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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Word on Non-Muslim Holidays by Embody Islam As-Salamū Alaykum, Bismillāh, Before the inquisitive reader is a brief article highlight the Islamic approach towards non-muslim holidays. I ask Allāh, The Most High, to make this effort sincere and enlightening: On the authority of Anas b. Mālik [d. 92/93AH] (1): The Messenger of Allāh, prayers and peace upon him, came to al-Madīnah and its residents had two days wherein they would rejoice. So, he prayers and peace upon him, said: ‘Indeed, Allāh has replaced these two days with those that are better than them: the Day of Aḍḥā (2) and the Day of Fiṭr (3).’ [al-Nisā'ī] (4) Shaykh ‘Abdullāh Bassām [d. 1423 AH] (5), may Allāh have mercy on him, extracted the following benefits from this ḥadīth: 1. The religion of Islām has nullified every pre-Islamic holiday. This is because they are celebrations that don’t have noble meanings; nor is there any reason for them to be established or mentioned. 2. Although Islām has rendered pre-Islamic holidays null and void, it has not prohibited Muslims from partaking in permissible and joyful activities. Therefore, Islām replaced pre-Islamic holidays with honorable Islamic ones: ‘Īd al-Aḍḥā and ‘Īd al-Fiṭr. 3. We learn from this hadīth that it is obligatory for the Muslims to stay away from the holidays of idol worshippers and the people of the book (i.e. Jews and Christians). So, Muslims do not attend their holidays. They do not give any importance to them. They do not aid in establishing them. They do not greet them [with specific greetings]. They do not take part in their ceremonies. And they do not leave of work during these days [with the intent of celebrating]. 4. If Muslims were to partake in these previously mentioned things, they have aided in resurrecting pre-Islamic celebrations. [Additionally, a Muslim should realize that] the present-day disbelievers are nothing but eviler than those of the past. 5. This ḥadīth establishes that ‘Īd al-Fiṭr and Īd al-Aḍḥā are the holidays that Islamic legislation supports. 6. Shaykh al-Islām, [Ibn Tamiyyah] [d. 728 AH] (6), may Allāh have mercy on him, said: 'The Qur'ān, Sunnah, scholarly consensus, narrations and deductive pondering all establish that imitating non-muslims is strictly prohibited. The holidays of the disbelievers, the People of the Book and other them, are all the same. Their holidays all carry the same ruling pertaining to a Muslim. So, it is not permissible for a Muslim to imitate them in anything that is specific to their holidays; not in food, not in clothing, not in bathing [for the occasion], not in displaying decorative lights, not in changing their daily routines, not in leaving of seeking provisions [on the days of their holidays], not [intentionally] making them a day of rest, and not in being joyful and playful. The Muslim does n0t do anything out of the ordinary on these holidays.’ (7) I ask Allāh, The Most High, to make us firm and satisfied with our religion; just as I ask him to distance us from all forms of trials and tribulations. Translation and Footnotes by: Abū Ādam Jamīl Finch Umm al-Qurā University, College of Sharī’ah Makkah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Muḥarram 23, 1433/December 19, 2011 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- (1) Anas b. Malik, may Allāh be pleased with him, was the servant of the Messenger of Allāh for ten years. (2) The Islamic celebration which takes place after the Muslims perform the greatest pillar of Ḥajj, standing on ‘Arafah . (3) The Islamic celebration which takes place after the Muslims finish fasting the month of Ramaḍān. (4) Authenticated by Ibn Ḥajr in Bulūgh al-Marām, #398. (5) ‘Abdullāh Bassām was a student of the late Imām al-S’adi [d. 1376 AH] (6) Ibn Tamiyyah, may Allāh shower him with mercy, was one of the most well-known scholars of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamā’ah. He was a severe hindrance for those who opposed the correct Islamic creed. He was also known for vast knowledge in numerous Islamic sciences. (7) Abridged: ‘Abdullāh Bassām, Tawḍīḥ al-Aḥkām, 3/50-51, [Maktabah al-Rushd

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