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Mawlid an-Nabi

Imam Al-Suyuti

In Al hawi lil fatawi, Al-Suyuti wrote a special chapter entitled, "The Good Intention in Commemorating the Mawlid," at the beginning of which he said,

"There is a question being asked about commemorating the Mawlid of the Prophet in the month of Rabi' al Awwal: What is the religious legal ruling in this regard? Is it good or bad? Does the one who celebrates get reward or not?' The answer according to me is as follows: To commemorate the Mawlid, which is basically gathering people togoether, reciting parts of the Qur'an, narrating stories about the Prophet's birth and the signs that accompanied it, their serving food, and afterwards departing is one of the good innovations; and the one who practices it gets rewarded, because it involves venerating the status of the Prophet and expressing joy for his honorable birth."

Ibn Taymiyya
Ibn Taymiyya's opinion about Mawlid from the Collected Fatwas, Majma' Fatawa ibn Taymiyya (vol. 23, p. 163) and his lqtida' al-sirat al-mustaqim (p. 294-295) in the section entitled "The innovated festivities of time and place" (ma uhditha min al-a'yad al-zamaniyya wa al-makaniyya):

"And similarly what some people innovate by analogy with the Christians who celebrate the birth of Jesus, or out of love for the Prophet and to exalt him, and Allah may reward them for this love and effort, not on the fact that it is an innovation... To celebrate and to honor the birth of the Prophet and to take it as an honored season, as some of the people are doing, is good and in it there is a great reward, because of their good intentions in honoring the Prophet."

Ibn Kathir
Ibn Kathir says in his book Mawlid Rasul Allah (p. 19):

"The Night of the,Prophet's birth is a magnificient, noble, blessed and holy night, a night of bliss for the believers, pure, radiant with lights, and of immeasurable price."

Hafiz Ibn Hajar al-Haythami
In the same source previously mentioned, al-Suyuti said,

"Someone asked Ibn Hajar about commemorating the Mawlid. Ibn Hajar answered, 'Basically, commemorating the Mawlid is an innovation that has not been transmitted by the righteous Muslims of the first three centuries. However, it involves good things and their opposites, therefore, whoever looks for the good and avoids the opposites then it is a good innovation.' It occurred to me (Suyuti) to trace it to its established origin, which has been confirmed in the two authentic books: al Salihain. When the Prophet arrived in Medina he found that the Jews fast the day of 'ashura; when he inquired about it they said, 'This is the day when Allah I drowned the Pharaoh and saved Moses, therefore we fast it to show our gratitude to Allah .' From this we can conclude that thanks are being given to Allah on a specific day for sending bounty or preventing indignity or harm. What bounty is greater than the bounty of the coming of this Prophet , the Prophet of Mercy, on that day?"

"This is regarding the basis of Mawlid. As for the activities, these should consist only of things that express thankfulness to Allah, such as what has been previously mentioned: reciting Qur'an, eating food, giving charity, reciting poetry, praising the Prophet e or on piety which moves hearts and drives them to do good and work for the Hereafter."

These are the derivations that those opposed to Mawlid call false conclusions and invalid analogies.

Imam Mohammed bin Abu Bakr Abdullah al Qaisi al Dimashqi
He wrote

"Jami' al athar fi mawlid,"
"Al nabiy al mukhtar, "
"Al lafz al ra'iq fi mawlid khayr al khala'iq,"
"Mawlid al sa'ada fi mawlid al hadi."

Imam Al 'Iraqi
He wrote

"Al Mawlid al heni fi al mawlid al sani."

Mulla 'Ali Al Qari
He wrote

"Al mawlid al rawi fil mawlid al nabawi."

Imam Ibn Dahiya
He wrote

"Al Tanweer fi mawlid al basheer al nadheer."

Imam Shamsu Din bin Nasir al Dimashqi
He wrote

"Mawlid al sa'ada fi mawlid al hadi."

He is the one who said about the Prophet's estranged uncle, Abu Lahab,

"This unbeliever who has been disparaged, 'perish his hands', will stay in Hell forever. Yet, every Monday his torment is being reduced because of his joy at the birth of the Prophet. How much mercy can a servant expect who spends all his life joyous about the Prophet and dies believing in the Oneness of Allah ?"

Imam Shamsu Din Ibn Al Jazri
He wrote

"Al nashr fil qira'at al 'ashr, 'urf al ta'reef bil mawlid al shareef."

