The Sharing Group Discussion: Why Do Some People Dislike "Mufti" Menk

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following thread was posted on The Sharing Group, by Sister Behireta-Becky Corbadzic, on the 02nd May, 2015: “I know many here dislike Mufti Menk, but I have so much respect for him just the way he talks, how to be nice to wives.  Sometimes I just wish to meet a brother like him, who knows how to treat his wife well.  I guess Wahhabis can be nice too.”

Brother Ali Camarata: Many who make such general or blanket criticisms do not see differences in culture versus religion of some of those they disagree with.  May Allah (s.w.t.) Guide us and Unite the hearts of the Muslims, amin.

He is a popular speaker with hundreds of videos and there was some who tried to smear him previously on very flimsy grounds but never was a statement of him being a genocidal maniac one of them.  The above comment was not sourced in anything the Mufti said but as we mentioned previously, those who have blanket negative opinions.

Sister Behireta- Becky Corbadzic:  Sometimes I wonder how some get labelled as those when I never hear cruelty in their lectures. not that I have the best knowledge, but just from what I know.

Sister Khairunnisa Abdul Khalid: Is that not so general?  You do not need to be a mufti to tell husbands to be nice to their wives.

Brother Ali Camarata: Correct, you do not have to be but he is and does.  His position of knowledge helps combat those who hold negative opinions on treating wives out of faux knowledge and to help be an example for those who have negative opinions of Ahl as-Sunnah as a group but then see what he teaches.  So, you do not have to be a Mufti but his being one helps good influence and resolving of a real global problem of domestic abuse.

Brother Adam Kishanov: If you may recall, a group of Wahhabis tried to kill him in a mall parking lot.  May Allah (s.w.t.) Protect him.

Brother Ali Camarata: Brother Adam Kishanov, the attackers were Barelvi, I believe.

Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: Perhaps Ismail Menk is a nice person.  No one is saying that Wahhabis cannot be nice, caring, and humane.  That is not the contention. The contention is that doctrinally, they are astray, hence we do not take our religion from them.  I have met him when he was in Singapore.  He is a decent person.

Brother Hajj Ahmad: As Brother Terence said, it is the doctrine he espouses, which does not mean that everything he thinks or believes is wrong.  And of course, we must be careful judging the man or woman on the doctrine he or she espouses.  Allah’s is the Judgement based on our intentions and actions.

Sister Colleen M Dunn: I understand it is not personal.  It is simply that these preachers do not teach a correct understanding of Islam.  I am sure there are some nice Southern Baptists who also say be nice to your wife, but that does not mean their doctrine is correct.

Brother Ali Camarata: Can anyone quote something specific that he said which is so bad?

Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: We had an entire thread on it.  His denial of tawaswswul for one.  His saying that those who celebrate Mawlid are guilty of shirk, for another. His denying that the Prophet (s.a.w.) was kashf in the hadits wa lau bi as-Sin.  These are all Wahhabi beliefs and are not part of Sunni Islam.

Brother Ali Camarata: Is Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah (r.a.) also a kafir Wahhabi then since he also made similar statements?  I have also seen him say the Mawlid is an innovation, not that it is shirk itself, and we do know it was created hundreds of years after the Prophet (s.a.w.), so that is not an incorrect statement despite the disagreement among classical ‘ulama on whether it's good or not.

Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: The mawlid was celebrated from the time of the swahabah, not hundreds of years later.  In fact, we know that ‘Umar (r.a.) lead a procession of the swahabah retracing the steps of the Prophet (s.a.w.).  We know that Imam Abu Hanifah (r.a.) celebrated it, and so did Imam Malik (r.a.).

Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah’s (r.a.) opinion about Mawlid, from his Majma’ Fatawi ibn Taymiyyah, is that “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.).”

Brother Taylor See: I do not think that one secondary point of disagreement, since Mawlid is not a core issue of Islam, means that I should reject the plenty of good Islamic things that Menk has to say.  The scholars have differences of opinions of Mawlid, but that does not mean that Muslims with differences of opinion have to completely reject or fight against one another.  We all believe in tawhid, Allah (s.w.t.), His Prophet (s.a.w.) and the Qur’an.  We have a lot more in common than differences.  Take the good and leave the bad.  There is enough division and bloodshed in the world.

Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: The scholars, in general, do not have any disagreement with Mawlid.  No Sunni scholar is against Mawlid.  There have been criticisms about certain practices that may occur in a Mawlid.  The only “scholars” who ever criticise the celebration of Mawlid are Wahhabis, and this has always been the easiest way to differentiate the heretics from the Muslims.

And our differences with the Wahhabi sect is not about these side issues.  It is about the central issue of ‘aqidah.  Muslims adhere to tawhid, believing that God is Immanent and Transcendent. The Wahhabi sect believes that God has a form, and that is shirk.  We do not worship the same “Allah”.  A Wahhabi is a kafir and a mushrik by virtue of this innovated ‘aqidah.

Allah (s.w.t.) is Absolute and Perfect.  But we are physical creatures living in a world of relativity.  There is tall because there is short and fat because there is thin.  Since we are physical creatures, Allah (s.w.t.) Utilises physical expressions to indicate non-physical expression of status and majesty so that we can relate.  This is especially evident with the Mi’raj of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) and the meeting with Musa (a.s.) on Mount Sinai.  We all believe that Allah (s.w.t.) has the highest Rank since to believe otherwise would be kufr, implying that He is inferior to something, and that another entity is above Allah (s.w.t.) in Divinity, Attribute and Essence.

We agree with the Wahhabi sect that Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) physically and literally ascended beyond the Seven Heavens on the night of the Mi’raj.  But this is actually a contradiction of the Wahhabi neo-Atsari ‘aqidah.  The Wahhabi sect believes that Allah (s.w.t.) literally descends to the First Heaven in the last part of every night, which is perpetual.  They believe that His Highness, which according to them actually means a “physical” highness even though they do not say it explicitly, is the sign of His Perfection.  The contradiction then is that how is it possible that Allah (s.w.t.) can be literally “present” in the First Heaven and yet the Prophet (s.a.w.) is above the Seventh Heaven?

In the ‘aqidah, creed, of Ahl as-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah, nothing can be higher than Allah (s.w.t.), because Allah is not in a place.  In the literalist creed of the Wahhabi sect, Allah (s.w.t.) is in a high place and His highness is a proof of His perfection, yet He is beneath things.  It would then follow that those Creations are more perfect than Allah (s.w.t.), since they are “above” Him.  They describe Allah’s (s.w.t.) Descent to the First Heaven every night as literal, and yet affirm, like Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah (r.a.) before he repented from it, that Allah (s.w.t.) is still “literally” on the Throne.  It is like saying that one has left the dais to pick up something from the ground, but is still high on the throne.  If they say that, they have clearly affirmed that Allah (s.w.t.) is a jism, a physical entity made of parts, and they have affirmed that some Creations are above “some” of Allah (s.w.t.).  There is no up and down in space.  And as such, something simply being further away does not make it perfect or superior to what is closer to Earth.

One does not need to be a mujtahid to know this kufr.  As I have mentioned previously, quoting Imam Jalal ad-Din as-Suyuthi (q.s.), Imam ibn Hajr al-‘Asqalani (r.a.) and several others, if a person testifies to the shahadah, and then professes that God has a form, he is not a Muslim even if he keeps the five pillars.  There is no compromise in ‘aqidah and tawhid.

Brother Taylor See: This is what the Wahhabis say, in Fatawa al-Lajnah ad-Da’imah: “What we must do is affirm that which Allah has affirmed for Himself, such as two hands, two feet, fingers and other attributes that are mentioned in the Qur’an and sunnah, in a manner that is befitting to Allah, may He be glorified, without distorting the meaning, discussing how, likening Him to His creation or denying any of His attributes …”  This may be found here” IslamQA: Affirmation That Allah has Two Feet.

I think the Wahhabis need to define the word “literally” because they're saying that God does not resemble creation, but they do not give a definition of what they mean by “literally”.

Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: Exactly.  This is a clear example of their shirk.  Thank you, Brother Taylor See.

