Celebrations

GRAND MUFTI REJECTS AL-OADAH’S FATWA
http://www.arabnews .com/?page= 1&section=0&article=113092&d=20&m=8&y=2008

Celebrating birthdays and wedding anniversaries has no base in Islam, Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Alsheikh has said.

The mufti made the comments while answering a question from Al-Madinah newspaper after prominent Qassim-based scholar Salman Al-Oadah issued a fatwa saying that celebrating such occasions was not against the rules of Shariah.

“Such a call is against righteousness. A Muslim should thank Almighty Allah if his children are healthy and if his married life is stable as the years pass by. He should say: Alhamdu Lillah for His generosity and kindness,” said Al-Alsheikh, who is also the chairman of the Council of Senior Scholars and the head of the Presidency for Scientific Research and Religious Edicts (Dar Al-Ifta).

Speaking on satellite television last week, Al-Oadah, who is the general supervisor of the Islamtoday.com website, created controversy after ruling that there is nothing un-Islamic in celebrating wedding anniversaries and birthdays.

“It is normal for a son or daughter to celebrate birthdays. They can invite their friends for a meal on this occasion. I see nothing wrong in this,” he said.

Al-Alsheikh, who is the highest religious authority in the Kingdom, said Muslims only have two official celebrations — Eid Al-Fitr, which is celebrated at the end of Ramadan, and Eid Al-Adha, which is celebrated on Dhul Hijjah 10. He added that Muslims also have a weekly Eid, which is Friday.

The mufti said that the celebration of other occasions such as birthdays, wedding anniversaries and mother’s day were un-Islamic.

Several prominent Muslim scholars have supported the mufti, adding that celebrating such occasions is in imitation of people of the Jewish and Christian faiths.

Sheikh Abdullah Al-Manie, a member of the Council of Senior Scholars, said Al-Oadah had made “a slip of the tongue” and urged him to retract what he had said. “Although he is a very learned scholar, Sheikh Al-Oadah has made a mistake here,” he said.

Al-Manie said Muslims have their own identity, which distinguishes them from the followers of other religions. “When we celebrate birthdays and wedding anniversaries, we are imitating other religions — something that our Prophet (peace be upon him) warned us against,” he added.

Al-Manie stressed that celebrations should be undertaken within a religious context. “Otherwise we will be falling in the trap of imitating others, something that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) warned us against,” he said.

Saud Al-Finaisan, the former dean of the Shariah College at Imam Muhammad bin Saud Islamic University, said celebrating wedding anniversaries and birthdays was not permissible in Islam, as they are considered to be in imitation of non-Muslim practices.

Saleh bin Muqbil Al-Osaimi, member of the Saudi Fiqh Society, said the reason behind the prohibition of such occasions is not that these occasions are irreligious, but that they are the distinct customs of the followers of other faiths. “We are prevented by Islam to liken ourselves to the nonbelievers,” he said.

He, however, did not denounce graduation celebrations where graduates may come together and celebrate, but said making this a yearly habit is strictly non-Islamic. “Singling out a certain day for celebration of such occasions every year is totally against Islam,” he said.

~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~

SHAYKH UL-ISLAM IBN TAYMIYYAH ON THE MAWLID

By Shaikh ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah

Source http://www.salafipublications.com Article ID : BDH060002 [2650]

Ibn Taymiyyah says, “…because the Eeds are legislated laws from amongst the laws, so it is necessary to follow them, and not to innovate them, and the Prophet (sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) had many lectures, treaties, and great events that happened on a number of (documented) days such as the Day of Badr, Hunain, al-Khandaq, the Conquest of Mecca, the occurrence of his hijrah, his entry to Madeenah…and none of this necessitated that these days be taken as days of Eed. Rather this sort of thing was done by the Christians who took the days in which great events happened to Jesus as eeds, or by the Jews. Indeed the Eed is a legislated law, so what Allaah legislates is followed, otherwise do not innovate in this religion that which is not part of it.

And like this is what some of the people have innovated, either in opposition to the Christian celebration of the birthday of Jesus, or out of love for the Prophet (sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) and in honour of him. And Allaah will reward them for this love and ijtihaad, but NOT FOR THE BID’AH of taking the day of the birth of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) as an eed – this along with the difference of the people as to when he was born. For indeed this (celebration) was not done by the salaf, despite the existence of factors that would necessitate it and the lack of any factors that would prevent them from doing so if it were indeed good. And if this was genuinely good or preferable then the salaf, may Allaah be pleased with them, would have more right to doing so then us, for they had more severe love and honour of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) in following him, obeying him, and following his command, and reviving his sunnah inwardly and outwardly, and spreading that which he was sent with, and performing jihaad for this in the heart, with the hand and upon the tongue. So indeed this was the way of the Saabiqeen al-Awwaleen from the Muhajiroon and the Ansaar, and those that followed them in good.

And you will find the majority of these (who celebrate the birthday) in ardent desire of these sort of innovations – alongwith what they have of good intention and ijtihaad for which reward is hoped for – but you would find them feeble in following the command of the Messenger, that which they have been commanded to be eager and vigorous in, indeed they are of the position of one who adorns the Mushaf but does not read what is in it or reads what is in it but does not follow it. Or the position of one who decorates the mosques but does not pray in them, or prays in them rarely…

And know that from the actions are those that have some good in them, due to their including types of good actions and including evil actions such as innovation etc. So this action would be good with respect to what it includes of good and evil with respect to what it contains of turning away from the religion in it’s totality, as is the state of the hypocrites and faasiqeen. This has what has afflicted the majority of the ummah in the later times. So upon you is two manners (of rectification):

that your desire be to follow the sunnah inwardly and outwardly, with respect to yourself specifically and those that follow you, and you enjoin the good and forbid the evil.

that you call the people to the sunnah in accordance to ability, so if you were to see someone doing this (celebration) and he were to not leave it except for an evil greater than it, then do not call him to leaving the evil so that he may perform something more evil than this….[a page omitted in which he explains this principle]

So honouring the mawlid, and taking it as a festive season (mawsam) which some of the people have done, there is a great reward in it due to the good intention and the honouring of the Messenger (sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) because of what I have previously stated to you – that it is possible that something be good for some of the people and be denounced/considered to be ugly by the strict believer. This is why it was said to Imaam Ahmad about some of the leaders, that he spent 1000 dirhams upon the mushaf or similar to this. So he replied, ‘leave them, for this is better than them spending it on gold (jewellery).’ This despite the fact that the madhhab of Imaam Ahmad was that it is abhorrent to decorate the mushafs, and some of the companions (of Ahmad) interpreted this to mean that the money was spent in renewing the pages and writing. But this is not the intent of Ahmad here, his intention here was that this action had a benefit in it, and it also contained corruption due to which it became abhorrent. But these people, if they did not do this, would have substituted this for a corruption that contained no good whatsoever, for example spending upon one of the books of evil…” [Iqtidaa Siraat al-Mustaqeem 2/618+ my copy has the tahqeeq of Shaykh Naasir al-Aql]

He says in another place of the same book, “there is no doubt that the one who practices these – i.e. the innovated festive seasons – either the mujtahid or muqallid will have the reward for his good intention and the what the action contains of legislated actions, and will be forgiven for what it contains of innovation if his ijtihaad or taqleed contains one of the excuses (that would lift this sin from him)….”

He continues: “But this does not prevent one from detesting and prohibiting it and to replace it with a legislated action containing no bid’ah…. Just as the Jews and Christians may find benefit in their worship because it is possible that their worship includes an aspect of what is legislated but this does not necessitate that you perform their actions of worship or you report their words because all of the innovations contain evil that outweighs their good, this due to the fact that if their good outweighed the evil then why would the Sharee’ah have disregarded it? So we depend upon the fact that it’s sin is greater than it’s benefit and this necessitates forbiddance.”

He continues: “And I say: it’s sin is removed from some of the people due to the reason of ijtihaad or other than it, as the sin of usury and alcohol (from dates) which has been differed about (by the salaf) is removed from the salaf (who allowed it), then despite this it is necessary to explain it’s condition and not to follow those that considered it permissible…. So this is sufficient evidence in explaining that these innovations include corruptions of belief or condition contradicting what the Messenger (sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) came with, and that what benefit they contain is marjooh (not to be relied upon) and it not correct to use for objection”

He continues: “As for what they contain – i.e. these innovated festive seasons such as the Mawlid – of benefit then they are opposed by what they contain of the corruption of innovations that outweigh the benefit, alongwith with what has preceded of the corruptions of belief and state – that the hearts become content with it at the expense of a large number of Sunnahs to the extent that you find that the elite and the general masses preserve this in a way that they do not preserve the Taraaweeh’s or the five prayers….” mentioning many more cases.[al-Qawl al-Fasl (pg. 102) of Shaykh Ismaa’eel al-Ansaaree]

A number of points can be seen here:

Ibn Taymiyyah regards the mawlid as a bid’ah which the strict believer is not allowed to follow.

he allows it only for those who would leave this bid’ah for a greater bid’ah.

he states that those practising this, either out of taqleed or ijtihaad, will get reward for their good intentions, but they will get no reward for their practising it.

that they will not get the burden of the sin of the innovation if their taqleed of ijtihaad contains the excuses that would lift this from them.

~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~

HALLOW’EEN HARMLESS OR HARAM: AN ISLAMIC PERSPECTIVE

Author Unknown

Every year, on the evening of October 31st, millions of children across North America paint their faces, dress up in costumes, and go door to door collecting treats. The adults often decorate their houses with ghostly figures, carve scary faces on pumpkins, and put candles in them to create “Jack-O-Lanterns.” Unfortunately, among the millions of North Americans indulging in this custom, many are also Muslims. This article will shed some light on the significance and origins of Hallow’een, and why Muslims should not participate in it.

