25 May 2013 / 1434 رجب 16
Praise be to Allaah.
The basic comprehensive principle of sharee’ah is that it is not permitted to remove an evil by means of a greater evil; evil must be warded off by that which will remove it or reduce it. Warding off evil by means of a greater evil is not permitted according to the scholarly consensus (ijmaa’) of the Muslims.
If this group which wants to get rid of this ruler who is openly committing kufr is able to do so, and can bring in a good and righteous leader without that leading to greater trouble for the Muslims or a greater evil than the evil of this ruler, then that is OK. But if rebellion would result in greater trouble and lead to chaos, oppression and the assassination of people who do not deserve to be assassinated, and other forms of major evil, then that is not permitted.
Rather it is essential to be patient and to hear and obey in matters of good, and to offer sincere advice to the authorities, and to pray that they may be guided to good, and to strive to reduce evil and increase good. This is the correct way which should be followed, because that is in the general interests of the Muslims, and because it will reduce evil and increase good, and because this will keep the peace and protect the Muslims from a greater evil.
Majmoo’ Fataawa wa Maqaalaat Mutanawwi’ah li Samaahat al-Shaykh al-‘Allaamah ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him), vol. 8, p. 202
Praise be to Allaah.
Shaking hands when meeting and saying salaam is part of the etiquette of Islam and its good morals. It is an expression of love between the two who shake hands, as it dispels hatred, rancour and grudges among the Muslims. There is a great hadeeth which speaks of its virtue, in which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There are no two Muslims who meet and shake hands with one another, but they will be forgiven before they part.” Narrated by Abu Dawood (5212); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.
Shaking hands was a custom that was well known among the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them).
It was narrated that Qataadah said: I said to Anas ibn Maalik: Did the companions of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) shake hands with one another? He said: Yes. Narrated by al-Bukhaari (6263).
Ibn Battaal said: Shaking hands is good according to most of the scholars. Al-Nawawi said: Shaking hands when meeting is a Sunnah on which there is consensus – as stated in Fath al-Baari (11/55).
Shaking hands happens when one man places his hand in the hand of his companion; this is what is implied by the Arabic word musaafahah (handshaking), as stated in Mu’jam Maqaayees al-Lughah (3/229) and elsewhere. Based on this the apparent meaning of the ahaadeeth quoted above about handshaking may be understood.
Hence most of the scholars are of the view that shaking hands with one hand is the Sunnah, and this is the usual custom among the Muslims and the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them).
Shaykh al-Albaani said in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah (1/22), mentioning what is to be learned from some ahaadeeth:
Taking hold of one hand when shaking hands. This is mentioned in many ahaadeeth, and it is what is implied linguistically.
I say: In some of the ahaadeeth referred to this meaning may also be understood, such as the marfoo’ hadeeth of Hudhayfah: “When the believer meets a fellow believer and he greets him with salaam and takes him by the hand and shakes hands with him, their sins will fall like the leaves of a tree.” Al-Mundhiri said (3/270): It was narrated by al-Tabaraani in al-Awsat and I do not know of anyone who is majrooh (unacceptable) among its narrators.
I say: And it has corroborating evidence which raises it to the level of being saheeh.
These ahaadeeth all indicate that the Sunnah in shaking hands is to use just one hand. End quote.
As for the view of some Hanafi and Maaliki fuqaha’, that it is mustahabb to shake hands using both hands, putting the palm of the left hand over the back of one’s brother’s hand, this is not proven to be Sunnah from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or from his companions. Rather the most that can be said concerning some ahaadeeth that refer to it is that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) took the hand of one of his companions in both of his hands as a sign of extra care in teaching, guiding and so on, as it says in Saheeh al-Bukhaari (6265) and Saheeh Muslim (402) that Ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) taught me the tashahhud, holding my hand between both of his.
But that is not the usual habit, based on the evidence of the previous report which says that the basic principle is shaking hands with one hand, which is stated clearly in some reports. This hadeeth indicates that too, because if the custom among the Sahaabah had been to shake hands using both hands, Ibn Mas’ood would not have mentioned that. The fact that he mentions it indicates that it was not the usual habit of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) with his companions.
