SHOULD WE CELEBRATE MEELAD-UN-NABI
(SALLAL LAAHU ALAIHI WASALLAM)?
Jehad M.W. Ismail (Sydney - Australia)
in the Name of, Most Beneficent, Most Merciful
praise is due to Allah who has guided us to follow the Noble
Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), the leader of the
Messengers; Who has granted us the capacity to remain steadfast
on the pillars and essential principles of Deen Al-Islam; Who has
made it easy for us to follow the footsteps and way of our pious
predecessors, to the extent that our hearts have been illuminated
with the knowledge of the Shari'ah and the conclusive
argument in favour of the evident truth; and Who has kept our
internal souls free from the contamination of falsehood.
praise and thank Him for having blessed us with the light of
certainty, and for having granted us strength and courage to
continuously hold fast to His strong rope. These favours are all
out of His Bounty and Grace. We testify that there is no deity
besides Almighty Allah, Who is alone, and has no partner or
associates, and that, without doubt, our Beloved Muhammad (sallal
laahu alaihi wasallam) is the Servant and Messenger of Allah,
the Leader of those who are first and those who are last. May
Allah send His Salaams and Blessings upon him, his Household and
Progeny, his Companions and those who follow their path until the
Day of Judgement (ridwanullahi ta'ala ajma'in).
Subhanahu wa Ta'ala says in the Holy Qur'an: "O
ye who believe! Fear Allah, and (always) say a word directed to
Messenger (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: "Whoever
believes in Allah and the Hereafter should either say what is
good, or otherwise remain silent".
is every Muslim's duty to show people the truth in anticipation
that they would follow it clearly and evidently and certainly not
blindly. For truth is as clear as the sun in broad daylight. This
brief introduction is due to what we have been hearing recently,
as far as the celebration of the birthday of our Beloved Prophet
Muhammad (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) is concerned.
Falsehood is regretabally attributed to such a noble event and
mischief is stated as to the illegitimacy of celebrating such an
esteemed occasion. Thus leaving ordinary people in a state of
confusion not knowing whether they should partake in celebrating
the event or otherwise. This is so, since the people who raise
objection to the Meelad feel that they are at liberty to
fabricate events in Islamic history and the traditions of our
Holy Prophet Muhammad (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).
we felt that it is incumbent upon us, and upon those who possess
knowledge of Shari'ah, to clearly explain to the Muslim
masses the truth about Meelad.
AND LITTLE KNOWLEDGE
Holy Prophet Muhammad (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said:
"Whoever brings forth an innovation into our religion
which is not part of it, it is rejected".
Holy Prophet Muhammad (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) also
said: "Beware of inventive matters for every invention
is an innovation and every innovation is evil".
who quote these two Ahadith claim that the word "Kul"
which means "EVERY" or "ALL"
which is mentioned in the above two Ahadith is used to include
everything, i.e. all kinds of innovations or "Bid'ah"
without any exception. They conclude therefore, that all
innovations are "evil".
stating such an ill-fated statement, they have in fact accused
the scholars (Ulema) of the Muslim World of committing "evil"
innovations, particularly Hadrat Umar (radi Allahu anhu).
However, they quickly respond and say: No, we did not mean the
Companions (Sahaba Ikraam). In reply to that we say, yes, indeed
you did so, because you said "every" or "all"
innovations are "evil".
you have rejected what the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sallal laahu
alaihi wasallam) himself approved, i.e."Tarawih Prayers".
will now quote before you many actions which were not carried out
during the life of Prophet Muhammad (sallal laahu alaihi
wasallam) but were in fact done following his demise by his
Companions (ridwanullahi ta'ala ajma'in).
1. THE ISSUE OF
COMPILING THE QUR'AN IN ONE BOOK
Zaid bin Thabit (radi Allahu anhu) said: Prophet Muhammad (sallal
laahu alaihi wasallam) had passed away and the Qur'an has not
been compiled into one book! In fact, it was Hadrat Umar who told
Hadrat Abu-Bakr (radi Allahu anhuma) to collect the Qur'an.
Hadrat Abu-Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) was hesitant at first
and he actually said, "How could we do something which
the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) himself never did".
Hadrat Umar (radi Allahu anhu) replied, "BUT
BY ALLAH IT IS A GOOD THING". Hadrat Zaid then said
Hadrat Umar kept coming back and forth until Hadrat Abu-Bakr (radi
Allahu anhuma) sent after him and assigned him the task of
compiling the Qur'an. (Bukhari Shareef)
IBRAHIM'S STATION (FOOTPRINT).
