In the Hadith we are cautioned about the harms of imitating other nations and customs.

The Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said: "You will imitate the nations before you very closely to the extent that if they went into a lizard's hole, you would enter it as well” his companions, may Allaah be pleased with them, inquired: “(Do you mean) the Jews and Christians, O Messenger of Allaah?” He sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam replied: "Who else?” (Bukhaari & Muslim).

The Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam also said: "The Day of Judgment will not come until my Nation closely imitates the nations before them.” It was asked: “Like the Persians and Romans, Messenger of Allaah?” He sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam replied: "Who are the nations (I could mean) except those?”(Bukhaari).

Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam “He who imitates a people will be from among them (on the Day of Judgement).” (Abu Daawood) and in another narration he sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “The one who imitates people other than us (i.e., in faith) is not from us. Do not imitate the Jews or the Christians” (Tirmithi).

In Aap Beti Vol 6 of Hazrat Sheikh rahmatullah alayhi we come across the following stories that we should take heed of.

Story No. 4:

Another example of how the environment affects people, is something I have seen in my own house. When my own children were between the ages of four and seven years, and musical sounds from the street processions were heard, they used to put their fingers into their ears in order to avoid listening to the trumpets and drums. They also used to make a lot of noise while shouting that the noise from outside, was the voice of the Shaytaan speaking. They would then ask their mother or elder sisters whether the Shaytaan had gone or not.

But now I see when my grandchildren hear this same noise of trumpets and drums, they call each other to come and see what is going on. I try to make them feel ashamed, that this new trend is as a result of their mothers doing and that their acts will have an effect upon their own children.

Story No. 5:

I have also seen a practise in our whole family, that during the time of Holi (a hindu festival of colouring), no one would wear any coloured clothing. Even bride-grooms, would only wear white kurtahs and black trousers, avoiding red at all times. Nowadays this practise is not strictly adhered to.

There is another story which in my childhood, I had heard from the womenfolk of our household quite often. I do not recall having ever hearing it being related by any men: There was once a very pious man, very punctual and diligent in his performance of salaah, zakaat and his wazeefas. After his death someone saw him in a dream, where he was seen sitting comfortably on a honoured platform in a finely decorated place. However on his lips was a small snake attached.

The person seeing the dream, asked him: "Hazrat, how is it that together with this great honour afforded to you, there is a snake attached to you?" He replied: 'During the time of holi, I was eating paan. It so happened that a lean donkey passed in front of me. In jest, I spat at the donkey, and jokingly remarked: "This is holi-time. Everyone is being coloured. No one coloured you. Let me colour you also."

This story was very widely known in my family circle and I know that even the paan-eaters, used to become frightened. The ladies of the family made a special point of making bridal couples and young children aware of it.

Therefore, dear readers, parents and ulema, please do refrain from celebrating New Year and caution our family and friends to do the same.