Al-Mawlid

 

Research Contents

 

1)     The Islamic definition of Bid'ah (innovation).

2)   The reality of loving the Prophet.

3)    The levels of love of the Prophet.

4)   Practices during Al-Mawlid.

5)    The migration of the Prophet.

6)   Refuting some false claims of the celebrators of Al-Mawlid:

a.     Celebrating it expresses joy which benefits those who partake in it.

b.    The Prophet himself glorified his birthday.

c.     The Prophet was a mercy and Allaah has commanded us to rejoice at His mercy.

d.    The individual acts that make up Al-Mawlid are recommended, and therefore, it is a 'Good Bid'ah '.

e.     Al-Mawlid encourages people to ask Allaah to send salutations upon His Messenger and exalt his mention, which is something mandatory upon all Muslims.

f.       If Jumu'ah is virtuous due to Aadam being born on it, then the Prophet's birthday is worthier of celebration.

g.     Al-Mawlid is a gathering which includes charity, Prophet's praise, glorification and remembrance of Allaah.

h.    Some scholars have recommended celebrating Al-Mawlid.

7)    Is the truth judged by the people, or are people judged by the truth?

8)   The Islamic ruling on celebrating Al-Mawlid.

9)   Other related topics:

a.     The first Mawlid ever celebrated.

b.    Things that are not conditions for an act to be a Bid'ah.

10)     Evil consequences of the Bid'ah of Al-Mawlid.

 

 

The Islamic definition of Bid'ah:

 

A Bid'ah is a new, innovated practice introduced into the religion of Islaam which deceivingly appears to be islamically lawful, with the intention of being a form of worship.

 

Ibn Rajab, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said: "Anything newly introduced into the religion with no basis or reference in the Qur’aan or Sunnah is a misguidance, and the religion of Islaam has nothing to do with it."

 

Ibn Hajar, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said, commenting on the Hadeeth: "Every Bid’ah (innovation) is misguidance." "It is anything introduced into the religion of Islaam as an innovation through any means without any legitimacy from the Sharee'ah." He also said:
"This Hadeeth is considered to be one of the fundamentals and foundations of Islaam, because one who innovates will have this deed disregarded by Allaah. It is also a misguidance and Islaam is free from it"

 

 

The reality of loving the Prophet:

 

Loving the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam is one of tenets of belief, as the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said: "I swear by Him in Whose Hand my soul is, none of you will believe (completely) until I am more beloved to him than his father and children." (Muslim). And he also said, "None of you will believe (completely) until I am more beloved to him than his father and children and all of mankind." (Bukhaari & Muslim).

 

Ibn Rajab, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said: "Loving the Prophet is inextricably linked to loving Allaah; Indeed Allaah has combined them in the Qur'aan and warned those who give precedence to anything such as relatives, wealth, land or anything else. Allaah says (that which translates as): "Say, [O Muhammad], 'If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your relatives, wealth which you have obtained, commerce wherein your fear decline, and dwellings with which you are pleased are more beloved to you than Allaah and His Messenger and Jihaad [i.e., striving] in His cause, then wait until Allaah executes His command. And Allaah does not guide the defiantly disobedient people.'" (At-Tawbah: 24).

 

When 'Umar ibn Al-Khattaab, may Allaah be pleased with him, said to the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam: "You are more beloved to me than everyone except myself" the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam exclaimed: "No O 'Umar! Until I become more beloved to you than yourself (you will not be a complete believer)." Thereupon 'Umar, may Allaah be pleased with him, said: "I swear by Allaah you are now more beloved to me than myself" the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam replied: "Now O Umar (i.e., now you are a complete believer)" (Bukhaari).

 

This love cannot be perfected unless it leads a person to follow and obey the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. 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. And Allaah is Forgiving and Merciful." (Aal 'Imraan: 31) This love is confirmed when one gives preference to their love of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam over the love of anything or anyone else. This applies especially when a conflict arises between obeying the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam and something else which is beloved to a person (such as another person, object, or personal desires). If a person in this situation were to give preference to their love and obedience of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam over all other objects that are beloved to them, then this would be an indication of the sincerity of their love to the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam.

 

This sincere love is established by having sound knowledge of the sublime character of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam as well as the great significance of his message. There is no other way of loving him except through obedience, and there is no way to obey him except by following and imitating him.

 

 

The levels of love of the Prophet:

 

1)     Obligatory: This is related to obeying the commands of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam in all that is mandatory and refraining from all that he prohibited; believing everything that he said and fully accepting it without any feeling of discomfort; completely submitting to his commands, refusing to receive guidance except through him as a source; and not to seek anything perceived as good except from that which he brought.