Nevertheless, shaking hands using both hands should not be described as a bid’ah (innovation), rather it is something that is permissible, but the Sunnah, which it is better to adhere to, is to shake hands using just one hand.
It was narrated from Hammaad ibn Zayd that he shook hands with ‘Abd-Allaah ibn al-Mubaarak using both hands, as is stated in a mu’allaq report in Saheeh al-Bukhaari (p. 1206).
It says in Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah (24/125):
As for shaking hands using both hands, we do not know anything about that, but it should not be done; it is better to use just one hand.
See also al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah: entry on Musaafahah (shaking hands); Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi (7/431-433)
And Allaah knows best.
Praise be to Allaah.
Anger is one of the evil whispers of Shaytaan, which leads to so many evils and tragedies, of which only Allaah knows their full extent. For this reason Islam has a great deal to say about this bad characteristic, and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) described cures for this "disease" and ways to limit its effects, among which are the following:
(1) Seeking refuge with Allaah from the Shaytaan:
Sulayman ibn Sard said: "I was sitting with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and two men were slandering one another. One of them was red in the face, and the veins on his neck were standing out. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, ‘I know a word which, if he were to say it, what he feels would go away. If he said "I seek refuge with Allaah from the Shaytaan," what he feels (i.e., his anger) would go away.’" (Reported by al-Bukhaari, al-Fath, 6/337)
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "If a man gets angry and says, ‘I seek refuge with Allaah,’ his anger will go away." (Saheeh al-Jaami’ al-Sagheer, no. 695)
(2) Keeping silent:
The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "If any of you becomes angry, let him keep silent." (Reported by Imaam Ahmad, al-Musnad, 1/329; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 693, 4027).
This is because in most cases, the angry person loses self control and could utter words of kufr (from which we seek refuge with Allaah), or curses, or the word of divorce (talaaq) which would destroy his home, or words of slander which would bring him the enmity and hatred of others. So, in short, keeping silent is the solution which helps one to avoid all that.
(3) Not moving:
The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "If any of you becomes angry and he is standing, let him sit down, so his anger will go away; if it does not go away, let him lie down."
The narrator of this hadeeth is Abu Dharr (may Allaah be pleased with him), and there is a story connected to his telling of it: he was taking his camels to drink at a trough that he owned, when some other people came along and said (to one another), "Who can compete with Abu Dharr (in bringing animals to drink) and make his hair stand on end?" A man said, "I can," so he brought his animals and competed with Abu Dharr, with the result that the trough was broken. [i.e., Abu Dharr was expecting help in watering his camels, but instead the man misbehaved and caused the trough to be broken]. Abu Dharr was standing, so he sat down, then he laid down. Someone asked him, "O Abu Dharr, why did you sit down then lie down?" He said: "The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: . . ." and quoted the hadeeth. (The hadeeth and this story may be found in Musnad Ahmad, 5/152; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, no. 694).
According to another report, Abu Dharr was watering his animals at the trough, when another man made him angry, so he sat down . . . (Fayd al-Qadeer, al-Manaawi, 1/408)
Among the benefits of this advice given by the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is the fact that it prevents the angry person from going out of control, because he could strike out and injure someone, or even kill - as we will find out shortly - or he could destroy possessions and so on. Sitting down makes it less likely that he will become overexcited, and lying down makes it even less likely that he will do something crazy or harmful. Al-’Allaamah al-Khattaabi, may Allaah have mercy on him, said in his commentary on Abu Dawud: "One who is standing is in a position to strike and destroy, while the one who is sitting is less likely to do that, and the one who is lying down can do neither. It is possible that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told the angry person to sit down or lie down so that he would not do something that he would later regret. And Allaah knows best." (Sunan Abi Dawud, with Ma’aalim al-Sunan, 5/141)
(4) Following the advice of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him):
Abu Hurayrah, may Allaah be pleased with him, reported that a man said to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), "Advise me." He said, "Do not become angry." The man repeated his request several times, and each time the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told him, "Do not become angry." (Reported by al-Bukhaari, Fath al-Bari, 10/456)
According to another report, the man said: "I thought about what the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, and I realized that anger combines all kinds of evil." (Musnad Ahmad, 5/373)
(5) Do not become angry and Paradise will be yours (a saheeh hadeeth, see Saheeh al-Jaami’, 7374. Ibn Hijr attributed it to al-Tabaraani, see al-Fath 4/465):
Remembering what Allaah has promised to the righteous (muttaqeen) who keep away from the causes of anger and struggle within themselves to control it, is one of the most effective ways of extinguishing the flames of anger. One of the ahaadeeth that describe the great reward for doing this is: "Whoever controls his anger at the time when he has the means to act upon it, Allaah will fill his heart with contentment on the Day of Resurrection." (Reported by al-Tabaraani, 12/453, see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 6518).
