You’ve reverted to Islam and had to give up many practices and traditions which previously were part of your life. This may or may not have been easy for you. Yet every year your non Muslim friends and/or family invite you to a New Years Eve party and you find it difficult to tell them no. Perhaps it is out of fear of disappointing them or not wanting to seem like you’re a different person now because you’re a Muslim.
Firstly, the reality is that you are different. And they may be offended or hurt by your refusal to attend events such as a New Years Eve party. This is the first thing; to accept. Allah (Most Glorious is He) has guided you to Islam and it is only His approval that matters. To please our family and friends we will displease our Rabb. But why is it that Muslims don’t celebrate New Years Eve and how can you deal with those pressuring you to attend?
In Islam New Years means nothing at all. It has no religious significance. Well you might ask why can’t you celebrate it? New Years Eve gatherings are traditionally ones where the sexes mix and where alcohol is served. This kind of gathering is displeasing to Allah.
How do you explain to your family and friends that you will not attend? Some may be willing to listen to an explanation and others may not be so willing. Deal with them kindly, and explain that as you have chosen to submit yourself to the will of Allah which means following the commands He has laid down for you. You may find yourself having to give the same explanation year after year but remember that being a Muslim means to follow the teachings of the Quran and Sunnah. You may be met with such comments as, “there is no harm in it. It’s just a party. Your religion doesn’t want you to have fun. You used to be so much fun. What happened to you? Or I don’t like you as a Muslim.” As a revert myself I have been met with some of these comments and I have felt the pressure to give in and just go to make others happy or not to lose friends. But upon reflection I realized that making people happy would displease Allah and damage my relationship with Him. It is at times like these that I especially remember death and I ask myself, if I were to die tomorrow would I want the last thing I would have done been attend a New Years Eve party? You may well lose friends or have family members who would rather not be in contact with you because of your religious beliefs. And this can be hurtful and difficult to deal with. I find comfort in knowing that while I may have lost people I care about I have gained the pleasure of Allah.
At this time of the year I choose to reflect on how I have served Allah and how I can improve. I personally have chosen to fast more during the winter months, to help myself improve. This life you have chosen as a Muslim may not always be easy but through your struggles and determination to serve Allah you are fulfilling the purpose of your creation, to worship Allah. Allah in the Quran has told us, “And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.” Your friends and family may not even remember in the future that you don’t attend, and eventually they may even get used to the fact, but your Rabb, He remembers all your deeds, and will record your refusal as a good deed, one that you did to please Him, Allah Knows Best.