2)     Recommended: This is a higher level of love, which includes all the above, but in addition it comprises of resembling him in all his manners, etiquettes, conduct, ways of dealing with family, generosity and all other areas of life.

 

The companions of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam achieved perfection in following, imitating and loving the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, and the best of them was Abu Bakr, may Allaah be pleased with him, yet none of them celebrated the birthday of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam nor did any of them consider it's celebration as a sign of loving him.

 

Love cannot be merely a claim uttered by the tongue; otherwise everybody could profess this type of love. Al-Hasan Al-Basri, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said: "A group of people at the time of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said: 'O Muhammad! we love our lord!' So Allaah revealed (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. And Allaah is Forgiving and Merciful." (Aal 'Imraan: 31). Therefore, Allaah made obeying His Messenger a condition of love and disobedience to him as a reason for punishment."

 

 

Practices during Al-Mawlid:

 

Al-Mawlid is the claimed birthday of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, and this term also refers to the festivals held in celebration of this event, where joy and happiness are expressed. These events usually consist of the preparation of food, the reading of books written particularly for this event, the mentioning of the good qualities of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, his miracles, his family members and their virtues. In some countries music, singing and dancing are included as part of the celebration. Therefore, in summary, these events include the following:

 

·     A description of the Prophet's birthday as well as all the unfounded events which the ignorant believe coincided with his birth.

 

·     A description of events that took place between his birth and the beginning of his Prophethood.

 

·     A description of his biography, miracles and battles which he took part in.

 

·     A mentioning of his wives children and his family members.

 

Mentioning all of these things cannot result in a ruling which recommends this innovated practice. This event is also heedless of the commands which the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam came with which are the real essence of following him and the true indication of his love.

 

 

The Migration of the Prophet:

 

The migration of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam was a great event in the history of the Muslim nation, due to it being the first step in the establishment of the first Islamic state. For this reason, Quraysh endeavoured to prevent this from happening; they spared no effort in attempting to prevent the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam from reaching Madeenah.

 

One of the strongest evidences that the Hijrah, or migration, was more important to his companions than his birthday is that when his companions were deciding on which point to initiate the Islamic calendar from, they were only thinking of the most important events in Islamic history with which to initiate it. 'Umar ibn Al-Khataab, may Allaah be pleased with him, gave the rest of the companions of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam a choice between two events only; the migration of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam and the day the Prophethood commenced. The companions of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam did not give any weight to his birthday, they did not deem it important enough to consider as a starting point for the Islamic calendar, the reason being that his birth was a very normal one, just like any other. All the stories of miraculous occurrences at his birth are very weak narrations, except the dream his mother saw in which a light came out from her and lit up the night as far as the palaces of Jordan.

 

Therefore, we must ask ourselves, did the companions of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam dishonour him by not holding his birthday as significant?

 

Although the birthday of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam and the beginning of his prophethood both occurred in the month of Rabee' Al-Awwal, none of his companions celebrated the anniversary of these events, nor did they introduce new forms of worship to remind themselves of them. The companions of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam understood the real meaning of being his followers; they where a unique generation whom the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam personally raised and instructed in adherence to the commandments of the religion. They did not add one iota to the religion of Islaam.

 

Therefore, after knowing all this, who can claim to be a better follower and have more love for the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam than his own companions?

 

 

Refuting some false claims of the celebrators of Al-Mawlid:

 

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 sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), 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 sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam and also because he bought the freedom of the slave who brought him the good news."

 

Refutation:  This narration has 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 Qur'aan. Allaah says that which translates as: "And we will approach [i.e., regard] what they [i.e., the disbelievers] have done of deeds and make them as dust dispersed." (Al-Furqaan: 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 sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam as mentioned in the books of Ibn 'Abdul Barr and Ibn Al-Jawzi, may Allaah have mercy upon them both.

 

 

Second claim:  "The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam 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 sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam 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 sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam.

 

·     The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam 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.” (Tirmidhi). Moreover, the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam 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 sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam used to fast on a Monday is a misunderstanding and a gross exaggeration of the facts.

 

·     The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam 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 sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam in the way that he expressed gratitude to Allaah. Many people who celebrate Al-Mawlid do 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.'" (Yoonus: 58). Allaah commanded us to rejoice in His mercy, and the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam was the greatest of all His mercies, as Allaah says (that which translates as): "And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds." (Al-Anbiyaa': 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, may Allaah be pleased with him, said: "'The Bounty' refers to the Qur'aan 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 Islaam and 'The Mercy' means the Qur'aan.'"

