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RABI UL AWWAL


 

Table of Contents

 

Islamqa

Questions

1. Was Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) the first to be created?

2. Mawlid al-Nabi (the Prophet’s birthday)

3. They choose a day on which to speak about the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) in the mosque and they call it a Mawlid.

4. Celebrating the Mawlid and other occasions, and offering food on these occasions

5. Ruling on buying special sweets sold on the Prophet’s birthday (Mawlid)

6. Eating food that is distributed on the Prophet’s Birthday (Mawlid)

7. Reading Qur’aan together, giving good deeds to the dead, and al-Mawlid al-Nabawi (celebrating the birthday of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him))

8. Prizes for competitions on innovated occasions

9. Family gatherings on the Prophet’s birthday and ‘Ashoora’

10. Ruling on taking part in some annual celebrations

11. Scholarly opinions concerning the date of the Prophet’s birth and death, and which is most likely to be correct

12. Fasting on his birthday and on the birthday of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)

 

Question and Answers

Q1. Was Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) the first to be created?

A. Praise be to Allaah. 

Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is the best of the creation of Allaah, and the highest in status. But he is not the first of the creation of Allaah. The first thing that Allaah created was the Throne, not Adam or Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). With regard to the reports that Allaah created Muhammad from light and put his name next to His Name, and that when Adam was created and the spirit was breathed into him, he saw that his name was written by the Throne – there is no proof that any of these reports were narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). And Allaah knows best.

 Fataawa Samaahat al-Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Humayd, p. 16

 

Q2. Mawlid al-Nabi (the Prophet’s birthday)

A. There is nothing in the Qur’aan to say that we should celebrate the Mawlid or birthday of the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). The Prophet himself  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) 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.’”(Reported by al-Bukhaari). What has been reported is that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) 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.”(Reported by Muslim, al-Nisaa’i and Abu Dawood).

 

Moreover, we know that the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) 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  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)? Was it reported that ‘Umar, who ruled for twelve years, or ‘Uthmaan, did this? Was it reported that ‘Ali, 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  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)? 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-Shaafi’i, 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  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) 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).” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, Muslim and al-Tirmidhi). The celebration of the Prophet’s birthday appeared many centuries later, when many of the features of true religion had vanished and bid’ah had become widespread.

 

Thus this celebration became a sign of one’s love for the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)? 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  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) 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.” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:31-32]

 

The first aayah explains that love is just a claim, but the proof of sincerity is following what the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) 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  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) 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. He said: “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.” (Reported by Muslim and al-Nisaa’i).

 

We ask Allaah to protect us from bid’ah and to bless us by helping us to follow. Allaah knows best. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad.

Islam Q&A 
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid

 

Q3. They choose a day on which to speak about the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) in the mosque and they call it a Mawlid

A. Praise be to Allaah.

It is not prescribed to celebrate the birthday of anyone, whether Prophets or anyone else, because that is not narrated in sharee’ah. Rather it is something that has been taken from non-Muslims, such as the Jews, Christians and others. 

 

See the answer to question number 10070 and 13810

 

What is meant by celebrating birthdays here is celebrating on the day on which a person was born, such as celebrating the 12th of Rabee’ al-Awwal which some people believe is the day on which the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was born. 

 

With regard to speaking about the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and teaching about him, mentioning his good qualities, virtues and Sunnahs, this is mustahabb and is prescribed at all times, and this is not called a Mawlid, just as celebrating a wedding is not called a Mawlid, but it is common in some Muslim countries to call every celebration that is done in an Islamically acceptable manner, with no dancing, music or mixing, a Mawlid, and they say: we will do a Mawlid on the wedding day or on the circumcision day, and a preacher comes to exhort the people, and a reader comes to read Qur'aan, and so on. There is no basis for giving it this name, and calling it by this name does not change the ruling concerning it. There is nothing wrong with people celebrating the wedding and having someone to address the people and exhort them and remind them of good, or speak about the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and mention his biography and good characteristics. This is prescribed in Islam, and does not come under the heading of celebrating the innovated Mawlid. 

 

There is nothing wrong with holding activities or meetings in the mosque to teach people about the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), without singling out a particular day because of some belief in its virtue, such as the day of the Mawlid or the 15th of Sha’baan (al-nusf min Sha’baan) or the day of the Isra’ and Mi’raaj. Rather that should be done on any ordinary day. There is also nothing wrong with offering food to the people who attend, but it is important to publicise the ruling that this should not be called a Mawlid, and it does not come under the ruling on celebrating the Mawlid, so that no one will think that celebrating the Mawlid is prescribed in Islam. 

 

We ask Allah to help you to act in accordance with the Sunnah of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and to propagate it among people. 

 

And Allah knows best.

 

Q4. Celebrating the Mawlid and other occasions, and offering food on these occasions

A. Praise be to Allaah.

Bringing people together to offer them food on the two Eids and on the days of al-tashreeq (the three days following ‘Eid al-Adha) is Sunnah, and it is one of the symbols of Islam which the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) prescribed for the Muslims. 

 

Helping the poor by giving them food during the month of Ramadan is also one of the Sunnahs of Islam. The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever gives food to a fasting person with which to break his fast will have a reward like his.” 

 

Giving to poor reciters that which will help them to recite the Qur’aan is a righteous deed at all times, and the one who helps them to do that will have a share with them in the reward. 

 

As for celebrating an occasion that is not one of those that are prescribed in Islam, such as one of the nights of the month of Rabee’ al-Awwal which is said to be the night of the Mawlid (Prophet's birthday), or one of the nights of Rajab, or the eighteenth of Dhu’l-Hijjah, or the first Friday in Rajab, or the eighth of Shawwaal, which the ignorant call ‘Eid al-Abraar, these are innovations which the salaf disapproved of and did not do. And Allah knows best. End quote. 

Majmoo’ Fataawa Ibn Taymiyah (25/298).

Q5. Ruling on buying special sweets sold on the Prophet’s birthday (Mawlid)

A. Praise be to Allaah.

 

Firstly: 

Celebrating the Mawlid (Prophet’s birthday) is bid’ah (an innovation). It is not narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or any of his companions or the Taabi’een or the Imams. Rather it was innovated by the ‘Ubaydis (Fatimids), who also introduced other innovations and misguidance. 

 

The fact that this celebration is an innovation has been discussed in the answer to question no. 10070 and 70317

 

Secondly: 

The basic principle is that it is permissible to eat and drink sweets that are free of harmful ingredients, so long as that is not helping in evil or propagating or encouraging its survival. 

 

It seems that buying Mawlid sweets at the time of that celebration comes under the heading of helping and propagating it; rather it is a kind of establishing that festival or eid, because an eid is something that people observe regularly. If it is their custom to eat this specific food or they make it for that festival, unlike their habits at other times of the year, then buying and selling it, and eating it or giving it as a gift, on that day, is part of celebrating that festival or establishing it. So it is better for you not to do that on the day of the celebration.  

 

In Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah there is a discussion to do with Valentine’s Day and buying sweets that have been coloured red and on which hearts are drawn, as an expression of celebrating that innovated festival. It says: 

 

The clear evidence from the Qur’aan and Sunnah – on which there is consensus among the early generations of the ummah – that there are only two Eids or festivals in Islam: Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. Any festivals other than these, whether they are connected to a person, a group, an incident or anything lese, are innovated festivals and it is not permissible for the Muslims to celebrate them or approve of them, express joy on them or help with them in any way, because that is transgressing the sacred limits of Allaah, and whoever transgresses the sacred limits of Allaah has wronged himself. … It is also haraam for a Muslim to help with this festival or any other haraam festivals in any way, whether it has to do with food, drink, selling, buying, manufacturing, giving, corresponding, announcing or anything else, because all of that is cooperating in sin and transgression and disobedience to Allaah and to the Messenger of Allaah, (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

 

“Help you one another in Al‑Birr and At‑Taqwa (virtue, righteousness and piety); but do not help one another in sin and transgression. And fear Allaah. Verily, Allaah is Severe in punishment” [al-Maa’idah 5:2]

 

End quote. 

And Allaah knows best.

 

Q6. Eating food that is distributed on the Prophet’s Birthday (Mawlid)

A. Praise be to Allaah.

 

Firstly: 

There is no festival in Islamic sharee’ah that is called “The Prophet’s Birthday”. Neither the Sahaabah nor the Taabi’een nor the four imams nor anyone else recognized such a day as part of their religion. Rather this festival was introduced by some ignorant Baatini innovators, then the people began to follow this innovation but the imams have denounced it in every time and place. 

 

We have discussed the objections to this innovation in detail on our site, in the answers to questions no. 1007013810 and 70317

 

Secondly: 

Based on this, everything that the people do specially for this day is regarded as haraam, innovated actions, because they intend thereby to keep alive a festival that has been introduced into our religion, such as holding parties, offering food and so on. 

 

Shaykh al-Fawzaan said in al-Bayaan li Akhta’ ba’d al-Kuttaab (268-270): 

 

The commands in the Qur'aan and Sunnah to follow that which has been prescribed by Allaah and His Messenger and the prohibition against introducing innovations into the religion are well known. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

 

“Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم to mankind): “If you (really) love Allaah, then follow me (i.e. accept Islamic Monotheism, follow the Qur’aan and the Sunnah), Allaah will love you and forgive you your sins” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:31] 

 

“[Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) to these idolaters (pagan Arabs) of your folk:] Follow what has been sent down unto you from your Lord (the Qur’aan and Prophet Muhammad’s Sunnah), and follow not any Awliyaa’ (protectors and helpers who order you to associate partners in worship with Allaah), besides Him (Allaah). Little do you remember!” [al-A’raaf 7:3] 

 

“And verily, this is My straight path, so follow it, and follow not (other) paths, for they will separate you away from His path” [al-An’aam 6:153]

 

And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever introduces anything into this matter of ours that is not part of it will have it rejected.” According to a version narrated by Muslim: “Whoever does any deed that is not part of this matter of ours will have it rejected.” 

 

Among the innovations that people have introduced is celebration of the Prophet’s birthday (Mawlid) in the month of Rabee’ al-Awwal. There are various ways in which they celebrate this 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 (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) 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 bid’ah and haraam innovations that were introduced long after the time of the best generations.  

 

The first one who introduced this innovation was Abu Sa’eed Kawkaboori, the king of Irbil, at the end of the sixth or beginning of the seventh century AH, as was mentioned by the historians such as Ibn Katheer, Ibn Khalqaan and others. 

 

Abu Shaamah said: The first one who did that in Mosul was Shaykh ‘Umar ibn Muhammad al-Mulla, one of the well known righteous men, and the ruler of Irbil and others followed his example. 

 

Al-Haafiz Ibn Katheer said in al-Bidaayah (13-137), in his biography of Abu Sa’eed al-Kawkaboori: 

 

He did the Mawlid in Rabee’ al-Awwal and celebrated it with a great celebration. … Then he said: 

 

Al-Sabt said: Some of those who attended the feast given by the king on some of the Mawlids said that this feast included five thousand roasted heads, ten thousand chickens, one hundred thousand bowls and thirty thousand plates of sweets. And the Sufis sang from Zuhr until Fajr, and he himself danced with them. End quote. 

 

Ibn Khalqaan said in Wafiyaat al-A’yaan (3-274): 

 

When the first of Safar came, they would adorn those domes with all kinds of fine adornments, and in every dome there was a group of singers and a group of puppeteers and musical players, and they did not leave any dome but they installed a group there. End quote. 

 

But most of what these innovators do on this day is making food of various kinds and distributing it and inviting people to eat. If a Muslim joins in this action, eats their food and sits in their gatherings, then undoubtedly he is taking part in keeping the innovation alive, and is cooperating in it, and Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

 

“Help you one another in Al‑Birr and At‑Taqwa (virtue, righteousness and piety); but do not help one another in sin and transgression. And fear Allaah” [al-Maa’idah 5:2]

 

Hence the fatwas of the scholars state that it is haraam to eat food that is distributed on this day and on other innovated festivals. 

 

Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked the following question in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (9/74): 

What is the ruling on meat that is slaughtered for the Mawlid? 

He (may Allaah have mercy on him) replied: 

If it is slaughtered (as a sacrifice) to the one whose birthday is being celebrated, then it is major shirk, but it is slaughtered just to be eaten, there is nothing wrong with that. But it should not be eaten, and the Muslim should not attend (the feast), so as to denounce them in word and in deed, unless he attends in order to denounce them without joining them in eating or anything else. End quote. 

We have also quoted some fatwas concerning this previously. Please see the answers to questions no. 7051 and 9485

And Allaah knows best.

 

Q7. Reading Qur’aan together, giving good deeds to the dead, and al-Mawlid al-Nabawi (celebrating the birthday of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)

A. Praise be to Allaah.

 

Firstly: 

In the saheeh Sunnah there are many reports which speak of the virtues of gathering to read the Book of Allaah, but in order for the Muslim to attain those rewards, he should ensure that the gathering is in accordance with sharee’ah. One of the prescribed ways in which people may gather to read Qur’aan is for the people gathered to read together for the purpose of study, learning the meanings and how to recite properly. Another kind of gathering that is prescribed is for each of them to read and the others to listen, so that they may ponder the meanings of the verses. Both are mentioned in the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). 

 

For more information please see question no. 22722, which explains the ruling on gathering to read the Qur’aan. 

 

With regard to what each person reads being counted as a khatmah (complete reading of the Qur’aan) for each of them, this is not correct, because none of them has read the entire Qur’aan, or even listened to it, rather each of them has read a part of it, so they will only be rewarded for whatever they have read of the Qur’aan. 

 

The scholars of the Standing Committee said: 

Distributing ajza’ or parts of the Qur’aan to those who are present so that each one of them may read a hizb of the Qur’aan is not necessarily regarded as a khatmah or complete reading of the Qur’aan on the part of each one of them. End quote. 

Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 2/480 

 

Secondly: 

It is not prescribed to say du’aa’ together after reading Qur’aan, and it is not permissible to pray that the reward for the reading go to any of the dead or the living. Our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not do that, and neither did any of his companions (may Allaah be pleased with them). 

 

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked: 

Is it permissible for me to read the entire Qur’aan for my parents, knowing that they are illiterate and cannot read or write? Is it permissible for me to read the entire Qur’aan for a person who knows how to read and write, but I want to give this khatmah to him? Is it permissible for me to read the entire Qur’aan for more than one person? 

 

He replied: 

There is no report in the Holy Qur’aan or in the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), or from his companions (may Allaah be pleased with them) to indicate that it is prescribed to give one's reading of Qur’aan (or the reward thereof) to one's parents or to anyone else. Rather Allaah has enjoined reading Qur’aan so that one may benefit from it, learn from it, ponder its meanings and act upon it. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

 

“(This is) a Book (the Qur’aan) which We have sent down to you, full of blessings, that they may ponder over its Verses, and that men of understanding may remember” [Saad 38:29] 

 

“Verily, this Qur’aan guides to that which is most just and right” [al-Isra’ 17:90] 

 

“Say: It is for those who believe, a guide and a healing” [Fussilat 41:44]

 

And our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Read the Qur’aan, for it will come as an intercessor for its companions.” And he(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The Qur’aan will be brought on the Day of Resurrection along with its people who used to act upon it, preceded by Soorat al-Baqarah and Aal ‘Imraan, like two clouds or two flocks of birds, spreading their wings, pleading on behalf of their companions (i.e., those who used to read them).”  

 

The point is that it was revealed to be acted upon and pondered, to be read as an act of worship and read a great deal, not to be given to the dead or to anyone else. I do not know of any reliable basis for giving it to one’s parents or anyone else. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever does any action that is not in accordance with this matter of ours will have it rejected.” Some of the scholars are of the view that that is permissible, and they said: There is no reason why the reward for reading Qur’aan and other righteous actions cannot be given to others, and they liken that to the case of charity and du’aa’ for the deceased and others. But the correct view is the first view, because of the hadeeth quoted above, and other similar reports. If giving the reward for reading to another was permissible or prescribed, the righteous salaf would have done it. It is not permissible to make analogies with regard to acts of worship, because they can only be proven by a text from the Book of Allaah, may He be blessed and exalted, or the Sunnah of His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), because of the hadeeth quoted above and other similar reports. 

 

Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, 8/360, 361 

With regard to their quoting the hadeeth, “When the son of Adam dies, all his good deeds come to an end…” this is not correct, rather if you think about it, you will see that the hadeeth indicates that it is not prescribed to give the reward for reading Qur’aan to the dead, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “A son who will pray for him,” not “who will read Qur’aan for him.” 

 

Thirdly: 

We should not write the letter (S) or abbreviations for the blessing upon the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). If a person can write such a lengthy question, he is not incapable of writing the blessing upon the Prophet in full. We have already discussed the ruling on writing such abbreviations in the answer to question no. 47976

 

Fourthly: 

Celebrating the Prophet’s birthday (al-mawlid) is an innovation, and doing special acts of worship on this day such as saying tasbeeh and tahmeed, observing i’tikaaf, 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 ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever introduces anything into this matter of ours that is not part of it will have it rejected.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 2550; Muslim, 1718. 

 

According to a version narrated by Muslim (1718) he said: “Whoever does an action that is not in accordance with this matter of ours will have it rejected.” 

 

Al-Faakihaani (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

I do not know of any basis for this mawlid in the Qur’aan or Sunnah, and there is no report that any of the scholars of this ummah, who are examples in matters of religion and adhere to the path of those who came before, did this. Rather it is an innovation (bid’ah) which was introduced by those who have nothing better to do, and it is a means for them to have fun and eat a lot. 

 

Al-Mawrid fi ‘Aml al-Mawlid, quoted in Rasaa’il fi Hukm al-Ihtifaal bi’l-Mawlid al-Nabawi, 1/8, 9 

 

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: 

If celebrating the Prophet’s birthday was prescribed, then the Prophet(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) would have told his ummah of that, because he is the most sincere of people and there is no Prophet after him who could explain anything he did not speak about. He (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is the Seal of the Prophets and he explained to the people what he had to explain of the truth, such as loving him and following his sharee’ah, sending blessings and salaams upon him and other rights of his that are explained in the Qur’aan and Sunnah. He did not tell his ummah that celebrating the day of his birth was something prescribed so that they would do that. He (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not do that during his lifetime and his companions (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) who were the dearest of people to him and the most knowledgeable of his rights did not celebrate that day, neither did the Rightly-Guided Caliphs or any others. Then those who followed them in truth of the best three generations did not celebrate this day either. 

 

Do you think that all these people were ignorant of his rights or fell short with regard to them, until the later generations came and made up for this shortfall and made the truth complete? No, by Allaah. No wise man who understands the nature of the Sahaabah and how they followed the truth would say this. If you understand that the celebration of the Prophet’s birthday was unknown at the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and the time of his companions and the time of their earliest followers, you will realize that it is an innovation that has been introduced into the faith, and it is not permissible to do it, approve of it or advocate it, rather we must denounce it and warn people against it. 

 

Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, 6/318, 319

 

Fifthly: 

It is not permissible for anyone to make up a du’aa’ or dhikhr and promulgate it among the people. The du’aa’ that is called du’aa’ al-raabitah is an innovated du’aa’, and thinking of those who are being prayed for and believing that they will recognize the one who is praying for them and will call out to him in Paradise – all of that is Sufi myths and fables that have no basis in the religion of Allaah. The Islamic guidelines by means of which a person can distinguish between Sunnah and bid’ah, right and wrong, are clear. The basic principle with regard to acts of worship is that nothing is permitted unless there is evidence. We cannot seek to draw closer to Allaah by doing an act of worship unless there is evidence from the Qur’aan or saheeh Sunnah that it is prescribed. The basic principle for the Muslim is to follow and not to innovate, and innovations will be rejected. Allaah has completed this sharee’ah for us and has completed His blessing upon us, so what need do we have for such innovations to be part of our lives at the time when we are falling so far short with regard to that which is proven in sharee’ah? 

 

For more information see the answer to questions no. 27237 and 6745   

 

We hope that what we have mentioned is sufficient to make these sister refrain from their innovation. We advise them to fear Allaah and follow the Sunnah. They should remember that Allaah does not accept any innovated act of worship, no matter what efforts and wealth are expended on it. Being moderate in following the Sunnah is better than striving hard in following innovation, as the great Sahaabi ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) said. 

 

We ask Allaah to guide those sisters to that which pleases Him, and we advise you to convey this message well and not take part in that with them, and to be patient in bearing any problems that may result from that. 

And Allaah knows best.

 

Q8. Prizes for competitions on innovated occasions

A. Praise be to Allaah.

 

Firstly: 

The Eids and special occasions which are prescribed for the Muslim ummah are few and well known, as sharee’ah has told us of them and encourages people to celebrate them. They include special occasions such as Ramadaan, the Eids, the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah and Muharram, and so on. But they do not include the Prophet’s Birthday (Mawlid), because there are no texts that single this day out as a special occasion, or for any particular act of worship or celebration. Rather the Sahaabah and Taabi’een and those who came after them did not regard it as a special occasion. Those who regard it as being prescribed by sharee’ah in any sense have introduced an innovation into the religion that is not part of it. We have stated previously on this site that it is an innovation (bid’ah) to celebrate the Prophet’s Birthday. 

 

Please see the answers to questions no. 5219100701381020889 and70317

 

Secondly: 

Undoubtedly holding competitions on that day is a kind of celebrating it and making it an Eid, so it is not permissible to take part in any competition that is held on an innovated occasion, otherwise the one who is taking part will also be counted as a follower of innovation. We ask Allaah to keep us safe and sound. 

 

It says in Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah (3/25): 

 

What do you think – may Allaah preserve you as a help to the Muslim ummah – about taking days off from school and work, or giving sermons and lectures etc, as is done in our country in Africa, on the occasion of the Prophet’s Birthday? 

 

The answer was: 

Celebrating the Prophet’s Birthday and taking a day off for that is an innovation (bid’ah), because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not do that and neither did his companions (may Allaah be pleased with them). The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever introduces anything into this matter of ours that is not part of it will have it rejected.” End quote. 

 

Thirdly: 

With regard to Islamically-prescribed occasions, such as the month of Ramadaan etc, what is prescribed and in fact mustahabb is to remind the people of it, and to inform them of its virtues and the deeds that are mustahabb at that time, and the rewards decreed for that; organizing lessons and seminars is the best way to teach the people how to celebrate the special occasions that are prescribed in Islam. 

 

Among the ways of celebrating these special occasions is holding competitions of knowledge and Qur’aan memorization during these special occasions, when the people turn to Allaah and strive to read Qur’aan, memorize it and learn the rulings of Islam. So there is nothing wrong with organizing such competitions or taking part in them, in sha Allaah. 

 

Fourthly: 

We have previously discussed on our site the ruling on offering prizes in different kinds of competitions. The correct view is that it is permissible if the competition brings some kind of religious or worldly benefit. The Hanafis have stated that it is permissible to offer prizes for competitions in knowledge and mathematics. 

 

It says in al-Fataawa al-Hindiyyah (5/324): 

 

If one of the educated people were to say to one of his peers: Come, let us compete and if you get it right and I get it wrong I will give you such and such, and if I get it right and you get it wrong, I will not take anything from you, it should be permissible. End quote. 

 

See: Radd al-Muhtaar (6/4040. 

And Allaah knows best.

 

Q9. Family gatherings on the Prophet’s birthday and ‘Ashoora’

A. Praise be to Allaah.  

Undoubtedly exchanging visits and getting together with brothers, cousins and relatives on the Eids that are prescribed in Islam (namely Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha), and on happy occasions, is something that brings happiness and increases love and strengthens the bonds between relatives. But what happens in many of these family gatherings, such as mixing between men and women, even if they are relatives and cousins, are bad customs that go against the teachings of the Qur’aan and Sunnah, which enjoin lowering the gaze and forbid wanton display, being alone with a member of the opposite sex (khulwah), shaking hands with non-mahram women, and all the things that lead to fitnah. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) warned against the dangers of taking matters lightly with relatives. He said: “Beware of entering upon women.” A man from among the Ansaar said: “O Messenger of Allaah, what do you think about the in-law?” He said: “The in-law is death.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4934; Muslim, 2172. Al-Layth ibn Sa’d said: The in-law is the brother and similar relatives of the husband, his cousin and so on. It was also narrated by Muslim. (See question no. 1200 for more discussion on the issue of mixing). 

 

With regard to celebrating the birthday of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), ‘Ashoora’ and other occasions, and taking them as special occasions and festivals (Eids), we have explained previously that there are only two Eids or festivals in Islam, namely Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) stated. See questions no. 521910070 and 13810. For the ruling on celebrating ‘Ashoora’ please see question no. 4033

 

With regard to the family expressing happiness and gathering to congratulate one who has memorized the entire Qur’aan I cannot see anything wrong with it in sha Allah. This is a recently invented kind of celebration, but it is okay so long as they do not make this day like an Eid which they celebrate every year. 

 

It becomes clearer that this celebration is acceptable if the one who has memorized the Qur’aan is young in age, and needs to be encouraged to continue checking it and helped so that he will not neglect it and forget it. 

 

And Allaah knows best.

 

Q10. Ruling on taking part in some annual celebrations

A. Praise be to Allaah.

 

It seems to me that these days which are repeated every year and the gatherings held to mark them are innovated festivals and ways for which Allaah did not reveal any authority. The Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Beware of newly-invented matters, for every newly-invented matter is an innovation (bid’ah) and every innovation is a going-astray.” (Narrated by Ahmad, Abu Dawood, al-Tirmidhi and others).

 

He also said: “Every people has its festival (‘Eid) and this is our festival.”(Agreed upon)

 

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) spoke at length in his book Iqtidaa’ al-Siraat al-Mustaqeem li Mukhaalifat Ashaab al-Jaheem (The Requirements of the Straight Path in Differing from the People of Hell), condemning the innovated occasions and festivals that have no basis in the pure Sharee’ah and the ways in which they corrupt people’s religious commitment. Most if not all of the people have no understanding of the damage caused by this kind of bid’ah, especially when it has to do with acts of worship, but those who are blessed with insight and understanding realize something of the damage that it can do.

 

What people have to do is to follow the Qur’aan and Sunnah, even when they do not entirely understand the issues of benefit and harm that are involved.

 

Whoever innovates something on a certain day, such as observing a fast, performing a prayer, preparing certain foods, putting up decorations, spending on his family and so on, will be affected by this and it will create some kind of belief in his heart, because he must believe that this day is better than other days, since if he and those who follow him did not have this belief in their hearts, they would not make the effort to do these things.

 

“Celebration” or “festival” involves three things: place, time and gathering, in any of which things may be innovated.

 

With regard to time, there are three kinds of innovation, which may overlap with issues of place and actions.

 

The first kind is a day which is not venerated at all in Sharee’ah, which was not mentioned by the Salaf and nothing happened on that day to indicate that it should be held in any kind of esteem.

 

The second kind is a day on which some event happened that also happened on other days, but that does not mean that it should be regarded as a special occasion, and the Salaf did not venerate this day.

 

Whoever does such a thing is imitating the Christians, who took the days of events in the life of Jesus (peace be upon him) as festivals, and the Jews. But festivals are part of Sharee’ah, and whatever has been prescribed by Allaah should be followed, but whatever has been innovated in the religion is not a part of Islam.

