Festivals and Celebrations- In the Light of Islaam

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Festivals and celebrations according to Qur'aan n Sunnah

Transcript of Festivals and Celebrations- In the Light of Islaam

  • 11/4/2013

    Compiled by | Imtiaz Ahmed



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    Festivals- an Islamic Perspective

    Definition According to English dictionary, festival means, A day or period of time set aside for feasting

    and celebration

    In Arabic, id (or festival) is a day on which people gather (to celebrate). Its plural is ayaad.

    Opinon 1: According to some opinions, it derives from aada, which means returned, because

    people return to it periodically.

    Opinon 2: According to other opinions, it derives from aadah, which means custom or

    habit, because its celebration is a custom or habit among the people.

    Obviously, these two meanings are related.

    Ibnul Araabee said: It is called Eid because it returns every year with renewed happiness.

    [See Lisaan ul-Arab under the root-word Awd.]

    Thus, it is customary for people to celebrate festivals with joy and jubiliation. For Muslims, Eids

    are recurring days designated by Allaah. During them, Allaah renews His favours and

    distributes His blessings to His worshippers.

    Festivals, as well as the manner of celebrating them, are distinctive features for nations and


    34. and for Every nation we have appointed religious ceremonies, that they may mention the

    Name of Allh over the beast of cattle that He has given them for food. and Your Ilh (God) is

    one Ilh (God Allh), so You must submit to Him alone (in Islm). and (O Muhammad ) give

    glad tidings to the Mukhbitin [those who obey Allh with humility and are humble from

    among the true believers of Islmic Monotheism],

    Al-Quraan 22:34

    Ibn Abbas said that a mansak in this ayah means a Eid as narrated in Tafseer Ibn Kathir. This is

    because the rites of sacrifice have always been associated with festivals in human cultures. This

    ayah indicates that Allaah is the one who assigned the festivals of various nations- which they

    later changed after the corruption of their religions.

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    The Two Eids are from Allaah The Islamic festivals are part of Allaahs complete guidance.

    Anas (r.a) reported that when the Prophet ()migrated to al-Madinah, he found that its people

    played on two days [According to some scholars, these were two old Persian holidays: Nayrooz

    and Mihrajaan]. He() asked, What are these two days? They told him that they were festivals

    that they celebrated during Jaahiliyyah. So he told them:

    Indeed Allaah has substituted them for you with two better days: the Day of Adhaa

    (sacrifice) and the Day of Fitr (breaking the fast). [Saheeh, Abu Dawood, an-NasaaI, and

    others. Verified to be authentic by al-Albani (Sahih-ul Jaami nos 4381, 4460)]


    The major rites of hajj are completed with the final tawaaf. Eid ul Adhaa marks this, and is

    highlighted by offering sacrifices and sharing meat with the relatives and the needy.


    Eid ul Fitr on the other hand, marks the completion of the fast of Ramadhaan and is highlighted by

    giving charity food to the needy.

    These two days are legislated by Allaah and are His choice for the believers. During them Allaah

    forgives those who performed hajj and who fasted, and sheds His mercy on the believers at large.

    Therefore, they are far better than any other festivals devised by people.

    The Islamic Concept of Celebrating Islaam teaches us how to celebrate the Eids. On these days, Muslims would take a bath and wear

    their best clothes. Fasting not permitted on the Eid days . Yet, the major part of the celebration is

    not eating or drinking rather, it is the prayer that brings the Muslims together to remember

    Allaahs favors and celebrate His glory and greatness.

    The Eids and their celebration in Islaam carry a distinctive meaning and spirit. They are very

    different from the celebrations in other nations and cultures.

    For other nations, a holiday is a chance to immense in worldly pleasures and indulge in

    prohibited acts, such as excessive alcohol drinking and fornication. To the contrary, a Muslim

    views the Eid as an occasion for increasing in good deeds. To him, each eid marks the conclusion

    of a major act of worship, and reflects his determination to continue in obedience and submission

    to Allaah.

    During times of joy and happiness, a Muslim does not forget his Lords might and watchfulness.

    Rather, his actions continue to be controlled by this remembrance and awareness.

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    Therefore, the Eid is not an occasion to take vacation from the Islamic responsibilities and

    commitments, nor to waste time and money in extravagance. It is not fun for the sake of fun.