 

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 Qur'aan and the Sunnah which the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam was sent with. Therefore, the true meaning of rejoicing due to Allaah sending us His Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam 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, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said: "Any application from the later generations of a text which was not understood nor applied by our Salaf is unacceptable." Ibn 'Abdul Haadi, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said: "It is prohibited to interpret a verse from the Qur'aan 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, may Allaah be pleased with him, said: "It is commonplace that the innovators and people of misguidance manipulate the Qur'aan 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 sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, 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 sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam.

 

Refutation:  The presence of the necessity of establishing a certain act of worship at the time of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam 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 sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam condemned and rejected Marwaan Ibn Al-Hakam, may Allaah have mercy upon him, 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 sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam gave a comprehensive statement saying: "Every Bid'ah (innovation) is misguidance" (Ahmad, Tirmidhi and others).

 

Shaykh Al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allaah have mercy upon him, 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, may Allaah be pleased with him: "Good Bid'ah" when he observed that the people had gathered behind one Imaam to lead them in their Taraaweeh prayers in congregation during Ramadaan".

 

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, may Allaah have mercy upon him, also said: "It is well known that any form of worship which was not established by either the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam or his companions, or shown by the trustworthy scholars to have a firm foundation, is rejected."

 

Ibn Rajab, may Allaah have mercy upon him, 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, may Allaah be pleased with him: "Good Bid'ah" when he observed that the people had gathered behind one Imaam to lead them in their Taraaweeh prayers in congregation during Ramadaan. Praying Taraaweeh in congregation was practiced by the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, 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."

 

 

Fifth 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 (that which translates as): "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." (Al-Ahzaab: 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 sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam is if they were to live their life studying the Sunnah of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam 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 sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam 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 sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. They also think that those who do not celebrate this event are not giving the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam 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 sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam 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 sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam 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 that which translates as: "Say, [O Muhammad], 'If you should love Allaah, then follow me, [so] Allaah will love you." Ibn Katheer, may Allaah have mercy upon him, 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 sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam totally, in word and deed."  Al-Hasan Al-Basri, may Allaah have mercy upon him, 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, peace be upon him, was born on that day, as the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam 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 Aadam, peace be upon him, was born on Jumu'ah as the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam 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 sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam to claim that Islaam 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 Qur'aan and Sunnah) 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 sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. Therefore, giving the same ruling to both events, when Islaam did not legislate for one and did so for the other, is an extremely evil, corrupt and false double-standard. Allaah says that which translates as: "This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed my favour upon you and have approved for you Islaam as a religion." (Al-Maa’idah: 3).

 

The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam 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 sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam.

 

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 sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam 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-Burdah written 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 that which translates as: "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." (Luqmaan: 34). Ibn Mas’ood, may Allaah be pleased with him, said: "Your Prophet was given access to all knowledge (as needed) except the absolute knowledge of the unknown and the unseen." - Then he recited this verse.

 

In Islaam, 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 sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam 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, may Allaah be pleased with him: "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, may Allaah be pleased with him, 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 this Bid'ah began from the very first day that it was initiated by the misguided Baatini (those with concealed beliefs) rulers. After that, in the seventh Hijri 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'ah can 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 that which translates as: "And if you obey most of those upon the earth, they will mislead you from the way of Allaah." (Al-An'aam: 116). Moreover, the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam 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, may Allaah be pleased with him, 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 sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. 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, may Allaah be pleased with him, said: "Allaah looked into the hearts of the people and found that the heart of Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam 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 sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam 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, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said: "It is obvious that the companions of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam 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'ood and Abu Moosaa Al-Ash'ari, may Allaah be pleased with them 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 sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam 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, may Allaah be pleased with him, 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 Illaa Allaah and Subhaana Allaah with these stones." He replied: "Woe to you! How fast it is that you lead yourselves to destruction, the companions of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam are still many in number around you (to ask for religious instructions) and the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam just passed away (i.e. he has not been gone long enough for you to forget his teachings)."  Then Ibn Mas'ood, may Allaah be pleased with him, 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 sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, or you are initiating a way of misguidance." They replied: "But we only intended to do what is good." Ibn Mas'ood, may Allaah be pleased with him, 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 sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam held an opinion opposite to that of Ibn Mas'ood and Abu Moosaa 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 Qur’aan collectively during Al-Mawlid, which also includes other activities that are clear forms of Shirk?

 

 

Is the truth judged by the people, or are people judged by the truth?