Imam Ibn al Jawzi Imam Ibn al Jawzi
He said about the honorable Mawlid,

"It is security throughout the year, and glad tidings that all wishes and desires will be fulfilled."

Imam Abu Shama Imam Abu Shama (Imam Nawawi's shaykh)
In his book al ba'ith ala Inkar al bida' wal hawadith (p. 23) he said,

"One of the best innovations in our time is what is being done every year on the Propliet's birthday, such as giving charity, doing good deeds, displaying ornaments, and expressing joy, for that expresses the feelings of love and veneration for him in the hearts of those who are celebrating, and also, shows thankfulness to Allah for His bounty by sending His Messenger the one who has been sent as a Mercy to the worlds."

Imam al Shihab al Qastallani (al Bukhari's commentator)
In his book Al mawahib al ladunniya (p. 1-148) said,

"May Allah I have mercy on the one who turns the nights of the month of the Prophet's e birth into festivities in order to increase the suffering of those whose hearts are filled with disease and sickness."

There are others who wrote and spoke about Mawlid, such as Imam al Sakhawi, Imam Wajihu Din bin 'Ali bin al Dayba' al Shaybani al Zubaidi, and many more, which we will not mention due to the limited space available.

From these many evidences, it should be clear by now that celebrating the Mawlid is highly commendable and allowed. Surely we cannot simply shrug off as heretics the scholars and dignitaries of this nation who approved the commemoration of the Mawlid and wrote countless books on the subject. Are all these scholars, to whom the whole world is indebted for the beneficial books they have written on Prophetic sayings, jurisprudence, commentaries, and other sorts of knowledge, among the indecent who commit sins and evil? Are they, as those opposed to Mawlid claim, imitating the Christians in celebrating the birth of Jesus? Are they claiming that the Prophet e did not convey to the nation what they should do?

We leave answers to these questions up to you. We must continue to examine the errors which those opposed to Mawlid utter.
They say, "If celebrating the Mawlid is from the religion, then the Prophet would have made it clear to the nation, or would have done it in his lifetime, or it would have been done by the Companions."
No one can say that the Prophet did not do it out of his humbleness, for this is speaking evil of him, so they cannot use this argument. Furthermore, that the Prophet e and his Companions did not do a certain thing does not mean they made that thing prohibited.
The proof is in -the Prophet's saying, "Whoever establishes in Islam, a good practice......" cited earlier. This is the strongest evidence that gives encouragement , to innovate whatever practices have foundations in religious law, even if the Prophet and his Companions did not do them.

Al Shafi'i said,
"Anything that has a foundation in religious law is not an innovation even if the Companions did not do it, because their refraining from doing it might have been for a certain excuse they had at the time, or they left it for something better, or perhaps not all of them knew about it."

Therefore, whoever prohibits anything based on the concept that the Prophet did not do it, his claim has no proof and must be rejected.
Thus, we say to the rejecters of Mawlid: Based on the rule you have attempted to found, that is, that whoever does anything that the Prophet or his Companions did not do is committing innovation, it would follow that the Prophet did not complete the religion for his nation, and that the Prophet did not convey to the nation what they should do. No one says this or believes this except a heretic defecting from the religion of Allah 1.

To the doubters of Mawlid we declare, "Based on what you say, we convict you," for you have innovated in the basics of worship a large number of things that the Prophet did not do nor did his Companions, the Generation after the Companions, or the Generation after them.

For instance,
--Congregating people behind one Imam to pray salat al tahajud after salat al tarawih, in the two Holy Mosques and other mosques.
--Reciting the prayer of completion of the Qur'an in salat al tarawih and also in salat al tahajud. 
--Designating the 27th night of Ramadan to complete reading the entire Qur'an in the two Holy Mosques. 
--A caller saying, after salat al tarawih, in the Qiyam prayer, "May Allah reward you."
--The saying: "Oneness of Allah Is divided into three parts: Oneness of Godhood; Oneness of Lordship and Oneness of of the Names and Attributes." Is this found in a hadith, the statements of the companions or the statements of the four imams?
--Founding organizations which did not exist in the time of the Prophet, such as Islamic universities, societies for committing the Qur'an to memory, and offices for missionary work.

Courtesy of Muslim Publications.

2007 ISRA Media Works