8 common arguments for celebrating Mawlid an-Nabee and their responses

12 doubts for celebrating mawlid an-nabawi

In the name of Allaah; All Praise is due to Allaah; May peace and blessings be upon our beloved Prophet and those who follow his guidance until the Day of Resurrection.

Below are eight common arguments people often use to prove the validity of celebrating Mawlid an-Nabawi [1] followed by concise responses.

 

Doubt One: The Mawlid an-Nabawi is a Sunnah

Response: Anything which is a Sunnah of the Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) must be implemented, and its legislation accepted. Allaah (the Most High) said,

{Say, ‘Obey Allah and the Messenger.’ But if they turn away – then indeed, Allah does not like the disbelievers} [03:32]

Also, the Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) ordered us to follow his Sunnah and the Sunnah of his companions. He said:

 Upon you is my Sunnah, and the Sunnah of the Righteous Guided Caliphs [2]

It is very easy to verify the above doubt by simply asking for evidences from the Sunnah showing the Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) celebrating his own birthday. Unfortunately for those who make this claim, there is no evidence which supports it.

 

Doubt Two: 12th Rabee’ al-Awwal is the day the Prophet was born, and we are merely showing happiness to Allaah and His Messenger

Response: No doubt it is an obligation upon every Muslim to be happy with the sending of the Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam), just as every Muslim must feel sadness upon his death. However, it has not been authentically established that he was born on the 12th of Rabee’ al-Awwal. Rather it has been narrated by various scholars that he died on this very day.

Al-Haafidh Ibn Hajr said: “His death was on Monday without any disagreement in Rabee’ al-Awwal. This is almost a unanimous agreement… and then according to Ibn Is.haaq and the majority of the scholars that it was on the twelfth of [the month].” [3]

There is nothing mentioned in the books of Hadeeth proving that the Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) was born on 12th Rabee’ al-Awwal. Rather a large number of different opinions are mentioned in the books of history. [4]

In any case, Allaah did not order His slaves to specify the day of Mawlid with happiness and festivities – just as He did not order for this day to be taken as a day of mourning and sadness. The companions did not specify this day after the Prophet as a day of happiness just as they did not specify this day for sadness.

 

Doubt Three: The Prophet mentioned his birthday; he said regarding fasting on Mondays, ((It is the day I was born)) [5]

Response: The Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) did not make a mention of his birthday in this Hadeeth. A birthday is the specific day and year a person was born in. He merely mentioned that he was born on Monday without mentioning a date, month or year.

Also, the companions (may Allaah be pleased with them) did not understand from the mentioned Hadeeth that we should specify and celebrate the 12th of Rabee’ al-Awwal as the Mawlid.

In fact, the act of celebrating this day is in opposition to this very Hadeeth. This Hadeeth shows us the recommendation of fasting every Monday, as the Prophet would do. However, those who celebrate the Mawlid leave off fasting on this day and instead celebrate it and eat food one day a year.

 

Doubt Four: Many miracles took place on the day the Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) was born, this shows we should celebrate it.

Response:  A simple question is asked, were the companions of the Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) aware of these miracles that had taken place? If the answer is yes they were aware of these miracles – and it is hoped nobody would say they were ignorant about them – then why did they not celebrate his birthday?

Either they did not attach any importance to his birthday and thus did not celebrate it, or the answer is they did celebrate it. In that case, evidence needs to be provided supporting this – and there is no evidence.

Doubt Five: Celebrating the birthday of the Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) is an act of love, and whoever does not celebrate it shows his lack of love of the Prophet and bad manners

Response: From the core pillars upon which the Islaam of a person is based is loving the Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam). However how is this love to be demonstrated?

Is it by innovating in the religion that which the Prophet (Sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) did not do? Is it by doing actions of “love” that his companions did not do? Is it by opposing his saying:

Indeed every innovation is a misguidance, and every misguidance is in the Fire [6]

Whoever turns away from my Sunnah is not from me [7]

Or rather is the love of Allaah and His Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) demonstrated through following his Sunnah and abandoning innovations. Allaah (the Most High) said,

{Say: If you truly love Allaah then follow me; He will love you and forgive your sins} [03:31]

Also, if not celebrating Mawlid an-Nabawi is bad manners, then does this mean the respected companions also showed bad manners to the Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) by not celebrating it?

