Ruling on celebrating Guy Fawkes Night or Bonfire Night
Praise be to Allah
Guy Fawkes Night happens on the fifth of November in the solar calendar. The people of the United Kingdom (Britain) also know it as the Gunpowder Plot, or Bonfire Night. For them it is a special date and a special story.
This Guy Fawkes (1570-1606 CE) was one of a group of conspirators who planned to assassinate the king, James the First, and his Protestant Parliament on the fifth of November 1605 CE. This conspiracy is popularly known as the Gunpowder Plot. Guy Fawkes and all his co-conspirators were Roman Catholics who were exposed to the hostile anti-Catholic attitude of the Protestant British parliament, because full power of the law was only brought to bear against Catholics.
Robert Catesby was the leader of the conspirators. It was he who had leased an undercroft or cellar beneath the Parliament building and filled it with barrels of gunpowder. The role of Guy Fawkes was to light the fuse, but the government pre-empted events and the plot failed. Then Guy Fawkes was arrested, tried and executed.
Many British people celebrate Guy Fawkes night annually on the fifth of November, by lighting fireworks.
End quote from al-Mawsoo‘ah al-‘Arabiyyah al-‘Aalamiyyah.
It says on Wikipedia:
Guy Fawkes Night, also known as Guy Fawkes Day, Bonfire Night and Firework Night, is an annual commemoration observed on 5 November, primarily in Great Britain. Its history begins with the events of 5 November 1605, when Guy Fawkes, a member of the Gunpowder Plot, was arrested while guarding explosives the plotters had placed beneath the House of Lords. Celebrating the fact that King James I had survived the attempt on his life, people lit bonfires around London, and months later the introduction of the Observance of 5th November Act enforced an annual public day of thanksgiving for the plot's failure.
Many authors have written about the Protestant religious overtones of this celebration, because it is emblematic of anti-Catholic sentiment that was at its peak during that period. Hence this celebration was accompanied by some religious rituals, and it would stir up various kinds of religious, political and social arguments on this occasion in British newspapers in particular, which indicates to the researcher that all these factors should be taken together in order to understand the phenomenon of Guy Fawkes Night and to deal with its culture and history.
Whatever the case, we have previously explained on our website the clear Islamic ruling that is binding upon the Muslims, which is to stay away from these special occasions or festivals that are exclusive to some other religions, peoples and cultures, and to strive to fully embrace the Islamic identity that unites Muslims, far removed from any embrace of political, social and cultural traditions of other nations, the most serious of which are their religious traditions.
Al-‘Allaamah Muhammad Rasheed Rida (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
If we look at the issue of imitating others from a political point of view, it becomes clear to us that the correct thing is for our ummah to keep away from imitating other nations in terms of clothing and tradition, and everything that is of no benefit, especially imitating those who are opposing us and hostile towards us, but we should be encouraged to imitate them in everything that could bring us benefits, especially benefits that have to do with the power to defend the Muslim ummah and to increase Muslim wealth, by striving hard to keep pace with them in that regard, and in fact to compete with them to attain the sources and means of these benefits. We should not be limited to bringing the products of their factories and inventions, such as weapons and warships, because imitating them in the sense of acquiring these things by buying them from them and being like them in that regard does not help us to be independent of them, and in that case there will be no hope for us of coming close to where they are, let alone being at the same level as them, let alone being able to surpass them and go ahead of them, especially when you see us now in such a miserable state. Yet we do not deny the blessings of Allah.
End quote from Majallat al-Manaar, 1/551
And Allah knows best.
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