Mawlid med

Bismillah-hir Rahman-nir Raheem (in the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful)

What is Al-Mawlid? It’s the celebration of the Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) birthday.

Al-Mawlid is celebrated by many Muslims throughout the world. They will celebrate in many numbers of ways. Some will hold processions in the streets, marching through towns and cities, in much the same way that the Sikhs do on their holy days/festivals. Some will hold lectures and serve food in the masjids. Some will read the Qur’an and make collective dua after reading. Some will hold parties and gatherings in their homes.

It all sounds very good, doesn’t it. Except for one, very important fact – this is not an Islamic festival. And so it is not part of Islam. And those who make it part of Islam are in fact introducing an innovation. And what’s the position of innovations in Islam?

“Whoever innovates something in this matter of ours (Islam) that is not part of it, will have it rejected.” (Narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim)

“…The most truthful speech is the Book of Allah. The best way is the way of Muhammad. The worst of affairs are the novelties and every novelty is an innovation and every innovation is misguidance and every misguidance is in the Fire.” Reported by an-Nasaa’ee

Celebrating the birthday of the Prophet (peace be upon him) is not something we have been Ordered to do by Allah, nor the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). There is no verse nor saheeh hadith (strong hadith) that instructs us to do this. So this is an innovation and not part of Islam. Further evidences from shari’ah can be found at the bottom of this post.

Al-Mawlid An-Nabi (ie. the birthday of the Prophet (pbuh)) is not an Islamic festival and you will find that those who call upon Muslims to practise this, (the ‘pirs’ and ‘saints’ and ‘religious leaders’) are also engaged in other innovations as well. Now there’s an interesting coincidence!

HISTORY OF AL-MAWLID

Public celebrations of the Prophet’s birth first occurred 400 years after his death. Milad un-Nabi started as a festival for the Shia ruling class, without the involvement of ordinary people, near the end of the 11th century in Egypt. The celebrations emphasised the Ahl al-Bayt, the family of the Prophet Muhammad, with sermons and recitation of the Qu’ran. The first Sunni celebration took place in the 12th Century in Syria, when Nur ad-Din was the ruler. The reason why the Sunnis adopted the Shi’ite festival is not clear, but it is possible it was done to counter Christian influence in Spain and Morocco.

SO WHY DO PEOPLE CELEBRATE IT?

I offer one explanation, and that is that they have misinterpreted the following hadiths:

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.”

Many Muslims have mistaken these hadiths to meaning that the day the Prophet (pbuh) was born is a blessed day and that we should celebrate this ‘birthday’. However, the hadith clearly is about MONDAYS – meaning, any Monday and not one specific Monday in the year. Also, the Prophet (pbuh) fasted on Mondays for the reasons outlined above – he (pbuh) didn’t fast on his day of birth only. He also fasted on Thursdays as well, so his actions did not show any more significance for his day of birth than other days. We would realise this, if we thought about it. Also, the Prophet (pbuh) used to FAST on Mondays, as he did on Thursdays – he did not hold a procession, nor a gathering, nor a feast, nor a festival… need I go on?

WHAT’S THE HARM?

Enjoining good and forbidding wrong is one of the key principles of Islam. We don’t just sit back and allow things to happen, in front of our eyes, like mindless couch potatoes sitting in front of the TV.

“Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good (Islam), enjoining Al-Ma‘roof (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do) and forbidding Al-Munkar (polytheism and disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden). And it is they who are the successful” [Qur’an, Aal ‘Imraan 3:104].

So we have been instructed to be protective about Islam, keep it free of wrongdoings, of keeping made-up practises away from Islam. By doing this, we keep the message clear for people to learn the truth. And we avoid going down roads that lead to bigger sins. Once you start to introduce innovations in Islam, you give room for other innovations to creep in. Over time, the religion will have changed from what it originally was. Remember that Shaytaan is an open enemy to mankind and he will try to mislead us in SMALL things – things that we will think are good but lead to wrongdoing. If these things were obvious, we would reject Shaytaan very easily.

We have been Instructed by Allah not to make distinctions between the Prophets:

Say (O Muhamma, pbuh): We believe in Allah and in what has been sent down to us, and what was sent down to Ibrahim (Abraham), Isma’il (Ishmael), Ishaaq (Isaac), Ya’qub (Jacob) and Al-Asbat (the twelve sons of Ya’qub) and what was given to Musa (Moses), ‘Isa (Jesus) and the Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between one another amon them and to Him (Allah) we have submitted (in Islam).” (Qur’an, 3:84)

So if we are not to make distinctions, then if celebrating the Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) birthday was halaal, shouldn’t we celebrate ALL the prophets’ birthdays? Yet we all know the harm of celebrating Christmas. So isn’t there a hypocrisy here by those who call on other Muslims to celebrate Al-Mawlid?