 

Similarly, the innovation followed by some people (in celebrating the Prophet’s birthday), whether it is done in imitation of the Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus, peace be upon him, or it is done out of love and respect for the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), is not something which was done by the Salaf, even though the reason for doing it was there and there was nothing to stop them doing it if it was good…

 

The third kind is days which are venerated by Sharee’ah, such as the day of ‘Aashooraa’, the day of ‘Arafaah and the two Eid days, etc., but the people who follow their own desires innovate things that they think are good but which in fact are wrong and are not allowed – such as when the Raafidis go without water and express grief on the day of ‘Aashooraa’ etc. These are innovated matters which were not prescribed by Allaah or by His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or by any of the Salaf or the members of the household of the Prophet  (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).

 

As regards holding regular gatherings, whether weekly, monthly or annually, apart from the gatherings that are prescribed in Sharee’ah, this implies that one is making them as important as the gatherings for the five daily prayers, Jumu’ah, Eid and Hajj, and this is a newly-invented innovation.

 

The principle in question here is: the Islamic acts of worship which are repeated at certain intervals and are thus special occasions, have been prescribed by Allaah and are sufficient for mankind. If any other gatherings are invented in addition to these gatherings, it means that they are being given a status equal to that of the occasions prescribed by Allaah, which leads to the adverse effects referred to above. This is in contrast to what a person or a small specialized group may undertake on their own sometimes.

 

On the basis of the above: it is not permissible for the Muslim to take part in these events which are celebrated regularly every year, because of their resemblence to the prescribed Islamic festivals, as explained above. But if it is a “one-off” event that is not repeated, and the Muslim can use the occasion to convey the truth to people, then there is nothing wrong with that, in sha Allaah. And Allaah knows best.

 

Q11. Scholarly opinions concerning the date of the Prophet’s birth and death, and which is most likely to be correct

A. Praise be to Allah

 

Firstly: 

The biographers and historians differed concerning the day and month of the birth of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). This is something for which there is good reason, as it was not known what status this newborn would achieve; his situation was like that of any other newborn. Hence no one can state with certainty the date of his birth (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). 

 

Dr. Muhammad at-Tayyib an-Najjaar (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

Perhaps the reason for this difference of opinion is that when he was born, no one expected that he would attend such a status. For that reason, he did not live in the spotlight from the beginning of his life. When Allah decreed that the Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) should begin to convey His message forty years after he was born, people began to seek out whatever memories they had about this Prophet, and they asked one another about every detail of his life. They were helped in that by what the Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) himself narrated about incidents that he had experienced from his birth, as well as the reports narrated by his Companions and those who had also gone through those events with him. 

 

At that time the Muslims began to collect everything that they had heard about the life story of their Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) in order to transmit it to the people down throughout the ages 

 

Al-Qawl al-Mubeen fi Seerat Sayyid al-Mursaleen, p. 78 

 

Secondly: 

Among the matters on which there is consensus with regard to his birth (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) is the definition of the year and the day. 

1.     With regard to the year: 

It was the Year of the Elephant. Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

There is no difference of opinion concerning the fact that he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was born in Makkah, and that his birth was in the Year of the Elephant. 

 

Zaad al-Ma‘aad fi Hadiy Khayr al-‘Ibaad, 1/76 

 

Muhammad ibn Yoosuf as-Saalihi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

Ibn Ishaaq (may Allah have mercy on him) said: (It was) the Year of the Elephant. 

 

Ibn Katheer said: This is the well-known view of the majority. 

Ibraaheem ibn al-Mundhir al-Hizaami, the Shaykh of al-Bukhaari, said: This is the opinion concerning which none of the scholars has any doubt. Khaleefah ibn Khayyaat, Ibn al-Jazzaar, Ibn Dihyah, Ibn al-Jawzi and Ibn al-Qayyim went further and narrated that there was consensus on this matter. 

Subul al-Huda wa’r-Rashaad fi Seerat Khayr al-‘Ibaad, 1/334, 335 

 

Dr. Akram Diya’ al-‘Umari (may Allah guide him) said: 

In fact the reports that say otherwise all have flawed isnaads; they suggest that he was born ten years, or twenty-three years, or forty years, after the Year of the Elephant. But the majority of scholars are of the view that he was born in the Year of the Elephant. This is supported by the modern study undertaken by both Muslim and Orientalist researchers who stated that the Year of the Elephant corresponds to the year 570 CE or 571 CE. 

As-Seerah an-Nabawiyyah as-Saheehah, 1/97 

 

2.     With regard to the day: 

It was a Monday. He (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was born on a Monday, his mission began on a Monday and he died on a Monday. 

 

It was narrated that Abu Qataadah al-Ansaari (may Allah have mercy on him) said: The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was asked about fasting on Mondays and he said: “That is a day on which I was born and on it my mission began – or Revelation came to me.”

Narrated by Muslim, 1162. 

 

Ibn Katheer (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

Those who say that he was born on Friday 17th Rabee‘ al-Awwal were mistaken. 

This was narrated by al-Haafiz Ibn Dihyah from what he read [?] of the bookI‘laam ar-Wara bi A‘laam al-Huda by one of the Shi‘ah. Then Ibn Dihyan stated why it was da‘eef (weak), and it deserves to be classed as da‘eef because it is contrary to the text. 

As-Seerah an-Nabawiyyah, 1/199 

 

Thirdly: 

With regard to the point on which there is scholarly disagreement, that has to do with defining the month and the day of the month. We have come across many opinions concerning that, including the following: 

 

1.     That he was born on 2nd Rabee ‘ al-Awwal. 

Ibn Katheer (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

 

It was said that he was born on the second of the month. This was stated by Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr in al-Isti‘aab, and was narrated by al-Waaqidi from Abu Ma‘shar Nujayh ibn ‘Abd ar-Rahmaan al-Madani. 

As-Seerah an-Nabawiyyah, 1/199 

 

2.     It was said that he was born on 8th Rabee‘ al-Awwal. 

Ibn Katheer (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

It was said that he was born on the eighth of the month. This was narrated by al-Humaydi from Ibn Hazm, and was narrated by Maalik, ‘Aqeel, Yoonus ibn Yazeed and others from az-Zuhri from Muhammad ibn Jubayr ibn Mut‘im. Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr narrated that the historians regarded it as saheeh; it was stated definitively by al-Haafiz al-Kabeer Muhammad ibn Moosa al-Khawaarizmi, and was regarded as most likely to be correct by al-Haafiz Abu’l-Khattaan ibn Dihyah in his book at-Tanweer fi Mawlid al-Basheer an-Nadheer

As-Seerah an-Nabawiyyah, 1/199 

 

3.     It was said that he was born on 10th Rabee ‘ al-Awwal. 

 

Ibn Katheer (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

It was said that he was born on the tenth of the month. This was narrated by Ibn Dihyah in his book, and was narrated by Ibn ‘Asaakir from Abu Ja‘far al-Baaqir. It was also narrated by Mujaalid from ash-Sha‘bi. 

As-Seerah an-Nabawiyyah, 1/199 

 

4.     It was said that he was born on 12th Rabee ‘ al-Awwal. 

Ibn Katheer (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

 

It was said that he was born on the twelfth of the month. This was stated by Ibn Ishaaq. It was narrated by Ibn Abi Shaybah in his Musannaf from ‘Affaan from Sa‘eed ibn Meena’ that Jaabir and Ibn ‘Abbaas said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was born in the Year of the Elephant on Monday 12th Rabee‘ al-Awwal; on Monday his mission began, on Monday he was taken up to heaven, on Monday he migrated, and on Monday he died.

 

This is the well-known opinion according to the majority. And Allah knows best. 

As-Seerah an-Nabawiyyah, 1/199 

It was also said that he was born in Ramadan or in Safar or some other month. 

What appears to us to be the case is that the strongest opinion concerning the birth of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) is that he was born between the eighth and the twelfth of Rabee‘ al-Awwal. Some Muslim mathematicians and astronomers have determined that the Monday in question was the ninth of Rabee‘ al-Awwal. It may be that this is another opinion, and it has some merit. That corresponds to 20th April 571 CE. This is what the authors of some modern books on Seerah (Prophet’s biography) regard as most likely to be correct, including Professor Muhammad al-Khudari and Safi ar-Rahmaan al-Mubaarakfoori. 

 

Abu’l-Qaasim as-Suhayli (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

The mathematicians say that his birth occurred in the solar month of April, on the twentieth of that month. 

Ar-Rawd al-Unuf, 1/282 

 

Prof. Muhammad al-Khudari (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

The Egyptian astronomer Mahmoud Basha (d. 1885 CE) who was well-versed in astronomy, geography and mathematics, and wrote several books based on his research stated that it was on the morning of Monday 9thRabee‘ al-Awwal, which corresponds to 20th April 571 CE. That corresponds to the first year following the elephant incident. He was born in the house of Abu Taalib in Shi‘ab Banu Haashim. 

Noor al-Yaqeen fi Seerat Sayyid al-Mursaleen (p. 9). See also ar-Raheeq al-Makhtoom (p. 41). 

 

Fourthly: 

With regard to the date of the death of our Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), there is no difference of opinion concerning the fact that it occurred on a Monday. The report narrated from Ibn Qutaybah, saying that it occurred on a Wednesday, is not correct. Perhaps what he meant is that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was buried on Wednesday, which is correct. 

 

With regard to the year of his death, there is no difference of opinion concerning the fact that it was in 11 AH. 

 

With regard to the month of his death, there is no difference of opinion concerning the fact that it was in Rabee‘ al-Awwal. 

 

With regard to the date of his death in that month, there is a difference of opinion among the scholars. 

1.     The majority are of the view that it occurred on 12th Rabee‘ al-Awwal.

2.     al-Khawaarizmi was of the view that it occurred on 1st Rabee‘ al-Awwal.

3.     Ibn al-Kalbi and Abu Makhnaf were of the view that it occurred on 2nd Rabee‘ al-Awwal. As-Suhayli was inclined to favour this view and al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy on him) regarded it as most likely to be correct. 

The most well-known view is that of the majority, which is that the death of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) occurred on 12thRabee‘ al-Awwal 11 AH. 

See ar-Rawd al-Unuf by as-Suhayli (4/439, 440); as-Seerah an-Nabawiyyah by Ibn Katheer (4/509); Fath al-Baari by Ibn Hajar (8/130). 

And Allah knows best.

 

Q12. Fasting on his birthday and on the birthday of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)

Is it permissible to fast on the birthday of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) on the basis of the hadeeth in Saheeh Muslim, al-Nasaa’i and Abu Dawood, which says that when he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was asked about fasting on Mondays, he said: “That is the day on which I was born…” 
Also on the basis of this hadeeth, is it permissible for a person to fast on the day on which he was born, following thereby the example of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)? Please explain.

 

Praise be to Allaah.

Firstly: 

Muslim (1162) narrated from Abu Qataadah al-Ansaari (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) was asked about fasting on Mondays and he said: “On (that day) I was born and on it Revelation came down to me.” 

 

Al-Tirmidhi (747) narrated, in a hadeeth that he classed as hasan, from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Deeds are presented (to Allah) on Monday and Thursday and I like my deeds to be presented when I am fasting.”

 

Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi

From the saheeh hadeeths quoted above, it is clear that just as the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) fasted on Mondays out of gratitude for the blessing of his birth on this day, he also fasted it because of its virtue, because the Revelation came down to him on that day, and on that day deeds are presented to Allah. So he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) liked his deeds to be taken up when he was fasting. The fact that he was born on that day was one of several reasons for fasting that day. 

 

If a person fasts on Mondays, as the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) did, hoping for forgiveness on that day, out of gratitude for the blessings that Allah bestowed upon His slaves on the day – the greatest of which blessings is the birth of His Prophet and His sending him – and hoping to be among the people who are forgiven on that day, then this is something good and is in accordance with what is proven of the Sunnah of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). But he should not single out one week for that to the exclusion of others, or one month to the exclusion of others. Rather he should do that as much as he can on a permanent basis. 

 

With regard to singling out one day of the year for fasting it, in celebration of the birth of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), this is an innovation (bid‘ah) that is contrary to the Sunnah of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) fasted on Mondays, and no other day, but from year to the next, his birthday may come on that day or any other day of the week.  

 

For more information on the ruling on celebrating the Prophet’s birthday (Mawlid), please see the answer to questions no. 13810 and 70317

 

Secondly: 

What is widespread among people nowadays of celebrating birthdays is an innovation that is not prescribed in Islam. The Muslims do not have any special days that they celebrate apart from the two Eids, Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. 

 

This has been discussed before in several answers; please see no. 26804and 9485

 

Moreover, what comparison  can there be between the birth of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), which is indeed a blessing and a mercy for all of mankind as Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And We have sent you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) not but as a mercy for the ‘Aalameen (mankind, jinn and all that exists)” [al-Anbiya’ 21:107]and a harbinger of good for all mankind, and the birth or death of any other human being? Moreover, what would that attitude of his Companions, and the righteous who came after them, be towards such an action? 

 

It is not known that any of the salaf or early scholars said that it is prescribed to fast on any particular day of the week or the month or the year, and regard that day as a “festival” because the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) used to fast on the day of his birth every week, which was a Monday. If that was prescribed, the people of knowledge and virtue of the early generations who hastened to do all that is good would have hastened to do it before us. As they did not do that, it is known that this is something that is innovated and it is not permissible to do it.

 

FATWAISLAM

Questions

Q1. The Ruling on the Celebration of the Prophets Birthday: Al-Milad

Q2. The Ruling Concerning Celebrating Birthdays.

Q3. The Ruling on celebrating the birthday of the Prophet (sal Allaahu alaiyhi wa sallam

 

Question and Answers

1. The Ruling on the Celebration of the Prophets Birthday: Al-Milad


Question: Is it lawful for the Muslims to celebrate like Eid, the remembrance of the Prophetic biography on the 12th night of Rabi Al-Awwal in the Masjid, on the occasion of the Prophets birthday without interrupting the work of that day? We have differed over the topic. It was said it is a good innovation, and others said it is a bad innovation.