Origins of the Hallow’een Festival

The ancient Celtic (Irish/Scottish/Welsh) festival called Samhain is considered by most historians and scholars to be the predecessor of what is now Hallow’een. Samhain was the New Year’s day of the pagan Celts. It was also the Day of the Dead, a time when it was believed that the souls of those who had died during the year were allowed access into the “land of the dead”. Many traditional beliefs and customs associated with Samhain continue to be practiced today on the 31st of October. Most notable of these customs are the practice of leaving offerings of food and drink (now candy) to masked and costumed revelers, and the lighting of bonfires. Elements of this festival were incorporated into the Christian festival of All Hallow’s Eve, or Hallow-Even, the night preceding All Saint’s (Hallows’) Day. It is the glossing of the name Hallow- Even that has given us the name of Hallow’een. Until recent times in some parts of Europe, it was believed that on this night the dead walked amongst them, and that witches and warlocks flew in their midst. In preparation for this, bonfires were built to ward off these malevolent spirits.

By the 19th century, witches’ pranks were replaced by children’s tricks. The spirits of Samhain, once believed to be wild and powerful, were now recognized as being evil. Devout Christians began rejecting this festival. They had discovered that the so-called gods, goddesses, and other spiritual beings of the pagan religions, were diabolical deceptions. The spiritual forces that people experienced during this festival were indeed real, but they were manifestations of the devil who misled people toward the worship of false idols. Thus, they rejected the customs associated with Hallow’een, including all representations of ghosts, vampires, and human skeletons – symbols of the dead – and of the devil and other malevolent and evil creatures. It must also be noted that, to this day, many Satan-worshippers consider the evening of October 31st to be their most sacred. And many devout Christians today continue to distance themselves from this pagan festival.

The Islamic Perspective

Iman (faith) is the foundation of Islamic society, and tauheed (the belief in the existence and Oneness of Allah) is the essence of this faith and the very core of Islam. The safeguarding of this iman, and of this pure tauheed, is the primary objective of all Islamic teachings and legislation. In order to keep the Muslim society purified of all traces of shirk (associating partners with Allah) and remnants of error, a continuous war must be waged against all customs and practises which originate from societies’ ignorance of divine guidance, and in the errors of idol worship.

Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (s.a.s.) issued a stern warning: “Whoever imitates a nation is one of them!” (Abu Da’oud). Muslims should heed this warning and refrain from copying or imitating the kufar in their celebrations. Islam has strongly forbidden Muslims to follow the religious or social customs of the non-Muslims, and especially of the idol-worshippers or those who worship the devil. The Prophet (s.a.s.) said: “By Him in Whose hands is my life, you are ordered to enjoin good and forbid evil, or else Allah will certainly afflict you with torments. Thereafter, even your du’a (supplications) will not be accepted.” (Tirmidhi).

From an Islamic standpoint, Hallow’een is one of the worst celebrations because of its origins and history. It is HARAM (forbidden), even if there may be some seemingly good or harmless elements in those practises, as evidenced by a statement from the Prophet (s.a.s.) “Every innovation (in our religion) is misguidance, even if the people regard it as something good” (ad-Daarimee.). Although it may be argued that the celebration of Hallow’een today has nothing to do with devil-worship, it is still forbidden for Muslims to participate in it. If Muslims begin to take part in such customs, it is a sure sign of weak iman and that we have either forgotten, or outrightly rejected the mission of our Prophet (s.a.s.) who came to cleanse us from jahiliyyah customs, superstitions and false practises.

Muslims are enjoined to neither imitate the behaviour and customs of the non-Muslims, nor to commit their indecencies. Behaviour-imitation will affect the attitude of a Muslim and may create a feeling of sympathy towards the indecent modes of life. Islam seeks to cleanse the Muslim of all immoral conducts and habits, and thus paving the way for the Qur’an and Sunnah to be the correct and pure source for original Islamic thought and behaviour. A Muslim should be a model for others in faith and practice, behaviour and moral character, and not a blind imitator dependant on other nations and cultures.

Even if one decides to go along with the outward practises of Hallow’een without acknowledging the deeper significance or historical background of this custom, he or she is still guilty of indulging in this pagan festival. Undoubtedly, even after hearing the Truth, some Muslims will still participate in Hallow’een, send their kids “trick-or-treating,” and they will try to justify it by saying they are doing it merely to make their children happy. But what is the duty of Muslim parents? Is it to follow the wishes of their children without question, or to mould them within the correct Islamic framework as outlined in the Qur’an and Sunnah? Is it not the responsibility of Muslim parents to impart correct Islamic training and instruction to their children? How can this duty be performed if, instead of instructing the children in Islam, parents allow and encourage their children to be taught the way of the unbelievers? Allah exposes these types of people in the Qur’an: “We have sent them the Truth, but they indeed practise falsehood” (23:10).

Muslim parents must teach their children to refrain from practising falsehood, and not to imitate the non-Muslims in their customs and festivals. If the children are taught to be proud of their Islamic heritage, they themselves will, insha Allah, abstain from Hallow’een and other non-Muslim celebrations, such as birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, Valentines Day, etc. The Prophet Muhammad (s.a.s.) said: The Final Hour will not come until my followers copy the deeds of the previous nations and follow them very closely, span by span, and cubit by cubit (inch by inch). (Bukhari). Islam is a pure religion with no need to accomodate any custom, practise or celebration that is not a part of it. Islam does not distinguish between “secular and sacred;” the shari’ah must rule every aspect of our lives.

“You must keep to my Sunnah and the sunnah of the rightly-guided Caliphs; cling to it firmly. Beware of newly invented matters, for every new matter is an innovation, and every innovation is misleading.” (Bukhari)

“When the people see a person committing a wrong, but do not seize his hand to restrain him or her from the deed, it is likely that Allah will punish them both.” (Abu Da’oud, Nasa’i, Tirmidhi)

“Whoever imitates a nation is one of them.” (Abu Da’oud)

What to do on Halloween.

We have established, beyond doubt, that the celebration of Hallow’een is absolutely forbidden in Islam. It is HARAM. The question arises as to what to do on this night. Muslim parents must not send their kids out “trick-or-treating” on Hallow’een night. Our children must be told why we do not celebrate Hallow’een. Most children are very receptive when taught with sincerity, and especially when shown in practice the joy of their own Islamic celebrations and traditions. In this regard, teach them about the two Islamic festivals of Eid. (Eid-ul-Fitr is fast approaching, and this is the perfect time to start preparing them for it.) It must also be mentioned that, even Muslims who stay home and give out treats to those who come to their door are still participating in this festival. In order to avoid this, leave the front lights off and do not open the door. Educate your neighbours about our Islamic teachings.

Inform them in advance that Muslims do not participate in Hallow’een, and explain the reasons why. (Give them a copy of this flyer if needed.) They will respect your wishes, and you will gain respect in the process. “A person who calls another to guidance will be rewarded, as will the one who accepts the message.” (Tirmidhi)

Finally, we must remember that we are fully accountable to Allah for all of our actions and deeds. If, after knowing the Truth, we do not cease our un-Islamic practises, we risk the wrath of Allah as He himself warned us in the Qur’an: “Then let them beware who refuse the Messenger’s order lest some trial befall them, or a grevious punishment be afflicted upon them!” (24:63).

This is a serious matter and not to be taken lightly. And Allah knows best. May Allah guide us, help us to stay on the right path, and save us from all deviations and innovations that will lead us into the fires of Hell.

~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~

THERE IS NO SANTA CLAUS

From The Muslim Family Reader

By Dr. Saidi J. El-Liwaru and Maisha Zoja. El-iwaru

“The Messiah, Jesus, Son of Mary, was only a Messenger of Allah So believe in Allah and His Messengers and say not Three – Cease; It is Better for you! Allah is Only one God. Far is it removed from His transcendent Majesty That He Should Have A son.” (An-Nisa 4:171)

During the Hajj season the Abdul Aziz family of Madina used to let Muslims on Hajj stay at their villa in Madina. One American family who had done so insisted that the AbdulAziz family come to visit them in America and they accepted.

Today was the day they were due to arrive at Kennedy Air-port in New York to pay a visit to their American Muslim friends. They had planned to spend three months in America, going from coast to coast and stopping in some states for several weeks. They had invitations from so many Muslims that it was impossible for them to visit all of them. Like most who come to the United States, They had heard a lot about it and had seen many pictures, but it was still quite a shock for them when they actually saw the country.

The Abdul Aziz family arrived on December 18th, during the height of the Christmas season. In the airport’s main terminal, they saw a large Christmas tree with lights, tinsel, and artificial snow. Layla, the eldest daughter of Abdul Aziz, remarked on the beauty of the tree and the whole family stood gazing at it for awhile. They saw men in red suits and long white beards, ringing bells. They also heard people saying “Merry Christmas” to each other. Some even said “Merry Christmas” to them and they replied, “alaikum assalaam.”

At the foot of the Christmas tree was a nativity scene. Some people who passed it made the sign of cross. The sign by the cradle said, “In the name of father, the son, and the Holy Ghost. Her lies Jesus, the Son of God.” This, of course, shocked the family very much.

