Is it permissible to celebrate the advent of the new Hijri year and congratulate each other? Also, is it permissible to remind people of the lessons learned from this event by means of religious lectures and sermons?
All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.
Scholars had different opinions about exchanging congratulations on the advent of the new Hijri year or years and months in general. Some believed that it is prohibited, while others believed it is recommended. According to the Shaafi’i scholar, Al-Haafith Ibn Hajar the predominant opinion is that it is recommended. According to another Shaafi‘i scholar, Al-Bayjoori it is permissible, as reported on his authority by Imaam Zakariyya Al-Ansaari .
Reminding people of the Hijrah of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, from Makkah to Madeenah, extracting lessons and examples and teaching them to people during religious sermons and lectures, is permissible under Sharee'ah (Islamic law). It is a good thing to take such opportunities and anniversaries to remind people. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, used to take advantage of certain events and occasions to teach his companions and clarify the ruling of Allaah The Almighty in such events. In this regard, it was narrated that on the day of Ibraaheem's death, a son of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, there was an eclipse of the sun and the people said that it happened because of his death. Upon hearing that, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, stood up and told them that the sun is one of the signs of Allaah The Almighty and that it does not eclipse because of someone's death or birth. [Al-Bukhari]
Likewise, it was narrated on the authority of Zayd ibn Khaalid Al-Juhani that after a rainy night, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, addressed the people after the Fajr (Dawn) prayer and told them that Allaah The Almighty had informed him that some of them woke up as believers while others woke up as polytheists. Then he clarified that whoever among them attributed rain to the bounty of Allaah The Almighty and His Mercy, he was a believer, and whoever attributed it to the planets and thought that the rain was decreed by them, was a polytheist. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
There are many similar Hadeeths that were delivered on different occasions throughout the Sunnah (tradition) of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. This means that the wise preacher seizes opportunities, events and situations to clarify the rulings of Allaah The Almighty to warn Muslims, bring them glad tidings and lift their morale.
The ruling for celebrating the new Hijri year is the same as that of celebrating the birthday of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
Allaah Knows best.
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