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Excerpts from Works by a Numerous People of Knowledge
Translated & Compiled by Abbas Abu Yahya
The Salaf as-Salih Did Not Celebrate It
o Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymeeyah -Rahimullaah- said regarding theMawlid of the Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- :
‘The Salaf as-Salih did not do this even though they could have done it and there was no prevention in doing so. If the Mawlid was good or seen as beneficial the Salaf –Radi Allaahu anhum– would have had more of a right to it than us because they were the greatest in love for the Messenger of Allaah –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam– and in respect for him, compared to us, and were more concerned for goodness.
Indeed loving him completely and respecting him is by following him -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam-, obeying him and following his commands, reviving his Sunnah outwardly and inwardly and conveying what he was sent with, striving upon that with the heart, hand and tongue, as this was the way of the foremost to embrace Islaam from the Muhajireen, the Ansar and those who followed them in goodness.’
From: ‘Iqtida’ as-Siraat al-Mustaqeem’ Vol.2 p.619
o Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymeeyah -Rahimullaah- was asked, as occurs in ‘Fatawa al-Misreeyah’, regarding completing the Qur’aan every year on the night of the Mawlid of the Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- is that a recommended action or not?
‘All Praise belongs to Allaah, the gathering of people for food on the two Eids and the days of stoning in the Hajj is sunnah and is from the distinguishing features of Islaam which the Messenger of Allaah –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam– established as a Sunnah for the Muslims.
Helping and feeding the poor in the month of Ramadan is also from the Sunnan of Islaam. The Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam-said:
‘Whoever opens a fasting person’s fast then he has the reward similar to the fasting person.’
Giving the poor recitors what aids them in reciting the Qur’aan is a good action at all times, and whoever helps them in this shares in the reward.
As for taking a season other than the legislated seasons, like some of the nights of the month of Rabi al-Awwal- which it is said is the night of the Mawlid– or taking some of the nights of Rajab or the 18th of Dhul-Hijjah, the 1st Jumu’ah of Rajab or the 8th of Shawwal which the ignorant people call Eid al-Abrar then all of this is from Bida’ (innovations) which the Salaf neither recommended nor did.
From: ‘Rasil fee Hukm al-Ihteefal bil-Mawlid an-Nabawi’ Vol.2 p.429
Is it Obligatory or Recommended?
o The ‘Allaama Shaykh Taj-Uddeen Faakihanee who died in the year (734 A.H.) said in his unique booklet about this subject entitled: ‘al-Mawrid fee Amal al-Mawlid’ and this is its wording and text:
‘In The name of Allaah, The Most Kind and Most Merciful
Praise be to Allaah who guided us to follow the leader of the Messengers and supported us with the guidance to aid the Deen, Who made it easy for us to follow the Athaar of the Salaf as-Saliheen until our hearts filled up with the light of the knowledge of theSharia’ and the definite clear truth and Who purified our hearts from introducing new innovations and innovating in the Deen. I praise Allaah with what He has favoured us with of the light of certainty and I thank Him for what He has conferred on us holding on to the strong rope of the Deen.
I testify that none is worthy of worship except Allaah – Alone who has no partner- and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger, the leader of the earlier people and of those who came later. May Allaah send His prayers upon His Messenger, his Family, his Companions and his pure wives, who are the Mothers of the Believers, continuously until the day of Judgement.
Indeed a question has been repeated from a group of blessed people about a gathering which some of the people organize in the month of Rabi al-Awwal and they call it ‘al-Mawlid’:
Does it have an origin in the Sharia’?
Or is it a Bida’ and innovation in the Deen?
They wanted the answer to this to be clear and to clarify it specifically.
So I say – and success is with Allaah – :
I do not know of an origin for this Mawlid neither in the Book of Allaah nor in the Sunnah, nor was it narrated that any of the scholars of the Ummah performed it; those scholars who are an example for the Deen, holding on to the Athaar of the predecessors.
Rather, Mawlid is a Bida’, it was innovated by magicians; those parasites who followed their desires and became rich by it. The evidence for this is that if we applied the five types of Sharee’ahrulings to it we would say:
It is either obligatory (Waajib), recommended (Mandoob), permissible (Mubaah), disliked (Makrooh) or prohibited (Muharam)!!
By consensus it is neither obligatory nor recommended; because the reality of a recommended act is: an act which is sanctioned by theSharia’ without any disapproval for the one who leaves it. TheSharia’ did not give permission for the Mawlid and the Companions did not do it, neither the Tabieen nor the religious scholars – as far as I know.
This is my response to this before Allaah –Ta’ala – if I am asked about it.
Nor is it correct that it is permissible (Mubaah), because innovating in the Deen is not permissible – and all the Muslims are in agreement regarding this.