Another great reward is described in the Prophet’s words: "Whoever controls his anger at the time when he has the means to act upon it, Allaah will call him before all of mankind on the Day of Resurrection, and will let him choose of the Hur al-’Iyn whoever he wants." (Reported by Abu Dawud, 4777, and others. It is classified as hasan in Saheeh al-Jaami, 6518).
(6) Knowing the high status and advantages offered to those who control themselves:
The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "The strong man is not the one who can overpower others (in wrestling); rather, the strong man is the one who controls himself when he gets angry." (Reported by Ahmad, 2/236; the hadeeth is agreed upon). The greater the anger, the higher the status of the one who controls himself. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "The strongest man is the one who, when he gets angry and his face reddens and his hackles rise, is able to defeat his anger." (Reported by Imaam Ahmad, 5/367, and classified as hasan in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 3859)
Anas reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) passed by some people who were wrestling. He asked, "What is this?" They said: "So-and-so is the strongest, he can beat anybody." The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, "Shall I not tell you who is even stronger then him? The man who, when he is mistreated by another, controls his anger, has defeated his own shaytaan and the shaytaan of the one who made him angry." (Reported by al-Bazzaar, and Ibn Hijr said its isnaad is saheeh. Al-Fath, 10/519)
(7) Following the Prophet’s example in the case of anger:
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is our leader and has set the highest example in this matter, as is recorded in a number of ahaadeeth. One of the most famous was reported by Anas, may Allaah be pleased with him, who said: "I was walking with the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and he was wearing a Najraani cloak with a rough collar. A Bedouin came and seized him roughly by the edge of his cloak, and I saw the marks left on his neck by the collar. Then the Bedouin ordered him to give him some of the wealth of Allaah that he had. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) turned to him and smiled, then ordered that he should be given something." (Agreed upon. Fath al-Baari, 10/375)
Another way in which we can follow the example of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is by making our anger for the sake of Allaah, when His rights are violated. This is the kind of anger which is praiseworthy. So the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) became angry when he was told about the imaam who was putting people off the prayer by making it too long; when he saw a curtain with pictures of animate creatures in ‘Aa’ishah’s house; when Usaamah spoke to him about the Makhzoomi woman who had been convicted of theft, and he said "Do you seek to intervene concerning one of the punishments prescribed by Allaah?"; when he was asked questions that he disliked, and so on. His anger was purely for the sake of Allaah.
(8) Knowing that resisting anger is one of the signs of righteousness (taqwaa):
The righteous (al-muttaqoon) are those praised by Allaah in the Qur’aan and by His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). Paradise as wide as heaven and earth has been prepared for them. One of their characteristics is that they (interpretation of the meaning) "spend (in Allaah’s Cause) in prosperity and in adversity, [they] repress anger, and [they] pardon men; verily, Allaah loves al-muhsinoon (the good-doers)." [Aal ‘Imraan 3:134]
These are the ones whose good character and beautiful attributes and deeds Allaah has mentioned, and whom people admire and want to emulate. One of their characteristics is that (interpretation of the meaning) ". . . when they are angry, they forgive." [al-Shooraa 42:47]
(9) Listening to reminders:
Anger is a part of human nature, and people vary in their anger. It may be difficult for a man not to get angry, but sincere people will remember Allaah when they are reminded, and they will not overstep the mark. Some examples follow:
Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) reported that a man sought permission to speak to ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab (may Allaah be pleased with him), then he said: "O son of al-Khattaab, you are not giving us much and you are not judging fairly between us." ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) was so angry that he was about to attack the man, but al-Hurr ibn Qays, who was one of those present, said: "O Ameer al-Mu’mineen, Allaah said to His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) (interpretation of the meaning): ‘Show forgiveness, enjoin what is good, and turn away from the foolish’ [al-A’raaf 7:199]. This man is one of the foolish." By Allaah, ‘Umar could go no further after al-Hurr had recited this aayah to him, and he a man who was careful to adhere to the Book of Allaah. (Reported by al-Bukhaari, al-Fath, 4/304).
