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The Origin of Celebrating the New Year.

In the name of Allah the Beneficent the Merciful. May Allah bestow His peace and blessings upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad, his family and his companions. To proceed;

It has become a life style and very common to many Muslims celebrating new year's day. Many Muslims are doing it either due to ignorance of the Islamic rulings on such matters which they fail to enquire about before indulging in it or due to carelessness. In either cases, the celebrations of the New Year on January 1st and New Year’s Eve, the night before, are a part and parcel of pagan religious rituals based on idolatrous beliefs in false gods. So Muslims should not get themselves involved in that.

Allah mentioned in the Qur'an:

{يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَتَّخِذُوا الْكَافِرِينَ أَوْلِيَاءَ مِن دُونِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ ۚ أَتُرِيدُونَ أَن تَجْعَلُوا لِلَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ سُلْطَانًا مُّبِينًا} (النساء:144).

{O you who have believed, do not take the disbelievers as allies instead of the believers. Do you wish to give Allah against yourselves a clear case?} (An-Nisaa: Verse 144).

{يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَتَّخِذُوا الْيَهُودَ وَالنَّصَارَىٰ أَوْلِيَاءَ ۘ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاءُ بَعْضٍ ۚ وَمَن يَتَوَلَّهُم مِّنكُمْ فَإِنَّهُ مِنْهُمْ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ} (المائدة:51).

{O you who have believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies. They are [in fact] allies of one another. And whoever is an ally to them among you - then indeed, he is [one] of them. Indeed, Allah guides not the wrongdoing people.} (Al-Maaidah: Verse 51).

January is named after Janus, the Roman god of doors and gateways.

He was commonly depicted in statues, carvings and paintings as a two headed man with one head facing forward and the other head facing backwards.

In 46BC Julius Caesar chose January 1st as the first day of the New Year as Janus symbolically represented the door to the New Year.

Wild parties and orgies were held on the night before the New Year’s Day as a re-enactment of the chaos which Roman mythology depicted as preceding the cosmos or the ordered world whose organization was set by the gods. Furthermore, by that time, Janus had become, in practice, the highest god receiving the ritual sacrifices of Roman worshippers before the other gods, including the chief god, Jupiter.

Thus, in its essence the celebrations of the New Year on January 1st and New Year’s Eve, the night before, are a part and parcel of pagan religious rituals based on idolatrous beliefs in false gods.

Consequently, it is completely Haraam (sinful and forbidden) for Muslims to participate in or adopt any of its related rituals, customs and symbols.

If a non-Muslim greets a Muslim, “Happy New Year”, the Muslim is not allowed to respond in a similar manner or say, “Same to you.” Instead, in order not to offend or hurt the feelings of non-Muslim friends or acquaintances, one may say instead, “Happy holiday.”

May Allah grant us beneficial and help us understand and practice our Islamic religion in the rightway.

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