As Imam Ahmad would say all praise is due to Allah, the one who keeps a group of scholars available during the times when there is no messenger. They expel from the religion of Allah the perversions of the people of falsehood and twisted explanation of those who have strayed. I testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and that He is alone without partners. I further testify that Muhammad (SAW) is His servant and Messenger.
There is no doubt that the prophet did not leave this world until the religion has been perfected. Allah says
“This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed my favour on you and have chosen for you Islam as your religion” Q 5 v 3. He also commands us to refer anything we differ over to Him and His messenger. “And if you differ in anything, then refer it to Allah and His messenger if you (truly) believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is better and more suitable for final decision” Q 4 v 59
One of the innovative acts that have turned out to be like a malignant tumor in the Ummah today is the so called celebration of the birthday of the prophet. As a point of benefit, it is essential we quote a principle espoused by the scholars in order to put this discourse in a proper perspective. The principle states that “whatever act that is considered as an Ibaadah (i.e. an act of earning the pleasure of Allah) which has the cause for it present during the time of the prophet, yet he did not do it neither did his companion do it, the Sunnah is that one refrains from it” (Sharh – l mum ti – Ibn Uthaymeen). The prophet was not unaware that he was given birth to on a particular day of the year so also his companions knew he was given birth to on a certain day but this was not celebrated by anyone in that blessed generation nor given special recognition and not even two centuries afterward, hence, staying away from celebrating it is Sunnah.
Ustadh Abdullah Al Tuwaijiriy in his master thesis submitted to the department of ‘Aqeedah, University of Riyadh with the title “The Annual Innovations” made important submissions which shall be summarized below (the manuscript was also proof read and authenticated by shaykh Abdul-Azeez Al shaykh- The incumbent Mufti of Saudi Arabia.)
Narrations and Statements of Scholars on Innovations
(1) Jaabir Ibn Abdullah related that whenever the messenger of Allah (SAW) was giving sermon his eyes would become red and his voice would go up and his temper would become tense as if he is commanding army of soldiers… He would say “verily the best of speech is the book of Allah and the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad; the worst of affairs is the newly innovated matter and every innovated matter is misguidance – (Muslim on Jum’ah, an- Nasai (3/189) book of Eid, and Ibn Majah
(2) Ibn Mas’ud said: “follow (what has proof from the prophet) and do not innovate for everything necessary in the religion has been legislated for you” (Haythami said this is reported by Tabrani and those in the chain of transmission are trustworthy).
(3) Mu’adh ibn Jabal said verily, after you (referring to the generation of the companions and those who met them) : there will be several trials. Wealth will be in abundance and the Qur’an will be opened (made easy) such that the believers, hypocrites, men, women, the young, the old, the free-born and slave would be able to take it (i.e. read it). Then a person will almost (be prompted) to say “why is it that people don’t follow me yet I read the Quran?” (it seems) they will not follow me until I innovate some other things for them.” Beware of what is innovated for what is innovated is misguidance. And I warm you against the perversions of the wise one (i.e. a scholar who go wrong in his judgement about a particular matter). Because Shaytan could say a statement of misguidance through the tongue of a scholar and a hypocrite could as well say the truth (sometimes). Sunnan Asu Dawud (5/17)
What a powerful statement indeed! Many people celebrate the Maulid today because they see a particular scholar they revere so much also doing it!
Some also believe warning against it will amount to dividing the Ummah so they keep mute about it. This however is known to be the attitude of the Jews who hide behind the facade of unity to disobey the commandment of Allah and to refrain from warning against wrong things some of them are doing.
