Q: Nowadays we find Islamic Souks and Fairs on the increase. People refer to these Souks and Fairs as Islamic Souks and Fairs. Are these Souks and Fairs something which Islam encourages?
A: Islam is the most perfect way of life which was presented to us by Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). Thus whatever conforms to this perfect way, whether it relates to Ibaadah, business, personal attire and appearance or social life, will be Islamic. Anything that is contrary to the way of life presented by the Qur’an and Sunnah can never be Islamic.
From the above, it is clear that something does not become “Islamic” simply by attaching the label of Islam to it, or due to being organised by Muslims/ Muslim organisations or because some apparently Muslim items such as abayas, scarves and nasheed CD’s will be sold there.
Unfortunately many people are in the misconception that many Fairs, Souks, bazaars, etc., held in the name of Islam or organised by Muslim organisations are Islamic, due to the reasons mentioned above. The reality is that there are many un-Islamic aspects at these Fairs and Souks due to which they cannot be referred to as “Islamic”. Intermingling of sexes, photography, pop-music styled nasheed concerts, immodest dressing, men and women rubbing shoulders with each other are often the “highlights” of such events. Such events also attract youth of both genders and often serve as a meeting point for immodest activities. In essence, today’s “Islamic Souks and Fairs” mainly provide entertainment, shopping and various family activities in the name of Islam.
Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) prophesized the coming of such critical times in the Ummah, when the true spirit of Islam will be totally lost, and only the name and outer appearance of Islam will remain.
Hazrat Ali (Radhiyallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) said: “A time will soon dawn upon the people when Islam will only remain in name, and the Qur’an will only remain in its words. The Masaajid will be decorated, yet bereft of guidance (i.e. people will not perform Salaah in it).” (Shu’abul Imaan #1908)
From this Hadith we understand that true Islam can only be obtained when the true spirit of Islam and its value system is implemented in the lives of the Muslims, and the Qur’an is not merely recited in melodious tones, but its teachings and injunctions are adhered to.
And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.
وعن علي قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم “يوشك أن يأتي على الناس زمان لا يبقى من الإسلام إلا اسمه ولا يبقى من القرآن إلا رسمه مساجدهم عامرة وهي خراب من الهدى علماؤهم شر من تحت أديم السماء من عندهم تخرج الفتنة وفيهم تعود (مشكاة رقم 276 ، شعب الإيمان رقم 1908)
Mufti Zakaria Makada
Checked & Approved:
Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)