Yet this strange tradition is not only practiced among the common masses, but also newspapers and magazines participate in it by publishing false news on April 1. What is more awkward is that it isadmired as a commendable act and a mark of excellence.
CONFUSIONS & THEIR ANSWERS
In our Muslim Society, two types of unwanted standpoints are noticed:
(1) A Few brothers try to propagate that April fool is the celebration of Muslim's defeat in Spain. So this day's celebration is the celebration of the defeat of Muslim ummah and
(2) Many Muslim youths, in blind imitation of Western Culture, not only observe it but consider it commendable act.
Both these standpoints are against the guidelines of Islaam. Celebration of 1st April is definitely anti-islaamic. The same is about the propagation that it is the celebration of Muslims' defeat at the hands of Christians.
A good Muslim hates lies and fabrications especially in presenting facts about the history of Islam. Regarding the rumor claiming that April Fool’s Day is a celebration of the defeat of Muslims in Spain, it is clear the whole thing is a fabricated story. It is in fact a lie made by the nonbelievers to mislead Muslims and in realty create a “Muslims Fool Day”! A Mumin never propagates lies especially when it comes to the history of Islam. It is our duty to educate our Muslim youths on these issues.
A Website has written:
Let us verify some points and arrive to the conclusion on these sorts of fabrications:
First, Muslim Spain ended on the 12th of January in the Christian year of 1492 A.D. Yet 'April Fool's Day was not heard of until over fifty years later. The most authentic reports according to Christian historical books such as Encyclopedia Britannica as well as many others trace the roots of the holiday back to 16th century France. Prior to the year 1582, the new year was celebrated for eight days, starting with the 25th of March. The celebration culminated on April 1st. With the reform of the Christian calendar under King Charles IX, through the influence of Pope Gregory, the Gregorian calendar was introduced, and New Years Day was moved to the first of January. However, due to lack of communications in those days, many people did not receive the news for several years. Others, the most obstinate crowd, refused to accept the new calendar and continued to celebrate the New Year on April 1. These backward people were classified as “fool” by the general public and were often subject to some ridicule. Hence, the tradition of April Fool’s Day began.
Second, we should acknowledge the fact that tobacco products were not even invented until after the time of the fall of Muslims in Spain. According to the State College in Framingham, they quote that smoking of any kind did not exist in Spain until after it was brought back from the New World in the times after King Ferdinand of Spain had come to power. Tobacco use did not become widespread until the 19th century.(Introduction to human biology, Framingham State College, Roger N. Morrissette, Ph.D.)
Encyclopaedia Britannica states :
April Fools' Day also called ALL FOOLS' Day, first day of April, named from the custom of playing practical jokes or sending friends on fools' errands on that date. Although it has been observed for centuries in several countries, the origin of the custom is unknown. It resembles other festivals, such as the Hilaria of ancient Rome (March 25) and the Holi festival of India (ending March 31). Its timing seems related to the vernal equinox (March 21), when nature "fools" mankind with sudden changes in the weather. On April Fools' Day all people are given an excuse to play the fool. In France the fooled person is called poisson d'avril ("April fish"), but the origin of the name is unknown. In April the cuckoo, emblem of simpletons, comes, so in Scotland the victim is called gowk (cuckoo). The custom of playing April Fools' jokes was taken to America by the British. It has continued to be observed by children and adults and sometimes involves rather elaborate hoaxes as well as merely simple jokes.
ORIGIN OF APRIL FOOL DAY
Most commentaries and researchers maintain that the modern celebrations of the day developed in 1582, in France. As the story goes, prior to that year, the New Year was celebrated for eight days, beginning on March 25. The celebration culminated on April 1. With the reform of the calendar under Charles IX, the Gregorian Calendar was introduced, and New Year's Day was moved to January 1. In France, however, many people either refused to accept the new date, or did not learn about it, and continued to celebrate New Year's Day on April 1. Other people began to make fun of these traditionalists, sending them on "fools' errands" or trying to trick them into believing something false.
The French came to call April 1 "Poisson d'Avril," or "April Fish." An April fish is a young fish and thus, one which is easily caught. French children sometimes tape a picture of a fish on the back of their schoolmates, crying "Poisson d'Avril" when the prank is discovered. Traditionally, French pranks must include or at least relate to a fish. The nickname of "Poisson d'Avril" is said to have been acquired by Napoleon I when he married Marie-Louise of Austria on April 1, 1810.
April Fool's Day was later introduced to the American colonies of both the English and the French.
