Category Archives: Mawlid/ Milad/ Mawlood

Critical Review of Gibril Haddad’s refutation of Mufti Taqi Usmani regarding Mawlid

By Muzzammil Husayn

This is the article critically reviewing various objections that Shaykh Gibril Haddad has brought up concerning an article regarding the Mawlid written by Mufti Taqi Usmani. We have used red as the colour of the text directly quoting Shaykh Haddad verbatim from his article as it appears on his website, livingislam.org. The article by Mufti Taqi can be found on the Albalagh.net website and is entitled; “Rabi’ul-Awwal”.

In reply to Mufti Taqi’s comment:

“Thus the birth of the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, was the most significant and the most remarkable event in human history.”

Gibril Haddad says:

“This is a confession by Mufti Taqi `Usmani that the night of the Mawlid Sharif is of greater significance and merit than Laylat al-Qadr”

Mufti Taqi didn’t say this but said:
“the birth of the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, was the most significant and the most remarkable event in human history.” Merit (fadilah) is one thing, which is not determined by ‘aql but nass, and significance and impact is another thing which can be measured by empirical tools of reasoning and history.

In reply to Mufti Taqi’s statement:

“Rabi’ul-Awwal is the most significant month in the Islamic history, because humanity has been blessed in this month by  the birth of the Holy Prophet Muhammad Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam” 

Haddad strangely says:

“This is true, yet the author further down (item #17) annuls the benefit of his own statement by denying the validity of any specific day of that month as an appropriate or preferable date for celebrating Mawlid and goes so far as to condemn the choice of that date as a reprehensible innovation.”

This assumes just because a date is significant, this fact has no benefit if the date is not specified for celebration! Does this mean Haddad gives no significance to the Hijrah because he does not celebrate it? There are many events of history that were significant but we are not ordered to celebrate it, and nor do we – this does not annul the benefit of their significance. Rather to celebrate a particular date with the intention of acquiring the blessing of that day – when it has not been established – would be to accuse the Sahabah and Tabi’in of ignorance of that virtue and our superior knowledge, as it is not established any of them specified a particular day in Rabi’ al-Awwal for celebration or extra good deeds. And the Sahabah were the most earnest of people for goodness, so to establish a practice – the determinant reason for which was present in their time, in this case the virtue of the month/day – which the Sahabah did not do is precisely the definition of bid’ah, as stated by Hafiz Ibn Kathir: Under Qur’an 46:11 of his Tafsir, he says in no ambiguous terms: “As for the Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah, they say about every action and statement not established from the Sahabah (Allah be pleased with them): it is bid’ah, because if it were good, they would have beaten us to it, because they did not leave a quality from the qualities of excellence except they hastened towards it.”

أما أهل السنة والجماعة، فيقولون في كل فعل وقول لم يثبت عن الصحابة رضي الله عنهم هو بدعة لأنه لو كان خيراً لسبقونا إِليه، لأنهم لم يتركوا خصلة من خصال الخير إِلا وقد بادروا إِليها

[Al-Shatibi and others put obvious conditions to this general rule as follows: that the determinant factor for such a good deed was present in the time of the Sahabah – which is found here – and the act is not merely a means to a greater objective but is taken as a religious recommendation and commendation in itself – as is clearly the case with Haddad here]

Surely the first ones to recognise the virtue of Rabi’ or a particular day thereof, and the excellence of increasing in acts of goodness therein, would have been the Sahabah? Since they missed it (!), it is bid’ah to specify a day for extra good deeds thinking it is more virtuous as it implies the Sahabah were ignorant of its virtue. For his proof, Haddad says:

“the night of the Mawlid Sharif is of greater significance and merit than Laylat al-Qadr which is the position of some of the Maliki Imams as cited by Abu al-`Abbas al-Wansharisi (d. 914) in his encyclopedia of Maliki fatwas titled _al-Mi`yar al-Mu`rab wa al-Jami` al-Mughrib fi Fatawa Ahl Ifriqya wa al-Andalus wa al-Maghrib (11:280-285)”

Remember, “some” normally means “more than one,” but this encyclopaedia only cites one person stating this view. Another example of Haddad’s dishonesty. Furthermore, one errant view is not a proof.

Haddad quotes a recent scholar who encourages inventing two new Eids in the year:

“The two nights of the distinguished noble birth and the magnificent Prophetic Ascension appear to be the very best of the nights of the world without hesitation nor doubt… and if this is the case then such as these two nights [MAWLID and MI`RAJ] deserve to be taken henceforth each as a recurring festival among other recurring festivals (`Eid min al-A`yad) and as a seasonal celebration (mawsim) among other seasonal celebrations devoted to good deeds and striving. Therefore those dates should be respected and venerated, the Book of Allah should be recited in them, and in their honor deeds should be performed that indicate joy and happiness at their immense merit as well as thankfulness to Allah Most High for His blessings and favors in them. This the Law in no way denies nor condemns, and no reprimand nor prohibition can be directed at those who perform this whatsoever”

Al-Shatibi al-Maliki while discussing the part of his definition of bid’ah that bid’ah is something that “rivals the Shari’ah,” he says:

“Meaning, it [i.e. bid’ah] resembles a method of the Shari’ah, although is in fact not so, rather is in conflict with it. An explanation of its [bid’ah’s] resemblance with it [Shari’ah], is from a number of perspectives…From them is sticking firmly to specified forms and ways, like dhikr in the form of congregation with one voice, and adopting the day of the birth of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) as an ‘Id, and what resembles that.”

وقوله في الحد : ” تضاهي الشرعية ” ; يعني أنها تشابه الطريقة الشرعية من غير أن تكون في الحقيقة كذلك ، بل هي مضادة لها من أوجه متعددة :
منها : وضع الحدود; كالناذر للصيام قائما لا يقعد ، ضاحيا لا يستظل ، والاختصاص في الانقطاع للعبادة ، والاقتصار من المأكل والملبس على صنف دون صنف من غير علة .
ومنها : التزام الكيفيات والهيئات المعينة ، كالذكر بهيئة الاجتماع على صوت واحد ، واتخاذ يوم ولادة النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم عيدا ، وما أشبه ذلك

[although some may object that this conflicts with the dhikr-in-unison from the asghal of the Sufiyah, such dhikr is only allowed as a means to acquire the state of ihsan, and when it is only treated as a means and does not become widely regarded as a formal religious practice, it will not fall under the category of bid’ah.]

Hence, adopting that particular day as ‘id is precisely what al-Shatibi determined as bid’ah.

It is recorded in al-Mi’yar al-Mu’rib (7:102-3) that al-Shatibi was asked about bequeathing one third of one’s inheritance (the maximum that can be bequeathed) as a charitable donation to the mawlid, and he replied: “Bequeathing one third as a charitable donation to establish the night of mawlid of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace): it is known that establishing mawlid according to the way recognised amongst the people is an invented bid’ah, and every bid’ah is misguidance, so spending to establish a bid’ah is not permissible, and the will will not be effective, rather it is necessary for the Qadi to cancel it, and to return the one third to the heirs which they distribute amongst themselves – and may Allah curse those poor people (or it could mean: the Sufi “faqirs”) who seek such wills to be executed.”

الوصية بالثلث ليوقف على إقامة ليلة مولد النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم فمعلوم أن إقامة المولد على الوصف المعهود بين الناس بدعة محدثة و كل بدعة ضلالة فالإنفاق على إقامة البدعة لا يجوز و الوصية به غير نافذة بل يجب على القاضي فسخه و رد الثلث إلى الورثة يقتسمونه فيما بينهم و أبعد الله الفقراء الذين يطلبون إنفاذ مثل هذه الوصية

Notice, he says “according to the way recognised amongst the people,” indicating that it is this form that is bid’ah – i.e. treating it as an annual ‘id, saying it has virtue and thus deserves extra devotion which the Sahabah did not realise, taking it as a religious recommendation for that specific day etc. Of course, if “mawlid” means only recollecting the birth of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) and expressing joy upon doing so without any of these restrictions, who can condemn that?

Mufti Taqi Usmani said:

“The dates of these two Eids do not correspond to the birthday of any of the outstanding persons of Islamic history, nor can their origin be attributed to any particular event of history that had happened in these dates.”

Gibril Haddad says in response:

“Secondly, it is patently false that the origin of the two `Eids cannot be attributed to any particular event of history that had happened on these dates as the books of Tafsir are replete with the story of the sacrifice of Ibrahim (as) with his son Isma`il (as) on the occasion of which was offered a huge ram as stated in the Holy Qur’an.”

Where is the proof that Ibrahim’s sacrifice happened on the 10th of Dhu al-Hijjah? It is clear that the reason for placing the date at that time was because that is the time of Hajj as said by Mufti Taqi, even if the sacrifice is to follow the Sunnah of Ibrahim (‘alayhi al-salam). Mufti Taqi is therefore correct that the date of the two ‘Ids cannot be attributed to the date of an event that happened on that day. This is why the udhiyah is not tied down to the particular day of ‘Id – it is permissible to perform the sacrifice on the day of ‘Id or a couple of days after. If it was the case that Ibrahim (‘alayhi al-salam) performed the sacrifice on that day and that is why ‘Id was ordained on that day, the sacrifice would not be allowed on the following two days. It seems it is a habit of Haddad to force a clearly false interpretation on a text and then attack a straw-man.

Regarding Mufti Taqi’s statement:

“The prophets of Allah are the persons of the highest status amongst all human beings. But the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, or his noble companions never observed the birthday or anniversary of any of them. Even the birthday of the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, which was the most happy day for the whole mankind was never celebrated by the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, himself, nor by his blessed Companions.”

Haddad says:

“As for the rest of the paragraph I am sorry to say it is a blatant lie, the Prophet expressly commemorated his own birthday – as did the early Umma in his wake – by fasting every Monday. He and they treated his birthday as the cause and driving factor (`illa) for this act of devotion as shown in the Sahih and as illustrated by the commentators of those narrations, among them Ibn Khuzayma and his student Ibn Hibban, each one of them in his Sahih. And this suffices as evidence for those endowed with sight.”

He accuses Mufti Taqi of lying (and I doubt he was really “sorry to say” that), whereas the facts he lists have nothing to do with what Mufti Taqi mentioned. Mufti Taqi is clearly referring to the annual birthday – i.e. the 12th of Rabi’ al-Awwal – that it was never observed or celebrated. The Monday fast is one method prescribed in the Sunnah for remembering the birth of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) – so why is this Sunnah method of observing this remembrance not emphasised but the yearly mawlid which was never practised in the formal way it is today?

The so-called “Wahhabi Misconception of Usul”

Mufti Taqi Usmani wrote:

“Had there been room in Islamic teachings for the celebration of birthdays or anniversaries, the birthday of the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, would have undoubtedly deserved it more than the birthday of any other person. But that is against the nature of Islamic teachings.”

In his reply, Gibril Haddad wrote:

“This is a Wahhabi misconception of Usul which was refuted notably by the Ghumari Shuyukh (see item #23), namely, that Tark (not doing something) is NOT a proof that something is condemned or that it is not praiseworthy, as the Prophet did not, in his lifetime, do absolutely everything that was praiseworthy or permissible. The same goes for the early generations. Rather, the criteria for judging if something belongs on the accepted side of Shari`a and is endorsable by the Sunna or not, is to evaluate it in the balance of the Qur’an and Sunna: whatever is confirmed by them is part of them and whatever violates them is rejected.”

Notice he describes the principle of leaving what the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) left a “Wahhabi misconception of Usul”. He also says the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) and the early generations did not do everything praiseworthy – and yet it is those who say they did do everything praiseworthy that are accused of denigrating them!

Ibn Kathir said: “As for the Ahl al-Sunnah wa l-Jama’ah, they say with regards to every action and statement not established from the Companions: it is bid’ah, because had there been [any] good [besides what is established from them], they would have beat us to it, as they did not leave a trait from the good qualities, except they hastened to it.” (Tafsir ibn Kathir, p. 1703)

Shaykh Ahmad al-Sirhindi – the founder of Gibril Haddad’s tariqah – said: “We abstain from good bid’ah, even if its light is like the break of dawn, because bid’ah inevitably removes a sunnah. If one does something which he (upon him be peace) did not do, he is in opposition to him in this [practice], and if he did not do something that he (Allah bless him and grant him peace) did do, that is also the case.” And he forbade verbalising the intention before Salah for this very reason. [The view of Mujaddid al-Alf al-Thani has been discussed at great length in a previous post, which can be found at this link: Moulood and the Shariah ]

Also Shatibi discussed the issue of Tark in al-I’tisam [Mawlana Shabbir Ahmad ‘Uthmani in hismagnum opusFath al-Mulhim has quoted from al-Shatibi regarding the issue of tark (not doing something). The relevant pages from the mentioned book can be found at this link: http://tinyurl.com/dx5sp3x]. He explains that some (religious) things were left out even though their reasons were present – these are bid’ah; and some things were left out but their reasons were not present which should be assessed by the scholars based on the pricniples of the Shari’ah. The same was expressed by Mawlana Ashraf ‘Ali Thanawi [Mawlana Ashraf ‘Ali Thanawi’s discussion in Wa’azus Suroor can be found at this link: http://tinyurl.com/d5ayr3f]. Al-Shatibi then said: “Indeed, here, silence over the ruling of the performance of an act or leaving [it] when the factor demanding it is present, is [equivalent to] the consensus of all who are silent that there is no excess to what was, since if that [excess] was suitable according to the Shari’ah or permissible they would have done it, and they would be more deserving of comprehending it and beating [us] in practising it, because it is not correct that the legal cause was ineffective in the time of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) and the caliphs after him and then it came into effect . For this [reason] Malik said, ‘Do you believe people today are more desirous of good than those who have passed?’

