The pagans of the Pre-Islamic Period of Ignorance used to shift the sacredness of one month to another, and sometimes they regarded the year as consisting of 13 or even 14 months. When Islam came, it cancelled that practice and fixed the number of months and specified which months were sacred. The Islamic year starts on the first of Muharam, the first Month of Islamic Calendar. It consists of 12 months. Allah (SWT) stated this in His Book:
“Indeed, the number of months with Allah is twelve [lunar] months in the register of Allah [from] the day He created the heavens and the earth; of these, four are sacred. That is the correct religion, so do not wrong yourselves during them.” (At-Taubah 9:36).
The Prophet (PBUH) said:
“Time has come back to its original state which it had when Allah created the heavens and the earth, the year is of twelve months, of which four are sacred; (and out of these four) three are in succession, namely, Dhul-Qada, Dhul-Hijjah and Muharam, and (the forth one) Rajab Mudar which is between Jumad (At-Thani) and Shaban.” (Al-Bukhari 7447).
Umar bin Al-Khattab (RA) was the first person who established the Islamic Date, when he felt its requirement. He initiated it from the migration of the Prophet (PBUH) and it is one of his great work, which marked the formation of the first Muslim within an independent Islamic territory under the rule of Muslims and recorded in the history of Islam.
As regards the festivals of non-Muslim, they create many confusions, combine physical hopes and lusts and falsehood. They have no religious advantages and there is nothing in them to be mentioned here as a religion. And the joys, in which the people are involved and indulged only finish in pain and vain. Therefore, these festivals are falsehood, attending them is unlawful and witnessing them is also forbidden in our perfect religion. Allah (SWT) stated in His Book that His true and faithful slaves never witness falsehood. He says:
“And those who do not witness falsehood,” (Al-Furqan 25:72).
This Verse itself clearly praises those who do not witness these kinds of false festivals and instructs them to exhort others to refrain from such false gatherings and fairs. We realize from this verse that celebrating, attending and witnessing non-Muslim festivals is unlawful because they are called falsehood by Allah (SWT).
It is an innovation in the religion:
Celebrating Islamic New Year is also similar to non-Muslim festivals, which is based on falsehood and an innovation in the religion. Every act of worship that does not have a basis in the religion and has no proof to support it, basically in the Quran and Sunnah, is in fact an act invented by the wicked and a part of the ‘other paths and religions’ that deviate away from Allah’s Straight Path. The Prophet (PBUH) said:
“Whoever invents in our matter (religion) what is not a part of it, then it (the innovation) is rejected.” (Muslim 1718).
And he (PBUH) said:
“Whoever does something that is not in accordance with this matter (religion) of ours will have it rejected.” (Muslim 1718).
There are many vice consequence for such invented festivals, they replace the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) until the true and perfect religion of Allah fades away completely, the devil makes such falsehood seem appealing in our eyes and hearts in order to spoil the correct religion.
It is the imitation of non-Muslims:
Islam has prohibited us from imitating disbelieving religions in anything, whether it be a typical part of their festivals, fairs, foods, dress or the acts of their worship. The Prophet (PBUH) said:
“Whoever imitates a people, he is one of them.” (Abu Dawud 4031).
The Companions of the Prophet (PBUH) and the best generations of Islam did not celebrate these occasions, even though they knew about them. Rather, less righteous generations celebrated such events as an act of imitating the Jews and Christians in contradiction to the Prophet’s guidance. This is exactly what Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) foretold would happen, when he said:
“You will follow the ways of those nations who were before you, span by span and cubit by cubit (i. e., inch by inch) so much so that even if they entered a hole of a mastigure, you would follow them.” We said, “O Allah’s Messenger! (Do you mean) the Jews and the Christians?” He said, “Whom else?” (Al-Bukhari 7320).
Entering in the hole of a mastigure is in fact, a foolish action, but Muslims in the love of imitating Jews and Christians do not think whether what they are doing or thinking is correct or not; without using their minds they will follow their footsteps.
Similarly, imitating the non-Muslim means; having parties on such occasions, exchanging gifts, giving out sweets food and taking time off work. Imitating them in some of their festivals implies that one is pleased with their false beliefs and practices, and gives them the hope that they may have the opportunity to humiliate and mislead the weak.
The role of media in spreading such festivals:
There is no doubt that various media outlets, such as radio, TV, the newspapers, and so forth, paly a major and primary role in spreading such types of false festivals and transmitting them to all parts of the world. Those who read, hear of or watch such false and evil broadcasting think that these festivals are a part of Islam. Moreover, we should not forget the basic role that the wicked scholars play in inventing and urging the people to take part in such festivals.
Celebrations in Islam:
The Divine Religion of Islam has only two religious celebrations, which are celebrated in a unique and happy manner throughout the world. They called Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha, it is narrated that:
“When the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) came to Al-Madinah, its (inhabitants) had two days they would play in (and be merry on). He asked them: ‘What are these two days?’ They replied: ‘We used to play on these days during Jahiliyyah.’ So the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) replied: ‘Indeed, Allah has replaced you with two days that are better than them: The Day of Al-Adha, and the Day of Al-Fitr.’”(Abu Dawud1134).
Islam is not just a religion of prohibitions as non-Muslims think; rather it is the religion of moderation, of tolerance, of beauty and sharing joys and happiness on such great occasions. We must be proud of our own religion and it rulings.
What a Muslim should do on the starting the New Year:
The New Year reminds us to make specific intentions regarding; the amount of money one donates to charity, the amount of time one spends volunteering, the amount of time one wastes on idle pursuits (such as the internet, chatting, DVD’s and the like), memorizing verses of Quran or Prophetic traditions, making particular time to spend with family, assisting parents, speaking good and kind to siblings, furthering Islamic knowledge, serving those less fortunate and thanking Allah for the all blessing and bounties for which He has bestowed upon us. In addition, it helps to write down intentions and to regularly review those intentions in order to fulfill those commitments to yourself.