“Say (O Muhammad Sallallaahu alayhi wassallam to mankind): “If you (really) love Allaah then follow me, Allaah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allaah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [soorah Al-Aal-e-Imraan, v:31]
Mawlid al-Nabee (the Prophet’s birthday)
Praise be to Allaah.
There is nothing in the Qur’aan to say that we should celebrate the Mawlid or birthday of the Prophet sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam.
The Prophet himself sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam did not do this or command anyone to do it, either during his lifetime or after his death. Indeed, he told them not to exaggerate about him as the Christians had exaggerated about Jesus (upon whom be peace).He said:
“Do not exaggerate about me as the Christians exaggerated about the son of Maryam. I am only a slave, so say, ‘The slave of Allaah and His Messenger.'” (1)
What has been reported is that the Prophet sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam made the day of his birth a day of worship, which is different to celebration. He was asked about fasting on Mondays, and he said:
“That is the day on which I was born and the day on which I was entrusted with the Mission or when I was first given Revelation.” (2)
Moreover, we know that the Sahaabah radi Allaahu 3Anhumaa were the people who loved the Prophet most.
Was it reported that Abu Bakr, who was the closest of people to him and the one who loved him the most, celebrated the birthday of the Prophet sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam?
Was it reported that 3Umar, who ruled for twelve years, or 3Uthmaan, did this? Was it reported that 3Ali, his relative and foster son, did this? Was it reported that any of the Sahaabah did this?
No, by Allaah! Is it because they were not aware of its importance, or did they not truly love the Prophet sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam? No one would say such a thing except one who has gone astray and is leading others astray.
Did any of the imaams – Abu Haneefah, Maalik, al-Shaafi3ee, Ahmad, al-Hasan al-Basri, Ibn Seereen – do this or command others to do it or say that it was good?
By Allaah, no! It was not even mentioned during the first and best three centuries.
The Prophet sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam said in a saheeh hadeeth:
The best of mankind are my generation (or my century), then those who come after them, then those who come after them. Then there will come a people who will not care if their testimony comes before their oath or vice versa (i.e., they will not take such matter seriously).” (3)
The celebration of the Prophet’s birthday appeared many centuries later, when many of the features of true religion had vanished and bid3ah had become widespread. Thus this celebration became a sign of one’s love for the Prophet sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam
But can it be possible that the Sahaabah, the imaams and the people of the best three centuries were unaware of it, and it was only those who came later who were aware of its importance?!
What the Qur’aan tells us is that love of the Prophet sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam is demonstrated by following the guidance he brought. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Say (O Muhammad): ‘If you (really) love Allaah, then follow me, Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allaah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
Say: ‘Obey Allaah and the Messenger.’ But if they turn away, then Allaah does not like the disbelievers.” (4)
The first aayah explains that love is just a claim, but the proof of sincerity is following what the Prophet sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam brought. The second aayah reaffirms the importance and necessity of obeying Allaah and His Messenger. Hence Allaah ended the aayah with a very stern warning in which those who refuse to obey are described as kaafirs, and Allah does not love the disbelievers. We ask Allaah to keep us safe from that.
The Prophet sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam told us of the danger of not obeying him, and the danger of adding to what he brought. The celebration of Mawlid or his birthday is indeed an addition to what he brought – as all the scholars agree.
The best of speech is the Book of Allaah, and the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad. The most evil of things are those which are newly-invented (in religion), and every innovation is a going astray.” (5)
Innovations in the Month of Rabee3 al-Awwal:
There are various ways in which people celebrate the Mawlid (Prophet’s birthday) occasion:
Some of them simply gather to read the story of his birth, or they listen to speeches and qaseedahs (odes) on this occasion.
Some of them make food and sweets etc, and offer them to the people who attend.
Some of them hold these celebrations in the mosques and some hold them in their houses.
Some of them do not limit themselves to what we have mentioned, rather their gatherings include haraam and evil things such as men mixing freely with women, dancing and music, or acts of shirk such as seeking the help of the Messenger sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam and calling upon him or seeking his support against their enemies, and so on.
Whatever kinds of celebrations they are and whatever form they take, they are undoubtedly bid3ah and haraam innovations that were introduced long after the time of the best generations. (6)
Doing Special Acts of Worship:
Doing special acts of worship on this day such as saying tasbeeh and tahmeed, observing i3tikaaf, reading Qur’aan and fasting is an innovation for which a person will not receive any reward, for these are all rejected. It was narrated from 3Aa’ishah radi Allaahu 3Anha that the Messenger of Allaah sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam said:
Whoever introduces anything into this matter of ours that is not part of it will have it rejected.” (7)
According to another version:
“Whoever does an action that is not in accordance with this matter of ours will have it rejected.” (8)
Eating meat slaughtered on the occasion of the Mawlid:
Sacrificing animals on the occasion of commemorating the birth of a prophet or a Waliy (pious person) to glorify them is judged as sacrificing an animal to other than Allash, and that is Shirk (associating others with Allash in His Divinity or worship). Therefore, it is not permissible to eat from these animals. It is authentically reported that the Prophet sallAllaahu 3Alayhi wa sallam said: “Allaah has cursed the one who slaughters (a sacrifice) to other than Allaah” (9)
Does the Prophet sallAllaahu 3alayhi wa sallam attend mawlid (physically or spiritually)?
It is not confirmed that the Prophet (sallAllaahu 3alayhi wa sallam attends/visits (after his death) anyone from amongst the people, and the principle (of this) is that this does not occur, therefore it is obligatory to remain upon this until (athenticated) evidence suggests otherwise (10)
We ask Allaah to protect us from bid3ah and to bless us by helping us to follow, Aameen
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==========================================================References: (1) Al-Bukhaari (2) Muslim, al-Nisaaee and Abu Dawood (3) Al-Bukhaaree, Muslim and al-Tirmidhee (4) soorah Aal 3Imraan 3:31-32 (5) Muslim and al-Nisaaee (6) http://islamqa.com/en/ref/89693 (7) Narrated by al-Bukhaaree, 2550; Muslim, 1718 (8) Muslim (1718) (9) Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’ http://www.alifta.net/Fatawa/FatawaChapters.aspx?View=Page&PageID=216&PageNo=1&BookID=10 (10) http://www.alifta.net/Fatawa/FatawaChapters.aspx?View=Page&PageID=218&PageNo=1&BookID=10