The Legality of Celebrating the Birth of the Prophet (s.a.w.) I

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following is extracted from “The Legality of Celebrating the Birth of the Prophet (s.a.w.)”, by Shaykh ‘Ali Juma’ah.

Celebrating the Mawlid of the Prophet (s.a.w.) is to happily receive the Prophet (s.a.w.) and to do this is a conclusive matter within the shari’ah, for the Prophet (s.a.w.) is the original principle, aswl uswul, and the first support of the religion.  Allah (s.w.t.) Knows of the value of His Prophet (s.a.w.) and so introduces his presence completely by his name, his mission, his rank, and his place.  Therefore, the whole of Creation are in continual happiness and manifestly joyous at the Light of Allah (s.w.t.), His Relief, Blessing and Proof for the all of the worlds.

Our righteous predecessors from the fourth and fifth century onwards adopted the practise of celebrating the Mawlid of the Greatest Messenger (s.a.w.) by giving life to the night of the Mawlid through varied forms of worship such as feeding others, recitation of the Qur’an, devotions, recitation of poetry and praise of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.).  This has been recorded by many of the historians such as the ahadits masters, Imam ibn al-Jawzi (r.a.), Hafizh ibn Katsir (r.a.), Hafizh ibn Dihya al-Andalusi (r.a.), Imam ibn Hajr (r.a.), and the seal of ahadits masters, Imam Jalal ad-Din as-Suyuthi (q.s.).

A great number of scholars and jurists have authored works on the desirability of celebrating the noble Prophetic mawlid and have clarified the desirability of this with authentic proofs.  In that, it leaves no room for anyone with an intellect, understanding, and a sound mind any objection to that which our righteous predecessors were upon in celebrating the noble mawlid.  Imam ibn al-Hajj (r.a.) went to lengths, in al-Madkhal, in mentioning the uniqueness which is connected to this celebration and has mentioned many beneficial points; matters which will expand the breast of a believer with knowledge.  This is despite the fact that Imam ibn al-Haji (r.a.) wrote al-Madkhal with the intention of curbing innovations which have no basis of proof within the shari’ah.

The leader of ahadits masters, Imam Jalal ad-Din as-Suyuthi (q.s.), mentioned, in his Husn al-Maqswad fi ‘Amal al-Mawlid, after a question was raised to him as to whether observing the Mawlid in the month Rabi’ al-Awwal is praiseworthy or not, whether it is a Rewardable action and its ruling in the shari’ah.  He stated, “The answer that I have is that observing the mawlid is an action within which people gather together for the recitation of the Qur’an, to narrate transmitted reports regarding the beginning of the affair of the Prophet (s.a.w.) and the wonderful signs which occurred during the birth, and then after this to feed others, after which people leave.  This action, without any increase above this, is a good innovation which will bring a Reward for the one who does it because of the veneration of the rank of the Prophet (s.a.w.), the manifestation of happiness, and the joy which the noble birth encompasses.”

Imam as-Suyuthi (q.s.) refuted those who said, “We do not know of any proof for this Mawlid in the Book or the sunnah,” through his statement: “Denial of knowledge does not mean a denial of any clear proof.”

The imam of the ahadits masters, Imam Abu al-Fadhl ibn Hajr (r.a.) derived a proof of this from the sunnah and there is another proof derived by Imam as-Suyuthi (q.s.) clarifying that a blameworthy innovation is that which has no proof in the shari’ah towards its approval.  However, if approval is found, then it cannot be blameworthy.

The blessed Mawlid of the Prophet (s.a.w.) is the event of the Ascension of Divine Mercy within the entire human history.  The Qur’an Expressed the presence of the Prophet (s.a.w.) as, ‘The Mercy to Creation’.  This Mercy was never limited; for it encompasses the nurturing of mankind; their purification, knowledge and Guidance upon the Straight Path.  It also encompasses their ascension in the world and spiritually.  This Mercy was not limited to the people of that time but it reaches its help throughout history completely.

As well as (to confer all these benefits upon) others of them, who have not already joined them: and He is Exalted in Might, Wise. (Surah al-Jumu’ah:3)

Celebrating through the remembrance of the Master of Creation, the Seal of the Prophets and Messengers, the Prophet of Mercy, Sayyidina Muhammad (s.a.w.), is from the best of actions and the greatest means of proximity, for it is the expression of joy and love for the Prophet (s.a.w.) and love of the Prophet (s.a.w.) is a foundation from the foundations of faith.  It has been authentically reported from the Prophet (s.a.w.) who said, “By the One Who Holds my soul in His Hand, none of you believe until I am more beloved to him than his child, parent and the whole of mankind.”  This is recorded in Swahih al-Bukhari.

Imam ibn Rajab (r.a.) stated, “Love of the Prophet (s.a.w.) is from the foundations of faith and is the indication of the love of Allah.  Allah has Joined this love with Him and has Threatened those who prefer anything above this love; whether it is a natural love for relatives, wealth, homelands and the like.”

Allah (s.w.t.) Says:

Say: If it be that your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your mates, or your kindred; the wealth that ye have gained; the commerce in which ye fear a decline; or the dwellings in which ye delight ― are dearer to you than Allah or His Messenger or the striving in His Cause; then wait until Allah Brings about His Decision: and Allah Guides not the rebellious. (Surah at-Tawbah:24)

‘Umar (r.a.) said to the Prophet (s.a.w.), “You are more beloved to me than everything besides myself.”

The Prophet (s.a.w.) replied, “No, O ‘Umar, until I am more beloved to you than even yourself.”

‘Umar (r.a.) then said, “I swear by Allah, you are more beloved to me now than even myself.”

The Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “Now you have it, O ‘Umar.”

This was recorded in Swahih al-Bukhari.


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