Sunday, January 3, 2016

On Celebrations: 'Halal' and 'Haram'

End of Year Festivities:

Like you are aware, the year 2015 is coming to a close. We are living the last days of the year 2015 and particularly the month of December. The month of December is also a month known as the month of festivities. Many people make therein provisions for celebrations and amusement. The public, private and industrial sectors which all their companies organise end of year parties and this applies also for individual family units who organise Christmas parties (today is Christmas) and end of year festivities.

In such situations, a Muslim must take precautions to preserve his faith, and not to abandon the teachings of Islam and the perfect role model which Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) represents. It is not forbidden to have lunch or dinner between friends and office colleagues, in any workplace (which is licit for a Muslim), but it is strictly forbidden for a Muslim to associate himself with illicit/forbidden things and practices. And especially in end of year parties where there is an unlimited amount of alcoholic drinks which are served. You may be tempted by friends to drink a little, to have a toast for “good health”. They may tell you: “Come on, the year is ending. Please us, and have a drink with us, to toast for good health”. And thus, to please them you forget the commandments of Allah!

Do you really think that alcoholic drink shall bring you good health? Or will it destroy your health?

A glass (of alcohol) will become two and shall keep on increasing, and thus there shall be no difference between you and them, for then you shall enter such a trap which shall be grievous (for you) in the eyes of Allah. Your good deeds done during a year such as: Prayers, remembrance of Allah, supplications, recitation of the Holy Quran, Fasting during the month of Ramadan, sacrifices done during that holy month, as well as blood (animal) sacrifice (Qurbani) done, shall be in vain. Also, many of our brothers and sisters did lots of sacrifices to perform the fifth pillar of Islam (Hajj). Now on a whim you prefer to burn down these good deeds with alcohol, cigarettes, fireworks and you begin to dance to their tune with all their drinking habits, singing and dancing, and thus you replace what is good, that is, acts of worship with bad things.

Muslim women and girls who have a job must also take great precaution so as not to fall prey to consuming Haram (illicit) food. Do not fall prey to those vices for those vices shall lead you in a vicious circle in which you shall not be able to come out. Muslim women and girls must take precautions for in these kinds of parties, men and women mingle together and thus there is no Pardah

Ponder over this: You are barred from mosques and prayers in congregation as well as Jummah prayers, but to participate in your workplace in these kinds of end of year parties, is that not Haram for you? Is this Halal? Are those so-called Mullahs and great defenders of Islam doing nothing to protect the dignity and honour of our Muslim brothers and sisters, to stop them from falling into these kinds of traps? Very often we see parents authorising their children (boys and girls) to attend those kinds of end of year celebrations. They come back home quite late in the night and some even spend the whole night out with strangers with all their end of year amusements. They enjoy themselves so much that they go beyond limit and return back home late or remain outside without any performance of prayer etc. Indeed, where there is such amusement, there is no prayer!

We all know that here in Mauritius, final exams are done towards the end of the year be it for primary, secondary or tertiary schools (primary schools, colleges and universities). Thus, students study hard throughout the year so as to prepare themselves for these final exams, and they expect to have good results for the efforts they have put in those works and exams. If they pass their exams, they shall have the opportunity to be upgraded to higher classes, for e.g. the pupils of primary schools who have sat for their Certificate of Primary Education (CPE) shall be able to have good colleges, and as for those in colleges who have sat for their School Certificate (SC) and passed their exams with distinction and/ or credit they will go on to do their Higher School Certificate (HSC), and those who pass their HSC, especially the bright ones, they will come out laureates.

Likewise, in life also, in the month of December, Allah (swt) prepares a big exam for you to test your faith. On one hand there are temptations of all sorts, whereby money is burnt in vain things. There is wastage. Therefore, these situations become a trial for you, believers. Shall you merry in those end of year parties or shall you do your level best to score distinction in your exam of faith, and in the same go make evil temptations fail? In the same way, in those last days of the year, the priority for a believer who is sincere in his faith in Allah and in the Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) and the teachings of Islam shall be to pass with flying colours (with distinction) in that grand exam. For him, the priority is the divine teachings, and he makes those divine teachings have the upper hand over all unislamic temptations, especially in those last days of the year.