The author of al-Hidayah probably the most widely-accepted and influential text on Hanafi fiqh says:

ولا يتنفل في المصلى قبل صلاة العيد ” لأن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم لم يفعل ذلك مع حرصه على الصلاة ، ثم قيل الكراهة في المصلى خاصة ، وقيل فيه وفي غيره عامة لأنه صلى الله عليه وسلم لم يفعله

“One should not pray on the Musalla [of Id] before the Salat al-‘Id because the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) did not do that despite his enthusiasm for Salah. Moreover it was said the detestability was for the Musalla specifically, and it was said for the Musalla and other than it generally because he (Allah bless him and grant him peace) did not do it.”

Also the Maliki faqih Abu ‘Abd Allah Muhammad ibn ‘Ali al-Haffar (d. 811 H) said, echoing many of the points made by Mufti Taqi Usmani and supporting the so-called “Wahhabi misconception of Usul”:

وليلة المولد لم يكن السلف الصالح وهم أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم والتابعون لهم يجتمعون فيها للعبادة، ولا يفعلون فيها زيادة على سائر ليالي السنة، لأن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم لا يعظم إلا بالوجه الذي شرع فيه تعظيمه، وتعظيمه من أعظم القرب إلى الله، لكن يتقرب إلى الله جل جلاله بما شرع، والدليل على أن السلف الصالح لم يكونوا يزيدون فيها زيادة على سائر الليالي أنهم اختلفوا فيها، فقيل إنه صلى الله عليه وسلم ولد في رمضان وقيل في ربيع، واختلف في أي يوم ولد فيه على أربعة أقوال، فلو كانت تلك الليلة التي ولد في صبيحتها تحدث فيها عبادة بولادة خير الخلق صلى الله عليه وسلم، لكانت معلومة مشهورة لا يقع فيها اختلاف ولكن لم تشرع زيادة تعظيم …

ولو فتح هذا الباب لجاء قوم فقالوا يوم هجرته إلى المدينة يوم أعز الله فيه الإسلام فيجتمع فيه ويتعبد، ويقول آخرون الليلة التي أسري به فيها حصل له من الشرف ما لا يقدر قدره، فتحدث فيها عبادة، فلا يقف ذلك عند حد، والخير كله في إتباع السلف الصالح الذين اختارهم الله له، فما فعلوا فعلناه وما تركوا تركناه، فإذا تقرر هذا ظهر أن الاجتماع في تلك الليلة ليس بمطلوب شرعا، بل يؤمر بتركه

“The pious predecessors, that is the Companions of Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace) and the Successors, did not congregate for worship on the night of the mawlid, and they would not increase therein over the rest of the nights of the year, because the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) is not glorified except in the manner in which his glorification has been established in the Shari’ah; and his glorification is from the greatest acts of nearness to Allah, but one should seek proximity to Allah with what has been legislated in the Shari’ah. The proof that the Salaf did not increase on that [night] more than the rest of the nights is that they differed over it; so it has been said he (Allah bless him and grant him peace) was born in Ramadan and it has been said in Rabi’, and the day on which he was born has been disputed according to four different views. So if it was the case that on the night in the morning of which he was was born acts of worship were invented in it due to the birth of the best of creation (Allah bless him and grant him peace), it would have been specified and well-known containing no controversy. But increased glorification has not been legislated…If this door is opened, some people will say the day of Hijra is a day in which Allah honoured Islam so they would gather therein and increase in worship, and others will say in the night of Isra he attained immeasurable honour so they invent worship therein, and this will have no boundary. And all good is in following the Pious Salaf for which Allah has selected them; so whatever they do, we do and whatever they left we leave. When this is realised, it becomes clear gathering on this night is not legally required, rather one is ordered to leave it.” (Al-Mi’yar al-Mu’rib 7:99-100)

Were al-Shatibi, Imam Malik, al-Haffar, Ibn Kathir, al-Marghinani and Mujaddid al-Alf al-Thani all following a “Wahhabi misconception of Usul”?

Celebrating Birthday’s is a Pagan Custom

Mufti Taqi Usmani writes:

In fact, commemorating the birth of a distinguished person has never been prescribed by any religion attributing itself to divine revelation. It was originally a custom prevalent in pagan communities only. Even Christmas, the famous Christian feast commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ finds no mention in the Bible or in the early Christian writings.

Shaykh Gibril Haddad writes, in response to this:

Here we find three errors. First, and this is the gravest error, the author denies that the commemoration of the birth of a distinguished person was ever prescribed by any heavenly religion as if he never heard that the Prophet was ordered to dismount from the Buraq during Isra’ and pray at the spot where `Isa (as) was born precisely for that reason and no other. The narration goes, “Then he [Allah bless him and give him peace] reached a land where the palaces of al-Shaam became visible to him. Gibril said to him: ‘Alight and pray.’ He did so and remounted, then the Buraq continued his lightning flight and Gibril said: ‘Do you know where you prayed?’ He said no. Gibril said: ‘You prayed in Bayt Lahm, where `Isa ibn Maryam was born.’” Narrated as part of a longer hadith from Anas by al-Nasa’i with a sound chain and from Shaddad ibn Aws by al-Bayhaqi who declared it sound in Dala’il al-Nubuwwa (2:355-357), and by al-Tabarani in al-Kabir and al-Bazzar with a sound chain as indicated by al-Haythami in Majma` al-Zawa’id and Ibn Hajar in Mukhtasar Zawa’id Musnad al-Bazzar (1:90-91 #32). Secondly, the prescription of the commemoration of the birth of Christ *was* prescribed in the early Christian Church, even if its chronological proximity to the pagan commemoration of the winter solstice was co-opted by the political authorities as a means to recycle prevalent social customs in certain regions including those of pagan origins. Thirdly, what flimsier way to adduce evidence is there than to cite tampered Scriptural texts in order to infer or disinfer a Shari`a ruling?

I wished to analyse this quote of GF Haddad, as it offers us an example of where under greater scrutiny, it is he who is flimsy and, in fact, plain dishonest:

Narrated as part of a longer hadith from Anas by al-Nasa’i with a sound chain

Note, he does not mention who considered the chain of al-Nasa’i sound. Al-Nasa’i’s chain of narration contains two narrators that were criticised: Yazid ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Abi Malik (d. 130 H) of whom al-‘Asqalani said “reliable, sometimes erring” (saduq rubama wahim) (Taqrib) and Ya’qub ibn Sufyan said “there is weakness in his hadith” (fi hadithihi lin), although other narrator-critics praised him; and Makhlad ibn Yazid (d. 193 H) of whom al-‘Asqalani said “reliable, he made errors” (saduq lahu awham) (Taqrib) although others praised him. Along with the slight weakness in the chain, there is nakarah(objectionability on the grounds of conflicting with stronger narrations) in it as mentioned by Ibn Kathir who mentions this narration in his Tafsir and says “in it is severe nakarah(objectionability) and gharabah (strangeness).”

عن أنس بن مالك، وفيها غرابة ونكارة جداً وهي في ” سنن النسائي ” المجتبى ولم أرها في الكبير، قال: حدثنا عمرو بن هشام

and from Shaddad ibn Aws by al-Bayhaqi who declared it sound in Dala’il al-Nubuwwa (2:355-357)

Although al-Bayhaqi declared it sound (despite the presence of a questionable narrator), Ibn Kathir said in his tafsir after mentioning this narration from al-Bayhaqi’s Dala’il:

“This hadith from Shaddad ibn Aws was narrated in its length by Imam Abu ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Abi Hatim in his Tafsir from his father from Ishaq ibn Ibrahim ibn al-‘Ala al-Zabidi with it. There is no doubt that this hadith, I mean the hadith narrated from Shaddad ibn Aws, contains parts, from which is what is sahih (authentic) as mentioned by al-Bayhaqi, and from which is what is rejected (munkar) like the prayer in Bayt Lahm (Bethlehem) and al-Siddiq’s asking about the description of Bayt al-Maqdis and other than that. Allah knows best”

وقد روى هذا الحديث عن شداد بن أوس بطوله الإمام أبو عبد الرحمن بن أبي حاتم في تفسيره عن أبيه عن إسحاق بن إبراهيم بن العلاء الزبيدي به، ولا شك أن هذا الحديث – أعني الحديث المروي عن شداد بن أوس – مشتمل على أشياء، منها ما هو صحيح كما ذكره البيهقي، ومنها ما هو منكر كالصلاة في بيت لحم، وسؤال الصديق عن نعت بيت المقدس، وغير ذلك، والله أعلم.

Ibn Kathir, therefore, considers the part about praying at Bayt Lahm – which is described as the birthplace of ‘Isa – rejected. The hadith from Shaddad only comes through the route of Ishaq ibn Ibrahim ibn al-‘Ala ibn Zibriq (d. 238) who was said to lie by Muhammad ibn ‘Awf (as mentioned in Taqrib) and al-‘Asqalani considered him “truthful with many errors” (saduq yahimu kathiran), while Shu’ayb Arna’ut said he is truthful but weak when narrating from ‘Amr ibn al-Harith and this particular hadith comes through this route; so, is weak.

Besides the weakness of its chain, the reason Ibn Kathir considered it munkar (rejected) is probably because of other narrations which clearly state Buraq took them straight to the Bayt al-Maqdis without any stops in the journey; one such narration is narrated by Hudhayfah ibn al-Yaman from the Musnad Ahmad (38:356) with a sound (hasan) chain according to Shu’ayb al-Arna’ut [the narrators are the narrators of the two Sahihs besides ‘Asim ibn Bahdalah who is reliable], which states “we, Jibril and I, did not part from its back [i.e. Buraq’s] until I came to Bayt al-Maqdis.” Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah mentioned the narration of praying at Bayt Lahm in his Zad al-Ma’ad and said “it is unsound.”

The following is where Haddad was clearly dishonest:

and al-Bazzar with a sound chain as indicated by al-Haythami in Majma` al-Zawa’id

Al-Haythami in Majma’ al-Zawa’id says, after mentioning the narration of Shaddad ibn Aws: “Al-Bazzar and al-Tabrani in al-Kabir narrated it…In it is Ishaq ibn Ibrahim ibn al-‘Ala, considered trustworthy by Yahya ibn Ma’in and weakned by al-Nasa’i.”

رواه البزار والطبراني في الكبير ، إلا أن الطبراني قال فيه : ” قد أخذ صاحبك الفطرة ، وإنه لمهدي . وقال في وصف جهنم كيف وجدتها ؟ قال : مثل الحمة السخنة ” . وفيه إسحاق بن إبراهيم بن العلاء ، وثقه يحيى بن معين ، وضعفه النسائي

And this Haddad claims is an indication of its soundness from al-Haythami though he makes no such judgement.

and Ibn Hajar in Mukhtasar Zawa’id Musnad al-Bazzar (1:90-91 #32)

This conjunction suggests to the reader Ibn Hajar also indicated to the soundness of this report of Shaddad ibn Aws from al-Bazzar; however, al-‘Asqalani does not say it is sound at all in Mukhtasar Zawa’id Musnad al-Bazzar, and he himself says Ibn Zibriq (Ishaq ibn Ibrahim) one of the narrators of the chain “errs excessively.”

The important point to note about this narration is, therefore, the chains of narration are not without fault and Ibn Kathir deemed the prayer at Bayt Lahm munkar because of its contradiction with stronger reports which do not mention this and which state he went straight to Bayt al-Maqdis without pause. Gibril Haddad deceptively claimed Haythami and Asqalani indicated the chain is sound and he himself assessed the chain of Nasa’i to be sound without supporting this assertion. Furthermore, this can hardly be considered a prescription/order to commemorate (= remember) the birth of ‘Isa if the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) when told to pray did not know where he was.

Secondly, the prescription of the commemoration of the birth of Christ *was* prescribed in the early Christian Church, even if its chronological proximity to the pagan commemoration of the winter solstice was co-opted by the political authorities as a means to recycle prevalent social customs in certain regions including those of pagan origins

In exact contradiction to this statement, the Catholic Encyclopaedia states: “Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the Church. Irenaeus and Tertullian omit it from their lists of feasts; Origen, glancing perhaps at the discreditable imperial Natalitia, asserts (in Lev. Hom. viii in Migne, P.G., XII, 495) that in the Scriptures sinners alone, not saints, celebrate their birthday; Arnobius (VII, 32 in P.L., V, 1264) can still ridicule the “birthdays” of the gods.” The Encyclopaedia goes on to mention that the first time it was celebrated was two centuries after Christ.

From this it is clear the early Church in fact scorned the celebration of birthdays and had no knowledge of the celebration of the birth of Christ. Based on this, Mufti Taqi’s claim, that revealed religions did not prescribe the celebration of birthdays and that this was prevalent only amongst pagans, holds true. And, it seems, Haddad’s assertion above, that the commemoration of the birth of Christ was prescribed in the early Church, is simply fabricated and has no basis in fact.

The Prophet and Observing Anniversaries

Mufti Taqi said:

“In original Islamic resources, also we cannot find any instruction about the celebration of birthdays or death anniversaries. Many Companions of the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, passed away during his life-time. His beloved wife Sayyidah Khadijah, Radi-Allahu anha, passed away in Makkah. His beloved uncle Sayyidna Hamzah, Radi-Allahu anhu was brutally slaughtered during the battle of Uhud. But the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, never observed their birthday or their death anniversaries, nor did he ever advise his followers to celebrate his own birthday in Rabi’ul-Awwal.”

