Permissiblity of Meelad Sharif

bismillah ar-RaHmaan ar-RaHeem.

alHamdulillah. wa salaamun `alaa `ibaadihi alladheenaS-Tafaa.

(translators note: some untranslateable words in arabic are retained. these words turn orange when the mouse pointer is directly above them. the meaning of these words is then displayed.

by ash shaykh shah abul Hasan zayd faruqi raHmatullahi `alayh.)

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on the 12th of rabi`y al awwal – the birthday of RasulAllah, Sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam, people display their joy on this day by going out in a procession. they recite poems in praise of RasulAllah. some people dress up as arabs and ride horses and camels. the organizers exhort the people to show their happiness, light up houses/mosques and give alms to the poor.

what is your opinion on such a practise? is it opposed to the shari`ah? is it a bid`ah? if it is a bid`ah, is it good or bad? is it a sin to do these? have our imams prohibited such a practise?

please answer this question with proofs from fiqh and Hadeeth.

signed: sayyid irshad `ali, zubayr aHmed, Haji sa`eed, sayyid ishtiyaq `ali, maHbub shah, sharif palishwala, Tahir al-Hasan, shah qamruddin, akram qadri, mirza `uthman azad, Hakim abul fat-H, sayyid imtiyaz `ali, mawlana nawabuddin.

3rd rabi`y al awwal, 1397 / 11th february, 1978. saturday.

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the answer with the guidance of Allah; only Allah can guide to the truth.

the birthday of RasulAllah Sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam is a great day indeed – a day which on which the bounties of Allah were manifest. the good fortune of muslims is due to the propitiousness (baraka) of this day. this blessed day is the most joyous one for the world of islam and muslims.

Allah tabaraka wa ta`ala says: "laqad manna Allahu `ala al-mu-mineena idh ba`atha feehim Rasuulan min anfusihim" // surely, Allah has done a great favor to the mu-mins; He has sent forth a messenger from amongst themselves..

says He: "qul bi faDlillahi wa bi raHmatihi fa bi dhalika fal yafraHuu" / say ye: rejoice and be happy for the blessings of Allah and His mercy.

and RasulAllah Sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam is a blessing of Allah and His mercy from head to toe! the verse cited above commands muslims to rejoice on the blessings and mercy of Allah. muslims are fortunate that they celebrate and rejoice on this day – a day of blessing and mercy.

any manner of celebration is permissible in rejoicing except that which isn’t deemed ugly by the shari`ah.

RasulAllah Sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam has said: ‘you know very well (on how to carry on) the matters of this world’. therefore it isn’t necessary to seek the opinion of scholars in this regard. but do remember not to indulge in activities not permitted by the shari`ah. for example: dancing of women, indulgence in wine etc., (al `iyadhu billah)

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the question of bid`ah doesn’t arise in these matters which are only mubaH. for example, someone mounts his child on a horse to amuse him; the groom is taken around in a decorated car; flowers are sprinkled; coins are thrown; all these are mubaH as long as there isn’t excessive spending or wastage. (israaf)

sayyidah `ayishah raDiyallahu `anhaa married off a girl from anSar to a relative of hers. ibn `abbas raDiyallahu `anhu says that RasulAllah Sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam asked whether the girl was sent to her in-laws. sayyidah `ayishah raDiyallahu `anhaa said: ‘yes’.

RasulAllah Sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam replied: ‘did you send someone along with her who would sing?’

sayyidah `ayishah said: ‘no’.

RasulAllah Sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam said: ‘the ansars are fond of listening to poems. it would have been better if you had sent someone along who would sing: ‘ataynakum, ataynakum; faHayyana wa Hayyakum’ // we’ve come to you, we’ve come to you; greetings to us and greetings to you!

(mishkat)

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this anecdote illustrates that this was mubaH. this was a tradition among the people of madinah. RasulAllah Sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam kept it likewise. he didn’t say that this merited thawab or `adhab.

let me remind you that, on the birthday of RasulAllah Sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam we are celebrating/rejoicing the birth of that blessed person whose highness is mentioned by Allah `azza wa jall in these words:

wa rafa`ana laka dhikrak’ / and We have exalted your remembrance

be it an angel or any messenger, prophet – our Rasul `alayhis salaam is the highest in rank.

it is also necessary that this remembrance is not just lip-service. rather this should be visible in your actions. it would be a true celebration if the peope recite salwat on our Rasul and yet some others weep in joy and humility.

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o ye the fortunate! may Allah guide you. try hard to exalt the name of your Prophet; be generous in celebrating the birthday of your Rasul; and try that the government of india joins you in your happiness by declaring this blessed day as a national holiday.

(observer: this was written in 1978; and the govt. of india has declared meelad un nabee as a national holiday eversince)

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  1. mubaH: those actions which merit neither reward nor punishment.
  2. thawab: the reward from Allah on doing a good deed.
  3. `adhab: torment or punishment for bad deeds.
  4. salawat: a prayer for blessings on the Messenger `alayhis salaam.
  5. dunya: this temporal world; or matters pertaining thereof; or the materialistic nature of the world.
  6. rabi`y al awwal – the third month of the islamic calendar.
  7. Hasanah – good, praiseworthy, laudable.
  8. sayyi-ah – bad, corrupt, unpleasant.
  9. bid`ah – innovations in the matters of religion.
  10. shari`ah – the islamic canon law.
  11. imam – the scholar who is an authority in matters of religion.
  12. fiqh – the branch of knowledge that explains what is permitted and what is not in the religion.
  13. Hadeeth – the sayings/tradition of the Messenger of Allah `alayhis salaam.
  14. tabaraka wa ta`aala – He is the Most Munificient and the Most Exalted.
  15. Sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam – Salwat and salutations be on him.
  16. `alayhis salaam – salutations on him.
  17. raDiyallahu `anhu/`anhaa – may Allah be pleased with him/her
  18. mishkat – a famous book of collection of Hadeeth. mishkat al maSabeeH by shaykh waliyuddin tabrizi

 

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