Life of a Reverted Muslim

"O believers enter into Islam completely and do not follow the footsteps of Shaitan, surely he is your clear-cut enemy. If you falter after receiving the clear-cut message, then keep in mind that Allah is Mighty, Wise. Are they waiting for Allah to come down to them in the shadow of clouds, along with the angels, and make His decision known? Ultimately all matters will be presented to Allah for decision"
(Surah Al-Baqara, Ayah 208-210)


Monday, January 23, 2012

Chinese New Year is a religious or cultural celebration??


Seriously, before this I do not know exactly what is this Chinese New Year even way before I embraced Islam. For me when I was a small kid is all about collecting 'ang pow', lion dance & reunion dinner. When I grew up, Chinese New Year is all about 'ang pow' (Chinese tradition is that as long as someone still single they will be entitle for ang pow even you are at 60!!!), gambling (at home or Genting) and makan makan.
Do you give or receive ang pow?
Cultivating gambling habit during Chinese New Year. Start small when younger and bet go bigger when getting older. 
But exactly what is Chinese New Year is all about? Is it a religious celebration or cultural? Let find out in brief;

"In Chinese mythology, a Nian (traditional Chinese: 年獸; simplified Chinese: 年兽; pinyin: nián shòu) is a beast that lives under the sea or in the mountains. Once each spring, on or around Chinese New Year, it comes out of hiding to attack people, especially children. The Nian is sensitive to loud noises and afraid of the color red.

The Chinese New Year traditions of decorating in red, exploding firecrackers, and performing a lion dance were originally used to scare the beast away. Some people display Chinese couplets on red banners to prevent the Nian from returning. Numerous other traditions such as wearing red clothing or handing out red envelopes are also designed to protect against the Nian.

The Chinese word for year is the same as the name of this beast. A phrase for celebrating Chinese New Year, guo nian (traditional Chinese: 過年; simplified Chinese: 过年; pinyin: guò nián) means the passing of the beast."

Do you get it now what is Chinese New Year all about? Is merely a legend that have no religious meaning or whatsoever except the belief that certain colour or certain activities like burning of firecrackers & wearing certain colour will scare away the beast or bring luck is not what we as Muslim believe in. 

It is more accurate to say that Chinese New Year is more of a cultural celebration rather than a religious one unless proven otherwise... Here is an article of two version of history of Chinese New Year...


Instead of the belief wearing red will chase away the beast, I certainly believe if a lady with long hair without hijab wearing red in the middle of the night will definitely chase away those sex maniax and scare off many people too.. The real beast is human dont you think so? Hmmmm....
This is more scary right?
 
Islam is very simple, easy & practical religion. When someone embraced Islam, any cultural or tradition that does not goes against the teaching of Islam are acceptable but of course if those tradition or culture make life difficult when Islam have make our life easier then it is better to avoid it. Remember this, Islam never stop the practices of cultural or tradition whenever someone become Muslim unless is against the teaching of Islam. If tradition of reunion dinner and visiting relatives even they are not yet Muslim is strongly encourage in Islam as Allah says;

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"Thy Lord hath decreed that ye worship none but Him, and that ye be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in thy life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honour."

Furthermore, when it come to cultural celebration we are allow to celebrate it as long as we observed our time of prayer and practicing our manners as Muslim by not touching or staring at non mahram and consume anything that we believe is halal.. If u feel like eating Bak Kwa (Dried Meat) because seriously it is so nice, go and buy one that is halal and enjoy with them and is can also be a good opportunity for dakwah. You can get the halal version at Pak Le or from my friend, Grace Loo...


