It’s hard to avoid the holiday spirit when the new year is near. With decorations on every street corner, new year’s eve parties in full swing, and countdown clocks flashing on your favorite websites, you might be inclined to think everyone is celebrating this time of year with equal enthusiasm.
But what does Islam have to say about the new year celebration? Is it haram or permissible to arrange or join new year celebrations as a Muslim?
It’s one of the topics where most schools of thought have a similar opinion. However, some of them may have a different perspective.
According to most scholars, it is not permissible for Muslims to celebrate and greet on the Gregorian new year because it is considered an intimation of other religious beliefs and it’s not part of Islamic teachings.
From the Islamic point of view, the Gregorian new year has virtually no existence. Given that Islam has its own calendar, it may seem pointless to discuss a different calendar altogether.
However, since the world runs on the Gregorian calendar and we’re all synced through it, it’s worth discussing the modern-day practice.
Is It Permissible For Muslims To Celebrate New Year?
Many modern-day preachers believe that celebrating the new year is an imitation of Jew and Christians (source), which is not permissible in Islam.
If we look at Islamic history, there are virtually no examples where Muslims especially celebrated this day.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:
“Whoever imitates a people is one of them.”(Saheeh Abi Dawood, (it is) hasan saheeh. No. 3401). (source)
Islamic scholars believe that since Muslims have their own calendar (Hijri), celebrating the Gregorian New Year is pointless.
However, suppose you think your presence at a new year party can strengthen your bond with other communities. In that case, it is believed that it is fine to be there as long as the intention to celebrate a social occasion without indulging in any prohibited activities (such as drinking alcohol or consuming drugs like weed etc).
Islamic scholars believe that it is essential for muslims to refrain from any religious aspect of the new years celebration (source).
Some scholars agree that if your family isn’t Muslim, you don’t necessarily have to cut off from the new year celebrations with family and friends. As long as you have strong willpower to stay away from sins and are well informed about your role as a Muslim, you can keep good relations with your family (source).
Speaking of the holidays, learn more about whether it is considered haram to celebrate Christmas.
Fatwas About Muslims Celebrating New Years
One Islamic school of thought believes that New Year celebrations are least likely to include any Islamic practices. For instance, you won’t see a celebration in a mosque where the people follow Islamic rules.
By that logic, they believe celebrating New Years is not permissible for Muslims (source).
Another fatwa suggests that the ritual of celebrating New Year was started in Babylon, where the celebration went on for 11 days. During this celebration, the people worshipped idols and got involved in activities strictly prohibited in Islam.
Therefore, celebrating the new year should be avoided as there is a higher chance of committing sins (source).
Islamic Scholars’ View on Whether New Year Celebrations Are Permissible For Muslims
Most scholars suggest not to attend parties where you feel there are chances of getting into such forbidden deeds.
The general observation about new year celebrations, especially in countries like the US and Europe, is that there are many sinuous acts at new year parties. For instance, alcohol, music, and mixed gatherings are common.
Curious about the permissibility of listening to music? Check out our recent post, is music haram in Islam, to find out!
Some scholars believe that the Gregorian calendar is technically incorrect. Since our year starts on the first of Muharram, it is technically inaccurate to celebrate the new year (source).
According to Sheikh Muhammad Salih al Munajjid, it is not permissible to indulge in the new year celebrations.
He believes that it is a festival of others, and believers should not fall for it. (source)
Is Wishing Someone New Year Haram In Islam?
According to Shaykh Muhammed Saalij Al Munajjid and IslamWay, It is not permissible to wish someone a happy new year.
They believe that it is haram for Muslims to wish someone a happy (Gregorian) new year for the following reasons:
- It involves the imitation of the kuffaar (source)
- Celebrating new years is not part of Islamic teachings (source)
- Wishing someone a happy new year implies that a muslim accepts or approves the ritual of Kufr (source)
New year celebrations don’t have any roots in Islam. In fact, it is hard to find any examples of Muslims celebrating their own new year on the first of Muharram.
Most Islamic scholars believe that it’s an imitation of other religious beliefs and should be avoided. Others believe wishing people a happy new year is fine as long as you stay within your Islamic boundaries.
We tried to gather as much as evidence on the topic TO HELP YOU MAKE THE FINAL DECISION. Our goal as always is to remain unbiased and give you the facts.