This is how the Muslim should be. The evil munaafiq (hypocrite) was not like this when he was told the hadeeth of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and one of the Companions said to him, "Seek refuge with Allaah from the Shaytaan." He said to the one who reminded him, "Do you think I am crazy? Go away!" (Reported by al-Bukhaari, al-Fath, 1/465). We seek refuge with Allaah from failure.
(10) Knowing the bad effects of anger:
The negative effects of anger are many; in short they cause damage to one’s own self and to others. The angry person may utter words of slander and obscenity, he may attack others (physically) in an uncontrolled manner, even to the point of killing. The following story contains a valuable lesson:
‘Ilqimah ibn Waa’il reported that his father (may Allaah be pleased with him) told him: "I was sitting with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) when a man came to him leading another man by a rope. He said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, this man killed my brother.’ The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) asked him, ‘Did you kill him?’ He said, ‘Yes, I killed him.’ He asked, ‘How did you kill him?’ He said, ‘He and I were hitting a tree to make the leaves fall, for animal feed, and he slandered me, so I struck him on the side of the head with an axe, and killed him.’ . . ." (Reported by Muslim, 1307, edited by al-Baaqi).
Anger could lead to less than killing, such as wounding and breaking bones. If the one who caused the anger runs away, the angry person turns his anger in on himself, so he may tear his clothes, or strike his cheeks, or have a fit, or fall unconscious, or he may break dishes and plates, or break furniture.
In the worst cases, anger results in social disasters and the breaking of family ties, i.e., divorce. Ask many of those who divorced their wives, and they will tell you: it was in a moment of anger. This divorce results in misery for the children, regret and frustration, a hard and difficult life, all as a result of anger. If they had remembered Allaah, come to their senses, restrained their anger and sought refuge with Allaah, none of this would have happened. Going against the sharee’ah only results in loss.
The damage to health that results from anger can only be described by doctors, such as thrombosis, high blood pressure, tachycardia (abnormally rapid heartbeat) and hyperventilation (rapid, shallow breathing), which can lead to fatal heart attacks, diabetes, etc. We ask Allaah for good health.
(11) The angry person should think about himself during moments of anger:
If the angry person could see himself in the mirror when he is angry, he would hate himself and the way he looks. If he could see the way he changes, and the way his body and limbs shake, how his eyes glare and how out of control and crazy his behaviour is, he would despise himself and be revolted by his own appearance. It is well-known that inner ugliness is even worse than outer ugliness; how happy the Shaytaan must be when a person is in this state! We seek refuge with Allaah from the Shaytaan and from failure.
Du’aa’ is always the weapon of the believer, whereby he asks Allaah to protect him from evil, trouble and bad behaviour and seeks refuge with Him from falling into the pit of kufr or wrongdoing because of anger. One of the three things that can help save him is: being fair at times of contentment and of anger (Saheeh al-Jaami’, 3039). One of the du’aa’s of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was:
"O Allaah, by Your knowledge of the Unseen and Your power over Your creation, keep me alive for as long as You know life is good for me, and cause me to die when You know death is good for me. O Allaah, I ask You to make me fear You in secret and in public, and I ask You to make me speak the truth in times of contentment and of anger. I ask You not to let me be extravagant in poverty or in prosperity. I ask You for continuous blessings, and for contentment that does not end. I ask You to let me accept Your decree, and for a good life after death. I ask You for the joy of seeing Your face and for the longing to meet You, without going through diseases and misguiding fitnah (trials). O Allaah, adorn us with the adornment of faith and make us among those who are guided. Praise be to Allaah, the Lord of the Worlds."