GF Haddad responds:

The above again shows strange or rather tragic (for such a celebrated author) ignorance of the Sunna. We already established beyond doubt that the Prophet celebrated his birthday by fasting. As for death anniversaries, the Prophet definitely visited his wife and uncle’s graves on a regular basis as well as his mother’s. Al-Bayhaqi narrates that the Prophet used to visit the graveyard of the martyrs of Uhud annually and punctually – “`ala ra’si kulli hawl”. Al-Bayhaqi also narrated in Shu`ab al-Imaan (6:201 #7901) that the Prophet said: “Whoever visits the grave of his parents or the grave of one of them every Friday, he will be forgiven and [his name will] be written among the pious sons.” (Man zaara qabra abawayhi aw ahadihima fi kulli Jumu`ah, ghufira lahu wa kutiba barran). And he is without the shadow of a doubt the most pious of all pious sons. Also, al-Bazzar narrates that the Prophet visited the Jannat al-Ma`la graveyard in Makkah, where his dear wife Sayyidah Khadijah was buried and called the whole place a blessed graveyard: “Ni`ma al-Maqbarah Hadhihi.” Imam Ja`far al-Sadiq narrated with his chain from al-Hasan ibn `Ali that Fatima the daughter of the Prophet used to visit every Jumu`a the grave of her uncle Hamza ibn `Abd al-Muttalib – may Allah be well-pleased with all of them! – which she had marked with a rock in order to recognize it, and she used to pray and weep there as narrated by `Abd al-Razzaq in his Musannaf, al-Bayhaqi in al-Sunan, al-Hakim in his Mustadrak and he declared its chain sahih, and Ibn `Abd al-Barr in al-Tamhid.

Firstly, Haddad’s proofs are irrelevant to Mufti Taqi’s statement. Mufti Taqi is referring to specifying the dates of the death or birth in the year to celebrate, as is the case with the mawlid. None of the examples in Haddad’s tirade prove this. If fasting on Mondays really is mawlid in the sense that is commonly understood, why not just fast on Mondays, and why does that not spring to mind when the word “mawlid” is used? Of course, Mufti Taqi is not condemning remembrance in general or visitation of graves in general. He himself says in the article under question: “The life of the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, is, no doubt, the most important source of guidance for all the Muslims, and every Muslim is under an obligation to learn and study the events of his life [i.e. including the birth], and to follow the practical example set by him in every sphere of life. The narration of his pious biography (the Seerah) in itself is a pious act, which invites the divine blessings, but the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah have not prescribed a particular time or method for it. This pious act should be performed in all the months and at all the times [i.e. without restrictions].” Therefore, Haddad’s reply is of no consequence to Mufti Taqi’s original comment. But what it does reveal is his clear dishonesty:

Haddad wrote:

As for death anniversaries, the Prophet definitely visited his wife and uncle’s graves on a regular basis as well as his mother’s.” Note the use of the word “definitely” and “a regular basis.

Based on this a general reader would think that the authentic collections and hadiths [as he said “definitely”] prove that he time and time again visited the graves of his wife, mother and uncle. But there is no sound evidence for this. There is the famous narration in Sahih Muslim of visiting his mother – once – but not “on a regular basis.” As for his “proofs”:

Haddad wrote:

Al-Bayhaqi narrates that the Prophet used to visit the graveyard of the martyrs of Uhud annually and punctually – “`ala ra’si kulli hawl”.

He did not give any reference for al-Bayhaqi’s narration and I did not find it in the Ziyarat al-Qubur section of al-Sunan al-Kubra (Muhammad ‘Abd al-Qadir ‘Ata ed. 4:127-35) It is found in Musannaf of ‘Abd al-Razzaq (Habib A’zami ed. no. 6716) but ‘Abd al-Razzaq’s shaykh is unknown (he says “from a man from the people of Madinah”) and the narration is a mursal of Muhammad ibn Ibrahim al-Taymi who met very few of the Sahabah, so his irsal is likely from another Tabi’i whose identity is unknown. The narration is, therefore, certainly weak, and cannot be the basis for a “definite” assertion that he visited his uncle Hamzah every year.

Haddad wrote:

Al-Bayhaqi also narrated in Shu`ab al-Imaan (6:201 #7901) that the Prophet said: “Whoever visits the grave of his parents or the grave of one of them every Friday, he will be forgiven and [his name will] be written among the pious sons.” (Man zaara qabra abawayhi aw ahadihima fi kulli Jumu`ah, ghufira lahu wa kutiba barran).

In the edition of Mukhtar Ahmad al-Nadwi, he explains the narration (also found in Tabrani’s Mu’jams) is mawdu’ or close to mawdu’ (al-Jami’ li Shu’ab al-Iman, 10:297-8, no. 7522) Thus his inference that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) visited his parents on every Friday (as he said: “he is without the shadow of a doubt the most pious of all pious sons”) based on such a weak narration is invalid.

Haddad wrote:

al-Bazzar narrates that the Prophet visited the Jannat al-Ma`la graveyard in Makkah, where his dear wife Sayyidah Khadijah was buried and called the whole place a blessed graveyard: “Ni`ma al-Maqbarah Hadhihi.”

I did not find this in the relevant sections of the Zawa’id of al-Bazzar by al-Haythami (Kashf al-Astar) or in Majma’ al-Zawa’id. Haddad’s statement therefore, that “the Prophet definitely visited his wife and uncle’s graves on a regular basis as well as his mother’s”, is a clear example of dishonesty.

Gibril Haddad quotes:

Comment [from Brother Ahmad I on msa-ec mail list, 11 July 2000]: The Ulama of Deoband celebrated their hundred years anniversary of Darul Uloom Deoband in which they called Indhira Ghandi who was dressed in a Sarrie. She was seated on the stage while hundreds of Ulama were seated on the ground. Was this Islamic? Early Muslims did not celebrate hundred years establishment of Islam which was far more important that the establishment of Darul Uloom Deoband. According to you, our Nabi (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) did not celebrate birthdays and anniversaries. If the Ulama-e-Deoband claim to be true followers of the Sunnah, why then did they celebrate the hundred year anniversary of Darul Uloom Deoband? Was this not a Bid`at?

Indira Gandhi was not invited to the Dar al-‘Ulum event. She came without invitation of her own accord and at the time she was prime minister [Mawlana Rab Nawaz discusses the issue of Indira Gandhi attending the event at Dar al-‘Ulum Deoband:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxZ0MY8QAOQ].

The hundred year conference would be a one-time event that is not confused with being part of religion. The formal annual mawlid, on the other hand, is taken as part of religion, and for some it is so integral that it defines who is a “Sunni” and who is not. This is therefore an example of qiyas ma’a al-fariq (an invalid analogy), as the Dar al-‘Ulum event is different in this important respect to the formal mawlid.

Gibril Haddad says:

Nor is his harping on “the example of Christmas” when referring to Muslims acceptable. One well-known contributor on the newsgroupsoc.religion.islam, `Abd al-Rahman Lomax, said in a thread titled “Re: Al-Mawled (6/7) : Even worse!” Date: 22 Sep 1996: “I remember my first ‘Eid al-Fitr, in Tucson. This was a largely student community, with a few older Muslims including professors at the University of Arizona at Tucson. My clearest memory is of the sub-teen daughters of some of these families getting up on the tables and dancing to the encouragement of nearly everyone, with drum music coming over the P.A. system. This was not mawlid, this was ‘Eid ul-Fitr! Times have changed. But it is not clear to me that the more sober ‘Eids I have seen in recent years are closer to the actual sunna than that first ‘Eid. I’ll leave it to someone else to cite the relevant hadith; suffice it to say that the Prophet did, it appears, encourage having *fun* on ‘Eid, and that dancing and at least some form of music were actually encouraged.” Following Mufti Taqi Usmani’s reasoning in the above paragraph, if enough “bad” displays such as the above had been witnessed on `Eid, then `Eid celebrations should have been banned, either in absolute terms or in temporary and local terms. But isolated incidents are never a proof in ruling for or against something.

This is an incorrect deduction, as Mufti Taqi Usmani’s reasoning applies to that which has no basis in the early generations, that is, the formal annual celebration of the mawlid. The ‘Id is an established celebration of Islam, so will not be banned based on sinful activities. The rule is as follows: “When a ruling wavers between Sunnah and innovation, avoidance of Sunnah is given priority. And that which wavers between obligatory and innovation, it should be practised with caution.”

The Usul of Bid’ah and the Salaf

Mufti Taqi said:

“The Holy Qur’an has clearly pronounced on the occasion of the last Hajj of the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam: “Today, I have completed the teachings of your religion.” [Al-Maida 5:3] It means that all the teachings of Islam were communicated to the Muslims through the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam. No one is allowed after it to add any thing to them as a part of religion. What was not a part of religion during the lifetime of the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, can never become part of it. Such additions are termed by the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, as Bid’ah or innovation.”

Gibril Haddad commented:

“Comment: This is the weakest paragraph in the entire fatwa as it is entirely borrowed from the Wahhabi conception of bid`a, which violates the principles and methods of the Jumhur of Sunni `Ulema as to what constitutes bid`a and what does not. The Ulema have clarified this major methodological innovation in many useful publications which we have summarized elsewhere and there is no space nor need to reproduce this material here. Suffice it here to quote the words of Sayyid Muhammad al-Maliki – Allah keep him and all our impeccable Ulema and true Teachers – in one of his fatwas on Mawlid: “There is no doubt that such singing, dancing, reciting of poetry, and banging the drum [as narrated in the authentic Sunna] was for joy at being with the Prophet , nor did he condemn nor frown upon such displays in any way whatsoever. These are common displays of happiness and lawful merriment, and similarly to stand up at the mention of the birth of the Prophet is an ordinary act that shows love and gladness symbolizing the joy of creation: it does not constitute worship, nor law, nor Sunna!” It is also ironic that the verse they quote: { This day have I perfected your religion for you and completed My favor unto you} (5:3) was revealed on a Monday, the day of his Mawlid – Allah bless and greet him and his Family – according to some reports narrated by Ibn `Asakir as mentioned by al-Salihi in _Subul al-Huda_ (1:401).”

I will first address Haddad’s “ignorance of the Sunnah” (which he unduly accused Mufti Taqi of as shown above). He refers to a report that the verse (5:3) was revealed on a Monday,and yet ignores the well-known narration found in Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim that the verse was revealed on a Friday on the Day of ‘Arafah! Yet, Haddad quotes this little-known narration that contradicts the accepted narration to make an invalid point. The established and authentic narration in Arabic is as follows:

أن رجلا من اليهود قال له يا أمير المؤمنين آية في كتابكم تقرءونها لو علينا معشر اليهود نزلت لاتخذنا ذلك اليوم عيدا قال أي آية قال اليوم أكملت لكم دينكم وأتممت عليكم نعمتي ورضيت لكم الإسلام دينا قال عمر قد عرفنا ذلك اليوم والمكان الذي نزلت فيه على النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم وهو قائم بعرفة يوم جمعة

Next, Haddad says:

“This is the weakest paragraph in the entire fatwa as it is entirely borrowed from the Wahhabi conception of bid`a.”

It is in fact borrowed from the attitude of the early Salaf towards innovations, the explicit statements of Imam Malik to this effect and his muqallids, Ibn Waddah, al-Turtushi, and others, in particular al-Shatibi, and the statements of other pre-Wahhabi scholars and revivers.

