Praise be to Allah.
This is a great evil and a reprehensible bid’ah (innovation) which should be avoided. It is not permissible to take part in it or to eat the food that is offered on these occasions, because the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and his companions (may Allaah be pleased with them) of the Ahl al-Bayt and others did not do that. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever innovates something in this matter of ours (Islam) which is not part of it will have it rejected” (saheeh, agreed upon). And he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever does an action that is not a part of this matter of ours (Islam) will have it rejected” (narrated by Muslim in his Saheeh, and narrated by al-Bukhaari (may Allaah have mercy on him) in his Saheeh, mu’allaq majzoom). And there are many ahaadeeth with similar meanings.
With regard to seeking the help of the dead and the Ahl al-Bayt, this is a form of major shirk, according to the consensus of the scholars, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And whoever invokes (or worships), besides Allaah, any other ilaah (god), of whom he has no proof; then his reckoning is only with his Lord. Surely, Al‑Kaafiroon (the disbelievers in Allaah and in the Oneness of Allaah, polytheists, pagans, idolaters) will not be successful”[al-Mu’minoon 23:117]
“And the mosques are for Allaah (Alone), so invoke not anyone along with Allaah”[al-Jinn 72:18]
“And who is more astray than one who calls on (invokes) besides Allaah, such as will not answer him till the Day of Resurrection, and who are (even) unaware of their calls (invocations) to them?
And when mankind are gathered (on the Day of Resurrection), they (false deities) will become their enemies and will deny their worshipping [al-Ahqaaf 46:5-6]
“He merges the night into the day (i.e. the decrease in the hours of the night is added to the hours of the day), and He merges the day into the night (i.e. the decrease in the hours of the day is added to the hours of the night). And He has subjected the sun and the moon, each runs its course for a term appointed. Such is Allaah, your Lord; His is the kingdom. And those, whom you invoke or call upon instead of Him, own not even a Qitmeer (the thin membrane over the date stone).
If you invoke (or call upon) them, they hear not your call; and if (in case) they were to hear, they could not grant it (your request) to you. And on the Day of Resurrection, they will disown your worshipping them. And none can inform you (O Muhammad) like Him Who is the All‑Knower (of everything)[Faatir 35:13-14]
And there are many aayaat with similar meanings.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Du’aa’ (supplication) is a form of worship.” (Narrated by the four authors of Sunan with a saheeh isnaad). And Muslim narrated in his Saheeh, from Ameer al-Mu’mineen ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “He is cursed who offers sacrifices to anyone other than Allaah.”
What is obligatory upon all of the Shi’ah and on everyone else is to worship Allaah alone in sincerity, and to beware of calling upon anyone other than Allaah for help, or of praying to the dead or absent, whether they are from the Ahl al-Bayt or otherwise.
It is also obligatory to avoid praying to or seeking the help of inanimate objects such as idols, stars, etc., on the basis of the same shar’i evidence (daleel) that we have mentioned above.
The scholars of Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah, of the Sahaabah and others, are unanimously agreed upon this matter.
Secondly: what is the ruling on the sacrifices which are offered in those places on these occasions? What is the ruling on the drinks that are distributed in the streets and to the general public?
The answer to this question is the same as the answer to the first question, which is that it is a reprehensible bid’ah and it is not permissible to take part in it, or to eat the meat of these sacrifices, or to drink any of these drinks. If the sacrifices have been made to anyone other than Allaah, from among the Ahl al-Bayt or anyone else, this is major shirk, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Say (O Muhammad): ‘Verily, my Salaah (prayer), my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allaah, the Lord of the ‘Aalameen (mankind, jinn and all that exists).
He has no partner. And of this I have been commanded, and I am the first of the Muslims’”
“Verily, We have granted you (O Muhammad) Al‑Kawthar (a river in Paradise).
Therefore turn in prayer to your Lord and sacrifice (to Him only).
And there are many aayaat and ahaadeeth with similar meanings.
We ask Allaah to help us and you and all the Muslims to do all that He loves and is pleasing to Him, and to grant us and you and all of our brothers refuge from misleading temptations, for He is Ever Near and Ready to respond.