“you would think they are united but their heart are divided” Q59 v 14
“They used not to forbid one another from al-Munkar (wrong, evildoing sins, polytheism, disbelief which they committed. Vile indeed was what they used to do” Q5v 79
Ibn Taymiyyah said; “verily, warning the Ummah against innovation and the one who advocates for it is an obligation by the consensus of the Muslims. (Majmu’ fatawah – Ibn Taymiyyah 28 / 231)
Maulidu-n – Nabiyy – The Origin
The three best generations as the prophet (SAW) has said – The companions, the Taabi’oon and the Taabi’-t Taabi’een ended and no one with their strong love for the prophet celebrated the birthday of the prophet. The first set of people to innovate this heresy are Banu ‘Abeed al – Qadah who called themselves the fatimides falsely tracing their lineage to the son of ‘Aliy Ibn Abi Talib (may Allah be pleased with him) while in reality they are founder of the call to Baatiniyy ideology (claiming knowledge of unseen, perverting the meaning of the verses of the Qur’an).
In the year 402AH, scholars, Jurists and notable persons wrote a refutation of the claim of the fatimide with regards to their lineage. Al–Qadi al- Baqilani wrote a book on the matter titled (Kashf–l-asrar wa hatk – l – astaar).
When Shaykh – l- Islam was asked about them he said “They are the most rebellious of people and the worst in terms of disbelief. Whoever attest to the fact that they have faith and piety or that their claim with regard their lineage is authentic has witness to what he knows not…” – (Al – Bidaayah wa Nihaaya – Ibn Katheer 11 / 387)
Even scholars of the Shi’ah such as Qaadhi Abdul Jabar bin Ahmad and others rejected their claims.
The ‘Abeediyeen (fatimides) entered Egypt in 362 A.H, the 5th day of Ramadan and ruled over it. Birthday celebration generally and Birthday of the Prophet in particular started with them (in the history of Islam). They instituted several festivals and notable dates such as New Year festival, Ashura festival, Maulidu-n-Nabiyy festival, Maulid ‘Aliy Ibn Abi Talib Maulid of Hassan, Fatimah, the first night of Rajab and so on (al khutat –l-Maqriziy 2/246).
This is evidence from al – maqriziy who used to defend them. They even celebrated Christian festivals, like Christmas and Easter e.t.c. This makes it clear that their celebrating the birthday of the prophet was not out of love for him rather they use it as a medium for spreading their wrong ideologies and diverting people’s attention from the sound creed. Though some claim that the first to celebrate Maolid was a king called Abu Sa’eed kukaburiy – but this took place in the 6th century and was as well done with extravagance with several abominable acts perpetrated though he was preceded in it by the fatimides.
Some of the other atrocities of these people (the Fatimides) include:
- They make it a religious rite to curse Abu bakar, Umar & Uthman.
- In the year 372 A.H they banned Taraaweeh prayer in Egypt.
- They arrested 13 men in 393 A.H, flogged them, and incarcerated them for three day because they observed the Duah prayer.
- In 381 A.H they flogged a man in Egypt because they saw Muwattah of Imam Malik with him (al – khutat – maqriziy 2 / 246)
What else to show that these are the enemies of the prophet!!!
They instituted these festivals for political interests to attract many people by giving prizes to poet and writers as well as scholars so that people will embrace their ideology. Also, they believe they could justify their claim to being descendants of the Prophet through the son of Ali Ibn Abi Talib ‘Aqeel by celebrating the birthday of the prophet.
Today as well people for political reasons push for concession of holiday on the day of Maulid while they work against the religion of Allah and tradition of the prophet in secret.
Abdullah Ibn Mubarak said: “Does anyone corrupt the religion like the kings And evil clergies as well as evil scholars?”
The Ambiguities Raised by Those Who Justify the Celebration and Response of Scholars to Them,
A. First Ambiguity:
As suyooti quoted Ibn Hajar who said: The basis of Maolid is heretical, it was not reported from any of the rightly guided predecessors in the first three generations of Muslims. But it contains good and the otherwise. Whoever sticks to the good and quit the evil, it would be a good Bid’ah for him and if not then no! He was further quoted to have said that the basis he could find for it is that it is similar to the way the prophet also fasted ‘Ashura when he met the Jews in Madinah fasting it ……. Al-Hawiy (1/196)
- Ibn Hajar had said from the onset that it is heresy and was never reported from any of the rightly guided predecessors and that is sufficient to condemn it.
