Thursday, August 18, 2011

Doing extra acts of worship on occasions when sin is widespread


What is the ruling on doing acts of worship at times when people are committing a lot of sin (such as the Gregorian New Year), acting upon the words of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him): “Worship at times of turmoil is like migrating to me (hjrah)”?.

Praise be to Allaah.

The Muslim who adheres to his religion is the one who
remembers Allah, many He be glorified and exalted, in secret and openly, at
good times and bad. His Lord is never absent from his thoughts or from his
heart, and he is not distracted by anything from worshipping Him, and he is
not diverted by anything from loving Him. So you see him in all
circumstances keen to worship Allah, keen to fill his life with obedience to
his Lord. If he mixes with other worshippers, he competes with them to earn
the pleasure of Allah, and when he sees those who are heedless, he realizes
the blessing that Allah has bestowed upon him by guiding him. These are the
witnesses and the strangers, those who are holding on to a coal of fire;
many hadeeths speak of the virtue of their actions and their adherence to
the Sunnah at times of turmoil, tests and alienation. 

It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with
him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon
him) said: “Islam began as something strange and will revert to being
something strange, so glad tidings to the strangers.”

Narrated by Muslim, no. 145 

The one who adheres to the Sunnah and obedience and worship
of Allah during times of turmoil and negligence and during times of
righteousness and piety is doing well. He strives and worships whatever the

This is the one who is praised in the hadeeths. 

As for what some people understand, that one should watch out
for days when sin and evil are widespread so that one may hasten to single
out that day for fasting or praying qiyaam, when that is not part of his
regular practice, this is not the correct understanding of the hadeeth, and
is not what was meant by the Wise Lawgiver. Rather what is meant is to
encourage people to adhere to the Sunnah constantly and to follow completely
the commands of Allah, so that the Muslim will remain a beacon on earth
during the darkest times and will meet Allah never having faltered in his
commitment to Him. 

This is how the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon
him) was. At every moment of every day he was devoted and sincere towards
Allah, may He be exalted, and he never missed any opportunity to worship
Him. Usaamah ibn Zayd (may Allah be pleased with him) asked him: O Messenger
of Allah, I have never seen you fast as much in any month as you fasted in
Sha’baan. He said: “That is a month that the people neglect between Rajab
and Ramadan, but it is the month in which deeds are taken up to the Lord of
the Worlds, and I would like my deeds to be taken up when I am fasting.”
Narrated by al-Nasaa’i in al-Sunan (no. 2357) and classed as hasan by
al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, no. 1898. 

This is also the meaning of the hadeeth which was narrated by
Ma’qil ibn Yasaar (may Allah be pleased with him), that the Prophet
(blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Worship at times of
turmoil is like migrating to me (hjrah).” Narrated by Muslim (2548). 

Al-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

What is meant by turmoil here is fitnah and when there is a
great deal of confusion among people. The reason why worship at such times
is of such great virtue is that people become careless about it and are
distracted from it, and no one is devoted to it except a few. End quote. 

Sharh Muslim 18/88 

We do not think that the sister who asked this question or
any of the Muslims should single out the night of the Gregorian New Year for
worship by way of responding to the disbelievers who fill those nights with
sin, unless it is already a Muslim’s regular habit to pray qiyaam or fast at
other times too, in which case there is nothing wrong with doing acts of
worship on those nights, and Allah will reward him with good for his actions
and his intention. 

The warning against singling out the nights of the
disbelievers’ festivals for worship has been discussed in the answer to
question no. 113064. 

And Allah knows best.

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