Islamic Ruling On Mawlid (celebrating the prophet Mohammed’s birthday)

The first ever Mawlid (celebration of the prophet Mohammed’s birthday was on the 12th of the Islamic month Rabee al-Awwal) was organized by Shia Fatimids they belonged to the Ismaili branch of the Shia. They ruled Egypt between the years of 297-567 Hijri year. Mawlid was organized in the palace and only the statesmen could attend them.

The first Mawlid (celebration of the prophet Mohammed’s birthday) by Sunni Muslims was organized by Muzaffar ad-Din ibn Zain al-Din, who was the ruler of Irbil (in Iraq), in Hijri year of 604. Those ceremonies which were organized with long-term preparations were attended by all people. Muzaffar ad-Din invited Islamic scholars, student of knowledge and Sufis from the neighbouring regions to Irbil.

Ahmad b. Muhammad el-Misry, wrote about Muzaffar ad-Din ibn Zain al-Din and Mawlid in his book al-Qawl al-Mu’tamad fi ‘amal al-Mawlid, he said about him “He was a prodigal monarch. He commanded the scholars of his time to follow the conduct based on their own derivation and independent thinking (ijtihad), and that they should not follow any school of law of any master except their own. A group of scholars and a body of the servants inclined towards him. He used to celebrate the birthday of the first monarch to introduce this practice among the Muslims”

Imam Al-Dhahabi said in Duwal al-Islam, Vol.11 p.102 “He (Muzaffar ad-Din ibn Zain al-Din) used to spend one hundred thousand (dirhams: old money currency) on the celebration of the birthday (Mawlid) of the Messenger every year.”

From the above it should become clear to any Muslim that Mawlid is an innovation (bidah) in this religion as the prophet never started nor commanded this day of celebration, so Mawlid is haram.

The Sufi Ashari Maturidis who celebrate this day are misguided as the Messenger of Allah said: “Every innovation is misguidance and going astray” Reported by Abu Dawood (no. 4607), at-Tirmidhee (no. 2676) and it is saheeh. Ibn Hajr authenticated it Takhreej Ahaadeeth Ibn ul-Haajib (1/137). Plus the prophet said: “… and every innovation is misguidance and all misguidance is in the Hellfire.” Reported by an-Nasaa’ee (1/224) from Jaabir bin Abdullaah and it is saheeh as declared by Shaikh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah in Majmoo’ ul Fataawaa (3/58).

Mawlid is a rejected act of worship because it is a bidah. The prophet said, “He who innovates something in this matter of ours that is not of it, will have it rejected.” Recorded in, Bukhari and Muslim. Also the prophet said, “Whoever does an act which is not in agreement with our matter, will have it rejected.” Recorded by, Muslim.

Also the prophets sahaba who loved him more than any Muslim and who were the most eager to follow his Sunnah did not celebrate Mawlid. Plus the first three generations of Muslims did not celebrate Mawlid either. The Prophet said, “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, Bukhari, Muslim and al-Tirmidhee.

Now the question is how is it possible that the prophet, his sahaba and the best three generations miss out on the reward of Mawlid and did not even know about Mawlid, if it is something good as the supporters of Mawlid state. Surely all good would have come from these people (the prophet, the sahaba and next two generations: the salaf) not from any Muslim besides them.

The Sufi Ashari Maturidis who are the most strict, in adhering to this celebration say Mawlid is a bidah hasanah (good innovation), this why the prophet, the sahaba and next two generations did not know about Mawlid. It is also the reason why the four Imams (Abu Hanifah, Maalik, al-Shafi and Ahmad) who they believe all Muslims most follow did not know of Mawlid either. However this addition to the religion which came after all these great people had died could not have been good. All good came in their time this is why their generations were the best.

Plus in Islam there is no bidah hasanah all bidah is haram. The prophet Mohammed taught the ummah everything that was best for it. There is no way someone can teach this ummah something else that is good for the ummah but the prophet never taught the ummah. The prophet said, “Never was a prophet before me, but he disclosed to his people what he knew to be best for them, and warned them of what he knew to be evil for them.” Recorder by Muslim. Plus every act of worship that would bring any Muslim closer to Jannah (Gardens of Paradise) the prophet taught us about it. The prophet said, “There is nothing that would bring you closer to Jannah (Gardens of Paradise) and farther from the Fire but it has been clarified [by me] to you.” Recorded by Ahmad and others; authenticated by al-Albaanee and others.

So how could Mawlid be something that leads to Jannah (Gardens of Paradise), be best for Muslims and the prophet Mohammed never knew about (let alone teach it) when the hadeeths above indicate all good act of worship the prophet taught the ummah before he died. This is why there is no bidah hasanahs (good innovations) as all good acts of worship the prophet taught the ummah.

