The following question was directed to Shaykh Muḥammad Ibn Ṣāliḥ al-‘Uthaymīn رحمه الله:
“Noble Shaykh, may Allāh grant you goodness. In previous encounters we learnt about innovation and its ruling, (however) we find some people in (their) celebrations of the birth of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) saying: ‘These celebrations bring about the unification of the hearts of the Muslims after the Ummah has been divided.’ So what do you have to say to these (individuals)?”
The Shaykh responded by saying:
“We say to these (individuals) who are saying that celebrating the birth (of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم) brings about the unification of the hearts and the revival of the remembrance of Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم):
Firstly, we do not accept that since these (individuals) who are gathering (in such celebrations) are departing with nothing (i.e. they are departing without any reward from Allāh), and it is not possible for the hearts to be united upon an innovation under any circumstance.
Secondly, indeed this is innovating something that Allāh has not legislated; but verily, Allāh (تعالى) made another gathering for the unification of the hearts. Every day we meet in a house from the houses of Allāh. How many times? Five times (and therefore) in it (i.e. in the meeting for the five daily prayers) is (sufficiency) in achieving the unification of the hearts. Hence, we are not in need of this innovation that they innovated and they say by way of it, it brings about unity.
As for the remembrance of the Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم), then Subḥān Allāh al-‘Aẓīm! Is it that an individual only remembers the Messenger at the beginning of every year?! Do we not remember the Messenger in every ‘ibādah (i.e. every type of worship)? Every ‘ibādah we remember the Messenger.
When you desire to make wudū, then inevitably two affairs are required: ikhlās and the second, following the Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم). Therefore, whenever you are aware of following the Messenger, then at that point in time you have remembered the Messenger. You perform wudū as if you are following the Messenger and you perform the salāh as if you are following the Messenger.
Furthermore, the evident remembrance – Alhamdulillāh – every day for a minimum of five times a day we proclaim (in the Adhān): ‘I bear witness that Muḥammad is Allāh’s Messenger’ from above the minaret. So we are not in need of this innovation. Therefore, we refute them in the (following) manner and we say: Subhān Allāh! Where are you in comparison to the Ṣsahābah? Where are you in comparison to the Tābi’īn? Where are you in comparison to the Tābi’ Tābi’īn? All of the three virtuous generations – which are the best of the Ummah – have preceded and there was not a single one from amongst them who introduced this celebration. This celebration was unknown up until the fourth century. Na’am. It is an innovation without a doubt; an unpraiseworthy innovation, an unpraiseworthy innovation and every innovation is misguidance. Na’am.”
Translated by Musa Shaleem Mohammed
…May Allah give us a better understanding & guide us to accept the truth