Praise be to Allaah.
It is obligatory upon the Muslim to follow the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), according to the way of the righteous salaf who followed the guidance of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), the Sahaabah and those who followed them – may Allaah be pleased with them all. These people are called Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah (the People of the Sunnah and the Community).
Everyone who follows the way brought by the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is one of them. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) brought the message of Tawheed (absolute Oneness of Allaah) and rejection of shirk (polytheism, or association of others with Allaah); he called people to worship Allaah alone and none other.
With regard to the word “Wahhaabis”, some people use this word to refer to the message of Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhaab ibn Sulaymaan al-Tameemi al-Hanbali (may Allaah have mercy on him), and they call him and his followers Wahhaabis. Everyone who has any knowledge of the movement of Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhaab (may Allaah have mercy on him) and his message knows that he sought to spread the message of pure Tawheed and to warn against shirk in all its forms, such as attachment to the dead, or to trees and rocks, etc. In his ‘aqeedah (belief), he was following the way of the righteous Salaf and the Taabi’een [i.e., the earliest generations of Islam], as is indicated by his books and fatwas, and the books of his followers among his sons and grandsons and others.
All of these books are in print and are in circulation among the people. His message was in accordance with the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).
Wahhaabism is not a new way or a new school of thought; rather it is a call to Tawheed and the revival of aspects of the religion that had been forgotten. What you have to do is to beware of those who warn you against the Wahhaabis, because they are warning you against following the truth and the early generation of this ummah. Applying the word “Wahhaabis” to those who adhere to correct belief and warning people against them is the way of the ignorant and biased. We ask Allaah to keep you safe and sound.
The evidence in the Qur’aan and Sunnah indicates that celebrating birthdays is a kind of bid’ah or innovation in religion, which has no basis in the pure sharee’ah. It is not permitted to accept invitations to birthday celebrations, because this involves supporting and encouraging bid’ah. Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Or have they partners with Allaah (false gods) who have instituted for them a religion which Allaah has not allowed…?” [al-Shoora 42:21]
“Then We have put you (O Muhammad) on a plain way of (Our) commandment. So follow that, and follow not the desires of those who know not. Verily, they can avail you nothing against Allaah (if He wants to puish you). Verily, the zaalimoon (wrongdoers) are awliyaa’ (protectors, helpers, etc.) to one another, but Allaah is the Wali (Protector, Helper) of the muttaqoon (pious).” [al-Jaathiyah 45:18-19]
“Follow what has been sent down unto you from your Lord, and follow not any awliyaa’ (protectors, helpers, etc.) besides Him. Little do you remember!” [al-A’raaf 7:3]
According to saheeh reports, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever does something that is a not part of this matter of ours (i.e., Islam) will have it rejected” (reported by Muslim in his Saheeh); and “The best of speech is the Book of Allaah and the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). The most evil of things are those which have been newly invented (in religion), and every innovation is a going astray.”
There are many other ahaadeeth that convey the same meaning.
Besides being bid’ah and having no basis in sharee’ah, these birthday celebrations also involve imitation of the Jews and Christians in their birthday celebrations. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, warning us against following their ways and traditions: “You would follow the ways of those who came before you step by step, to such an extent that if they were to enter a lizard’s hole, you would enter it too.” They said, “O Messenger of Allaah, (do you mean) the Jews and Christians?” He said, “Who else?” (Reported by al-Bukhaari and Muslim). The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) also said: “Whoever imitates a people is one of them.”
Praise be to Allaah.
Valentine’s Day is a Jahilli Roman festival, which continued to be celebrated until after the Romans became Christian. This festival became connected with the saint known as Valentine who was sentenced to death on 14 February 270 CE. The kuffaar still celebrate this festival, during which immorality and evil are practised widely.
It is not permissible for a Muslim to celebrate any of the festivals of the kuffaar, because festivals come under the heading of shar’i issues which are to be based on the sound texts.