 

Answer: It is not permissible for the Muslims to celebrate the birthday of the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) on the 12th night from Rabi Al-Awwal or any other time. Because the celebration of the Milad is an innovation in the religion. The Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) never celebrated his birthday in his lifetime, and he was the one who bought us this religion, and the one who conveyed the laws to us. He never ordered anyone to do that, neither did the Well-Guided Caliphs after him nor his Companions nor those who faithfully followed them during the virtuous generations. So it is known that it is an innovation about which the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: innovates into this matter of ours, that which is not from it, shall have it rejected.

[1] Its authenticity is agreed upon, and in one of the versions recorded my Muslim, as well as the one by Al-Bukhari mentioned without a complete chain - yet in a manner that indicated his approval: He who does a deed which is not from this matter of ours (religion), it shall be rejected. Muslim no. 1718

[2] Milad is not something that the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) ordered, rather it was introduced into the religion by people of the later generations, thus it is rejected. The Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) used to say in the Friday Khutbah: The best of speech is the speech of Allaah, and the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam), and newly invented matters are misguidance. Muslim no. 1718

[3] An-Nasai included in his narration And every misguidance is in the Fire. Muslim no. 867 and Ibn Majah no. 45

 

[4] The celebration of Milad should not be replaced with studying in mosques and schools the events associated to his birth from his Seerah (biography) during the ignorance era and in Islam. There is no need to celebrate his birthday, which is not legislated by Allaah, nor by His Prophet, and has no legal proof. Muslim no. 867 and Ibn Majah no. 45 An-Nasai no. 1579

 

Shaykh `Abdul-`Azeez Bin Baz

 

Fatawa Islamiyah Vol. 1 Page 71

 

2. The Ruling Concerning Celebrating Birthdays. 

Question: What is the ruling concerning celebrating birthdays?

Answer:

Celebrating birthdays has no source whatsoever in the pure shariah. In fact, it is an innovation, since the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi-wasallam) said,

“Whoever introduces anything into this matter of ours that does not belong to it shall have it rejected.”

 

This was recorded by al-Bukhari and Muslim. In a version recorded by Muslim and by al-Bukhari in definitive muallaq form.

 

"Whoever performs a deed which is not in accord with our affairs, that deed is rejected.”

 

It is well-known that the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi-wasallam) did not celebrate his birthday at all during his lifetime nor did he ever order it to be celebrated. Nor did he teach such to his Companions. Therefore, the rightly-guided caliphs and all of his Companions did not celebrate it. They are the most knowledgeable of the people concerning his sunnah and they are the most beloved to the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi-wasallam). They were also the most keen upon following whatever the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi-wasallam) brought. Therefore, if one is supposed to celebrate the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi-wasallam) birthday, this would have been made evident at their time. Similarly, not one of the scholars of the best of generations celebrated his birthday nor did they order it to be done.

 

Therefore, it is known from the above that such a celebration is not from the Law that Allah sent Muhammed (sallallaahu ‘alaihi-wasallam) with. We ask Allah and all Muslims to witness that if the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi-wasallam) had done so or ordered such to be done, or even if the Companions had done so, we would rush to do it and call others to do it. This is because, and all praises are due to Allah, we are the most keen in following his sunnah and respecting his commands and prohibitions. We ask Allah, for ourselves and for all our brethren Muslims, steadfastness upon the truth, avoiding everything that differs from Allah’s pure shariah. Verily, He is Generous and Noble.

 

Shaykh `Abdul-`Azeez Bin Baz

 

Islamic Fatawa Regarding Women - Darussalam Pg.33-34

 

3. The Ruling on celebrating the birthday of the Prophet (sal Allaahu alaiyhi wa sallam)

Question: What is the ruling upon celebrating the birthday of the Prophet (sal Allaahu alaiyhi wa sallam) in the month of Rabee’ ul Awwal, as a means of extolling him – sal Allaahu alaiyhi wa sallam?

 

Answer: Extolling the Prophet and venerating him is only through: eemaan in everything with which he came from Allaah, and following his sharee’ah – in aqeedah (creed), and speech, and action, and manners – and leaving off innovating in the religion.

 

And celebrating the birthday of the Prophet (sal Allaahu alaiyhi wa sallam) is from innovating in the religion.

 

And with Allaah is the tawfeeq. And may peace and blessings be upon our Prophet, Muhammad and upon his family and Companions.

 

Permanent Committee for Research and Verdicts

Shaykh `Abdul-`Azeez Bin Baz

Shaykh `Abdullah bin Ghudayaan

Shaykh `Abdullaah bin Qu`ood

Shaykh `Abdur-Razzaaq al-`Afeefee 

Question 1 from fatwa number 3257 Volume 3 p 23 of the fatawa of the Permanent Committee

 

Translated by Abu Abdir Rahmaan ibn Najam

 

Alifta

Questions

Q1. What is the ruling on celebrating Al-Mawlid Al-Nabawy (the Prophet’s birthday)? Is it true that the Prophet (peace be upon him) attends it in person?

2. Refuting the claim that celebrating the Mawlid is a good Bid`ah

3. Is it allowed to celebrate the Mawlid (the Prophet's birthday)? Please guide us.

4. Ruling on Tabarruk from the Prophet's grave and saying that the heavens and the earth were created for his sake

5. Is it permissible to eat from the meat slaughtered in commemoration of the Mawlid (the Prophet’s birthday) or any other birth anniversary?

6. Is it permissible to attend celebrations that involve Bid‘ahs (innovations in religion) like celebrating the Mawlid (the Prophet’s birthday), the night of Mi‘raj (Ascension to Heaven), and the 15th night of Sha‘ban, especially if the person believes that they are not permissible and intends to explain the truth for people?

7. We would like to know the exact birth date of the Prophet (peace be upon him). We plan to hold a Qur’an-competition, to sacrifice a sheep and to deliver lessons about the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) for this occasion. We would like to know if this program is Islamically permissible or not?

8. The Sahabah who loved and followed the Prophet the most did not celebrate his Mawlid

9. I want to learn about the life of the Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him). When was he born? How long did he live? When did he die? How many women did he marry? What was the Du‘a’ (supplication) he used to say before going to sleep?

10.  What is the ruling on celebrating the Mawlid (the Prophet’s birthday) in Rabi‘ Al-Awwal as a tribute to the Prophet (peace be upon him)?

 

Question and Answers

Q1: What is the ruling on celebrating Al-Mawlid Al-Nabawy (the Prophet’s birthday)? Is it true that the Prophet (peace be upon him) attends it in person?

A: Honoring the Prophet (peace be upon him) can be achieved by believing in his message and acting according to the Law revealed by Allah through him, whereas celebrating his birthday is an act of Bid‘ah (innovation in religion). It is authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Anyone who introduces anything into this matter of ours (Islam) that is not part of it will have it rejected. Sahih Al bukhari 2697, Sahih Muslim 1718It is not authentically proven that the Prophet (peace be upon him) attends anywhere after his death. The basic rule is the non-occurrence of that. Accordingly, we should abide by this fact until otherwise is proven.

 

May Allah grant us success! May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and Companions!

 

Refuting the claim that celebrating the Mawlid is a good Bid`ah

Q2: Our question is about celebrating the Mawlid (the Prophet's birthday), is it Bid`ah (innovation in Islam)? I heard in some places and from some scholars that it is a good Bid`ah and Allah knows best, may Allah bless you!

A: Celebrating the birth of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and righteous people is Bid`ah which began in recent centuries, after the best three centuries of Islam: the first, the second and the third centuries after Hijrah. It is one of the Bid`ahs which some people have introduced into Islam out of love for such celebrations, thinking that it is a good thing to do. The correct opinion, according to verifying scholars, is that such celebrations are Bid`ah. All birthday celebrations, including but not limited to celebrating the birthday of the Prophet (peace be upon him), are Bid`ah. Why is this so? Because the Prophet (peace be upon him), his Sahabah (Companions of the Prophet), the Rightly-Guided Caliphs and the early generations of Islam did not do it. Certainly, goodness lies in following their steps and not following the invented practices which succeeding generations introduced into Islam. It is authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Beware of newly-introduced matters (in religion).

 

He (peace be upon him) also said: The most evil of matters are those which are newly-introduced (in religion), and every Bid‘ah is a Dalalah (deviation from the right). Furthermore, he (peace be upon him) said: Anyone who introduces anything into this matter of ours (Islam) that is not part of it will have it rejected. And: Anyone who does an action which is not in accordance with this matter of ours (Islam) will have it rejected. It means that it will not be accepted from them. Thus, the Prophet (peace be upon him) explained faith in detail and pointed out that newly-introduced matters in Islam are condemned, and no one is allowed to introduce into Islam what Allah has not permitted. Allah, the Almighty, dispraised such acts in His statement: Or have they partners (with Allâh — false gods) who have instituted for them a religion which Allâh has not ordained? Celebrating the birthday of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and that of the righteous is a newly-introduced act not sanctioned by Allah, or His Messenger (peace be upon him), or the Sahabah who are the best people after the Prophets, the most beloved to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the keenest to do goodness; however, they did not celebrate birthdays. Neither Abu Bakr,`Umar, `Uthman, `Aly, the rest of the Ten Companions Given Glad Tidings of Entering Paradise, the rest of the Sahabah, nor the Tabi`un (Followers, the generation after the Companions of the Prophet) ever celebrated such birthdays. According to some historians, this Bid`ah was introduced by the Fatimid Shiites in Egypt during the fourth century. Later, it was practiced towards the end of the sixth century of Hijrah and in the beginning of the seventh century by those who thought that such celebrations are good acts; and thus, practiced them. However, they are innovations in Islam, because they constitute a form of worship which Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) did not legislate. The Messenger (peace be upon him) conveyed all matters clearly and did not conceal anything that Allah legislated. He (peace be upon him) delivered all the Laws that Allah laid down as he was commanded to deliver to the people. Allah (Exalted be He) states: This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islâm as your religion. Therefore, Allah completed and perfected the religion. There is nothing in this divinely-perfected religion called celebration of birthdays. Accordingly, they are condemned Bid`ah that cannot be described as good, since there is nothing in Islam referred to as a good Bid`ah.

 

All acts of Bid`ah are misguidance and evil. The Prophet (peace be upon him) stated: Every Bid‘ah is a Dalalah (deviation). Hence, it is not permitted for a Muslim to say: "There are good kinds of Bid`ah", whereas the Messenger (peace be upon him) said that every Bid`ah is misguidance. This is contradiction and opposition to the Messenger (peace be upon him). It was authentically reported that he (peace be upon him) stated: Every Bid‘ah is a Dalalah (deviation). Hence, it is not allowed for us to say a different opinion from that of the Prophet (peace be upon him). It should be noted that there are some practices which have been established by Islam, yet people think that they are Bid`ahs, but they are not; some of these are compiling the Qur'an into one book and transcribing copies of it, and offering Tarawih (special supererogatory night Prayer in Ramadan) in congregation. Such acts are not categorized as Bid`ahs; rather, they have been established and legislated in Islam, and thus, including them under the term "Bid`ah" is baseless. As for what was reported from `Umar that he said regarding Tarawih Prayer: "What a good Bid`ah", is a reference to the linguistic meaning of the word Bid`ah and has nothing to do with its Islamic perspective. Moreover, the statement of `Umar did not disagree with what the Messenger (peace be upon him) practiced or contradicted it. The statement of the Messenger (peace be upon him) takes priority over all other opinions and claims, as his statement:Every Bid‘ah is a Dalalah (deviation). And: Beware of newly-introduced matters (in religion). The Prophet (peace be upon him) further said in Friday Khutbah (sermon):Ama Ba‘d (Now then), the best of speech is the Book of Allah, the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (peace be upon him), the most evil of matters are those which are newly-introduced (in religion), and every Bid`ah is a Dalalah (deviation from the right). This is the judgment of the Messenger (peace be upon him). This Hadith is reported by Muslim in the Sahih, and thus, it is not for a Muslim to go against what Allah legislated or to be stubborn regarding that which the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) brought from Allah; rather, one should surrender and submit to the Law of Allah and abstain from all Bid`ahs and sins. We ask Allah to guide us all to the right way and straight path!

 

Q3. Is it allowed to celebrate the Mawlid (the Prophet's birthday)? Please guide us.

A: We have previously given many answers to this question in this program and others and we have compiled many writings regarding this subject. Celebrating the birthday of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and similar celebrations are, according to people of knowledge and verifying scholars, Bid`ah. Therefore, it is not allowed to celebrate the birthday of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), or any other Prophet, or righteous people. The celebrations held on the occasion of the birthday of the Prophet (peace be upon him), Al-Badawy, Shaykh `Abdul-Qadir, Al-Hasan, Al-Husayn or any other are Bid`ahs that are not permitted to be practiced.

 

The duty of a Muslim towards the righteous is to ask Allah to be pleased with them, follow their good example; and to frequently invoke peace and blessings upon the Prophet (peace be upon him), follow his Sunnah, encourage others to follow it, convey his religion to people, fulfill his rights by obeying his commands and avoiding what he prohibited, and patterning one's life after his life (peace be upon him). This is the obligation upon Muslims. The Almighty states: Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم to mankind): "If you (really) love Allâh then follow me (i.e. accept Islâmic Monotheism, follow the Qur’ân and the Sunnah) He did not say: "Then commemorate my birth"; rather, Allah states: Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم to mankind): "If you (really) love Allâh then follow me (i.e. accept Islâmic Monotheism, follow the Qur’ân and the Sunnah), Allâh will love you Therefore, the sign of loving the Prophet (peace be upon him) is following him, implementing his commands and avoiding his prohibitions. As for celebrating birthdays and practicing newly-invented acts which have not been sanctioned by Islam, it is not allowed; rather, they are a means to Shirk (associating others with Allah in His Divinity or worship). Many of those who celebrate such birthdays fall in Shirk by supplicating to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and seeking help from him, and others fall in the Bid`ah of beseeching Allah by virtue of the status of the Prophet (peace be upon him) which is not allowed. As for asking Allah by their love for the Prophet (peace be upon him) and by their belief in him, there is no blame in this.