Brother Mir, the head of the first family that they were going to visit, finally arrived and took them by taxi back to his house on Long Island. As they entered the Taxi, the driver said “Merry Christmas.” The guests looked at each other and answered, “salaamu alaikum.” The visitors from Madina were amazed at the beauty of the many colored lights decorating the houses. Not long after the cab crossed the 59th Street Bridge, They were on a small street, and they could see and hear carolers singing Christmas carols.

“How beautiful,” remarked Br. Abdul Aziz. “I have never heard anything like it. What are they singing about?”

“Well, it’s a long story. I’ll tell you when we get home,” replied Brother Mir.

When Br. Abdul Aziz and his family arrived at Br. Mir’s house and met his family, they started asking questions about the men dressed in red at the airport and Merry Christmas, the carolers, the tree with all lights, and the nativity scenes with the sign.

Br. Mir smiled and said, “Christians, as you know, celebrate the birth of the prophet Jesus Christ (pbuh) on December 25th.” “Yes I know.” Abdul Aziz said. “But I would have thought they stopped all this years ago because many of their own scholars have documented that the prophet Jesus (pbuh) was not born on December 25. As a matter of fact, they proved that he was not even born in the winter but sometimes in the fall.”

“Yes, I know,” said brother Mir, “But they celebrate anyway.”

“But what about the beautiful tree at the airport and those we saw with lights and things on them in people’s front yards?”

“Well, that’s all a part of it. On the night before Christmas, gifts are put under and around the trees,” Mir replied.

“Well, what about the men dressed in red suites?” Abdul Aziz interrupted.

“Yes, well,” Mir continued, “That’s what I was going to say. They tell the little children that a man named Santa Claus, from the North Pole, comes on a snow-sled pulled by reindeer; he enters everyone’s house through the chimney and leaves gifts. The man in the red is supposed to be Santa Clause or represent him.”

Abdul Aziz said, “What’s a snow-sled?”

Mir answered, “It’s like a wagon but instead of wheels, it has little flat things like skis on it and moves easily over the snow.”

Ali, Abdul Aziz’ son, who had studied in the U.S added, “Yes, but what they tell the children is that the sled and the reindeer fly.”

Abdul Aziz said, “Authubillah (I seek refuge in Allah). Do the children really believe that?”

“Well, most of them do till the age of 9 or 10 and then their parents finally tell them the truth about Santa Clause, if they haven’t already found out by themselves.’

Abdul Aziz’ wife asked, “Why do their parents tell them deliberate lies?”

Mir responded, “It seems to be a tradition.”

“Well how in the world,” Abdul Aziz asked, “does a Muslim child not get caught up in all this?”

“Sometimes it is very difficult,” replied Mir. “As you said, the beautiful lights, trees, and the singing are very attractive. We deal with it by telling them the truth. Many Muslims who have kids in public schools pull them out for most of the month of December to avoid getting caught up in Christmas.”

Abdul Aziz interrupted, “But I understood that your Supreme Court said you can’t teach religion in public schools.”

“That’s true,” Mir said. “They don’t teach religion, exactly, but they draw Santa Claus and put on plays about Christmas and Santa Claus.”

Abdul Aziz looked shocked. “You mean to say that the Supreme Court in this land outlawed praying in the classrooms but let the teachers continue to take part in the lie of Santa Claus? Why is that?”

Mir responded, “I don’t know. I was born here and many of the things which Americans do still puzzle me.”

Abdul Aziz’ son, Ali said, “It must be very difficult for a person to be raised a Christian, with Santa Claus, Christmas, and everything; and then have children and raise them as Christians with the same lies and then to become Muslims. It must be very hard for the children.”

“It sometimes is, but all praise is due to Allah, for He helps us through it. It is a most difficult time for us when our relatives want to invite the kids over to give them gifts and we have to say no. Of course, if they give them a gift around Christmas not wrapped in Christmas wrapping, and without any claim of its being from Santa Claus, we graciously accept because this is the Sunnah (practice) of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).”

Abdul Aziz repeated his question, “Still how do you keep your kids from getting involved in all this?”

“Well, as we said, we have Allah’s help, and we tell the truth. We start by teaching them what Qurân says about Jesus and that Jesus was born by a special birth and that his mother had not been married, and that Allah said “Be” and Juses was. And that Jesus, or Isa as we say in Arabic (peace be upon him), was, as the Quran says, a messenger of Allah like other messengers before him. We repeat several times, as the Qurân does, that all things belong to Allah.”

Abdul Aziz asked, “Well, how do you deal with the statement in that sign which said, that Jesus was part of the Trinity: the Father, the son, and the Holy Ghost?”

“Well, on this matter we take a relatively unique approach to the Bible and show them over and over again the words in the Bible that say, “The lord thy God is One.” If Allah is one, He cannot be three. Also, we take two empty glasses and then take one glass and fill it with water and pour it into the other. We take the same glass and fill it again, then try to pour it into the other glass a second time and, of course, it spills over. We take another glass of water and attempt to pour it into the full glass, and, of course, it also spills over. We explain that it is impossible for the three to be one. Since the children know that Allah is the Most powerful, we ask them if He were the Son, The Holy Ghost, as well as God, when do you think He would be the Son, and when He would be the Holy Ghost, and when would He be God? Whatever would cause Him to change from one to the other would have more power than God Himself because it causes Him to change. We just approach it very logically.”

Abdul Aziz said: “Well, Brother Mir, thank you so much for the explanation. Insha’Allah, we will continue the conversationin the morning, but right now I think we are a little tired from the trip.”

The two families performed salat ul-isha togother and then went to sleep.

~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~

RULING ON CELEBRATING NON-MUSLIM FESTIVITIES

© Nida’ul Magazine December – January 1997-1998

Translated By Sayed Kandil

Two festivities of the People of the Book are looming these days, i.e Christmas and the New Year. We have become used to those festivities being celebrated in companies, organisations, societies, etc. We are also used to some Muslims participating, joining, and attending these gross events of falsehood, behaving in a way not befitting those who belong to this magnificent religion. It is for this reason that we want to write these words as a reminder for the Muslims. The question is: how should the Muslims act during such occassions?

The answer, in Ibn Taymiyah’s words, is that nothing should be done at all. This means that we, as Muslims, should not do anything we do not usually do on such days. It should be just another day with nothing special about it, as if they (People of the Book) are not celebrating. In this way Muslims make themselves different.

Allah (s.w.t.) has indicated to us the hostility of the infidels in many verses, including: “Verily, the disbeleivers are ever unto you open enemies” [4: 101]. Allah (s.w.t.) also called them the party of Satan and Satan’s allies, etc.

The Prophet said: ‘You will follow the ways of those nations who were before you, span by span and cubit by cubit (i.e., inch by inch) so much so that even if they entered a hole of a lizard, you would follow them.’ We said, ‘O Allah’s Apostle! (Do you mean) the Jews and the Christians?’ He said, ‘Whom else?’

Joining the People of the Book in their festivities is more, or at least as forbidden, as joining idolaters other than the People of the Book. No one should argue that it is only the idolaters who are meant and that the People of the Book have common grounds with Muslims that are not applicable to others.

Shaikhul Islam Ibn Taymiyah has proved the prohibition of celebrating the Christmas, Persian festivities such as Neyrouz, Jewish festivities and festivities of others as well, by stating that they all come under the same ruling. Since we should not imitate them in festivities, Muslims who do this must be forbidden from doing so, let alone approve and support them. We should not answer invitations from Muslims who invite us specifically on such occasions. If a Muslim holds an unusual celebration that coincides with one of the People of the Book’s festivities we do not have to answer the invitation although otherwise a Muslim should answer an invitation from a fellow Muslim as in the Prophet’s tradition.

Shaikhul Islam states details on issues related to the time and space dimensions of the festivities. He, for example, says: “And a Muslim should not sell food, clothes, or other items that encourage Muslims to be similar to the People of the Book in their festivities.” From this we understand that if selling such items is forbidden, then selling cards that have a picture of a cross or church for greeting and congratulation of the festivity is also forbidden, let alone joining and being involved in this gross falsehood. Prohibition extends also to everything related to the festivity, eg, congratulating, offering gifts, food, etc., since the festivity includes those and many other concepts.

Ibn Taymiyah quoted the evidence on celebrating the infidel’s festivities. The first evidence is that Allah (s.w.t.) forbade us to imitate the infidels or be their allies. The issue comes under loyalty, which is part of the faith itself. Believing and accepting their feasts would be confirming their faith. Rejecting it is required, as rejecting any other faith the infidels may adhere to, as Allah (s.w.t.) indicated: “O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as allies” . [5: 51]. Attending their festivities implies being allies to them, and accepting the festivities as being Muslim festivities. In this way the festivities of Satan’s party and associates become festivities for Allah’s party and associates which contradicts the evidence, let alone the instinctive rejection of disagreement Allah built in everyone.

The detailed evidence from the Book of Allah includes Allah’s description of the believers, whom He calls “Worshippers of the Most Gracious” , saying: “And those who do not witness falsehood and if they pass by “Laghow” (evil play or evil talk) they pass by it with dignity” . [25: 72]. The scholars and interpreters of Al-Quran quoted Mujahed, Ad-Dhahak, Ikrimah and others that Laghow means festivities of the idolaters, ie, “Worshippers of the Most Gracious” do not attend festivities of the idolaters.

The Tradition contains numerous Hadiths including; Anas (r.a.a) said: Rasulullah arrived to Al-Madinah when its citizens had two days as festivities (The Arabs had two days of festivities in pre-Islamic time). The Prophet said: “What are those two days?” They said: “We used to celebrate them in pre-Islamic time.” He said: “Allah has offered you two better alternative days, viz, Day of Al-Adha and Day of Fitr”. [Abu Dawood].

