Quesiton 98 : Assalaamu ‘alaykum warahmatullahi wabarakaatuh Dear respected Shaikhs,

Sometimes people cook special dishes in certain Islamic months, eg Muharram, Rajab, Rabee’ al-Awwal…

I think the reason (for the Muharram one at least) is commemorating the death of Husain Radiya Allahu ‘anhu.

If someone gifts us some food cooked for the special occasion, is it permissible to eat it?

Answer :  Walaikumussalam Br Ismail Ibn Ahmed

Cooking special dishes for a month or day dedicated for an occasion or purpose to do with religion to please Allah is an act of worship, of religion, which is to seek Allah’s pleasure by doing that which He likes.

And since the religion – neither in Quran or in Hadith – did not direct us nor permit us to observe or commemorate any occasion annually or at any interval, except the two Eids (Fitr and Adha), therefore, such an observance of specialness or commemoration of a day religiously is prohibited and rejected, as the Prophet (s.a.w) himself said,

من عمل عملا ليس عليه أمرنا فهو رد

“Whoever did an action, that our command is not on it, is rejected.” Sahih Muslim.

And when the Prophet found the pre Islamic people of Medinah playing around and celebrating two days annually for their own causes, the Prophet (s.a.w) said to the Muslims that “Allah has replaced for you, two other days better than those two the day of fitr and the day of adha.” This shows that all repeating occasions of celebrations or commemorations are forbidden in Islam except the two that the Prophet said replace all others.

Moreover, the Prophet forbade Muslims from mourning the death of any person beyond three days, except for iddah of a wife of a deceased person where she does not remarry for four months and ten days. This shows that mourning the death of Hussain (r.a) annually 1350 years after his death is un Islamic and prohibited by the Prophet (s.a.w). Departing from the guidance of the Prophet – the Messenger of Allah – deprives us from the wisdom of Allah, takes us upon a way of life where we commit one form or another form of excesses and distance ourselves from the purpose of this life. Morning death of a person annually, no matter who he or she is, makes that person have a prominence in our lives that is only befitting the Almighty God and not of any human being to remember them with our whole heart year after year even 1350 years after!! This much revernece is not befitting for any human and is a departure from purpose of life to devote life to the love and worship of the Almighty God and to live for Him.

Hence commemorating or dedicating days every year for any occasion or a cause, except the two eids, is unIslamic, prohibited, and known as a bid’ah (an unsanctioned unprecedented act that deprives us of religion in hidden ways).

Food made specially on those occasions commenorating those occasions and out of love and reverence for those causes is thus food that we should not consume as the food that we are to consune is one dedicated to Allah mentioning His name prior to eating it or sacrificing it – how can we dedicate to Allah something that Allah prohibited for us via His Messenger as mentioned above!

Allahu a’alam.