Before we analyze this concept properly, we need to divide it into two portions; mainly because the Islamic New Year varies differently from the Gregorian New Year. The Islamic calendar was based on the Moon, with one day being from one sunset to the next. Here, we need to distinguish each ‘celebration’.
Should we be Celebrating the Islamic New Year?
In the simplest words possible, NO. The first day of the Islamic Year is 1st of Muharram. And Muharram is the significant month in the Islamic Calendar as it is one of the four sacred months of the calendar. It is the month in which the Battle of Karbala took place, in which the Imam Hussein Ibn Ali, the grandson of the Holy Prophet was martyred. Although it varies across different schools of thought, any type of celebration; a wedding, or any happy moment, was forbidden across this entire month, with some considering it forbidden during the first ten days.
What does Islam say about Non-Religious Celebrations?
Well essentially, while there are differing views on this, most scholars would tell us that celebrating purely religion based celebrations, such as Christmas or Hanukah, was considered forbidden, With exceptions for the newly converts who wish to celebrate that time with their family. But yet some scholars say that since many Muslims live in a society which is primarily ‘Western’ and celebrates things such as Christmas, actively, they feel in such circumstances, to fit into society, or to improve Muslim – Non Muslim relations, which is an important part of Islam, they were allowed to celebrate the celebration, without participating in the religion aspects of it. They can have the Thanksgiving Feast, but not any celebration stemming from religious grounds, like going to Church to pray, for example. So you can go ahead and have all the celebrations you want, as long as you do not indulge in something of other religious grounds.
Does New Years fall into that category?
We cannot really call New Year’s a ‘religious’ celebration. It is based on a calendar, a Gregorian calendar, the normal calendar followed by the entire world, of whatever religion. Muslims follow it in their life as well when it comes to everything else; why not celebrate when a new one has begun? Their birthday was based on the Gregorian calendar, and they celebrate that, why the sudden controversy about the New Year? The New Year is simply the first day of a calendar with no religious roots, so no; it does not fall into the category.
New Year Celebration In Islam?
So we have a day celebrated by most of the world, which has no religious roots or any religious aspect, then yes, we can celebrate the New Year’s. But here the normal rules step into play, keeping sober during the celebration, not doing anything immoral or against Islamic lines just to have a nice party. As long as you keep within moral lines, celebrating the New Year is not something wrong.