First January, New Year’s Celebration, and Islamic Teachings: Happy New Year5 min read

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First January, New Year’s Celebration, and Islamic Teachings: Happy New Year

In all religions and nations of the world, there are various ways to celebrate festivals and joys, and every festival has its own significance. However, as the world progressed and people became cultured, they created new celebrations and festivals in the name of culture and art. One of these new celebrations is the Happy New Year.
In essence, this celebration of the New Year was created by Christians, known as the Christian New Year. Christians have been celebrating on the occasion of the New Year since ancient times. It is said that according to their beliefs, the birth of Hazrat Jesus () took place on 25th December, and in his honor, Christmas Day is celebrated. Due to this, the quality of celebration continues throughout the world, and this same spirit continues until the arrival of the New Year.

During the New Year’s celebration, the whole country is adorned with colorful lights, and people eagerly await the stroke of midnight on December 31st. As soon as the clock strikes twelve, people exchange greetings, cut cakes, the sound of “Happy New Year” echoes everywhere, fireworks are displayed, and various nightclubs host recreational programs, which include arrangements for drinks, dance, and entertainment. This is because their entertainment relies on only two things: firstly, alcohol, and secondly, women.

Today, like Christians, many Muslims also eagerly await the New Year, and they impatiently anticipate December 31st. These Muslims have started celebrating the New Year by considering their destinies and traditions as insignificant, while this date follows the Christian calendar.

Muslims have their own Islamic lunar calendar, which is linked to the migration of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) and begins with Muharram. Unfortunately, most of us are not aware of this calendar.

Today, Muslims celebrate the arrival of the New Year. Don’t they know that with the arrival of the New Year, one year of their life has diminished? Life is a precious gift from Allah, and when this gift diminishes or is lost, it’s not a cause for celebration; rather, it’s a cause for sorrow.

The past year leaves behind bitter experiences, pleasant events, and incidents of sorrow and pain. It reminds us of the instability and transience of life, bringing us closer to the inevitability of death.

Hazrat Abdullah ibn Mas’ood (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “I have not regretted anything as much as I regret the passing of a day in which my good deeds did not increase.” (Qeemah al-Zaman ‘Inda al-‘Ulama, p. 27)

Imam Hassan al-Basri (may Allah have mercy on him) said, “O children of Adam! The days are but a collection, and when one day passes, it means a part of you has also passed.” (Qeemah al-Zaman)

The life and existence that have been bestowed upon us are only given to prepare for the eternal life hereafter, so that we may make the upcoming life better and improve our deeds.

Hazrat Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “These days are the pages of your life. Bless them with good deeds.”

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه و سلم “مِنْ حُسْنِ إسْلَامِ الْمَرْءِ تَرْكُهُ مَا لَا يَعْنِيهِ”. حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ، رَوَاهُ التِّرْمِذِيُّ [رقم: 2318] ، ابن ماجه [رقم: 3976].

On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Part of the perfection of one’s Islam is his leaving that which does not concern him.” A hasan (good) hadeeth which was related by at-Tirmidhi and others in this fashion. (An-Nawawi)

These various celebrations are observed by Jews, Christians, and other nations. It is necessary for Muslims to avoid them so that they may avoid the resemblance and practices of other nations, as our beloved Prophet (ﷺ) has commanded us to refrain from imitating and resembling others.

وَعَنْهُ قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: «مَنْ تَشَبَّهَ بِقَوْمٍ فَهُوَ مِنْهُمْ» . رَوَاهُ أَحْمد وَأَبُو دَاوُد

He reported God’s messenger as saying, “He who copies any people is one of them.” Ahmad and Abu Dawud transmitted it. (Mishkat al-Masabih)

Thus, those who adopt the practices and customs of other nations become a part of them.

The question now is, what attitude should Muslims adopt on this occasion that aligns with the guidance of the Quran and Hadith?

So, Muslims should strive to do two things on this occasion, or to put it differently, understand that the New Year directs our attention towards two specific aspects:

1️⃣ Self-accountability for our past.

2️⃣ Contemplation about the future.

Self-accountability for our past👇

The New Year should prompt us to assess our lives in both religious and worldly aspects. We should scrutinize our actions, worship, transactions, what is lawful and prohibited, the rights of Allah, and the rights of fellow human beings over the past year. We need to examine where we made mistakes because humans can hide their faults and shortcomings from others’ eyes but not from their own. Hence, the hadith advises: “Take account of yourselves before you are taken to account.” (Jami` at-Tirmidhi)

Therefore, all of us should earnestly engage in self-assessment and accountability, making the most of the time we have before this opportunity fades away.

Contemplation about the future👇

Humans are prone to making mistakes, but committing a mistake is not as detrimental as failing to learn from it and continuing to repeat it. This planning should encompass both religious and worldly matters, as evident from the hadith.

The guidance of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) is to take advantage of five things before five others:

1️⃣ Youth before old age.

2️⃣ Health before illness.

3️⃣ Wealth before poverty.

4️⃣ Free time before preoccupation.

5️⃣ Life before death.

(Mishkat al-Masabih)

In summary, every new year should not be a cause for mere happiness but should make a person introspective. It should make them realize that their life is gradually diminishing, just like melting snow. What should they celebrate? Rather, it should instill a sense of urgency in them to achieve something before the sun of their life permanently sets, as time becomes scarce, and work accumulates.

For us, the new year is not a time of joy but an opportunity to value the passing moments of life, with a firm resolve and intention to use them wisely for the sake of Allah until our last breath on the path to salvation.

یکم جنوری سال نو کا جشن اور اسلامی تعلیمات Happy New Year

JazakAllahu Khairan for reading. If you have found this information beneficial, please share it with your loved ones and friends. May Allah reward you abundantly for your efforts.

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Talha Siddiq

I am an Islamic Scholar. I have expertise in Ahadith, Fiqh, Logics, and the Arabic language. I have a specialty in Islamic finance and Islamic study. To get started with me, Book Now one-to-one Session, or let us know what do you like in the contact form.

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