The implication of this Hadith is that Rasulullah did not approve those two pre-Islamic festivities and did not allow them to celebrate them and insisted on alternative festivities.

The second Hadith by Thabet Ibn Al-Dhahalah (r.a.a) said: A man during the time of the Prophet made a vow to God to slaughter camels at “Bawatah”. The Prophet asked: Was there an idol of the pre-Islamic idols? He said: No. The Prophet said: Was there any of their festivities? He said: No. The Prophet said: Then carry out your vow. There should be no vows implying disobedience to Allah nor in what one has no power to do it.”. [Bukhari and Muslim].

After quoting this Hadith, Shaikhul Islam said: “The implication in this Hadith is that slaughtering in a place of their festivities or idols is an act of disobedience to Allah (s.w.t.)”.

We also understand from the Hadith that the Prophet’s prohibition was on account of the place being one of celebration. When it was not, there was no prohibition. This indicates the condition on the place remains.

~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~

THE HISTORY BEHIND BIRTHDAYS

Author Unknown

History of the Birthday Cake: Some say the Greeks use to take cakes to the temple of the Goddess of the moon, Artemis. They took round cakes to represent the full moon. Another view is that the tradition of the birthday cake started in Germany. A bread was made in the shape of baby Jesus’ swaddling clothes. Geburtstagorten is another type of German cake that has been used for birthday. Hundreds of years ago it was customary to add small surprises to birthday cakes. When the guests received a slice, the different items were used to predict the future. Coins meant great wealth, a thimble meant you’d never marry.

History of the Birthday Candle: Another symbol of birthday celebrations is the birthday candles. The Greek people who took their cakes to Artemis placed candles on the cakes because it made the cakes look as if it was glowing like the full moon. The Germans known as excellent candle makers began making small candles for their cakes. Some German family’s would one large candle symbolizing the “light of life. The candle is marked with lines and numbers (usually 12) that would be burned every year. Some people believe the candle were placed on cakes for religious reasons. Others believe that the smoke from the candles would take their wishes up to the heavens.

Today many people make silent wishes as they blow out their candles. They believe that blowing out all the candles in one breath will bring good luck.

How Birthday Parties Started

The tradition of birthday parties started in Europe a long time ago. It was feared that evil spirits were particularly attracted to people on their birthdays. To protect them from harm, friends and family would to come be with the birthday person and bring good thoughts and wishes. Giving gifts brought even more good cheer to ward off the evil spirits. This is how birthday parties began.

At first it was only kings who were recognized as important enough to have a birthday celebration (maybe this is how the tradition of birthday crowns began?). As time went by, children became included in birthday celebrations. The first children’s birthday parties occurred in Germany and were called Kinderfeste.

The Greeks believed that everyone had a protective spirit or daemon who attended his birth and watched over him in life. This spirit had a mystic relation with the god on whose birthday the individual was born.

The Romans also subscribed to this idea. This notion was carried down in human belief and is reflected in the guardian angel, the fairy godmother and the patron saint. The custom of lighted candles on the cakes started with the Greeks. Honey cakes round as the moon and lit with tapers were placed on the temple altars of (Artemis). Birthday candles, in folk belief, are endowed with special magic for granting wishes. Lighted tapers and sacrificial fires have had a special mystic significance ever since man first set up altars to his gods. The birthday candles are thus an honor and tribute to the birthday child and bring good fortune.

These birthday celebrations also involve imitation of the Jews and Christians in their birthday celebrations. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, warning us against following their ways and traditions: “You would follow the ways of those who came before you step by step, to such an extent that if they were to enter a lizard’s hole, you would enter it too.” They said, “O Messenger of Allah, (do you mean) the Jews and Christians?” He said, “Who else?” (Reported by al-Bukhari and Muslim). The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) also said: “Whoever imitates a people is one of them.” (Fataawa Islamiyyah, 1/115)

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said in his commentary on the ayah (interpretation of the meaning), “And those who do not witness falsehood (al-zoor)” (al-Furqan 25:72): As regards the festivals of the mushrikeen: they combine confusion, physical desires and falsehood, there is nothing in them that is of any religious benefit, and the instant gratification involved in them only ends up in pain. Thus they are falsehood, and witnessing them means attending them.

This ayah itself praises and commends (those who do not witness falsehood), which has the meaning of urging people to avoid taking part in their festivals and other kinds of falsehood. We understand that it is bad to attend their festivals because they are called al-zoor (falsehood).

It indicates that it is haram to do this for many reasons, because Allah has called it al-zoor. Allah condemns the one who speaks falsehood (al-zoor) even if no-one else is harmed by it, as in the ayah forbidding zihaar (a form of divorce in which the man says to his wife “you are to me like the back of my mother”), where He says (interpretation of the meaning): “And verily, they utter an ill word and a lie (zooran)” (al-Mujadilah 58:2). And Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “So shun the abomination of idols, and shun lying speech (false statements) (al-zoor)”. (al-Hajj 22:30). So the one who does al-zoor is condemned in this fashion.

In the Sunnah: Anas ibn Maalik (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) came (to Madinah) and they had two days in which they would (relax and) play. He said, What are these two days? They said, We used to play (on these two days) during the Jahiliyyah. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: Allah has given you something better instead of them: Yawm al-Duha (Eid al-Adha) and Yawm al-Fitr (Eid al-Fitr). (Reported by Abu Dawood).

This indicates clearly that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) definitely forbade his ummah to celebrate the festivals of the kuffar, and he strove to wipe them out by all possible means. The fact that the religion of the People of the Book is accepted does not mean that their festivals are approved of or should be preserved by the ummah, just as the rest of their kufr and sins are not approved of. Indeed, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) went to great lengths to command his ummah to be different from them in many issues that are mubaah (permitted) and in many ways of worship, lest that lead them to be like them in other matters too. This being different was to be a barrier in all aspects, because the more different you are from the people of Hell, the less likely you are to do the acts of the people of Hell.

The first of them is: The hadith “Every people has its festival, and this is our festival” implies exclusivity, that every people has its own festival, as Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “For every nation there is a direction to which they face (in their prayers) (al-Baqarah 2:148) and to each among you, We have prescribed a law and a clear way” (al-Maaidah 5:48). This implies that each nation has its own ways. The laam in li-kulli (for every, to each) implies exclusivity. So if the Jews have a festival and the Christians have a festival, it is just for them, and we should not have any part in it, just as we do not share their qiblah (direction of prayer) or their laws.

The second of them is: one of the conditions set out by Umar ibn al-Khattaab (may Allah be pleased with him) and agreed upon by the Sahabah and by all the fuqaha after them is: that those of the People of the Book who have agreed to live under Islamic rule (ahl al-dhimmah) should not celebrate their festivals openly in Daar al-Islam (lands under Islamic rule). If the Muslims have agreed to prevent them from celebrating openly, how could it be right for the Muslims to celebrate them? If a Muslim celebrates them, is that not worse than if a kafir does so openly?

~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~

THE FESTIVALS OF THE KUFAR (CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR FESTIVALS)

By Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah

Source http://www.twtpubs.com/tasfiyah/kuffaar_festival.php

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in his commentary on the aayah (interpretation of the meaning), “And those who do not witness falsehood [al-zoor]…” [al-Furqaan 25:72]: As regards the festivals of the mushrikeen: they combine confusion, physical desires and falsehood, there is nothing in them that is of any religious benefit, and the instant gratification involved in them only ends up in pain. Thus they are falsehood, and witnessing them means attending them.

This aaayah itself praises and commends (those who do not witness falsehood), which has the meaning of urging people to avoid taking part in their festivals and other kinds of falsehood. We understand that it is bad to attend their festivals because they are called al-zoor (falsehood).

It indicates that it is haraam to do this for many reasons, because Allaah has called it al-zoor. Allaah condemns the one who speaks falsehood [al-zoor] even if no-one else is harmed by it, as in the aayah forbidding zihaar [a form of divorce in which the man says to his wife “You are to me like the back of my mother”], where He says (interpretation of the meaning): “… And verily, they utter an ill word and a lie [zooran]…” [al-Mujaadilah 58:2]. And Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “… So shun the abomination of idols, and shun lying speech (false statements) [al-zoor].” [al-Hajj 22:30]. So the one who does al-zoor is condemned in this fashion.

In the Sunnah: Anas ibn Maalik (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) came [to Madeenah] and they had two days in which they would (relax and) play. He said, “What are these two days?” They said, “We used to play (on these two days) during the Jaahiliyyah.” The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah has given you something better instead of them: Yawm al-Duhaa [Eid al-Adha] and Yawm al-Fitr [Eid al-Fitr].” (Reported by Abu Dawood).

This indicates clearly that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) definitely forbade his ummah to celebrate the festivals of the kuffaar, and he strove to wipe them out by all possible means. The fact that the religion of the People of the Book is accepted does not mean that their festivals are approved of or should be preserved by the ummah, just as the rest of their kufr and sins are not approved of. Indeed, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) went to great lengths to command his ummah to be different from them in many issues that are mubaah (permitted) and in many ways of worship, lest that lead them to be like them in other matters too. This being different was to be a barrier in all aspects, because the more different you are from the people of Hell, the less likely you are to do the acts of the people of Hell.