Here are some tips for new Muslim especially Chinese Muslim for Chinese New Year. Not exactly the horoscope prediction that some expected because no one know the unseen except Allah but just some sharing on how best we can enjoy this celebration without sacrifice our Iman. Here you go:

DO's;
- If you are married, give ang pow (please remember me too ya)
- If you are still single you can accept ang pow and if you want to give also no problem but again please remember me too... 
- Reunion dinner (halal food of course)
- Visit relatives & friends
- Dakwah and not just visit them. Remember not to leave them without them have additional knowledge about Islam. If you cant talk well then behave well and show our Islamic manners.
- Wishing them Xin Nian Kuai Re & May Allah guide all of us will be the best
- Wear red and very red also no problem as long the wording and design do not have element of syirik

 


DONT's
- Read or listen to horoscope prediction because is another form of syirik. If you are in control then switch channel and if you are not then just stay away.
- Participate in the worship of ancestor, welcoming god of prosperity, welcoming Tian Gong or any superstitious stuff
- Involve in gambling and do your best to stay away even it didnt involve money
- Offer, encourage, bring or pour any alcohol drink for anyone and stay away from the table too. Look for relatives that do not involve in gambling or alcohol drinking to talk to them about Islam. Do not talk about Islam when they are drunk because you do not know what will happen next
- Stare or touch non mahram
- Too preoccupied until you forgot to perform your solat
- Stay away from any practices that you doubt because the Prophet s.a.w advised us to stay away from what is doubtful. DO EVERYTHING WITH TAQWA!
- How about YEE SANG? Read this article and you decide for yourself before you act on it...


Hopefully that little sharing is beneficial to new Muslim especially when our parents is still a Not Yet Muslim. Remember, we celebrate the diversity of our culture and tradition as long as it didnt go against the teaching of Islam because Allah created us differently not for us to fight each other but to know and love each other since we coming from the same source and our greaaaattttttttttttttttttttt ancestor are the same pair of Adam & Eve... Allah says;

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"O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things)."
(Al-Hujuraat 49:13) 

May Allah make it easier for us and assist all of us in understanding and practice this Deen...


19 comments:

  1. jazakallah for make it clear:)

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  2. Salam and a happy Chinese New Year to Everybody and may The Blessings of THE AL-MIGHTY bring great blessings and prosperity to everybody, everyone and everything under his care. May this auspicious day also foster joy, friendship and better relationship and understanding to ALL Mankind.
    Indeed, what Bro Firdaus wrote has much sense and meaning and if everybody were to read, understand and practice what is written at the end of his post (Surah Al-Hujurat 49:13)without pride and prejudice then this world would be a better place for everyone to live in. After all we come from the same greaaaaaaat grand father and grand mother, be it what ever color our skin is. Jazakallah.

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  3. right timing bro..may ALLAH guide all of us to the right path..

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  4. Terima kasih sdr firdaus...pasal baju merah & lion dance, info baru bagi saya...keep writing..

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  5. assalamu alayqum. if we celebrate Chinese new year, isn't it approving of something that Allah (SWT) did not create as it was not mentioned in the Quran? as for the burning of the firecrackers and wearing red to defend off the nian, isn't that an act of shirk as its giving powers to something that only Allah (SWT) has power to? I just want to be sure because I went through my first day of visiting relatives without saying 'happy Chinese new year' or any luck related phrases. A local chinese Imam here in Hong Kong advised me so. Please can you advise? Jazak'Allah kher. wassalam

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  6. Walaikumusalam waramatulahi wabarakatuh Anonymous Jan 23, 2012 03:43 PM,

    Islam never stop us from following tradition or culture as long as it didnt go against the teaching of Islam... Chinese New Year is a cultural celebration and not a religious one therefore there is no problem in it.

    We just have to remember the do & donts during this celebration as I mention above... CNY is different with Christmas, Wesak Day or any other celebration which are religious celebration... In the same time, we respect other people opinion that it is not allow to celebrate. Whichever that you are comfortable and believe in, please go ahead with that opinion but remember to respect other people who holding on to a different opinion as long as both party base their opinion on authentic hadith... Wallahualam....

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    Replies
    1. as'salaamualaikum...brother firdaus what authentic hadiths are these you speak of which allow the celebration of cultures and traditions?...

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    2. Brother Jamal, is this a culture or traditions? The general rules of thumb is that whatever that pertaining to worldly matters, it is ok to do until you have an EVIDENCE to forbid it.... do not confuse what is religious and tradition...