Al-Shatibi quotes Ibn Habib al-Maliki: Ibn al-Majishun narrated to me: that he heard Malik say: “Whoever innovates in this ummah anything which its predecessors [i.e. the Sahabah] were not upon, then he has claimed that Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace) betrayed the messengership, because Allah says: ‘This day have I perfected for you your religion, and I have completed My favour upon you, and I am pleased with Islam as your religion.’ (5:3) So whatever was not religion then is not religion today.” (Abu Ishaq al-Shatibi (d. 790), al-I’tisam, Mashhur ibn Hasan Al Salman ed. 2:306-7)

قال : وقد حدثني ابن الماجشون : أنه سمع مالكا يقول : من أحدث في هذه الأمة شيئا لم يكن عليه سلفها ؛ فقد زعم أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم خان الرسالة ؛ لأن الله يقول : اليوم أكملت لكم دينكم وأتممت عليكم نعمتي ورضيت لكم الإسلام دينا ، فما لم يكن يومئذ دينا ؛ فلا يكون اليوم دينا

Similarly, the same Ibn al-Majishun reported from Imam Malik: “Whoever innovates an innovation in Islam, believing it to be good, then he has claimed Muhammad (Allah bless him and grant him peace) betrayed the messengership, because Allah says: ‘This day have I perfected for you your religion, and I have completed My favour upon you, and I am pleased with Islam as your religion.’ (5:3) So whatever was not religion on that day, is not religion today.” (ibid. 1:62)

من ابتدع فى الاسلام بدعة يراها حسنة فقد زعم أن محمدا صلى الله عليه وسلم خان الرسالة الخ

In the same way, Mujaddid al-Alf al-Thani Imam al-Sirhindi wrote: “From where do they judge that bid’ah, newly-invented in the perfect religion and the desired Islam [an allusion to Qur’an 5:3], is good after the perfection of the blessing [of Islam]?” (Al-Maktubat Vol 2, Letter 20)

It is therefore untrue that Mufti Taqi Usmani borrowed this principle from the “Wahhabis.” ‘Allamah Anwar Shah al-Kashmiri gave several sources from where the Deobandi elders acquired their strong opposition to bid’ah, and none of those sources are “Wahhabi”. He wrote: “Bid’ah is that which is not found in the Book, the Sunnah and the ijtihad of a mujtahid whose ijtihad is accepted. Moreover, if it is from that which is not confused with matters of the Shari’ah like a groom riding on a horse on the day of his marriage, this is not bid’ah although the matter may be futile (laghw); and if it is from that which is confused with matters of the Shari’ah like [specifying] the third and fortieth [day for reciting the Qur’an] after the death of a deceased individual, this is a bid’ah. [Several] works have been compiled on the refutation of bid’ahs. From the works of the Malikis is Ibn al-Hajj’s Madkhal and from the Hanbalis are the works of Ibn Taymiyyah who was the standard bearer in refuting bid’ah and from the Hanafis is [Ahmad al-Rumi’s] Majalis al-Abrar and some of the works of ‘Allamah Qasim ibn Qutlubugha. And the pithiest and greatest [work] to know the foundations of refuting bid’ahs is al-I’tisam bi l-Kitabi wa l-Sunnah by al-Shatibi the Maliki in two volumes.” (Al-’Arf al-Shadhi, vol. 4, pp. 135-6)

Regarding Shaykh Muhammad al-‘Alawi al-Maliki, he clearly says that the mawlid celebration is a “customary” (‘adi) matter, and when it is so, and not taken as part of religion, no one can claim it is innovation in religion. However Mufti Taqi pointed out in his response to him that this is not a distinction the common Muslims make:

‘Alawi al-Maliki wrote:

“Gathering for the purpose of the noble prophetic birth is nothing but a customary practice, and is not at all part of worship, and this is what we believe and take as our religion before Allah Most High.” Then he said: “We announce that specifying one night besides another for this gathering is the greatest estrangement from the Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace).”

Mufti Taqi replies:

“There is no doubt that commemorating the noble Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) and describing his biography is from the greatest of blessings and the most virtuous of fortunes when it is not restricted to a day or date, nor is the belief of worship associated with it in gathering on a particular day in a particular form.Thus, gathering to commemorate the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) with these conditions is in essence permissible, not deserving condemnation or blame.

“However, there is another approach adopted by many verifying and scrupulous scholars, which is that this gathering, although permissible in reality, many people believe it is from the objective acts of worship or from the religious obligations, and they specify for it specific days, along with what some of them mix with it of weak beliefs and illegal practices. Moreover, it is difficult for the general people to observe the subtle differences between custom and worship [i.e. religion]. Hence, if these scholars, by observing these matters, the importance of which cannot be denied, chose to prevent such gatherings, observing the principle of “blocking the means,” and recognising that repelling harms is favoured over attaining benefit, then they are holding firmly to proofs of the Shari‘ah, and thus do not deserve condemnation or blame. The course in these matters is like the course in matters which are open to ijtihadi difference, every man encouraging and giving fatwa according to what he believes to be true, and adopts the religion of Allah according to it, and at the same time not shooting the arrows of criticism at another mujtahid who holds an opposing view.”

(Mufti Taqi and Mufti Rafi’, taqriz of Mafahim)

History and Origin of the Mawlid

Mufti Taqi said:

“It was after many centuries [Albalagh Note: According to Maulana Yusuf Ludhinavi it was in the year 604 A.H.] that some monarchs started observing the 12th of Rabi’ul-Awwal as the birthday of the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, without a sound religious basis, and the congregations in the name of Maulood or Milad were held where the history of the birth of the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, used to be narrated.”

I will address GF Haddad’s reply in parts, and will highlight more examples of his dishonesty:

“As stated by al-Sayyid Muhammad al-Maliki in his Fatwa _Hawl al-Ihtifal bi Dhikra al-Mawlid al-Nabawi al-Sharif_ (10th ed. p. 15): “The first to observe the celebration of the Mawlid was the Prophet himself by fasting on Mondays because it was the day of his birth as narrated in Sahih Muslim. This is the soundest and most explicit textual proof for the licitness of commemorating the Noble Prophetic Mawlid.”

Nobody denies the licitness of commemorating the prophetic birth (i.e. mentioning it, discussing it, remembering it, reading about it etc.) or fasting on Mondays, but Mufti Taqi Usmani’s comment is regarding specifying the month of Rabi’ al-Awwal for a formal celebration, and taking that as part of religion. Haddad continues:

“In the light of such a proof what does it matter that “after many centuries some monarchs started observing the 12th of Rabi’ul-Awwal” as the Mawlid date, and who can believe such a lie as to claim that such observance was “without a sound religious basis”? Is this what the reliable authorities say, or is it just the opinion of some latecomers unfamiliar with the differences of the Ulema and the principles of the Shari`a?”

Yes, reliable authorities have said observing this date as a formal religious celebration (‘id) is bid’ah, like al-Shatibi, who was quoted above. It certainly matters that a date was specified, and GF Haddad himself demonstrated why this is problematic. He alluded in his comments that this night – the 12th of Rabi’ – is more virtuous in the year than any other night, and therefore is deserving of extra acts of goodness, devotion and celebration. This is precisely what makes it a bid’ah, as it means the Sahabah did not discover this merit, and as Imam Malik said, holding such a view would be to accuse the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) of betraying the risalah as he did not convey to us the blessedness of this particular night in the year and the extra acts that should be done in it. Is this not disrespect towards the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) and his noble Sahabah?

Now, for a revealing example of Haddad’s dishonesty:

“When the critics are unable to disprove the lawful on the basis of the foundations of the Religion, they turn to vacuous opinion unaware that in the field of opinion there are plenty of more trusted sources than themselves. Imam al-Dhahabi wrote in his Siyar A`lam al-Nubala’ (Arna’ut ed. 22:335-336): He [Muzaffar the King of Irbil] loved charity (sadaqa)… and built four hospices for the poor and sick… and one house for women, one for orphans, one for the homeless, and he himself used to visit the sick… He built a madrasa for the Shafi`is and the Hanafis… HE WOULD FORBID ANY REPREHENSIBLE MATTER TO ENTER INTO HIS COUNTRY”

The ellipses in this paragraph were placed for a very specific purpose: that the reader remains ignorant of exactly what makes these original celebrations problematic. In the last ellipses, al-Dhahabi said: “He would spread table-cloths therein, and he frequently attended Sama’, and he had no pleasure in anything besides it.” Because Sama’ is a controversial practice, GF Haddad decided he would hoodwink his readers by not translating that particular part. But there’s more: Haddad continues his quotation:

“As for his celebration of the Noble Mawlid al-Nabawi, words are too poor to describe it. The people used to come all the way from Iraq and Algeria to attend it. Two wooden dais would be erected and decorated for him and his wife… the celebration would last several days, and a huge quantity of cows and camels would be brought out to be sacrificed and cooked in different ways… Preachers would roam the field exhorting the people. Great sums were spent (as charity). Ibn Dihya compiled a ‘Book of Mawlid’ for him for which he received 1,000 dinars. He [Muzaffar] was modest, a LOVER OF GOOD, AND A TRUE SUNNI who loved scholars of jurisprudence and scholars of hadith, and was generous even to poets. He was killed in battle according to what is reported.””

Firstly, the part in capital in Arabic is “khayyiran sunniyyan” (i.e. generous, Sunni). It does not say “a true Sunni” (sunniyyun haqqan). Al-Dhahabi probably only said “Sunni” to contrast him from the Shi’ah, some of whom also ruled near this period.

Anyhow, Haddad purposefully placed the first ellipses where it is, as al-Dhahabi mentioned here: “In it were musicians and men of play, and he would come down everyday at ‘Asr and stand at every pavilion and watch/take enjoyment from (the music and play).” (wa fiha jawq al-maghani wa al-la’ib, wa yanzilu kulla yawmin al-‘asra fayaqifu ‘ala kulli qubbatin wa yatafarraj)

This is certainly forbidden. Ibn Khallikan mentions other acts of futility that would take place during this mawlid.

Regarding ‘Umar ibn al-Hasan Abu al-Khattab ibn Dihyah (542 – 633), who was the major scholarly figure behind the Sunni institutionalisation of the annual mawlid celebration, al-‘Asqalani said: “he was accused [of lying] in his transmission, although from the vessels of knowledge. He entered into what did not concern him.” Then al-‘Asqalani shows an example of him reporting a false lineage for himself. “Al-Hafiz al-Diya’ [al-Maqdisi] said: ‘His condition does not appeal to me. He frequently criticised the Imams.’ Then he said: ‘Ibrahim al-Sanhuri reported to me that the mashayikh of the West wrote criticism and weakening of him.’ He said: ‘And I saw from him many things which proves that.’” Al-‘Asqalani then showed he gave false information regarding the narrators from whom he took the Muwatta’. Ibn al-Najjar said: “I found the people in agreement on his lying , his weakness and his false claim to have heard what he did not hear.” It also says: “He was Zahiri in madhhab, and insulted the Imams and Salaf a lot, and had a revolting tongue, an idiot, very arrogant, with little insight in matters of religion, lax.” Al-‘Asqalani also reported other criticism. (Lisan al-Mizan, Abu Ghuddah ed. 6:80-8)

All this in fact proves the contention of the Majlisul ‘Ulama quoted by GF Haddad:

“From the above excerpts one can judge the shameless audacity of the statement of Majlis al-`Ulama or rather al-Juhala’ which said:

“MAINTAINING A CUSTOM WHICH WAS ORIGINATED BY IRRELIGIOUS PERSONS. It has already been explained elsewhere in this article that the originators of Meelad custom were irreligious persons. Six hundred years after our Nabi (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), the irreligious ruler of Irbal, assisted by irreligious learned men, invented and established this custom. Thus, those who organize Meelad functions and those who participate in them are in reality assisting to establish a practise introduced by evil men. They are aiding and abetting in the fostering of a custom which is in total conflict with the Shari’ah of Islam. It is a great crime to maintain and encourage customs and practices which were brought into being by those who had no connection with the Deen, more so, when these customs and practices are a conglomeration of un-Islamic elements”.

Observe how they begin with a lie and end with a greater lie, progressing from calling King Muzaffar and the Ulema of the Umma as “irreligious” until they end up saying they “had no connection with the Deen”! Is not the curse of Allah on the heads of the liars?”

Note Haddad’s insults: “shameless audacity,” “Juhala,” “begin with a lie and end with a greater lie”… He bases all this on “the above excerpts” which were neatly edited to remove the singing, music, futile play, and according to Ibn Khallikan, even acting. And he also makes no mention of the proofs mentioned before in the very same booklet by the Majlusul ‘Ulama, proving their contention:

“Six centuries after our Nabi ( صلى الله عايه وسالم) an irreligious ruler initiated this custom in the city of Mosul. Imaam Ahmad Bin Muhammad Bin Bisri Maaliki (rahmatullah alayh) writes in his Kitaab, AL-QOULUL MU’TAMAD:

“Allaamah Muizzuddin Hasan Khwaarzimi (rahmatullah alayh) states in his Kitaab: ‘The Ruler of Irbal, King Muzaffar Abu Saeed Kaukari, was an irreligious king. He ordered the Ulama of his time to act according to their opinions and discard the practice of following any of the Math- habs. A group among the learned men inclined towards him. He (this king) organized Moulood sessions during the month of Rabiul Awwal. He was the first of the kings to have innovated this practice.’ (AL-QOULUL MU’TAMAD)

“This irreligious ruler squandered vast sums of public funds in the organization and upkeep of these celebrations which had no sanction in Islamic Law. Allaamah Zahbi (rahmatullah alayh) – died 748 Hijri- says: “Every year this ruler spent three hundred thousand (from the Baitul Maal) on Moulood celebrations.” (DOULUL ISLAM)

“So, this practice of Moulood was originated by irreligious people. In the year 604 Hijri this king, Muzaffaruddin Koukari, introduced this custom with the aid of some learned people whose purpose was to gain the wealth and honour of this world. A notable and a prime instigator in the origination of this custom wasone Molvi Amr Bin Dahya Abul Khattab who died in the year 633 Hijri. He was a great supporter of the worldly and irreligious king of Irbal who introduced this custom. The evil character of this irreligious learned man is a fact upon which there exists unanimity among the great and pious learned men of Islam. Hafiz Ibn Hajar Askalaani (rahmatullah alayh) says about this Molvi who was responsible to a great extent for the innovation of Moulood customs: “He was a person who insulted the Jurists of Islam and the pious learned men of former times. He had a filthy tongue. He was ignorant, excessively proud, possessed no insight in matters pertaining to the Deen and he was extremely negligent as far as the Deen was concerned.” (LISAANUL MIZAAN)

“Hafiz Ibn Hajar Askalaani (rahmatullah alayh) further adds: “Allaamah Ibn Najjaar (rahmatullah alayh) said: ‘I have witnessed unanimity of opinion among the people as to him (this irreligious Molvi), being a liar and an unreliable person.’ ” (LISAANUL MIZAAN)”

Thus the Majlisul ‘Ulama booklet shows there were irreligious elements to Kukuburi (al-Malik al-Muzaffar) and the scholar ‘Umar ibn Dihyah, quoting Lisan al-Mizan of Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani. It is clear from this that Haddad had no real intent to address the actual arguments and proofs presented by these scholars, but instead to deceive readers into believing they in fact had no proofs at all.