Look at what has happened with birthdays generally speaking – they involve making someone feel special for ONE day – if you miss it, they feel bad. You have to spend money, waste money on buying things – there is a culture of trying to better your gifts each time – it becomes a burden. And yet there is nothing, after all this effort, that benefits a person in the HereAfter. Look at what’s happened with Christmas and the distortions and mistruths that are surrounding the Prophet Isa (as).

An extract from the last sermon of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh):

“…Beware of Satan, for the safety of your religion. He has lost all hope that he will ever be able to lead you astray in big things, so beware of following him in small things…”

Secondly, we do not emulate non-Muslims, nor the Christians, nor the Jews. The Christians exaggerate in their love for Prophet Isa (as) – we should not exaggerate in our love for the Prophet Muhamamd (pbuh) – we must love him but not to the extreme, wherein we will be stepping into sin. By celebrating the Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) birthday, we end up following the path of the Christians and Christmas and we open up the door of practising extremes – and MUSLIMS ARE NOT EXTREMISTS.

The Prophet (pbuh) 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)

So Muslims, love our Prophet (pbuh) but stay within the Islamic bounds. Shaytaan is always trying to push you outside the boundaries of Islam, so that you don’t even realise when you’ve stepped over the edge! Don’t fall into Shaytaan’s trap. Think about what you’re doing and does it make sense? Always ask, did the Prophet (pbuh) do this? And if he (pbuh) didn’t, then don’t you do it either.

We Muslims are meant to contemplate about things – to be Men of Understanding (including women in this as well, of course!). Islam is not hard but we make it hard with our own little ways that we introduce. Do not spoil your good deeds by mixing them with bad deeds.

Stay away from innovations. Stand up 4 Islam!

Further information about the Islamic rulings on celebrating birthdays, whether it is the Prophet’s (pbuh) birthday or anyone else’s birthday, can be found in the following links:

http://www.islam-qa.com/en/ref/117651/mawlid

http://islamqa.info/en/ref/10070

http://islamqa.info/en/ref/13810

http://www.islam-qa.com/en/ref/70317/mawlid

http://www.islam-qa.com/en/ref/128530/mawlid

http://www.islam-qa.com/en/ref/249/mawlid

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Comments
  1. Rehab says:

    Masha`Allah.. a very informative post 🙂 Jazak Allahu Khayran

  2. WA says:

    thank you very much for this post. i been having difficult explaining this to my family.. especially my mother who pushes that she feels good and that its about respect. obviously telling a loved one that theyre doing something wrong that they been doing for years including there family and elders, they get very emotional and its hard to take in.

    if you know of any tips on how to explain gently to family please let me know. i am not one to argue with my family but at times i do and it get heated. i need to calm myself because its not about me.. its about them and their path in this life. however it is my duty to say something. thanks for any info you can provide.

    my salams.

    • maverick says:

      Wa alaikum salaam. I understand this is a very difficult thing to do because this is mixed in with good intentions, which can make it hard for people to take in. I can only suggest that you try to point out why differences occur and that they start off with good intentions but end up far from Islam. This is the same way that shirk started. Originally there were pious people, who died naturally. Then Shaitaan came to the people remaining and said you should build statues so that you can remember the virtuous acts that these people have done, who passed away. The people built statues in rememberance. Then generations later, when the people had forgotten why the statues were built, Shaitaan visited them and encouraged them to worship these statues, as this is what their forefathers used to do – he lied to them but they didn’t know. And so shirk started. So something with good intentions ended up leading people far astray and started idol worshipping. In the same way, Mawlid has become something more than it should be and many people engage in things that are not Islamic in nature.

      I can only say to try to establish that Islam is based on sound hadith and on the Qur’an. And the more people who tell this to your family, the better, as sometimes it is better coming from outside the family. Finally, there are many things in Islam that a person can do to feel good but their actions should always be to please Allah and in ways that Allah Has Allowed. After all, the Christians feel very good about what they do but their actions will not be rewarded in the Hereafter because of the shirk that they include in what they do.

