Mawlid: An innovation


{jb_quote} It will not be permissible to celebrate the mawlid even if a person beliefs that the Prophet is not present.{/jb_quote}

Mawlid: An innovation

By Shaykh (Mufti) Ismail Moosa (HA)

Question: I would like to know is it permissible to celebrate the Mawlid, given that no one believes that Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم is Ḥāḍhir or Nāḍhir? Likewise, we do not regard it as an obligation and we don’t fix the time. I was told that it is permissible if a person does not have any corrupt believes?

Wa’alaykum as-Salām wa raḥmatullāhi wa barakātuhu,

Answer: In the Name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

{jb_dropcap}A{/jb_dropcap} person’s Imān is only complete once he loves Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم more than his parents, his children and all his belongings. It is narrated in Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhāri and Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim that Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم said,


{jb_brownbox}قال الإمام البخاري حدثنا يعقوب بن إبراهيم قال حدثنا ابن علية عن عبد العزيز بن صهيب عن أنس عن النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم (ح) . وحدثنا آدم قال حدثنا شعبة عن قتادة عن أنس قال قال النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم : ]لا يؤمن أحدكم حتى أكون أحب إليه من والده وولده والناس أجمعين [ (أخرجه البخاري 1/14 ومسلم 1/49){/jb_brownbox}

{jb_bluebox}“None of you truly believes until I am more beloved to him than his father, his children and mankind in its entirety.” (Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhāri 1/14 and Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 1/49){/jb_bluebox}

It is firstly essential to discuss the issue of confining the mawlid to the month of Rabī’ al-awwal. It should be known that Allāh Ta’āla sent the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم with a complete way of life and made him a perfect example for the believers. Allāh Ta’ālā said,

{jb_brownbox}لَقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ{/jb_brownbox}

{jb_bluebox}“Verily for you in the messenger of Allāh there was a good example...” (Al Aḥzāb, 21){/jb_bluebox}

Any action which does not confirm with the prophetic way of life will be rejected in the court of Allāh, as the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said,

{jb_brownbox}قال الإمام البخاري حدثنا يعقوب حدثنا إبراهيم بن سعد عن أبيه عن القاسم بن محمد عن عائشة رضي الله عنها قالت{/jb_brownbox}

{jb_brownbox}: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ( من أحدث في أمرنا هذا ما ليس فيه فهو رد ) (أخرجه البخاري 7/146){/jb_brownbox}

{jb_bluebox}“Whoever innovates something in this matter of ours (i.e., Islām), it will be rejected” (Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhāri 7/146, Dār Ibn Kathīr){/jb_bluebox}

The celebration of the mawlid is an innovation in religion. Neither was it the practice of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم nor did the companions or tābi’īn (followers) celebrate this occasion. The great scholar, ‘Allāmah Anwar Shāh Al-Kashmīri (May Allāh Ta'ālā be pleased with him) said,

{jb_brownbox}وأحدثه صوفي في عهد سلطان إربل سنة ( 600 ) ، ولم يكن له أصل من الشريعة الغراء (العرف الشذي شرح سنن الترمذي - (2 / 82 مؤسسة ضحى للنشر والتوزيع({/jb_brownbox}

{jb_bluebox}“A Ṣufi innovated it in the era of Sulṭān Irbil around the year 600 A.H, and it does not have any basis in our pure Sharī’ah.” (Al-‘Arf ash-Shadhi, 2/82){/jb_bluebox}

Scholars state that the first person to introduce the innovation (bid'a) of celebrating the Milād was the ruler of Irbil, Muzaffar ad-Dīn ibn Zain aḍ-Dīn. This was six centuries after the period of prophet hood.

‘Allāmāh Mu’iz ad-Dīn Ḥasan Khwārzimi (May Allah Ta'ala be pleased with him) states in his book, ‘Al-Qawl al-Mu’tamad’,

{jb_bluebox}“The Ruler of Irbal, King Muzaffar Abū  Sa’īd Kawkari, was an irreligious and prodigal king. He ordered the scholars of his time to act according to their opinions and discard the practice of following any school of law. A group of learned men inclined towards him. He (this king) organized Mawlūd sessions during the month of Rabī’ al-Awwal. He was the first king ever to introduce this practice.”{/jb_bluebox}

A ‘scholar’ by the name of Abul Khaṭṭāb ‘Umar bin Ḥasan bin Diḥya Al-Andalusi supported and assisted the king in this innovation.