So nothing remains except that it is disliked (Makrooh) or prohibited (Muharam).’
From: ‘al-Hukm al-Haqq fee al-Hihteefal biMawlid sayyid al-Khalq’ p.11
Differing on the Date of Birth
o Ustadh Abu Abdullaah Muhammad al-Haffar – who died in the year (811 A.H.) as stated in the book ‘al-Ma’yeyar al-Ma’arab’ (7/99-101):
‘The Salaf as-Salih – and they are the Companions of the Messenger of Allaah –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam– and those who followed them – never used to gather on the night of the Mawlid for worship, they would not do anything on that night which they would not do on any other night of the year because the Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam-is not revered except due to that which the Sharia’ regards as reverential. Revering the Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- is from the greatest of ways of drawing closer to Allaah but drawing closer to Allaah – the Magnificent – is only with what He has legislated.
The evidence that the Salaf never used to do anything extra on that night – over what they did on any other night – is that they differed in the following:
It had been said: the Messenger of Allaah –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam– was born in Ramadan.
It had been said: in Rabia’ al-Awwal.
They differed regarding the day on which he was born with four different sayings!
So if there was worship that occurred due to the birth of the best of creation -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- on the night preceding the day on which he was born – then it would have been well-known and widespread and no difference would have occurred regarding it, but observing extra reverence was not legislated.
Do you not see that Friday is the best day upon which the sun rose?! And the best thing to do on the best day is to fast. Despite this, the Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- prohibited fasting on Fridays – even though it is an excellent day. So this indicates that no worship occurs for any time or place except that which is legislated and if it is not legislated, then it is not done, since the last of this Ummahcannot bring guidance better than what the first of this Ummahbrought.
If this door to unlegislated worship were opened then people would come and say: the day the Messenger migrated to Madeenah was the day Allaah honoured Islaam, so there should be a gathering and worship should be performed!
Others will say: the night on which the Messenger was taken on the night journey he received honour that cannot be valued! Then worship would be innovated on that night…..so, they would not stop at this.
And good – all of it – is in following the Salaf as-Salih; whom Allaah chose for Himself, so whatever they did we do and whatever they left we leave.
So if this is understood, then gathering on that night is not required by the Sharia’ rather it is commanded to leave it.’
From: ‘al-Hukm al-Haqq fee al-Hihteefal biMawlid sayyid al-Khalq’ p.14
Following the Salaf
o ‘Allaama Ibn al-Haaj who died in (737 A.H.) said in the book ‘al-Madkhal’ (2/11-12) – clarifying the ruling of performing al-Mawlid:
‘….that it is an addition to the Deen and is not from the actions of the Salaf of the past.
Following the Salaf takes precedence – rather it is more obligatory than intending increase to the Deen by opposing that what they were upon – because they were the greatest of the people in following the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam– and in proclaiming greatness for him and his Sunnah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam. The Salaf have the superiority and excellence of haste to the Sunnah and it is not narrated from anyone of them that the Messenger suggested observing the Mawlid.
We follow the Salaf; so what was permissible for them is what is permissible for us, and it is known that following them should be in following their sources and their pathways to watering holes.’
From: ‘al-Hukm al-Haqq fee al-Hihteefal biMawlid sayyid al-Khalq’ p.16
o Hafidh Abu Fadl bin Hajr al-Asqalani who died in the year (852 A.H.) said in his Fatawa about celebrating the Mawlid:
‘The origin of celebrating the Mawlid is a Bida’. It has not been conveyed from anyone from the Salaf as-Salih of the first three generations.’
From: ‘Hasan al-maqasid fee Amal al-Mawlid’ by Suyootee. & From: ‘Rasil fee Hukm al-Ihteefal bil-Mawlid an-Nabawi’ Vol.2 p.444
o As-Sakhawi said in his Fatawa:
‘Celebrating the noble Mawlid has not been conveyed from anyone of the Salaf as-Salih from the first three excellent generations, rather it was invented after them.’
From: ‘Subal al-Huda wa Rashad Fee Seerat Khair al-Abaad’ by Muhammad bin Yusuf Salih p.439 & From: ‘Rasil fee Hukm al-Ihteefal bil-Mawlid an-Nabawi’ Vol.2 p.444
Not From the Way of the Arabs
o As-Sayyid ‘Alee Fikri who died in the year (1372 A.H.) in the sixteenth lecture of the book ‘al-Muhadaraat al-Fikreeyah’ (p.128):
‘It was not from the ways of the Arabs that they would celebrate the date of birth of anyone from amongst them and it was not the way of the Muslims – in the times that have preceded.
It is mentioned in the books of history – and in other books – that the practice of celebrating the Mawlid of the Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- is from the innovated ways.’
