It’s DIWALI! Let’s all us Muslims join hands with the hindus and sikhs. Let’s congratulate them on their festival. Let’s take part even. I mean, we don’t want to be disrespectful and it’s not like it’s doing anything bad, is it?
Taking part in festivals like diwali is haraam and the ruling in Islam is very clear on the matter. Let’s go through this in a bit more detail…
What is diwali?
Diwali is the hindu festival of light (although many sikhs also celebrate it). Diwali is about lighting lamps in order to make the goddess lakshmi feel welcome. Here is one of the major problems that Muslims need to be aware of. This celebration is about a ritual for a goddess yet as Muslims we believe in only One God, the Truth, the All-Mighty, the Self-Sufficient, the One Who Has no partner! My fellow Muslims, if you celebrate diwali or even greet a person with ‘happy diwali’, do you think that this will Please Allah? The answer is most definitely not. Allah Does Not Have any partners. The biggest sin in Islam is SHIRK and diwali is SHIRK. Supporting diwali by celebrating it or saying ‘happy diwali’ is haraam.
The second day of diwali is about lord krishna and his wife satyabhama vanquishing the demon naraka. Does this sound Islamic in any way to you? Is this something you want to support? Or is it better that you try to educate these hindus of the errors of their ways and bring them to Islam?
The third day of diwali marks the worship of the goddess lakhsmi. Again, this is quite obviously shirk. But Muslims be aware that anything that leads to shirk, is also shirk. So do not partake in these celebrations. The third day also involves the story of lord vishnu, which I don’t feel necessary to go into here as it does not add anything useful that Muslims can learn.
Saying ‘happy diwali’ is like saying, ‘congratulations on following hinduism, have a good time’. Surely this is not what a sincere Muslim wants for the non-Muslims. A sincere Muslim would want to save the non-Muslims from their errors and bring them to Islam.
“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”[al-Maa'idah 5:2]
Muslims need to adhere to Islam ONLY!
My brothers and sisters in Islam, we have been given the best deen by Allah. There are no shortcomings in Islam. There is nothing that it does not cover. The devout Muslim is not left wanting nor feeling as though something is missing from Islam. So why take part in something that will only weaken your Islam, weaken your Imaan and take you further away from Allah?
We are Muslims and we distinguish ourselves as being Muslims and following Islam. There is no need to follow the tradition of another religion, especially if we have been Commanded by Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him) not to. Allah Has Prescribed for us the festivities we should follow and there is no need to add to this by following something else. If celebrating diwali or any other festival was allowed, it would have been stated in hadith or the Qur’an.
“Whoever seeks a religion other than Islaam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers.” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:85]
Imitating the non-Muslims is haraam and this is clearly stated in hadith. So taking part in diwali is imitating the hindus.
The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever imitates a people is one of them.” [Abu Dawud]
Congratulating hindus on their festivals is like befriending them and showing love for them and we have been instructed not to take such people as our friends.
“O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as Awliyaa’ (friends, protectors, helpers), they are but Awliyaa’ of each other. And if any amongst you takes them (as Awliyaa’), then surely, he is one of them… “[al-Maa’idah 5:51]
“O you who believe! Take not My enemies and your enemies (i.e. disbelievers and polytheists) as friends, showing affection towards them” [al-Mumtahanah 60:1]
Muslims are not christians, pagans, jews, buddhists, hindus, sikhs, atheists or belonging to any other religion or way of life. Muslims are Muslims and follow Islam. By celebrating diwali you are actually following something else. And this undermines the strength of the Ummah. This is one of the reasons why the Ummah is weak – we do not adhere to Islam and only Islam. There is nothing wrong with saying that you are a Muslim and so do not celebrate diwali. Non-Muslims respect this but it seems that Muslims do not want to feel like they are upsetting others.
The following hadiths are examples of how Muslims should not imitate the actions of non-Muslims.
On the authority of Abdullah ibn Amr ibn Aas who said: “The Messenger of Allah saw me wearing two saffron garments and he said: ‘Indeed these are from the dress of the Kuffaar so do not wear them.’ [Collected by Muslim (1/144), An-Nisaaee (2/298), Al-Haakim (4/190), and Ahmad in his Musnad (2/172, 164, 193, 207, and 211)]
At-Tirmidhi narrated that Ibn Abbas رضي الله عنه reported that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم said: “He is not one of us who imitates other than us. Do not imitate the Jews or the Christians.”
At-Tabarani and Abu Dawud narrated that Ibn Umar and Hudhayfah رضي الله عنه reported that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم said: “Whoever imitates a people, he is one of them.”
Al-Bayhaqi reported in his Sunan that Anas Bin Maalik رضي الله عنه said: “When the Prophet صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم came to Medina, the people had two holidays from the days of Jahiliyyah.” He صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم said: “When I came to you, you had two days which you used to celebrate in Jahiliyyah. Allah سبحانه وتعالى has replaced them for you with better days, the days of slaughter (Adhaa) and the day of fitr.”
Muslims need to start standing up for Islam and stop acting like non-Muslims. We are not pagans, taking part in rituals that have no significance with Allah.
This is not about Muslims being segregated from society but more the opposite. This is about Muslims standing up and being identified as Muslims – not as though they have some confused fusion of identities. Islam is clear and Muslims need to be also. By being identified as Muslims, what Muslims stand for, what Islam stands for, you will gain respect from other Muslims, gain understanding and respect from non-Muslims and start to create societies where Muslims can be seen to have their place.
What should Muslims do?
Muslims need to stop engaging in non-Muslim festivities, parties, the giving of presents, sending cards, giving greetings. This is not Islamic so don’t have one foot in Islam and one foot in something else – that is a hypocritical stance to have. Instead, celebrate Islam – you have two Eids and can make the most of this. Be devout and upstanding Muslims that non-Muslims can respect for their Islamic values and morals and beliefs. If you don’t then what do you stand for?
Muslims need to come to terms with an Islamic identity and the fact that we are ordered by Allah not to imitate the kufaar – the non-Muslims. If anything, the non-Muslims have much to gain by imitating Muslims and learning from Muslims. We should be the role models, not the other way round. How will non-Muslims learn the errors of their ways, if we imitate them? Also, if we imitate the non-Muslims in the things they do, then where do you draw the line? Would you take part in diwali which celebrates the many gods of the hindus? This would be committing shirk – the worst sin in Islam. The fairest and most just way is to not engage in festivities that are not Islamic.
Explain to non-Muslims about Islamic values and how we celebrate on Eid. They are not aliens and will understand.
Muslims… you need to act like Muslims and BE Muslims, following Islam and showing everyone the beauty of Islam.
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