CAN WE CELEBRATE OUR ISLAMIC NEW YEAR?
Sheikh Faarooq Ibn Ismaa'eel Al-egbaawi wrote a good article about this topic as follows;
All praise is to ALLAH. Peace and Blessings upon Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wasallam.
We have indeed found some of our brethren over time calling to hijrah celebration and attaching it to the religion.
1) Some of them claim that the religion does not need to be taken with rigidity. This is because if the Non-Muslims can be celebrating new year, Easter, Christmas and so on, which the religion forbids us from partaking in, then there is nothing wrong if the hijrah new year can be taken as a form of celebration to draw Muslims attention away from the celebrations of the Non-Muslims.
There is no rigidity in Islaam. Attributing rigidity to Islaam is only an action from ignorance and self desires. There are only two forms of celebration legislated in Islaam which the Muslims must be contented with: Eidul Adhaa and Eidul fitr.
More so, the Prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon him) has warned us as established in authentic narrations reported by the Ashaabu Ssunan that: Indeed you (Muslims) will follow the sunnah (ways) of those before you; hands span by hands span, arms length by arms length; such that if they enter into a lizard hole, you will enter with them. They said: The Jews and Christians? He (Peace and Blessings upon him) responded: Who else!
From the above hadeeth, it is clear that the Muslims have been prohibited from following the disbelieving people in what they do. Why can't Muslims understand that We are upon the truth and the disbelievers should imitate us and not us imitating them.
2) Some of them claim that there is nothing wrong in gathering ourselves to thank ALLAH for witnessing a new year, thereby seeking from ALLAH more years to come as established in his statement that: "And if you are grateful We will surely add more for you"
It is unanimously agreed with the Scholars of Islaam that celebration in the religion is At-tawqeefiyyah (based on Allaah's legislation and as explained by His Messenger through his sunnah). So, in which verse can we find the commandment of gathering ourselves to celebrate hijrah new year and from which hadeeth can We find the modulation of this celebration? Unlike eidul adhaa and fitr that have their modulations established in the two mentioned sources. The companions who witnessed the beginning of the counting of the hijrah never celebrated a new year; perhaps the Muslims who celebrate the hijrah new year are better than the companions in hastening towards good and more knowledgeable than them!!!
3) Some others claim that Umar Bn khattaab (May Allaah be pleased with him) started the count of the hijrah year which is a good innovation. So, celebrating what a companion already started is not an innovation.
Yes! Of course Umar Bn Khattaab, Ameerul Mu'mineen introduced the counting But his action was not an innovation let alone calling it a good innovation. We should note that there is no space for innovation in the religion because the religion has been perfected by Allaah and the Messenger has completed his explanations of the religious duties.
More so, it is just as the statement of some people regarding the compilation of the Qur'aanic verses into a book. This is never an innovation because the evidence is the statement of Allaah (interpretation of meaning) in suuratul baqarah: "That is the book that has no doubt in it, a guidance for the pious"
So, Allaah already called it a book Himself, Azza wajal. Therefore, from the reasons why Umar's action is not from innovation are:
1) The Messenger of ALlaah (Peace and Blessings be upon him) has admonished the Muslims greatly upon holding on to his sunnah and the sunnah of the Four rightly guided caliphs after him. Therefore, if Umar Bn Khattaab is rightly guided by Allaah, then his action will never be regarded as an innovation.
2) The companions have a consensus over the action of Umar just as related from AbduLlaah Bn Mas'ood by Imaam Ahmad that: Whatsoever the Muslims (the Companions) see as good is indeed good with Allaah.
We admonish ourselves with holding on to the Qur'aan and Sunnah upon the understanding of the pious predecessors; and abandoning desires. "May ALLAH accept it from us all and grant us Jannat by HIS Rahmah. Aameen.