(Courtesy of THE CHISHTI HABIBI SOOFIE ISLAMIC ORDER http://www.soofie.org.za/ )
THE HOLY PROPHET MUHAMMAD (sallalahu alaihi wasallam)
The celebration of his birth, his advent, his life.
The celebration, commemoration and observance of the birth, life, achievements and favours of the Holy
Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasallam) upon the ummah are a practice, which is meritorious, and a
necessary requirement for the education, information and awareness of the ummah. That prophet upon
whom was revealed the Holy Quran, who gave us Islam, knowledge of Allah, a pattern of life second to
none, who will be with us and intercede for us on the day of Qiyaamah to whom we owe so muchÖ any
amount of homage that we pay to him will never be sufficient. Expressions of love by the ummah in the
form of Meelad un Nabi, Seerat un Nabi etc are humble efforts by the ummah to show gratitude to Allah
for His favour by blessing us with such a Nabi, and to the Nabi for bringing us out of the darkness of
ignorance. This is also coupled with the practical application of the sunnah and the teachings of the Holy
Quran. What is it that occurs in such gatherings and what is the basis of the establishment of such
The essence of Meelad un Nabi is to remember and observe, discuss and recite the event of the birth
and the advent of the Holy Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasallam). The pregnancy of Sayyida Aamina the
miracles of the birth of the Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasallam), His lineage, his suckling By Sayyida
Halima Síadiyya, Naíat (Praise of the Holy Prophet in poetry or prose etc. This, if observed, recited or
read, individually or collectively- in private or in a gathering- seated or standing whether recited in poetry
or prose is all the observance of Meelad un Nabi. The discussion of the message, character and
teachings of the Holy Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasallam) are also discussed in great detail. To celebrate
the birth of the Holy Prophet and to express happiness and joy at the advent of the Holy Prophet
(sallalahu alaihi wasallam), and to give expression to this happiness by applying scent or giving charity,
feeding people is what occurs at a ìceremonialî Meelad un Nabi. These practices are all in keeping with
ìAnd solemnly rehearse/remember Allahís favours on you, And the fact that He sent down to you the
book and wisdom for your instruction.î (S. 2. V. 231)
The advent of the Holy Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasallam) is the greatest favour of Allah, and Allah
Himself affirms His favour upon mankind by sending His beloved Holy Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasallam).
ì Allah did confer a great favour on the believers when he sent among them a messenger from
among themselves, rehearsing unto them His signs purifying them and instructing them in
Scripture and wisdom, while before that, they had been in manifest error.î (S.3 V.164). In Meelad
un Nabi this favour of Allah is rehearsed and remembered, as Allah Himself has commemorated in this
Quranic verse. Hence the observance of Meelad un Nabi is in keeping with this sunnah (practice) of Allah
as expounded in this Quranic verse.
ìAnd the bounty of Thy Lord rehearse and proclaimî (S.93 V.11)
The birth of the Holy Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasallam) is the greatest bounty of Allah upon the
believers; hence to proclaim and celebrate this bounty of Allah as practised in Meelad un Nabi is in
keeping with this clear command of Allah in the Holy Quran.
ìNow hath come to you a messenger from amongst yourselves: it grieves him that you should suffer,
ardently anxious is he over you: to the believers is he most kind and mercifulì (S.9 V. 128)
In this verse Allah first speaks of the advent of the Holy Prophet (which encompasses his birth), then the
lineage and nobility of the Holy Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasallam) and then Allah extols and praises the
virtues of the Holy Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasallam). These are the very acts, which are also performed
in Meelad un Nabi.
îSay: In the bounty of Allah and in his mercy, in that rejoice: that is better than the wealth they
hoardî (S. 10 V.58)
Here Allah commands us to rejoice in the bounty and mercy He has bestowed. What greater bounty can
one rejoice about than the bounty of the sending of the Holy Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasallam) whom
Allah has called in the Holy Quran the ìMercy for all the Worldsî? (S.21 V.107)
In this manner there are various verses of the Holy Quran wherein Allah has mentioned the advent of the
Holy Prophet. From these clear Quranic verses we can then deduce that the observance, the
commemoration of the birth and advent of the Holy prophet is a practice of Allah- practice which we have
also been commanded to practice. Allah has also commemorated the ìMeeladî(birth) of other prophets
such as Sayyiduna Isa (alaihi salaam) and Sayyiduna Moosa (alaihi salaam) in great detail in the Holy
Quran as well.
