All Praise & thanks are Allah’s
This day I have perfected your religion for you and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion.
[The Glorious Quran: Chapter 5 – Al-Maa’idah (The Table Spread): Verse3]
There is nothing that would bring you closer to Jannah and farther from the Fire but it has been clarified [by me] to you.
[Muhammad Sal Allaho Alyhe Wasallam: Reported in Masnad Ahmad]
A very interesting dialogue that reveals the reality of Celebrating the Birthday (Mawlid) of the Prophet Sal Allaho Alyhe Wasallam!
Characters: Two Muslims
Meeladi: Pro Mawlid Celebrations
Muwahhid: True follower of Quran and Sunnah (as interpreted by the early generations of the Salaf-us-Saliheen)
Muwahhid: Wa’alaikum assalaam. How come you are here so early? Haven’t you gone to the shop today?
Meeladi: Today is Eid-Milaad-un-Nabi. Most shops and markets are closed.
Muwahhid: Ahan! So you are celebrating Eid today!
Meeladi: Why? Aren’t you celebrating?
Muwahhid: Well, actually there are only two Eids in Islam; Eid Al-Fitar and Eid-ul-Adha.
Meeladi: There is this third Eid as well which is called ‘Eid Milaad-un-Nabi.’
Muwahhid: Hmmm, tell me one thing, for this third Eid… do people go on this Eid day to Eid Ground for performing Eid prayer?
Meeladi: No, there is no prayer for Eid Milaad-un-Nabi.
Muwahhid: Then why do you perform prayers for the rest of the two Eids?
Meeladi: Because those have to be performed.
Meeladi: Because those have been prescribed to be performed.
Muwahhid: Isn’t there any order for performing the prayer of Eid Milaad-un-Nabi?
Meeladi: Well I guess there won’t be any… that’s why no one performs it.
Muwahhid: Is there any order anywhere for celebrating the Eid Milaad-un-Nabi?
Meeladi: In fact have never heard of any order, but it is not even prohibited.
Muwahhid: Is the prayer for this Eid prohibited?
Meeladi: Well even that’s not prohibited!
Muwahhid: Then why don’t you perform it?
Meeladi: What do you want to say?
Muwahhid: What I want to tell you is that there is no proof for this Eid in Islam. Had this Eid been part of Islam then just like the other two Eids there would have been a prayer for it, its virtues would have been mentioned in ahadith, Rasool Allah Sal Allaho Alyhe Wasallam would have described and elaborated its instructions and rulings.
Meeladi: Does that mean that people who celebrate it are mistaken?
Muwahhid: Islam is not the name of actions of Muslims (what they do or do not do), Islam is the name of Quran and Hadith… whatever is proven as per Quran and Hadith is part of Deen, and whatever is not proven is not part of Deen. If anyone makes it part of Deen then they are adding something to the original Deen and this is a grave sin, this is what is termed as ‘Bid’ah’. Rasool Allah Sal Allaho Alyhe Wasallam seriously warned his Ummah against Bid’ah.
Meeladi: Didn’t anyone celebrate this Eid during the times of the Companions (Sahaba) and their followers (Taba’een)?
Muwahhid: Not at all. Never. Not even any Imam or Muhaddith did celebrate this Eid after the Sahaba and Taba’een. The four Imams of Ahlul Sunnah never even heard of the name of this Eid.
Meeladi: How can this be possible that a Muslim loves Rasool Allah Sal Allaho Alyhe Wasallam but at the same time lets his birthday pass by silently?
Muwahhid: Well that’s possible and has actually been the case as well. You can never prove from any historic account that any of the Sahaba, Taba’een, and Imams of the Salaf (righteous predecessors) ever celebrated this Eid. The real proof of the love for Rasool Allah Sal Allaho Alyhe Wasallam is established by following the Quran and Sunnah, not be celebrating this Eid.