In Scotland, April Fool's Day is actually celebrated for two days. It is also known as "April Gowk," "Gowkie Day" or "Hunt the Gowk." "Gowk" is Scottish for "cuckoo" -- an emblem of simpletons. The second day is also known as "Taily Day."
Mexico's counterpart of April Fool's Day is actually observed on December 28. In Portugal, April Fool's Day is celebrated on the Sunday and Monday prior to the Lenten Season, with the traditional trick being to throw flour at one's friends.
In spite of the "modern" origins of the day, many historians agree that the day has clearly ancient roots. We are told that ancient cultures, including those as varied as the Romans and the Hindus, celebrated New Year's Day on April 1. The Encyclopedia Britannica points out:
"What seems certain is that it is in some way or other a relic of those once universal festivities held at the vernal equinox, which, beginning on old New Year's Day, the 25th of March, ended on the 1st of April. This view gains support from the fact that the exact counterpart of April-fooling is found to have been an immemorial custom in India. The festival of the spring equinox is there termed the feast of Huli, the last of which is the 31st of March, upon which the chief amusement is the befooling of people by sending them on fruitless errands."
Other sources tell us that throughout antiquity, numerous festivals included celebrations of foolery and trickery. One source, "April Fool's Day: Early Roots," gives the following noteworthy report:
"The Saturnalia, a Roman winter festival observed at the end of December, was the most important of these [celebrations of trickery]. It involved dancing, drinking, and general merrymaking. People exchanged gifts, slaves were allowed to pretend that they ruled their masters, and a mock king, the Saturnalicius princeps (or Lord of Misrule), reigned for the day. By the fourth century AD the Saturnalia had been transformed into January 1 New Year's Day celebration, and many of its traditions were incorporated into the observance of Christmas... Northern Europeans observed an ancient festival to honor Lud, a Celtic god of humor. And there were also popular Northern European customs that made sport of the hierarchy of the Druids... During the Middle Ages, a number of celebrations developed which served as direct predecessors to April Fool's Day. The most important of these was the Festus Fatuorum (the Feast of Fools) which evolved out of the Saturnalia. On this day (mostly observed in France) celebrants elected a mock pope and parodied church rituals. The church, of course, did its best to discourage this holiday, but it lingered on until the sixteenth century. Following the suppression of the Feast of Fools merrymakers focused their attention on Mardi Gras and Carnival."
The same source states this regarding the "modern" origin of "April Fool's Day":
"The calendar change hypothesis might provide a reason for why April 1st specifically became the date of the modern holiday. But it is clear that the idea of the springtime festival honoring misrule and mayhem had far more ancient roots. In addition, the process by which the observance of the day spread from France to Protestant countries such as Germany, Scotland, and England is left unexplained by this theory. These nations only adopted the calendar change during the eighteenth century, at a time when the tradition of April Foolery had already been well established throughout Europe. Finally, it is not clear what, if any, primary evidence (i.e. first-hand accounts written during the 16th and 17th centuries) supports the theory. The link between the calendar change and April 1st appears to be based on modern conjecture rather than archival research. Therefore, while the theory remains a possibility, it should not be treated as a fact."
A German source, "Faz.Net," points out that neither the Jews nor the Muslims participate in the custom of April Fool's Day. Tagesschau.de wrote on April 1, 2002, that there are 800 theories regarding the origin of "April Fool's Day," and stated that the Catholic Church "has no problem" with its celebration. Dr. Manfred Becker-Huberti explained: "Even though the first April prank has only been recorded in Germany in 1631, the custom seems to be much older. It can be found amongst all Indo-Germanic tribes... One possible origin can be found in the Roman feast of Quirinalia, or of the Indian feast of Huli, during which fools cast out winter and demons. The best explanation is that it derives from a spring festival, like the German "Fastnacht" ["Fastnacht" is part of the German Carnival. The original "Fastnacht" was also celebrated for the purpose of casting out winter and demons]... In honor of [the Greek goddess] Venus, a feast of deception was celebrated in the spring. April 1 was her special day, and that is the reason why she was also called 'Aprilis.' The name of the Indian goddess of love, 'Maja,' has the meaning of 'deception.'"
The Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, by James Hastings, points out:
"The origin of the practice is obscure... it was widely prevalent at the close of the 16th century. It seems difficult, therefore, to accept the theory that it was due to the transference of New Year's Day from the First of April to the First of January... The similarity of the fooling in India and the Celtic lands of Western Europe, taken together with affinities in religion and folklore... points to a common origin in very early times... The First of April was kept in ancient Rome as the Feast of Venus and Fortuna Virilis... It is to some Celtic form of this worship of Venus on the First of April that the origin of All Fools' Day must be traced... All Fools' Day may therefore be the relic of a Spring Festival of Llew [a Sun-god of Celtic mythology]."
AN IMPORTANT POINT:
Now the men who were holding Jesus mocked him and beat him; they also blindfolded him and asked him, "Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?" And they spoke many other words against him, reviling him. Luke 22:63-65
The gospels also carry a narration of how Hazrat Masih (alaihis salaam) was also harassed by being bounced around from court to court. He was first charged and tried in the court of the Jewish elders and jurists, the Sanhedrin. But it merely transferred his case to the court of the Roman governor, Pilate, who sent the case back to the Jewish king Herod. Finally from the court of King Herod, he was taken back to the court of the Roman governor, Pilate, for decision.
The Larousse Encyclopedia opines that the very purpose of sending Hazrat Masih (alaihis salaam) from one court to another was to highlight his helplessness, to ridicule and deride him, and to subject him to mental distress. That incident, they say, took place on the first of April, and the tradition of April fool was in fact started in memory of that very shameless incident.
The victim of the custom of April fool, the person who is tricked and fooled is called ‘poisson d’avril’ in French. In English, it would be ‘April Fish’. (Encyclopedia Brittanica page 496 V1) So the person who has been tricked and made a fool of is like the first catch of the season, the fist fish that has been netted in the beginning of April, the New Year. In support of its opinion, the Larousse Encyclopedia claims that the French word ‘poisson’ translated into English as ‘fish’ is actually a degenerated form of another similar French word, ‘poison’ which means to ‘cause distress’ and to ‘inflict torture’. This tradition, they say, was actually selected to refresh the memory of the incidences of insult and torture which according to the Christian traditions Masih (alaihis salaam) had to endure on the 1st of April.
According to another French writer the word is indeed ‘poisson’ but it is an acronym. It is a composite of the first letters of five other French words that are when arranged sequentially: Essa, Masih, Allah, son and ransom. According to that writer, too, the origin of April fool is an attempt to memorialize the ridicule and distress inflicted upon Hazrat Essa (alaihis salaam).
So, it can be said that the Jewish community started that custom and gave it currency probably with the intent and object of hurling ridicule upon Hazrat Essa (alaihis salaam). Yet it is amazing that the custom which the Jews initiated to disparage Hazrat Essa (alaihis salaam) was not only accepted by the Christians with cold calmness, but they also joined in the celebration and helped spread the custom. May be the Christian folks were unaware of the origin of this custom, and may be they began celebrating it without giving it much thought in a vacant absent-minded manner. Yet the approach of the Christians and their mental outlook concerning such matters is rather odd, to say the least. As a general rule, the cross upon which Hazreet Essa was crucified in their opinion should have acquired a hate-worthy status in their eyes, because it was employed as a means of torturing and ridiculing Hazrat Masih (Alaihis Salam). But amazingly, they declared it sacred and today it is the holiest symbol of the Christian faith.
ADOPTING APRIL FOOL DAY IS BIDAT:
April fool celebration contains lying, deceiving and inflicting pain upon others. As per Islaam, these are sins. It directly contradicts the morals and teachings of Islaam. Islam forbids lying even in jest, and it forbids frightening a Muslim whether in seriousness or in jest, in words or in actions.
Almighty Allah says: "Truly Allah guides not one who transgresses and lies." [40:28]
Almighty Allah also says:"Curse of Allah upon those who lie." [3:61]
It was narrated from Abu Dharr (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There are three to whom Allaah will not speak on the Day of Resurrection and He will not look at them or praise them, and they will have a painful torment.” The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) repeated this three times. Abu Dharr said: “May they be doomed and lost, who are they, O Messenger of Allaah?” He said, “The one who lets his garment hang below his ankles, the one who reminds others of his favours, and the one who disposes of his goods by swearing a false oath.”
So, if we dwell upon the origin and reality of this evil custom seriously, we can easily comprehand the significance of its avoidance
.Even the Christian Scholars advises to refrain from this fake custom. Church of the eternal God website writes:
"Considering all the evidence of the origin of April Fool's Day, as it has become available to us, as well as the very nature of the celebrations and activities accompanying that Day, we must conclude that true Christians should refrain from participating in it."