On the occasion of Islamic New Year….
Come Islamic New Year, we find Muslims discussing, arguing and even hurling abuses at one another. Reason?
Is it right to say ‘Happy New Year’ or not!
Smart Muslims cite fatwas arguing it is not allowed to say Happy New Year. Fine, accepted.
Touch your heart and answer this: Do you follow Islamic Calendar every day?
Have we set the calendar in our computers/laptops/watches according to Hijri calendar?
Do you remember what is today’s hijri date?
On a regular basis, most of us don’t know the exact date of the Islamic calendar because we are so used to following the Gregorian one!
Many of us are oblivious of the corresponding hijri date in relation to the Gregorian date. This situation continues throughout the year and one fine day, when the New Year dawns, the same person will shoot a fatwa telling: saying Happy New Year is haram for a Muslim! Is saying Happy New Year haram and living one full year accoring to unIslamic calendar without even knowing the hijri date halal?
Most of the Muslims – including Muslim countries – follow the Gregorian calendar throughout the year! Do they have fatwa for this as well?
Call it irony or hypocrisy of sorts!
We have five categories of fiqh in relation to Shariah:
1. Fardh – compulsory: doing these is rewarded and not doing them is punished
2. Mandoob – recommended: doing them is rewarded but not doing them is not punished
3. Mubaah – permissible: doing them is allowed because they have not been forbidden.
4. Makrooh – disliked: doing is discouraged but not punished.
5. Haraam – forbidden: doing them is punished.
Is it permissible to congratulate others on the new hijri year?
The matter is flexible as there is no textual evidence to prohibit this action nor to allow it. However, it should not become a regular habit as it wasn’t a practice of the Companions of the Prophet sal-lal-laahu-alaihi-wa-sallam.
During the time of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) the system of calculating months was followed very carefully but the hijri calendar system was not in vogue.
Umar ibn al Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) was the first man to realise the significance of having a calendar as an organised system.
We Muslims are highly indebted to this great Caliph for fixing the calendar system based on the day of Hijrah – the glorious Prophet’s migration from Makkah to Madinah.
In my view, whenever Allah gives us the opportunity to witness the New Year, we must always try to go back to our roots and understand the significance of hijrah.
Hijrah was the turning point of Islam. It established the roots of Islam on planet earth, forever!
Let me conclude this article with this hadeeth:
الْمُسْلِمُ مَنْ سَلِمَ المسلمونَ مِنْ لِسَانِهِ وَيَدِهِ , وَالْمُهَاجِرُ مَنْ هَجَرَ مَا نَهَى اللَّهُ عَنْهُ
“A Muslim is he from whose tongue and hands other Muslims are safe. A Muhajir is one who stays away from what Allah has prohibited.”
So the Hijrah for us is to give up that which is forbidden in Islam.
Are we prepared to undertake this hijrah throughout the year, throughout our life?
May Allah give us the Hikmah to understand Islam in a better way. May Allah give us the Hidayah to follow Islam in our life. Aameen.
(If you want to read interesting articles on Hijrah, you can find some here)
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