Mawlid al-Nabi (The Prophet ’s Birthday)

anabiThere is nothing in the Qur’aan to say that we should celebrate the Mawlid or birthday of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).

The Prophet himself (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not do this or command anyone to do it, either during his lifetime or after his death. Indeed, he told them not to exaggerate about him as the Christians had exaggerated about Jesus (upon whom be peace).
He said:

“Do not exaggerate about me as the Christians exaggerated about the son of Maryam.
I am only a slave, so say, ‘The slave of Allaah and His Messenger. ’” (Reported byal- Bukhaari).

What has been reported is that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) made the day of his birth a day of worship, which is different to celebration. He was asked about fasting on Mondays, and he said:

“That is the day on which I was born and the day on which I was entrusted with the Mission or when I was first given Revelation. ” (Reported by Muslim, al-Nisaa’i and Abu Dawood).

Moreover, we know that the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) were the people who loved the Prophet most. Was it reported that Abu Bakr, who was the closest of people to him and the one who loved him the most, celebrated the birthday of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)? Was it reported that ‘Umar, who ruled for twelve years, or ‘Uthmaan, did this? Was it reported that ‘Ali, his relative and foster son, did this? Was it reported that any of the Sahaabah did this? No, by Allaah! Is it because they were not aware of its importance, or did they not truly love the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)? No one would say such a thing except one who has gone astray and is leading others astray.

Did any of the imaams – Abu Haneefah, Maalik, al-Shaafi’i, Ahmad, al-Hasan al-Basri, Ibn Seereen – do this or command others to do it or say that it was good? By Allaah, no! It was not even mentioned during the first and best three centuries.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said in a saheeh hadeeth:

“The best of mankind are my generation (or my century), then those who come after them, then those who come after them. Then there will come a people who will not care if their testimony comes before their oath or vice versa (i.e., they will not take such matter seriously). ”(Reported by al- Bukhaari,Muslim and al-Tirmidhi).

C003966E5_1989fb40-8df3-11e4-8302-0200ac177834The celebration of the Prophet’s birthday appeared many centuries later, when many of the features of true religion had vanished and bid ’ah had become widespread. Thus this celebration became a sign of one ’s love for the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)? But can it be possible that the Sahaabah, the imaams and the people of the best three centuries were unaware of it, and it was only those who came later who were aware of its importance?! What the Qur ’aan tells us is that love of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is demonstrated by following the guidance he brought. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Say (O Muhammad): ‘If you (really) love Allaah, then follow me, Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allaah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. Say: ‘Obey Allaah and the Messenger.’ But if they turn away, then Allaah does not like the disbelievers. ” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:31-32]

The first aayah explains that love is just a claim, but the proof of sincerity is following what the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) brought. The second aayah reaffirms the importance and necessity of obeying Allaah and His Messenger.

Hence Allaah ended the aayah with a very stern warning in which those who refuse to obey are described as kaafirs, and Allah does not love the disbelievers.
We ask Allaah to keep us safe from that. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told us of the danger of not obeying him, and the danger of adding to what he brought.
The celebration of Mawlid or his birthday is indeed an addition to what he brought – as all the scholars agree. He said:

“The best of speech is the Book of Allaah, and the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad. The most evil of things are those which are newly-invented (in religion), and every innovation is a going astray.” (Reported by Muslim and al-Nisaa’i).

We ask Allaah to protect us from bid ’ah and to bless us by helping us to follow.

Allaah knows best.
May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad.
Ameen.

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ANSWER TO THE QUESTION

Praise be Allaah.

Observing Tahajjud (Night Vigil) to honor the Last Date in December is nothing but ignorance.

Many of our brethren will be found gathering themselves or probably keeping their household awake all in the name of honoring the last date in the month of December and welcoming the first day in the month of January.

All these actions are however from ignorance as indeed these muslims who give honor to this month and others like it need to understand that it is not permissible for the Muslims to hold at high esteem any other method of counting the alternation in days and nights other than the one established by Allaah Jalla Wa ‘alaa for Mankind. This is no other than the 12 Lunar months (popularly called Hijr Calendar).

Verily; Allaah says in Suuratu Tawbah:

“Indeed the months with Allaah (established and affirmed with Him) is the 12 Lunar Months; The month(s) in Allaah’s book…” Now we understand that the month Allaah establishes for His true believers are Hijr months. So a true believer in Allaah and the Last Day should therefore hold tight to what Allaah has established and honored.

Allaah blessed us Muslims with the best of method for counting the alternation in days and nights. And it is from these blessed months that we observe all our ‘ibaadaat (acts of worship). Like Hajj is during the month of Dhul Hijjah; The Obligatory fasting is in the month of Ramadoon and so on.

Now we see how important the lunar months are to Islaam. Islaam does not give the least of recognition to the Gregorian calendar from the establishment of the rulings in the religion.

