjoy and embrace all that is different, because difference doesn’t mean its wrong, not does it mean that I have to change what I believe.

    When I die, it is only me, myself that is judged that day and throughout all my faults and lifes sins, I can say I was the best person I could be.

    I wish you all the very best in all that you do. You encourage others to see the positives about other people’s cultures or how you can use those things to promote and engage in Islam. Other Religious leaders could learn something from you.

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  37. Sarah

    Sorry for the split comments, I clearly can not master the art of posting from a mobile. Please feel free to delete the first one as it is only half of my original comment. Thank you :)

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  38. ahsan arshad

    @ Peace
    salaam alaykum Peace, hmmm yes unfortunately we as an ummah are far away from the “basics” of islam even from knowing those basics and action/implementing them is the next step. Why? that is the case is a long discussion but something must be done about it by us. You have raised a primary concern and I personally feel that is due to lack of dawah/educating the neglected parts of society by the “educated” (one of the many reasons)
    However I must say at the same time that this website (I write as a reader) does not issue fatwas. Articles such as this one are a point of discussion where the author concludes with a stronger opinion (according to him/her) supporting it with evidences. It is written at a pertinent time when muslims particularly younger ones ask this question, they unfortunately as you pointed out would not wake up for fajr prayer but yet ask this question (they need to learn to prioritize).
    I enjoyed your response.

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    • nora

      Im a muslim I LOVE that i am one i hope everyone can become a muslim I think that muslims should celebrate New Year but in reading Quran and doing what Allah thinks is right for them. :)

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  39. Wael Abdelgawad

    Some of your best points were made in the comments. Your comment about having so many other holidays that we devalue the Eids in our childrens’ eyes, really hit home. I have struggled to get my daughter to care about Eid.

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  40. S

    I think there are more important issues to write about than this. Unfortunate. I know of Muslims that when the New Year (Gregorian) starts or on New Years Eve make duaa for health, happiness and peace amongst ALL humanity. It just unfortunate that celebrating New Years or not is debate worthy, this goes in the “are we allowed to say Merry Christmas” “debate” bucket.

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  41. Fatima

    I think Muslims should not celebrate new year because we have our own calendar , beside that we only celebrate 2 days per Islamic year….
    We should not encourage others from following traditions that are no islamic, therefore we do not conform to non-Muslim holidays, such as Easter, Christmas, and New Year, because they are all based on beliefs that Muslims do not believe.

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  42. Brother Of Islam

    A very good article and a very hot debate.
    very interesting i thought. tqsm for sharing :)

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  43. abir

    Thank you for the article…. common muslim sense, putting things into perspective, thanks for wording how we should feel towards the Gregorian new years eve.
    I think what some missed is that this is an opinion or line of thought or reflection on a modern day event …the author did not say it is halal / haram … And also the author addressed a current social topic that needs to be discussed so that we rethink our actions or views regarding it.
    I certainly have noticed the over enthusiasm this event brings on the muslim society. it has become a major must do event in many peoples lives. why? is the real question.
    For all those who are pro celebrating the Gregorian new years eve for its celebration of life & renewal , positivity & cheerfulness, redha & hope ,family gathering & humanity etc…why can’t they do this on Hijri new year… ?If anything reflecting on the Hijra itself and its meaning would symbolize this. Why do we have to lose our identity as Arabs, Muslims and our rich proud history.
    I acknowledge the Gregorian for those of christian /catholic faiths , but we have our own Faith… I always mention this subtly as i reply with good wishes to those who wish me a happy new year… i explain that Arabs/ Muslims have a different calendar and our own new years date… just like the Chinese for example.
    Most of the world knows we fast the month of Ramadan, make Haj in Zhul hijah month because we act on it, we can act on remembering our new year on Muharram.
    I think following other cultures or religious celebrations as our own is a weakness & or form of ignorance & or passiveness… We acknowledge it for them on their new year..& hopefully they will acknowledge it for us in Muharram … but I definitely don’t expect them to celebrate it with us…& they won’t.. out of their own common sense!
    The only exception would be for those converts to Islam who want to keep their family relations with their non muslim families… if the environment they are celebrating in does not oppose islamic values….but i wander whether they get the same respect , enthusiasm & support on the Islamic new year, If they don’t then they should ask for it.
    In summary I think the aim of this article was a reminder that we have our own new year, & we should not be mistakingly emphasizing the Gregorian new year over the Islamic new year which is one of the concerns the author of this article was raising.
    What i would like to add is that when we commemorate our new year it should be a time to remember our blessings , the gift of life , the jihad and perseverance of the our Prohet early muslims to hold on to their faith in their hijra & renew our intention to make a Hijra (resolution) from our old misgivings to become better muslims.
    I think it would be wise to consider & reflect why Omar chose the Hijra as the beginning of the islamic new year.