The observance of the birth of the Holy Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasallam) is also a sunnah of the
previous prophets who foretold their respective nations of the birth and advent of the Holy Prophet
(sallalahu alaihi wasallam) in great detail. This can be found in the Torah as well as the Bible. Allah also
affirmed this commemoration of the birth of the Holy Prophets by other prophets such as Sayyiduna Isa:
ìAnd remember Jesus the son of Mary said: O children of Israel, I am the messenger of Allah sent
to you confirming the Taurah (which came) before me, and giving glad tidings of a messenger to
come after me whose name shall be Ahmad.î (S 61 V.6)
The arrival of the greatest prophet of Allah and his message was also observed by Allah and all the
prophets (alaihimusalaam) in a special gathering where Allah recited and discussed the characteristics
and attributes of the Holy Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasallam) and took a pledge/covenant from all the
prophets that they would believe in him and be his helpers:
Behold! Allah took the covenant of the Prophets, saying: ìI give you a book and wisdom: then
comes to you a messenger, confirming what is with you; do ye believe in him and render him
help.î Allah said: ìDo ye agree, and take this my covenant as binding on you?î They said: ìWe
agree.î He said: ìThen bear witness, and I am with you among the witnesses. If any turn back after
this, they are perverted transgressors.î (S 3 V.81 - 82)
Subhanallah. Allah indeed has perfected deen wherein he has made everything clear and emphasised
His injunctions so that we may act upon it and not fall into dispute and be lead astray.
The Holy Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasallam) also rehearsed and commemorated his ëmeelad ë (birth),
his lineage, his nobility and his prophethood on the pulpit as- is to be found in Mishkaat ul Masaabih in
the chapter on Virtues of the Holy Prophet. The Holy Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasallam) incidentally
used to fast every Monday and when asked as to the reason He replied that it were the day of his birth
and the day of the first revelation. We can understand from this that the Holy Prophet (sallalahu alaihi
wasallam) observed his ëmeeladí weekly, individually, as well as in the gathering of the sahaaba in the
musjid on the mimbar.
Even a kaafir such as Abu Lahab at the rejoicing of the birth of his nephew (the Holy Prophet) for the
freeing of a slave on this occasion is given respite every Monday from the punishment of Allah because
he celebrated the birth of the Holy Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasallam). (Bukhari -Chapter on Marriage).
Such is the mercy of Allah upon one whom Allah has cursed in the Holy Quran because he celebrated
the birth of the Holy Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasallam). May Allah reward a Muslim if he does the same
The sahaaba -e- kiraam would also gather to read, recite and rehearse the birth, advent attributes and
praise of the Holy Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasallam) as mentioned in detail the Torah. (Mishkaat-
Chapter on Virtues of the Holy Prophet). The sahaaba such as Hassaan bin Thabit and Kaíab bin Zuhayr
(radiallahu anhum) would also compose Naíat in praise of the Holy Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasallam).
The Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasallam) himself would set a platform for them for this purpose and would
make dua to Allah to let Gibreel (alaihi salaam) assist them in their recitation of Naít. (Allahumma
ayyidhu bi ruhil Quds) (Mishkaat- Chapter on poetry)
Great ulema, jurists, authorities of Hadith, commentators on the Holy Quran have also discussed the
merit of Meelad un Nabi, and have sanctioned this act.
Great ulema-e-haqq such as Ibn Hajar Haitami Hafiz Ibn Hajar Asqalani, Ibn Jawzi, Imam Sakhaawi
Imam Sayyuti have regarded Meelad un Nabi as Mustahab. Imam Asqalani (who is the famous
commentator on Bukhari called ìFath ul Bariî and Imam Sayyuti (author of the famous tafseer ëJalaalainí)
have written books on the permissibility of Meelad un Nabi. Contemporary ulema such as Sha Waliullah,
Haji Imdaadullah Muhajir Makki (rahamtullahi alaihim) have also observed and sanctioned Meelad un
Nabi. Haji Imdaadullah- who is the Pir-o- murshid of the great leaders and founders of the school of
Deoband - in his book ìFaisalah haft Masaílaî in chapter 8 himself states:
ìThe standpoint of this insignificant is that I participate in the gathering of Meelad un Nabi and I regard it
as a great barakah and I hold it annually and enjoy and receive spiritual benefit from itî.
ìThat which the believers regard as good is regarded as good by Allahî.
ìMy ummah will never agree on that which leads astrayî. (Hadith-Mirqaat-Baab-ul- I'tisaam)
IS MEELAD UN NABI A BIDîAH?
The objection that Meelad un Nabi is a Bidaíh - an innovation, is a non starter as it has been proven
above that the commemoration of Meelad has been a practice of Allah, angels, Prophets, the Holy
Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasallam) himself, as well as sahaaba and the pious leaders of the ummah.
