Keeping the holidays halaal
14 December 2018| 04 Rabi ul Aakhir 1442| Ayesha Ismail
Holidays are free time, the perfect opportunity to spend quality time with loved ones.
It’s the time when the busy year-round routine has taken its toll on you and you’ve waited in anticipation to relax and unwind. In South Africa, we are truly lucky as the December break coincides with summer.
It’s very difficult to ignore the holiday vibes, the weather is beautiful, days are long, the beaches are perfect and somehow the world subtly nudges us to slide into the holiday mood.
Nabi (Saw) mentions in a hadith, “There are 2 bounties in which many people are negligent. Good health and free time”
As Muslims, we need to be alert with this free time. There is no problem in enjoying oneself and relaxing, but it must be done within the parameters of Shari’ah. Allah SWT has created this world that we live in so beautifully, we would be at a loss if we did not visit it, embrace it and acknowledge Allah SWT khudrat.
“He it is who enables you to travel by land and sea; until when you are in the ships, and they sail on with them in a pleasant breeze, and they rejoice” (10:22)
“Lawful for you is all water-game, and all the catch of the sea, as enjoyment for you and for those who travel” (5:96)
“And among His signs is that He sends the winds with glad tidings, and to give you a taste of His grace, and so that the ships might sail by His command, and that you might go about in quest of some of His Bounties, that you may be thankful” (30:46)
With that being said, we should try to change our holidays into ‘holy days’. It is not wrong for a mu’min to enjoy themselves, but not while comprising your relationship with Allah SWT.
The December holidays especially are synonymous with the Christmas atmosphere. We find ourselves surrounded by alluring Christmas activities and festivities centered around the Christian holidays making it very easy for us to partake of this festive Christmas cheer, sometimes even without realizing it.
As Muslims we must remember that Halaal food, Deen and most importantly Allah do not go on holiday. Intermingling, improper dressing (exposing one’s awrah in public), sinful activities, missing Salah, are just some of the wrongs that take place.
A lot of people are of the mindset that it’s okay to be ‘chilled’ in terms of Shariah while on a holiday.
No holiday is worth forfeiting your imaan over. Allah alone knows when our time in this dunya will expire. As Moulana Dawood Seedat so beautifully says:” Don’t take this world too seriously. It’s not worth breaking hearts over it and then paying in the hereafter.”
For a Muslim, every day is supposed to be used in the obedience of Allah, to prepare our everlasting abode in the hereafter, holiday or not.
Remember, this is just the ‘holiday season’. While your holiday destination might be beautiful, let’s work to strengthen our Aakhirah and enjoy the eternal luxuries and enjoyment that Allah SWT has created for us in Jannah, Ameen.
“Merry Christmas” greetings and gifts
As Muslims, we should refrain from wishing our colleagues and friends a ‘merry Christmas’ and not encourage the exchange of gifts as well during this time of year. Doing this will be in recognition of their religion. (This goes for all other un-Islamic religious festivals and celebrations as well)
We as Muslims believe in Allah SWT alone, any association with Allah SWT is regarded as blasphemy. We should, therefore, distance ourselves from any other religion that preaches otherwise.
By giving gifts we are indirectly saying we are praying and wishing that they enjoy their day associating partners with Allah. Instead, we should change our greeting and wish them ‘a better new year’ and make dua for Allah to grant them hidayah.
Another point we need to be mindful of is that we will be met with overcrowding at malls, beaches, parks, supermarkets and other public places. We need to expect a traffic jam and remain calm, courteous and exercise patience at all times.
If you are going on leave soon and contemplating a family getaway or a road trip. Here are some tips for a memorable holiday.
- Make mashwara with the family and decide on a destination together. Best to travel in a group.If you are travelling in a group appoint an ameer. Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri and Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “When three persons set out on a journey, they should appoint one of them as their leader.” [Abu Dawud].
- Research the destination, the activities, etc. Decide on a budget based on where you are going and the activities you will be engaged in.
- Make sure halaal food is easily obtainable. Another option is to book a self-catering apartment and carry your food items prepared at home. (This proves much more economical as well)
- Stay away from services and dining areas that serve alcohol and any other haram activities like nightclubs, etc.
- Make sure the Masjid is within close proximity. Always good to have a travel Musallah in your car boot. This ensures you do not miss your Salaah while travelling. Remember the world is your Musallah!
- Remember to recite your travelling duas and begin your journey in the early part of the morning. Preferably after Fajr salaah. Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Keep to travelling by night because the earth is folded (traversed more easily) during the night.” [Abu Dawud]
Once you have decided on your holiday destination that allows you to practice your Deen as well as to spend quality time with your family, remember that these holidays are lasting memories, so do it right!
WRITTEN BY: AYESHA ISMAIL