Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah (r.a.) on Mawlid & Dzikr

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following is extracted from Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah’s (r.a.) opinion on the celebration of Mawlid and the deviation of “Salafiyyah” from his opinion.  This is Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah’s (r.a.) opinion about Mawlid from Majma’ Fatawa ibn Taymiyyah, and his Iqtidha’ asw-Swirath al-Mustaqim, from the section, “The Innovated Festivities of Time & Place.”

In it, he wrote, “And similarly what some people innovate by analogy with the Christians who celebrate the birth of Jesus (a.s.), or out of love for the Prophet (s.a.w.) and to exalt him, and Allah (s.w.t.) may Reward them for this love and effort, not on the fact that it is an innovation.  To celebrate and to honour the birth of the Prophet (s.a.w.) and to take it as an honoured season, as some of the people are doing, is good and, in it, there is a Great Reward, because of their good intentions in honouring the Prophet (s.a.w.).”

Those who call themselves “Salafiyyah,” are actually the followers of the great innovator and deviant, Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab.  They are better known as Wahhabis.  For all their love of Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah (r.a.), they cannot seem to forgive him for saying this.  One Wahhabi editor of the Iqtidha’, Muhammad Hamid al-Fiqqi, had a two-page footnote here in which he exclaimed, “Kayfa yakunu lahum tsawabun ‘ala hadza?  Ayyu ijtihadun fi hadza?” “How can they possibly obtain a reward for this?  What effort is in this?”  Contemporary Wahhabi scholars are all, without exception, cut from the same cloth of intemperance and deviation regarding Mawlid.  They have substituted their ruling to that of Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah’s (r.a.) although the latter should be sufficient for them.

Further on, in the same text, Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah (r.a.) mentioned a fatwa given by Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (r.a.), the Imam of Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah’s (r.a.) madzhab, whereby when the people told Imam Ahmad (r.a.) about a prince who spent 1,000 dananir on the decoration of a Qur’an, he said, “That is the best place for him to use gold.”

It cannot be that Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah (r.a.) was promoting a bid’ah when he permitted the celebration of Mawlid.  Not only did he allow it, but he mentioned that their celebration of Mawlid “is good and, in it, there is a Great Reward.”  Further, it cannot be that Imam Ahmad (r.a.) was permitting a bid’ah when he allowed the decoration of the Qur’an.

The following is the opinion of Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah (r.a.) on meetings of dzikr.  It can be found in the King Khalid ibn ‘Abd al-‘Aziz edition of the Majmu’ al-Fatawa ibn Taymiyyah.  Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah (r.a.) was asked about people that gather in a masjid making dzikr and reading Qur’an, praying to Allah (s.w.t.) and taking their turbans off their heads, leaving their heads bare and crying, while their intention is not pride nor showing off but seeking to draw closer to Allah (s.w.t.).  He answered, “Praise to Allah, it is good and recommended according to shari’ah, to come together for reading Qur’an, making dzikr, and making du’a.”


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