Brother Taylor See: I am not sure if it is shirk, idolatry, because I do not know what they mean by “literally” when used in reference to God’s Attributes.  They need to explain and clarify what they mean by “literally” before I can judge them.  They are saying that God has Hands and Face, as God Describes Himself in the Qur’an. but that this does not resemble Creation.  I was watching a talk by a Wahhabi shaykh and he was saying that God Describes Himself has having Hands, but humans cannot understand or imagine how.  Is it possible that there are different ways of interpreting God’s Attributes which are still consistent with the belief that God does not resemble Creation?

Brother Hamzah Draco Saiyed: I cannot speak on behalf of Wahhabi ‘aqidah, in general, but I highly doubt that Menk sees Allah (s.w.t.) as something physical that the way we understand physical in this world.  This concept is an intricate concept and I think I am going to think over it.  No one can see Allah (s.w.t.) and yet even our Prophet (s.a.w.) said that we will be able to see Him in Jannah like we see the Moon.  Similarly, there is a debated verse in the Qur’an that speaks of the night of Mi’raj, and how our Prophet (s.a.w.) was close to Him nearer than two bow lengths.  Making takfir over an intricate aspect of the unseen is unfair, in my opinion, and making takfir is a huge deal.  I also feel, at the same time, that Brother Terence seems to have thought things through.

Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: On the issue of ‘aqidah, the Ahl as-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah doctrine addresses four levels of tawhid: tawhid al-ilah, tawhid al-asma’ wa asw-swifat, tawhid al-af’al, and tawhid adz-dzat.  To limit God to a form, a time and a place is clear idolatry.  he following was taken from The Creed of the Ahl as-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah by Shaykh ‘Ali Juma’ah, A Muslim Convert Once More: The Creed of the Ahl as-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah.

Brother Hamzah Draco Saiyed: “To limit God to a form, a time and a place is clear idolatry.”  Agreed.

Brother Ali Camarata: Brother Terence, you obviously have an extreme view since I have met many people you would consider Wahhabi and none of them are anthropomorphists.  They follow the Atsari ‘aqidah and take most from Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah (r.a.), even if their lack of eloquence or knowledge made you misunderstand them.

Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah (r.a.) clearly stated that he, and others, saw the Mawlid itself as an innovation since it was literally created hundreds of years later.  He said that many follow it with good intention but that he believed it to be incorrect.  Many have commented that specific actions in it are worse than it itself, as you mentioned about the actions.

There are obvious disagreements between the Sufis and someone like Shaykh al-Islam Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah (r.a.).  To this, Sufi scholars such as Mulla ‘Ali Qari (q.s.) said “I say: Allah Protected them,” referring to Imam ibn al-Qayyim (r.a.) and his shaykh, Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah (r.a.), “from this abhorrent accusation,” referring to their anthropomorphism or mujassimah.”  He continued, “The one who studies Sharh Manazil al-Sa’irin by Nadim al-Bari ash-Shaykh ‘Abdullah al-Answari, who is the Shaykh al-Islam, according to the Sufis, will clearly see that they were among the Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah, and are indeed among the awliya’ of this ummah.  Among what he said in the book mentioned was the following: ‘These words of Shaykh al-Islam highlight his position as a prominent scholar of the Ahl as-Sunnah, and his status among scholars, and it demonstrates that he is innocent of what his Jahami enemies accused him of, that he likened Allah to His creation, as they usually accused the scholars of ahadits and sunnah, just as the Rawafidh accuse them of being Nawaswib, and the Nawaswib accuse them of being Rawafidh, and the Mu’tazilah accuse them of being anthropomorphists.  That is a legacy of the enemies of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) who accused him and his companions of having invented a new religion.  And this is a legacy of the scholars of ahadits and sunnah from their Prophet (s.a.w.), that the people of falsehood give them offensive labels.

May Allah sanctify the soul of ash-Shafi’i, who said, when he was accused of being a Rafidhah, ‘If being a Rafidhah means loving the family of Muhammad, then let the two races bear witness that I am a Rafidhah.’

May Allah be pleased with our Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah when he said, ‘If being a Naswibi means loving the family of Muhammad, then let the two races bear witness that I am a Naswibi.’