The first of them is: The hadeeth “Every people has its festival, and this is our festival” implies exclusivity, that every people has its own festival, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “For every nation there is a direction to which they face (in their prayers)…” [al-Baqarah 2:148] and “… To each among you, We have prescribed a law and a clear way…” [al-Maa’idah 5:48]. This implies that each nation has its own ways. The laam in li-kulli [“for every”, “to each”] implies exclusivity. So if the Jews have a festival and the Christians have a festival, it is just for them, and we should not have any part in it, just as we do not share their qiblah (direction of prayer) or their laws.

The second of them is: one of the conditions set out by ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab (may Allaah be pleased with him) and agreed upon by the Sahaabah and by all the Fuqaha’ after them is: that those of the People of the Book who have agreed to live under Islamic rule (ahl al-dhimmah) should not celebrate their festivals openly in Daar al-Islam (lands under Islamic rule). If the Muslims have agreed to prevent them from celebrating openly, how could it be right for the Muslims to celebrate them? If a Muslim celebrates them, is that not worse than if a kaafir does so openly?

The only reason that we forbade them to celebrate their festivals openly is because of the corruption involved in them, because of the sin or symbols of sin. In either case, the Muslim is forbidden from sin or the symbols of sin. Even if there was no evil involved apart from the kaafir feeling encouraged to celebrate openly because of the Muslim’s actions, how can a Muslim do that? The evil involved (in their festivals) will be explained below, in sha Allaah.

Al-Bayhaqi reported with a saheeh isnaad in Baab karaahiyat al-dukhool ‘ala ahl al-dhimmah fi kanaa’isihim wa’l-tashabbuh bihim yawmi nawroozihim wa maharjaanihim (Chapter on the abhorrence of entering the churches of ahl al-dhimmah on the occasion of their New Year and other celebrations): From Sufyaan al-Thawri from Thawr ibn Yazeed from ‘Ata’ ibn Deenaar who said: ‘Umar said: “Do not learn the language of the non-Arabs, do not enter upon the mushrikeen in their churches on their feast-days, for the wrath (of Allaah) is descending upon them.”

‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab said: “Avoid the enemies of Allaah on their festivals.”

It was reported with a saheeh isnaad from Abu Usaamah: ‘Awn told us from Abu’l-Mugheerah from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr: “Whoever lives in the land of the non-Arabs and celebrates their New Year and their festivals, and imitates them until he dies in that state, will be gathered with them on the Day of Resurrection.”

‘Umar forbade learning their languages, and even entering their churches on the day of their festival, so how about doing some of the things they do on those days, or doing things that are a part of their religion? Is not going along with their actions worse than learning their language? Is not doing some of the things they do on their festival worse than just entering upon them? If divine wrath is descending upon them on the day of their festival because of what they do, then is not the one who does what they do, or a part of it, also exposed to the same punishment? Do not the words “Avoid the enemies of Allaah on their festivals” mean that we should not meet them or join them on those days? So how about the one who actually celebrates their festivals?

‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr clearly stated: “Whoever lives in the land of the non-Arabs and celebrates their New Year and their festivals, and imitates them until he dies in that state, will be gathered with them on the Day of Resurrection.”

This implies that the one who joins in with them in all of these matters is a kaafir, or that doing this is one of the major sins (kabaa’ir) that will doom one to Hell; the former meaning is what is apparent from the wording.

He mentioned – and Allaah knows best – the one who lives in their land, because at the time of ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr and the other Sahaabah, they used to forbid open celebration of kaafir festivals in the Muslim lands, and none of the Muslims imitated them in their festivals; that was possible only when living in the lands of the kaafirs.

‘Ali (may Allaah be pleased with him) refused to even acknowledge the name of their festivals which were exclusively theirs, so how about actually celebrating them?

Ahmad mentioned the meaning of the reports narrated from ‘Umar and ‘Ali (may Allaah be pleased with them) on this topic, and his companions discussed the matter of festivals.

Imaam Abu’l-Hasan al-Aamidi said: the one who is known as Ibn al-Baghdaadi said in his book ‘Umdat al-Haadir wa Kifaayat al-Musaafir: “It is not permitted to attend the festivals of the Christians and Jews. Ahmad stated this in the report of Muhannaa, and his evidence for that is the aayah (interpretation of the meaning): ‘And those who do not witness falsehood [al-zoor]…’ [al-Furqaan 25:72]. He said: (This is) al-Sha’aaneen and their festivals. He said: The Muslims are to be prevented from entering upon them in their synagogues and churches.”

From Iqtida’ al-Siraat al-Mustaqeem Mukhaalifat Ashaab al-Jaheem by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah, p. 183.

~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~

A MUSLIM CELEBRATING THANKSGIVING

By Shaykh ‘Uthaymeen

Majmoo’ah Fataawa wa Rasaa’il al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 3/369)

Question: Can a muslim celebrate a non muslim holiday like Thanksgiving?

Answer: Alhamdulillaah

Greeting the kuffaar on Christmas and other religious holidays of theirs is haraam, by consensus, as Ibn al-Qayyim, may Allaah have mercy on him, said in Ahkaam Ahl al-Dhimmah: “Congratulating the kuffaar on the rituals that belong only to them is haraam by consensus, as is congratulating them on their festivals and fasts by saying ‘A happy festival to you’ or ‘May you enjoy your festival,’ and so on. If the one who says this has been saved from kufr, it is still forbidden. It is like congratulating someone for prostrating to the cross, or even worse than that. It is as great a sin as congratulating someone for drinking wine, or murdering someone, or having illicit sexual relations, and so on. Many of those who have no respect for their religion fall into this error; they do not realize the offensiveness of their actions. Whoever congratulates a person for his disobedience or bid’ah or kufr exposes himself to the wrath and anger of Allaah.”

Congratulating the kuffaar on their religious festivals is haraam to the extent described by Ibn al-Qayyim because it implies that one accepts or approves of their rituals of kufr, even if one would not accept those things for oneself. But the Muslim should not aceept the rituals of kufr or congratulate anyone else for them, because Allaah does not accept any of that at all, as He says (interpretation of the meaning): “If you disbelieve, then verily, Allaah is not in need of you, He likes not disbelief for His slaves. And if you are grateful (by being believers), He is pleased therewith for you. . .” [al-Zumar 39:7]

“. . . This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islaam as your religion . . .” [al-Maa’idah 5:3]

So congratulating them is forbidden, whether they are one’s colleagues at work or otherwise.

If they greet us on the occasion of their festivals, we should not respond, because these are not our festivals, and because they are not festivals which are acceptable to Allaah. These festivals are innovations in their religions, and even those which may have been prescribed formerly have been abrogated by the religion of Islaam, with which Allaah sent Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to the whole of mankind. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “Whoever seeks a religion other than Islaam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers.” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:85]

It is haraam for a Muslim to accept invitations on such occasions, because this is worse than congratulating them as it implies taking part in their celebrations. Similarly, Muslims are forbidden to imitate the kuffaar by having parties on such occasions, or exchanging gifts, or giving out sweets or food, or taking time off work, etc., because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever imitates a people is one of them.” Shaykh al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyah said in his book Iqtidaa’ al-siraat al-mustaqeem mukhaalifat ashaab al-jaheem: “Imitating them in some of their festivals implies that one is pleased with their false beliefs and practices, and gives them the hope that they may have the opportunity to humiliate and mislead the weak.” Whoever does anything of this sort is a sinner, whether he does it out of politeness or to be friendly, or because he is too shy to refuse, or for whatever other reason, because this is hypocrisy in Islaam, and because it makes the kuffaar feel proud of their religion.

Allaah is the One Whom we ask to make the Muslims feel proud of their religion, to help them adhere steadfastly to it, and to make them victorious over their enemies, for He is the Strong and Omnipotent.

~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~

RULING REGARDING CELEBRATING VALENTINE’S DAY

The Permanent Committee for Islaamic Research and Fataawa

Head: Shaykh ‘Abdul ‘Azeez Aal ash-Shaykh; Deputy Head: Shaykh Saalih ibn Fowzaan;

Member: Shaykh ‘Abdullaah ibn Ghudayyaan;

Member: Shaykh Bakar ibn ‘Abdullaah Abu Zayd Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa.imah lil-Buhooth al-‘Ilmiyyah wal-Iftaa. – Fatwa No. 21203

Question: Some people celebrate Yawm al-Hubb (Valentine’s Day) on February 14 [the second month of the Christian Gregorian calendar] every year by exchanging red roses as gifts. They also dress up in red clothing, and congratulate one another (on this occasion). Some sweet shops produce special sweets – red in colour – and draw hearts upon them. Some shops advertise their goods which are specially related to this day. What is the Islaamic view [concerning the following]:

1. Celebrating this day?

2. Buying from these shops on this day?

3. Selling – by shop-owners who are not celebrating – the things which are used as gifts, to those who are celebrating?

(And) may Allaah reward you with all good!

Response: The clear evidence from the Qur’aan and Sunnah – and this is agreed upon by consensus (Ijmaa’) of the early generations of the Muslim Ummah – indicates that there are only two ‘Eeds in Islaam (days of celebration): ‘Eed al-Fitr (after the fast of Ramadhaan) and ‘Eed al-Adhaa (after the standing at ‘Arafah for pilgrimage).

Every other ‘Eed – whether it is to a person, group, incident or any other occasion – is an innovated ‘Eed. It is not permissible for the Muslim people to participate in it, approve of it, make any show of happiness on its occasion, or assist in it in any way – since this will be transgressing the bounds of Allaah: {…and whoever transgresses the bounds of Allaah, he has wronged his own self}, [Soorah at-Talaaq, Aayah 1]

If we add to this fabricated ‘Eed the fact that it is one of the ‘Eeds of the disbelievers, it is sin upon sin. This is because it is Tashabbuh (imitation) of the disbelievers, and a type of Muwaalaat (loyalty) to them. And Allaah has prohibited the believers from imitation of them and having love or loyalty for them in His Mighty Book (Qur.aan). It is also confirmed from the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) that he said: Whoever imitates a people is one of them.