    Rather, it is controlled and directed rejoicing that is of ultimate and definite benefit.

    Caveat 1. The general principle in Islaam regarding the things of this world is that everything is

    halal unless proven haraam. Regarding acts of worship, it is the opposite; everything is

    bidah and haraam unless proven to be permissible.

    Based on this principle, one must bear in mind that a form of celebration/entertainment

    can be declared prohibited only if there is substantial evidence from Quraan and Sunnah.

    There are many proofs from which this principle has been deduced, including the

    following explicit hadeeth: The Prophet () said: The lawful is that which Allaah has

    made lawful for you, and the prohibited is that which is prohibited in His Book; that

    concerning which He is silent, He has permitted as a mercy to you. [Saheeh al-

    Bukhaaree, Ibn Majah and at-Tirmidhi]

    2. Anything that distracts a person from his or herreligious duties is haraam. Using this

    principle, playing soccer is considered halal, but if it leads a person to miss the prayers,

    dress in an unsuitable manner or use of offensive language, it becomes haraam for that


    The mutual rivalry for piling up of worldly things diverts you, until You visit the

    graves (i.e. till You die).

    Al-Quraan 102:1-2

    Ibn Qayyim points out that Allaah uses the word divert and not busy because it is

    possible for a person to be busy with the world but still remember Allaah. however,

    when the permissible things of this world become a distraction from Allaah, they

    become Haraam, and this verse applies to such situation. [al-Fawaaid (Egypt: Umm al-

    Qura Al-Mansura, 2004)]

    Islamic view on Entertainment The Islamic concept of entertainment is that it is natural human desire which can be fulfilled

    within the boundaries of Allaah, but it is not the sole goal or purpose of a Muslim in and of itself.

    A few differences between our understanding of entertainment and that of the West:

    Firstly, for Muslims, entertainment is not a goal in itself; it is a blessing from Allaah to be


    Secondly, entertainment in Islaam has limits set by Allaah, which must be firmly adhered to.

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    These factors distinguish between practicing Muslim and the average Westerner. Both entertain

    themselves, yet a Muslim earns numerous rewards for obeying Allaah, while a westerner incurs

    the wrath of Allaah by forgetting Him and crossing the limits of permissible entertainment. The

    difference is vast because it involves the purpose of existence itself.

    Some general proofs for the permissibility of entertaining oneself and enjoying all that is


    1. There is a principle in Islaam that states that following the religion is easy. Scholars of

    Islaam have agreed that the general principle is that everything is permissible unless

    proven otherwise. Hence, the burden of proof actually falls on those who say

    entertainment is prohibited. The following verses prove this principle:

    Allh intends for You ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you..

    Al-Quraan 2:185

    has not placed upon you in the religion any difficulty

    Al-Quraan 22:78

    The following hadeeth also proves this principle:

    The Prophet () said: Religion is very easy, and whoever overburdens himself in his religion

    will not be able to continue in that way. So you should not be extremists, but aim to be near

    perfection and receive the good things that you will be rewarded; and gain strength by

    worshipping in the mornings and the nights. [Saheeh al-Bukhaaree]

    In fact, Imaam Bukhaaree named a chapter in his Saheeh al-Bukhaaree, The chapter of the

    religion being easy. It contains more evidence to prove this point.

    2. Islaam condemns those who prohibit the good things of this world without any proof.

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    32. Say (O Muhammad ): "Who has forbidden the adoration with clothes given by Allh,

    which He has produced for his slaves, and At-Taiyibt [all kinds of Hall (lawful) things] of

    food?" say: "They are, In the life of This world, for those who believe, (and) exclusively for

    them (believers) on the Day of Resurrection (the disbelievers will not share them)." Thus we

    explain the Ayt (Islmic laws) In detail for people who have knowledge.

    33. Say (O Muhammad ): "(But) the things that My Lord has indeed forbidden are Al-Fawhish

    (great evil sins, Every kind of unlawful sexual intercourse, etc.) whether committed openly or

    secretly, sins (of All kinds), unrighteous oppression, joining partners (in worship) with Allh

    for which He has given no authority, and saying things about Allh of which You have no