May Allah have mercy on the third, ibn al-Qayyim, when he said, ‘If being an anthropomorphist means affirming the Divine Attributes and regarding them as being above the interpretation of a liar, then praise be to Allah, I am an anthropomorphist; bring your witnesses.’’”

Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah (r.a.) was a controversial scholar who was refuted in his time.  The Wahhabi sect have their own edited version of his Manaqib which we consider a forgery.  He was no “Shaykh al-Islam”.  He was a man who innovated in ‘aqidah and repented on his death bed, so he died a Muslim.  He was refuted by his own student, Imam adz-Dzahabi (r.a.).  Imam ibn Rajab al-Hanbali (r.a.), who surpassed his teacher in matters of Diyn, disagreed with his Fatawa on may matters.

His actual position on Mawlid and dzikr is given in the article above.  Please refer to it since I do not like to repeat myself.

The Wahhabi sect do not follow the Atsari creed.  That is a falsehood they propagate to confuse the Muslims.  Imam ibn al-Jawzi al-Hanbali (r.a.) wrote, in his Dhaf Shubah at-Tashbih, “The obligation upon us is to believe that the Essence of Allah Ta’ala is not contained in a place, and He is neither attributed with change nor movement.”  Imam ibn al-Jawzi (r.a.) also wrote, “Some people lied when they heard about the Swifat and interpreted them according to the physical meanings, such as those who claimed that Allah literally descends from the sky and moves from one place to another.  This is a misunderstanding, because the one who moves would be from a place to a place, and that necessitates that the place is bigger than him and that requires movement, and all of that is impossible to be attributed to Allah Ta’ala.”

Brother Ali Camarata: Brother Taylor See, the meaning of “literal” is not to liken Allah to the Creation in any way as you seen no one is doing that even if fringe groups claim they do. A better word to use is “apparent meaning”, where the Ahl as-Sunnah accept the narrations from the Qur’an and sunnah as they come without adding anything to them and take them for what their apparent meaning is without adding anything from our own philosophy, rationalisation, and explanation.  What Allah describes Himself with is enough.

Abu Bakr al-Marwazi said, as recorded in Thabaqat al-Hanabilah of ibn Abi Ya’la, “I asked Ahmad ibn Hanbal about the hadits which the Jahmiyyah reject regarding the Attributes, the believers seeing their Lord on the Day of Judgement, Allah’s descent and the Throne.  So, he declared them all to be authentic and said, ‘The scholars have received them with acceptance.  We pass on the narrations as they came to us.’

Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, in Manaqib al-Imam Ahmad, said, “Describe Allah with what He has described Himself with, and negate from Allah what He has negated from Himself…”

Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, in Kitab al-Mihnah, said, “… in no way is Allah to be described with anything more than what He has described himself with.

Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, in as-Sunnah, said, “Whosoever alleges that Allah does not speak, then he is a disbeliever.  Verily we relay these narrations as they have come.”

This is known as the Atsari ‘aqidah which is usually sourced at Imam Ahmad (r.a.) but this was the same approach of the Prophet (s.a.w.) and his companions and the scholars up until further fitnah happened in history.  This is where knowledge in some basic history helps to understand the quotes of our scholars, especially in ‘aqidah.  The fitnah of the Mu’tazilah, mentioned above that they usually tried to accuse Atsaris of being anthropomorphists and some copied them after that, was to use philosophy and reason over the wording of texts which caused them to go astray and lead to the fitnah that Imam Ahmad (r.a.) was tortured over the “Creation” of the Qur’an.

When you understand the fitnah of the Mu’tazilah, you understand the following quotes:

Imam ash-Shafi’i, as recorded in Sharh ‘Aqidah ath-Thahawiyyah of ibn Abi al-‘Izz, said, “My ruling regarding the people of kalam is that they should be beaten with palm leaves and shoes and be paraded amongst the kinsfolk and the tribes with it being announced, ‘This is the reward of the one who abandons the Book and the sunnah, and turn to theological rhetoric.’”

Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, in Uswul as-Sunnah, said, “For indeed, kalam in the matter of qadr, the ru’yah, the Qur’an and other such issues are among the ways that are detested and which are forbidden.  The one who does so, even if he reaches the truth with his words, is not from Ahl as-Sunnah, until he abandons this mode of argumentation, submits and believes in the atsar.”

After Imam Ahmad’s death, there was not an instant end to debate on the issues of ‘Asma’ wa asw-Swifat, and thus, after him, there was groups such as the Jahmiyyah and others who are agreed astray in this topic.  Abu al-Hasan al-‘Ashari and Abu Manswur al-Maturidi were known to fight this fitnah in a more “fire with fire” manner though many, especially the Hanbalis. stuck closer to the Atsari as a purer way and closer to the tradition and we see this throughout scholars like all of the authors of the Swihah as-Sittah and their students.

Now if you fast forward more and see, during the time of ibn Taymiyyah, almost 500 years after Imam Ahmad and 400 years after the last names mentioned, we see that he addressed things in greater detail due to the opposing ideas faced by him.  As mentioned in the other comment, everyone referred to him as the Shaykh al-Islam ibn Taymiyyah and no one would make takfir on him and his vast knowledge.  His knowledge is attested to by even his greatest opponents and even his students went on to be greats of the religion.

Understanding the fitnah around him, we see his statements are also not anthropomorphist:

ibn Taymiyyah, in Fatawa, said, “The comprehensive statement concerning all of this matter is that Allah is to be described as He has Described Himself or His Messenger has described Him, and as the early generation have described Him, and we are not to go beyond what the Qur’an and ahadits say.  Imam Ahmad said, ‘Allah is not to be described except as He has Described Himself or His Messenger has described Him, and one is not to go beyond the Qur’an and ahadits.’

The approach of the Salaf was to describe Allah as He Described Himself and as His Messenger described Him, without distorting or denying, and without asking how or likening Him to His creation.  We know that what Allah has Ascribed to Himself is true, and there is nothing mysterious or puzzling in it, rather its meaning is to be understood as the One Who said it meant it to be understood, especially when the one who said it is more knowledgeable of what he says than all other people and the most eloquent and most able to explain what he wanted to explain, and the most fluent in explaining, defining and guiding.

In addition to all of this, there is nothing like unto Allah, either in His Holy Essence or His Names and Attributes or Actions.  We believe firmly that He has a Real Essence and that He has Real Actions, and Real Attributes.  There is nothing like unto Him, in His Essence, attributes or actions. If there is anything that implies shortcomings or that He has a beginning, He is far above that in a real sense, and He is to be thought of as Perfect in such a way that there is no perfection above it.  He has no beginning and He cannot have been created, because there was never a time when He did not exist.  For anything to be created implies that there was a time when it did not exist, and that Creation would require a Creator, but He has always Existed from eternity.

The view of the Salaf is one of moderation, neither denying the Divine Attributes nor likening Allah to His Creation.  They do not liken the Attributes of Allah to the attributes of His Creation, as they do not liken His essence to the essence of His creation. They do not deny that which He ascribes to Himself or that His Messenger ascribes to Him, which leads to denying His Beautiful Names and Sublime Attributes, and to displacing words from right places and turning away from the Names and Signs of Allah.

Both those who deny Allah’s Attributes and those who liken Him to His Creation are guilty of both errors.  Those who deny His Attributes failed to understand the Names and Attributes of Allah except in a manner that is befitting to created beings, so they denied these concepts and thus they have combined both errors; first of all, they likened Him to His Creation, then they denied His Attributes as a result.  That is likening the Names and Attributes to what may be understood from the names and attributes of His Creation, then they denied the Attributes that He Deserves to have that are befitting to Allah (s.w.t.).”

He also said, in his Fatawa, “The companions of the _rophet have not differed in their interpretation of the verses that speak of Allah’s attributes.  I have read the comments they have made on these verses and I have studied the ahadits they have narrated.  I have also gone through more than a hundred commentaries on these verses in various books, large and small, but I have not come across up to this time any statement whatsoever by any companion in which he interprets any verse or hadits speaking Allah’s Attributes in a way different from what is commonly understood from them.  On the contrary, we have innumerable statements in which they confirm the common understanding and underscore the apparent meaning in opposition to what later writers have said regarding them.  There are also many things of interest in traditions they have narrated or the words which have come down from them.