Therefore, as the Khalifatullah of this age, I make an appeal to everybody, and particularly the Muslims, even if they don’t believe in me (in my claim/ mission), doesn’t matter, but what matters is that they get to preserve/ protect their faith and they do everything in their power so as not to detach themselves from Allah and His Messenger (pbuh) for, in those kinds of end of year parties, lots of illicit things happen. During these times of festivities, we see Muslims easily forget their Deen (religion) and they go without hesitation in illicit places like discos, casinos (and practice all sorts of other games of chance), and they indulge in fireworks etc. Verily all these are Haram (illicit).

Do not commit these kinds of evils where this can make you incur the wrath of Allah and whereby Allah can remove all blessings from your money, home etc. And verily you don’t know what the coming days have in store for you! Succeed in these end-of-year final exams so as these divinely-sourced results may be a harbinger of distinction for you in all that you do, and which shall assure for you paradise in your everyday lives as well as in your homes and familial lives, be it on earth and the hereafter where you get to be saved from the temporal hell as well as the eternal hell.

Parents should know what their responsibilities towards their children are and therefore you (parents) should not give them permission to go out to Haram places. Muslims should not put their feet in such illicit places. These places are not for Muslim believers, not for those who believe in the unity of Allah, and in the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) and His Book which He has perfected (i.e. the Quran).

Do not waste your money which you receive at the end of the year: salaries, bonuses, one month additional pay (as a thirteenth month) etc. Do you know what this cost the country? When you receive this money you are very happy, but do you know how the country shall recuperate all this money which has been spent on you, money which you have not known how to save and which you have wasted? This money shall be recuperated (by the authorities) from us! Before receiving those bonuses etc., you realised and witnessed how the prices of commodities (such as tomatoes, beef, fish, chicken etc.) have gone up, and you took precautions, monitoring your spending in your monthly expenditures. The prices of essential (basic daily) foods such as rice, oil, milk, sugar etc. – the list is too long – have also gone up. The same goes for the price of fuel, bus (transport) etc. Verily, it is you the common (poor and/or middle class) people who suffer the most! 

Do not let yourselves be carried away with the lavish lifestyles of the rich ones (those in authority etc.). They are receiving plenty of money and they don’t know the suffering of having to struggle for a living! They are enjoying their privileges and for them, their end of year bonuses and salaries etc. are much more than the one month bonus which you receive! Bear in mind the costs which you shall have to bear to pay for the school stuffs of your children such as books and uniforms etc., for these are quite costly (in other words, save your money to better cater for the welfare of your family and their basic needs). I know very well that all that I am saying shall not please the authorities etc.

Moreover, with the end of year festivities, it is sad to see the indecent way that Muslim women and girls clothe. Bear in mind that I am not pinpointing all Muslim women and girls. It is only a handful (a small percentage) who really preserves their dignity and honour as well as the dignity and honour of Islam. Thus, Muslim ladies should dress in appropriate clothing and that too with respect. Honour is a thing which is not bought in the market! Therefore, when you dress in an indecent way with the pretext that you are feeling hot or that you are doing it just because of the holidays, then this is very deplorable from your part.

If you really consider yourselves as Muslims and you believe in Allah and His Messenger (pbuh), then you need to preserve the honour and dignity of these truthful teachings of Islam and you must not associate yourselves with satanic activities. Recall that such activities ignite the wrath of Allah and shall bring calamity on you. Let us pray that Allah (swt) take us away from all satanic temptations. Insha-Allah. Ameen.

---Friday sermon of 25 December 2015 ~(13 Rabi’ul Awwal 1437 Hijri) delivered by Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Saheb (atba) of Mauritius. 

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