Wednesday

MAWLID AL-NABI - 1




(Part – 1)

By Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani

Q: What is the truth about Milad? On the 12th of Rabi-Awwal Milad-un-Nabi is celebrated with great fanfare and Milad meetings are arranged. What is the ruling of Shariah regarding that?

A: The gatherings arranged to remember the birth of the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم ,  the mercy to the mankind, are called Milad gatherings. Remembering the life of Rasulullah صلى الله عليه و سلم and teaching others about it, is an act of great blessing and virtue. However all good deeds have to be performed according to the rules and guidelines established by the Shariah. To exceed them is a grave sin. For example reciting the Qur'an is a great act of virtue, but it is prohibited to do so while one is in ruku or sujud in prayers. Likewise, Salat is one of the most important acts of worship. Yet, it is haram to perform it at sunrise or sunset.

Similarly, there are rules governing the blessed remembrance of the Sirah. For example, this remembrance must not be associated with a particular day or month; it should be considered equally virtuous during every month of the year, every week of the month, and every day of the week. Also it can take any permissible form. For example you can arrange a reading of an authentic book on Sirah or have a lecture delivered by a scholar. Doing that is not only permissible but it will bring great reward. But it is important to stay away from the evils found in the prevalent Milad gatherings. Here are some of those evils: A particular date (12 Rabi-Awwal) has been designated for this remembrance. There is no evidence supporting this designation during the time of Sahaba (Companions), the tabiyeen (the generation that followed the companions) or taba-tabiyeen (the next generation). This designation is bida'a (innovation).

The element of showoff (riya) is commonly present in these gatherings. If someone does not attend these gatherings, he is looked down upon. Distribution of sweets is considered an indispensable part of the proceedings. To meet the expenses donations are collected from sometimes unwilling people who give money under social pressure. According to the Hadith it is not permissible to take any Muslim's money without his willingness.

Intermixing of men and women commonly takes place in these gatherings. People stay late at night in these meetings thereby missing the next morning's prayers.

The focus of the talks delivered there is very limited. Rasulullah
صلى الله عليه و سلم , has given guidance for every aspect of our life. These cover acts of worship, dealing with other people, morals and manners, social relationships, business dealings, etc. However, it has been observed that the prevalent Milad talks concentrate mainly or solely on the account of the birth of Rasulullah صلى الله عليه و سلم , and his miracles. They do not attempt to cover the vast teachings of Rasulullah صلى الله عليه و سلم , [Thus, not only the form of these meetings but also the message given by them is generally a distorted one. Translator.]

For these reasons one should refrain from the prevalent Milad gatherings. However if care is taken to avoid all of these evils and to follow the Shariah carefully, then a meeting organized to remember Rasulullah صلى الله عليه و سلم , with the sole purpose of seeking Allah's pleasure, will InshaAllah be a blessed event. And Allah knows best.




(Part - 2)

Scholars state that the first person to introduce the celebrating the Milad was the ruler of Irbil, Muzaffar ad-Din ibn Zain al-Din. This was six centuries after the period of prophet hood.

Allaamah Muizzuddin Hasan Khwaarzimi rah. states in his book, Al-Qawl al Mutamad:

- The Ruler of Irbal, King Muzaffar Abu Saeed Kaukari, was an irreligious and prodigal king. He ordered the scholars of his time to act according to their opinions and discard the practice of following any school of law. A group of learned men inclined towards him. He (this king) organized Mawlood sessions during the month of Rabi al Awwal. He was the first king ever to introduce this practice.

Ibn Kathir said in al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya (Beirut and Riyadh: Maktabat al-Ma`arif & Maktabat al-Nasr, 1966 ed. 13:136-137): "He (King Muzaffar) used to celebrate the noble Mawlid in Rabi` al-Awwal and organize huge festivities for it. He was a wise king, brave, a fierce fighter, intelligent, learned, and just (May Allah have mercy on him and ennoble his grave). Shaykh Abu al-Khattab ibn Dihya (Ibn Unain - Ibn Dihya) compiled for him a book on the Mawlid of the Prophet s.a.w and named it al-Tanwir fi Mawlid al-Bashir al-Nadhir ("The illumination concerning the birthday of the Bringer of glad tidings and Warner") and the king rewarded him with 1,000 dinars for it. His rule lasted until he died in the year 630 (Hijri) as he was besieging the French in the city of Acca (Acre, Palestine) after a glorious and blameless life."

