Ruling On Offering Congratulations At
The Beginning Of The Hijri Year: How Do We Know When
‘Aashooraa' Is This Year?
Islamic Rulings -
Living Shariah Verdicts
Islamic Questions & Answers
What is the ruling on offering congratulations
on the occasion of the Hijri new year and saying "Kull
‘aam wa antum bi khayr" or praying for blessing, or
sending a card with best wishes for blessings in the
Praise be to Allaah.
Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah
have mercy on him) was asked: What is the ruling on
congratulating people on the occasion of the Hijri new
year, and how should one reply to a person who offers
If someone offers you congratulations, then respond to
him, but do not initiate such greetings. This is the
correct view concerning this matter. So if a person
says to you, for example, "Happy New Year", then you
can say, "May Allaah make it a good and blessed year
for you." But you should not initiate such a greeting,
because I do not know of any report that the salaf
[early generations of Islam] congratulated one another
on the occasion of the new year, rather the salaf did
not regard the first of Muharram as the first day of
the new year until the caliphate of ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab
(may Allaah be pleased with him.
Shaykh ‘Abd al-Kareem al-Khudayr said concerning
offering congratulations on the occasion of the hijri
Praying for another Muslim in general terms, in
phrases that are not meant as a kind of ritual on
special occasions such as Eid, is acceptable,
especially if what is meant by this greeting is
friendship and to show a friendly face to one's fellow
Muslim. Imaam Ahmad (may Allaah have mercy on him)
said: "I do not initiate the greeting but if someone
greets me I return the greeting, because responding to
the greeting is obligatory. But being the first to
offer congratulations is neither Sunnah nor forbidden.
How Do We Know When ‘Aashooraa'
Is This Year?
How should we fast ‘Aa'shooraa' this year? Until
now, we do not know when the month begins or whether
Dhu'l-Hijjah has twenty-nine or thirty days. How can
we define when ‘Aa'shooraa' is and fast it?
Praise be to Allaah.
If we do not know whether the month of Dhu'l-Hijjah is
complete (30 days) or imcomplete (29 days), and no one
tells us when the new moon of Muharram was sighted,
then we should follow the basic principle, which is
that the month should be completed as thirty days. So
Dhu'l-Hijjah is counted as being 30 days long, then we
calculate the date of ‘Aashooraa' on that basis.
If a Muslim wants to be sure that he has fasted on the
right day, he should fast two consecutive days at ‘Aashooraa'.
So he should calculate when ‘Aa'shooraa' will be if
Dhu'l-Hijjah is twenty-nine days and if it is thirty
days, and fast these two days. Thus he will be
definite that he has fasted ‘Aashooraa', and in this
case he will have fasted either the ninth and tenth,
or the tenth and eleventh, both of which are good. If
he wants to be sure of fasting Taasoo'ah (the ninth of
Muharram) as well, then he should fast the two days we
have spoken of above and the day immediately before
them as well. Then he will have fasted the ninth,
tenth and eleventh, or the eighth, ninth and tenth. In
either case he will have fasted the ninth and tenth
If someone were to say "My work and other
circumstances only allow me to fast one day, so which
is the best day for me to fast?" we say to him:
Count Dhu'l-Hijjah as being thirty days and work out
the tenth day (of Muharram), then fast on that day.
This is a summary of what I heard our shaykh, ‘Abd
al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him), say
when I asked him about this matter.
If we receive news from a trustworthy Muslim that he
has seen the new moon of Muharram, we should act in
accordance with that. Fasting at any time in Muharram
is Sunnah, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him) said: "The best fasting after the
month of Ramadaan is fasting in the month of
Muharram." (Narrated by Muslim, 1163)