بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
Love for Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) is what differentiates the believers in the perfection of their Iman (faith). In an authentic hadith related in Bukhari and Muslim, the Prophet (pbuh) said: “None of you believes until he loves me more than he loves his children, his parents, and all people.” In another hadith in Bukhari he said: “None of you believes until he loves me more than he loves himself” and Sayyidina `Umar said: “O Prophet, I love you more than myself.”
Loving the Prophet (pbuh) and following him is a main component of Faith. ALLAH has repeatedly emphasized the believers in the Qur’an to Obey ALLAH and His Messenger (pbuh), and ignoring this Command puts one’s faith in doubt;
So fear ALLAH and set things right between you, and obey ALLAH and His Messenger if you are (in truth) believers. (The Holy Quran, Surrah Al-Anfaal 8:1)
Say (O Muhammad pbuh): “Obey ALLAH and the Messenger (Muhammad pbuh).” But if they turn away, then ALLAH does not like the disbelievers. [The Holy Quran 3:31-32]
Thus it is very important to follow the Prophet (pbuh) to have perfect Imaan (faith), ALLAH says in the Qur’an; Indeed in the Messenger of ALLAH (Muhammad pbuh) you have a good example to follow for him who hopes in (the Meeting with) ALLAH and the Last Day and remembers ALLAH much. [Al-Ahzab; 33:21], so ALLAH has placed a role model in front of us to pursue and adapt our lives according to it, with the guarantee from ALLAH of being the best model which ALLAH likes.
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said in the Farewell hajj sermon;
“Imam Tirmidi has narrated from Sayyidina Jabir ; he states: ‘I saw Nabi (s.a.a.w) in Hajj on the day of Arafat, he was sat on a camel and he said: ‘O people! I am leaving with you such things that if you hold fast to them you will never go astray, they are the book of ALLAH (Quran) and my Sunnah.’
He further said;
“…The people of Israel divide into divided into 72 sects, my Ummah will divide into 73 sects, all of them will be in the hellfire, and one of them will be in paradise.” We asked “Which one is saved?” The Prophet (saw) said, “The one that is with me and my Companions.”3
[Abdullah ibn Amru, Tirmidhi, Hadith No. 2565 ]
Now keeping these verses of the Qur’an and Hadith of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in mind, lets see what was the sunnah of prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and his companions in regard to 12th Rabi ul Awwal or the birthday of the prophet (pbuh), in the following extracts:-
“Most historians are silent about the exact date of birth of the Prophet (s.a.w), where as those who do mention it, there are many contradictions and disagreements amongst them.
Muhammad Husain Haykal in the biography of Muhammad (s.a.w) writes :
“Historians have disagreed about the year of Muhammad’s birth. Most of them hold that it took place in “the Year of the Elephant,” i.e. 570 C.E. Ibn ‘Abbas claims that Muhammad (s.a.w) was born on “the Day of the Elephant.” Others claim that he was born fifteen years earlier. Still others claim that he was born a few days, months, or years, after “the Year of the Elephant.” Some even assert that Muhammad was born thirty years and others seventy years later than “the Year of the Elephant.”
Historians have also differed concerning the month of Muhammad’s birth although the majority of them agree that it was Rabi` al Awwal, the third month of the lunar year. It has also been claimed that he was born in Muharram, in Safar, in Rajab, or in Ramadan.
Furthermore, historians have differed as to the day of the month on which Muhammad was born. Some claim that the birth took place on the third, of Rabi` al Awwal; others, on the ninth; and others on the tenth. The majority, however, agree that Muhammad (s.a.w) was born on the twelfth of Rabi` al Awwal, the claim of ibn Ishaq and other biographers.”
The presence of such disagreements on the exact day of his birth, proves that birthdays were not important to the Arabs. Arabs were very well known for their great memorization skills. They used to know the lineage of their families and other Arabs by heart; they used to know hundreds of verses of poetry by heart, a great feat of memorization.
If the birthday of Prophet Muhammad PBUH was such an important celebration, surely they would have remembered it and noted it down. Furthermore, there is also no proof from history that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) mentioned his exact date of birth or encouraged his followers to hold milads/mawlid or recite durood loudly on this day.
History proves that Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) never celebrated his own birthday. He used to fast on Mondays irrespective of the month. All that we know for sure is that he was born on a Monday and that deeds are presented to ALLAH on Mondays, which is the reason he used to fast on Mondays. His exact date of birth and even the month is a subject of debate, which further proves the insignificance of birthday celebration of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)
Further more none of the Sahaba, his closest companions ever celebrated his birthday, decorated mosques, read aloud poetry in his praise or held milads or took out processions on 12th Rabiul Awal.
