Mawlid: An innovation By Shaykh (Mufti) Ismail Moosa (HA)

It will not be permissible to celebrate the mawlid even if a person beliefs that the Prophet is not present.

Question: I would like to know is it permissible to celebrate the Mawlid, given that no one believes that Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم is Ḥāḍhir or Nāḍhir? Likewise, we do not regard it as an obligation and we don’t fix the time. I was told that it is permissible if a person does not have any corrupt believes?

Wa’alaykum as-Salām wa raḥmatullāhi wa barakātuhu,

Answer: In the Name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

A person’s Imān is only complete once he loves Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم more than his parents, his children and all his belongings. It is narrated in Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhāri and Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim that Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم said,

“None of you truly believes until I am more beloved to him than his father, his children and mankind in its entirety.” (Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhāri 1/14 and Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 1/49)

It is firstly essential to discuss the issue of confining the mawlid to the month of Rabī’ al-awwal. It should be known that Allāh Ta’āla sent the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم with a complete way of life and made him a perfect example for the believers. Allāh Ta’ālā said,

 “Verily for you in the messenger of Allāh there was a good example…” (Al Aḥzāb, 21)

Any action which does not confirm with the prophetic way of life will be rejected in the court of Allāh, as the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said,

“Whoever innovates something in this matter of ours (i.e., Islām), it will be rejected” (Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhāri 7/146, Dār Ibn Kathīr)

The celebration of the mawlid is an innovation in religion. Neither was it the practice of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم nor did the companions or tābi’īn (followers) celebrate this occasion. The great scholar, ‘Allāmah Anwar Shāh Al-Kashmīri (May Allāh Ta’ālā be pleased with him) said, 

“A Ṣufi innovated it in the era of Sulṭān Irbil around the year 600 A.H, and it does not have any basis in our pure Sharī’ah.” (Al-‘Arf ash-Shadhi, 2/82)

Scholars state that the first person to introduce the innovation (bid’a) of celebrating the Milād was the ruler of Irbil, Muzaffar ad-Dīn ibn Zain aḍ-Dīn. This was six centuries after the period of prophet hood.

‘Allāmāh Mu’iz ad-Dīn Ḥasan Khwārzimi (May Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) states in his book, ‘Al-Qawl al-Mu’tamad’,

“The Ruler of Irbal, King Muzaffar Abū  Sa’īd Kawkari, was an irreligious and prodigal king. He ordered the scholars of his time to act according to their opinions and discard the practice of following any school of law. A group of learned men inclined towards him. He (this king) organized Mawlūd sessions during the month of Rabī’ al-Awwal. He was the first king ever to introduce this practice.”

A ‘scholar’ by the name of Abul Khaṭṭāb ‘Umar bin Ḥasan bin Diḥya Al-Andalusi supported and assisted the king in this innovation.

‘Allāmah Ibn Kathīr (May Allāh Ta’ālā have mercy on him) has reported on the authority of As-Sabṭ about this person,

“Ibn ‘Unain (Ibn Diḥya) used to insult the Muslims and vilify them. He would make additions in his report and exaggerate. The people stopped narrating traditions from him and falsified him.” (Al-Bidāya wa al-Nihāya, 3/144-146)

The great scholar of Ḥadīth, ‘Allāmah Ibn Ḥajar Al-‘Asqalāni (May Allah Ta’ala have mercy on him) commented on him,

“He was a follower of the Zāhiri school of thought and often slandered the scholars and the scholars of the past. He possessed an evil tongue and was stupid, self-conceited, lacked insight in religious matters, and looked down upon religion.” (Lisān al-Mizān, 4/296)

From the afore-mentioned it becomes apparent which type of people innovated the celebration of the mawlid. The companions loved the Prophet the most yet they did not celebrate the mawlid. They remained alive after him for about a century, but despite their unparalleled and profound love towards the Holy Prophet (Peace and salutations be on him), they never celebrated his birthday.  If the mawlid was a meritorious and divinely inspired act, then surely the Messenger  صلى الله عليه و سلم would have commanded the Ummah to celebrate it, or at least, either he or his noble Companions would have practiced on it. Since it cannot be substantiated by any action of theirs, it becomes crystal clear that celebrating the mawlid has absolutely no relationship with Islām and it is Bidáh (innovation).

Furthermore, there are numerous other vices which take place at a mawlid. Music, intermingling of sexes, squandering of wealth, omitting compulsory prayers etc. are just few of the many wrongs which prevalent on such occasions. Moreover, the Celebration of the mawlid is an imitation of the Christians, who celebrate the birth of the Messiah (peace be upon him).

In light of the above, it will not be permissible to celebrate the mawlid even if a person beliefs that the Prophet is not present. Muslims should rather strive to revive the Sunnah and put an end to bid’ah (innovation); they should not do any action until they know the ruling of Allāh concerning it.   

If gatherings are conducted at a random in which the love of Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم is discussed and people are encouraged to follow the Sunnah, then that is permissible on condition there is nothing un-Islamic in such gatherings.  

This ruling is derived from the following narration of Ṣaḥīḥ Al-Bukhāri and Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim, 

Abū Hurairah narrates, “Umar once passed by Ḥassān who was saying poetry in the Masjid. He glanced angrily towards Ḥassān. Ḥassān responded, “I used to say poetry and in the Masjid there used to be one who is greater than you (meaning Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم).” (Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhāri and Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim)

via Central Mosque

One Response to Mawlid: An innovation By Shaykh (Mufti) Ismail Moosa (HA)

  1. Arif Siddiqi says:

    by: Imam Jalaluddin al–Suyuti (Radi Allahu Anhu)

    The question under consideration is what is the verdict of the Shari’ah on celebrating the Holy Birthday of the Noble Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) in the month of Rabi-ul-Awwal. From the point of view of the Shari’ah, is this a praiseworthy action or a blameworthy one? And do those who arrange such a celebration receive blessings or not?

    Meelad Shareef, Celebration of the Birthday of the Noble Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) is in fact such an occasion of happiness on which people assemble and recite the Holy Quran to the extent that is easy. Then they relate the prophecies concerning the appearance of the Noble Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) that have been transmitted in Ahadith and Athar, and the miraculous events and signs that took place on his birth. Then food is set before them and according to their desire they partake thereof to satisfaction.This festival of celebrating the birthday of the Noble Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), is a Bid’ah Hasanah (a good innovation) and those arranging it will get blessings, since in such a celebration is found the expression of joy and happiness at the greatness and eminence of the Noble Prophet (salall laahu alaihi wasallam) at his birth.

    Imam al-Nawawi (radi Allahu anhu) says in “Tahdhib al-Asma wal Lugat”: “Bid’ah in the Shari’ah is the invention of that which was not there in the period of the Messenger of Allah, and it is divided into two categories, Hasanah (or good) and Qabihah (or evil).”

    The Noble Prophet has indicated the excellence of this great month in reply to a questioner. When he questioner wanted to find out about fasting on Mondays, the Noble Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) replied: ‘That is the day on which I was born’.

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