MOD Q & A / Q & A

Q & A Mawlid

Q & A

Q. Is celebrating the Prophet’s birthday allowed in Islam?

A.

Some points to remember with respect to this particular matter.

1. The month of Rabi` al-Awwal has been made one of the most blessed months by the birth of the Prophet (SAW).[1]

2. There is general consensus and agreement that the birth date of the Prophet (SAW) was Monday 12th Rabi` al-Awwal.[2]

3. The Prophet not doing an action does not necessarily make it unlawful (tark al-`amal la tufidu al-tahrim).[3]

Imam Ibn Taymiyyah remarked the following about the Mawlid of the Blessed Prophet (SAW):

Arabic:

“و كذلك ما يحدثه بعض الناس إما مضاهاة للنصارى في ميلاد عيسى (عليه السلام) وإما محبة للنبي (صلى الله عليه و سلم) وتعظيما له والله قد يثيبهم على هذه المحبة والاجتهاد لا على البدع من اتخاذ مولد النبي (صلى الله عليه و سلم) عيدا… فتعظيم المولد واتخاذه موسما قد يفعله بعض الناس ويكون له فيه أجر عظيم لحسن قصده وتعيظمه لرسول الله (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)…”

English:

“Similarly is what some people newly enact by analogy with the Christians who celebrate the birth of `Isa (AS) and out of love for the Prophet (SAW) as well as in honour of him. And Allah may reward them for this love and effort, not out the fact that it is a newly enacted action… to honor the Mawlid and to take it as a season, as some of the people are doing has a great reward in it because of their good intentions in honoring the Prophet…”[4]

A segment of the fatwa of Imam Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti is given here in translation taken from his al-Hawi li ’l-Fatawa:

Arabic:

الحمد لله و سلام على عباده الذين اصطفى. و بعد: ققد وقع السؤال عن عمل المولد النبوي في شهر ربيع الأول ما حكمه من حيث الشرع و هل هو محمود أو مذموم وهل يثاب فاعله أو لا؟

الجواب عندي – أن أصل عمل المولد الذي هو اجتماع الناس و قراءة ما تيسر من القرآن ورواية الأخبار الواردة في مبدأ أمر النبي (صلى الله عليه و سلم) و ما وقع في مولده من الآيات ثم يمد لهم سماط يأكلونه وينصرفون من غير زيادة على ذلك هو من البدع الحسنة التي يثاب عليها صاحبها لما فيه من تعظيم قدر النبي (صلى الله عليه و سلم) وإظهار الفرح والاستبشار بمولده الشريف…

English:

“Praise belongs to Allah and blessings upon those of His servants He has [especially] chosen. I proceed: The question has been asked about the celebration of Mawlid of the Prophet in the month of Rabi` al-Awwal. What is the ruling concerning it according to theShari`ah and is it something praiseworthy or blameworthy and does the one who celebrate it obtain reward for it or not?

I answer that the essence of the celebration of the Mawlid, which consists in people gathering together, recitation of that which is easy of the Qur’an, narrating accounts related to the beginnings of the Prophet (SAW) and the miraculous signs that have been told as taking place upon his birth as well as giving food to the people who eat and leave without adding anything extra to this, then this is one of the praiseworthy innovations and the one who does it obtains reward because of the respect shown to the greatness of the Prophet (SAW) and the open proclamation of joy and happiness at the news of his noble birth…”[5]

Imam al-Suyuti then reports the position of his teacher the supreme master of hadith in his time, al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani (RA):

Arabic:

و قد سئل شيخ الإسلام حافظ العصر أبو الفضل بن حجر [العسقلاني] عن عمل المولد فأجاب بما نصه: أصل عمل المولد بدعة لم تنقل عن أحد من السلف الصالح من القرون الثلاثة ولكنها مع ذلك قد اشتملت على محاسن وضدها. فمن تحرى في عملها المحاسن وتجنب ضدها كان بدعة حسنة و إلا فلا.

