The daleels on the Haram ruling of celebrating the A.D. new year

The A.D. new year in our time is celebrated in a grand scale. Sounds of trumpet and fireworks displays emblazon almost all parts of the world in the West, as well as in the East. It is no different whether the majority of the population are kafir or Muslim. Whereas, the celebration is synonymous with festive days of the Christians.

Many batil beliefs exist on new year’s eve. Among others are, whoever drinks the last glass of wine from the bottle after midnight, he will earn good luck. If he is a bachelor, he will be the first person to find a soul mate from among his friends on that night. Other beliefs are, entering the house on the eve of the new year without bringing gifts is a form of misfortune, washing clothes and eating utensils that day is also a sign of misfortune, letting the fire burning all night of the new year will bring a lot of luck, and many other forms of superstitions.

Indeed, those batil beliefs were adopted from the batil beliefs of Christianity. Where the truth is, adopting and imitating these batil beliefs is haram. Because whoever practices tashabbuh (resembling/imitating) on a people, then he is one of them.

It Is Haram To Practice Tashabuh On The Kuffaar

In brief, performing tashabbuh here means one’s attempt to resemble someone else that he wants to be the similar to, whether it be in appearance, characteristic or attribute.

Among the fundamental matters of our religion is to give love to Islam and its adherents, having bara’(abhorring and having nothing to do with) against kufr and its members. And the most visible sign of bara’ is the difference of a Muslim from the Kuffaar, being proud of his religion and feeling honoured with his Islam, no matter how great the strength of the Kuffaar and the progress of their civilization are.

Although the condition of the Muslims is weak, underdeveloped, while the strength of the Kuffaar is very good, still the Muslims cannot make it as an excuse to emulate the Kuffar and a justification to resemble them, as articulated by the munafiqeen and invaders. This is all because of the Shari’e texts which declare haram the act of tashabbuh on the Kuffaar and the prohibition of emulating them does not distinguish between the weak and strong conditions. And also because a Muslim -to the best of his ability- must feel noble with his religion and honoured by his Islam, irrespective of whether they are weak or underdeveloped.

Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala calls on the Muslims to feel proud and honoured with his religion. He classifies it as the best speech and the most glorious honour in His verse,

“And who is better in speech than one who invites to Allah and does righteousness and says, “Indeed, I am of the Muslims.”” (QS. Fuşşilat : 33)

Due to the extreme urgency of this issue, i.e. for a Muslim to be different from the Kuffaar, Allah commands the Muslims to pray to Him at least 17 times a day, in order to be distanced from the way of life of the Kuffaar and to be guided to the straight path.

“Guide us to the straight path – The path of those upon whom You have bestowed favour, not of those who have evoked [Your] anger or of those who are astray.” (QS. Al-Fatihah: 6-7)

There are so many nas (texts) of the Qur’an and Sunnah which forbid the act of tashabbuh on them and explain that they are in error.

“Then We put you, [O Muhammad], on an ordained way concerning the matter [of religion]; so follow it and do not follow the inclinations of those who do not know.” (QS. Al-Jāthiyah : 18)

“And if you should follow their inclinations after what has come to you of knowledge, you would not have against Allah any ally or any protector.” (QS. Ar-Ra`d : 37)

“And do not be like the ones who became divided and differed after the clear proofs had come to them.” (QS. Ali Imran: 105)

Allah calls for the believers to be khushu’ when uttering the zikr (remembrance) of Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala and reading His verses, thus He says,

“And let them not be like those who were given the Scripture before, and a long period passed over them, so their hearts hardened; and many of them are defiantly disobedient (fasiq).”(QS. al-Hadid: 16)

No doubt, resembling them is one of the clearest indication of the presence of love and affection for them. This is contrary to the attitude of bara’ah (abhorring and having nothing to do with) against kufr and its doers. Whereas, Allah has forbidden the Mu’mineen from loving, being loyal to and supporting them. While supporting and being loyal to them is the cause to be a part of their group, -may Allah save us from it -.