Clear Quranic verses proving beyond a shadow of doubt have also been quoted. The concept of Bidíah
itself is a very great subject as there are many types of Bidíah- amongst them Bidaíh-e-Hasana as well
as Bidaíh-e- Sayyiah (Good and evil innovations). The Holy prophet has stated Every innovation is
misguidance and every misguidance is from the fireî. The Holy Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasallam)
has also stated: Whosoever establishes a good practice he receives the reward thereof and the
reward for those who act upon it; and whosoever establishes an evil act he receives the
punishment thereof and the punishment of those who act upon it. (Mishkaat- Chapter on
If the objection is to the current ìformî that the observance of Meelad un Nabi takes, and is thus regarded
as an evil bidíah, then there are many other bidíah which came about after the era of the tabií taabioon as
well, which given the requirements of the era were necessary. Eg:
The collection, compilation, classification of Ahaadith, is a bidíah which originated after the era of
Sahaaba, taabioon and tabíe taabioon (Quroon-e-thalaatah). The current form of Ahaadith is also an
innovation (Bidíah). Books of Ahaadith, Principles of Ahaadith, Principles of Jurisprudence, the four
schools of Fiqh are all bidíah and innovations which originated two centuries or more later.
One would have to then call these entire bidíah ìevilî as well. This would also then be contravening the
Quranic verse of ìThis day I have perfected your religion for you, completed my favour upon you, and have
chosen Islam as your religion.î(S.5V.3). This however is not the case. The efforts made by the ulema
were born out of a great need for clarification and classification. Hence, subjects and practices which
were to be found in the era of the Holy Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasallam)-but were realities without a
name and form-were formalised and classified so that essential aspects of deen may not be lost or
omitted, these practices may remain, and their value and significance not overlooked in history. Like the
examples quoted above, there are many other bidaíh which are good innovations from which the ummah
has benefited greatly.
IT IS STATED THAT TO INVITE PEOPLE FOR MEELAD IS HARAAM. IS IT TRUE?
The objection that to invite people for Meelad un Nabi is haraam is a rather ludicrous one. If invitations to
Walima, Nikah, Graduation jalsas, Aqeeqah etc. are all permissible, then to invite people to observe and
pay respects to the Holy Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasallam)-respect and honour of whom is an important
Fard - is also permissible.
IS IT SHIRK TO CELEBRATE AN IMPORTANT EVENT AND TO FIX A DATE FOR
The objection that to celebrate and to fix a date for Meelad un Nabi is shirk displays great ignorance. To
celebrate an important day is sunnah and to fix a date is masnoon. Just to quote one example from
Mishkaat-Chapter on Fasting:
The Holy Prophet was asked concerning the fast of Monday, so he replied that it was the day of his birth
and the day the first revelation descended.î
We can conclude from this that the fast of Monday is sunnah due to the birth of the Holy Prophet. We
understand three things from this: To celebrate an important event is sunnah, to fix a day is sunnah, to
celebrate the birth of the Holy Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasallam) and to indulge in ibaadah on that day is
sunnah. This ibaadah can take the form of physical ibaadah such as nawaafil, or material ibaadah such
as charity, feeding of the poor etc.
MANY HARAAM ACTIONS ARE PERFORMED SUCH AS SEEKING THE HELP
OF OTHER THAN ALLAH, AS WELL AS THE INTER MINGLING OF SEXES ETC?
HOW CAN THIS BE PERMISSIBLE?
The objection that help is sought from ìgairullahî-(other than Allah) is a topic, which has been argued and
debated, in great detail. Sufficeth to say that to seek the help of the beloveds of Allah and to ask them to
make dua for one is permissible when a personís belief is that the real provider is Allah. This action of
asking the beloveds of Allah to make dua on oneís behalf is proven from numerous Quranic verses,
statements of the Holy Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasallam) and opinions of great ulema. Of course, if
there is open intermingling of sexes etc. these actions should be prohibited.
IF THE HOLY PROPHET IS CONFINED TO HIS GRAVE TILL QAYAAMAH, HOW
CAN HE PRESENT HIMSELF AS SOME BELIEVE AT SUCH FUNCTIONS?