Baihaqi (radi Allahu anhu) said that Bibi Ayesha (radi
Allahu anha), a wife of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu
alaihi wasallam) said that Prophet Ibrahim's (alaihis-salaam)
Station (Footprint) was attached to "KAABA" during
the Prophet's and Abu-Bakr's time. It was not until the time of
Hazrat Umar (radi Allahu anhuma) who changed its original
position. Ibn Hajar (radi Allahu anhu), the great
Muhaddith said: None of the companions raised any objection
against Hazrat Umar (radi Allahu anhu) for doing so and he
was the first person to cover Prophet Ibrahim's (alaihis-salaam)
Station (Footprint) in the state it is now.
INTRODUCTION OF THE SECOND AZAAN DURING FRIDAY PRAYER
Baihaqi narrated that Sayyiduna Al-Saa'eb bin Zaid (radi
Allahu anhuma) said: The first call (Azaan) for Friday Prayer
commenced when the Imam sat on the Pulpit (Mimbar). This was the
practice during the Prophet's, Hazrat Abu-Bakr's and Hazrat Umar's
time. But when Hazrat Uthman came, he introduced the second Azaan
(radi Allahu anhuma).
PRAISE AND SALAAMS UPON THE PROPHET (SALLAL LAAHU ALAIHI WASALLAM)
was first introduced by Hazrat Ali (radi Allahu anhu) and
he used to teach it to people of his time. Ibn Jabir mentioned
that in his book called "Tah'theeb Al-Aa'thar" so
did Imam Tabari, Ibi Assem and Yaqoub bin Shaibah (radi Allahu
5. THE ADDITION
MADE BY IBN MASOUD TO TASHA'HUD
Tabari said that Ibn Masoud (radi Allahu anhuma) used to
read after saying "As Salaam Alaikum Warahmatullahi
Wabarakaatuhu", "As Salaam Alaina Min Rabenna"
(Peace be upon us from our Lord).
INTRODUCTION OF READING "BISMILLAH AL-RAHMAN AL-RAHIM"
BEFORE COMMENCING TASHA'HUD.
and Muslim both narrated that Ibn Umar (radi Allahu anhuma)
use to read "Bimillah Al-Rahman Al-Rahim" before
the above Companions have in fact introduced innovations which
they have deemed beneficial and which were not practised during
the life of the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).
Hence, that these innovations where brought about in acts of
worship! What then would you say about these renowned Companions?
Are they going to be classified among those who practise "evil"
for their (Bin Baaz, etc.) other statement which is even worse
that the first one, where it is alleged by them that in the
religion of Islam there is no such thing as "good innovation"
or "Bid'ah". Let us quote the opinion of the most
renowned scholars of Islam regarding this issue.
Imam Al-Hafiz Al-Nawawi (radi Allahu anhu) said in Vol.6,
p.21 in his "Commentary on Sahih Al-Bukhari":
What the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) meant when
he said "very" or "all" innovations, is that
it is general but restricted, i.e. that most innovations are
"evil" but not "all". In "Tahdhib Al-Asma
wal Lugat" Bid'ah is explained as follows:
in 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)".
Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani (radi Allahu anhu) who explained
Sahih Al-Bukhari said: "Every action which was not in
practice at the Prophet's time is called or known as Innovation,
however, there are those which are classified as 'Good' and there
are those which are contrary to that".
Imam Abu-Na'im said that he heard Imam Ibrahim Al-Junaid say that
he heard Imam Shafi'i (radi Allahu anhuma) say: "The
new things that are brought about are two kinds. One kind is that
which brought about, inconsistent with something in the Qur'an or
the Sunnah or with some Athaar or I'jma. This the category of Bid'ah
Dalalah (heretic innovation). The second kind is that which is
brought about from good things which are consistent with any of
Imam of Imams Izzuddin Ibn Abd al-Salaam (radi Allahu anhu)
writes in his book "Al-Qawa'aid": "Bid'ah
is divided into Wajib, Haram, Mandub, Makruh and Mabah. And the
way to know which category it belongs to, is to examine it
together with the laws of Shari'ah. If it falls in with the laws
that deal with what is Wajib, then it is Wajib. If with those
laws that deal with Haram, then it is Haram. If with the laws
dealing with what is Mandub, then it is Mandub. If with the laws
dealing with what is Makruh, then it is Makruh. If with the
laws dealing with what is Mubah, then it is Mubah".
the examination of the statements of these highly renowned
scholars of Islam, we ask: How is it then that what is alleged
that the word "Kul" or "every" includes all
kinds of innovations or "Bid'ah" regardless? And where
in the religion of Islam is it stated that there is no "good
Bid'ah" or "good innovation". Hence, the Messenger
of Allah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) has said: "Whoever
introduces a good innovation into the religion of Islam, will be
granted due reward for it and the reward of those who acts upon
it without any reduction in their deeds".