 

There is nothing wrong with saying: O Allah, I ask You by my love for Your Prophet and belief in him to forgive my sins. As for supplicating to Allah by virtue of the status of the Prophet or by his high rank, it is Bid`ah which has no evidence; rather asking Allah by love for the Prophet (peace be upon him), belief in him and adherence to his teachings is the Islamically lawful Tawassul (supplicating to Allah in the name of …/by virtue of the status of). The point is that celebrating such birthdays are Bid`ah, whether it is celebrating the birthday of the Prophet (peace be upon him) or others Prophets, the righteous, the Sahabah or other than them. All these types of celebrations are Bid`ah. Similarly, celebrating the fifteenth night of the month of Sha`ban, the twenty-ninth night of the month of Rajab (which is thought to be the night of Isra' [Night Journey] and Mi`raj [Ascension to Heaven]), the first night of the month of Rajab and the first Friday of the month of Rajab on which they offer Salat-ul-Ragha’ib (Prayer for great bestowals or wishes) are also Bid`ah. Thus, celebrating occasions which Allah has not legislated in order to draw closer to Allah are acts of Bid`ah which were not practiced by the Prophet (peace be upon him) who was the most truthful, the sincerest in giving advice, and the one who taught and invited the Muslim Ummah (nation based on one creed) to every kind of goodness. He never celebrated his birthday during his lifetime, and he stayed in Al-Madinah for ten years as the head of the believers and their uncontested leader. He was succeeded by Al-Siddiq (Abu Bakr) who became the Caliph after him, then by `Umar then by `Uthman then by `Aly and then by the Rightly-Guided Caliphs, but none of them celebrated the birthday of the Prophet (peace be upon him). If it was a good thing, they would have been the first to do it. It must be emphasized that the earliest best three generations of Islam did not introduce birthday celebrations, but they were innovated by the Fatimid Rafidah (a Shiitic group) during the fourth century after Hijrah and some Muslims followed them out of ignorance and unawareness.

 

Ruling on Tabarruk from the Prophet's grave and saying that the heavens and the earth were created for his sake

Q4: Muslim brothers, I want you to enlighten me and answer a question that worries me a great deal about the beloved and chosen Messenger of Allah, Muhammad, may peace and blessings be upon him, his family and Companions. Muslim brothers, I heard some Shaykhs in the Mawlid (the Prophet’s birthday) ceremonies saying that if it were not for Muhammad (peace be upon him), the heavens and the earth would not have been created, and that Allah created him (the Prophet) before Adam (peace be upon him) by thousands of years. They also say that Allah (may He be Exalted and Glorified) has created the sun from the light of the Prophet’s forehead, the stars from the light of his teeth and many other similar things which I cannot recall. I also hear that “La ilaha illa Allah, Muhammad Rasul-ul Allah” (There is no deity but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah) is written on the gate of Jannah (Paradise). I have asked some scholars about these sayings, some confirmed them, but others did not, which has put me in confusion; which of the two parties should I believe? I feel afraid and always distracted. I remember when I went this year, on the occasion of the Prophet’s birth, to Dar Al-Qur’an in Amman to celebrate this blessed night. Shaykh Hazim Abu Ghazalah was narrating part of the Prophet’s biography (peace be upon him), saying that whenever he visits the grave of the Prophet (peace be upon him) he approaches the iron window surrounding it, pretending to remove dust, but he in fact distracts the attention of guards to seek blessings. He added that one of his friends once brought him some dust from the grave of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and that the smell of this dust is more fragrant than perfume.

As I heard this story, I remembered an incident that happened to me ten years ago when I went with some friends to visit Al-Qiyamah Church. The purpose of the visit was to have fun and flirt with foreign Christian women there, may Allah forgive us all. There, in that church, we met one of the monks who offered us some perfume and told us it was the water with which Al-Masih (Jesus, peace be upon him) was baptized. I do not know what made me link between these two incidents in my mind, but I really suffered. Back to the Shaykh, he then started celebrating with the attendees by standing, jumping and bending in irregular movements to the extent that Allah’s Words, which they were reciting, were hardly heard from them. I did not like this scene, so I left. But doubts started to afflict me whether I did right or wrong. The same incident was repeated on Laylat-ul-Qadr (the Night of Decree) and all other religious ceremonies. I beseech you by Allah to guide me as I am suffering a great deal. I would also like to ask Your Eminence: Am I or any Muslim permitted to see the grave of the Prophet (peace be upon him) from the window? I was lucky enough to visit it and stand by the window. I wished I were a butterfly to be able to draw closer to his grave, not for any other reason but to be closer to him (peace be upon him). I believe that the grave is made of dust and that Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) and his Messenger are in the heart of every believer. I wish I can visit the Sacred Land just to watch the grave of the Prophet (peace be upon him), the Holy Rawdah (the area between the Prophet’s pulpit and grave) and the Sacred Ka‘bah, but I cannot afford the journey, and Allah burdens not a person beyond their capability.

A: First: Celebrating the birth of the Messenger (peace be upon him) is an act of Bid‘ah (innovation in religion) that was neither observed by him (peace be upon him) nor by any of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs nor his Sahabah (Companions of the Prophet, may Allah be pleased with them). It is authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Anyone who does an action which is not in accordance with this matter of ours (Islam) will have it rejected.

 

Second: What some people claim that the heavens and the earth were only created for the sake of the Messenger (peace be upon him) and that he was created before Adam...etc, all these claims are false. Even though he is the Sayyid (one who excels others in goodness) among all the messengers and the best of all creatures, it is impermissible to describe him by something that was not authentically revealed by Allah or reported by His Messenger (peace be upon him) or his Sahabah (may Allah be pleased with them).

 

Third: When a Muslim visits the Messenger (peace be upon him), they should come to the grave and greet the Messenger (peace be upon him) and his two Sahabah, Abu Bakr and `Umar (may Allah be pleased with them). They should neither stay after that to make Du‘a’ (supplication), nor hold the window for Tabarruk (seeking blessings), for this is an act of Bid‘ah.

 

Fourth: The claim that someone has brought you dust from the grave of the Messenger (peace be upon him) is a false claim, because none can ever take any dust from his grave. And if someone were ever to do this, it would be impermissible to seek blessings from it, for this act has no base of legitimacy in Shari‘ah (Islamic law). Besides, this act has not been done by the Sahabah who were the most knowledgeable of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his Sunnah, and loved him more than anyone who came after them. They are also an excellent example for us to follow. We ask Allah to grant you and us knowledge and righteousness!

 

May Allah grant us success! May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and Companions!

 

Q5.Is it permissible to eat from the meat slaughtered in commemoration of the Mawlid (the Prophet’s birthday) or any other birth anniversary?

A: 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 Allah, and that is Shirk (associating others with Allah in His Divinity or worship). Therefore, it is not permissible to eat from these animals. It is authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Allah has cursed the one who slaughters (a sacrifice) to other than Allah.Sahih Muslim 1978 and Sunan Nasai 4422

 

May Allah grant us success! May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions!

 

Q6.Is it permissible to attend celebrations that involve Bid‘ahs (innovations in religion) like celebrating the Mawlid (the Prophet’s birthday), the night of Mi‘raj (Ascension to Heaven), and the 15th night of Sha‘ban, especially if the person believes that they are not permissible and intends to explain the truth for people?

A: First: Celebrating these days is not permissible. In fact, it is a condemned Bid‘ah (innovation in religion).

 

Second: It is permissible to attend these celebrations only to object to them and explain the truth about them to other people and instruct them that celebrating such events are Bid‘ahs, which are not permissible to be done, especially if the person has good rhetorical skills and is unlikely to be influenced by their views. As to attending these celebrations for watching, having fun, or out of curiosity, it is not permissible. It involves partaking in Munkar (that which is unacceptable or disapproved of by Islamic law) and increase of the numbers of people participating in such Bid‘ahs, and thus propagates them.

 

May Allah grant us success! May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions!

 

Q7.We would like to know the exact birth date of the Prophet (peace be upon him). We plan to hold a Qur’an-competition, to sacrifice a sheep and to deliver lessons about the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) for this occasion. We would like to know if this program is Islamically permissible or not?

A: Firstly, the Prophet (peace be upon him) was born on Rabi‘ Al-Awwal, in the year of the Elephant (571 A.D.) as was recorded by Muhammad ibn Is-haq and other biographers in the books of Sirah (the Prophet’s biography).

 

Secondly, it is a prohibited Bid‘ah (innovation in religion) to hold a celebration on the night of the birth anniversary of the Prophet (peace be upon him), run Qur’an-competitions, sacrifice sheep and deliver speeches about the Prophet (peace be upon him) on this occasion. The Prophet (peace be upon him) is the most aware of his status and the proper manner of venerating him. He is the most knowledgeable of the Shar‘ (Law) of Allah. It was not authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) celebrated his birthday, or the birthday of one of his previous fellow Prophets (peace be upon them), or the birthday of one of his Sahabah (Companions of the Prophet, may Allah be pleased with them). It was authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Anyone who introduces anything into this matter of ours (Islam) that is not part of it will have it rejected. In another narration: Anyone who does an action which is not in accordance with this matter of ours (Islam) will have it rejected.sahih Muslim 1718

 

May Allah grant us success! May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions!

 

The Sahabah who loved and followed the Prophet the most did not celebrate his Mawlid

Q8: My question is about celebrating the Mawlid (the Prophet's birthday). In our locality there is a custom that after three days of a person's death, the family of the deceased holds a celebration of the birthday of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Some people hold it one month or one year after a person's death. They slaughter a cow or buy meat, prepare food and distribute it to the people of the village; afterwards, they hold a celebration of the birthday of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Is this permissible? Is it recommended to do this? Was it practiced by the Sahabah (Companions of the Prophet Muhammad) or by anyone from the Salaf (righteous predecessors)? Please explain this issue, may Allah reward you with the best!

A: Celebrating the birthday of the Prophet (peace be upon him) is one of the Bid`ahs (innovations in religion) introduced into Islam. There is no difference between celebrating the birthday of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and other's birthdays. The Prophet (peace be upon him) is the best of creatures and he is the teacher and advisor, yet he (peace be upon him) did not celebrate his birth. Similarly, his Rightly-Guided Caliphs did not celebrate his birthday, and the rest of Sahabah (may Allah be pleased with them all) who were the most knowledgeable, loved the Prophet (peace be upon him) more than anyone of us, and were the most well-informed of his Sunnah did not celebrate it. This indicates that this celebration is Bid`ah and all kinds of Bid`ah are deviation from the right way as stated by the Hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him): Every Bid‘ah is a Dalalah (deviation). The earliest and best three centuries of Islam passed and there was no celebration of the birthday of the Prophet (peace be upon him) during these times and, as far as we know, the Salaf did not celebrate it.

 

Therefore, it is Bid`ah introduced by those who came after the best centuries in virtue and righteousness. It is said that the first to introduce this Bid`ah were the rulers ofEgypt from Al-`Ubaydiyyun, who were Shiites, as reported by a group of historians. They introduced it during the fourth century after Hijrah. It is said that they are the first who held these celebrations. In any case, it is a newly-introduced matter in Islam having no basis which some people from past centuries and in our age thought it to be recommended and there is nothing wrong in celebrating it, because it is a good Bid`ah. This is not only an incorrect opinion, but it goes against the Messenger (peace be upon him) as well. It is also in contradiction with the way of the Sahabah who were the most knowledgeable and the best people; however, they did not hold these celebrations. Therefore, it is a duty upon Muslims to reject this act. The biography of the Prophet (peace be upon him) can be studied in educational circles and daily and weekly lessons in which people can learn about the Sunnah of the Messenger (peace be upon him) and know his words and deeds. They can also learn the Islamic rulings brought by the Prophet (peace be upon him). This is what should be taught in school classes, in the educational circles in the Masjids (mosques) and in admonitions and reminders from which people learn the Sunnah and the biography of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and reject the celebration of the Mawlid and what takes place there. All these acts are possible and they are sufficient for Muslims and meet their needs. As for holding such birthday celebrations and preparing banquets, there is no basis for doing this. It is a newly-invented Bid`ah and every Bid`ah introduced in Islam is misguidance. It is not proper for any person of sound mind to be tricked by these people, because their actions are baseless and most of these people do not have insight into Islamic issues. The Almighty states: And most of mankind will not believe even if you desire it eagerly. Therefore, the decisive criterion is the evidence and proof.

 

The Prophet (peace be upon him) stated: Anyone who introduces anything into this matter of ours (Islam) that is not part of it will have it rejected. He (peace be upon him) also stated: Anyone who does an action which is not in accordance with this matter of ours (Islam) will have it rejected. Also, the manners of the Prophet (peace be upon him), his biography, his birth and his Hijrah (the Prophet's migration to Madinah) are all taught by scholars at schools, in educational circles, in admonitions and reminders without any need to hold such celebrations invented by Mubtadi`s (those who introduce innovations in religion). Acts of Shirk (associating others with Allah in His Divinity or worship) and excessive praising of the Prophet (peace be upon him) take place at some of these celebrations, and different forms of wrongdoing known only by Allah. Therefore, we need to shut this door and be satisfied with the Islamic lessons in the Masjids, in the educational circles, in reminders and admonitions related to important religious affairs and the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and its rulings. This is the truth, and what people do nowadays and in the past of celebrating the birthday of the Messenger (peace be upon him) or the birthdays of Al-Badawy, Shaykh `Abdul-Qadir or any other person are all innovations having no basis. It is obligatory to reject all these newly-introduced matters in compliance with the saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him): Anyone who does an action which is not in accordance with this matter of ours (Islam) will have it rejected. And: Every Bid‘ah is a Dalalah (deviation).