Thus Mawlid is bidah which means it is haram to celebrate and it is not a good bidah as no good bidahs exist in Islam.

Moreover celebrating  Mawlid is haram because a Muslim is only suppose to celebrate two festivals, Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr as these are confirmed in the sunnah of the prophet. So celebrating this day involves opposing the Sunnah of the prophet which is clear cut haram.  Abu Dawood (1134) narrated that Anas said: When the Messenger of Allah came to Madeenah they had two days when they would play. He said: “What are these two days?” They said: “We used to play on these days during the Jaahiliyyah (before Islam).” The Messenger of Allah said: “Allah has given you instead of them two days that are better than them: the day of al-Adha and the day of al-Fitr.” This hadeeth was classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.

Plus the prophet Mohammed told his ummah not to exaggerate about him as the Christians had exaggerated about Isa (Jesus). They exaggerated about Isa by calling him the son of Allah (God), calling him Allah (God) or he is part of trinity that make up Allah (Father (God), Son (Isa) and holy sprit) these how they exaggerated about him. The Christian also exaggerate about him by celebrating the day he was born (Christmas: not in their Bible). The prophet 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 Allah and His Messenger.’” (Reported by al-Bukhari).However the Sufi Ashari Maturidis do not follow this hadeeth and instead have exaggerate about the prophet Mohammed like the Christians did with Isa because they celebrate Mawlid (the prophet Mohammed’s birthday).

So by celebrating Mawlid the Sufi Ashari Maturidis are imitating the Christians celebration of Christmas though they slightly modify it by calling it Mawlid, changing the day and prophet whose birthday they are celebrating. Still this means they are imitating a religion (Christianity) which has been cursed by Allah in the Quran. As the Christians celebrated the birthday of Jesus man hundreds of years before any Muslim celebrate the birthday of the prophet Mohammed. Imitating the Christians is a cause of incurring the wrath and punishment of Allah as they are a cursed (distanced from Allahs mercy) people.

Furthermore the prophet Mohammed has warned this ummah concerning imitating (coping) the disbelievers in any outward actions or inward beliefs, so the one who celebrates Mawlid is imitate the disbelievers in their outward kufr action which is haram. The Sufi Ashari Maturidis who celebrate Mawlid are imitating the Christians (disbelievers) by imitating their celebration of Isa’s (Jesus) birth day (Christmas). The only differences between the two are the names of the celebrations and which one of Allahs prophets’ birthday is being celebrated.

The prophet said, “Whoever imitates a people is one of them.” Narrated by Abu Dawood, 3512; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani. Ibn Taymiyyah said about this hadeeth, “This at the very least indicates that it is haraam to imitate them, although the apparent meaning is that the one who imitates them is a kaafir (disbeliever). Iqtidaa al-Siraat al-Mustaqeem, 1/237. Also he said, “Imitating them in outward matters leads to imitating them in attitude and actions, hence we are forbidden to imitate the kuffaar…as it says in the marfu hadeeth: ‘Whoever imitates a people is one of them.’” Majmoo al-Fataawa of Ibn Taymiyyah, 22/154. 

As well as Mawlid being a bidah it is a celebration that shows those that celebrate it are very ignorant about the Sunnah. This is because the 12th of Rabee al-Awwal is actually not the birthday of the prophet Mohammed; it is the day he died. The day the prophet died is the worst day in Islam as this is when the Quran stopped being revealed and the Sunnah ended. Thus those Sufi Ashari Maturidis who celebrate Mawlid have taken the worst day in Islam as a day of celebration, this is very strange and just proofs they have very little knowledge of the shariah.

Also the prophet never celebrated his birthday in fact he worshiped Allah on that day by fasting. So it would innovation (bidah) to single out Mawlid for fasting but it would be closer to the Sunnah than having a celebration on that day. The prophet was asked about fasting on Mondays, and he said, “That is the day on which I was born (his birthday) 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).

Those who celebrate and call to Mawlid have abounded the Sunnah of the messenger in this matter and have added their own act of worship to the religion thinking it was good. However there is no good in leaving the prophets Sunnah and adding to the religion as the Prophet Mohammed’s guidance is the best. The prophet said, “…the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad. The most evil of things are those which are newly-invented (bidah in the religion), and every innovation (bidah) is a going astray.” Reported by, Muslim and al-Nasaai.