‘Eed al-Hubb (the celebration of Valentine’s Day) comes under the category of what has been mentioned here, since it is one of the pagan Christian holidays.

Hence it is not permissible for any Muslim, who believes in Allaah and the Last Day, to participate in it, approve of it, or congratulate (anyone on that occasion). On the contrary, it is obligatory to abandon it and stay far away from it – in response to Allaah and His Messenger, and to distance oneself from the anger of Allaah and His punishment.

Additionally, it is forbidden for a Muslim to assist or help in this ‘Eed, or any other of the forbidden/illegal celebrations in any way whatsoever – whether by food or drink, selling or buying, production, gift-giving, correspondence, announcements, etc. All of these things are considered as co-operating in sin and transgression and disobedience of Allaah and His Messenger. Allaah, the Glorious and Most High, says: {… and co-operate with one another in righteousness and piety, and do not co-operate in sin and transgression. And fear Allaah! Verily Allaah is severe in punishment}, [Soorah al-Maa.idah, Aayah 2] Likewise, it is obligatory for every Muslim to adhere strictly to the Qur.aan and Sunnah in every situation – especially in times of temptations and corruption. It is incumbent that he/she understand, be aware and be cautioned from falling into the deviations of those whom Allaah is angry with (Jews) and those who are astray (Christians) and the immoral people who have no fear of punishment – nor hope of reward – from Allaah, and who give no attention at all to Islaam.

It is necessary for the Muslim to flee to Allaah, the Most High, seeking His Hidaayah (Guidance) and Thabaat (Firmness) upon the Path. Verily, there is no Guide except Allaah, and no One Who can Grant Firmness except Him.

And with Allaah lies all success and may Allaah send prayers and salutations upon our Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) and his family and his companions.

~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~

RULING ON CELEBRATING THE BIRTHDAY OF THE PROPHET (PEACE BE UPON HIM)

By Shaykh Dr. Saalih ibn Fawzaan al-Fawzaan

Taken from Huqooq al-Nabi bayna al-Ijlaal wa’l-Ikhlaal, p. 139

Source http://63.175.194.25/topics/muled/muled_llfozan_eng.shtml

Ruling on celebrating the birthday of the Prophet

Praise be to Allaah the Lord of the Worlds, and blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and all his family and companions.

The commands mentioned in the Qur’aan and Sunnah to follow the laws of Allaah and His Messenger, and the prohibitions on introducing innovations into the religion are quite clear. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “Say (O Muhammad to mankind): ‘If you (really) love Allaah, then follow me (i.e. accept Islamic Monotheism, follow the Qur’aan and the Sunnah), Allaah will love you and forgive you your sins’”[Aal ‘Imraan 3:31]

“Follow what has been sent down unto you from your Lord (the Qur’aan and Prophet Muhammad’s Sunnah), and follow not any Awliyaa’ (protectors and helpers who order you to associate partners in worship with Allaah), besides Him (Allaah). Little do you remember!”[al-A’raaf 7:3]

“And verily, this is My straight path, so follow it, and follow not (other) paths, for they will separate you away from His path”[al-A’naam 6:153]

And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The most truthful of speech is the Book of Allaah and the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad, and the most evil of things are those which are newly-invented.” And he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever innovates anything in this matter of ours (i.e., Islam), that is not part of it will have it rejected.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, no. 2697; Muslim, no. 1718). According to a version narrated by Muslim, “Whoever doe anything that is not in accordance with this matter of ours (i.e., Islam), will have it rejected.”

Among the reprehensible innovations that people have invented is the celebration of the birthday of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in the month of Rabee’ al-Awwal. They celebrate this occasion in various ways:

Some of them simply make it an occasion to gather and read the story of the Mawlid, then they present speeches and qaseedahs (odes) for this occasion.

Some of them make food and sweets etc., and offer them to the people present.

Some of them hold these celebrations in the mosques, and some of them hold them in their houses.

Some people do not limit themselves to the actions mentioned above; they include in these gatherings haraam and reprehensible things, such as free mixing of men and women, dancing and singing, or committing actions of shirk such as seeking the help of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), calling upon him, seeking his support against their enemies and so on.

Whatever form it takes and whatever the intentions of those who do this are, there is no doubt whatsoever that it is an invented, haraam innovation which was introduced by the Shi’a Faatimids after the three best centuries, in order to corrupt the religion of the Muslims. The first person to do this after them was the king al-Muzaffar Abu Sa’eed Kawkaboori, the king of Irbil, at the end of the sixth century or the beginning of the seventh century AH, as was mentioned by the historians such as Ibn Khalkaan and others. Abu Shaamah said: the first person to do that in Mosul was Shaykh ‘Umar ibn Muhammad al-Malaa, one of the well-known righteous people. Then the ruler of Irbil and others followed his example.

Al-Haafiz Ibn Katheer said in al-Bidaayah wa’l-Nihaayah (13/137), in his biography of Abu Sa’eed Kazkaboori: “He used to observe the Mawlid in Rabee’ al-Awwal and hold a huge celebration on that occasion… some of those who were present at the feast of al-Muzaffar on some occasions of the Mawlid said that he used to offer in the feast five thousand grilled heads of sheep, ten thousand chickens and one hundred thousand large dishes, and thirty trays of sweets… he would let the Sufis sing from Zuhr until Fajr, and he himself would dance with them.”

Ibn Khalkaan said in Wafiyaat al-A’yaan (3/274): “When it is the first of Safar they decorate those domes with various kinds of fancy adornments, and in every dome there sits a group of singers and a group of puppeteers and players of musical instruments, and they do not leave any one of those domes without setting up a group (of performers) there.

The people give up work during this period, and they do no work except going around and watching the entertainment. When there are two days to go until the Mawlid, they bring out a large number of camels, cows and sheep, more than can be described, and they accompany them with all the drums, songs and musical instruments that they have, until they bring them to the square… On the night of the Mawlid there are performances of nasheed after Maghrib in the citadel.”

This is the origin of this celebration on the occasion of the Prophet’s birthday. More recently idle entertainment, extravagance, and wasting of money and time have become associated with an innovation for which Allaah has not sent down any authority.

What Muslims should do is to revive the Sunnah and put an end to bid’ah (innovation); they should not do any action until they know the ruling of Allaah concerning it.

Ruling on celebrating the Prophet’s birthday

Celebrating the occasion of the birthday of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is forbidden and is to be rejected for a number of reasons:

1 – it is not part of the Sunnah of the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or of the khaleefahs who succeeded him. Since this is the case, then it is a forbidden innovation, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “I urge you to follow my Sunnah and the way of the rightly-guided khaleefahs after me; adhere to it and cling to it firmly. Beware of newly-invented things, for every newly-invented thing is an innovation (bid’ah) and every innovation is a going-astray.” (Narrated by Ahmad, 4/126; al-Tirmidhi no. 2676).

Celebrating the Mawlid is an innovation introduced by the Shi’a Faatimids after the three best centuries in order to corrupt the religion of the Muslims. If a person does anything in order to draw closer to Allaah which was not done by the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or enjoined by him, and was not done by the khaleefahs who succeeded him, this action implies that he is accusing the Messenger of not explaining the religion to the people, and that he disbelieves in the words of Allaah (interpretation of the meaning): “This day, I have perfected your religion for you”[al-Maa’idah 5:3]. Because he is adding something extra and claiming that it is a part of the religion, but the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not bring this.

2 – Celebrating the birthday of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is an imitation of the Christians, because they celebrate the birth of the Messiah (peace be upon him). Imitating them is extremely haraam. The hadeeth tells us that it is forbidden to imitate the kuffaar, and we are commanded to differ from them. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever imitates a people is one of them” (narrated by Ahmad, 2/50; Abu Dawood, 4/314). And he said, “Be different from the mushrikeen” (narrated by Muslim, 1/222, no. 259) – especially with regard to things that are the symbols or rituals of their religion.

3 – Besides being bid’ah and an imitation of the Christians, both of which are haraam, celebrating the birthday of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is also a means that leads to exaggeration and excess in venerating him, which even goes as far as calling upon him (making du’aa’ to him) and seeking his help, instead of calling upon Allaah, as happens now among many of those who observe the bid’ah of the Mawlid, when they call upon the Messenger instead of Allaah, and ask him for support, and sing qaseedahs (odes) of shirk praising him, like Qaseedat al-Burdah etc. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade going to extremes in praising him, as he said: “Do not extol as the Christians extolled the son of Maryam. For I am just His slave, so say, the slave of Allaah and His Messenger” (narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4/142, no. 3445; al-Fath, 6/551), i.e., do not exaggerate in praising me as the Christians exaggerated in praising the Messiah and venerated him until they worshipped him instead of Allaah. Allaah forbade them to do that when he said (interpretation of the meaning): “O people of the Scripture (Christians)! Do not exceed the limits in your religion, nor say of Allaah aught but the truth. The Messiah ‘Eesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), was (no more than) a Messenger of Allaah and His Word, (“Be!” — and he was) which He bestowed on Maryam (Mary) and a spirit (Rooh) created by Him”[al-Nisaa’ 4:171]

Our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade us to exaggerate concerning him lest the same thing happen to us as happened to them, so he said: “Beware of exaggeration, for those who came before you were destroyed because of exaggeration” (narrated by al-Nasaa’i, 5/268; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Sunan al-Nasaa’i, no. 2863).