Meeladi: Christians celebrate the birth of their Prophet as Christmas (Eid-e-Milaad), our Prophet is the most esteemed of all, then why shouldn’t we Muslims celebrate the birth of our Prophet???
Muwahhid: Well Christians also call their Prophet as son of God, should then we also call our Prophet as God or son of God just imitating the Christians? My dear brother! This is why Quran and Hadith have termed the Christians as misguided because they do everything against the teachings of their Prophet… celebrating Christmas is the way of Christians that they themselves invented, this is not the teaching of Prophet Essa Alaihissalaam. And our beloved Prophet Sal Allaho Alyhe Wasallam told us:
“Beware of the extravagance/exaggeration in matters of religion. Those before you have perished because of extravagance/exaggeration in the matters of religion.”
Meeladi: Do you mean to say that Eid Milaad-un-Nabi is a useless tradition? Muwahhid: If this was a good thing to do then why did Rasool Allah Sal Allaho Alyhe Wasallam and his Sahaba not do it, was there any shortage of resources at that time… people who were celebrating two Eids, what would have kept them off from celebrating the third one as well?
Meeladi: Well there are many things that we have today but those were not there during the times of Sahaba, today we travel in cars and aero planes, you should then travel by donkeys and horses following the Islam of Sahaba!!!
Muwahhid: My dear brother! Scientific inventions do not affect Islam, religious inventions affect Islam, Rasool Allah Sal Allaho Alyhe Wasallam said:
“Whoever innovates anything in this matter of ours (i.e., Islaam), that is not part of it will have it rejected.”
Bukhaari, Sahih Muslim]
So this makes it clear that every innovation is not bad and rejected but only that innovation is bad and rejected that has something to do with Deen and its affairs, and is practiced under the assumption of it being part of Deen and a source of reward, so all the innovations that people have invented under the umbrella of Deen – all of the are rejected.
Meeladi: Then why do you celebrate the happiness at the birth of a child?
Muwahhid: There is difference between celebrating a happiness and being happy. At the birth of a child, every human being feels happy; naturally, not religiously! As far celebrating this happiness is concerned, for that Shari’ah has instructed to perfprm ‘Aqeeqah on the seventh day… so for any matter where Shari’ah gives any instruction then that’s part of Deen. Now you tell me has Shari’ah given any instruction to celebrate Eid on 12 Rabi-al-Awwal or has it encouraged us to do so? Not at all. Also, at the birth of a child, the happiness is celebrated only once not every year. Is Rasool Allah Sal Allaho Alyhe Wasallam born on 12 Rabi-al-Awwal every year? The happiness on the birth of a child is celebrated on the seventh day not on his/her birthday, and that too only once not every year.
Meeladi: They say that Abu Lahab freed his bondwoman on the birth of Rasool Allah Sal Allaho Alyhe Wasallam.
Muwahhid: That’s because he was happy on the birth of his nephew, he did not free his bondwoman because a Prophet has come to earth. If this was so much an appreciated matter then did Rasool Allah Sal Allaho Alyhe Wasallam after announcing his Prophethood ever order to revive this action of Abu Lahab? What Abu Lahab did was just celebrating the happiness as per the worldly custom, the birth of child in any family is a cause of happiness, Abu Lahab’s freeing his bondwoman was not because he considered this day as Eid. If Abu Lahab loved the Prophethood of his nephew then he would never have displayed the worst hatred towards Rasool Allah Sal Allaho Alyhe Wasallam and neither would have a whole Surah in the Noble Quran been revealed condemning his wife. Then if we consider the action of Abu Lahab as a justification for Eid-Milaad-un-Nabi then it mean that this Eid, though, is not a Nabawi-Sunnah, but it is certainly a Abu-Lahabi-Sunnah!
Meeladi: I have heard that there is some difference of opinion among the historians about the correct date of birth of Rasool Allah Sal Allaho Alyhe Wasallam, what is the reality then?