Futher more, Ibn Kathir himself composed a text on Mawlid, made of hadiths, invocations of blessings on the Prophet s.a.w and poetry in praise of him. It is entitled Mawlid Rasulillah sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam, and was edited and published by Salah al-Din al-Munajjid (Beirut: Dar al-Kitab al-Jadid, 1961).

But about about Ibn Unain (Ibn Dihya), Ibn Kathir rah. has reported on the authority of As-Sabt say,

قال السبط: وقد كان كابن عنين في ثلب المسلمين والوقيعة فيهم، ويتزيد في كلامه فترك الناس الرواية عنه وكذبوه
(البداية والنهاية - 13 / 169دار إحياء التراث العربي)

Ibn Unain (Ibn Dihya) used to insult the Muslims and vilify them. He would make additions in his report and exaggerate. The people stopped narrating traditions from him and falsified him. (Al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya, 3/144-146)

Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani rah. also has commented on Ibn Unain (Ibn Dihya),

وكان ظاهري المذهب كثير الوقيعة في الأئمة وفي السلف من العلماء خبيث اللسان أحمق شديد الكبر قليل النظر في أمور الدين متهاونا
(لسان الميزان - 4 / 296مؤسسة الأعلمي للمطبوعات  بيروت)

He was a follower of the Zahiri school of thought and often slandered the scholars and the scholars of the past. He possessed an evil tongue and was stupid, self-conceited, lacked insight in religious matters, and looked down upon religion. (Lisan al-Mizan, 4/296)

The companions loved the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم the most yet they did not celebrate the mawlid. They remained alive after him for about a century, but despite their unparalleled and profound love towards the Holy Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم , they never celebrated his birthday. If the mawlid was a meritorious and divinely inspired act, then surely Rasulullah would have commanded the Ummah to celebrate it, or at least, either he or his noble Companions would have practiced on it. Since it cannot be substantiated by any action of theirs, it becomes crystal clear that celebrating the mawlid has absolutely no relationship with Islam and it is Bidaah (innovation).

There for, this will be bidaah hasanah and it is permissible if the gatherings are conducted at a random in which the love of Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم is discussed and people are encouraged to follow the Sunnah, as long nothing againts syariah like music, intermingling between man and woman which non-mahram, omiting compulsory prayers etc was having in such gatherings..

This ruling is derived from the following narration of Saheeh Al-Bukhari and Saheeh Muslim,

- حدثنا عمرو الناقد وإسحاق بن إبراهيم وابن أبى عمر كلهم عن سفيان قال عمرو حدثنا سفيان بن عيينة عن الزهرى عن سعيد عن أبى هريرة أن عمر مر بحسان وهو ينشد الشعر فى المسجد فلحظ إليه فقال قد كنت أنشد وفيه من (هو خير منك. (متفق عليه 

Abu Hurairah r.a narrates, Umar r.a once passed by Hassan r.a who was saying poetry in the Masjid. He glanced angrily towards Hassan r.a. Hassan r.a responded, I used to say poetry and in the Masjid there used to be one who is greater than you (meaning Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم). (Bukhari and Muslim)

As stated by al-Sayyid Muhammad al-Maliki in his Fatwa Hawl al-Ihtifal bi Dhikra al-Mawlid al-Nabawi al-Sharif_ (10th ed. p. 15): "The first to observe the celebration of the Mawlid was the Prophet s.a.w himself by fasting on Mondays because it was the day of his birth as narrated in Sahih Muslim. This is the soundest and most explicit textual proof for the licitness of commemorating the Noble Prophetic Mawlid." )

- حدثنا يعقوب بن إبراهيم قال حدثنا ابن علية عن عبد العزيز بن صهيب عن أنس عن النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم (ح) . وحدثنا آدم قال حدثنا شعبة عن قتادة عن أنس قال قال النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم : ( لا يؤمن أحدكم حتى أكون أحب إليه من والده وولده والناس أجمعين

None of you truly believes until I am more beloved to him than his father, his children and mankind in its entirety. (Bukhari 1/14 and Muslim 1/49)


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