Doubt Six: The Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) will save us from the Fire and therefore we should celebrate his birthday

Allaah is the One who controls who is admitted to Paradise and who is admitted to the Fire; this is not to be ascribed to the Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) nor anybody else. Allaah (the All Mighty) said, whilst addressing His Prophet:

{Then, is one who has deserved the decree of punishment [to be guided]? Then, can you save one who is in the Fire?} [39:19]

So the one who saves us from the Fire is Allaah – alone He has no partners – and as for the Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam), then he was sent to convey the message of Allaah, as a bearer of glad tidings and a warner of a painful punishment. Allaah will honour the Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) with the intercession of the Day of Resurrection, however the intercession of the Prophet will only be for the people of Tawheed.

Doubt Seven: What is wrong with reciting the Qur’an, being happy and sending salaam upon the Prophet? This is what we do in the Mawlid.

Response: There is nothing wrong with reciting the Qur’an nor sending Salaam upon the Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam). Rather, both are from the most rewarding acts of worship. However, the innovation is in specifying a day, time or place for these acts of Worship which were not specified by the Prophet.

The Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) said:

Whoever innovated an action into this affair of ours (i.e. Islaam), it will be rejected [8]

Therefore, specifying a day or date for these acts of Worship is an innovation and therefore rejected by Allaah – even if the original actions or reciting the Qur’an and sending Salaam upon the Prophet are good.

Secondly, it is wrong to say that the Mawlid is merely Qur’an, happiness and Salaam. Rather, food, music, shirk, marching in the street and free mixing often takes place.

 

Doubt Eight: Celebrating Mawlid an-Nabawi is a good innovation, a ‘bid’ah hasanah’

Response: This doubt is in itself a contradiction to the first doubt that the Mawlid is a Sunnah. If it is an established Sunnah then it cannot be a Bid’ah – good or otherwise, and also vice versa. Therefore those who celebrate the Mawlid must decide whether it is a Sunnah or a Bid’ah Hassanah (a good innovation).

Regarding this doubt, there is nothing in the religion of Islaam that can be classified as a good innovation. Rather all innovated acts of Worship are deemed as evil, as it necessitates changing and adding to the religion of Allaah.

Also, had it been a good innovation, why was it never known until the sixth century? Why was it never “innovated” by the companions, despite them being the most loving of people towards the Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam). Neither was it done by the great Imaams, scholars and Jurists of the first three centuries such as Abu Haneefah, Maalik, Shaafi’ee, Ahmed Ibn Hanbal, Bukhaaree, Muslim and the other scholars.

Had there been any goodness in the Mawlid, surely the great Imaams and scholars of the early generations would have also celebrated it.

May Allaah guide us all to the love of the Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam), implementing his Sunnah and avoiding all innovations. May peace and blessings be upon our beloved Prophet, his family and companions. [9]

 

Written by:

Abul Abbaas Naveed Ayaaz
3rd Rabee’ al-Awwal 1435h, corresponding to 4th January 2014
Nelson, Lancashire.

 

Footnotes:

[1] Al-Mawlid an-Nabawi is the Arabic term for specifying a particular day in a year in celebrating the birthday of the Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam), just as the Christians specify 25th December to celebrate the birthday of Prophet ‘Eesa. The day specified is 12th Rabee’ al-Awwal.

[2] Narrated by ‘Irbaadh ibn Saariyah ; Collected by Abu Dawood & Tirmidhee

[3] Al-Haafidh Ibn Hajar; Fat.h al-Baaree 7/736

[4] Refer to the following article for a more detailed analysis of the opinions regarding the birth of the Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam): http://www.madeenah.com/was-the-prophet-born-on-the-12th-of-rabee-al-awwal/

[5] This hadeeth is narrated by Abu Qataadah and compiled by Muslim. A Bedouin came to the Prophet and asked him about fasting on Monday, to which the Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) replied,

That is the day I was born on, and the day that the revelation began

[6]  Narrated by ‘Irbaadh ibn Saariyah ; Collected by Abu Dawood & Ibn Maajah

[7]  Narrated by Anas Ibn Maalik; Collected by Bukhaaree & Muslim

[8] Narrated by ‘Aaisha; Collected by Muslim

[9] These doubts were mentioned by al-Habeeb Ali al-Jifree, the well w caller to Shirk and innovations. Please refer to: ar-Radd Ash-Shaafee ‘alaa al-Jifree by Shaykh ‘Aadil al-Furaydaan. In it, he refutes the doubts of al-Jifree regarding Mawlid an-Nabawi.

An online pdf version is available from: http://ia600406.us.archive.org/4/items/zaq24/zaq24.pdf

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Abul Abbaas, Naveed Ayaaz

He is a graduate of the Islaamic University of Madeenah, having graduated from the Institute of Arabic Language, and later the Faculty of Sharee'ah in 2010. He currently resides in Nelson, Lancashire.

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