Without notice, we are almost at the end of this year. Many people already make a plan for this year’s turn, whether going excursion or visiting the relatives. This time, we will show you another way to celebrate a new year in Islam.
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Celebrating New Year in Islamic View
In Islam itself, there are many different opinions about the law celebrating the new year AD. Some forbid and some others allow it on condition. The one who forbid the celebration of New Year’s Eve, have a few arguments :
A. Those Who Forbid
The celebration of New Year’s Eve is essentially a religious worship ritual of nations in Europe, whether Christian or any other religion. Since the introduction of Christianity to Europe, various pagan cultures (idolatry) enter into the teaching. One of them is the celebration of New Year’s Eve.
Even become a union with a Christmas celebration that is falsely believed by the 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 haram done by Muslims.
Although there may be some who argue that the celebration of the night depends on the intention, but at least a Muslim who celebrated the coming of New Year’s Eve is like a pagan worship. And just resemble it was already haram/forbidden, as the words of the Prophet Muhammad SAW.
And it is hard to deny that most people celebrate New Year’s Eve by drinking khamar (alcohol), committing adultery, laughing and joking. Even staying up all night wasted time. Though Allah SWT has made the night for the rest, not to be literate all night, unless there is a suggestion for night prayers. So forbid New Year’s Eve celebration for Muslims is an attempt to prevent and protect Muslims from the bad influences commonly practiced by immoral experts.
B. Those Who Justified/Permitted
The justifying opinion departs 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 infidels, then the law is forbidden. But do not intend to follow the ritual of the infidels, then there is no prohibition. They took a comparison with the Muslim holiday on Christmas Day.
In fact every time there is a red date on the calendar because of Christmas, New Year, Ascencion, Easter and the other, Muslims are also joining the day off work and school. Even Islamic banks, Islamic schools, Islamic boarding schools, Religious Affairs departments and other Islamic institutions also take time off.
The reason is because in Indonesia itself, there are many religion than Islam (such as Catholic, Protestant, Buddhisme, etc). So the Government doing the same thing for another religion. But the question is : Is the Muslim’s holiday because the big days (Catholics, Protestants, Hindus, etc.) include celebrating their big day?
Some people will answer that it depends on the intention. If we intend to celebrate, then the law is forbidden. But if it is not, then the law is okay. Likewise with the follow-up celebration of New Year’s Eve, if intended to worship and follow the traditions of the pagan nation, then the law is haram. But if without such intentions, it does not matter.
As for the customs of people celebrating New Year’s Eve by drinking khamar, adultery and a series of sinners, of course the law is haram. But if that is not immoral, of course there is no prohibition. What is haram is immoral, not celebrate the new year’s eve. For example, Muslims take advantage of New Year’s Eve events to do positive things that we will explained later in the next part.
That being said, there is no practice of new year celebration in Islam. It was western tradition with fireworks and (in Indonesia) music concert by musician. Moreover, there is no hadith and verse in Qur’an that explain about this. But, as a Muslim, we can celebrate the year’s turn with Islamic ways.
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1. Reading Al-Qur’an
First, reading Al-Qur’an. With this way, it shows that we are appreciate and keep what Allah give to Prophet Muhammad saw. as the miracle for all people the world. Therefore, our good deed will be increase with reading Al-Qur’an, instead celebrate with other thing that sometimes is useless. Whether you start the reading or finished at December 31st, you decide. And it is much more better if we doing together with our family and friends.
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If the previous new year celebration we are going to music concert or anything, why do not we try to praying at night or qiyamul lail. Same as the number one, it is so much better than we doing something that give us nothing. Furthermore, if we are not a type who can not stay up at night and like to sleep, we can do this way.
Dzikr means remembering. You can celebrate the new year with remembering Allah swt. Remembering what we had done during this year. Whatever it happens, whether bad or good, keep it back to Allah swt.
If we usually spend our money to buy some ‘new year’ things such as horn that it used only for the changes of night, and then it will end as a trahs in garbage, why do not we spent our money to share with someone who need. For example, we are visiting orphanage that is not far from our house.
And we bring some gift to them, whether it is snack or new clothes (or new praying tool, such as sarong, prayer mat, cap for boys, mukena for girls, or even more better, is Al-qur’an. Insha Allah, we will get a reward from Allah swt because of what we give to them and bring a lot of benefit for them.
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5. Assembly of Knowledge
This subtitle means that we can fill the new year moment with sharing knowledge. Either with our family or friends, it is good to do. We can discuss anything about Islam based on Al-Qur’an and Hadith, so we will get more knowledge, information about Islam, and maybe we will get the answer about the question that never solved.
During this year, we obviously make a mistake. And before the turn of the year, we can doing self-introspection and remember what we had done, so it will be our lesson for the next year.
In other words, we can call it Muhasabah. Muhasabah, or Evaluation, is something that is necessary and makes it a necessity in every human being, in Islam, muhasabah is highly recommended because if muhasabah can be run well will give many good benefits that will be obtained in the world and in the hereafter. This is described in Al-Hasyr verse 18 :
“O you who have believed, fear to Allah. And let every soul look for what it has put forth for tomorrow – and fear to God. Indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do.”
As an addition, hadith from Tirmidzi explain more of that :
“From Shadad ibn Aus r.a, from Rasulullah SAW, that he said,” The clever person is the one who evaluates himself and works for life after death. The weak man is the one who follows his own lust and dreams of Allah SWT”.
Self-Evaluation/Instrospection/Muhasabah is not only doing at the end of the year. In every time and every second, we will not wasted the time God has given in our life. And in the rest of our age we will doing the best for time to do good in order to achieve the pleasure of Allah SWT.
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7. Recite the Dua
This is a part of praying like point number 2. Specifically, we are praying to God for the better year to us. We hope Allah always give us His bless and sustenance, and keep us in His path. Also, we are able through the test in our life.
8. Clean Up the Environment
Many people said that new year means a new things in many aspect. We can do this for our environment, with clean up and decorate our neighborhood, so it will look neat and beautiful. Therefore, it will emerge a positive vibes and boost our spirit for our activity.
9. Make a Plan
New year means new resolution. It is a common things that we always do, such as weight loss, marriage, etc. But the question is : why we have to push Allah swt to follow our will if He knows what it best for His ummah?. If you want to make some plan, make sure that can be achieved and true-to-life.
Also, we are not forget to pray, so Allah will fulfill what we want. If you are insisted to make a plan or resolution, here is the example : plan to finished reading Qur’an more than once, or improve your praying (including doing Sunnah prayer and/or doing more charity or donation).
That was the best way to celebrate a new year. As a Muslim, we ar also remind that we have an Islamic New Year. It start from Muharram and finished in Dhu-al-Hijjah (Dzulhijjah). It is shorter than year AD or Gregorian calendar. But the point is, every year or everyday is a new chapter in our life. It depends on us whether we want to be good or not. We sincerely hope you enjoy to read the article and absorp much of the benefit and the information in it.