      Maybe you can share with me an hadith that forbid tradition and culture celebration which are non religious festival??

      Jazakallah Khairan..

      {[:-)#

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    3. Anas (radhi allahu anhu) said: “The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) came to Madeenah and the people of Madeenah had in Jahiliyah two days of play and amusement (they are the day of Niarooz (New Years Day) and the day of Maharajaan (Final Day of the Year). So, the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: "I came to you and you had in Jahiliyah two days of play and amusement. Indeed, Allah has replaced them for you by that which is better than them: The day of Nahr (slaughtering) and the day of Fitr (breaking fast)." [(saheeh) Musnad Ahmad (3/103, 178, 235 and others)]

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  7. Chinese New Year also call Lunar New Year, is about the new cycle of the Lunar Calender. The Lunar Calender also known as Agriculture Calender, it is a very useful and important guide for those involve in any agriculture activities including livestock and fishery in China. In fact, it is useful for all type of activities, because the Calender forecasting how the climate will change in China. Lunar Calender New Year also marks the end of the long winter season in China, traditionally people in China visiting relatives and friends to see how are they doing after such a long and difficult winter, normally they will take this opportunity to also share news happen during the past year and announce what they intent to do in the coming year, is like updating info/status between relatives and friends. So it is purely culture and tradition base on care & love between relatives and friends. The other fairy stories/legend/superstition is add on to make it more colourful for different purposes. Avoid all those meaningless things.

    Is all depend how you celebrate it. Wish you Happy Chinese/Lunar new year.

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  8. Jazakallah! Let's all unite in the path of Allah =))

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  9. Salams
    JazakAllah khair for all your work
    A brother I know wrote a short article (less than a page) on the proof of Islam, and wanted it to be translated into Chinese.
    Could you be able to translate it into Chinese please? If so, please contact me at mirzaahmed10@gmail.com

    This is the article:
    muslim-lion.blogspot.com/2012/06/prophet-on-planes-hadith.html
    Thanks

    --
    Kind regards,
    Mirza

    ReplyDelete
  10. Selamat Tahun Baru Cina (tak terlambat lagi) Syabas...blog yang baik...istiqammah dlm perjuangan. Sabar itu adalah penawar dan jangan mudah melatah kerana hidupinipenuh ujian...http://yaayyuhalwalad.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  11. Most of us born Muslim, we have faith embedded onto us since childhood on one sole Creator that is Allah s.w.t and Prophet Muhammad s.a.w being His Messenger. So we have the mentality that we are safe in the Hereafter; for we are Muslims.

    Perhaps this feeling of secureness having syahadat in our heart had cause us born-muslims become neglectful in performing the real duty to Allah . Particularly in Malaysia, I do feel most of us born-muslims are not scared of Allah. Why do I say this? Perhaps due to it not being a culture in Malaysia to teach about Greatness of Allah since childhood, most of us do not have the presence of Allah in our heart. Most of us do not know the content of Quran. Some dont even know the meaning of Surah Al-Fatihah even at old age. We dont know the stories of the past in the Quran, events in Mecca or Madina in Quran, and Signs from Allah in the Quran.


    For we only know how to sing or pronounce those words of God, as taught during school times. I do believe Ministry of Education in Malaysia should add an extra Islamic curriculum (to be taught progressively from Primary 1 to Form 5) that is to read complete translations of Quran with proper tafsir.

    So that the presence of Almighty God could be felt in our heart. And for the reverts, it is worth-mentioning that best generation of Ummah were generation of Companions r.a. They were the people that come from various beliefs, whom later accepted the call submitting to the one and only, Almighty God.

    ReplyDelete
  12. hi,

    Make this New Year the memorable one by celebrating it with Top of the Hill on the most beautiful hill station-Mussoorie, India.

    new year celebration Mussoorie

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for visiting my blog and take some time off to read and May it benefit everyone. Everything that is good come from Allah and for every shortcoming come from me. I appreciate all your criticism, suggestion and comment. No permission needed to share as all belong to Allah. Jazakallahu Khaira (May Allah Reward You with Good) for your time and comment....

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