So when we say that we dearly love our Prophet saw and therefore there is no harm in displaying this love on 12 Rabiul Awwal, we need to analyze our selves and ask our selves…
If companions of Rasool ALLAH did not celebrate Milad then why are we celebrating it?
Do we love Prophet Muhammd saw more than his closest companions who sacrificed their lives, family , wealth and property for him? Do we love our Prophet (s.a.w) more than these sahaba? Do we know a better way of expressing our love then the sahaba?Are we better Muslims than the Sahaba Karam (ra)? Are we more pious than Abu Bakar and Umar and Ali and usman radiallahu anhum?? Are we more knowledgeable than these companions? Obviously Not!
This tradition of Milads seeped into Muslims culture later on and was not part of original Islam. It is clearly an innovation a new thing added into Islam which is a Bida and therfore should not be celebrated as it was not part of original Islam practiced by the companions at the time of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)
Rasool ALLAH (s.a.w) him self said:“Whoever has performed a deed which is not in the religion from its inception is rejected (not acceptable to ALLAH)“. (Bukhari and Muslim)
History of Mawlud
The basic earliest accounts for the observance of Mawlid can be found in 8th century Mecca, when the house in which Prophet Muhammad was born was transformed into a place of prayer by Al-Khayzuran (mother of Harun al-Rashid, the fifth and most famous Abbasid caliph). Public celebrations of the birth of Muhammad did not occur until four centuries after his death. It was originally a festival of the Shia ruling class, not attended by the common people, with the first official Mawlid celebrations occurring in Egypt towards the end of the 11th century. The early celebrations included elements of Sufic influence, with animal sacrifices and torchlight processions along with public sermons and a feast. The celebrations occurred during the day, in contrast to modern day observances, with the ruler playing a key role in the ceremonies. Emphasis was given to the Ahl al-Bayt with presentation of sermons and recitations of the Qur’an. The event also featured the award of gifts to officials in order to bolster support for the ruling caliph.
Abu al-Abbas al-Azafi (1162–1236) established the custom of celebrating Mawlid in Morocco. His son Abu’l-Qasim propagated it throughout the Maghreb.
The first public celebrations by Sunnis took place in twelfth-century Syria, under the rule of Nur ad-Din Zangi Though there is no firm evidence to indicate the reason for the adoption of the Shi’ite festival by the Sunnis, some theorize the celebrations took hold to counter Christian influence in places such as Spain and Morocco. Theologians denounced the celebration of Mawlid as unorthodox, and the practice was briefly halted by the Ayoubides when they came to power, becoming an event confined to family circles. It regained status as an official event again in 1207 when it was re-introduced by Muzaffar ad-din, the brother-in-law of Saladin, in Arbil, a town near Mosul, Iraq.
The practice spread throughout the Muslim world, assimilating local customs, to places such as Cairo, where folklore and Sufic practices greatly influenced the celebrations. By 1588 it had spread to the court of Murad III, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. In 1910, it was given official status as a national festival throughout the Ottoman empire. Today it is an official holiday in many parts of the world.
5. ^ a b c d “Mawlid (a.), or Mawlud”, Encyclopedia of Islam
6. ^ Kaptein (1993), p.29
7. ^ a b “Mawlid”, Encyclopædia Britannica
8. ^ a b Schussman (1998), p.216
9. ^ a b Kaptein (1993), p.30
10. ^ Marion Holmes Katz, The birth of the prophet Muḥammad: devotional piety in Sunni Islam, Routledge, 2007, p. 10 and throughout
11. ^ “Festivals and Commemorative Days”, Encyclopedia of the Qur’an
12. ^ Hava Lazarus-Yafeh. “Muslim Festivals”. Numen 25.1 (1978), p. 53
13. Celebrating the Prophet’s Birthday. Fatwa by former head of Al-Azhar Fatwa Committee.
14. ^ Schussman (1998), p.217
So it is clearly seen that celebrating 12th Rabi ul Awwal was a practice not to be found in the history of Islam till many hundred years after the time of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and his companions. The Prophet (pbuh) did not encourage his sahaba to celebrate his birthday and not only that, the following hadith reveal that he disliked to be magnified and exaggerated,
Anas said that none was dearer to them than ALLAH’s Messenger, and they would not stand up when they saw him due to their knowledge that he disliked it. Tirmidhi (Adab – 5:90 # 44) said it is hasan sahih (fair and sound).
He (pbuh) said in another hadith: “Do not praise me in the fashion that the Christians praised `Isa ibn Maryam” (Bukhari 6:478 Bk. 60 Anbiya’ #48 and Ahmad 1:23,24).
