This is the Law of Celebrating the New Year for Muslims, Remember This


The following is explained by Ustadz Ahmad Sarwat when answering various questions regarding the law of celebrating the new year of Christ and filling it with various Islamic activities.


There are many different opinions about the law of celebrating the new year of Christ. Some forbid it and some allow it with conditions.


1. Forbidden Opinions




Those who banned the celebration of New Year’s Eve, argued with several arguments.




a. New Year's Eve Celebration Is Pagan Worship


That the celebration of New Year's Eve is essentially a ritual of worship of the religious adherents of the nations in Europe, whether Christian or other religions.


Since the entry of Christianity into Europe, various pagan cultures (idols) have entered the teaching. One of them is New Year's Eve celebration. It even became one with the celebration of Christmas which was mistakenly believed by Europeans as the birthday of the prophet Isa.


As a result, the celebration of New Year's Eve is a celebration of the pagan religion. So the law is forbidden by Muslims.


b. New Year's Eve Celebrations Resemble Pagans




Although some may argue that the celebration of New Year's Eve depends on the intention, at least a Muslim who celebrates the arrival of the New Year's Eve has resembled the worship of the infidels. And even just resembling that is already unlawful, as the Prophet SAW said: "Whoever imitates the work of a people (certain religion), then he is one of them."


c. New Year's Eve Celebrations Full of Wickedness


It is hard to deny that most people celebrate New Year's Eve by drinking alcohol, committing adultery, laughing and having fun. Even staying up all night wasted time. Even though Allah SWT has made the night to rest, not to stay awake all night, unless there is a recommendation for night prayer.


Therefore, banning the celebration of New Year's Eve for Muslims is an effort to prevent and protect Muslims from the bad influences that are commonly practiced by immoral people.




d. New Year's Eve Celebration Is Heresy




The Islamic law brought by Rasulullah SAW is a complete and complete law. There is nothing left.


While the phenomenon of some Muslims who celebrate New Year's Eve in mosques by performing congregational night prayers, for no other reason except because of the arrival of New Year's Eve, is an act of heresy that was never done by the Prophet SAW, the Companions and Salafus shalih.


So the law is bid'ah if specifically for the New Year's Eve event certain rituals are held, such as qiyamullail, prayer together, istighatsah, night meditation, nature meditation, or other mahdhah worship. Because there is no syar'i basis.
2. Legitimate Opinions


The opinion that justifies starts from the argument that the celebration of New Year's Eve is not always related to certain religious rituals. It all depends on the intention. If it is intended to worship or follow the unbelievers, then the law is forbidden. But it is not intended to follow the rituals of infidels, then there is no prohibition.


They take the comparison with the Muslim holiday on Christmas Day. In fact, every time there is a red date on the calendar because of Christmas, the new year, the ascension of Jesus, Easter and the like, Muslims also take holidays from work and school. Even Islamic banks, Islamic schools, Islamic boarding schools, the Ministry of Religion of the Republic of Indonesia and other Islamic institutions are also on holiday. Are Muslim holidays due to Christian holidays including celebrating their big day?


Generally we will answer that it depends on the intention. If we intend to celebrate, then the law is haram. But if you don't intend to celebrate, then the law is okay.


Likewise, joining the celebration of New Year's Eve, if it is intended to worship and join in the traditions of the pagan nation, then the law is haram. But if there is no such intention, there is nothing wrong with the law.


As for the habit of people celebrating New Year's Eve by drinking alcohol, adultery and a series of vices, of course the law is forbidden. But if what is done is not immoral, of course the prohibition does not exist. What is forbidden is his immorality, not celebrating his new year's eve.


For example, Muslims take advantage of the New Year's Eve event to do positive things, such as feeding the poor, supporting orphanages, cleaning the environment and so on.


Thus a brief summary of the different views of various groups regarding the law of Muslims celebrating New Year's Eve.
There are only two Muslim holidays


In Islam, the name of the feast is only two, namely the day of 'Idul Fithr and' Idul Adha. The rest, there is no pensyariatannya, so as a Muslim, there is no interest whatsoever to celebrate the coming of the new year.


But when it comes to answering, whether participating in the celebration will be a sin, of course the answers will vary. What is clear is that it is forbidden to participate in certain religious celebrations. The law has been agreed to be haram. That is, a Muslim is forbidden to follow religious rituals other than Islam, including participating in celebrating that day.


So all forms of Christmas together, or any other religious rituals, are forbidden by Muslims. And the prohibition is absolute, not just making it up.


The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) on March 7, 1981/1 Jumadil Awwal 1401 H issued a fatwa on the prohibition of Christmas together which was signed by its chairman KH M. Syukri Ghazali. One of the quotes is:
Even though the Christmas celebration in Indonesia is aimed at celebrating and honoring Prophet Isa AS, Christmas cannot be separated from the questions described above.
It is haram for Muslims to participate in the Christmas ceremony together.
So that Muslims do not fall into doubt and Allah's prohibition is recommended not to participate in Christmas activities.




But what about celebrations that are not related to religious elements, but rather?

only related to the customs of a society or a nation?


