Question: What is the meaning of holiday in Islamic culture? Is it necessary for Muslims?
Holiday means to take some time off in today’s sense. The necessity of it depends on the individual.
A Muslim can pause some of his works for a while but he shouldn’t waste the time. He should attend to some other useful works in his spare time.
Allah the Almighty commands:
“Indeed with hardship, there is also ease. Indeed with hardship there is also one more ease. So when you have the time, toil. Give the preference to your Lord.” (94:5-8)
It would be wrong to look for the modern sense of holiday in Islamic sources, since Islam does not offer a business life that is managed centrally like today. This holiday concept is an inevitable result of the perception of industrial revolution which offers the individual a kind of business life that contradicts with his social and family life, his feelings and his nature.
Holiday should not mean “having fun to repletion by wasting great amounts of money and time in places that are especially designed for unlawful purposes”. We should understand the concept of holiday as a change in agenda, a self-improvement by experiencing new things and relaxing by doing different things in a different environment. Traveling in order to learn new things, attending a course, playing sports or visiting friends and family can be good examples.
There can be no holiday in worship and in our responsibilities to our family or to our society. And holidays should not cause us to get in financial trouble. We should do everything in our means. Allah the Almighty commands:
“When they spend, neither do they squander, nor do they skimp. They maintain a way between.” (25:67)