Saturday, 1 April, 2023

New Year Celebration: A guide to Muslim Youth

Dr. Muhammad Obaidullah

New Year Celebration: A guide to Muslim Youth

Popular News

On the day after tomorrow, the Happy New Year-2023 is going to be celebrated across the world. In the post pandemic situation, the New Year celebration would surely be meaningful for the whole mankind. History speaks and teaches us how to face the present and future challenges. It also gives us guidelines for preparing ourselves for the future.

Naturally, in every moment, we are the witness of past, facing the present and heading to the future. Every breath comes out from our body leads us to have the experience of past; we usually do not notice. We cannot even go back a second of our life; how many of us think of it? Inherently, the activities of all men are of the good and bad as well. We do not have the opportunity to go back to do the same thing correctly which was not good. We can only regret for any wrongdoing in the past and make the commitment for doing the good in future. Allah loves it the most. The Qur’an states, “Allah loves those who are constantly repentant and loves those who purify themselves” (Surah Al-Baqarah, 2: 222). It also states, “It is He who accepts the repentance of His servants and excuses their misdeeds and knows what you do” (Surah Al-Shurah, 42:25). He (swt) also claims Himself as the most Merciful Accepter of repentance (See: Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:37, 54, 128, 160, 222; Surah Al-Tawbah, 9:104, 118). Therefore, at the end of a year, we must go to the flash back of our own past activities, many of which only we and our all-knowing Lord know. Although, it is an everyday and, even, every moment must-doing act of each Muslim; the celebration of the New Year can include it again.

Every moment, a Muslim must be careful about what he is doing because he is responsible for every action and will be accountable for that in the Judgment Day. The reward and punishment will be based on his past acts. It, therefore, can save us from many wrongdoings. For example, a few activities, among others, during the celebration of the New Year, especially in the mid-night gathering, uproar, fireworks and its sounds, may cause disturbance and even physical harm to other people.

We are so happy that we are able to reach another year, but we do not know what will be there in my life which is also not in our control. Our Lord only knows all and can do everything good for us. He (swt.) says, “For He knows whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. And Allah is Most Capable of everything” (Surah Ali ‘Imran, 3: 29). Therefore, a believer must seek the forgiveness for the past wrong deeds and bounties of Him in the future days.

A commitment for doing the good also inspires us to do so. On the New Year celebration, we can make a commitment for leaving at least ten of my bad habits in the coming days of the year and practicing ten good habits as well. Or we can plan for everyday life that we will leave a bad deed and perform a good one. In Islam, planning is very much important. Even, if you plan for doing many things in the future but unable to do so due to such reasons like disability or even death, you will be rewarded. The reward is for your good intention. The Prophet (PBUH) said, “The one who intends to do a good deed and he does not do it, he will get rewarded for it as if he did it. And if he does it, his reward will be multiplied ten times” (Sahih Muslim, Hadith no. 130). So, why do not we include planning for doing the good on this colorful occasion instead of doing anything harmful? It is noteworthy to state that Islam does not prohibit any celebration or enjoying any achievements but gives the boundaries through fruitful guidelines for being ultimate success in the final life.

A Muslim should not forget the others. The Qur’anic teaching is “O believers! Protect yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is people and stones” (Surah At-Tahrim, 66:6). The post pandemic world is facing many challenges including economic instability, weak-health issue, social unrest, poverty and so on. A Muslim must play a good role in overcoming the unwanted challenges to our lives. The planning for the New Year can also include this vital issue. We all should keep in our minds that the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “He is not a believer whose stomach is filled while his neighbor goes hungry” (Al-Sunan al-Kubra lil-Bayhaqi, Hadith no. 19668). Many Muslim scholars say that the term neighbour includes everyone irrespective of religion, races, doctrines, dogmas and philosophies.

A Muslim must be careful what he is doing because he is responsible for everything what he is doing and accountable for it as well. In the day of judgement, he will be asked about everything. The reward and punishment will be based on his activities in this life. Remember, we will not be able to come back again to correct the deeds. Moreover, there will be nothing helpful for us except good deeds. The Qur’an says, “It is˺ the Day no soul will be of ˹any˺ benefit to another whatsoever, for all authority on that Day belongs to Allah ˹entirely˺” (Surah Al-Infitar, 82: 19) May Allah forgive our shortcomings and guide us on the right path!


The writer is a scholar on Islamic views on contemporary issues