Some people still insist on associating the celebration of the coming of the new year with the activities of non-Muslim nations. And although not directly related to religious ritual issues, it is still considered illegal. The reason is that the act is tasyabbuh (resembling) the infidels, although not related to religious rituals. They put forward the argument that the Prophet SAW forbade tasyabbuh bil kuffar


From Ibn Umar ra. said that Rasulullah SAW said, "Whoever imitates a people, then he is among them. (Narrated by Abu Dawud)


From Abdullah bin Amr said that those who founded Nairuz and Mahrajah on the land of the polytheists and imitated them until they died, then on the Day of Resurrection will be raised with them.


Tasyabbuh here is absolute, whether related to matters of a religious ritual nature or unrelated.


However, some circles expressly set limits, namely only things that are related to religion which are forbidden for us to imitate. Meanwhile, on other matters that are not related to religious rituals, there is no prohibition. For example, in celebrating the new year, according to them, people generally do not associate the celebration of the new year with religious rituals. In various parts of the world, people do it even accompanied by parties and others. But not in houses of worship, nor is it a religious celebration.


Thus, basically it is not wrong if the nation celebrates it, even though they embrace Islam.


However, apart from these two poles of difference of opinion, at least for us Muslims who are not Westerners, we need to evaluate and reflect on the celebration of New Year's Eve.




First, however, the celebration of New Year's Eve has no guidance from the Prophet SAW. Even if it is done, there is no reward, even some scholars say it is heresy and imitation of infidels.


Second, there is no moral or material advantage to doing the celebration. Generally just talkative and bandwagon, especially for us eastern people who are experiencing the degradation of the influence of western lifestyles. In fact, often it's just a party that wastes money for nothing


Third, if this celebration is always carried out it will become a separate tradition, it is feared that one day it will be considered as an obligation, even become a religious ritual. Even though the celebration is only an imported culture that is not native to our nation's culture.


Fourth, because of all the considerations above, it's best if as Muslims we don't need to make a tradition of any event, even if it's tahajjud or mabit or the like in bulk. If you want to have a coaching night or anything else, it's best to avoid doing it on New Year's Eve, so it doesn't seem like it's part of the celebration. Although it's not necessarily illegal.
Middle Way of Dissent


Scholars with various backgrounds in life, of course, have good intentions, namely as much as possible to be careful in issuing fatwas, so that people do not fall into the abyss of evil.


One form of polemic about the issue of celebration is the stipulation of holidays or red dates on holidays of other religions. The debate is whether if we close school or office activities on December 25th, are we considered to have participated in the celebration?


Some are of the opinion that just having a holiday can't be considered as part of the celebration. After all, the government does take a day off, so let's go on holiday. But the intention in my heart is not at all to celebrate.


However, others objected that on December 25, Muslims took part in the holiday, whether they liked it or not, it was the same as celebrating other religious holidays. So some madrasas and pesantren decided that on that date there was no holiday. Lessons continue as usual.


Likewise, when January 1 was designated by the Government as a national holiday, there were also differences of opinion. Can Muslims join the holidays in the new year? Does taking a holiday mean participating in celebrating other religious holidays?


Then another alternative emerged, instead of having holidays filled with rah-rah events, why not just fill them with useful religious activities, such as doing recitations, dhikr or even qiyamullail. Think of it as taking advantage of opportunities in adversity.


And the result can be predicted with certainty, namely that there will be people who flatly reject his abilities. They say that the recitation, dhikr or qiyamullaih on New Year's Eve is an invented heresy, there is no example from the sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad.


Worse, there are those who are even more extreme to say that on New Year's Eve we hold recitations, dhikr, or qiyamullail, not just heresy but have gone astray and go to hell. Wah


So all of that later will return to our paradigm in view, will we become very mutasyaddid, mutadhayyiq, strict and overly vigilant people? Or will we be impossible, muwassi', loose and less fussy?


These two streams will continue to exist throughout the ages, as in the past in the time of the Companions we also knew these two characters. The mutasyaddid is represented by Ibn Umar radhiyallahu 'anhu and some other companions, while the muwassa' is represented by Ibn Abbas radhiyallahu 'anhu and others.


God willing, there is a middle way that we can consider. For example, if basically there is no culture or custom for the new year with activities such as recitation and the like, it is better not to have initiated it from the beginning. Let's not become a new heresy.


However, if we are in a society whose price is fixed to celebrate the new year, whether we like it or not, there must still be activities, maybe it will be another story. Our task at that time might be a bit of diplomacy. For example, there is nothing wrong if we propose that the program be made in a positive way, such as recitation.


Instead of performing dangdutan activities, staying up all night or performing music concerts, it would be better if it was held in the form of a recitation. Think of it as a process towards a better understanding of Islam later, but slowly.


If we can't get rid of a culture that has already taken root in one fell swoop, then at least the direction is justified slowly. That's roughly the basic idea.


But what we call this middle ground does not mean a fixed price. This is just a view, which may or may not be true. It's just an opinion. Still leaving room for different opinions. And maybe one day we will re-correct.( sbr )

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