It is observed these days that in addition to or as a pretext to showing love to the holy Prophet (pbuh) the mawlid or Eid Milad un Nabi has become a display of celebrating, merrymaking and of some acts which have no evidence of acceptability from the sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh) and his companions, but are actually discouraged, like dancing on a beat of a drum etc. Instead of spending the time in such actions we should concentrate on the teachings of the Prophet and make an effort to follow his Sunnah and make it a part of our lives, for true love is not just an outward expression, it is a matter that involves the heart and affects both the outward and the inward. When we truly love someone, then, because of the influence of that love, we dislike to behave in a manner which contradicts with the likings of the loved one. So we can analyze for ourselves that when we claim to love our beloved Prophet (pbuh), do our actions really harmonize with his teachings and preferences. How ironical it is that with a closer observation one can see that those involved in celebrations for the Prophet’s (pbuh) birthday, do not even have a good knowledge about the life history of the Prophet (pbuh). Then one may wonder what kind of expression of love is this, where the method of that expression goes against the norms of the loved one!
Anas bin Maalik (radi Allahu anhu) said: “The Messenger of ALLAH (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) came to Madinah and the people had two days when they would play and have fun. He said, ‘What are these two days?’ They said, ‘We used to play and have fun on these days during the Jaahiliyyah (Days of Ignorance). The Messenger of ALLAH (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said, ‘ALLAH has given you something better than them, the day of (Eid) Adhaa and the day of (Eid) Fitr.’”
[Sunan Abu Dawood – Classed as Sahih by Shaykh al-Albaani]
Rasoolullah (pbuh) did not mention a third day of eid or the day of his birth as a day of rejoicing and celebrationg.
ALLAH says, “O you who believe! Do not put (yourselves) forward before ALLAH and His Messenger (SAW), and fear ALLAH. Verily! ALLAH is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.
O you who believe! Raise not your voices above the voice of the Prophet (SAW), nor speak aloud to him in talk as you speak aloud to one another, lest your deeds may be rendered fruitless while you perceive not.” [The Holy Quran, Surrah Al-Hujuraat 1-2]
ALLAH knows best
[Continue reading for more information about the history of Mawlid]
The Sayings of A’immah Muhaditheen about the History of Celebrating Eid Milad Un Nabi :
The Bid’ah custom of Eid Milad Un Nabi was not established amongst the Ummah after the time of the prophet until six centuries (600 years) had surpassed. There was no evidence from the Companions, Tabi’een, Mujtahideen, Muhaditheen or Awliya of this Ummah to ever have even thought of performing this act of celebrating the birth of the Prophet .Yet, all of these great personalities had even greater knowledge of the Holy Qur’an and Hadith, which the Ahle Bid’ah ‘use’ to support their innovated practice. This act was first performed by a ruling king, Muzafarudeen Ibn Arbal (died 630H) and his friend who was a worldly orientated scholar by the name of Ibn Wahiya Abul Khattab (died 633H), in the Muslim area of Mosul, Iraq in 604 Hijri. (Dowlul Islam, p104)
Imam Ahmed bin Muhammad Misri Maliki رحمه الله writes: ‘That king (Muzafarudeen Ibn Arbal) used to tell the scholars in his time that whatever Ijtihad he would dictate should be adopted and nothing else was to be followed. He managed to select a group from the scholars who were inclined to Duniya to support his view. In this way he started celebrating ‘Milad Un Nabi’ and he is the 1st person amongst the Muslims kings to create this innovation.’ (Al Qawlul Mu’tamit)
To propagate and spread this Bid’ah further, the king would utilise hundreds of thousands of Dinars from the Muslim treasury. Allamah Dhahabi رحمه الله (died 748H) stated: ‘Every year he (this king) would spend 300,000 Dinar on this event. To try to establish proof for this celebration, he commissioned a book written by Ibn Wahiya and for this effort he paid Ibn Wahiya 1000 Dinar in modern day terms. (Dowlul Islam, p103-4)
Hafiz Ibn Hajar Asqalani رحمه الله stated in respect of Ibn Wahiya: ‘He would greatly disrespect and dishonour the pious predecessors and scholars of the past. He was foul tongued (bad language, filthy talk, etc) extremely proud and foolish individual. He was lazy, narrow minded and unmindful in respect of religious works.’ (Lisaanul Meezan, vol 4, p296)
Nowadays there are people who have engulfed themselves in innovated practices (Ahle Bid’at). It is claimed from some of their leaders that a ‘Wahabi’ is that person who is disrespectful of the Awliya ALLAH. The qualities these people attribute to ‘Wahabis’ are ironically the very same qualities that are renowned to the individuals who started the innovation (Bid’ah) of Milad-un-Nabi. Muzafarudeen Ibn Arbal and Ibn Wahiya would greatly disrespect the Awliya and Scholars. These two individuals also held views similar to the Ghair Muqalideen, as they would rely on their own Ijtihad to formulate rulings, leaving aside scholars and religious rulings. Therefore, according to the definition of Ahle Bid’at, they
too must be ‘Wahabi’ themselves! This celebration also serves as a way to dupe simple people, who have little knowledge of Deen but desire it in their lives, in order to preserve a position of power over them.