قال: و قد ظهر لي تخريجها على أصل ثابت وهو ما ثبت في الصحيحين من أن النبي (صلى الله عليه و سلم) قدم المدينة فوجد اليهود يصومون يوم عاشوراء فسألهم فقالوا: هو يوم أغرق الله فيه فرعون و نجى موسى فنحن نصومه شكرا لله تعالى فيستفاد منه فعل الشكر لله على ما من به في يوم معين من إسداء نعمة أو دفع نقمة و يعاد ذلك في نظير ذلك اليوم من كل سنة. و الشكر لله يحصل بأنواع العبادة كالسجود و الصيام و الصدقة و التلاوة وأي نعمة أعظم من النعمة ببروز هذا النبي نبي الرحمة في ذلك اليوم... فهذا ما يتعلق بأصل عمله، وأما ما يعمل فيه فينبغي أن يقتصر فيه على ما يفهم الشكر لله تعالى من نحو ما تقدم ذكره من التلاوة والإطعام والصدقة وإنشاد شيء من المدائح النبوية والزهدية المحركة للقلوب إلى فعل الخير والعمل للآخرة .

English:

“Shaykh al-Islam, the Hafiz of his age Abu ’l-Fadl Ibn Hajar [al-`Asqalani] was asked regarding commemorating the Mawlid and he replied in writing: The [legal] basis of commemorating the Mawlid is a newly enacted thing [the practice of which] has not been transmitted by the righteous predecessors of the first three generations. However, despite that, it involves good things and their opposites. Therefore, whoever looks for the good and avoids the opposites, then it is a good newly enacted matter.

He said:[6] It occurred to me to trace it to its established basis which has been confirmed in the two ‘authentic books’[7] that when the Prophet (SAW) arrived in Medina, he found that the Jews were fasting the day of `Ashura’ and he asked them about it and they replied: This is the day in which Allah drowned Fir`awn and saved Musa [AS], therefore we fast to show our gratitude to Allah (Most High!). From this it can be understood that thanks are being given to Allah (Most High!) on a specific day for his bestowal of bounty or [his] preventing indignity or harm and is repeated every year for the consideration of that day and thanks to Allah (Most high!) can be obtained through various acts of worship such as prostration, fasting, sadaqah or recitation of the Qur’an and what bounty is greater than the bounty of the advent of this Prophet, the Prophet of Mercy, on that day?

…This is regarding the basis of Mawlid. As for the activities done in it, it should be restricted to the things that express gratitude [and thankfulness] to Allah (Most High!), such as what has been previously mentioned such as reciting the Qur’an, eating food, giving charity, reciting poetry praising the Prophet or on piety that stirs the hearts and drives them to do good and deeds for the Hereafter.”[8]

 

And Allah alone knows best.


[1] Some Maliki scholars go so far as to say that the birth date of the Prophet is superior to Laylat al-Qadr as mentioned by al-Wansharisi in al-Mi`yar al-Mu`rab wa ’l-Jami` al-Mughrib fi Fatawa Ahl Ifriqiyyah wa ’l-Andalus wa ’l-Maghrib, vol.11, pp.280-285. The same point was echoed by the Maliki hadith master al-Kattani in al-Yumn wa ’l-Is`ad bi Mawlid Khayr al-`Ibad, p.21.

[2] See for example, Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali, Lata’if al-Ma`arif, p.185; Nur al-Din `Itr, al-Nafahat al-`Itriyyah fi Sirat Khayr al-Bariyyah, pp.5-6; al-Dadisi Muhammad al-Ghali, Laft al-Anzar ila Qurrat al-Absar fi Sirat al-Mushaffa` al-Mukhtar, pp.38-39 and al-Salihi, Subul al-Huda wa ’l-Rashad fi Sirat Khayr al-`Ibad, vol.1, p.403.

[3] One may refer to the work of `Abd Allah al-Ghumari entitled Husn al-Tafahhum wa ’l-Dark li-Mas’alat al-Tark for more on that usuli notion.

[4] See Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah, Iqtida’ Sirat al-Mustaqim, pp.294-295.

[5] See Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti, al-Hawi li’’l-Fatawa, vol.1, pp.251-252.

[6] That is, al-Suyuti.

[7] i.e. al-Bukhari and Muslim.

[8] See al-Suyuti, al-Hawi li ’l-Fatawi, vol.1, pp.254-255.

2 thoughts on “Q & A Mawlid

  1. Pingback: Ibn Taymiyyah – Scholar and Statesman Part 1 | دار نيـقـوسـيــا

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