If you’re in the UK, you’ll know that we are heading towards the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations. I’ve posted a few blogs before about Muslims celebrating and getting involved in non-Muslim occasions. But in case you haven’t read them, it essentially boils down to this – Muslims have been given Eid for celebration by Allah; there is no need for other celebrations and certainly it is haraam to imitate the non-Muslims.
So what’s the problem with the Queen’s Jubilee? To answer this, I suggest looking at the issue in another way – why celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee?
There is no system of monarchy in Islam, no kings or queens, no royal family. True, there have been many occasions in history where Prophets (may peace be upon them all) have had to deal with rulers but in Islam, good people are defined by good actions, not by lineage. Why should one particular family be held up on such a high status for generation after generation? The same family that has done little to help Muslims, the same family that has been the figurehead for a country that has destroyed Muslim countries and left a trail of disunity, fighting, civil unrest and fitna in its wake. The same family that has done nothing to help those suffering in Syria and in Palestine. The same family that actually is in a position and has the power to help, but has not done so. Why celebrate then, the Queen’s Jubilee? What’s the justification for this?
Next, what is it actually that is being celebrated by the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee? Sixty years of the reign of the monarch of Great Britain. Now can you point out the benefit that this monarch has brought to Muslims? Can you point out how the Queen, who has travelled across the whole world and seen amazing sights and met with people from all backgrounds and in all kinds of situations, has submitted to Allah? What do we owe to this Queen, that warrants us to celebrate her reign?
Is it fair that while we are in one of the worst recessions for decades, that one family in particular is still living a life of luxury that many of us cannot even dream of? The Royal Family is being kept in luxury by the taxes of those working so hard in the country but receiving little in return. The Royal Family sees itself as being of a higher class than the normal person who lives on benefits, or is unemployed, or studying hard to make a career for themselves. The Royal Family receives millions of pounds each year, to keep them in this rich lifestyle, whilst others struggle. Many organisations and companies are scrutinised to ensure that they do not allow inequality, yet what of the inequality displayed by the Royal Family and the Queen herself? Is there a coloured face in this Royal Family? Are there Muslims in this Royal Family? Is this really something worth celebrating?
As a sincere Muslim, wouldn’t you ponder over these things?
Next, why engage in activities that are really for those who aren’t Muslim? Why imitate the kufaar?
The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever imitates a people is one of them.” [Abu Dawud]
The following hadiths are examples of how Muslims should not imitate the actions of non-Muslims.
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.”
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. 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 kuffaar – 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? 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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