Mufti Taqi said:

“The narration of his pious biography (the Seerah) in itself is a pious act, which invites the divine blessings, but the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah have not prescribed a particular time or method for it. This pious act should be performed in all the months and at all the times.”

GF Haddad replies:

“According to Usmani’s own criterion, the above advice is an invitation to bid`a because conferences and talks about the Sira have no precedent in the Sunna nor in the practice of the pious early centuries!”

Surely, even a layman can see the absurdity in this? Of course talks/narrations of the Sirah have precedent in the Sahabah. If it was said that this is all they did, and this was their sole mission, it would not be far off. How else was the Maghazi/Sira/Hadith literature transmitted to us, if it were not for the Sahabah sitting down with students, teaching them and narrating to them these things? Sirah and Maghazi, including events around the prophetic birth, are found in books of Sirah and books of Hadith, with chains back to the Sahabah themselves. It appears Haddad was so blinded in his defence of “mawlid” that he only saw from the actions of the Sahabah what he wished to see. Haddad continues:

“As for the assertion that “this pious act should be performed in all the months and at all the times” its absurdity is evident for all to see in light of the prohibition of the same act in the month of Rabi` al-Awwal and specifically the 12th of that month, although these two times fall within the time frame of “all the months and at all the times”!”
Its absurdity is not evident, as Mufti Taqi condemns the specification and restriction of the formal mawlid celebration to this date when it is done religiously, as the date is not established in the Qur’an and Sunnah or practice of Sahabah.

Mufti Taqi said:

“This difference of opinion [on the exact date in Rabi’ al-Awwal of the prophetic birth] is another evidence to prove that the observance of the birthday is not a part of the religion, otherwise its exact date would have been preserved with accuracy.”

Haddad replies:

“Comment: Another wholly original and innovative speculative analogy leading to a false proof without firm basis in the Religion…”

Note, he says this is “wholly original” and “innovative.” Yet, we find in the 8th (or early 9th) century, Abu ‘Abd Allah al-Haffar (d. 811) saying exactly the same:

وليلة المولد لم يكن السلف الصالح وهم أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم والتابعون لهم يجتمعون فيها للعبادة، ولا يفعلون فيها زيادة على سائر ليالي السنة، لأن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم لا يعظم إلا بالوجه الذي شرع فيه تعظيمه، وتعظيمه من أعظم القرب إلى الله، لكن يتقرب إلى الله جل جلاله بما شرع، والدليل على أن السلف الصالح لم يكونوا يزيدون فيها زيادة على سائر الليالي أنهم اختلفوا فيها، فقيل إنه صلى الله عليه وسلم ولد في رمضان وقيل في ربيع، واختلف في أي يوم ولد فيه على أربعة أقوال، فلو كانت تلك الليلة التي ولد في صبيحتها تحدث فيها عبادة بولادة خير الخلق صلى الله عليه وسلم، لكانت معلومة مشهورة لا يقع فيها اختلاف ولكن لم تشرع زيادة تعظيم…ولو فتح هذا الباب لجاء قوم فقالوا يوم هجرته إلى المدينة يوم أعز الله فيه الإسلام فيجتمع فيه ويتعبد، ويقول آخرون الليلة التي أسري به فيها حصل له من الشرف ما لا يقدر قدره، فتحدث فيها عبادة، فلا يقف ذلك عند حد، والخير كله في إتباع السلف الصالح الذين اختارهم الله له، فما فعلوا فعلناه وما تركوا تركناه، فإذا تقرر هذا ظهر أن الاجتماع في تلك الليلة ليس بمطلوب شرعا، بل يؤمر بتركه

“The pious predocessors, that is the Companions of Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) and the Successors, did not congregate for worship on the night of the mawlid, and they would not increase therein over the rest of the nights of the year, because the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) is not glorified except in the manner in which his glorification has been established in the Shari’ah; and his glorification is from the greatest acts of nearness to Allah, but one should seek proximity to Allah with what has been legislated in the Shari’ah. The proof that the Salaf did not increase on that [night] more than the rest of the nights is that they differed over it; so it has been said he (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) was born in Ramadan and it has been said in Rabi, and the day on which he was born has been disputed according to four different views. So if it was the case that on the night in the morning of which he was was born acts of worship were invented in it due to the birth of the best of creation (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam), it would have been specified and well-known containing no controversy. But increased glorification has not been legislated…If this door is opened, some people will say the day of Hijra is a day in which Allah honoured Islam so they would gather therein and increase in worship, and others will say in the night of Isra he attained immeasurable honour so they invent worship therein, and this will have no boundary. And all good is in following the Pious Salaf for which Allah has selected them; so whatever they do, we do and whatever they left we leave. When this is realised, it becomes clear gathering on this night is not legally required, rather one is ordered to leave it.” (Al-Mi’yar al-Mu’rib 7:99-100)

Mufti Taqi wrote:

“It is often observed, especially in the Western countries, that the people hold the Seerah meetings where men and women sit together without observing the rules of hijab prescribed by the Shariah. The teachings of the Holy Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, are obviously against such mixed gatherings. How can a Seerah meeting bring fruits where such fundamental teachings of the Shariah are openly violated?”

Haddad replied:

“This never invalidates the ruling of desirability that applies to the principle.”

This is a pointless statement as Mufti Taqi did not deny the desirability of the principle of commemorating the Prophetic biography through talks/speeches.

Regarding the comment posted by Haddad:

Allama Shaami (radi Allahu anhu) states: “One must not leave visiting the graves just because some illegal activities are taking place, for example, inter-mingling of sexes. Mustahabbaat (recommended acts) should not be left out because of this type of illegal activities. It is necessary for the people to visit the graves *and* stop the Bid`a”. (Fatawa Shaami: Kitabul Jana’iz – Discussion on visiting the graves)

Allama Shaami (radi Allahu anhu) has stated categorically that inter-mingling of sexes will not make any Mustahab act Haraam or avoided. There were idols in the Kaaba before Makkah was conquered, but Muslims did not leave out performing the Tawaaf (circumbulation) or Umrah because of the idols. Yes,when Almighty Allah gave them the power, they eventually destroyed the idols.

When people go for Haj, there is inter-mingling of sexes at the airport, in the plane, during Tawaaf,at Mina and at Muzdalifah, yet no one puts a stop to Hajj. In Meelad gatherings, at least men and women sit separately and women are with Hijab. In the Nikah assembly, inter-mingling of sexes occurs and most of the women do not come with Shar`i Hijab. Will the Majlisul Ulama issue Fatwas condemning Nikah gathering to be Haraam? If not, why then is your entire effort spent to make Meelaad functions Haraam?”

Firstly, in Radd al-Muhtar ‘ Allamah Shami was quoting Ibn Hajar al-Haythami and did not make that statement from himself. Examples of Hajj, Nikah etc. are invalid analogies, as these are prescribed elements of Shari’ah, whereas the formal annual religious celebration of the prophetic birth on a specific night of Rabi’ al-Awwal finds no basis. Anyhow, there is proof from the Hanafi Imams that when even a desirable act is mixed up with haraam elements, the desirable act itself should be altogether avoided – a principle known as sadd al-dhara’i.

Examining the Narrations presented as proofs for Mawlid

[Mufti Abu Hajira d.b]

Bismillahi Ta’ala,

At the outset I wish to mention that normally I do not entertain these kind of point by point matters, as most of it were done during my time on Sunniforum. However, everything from sunniforum is now lost so much of these points are resurfacing. I have been informed of this particular video of Imam Isaa Henderson where he presents solid proofs for the establishing of Mawlid Gatherings. I do not know of him, and my observations are purely on this video and what he mentions.

Also, my observation are not through proper tahqeeq rather what is in my mind at the time of writing this and cursory look up on the references so that they can be mentioned. Also, please do not consider this a refutation rather academic observation, which I am penning down simply because the ones who have requested me mentioned that Imam Isaa has jam packed all solid proofs and have shaken things up. So this is an attempt to show my brethren that there is always more than what meets the eye.

His video is mentioned: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjc8VnPLQs0

The first clear evidence mentioned by him in this particular video:

➡(0:15)  Fasting on Mondays was by way of celebrating his own birthday.

Observation : 

The narration about Rasulullah ﷺ keeping fast on Monday is presented in most Shama’il books. However to deduce ruling from that hadeeth is has further problems. 

a. The Shurrah of the hadeeth do mention that Rasulullah ﷺ mentioning that he was born on this day, and that wahi was revealed to him on this day brings about the virtue of fasting on this day. However, if that reasoning is to be taken, then that in itself is virtue of monday and not of the wilada itself. The virtue of wiladah ought to be separate from monday. This is a technical aspect to the issue. Some may understand it and other may just see it as superflous. 

The fruit of this technicality is that if we consider this fasting to be honoring of the wiladah itself, then Rasulullah ﷺ included another illah (reason) for fasting to it, i.e wahi being revealed on the day. So the honor of wiladah itself becomes a portion of the honor given to Monday. This is not the case. Honor of the wilada is definitely higher and more virtuous.

If we consider this honoring for Monday, then all the different reasons for fasting on the day become aparent, and wiladah becomes one of other reasons to fast on Monday.

Mulla Ali Qari rahimahullah quotes from al Teebi rahimahullah that clearly that a day in which fortunate action occurs deserves to be remembered. However, this rememberance is by way of fasting.

مرقاة المفاتيح شرح مشكاة المصابيح (4/ 1415)
 وقال الطيبي: اختيارا للاحتمال الثاني أي فيه وجود نبيكم، وفيه نزل كتابكم، وثبوت نبوته، فأي يوم أولى بالصوم منه

المفاتيح في شرح المصابيح (3/ 41)
 “وسُئل عن صوم الاثنين”: راوي هذا الحديث أيضًا أبو قتادة، عن عمر: أنه سأل رسولَ الله عليه السلام عن صوم يوم الاثنين، فأجابه بما يدل على أن هذا اليومَ مباركٌ وصومَه محبوبٌ.

b. This is what we understand from most shuruhaat of this hadeeth that the takhsees of honor is for Monday and not for wiladah in these cases. Although wiladah has been used as the illah for affording this honor. This would mean that if the Mawlid has to be held using this hadeeth as a basis, it should be on Mondays and not specific day of the year or even non-specific days of the year. 
 
It would infact impose that you not only take the celebration of mawlid from that hadith, rather also the modality of celebration as well. The way Rasulullah ﷺ is by fasting, and he tells sahaba that it is for remembering his birth, and someone turns around and make it the day of Eid which is a day of eating and enjoying? Moreover, when Rasulullah ﷺ shows that a gratitude is specifically being given in a certain manner, now it becomes incumbant to do it in that manner as well, AND in those times (i.e weekly on mondays and not yearly) as well.

➡(0:43) The sheikh also misunderstood the wording of this hadeeth and mentioned that the sahaba radi allahu anhum asked “when should I fast?”. This is not part of the hadeeth. rather Rasulullah ﷺ was questioned about fasting on Mondays. 

صحيح مسلم (2/ 820)
عَنْ أَبِي قَتَادَةَ الْأَنْصَارِيِّ، رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ سُئِلَ عَنْ صَوْمِ الِاثْنَيْنِ؟ فَقَالَ: «فِيهِ وُلِدْتُ وَفِيهِ أُنْزِلَ عَلَيَّ»

This is replete in the Shuruhaat of this hadeeth. Shuruhat mention discussion on it. muhaditheen mention that 

“Is the question of Sahabi about whether Rasulullah ﷺ fasted on Monday” ,
OR
“Why is Rasulullah ﷺ fasting on Monday”

is explicit in nature of the question asked. Sahaba is not inquiring which days to fast, rather why do Rasulullah ﷺ seclude Monday for fasting. 

مرقاة المفاتيح شرح مشكاة المصابيح (4/ 1415)
أي سئل عن فضيلته لأنه لا مقال في صيامه، فهو من الأسلوب الحكيم اهـ وفيه أن الظاهر أن السؤال عن العلة فيطابق الجواب السؤال، وعلى تقدير أن يكون السؤال عن نفس الصوم فالمعنى هل فيه فضل، فحينئذ ما ذكره أيضا فصل الخطاب لا من الأسلوب الحكيم في الحوادث

➡(0:48) The intention has not been given as “because it is the day I was born” rather multiple intention as I have alluded above. “And because I was revealed upon in this day”. (See hadeeth wordings above)

➡(1:22) The sheikh puts a rhetorical question that “How dare anyone say that Sahaba did not practice the mawlud?” 

I feel this question is incorrect. The Sheikh is side-stepping the entire discussion whether the fasting among the Sahaba is for mawlud or for any other reason. For indeed we have other riwayaat which mention fasting of Mondays and Thursdays

سنن الترمذي ت بشار (2/ 113)
745 – حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو حَفْصٍ، عَمْرُو بْنُ عَلِيٍّ الفَلاَّسُ، قَالَ: حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللهِ بْنُ دَاوُدَ، عَنْ ثَوْرِ بْنِ يَزِيدَ، عَنْ خَالِدِ بْنِ مَعْدَانَ، عَنْ رَبِيعَةَ الجُرَشِيِّ، عَنْ عَائِشَةَ قَالَتْ: كَانَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَتَحَرَّى صَوْمَ الاِثْنَيْنِ وَالخَمِيسِ

or the Saheeh Hadeeth that deeds are taken up on Mondays and Thursday so Rasulullah wishes to be in state of fasting

سنن أبي داود (2/ 325)
 إِنَّ نَبِيَّ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ كَانَ يَصُومُ يَوْمَ الِاثْنَيْنِ وَيَوْمَ الْخَمِيسِ، وَسُئِلَ عَنْ ذَلِكَ، فَقَالَ: «إِنَّ أَعْمَالَ الْعِبَادِ تُعْرَضُ يَوْمَ الِاثْنَيْنِ وَيَوْمَ الْخَمِيسِ»

سنن الترمذي ت بشار (2/ 114)
 أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ: تُعْرَضُ الأَعْمَالُ يَوْمَ الاِثْنَيْنِ وَالخَمِيسِ، فَأُحِبُّ أَنْ يُعْرَضَ عَمَلِي وَأَنَا صَائِمٌ.