From: ‘al-Hukm al-Haqq fee al-Hihteefal biMawlid sayyid al-Khalq’ p.17
o The ‘Allaama ash-Shaykh Abdul Lateef bin Abdur Rahman bin Hasan bin Imaam Muhammad bin AbdulWahhab said explaining the Da’wah of Imaam Muhammad bin AbdulWahhab:
‘Muhammad bin AbdulWahhab criticized what the people were doing in that and other countries, from proclaiming the greatness of the Mawlid and the Eid celebrations of Jahileeyah for which there was no revealed authority raising its status and for which there was noSharia’ evidence or proof; because in those celebrations and in their time and place is resemblance of the misguided Christians’ Eid celebrations and it is falsehood and rejected in the Sharia’ of the leader of the Messengers.’
Taken from ‘Majmoo’ ar-Risail wal-Masail an-Najdeeyah’ Vol.4 p.440 & ‘Durrar as-Saneeyah’ Vol.4 p.409 & From: ‘Rasil fee Hukm al-Ihteefal bil-Mawlid an-Nabawi’ Vol.2 p.438
The best of generations and the best of the people of knowledge did not celebrate the Mawlid
o Shaykh Zuhair ad-Deen Jafar at-Tazmantee who died in the year (682 A.H.) said clarifying the ruling of Mawlid:
‘This action was not performed by the Salaf as-Salih in the early period, even though they revered the Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam-greatly, those whose love for him was so great that if you were togather our love for him, it would not reach the amount of love of even one of them for him, not even a fraction of it.’
In this is a principle which is free from a need for elaboration and it is not in need of any form of evidence, since the Salaf were more knowledgeable and more pious, nobler and more guided.
From: ‘al-Hukm al-Haqq fee al-Hihteefal biMawlid sayyid al-Khalq’ p.18
o The Imam Ibn Katheer ad-Damishqi ash-Shaafia’e who died in the year (774A.H.) said in his ‘Tafseer’ (13/12)
Explaining the saying of Allaah Ta’ala:
<<And those who disbelieve (strong and wealthy) say of those who believe (weak and poor): ‘Had it been a good thing, they (weak and poor) would not have preceded us thereto!’ >> [al-Ahqaaf: 11]
‘Which means that they – the unbelievers – said about those who believed in the Qur’aan, ‘that if the Qur’aan was good then they would not have preceded us to it;’ meaning by this Bilaal, ‘Ammar, Suhaib, Khabbab – and their likes, their peers from the weak, the male-slaves and female slaves. That was only because they believed, with regard to themselves that they had a high rank with Allaah and that He had concern for them!! But they were mistaken, horrendously mistaken! They clearly erred!!
Just as Allaah Ta’ala said:
<< Thus We have tried some of them with others, that they might say: ‘Is it these (poor believers) that Allaah has favoured from amongst us?’ >> [An’aam: 53]
Which means: they are amazed; ‘How were these people guided and not us?!’ That is why the disbelievers said: << ‘Had it been a good thing, they (theweak and poor) would not have preceded us thereto!’>> [al-Ahqaaf: 11]
As for Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal-Jamaah they say about every action and statement – which is not proven from the Companions – that it is a Bida’, since if it was good they would have preceded us to it, because they did not leave anything of the qualities of good except that they hastened to it.’
From: ‘al-Hukm al-Haqq fee al-Hihteefal biMawlid sayyid al-Khalq’
Principles of Loving according to the Sharia’
The claim of those who celebrate Mawlid is that they do it due to the love of the Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam-. This is a false claim since the evidence for love is to follow and not to go beyond limits in matters just as Allaah Ta’ala said:
<< Say: ‘If you (really) love Allaah then follow me >> [Al-Imraan: 31]
And Allaah – Subhanahu – said:
<< So stand (ask Allaah to make) firm and straight (on the religion of Islaamic Monotheism) as you are commanded and those who turn in repentance (unto Allaah) with you, and transgress not. Verily, He is All-Seer of what you do. >> [Hud: 112]
Imaam Ibn Katheer said in his ‘Tafseer’ (1/358) explaining the firstAyah:
‘This Ayah is a ruling upon everyone who claims the love of Allaah – while he is not upon the way of the Prophet –that he is a liar in his claim unless he follows the legislation of Muhammad and the Prophetic religion in all his sayings and actions.
As is established in ‘the Saheeh’ on the authority of the Messenger of Allaah –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam– that he said: ‘Whoever does an action which we have not commanded then it will be rejected.’
This is why Allaah said <<Say: ‘If you (really) love Allaah then follow me>> [Al-Imraan: 31] which means: you achieve more than what you request due to your love for Him, which is Him loving you, which is greater than the former. Also, as some of the scholars and wise-people said: ‘The issue is not whether you love Him; rather the issue is whether you are loved.’