4 – Observing the innovation of the Prophet’s birthday opens the door to other kinds of bid’ah and being distracted by them from the Sunnah. Hence you find that the innovators are very active when it comes to bid’ah and very lazy when it comes to the Sunnah; they hate it and regard those who follow it as enemies, until their entire religion is innovated anniversaries and Mawlids. They have split into various groups, each of which commemorates the anniversary of its imaam’s birth, such as the births of al-Badawi, Ibn ‘Arabi, al-Dasooqi and al-Shaadhili. No sooner do they end the celebration of one birthday but they start the celebration of another. This results in exaggeration concerning these dead people and others, and in calling upon them instead of Allaah, believing that they can bring benefit and cause harm, until they deviate from the religion of Allaah and go back to the religion of the people of the Jaahiliyyah of whom Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And they worship besides Allaah things that harm them not, nor profit them, and they say: ‘These are our intercessors with Allaah’”[Yoonus 10:18]

“And those who take Awliyaa’ (protectors, helpers, lords, gods) besides Him (say): ‘We worship them only that they may bring us near to Allaah’”[al-Zumar 39:3]

Discussing the specious arguments of those who celebrate the Mawlid

Those who think that this bid’ah should be continued produce specious arguments which are flimsier than a spider’s web. These specious arguments may be dealt with as follows:

1 – Their claim that this is veneration of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): The response to that is that the way to venerate him is to obey him, do as he commanded and avoid that which he forbade, and to love him; he is not to be venerated through innovations, myths and sins. Celebrating his birthday is of this blameworthy type because it is a sin. The people who venerated the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) the most were the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them), as ‘Urwah ibn Mas’ood said to Quraysh: “O people, by Allaah I have visited kings. I went to Caesar, Chosroes and the Negus, but by Allaah I never saw a king whose companions venerated him as much as the companions of Muhammad venerated Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). By Allaah, whenever he spat it never fell on the ground, it fell into into the hand of one his companions, then they wiped their faces and skins with it. If he instructed them to do something, they would hasten to do as he commanded. When he did wudoo’, they would almost fight over his water. When he spoke they would lower their voices in his presence; and they did not stare at him out of respect for him.” (al-Bukhaari, 3/178, no. 2731, 2732; al-Fath, 5/388). Yet despite this level of veneration, they never took the day of his birth as an ‘Eid (festival). If that had been prescribed in Islam they would not have neglected to do that.

2 – Using as evidence the fact that many people in many countries do this.

The response to that is that evidence consists of that which is proven from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and what is proven from the Prophet is that innovations are forbidden in general, and this is an innovation. What people do, if it goes against the evidence (daleel), does not prove anything, even if many of them do it. “And if you obey most of those on the earth, they will mislead you far away from Allaah’s path”[al-An’aam 6:116 – interpretation of the meaning]

Nevertheless, in every age, praise be to Allaah, there have always been those who denounce this bid’ah and state clearly that it is false. Those who persist in following it after the truth had been explained to them have no proof.

Among those who denounced the celebration of this occasion was Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah, in Iqtidaa’ al-Siraat al-Mustaqeem; Imaam al-Shaatibi in al-‘I’tisaam; Ibn al-Haaj in al-Madkhil; Shaykh Taaj al-Deen ‘Ali ibn ‘Umar al-Lakhami who wrote an entire book denouncing it; Shaykh Muhammad Basheer al-Sahsawaani al-Hindi in his book Siyaanah al-Insaan; al-Sayyid Muhammad Rasheed Ridaa wrote a separate essay on this topic; Shaykh Muhammad ibn Ibraaheem Aal al-Shaykh wrote a separate essay on it; Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz; and others who are still writing and denouncing this bid’ah every year in the pages of newspapers and magazines, at the time when this bid’ah is being done.

3 – They say that by celebrating the Mawlid they are keeping the memory of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) alive.

The answer to that is that the memory of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is constantly kept alive by the Muslim, such as when his name (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is mentioned in the adhaan and iqaamah and in khutbahs, and every time the Muslim recites the Shahaadatayn after doing wudoo’ and in the prayers, and every time he sends blessings upon the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in his prayers and when he is mentioned, and every time the Muslim does a waajib (obligatory) or mustahabb (recommended) action that was prescribed by the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). In all of these ways (the Muslim) remembers him and the reward equivalent to the reward of the one who does that action goes back to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). Thus the Muslim constantly keeps the memory of the Messenger alive and has a connection with him night and day throughout his life through that which Allaah has prescribed, not only on the day of the Mawlid and things which are bid’ah and go against the Sunnah, for that puts one at a distance from the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and the Messenger will disown him because of that.

The Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) has no need of this innovated celebration, because Allaah has already bestowed veneration and respect upon him, as He says: “and raised high your fame”[al-Sharh 94:4]

For Allaah is not mentioned in the adhaan, iqaamah or khutbah, but the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is mentioned after Him; this is sufficient veneration, love and renewal of his memory, ad sufficient encouragement to follow him.

Allaah did not refer to the birth of the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in the Qur’aan, rather He referred to his Mission, and says (interpretation of the meaning): “Indeed, Allaah conferred a great favour on the believers when He sent among them a Messenger (Muhammad) from among themselves”[Aal ‘Imraan 3:124]

“He it is Who sent among the unlettered ones a Messenger (Muhammad) from among themselves”[al-Jumu’ah 64:2]

4 – They may say that the celebration of the Prophet’s birthday was introduced by a knowledgeable and just king who intended thereby to draw closer to Allaah.

Our response to that is that bid’ah is not acceptable, no matter who does it. A good intention does not justify a bad deed and even if a person died as a knowledgeable and righteous person, this does not mean that he was infallible.

5 – They say that celebrating the mawlid comes under the heading of bid’ah hasanah (“good innovation”) because it is based on giving thanks to Allaah for the Prophet!

Our response to that is that there is nothing good in innovation. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever innovates anything in this matter of ours (i.e., Islam), that is not part of it will have it rejected.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, no. 2697; al-Fath, 5/355). And he said, “Every innovation is a going astray” (narrated by Ahmad, 4/126; al-Tirmidhi, no. 2676). The ruling on innovations is that they are all misguidance, but this specious argument suggests that not every bid’ah is a going astray, rather there are good innovations.

Al-Haafiz ibn Rajab said in Sharh al-Arba’een: “The words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), ‘every innovation is a going astray’ is a concise but comprehensive comment which includes everything; it is one of the most important principles of religion. It is like his words ‘Whoever innovates anything in this matter of ours (i.e., Islam), that is not part of it will have it rejected.’ (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 3/167, no. 2697; al-Fath, 5/355). Whoever innovates anything and attributes it to Islam when it has no basis in the religion, this is a going astray and is nothing to do with Islam, whether that has to do with matters of belief (‘aqeedah) or outward and inward words and deeds.” (Jaami’ al-‘Uloom wa’l-Hakam, p. 233)

These people have no proof that there is any such thing as a “good innovation” apart from the words of ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) concerning Taraaweeh prayers, “What a good innovation this is.” (Saheeh al-Bukhaari, 2/252, no. 2010 mu’allaqan; al-Fath 4/294).

They also said that things were innovated which were not denounced by the salaf, such as compiling the Qur’aan into one volume and writing and compiling the hadeeth.

The response to that is that these matters had a basis in Islam, so they were not newly-invented.

‘Umar said: “What a good bid’ah” meaning innovation in the linguistic sense, not in the shar’i sense. Whatever has a basis in Islam, if it is described as an innovation, is an innovation in the linguistic sense, not in the shar’i sense, because innovation in the shar’i sense means that which has no basis in Islam. Compiling the Qur’aan into one book has a basis in Islam, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) had commanded that the Qur’aan be written down, but it was scattered, so the Sahaabah compiled it in one volume so as so protect and preserve it.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) led his companions in praying Taraaweeh for a while, then he stopped doing that, lest that become obligatory on them. The Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) continued to pray it separately during the life of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and after his death, until ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab (may Allaah be pleased with them) gathered them behind one imaam as they used to pray behind the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). This was not an innovation introduced into the religion.

Writing down the hadeeth also has a basis in Islam. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) ordered that some ahaadeeth should be written down for some of his companions when they asked him for that. In general terms writing it down during his lifetime was not allowed, for fear that the Qur’aan might be mixed with things that were not part of it. When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) died, this fear was no longer a factor, because the Qur’aan had been completed and arranged in order before he died. The Muslims compiled the Sunnah after that in order to preserve it and keep it from being lost. May Allaah reward them with good on behalf of Islam and the Muslims, because they preserved the Book of their Lord and the Sunnah of their Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) from being lost or being tampered with.

We may also say to them: why was this act of thanksgiving, as they call it, not done by the best generations, the Sahaabah, Taabi’een and followers of the Taabi’een, who loved the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) most and who were most keen to do good and give thanks? Are those who introduced the innovation of the Mawlid more rightly-guided than them? Do they give more thanks to Allaah? Definitely not!

6 – They may say that celebrating the birthday of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is indicative of their love for him; this is one way of showing that, and showing love of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is prescribed in Islam!

The answer to that is that undoubtedly loving the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is obligatory for every Muslim; he should love him more than he loves himself, his child, his father and all the people – may my father and mother be sacrificed for him – but that does not mean that we should introduce innovations for doing so that have not been prescribed for us. Loving him dictates that we should obey him and follow him, for that is one of the greatest manifestations of love, as it is said: “If your love is sincere then obey him; for the lover obeys the one whom he loves.”