O Prophet! Truly have we sent thee as a witness a bearer of glad tidings and a warner and as one who
invites to Allahís grace by His leave and as a lamp spreading lightî (S. 33. V45, 46). This verse shows
clearly illustrates the duties of the Holy Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasallam)-who will remain in the ëofficeí
of prophethood till the day of Qiyaamah-. Likewise these duties are (after his earthly demise), were (in
his earthly life) and will be performed by him till the day of Qiyaamah. The ëpresenceí of the Holy Prophet
(sallalahu alaihi wasallam) in whatever ëformí that Allah wishes and the ëobservanceí of the Holy Prophet
(sallalahu alaihi wasallam) in the manner in which Allah wishes, are obviously a requirement for the
fulfilment of this duty of his. By this we understand that there is not a single moment that the Holy
Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasallam) is not with us in one ìformî or the other - be it to witness our love and
dedication to him or conversely our underestimation and poor opinion of him and his position and role. He
is constantly a bearer of glad tidings and a warner and is always a sun of guidance for all his
ummah-spiritually, metaphysically, intellectually and in the eyes of all who look at him with the eyes of
Beware the insight of the believer for he sees with the light of Allah.î (Mishkaat). The assertion that the
Holy Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasallam) is restricted to his Rawdah till the day of Qayaamah is to
restrict the person of the Holy Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasallam) merely to a physical level .To claim
that Allah has not given the Holy Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasallam) the ability to go from place to place
clothed in a garb other than a physical body is a rather wild claim. This then brings into question -among
other things-the questions, which are posed in the grave, and the question concerning the Holy Prophet
(sallalahu alaihi wasallam) where the person sees the Holy Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasallam), and if he
is a disbeliever is unable to answer. (Mishkaat-Chapter on Questions of the Grave).
So many people die simultaneously throughout the world and each one sees the Holy Prophet. How is
he seen? Is a picture of the prophet presented? How could the Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasallam) be in
so many places at one time? If a Kaafir sees the Holy Prophet in his grave, and he did not even believe,
is it so far fetched for a lover of the Holy Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasallam) to hope and believe that the
Holy Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasallam) could present himself to a person who is lovingly remembering
him? The appearance then of the Holy Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasallam) in the dreams of people has to
be also brought under question. This, however, is not the case as Allah has accorded certain duties
which come with special abilities- as observed above- to the Holy Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasallam)- the
performance of which are beyond the scope of normal understanding. There are numerous Quranic
verses and Ahaadith and opinions of ulema on this issue, which clarifies this position.
IS IT HARAAM TO FEED PEOPLE ON THE OCCASION OF MEELAD UN NABI?
At occasions of happiness and rejoicing such as our marriages and Walima, Aqeeqa, it is a sunnah to
feed people. Why should it be impermissible to feed people when one rejoices at the birth and advent of
the Holy Prophet?
O ye who believe, make not unlawful the good things which Allah has made lawful for you, but commit no
excess; for Allah loves not those given to excess. Eat to the things, which Allah has provided for you,
lawful and good; but fear Allah in whom you believe.î ( S. 5 V. 87-88)
The observance of Meelad un Nabi its commemoration holds great significance in this era. At a time
when the ummah is disunited and the greatest uniting factor is the personality of the Holy Prophet
(sallalahu alaihi wasallam), functions and gathering, which can be of varying magnitudes, are required. At
a time when ignorance of the message of the Holy Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasallam), his life his
character his mission is at an all time high these gatherings are an important tool in creating this
awareness. Love for the Holy Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasallam) is inculcated the spirit of brotherhood is
fostered and knowledge of Islam and oneís duties as a Muslim are highlighted.
Other concerned Muslim groups such as the Tablighi Jamaat have undertaken similar initiatives. They
hold gatherings (Ijtimaaí) of great magnitude throughout the world. Days and dates are fixed, people are
invited, arrangements for the accommodation of people are made, people are fed, and the message of
the Holy Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasallam) is given. Millions are spent annually to propagate deen to
muslim brothers in this manner, but as Sayyiduna Umar has stated:î There is no ëexcessí in goodî!
The Muslim ummah needs to be educated about the great scandals that are being perpetrated by
unscrupulous Muslims under the guise of deen, which has contributed to the pathetic state of Muslims
today. Muslim countries such as Saudi Arabia under the current Wahhabi regime, has sought the help of
kuffar such as America instead of seeking the help of Allah and the believers. They are committing great
Shirk. Their abhorrent and evil actions are a direct contravention of Quranic law. It is sad to note that the
ulema of the country who are ardent followers of the Wahabbi school of thought - famous (notorious?) for
its standpoint on Shirk- have not been vociferous in objecting to this great Shirk! In this day and age we
need to educate the ummah about the Quranic message as expounded by the Holy Prophet (sallalahu
alaihi wasallam). A gathering wherein love for Allah His Prophet and Islam is infused should be
encouraged and supported. We need to broaden our vision and attack the problems of the day rather
than adding to the problem by creating disunity and baseless scandal and fitna. May Allah protect us all.