‘Allāmah Ibn Kathīr (May Allāh Ta'ālā have mercy on him) has reported on the authority of As-Sabṭ about this person,

{jb_brownbox}قال السبط: وقد كان كابن عنين في ثلب المسلمين والوقيعة فيهم، ويتزيد في كلامه فترك الناس الرواية عنه وكذبوه (البداية والنهاية - (13 / 169دار إحياء التراث العربي){/jb_brownbox}

{jb_bluebox}“Ibn ‘Unain (Ibn Diḥya) used to insult the Muslims and vilify them. He would make additions in his report and exaggerate. The people stopped narrating traditions from him and falsified him.” (Al-Bidāya wa al-Nihāya, 3/144-146){/jb_bluebox}

The great scholar of Ḥadīth, ‘Allāmah Ibn Ḥajar Al-‘Asqalāni (May Allah Ta'ala have mercy on him) commented on him,

{jb_brownbox}وكان ظاهري المذهب كثير الوقيعة في الأئمة وفي السلف من العلماء خبيث اللسان أحمق شديد الكبر قليل النظر في أمور الدين متهاونا (لسان الميزان - (4 / 296مؤسسة الأعلمي للمطبوعات – بيروت){/jb_brownbox}

{jb_bluebox}"He was a follower of the Zāhiri school of thought and often slandered the scholars and the scholars of the past. He possessed an evil tongue and was stupid, self-conceited, lacked insight in religious matters, and looked down upon religion." (Lisān al-Mizān, 4/296){/jb_bluebox}

From the afore-mentioned it becomes apparent which type of people innovated the celebration of the mawlid. The companions loved the Prophet the most yet they did not celebrate the mawlid. They remained alive after him for about a century, but despite their unparalleled and profound love towards the Holy Prophet (Peace and salutations be on him), they never celebrated his birthday.  If the mawlid was a meritorious and divinely inspired act, then surely the Messenger  صلى الله عليه و سلم would have commanded the Ummah to celebrate it, or at least, either he or his noble Companions would have practiced on it. Since it cannot be substantiated by any action of theirs, it becomes crystal clear that celebrating the mawlid has absolutely no relationship with Islām and it is Bidáh (innovation).

Furthermore, there are numerous other vices which take place at a mawlid. Music, intermingling of sexes, squandering of wealth, omitting compulsory prayers etc. are just few of the many wrongs which prevalent on such occasions. Moreover, the Celebration of the mawlid is an imitation of the Christians, who celebrate the birth of the Messiah (peace be upon him).

In light of the above, it will not be permissible to celebrate the mawlid even if a person beliefs that the Prophet is not present. Muslims should rather strive to revive the Sunnah and put an end to bid’ah (innovation); they should not do any action until they know the ruling of Allāh concerning it.   

If gatherings are conducted at a random in which the love of Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم is discussed and people are encouraged to follow the Sunnah, then that is permissible on condition there is nothing un-Islamic in such gatherings.  

This ruling is derived from the following narration of Ṣaḥīḥ Al-Bukhāri and Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim,

{jb_brownbox}حدثنا عمرو الناقد وإسحاق بن إبراهيم وبن أبي عمر كلهم عن سفيان قال عمرو حدثنا سفيان بن عيينة عن الزهري عن سعيد عن أبي هريرة * ان عمر مر بحسان وهو ينشد الشعر في المسجد فلحظ إليه فقال قد كنت انشد وفيه من هو خير منك. (متفق عليه){/jb_brownbox}

{jb_bluebox}Abū Hurairah narrates, “Umar once passed by Ḥassān who was saying poetry in the Masjid. He glanced angrily towards Ḥassān. Ḥassān responded, “I used to say poetry and in the Masjid there used to be one who is greater than you (meaning Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم).” (Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhāri and Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim){/jb_bluebox}

هذا ما بدا لي

إن كان صوابا فقن الله ، و إن كان صواباً فمن الله وإن كان خطأ فمن نفسي والشيطان والله ورسوله منه بريئان
والله أعلم بالصواب


 And Allāh Ta'ālā knows best


Shaykh (Mufti) Ismail Moosa (HA)