Loving the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) implies keeping his Sunnah alive, adhering firmly to it, and avoiding words and deeds that go against it. Undoubtedly everything that goes against his Sunnah is a reprehensible innovation (bid’ah) and a manifest act of disobedience. That includes celebrating his birthday and other kinds of bid’ah. A good intention does not mean that it is permissible to introduce innovations into the religion. Islam is based on two things, purity of intention and following [the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)]. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “Yes, but whoever submits his face (himself) to Allaah (i.e. follows Allaah’s religion of Islamic Monotheism) and he is a Muhsin (a doer of good) then his reward is with his Lord (Allaah), on such shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve”[al-Baqarah 2:112]

Submitting one’s face to Allaah means being sincere towards Allaah, and doing good means following the Messenger and implementing the Sunnah.

7 – Another of their specious arguments is when they say that by celebrating the Mawlid and reading the biography of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) on this occasion, they are encouraging people to follow his example!

We say to them that reading the biography of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and following his example are required of the Muslim all the time, all year long and throughout his life. Singling out a specific day for that with no evidence for doing so is an innovation, and every innovation is a going astray.” (Narrated by Ahmad, 4/164; al-Tirmidhi, 2676). Bid’ah does not bear any fruit but evil and it leads to a person distancing himself from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).

In conclusion, celebrating the birthday of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), whatever form it takes, is a reprehensible innovation. The Muslims should put a stop to this and other kinds of bid’ah, and occupy themselves with reviving and adhering to the Sunnah. They should not be deceived by those who promote and defend this bid’ah, for these types of people are more interested in keeping innovations alive than in reviving the Sunnah; they may not even care about the Sunnah at all. Whoever is like this, it is not permissible to imitate him or follow his example, even if the majority of people are like this. Rather we should follow the example of those who follow the path of the Sunnah, among the righteous salaf and their followers, even if they are few. Truth is not measured by the men who speak it, rather men are measured by the truth.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever among you lives (for a long time) will see many differences. I urge you to follow my Sunnah and the way of the rightly-guided khaleefahs who come after me. Hold on to it firmly. Beware of newly-invented matters, for every innovation is a going astray.” (Narrated by Ahmad, 4/126; al-Tirmidhi no. 2676). So the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) explained to us in this hadeeth what we should do when there are differences of opinion, just as he explained that everything that goes against his Sunnah, be it words or deeds, is a bid’ah, and every bid’ah is a going astray.

If we see that there is no basis for celebrating the birthday of the Prophet, whether in the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or in the way of the rightly-guided khaleefahs, then it is one of the newly-invented matters, one of the bid’ahs which lead people astray. This principle is what is implied by this hadeeth and is what is indicated by the aayah (interpretation of the meaning): “O you who believe! Obey Allaah and obey the Messenger (Muhammad), and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority. (And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allaah and His Messenger, if you believe in Allaah and in the Last Day. That is better and more suitable for final determination”[al-Nisaa’ 4:59]

Referring to Allaah means referring to His Book, and referring to the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) means referring to his Sunnah after he has passed away. The Qur’aan and Sunnah are the reference point in cases of dispute. Where in the Qur’aan or Sunnah does it indicate that it is prescribed in Islam to celebrate the Prophet’s birthday? Whoever does that or thinks that it is good must repent to Allaah from this and from other kinds of bid’ah. This is the attitude of the Muslim who is seeking the truth. But whoever is too stubborn and arrogant after proof has been established, then his reckoning will be with his Lord.

We ask Allaah to help us adhere to His Book and the Sunnah of His Messenger until the Day when we will meet Him. May Allaah grant blessings and peace to our Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions.

~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~

CELEBRATING BIRTHDAYS AND WEDDING ANNIVERSARIES

By Shaykh Muhammad bin Saalih al-`Uthaymeen

Fatawa Arkanul-Islaam, DARUSSALAM, p265

Question: What is the ruling on organising celebrations for the birthdays of children or for wedding anniversaries?

Answer: There are no celebrations in Islaam except Friday the weekly ‘Eid, the first day of Shawwal – ’Eidal-Adha. The day of ’Arafah might be called an ‘Eid for those who are at ’Arafah on that day, and the days of Tashreeq, following ’Eidul-Adha.

As for birthday celebrations for a person or his children, or wedding anniversaries or the like, none of them are legislated and they are closer to being innovations than to being allowed.

~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~

RULING ON WOMEN ATTENDING WEDDING/BIRTHDAY PARTIES WHICH HAVE OBJECTIONABLE ASPECTS

Permanent Committee for Research and Verdicts

Islamic Fatawa Regarding Women – Darussalam Pg. 176-177

Question: What is the ruling concerning women attending wedding parties and birthday parties although they are innovations and every innovation is misguidance? Also, one finds in such parties singers to entertain the people. Is it forbidden if a women simply goes their to witness the wedding and out of respect for the family of the bride and not to listen to the singing?

Answer: If the wedding party has no objectionable aspects, such as mixing between men and women, shameless singing, or if the person attending has the ability to put an end to those aspects, it is then allowed for her to attend such a gathering to participate with the others in the happiness. In fact, it is a must to attend if the person has the ability to remove the objectionable aspects.

If the party, though has objectionable aspects and the person does not have the ability to stop them, then she is not allowed to attend such a party. This is based on the generality of Allah’s statement , ”And leave alone those who take their religion as play and amusement, and are deceived by the life of this world. But remind [them] with it [the Qur’an], lest a person be given up to destruction for that which he has earned, when he will not find for himself any protector or intercessor besides Allah.” [al- Anam: 70]

Allah also says, ”And of mankind is he who purchases idle talks [singing, music] to mislead (men) from the Path of Allah without knowledge, and takes it by way of mockery. For such their will be a humiliating torment.” [ Luqman:6]

The hadith that has been narrated condemning singing and musical instruments are numerous.

As for birthday parties, neither a Muslim man or a Muslim women should attend them because they are innovations. The only exception would be to attend them to put a stop to them and explain the rule concerning such parties.

~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~

RULING CONCERNING CELEBRATING MOTHER’S DAY

By Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen

Taken from Fataawa al-Mar’ah

Question: Every year we have a holiday on a particular day and it is called Mother’s Day. It occurs on March 21. All the people gather and celebrate that day. Is this permissible or forbidden?

Response: Every holiday or celebration that differs from the Sharee’ah celebrations is a newly-invented innovation that was not known during the time of the Pious Predecessors. Furthermore, it may have begun as an imitation of the non-Muslims. Therefore, in addition to it being an innovation, it may also be an act of resembling the enemies of Allaah. The Sharee’ah holidays are well-known among the Muslims. These are the `Eed al-Fitr, `Eed al-Adhha and the weekly `Eed [Fridays]. There is no holiday or festival in Islaam other than those three. Every holiday that is invented besides them is to be rejected as an innovation and falsehood in the Sharee’ah. This is because the Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) said: “Every deed introduced into our affair that does not belong to it is rejected.”

That is, it is rejected from that person and it will not be accepted by Allaah. Another wording of the hadeeth states: “Whoever does a deed that is not what our affair is upon, will have it rejected.”

Since that is clear, the holiday that is mentioned by the questioner, known as Mother’s Day, is not allowed. It is not allowed to have during such a day any kind of public display and celebration, happiness, giving of presents and so forth. It is obligatory upon a Muslim to have pride and honor in his religion. He should also limit himself to what Allaah and His Messenger (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) have restricted this upright religion to. This is the religion that Allaah is pleased to have His servants follow. There can be no addition or subtraction from this religion.

Furthermore, a Muslim should not be a kind of weak person that follows every Tom, Dick and Harry. Instead, his personality should be that defined by the Law of Allaah, such that he is followed and not a follower, such that he becomes an example and not a disciple. This should be the case because the law of Allaah, praise be to Allaah, is complete and perfect in all aspects. Allaah says in the Qur.aan: “This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favor upon you and have chosen for you Islaam as your religion.” [Soorah al-Maa.idah, Aayah 3].

Furthermore, the mother has much more right than to have just one day in the year as a celebration for her. In fact, the woman has a right upon her children, that they will care for her, look after her, obey her in anything which is not sinful, during all times and at all places.

4 thoughts on “Celebrations”

  1. As Salamu Alaikum My Beloved Brother’s And Respected Sisters. Alhamdulillah The Content On This Page Is Very Helpful. MashAllah JasakAllahu Khair. My Wife And I Just Came Into Islam This Past Ramadan. Alhamdulillah For That. We Both We’re Born And Raised In America In The Christian Faith. So Some Of This Issues Have Been Very Difficult For Us To Agree On To Break. But The Dalil On This Page Is Undeniable . Please Make Dua For Us And Our Children That ALLAH (swt) Makes This Journey We’ve Departed On Easier For Us To Follow. May ALLAH Continue To Give You Wisdom Unto Striring This Ummah Back To The Way Of Sunah And Give You Many Blessings In This Life And The Next. Ameen We Love You For The Same Of ALLAH!

  2. Wa alaikum as-salam, wa iyakum. Welcome to Islam. May He whose sake you love me for, love you. Ameen to all of your du’a. May Allah increase you and your family in Islam, ibadah, ilm, iman and ihsan ameen.

  3. Is is gunnah to celebrate a dead persons birthday and does the dead person get gunnah for it?

  4. The ‘ulema say that it is bid’ah to celebrate birthdays because it is an imitation of the kufar.

A penny for your thoughts...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s