Celebrating the Prophet’s Birthday
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 the Mawlid 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 the Sharia’ 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’ah rulings 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 the Sharia’ without any disapproval for the one who leaves it. The Sharia’ 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 Ummah cannot bring guidance better than what the first of this Ummah brought.
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 no Sharia’ 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 to gather 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:
‘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:
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:
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 first Ayah:
‘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 this Aayah:
<<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.)