Assalamu Alaikum. Sometimes I see Muslims more involved in non-Muslim celebrations such as Christmas, Easter, etc. One of my Muslim friends finds these celebrations more exciting and energetic than the Muslim celebration of Eid. We usually just meet a few relatives, cook meat and that's all. How does one celebrate and have fun in Islam? Please clarify.
- It is important to laugh and joke and to show the world that Islam brings great happiness to our lives.
- We have so many examples of our Prophet laughing and joking with his Companions and his wives.
- We must make our celebrations fun, being a natural part of being Muslim. We need to re-kindle our love for Islam and then we will be happy — and it will show.
Salam Dear Ikhlaas,
Thank you very much for your question, which is a delight to answer.
There is nothing more off-putting in life than miserable people, is there?
In being so preoccupied with how seriously we look upon our Muslim beliefs, we sometimes can give the impression to others that Islam is not any fun at all. And that somehow it is wrong to laugh and joke.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Muslims in the UK
A while back, I wrote an article called “Lifting the Veil on Mr. Straw”. It was a serious reply to the comments British Minister, Jack Straw, then made about the way Muslim women dress.
I really took him to task in the article. Soon afterward, I did a Live Dialogue. And someone from Mr. Straw’s Blackburn constituency joined in with a comment.
He said that instead of getting all upset, we should actually thank Mr. Straw. This was because hijab sales in Blackburn had actually gone through the roof since Straw’s comments. I had to laugh, and I thanked the brother for his sense of humor.
While visiting the UK just recently and speaking in a number of different universities, I was impressed not only by the great faith and good example of the Muslim students who came to listen. But I was also impressed by their sense of fun.
They could weep when listening to words about our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) or about Allah’s kindness and compassion towards us. Then they could laugh and joke 10 minutes later about the silliness surrounding Islam and Muslims in Britain.
A Complete Way of Life
In answering your question, brother, it is important to remember that Islam is not just a religion.
It is a complete way of life. It covers every aspect of our lives.
Our lives are made up of very ordinary days. But they are also filled with days of sadness and days of great rejoicing.
And Islam has something to say and something to contribute to all of this. However, we feel, Islam helps us. Whatever we think, Islam informs our thinking.
It is not a faith of sin and punishment. But one of total hope in the mercy and the greatness of Allah.
Muslims do not look for someone to save them. What would he save them from?
Instead, they know that Allah has given us everything we need to cope with the troubles and the trials of life.
A Story from Madinah
Last year I visited the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah. One very simple incident during my visit stays with me.
A man came into the mosque, followed by his four sons. He looked very severe, with a long beard and a frown on his face. His sons ranged in age and height as they followed him, the tallest first and the youngest last. The boys showed the greatest respect for their father.
And he, in turn, knew the great duty he had been given of bringing them up well. They prayed together on entering the mosque and they then lay down in the heat of the afternoon. After a while, the youngest boy, who must have been about six years old began to tickle his father’s toes.
After a few moments, the father and all four sons were hugging and tickling and kissing one another. Everyone around smiled. It also made us give thanks to Almighty Allah.
We could thank him for the good example of this family, praying together, respecting, and caring for one another. But his family felt joy and happiness just by being together. If would have been a blessing if a television camera could have shown these Muslims!
Following Prophet Muhammad’s Example
Islam is not miserable. We have so many examples of our Prophet (peace be upon him) laughing and joking with his Companions and his wives.
There are even examples of him allowing his young grandsons to interrupt him at Prayers so that he could play with them.
Muhammad was the greatest man to have lived. He was the gentlest and the kindest. Almighty Allah chose him to reveal His message to humankind. Yet Muhammad knew how to have fun.
As Muslims, we too should be strong as well as gentle. We need to take our responsibilities to Almighty Allah, to our families, to our Muslim brothers and sisters very seriously. But we should also show the happiness we feel at being Muslim.
We must make our celebrations fun, being a natural part of being Muslim.
We need to re-kindle our love for Islam and then we will be happy — and it will show.
Islam is beautiful and we should let the whole world know this by the way we speak about it and the way we act.
We do not need alcohol or haram things to have fun in Islam. In fact, the beauty of Islam is that we can be very happy and have great fun just by doing things that Allah has made lawful.
Start by being truly faithful to the five daily Prayers and to recitation of the Glorious Quran.
Read about the life and example of our beloved Prophet. If we do this, returning to what it really means to be Muslim, the joyful way we celebrate our feasts will astonish those around us.
We do not need to copy or even compare ourselves with the way non-Muslims celebrate their festivals. The joy of Islam will bring us happiness.
Do not look for what to do to have a happy `Eid. Look, instead, at what to do to become a good Muslim. If you achieve that, your feasts will be forever happy in sha’ Allah.
I hope this answers your question. Please keep in touch.