It is a blessing of ALLAH that even today, those that adhere to the path of the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamat do not follow such innovated practices.
Further, Ibn Hajar رحمه الله has written that Allamah Ibn Najjar رحمه الله stated: ‘I have found people to be unanimous upon his (Ibn Wahiya) being a liar.’ (Lisaanul Meezan, vol 4, p295)
Ibn Katheer رحمه الله stated: ‘Ibn Wahiya was an untruthful individual. People had forsaken the act of relating Hadith from him and he was regarded untrustworthy. This was due to the fact that his condition was very bad (character).’ (Al Bidaya Wal Nihaya, vol 13, p145)
The Saying of the Scholars and Awliya ALLAH :رحمهم الله
Through the above mentioned references, it is clear how and where this innovation began after the 6th Century Hijri. The question must arise, why then are people still acting upon this today if it is incorrect?
As mentioned above previously, the individual who commenced this practice was a king himself. There is an Arabic saying ( النّاس على دين ملوآهم ) ‘People are upon the religion of their leaders.’ For the layman it is somewhat understandable. However, some of those who have knowledge are well aware that this Bid’ah was not present for 3 blessed generations of this Ummah. They try to falsely establish evidence from the Qur’an and Sunnah for this and form their own Qiyas on narrations that have no relation to the birth of the Prophet . This is in fact propaganda against the pure teachings of Islam, to the extent that an individual of immense knowledge and calibre Imam Jalaludin Suyuti رحمه ال(died 911H) had to state: ( ليس فيه نص ولكن فيه قياس ) ‘The permissibility of Mawlud is not established anywhere from the Qur’an or Sunnah. It is only Qiyas.’ (Fe Amalil Mawlood)
From the above saying we can understand that there is no evidence to make the act of Milad-un-Nabi permissible in light of the Qur’an, Sunnah or Ijma. It is only a forcefully fabricated Qiyas to appease the Nafs. Allamah Abdur Rahman Maghribi رحمه الله writes in his Fatawa: ‘Verily, the performing of Milad (as a celebration) is Bid’ah. There is no evidence that the Prophet , the rightly guided companions or A’ima Mujtahideen practiced upon this themselves or ordered others to practice upon it.’ (Fe Shiratil Ilahiyah)
ان عمل المولد بدعة لم يقل به ولم يفعله رسول الله والخلفاء والائمة- (آذافى الشرعة الإ لهيه)
Imam Ahmed bin Muhammad Misri Maliki رحمه الله writes: ‘The scholars of the four schools of Fiqh are all unanimous upon the evil of this action of Milad.’ (Al Qawlul Mu’tamit)
Imam Abu Ishaaq Shatibi رحمه الله writes it is also Bid’ah ‘To take the day of birth of the Prophet and celebrate it as an Eid’. (Al E’tisaam, vol 1, p39)
It is clear that the scholars of the four schools of Fiqh are unanimous in their verdict of declaring the celebration of Eid Milad Un Nabi to be incorrect. How can it not be, as the name of the Prophet is being used to establish that deed wherein, all things are against the teachings of the Prophet ? This is definitely a greater disobedience and disrespect to the Prophet !. Certain things have been taken from the Christian teachings, and some from the manner of the Rawafid (Shia) association to Muharram. The Ahle Bid’ah takes these two evils and combines them under the name of the Prophet, disrespecting the Prophet personality and the teachings of Islam. They proclaim that this deed represents belief and love for the Prophet .
Shah Waliullah Muhaddith Dehlawi رحمه الله writes: ‘The Prophet said: ‘Do not make my grave a place of celebration.’ In this Hadith, the Prophet has prevented any innovation coming into the Deen with respect to the blessed grave. Due to the fact that the Christians and Jews did this very same deed with the graves of their pious people.’ (Hujatullahi Baligha)
The Scholars of Truth in every generation have strongly opposed this act of Milad celebration: Ibn Taymiyyah Hanbali stated in Fatwa Ibn Taymiyyah, vol 1, p312; Imam Naseer ud Deen Shafi رحمه الله stated in Rashad ul Akhyar, p20.
Mujadid Alf Thani Hanafi رحمه الله stated in Mutkoobat, vol 5, p22; Shah Abdul Aziz Muhadith Dehlawi رحمه الله stated in his Fatawa Azizi, p93.
By, Mufti Muhammad Yusuf Danka
01/Jamad ul Awwal / 1431 Hijrah- 16. 04. 2010.