Friday, April 07, 2006


Every year, when the Islamic month of Rabiulawal comes around once again, bringing in its train the night of the 12th, it seems to us as if the whole world is perfumed by the memory of the birth of the Final Messenger, may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him.

Countless millions of Muslims in every corner of the earth fix their thoughts on his birth, by re-reading his biography (eg Marhaban, and reading the various Maulid texts) and learning from unique values and qualities.

Of late in Malaysia, some quarters influenced by the Wahhabis, are questioning the celebration of Maulidur-Rasul, as it is known in the Malay world. They claimed that it is an act of innovation or bida'a. Various publications filled with lies and deception which misled many Muslims into thinking negatively about the Maulid.

Their claims are far from the truth, and it is therefore necessary for those who can speak clearly to help clarify and reverse the doubts surrounding this most blessed day.

Should we celebrate Maulid? YES WE SHOULD CELEBRATE IT EVERY YEAR.

Sheikh Ibn Hajar Al Asqalani, the commentator on Al Bukhari, said, "Anything that did not exist during the Prophet's time is called innovation, but some are good while others are not."

Imam Albayhaqi narrated in Manaqib Ash-Shafie that Ash-Shafie said, "Innovations are of two types: that which contradicts the Qur'an, the Sunnah, or unanimous agreement of the Muslims is a innovation of deception, while a good innovation does not contradict any of these things."

Al'Izz bin Abussalam said, at the end of his book, Al Qawa'id, "Innovation is divided into obligatory, forbidden, recommended, disagreeable and permissible, and the way to know which is which is to match it against the religious law."

It is cristal clear that from the opinions of these righteous scholars, that to define innovations in worship as wholly negative without exception is ignorant. For these pious knowers, among them Imam Nawawi and Ash-Shafie, declared that innovations could be divided into good and bad, based on their compliance or deviance with religious law.

Moreover, the following Prophetic saying is known even to common Muslims, let alone scholars: "He who inaugurates a good practice (sunnatun hasana) in Islam earns the reward of it, and of all who perform it after him, without diminishing their own rewards in the least." Therefore it is permissible for a Muslim to originate a good practice, even if the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) did not do it, for the sake of doing good and cultivating the reward.

The meaning of a good practice (sanna sunnatun hasana) is to establish a practice through personal reasoning (ijtihad) and derivation (istinbat) from the rules of religious law ot its general texts. The actions of the Prophet's companions and the generation following them (in celebrating Maulid) is the strongest evidence.

Furthermore, that the Prophet and his companions did not do a certain thing does not mean they made that thing prohibited. Therefore, whoever prohibits anything based on the concept that the Prophet did not do it, his claim has no proof and must be rejected.

Let us join millions of our Muslim brothers and sisters all over the world to celebrate Maulid (12 rabiulawal/April 11 in Malaysia).

May the blessings of Allah be upon you.


Anonymous said...

A Discussion of Milad and Bid'ah

[Note: Although the question does not address the issue of Milad from a fiqh point of view, but only from a historical point of view, yet it is also important to examine the issue in that context. For the most important question for a Muslim has to be whether or not a particular act is permissible according to the Shariah, which is derived from Qur'an, Sunnah, and the practice of the Sahabah, as they understood the Sunnah. The following provides that perspective.]

The establishment of ceremonial gatherings under the banner of "Eid-Milad-un-Nabee" and attaching religious significance to them is purely bid'ah and an innovation in Deen, because neither did Rasulullah himself indulge in it, nor did the illustrious Khulafaa-e-Raashideen, Radi-Allahu anhum, organize such functions. Similarly, neither did any of the other Sahaaba-e-Kiraam, Radi-Allahu anhum, participate in such gatherings, nor is there any incident on record during the blessed era of the taabi’een or tab’e taabi’een (Rahmat-u-Allahi alayhim) that can, in any way, substantiate this innovation. These people were best acquainted with the Sunnah of Rasulullah and had total love for him. They were staunch followers of the Shariah.

