Fatwa n°: 161
Category: Fatwas about Aqîda (Creed) and Tauhîd (monotheism)
Concerning the celebration of the New Year’s Day
What is the opinion of Islam as regards what is known by “Happy New Year”? May Allah reward you with good.
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon whom Allah sent as a mercy to the Worlds, upon his Family, his Companions and his Brothers till the Day of Resurrection.
Firstly, it is important to notice that Islam has not opinions in the questions of fiqh (jurisprudence) and creed as it is mentioned in your question, like the religious schools and sects, but Islam has legal rulings which are manifested in its proofs and signs. Moreover, know that every deed by which we want to be near Allah should be in accordance with His Sharia and His Prophet’s صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم practices, taking into account quantity, manner, place and time which are determined by the Sharia. If this conformity is not realized, the innovations which the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم warned us against by saying: “Avoid novelties, for every novelty is an innovation, and every innovation is an error and every error is in Hell”(1). Indeed, Allah عزَّ وجلَّ said:
﴿وَمَا آتَاكُمُ الرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ وَمَا نَهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ فَانْتَهُوا وَاتَّقُوا اللهَ إِنَّ اللهَ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ﴾ [الحشر: 7].
The meaning of the verse:
﴾And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم) gives you, take it, and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it)﴿ [Al-Hashr (The Exile, the Banishment): 7].He عزَّ وجلَّ also said:
﴿فَلْيَحْذَرِ الَّذِينَ يُخَالِفُونَ عَنْ أَمْرِهِ أَنْ تُصِيبَهُمْ فِتْنَةٌ أَوْ يُصِيبَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ﴾ [النور: 63].
﴾And let those who oppose the Messenger’s (Muhammad صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم) commandment (i.e. his Sunnah legal ways, orders, acts of worship, statements, etc.) (among the sects) beware, lest some Fitnah (disbelief, trials, afflictions, earthquakes, killing, overpowered by a tyrant, etc.) befall them or a painful torment be inflicted on them.﴿ [An-Nûr (The Light): 63].
The celebration of the birthday of the Christ is not different from the celebration of that of the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم, since it is known by people that this did not exist at the time of the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم, nor that of his Companions or during the Three Best Generations. Certainly, all that was not considered as religion at the time of the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم and his Companions cannot be considered today a religion, as the Imam Mâlik رحمه الله noticed, who said also : “Whoever introduces an innovation into Islam thinking that it is good, is implying that Muhammad betrayed his mission, because Allah عزَّ وجلَّ says:
﴿الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِي وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ الإِسْلاَمَ دِينًا﴾ [المائدة: 3].
﴾...This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion...﴿ [Al-Mâida (The Table Spread with Food): 3].
In addition, such deed is inherent to the traditions of Christians among people of the Scriptures whom the Sharia prevented us from following, by the texts ordering to contradict them and not imitate them. That is why we should stick to the Book and the Sunna as regards creed, knowledge and deed, because it is the only way to do away with innovations and their harmful effects.
The perfect knowledge belongs to Allah سبحانه وتعالى. Our last prayer is all praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon our Prophet, his Family, his Companions and his Brothers till the Day of Resurrection.
Algiers Sha`bân 24th, 1416 H
January 15th, 1996
(1) Reported by Abu Dâwûd in his “Sunan”, chapter of “As-Sunna”, concerning sticking to the Sunna (hadith 4607), At-Tirmidhi in his “Sunan”, chapter of “Knowledge”, concerning what is reported about sticking to the Sunna and avoiding innovations (hadith 2676), Ibn Mâjah in his “Sunan” concerning following the Sunna of the rightly guided Caliphs (hadith 42), Ahmad in his “Musnad” (hadith 17608), from the hadith of Al-`Irbâdh Ibn Sâriya رضي الله عنه. This hadith is judged authentic by Ibn Al-Mulaqin in “Al-Badr Al-Munîr” (9/582), Ibn Hajar in “Muwâfaqat Al-Khubr Al-Khabar” (1/136), Al-Albâni in “As-Silsila As-Sahîha” (hadith 2735) and Shu`ayb Al-Arnaût in his recension of “Musnad Ahmad” (4/126). Al-Wâdi`i judged it as Hassan (good) in his “Musnad” (938).