"The Festive Season" : As Muslims How Should We Approach It?
By Sister S Bemath
As the "festive season" (Christmas/New Year) approaches many people are preparing to celebrate. This preparation often includes many practices that are unacceptable such as alcohol, illicit drugs, music, dancing, partying till midnight,fireworks,free intermingling of sexes, adultery and other acts of disobedience. We as Muslims need to ask ourselves a very fundamental question, should we be involved in this celebration at all? The answer to the question is a very definite NO.
Temptations will always be there. If there was no temptation, then there would have been no such thing as Taqwah. The demand is to resist, to stay away, to abstain. Not to commit sins is so much easier than 'committing' sins and besides engaging in evil causes harm to our Deen and Aahkirah. As Muslims we have an in-built moral compass. The Messenger of Allah(pbuh) alluding to this states, "Sin is that which troubles your conscience and that which you dislike coming to public notice." (Hadith-Sahih Muslim)
A pious scholar as aptly said: "...For temptation will lead you into trouble and make you cry."
Indeed, this is exactly what happens when one gives into the temptation to engage in any Haraam (act of disobedience) and you will feel there is a distance between yourself and the Almighty ALLAH, know that HE hasn't moved an inch, you have! Many Muslims have been led astray by the dazzling attractions, never to return there from…Many loose their identity during this "festive period" and sometimes even their Imaan and suffer the loss of their Aakhirah(Hereafter). Therefore, don't let the chains of desire bind you to Dunya, whilst restraining your soul from pursuing Jannah.
Distance oneself from the dens of sins and endeavour to participate in good, Deeni programmes and associating with the pious. Deen and Shari'ah do not stifle us, do not deprive us of pleasure and enjoyment, do not deny us happiness and celebration. Our beautiful Deen and Shari'ah accommodate leisure and pleasure. Islam is indeed Most Beautiful. Islam is not 'dry' and "kill joy". It is "cool" and enjoyable. Our beloved ALLAH TA'ALA has only placed certain boundaries through HIS Divine prohibitions for our own benefit, safety and well-being.
"Beware of every hour and how it passes, and only spend it in the best possible way, do not neglect yourself, but render it accustomed to the noblest and best of actions, and send to your grave that which will please you when you arrive to it." (Imam Ibn Al-Jawzi)
This holiday period is a time of great test and trial. Don't let Salaah become a forgotten duty and discard Islamic dress and identity so that there is freedom to engage in these haraam celebrations. Those who celebrate this day will surely endure ALLAH'S anger. What would be the condition of that person whose soul is extracted engaged in evil and who comes face to face with the Angel of Death whilst engaged in drink, dance, raves adultery or fornication?
Evil and shamelessness is a sin and a characteristic of evil people. The Messenger of Allah(peace be upon him) tells us that "modesty comes from Eeman (faith)." (Hadith-Sahih Bukhari) Therefore, a dearth of modesty is a reflection of a scarcity of Eeman.
Which Muslim wants to return to ALLAH TA'ALA in a state of sin? Such matters should not be taken lightly. Pray to ALLAH to adorn our soul with the veil of Hayaa as a protection from lures of fitnah(evil), and ask HIM to make what time we all have left profitable for the life after death and let's us live as good Muslims gaining success in this life and the next. Let's live our life according to the Sunnah (practices) of our beloved Messenger (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) so that ALLAH TA'ALA will look on us favourably. Most importantly…
►Let us not forget that we are Muslims.
►Let us not forget our relationship with ALLAH TA'ALA.
►Let us not forget that death can visit very unexpectedly.
►Let us not forget that there is accountability.
►let us not forget Jannah(Paradise).
►Let us not forget Jahannum(Hell)
The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said, "The world is a prison for the believer and a paradise for the unbeliever."(Hadith-Sahih Muslim). What will be 'good' for the disbelievers will not always be good for the Believers. If they find enjoyment in Haraam(evil), the Muslim will find HARM in that same Haraam. We must seek refuge in ALLAH from the Evils of this festive season. Death seeks us all. Prioritize your Deen. If we adopt Taqwah, we restrain and abstain from disobedience to ALLAH TA'ALA, then when we leave this world, we leave behind a prison, we leave free. When the disbeliever leaves this world, he leaves behind his paradise. When he leaves this world, he enters a prison; wherein there is no escape.
The SIGNS OF THE LAST DAYS ARE APPARENT and we are closer to them than we think! We do not know what the next day will bring, will the next day be our last or will it bring happiness, only ALLAH knows best. With no guarantee we should realize that our lives are in the hands of ALLAH TA'ALA and we should do only what HE has prescribed for us, and that is to WORSHIP HIM.
Imam Sha'afi (Rahmatullahi Alaih) summed up this life very simply and aptly:
"This worldly life is a just a moment; let it be a moment of obedience."
May ALLAH TA'ALA guide us and grant us the ability to celebrate our happiness in the light of Sunnah and make us amongst the obedient ones, Aameen Ya Rabb!