this hadith we find that every Muslim is entitled to introduce a
"good Bid'ah or innovation" as long as it conforms with
the test mentioned earlier, even though the Messenger of Allah (sallal
laahu alaihi wasallam) did not do it, preach it or practice,
in order that he/she could increase the deeds of goodness and
BEGINNING OF THE CELEBRATION OF MEELAD SHAREEF
we all know as matter of fact, that when ever people want to
promote and advance their ways, they pave the way to spread their
falsehood among the Muslims masses and those who have very
limited knowledge by misquoting what the Imams of Islam have
stated or written. It is alleged by those people who disagree
with Meelad that Imam Ibn Kathir (radi Allahu anhu) stated
in his book "Al-Bi'dayah Wa Ni'hayah" in Vol.11,
p. 172 the following: "It was the Fatimy Government which
ruled Egypt from 357-567 who was responsible for the celebration
say in reply to the above that after having consulted the above
reference we found that it was a sheer lie, for we read that page
and we found that the above is but allegations, deceit and
dishonesty when quoting the renowned scholars of Islam. However,
if they insist on the above, we demand that they produce it
before us if there is any truth in what they allege!
me now to quote before you what Imam Ibn Kathir (radi Allahu
anhu) has actually said in the same book "Al-Bi'dayah"
Vol.13, p. 136: "Sultan Muzaffar used to arrange the
celebration of the Meelad Shareef with honour, glory, dignity and
grandeur. In this connection he used to organise a magnificent
festival". Then he said in praise of that man: "He
was a pure-hearted, brave and wise Aalim (Scholar) and a just
ruler, may Allah shower His Mercy upon him and grant him an
Abu-Khattab Ibn Dihyah (radi Allahu anhu) also wrote a
book for him on the Meelad Shareef entitled "Enlightenment
on the Birthday of the Bearer of Good News, the Warner".
For this book Sultan Muzaffar awarded him a gift of one thousand
Dinars. He then said: "Every year his expenditure on the
Meelad Shareef amounted to three hundred thousand Dinars".
carefully, dear brother/sister, such praise which has been
conferred by Ibn Kathir upon that man, where he described him as "a
wise Aalim, brave and pure-hearted" and then concluded
by saying "may Allah shower his Mercy upon him and grant
him an exalted status". He did not say he was a corrupt
or evil, he did not say he was committing "Bid'ah" or
deeds which leads a person to be doomed, as it is alleged by
those who reject the celebration of Meelad Shareef.
refer you to that very reference which has been quoted to read
further for yourselves what Imam Ibn Kathir (radi Allahu anhu)
has added in praise of this Sultan.
would strongly recommend as well that you consult what Imam
Zahabi (radi Allahu anhu) in his book "Biography
of the Elites", Vol. 22, p. 336 has said in description
of this Sultan: "Sultan Al-Muzaffar was humble, generous,
follower of the Prophet's way and he liked the scholars and
narrators of Hadith".
OF THE IMAMS OF THE MUSLIM UMMAH ON THE
OF MEELAD SHAREEF
Imam Al-Hafiz Al-Suyuti (radi Allahu anhu) in his famous
book "Al-Hawii Lil-Fatawii" allocated a special
chapter on that topic and named it "The Excellence
of Objective in Celebrating the Mawlid" where he said: The
question under consideration is what the verdict of the Shari'ah
on celebrating the Holy Birthday of the Noble Prophet during the
month of Rabbi-ul-Awwal. From the point of view of Shari'ah is
this a praiseworthy action or a blameworthy one? And do those who
arrange such celebration receive blessings or not?
said: "The reply to this question is that in my view
the 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 Qu'ran 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 is a Bid'ah Hasanah
(good innovation) and those arranging it will get blessing, since
in such a celebration is found the expression of joy and
happiness at the greatness and eminence of the Noble Prophet (sallal
laahu alaihi wasallam) and his birth".
Even Ibn Tay'miah said in his book "Necessity of the Right
Path", p. 266, 5th line from the bottom of that page,
published by Dar Al-Hadith, the following: "As far as
what people do during the Meelad, either as a rival celebration
to that which the Christian do during the time of Christ's
birthday or as an expression of their love and admiration and a
sign of praise for the Noble Prophet, Allah will surely reward
them for such Ij'tiha". He then said: "Although
Meelad was not practised by (Salaf), they should have done so
since there was no objection against it from the Shari'ah point
we certainly only celebrate Meelad out of love and admiration to
the Prophet of all Mankind.