A Muslim should not give any special honor or recognition to these Gregorian months other than its usage for paying workers’ salaries and other similar affairs in secular countries like Nigeria where the Gregorian is being implemented.

We should not be deceived by some confusionists statement of: “Eni ti Odun ba balaye ko shope abi ko dupe” (Whoever is opportuned to meet a (new) year/festival should be thankful).

We should simply make hijra from their doubtful matters and inform them that Allaah has blessed the Muslims with just two festivals; Eidul Adhaa amd Eidul Fitr. More so; a sound Muslim should understand that he is not meant to wait till the end of one particular year or month before he is thankful to Allaah.

So whoever honors these Gregorian months like January first has indeed imitated the kuffaar; and the Prophet (alayhi s solaatuwa s salaam) said as reported in the Sunan of Imaam Aboo Daawud that:

“Whoever imitates a group of people is part of them”.

………….And Allaah knows best.

Sahih Al Bukhari – Book of Characteristics Of Prayer

Volume 001, Book 012, Hadith Number 740.
—————————————–
Narrated By Ibn ‘Abbas : The Prophet set out with the intention of going to Suq ‘Ukaz (market of ‘Ukaz) along with some of his companions. At the same time, a barrier was put between the devils and the news of heaven. Fire commenced to be thrown at them. The Devils went to their people, who asked them, “What is wrong with you?” They said, “A barrier has been placed between us and the news of heaven. And fire has been thrown at us.” They said, “The thing which has put a barrier between you and the news of heaven must be something which has happened recently. Go eastward and westward and see what has put a barrier between you and the news of heaven.” Those who went towards Tuhama came across the Prophet at a place called Nakhla and it was on the way to Suq ‘Ukaz and the Prophet was offering the Fajr prayer with his companions. When they heard the Qur’an they listened to it and said, “By Allah, this is the thing which has put a barrier between us and the news of heaven.” They went to their people and said, “O our people; verily we have heard a wonderful recital (Qur’an) which shows the true path; we believed in it and would not ascribe partners to our Lord.” Allah revealed the following verses to his Prophet (Sura ‘Jinn’) (72): “Say: It has been revealed to me.” And what was revealed to him was the conversation of the Jinns.

THE BEAUTY OF ISLAM

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  1. Close Relationship with the Creator

At the core of Islam is the focus of an individual’s personal relationship with God, their Creator. It encourages a believer to have sustained awareness of God which is a key to lasting happiness.

Islam teaches that God is the source of peace. By focusing on this important relationship and following God’s guidance, believers will be able to acquire inner peace and tranquillity. Seeking lasting happiness through other means, such as following one’s desires or the accumulation of material possessions, will never fill the void we have. This need can only be filled with the awareness of God.

True contentment is found in acknowledging and obeying the Creator: “Truly, in remembering God do hearts find rest.” Quran 13:28

The primary reason for this close relationship is that Muslims have a direct connection with their Creator. There is no intermediary, such as praying to, or through, others, in worshipping God.

  1. Positive Outlook on Life

Islam gives a person a clear perspective on the events that happen in their life, both good and bad, as they are, in fact, tests from God. It encourages a person to understand events in the context of the overall purpose of life, which is to acknowledge God and obey Him. He created humans with intellect and free will to test them as to who will wilfully choose to follow His guidance. This life is an ultimate testing ground and although we cannot control everything that happens to us, we can control how we react. Islam encourages a person to focus on what is in their control, to be grateful to God for blessings, and to be patient during hardships. Patience or gratitude – this is the formula for a happy life.

Islam encourages the believer to remain free from the extremes of worldly happiness that may cause one to forget God, and the extremes of sadness that may cause one to lose hope and blame God. By not being overly attached to the material world, a Muslim is empowered not only to better handle any calamities, but to be beneficial and generous to society. This leads to a more balanced and optimistic outlook on life.

  1. Pure and Clear Concept of God

Unlike other religions, Islam is not named after its founder or the community of its birth. Islam is an attributive title that signifies obedience to God, the Creator of the Universe. One of its main beauties is that it acknowledges the complete perfection, greatness and uniqueness of God with absolutely no compromises. This is reflected in Islam’s pure teachings of the attributes of God.

God is One and Unique:

  • God has no partners, no equals and no rivals.
  • God has no father, mother, sons, daughters or wives.
  • God alone is worthy of all worship.

God is the All-Powerful:

  • God has full authority and power over all things.
  • Obedience to God does not increase His Power, nor does disobedience decrease His power.

God is the Most High:

  • There is nothing above or comparable to God.
  • The attributes of God do not resemble that of His creation.
  • No part of God is present in anyone or anything.