Al-Hasan al-Basri and others from amongst the Salaf have said: ‘A people claimed that they loved Allaah; so Allaah tried them with thisAayah:
<<Say: ‘If you (really) love Allaah then follow me, Allaah will love you and forgive you of your sins. And Allaah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.’>>[Al-Imraan: 31]’
Al-Qadi ‘Ayyaad mentioned in ‘Shifaa bi Haqqooq al-Mustafaa’ (2/24): ‘Know that whoever loves something then he follows it and he follows that which it agrees upon otherwise he will not be truthful in his love and will be a mere claimant.
So the one who is truthful in his love for the Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- is the one who makes those signs outwardly manifest; the first of which is taking the Messenger -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- as an example, implementing his Sunnah, following his sayings and actions, fulfilling his commands, keeping away from what he prohibited and to follow his character in ease and hardship and in times of strength and weakness.
The proof for this is Allaah’s -Ta’ala – saying: <<Say: ‘If you (really) love Allaah then follow me, Allaah will love you>> i.e. following what Allaah legislated above his own desires making his desires in agreement with it.
Allaah –Ta’ala- said: << and they have no jealousy in their hearts for that which they have been given (from the booty of Banî An-Nadîr), and give them (the emigrants) preference over themselves, even though they were in need of that. >> [Hashr : 9]’
From: ‘al-Hukm al-Haqq fee al-Hihteefal biMawlid sayyid al-Khalq’
All Praise belongs to Allaah, may His peace
and blessings be upon our final
Prophet Muhammad, his
family, his companions
and all those who
 Imaam Ibn Katheer mentioned his biography in ‘al-Bidaayah wan-Nihaayah’ (18/370): ‘Shaykh, al-Imaam, possessor of skills…..distinguished & advanced in the knowledge of Arabic grammar – & other sciences – …’
Ibn Farhoon al-Malikee said in ‘ad-Deebaaj al-Madhab’ (2/80): ‘He was a scholar, respected, had many skills in hadeeth, Fiqh, al-Usool, Arabic, literature….’
 Ustadh Muhammad bin Muhammad Makhloof mentioned in his biography in the book ‘Shajaratul noor az-Zakeeyah’ : (1/247) saying: ‘He was the Imaam of Garnaatah (a city in Andalus) he was its Muhaddith, its Mufti… he was a Faqihi, scholar, a righteous exemplary…’
Here we can say:
Every good is in the following of the Salaf * and every evil is in the innovations of the Khalaf
The transliteration of which is: ‘Kullu khairin fee ittiba’ man Salaf * wa Kullu Sharrin fee Ibtida’ man Khallaf’ (T.N.)
Al-Istiqaamah Issue No.3 – Rabî’ul-Awwal 1417H / August 1996
THE YEAR OF HIS NOBLE BIRTH
According to the most correct opinion of the Scholars, the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was born in the city of Makkah in the year of the Elephant (in the year 570 or 571CE), in the month of Rabee’ul-Awwal.1
THE DAY OF HIS NOBLE BIRTH
There is an agreement amongst the Scholars that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was born on a Monday, since he sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was asked about fasting on a Monday, and he said: “On that day I was born and on that day Revelation descended upon me.”2 However, as regards the exact date of his birth, then the Scholars have differed about this, although the majority of Scholars say that he sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was born on the 12th of Rabee’ul-Awwal.