 

The truth is not to be judged by the people; rather, the people are to be judged by the truth. The truth is based on evidences from the Islamic texts and has no relation with those who adopt it or how many they are in number. This is how the Salaf viewed Islaam; they deemed that the truth does not come from any source except that of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, they would never consider any religious claim which was not fully supported by strong evidences. Here are examples of how our pious predecessors were in this regard.

 

Imaam Maalik, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said while pointing to the grave of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam: "Everybody's words are subject to acceptance or rejection except the one who is in this grave."

 

Imaam Abu Haneefah, may Allaah have mercy upon him, informed us that the truth was unconnected to his person by saying: "It is prohibited for one who does not know my evidence (in any ruling) to convey my ruling to others. I am but a human who might say something today and then go back on what he said tomorrow."

 

Imaam Shaafi’i, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said: "Whenever you find an authentic Hadeeth of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, then that is my opinion." He also said: "It is by the consensus of the scholars that anyone who becomes aware of a statement of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam regarding any particular issue, is forbidden from abandoning it for the words of anybody else." 

 

Imaam Ahmad, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said: "Do not imitate me, Maalik, Shaafi’i, Al-Awzaa’i or Ath-Thawri, but take from where they took (i.e. the Prophetic Sunnah)."

 

 

The Islamic ruling on celebrating Al-Mawlid:

 

The celebration of Al-Mawlid is a reprehensible Bid’ah and its celebrators have strayed away from the truth, because the religion of Allaah is complete and perfect. Allaah says that which translates as: "This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed my favour upon you and have approved for you Islaam as a religion." (Al-Maa’idah: 3).

Imaam Maalik, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said: "What was considered at that time (i.e. the time of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam and his companions) as a part of the religion is the religion, otherwise it is not a part of the religion."

 

It is a historical fact that the Bid’ah of Al-Mawlid was initiated by Al-‘Ubaydiyyoon, who were the atheists that ruled the Faatimi state. This Bid’ah was definitely and undoubtedly not practiced by the distinguished first three generations of the Muslim nation, it is a new innovation and it is misguidance. The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said: "Every Bid'ah (innovation) is misguidance" (Ahmad, Tirmidhi and others). All new innovation are rejected by Allaah because the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said: “He who does something which is not according to what we (i.e., the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam and his companions) are upon then it is rejected” (Muslim). Imaam An-Nawawi, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said: "‘Rejected' meaning false and not considered by Allaah at all." He also said: "This Hadeeth lays down one of the great fundamentals of Islaam, which rejects and refutes any new innovation in Islaam." He further said: "This Hadeeth must be spread and used as a means to negate all new evils."

 

Therefore, the Bid’ah of Al-Mawlid is misguidance which is rejected and has no significance to the religion of Islaam.

 

 

Other related topics:

 

a)   The first Mawlid ever celebrated.

 

Al-Maqreezi and Al-Qalqashandi, the famous Muslim historians said: ‘During the Faatimi era, the rulers were celebrating many events on a yearly basis through which they would grant people gifts and grants, these events were; The New Year, ‘Aashooraa’, Al-Mawlid, The birthday of ‘Ali Ibn Abu Taalib, The birthday of Al-Hasan, The birthday of Al-Husayn, The birthday of Faatimah, The birthday of present leader, …etc).

 

From among the contemporary scholars who confirmed that it was the Faatimi rulers who initiated Al-Mawlid was Shaykh Muhammad Al-Mutee’i, may Allaah have mercy upon him, who was the grand Mufti of Egypt before his death in 1354 AH. He mentioned that the person who initiated this celebration was the Faatimi ruler Al-Mu’iz Li Deenillaah Al-Faatimi. Shaykh  Muhammad Al-Mutee’i, may Allaah have mercy upon him, also stated that King Al-Muthaffar Abaa Sa’eed revived Al-Mawlid in the city of Irbel during the seventh Hijri century.

 

Al-Faatimi people were not recognised by any of the trustworthy Muslim historians to descend from the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. On the contrary, Muslim scholars wrote books challenging this claim and dispraised the Faatimi people by saying that they were nothing but a bunch of atheists.

 

Undoubtedly, this celebration was innovated after the blessed first three generations of Muslims, and the ones who introduced it are one of the most evil sects that ever claimed to be Muslims.  They did this in order to have an effect on the common Muslims and show them that they are indeed descended from the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam although this of course was far from the truth. The Faatimi's spent an obscene amount of money on these celebrations and the common masses participated in them and ate from the feasts. The people subsequently became accustomed to it and would be very eager for the event to come every year. As the years passed, it became a part of the Muslims belief; the Faatimi state might have long vanished but this celebration has continued till the present time.