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  44. Moose

    Very poorly written article. The rhetoric was fairly flat and unengaging. This style and substance would better suit an old, religious uncle who just migrated to the United States. Point of the matter, no one is going to change their mind about celebrating a rather bland holiday as a result of inconsistent internal logic and due to, what you claim, “Islam”.

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    • WAJiD

      Walaikum aslaam

      You have every right to hate the article and to assume it won’t sway anyone. Just like I have the right to hope that it might.

      JazakAllah khairun.

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  45. l. turner

    I appreciate what you wrote, so very true. I have watched this happen in christianity over the years and no longer follow the ways of this belief. I study scriptures, history, etc. i have read the Quran with deep thought. Shalom

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  46. Aisha Siddiqui

    The Islamic calendar is based on pre-Islamic calendar followed by Arabs. The hijrat date was however established during the first hijrat of the prophet from Mecca to Medina, and even though the hijrat actually happened during the month of Rabi ul awal, the Hijrat calendar started in Muharram, as suggested by Ali ibn Abu Talib. Hazrat Umar (R) did not migrate with the Prophet (PBUH) as he ws not a Muslim at this stage. Hazrat Umar may be credited for establishing and promoting the Islamic calendar on all Arab states, as he conquered much of the Arab world. He however did not invent, or initiate the islamic calendar. Thank you

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    • WAJiD

      Salaam alaikum sister Aisha,

      I’m not sure about the points about the calendar being based on a pre-islamic one. I mean, almost every calendar is either lunar or solar so that doesn’t really mean that it is pre-islamic.

      Also, Umar (R) was definitely a Muslim in the Makkan period.

      WAJiD

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  47. Farid

    Assalaam alaikum wa rahmotalahi wa barakatu,

    It is not my intention to condemn anyone or make anyone feel an inferior Muslim. I merely want to add some points of view that might be interesting for anyone who is searching to deduct an answer from all information available on the subject:

    1) The Gregorian calendar is a widely used medieval refinement of the Julian calendar. The Julian and Gregorian calendar both contain 365 days, but differ in the way leap days during centennials are applied. Non-Christians that use the Gregorian calendar do not denote eras as BC (before Christ) and AD (Anno Domini), but as CE (Common Era) and BCE (Before Common Era). The division of a year in 365 and sometimes 366 days stems from the Julian calendar, introduced by Julius Caesar in 46 BCE (i.e. before the supposed birthday of Christ). Therefore it is incorrect to state that celebrating a new year on January 1st is an act of Christianity.
    2) The Julian calendar uses names of Roman gods and Roman emperors as month names. One could state that using the Julian/Gregorian calendar is shirk, but if this applies, it applies not only to January 1st, but also to other dates during the year. In most cases the calendar is not used to praise Roman gods and deceased emperors, but as a generally accepted means to designate a certain moment in time (even by Muslim societies and institutions).
    3) Fireworks are unnecessary entertainment, polluting the air and containing heavy metals. Please check the following link for info on Islam and the environment http://www.islamawareness.net/Nature/environment_approach.html
    4) Alcohol use: 2:219
    5) Certain types of music: 31:6
    6) Appropriate conduct between men and women: 24:30-31
    7) As @jasken (see above) mentioned: celebrating New Year whilst not celebrating our Eids and 1 Muharram might lead your children astray.

    And Allah knows best.

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  48. Moeen Uddin Ahemd

    I have just sent a message to all my Facebook’s friends. Forth by dint of knowing from this page and others as well, I am going to make up my mind not to get into the festive spirit and celebrate New Year’s Party, Day etc………………………………………….

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  49. Chana Dal

    I respectfully disagree with not celebrating other holidays. At no point do “Westerners” say…hey, I’m glorifying Pagan/Christian/etc… beliefs and must be debaucherous. I believe we should take every opportunity to celebrate the wonders that are around us…at whatever holiday point. This New Years…I will be celebrating with my family. Happy New Year!

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  50. UmmHamza

    May Allah reward you for your intention and effort with His mercy! Some people sadly don’t know how to accept a heartfelt-meant nasiha (like they were personally addressed and forced to read and follow this article), whether they consider it nonsense or not, whether they intend to follow it or not. Because that’s a sign of a good muslim character, being kind, not arrogant, and saying thank you to people who mean well, even if it bothers.

    And Allah knows the best.

    wslm

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  51. Dean O'Mac

    Why is Islam such a negative, restrictive religion? Why can’t you just people live and let live?

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