Rasulullah has in no unclear terms, said: "Whoever introduces anything that is not part of Deen, into this Deen of ours, it shall be rejected." (Bukhari/Muslim)

In another Hadith he says: "Hold fast onto my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the rightly-guided Khulafa, after me. Hold fast onto it firmly, and beware of newly-introduced practices, for every new practice is an innovation and every innovation leads one astray." (Abu Dawood/Tirmizi)

Severe warnings have been sounded in the above-mentioned Ahadith with regard to introducing and implementing innovations in Deen. The holy Qur’an enjoins: "And whatsoever the messenger giveth you, take it. And whatsoever he forbiddeth, abstain (from it). And keep your duty to Allah. Lo! Allah is stern in reprisal." [Al-Hashr 59:7]

"Verily in the messenger of Allah, ye have a good example for him who looks unto Allah and the last day, and remembers Allah much." [Al-Ahzab 33:21]

"This day have I perfected your religion for you and completed my favor unto you, and have chosen for you a religion, al-Islam." [Al-Maidah 5:3]

There are numerous other Ayat and Ahadith that can be quoted. But from no Ayat or Ahadith can the current form of "Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabee " be proved.

Will such innovations grant proximity to Allah Taala? On the contrary, these innovations should be a cause of great concern and alarm for the Ummat-e-Muslimah!

It is a known fact that Rasulullah is the most superior of all the Ambiyaa alaihimus-salaam and also that he is the seal of all the prophets alayhimus-salaam. He left no stone unturned in conveying Deen to us and rendering precious advice to us. If the "Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabee " was a divinely inspired act, then surely Rasulullah would have commanded the Muslims to it, or at least, either he or his beloved Sahabah, Radi-Allahu anhum, would have practiced it.

That is why, in the light of these unambiguous proofs, the Ulama-e-Haqq have always refuted and rejected the customary form of "Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabee " and Mahfeel-e-Milad and have also always discouraged people from participating in such gatherings.

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Some Wrongs of the Contemporary Milad Gatherings

The contemporary form of Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabee apart from being a manifestation of Bid’ah, also encompasses other evils such as the intermingling of sexes, usage of musical instruments and many other such evils. The most abhorring and shocking evils in these functions are the acts of shirk that take place. With hollow claims of "Hubbe-Rasul " (love for Rasulullah ) entreaties and supplications are made to beings other than Allah, namely to Ambiyaa alaihimus-salaam and Auliaa-e-Kiraam Rahmat-u-Allahi-alaaihim.

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The Belief that the Prophet Comes to the Milad Meeting

Some people also believe that Rasulullah comes to this function and due to this belief, they stand up in respect and veneration. This is absolutely untrue. Rasulullah does not arrive at any "Eid-e-Milad-un Nabee " function. He is in his Rawdha-e-Mubarak (grave) at Madinah Munawwarah and will emerge from it at the onset of Yawmul-Qiyaamah, or the Day of Judgement.

The following Ayat and Hadith testify to this fact: The Qur’an, addressing Rasulullah announces explicitly: - "Lo! Thou wilt die, and Lo! They will die. Then Lo! On the day of resurrection, before your sustainer, you will dispute." [Az-Zumar 39:30-31]

At another place, Rasulullah is addressed together with the rest of mankind: - "Then Lo! After that you surely die, then Lo! On the day of resurrection you are raised (again)" [Al-Muminun 23:16]

Rasulullah himself has said in a Hadith: - "My grave will be the first to be opened on the day of Qiyamah and I shall be the first person to intercede and the first person whose intercession shall be accepted."

These Ayat and Hadith as well (and there are others) prove that all of mankind will be raised from their graves on the day of Qiyamah, with Rasulullah being no exception. On this, there is consensus of the entire Ummah.