 

Q9. I want to learn about the life of the Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him). When was he born? How long did he live? When did he die? How many women did he marry? What was the Du‘a’ (supplication) he used to say before going to sleep?

A: The Prophet (peace be upon him) was born on Monday, 12th of Rabi‘ Al-Awwal, in the Year of the Elephant (approximately 570 A.C.). He (peace be upon him) lived for sixty-three years and spent fifty-three years of his life in Makkah Al-Mukarramah and ten years in Al-Madinah. He died in Al-Madinah on Monday, 12th of Rabi‘ Al-Awwal, 11 A.H.

 

He married eleven wives: Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, Sawdah bint Zam‘ah, ‘Aishah bint Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq, Hafsah bint ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab, Zaynab bint Khuzaymah, Um Salamah Hind bint Abu Umayyah,

 

Zaynab bint Jahsh, Juwayriyah bint Al-Harith Al-Mustalqiyah, Um Habibah Ramlah bint Abu Sufyan, Safiyyah bint Huyay ibn Akhtab, and Maymunah bint Al-Harith Al-Hilaliyah(may Allah be pleased with them all). Two of the Prophet’s wives died during his lifetime: Khadijah and Zaynab bint Khuzaymah (may Allah be pleased with them both). When he died, he left nine wives behind (may Allah be pleased with them all).

 

There are many Prophetic Du‘a’ and Adhkar (invocations and Remembrances said at certain times on a regular basis) to be said before going to sleep. For example, Al-Bukhari and Muslim related on the authority of Al-Bara’ ibn ‘Azib (may Allah be pleased with them) that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: When you go to your bed perform Wudu’ (ablution) as you do for Salah (Prayer), then lie down on your right side and say: ‘Allahumma aslamtu nafsi ilaika, wa fauwadtu amri ilaika, wa alja'tu zahri ilaika, raghbatan wa rahbatan ilaika. La malja'a wa la manja minka illa ilaika. Amantu bikitabik al-ladhi anzalta wa nabiyik al-ladhi arsalta [O Allah! I surrender myself to You, and I entrust my affairs to You, and I totally rely on You, in hope and fear of You. Verily, there is no refuge nor safe haven from You except with You. O Allah! I believe in Your Book (the Holy Qur’an) which You have revealed and in Your Prophet (Muhammad) whom You have sent.]’ If you die (on that night), you will die on Fitrah (pure innate nature, i.e. on the religion of Islam). Let these be the last (words) that you speak (before sleep).

Furthermore, Hudhayfah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that whenever the Prophet (peace be upon him) went to bed, he used to say: Bismika amut wa ahyaa [In Your Name I live and die]. Whenever he woke up, he used to say: Al-hamdu lil-Lahi al-ladhi ahyana ba`da ma amatana, wailahi an-nushur [All praise be to Allah Who has given us life after He made us die (sleep) and unto Him is the Resurrection.] According to another narration: Allahumma bismika amut wa ahyaa [O Allah! It is in Your Name that I live and die].

 

If you want to learn more supplications, you can refer to the books of "Al-Adhkar Al-Nawawiyyah" by Al-Nawawy and "Al-Wabil Al-Sayb" by by Ibn Al-Qayyim.

 

May Allah grant us success! May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions!

 

Q10.What is the ruling on celebrating the Mawlid (the Prophet’s birthday) in Rabi‘ Al-Awwal as a tribute to the Prophet (peace be upon him)?

A: Paying tribute to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and respecting him should be expressed by belief in all that was revealed to him from Allah; following his Shari‘ah (Islamic law) in beliefs, words, deeds and manners; and by shunning Bid‘ah (innovation in religion). Among the newly-invented practices introduced into the religion is celebrating the Mawlid.

 

May Allah grant us success! May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and Companions!

 

Islamweb

Questions

Q1. Celebrating the Birthday of the Prophet (Al-Mawlid)

Q2. Refuting false claims regarding Al-Mawlid

Q3. Eating from a sacrifice slaughtered for a Mawlid

Q4. Celebrating Al-Mawlid - an innovation

Q5. Misconceptions regarding Al-Mawlid

 

Question and Answers

Q1.Celebrating the Birthday of the Prophet (Al-Mawlid)

A. The commands mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah to follow the laws of Allaah and His Messenger  and the prohibitions of introducing innovations into the religion are quite clear. Allaah Says (what means):

  • "Say [O Muhammad], 'If you should love Allaah, then follow me, [so] Allaah will love you and forgive you your sins.’" [Quran 3: 31]

 

  • "Follow [O Mankind] what has been revealed to you from your Lord and do not follow other than Him any allies. Little do you remember." [Quran 7: 3]

 

  • "And [moreover], this is My path, which is straight, so follow it; and do not follow [other] ways, for you will be separated from His way." [Quran 6: 153)

The Prophet  said: “The most truthful of speech is the Book of Allaah and the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad, and the most evil of things are those which are newly-invented.” And he  said:“Whoever innovates anything in this matter of ours (i.e., Islaam) that is not part of it will have it rejected.” [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]. According to a version narrated by Muslim, “Whoever does anything that is not in accordance with this matter of ours (i.e., Islaam) will have it rejected.”

 

Among the reprehensible innovations that people have invented is the celebration of the birthday of the Prophet,  (Al-Mawlid) in the month of Rabee’ Al-Awwal. They celebrate this occasion in various ways: 

  • Some of them simply make it an occasion to gather and read the story ofAl-Mawlid, then they present speeches and Qaseedahs (odes) for this occasion.

 

  • Some of them make food and sweets etc., and offer them to the people present.

 

  • Some of them hold these celebrations in the mosques, and some of them hold them in their houses.

 

  • Some people do not limit themselves to the actions mentioned above; they include in these gatherings Haraam and reprehensible things, such as free mixing between men and women, dancing and singing, or committing actions of Shirk such as seeking the help of the Prophet, , calling upon him, seeking his support against their enemies and so on. 

Whatever form it takes and whatever the intentions of those who do this are, there is no doubt whatsoever that it is an invented, Haraaminnovation which was introduced by the Shee’ah Faatimids after the three best centuries of Islaam, in order to corrupt the religion of the Muslims. The next person to do this after them, and re-introduce it was King Al-Muzaffar Abu Sa’eed Kawkaboori, the king of Irbil, at the end of the sixth century or the beginning of the seventh century AH, as was mentioned by the historians such as Ibn Khalkaan  and others.

 

Abu Shaamah  said: ‘The first person to do that in Mosul was Shaykh ‘Umar Ibn Muhammad Al-Malaa, one of the well-known righteous people. Then the ruler of Irbil and others followed his example’. 

 

Ibn Katheer  said in his biography of Abu Sa’eed Kazkaboori: “He used to observe the Mawlid in Rabee’ Al-Awwal and hold a huge celebration on that occasion… some of those who were present at the feast of Al-Muzaffar on some occasions of the Mawlid said that he used to offer in the feast five thousand grilled heads of sheep, ten thousand chickens and one hundred thousand large dishes, and thirty trays of sweets… he would let the Sufis sing from Dhuhr until Fajr, and he himself would dance with them.” 

 

Ibn Khalkaan  said: “When it is the first of Safar they decorate those domes with various kinds of fancy adornments, and in every dome there sits a group of singers and a group of puppeteers and players of musical instruments, and they do not leave any one of those domes without setting up a group (of performers) there. The people give up work during this period, and they do no work except for going around and watching the entertainment.  When there are two days to go until the Mawlid, they bring out a large number of camels, cows and sheep, more than can be described, and they accompany them with all the drums, songs and musical instruments that they have, until they bring them to the square… On the night of the Mawlid there are performances of nasheed after Maghrib in the citadel.”

 

So, this is the origin of this celebration on the occasion of the Prophet’s birthday. More recently idle entertainment, extravagance, and wasting of money and time have become associated with an innovation for which Allaah has not sent down any authority.

 

It is incumbent upon all Muslims to revive the Sunnah and put an end toBid’ah (innovation); they should not perform any action until they know the ruling of Allaah concerning it. 

 

In conclusion, celebrating the birthday of the Prophet, , whatever form it takes, is a reprehensible innovation. The Muslims should put a stop to this and other kinds of Bid’ah, and occupy themselves with reviving and adhering to the Sunnah.  They should not be deceived by those who promote and defend this Bid’ah, for these types of people are more interested in keeping innovations alive than in reviving the Sunnah; they may not even care about the Sunnah at all. Whoever is like this, it is not permissible to imitate him or follow his example, even if the majority of people are like this. Rather we should follow the example of those who follow the path of the Sunnah, among the righteous Salaf and their followers, even if they are few. Truth is not measured by the men who speak it; rather men are measured by the truth. 

                                                                      

The Prophet,  said: “Whoever among you lives (for a long time) will see many differences. I urge you to follow my Sunnah and the way of the rightly-guided khaleefahs who come after me. Hold on to it firmly. Beware of newly-invented matters, for every innovation is a going astray.” [Ahmad and Tirmithi]. So the Prophet,  explained to us in this Hadeeth what we should do when there are differences of opinion, just as he explained that everything that goes against his Sunnah, be it words or deeds, is aBid’ah, and every Bid’ah is a going astray. 

 

If we see that there is no basis for celebrating the birthday of the Prophet,, whether in the Sunnah or in the way of the rightly-guided khaleefahs, then it is one of the newly-invented matters, one of theBid’ahs which lead people astray. This principle is what is implied by thisHadeeth and is what is indicated by the Aayah which translates as: "O you who have believed, Obey Allaah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. And if you disagree over anything, refer it to Allaah and the Messenger, if you should believe in Allaah and the Last Day. That is the best [way] and best in result." [Quran 4: 59].

 

Referring to Allaah means referring to His Book, and referring to the Messenger, Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, means referring to his Sunnahafter he has passed away. The Quran and Sunnah are the reference point in cases of dispute. Where in the Quran or Sunnah does it indicate that it is prescribed in Islam to celebrate the Prophet’s birthday? Whoever does that or thinks that it is good must repent to Allaah from this and from other kinds of Bid’ah. This is the attitude of the Muslim who is seeking the truth. But whoever is too stubborn and arrogant after proof has been established, then his reckoning will be with his Lord.

 

Q2.Refuting false claims regarding Al-Mawlid- I

A.  First claim:  "The celebration of Al-Mawlid is a way of expressing joy, which is something beneficial. It would benefit anybody who celebrates it, as it even benefits Abu Lahab (a disbelieving uncle of the Prophet ), due to the narration which states that a person saw Abu Lahab in his dream and asked him about his predicament. He (Abu Lahab) replied that his punishment in hell is reduced every Monday due to his rejoicing at the news of the birth of the Prophet and also because he bought the freedom of the slave who brought him the good news."

 

Refutation:  This narrationhas an unconnected chain of narrators which renders it inauthentic; therefore, it cannot be used as evidence in an argument. Even if we were to assume, for the sake of argument, that it is not a weak narration, it is still rejected for many other reasons:

  • It was only a dream and dreams are never used as a basis to judge anything, let alone be used to establish a form of worship based on them.

 

  • This contradicts the Quran.Allaah Says (what means): {And we will approach [i.e., regard] what they [i.e., the disbelievers] have done of deeds and make them as dust dispersed.} [Quran 25: 23]. Therefore, nobody will get any reward for their deeds unless they intend to get closer to Allaah by doing so, and a disbeliever will never attempt to do anything to get closer to Allaah as he does not believe in Him in the first place.

 

  • History proves that this story was incorrect, and that Abu Lahab did not free any slave at that time. In fact, the slave in question was freed after the migration of the Prophet,  as mentioned in the books of Ibn 'Abdul Barr and Ibn Al-Jawzi,.

 

Second claim:  "The Prophet  himself glorified his birthday, due to his reply when asked why he fasted on Mondays: "I was born on this day and started receiving the revelation on it." [Muslim]. Therefore, he glorified his birthday by fasting on it, and this is a form of celebration."  

 

Refutation:  This doubt can be refuted from three different angles:

  • The Prophet,  never regularly fasted on the twelfth of Rabee' Al-Awwal, which is the date that some claim is his birthday, rather, he fasted every Monday, and there are four Mondays in every month. Therefore, celebrating the twelfth of Rabee' Al-Awwal and designating certain acts of worship for it must be considered as an attempt to correct what is thought to be wrong or less than perfect on the part of the Prophet,

 

  • The Prophet,  did not only fast on Mondays, but in addition, he would also fast on Thursdays, as he said: "The records of deeds are raised (to Allaah) every Monday and Thursday, therefore, I like to be fasting at this time.” [Tirmithi]. Moreover, the Prophet,  did not say that the reason for fasting on a Monday were due to his birth only, but also because of the fact that the records of everybody's deeds are raised to Allaah on these days. Therefore, celebrating Al-Mawlid with the excuse that the Prophet,  used to fast on a Monday is a misunderstanding and a gross exaggeration of the facts.

 

  • The Prophet,  did not add any form of celebration to his fasting, as those who celebrate Al-Mawlid do. If people intend to express their gratitude to Allaah by observing Al-Mawlid and they justify it with the excuse that he used to fast on Mondays, then common sense dictates that they must completely imitate the Prophet,  in the way that he expressed gratitude to Allaah. Many people who celebrate Al-Mawliddo not fast regularly on Mondays and Thursdays as they deem it to be exhausting. On the contrary, they actually prepare and eat more food than usual as part of their celebration.