It is understood that Sahaba did regard fasting on Mondays and Thurdays as a fulfillment of above, then to make takhsees of Sahaba’s aml for the first hadeeth only is incorrect.

➡(1:35) Definition of Mustadrak 

The Sh. talks about al-Mustadrak and defines it as a book which takes da’eef riwayat out and only keeps the saheeh. This is incorrect and would technically be a big blunder on the Sheikh’s part. al-Mustadrak has to do with Shara’it of Sihhah instead of making Tasheeh of some book. 

In light of this, al-Mustadrak in fact takes the conditions of authenticity of another book and compiles ahadeeth which were not put in the previous book. The Mustadrak in video is al-Mustadrak al-Hakim ala shart sahihayn. The Mustadrak takes the considtions of authenticity of Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim and presents ahadeeth which fulfil those conditions. 

علوم الحديث ومصطلحه (1/ 124)
والمستدركات جمع مستدرك، وهو ما استدرك فيه ما فات المؤلف في كتابه على شرطه. وأشهرها ” مستدرك الحاكم النيسابوري على الصحيحين ”

علم فهرسة الحديث (ص: 16)
 وَالمُسْتَدْرَكُ: في اصطلاح المحدثين هو كل كتاب جمع فيه مُؤَلِّفُُهُ الأحاديث التي استدركها على كتاب آخر مِمَّا فاته على شرطه مثل ” المستدرك على الصحيحين ” للحاكم النيسابوري (405 هـ)

This does not mean that these ahadeeth are authenticated by Imam Bukhari and Muslim. In fact there are ahadeeth in al-Mustadrak which Sheikhein would not have put in their Saheeh. So Sheikh’s definition is pretty flawed.

The “blunder” I spoke above would be to say Imam Hakim presented ahadeeth from Bukhari and Muslim which were Saheeh and left out those not Sahih. How wierd would that be? : )

➡(1:55) Allama Suyuti rahimahullah’s fatwa in al Hawi lil Fatawa

The sheikh then mentions about Allamah Suyuti rahimahullah’s mention of aqeeqah for Rasulullah ﷺ and talk about the fatawa of imam Suyuti rahimahullah (al-Hawi lil Fatawa). This is ajeeb. Because:

1. The sheikh is establishing celebration of mawlid, the actual fa’l (action) of celebration as sunnah! Not only that, but gathering, feeding, langar etc. (2:15) But Imam Suyuti rahimahullah in this very fatwa says, “Sheikh al Islam Hafiz ibn al Hajar was asked about Mawlid and he mentioned that the original action of mawlid is a Bid’ah. It has not been mentioned by a single person from the Salaf as-Salih from the first three generations. However along with that goodness and its contrary are included within it. So whoever discretion in it goodness and abstains from its contrary (ills) then it is bid’ah hasanah otherwise not.”

الحاوي للفتاوي (1/ 229)
وقد سئل شيخ الإسلام حافظ العصر أبو الفضل ابن حجر عن عمل المولد، فأجاب بما نصه: أصل عمل المولد بدعة لم تنقل عن أحد من السلف الصالح من القرون الثلاثة، ولكنها مع ذلك قد اشتملت على محاسن وضدها، فمن تحرى في عملها المحاسن وتجنب ضدها كان بدعة حسنة وإلا فلا

Then where is the sheikh quoting from that Rasulullah ﷺ established it as sunnah?

2.  Imam Suyuti rahimahullah himself does not regard it all as a sunnah because just after this discussion he mentions mawlid as a mustahab.

الحاوي للفتاوي (1/ 230)
والعقيقة لا تعاد مرة ثانية، فيحمل ذلك على أن الذي فعله النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم إظهار للشكر على إيجاد الله إياه رحمة للعالمين وتشريع لأمته كما كان يصلي على نفسه لذلك، فيستحب لنا أيضا إظهار الشكر بمولده بالاجتماع وإطعام الطعام ونحو ذلك من وجوه القربات وإظهار المسرات

3. Since Imam Suyuti rahimahullah is a Shafi’i in is madhab, a mustahab when mixed with munkarat (problemetic issues) is NOT abandoned rather the munkarat are prohibited from and mustahabat are enacted upon. It is for this reason he mentions in the same fatwa (again from Hafiz Ibn Hajar)

الحاوي للفتاوي (1/ 229)
وأما ما يعمل فيه فينبغي أن يقتصر فيه على ما يفهم الشكر لله تعالى من نحو ما تقدم ذكره من التلاوة والإطعام والصدقة وإنشاد شيء من المدائح النبوية والزهدية المحركة للقلوب إلى فعل الخير والعمل للآخرة، وأما ما يتبع ذلك من السماع واللهو وغير ذلك فينبغي أن يقال: ما كان من ذلك مباحا بحيث يقتضي السرور بذلك اليوم لا بأس بإلحاقه به، وما كان حراما أو مكروها فيمنع، وكذا ما كان خلاف الأولى. انتهى

➡(3:05) narration of relief of Abu Lahab

The generic responses to this narration to establish mawlid can be found else where. I will just put my observation.

صحيح البخاري (7/ 10)
لم ألق بعدكم غير أني سقيت في هذه بعتاقتي ثويبة

1. If the hadeeth has to be used for establishing barakah of the birth of Rasulullah ﷺ then that is accepted regardless that barakah of wilada of Rasulullah ﷺ is definitely there.

2. If the hadeeth is being used to establish rewards for muslimeen, then this is far fetched. Since the dhahir of the wording of Bukhari indicate decrease (this decrease is also mubham…decrease of what). 

3. Just as he explained the meaning of bid’ah i.e to establish a particular reward for particular action without basis. Then here too that which can be established is “decrease” and not reward. 

4. Even if we say that decrease in adhab is kind of a reward, then logic demands that if someone is in jannah he should gain positive reward of it.. then this is logic and ray’. We cannot establish these things with qiyas.

5. He has mentioned the conundrum of theological paradox of adhab not being reduced and adhab of kafir being reduced here with statement from Ibn Hajar rahimahullah that this is because of the karamah of Rasulullah ﷺ. I wonder if Ibn Hajar rahimahullah entire ibarah actually establishes this or not.

فتح الباري لابن حجر (9/ 145)
وَكَانَ أَبُو لَهَبٍ أَعْتَقَهَا فَأَرْضَعَتِ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ظَاهِرُهُ أَنَّ عِتْقَهُ لَهَا كَانَ قَبْلَ إِرْضَاعِهَا وَالَّذِي فِي السِّيَرِ يُخَالِفُهُ وَهُوَ أَنَّ أَبَا لَهَبٍ أَعْتَقَهَا قَبْلَ الْهِجْرَةِ وَذَلِكَ بَعْدَ الْإِرْضَاعِ بِدَهْرٍ طَوِيلٍ وَحَكَى السُّهَيْلِيُّ أَيْضًا أَنَّ عِتْقَهَا كَانَ قَبْلَ الْإِرْضَاعِ وَسَأَذْكُرُ كَلَامَهُ قَوْلُهُ أُرِيَهُ بِضَمِّ الْهَمْزَةِ وَكَسْرِ الرَّاءِ وَفَتْحِ التَّحْتَانِيَّةِ عَلَى الْبِنَاءِ لِلْمَجْهُولِ قَوْلُهُ بَعْضُ أَهْلِهِ بِالرَّفْعِ عَلَى أَنَّهُ النَّائِبُ عَنِ الْفَاعِلِ وَذَكَرَ السُّهَيْلِيُّ أَنَّ الْعَبَّاسَ قَالَ لَمَّا مَاتَ أَبُو لَهَبٍ رَأَيْتُهُ فِي مَنَامِي بَعْدَ حَوْلٍ فِي شَرِّ حَالٍ فَقَالَ مَا لَقِيتُ بَعْدَكُمْ رَاحَةً إِلَّا أَنَّ الْعَذَابَ يُخَفَّفُ عَنِّي كُلَّ يَوْمِ اثْنَيْنِ قَالَ وَذَلِكَ أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وُلِدَ يَوْمَ الِاثْنَيْنِ وَكَانَتْ ثُوَيْبَةُ بَشَّرَتْ أَبَا لَهَبٍ بِمَوْلِدِهِ فَأَعْتَقَهَا … قَوْلُهُ بِعَتَاقَتِي بِفَتْحِ الْعَيْنِ فِي رِوَايَةِ عَبْدِ الرَّزَّاقِ بِعِتْقِي وَهُوَ أَوْجَهُ وَالْوَجْهُ الْأَوْلَى أَنْ يَقُولَ بِإِعْتَاقِي لِأَنَّ الْمُرَادَ التَّخْلِيصُ مِنَ الرِّقِّ 
وَفِي الْحَدِيثِ دَلَالَةٌ عَلَى أَنَّ الْكَافِرَ قَدْ يَنْفَعُهُ الْعَمَلُ الصَّالِحُ فِي الْآخِرَةِ لَكِنَّهُ مُخَالِفٌ لِظَاهِرِ الْقُرْآنِ قَالَ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى وَقَدِمْنَا إِلَى مَا عَمِلُوا من عمل فجعلناه هباء منثورا 
وَأُجِيبَ أَوَّلًا بِأَنَّ الْخَبَرَ مُرْسَلٌ أَرْسَلَهُ عُرْوَةُ وَلَمْ يَذْكُرْ مَنْ حَدَّثَهُ بِهِ وَعَلَى تَقْدِيرِ أَنْ يَكُونَ مَوْصُولًا 
فَالَّذِي فِي الْخَبَرِ رُؤْيَا مَنَامٍ فَلَا حُجَّةَ فِيهِ وَلَعَلَّ الَّذِي رَآهَا لَمْ يَكُنْ إِذْ ذَاكَ أَسْلَمَ بَعْدُ فَلَا يُحْتَجُّ بِهِ 
وَثَانِيًا عَلَى تَقْدِيرِ الْقَبُولِ فَيَحْتَمِلُ أَنْ يَكُونَ مَا يَتَعَلَّقُ بِالنَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ مَخْصُوصًا مِنْ ذَلِكَ بِدَلِيلِ قِصَّةِ أَبِي طَالِبٍ كَمَا تَقَدَّمَ أَنَّهُ خُفِّفَ عَنْهُ فَنُقِلَ مِنَ الْغَمَرَاتِ إِلَى الضَّحْضَاحِ 
وَقَالَ الْبَيْهَقِيُّ مَا وَرَدَ مِنْ بُطْلَانِ الْخَيْرِ لِلْكُفَّارِ فَمَعْنَاهُ أَنَّهُمْ لَا يَكُونُ لَهُمُ التَّخَلُّصُ مِنَ النَّارِ وَلَا دُخُولُ الْجَنَّةِ وَيَجُوزُ أَنْ يُخَفِّفَ عَنْهُمْ مِنَ الْعَذَابِ الَّذِي يَسْتَوْجِبُونَهُ عَلَى مَا ارْتَكَبُوهُ مِنَ الْجَرَائِمِ سِوَى الْكُفْرِ بِمَا عَمِلُوهُ مِنَ الْخَيْرَاتِ 
وَأَمَّا عِيَاضٌ فَقَالَ انْعَقَدَ الْإِجْمَاعُ عَلَى أَنَّ الْكُفَّارَ لَا تَنْفَعُهُمْ أَعْمَالُهُمْ وَلَا يُثَابُونَ عَلَيْهَا بِنَعِيمٍ وَلَا تَخْفِيفِ عَذَابٍ وَإِنْ كَانَ بَعْضُهُمْ أَشَدَّ عَذَابًا مِنْ بَعْضٍ 

قُلْتُ وَهَذَا لَا يَرُدُّ الِاحْتِمَالَ الَّذِي ذَكَرَهُ الْبَيْهَقِيُّ فَإِنَّ جَمِيعَ مَا وَرَدَ مِنْ ذَلِكَ فِيمَا يَتَعَلَّقُ بِذَنْبِ الْكُفْرِ وَأَمَّا ذَنْبُ غَيْرِ الْكُفْرِ فَمَا الْمَانِعُ مِنْ تَخْفِيفِهِ وَقَالَ الْقُرْطُبِيُّ هَذَا التَّخْفِيفُ خَاصٌّ بِهَذَا وَبِمَنْ وَرَدَ النَّصُّ فِيهِ 
وَقَالَ بن الْمُنِيرِ فِي الْحَاشِيَةِ هُنَا قَضِيَّتَانِ إِحْدَاهُمَا مُحَالٌ وَهِيَ اعْتِبَارُ طَاعَةِ الْكَافِرِ مَعَ كُفْرِهِ لِأَنَّ شَرْطَ الطَّاعَةِ أَنْ تَقَعَ بِقَصْدٍ صَحِيحٍ وَهَذَا مَفْقُودٌ مِنَ الْكَافِرِ الثَّانِيَةُ إِثَابَةُ الْكَافِرِ عَلَى بَعْضِ الْأَعْمَالِ تَفَضُّلًا مِنَ اللَّهِ تَعَالَى وَهَذَا لَا يُحِيلُهُ الْعَقْلُ فَإِذَا تَقَرَّرَ ذَلِكَ لَمْ يَكُنْ عِتْقُ أَبِي لَهَبٍ لِثُوَيْبَةَ قُرْبَةً مُعْتَبَرَةً وَيَجُوزُ أَنْ يَتَفَضَّلَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ بِمَا شَاءَ كَمَا تَفَضَّلَ عَلَى أَبِي طَالِبٍ وَالْمُتَّبَعُ فِي ذَلِكَ التَّوْقِيفِ نَفْيًا وَإِثْبَاتًا 

قُلْتُ وَتَتِمَّةُ هَذَا أَنْ يَقَعَ التَّفَضُّلُ الْمَذْكُورُ إِكْرَامًا لِمَنْ وَقَعَ مِنَ الْكَافِرِ الْبِرُّ لَهُ وَنَحْوُ ذَلِكَ وَاللَّهُ أعلم

The crux of above discussion is that Ibn Hajar rahimahullah says that any decrease or benefit for a non muslims is domain of Allah and He shall decide what he wishes to pardon or not. Al bayhaqi has mentioned (as in above text) that the jahannam is for the sin of kufr, but it is perhaps possible for Allah to lighten the adhaab which was necessitated by other than kufr. 