I have not found them differing on anything except on a verse like, ‘the Day when a shin shall be laid bare.’, ibn ‘Abbas and some other companions have been reported to have said that it refers to the hardship to which Allah will expose people.  On the other hand, Abu Sa’id and some others with him have taken the shin to be one of the Attributes of Allah in view of the hadits which Abu Sa’id himself reported and which is recorded in the swahih collections.  From the language of the Qur’an, however, it does not appear that it is one of the Attributes of Allah, for the verse, ‘the Day when a shin will be laid bare,’ mentions shin as an indefinite noun, and does not ascribe it to Allah.  It does not say, ‘the shin of Allah’.  Since shin has not been ascribed to Allah, it cannot be counted as a divine attribute without giving further reason.  Hence, ibn ‘Abbas interpretation of the shin cannot be taken as a misinterpretation, for it is to understand a verse in a sense different from what it means and what people commonly understand by it.  Many people take a word in a sense it does not mean, and claim that it is the correct interpretation.  This is wrong on two grounds that we have discussed time and again.”

al-Khaththabi, as quoted al-Bayhaqi’s al-‘Asma wa asw-Swifat, said about the texts pertaining to Allah’s “shin”, “This hadits is one where our scholars dreaded saying something, so they passed it on in accordance with the literal meaning of the wording.  They did not explore the depths of its meaning, in accordance with their madzhab of ceasing to give tafsir to anything the essence of which is not encompassed with knowledge.”

Shaykh al-Islam ibn Taymiyyah is by and far the greatest inspiration on the ‘aqidah of those referred to by some as Wahhabi, and his books are the most common references in Saudi universities.

Now if someone may not be eloquent enough in explaining this or even if they are students who make an incorrect statement I think it would be greatly unjust to attribute kufr to such a group or to even be brave enough to imply that they are not within Ahl as-Sunnah.

Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: Nobody made takfir of him.  It was pointed out that he was severely mistaken in some areas and was misquoted in others.  His innovation, for which he was severely reprimanded included his bid’ah in ‘aqidah, the basis of the Wahhabi ‘aqidah.

The following is adapted from “Refutations of Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah’s (r.a.) Two Doctrines of Tawhid by Ustadz Abu Hamid ibn Marzuq.

Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (r.a.), the imam of the supposed madzhab of Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah (r.a.), never said that tawhid consisted in two parts: tawhid ar-rububiyyah and tawhid al-uluhiyyah.  Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (r.a.) also never said, “Whoever does not know tawhid al-uluhiyyah, then his knowledge of tawhid ar-rububiyyah is not taken into account because the idolaters also had such knowledge.” This is not part of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal’s (r.a.) doctrine of ‘aqidah, and is not found in the compilations of his followers such as Imam ibn al-Jawzi’s (r.a.) Manaqib Ahmad ibn Hanbal, and other books.

This innovated doctrine of Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah (r.a.) is not found in the works and teachings of any of the Salaf: the swahabah, the tabi’in, and the taba’ tabi’in.  And none of them made any sort of definition of tawhid close to the statement: “Whoever does not know tawhid al-uluhiyyah, then his knowledge of tawhid ar-rububiyyah is not taken into account because the idolaters also had such knowledge.”  And neither does this doctrine have any basis in the Qur’an and the sunnah.

The idea that Mawlid was celebrated 500 years after the Prophet (s.a.w.) is also nonsensical.  The practice as we know it now was mentioned much earlier.

The following is taken from “Earliest Mention of the Mawlid of Rasulullah (s.a.w.)”.

In his book, Akhbar Makkah, the 3rd century historian of Makkah, Shaykh al-Azraqi (r.a.), mentioned as one of the many places in Makkah in which the performance of swalah is desirable, mustahab, the house where the Prophet (s.a.w.) was born, Mawlid an-Nabi.  According to him, the house had previously been turned into a mosque by the mother of the caliphs Musa al-Hadi and Harun ar-Rashid.