Imaam an-Nawawee (d.676H) – rahimahullaah– said: “There is on agreement that he was born on Monday in the month of Rabee’ul-Awwal. There is a difference of opinion whether this day was the 2nd, 8th, 10th or 12th day of the month – and these ore the four most well-known opinions concerning this.”3
EVENTS AT THE TIME OF HIS BIRTH
Certain miraculous events are reported to have occurred at the time that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was born. However, most of them are not authentically related, rather they are da’eef (week) or mawdoo’ (fabricated) and therefore cannot be relied upon as decisive proof; such as the narration which relates that some of the galleries of Kisraa’s palace broke-up and collapsed, that the sacred-fire of the Magians died-out and that some of the churches on Lake Saawah collapsed and sank down.4 However, it is authentically related that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayi wa sallam said. “I am a result of the supplication of my father Ibraaheem and the glad-tidings brought by ‘Eesaa ‘alayhimus salaam. And my mother – when she bore me – saw that a light shone out from her, which lit up the palaces in Syria … “5
CELEBRATING THE DAY OF HIS NOBLE BIRTH
Imaam al-Faakihaanee (d.734H) – rahimahullaah -said:6
“Celebrating his birthday has no basis in the Book nor the Sunnah, nor is this action recorded from any one of the Scholars of this Ummah; those who are taken as examples to be followed and who cling to the narrations. Rather it is a bid’ah (innovotion), which was introduced by the (deviated) Battaaloon sect.7”
As regards to the origins of this newly-invented celebration, then some of the research Scholars have stated that the first person to innovate this practice was ‘Umar ibn Muhammad al-Mulaa in the city of Mawsil in Iraaq, during the fourth century, as is mentioned by the Imaam Abu Shaamah (d.665H).8 He was followed in this by the likes of Abul-Khattaab ‘Umar ibn Dihyaa: “who was employed in the west, then travelled to Syria, then he travelled to the city of Irbil in ‘Iraaq, during the fourth century, where he found its king Mudhaffarud-Deen ibn Zaynud-Deen showing a keen interest in the milaad (birthday) of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. So he composed a book for him called at-Tanweer fi Mawlidis-Siraajil-Muneer; so he recited this to the king who then rewarded him with one thousand deenaars.”9
Imaam Maalik (d.179H) – rahimahullaah – said:
‘Whosoever introduces into Islaam an innovation, and holds it to be something good, has indeed alleged that Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has betrayed his message. Read the saying of Allaah – the Most Blessed, the Most High:
“This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you and I have chosen for you Islaam as your religion.” [Soorah al-Maa’idah 5:3].
So that which was not part of the religion at that time, cannot be part of the religion today. And the last part of this Ummah cannot be rectified, except by that which rectified its first part.”10
Thus, had the practice of celebrating milaadun-Nabee (the birthday of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) been something praiseworthy then: “the Salaf (the Pious Predecessors) – may Allaah be pleased with them all – would have instituted it. For they were the ones having a greater love and honour for Allaah’s Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and a greater zeal for doing good. Indeed, the most perfect expression of love and honour for him is by following him, obeying him, carrying out his commands, upholding and reviving his Sunnah (guidance and example) – both inwardly and outwardly – and in spreading his message and striving in this, with the heart, the hand and the tongue. Such was the path of the Companions and those who followed them in goodness (i.e. beliefs and actions).”11
1. Refer to Taareekh (p.53) of Khaleefah ibn Khayaat, as-Seerah (1/167) of Ibn Hishaam and also Tabaqaatul-Kubraa (1/62) of Ibn Sa’d.
2. Related by Muslim (2/820) and Ahmad (5/297).
3. Tahdheeb Seeratun-Nabawiyyah (p.20) of Imaam an-Nawawee.
4. Munkar: Related by Imaam adh-Dhahabee in as-Seeratun-Nabawiyyah (pp. 11-14), who said: “This narration is munkar ghareeb (rejected).”
5. Related by al-Haakim in al-Mustadrak (2/600) and Ibn Katheer in al-Bidaayah wan-Nihaayah (1/229) who said: “Its isnaad is good and strong.” Refer to as-Saheehah (no.1545) of Shaykh al-Albaanee for a detailed discussion concerning its authenticity.
6. Al-Mawrid fi ‘Amalil-Mawlid (pp.21-22).
7. The Battaaloon: they are one of the deviated Baatiniyyah sects from the Faatimids – as al-Maqreezee says in al-Khatat (1/490).
8. In al-Baa’ith ‘alaa Inkaaril-Bida’ wal-Hawaadith (pp.23-24). Ibn al-Jawzee stated something similar in Miraatuz-Zamaan (8/310).
9. Al-Bidaayah wan-Nihaayah (13/144-145) of al-Haafidh Ibn Katheer.
10. Related by al-Qaadee ‘lyaadh in ash-Shifaa fee Huqooqil-Mustafaa (2/676).
11. Iqtidaa’us-Siraatul-Mustaqeem (p.295) of Ibn Taymiyyah
By the Shaykh – the noble Scholar – ‘Abdul-Azeez bin Baaz 
Al-Istiqaamah Issue No.3 – Rabî’ul-Awwal 1417H / August 1996
All praise is for Allaah and the blessing of Allaah and His peace be upon the Messenger, and upon his Family, his Companions and all those who follow his guidance. After that:
It is not permissible to celebrate Milaadun-Nabee (the birthday of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), nor the birthday of anyone else, since this is from the acts of bid’ah (innovations) that have been newly-invented into the religion. 2 Neither did Allaah’s Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, nor the Rightly-Guided Khaleefahs (Successors), nor the Companions, may Allaah be please with them all, nor any of their followers from the first three excellent generations, celebrate this day – and they were the most knowledgeable of people concerning the Sunnah (the Prophetic guidance), and had the greatest love for Allaah’s Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and were the foremost in following his Sharee’ah (Prescribed Laws).