 

Third claim:  "Rejoicing at this event is something recommended and requested of all of us by Allaah in the verse were He says that which translates as: {Say: 'In the bounty of Allaah and in His mercy – in that let them rejoice, it is better than what they accumulate.'} [Quran 10:58]. Allaah commanded us to rejoice in His mercy, and the Prophet  was the greatest of all His mercies, as Allaah says (what means): {And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds.} [Quran 21:107].

 

Refutation:  The mercy mentioned in the first verse means other than what the celebrators of Al-Mawlid claim. Commenting on this verse, Abu Sa'eed Al-Khudri  said: "'The Bounty' refers to the Quran and 'The Mercy' is if one is from the people who adhere to it.'" Hilaal Ibn Yasaaf said commenting on the verse: "'The Bounty' means Islam and 'The Mercy' means the Quran.'"

 

None of the Salaf interpreted this command of Allaah to mean rejoicing in the form of feasts and festivals. The mercy in the second verse is nothing other than the Quran and the Sunnah which the Prophet, was sent with. Therefore, the true meaning of rejoicing due to Allaah sending us His Prophet,  must be to follow him completely and adhere to all his commands verbally and practically.

 

There can be no doubt that attempting to use this verse as an evidence for the permissibility of celebrating Al-Mawlid is applying it in a way other than how the Salaf, or pious first three generations, of Muslims, applied it. Ash-Shaatibi  said: "Any application from the later generations of a text which was not understood nor applied by our Salaf is unacceptable." Ibn 'Abdul Haadi,  said: "It is prohibited to interpret a verse from the Quran or a Hadeeth in any way other than the way our Salaf interpreted, applied and clarified it to the Ummah, because this would imply that they were ignorant of the truth and strayed away from it while the latter generations were guided to it. It is even worse if the interpretation of the latter generations opposes and contradicts that of the Salaf."

 

Indeed the understanding and interpretation of the texts of those who celebrate Al-Mawlid is misguidance and an innovation in itself. Ash-Shaatibi  said: "It is commonplace that the innovators and people of misguidance manipulate the Quran and Sunnah and apply it in a way that suits their needs. Also, they propagate these false ideas to the common people in order to confuse them.”

 

Fourth claim:  Although we acknowledge that it is a Bid'ah to celebrate Al-Mawlid due to the fact that the different acts of worship performed during it were not collectively practiced at the time of the Prophet we still hold that it is a good Bid'ah because these acts are mentioned in some general texts individually. So we accept that it is a Bid'ah in the sense that it is a new phenomenon, but not regarding all its details because these did exist individually at the time of the Prophet .

 

Refutation:  The presence of the necessity of establishing a certain act of worship at the time of the Prophet,  plus the absence of any preventing factors, in addition to the fact that the Prophet,  did not do it, are all factors which determine that celebrating Al-Mawlid is a Bid'ah. 

 

A Bid'ah can never be deemed as good, even if there are texts that generally recommend the innovative acts performed for other times and places. To illustrate this point, the remaining companions of the Prophet,  condemned and rejected Marwaan Ibn Al-Hakam  when he innovated of a new Adhaan, or call for prayer, for the 'Eed prayer. This was despite the fact that the Adhaan already existed for the five daily prayers and so was not something entirely new. Likewise, it would be an innovation if someone were to pray at a specific time of the day or the week, a certain number of optional prayers. This is because although praying is an act which is legislated and the Islamic texts recommend it, specifying a time and a set number of prayers with the intention of pleasing Allaah is an innovation if specific supportive evidences to prove the legitimacy of the specified time, day and number of prayers are not given.

 

Once an act is proven to be a Bid'ah, it can never be deemed of as good because the Prophet,  gave a comprehensive statement saying:"Every Bid'ah (innovation) is misguidance" [Ahmad, Tirmithi and others].

 

Shaykh Al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah  said: "If something is called a Bid'ah, yet was proven to be good according to evidences from the Sharee'ah, then it must be one of two things:

 

1) It is not a Bid'ah by the Islamic definition but rather linguistically (i.e. something abandoned and then newly revived) like the saying of 'Umar ibn Al-Khattaab : "Good Bid'ah" when he observed that the people had gathered behind one Imaam to lead them in their Taraaweeh prayers in congregation during Ramadan".

 

2) It is a special case which is exempted from the general texts because it has a specific evidence, but the general text still applies to every other case other than the special one (i.e. nobody is permitted to use this special case as an excuse to oppose the general text and innovate new things due to it)."He  also said: "It is well known that any form of worship which was not established by either the Prophet  or his companions, or shown by the trustworthy scholars to have a firm foundation, is rejected."

 

Ibn Rajab,  said: "The description of some of the Salaf about some matters being 'good Bid'ahs' are always in the linguistic sense of the term and never the religious one, like for example, the saying of 'Umar ibn Al-Khattaab : "Good Bid'ah" when he observed that the people had gathered behind one Imaam to lead them in their Taraaweeh prayers in congregation during Ramadan. Praying Taraaweeh in congregation was practiced by the Prophet  and all that these people were doing was simply reviving an act which already existed, so the usage of the term here must have been purely linguistic."

 

Fitfth claim: Al-Mawlid encourages people to ask Allaah to send salutations upon His Messenger  and exalt his  mention, which is something mandatory upon all Muslims, as Allaah Says (what means): {Indeed Allaah confers blessing upon the Prophet, and his angels [ask Him to do so]. O you who have believed, ask [Allaah to confer] blessing upon him and ask [Allaah to grant him] peace.} [Quran 33:56] Therefore, anything which accomplishes that which is required Islamically is itself a requirement, such as Al-Mawlid.

Refutation:  The thing that would really make a person implement the command mentioned in that verse and frequently mention of name of the Prophet  is if they were to live their life studying the Sunnah of the Prophet  and applying it to all areas of their life. In reality, the celebration of Al-Mawlid once a year is nothing but a practical call to desert and abandon the Sunnah of the Prophet and the asking of Allaah to send salutations upon him  and exalt his  mention - except during this yearly festival. One only has to look at the lives of the people who propagate the celebration of Al-Mawlid to confirm this. These people are the furthest from applying the Sunnah in their lives; they seem to think that just because they have celebrated this yearly festival, they have fulfilled their duties towards the Prophet . They also think that those who do not celebrate this event are not giving the Prophet  his  due right. Reality testifies that the truth is the opposite of this, and that those who celebrate Al-Mawlid are actually the ones who abandon the Sunnah of the Prophet  and are the ones who are the furthest from its guidance. They do not realise that the true meaning of rejoicing at Allaah sending us His Prophet  is by rejoicing with that which he  came with, and that following him  is the only way for this joy to materialise and have a real effect. Allaah Says (what means): "Say, [O Muhammad], 'If you should love Allaah, then follow me, [so] Allaah will love you."Ibn Katheer  said commenting upon this verse: "This verse is a ruling against anyone who claims to love Allaah while not following the Prophet's Sunnah that they are a liar - until they follow the way of the Prophet Muhammad  totally, in word and deed."  Al-Hasan Al-Basri  said: "Some people made the claim that they love Allaah, so He tested the claim with this verse."

 

Sixth claim:  If Jumu'ah (Friday) has a special virtue and is honoured due to the fact that Aadam  was born on that day, as the Prophet said: "… And Aadam was born on it (Jumu'ah)", then surely the Prophet's  birthday is worthier because he  is the most honourable of all the Prophets.

 

Refutation:  The virtues of Jumu'ah are well established; it is a weekly holiday and a celebration for the Muslims. Although Aadamwas born on Jumu'ah as the Prophet  said: "The best of your days is the day of Jumu'ah, and Aadam was born on it."It is a lie upon the Prophet  to claim that Islam glorified and honoured Jumu'ah because of the birth of Aadam  on that day.  Those who make such a claim only do so to use it as a foundation for their argument of celebrating Al-Mawlid.

 

We need to bear in mind that the same Islamic texts (the Quran andSunnah) which glorified and honoured the day of Jumu'ah are those that intentionally and deliberately did not mention anything about, nor honour the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad . Therefore, giving the same ruling to both events, when Islam did not legislate for one and did so for the other, is an extremely evil, corrupt and false double-standard. Allaah Says (what means): {This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed my favour upon you and have approved for you Islam as a religion.} [Quran 5:3]

 

The Prophet  forbade singling out Jumu'ah for fasting or optional night prayers (Qiyaam) when he  said: "Do not single out the night of Jumu'ah for Qiyaam, nor its day with fasting unless you habitually fast it." [Muslim]

 

Seventh Claim: Al-Mawlid includes things which are Islamically praised, recommended and encouraged like charity, the mentioning of Allaah's names and praise and glorification of the Prophet .

 

Refutation:  Although Al-Mawlid does include these praised and encouraged matters, it is still an unfounded gathering for an unlawful reason. Acts of worship must be justified by the Sharee’ah, otherwise they will be rejected by Allaah due to them not coinciding with His commands and that of His Messenger . The Prophet  did not legislate for his  birthday to be a day to gather for prayer, charity or recitations of poems of praise, some of which contain Shirk, like the famous Al-Burdahwritten by Al-Booseeri which says in some of its verses:

 

"You are the most honourable of all creation

 

I have none but you to resort to when adversities befall me

 

If you don’t rescue me on the Day of Resurrection from your grace

 

Then my feet will definitely slip into the Hellfire

 

From your generosity you have provided this world and the Hereafter

 

Your know what is in the preserved tablet and you know the divine decree"

 

Allaah Says: (what means):"Indeed Allaah [alone] has knowledge of the Hour and sends down the rain and knows what is in the wombs. And no soul perceives what it will earn tomorrow, and no soul perceives in what land it will die. Indeed, Allaah is Knowing and Acquainted."[Quran 31:34] Ibn Mas’ood  said: "Your Prophet  was given access to all knowledge (as needed) except the absolute knowledge of the unknown and the unseen." - Then he recited the aforementioned verse.

 

In Islam, anything that leads to a prohibited act it itself prohibited. Although the Islamic texts recommend charity, mentioning the name of Allaah and asking Allaah to send salutations upon the Prophet  and exalting his  mentioning, they do not state that people are to exaggerate in praising him  to the extent of attributing knowledge of the unknown and unseen to him  – which is knowledge that is exclusive to Allaah and a form of Shirk if someone were to attribute this knowledge to anyone besides Him.

 

Eighth claim:  Some scholars have recommended Al-Mawlid, and Muslims all around the world have celebrated it throughout history. Therefore, it must be celebrated based on the saying of Ibn Mas'ood : "Anything which the Muslims collectively deem as good is good and anything which the Muslims collectively deem as bad is bad."

 

Refutation:  If we are to understand from this statement of Ibn Mas'ood  that 'collectively' means the consensus of the scholars of the Muslim nation, then this is of course the correct understanding, because they never collectively agreed on anything that was misguidance. However, the notion that the Muslim nation as a whole are united in celebrating Al-Mawlid is a fallacy, in fact the opposite is true. The struggle against thisBid'ah began from the very first day that it was initiated by the misguidedBaatinee (those with concealed beliefs) rulers. After that, in the seventhHijri century, Sultan Irbil spread this misguidance even further. What made this Bid'ah spread as far and wide as it did was the fact that was propagated by the rulers, who hade complete control over their subjects.

 

The fact that many people in different countries take part in this Bid'ahcan never be taken as evidence to justify it and make it Islamically permissible, because the truth is not related to the numbers who adhere to it. Allaah Says (what means): {And if you obey most of those upon the earth, they will mislead you from the way of Allaah.}[Quran 6:116] Moreover, the Prophet  described the victorious Muslim group which will supported by Allaah and granted victory to be very small in number as stated in the book of Muslim.

 

If the people who propagate Al-Mawlid were to reflect on that saying of Ibn Mas'ood  they would find that it is actually evidence against themselves. This is because the consensus mentioned refers to that of the Companions  of the Prophet . This is the very reason why these people deliberately delete the beginning and misinterpret the end of the narration. For the sake of completion, here is the complete narration: Ibn Mas'ood  said: "Allaah looked into the hearts of the people and found that the heart of Muhammad  was the finest, so He chose him  to be His beloved and sent him  with His Message. Then Allaah looked into the hearts of everybody else and found that the hearts of Muhammad's  Companions  were the finest (from the rest), so He made them succeed His Prophet  and made them fight for the sake of His religion. Therefore, anything which the Muslims collectively deem to be good is good and anything which the Muslims collectively deem to be bad is bad." [Ahmad]

 

As-Sindi  said: "It is obvious that the Companions  of the Prophet are the ones referred to as 'the Muslims' in this narration. Therefore, the consensus must be that of the Companions  and the consensus of others cannot be included, let alone the agreement of a single group of people on one opinion …"

 

When Ibn Mas'oodand Abu Moosa Al-Ash'ari,  both,condemned circles in which the name of Allaah was mentioned collectively, they did so due to it going against the practice of the Companions  of the Prophet  and therefore being a bad practice. This is despite the fact that generally, mentioning the name of Allaah is a recommended act of worship, but these circles were an innovative way of doing so.Ibn Mas'ood  said to some of the people in these circles: "What is this that I see you all doing?" they replied: 'We are counting how many times we say Allaahu Akbar, Laa Ilaaha Illallaah and Subhaanallaah with these stones." He replied: "Woe to you! How fast it is that you lead yourselves to destruction, the Companions  of the Prophet  are still many in number around you (to ask for religious instructions) and the Prophet just passed away (i.e. he  has not been gone long enough for you to forget his  teachings)."  Then Ibn Mas'ood  said: "I swear by Him in Whose hands my soul is, you are either following a way (which you think is) more guided than that of Muhammad  or you are initiating a way of misguidance." They replied: "But we only intended to do what is good." Ibn Mas'ood  replied: "How often it is that those who intend to do good miss out on it.' It was never reported that any of the Companions of the Prophet  held an opinion opposite to that of Ibn Mas'ood and Abu Moosa regarding the condemnation of those who gathered for the collective mentioning of Allaah's name. If all the Companions regarded that as evil, then what would they have thought of those who gather to read Quran collectively during Al-Mawlid, which also includes other activities that are clear forms of Shirk?