Allah Ta’ala says,

“O you who have believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies. They are [in fact] allies of one another. And whoever is an ally to them among you – then indeed, he is [one] of them.”(QS. Al-Mā’idah : 51)

“You will not find a people who believe in Allah and the Last Day having affection for those who oppose Allah and His Messenger, even if they were their fathers or their sons or their brothers or their kindred.”(QS. Al-Mujadilah: 22)

Sheikhul Islam Ibnu Taimiyah said, “Resembling (them) will produce affection, love and defence for them within our batin (inner selves). Just as how the love in our batin will give birth to mushabahah (wanting to resemble) in zahir (outwardly).” He further said in explaining the above verse, “Then He Subhanahu wa Ta’ala informs, it will never be found where a Mu’min loves the Kuffaar. So whoever loves the Kuffaar, he is not a Mu’min. And a zahir resemblance will foster love, due to that it is haram.”

The Prophet sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam said,

“Whoever imitates a people is one of them.” (HR. Abu Dawud, Ahmad and made saheeh by Ibnu Hibban. Ibnu Taimiyah mentioned in his book, Al-Iqtidha’ and in his Fatawa. Made saheeh by Al-Albani in his Saheeh al-Jami’ no. 2831 and 6149)

Sheikhul Islam said, “This hadith –the lightest- seeks the prohibition of tashabbuh on them, although its zahir holds kafir the people who resemble them, such as in the verse of Allah Ta’ala, “Whoever is an ally to them among you – then indeed, he is [one] of them.” (QS. Al-Maidah: 51).” (Al-Iqtidha’: 1/237)

Imam al-San’ani rahimahullaah said, “When one resembles the Kuffaar in the dresses and believes that he can become like them with those dresses, he has become kafir. If he does not believe (as such), there is a khilaf in it amongst the fuqaha’s: Some said he becomes kafir, according to the zahir of the hadith; And some others said, he does not become kafir but should be given sanctions warning.” (See: Subulus Salam about the sharah of the mentioned hadith).

Ibnu Taimiyah rahimahullaah mentioned, that resembling the Kuffaar is one of the main causes of the loss (alienation of shi’ar) of religion and the shari’ah of Allah, and the emergence of kufr and transgressions. Just as preserving the sunnah and shari’ah of the Prophets becomes the main key to every goodness. (See: Al-Iqtidha’: 1/314)

The Types Of Resembling The Kuffaar In Their Festive Days

The Kuffaar –with their various religions and sects- have a motley of festive days. Some are religious in nature which make the foundation of their religion, or the festive days which they themselves created to be a part of their religion. However, mostly originate from the tradition and momentum where a festive day is purposely created to commemorate it. Such as the grand National day and the likes.

Furthermore, there are a few examples as follows:

1. The days to worship their God, such as the festive days of the death of Jesus Christ, Easter, Mass, Christmas, A.D. New Year, and so on. A Muslim is categorised as resembling them in two conditions:

First, Participating in the said festive days. Although this festival is held by the non-muslim minority groups in the land of the Muslims, and then some Muslims took part in it, like what had happened during the time of Ibnu Taimiyah and Imam Dzahabi. This sort of reality spread in the lands of the Muslims. Even worse, there are some of the Muslims who travel to the land of the Kuffaar to attend those festivals and participate in it, either to obey their carnal desires or to fulfill the invitation of the Kuffaar, as experienced by the Muslims who live in the kafir land, the government officials, or the businessmen who receive the invitation from their business associates to sign a business contract. All of this is haram and it is feared that it would cause kufr based on the hadith, “Whoever imitates a people is one of them.”Surely, the people who do it are aware that it comes under the shi’ar of their religion.

Second, Adopting the celebrations of the Kuffaar in the countries of the Muslims. The people who attended the celebration of the Kuffaar in their countries, and then with their ignorance and weakness of iman, they are fascinated by the celebration. Then they brought in the celebration to the countries of the Muslims, such as the A.D. new year celebration. This condition is worse than the first, because they did not only participate in celebrating the shi’ar of the Kuffaar’s religion in their countries, but sadly they brought them into the Muslim countries.