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The Importance of Durood and Salaam

Instead of squandering our money and time on futile acts of Bid'ah let us rather utilize our precious time, as much as possible in the recitation of Durood and salaam upon our beloved Rasulullah which is indeed, a highly meritorious and virtuous act. The Qur’an enjoins: - "Lo! Allah and his Angels shower blessings on the Nabee 'O' ye who believe ask for the descent of blessings on him and salute him with a worthy salutation." [Al-Ahzab 33:56]

Rasulullah has said: "Whosoever sends one Durood upon me, Allah Taala will shower ten mercies upon him." (Muslim). Particularly on Jumuah, one should increase the recitation of Durood and salaam.

[Mufti Ebrahim Desai FATWA DEPT. Jamiat Ulema Islam. South Africa]

Anonymous said...

Fatwa Regarding Milad

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, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, the mercy to the mankind, are called Milad gatherings. Remembering the life of the Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, 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. The Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, 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 the Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, and his miracles. They do not attempt to cover the vast teachings of the Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam. [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 the Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, with the sole purpose of seeking Allah's pleasure, will Insha-Allah be a blessed event. And Allah knows best.

Written: Muhammad Abdul Muntaqim Sylheti (Darul-Ifta, Darul-uloom Karachi)

Anonymous said...

Where it all begin -The Inventor and Innovator of Milad un-Nabi (peace be upon him)
Ibn Katheer and Ibn Hajr
As regards the celebration of the birthday of the Messenger (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam), the scholars have clearly stated that the person who first introduced this innovation (bid'a) was Muzaffar ad-Din ibn Zain al-Din, the ruler of Irbil. "He was a prodigal monarch. He commanded the scholars of his time to follow the conduct based on their own derivation and independent thinking (ijtihad), and that they should not follow any school of law of any master except their own. A group of scholars and a body of the servants inclined towards him. He used to celebrate the birthday of the first monarch to introduce this practice among the Muslims"[1] He used to spend one hundred thousand (dirhams) on the celebration of the birthday of the Messenger (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam) every year.[2] His assistant and helper in this innovation was Abdul Khattab Umar b. Dihya. "He was employed in the Maghrib, then travelled to Syria, then to Iraq, and then went to Irbil in 604 A.H. and found its monarch Muzaffar al-Din b. Zain al-Din who took keen interest in celebrating the birthday of the Messenger (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam). He composed a book for him al-Tanwir fi Maulid al-Siraj al-Munir and recited it to him. He rewarded him with one thousand dinars."[3]

Ibn Kathir has reported on the authority of al-Sabt about Ibn Dihya: "Ibn Unain used to defame the Muslims and disparage them. He would make additions in his report and exaggerate. So the people gave up narrating traditions from him and falsified him. Kamil was favouring him. When his conduct was disclosed to him, he withdrew Dar-al-Hadith from him and disgraced him."[4]

We give below the resume of Ibn Hajar al-Asqalanl's comments on him: "He was a liar, lied frequently, and a fabricator. He often slandered the scholars and the jurists of the past, used evil toungue, self-conceited, lacked insight in religious matters, and looked down upon religion. This has been reported from al-Hafiz Diya. He further says: Ali b. al-Hussain Abul Ali al- Isbahan narrated to me - it is enough to mention his name as an authority - when Ibn Dihya came to us in Isbahan, he stayed with my father in the hospice. He honoured and respected him very much. One day he came to my father with a carpet. He kissed it and placed it before him saying, "I offered such and such thousand rak'ahs of prayer on this carpet, and recited the whole Qur'an in the Ka'ba." He said: My father took it, kissed it, placed it on his head, and accepted it from him with a great pleasure. At the end of the day an inhabitant of Isbahan came and began to talk to us. During his conversation he said by chance: The faqih of Maghrib who is staying with you has purchased a beautiful carpet today for such and such a price. Therupon my father ordered to bring the carpet. Seeing it the man said, "Yes by Allah, this is the same." My father kept silent, and the eyes of Ibn Dihya fell down.[5]