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Islamic Ideology ( 21 Oct 2021, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Celebration of Eid Milad un Nabi – An Act Permissible in Its Essence

By Kaniz Fatma, New Age Islam

21 October 2021

Celebrating the Prophet's Birthday Is Permissible In Islam; Hence No Fatwas Declaring Impermissibility Should Be Issued

Main Points:

1.      Answering the objection that you commemorate the birth of the Holy Prophet on this day but why don't you mourn his death on this day?

2.      The followers of Ibn Abdul Wahab and Deobandi scholars hold that celebrating Eid Milad-un-Nabi on the 12th of Rabi-ul-Awwal is bid'at.

3.      Previously, the ulema of Deoband and Jamaat-e-Islami refused to participate in Eid Milad-un-Nabi processions. They have now begun to take part in the Mildaun Nabi parade.

4.      According to the Qur'an, Sunnah and legal theorists and jurists, the original rule for all acts and things which are not mentioned by the text is permissibility.

5.      Therefore, holding meetings to narrate the virtues and biography of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and other celebrities of Islam and expressing happiness on their birthdays are permissible.


 The day before Yesterday Eid Milad-un-Nabi was celebrated with happiness all across the world. On the other hand, some Wahhabi-minded social media users were seen objecting to the celebration of Milad-un-Nabi and quoting fatwas against the Milad. They believe that commemorating Miladun Nabi is one of the worst innovations [bidat-e-sayyeah]. It's quite surprising when someone says anything like that and this shows that they don’t follow the divine command which urges the believers to ponder and think. 

The objection is frequently raised that the Holy Prophet's birthday is on the 12th of Rabi-ul-Awwal, and according to some traditions, it is also the day of his death. You commemorate the birth of the Holy Prophet on this day. Why don't you mourn his death on this day? The answer is that Islam commands us to rejoice over and thank for a blessing and forbids us from mourning the loss of a blessing. Then why should we sorrow and mourn? The second response is that the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) is still alive. He was once a resident of Dar-ul-Taklif but currently resides in Dar-ul-Jaza and Paradise.  The Ummah’s actions are presented to him. When his Ummah commits good things, he thanks and praises Allah Almighty, and when they do wrong, he requests pardon for his Ummah. He answers to visitors’ greetings and asks prayers for those seeking intercession, and he is engrossed in the observation of God Almighty's characteristics, and his ranks and degrees continue to rise every minute. What is the use of mourning when the beloved Prophet himself has stated that both his life and death are beneficial to his Ummah? (Al-Wafaa Bi Ahwaale Mustafa, p. 5)

Mufti Muhammad Shafi Deobandi [d.1396 Hijri] writes:

“Christians celebrate Eid Milad on the birthday of Jesus (peace be upon him). As a result, some Muslims commemorate the birth of the Holy Prophet with Eid Milad-un-Nabi (peace be upon him). On that day, they organize processions in the bazaars, practice various superstitions, and light the lamp at night as a form of worship. This has no basis in the conduct of Ummah’s companions, Sahaba and Salafs.” (Ma'arif-ul-Quran, Vol 3, p.35, Idaratul Ma’arif, 1397)

In response to a query during an interview, Syed Abul-A'la Maududi (d. 1399 AH) replied, "First and foremost, you should have questioned if there is a concept of Eid Milad-un-Nabi in Islam or not." This event, which is said to be commemorating the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), is not truly Islamic. In Islam, there is no proof of this. This day was not even commemorated by the Companions. Alas! This is celebrated on the pattern of Diwali and Dussehra. Millions of rupees are wasted on this day. (Weekly Qandil, Lahore, July 7, 2013)

As evidenced by the above-mentioned quotation, followers of Shaykh Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahab and Deobandi scholars create the idea that commemorating Eid Milad-un-Nabi on the 12th of Rabi-ul-Awwal is not the method of Ahl-e-Sunnat but their invention [bid'at]. However, this is not an accurate viewpoint. Muslims, on the other hand, have traditionally celebrated the Prophet's (peace be upon him) birth in the month of Rabi al-Awwal.