The Qur'anic scholar, Shaykh an-Naqqash (r.a.), mentioned the birthplace of the Prophet (s.a.w.) as a place where du’a by noon on Mondays is answered.  He is quoted in Shaykh al-Fasi’s (r.a.) Shifa’ al-Haram, and others.

With regards the earliest mentions of the public Mawlid, the oldest source that mentioned a public commemoration of the Mawlid is in Shaykh ibn Jubayr’s (r.a.) Rihal: “This blessed place,” referring to the house of the Prophet (s.a.w.), “is opened, and all men enter it to derive blessing from it, on every Monday of the month of Rabi’ al-Awwal; for on that day and in that month was born the Prophet (s.a.w.).”

The following is an article providing comprehensive evidence of the Mawlid.  It is taken from A Muslim Convert Once More: Mawlid an-Nabi: Evidence from Qur’an & Sunnah, by Sidi Kamran Farooq on the 2nd January 2012.

The Mawlid as it is celebrated today did not exist in the first three generations of Islam’s history, and so according to the literal sense, it is an innovation, bid’ah.  However, as we have seen on the understanding of “innovation” as it applies to the fundamentals of Islamic jurisprudence, the Salaf and the scholars after them, such as Imam ash-Shafi’i (r.a.), Imam an-Nawawi (r.a.) and so forth defined reprehensible innovations as those things which both: did not exist in the time of the Prophet (s.a.w.), and cannot be inferred from a primary basis in the Qur’an or sunnah.  Both of these conditions have to be met for something to be considered a “reprehensible innovation” according to the shari’ah.  Therefore, in regards to the Mawlid, it cannot be considered a reprehensible or forbidden innovation, because it does have an inferable basis in the Qur’an and sunnah, as we shall see below.

Remembering the Prophet’s (s.a.w.) birthday is an act that the scholars of Islam have accepted and still accept.  This means that Allah (s.w.t.) Accepts it, according to the saying of ibn Mas’ud (r.a.): “Whatever the Muslims see as right, then it is good to Allah, and whatever is seen by the Muslims as evil, it is evil to Allah.”  This hadits was recorded by Imam Ahmad (r.a.), Imam Hakim (r.a.) in his Swahih, Imam Abu Dawud ath-Thayalisi (r.a.) in his Musnad, Imam ath-Thabarani (r.a.), Imam al-Bazzar (r.a.) in his Musnad, Imam Abu Nu’aym (r.a.), Imam al-Baghawi (r.a.), and Imam al-Bayhaqi (r.a.) in his Kitab al-I’itiqad.  How then can someone declare the belief of the vast majority of Muslims a bid’ah?

Brother Ali Camarata: There is a good article that discusses many aspects of the Mawlid.  This is a three part article; the link is to the second, and including the earliest recorded celebrations of it at: Muslim Matters: The Birth Date of the Prophet & the History of Mawlid II.

Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: What can this article possibly tell me that all those citations in the two I wrote above cannot?  And I am sure you did not read what I put up unless you have the extraordinary ability to read all that and find a reply in less than 10 minutes.  If you are not actually interested in finding out about anything, please do not waste my time.

Brother Ali Camarata: Brother Terence, if we wish to make assumptions you also responded within minutes of my long posts without reading.  You assume that my post was a response to you which it was not and that is the problem with assumptions.  The article was shared for the benefit of those who wish to benefit and specifically shared for the original poster.

Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: If you look at your comments and the time stamp, you would notice that not only have I read everything, I actually responded to every point raised.  You asked about where Menk was in variance with our ‘aqidah, I gave examples.  You asked about the position of Shaykh ibn Taymiyyah (r.a.), I cited the books and the scholars.  You contended about the Atsari creed, and I cited evidence.  You mentioned Mawlid, and I gave pages of reference.  And these are not things I plucked out of Google search.  These are from my own blog, researched, authenticated and written down in a methodical treatment of the subject matter.

Brother Colin Turner: For the Atsaris, theology is a blameworthy innovation and its proponents are in Hellfire.  This is all one needs to know about the Atsari creed, I believe, to understand what it is about.


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