The most ironic of situations seen among Muslims today are following and adhering to the customs and/ practices of the unbelievers (kuffar). If the actions of a Mu’min (a believer) match the rituals, customs, and celebrations of the unbelievers, it is a clear indication that the inner beliefs of a Muslim have been deeply influenced by the non-Muslims . This is simply the evidence of fascination and admiration towards the actions of the enemies of Islam, which the Holy Quran and Hadith directly oppose us to do, may those be in any form.
Many people among us proclaim that they have not compromised inwardly and holistically with unbelievers. They put up excuses that their participation in a western culture like customs and celebrations are society-demands, an obligation to people, duties, and responsibilities that cannot be ignored. However, such excuses and assertions only prove how distorted beliefs we possess and how many carefree practices we carry on. It would have been far much better if instead of popping up such excuses we had sincerely and humbly regretted – I couldn’t hold myself back from all such evils yet! Indeed, I am weak in my faith and lagging behind in performing righteous actions. At least such a remorse-feeling protects Imaan and keeps the door open to rectify and reform.
According to the Holy Quran and Hadith, on Judgement Day, man would be resurrected and assembled with those people, whom he had followed in this worldly life. The consequences of every person will simply be the one that would be of his/her leader/role model. This is a very straightforward and vivid warning for us. Therefore, watch out: whom do my actions match? Whom do I follow in lifestyle?
Every aspect of our life bounds wishes and objectives. We follow ways to attain those. The wishes and objectives are the intentions – why we do something. The ways to work are ‘how actions are carried on’ when we accomplish those. A Muslim’s intention is to please Allah Taala and his way of work is the Sunnah or Prophetic way.
If Muslims celebrate and utter, “Happy New Year”, “Happy Birthday”, “Happy Valentines Day” and so on…..What is their intention? What is their objective? These are not only words, but they invoke actions. All ‘non-Muslim actions’ cannot be good actions for a Muslim. If a Muslim carries on such actions that has been forbidden by divine revelation, s/he is carrying on an action that is simply a sin. If a Muslim is following the non-Muslims in lifestyle, business or whatever, these are grave sins. These are sins, which replace our values and beliefs with theirs. Following the life of non-Muslims make us similar to them. Gradually and finally, we lose the most invaluable and precious asset ‘Imaan’ – completely unnoticed (May Allah Taala save us. Aameen).
Allah Taala warns:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَتَّبِعُوا خُطُوَاتِ الشَّيْطَانِ وَمَن يَتَّبِعْ خُطُوَاتِ الشَّيْطَانِ فَإِنَّهُ يَأْمُرُ بِالْفَحْشَاء وَالْمُنكَرِ وَلَوْلَا فَضْلُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَتُهُ مَا زَكَا مِنكُم مِّنْ أَحَدٍ أَبَدًا وَلَكِنَّ اللَّهَ يُزَكِّي مَن يَشَاء وَاللَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ
Meaning: O those who believe, do not follow the footsteps of shaytan (the devil). And whoever follows the footsteps of shaytan, (should know that) he orders (one to commit) shameless acts and evil deeds. And had it not been for the grace of Allah upon you, and His mercy, not a single person from you would have ever attained purity. But Allah purifies whomsoever He wills. And Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing. (Al-Noor-21)
And in other Verses Allah Taala says:
مَّا عَلَى الرَّسُولِ إِلاَّ الْبَلاَغُ وَاللّهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تُبْدُونَ وَمَا تَكْتُمُونَ-
قُل لاَّ يَسْتَوِي الْخَبِيثُ وَالطَّيِّبُ وَلَوْ أَعْجَبَكَ كَثْرَةُ الْخَبِيثِ فَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ يَا أُوْلِي الأَلْبَابِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ
Meaning: The duty of Our Messenger is only to convey the Message. And Allah knows what you disclose and what you conceal. Say, “The bad and the good are not equal, even though you are attracted by the profusion of the bad. So, fear Allah, O men of understanding, that you may be successful.” (Mai’dah: 99-100)