Allama Ahmad Qastalani (d. 911 AH) writes:

In the month of the Prophet's (peace be upon him) birth, Muslims have traditionally hosted meetings and invitations, and on the nights of this month, they offer various sorts of alms, express happiness, and do additional good actions. They tell the story of the Prophet's birth (peace be upon him). On that day, they receive blessings. It has been observed that by celebrating Milad-e-Sharif, a person receives what he desires. May Allah Almighty bestow His blessings on whoever made the Mubarak Eid on the evenings of the month of the Prophet’s birthday. (Al-Mawaahib al-Ladunniyyah, vol.1, p.78, Beirut 1416 AH)

Allama Jalaluddin Suyuti has written that in the thirteenth century this sort of celebration [on the day of Miladun Nabi) was not organized, but this is a beautiful innovation. Allama Ibn al-Hajj al-Maliki has rejected the denials that some worldly people have added to this process, stating that more good deeds should be done in this month and that charity, alms, and other acts of worship should be increased. And this is a praiseworthy deed as a celebration. Allama Ibn Katheer has written in his history that the king of Erbil, Malik Muzaffar Abu Saeed (d. 630 AH) was the first to hold a Milad-un-Nabi ceremony. He was a very brave scholar, wise, virtuous, and pious king. He used to spend three hundred dinars to arrange a great feast. (Al-Mawaahib al-Ladunniyyah, vol.1, p.139, Beirut 1416 AH)

Previously, the ulema of Deoband and Jamaat-e-Islami refused to participate in Eid Milad-un-Nabi processions. They have now begun to take part in the Mildaun Nabi parade, and the great scholars of Sipah-e-Sahaba have begun to commemorate the birthdays of Hazrat Abu Bakr, Hazrat Umar, and Hazrat Uthman. On certain days, they hold processions and demand that the government grants them a public holiday.

According to the Qur'an, Sunnah and legal theorists and jurists, the original rule for all acts and things which are not mentioned by the text is permissibility. All things are originally impermissible. That is the things or acts concerning which there is no foundational text (nass), the original rule for them is its impermissibility. The rule is that everything that did not exist in the time of the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and the time of the Companions (may Allah be pleased with them), but later came into existence out of necessity would be examined to see as to whether or not that thing is in consistence with the Qur'an and Sunnah. If it contradicts the Quran and Sunnah, it will surely be declared unlawful, forbidden, and misguided. And if it does not contradict any rules of the Quran and Sunnah, then it will be deemed lawful and permissible. To consider it misguidance or forbidden will be tantamount to contradicting the Islamic system of law and deviating from the Islamic system of permissible (halal) and forbidden (haram).     

Therefore, holding meetings to narrate the virtues and biography of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and other celebrities of Islam and expressing happiness on their birthdays, paying charity and alms, sending the reward of the acts of worship to the Holy Prophet, sending peace and blessings individually and collectively, reciting the complete Qur'an in the Taraweeh congregation, building large mosques, establishing libraries, writing surah and verse numbers on the Quran, constructing Mihrabs and Minbars in mosques, holding meetings for preaching and admonition, taking out processions in the days of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) and his Companions, and establishing meetings for their remembrance, holding annual meetings of religious seminaries, teaching hadith and completing Bukhari, and many additional religious things that convey the religion's motto and glory are acceptable. These actions are permitted in their core, notwithstanding the fact that Islamic Sharia has neither forbidden nor mandated them. They should, however, be recognised neither as obligatory (Farz) and compulsory (Wajib), nor as banned (haram) and condemned (Makruh). When legal conduct is elevated to the position of an obligatory, the door to bid’at is opened.