Additionally those who deviate from the Prophet Mohammed’s guidance are destroyed. The Prophet said, “…. I have left you upon clear guidance. Its night is like its day. No one deviates (by doing bidah (innovation)), from it after me except that he is destroyed.” Reported by, Ahmad, Ibn Maajah (no. 43) and al-Haakim. It is declared saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaanee in as-Saheehah (no. 937).

So the Sufi Ashari Maturidis and any other Muslims who celebrate Mawlid have rejected the guidance of the prophet in this matter. Therefore their claim that love the prophet more than those who do not celebrate Mawlid and that Mawlid is how they proof they love the prophet a great deal is a lie. If this was true then they would follow the guidance of the prophet in this matter by not celebrating Mawlid as the prophet nor his sahaba celebrated Mawlid. Allah said, “Say (O Muhammad): ‘If you (really) love Allah then follow me (Mohammed), Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Aal Imraan 3:31) Here Allah tells Muslims true love for the prophet is not by celebrating Mawlid it is through following the prophet.

It is also haraam to help other Muslims celebrate Mawlid by supplying any kind of food or drink, buying, selling, manufacturing, giving or advertising etc., as this would be regarded as cooperating in sin, transgression and disobedience towards Allah (as Mawlid is bidah). Allah says, “Help you one another in Al-Birr and At-Taqwa (righteousness and piety); but do not help one another in sin and transgression. And fear Allah. Verily, Allah is Severe in punishment” (al-Maidah 5:2)

In conclusion it is established that Mawlid is haram to celebrate or help others to celebrate from a number of angles. The words of Ibn Taymiyyah sum up the reality of Mawlid. He saidAs for celebrating an occasion that is not one of those that are prescribed in Islam (the two Eids), 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 on 12th Rabee al-Awwal)… (he mentions other innovated celebrations then he said), these are innovations (bidahs) which the salaf (the sahaba and the next two generations) disapproved of and did not do.” Majmoo Fataawa of Ibn Taymiyyah, 25/298.

Side Point: About Abdul Khattab Umar Ibn Dihya the helper of the innovator of the Sunni Mawlid, Muzaffar ad-Din ibn Zain al-Dins

The first Mawlid (celebration of the prophet Mohammed’s birthday) by Sunni Muslims was organized by Muzaffar ad-Din ibn Zain al-Din, who was the ruler of Irbil (in Iraq), in Hijri year of 604, his assistant and helper in this innovation was Abdul Khattab Umar b. Dihya. “He was employed in the Maghrib, then travelled to Syria, then to Iraq, and then went to Irbil in 604 A.H. and found its monarch Muzaffar ad-Din ibn Zain al-Din who took a keen interest in celebrating the birthday of the Messenger (Mawlid). He composed a book for him al-Tanwir fi Maulid al-Siraj al-Munir and recited it to him. He rewarded him with one thousand dinars.” Ibn Kathir, al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya, Vol.I3 pp.144-146

Ibn Kathir has reported on the authority of al-Sabt about Ibn Dihya: “Ibn Unain used to defame the Muslims and disparage them. He would make additions in his report and exaggerate. So the people gave up narrating traditions from him and falsified him. Kamil was favouring him. When his conduct was disclosed to him, he withdrew Dar-al-Hadeeth from him and disgraced him.” Ibn Kathir, al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya, Vol.I3 pp.144-146

Ibn Hajar al-Asqalanl’s commented on him saying, “He was a liar, lied frequently, and a fabricator. He often slandered the scholars and the jurists of the past, used evil toungue, self-conceited, lacked insight in religious matters, and looked down upon religion. This has been reported from al-Hafiz Diya. He further says: Ali b. al-Hussain Abul Ali al- Isbahan narrated to me – it is enough to mention his name as an authority – when Ibn Dihya came to us in Isbahan, he stayed with my father in the hospice. He honoured and respected him very much. One day he came to my father with a carpet. He kissed it and placed it before him saying, “I offered such and such thousand rak’ahs of prayer on this carpet, and recited the whole Qur’an in the Ka’ba.” He said: My father took it, kissed it, placed it on his head, and accepted it from him with a great pleasure. At the end of the day an inhabitant of Isbahan came and began to talk to us. During his conversation he said by chance: The faqih of Maghrib who is staying with you has purchased a beautiful carpet today for such and such a price. Therupon my father ordered to bring the carpet. Seeing it the man said, “Yes by Allah, this is the same.” My father kept silent, and the eyes of Ibn Dihya fell down. Ibn Hajar el-Asqalani, Lisan al-Mizan, VoL 4 p.295

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About Abdul Kareem Clarke-Binns

I am a revert trying to spread the sunnah inshallah.
This entry was posted in REFUTATIONS OF THE SUFI CREED and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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