Wednesday, 3 January 2007

Why We Should Not Celebrate Valentines, Mother's Day Etc.

Muslims are advised to distinguish themselves in their external appearance by adopting Islamic ways and methods in ALL their affairs, whether worldly or Deeni related. By this, it is meant that Muslims are recognised and identified by a single religious culture or code, which is purely Islamic. Islam prohibits adoption of the ways and appearance of other beliefs, cultures, customs and nations. Therefore it is very essential that Muslims guard themselves against assimilation into other non-Muslim cultures. The external appearances of Muslims may be classified under the following points:

Acts that eliminate a Muslim's identity which are obviously Haraam even if they are not the special characteristic of other communities such as wearing shorts (thus exposing the satr / aurah), etc. are forbidden.

Acts that are prohibited to imitate because it is alien to a nation or community. For example, to eat sitting at tables with knives in the right hand and forks in the left hand, and making this a practice. This manner of eating is contrary to the Sunnah.

Similarly, ways adopted from the non-Muslims that are of religious significance like wearing the cross, celebrating Christmas, etc. would amount to Kufr.

Acts that are not exclusive to any particular community. The adoption of such acts will be permissible, like dressing as long as the satr / aurah is covered. However, this does not apply to specific religious dresses / dresscodes - which are haraam.

Acts that have neither religious nor cultural significance. Such things are of real value and benefit even if they are inventions of the non-Muslims; there is nothing wrong in adopting them. For example, transport, technology, communications, weapons and other things of benefit. However, if Muslims have their own equivalent, then they should make use of their own products and not give preference to the products of the non-Muslims.

Islam also prohibits Muslims to imitate "Muslims" (Faasiqs and Faajirs) who openly and shamelessly flout the Laws of Allah like shaving the beard (for men).

Undermentioned are a few verses of the Holy Qur'an and Ahadith pertaining to the subject matter:

"Do not incline to the transgressors for then the Fire will touch you." (Surah Hud: Ayat 113)

The above ayat sufficiently warns Muslims not to adopt or imitate the culture and customs of the non-Muslims.

Shaytaan said:

"...I will teach them to ruin the appearance made by Allah..."(Surah An-Nisaa: Ayat 119)

Appearance by virtue of customs is subjected to change with the times and attitudes of people, but this is not so in the Shariah. Shaytaan will always be on the 'backs' of people to renovate their thinking to 'live with the times'.

Abdullah ibn Umar RA reports that Rasulullah SAW said:

"Whoever imitates a nation (in its ways and culture) becomes one of them." (Abu Dawud)

Thus we understand here that even by adopting the appearance of the non-Muslims, that in itself is association with them and is therefore sinful.

Abu Raihaanah RA narrates that once Rasulullah SAW prohibited ten things. Among these ten things prohibited was to line garments with silk in the style of the non-Muslims (of that time).(Abu Dawud, Nasa'i)

Hajjaj bin Hassaan RA narrates:

"We went to meet Anas (RA) (a prominent Sahaabi; on this occasion Hajjaj was a little boy). My sister Mugheera told me that at that time I was a little kid and I had two plaits on my head. Anas (RA) rubbed his hand over my head, made Du'a for barakat and said: 'Cut off these plaits because this is the style of the Jews.'" (Abu Dawud)

Aamir Bin Sa'd RA narrating from his father says that Rasulullah said:

"Maintain clean the area in front of your houses and do not imitate the Jews."(Tirmidhi)

Saiyidina Ali RA narrates that once Rasulullah SAW had an Arabian crossbow in his hand. On this occasion Rasulullah SAW saw a crossbow of Persian origin in the hands of a Muslim. Rasulullah SAW commented:

"Throw it (the Persian bow) away and take one like this (Arabian bow)..."(Ibn Majah)

Huzaifah RA narrates that Rasulullah SAW said:

"Recite the Qur'an in Arabic style and tone (i.e. correct and with simplicity) and refrain from the style and tone of the People of the Book (Jews and Christians)" (Baihaqi)

Rasulullah SAW went to great lengths disapproving the imitation of non-Muslims even in the recitation of the Noble Qur'an as mentioned in the last Hadith (above). Hence nations that do not follow the Shari'ah should not be imitated. Therefore any act, be it the celebration of a particular community that may or may not necessarily be religious, but merely associated to their "way of rejoicing" falls under the same banner - imitating the non-Muslims. The question of Mother's Day, Father's Day, Valentine's Day, etc. may be categorised under one of the classifications mentioned earlier in discussions.

When Taqwa is used, everything will be easy.

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