One of the leading Islamic Organisations in Nigeria, Nasrulahi-l-Fatih Society, popularly called NASFAT, recently instructed its members not to organise and participate in cross over Tahajjud (vigil) into the 2020 gregorian new year.
Muslim News findings revealed that it is a common practice in Nigeria for mostly Christians and some Muslim bodies to organise special prayers on the night of December 31st to herald January 1st.
The society declared any of such gatherings unlawful and therefore advised all its missioners from national to zonal levels not to stage any prayer tonight, December 31st to welcome January 1st.
In the memo signed by the National Da’wah Officer, Alhaji Animashaun Uthman, the society said, “I write to remind us all that the above-mentioned type of tahajjud is not one of NASFAT’s programmes and thus no Branch of NASFAT Society is allowed to hold such in any manner.
“It has come to the notice of the office of the Chief Missioner that some branches do organize this tahajjud under the disguise that they are holding other NASFAT-accepted socio-religious function. This is not acceptable and I have the instruction of the CM to inform us that any Missioner that does otherwise will be sanctioned appropriately.
“Missioners having any challenge on this in their branches are to bring this to the notice of the Chief Missioner through the National Da’wah Officer/Mission Board Secretary. May Allah ease our affairs”.
The society did not however state the reason for the ban.
Muslim News findings revealed that it is not unconnected to the ruling of the Sharee’ah which prohibits tahajjud (night vigils) observed to usher in the new year of the christian/gregorian calendar.
While reacting to the news, Muslim News resident scholar, Ibn Taofeeq Abdulazeez commended NASFAT and other Muslim bodies who banned the gatherings, saying special tahajjud on the night of December 31st to January 1st is an act not established in Islam.
He said, “We must commend NASFAT and those who shun special tahajjud night on the 31st of December. They have acted in accordance with the Sharee’ah after years of engaging in such practice. May Allah reward their sincere intentions. The crossover tahaajud is an act not established in Islam.
“Though, we do not doubt the intentions of those who congregate for such days, their intentions (as they will say) are good and great, especially if they want acts of obedience and worship to be done at a time when sins are being committed. This is a good intention in Islam. But this good and righteous intention does not make the fundamental ruling of the actions legitimate, sound or acceptable in Islam. Rather it is essential that the intended actions should be in accordance with the Law of Allah (sharee’ah) in terms of its reason, type, quantity, manner, time and place.
In understanding this, Ibn Taofeeq said, Muslims can distinguish between legitimate and innovated actions of ibaadah (worship), adding that, The so-called New Year is a celebration of a certain belief that its fundamental is forbidden in Islam and has no benefit for the Muslim Ummah or Islam.
“We may list some reasons those who shun special night vigil on December 31st are right. There has been Jaahili special occasions of worship of the disbelievers and misguided ones since the time of the Prophet (SAW) until the present time, but we have not seen any text from the history of Islam which encourages us to mainly do acts of worship (ibaadah) and obedience at the time when others are committing acts of evil and disobedience to compete with them.
“This comes under the heading of dealing with sins by means of innovation in worship, as happened in the case of responding to the innovation of special mourning on the 10th of Muharram, as done by the Raafidis, by introducing the innovation of spending a great deal and making a show of joy and happiness.
Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah said in his Iqtida Siraat Mustaqeem page 300:
“As for taking the days of calamities as occasions for mourning, this is not part of the religion of the Muslims; rather it is closer to the religion of Jaahiliyyah. Thus they missed out on the virtue and reward of fasting on this day. Some other people introduced things on the basis of fabricated Ahaadeth for which there is no, such as the virtue of doing ghusl on this day, or applying kohl to the eyes, or shaking hands. These and similar things are innovations, all of which are makrooh (disliked). What is recommended is to fast on this day (10th Muharram).”
The Raafidis regarded the day of ‘Ashoora’ as a day of mourning, so the Naasibis fabricated reports about it which indicated that one should spend generously on this day and take it as an Eid. Both views are false.
“There are special times for offering du’a and prayers as prescribed in Islam. The Prophet (SAW) encouraged us to offer du’aa at these times, such as the last third of the night, which is the time when the Lord, may He be glorified and exalted, descends to the nearest heaven. Encouraging people to do that at a time when no sound text has been narrated concerning it is introducing legislation concerning the reason or the time, and going against sharee’ah with regard to either of them is sufficient to deem the action to be a reprehensible innovation, so how about if it has to do with both of them?!
“The basic principle for a Muslim is to follow (the Sunnah) and not introduce innovations.
Allah says in Suratu Al-Imran verse 31 and 32:
[Say (O Muhammad to mankind): ‘If you (really) love Allaah, then follow me (i.e. accept Islamic Monotheism, follow the Qur’aan and the Sunnah), Allaah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allaah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.]
[Say (O Muhammad): Obey Allaah and the Messenger. But if they turn away, then Allaah does not like the disbelievers.]
Imam Ibn Katheer said:, “These verses state that everyone who claims to love Allah but is not following the path of Muhammad is lying in his claim unless he follows the path or religion of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) in all his words and deeds, as it is proven in an authentic narration that the Messenger of Allah said: “Whoever introduces an action that is not part of this matter of ours will have it rejected.”
Tafseer Ibn Katheer, Vol.2/32
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