2. The festive days which initially were the shi’ar (symbol) of the Kuffaar, and then with time were transformed into a global tradition and celebration, such as the Olympics Games of the ancient Greece which nowadays becomes the International sporting event participated by all the countries listed in the International Olympics Committee (IOC). Participation in it are of two forms:

First, attending the opening ceremony and its carnival in the kafir country like what are done by many Muslim countries which send their athletes to take part in the various sport competition held.

Second, bringing in this celebration into the countries of the Muslims, like in the case of some Muslim countries which request to be the host and organizer of this Olympics.

It cannot be held and organized in the Muslim countries for some reasons:

a. This Olympics was initially a festive day of the the ancient Greek pagans and it is the most historic day for them, and then inherited by the Romans and preserved by the Christians.

b. The event has a name in which the meaning is very known by the Greeks as their ritual.

Its existence as a sport pageant does not right away change its status as the festive day of the pagans based on its name and origin. The basis of the haram status of the celebration is the hadith from Tsabit bin Dhahak radhiyallahu ‘anhu, he said, “Someone had a nazar (vow) at the time of Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam to slaughter a camel in Bawwanah –i.e. the name of a place-, He then came to the Prophet sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam and said: “I vow to slaughter a camel at Bawwanah.” Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam said: “Isn’t there jahiliyyah idol that they worshipped there?” They said: “No.” He asked again: “Isn’t their feast day celebrated there?” They said: “No.” He said: “Carry on with your nazar, indeed a nazar in the form of transgressions against Allah and that which the sons of Adam cannot afford to do, should not be done.” (HR. Abu Dawud and his sanad fits the Sarat as-Saheehain)

Measured with the hadith of the Prophet above, that the origin of this periodic sports event is the feast day of the Kuffaar, this is made haram just as it is prohibited to slaughter a camel for Allah at a place which is used for a celebration of the feast of the Kuffaar. And the difference in the time and place does not affect the substance of the reason for the prohibition of the slaughter.

Ibnu Taimiyah rahimahullaah explained, this hadith contains a meaning that the venue used for the celebration of their feast day cannot be used for slaughtering, even if it is in the form of a nazar. Just as if the venue is used as a place for placing their idols. A nazar of such kind signifies a glorification of that place, which is glorified by them (the kuffaar) for the celebration of their festive days, or it signifies a form of participation in celebration of the festive days. Or also to enliven their shi’ar there. When making special a place of celebration of their religion is prohibited, what about the very celebration itself?! (Summarized from Al-Iqtidha’: 1/344)

Whereas, as for this Olympics, it is not just the time or place, but also the feast day itself based on its naming and the activities it contains, like the igniting of the Olympics Games torch. Whereas, it is a symbol of their festive day. And this sports event is also exercised exactly on the time of the celebration of the Olympic feast day, performed once every four years.

3. Resembling The Kuffaar In Celebrating The Islamic Festive Days

The form of tashabbuh on the Kuffaar can also happen in the celebration of the Islamic feast days, ‘Eidul Fitri and Adha. Namely, celebrating the feast days of Islam in ways that are normally done by the Kuffaar in celebrating their festive days.

Indeed, the festive days of the Muslims are ornamented with the shukr towards Allah Ta’ala, glorifying, praising and obeying Him. Being joyful in enjoying the gifts of favours from Allah Ta’ala without using it for committing transgressions. This is different from the festive days of the Kuffaar, celebrated to glorify the batil shi’ar and the idols that are worshipped besides Allah Ta’ala. In their celebration, they are immersed in the haram carnal desires.

But very sadly, there are many Muslims across the globe who resemble the Kuffaar in their transgressions. They modify the nuance of ‘Edul Fitri and ‘Eidul Adha as the seasons of obedience and shukr to become the season of commiting transgressions and being kufr ni’mat (denial of Allah’s bounty), i.e. by filling the nights with music, songs, drunkenness, parties where men and women freely intermixed and many other form of transgressions. All this is caused by them imitating the Kuffaar ways in celebrating their festive days which are stuffed with following the carnal desires and immoralities.

May Allah guide us to the conditions He is more pleased with, not deviating from the rules of Islam and not doing tashabbuh on the kafir people in their ceremonies.

Original author: Badrul Tamam


Taken from


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