Al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar (radi Allahu anhu) was asked, same
reference of Imam Suyuti (radi Allahu anhu), about Meelad
Shareef. His reply was: "Meelad Shareef is, in fact, and
innovation, which was not transmitted from any pious predecessor
in the first three centuries. Nevertheless, both acts of virtue
as well as acts of abomination are found in it (i.e. sometimes
acts of virtue are found therein and sometimes acts of
abomination). If in the Meelad Shareef only acts of virtue are
done and acts of abomination are abstained from, then the Meelad
Shareef is a Bid'ah Hasanah (good innovation), otherwise not."
He then added "... to do any virtuous act and to observe
it annually as means of recollection for any special day on which
Allah Ta'ala has bestowed any favour or removed any calamity is a
form of showing gratitude to Allah. Gratitude to Allah Ta'ala is
expressed through different kinds of Ibaadah (worship) -prostration
and standing in prayer, charity and recitation of the Holy Qu'ran.
And what is a greater favour from Allah can there be than the
appearance of the Prophet of Mercy (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam)
on this day (i.e. 12th of Rabbi-ul-Awwal)?"
people do not limit it and celebrate the Meelad Shareef on any
day of Rabbi-ul-Awwal. Nay, some people have extended it even
more and increased the period to the whole year. According to the
latter, the Meelad Shareef can be celebrated on any day of the
year. The objective here is the same, i.e. to rejoice at and
celebrate the Holy Birth of the Noble Prophet (sallal laahu
Imam Abu-Bakr Abdullah Al-Demashqi (radi Allahu anhu)
compiled a number of books on the subject and called them "Collection
of Traditions on the Birth of the Chosen Prophet", "The
Pure Expression on the Birthday of the Best of Creations"
and "The Spring for the Thirsty One on the Birth of the
Imam Al-Hafiz Al-Iraqi (radi Allahu anhu) wrote a book and
called it "The Pure Spring on the Sublime Birth".
Imam Ibn Dahyah (radi Allahu anhu) wrote a book and called
it "Enlightenment on the Birthday of the Bearer of Good
News, The Warner".
Imam Mulla Ali Qari (radi Allahu anhu) wrote a book and
called it "The Quenching Spring on the Birthday of the
Imam Shams Ul-Din bin Naser Al-Dumashqi (radi Allahu anhu),
said in his book "The Spring for the Thirsty One on the
Birth of the Rightly Guided" about the story of Abu
Lahab that he will receive a light punishment every Monday for
expressing joy at the birth of the Noble Prophet (sallal laahu
alaihi wasallam) on that day. The Imam said the following
verse of poetry, the translation of the above is:
such Kafir was denounced in the (Qur'an)
perished are his hands, and in the Flames is his eternal abode
is narrated that every Monday
torment is made easy for his Joy at the Birth of Ahmad
is the expectation then of a servant who spent all his life
with the Arrival of Ahmad and died on the Oneness of Allah.
Imam Shams Ul-Din Ibn al-Jazri (radi Allahu anhu), the
Imam of Reciters, wrote a book and named it "The Scent of
Notification on the Blessed Birthday".
Imam Al-Hafiz Ibn Al-Jawzi (radi Allahu anhu), said in the
description of Meelad: "Peace and Tranquillity takes over
during that year and a good glad tiding to obtain your wish and
Imam Abu-Shamah, The Sheik of Al Hafiz Al Nawawi (radi Allahu
anhuma), said: "The best of the innovations of our
times is what is carried out on the day of corresponding to the
birthday of our Beloved Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam),
where people give out donations, practice what is right, express
their joy and happiness, in doing so is surely a sign of love and
admiration for the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam)".
Imam Al-Hafiz Al-Qastalani (radi Allahu anhu), who gave
commentary on Sahih Bukhari, said: "May Allah shower his
Mercy upon a person who takes the days of the month of Rabbi-ul-Awwal,
in which the Noble Prophet (radi Allahu anhu) was born, as days
of feast and celebration for doing so is the best cure for the
heart of an ailing person."
all of the above, there is yet another false accusation, i.e. THOSE
WHO OPPOSE MEELAD SHAREEF CLAIM THAT IF MEELAD WAS PART OF "DEEN",
THEN SURELY THE PROPHET (SALLAL LAAHU ALAIHI WASALLAM)
WOULD HAVE DONE IT HIMSELF AND HE WOULD HAVE MADE IT CLEAR FOR
THE PEOPLE TO CELEBRATE IT?