  3. Majid Ali says:

    Thank you very much for sharing this may Allah (swt) grant you with more Knowledge so you can help people like me i used to celebrate mawlid a few years ago but Allah (swt) has blessed me by showing me the right path last year but many of my friends & family still celebrate the mawlid and they see me in the wrong they see me as someone who does not love the prophet Muhammed (pbuh) all i can say to them may Allah help them in duniya and the hereafte Jazak’Allah.

  4. Amatullah El-Sheikh says:

    allah hu akbar, it is so nice to see that I may not be as crazey as I thought. It just makes good old fashioned, uhhh Sense! Al hamdolillah May Allah guide the ummah to the beautiful and rightious true path of EL-ISLAM.

  5. sabeel says:

    it is very good.. but it wil be more helpfull if the proper reference given in the hadeeth mentioned above from al-buhari.

    The Prophet (pbuh) 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)

  6. zahid says:

    Alhamdulillah a nice informative speech which should make people understand that the actions they are doing are wrong. May ALLAH forgive the sins they commit insha’allah.
    .

  7. Bob Othman says:

    I honestly like this blog (in fact, i’m following it) and i can agree to all the articles here except this one. You can Google and find more on this. I’m not questioning or even doubting your ‘ilm (knowledge) nor your credentials. But even Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, likely the most renowned Salafi scholar of the 20th century, approves of this by saying “Actually, celebrating the Prophet’s birthday means celebrating the birth of Islam…” Wallahu’alam

    More links on this:
    http://sunnah.org/ibadaat/mawlid_dubai.htm
    http://alsunna.org/celebrating-mawlid
    http://minhajuk.org/minhajuk/index.php/Articles/celebrating-mawlid-of-prophet-muhammad-pbuh.html
    http://www.sunnah.org/ibadaat/shaykh_qardawi_approves_of_celeb.htm

    • maverick says:

      Jazak’Allah khayr for your kind comments. My only comment in reply would be that my article stands and as Muslims we are not following Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, regardless of his standing. There is someone much higher and someone we have been Ordered by Allah to follow, and that is the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). If there are practises that were not done by the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), then it doesn’t matter how prominent a modern Sheikh is, we cannot follow those practises.

      • Bob Othman says:

        JazakAllah for your reply. Though I cannot agree with your stand, I do understand it and wish that Allah extends His Mercy, Grace and Blessings to all of us.

      • maverick says:

        Jazak’Allah khayr. We should agree and disagree upon Qur’an and Sunnah alone. And what I have written is not opinion, nor my stand – it is Islamic ruling. You will find that a lot of innovated practises come from either those things that have no grounding in Qur’an and Sunnah or from misunderstanding Qur’an and Sunnah.
        Ameen.

    • Naz says:

      Honestly, I believe instead of celebrating the Mawlid and spending so much money on food and lights why not give charity with that money as it would be useful. Also at the mawlid every prays for the prophet but instead we should be praying for ourselves since the prophet alhamdullilah is already blessed. We need to pray for our Ummah and ourselves. We are directly insulting the prophet if do anything extra and claim it to be taught by the prophet.

  8. Aaisha says:

    that was a fantastic read, masha Allah! I will be sharing this with more people. May Allah guide us all to his right path, accept our good deeds and forgive us for our sins. Aameen.

  9. Asif Tufail says:

    Assalamoalikum brother. I totally agree with not celebrating birthdays but dr zakir naik said its okay to give a present as being nice just don’t party wrong? Also the Quran was written in to a book after the prophet PBUH is this not innovation? Also I’m told there were no hafiz at the prophets time and now we have many so what’s the ruling on this. Jazak Allah. Allah knows best

    • maverick says:

      Wa alaikum salaam. You can give presents but as long as it’s not associated with an annual celebration. The compilation of the Qur’an is not an innovated matter because in the time of the Prophet (pbuh), sahabas would write the ayats of Qur’an on leaves, paper and whatever they had. So compiling together in a book is not an innovation in the deen. There were many hafiz in the time of the Prophet (pbuh) and these were sahabas – unfortunately you have not been informed correctly about hafiz. It was the fact that many memroisers of the Qur’an were killed in battle that the Qur’an was then compiled in a book form. However, this is not an innovation in deen – the deen was not changed nor the Qur’an. What we recite and memorise today is the same as what was Revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

      • Asif Tufail says:

        Jazak Allah brother. I have another on another subject? Can kids where clothes with imagery on it? Cartoons etc? Or are they allowed to have eyes on their clothes? Could just be only eyes? Same goes for their blankets. Thank you very much I am really confused about this matter I have a baby son mashallah and his grandparents have bought him loads of clothes with characters on them but I have not allowed him to wear them yet. God bless

      • maverick says:

        Asalaam alaikum brother. There is an Islamic ruling which says that it is haraam to pray in clothes that have images of animals or humans on them. In this same ruling it is said that it haraam to put such clothes on a child, when such clothings for an adult would also be haraam.

        http://www.islam-qa.com/en/ref/83154/pictures%20on%20clothes

        Hope this helps.