- This second statement of drawing analogy from the fasting of Ashura cannot be reconciled with the first. Moreover, nobody preceded him in drawing such understanding from the fasting of Ashura and if it were to be sound, it would not be hidden to the companions and those after them. Hence his understanding and interpretation is against the consensus of the predecessors.
- Drawing analogy of Maulid from the fasting of Ashura amount to unduely committing oneself to more religious responsibility because worship is based on following what is commanded and not one’s opinion, justification and innovation.
- The prophet fast Ashura and encouraged it unlike Maulid. Nothing will be good for the Ummah except that the prophet has commands it and no evil except that he warned against it and bid’ah is an evil he has warned against.
(B) Also As-suyuti said that what Bayhaqi reported that the Prophet slaughtered aqeeqah for himself after the prophet hood despite the fact that his grandfather did aqeeqah for him showed that he did the second one to show gratitude to Allah who raised him as blessing to the mankind.” Implying that the Muslims could follow suit by celebrating his birthday
Response: The narration is not established according to the scholars:
- This narration is spurious because of Abdullah lbn muharrar who is in the chain of transmission
- Ibn qayyim said: scholars rejected Ibn muharrar because of this particular narration
- Ibn Hajar said in fath-ul bariy that the hadeeth is not authentic.
(c) It is also said that Abu Lahab was seen in a dream after his death and was asked about his condition he responded that he was in the fire only that he sucks water from his finger every Monday night because he freed Thuwaybah when he was informed of the birth of the Prophet and because she breastfed the prophet, so if Abu Lahab a kaafir is rewarded in hell because he was joyous upon receiving the news of the birth of the Prophet what would then be the situation of Muslims who celebrate this.
- This is a dream hence; it cannot be used as evidence. Moreover the person who had the dream was not mentioned by urwah lbn zubayr. Hence it is weak (Mursal narration-a narration by someone in the generation after the companions who omits or fails to mention the companion he heard it from). Moreover the one who had the dream might not be a Muslim as at the time he had the dream. lbn Hajar said this narration presupposes that the deed of a disbeliever will benefit him in the day of judgment and this is against the text of the Qur’an.
“ and we shall turn to whatever deeds they (the disbeliever, polytheists) did , and we shall make such deeds as scattered floating particles of dust” Q 25v23
Also it is not historically correct that Abu Lahb freed Thuwaybah upon receiving the news of the birth of the prophet.
(D) The fasting of the prophet on Monday and Thursdays:
This is not also evidence for Maulid because reason for the prophet fasting on Monday is not just because he was given birth to on Monday but also because he received the first revelation on that day and deeds are presented to Allah on Mondays and Thursday. Moreover he did that weekly and not annually, so whoever thinks he would fast on the birthday of the prophet or his own Birthday should consider those other reasons if he for instances has also received revelation on that day. The companions never deduced such understanding from that action.
(E) Interpreting the mercy of Allah as contained in Q10 v58 “Say in the bounty of Allah and His mercy (i.e. Islam and the Qur’an) therein let them rejoice…” to mean the prophet, hence, making it a call to celebrating his birthday is tantamount to attributing to Allah what he has not said because none of the reliable book of Tafseer nor any of the rightly guided predecessors interpreted as such.
In conclusion, there is no even consensus on the day the Prophet was given birth to and anyone who celebrate the birth of the prophet in Rabiul-Awwal should remember he also died in that month, so that he should also know that he is actually rejoicing over the death of the Prophet by disregarding his warning on innovation and not his birth! The one who knows is hujjah (proof, evidence) against the one who does not know and not the other way round!
To be continued…
Was-Salaaamun ‘alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.
Ustadh Ahmed Kamal Al-mufti