The poster of a young, self-styled ‘shaykh’ advertising a special tahaajud (vigil) to usher in 2018 went viral on social media a couple of weeks ago. As his likes were agog and the poster enthusiastically shared, muslims who understood the gross impropriety of such an ill were empathetically agonised.

Imams and alfas, like the aforementioned heretic, have begun repeated jingles for special tahaajud in their various mosques. Like the christians, they will gather in the mosque, in a hall, or on a spacious field to pray assiduously – purportedly ushering in the new year.

I ask. If Islam were of no man, but of Allah, with Qur’an and Sunnah as its manual, and the holy Prophet as its practitioners’ role model, from where did such a phenomenon originate – power packed tahaajud for December 31st? There is no doubt that such a practice is alien to our religion, and whoever engages in it does so at his own peril.

How will the night of December 31st be special to us without it being special to those Allah referred to as exemplary figures to us – the noble Prophet and his Sahaabah? Allah loved them and was pleased with them that he granted them entry into the eternal Abode even before their passage from earth.

“Indeed, in the Messenger of Allah you have a good example to follow, for him who hopes for (the meeting with) Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah much.” Q33 V21.

“And the foremost to embrace Islam of the Muhaajiruun (those who migrated from Makkah to Madeenah) and the Ansaar (the citizens of Madeenah who helped and gave aid to the Muhajiruun) and (also) those who followed them exactly – Allah is pleased with them, as they are pleased with Him. He has prepared for them Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise), to dwell therein forever. That is the supreme success.” Q9 V100.

What is the significance of the last day of Dhul Hijjah in Islam, let alone Gregory’s December 31st? Staging a special tahaajud to usher in Hijrah has no place in Islam, and such cannot be tagged less than bid’ah (innovation), how much more the Gregorian Calendar which we are using on account of subjugation by the west.

All nights are equal except the Night of Majesty, which is even accorded, not a verse, but a chapter in the glorious Qur’an – Suratul Qadr (Qur’an 97). Laylatul Qadr is divinely characterised by one thousand month (an equivalence of eighty-three years) superiority over other nights. Whoever is awake in ‘special or power packed’ prayer will have the Angels descend to deliver his prayers to Allah. This is a Night where unfavourable destinies are made favourable.

It baffles that some imams and society handlers (missioners) practise Islam as they so desire without recourse to Qur’anic and Sunnatic stipulations, and as exemplified by the salaf – the Sahaabah – those who have been described by Allah as the best worthy of emulation. If care is not taken, someone somewhere someday will innovate and establish a special prayer for June 30th to appreciate God for sparing their lives till the middle of the year. Be on the lookout; it will soon happen and dogmas will follow suit.

Remember, dear reader. By consensus, only two things guarantee the acceptability of worship or prayer: Al-Ikhlaas (sincerity – praying or worshipping for the sole sake of Allah) and Al-Mutaaba’ah (praying or worshipping in accordance with the way of the holy Prophet and his companions).

Therefore, pray tahaajud at home as you do on ordinary nights without any special intentions attached. And if you do not pray, you have missed nothing significant other than the great reward and benefits of qiyaamul-layl.

May Allah guide the strayed and never stray the guided. Aameeeeen!!!


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