THE REPLY IS:
everything which the Prophet or his Companions did not do would
ultimately make things "Haraam". Since the Prophet (sallal
laahu alaihi wasallam) himself said: "He who
introduces a new good Sunnah in Islam will be rewarded for it
Shafi'i (radi Allahu anhu) said: "Anything which
enjoys the backing of Shari'ah cannot be an innovation even if
the Companions did not practice it, because their abstention from
doing something may have been due to a particular reason which
was there at that time, or they have left it to something which
happens to be better, or perhaps news about a particular them did
not reach them all".
whosoever alleges that this thing is Haraam on the basis that the
Noble Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) did not practice it,
then surely he has alleged something which has no foundation or
backing in Shari'ah and thus his allegation is refuted and
should be noted that, according to your allegations you have
stated, i.e. That every person who innovates or brings about into
action that which the Prophet or the Companion did not do,
means that this person has in fact introduced something bad into
the religion, will be interpreted that the Prophet (sallal
laahu alaihi wasallam) did not fulfil "the Deen"
for his "Umah" and the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi
wasallam) did not convey what was ought to be conveyed to the
Muslims! and whoever believes in that is a "Kaafir".
say, "We condemn you from your own words", because you
have brought and practised so many innovation which the Prophet (sallal
laahu alaihi wasallam) or the Companions never practised nor
preached, not even "Salaf" ever do them.
name just a few and not all:
To gather collectively the Muslims to pray behind one Imam during
"Tarawih Prayers", at the two Sacred Mosques and other
Reading the "Du's" at the conclusion of finishing the
recitation of the Holy Qur'an during "Tarawih Prayers"
and "Tahajjud Prayers".
Allocating the 27th night of Ramadaan to recite the whole Quran
at the two Sacred Mosques.
The Caller for Azaan saying when announcing to the people the
commencement of the Tarawih Prayers the following, "Raise up
for Tarawih Prayers, May Allah reward you".
Claiming that "Tarawih Prayers or Divinity" is divided
into three Parts.
this a Prophetic saying, or the saying of one of the Companions
or of the Four Imams? And many other things such as the formation
of the committees for "Enjoying what is Good and Forbidding
what is Evil", establishment of universities, Association
for memorisation of the Holy Quran, Offices of Dawah and "Special
Week of Masha'yekh". Hence, we do not raise objections to
these things since they are in place for serving Islam. Let us
add that these things are all "Bid'ah" but we
acknowledge that they are "good Bid'ah".
REFUTATION OF THE FINAL OBJECTION?
is alleged that since the Birthday of the Prophet (sallal
laahu alaihi wasallam) is the same as his demise, therefore,
expressing joy on that day is no better than expressing grieve
over his demise and if the religion of Islam was to be applied on
the basis of one's opinion, then we are bound to show grief
during this day and not happiness!
will leave the rebut of such crooked argument to none other than
Imam Suyuti (radi Allahu anhu) himself, where he said in
his famous book "Al-Hawaii Lil-Fatawii", p. 193,
the following: "The birthday of the Noble Prophet (sallal
laahu alaihi wasallam) is the greatest favour of Allah granted to
us, and that his demise is the greatest affliction for us.
However, Shari'ah has encouraged us to show gratitude for favours
and has taught us to observe patient perserverence, silence and
calm in the face of afflictions. The Shari'ah has ordered us to
offer "Aqiqa" on the birth of a child which is an
expression of happiness and gratitude for favours and has taught
us to observe patience, silence and calm in the face of
afflictions. But the Shari'ah has not ordered us to sacrifice an
animal on the death of someone nor to do such action. On the
contrary, it has prohibited wailing and lamentation. Thus, the
laws of Shari'ah indicate that to exhibit happiness in this Holy
month in connection with the birth of the Noble Prophet (sallal
laahu alaihi wasallam), is better than showing grief at his
Noble Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasalalm) foretold
about the coming of such people in the Hadith narrated by "Abu-Yaa'li"
on the authority of "Huzaifah" who said:
Noble Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: "What
I fear most for you, is a man who reads the Qur'an until such
time when the blessing of Qur'an is reflected on him and he takes
Islam as his Cloak ... he then turns around and strips himself
off from Islam and then tosses it away behind his back, then he
heads quickly towards his neighbour with his sword unsheathed and
he calls him a 'Mushrik'" I said: "O, Prophet of Allah!
Who is more worthy of being called a Mushrik the one being
attacked or the attacker". He replied, "It is indeed
end this research on a happy note let me draw your attention to
the following Hadith: The Noble Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi
wasallam) has himself indicated the excellence of this great
month and day in reply to a questioner. When the 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".