Celebrating the Birthday of the Prophet

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February 14, 2011 at 6:06 pm #160


Assalamu ‘alaikum wrahmatu allah wbarakatuhu

The commands mentioned in the Qur`aan 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 that which translates as:

“Say, [O Muhammad], ‘If you should love Allaah, then follow me, [So] Allaah will love you and forgive you your sins.’ ” (Aal ‘Imraan: 31)

“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.” (l-An‘aam: 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.” (Bukhaari & Muslim)

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 of Al-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, Haraam innovation 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-Mudhaffar 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, may Allaah have mercy upon him, and others.

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 to Bid‘ah (innovation); they should not perform any action until they know the ruling of Allaah concerning it.

Celebrating the occasion of the birthday of the Prophet is forbidden and is to be rejected for a number of reasons:

1 – It is not part of the Sunnah of the Messenger or of the khaleefahs who succeeded him. Since this is the case, then it is a forbidden innovation, because the Prophet said:

“I urge you to follow my Sunnah and the way of the rightly-guided khaleefahs after me; adhere to it and cling to it firmly. Beware of newly-invented things, for every newly-invented thing is an innovation (Bid‘ah) and every innovation is a going-astray.” (Ahmad & Tirmidhi)

Celebrating the Mawlid is an innovation introduced by the Shee‘ah Faatimids after the three best centuries of Islaam in order to corrupt the religion of the Muslims. If a person does anything in order to draw closer to Allaah which was not done by the Messenger or enjoined by him, and was not done by the khaleefahs who succeeded him, this action implies that he is accusing the Messenger of not fully explaining the religion to the people, and that he disbelieves in the words of Allaah what translates as:

“This day I have perfected for you your religion.”(Al-Maa’idah: 3)

…because he is adding something extra and claiming that it is a part of the religion, which the Messenger did not bring.

2 – Celebrating the birthday of the Prophet is an imitation of the Christians, because they celebrate the birth of the Messiah. Imitating them is extremely Haraam. The Hadeeth tells us that it is forbidden to imitate the Kuffaar, and we are commanded to differ from them. The Prophet said:

“Whoever imitates a people is one of them” (Ahmad & Abu Daawood).

3 – Besides being Bid‘ah and an imitation of the Christians, both of which are Haraam, celebrating the birthday of the Prophet is also a means that leads to exaggeration and excess in venerating him, which even goes as far as calling upon him (making Du‘aa to him) and seeking his help, instead of calling upon Allaah, as happens now among many of those who observe the Bid‘ah of the Mawlid, when they call upon the Messenger instead of Allaah, and ask him for support, and sing Qaseedahs (odes) of shirk praising him, like Qaseedat Al-Burdah etc. The Prophet forbade going to extremes in praising him, as he said:

“Do not extol me as the Christians extolled the son of Maryam. For I am just His slave, so call me the slave of Allaah and His Messenger” (Bukhaari)

The Prophet also 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 & Tirmidhi)

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 a Bid‘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 the Bid‘ahs which lead people astray. This principle is what is implied by this Hadeeth 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.”(An-Nisaa´: 59)

Referring to Allaah means referring to His Book, and referring to the Messenger means referring to his Sunnah after he has passed away. The Quraan and Sunnah are the reference point in cases of dispute. Where in the Quraan 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.







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