Muwahhid: It is the Will of Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala to not to allow them consensus in this matter, so that the proof of Islam’s true nature remains maintained, people remain saved from this Bid’ah… this is what we say that this day was never celebrated among the earlier generations, it is a later innovation, if 12 Rabi-al-Awwal had been celebrated in any capacity in the times after him, then all the Muslims would have been in consensus about the date of birth of Rasool Allah Sal Allaho Alyhe Wasallam.
Meeladi: OK let’s accept that the birth of Rasool Allah Sal Allaho Alyhe Wasallam was not celebrated among the earlier generations but now in the modern scientific age isn’t is possible to find out the correct date of birth of Rasool Allah Sal Allaho Alyhe Wasallam?
Muwahhid: See brother, there is consensus among all the historians on the date of death and that is 12 Rabi-al-Awwal, but the modern research about the date of birth of Rasool Allah Sal Allaho Alyhe Wasallam suggests it to be 9 Rabi-al-Awwal. ‘Rehmat-ul-lil-Alameen’by Qazi Suleman and ‘Seerat-un-Nabi’ by Maulana Shibli Numaani have all the account of this research.
Meeladi: Then where did this Eid Milaad-un-Nabi come from?
Muwahhid: Well this is something that those who celebrate this Eid should be able to tell, however this is for sure that during the period ranging from time of Rasool Allah Sal Allaho Alyhe Wasallam until the time of Muhaddith Imams, it never existed.
Meeladi: If that’s the case then we are really committing a serious mistake, if our righteous predecessors did not celebrate this Eid then why should we do?
Muwahhid: May Allah bless you… Finally you have understood my point.
Meeladi: Well I have certainly understood your point, but can you explain one thing to me, people who celebrate Eid-Milaad-un-Nabi they do so with a good feeling and intention and there is a hadith: ‘Actions are but by intentions’
Muwahhid: My dear brother! Bid’ah is actually that action that is done with good intention but the action itself is wrong and hence rejected. For an action to be accepted by Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala, not only good intention but also compliance with Sunnah is a precondition, otherwise the action is just a ruin. You find this condition mentioned over and over again in the Noble Quran.
Meeladi: So, is there no reward at all for Eid Milaad-un-Nabi?
Muwahhid: Brother! When it is not part of Islam to begin with, then how can it be a source of reward… this is a bid’ah… addition in Deen is not a negligible sin. You are asking about reward, whereas on the day of resurrection (Yawm al-Qiyaamah) these people (innovators) will not even be offered water from the Haud al-Kawthar , Rasool Allah Sal Allaho Alyhe Wasallam himself will not allow these people to come close to him.
Listen! There is a hadith, Rasool Allah Sal Allaho Alyhe Wasallam said:
“I am your predecessor at the Lake-Fount (Kauthar), and whoever will come to it, will drink from it, and whoever will drink from it, will never become thirsty after that. There will come to me some people whom I know and they know me, and then a barrier will be set up between me and them. I will say those people are from me. It will be said, ‘You do not know what changes and new things they did after you.’ Then I will say, ‘Far removed (from mercy), far removed (from mercy), those who changed (the religion) after me! “
Meeladi: Indeed, it’s a serious matter. You have really frightened my by mentioning this hadith. It is so kind of you that you have guided me to the right way. Insha’ Allah I will guide my family and friends too so that they should repent from all the Bid’ahs and deviations and preserve on Kitaab-o-Sunnah.
Muwahhid: May Allah enable us all to do good deeds. Aameen.
* * *
Rasool Allah Sal Alaho Alyhe Wasallam said:
“Whoever among you lives (for a long time) will see many differences. I urge you to follow my Sunnah and the way of the rightly-guided khaleefahs who come after me. Hold on to it firmly. Beware of newly-invented matters, for every newly-invented matter is an innovation (Bid’ah) and every innovation is a going astray.”
[Ahmad & Tirmidhi]