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: Festivals are part of sharee’ah, clear way and rituals of which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“To each among you, We have prescribed a law and a clear way”
“For every nation We have ordained religious ceremonies which they must follow”
[al-Hajj 22:67] -- such as the qiblah (direction faced in prayer), prayer and fasting. There is no difference between their participating in the festival and their participating in all other rituals. Joining in fully with the festival is joining in with kufr, and joining in with some of its minor issues is joining in with some of the branches of kufr.
Indeed, festivals are one of the most unique features that distinguish various religions and among their most prominent symbols, so joining in with them is joining in with the most characteristic and prominent symbols of kufr. No doubt joining in with this may lead to complete kufr.
Partially joining in, at the very least, is disobedience and sin. This was indicated by the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) when he said: “Every people has its festival and this is our festival.” This is worse than joining them in wearing the zinaar (a garment that was worn only by ahl al-dhimmah) and other characteristics of theirs, for those characteristics are man-made and are not part of their religion, rather the purpose behind them is simply to distinguish between a Muslim and a kaafir. As for the festival and its rituals, this is part of the religion which is cursed along with its followers, so joining in with it is joining in with something that is a cause of incurring the wrath and punishment of Allaah. End quote from Iqtida’ al-Siraat al-Mustaqeem (1/207).
He also said (may Allaah have mercy on him): It is not permissible for the Muslims to imitate them in anything that is uniquely a part of their festivals, whether it be food, clothing, bathing, lighting fires, refraining from a regular habit, doing acts of worship or anything else. It is not permissible to give a feast or to give gifts, or to sell anything that will help them to do that for that purpose, or to allow children and others to play games that are part of the festivals, or to wear one’s adornments.
To conclude: the Mulsims should not do any of their rituals at the time of their festivals; rather the day of their festival should be like any other day for the Muslims. The Muslims should not do anything specific in imitation of them. End quote from Majmoo al-Fataawa (25/329).
Al-Haafiz al-Dhahabi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: If the Christians have a festival, and the Jews have a festival, it is only for them, so no Muslim should join them in that, just as no Muslim should join them in their religion or their direction of prayer. End quote from Tashabbuh al-Khasees bi Ahl al-Khamees, published in Majallat al-Hikmah (4/193)
The hadeeth to which Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah referred was narrated by al-Bukhaari (952) and Muslim (892) from ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) who said: Abu Bakr came in and there were two young girls of the Ansaar with me who were singing about what had happened to the Ansaar on the day of Bu’aath. She said: And they were not (professional) singing girls. Abu Bakr said: “Musical instruments of the shaytaan in the house of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)?!” and that was on the day of Eid. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “O Abu Bakr, every people has a festival and this is our festival.”
Abu Dawood (1134) narrated that Anas (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: When the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) came to Madeenah, they had two days when they would play. He said: “What are these two days?” They said: “We used to play on these days during the Jaahiliyyah.” The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah has given you instead of them two days that are better than them: the day of al-Adha and the day of al-Fitr.” This hadeeth was classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.
This indicates that festivals are among the characteristics by which nations are distinguished, and it is not permissible to celebrate the festivals of the ignorant and the mushrikeen (polytheists).
The scholars have issued fatwas stating that it is haraam to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
1 –Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked:
In recent times the celebration of Valentine’s Day has become widespread, especially among female students. It is a Christian festival where people dress completely in red, including clothes and shoes, and they exchange red flowers. We hope that you can explain the ruling on celebrating this festival, and what your advice is to Muslims with regard to such matters; may Allaah bless you and take care of you.
Celebrating Valentine’s Day is not permissible for a number of reasons.
1- It is an innovated festival for which there is no basis in Islam.
2- It promotes love and infatuation.
3- It calls for hearts to be preoccupied with foolish matters that are contrary to the way of the righteous salaf (may Allaah be pleased with them).
It is not permissible on this day to do any of the things that are characteristic of this festival, whether that has to do with food, drinks, clothing, exchanging gifts or anything else.