It has been authentically established from the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam that he said: “Whosoever introduces into this affair of ours, that which is not part of it, will have it rejected.” 3
In another authentic narration, he sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “Hold fast to my Sunnah (guidance) and the way of the Rightly-Guided Khaleefahs after me, cling to it tightly. And beware of newly-invented matters, for every newly-invented matter is an innovation, and every innovation is misguidance.” 4
So these two narrations contain a strong warning against innovations in the religion, and acting upon them. This is why Allaah – the One free of all defects – says in His Clear Book:
“And whatever the Messenger gives you, take it. Whatever he forbids you from, then keep away from it.” [Soorah al-Hadeed 59:7].
Allaah – the Mighty and Majestic – said:
“Let those beware who withstand the command of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, unless some trials and afflictions befall them, or unless they are afflicted with a painful punishment.” [Soorah an-Noor 24:63].
Allaah – the Most High – said:
“And the first to embrace Islaam from the Muhaajirs and the Ansaar, and those who followed them in goodness, beliefs and actions. Allaah is well-pleased with them, and they are well-pleased with Him. He has prepared for them Gardens of Paradise, beneath which rivers flow, to live therein forever. That is the supreme achievement.” [Soorah at-Tawbah 9:100].
And Allaah – the Most High – said:
“This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen Islaam as your way of life.” [Soorah al-Maa’idah 5:3].
The verses with this meaning are plenty. So to accept this celebration, or any other newly-invented act of worship, implies that Allaah – the Most Perfect – did not complete and perfect the religion for this Ummah, and that the Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not completely convey to his Ummah what was necessary regarding their duties, until the advent of those who came later and innovated in the religion of Allaah that for which they had no permission, claiming that they would draw closer to Allaah by such innovations. And this – without doubt – is a great danger and amounts to criticising Allaah – the Most Perfect – and His Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. For Allaah – the One free from all defects – has indeed perfected this religion for His servants, and has completed His favour upon them. And the Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has clearly conveyed the Message, not leaving any way that leads to Paradise, nor any way that distances a person from the Fire, except that he explained it to his Ummah. This has been established in an authentic narration, from ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Amr radiallaahu ‘anhu, in which Allaah’s Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “Allaah did not send any Prophet except that it was his duty to inform his Ummah of the good that he knew, and to warn them about the evils that he knew.” 5
It is known that our Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is the best of all the Prophets and the last of them and the most perfect of them with regards to conveying the Message and advising the people. So if celebrating his milaad (birthday) was a part of the religion that Allaah – the Most Perfect chose, then the Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would have most certainly explained it to his Ummah, or he would have celebrated it himself, or his noble Companions radiallaahu ‘anhum would have celebrated it. However, since nothing like this happened, then we know that the celebration of milaad has nothing to do with Islaam whatsoever. Rather, it is from those innovations which the Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam warned his Ummah from, as has been shown in the preceding narrations.
There is another authentic narration similar in meaning to the two preceding ones, and it is his sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam’s saying in his Jumu’ah khutbah (Friday sermon): “Indeed the best speech is the Book of Allaah, and the best guidance and example is that of Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. And the worst affairs are the newly-invented ones, and every newly-invented matter is an innovation, and every innovation is misguidance.” 6
Due to this, a group of the Scholars rejected the practice of milaad and warned against it, acting upon the aforementioned proofs, and their like. However, some of the later Scholars differed, in that they have allowed such a practice, providing it does not entail any sinful and evil matters; such as exaggerating in the praise of Allaah’s Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, or free-mixing between men and women, or the playing of musical instruments and singing, and other such matters which are rejected by the pure Sharee’ah (Prescribed Law). They think that such a practice is a bid’ah hasanah (a good innovation in the religion). 7 However, the Sharee’ah principle is: whenever any dispute arises amongst the people, then the issue should be referred back to the Book of Allaah and to the Sunnah of His Messenger, Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Allaah – the Mighty and Majestic – said:
“O you who believe! Obey Allaah and obey the Messenger and those in authority amongst you. If you differ in anything amongst yourselves, then refer it back for judgment to Allaah and His Messenger, if you do truly believe in Allaah and the Last Day. That is better and more befitting for final determination.” [Soorah an-Nisaa 4:59].
Allaah – the Most High – said:
“And in whatever you differ, the judgement is with Allaah.” [Soorah ash-Shooraa 42:10].
So if we refer this issue – about the validity of celebrating milaad – back to the Book of Allaah, we find that the Book (i.e. the Qur’aan) commands us to follow the Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in that which he brought, and it warns us against that which he prohibited. It also informs us that Allaah – the Most Perfect – has perfected the religion of Islaam for this Ummah. Thus, from this angle, there is nothing in what the Messenger came with concerning this celebration, and therefore it cannot be part of the religion which Allaah perfected for us and ordered us to adhere to by following the Messenger.