All in all, the ibarah has no emotionalism in it about barakah or fadh of mawlid.

6. Moreover if the ibarah is to be used then it only mentions this benefit on monday. Again a takhsees for Monday is being made and the speciality is for Monday. Hence If something so grand and so significant such as Eid al Mawlid is to be established, then it should be weekly monday and not some singular day of the year. This is the scheme throughout all such narratives.

Wassalam.

* The Title of the post is our’s.

Moulood and the Shariah

[Majlisul Ulama of South Africa]

INTRODUCTION

WHAT IS IBAADAT

IBAADAT (WORSHIP) IN ISLAM is  restricted to only ritual acts, practices and customs of worship  which were taught by Rasulullah  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and  practised by his noble Companions and the illustrious  personalities of Islam in the  initial three eras of Islam known  as Khairul Quroon (Noblest Ages).

Irrespective of the appeal and  beauty any act/practice of  apparent worship may possess, it  will not be Ibaadat in Islam if it  has no basis in the Sunnah of Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) – and the concept of  the Sunnah is what was known, understood, practised and  propagated by the Sahaabah,  Taabieen and Tab-e-Taabieen in  the period known as Khairul  Quroon. Thus, if anyone insists  on performing Salaat at sunrise,  midday (Zawwaal) and sunset, it  will not be said that such performance is Salaat. It will be a  haraam bid’ah (innovation)  notwithstanding its external  form of Salaat. If someone fasts  on the Days of Eid, such fasting will not be Ibaadat, but will be  haraam bid’ah, the consequence  of which is nothing but the Fire  of Jahannum. Since these acts  which are in conflict with the teachings of Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), they  will not be classified as Ibaadat notwithstanding their external  forms of worship.

If someone performs four raka’ts ‘Fardh’ for Fajr instead of the  commanded two raka’ts, such  performance will not be Ibaadat  irrespective of the beauty of the external form of the act. It will be  a haraam bid’ah.

The customary practices of  Moulood/Meelaad have to be  examined on this criterion of the  Shariah. Did Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  teach the observance of  Moulood? Did the Sahaabah, the  Taabieen and Tab-e-Taabieen  observe Moulood? If they had  observed the custom,  undoubtedly, it will be classified  as Ibaadat. If they did not, it will  not then be Ibaadat. This article  will show that with the  accompaniment of many evil and  haraam factors, the custom of Moulood is haraam and bid’ah. It  has no support in the Qur’aan  and Hadith. It is an utterly  baseless custom which has no  relationship with Islam.

OBEDIENCE TO ALLAH AND HIS RASOOL (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) IS IBAADAT

(O  Believers! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger…)
 
THE SOURCES OF ISLAMIC Law  (the Shariah)  are  four,  viz.,

I. The Qur’aan
II. The Sunnah
III. Ijmaa’ or the Consensus of  opinion of the Jurists
IV. Qiyaas or the Analogical  reasoning process of the Jurists  of Islam.

The abovementioned four  PRINCIPLES constitute the basis  of Islamic law. If any act or  practice is substantiated or  proved on the firm foundations  of the abovementioned four  Principles of the Islamic Shariah  then such an act or practice  constitute ISLAMIC LAW and as  such is the DIVINE LAW of ALLAH, and no member of the  Ummah has the right to reject  such an act or practice. On the  other hand if any act, practice or  custom conflicts with the four  abovementioned Principles or if  any act or practice cannot be substantiated on the basis of the  four Islamic Principles of the  Shariah then it will stand  condemned in the Eyes of the  Shariah and as such it will have  to be rejected as a bad  innovation. . . an evil introduction  into the Deen of Allah.

The custom of Meelaad as  celebrated nowadays cannot be  substantiated on the basis of the  four Principles of Islamic Law. It  is an absolute necessity to prove  conclusively that this custom of  Meelaad in its present form of prevalence is sanctioned by any  of the Principles of Islamic Law  before it (this custom) could be  accorded an Islamic status.  Insha’Allah, in this article it shall  be proved that the prevailing  customary celebrations of  Meelaad have no Islamic status  whatsoever and these constitute  gross transgression of Allah Ta’ala’s Law because they (these  forms of Meelaad celebrations)  have been innovated into the  Deen of Islam.

Allah Ta’ala says in the Holy  Qur’aan:
“Then, We have established you on a Shariah (Law-Path) with regard to affairs. Therefore follow it (this Shariah) and do not follow the desires of those who do not know.”  

Allah Ta’ala commands in this  verse of the Holy Qur’aan total  submission to His Law. This verse  of the Holy Qur’aan emphatically  prohibits the following of  any  practice or custom which is not  sanctioned by the Shariah. Any  custom which has no basis in the  Shariah is described by Allah  Ta’ala in this verse as “the desires of those who do not know.”  Further in this article it shall be shown that these Meelaad  celebrations of today have no  sanction in the Shariah of Allah  Ta’ala.

Elsewhere in the Holy Qur’aan  Allah Ta’ala states:
“What! Have they partners who have ordained for them such things of which Allah has not granted permission?”  

This verse of the Holy Qur’aan  clearly deprecates any  introduction of practices and  customs within the Deen. Only  such customs and practices have the favour of Allah for which  there exist Divine Sanction.  Insha’Allah, it shall be shown  that the customary Meelaad  celebration was not ordained by  Allah or His Rasool (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), but was an un-Islamic innovatory practice which crept into the Ummah with the  aid of such persons who had no  love for the Deen.

In another verse of the Holy Qur’aan Allah Ta’ala says: “Whatever the Rasool brings to  you, accept it. And, whatever he  (the Rasool) forbids you of,  abstain from it.”  

Insha’Allah, it shall be proved  that this custom of Meelaad was  not given to us by our Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  nor was it ever practised by the  beloved Sahaabah of our Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).  Furthermore, it shall be proved  that this custom did not exist  among Muslims for a full six  centuries after the demise of our  Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).

Muhaddith Hadhrat Qaadhi  Thanaa-ullah (rahmatullah alayh)  narrates the following Hadith: “Verily, a statement is not  accepted if not practised upon  it. And, a statement and a  practice are not accepted without a sincere intention. And, the  statement, the practice and the  niyyat (intention) are not accepted if they are not in  accord with the Sunnah.”   [IRSHAADUT  TAALIBEEN]

Hadhrat Gauthul Azam Sayyid  Abdul Qadir Jeelani al-Hanbali (rahmatullah  alayh) states:
“A statement without practice is  not accepted. Nor a practice  without sincerity and without the  correct Sunnah (method).” [FATHE  RABBAANI]

Hadhrat Sufyaan Thauri  (rahmatullah alayh) states:
“A statement, an act and an intention is only in order if these  are in conformity with the  Sunnah.” [TALBEES IBLEES]

Hadhrat Ahmad Bin Abul Hawari  (rahmatullah alayh) said: “The  deed of a person is null if he  practises it without following the Sunnah.”  [AL-I’TISAAM]

From the aforegoing statements  it will be clear that an action will  be described as Islamic only if it  is executed in conformity with  the Sunnah of our Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  and the Sunnah of his Sahaabah  (radhiyallahu anhum). We have included here the Way of the  Sahaabah in the Sunnah because  our Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), himself described  the Way of the Sahaabahs as ‘the Sunnah’, and commanded strict  obedience to the Sunnah of his  Sahaabah  (radhiyallahu  anhum).  Hence, the Holy Messenger of  Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  said:
“Regard my Sunnah and the  Sunnah of my righteous Khulafaa  as obligatory upon you.”  

With regard to the Sunnah of  Rasulullah’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) Sahaabah, the  Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said:
“Those who live after me will  witness much controversy.  Therefore, my Sunnah and the  Sunnah of the pious and  righteous Khulafaa are incumbent upon you. Hold firmly  onto it. Cling to it (the Sunnah) with your jaws. Beware of  innovation. Every new thing (i.e.  new practice introduced as part  of the Deen) is an innovation  (Bid’ah). And every Bid’ah  (innovation) is error  manifest.”  [TIRMIZI,  IBN  MAJAH,  ABU  DAWOOD]

In explaining this Hadith, Mullah  Ali Qaari (rahmatullah alayh) said  that Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) commanded obedience  to the Sunnah of the Khulafaa  after him because they  (Rasulullah’s Khulafaa) only acted  in accordance with the Sunnah of  Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). This is stated in  Mirkaatul Mishkaat.

Now, this custom of Meelaad is  not to be found anywhere in the  Holy Qur’aan. Allah Ta’ala has not  commanded this customary  Meelaad celebration. Neither can  any substantiation for it be  found in the Hadith of our Nabi  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), nor in the practices of the noble  Companions of Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). No one can deny the great and true  love which the Sahaabah had for  our Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). Is there any person  who can claim greater love for  Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) than the Sahaabah?  Can any person claim that he has  understood the Qur’aan and the  Ahaadith better than the great  and learned Sahaabah of our  Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)? Can any person claim that the Sahaabah did not know how to manifest their love for Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), and that Muslims of nowadays know how to manifest love for Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)? Now let us ask: What  is the reason for celebrating Meelaadun-Nabi? Whatever  answer the upholders of the customary Meelaad will give we shall say that, that very same reason existed during the time of the noble Sahaabah. Yet, despite  its existence the Sahaabah of our  Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) did not keep Meelaadun Nabi  celebrations. The love of the  Sahaabah for Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) is  indisputable. The Sahaabah had  greater cause for rejoicing at the  birth of Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). The Sahaabah  had greater cause than us for the manifestation of their love for  Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). The Sahaabahs had  greater cause to commemorate  the Holy Birth of our Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) than  us. Yet, not a single Sahaabi ever  initiated or celebrated Meeladun  Nabi. This custom was unknown  to the Sahaabah, and it was  unknown to the Tabieen (the  followers of the Sahaabah). The  great Jurists of Islam did not   initiate this practice. They  celebrated no Meelaadun-Nabi. In  fact for a full six hundred years  after our Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) this custom was not in  vogue among Muslims. Surely if  this custom had any merit in it  the great and beloved Sahaabah  of our Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) could not have  overlooked it. If this custom had  any Islamic significance surely, the great Fuqahaa (Jurists) and  the Muhadditheen would not  have shunned it. How is it  possible that a custom which was  originated and introduced into  the Deen six centuries after our  Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  could be accorded Islamic status  and assigned the category of  near-compulsion)?

WHAT IS MOULOOD OR MEELAAD?