When God, Almighty, sent peace on the prophet Yahya's birthday and death day, it was especially significant permissibility of a birthday celebration. God the Almighty declares:

"The peace is on Him (the prophet, Yahya) the day when he was born and the day when he will die and the day when he will be raised alive." (Sura Al-Maryam, Verse 15)

God Almighty opened the road for Yahya's Mawlid (PBUH) by providing him peace. It's the same approach that today's majority of Muslims use to Mawlid celebrations. According to the Quran, the prophet Jesus (PBUH) celebrated his own birthday in the same way:

"And the same peace on me the day I was born and the day I will die and the day I would be raised alive." (Sura Al Maryam, Verse 33)

Milad al-Nabi is commemorated in many ways around the world. Sweets are distributed, stages are set up, and young people dress up and take out rallies reciting songs of peace and blessing upon the Prophet (PBUH). The celebration is celebrated with fanfare. There is a friendly environment, with individuals exchanging gifts and offering food to the poor and needy. Thousands of people pray in mosques decked with lights to commemorate the day. Though celebrations are held differently in different parts of the world, the main goal is to reflect on the prophet's life and his teachings.

The Qur'an mentions the prophet's birthday in a higher level, closer to the heavenly realm, where God Almighty remarked, "Indeed, there has come to you Light and a clear Book from Allah." [5:15]

According to widely accepted Quranic exegetes, the "Light" described here is the beloved Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), whose birth is thought to mark the beginning of a new cycle in human history and the source of the Divine message of Islam and the Noble Qur'an.

Allah says in the Quran, “Isa, the son of Maryam (Jesus, the son of Mary) said: ‘O Allah, our Lord, send down to us from heaven the table spread (with bounties) so that (the day of its descent) becomes (‘Id) a festival day for us, and for our predecessors (as well as) successors, and that (spread table) comes as a sign from You, and provide us with sustenance, and You are the Best Sustainer.’ (Surah Maidah: 114)

For individuals living in the age of the prophet Jesus (pbuh), his predecessors, and successors, the day the celestial table dropped is celebrated as Eid. The exegetes of the Quran have commented on this, noting that the Eid for his successors means for all humans who will arrive till the end of time. An Eid was held to celebrate a divine feast. So, what about the arrival or birthday celebration of someone who will be a blessing to all mankind?

The following verses also demonstrate that the Mawlid celebration is permissible:

“But call to mind the blessing of Allah upon you when you were enemies (one to another). Then He created the bond of love amongst your hearts, and by His blessing, you became brothers” (3:103)

 God Almighty said:

“O Children of Ya‘qub (Jacob)! Recall those favours that I bestowed upon you, and that I exalted you above all the people (of your age)”. (2:47)

God Almighty said:

“Say: ‘(All this) is due to the bounty and mercy of Allah (bestowed upon you through raising Muhammad [blessings and peace be upon him] as the exalted Messenger). So the Muslims should rejoice over it. This is far better than (all that affluence and wealth) that they amass.’ (Surah Yunus: 58)

God Almighty commands us to enjoy his grace and mercy in the passages above. God means the prophet Muhammad by grace, bounty, mercy, and favour (pbuh). We understand that each of Allah Almighty's favours is huge compassion for us. Our very being is a gift from Allah Almighty. The coming of the prophet is God Almighty's greatest mercy and favour to us, thus we should rejoice in the Mawlid observance.

When asked why fasting on Monday, Allah's Messenger stated in a Hadith reported by Abu Qatada Ansari, "It is (the day) when I was born and revelation was given down to me." (Muslim, Book 6, No. 2606) The Prophet fasted on the day of his birth out of gratitude, according to this Hadith. Fasting is a type of worship; therefore one can fast or hold meetings, and feed the destitute in obedience to God Almighty.

How can it be impressible to commemorate the birth of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) when there is no wrong in commemorating the birth of a normal man? Despite this, fatwas of shirk and bid'ah are issued quickly whenever the Prophet's birthday is observed. This is very wrong and therefore this should come to an end.


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