Then if we turn to the Sunnah of the Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam we do not find in it that he sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam celebrated his own birthday, nor ordered its celebration, nor do we find any of the Companions radiallaahu ‘anhum celebrating it! Therefore, it will be absolutely clear to anyone who has the slightest insight and is desirous of truth and justice, that the practice of celebrating the Milaadun-Nabee (the birthday of the Prophet) is not part of t he religion, rather it is a bid’ah (innovation) which we have been warned against and ordered to abandon.
It is also a form of blind imitation of the Jews and Christians in their festivals. Therefore, the sensible person should not be deceived by the large number of people, from the various lands, who practice this, since the truth is not known by mere numbers, but the truth is known by the Sharee’ah proofs. Allaah – the Most High said concerning the Jews and the Christians:
“And they say: None shall enter Paradise unless he be a Jew or a Christian! These are their own desires. Say to them: Bring your proof if you are indeed truthful.” [Soorah al-Baqarah 2:111].
And Allaah – the Most High – said:
“And if you were to obey most of those on earth, they would mislead you far away from Allaah’s path.” [Soorah al-An’aam 6:116].
Most of these milaad celebrations – as well as being an innovation – involve other types of evils as well; such as the free-mixing between men and women, singing and playing musical instruments, and the drinking and smoking of intoxicants. There are in such celebrations, something which is worse than all this, and it is the greater form of shirk (associating partners in the worship of Allaah), through exaggerating about Allaah’s Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, or the dead awliyaa (pious servants of Allaah), by supplicating to them, seeking their aid and help, or by believing that they have the knowledge of the ghayb (hidden Unseen), and other such matters of kufr (disbelief). Whereas it is authentically related from Allaah’s Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam that he said: “Beware of ghuloo (exaggeration) in the religion. For indeed those who came before you were destroyed due to their exaggerating in the religion.” 8 And he ‘alayhis-salaatu was-salaam also said: “Do not over-elevate me as the Christians over-elevated Jesus, Son of Mary, but rather I am just a slave of Allaah. So call me the slave of Allaah and His Messenger.” 9
One of the strangest matters is that a great number of people who actively participate in this innovated celebration, and who defend it vigorously, do not take care of fulfilling those matters which Allaah has made obligatory upon them, such as praying the five daily Prayers, and this does not even bother many of them at all. Indeed many of them do not even think that they are committing a great sin! There is no doubt that this is due to their weak eemaan (faith) and their short sightedness and the Fact that their hearts are covered with the filth of sins and disobedience. We ask Allaah to protect and forgive us and all of the Muslims.
One of the strangest matters also is that some of them believe that Allaah’s Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is actually present at their milaad celebrations, so consequently the participants stand to greet and welcome him. However, this is from the greatest of lies and the worst form of ignorance, because the Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam shall neither come out of his grave before the Day of Judgement, nor will he meet anyone, nor attend their gatherings. Rather, he shall remain in his grave until the Day of Judgement, whilst his noble rooh (soul) resides in the highest of places with his Lord in the home of the exalted, as Allaah – the Most High – said:
“Then you shall surely die, then you shall be raised-up again on the Day of Resurrection.” [Soorah al-Mu’minoon 23:15-16].
The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “I will be the leader of the children of Aadam on the Day of Resurrection, and I will be the first for whom the earth will split open, and will be the first to intercede and the first whose intercession will be accepted.” 10
So this noble aayah (verse) and this noble hadeeth – and those verses and ahaadeeth with a similar meaning – prove that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and others that have also died, will only come out of their graves on the Day of Resurrection. And this is a matter about which there is an agreement amongst the Muslim Scholars, there being no difference between them. So it is a must upon every Muslim, to carefully consider these matters and to beware of those innovations and deviations that have been introduced by the ignorant ones and their like, for which Allaah has not sent down any authority. It is Allaah’s help that is sought, and He alone is relied upon, and there is no might, nor any power, except with Allaah.
As for sending the salaah and the salaam (invoking praises and blessings of peace) upon Allaah’s Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, then this is from one of the best ways of drawing closer to Allaah and from those actions which are righteous. Allaah – the Most High – said:
“Indeed Allaah sends His salaah upon the Prophet (i.e. Allaah praises the Prophet to the angels), as do the angels (by supplicating for forgiveness for him) O you who Believe! Send your salaah upon him and invoke the best salaam (blessings of peace) for him.” [Soorah al-Ahzaab 33:56].
The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “Whosoever sends a single blessing upon me, then Allaah will send upon him ten blessings.” 11 So this is prescribed at all times, particularly at the end of every Prayer. Rather, a group from the people of Knowledge actually consider it obligatory in the final sitting of every Prayer, and consider it highly recommended at other times, such as after the adhaan (call to Prayer), and after mentioning the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam’s name, and also on the day of Jumu’ah (Friday), as is proven by the various authentic narrations.