God is Perfect:

  • God does not have any human limitations, such as resting on the seventh day after He created the universe.
  • God always maintains attributes of perfection and does not do anything to compromise this perfection such as “becoming a man” as claimed by other religions. God does not do ungodly acts, so if God became man and took on human attributes, he would, necessarily, no longer be God.
  1. Emphasises Both Evidence and Faith

Islam is a religion in which faith is based on clear proof. It encourages people to use their God given intelligence to think and ponder over their life and the universe. Although this life is a test, God has provided sufficient signs and guidance to people who are open-minded and sincere to be able to acknowledge the truth.

“We (God) have certainly sent down Signs that make things clear: and God guides whom He wills to the straight path.”Quran 24:46

Unlike other religions, there are many clear proofs, signs and miracles that the book of Islam, The Quran, is from God.

The Quran:

  • Is free from any errors or contradictions, despite it being revealed over a period of 23 years.
  • Is preserved, word-for-word, since it was revealed in its original Arabic language, unlike other scriptures which have been distorted, changed or lost.
  • Contains a simple, pure and universal message that has a profound effect on all those who are sincerely searching for the truth.
  • Contains a unique and inimitable style of language that is universally known as the pinnacle of Arabic eloquence and linguistic beauty – yet the Quran was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who was known to be illiterate.
  • Contains many amazing scientific facts which have only been discovered recently, despite being revealed over 1400 years ago.

The most rational explanation for the many unique and miraculous aspects of the Quran is that it cannot be from other than God.

  1. Forgiveness of Sins

Islam encourages a balance between hope in God’s mercy and fear of His punishment – both of which are required to lead a positive and humble life.

We are born sinless but have the free will to commit sins. God created us and knows we are imperfect and commit sins, but the key is how we react to committing those mistakes.

“Do not despair of God’s mercy; He will forgive you of all your sins.”Quran 39:53

Islam teaches that God is the Most Merciful and will forgive and pardon those who sincerely want to repent. The beautiful steps for repentance include being sincere, remorseful, refraining from committing the sin as well as having the intention not to repeat it. Islam encourages a continuous process of self-development and self-purification. This process happens directly between the individual and God – there is no need for sins to be shared or “confessed” to a righteous person/priest. Furthermore, God does not need to sacrifice himself to forgive sins, nor is anyone “born into sin”.

  1. Accountability and Ultimate Justice

Islam teaches that God is the Most Just and that each person will be held responsible for their own actions on the Day of Judgement. Each person is accountable, as they have freedom of choice and intelligence to discern between right and wrong.

It is an absolute demand of justice that there be a Day of Judgement where every person is rewarded or punished, otherwise life would be unjust as not everyone receives true justice in this world.

Islam teaches that ultimately we will be judged for how well we fulfilled our responsibilities and exercised our free will. We will be judged by God, the All Knowing and All Wise, who knows and sees everything we do. This encourages a more harmonious society and gives people contentment knowing that justice will ultimately prevail.

  1. Practical and Balanced Way of Life

Islam provides the right balance between faith and action, as both are required for a stable life. It provides guidance for all situations and circumstances. It is a practical religion with practical acts of worship that are designed to fulfil the spiritual, physical, psychological and social needs of people.

Examples of practical acts of worship that have numerous benefits include:

  • The five daily prayers – Enriches the soul by satisfying the spiritual need of being in regular contact with God (especially in today’s busy lifestyle); makes one humble by bowing and prostrating to God; removes any barriers/pride/racism between believers praying in congregation; helps one refrain from committing sins given the person stands regularly before God.
  • The obligatory charity – Purifies a person from selfishness; encourages empathy to the poor; reminds one of the blessings of God; helps reduce poverty; bridges the gap between rich and poor.
  • The fasting in Ramadan – Promotes spiritual self-purification, self-restraint and growth; scientifically proven health benefits; empathy and awareness of those less fortunate; trains people to acquire the habit of obeying God.
  • The pilgrimage – Unites people of every colour, race, status and nationality, as pilgrims wear simple and similar clothing, while performing a range of good deeds in congregation.

Given that Islam is from God, every command found in the religion is ultimately good and beneficial to the individual and society when practised correctly. Quranic examples include being honest, forgiving, truthful, kind to one’s wife, patient, fair, moderate, modest, sincere, and respecting parents, family and the elderly. There are also many principles in the teachings of Islam that prevent or reduce many of the individual and social ills facing the world today.

  1. Universal and Timeless Message

Islam has a message that applies to all people at all times, from the creation of Adam up until the Day of Judgement. It is applicable today as it always has been.

God is accessible to everyone. People may distinguish themselves and earn God’s favour through belief and righteous actions only – not through race, wealth, gender, nationality or social class.

Conclusion

Islam’s timeless and beautiful message is the same message of all Prophets, including Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon them all). They all called their people to “Submit to the One True God” which, in Arabic, means to become a “Muslim”. This submission to God enables one to fulfil the purpose of life by acknowledging the greatness of God and sincerely worshipping him alone. In doing so, one will acquire the countless benefits of Islam mentioned above.