As-Sunnah Vol. 2 Issue No. 9


Clarifying Doubts and Replying to False Claims of those who commemorate the Mawlid

The Claim that Celebration of Mawlid is honoring the Prophet (sallalalhu alaihi wa-sallam).
Honoring the Prophet (sallalalhu alaihi wa-sallam) is in his Ittiba (following), acting on his commands, refraining from that which he has prohibited and in loving him. His honor is not in innovation, corruption, sinning and commemorating celebrations in memory of his Mawlid (birthday) in this undesirable way because it is a sin. Those who honored Allah's Messenger (sallalalhu alaihi wa-sallam) the most were the Sahabah y as Urwa ibn Mas'ood said to Quraish, ‘O people, by Allah I have visited kings. I went to Caesar, Chosroes and the Negus, but by Allaah I never saw a king whose companions venerated him as much as the companions of Muhammad venerated Muhammad (r). By Allah, whenever he spat it never fell on the ground, it fell into the hand of one his companions, then they wiped their faces and skins with it. If he instructed them to do something, they would hasten to do as he commanded. When he performed wudhu, 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.' [Saheeh al-Bukharee] Even with this enormous amount of respect and honor for Allah's Messenger (sallalalhu alaihi wa-sallam), they did not commemorate a celebration or carnival. If it was a prescribed matter, they would not have left it.

The Objection that Mawlid is celebrated by a large number of people in many towns and cities
Reply: Hujjah (proof) is that which is established from the Prophet (sallalalhu alaihi wa-sallam) and it is undoubtedly proved that Allah's Messenger (sallalalhu alaihi wa-sallam) has explicitly prohibited innovations and Mawlid is an innovation. Actions of the people that contradicted the Daleel (proof from the Qur'aan and the Sunnah) are not Hujjah even if their number is huge. 'And if you obey most of those on earth, they will mislead you far away from Allah's Path.' [Soorah al-An'am (6): 116] Al-Hamdulillah, even today there are people who forbid this Bidah and explain its falsity. The act of someone who persists in continuing this Bidah even after the truth has been made known to him is not a Hujjah.
Those who have rejected festivity at this occasion are Shaikhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullah) in 'Iqtida Sirat al-Mustaqeem’(*3), Imam Shatibi in 'al-I'tisaam', Ibn Haaj in 'al-Madkhal' and Shaikh Tajud-Deen Ali ibn Umar al-Lakhmi has authored a complete book in its opposition. Similarly, Shaikh Muhammad Bashir as-Sahsawani al-Hindi in his book, 'Siyanatul-Insan', Muhammad Rasheed Radha has written a complete article on the subject. Also, Shaikh Muhammad Ibraheem aal-Shaikh(*4), Shaikh Abdul-Aziz Ibn Baz and others have authored articles on the subject and others are still writing in opposition to this Bidah every year in newspapers and magazines (published) at the time when this celebration is commemorated.

The Claim that commemorating Mawlid renews the memories of Allah's Messenger (sallalalhu alaihi wa-sallam)
The memories of Allah's Messenger (sallalalhu alaihi wa-sallam) is renewed (everyday) by the Muslim; he remembers the Prophet (sallalalhu alaihi wa-sallam) whenever his (sallalalhu alaihi wa-sallam) name is pronounced in the Adhan (the call to prayer), Iqamah and Khutbah (Friday sermon), every time he pronounces the Shahadatain after Wudhu, every time he sends Salaat upon the Prophet (sallalalhu alaihi wa-sallam) in his Salaat and upon his (sallalalhu alaihi wa-sallam) mention, every time he performs a good deed, a Wajib or Mustahabb which Allah's Messenger (sallalalhu alaihi wa-sallam) has prescribed - by performing this act he remembers Allah's Messenger (sallalalhu alaihi wa-sallam) and the rewards reach the Prophet (sallalalhu alaihi wa-sallam) similar to that of the person who performs the act… In this way, a Muslim always revives the memories of Allah's Messenger (sallalalhu alaihi wa-sallam) and is tied to it night and day - all through his life by performing that which Allah has prescribed in the Sharee'ah - not only on the day of Mawlid. As far as Bidah and contradiction with his Sunnah is concerned, it only distances and disassociates him from the Prophet (sallalalhu alaihi wa-sallam). Moreover, Allah's Messenger (sallalalhu alaihi wa-sallam) is way above such innovative celebration. Allah has (rightly) praised and honored him (sallalalhu alaihi wa-sallam) in His Saying, 'And raised high your fame?' [(94): 4] Allah did not mention him (sallalalhu alaihi wa-sallam) in the Adhaan and Iqamah except with his status of being the slave of Allah and this is enough honor, love and memories for the one who wants to remember him (sallalalhu alaihi wa-sallam).
Allah, the Exalted, did not take into account his birth in the Qur'aan but he remembered him through mentioning His Prophet-hood, 'He it is Who sent among the unlettered ones a Messenger (Muhammad) from among themselves.' [(62): 2]

Translators Notes:

(3) Shaikhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullah) writes in 'Iqtida Sirat al-Mustaqeem, ‘Whosoever believes that most of the customs that are against the Sunnah are acceptable because the Ummah has accepted it and not rejected it, then he is mistaken in his belief because in every age there has always been someone who forbade the common customs that are in contradiction to the Sunnah.'
'It is not permissible to claim Ijma based upon the actions of a country or countries of Muslims, so how can the actions of some sects be used (to claim Ijma).' He also writes, 'If most of the people of knowledge did not rely upon the actions of the people of al-Medina and their Ijma during the time of Imam Malik, but regarded the Sunnah a Hujjah upon them just like it was a Hujjah upon the others - with all the knowledge and Eeman they (i.e., the people of al-Medina) were bestowed with, then how can a Mumin learned person rely upon customs to which the common people have become habituated or are bound to, or a group who is headed by ignorance and not firmly established in knowledge…' He also said that claiming Ijma based upon customs that contradict the Sunnah is not the way of the people of knowledge… and the correct way to discuss and argue is by bringing the proofs, and simply making claims cannot be relied upon. [Quoted from 'Hukm al-Ihtifal bil-Mawlid war-Radd ala man ajaaz' by Shaikh Muhammad ibn Ibraheem Aal-Shaikh]

(4) Shaikh Muhammad ibn Ibraheem Aal-Shaikh wrote in refutation of Muhammad Mustafa Shanqiti's argument that if the celebration of Mawlid was a Bidah, then the Ummah would not have accepted it . Shaikh refuted him saying that such an argument was a sign of ignorance because the Ummah is free from uniting upon misguidance (in matters of Ijtihad) but misguidance in the issue of Mawlid is proven by the Ahadeeth of Allah's Messenger (because it is a Bidah).

Taken from As-Sunnah Newsletter -


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