May Allaah help us and all the Muslims to attain a sound understanding of the religion, and that He favours us all by causing us to cling to the Sunnah and causing us to beware of bid’ah (innovations in the religion). Indeed He is the Most Generous, the Most Kind. And may the salaah and salaam (Allaah’s praises and blessings of peace) be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon his Family, his Companions and his followers.
1. At-Tahdheer minal-Bid’ah (pp.3-6) of Shaykh Ibn Baaz.
2. Ash-Shaatibee said in al-‘ltisaam (1/33), about the technical definition of the word bid’ah (innovations): “A newly invented way in the Religion, in imitation of, or corresponding to the Sharee’ah, through which nearness to Allaah is sought. Such action is not supported by any authentic proof – neither the action itself, nor the way in which it is performed.”
3. Related by al-Bukhaaree (2/166) and Muslim (5/133), from ‘Aaishah radiallaahu ‘anhaa.
4. Saheeh: Related by Ahmad (4/126) and Abu Daawood (no.4607), from al-‘lrbaad ibn Saariyah radiallaahu ‘anhu. It was declared authentic by al-Haafidh Ibn Hajr in Takhreej Ahaadeeth Mukhtasar-Ibnul-Haajib (1/137).
5. Related by Muslim in his Saheeh (no. 1844).
6. Related by Muslim (6/153), from Jaabir ibn ‘Abdullaah radiallaahu ‘anhu.
7. Refer to the following article in refutation of this concept.
8. Saheeh: Related by Ahmad (1/215) and Ibn Maajah (no.3064), from Ibn ‘Abbaas radiallaahu ‘anhu. It was authenticated by al-Haafidh Ibn Taymiyyah in Majmoo’ul-Fataawaa (3/383).
9. Related by al-Bukhaaree (no.3445) and Muslim (no.1691), from ‘Umar radiallaahu ‘anhu.
10. Related by Muslim (7/59), from Abu Hurayrah radiallaahu ‘anhu.
11. Related by Muslim (no.408), from Abu Hurayrah radiallaahu ‘anhu.
The Original State
Ibn Battah relates in Ibaanah (no.136), that the noble Scholar and taabi’ee. Abul-‘Aaliyah (d.90H) – rahimahullaah – said:
“Learn Islaam. Then when you have learnt Islaamic do not turn away from it to the right, nor the left. But be upon the Straight Path and upon the Sunnah of your Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and that which his Companions were upon and beware of these innovations because they cause hatred and enmity amongst you. But stick to the original state of affairs which was there before they divided.”
Q: My question is about celebrating the Mawlid (the Prophet’s birthday). In our locality there is a custom that after three days of a person’s death, the family of the deceased holds a celebration of the birthday of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Some people hold it one month or one year after a person’s death. They slaughter a cow or buy meat, prepare food and distribute it to the people of the village; afterwards, they hold a celebration of the birthday of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Is this permissible? Is it recommended to do this? Was it practiced by the Sahabah (Companions of the Prophet) or by anyone from the Salaf (righteous predecessors)? Please explain this issue, may Allah reward you with the best!
A: Celebrating the birthday of the Prophet (peace be upon him) is one of the Bid`ahs (innovations in religion) introduced into Islam. There is no difference between celebrating the birthday of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and other’s birthdays. The Prophet (peace be upon him) is the best of creatures and he is the teacher and advisor, yet he (peace be upon him) did not celebrate his birth. Similarly, his Rightly-Guided Caliphs did not celebrate his birthday, and the rest of Sahabah (may Allah be pleased with them all) who were the most knowledgeable, loved the Prophet (peace be upon him) more than anyone of us, and were the most well-informed of his Sunnah did not celebrate it. This indicates that this celebration is Bid`ah and all kinds of Bid`ah are deviation from the right way as stated by the Hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him): Every Bid‘ah is a Dalalah (deviation). The earliest and best three centuries of Islam passed and there was no celebration of the birthday of the Prophet (peace be upon him) during these times and, as far as we know, the Salaf did not celebrate it.
Fatwas > Al-Muharram Fatwas > Congratulations on the new year or the occasion of Mawlid
The first question of Fatwa no. 20795
Q 1: Is it permissible to congratulate non-Muslims on the occasion of the new Gregorian year, the new Hijri (lunar) year, and the Mawlid (the Prophet’s birthday)?
A: It is not permissible to offer congratulations on such occasions; for it is not Mashru‘ (Islamically permissible) to celebrate them.
May Allah grant us success! May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions!
Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’