We celebrate various religious occasions such as the Night of Power (Laylat al-Qadr), the Prophet's Night journey and Night ascension (Al-Isra' wa Al-Mi'raj), the birth of the Prophet(Al-Mawlid Al-Nabawi) and so forth. These celebrations comprise the following:
- Inviting notable sheikhs and scholars to deliver religious lectures.
- Organizing religious competitions.
- Making use of loudspeakers both inside and outside the mosque
- Decorating the outside of the mosque with lights.
- Videotaping the ceremony.
- Preparing a special seating area for the scholars, consisting of a table and chairs facing the audience.
- Distributing desserts and beverages.
- Honoring those who have memorized the holy Qur`an and conscientious mosque workers.
What is the Islamic stance of holding celebrations in this manner?
Celebrating the various religious occasions is a matter to be desired unless it involves anything prohibited by Islamic law.
Evidence from the Qur`an
Allah the Almighty says, And remind them of the days of Allah.[Ibrahim, 5]
Evidence from the sunnah
- The Prophetused to fast Mondays. He would say, "This is the day on which I was born" [Muslim].
- Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them both) reported that when the Prophet came to Medina, hefound the Jews fasting the day of Ashura` so he asked them, "What is the significance of this day that you fast?" They replied, "It is an important day. On this day, Allah delivered Musa and his people and drowned Pharaoh and his people. So Musa fasted this day in gratitude to Allah and we likewise fast this day." The Prophet said, "We have more right to Musa than you." And so he fasted this day and ordered Muslims to do likewise [Bukhari and Muslim].
Based on the above, it is permissible to celebrate religious occasions in the manner mentioned above. It is not disliked nor is it an innovation; rather it is considered honoring the rites of Allah. He says,And whoever honors the rites of Allah - indeed, it is from the piety of hearts.[Al-Hajj, 32]
Allah the Almighty knows best.