Tuesday, 22 March 2016
The Legality of Celebrating the Birth of the Prophet (s.a.w.) II
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.
Imam al-Bayhaqi (r.a.) related from Imam ash-Shafi’i (r.a.), “Innovated matters are of two kinds: the first is that which is innovated and contradicts the Book and the sunnah, or a narration and consensus. This is an innovation of misguidance. The second is that which is innovated of good which does not contradict anything; this is not blameworthy. In fact, ‘Umar ibn al-Khaththab (r.a.), after establishing the prayer in congregation in the month of Ramadhan, said, ‘How good is this innovation.’ Meaning that it has been introduced after not being there and if this is the case, then there is no contradiction with that which has passed.” This is the last of what Imam ash-Shafi’i (r.a.) mentioned.
Imam as-Suyuthi (q.s.) continued, “Observing the Mawlid is not a contradiction against the Book, the sunnah, a narration or scholarly consensus and so it is not blameworthy as stated by ash-Shafi’i. It is from the excellent matters which was not begun during the first era. Feeding food which is free from the committal of sins is excellent. Therefore, this is allowed and is from the recommended innovated matters just as the sulthan of scholars, al-‘Izz ad-Din ibn ‘Abd al-Salam has also mentioned. The original purpose behind gathering together is to manifest the blessing of the mawlid. This is something which is recommended and is a means of proximity because the birth of the Prophet (s.a.w.) is the Greatest Blessing upon us and the shari’ah encourages the expression of gratitude for blessings. This is what ibn al-Hajj has argued, in al-Madkhal, saying, ‘For in this month, Allah has Favoured us with the Master of the first and the last. So it is incumbent upon us to increase in worship, good and gratefulness to al-Mawla for the sanctuary; He has Led us into in this Great Blessing.’”
The proof which Imam ibn Hajr (r.a.) has derived for the observance of the Prophetic Mawlid is that which is recorded in the Shaykhayn. When the Prophet (s.a.w.) entered into Madinah, he found the Jews fasting on the day of ‘Ashurah. He asked them regarding this and they said, “This is the day Allah Drowned Fir’awn and Saved Musa. Hence, we fast out of gratitude to Allah the Exalted.”
Imam ibn Hajr (r.a.) mentioned, “It can be derived from this that the action of thankfulness to Allah (s.w.t.) for that which He has Blessed us with upon a particular day, in the Bestowal of a Blessing or Removal of a calamity and to observe this upon the same day every year is allowed. This can be achieved through a number of varied ways of worshipping such as prayer, fasting, charity, and recitation. Which blessing can be greater than the appearance of the Prophet (s.a.w.), the Prophet of Mercy, upon that day?”
Imam ibn Hajr (r.a.) reinforced that which is necessary to do when gathering for the Mawlid: It is necessary to understand that being grateful to Allah (s.w.t.) such as that which has already been mentioned in recitation, feeding others, poetry in praise of the Prophet (s.a.w.) which moves the hearts to perform good and to work for the hereafter. There is no harm in doing all of this as well as that which is allowed and brings happiness upon that day.
Imam as-Suyuthi (q.s.) related, from Imam Shams ad-Din ibn al-Jazari (r.a.), from his book, ‘Urf at-Ta’rif bi al-Mawlid ash-Sharif, “It has been authentically reported that the punishment of Abu Lahab is Lightened every Monday night because he freed Tsuwaybah when she gave her the glad news of the birth of the Prophet (s.a.w.). Therefore, if Abu Lahab, the disbeliever, regarding whom a chapter of the Qur’an Censuring him was Revealed, is Rewarded in the Fire because of his joy in the night upon the birth of the Prophet (s.a.w.), then what is the state of a Muslim, a monotheist from the ummah of the Prophet (s.a.w.), who is happy at his birth and expends that which he can towards the Prophet’s (s.a.w.) honour in love for him? By my life, his Reward will be from Allah the Generous, Who will Enter him into His Bounty, into the Blessed Garden.”