 

Q3. Eating from a sacrifice slaughtered for a Mawlid

Is it permissible to sacrifice an animal during the festival of the birthday of the Prophet , (Mawlid)? Is it lawful to eat from this sacrifice?

A. All perfect praise be to Allaah, the Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad , is His Slave and Messenger.

 

Slaughtering on the birthday of the Prophet , as a ceremonial act is a religious innovation because this act was not reported from the Prophet , or any of his Companions  or their successors.

As for the ruling on eating a slaughtered animal in these circumstances, some details must be considered. It is impermissible to eat from such a slaughtered animal if the one who sacrificed it offers it for other than Allaah the Almighty, whether it was for the Prophet , or for any other person. This is prohibited as stipulated by the Quran in the Saying of Allaah the Almighty (that means): {He has only forbidden to you dead animals, blood, the flesh of swine, and that which has been dedicated to other than Allaah.} [Quran 16:115]. This applies whether the slaughterer mentioned the name of Allaah the Almighty at the time of slaughtering or not.

However, if the slaughterer merely means to celebrate the birthday of the Prophet , but slaughters it for Allaah the Almighty and mentions the name of Allaah the Almighty at the time of slaughtering, and intends to distribute it among the poor and the needy, then this is a religious innovation as we stated, but there is nothing wrong with eating from it since it was not slaughtered for another other than Allaah the Almighty, thus it is not unlawful food.

Nevertheless, we are of the opinion that whoever does this slaughtering should be rebuked and deterred from such wrongdoing.

Allaah Knows best.

Q4. Celebrating Al-Mawlid - an innovation

A. All perfect praise be to Allaah, the Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad , is His Slave and Messenger.

 

Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {Say, [O Muhammad], "If you should love Allaah, then follow me, [so] Allaah will love you and forgive you your sins.} [Quran 3:31] In a narration on the authority of ‘Aa’ishah  the Prophet  stated that whoever introduces something new in Islam which does not belong to it, it will be rejected and Allaah will not accept it from him. [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

 

Jaabir ibn `Abdullaah,  said that the Prophet  used to say in the introduction of his sermons that the best words are those in the Book of Allaah The Almighty, the best guidance is that of Muhammad  , the worst of all deeds is innovating in the matters of religion and that every religious innovation is misguidance. [Muslim]

 

There is no authentic narration from the Prophet  or the rightly-guided Caliphs  stating that they used to celebrate Al-Mawlid (the birthday of the Prophet ), or anything to that effect. If the celebration of his birthday  was a good thing, the companions  would have been the pioneers in doing so.

 

For the purpose of preserving the noble Sunnah and abiding by the Quran, Muslims should not introduce any matter that does not belong to the Book of Allaah (the Quran) or the Sunnah of the Prophet  and should not busy themselves with such innovated matters as this would result in failing to apply the Sunnah and convey the message of the Prophet .

 

It is not permissible for any Muslim, regardless of his status, to propagate religious innovations or practice them, as stated by the righteous predecessors of this Ummah and affirmed by the diligent and prominent Imaams .

 

Finally, we implore Allaah The Almighty to guide us to follow in their footsteps and hold fast to the straight path without addition or deletion.  

 

Allaah Knows best.

 

Q5. Misconceptions regarding Al-Mawlid

A. Those who think that thisBid’ah should be continued produce specious arguments which are flimsier than a spider’s web. These specious arguments may be dealt with as follows:

 

 1 – Their claim that this is veneration of the Prophet 

 

The response to that is that the way to venerate him is to obey him, do as he commanded and avoid that which he forbade, and to love him; he is not to be venerated through innovations, myths and sins. Celebrating his birthday is of this blameworthy type because it is a sin. The people who venerated the Prophet  the most were the Sahaabah  as ‘Urwah Ibn Mas’ood  said to Quraysh“O people, I swear by Allaah that I have visited kings. I went to Caesar, Chasroes and the Negus, but I swear by Allaah that I never saw a king whose companions venerated him as much as the companions of Muhammad venerated Muhammad. By Allaah, whenever he spat it never fell to the ground, it fell into the hand of one his companions, then they would wipe their faces and skins with it. If he instructed them to do something, they would hasten to do as he commanded. When he did Wudoo’, they would almost fight over his water. When he spoke they would lower their voices in his presence; and they did not stare at him out of respect for him.” [Al-Bukhaari] Yet despite this level of veneration, they never took the day of his birth as an ‘Eed (festival). If that had been prescribed in Islam they would not have neglected to do that.

 

 2 – Using as evidence the fact that many people in many countries do this.

 

The response to that is that evidence can only consist of that which is proven from the Prophet  and what is proven from the Prophet  is that innovations are forbidden in general, and this is an innovation. What people do, if it goes against the evidence (Daleel), does not prove anything, even if many of them do it. Allaah Says (what means): {And if you obey most of those upon the earth, they will mislead you from the way of Allaah.} [Quran 3: 116]

 

Nevertheless, in every age, and all praise is due to Allaah, there have always been those who denounce this Bid’ah and state clearly that it is false. Those who persist in following it after the truth has been explained to them have no proofs to fall back on.

 

Among those who denounced the celebration of this occasion wasShaykh Al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah, in Iqtidaa’ Al-Siraat Al-MustaqeemImaam Al-Shaatibi in Al-‘I’tisaamIbn Al-Haaj in Al-MadkhilShaykh Taaj Al-Deen ‘Ali Ibn ‘Umar Al-Lakhami who wrote an entire book denouncing it;Shaykh Muhammad Basheer Al-Sahsawaani Al-Hindi in his book Siyaanah Al-InsaanAl-Sayyid Muhammad Rasheed Ridaa wrote an essay on this topic; Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Ibraaheem Aal Al-Shaykh wrote a separate essay on it; Shaykh ‘Abd Al-‘Azeez Ibn Baaz; and others who are still writing and denouncing this Bid’ah every year in the pages of newspapers and magazines, at a time when this Bid’ah is widespread.

 

3 – They say that by celebrating the Mawlid they are keeping the memory of the Prophet .

 

The answer to this is that the memory of the Prophet  is constantly kept alive by the Muslim, such as when his name  is mentioned in theAdhaan and Iqaamah and in Khutbahs, and every time the Muslim recites the Shahaadatayn after doing Wudoo’ and in the prayers, and every time he sends blessings upon the Prophet  in his prayers and when he is mentioned, and every time the Muslim does a Waajib (obligatory) orMustahabb (recommended) action that was prescribed by the Messenger . In all of these ways (the Muslim) remembers him and the reward equivalent to the reward of the one who does that action goes back to the Prophet . Thus the Muslim constantly keeps the memory of the Messenger  alive and has a connection with him night and day throughout his life through that which Allaah has prescribed, not only on the day of the Mawlid and things which are Bid’ah and go against theSunnah, for that puts one at a distance from the Messenger  and the Messenger will disown him because of that.

 

The Messenger  has no need of this innovated celebration, because Allaah has already bestowed veneration and respect upon him, as He Says (what means): {And raised high for you your repute.}[Quran 94: 4]

 

This is because the name of Allaah is not mentioned in the Adhaan,Iqaamah or Khutbahs, except that the Messenger  is mentioned after Him; this is sufficient veneration, love and renewal of his memory, and sufficient encouragement to follow him.

 

Allaah did not refer to the birth of the Messenger  in the Quran, rather He referred to his Mission, and Says (what means): {Indeed, Allaahconferred a great favour on the believers when He sent among them a Messenger (Muhammad) from among themselves.}[Quran 3: 164]

 

{It is He who sent among the unlettered a Messenger from themselves.}[Quran 62: 2]

 

4 – They may say that the celebration of the Prophet’s  birthday was introduced by a knowledgeable and just king who intended thereby to draw closer to Allaah.

 

Our response to that is that Bid’ah is not acceptable, no matter who does it. A good intention does not justify a bad deed and even if a person died as a knowledgeable and righteous person, this does not mean that he was infallible.

 

 5 – They say that celebrating the Mawlid comes under the heading ofBid’ah Hasanah (good innovation) because it is based on giving thanks to Allaah for the Prophet !

 

Our response to that is that there is nothing good in innovation. The Prophet  said: “Whoever innovates anything in this matter of ours(i.e., Islam),that is not part of it will have it rejected.” [Al-Bukhaari]  And he said: “Every innovation is a going astray.” [Ahmad and At-Tirmithi) The ruling on innovations is that they are all misguidance, but this specious argument suggests that not every Bid’ah is a going astray, rather there are good innovations.

 

Ibn Rajab  said: “The words of the Prophet  ‘every innovation is a going astray’ is a concise but comprehensive comment which includes everything; it is one of the most important principles of religion. It is like his words ‘Whoever innovates anything in this matter of ours (i.e., Islam)that is not part of it will have it rejected.’ [Al-Bukhaari] Whoever innovates anything and attributes it to Islam when it has no basis in the religion, this is a going astray and is nothing to do with Islam, whether that has to do with matters of belief (‘Aqeedah) or outward and inward words and deeds.”

 

These people have no proof that there is any such thing as a “good innovation” apart from the words of ‘Umar concerning Taraaweeh prayers when he said: 'What a good innovation this is.' [Al-Bukhaari]

 

They also said that things were innovated which were not denounced by the Salaf, such as compiling the Quran into one volume and writing and compiling the collections of Ahadeeth.

 

The response to that is that these matters had a basis in Islam, so they were not newly-invented.

 

‘Umar  said: 'What a good Bid’ah' meaning innovation in the linguistic sense, not in the Shar’i sense. Whatever has a basis in Islam, if it is described as an innovation, is an innovation in the linguistic sense, not in the Shar’i sense, because innovation in the Shar’i sense means that which has no basis in Islam.

 

Compiling the Quran into one book has a basis in Islam, because the Prophet  had commanded that the Quran be written down, but it was scattered, so the Sahaabah compiled it in one volume so as so protect and preserve it.

 

The Prophet  led his companions in praying Taraaweeh for a while, then he stopped doing that, lest it become obligatory on them. TheSahaabah  continued to pray it individually during the life of the Prophet  and after his death, until ‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab, gathered them behind one Imam as they used to pray behind the Prophet. Therefore, this was not an innovation introduced into the religion. 

 

Compiling the collections of Ahadeeth also has a basis in Islam. The Prophet  ordered that some Ahaadeeth be written down for some of his companions when they asked him for that. Generally, doing this during his lifetime was prohibited, for fear that the Quran might be mixed with things that were not part of it (from the sayings of the Prophet . When the Prophet  died, this fear was no longer a factor, because theQuran had been completed and arranged in order before he died. The Muslims compiled the Sunnah after that in order to preserve it and keep it from being lost. May Allaah reward them with good on behalf of Islam and the Muslims, because they preserved the Book of their Lord and theSunnah of their Prophet  from being lost or being tampered with. 

 

We may also say to them: why was this act of thanksgiving, as they call it, not done by the best generations, the SahaabahTaabi’een and followers of the Taabi’een, who loved the Prophet  the most and who were most keen to do good and give thanks? Are those who introduced the innovation of the Mawlid more rightly-guided than them? Do they give more thanks to Allaah? Definitely not!

 

 6 – They may say that celebrating the birthday of the Prophet  is indicative of their love for him; this is one way of showing that, and showing love of the Prophet  is prescribed in Islam!

 

The answer to that is that undoubtedly loving the Prophet  is obligatory for every Muslim; he should love him more than he loves himself, his child, his father and all of mankind – may my father and mother be sacrificed for him – but that does not mean that we should introduce innovations for doing so that have not been prescribed for us. Loving him dictates that we should obey him and follow him, for that is one of the greatest manifestations of love, as it is said: "If your love is sincere then obey him; for the lover obeys the one whom he loves."

 

Loving the Prophet  implies keeping his Sunnah alive, adhering firmly to it, and avoiding words and deeds that go against it. Undoubtedly everything that goes against his Sunnah is a reprehensible innovation (Bid’ah) and a manifest act of disobedience. That includes celebrating his birthday and other kinds of Bid’ah. Having good intentions does not mean that it is permissible to introduce innovations into the religion. Islam is based on two things, purity of intention and following the Prophet .

 

Allaah Says (what means): {Yes [on the contrary], whoever submits his face [i.e., self] in Islam to Allaah while being a doer of good will have his reward with his Lord. And no fear will there be concerning them, nor will they grieve.}[Quran 2: 112]

 

Submitting one’s face to Allaah means being sincere towards Allaah, and doing good means following the Messenger  and implementing hisSunnah

 

7 – Another of their specious arguments is when they say that by celebrating the Mawlid and reading the biography of the Prophet  on this occasion, they are encouraging people to follow his example! 

 

We say to them that reading the biography of the Prophet  and following his example are required of the Muslim all the time, all year long and throughout his life. Singling out a specific day for that with no evidence for doing so is an innovation, and “…every innovation is a going astray.” [Ahmad and At-Tirmithi] Bid’ah does not bear any fruit but evil and it leads to a person distancing himself from the Prophet 

 

References

http://islamqa.info/en/search?key=mawlid&yt0=search

http://fatwaislam.com/fis/index.cfm?scn=search

http://www.islamweb.net/emainpage/index.php?page=result&q=MAWLID

Rabi` Al-Awwal Fatwas

http://www.alifta.com/Search/Result.aspx?

 

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