      • Asif tufail says:

        Thanks for insight brother. However if its a car with eyes is that permissible? Also what is the ruling on khatums and reading Quran for someone who has just passed away? Jazak Allah

      • maverick says:

        If it’s a car with eyes then that’s no different.

        In terms of khatims, there is nothing from Qur’an or Sunnah that says that you can do a reading for someone who has passed away. The benefit of reading Qur’an remains with those who are reading it. The only deeds you can do for the benefit of the dead are dua and charity. Also, by doing a khatim on the anniversary of someone’s death, this becomes a bid’ah and innovation in the deen.

        It is sunnah to read Surah Yaseen over a person who is dying but not when they have passed away.

        http://www.islam-qa.com/en/ref/70317/qur%27an%20reading%20gathering

        http://www.islam-qa.com/en/ref/734/qur%27an%20reading%20gathering

        Hope this helps brother.

      • Asif Tufail says:

        Thank you. So I can give charity now and ask for the blessings to go to my grandma? My farther wants to do a khatum and read Quran on her 40th I don’t know how to stop him? Thanks

      • maverick says:

        Just advise him, gently if you can. Tell him the better way is to give in charity. Don’t be disappointed too much if he doesn’t respond. Your duty is to convey the message of Islam. It’s for Allah to Change the hearts

  10. Armeen says:

    Jazak Allah..I found this article very helpful and informative because i have the same belief but my husband’s belief is different though he does not celebrate Mawlid but he finds nothing wrong if other people are celebrating this.I tried to describe him the truth about this but he said that whats wrong in it, theres no harm ad besides they are showing love and respect and in this way they use to remember Prophet(SAW) life and seerah, and that it can not be considered as a biddah as its not an innovation in way of Islam,its just a cultural practice. So I was really upset that how to prove my point and make him realize that its not right. i have read other articles too which proved that its ok to praise Prophet(SAW) as he likes this for himself in his time when sahabas wrote poetry in his praise. I am getting confused now and dont know how to prove my point to him???can you guide me in more comprehensive way??

    • maverick says:

      Asalaam alaikum. All matters regarding the deen should be based in Qur’an and authentic sunnah. It’s good masha’Allah that your husband doesn’t celebrate mawlid however the reason why he doesn’t find anything wrong in other people celebrating it is because he needs to learn about Enjoining the Right and Forbidding the wrong – mawlid is wrong and it is even more so because those who celebrate and promote it, try to make it part of the deen, not as a cultural practice.

      You will find no stronger followers of Islam in this ummah, after the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) than the four khalifahs – Abu Bakr (ra), Umar (ra), Uthman (ra) and Ali (ra) – neither of these pious sahabas practised mawlid. In addition, they all loved the Prophet (pbuh) and we cannot assume our love is greater than theirs, yet they did not express their love in these ways – they expressed their love by following the example of the Prophet (pbuh), not by creating another Eid.

      Be patient with your husband and continue to give him da’wah, sensitively.

  11. Rayees bhat says:

    asalam alikum. my question is now can we pray salah behind those imam’s who celebrate prophet(pbuh) ‘s birthday?

    • maverick says:

      From what I know, if the imam is committing shirk then you cannot pray behind him. For example, if he calls on the Prophet (pbuh) to help him.

  12. abdul-lateef says:

    Jazakah lah kairan am realy impress, I do celebrate prophet birthday befor, but now I understand and I pray may almighty Allah grant does who don’t understand understanding to lead them to the right part, so my question is can pls help me about tariqa tijaniyat?

    • maverick says:

      BarakAllah feek. It’s better to check all your learning against Qur’an and Sunnah and if you come across anything that is based not on this, then leave it behind.

  13. abdul-lateef says:

    Jazakah lah kairan am realy impress, I do celebrate
    prophet birthday befor, but now I understand and I pray
    may almighty Allah grant does who don’t understand
    understanding to lead them to the right part, so my
    question is can pls help me about tariqa tijaniyat?

  14. Dobadodu says:

    Was the monarchies are Islamic or according to Islam?

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