 

b)   Things that are not conditions for an act to be a Bid'ah:

 

·     It is a not condition in order for something to be a Bid’ah that it does not benefit people in any way because it is not necessary for a Bid’ah to be purely evil and free of any good. Shaykh Al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said: "All innovations must have the evil in them outweighing the good in them, because if it was the other way around then Islaam would not have ignored and forbidden it. Therefore, one of our conditions for labelling something as a Bid’ah is that the evil in it outweighs the good, which necessitates its prohibition …"

 

·     It is not a condition in order for something to be a Bid’ah that it is done continuously and repeatedly. Something could be done only once and be considered as a Bid’ah, such as expecting Allaah to be pleased when one sins.

 

·     It is a not a condition in order for something to be a Bid’ah that the one doing it has ill intentions, on the contrary, they might be seeking to do good, for Ibn Mas’ood said in the narration given above: "How often it is that those who want to do good miss it."

 

·     It is not a condition in order for something to be a Bid’ah that it has no general evidences which mention that act. It may well be that there are evidences which generally mention an act but that there are no evidences that would make it lawful in a particular, restricted situation. To illustrate this point, the verse where Allaah says that which translates as: “O you who have believed, remember Allaah with much remembrance” (Al-Ahzaab: 41) cannot be used as an evidence for the permissibility of initiating new forms of the remembrance of Allaah, such as calling the Adhaan for the ‘Eed prayers, or reciting the Qur’aan (which incidentally is one of the best ways of remembering Allaah) at the graveyards instead of saying Salaams to the dead – which is the Sunnah.

 

 

Evil consequences of the Bid’ah of Al-Mawlid:

 

·     The attempted worship of Allaah in ways which the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam did not legislate, and by ways he deemed as misguided.

 

·     Doubting the perfection and completion of the religion of Islaam while Allaah has said that which translates as: "This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed my favour upon you and have approved for you Islaam as a religion." (Al-Maa’idah: 3).

 

·     Doubting the honesty and sincerity of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam in perfectly conveying the Message of Islaam.

 

·     Doubting that the companions of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam loved him, for they never celebrated his birthday.

 

·    Making this day (Al-Mawlid) a new ‘Eed wherein it is prohibited for the Muslims to fast, as some of their people of reference have ruled, such as Ibn ‘Abbaad and Ibn ‘Aashir.

 

·    Imitating the Christians in the celebration that they hold for the birthday of ‘Eesaa, or Jesus, peace be upon him. As-Sakhaawi, may Allaah have mercy upon him, claimed that: "If the people of the cross celebrated the night of the birthday of their Prophet, then the Muslims are worthier to celebrate and honour their Prophet". MullaaAli Qaari, may Allaah have mercy upon him, refuted him by saying: "What answers him (i.e., As-Sakhaawi) is that we Muslims were commanded to differ from the people of the book."

 

·    Believing that the night of the Prophet’s birth is better than the night of decree, or Al-Qadr as ruled by Al-Qastallaani, may Allaah have mercy upon him but MullaaAli Qaari, may Allaah have mercy upon him refuted him by saying: "What Al-Qastallaani said is strange and unacceptable because Allaah has told us about the virtue of the night of Al-Qadr in the Qur’aan, Allaah says (that which translates as): “The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months” (Al-Qadr: 3)  yet there is no evidence proving the virtue of the Prophet’s birthday in the Qur’aan, Sunnah or by any of the Muslim scholars."

 

·    Extravagant spending during Al-Mawlid. Shaykh Muhammad Al-Mutee’i may Allaah have mercy upon him, said: "If only the people knew just how much the Faatimi people used to spend during this celebration, then they would definitely deem it to be unlawful."

 

·    Some prohibitions of Al-Mawlid include:

   Using musical instruments, as is the case in some countries.

 

Lack of respect of the Book of Allaah, due to the people combining its recitation with listening to music.

 

Free mixing between men and women.

 

Deeming that which is unlawful to be lawful and vice versa solely in order for it to be practiced on that night (Al-Mawlid).

Narrating fabricated and extremely weak Ahaadeeth which was condemned by the falls in the saying of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam: “He who narrates something on my behalf suspecting that what he is saying might be a lie, is one of the liars.” (Bukhaari). He sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam also said: “Let he who intentionally and falsely attributes words to me expect his seat in Hell Fire.” (Bukhaari& Muslim).

The false belief that during this night there is an hour in which supplications are not rejected by Allaah, and that anything a person asks for within this hour, will be granted by Allaah, just like the hour every Friday (which incidentally is substantiated in the Islamic texts).

Reciting poetry and prose in praise of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam which borders on, and in some cases falls into clear Shirk.