The Muslim should be proud of his religion and should not be a weak character who follows every Tom, Dick and Harry. I ask Allaah to protect the Muslims from all temptations, visible and invisible, and to protect us and guide us.
End quote from Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (16/199)
2 – The Standing Committee was asked: Some people celebrate Valentine’s Day on the fourteenth of February every year. They exchange gifts of red roses and wear red clothes and congratulate one another. Some bakeries make red coloured sweets and draw hearts on them, and some stores advertise products that are especially for this day. What is your opinion on the following:
1- Celebrating this day
2- Buying things from the stores on this day
3- Storekeepers who are not celebrating it selling things that may be given as gifts to people who are celebrating it?
The clear evidence of the Qur’aan and Sunnah – and the consensus of the early generations of this ummah – indicates that there are only two festivals in Islam: Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. Any other festivals that have to do with a person, a group, an event or anything else are innovated festivals, which it is not permissible for Muslims to observe, approve of or express joy on those occasions, or to help others to celebrate them in any way, because that is transgressing the sacred limits of Allaah, and whoever transgresses the sacred limits of Allaah has wronged himself. If the fabricated festival is also a festival of the kuffaar, then the sin is even greater, because this is imitating them and it is a kind of taking them as close friends, and Allaah has forbidden the believers to imitate them and take them as close friends in His Holy Book. And it is proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever imitates a people is one of them.” Valentine’s Day comes under this heading because it is an idolatrous Christian festival, so it is not permissible for a Muslim who believes in Allaah and the Last Day to observe it or approve of it or congratulate people on it. Rather he has to ignore it and avoid it, in obedience to Allaah and His Messenger, and so as to keep away from the causes that incur the wrath and punishment of Allaah. It is also haraam for the Muslim to help people to celebrate this or any other haraam festival by supplying any kind of food or drink, or buying or selling or manufacturing or giving or advertising etc., because all of that is cooperating in sin and transgression and is disobedience towards Allaah and His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Help you one another in Al‑Birr and At‑Taqwa (virtue, righteousness and piety); but do not help one another in sin and transgression. And fear Allaah. Verily, Allaah is Severe in punishment”
The Muslim must adhere to the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah in all his affairs, especially at times of fitnah when evil is widespread. He should be smart and avoid falling into the misguidance of those who have earned Allaah’s anger and who have gone astray, and the evildoers who have no fear of Allaah and who do not have any pride in being Muslims. The Muslim must turn to Allaah and seek His guidance and remain steadfast in following it, for there is no Guide except Allaah and no one can make a person steadfast but Him. And Allaah is the source of strength. May Allaah send blessings and peace upon our Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions. End quote.
3 – Shaykh Ibn Jibreen (may Allaah preserve him) was asked:
Among our young men and women it has become common to celebrate Valentine’s Day, which is named after a saint who is venerated by the Christians, who celebrate it every year on February 14, when they exchange gifts and red roses, and they wear red clothes. What is the ruling on celebrating this day and exchanging gifts?
Firstly: it is not permissible to celebrate these innovated festivals, because it is an innovation for which there is no basis in Islam. It comes under the heading of the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her), according to which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever introduces anything into this matter of ours that is not part of it will have it rejected.”
Secondly: it involves imitating the kuffaar and copying them by venerating that which they venerate and respecting their festivals and rituals, and imitating them in something that is part of their religion. In the hadeeth it says: “Whoever imitates a people is one of them.”
Thirdly: it results in evils and haraam things such as wasting time, singing, music, extravagance, unveiling, wanton display, men mixing with women, women appearing before men other than their mahrams, and other haraam things, or things that are a means that leads to immorality. That cannot be excused by the claim that this is a kind of entertainment and fun. The one who is sincere towards himself should keep away from sin and the means that lead to it.
And he said:
Based on this, it is not permissible to sell these gifts and roses, if it is known that the purchaser celebrates these festivals or will give these things as gifts on those days, so that the seller will not be a partner of the one who does those innovations. And Allaah knows best.
Sects and Innovations (Bidah)
Madhabs (Schools of Thought)
Jinn and Black Magic
Seerah (Biography) of the Prophet
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