THE ORIGINATION OF MEELAAD CELEBRATION

The History of Islam is fourteen  centuries old. But the history of  Meelaad celebration is seven  centuries old. The Golden ages of  Islam  – the era of Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam),  of  the  Sahaabah, of the Taabieen, and of the Tabe-Taabieen (Quroone Thalaathah) had long passed, yet the custom  of Meelaad was not initiated. Six  centuries after our Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) an  irreligious ruler initiated this custom in the city of Mosul.  Imaam Ahmad Bin Muhammad  Bin Bisri Maaliki (rahmatullah  alayh) writes in his Kitaab, AL-QOULUL MU’TAMAD:

“Allaamah Muizzuddin Hasan  Khwaarzimi (rahmatullah alayh)  states in his Kitaab:
‘The Ruler of Irbal, King Muzaffar  Abu Saeed Kaukari, was an irreligious king. He ordered the  Ulama of his time to act  according to their opinions and  discard the practice of following  any of the Mathhabs. A group  among the learned men inclined  towards him. He (this king)  organized Moulood sessions  during the month of Rabiul Awwal. He was the first of the  kings to have innovated this  practice.’” [AL-QOULUL  MU’TAMAD]

This irreligious ruler squandered  vast sums of public funds in the  organization and upkeep of these  celebrations which had no  sanction in Islamic Law. Allaamah  Zahbi (rahmatullah alayh) – died  748 Hijri- says:

“Every year this ruler spent three  hundred thousand (from the  Baitul Maal) on Moulood celebrations.” [DOULUL ISLAM]

So, this practice of Moulood was  originated by irreligious people.  In the year 604 Hijri this king,  Muzaffaruddin Koukari, introduced this custom with the aid of some learned people whose  purpose was to gain the wealth  and honour of this world. A  notable and a prime instigator in  the origination of this custom was one Molvi Amr Bin Dahya Abul Khattab who died in the year 633 Hijri. He was a great supporter of the worldly and  irreligious king of Irbal who  introduced this custom. The evil  character of this irreligious learned man is  a fact upon which  there exists unanimity among the  great and pious learned men of  Islam. Hafiz Ibn Hajar Asqalaani  (rahmatullah alayh) says about  this Molvi who was responsible  to a great extent for the  innovation of Moulood customs:

“He was a person who insulted the Jurists of Islam and the pious learned men of former times. He  had a filthy tongue. He was ignorant, excessively proud,  possessed no insight in matters pertaining to the Deen and he was extremely negligent as far as  the Deen was concerned.” [LISAANUL MIZAAN]

Hafiz Ibn Hajar Askalaani  (rahmatullah alayh) further adds: “Allaamah Ibn Najjaar (rahmatullah alayh) said: ‘I have  witnessed unanimity of opinion  among the people as to him (this  irreligious Molvi), being a liar and  an unreliable person.’” [LISAANUL  MIZAAN]

Every unbiased Muslim will realise  from the aforegoing discussion  that the Moulood custom was  introduced by evil men and given  prominence by evil men. Islamic  History bears testimony to this  fact. Right from its inception all the great and pious Ulama and  Jurists of Islam have condemned  this innovation and have warned  against participation in these un-Islamic functions. There exists  consensus of opinion among the  true learned Ulama of Islam that  the customary Meelaad functions  are not permissible. Our Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) has  warned against the introduction  of customs into the Deen of Islam. Said our Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam):

“Whoever introduces into this  Deen of ours something which is  not of it, is condemned.”  

The Sahaabah of our Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) had  great detestation for any new  custom which tried to raise its  head in the Deen. The Sahaabah  did not tolerate in the least bit any new form of worship or  custom which anyone desired to  bring into the Deen. We shall  illustrate the detestation for  innovation which the Sahaabah  had, with  a  few  examples:

1) A man sneezed in the presence  of Abdullah Ibn Umar  (radhiyallahu anhu) and said:
Alhamdulillah Wa salaamu alaika ya rasulallah

Abdullah Ibn Umar (radhiyallahu  anhu) immediately rebuked this  person and said that our Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) taught us to recite: Alhamdulillahi ‘Alaa Kulli Haal when we sneezed. 

This Hadith has been narrated by  Tirmizi. The point which we have  to ponder here, is Abdullah Ibn  Umar’s rebuke because this man  recited Wa salaamu alaika ya rasulallah after the words  Alhamdulillah. In reality the  recital of the sentence: Assalaamu alaika ya rasulallah is an act of merit. The more we remember Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) the more thawaab we get. In fact, we have been commanded to constantly  offer salutations to our Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).  However, despite this, Hadhrat  Abdullah Ibn Umar (one of the  great Sahaabah) rejected this  form of recitation after one has  sneezed. And, the reason as  explained by Hadhrat Abdullah  Ibn Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) was that this formula was not taught to us by Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).

2) “Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Masood  (radhiyallahu anhu) was informed  of a group of people who sat in  the Musjid after Maghrib Salaat.  One among them would say:  ‘Recite Allahu Akbar so many  times; recite Subhaanallah so  many times; and recite  Alhamdulillah so many times!’  The group would then do as was  instructed (by its leader). Abdullah Ibn Masood  (radhiyallahu anhu) arrived at the  Musjid and when he heard what  they were reciting he said: ‘I am  Abdullah Ibn Masood. I take  oath by Allah besides whom  there is no object of worship,  that you have innovated a dark  Bid’ah, or you are regarding  yourselves superior to the  Companions of Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).’” [AL-’ITISAAM  and  MAJAALISUL  ABRAAR]

The point to note here is that  these people were merely reciting Takbeer and glorifying Allah  Ta’ala with Tasbeeh and Tahmeed.  Now we ask: What is wrong in  reciting Alhamdulillah? What is  wrong in reciting Subhaanallah? Why did Abdullah Ibn Masood  (radhiyallahu anhu) who was  among the great Sahaabah of  our Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) describe the reciting  of Takbeer, Tahmeed  and Tasbeeh of this group as a  “dark  Bid’ah”? The only reason is that  the form, the manner in which  this group was reciting the  greatness of Allah was not taught by our Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). The Sahaabah  did not recite the praises in the  way this group did, hence it was  regarded as a dark and evil  innovation by such a great and  learned Sahaabi as Abdullah Ibn  Masood (radhiyallahu anhu).

3) “Ibn Masood (radhiyallahu  anhu) heard that some people  gathered in the Musjid and were  reciting Laa-ilaaha ilallah and  Durood Shareef aloud. He went  to them and said: ‘This (way of recital) was non-existent during the  time of the Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). I regard you as  innovators’. Ibn Masood  (radhiyallahu anhu) repeated this  over and over until these people  were ejected from the Musjid.”  [FATAWA QADHI KHAN]

It must be noted here that these  people were only reciting Laa-ilaaha il-lal-lah and Durood Shareef, and both these are acts  of Ibaadat of a very high order. Despite this, Hadhrat Ibn Masood  (radhiyallahu anhu) had these  people ejected from the Musjid  and described them as innovators  because they were reciting these  two forms of Thikr in a manner  not taught by our Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and in a manner not practised by the  noble Sahaabah of Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).  Further, Hadhrat Ibn Masood  (radhiyallahu anhu) said:

“This method was not in vogue  during the time of Rasulullah  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)”.

This statement of Hadhrat Ibn  Masood (radhiyallahu anhu)  clearly means that if a form of  worship was not instructed by  our Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) then it will be a Bid’ah.  If the Sahaabah did not entertain  any new systems or new ways of worship then we have no right  whatsoever of introducing into  Islam any new way or form of  worship.

4) “Mujahid says that Urwah Bin  Zubair and himself entered the  Musjid and saw Abdullah Ibn  Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) sitting  near to the room of Aishah  (radhiyallahu anha). Some people  in the Musjid were performing  the Dhuhaa prayers (the Salaat  which is performed sometime  after sunrise). We asked Ibn  Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) about  the Salaat being performed by  these people. He replied that it was a Bid’ah innovation.” [BUKHARI – MUSLIM]

It should be remembered that  Salaatud-Duhaa has been  narrated by many Sahaabah. It is  an act of Ibaadat which carries  considerable reward. We are encouraged to perform this Salaat. The great pious men of  Islam hardly omit this Salaat.  However, despite this fact,  Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) described the  Dhuhaa Salaat of this particular  group of people as Bid’ah. The  reason for branding it as Bid’ah is  the fact that these people originated a new method of  performing this prayer. They  congregated and performed this  Salaat conspicuously in the  Musjid, and this method of performing it in congregation  form was not instructed by our  Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).

Many such examples could be cited to illustrate the dislike  which the Sahaabah of our Nabi  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) had  for innovation. If the practice of  innovation was tolerated in Islam  there would be no pure Islam left.  However, Allah Ta’ala has blessed  this Ummah with righteous and  steadfast Ulama who diligently  defended the pure Deen of Allah  through this long corridor of fourteen centuries against the  onslaught of innovation.

TO REGARD A MUSTAHAB OR A PERMISSIBLE ACT AS  COMPULSORY IS BID’AH SAY-YIAH– EVIL INNOVATION

The Islamic Law Books state  unambiguously that to regard  something which is either Mubah  (permissible) or Mustahab  (preferable and meritorious) as Waajib (compulsory) is in fact  Bid’ah Say-yiah or an evil  innovation which has to be  shunned. To assign anything to a  category other than prescribed  for it by the Shariah is  tantamount to rejection of the  Law of Allah, for Allah has assigned to an act, e.g. to the  category of Mustahab and the  servants of Allah give it a  different classification. For  example, should someone argue  that because Salaat is a high  form of Ibaadat we shall perform  four rakaats Fardh in Fajr instead  of the ordained two; the washing  of limbs in Wudhu thrice is Sunnat, but we shall now make it  Waajib, etc., then needless to say  such transgressions will be Bid’ah Say-yiah and the perpetrator of  these will be condemned as he is  rejecting the stipulations  and  classifications  assigned  by Allah  Ta’ala to the various Islamic rules  and laws. Similar is the case of  the innovators of the Moulood  functions. Nowhere has Allah  Ta’ala commanded this practice;  our Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) did not instruct or  advise the Sahaabah about this custom; the Sahaabah after the  demise of our Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) did not  introduce this custom; the great  Imaams of Islamic Law like  Imaam Abu Hanifah, Imaam Malik,  Imaam Shaafi and Imaam Ahmad  Bin Hambal did not practise this custom, nor did they advise  anyone about it. Yet today this  customary Meelaad celebration is  regarded as an integral part – a  compulsory part of the Deen.  Those who indulge in this  practice of Meelaad generally  regard this function to be more  important than even the  compulsory Salaats.

The very fact that those who  organize and participate in these  functions degrade and revile  those who do not take part in  them is ample proof that these  functions are regarded as  compulsory. In many places in  India we see blood flowing  because some refuse to take part  in these functions. Those who do  not participate in Meelaad  customs are branded as Kaafirs  and Heretics. Yet it is not  permissible to brand even one  who neglects his compulsory Salaats as a Kaafir. The attitude  and the actions of those who are  in the forefront of this custom  clearly indicate that this practice  is regarded as compulsory. This is  a notoriety and a great falsehood  committed against the Deen of  Allah, for Allah Ta’ala and His  Holy Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) did not accord the  customary Meelaad function any Islamic status. In fact it was non-existent for centuries after  Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) as mentioned  previously. Besides this aspect  there are many other evils  attendant to the customary  Meelaad functions which we shall  discuss, Insha’Allah, in the  ensuing lines.

FACTORS WHICH MAKE THE CUSTOMARY MOULOOD CELEBRATIONS UN-ISLAMIC

There are many wrongs and evils  attendant to the present forms  of celebrating Meelaad. These are  as follows:

1)  The Compulsory Nature  assigned to Meelaad by its  votaries.

2)  The practice of Qiyaam or  standing in reverence when the  Salaami or Salawaat is recited.

3)  Meelaad functions regarded  as being of greater importance  than Salaat and performance of  Salaat in Jamaat.

4)  Qawwaali – Music at Meelaad  functions.

5)  Reciting of verses which  transgress the limits of  legitimate praise, thus assigning  a position of Divinity to our Nabi  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).

6)  The congregation of various  types of people such as Fussaaq  (open and rebellious sinners),  immoral people with evil  intentions, etc.

7)  Singing at these functions by young boys and girls.

8)  Intermingling of the sexes at  such gatherings.

9)  Salaat and its performance by  Jamaat neglected on a mass scale.

10)  Abstention from the  Command of Amr Bil Ma’roof  Nahy anil Munkar when these  become necessary  at  these  functions.

11)  Israaf or waste of  money in unnecessary ventures.

12)  Soliciting public funds for  the upkeep and organization of  these functions.

13)  Tashab’buh Bil Kuffaar.

14)  Maintaining a custom which  was originated by irreligious  persons.

15)  Reviling and branding as  unbelievers and heretics those  who do not participate in these  functions.

16)  Regarding the distribution of  sweetmeats as essential to these functions.

17)  The belief that the Soul of  our Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) presents itself at these functions.

The un-Islamic factors  mentioned above accompany  Meelaad functions. Sometimes all  these are present in a single  function, and sometimes all are  not present. Nevertheless, even if  all these factors are not present  at once in a single Meelaad  function, the function will still be  un-Islamic because of the presence of at least several of the  enumerated un-Islamic elements.

We shall now proceed to discuss  these factors which are  responsible for the customary  Meelaad functions being un-Islamic and as such to be  shunned.

1)  THE COMPULSORY NATURE ASSIGNED TO MOULOOD

It has already been stated  previously that it is a crime to  accord any act or practice a  status other than that accorded  to it by the Shariah. If even a Mustahab act is regarded as  compulsory it becomes necessary  to forgo that act and rectify  one’s belief and attitude with  regard to this particular act. Now when the Shariah does not even  permit a Mustahab act being  regarded as compulsory, it  stands to reason to say that an  act which has no sanction in the Deen will be condemned to a  much greater extent when it is  regarded as compulsory. And, the  attitude and manner of the  votaries of Meelaad clearly indicate that this practice of  Meelaad is regarded as a  compulsory Islamic duty. The  customary Meelaad practices do  not even qualify to be classified  in the Mustahab category for it  was completely unknown to the  Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and his noble  Sahaabah (radhiyallahu anhum)  and the great Jurists and Ulama  of Islam. On the assumption if all  the malpractices prevalent and attendant to the present-day  Meelaad function could be  eliminated then too, it could not  be accorded a compulsory or a  Sunnah status because this  practice did not exist in Islam for  the first six hundred years of  Islamic History. In other words  this customary Meelaad function  just does not have any basis in Islamic Law.

2)  QIYAAM OR THE PRACTICE OF STANDING WHEN THE SALAAMI OR SALAWAAT IS RECITED

The practice of standing during  the recitation of the Salaami is  without any Islamic foundation.  This practice could not be  established on the basis of any statement or practice of our Nabi  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), of  the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu  anhum) and of the Jurists of  Islam. But the votaries of  Meelaad claim that it is Fardh (Compulsory) to make Qiyaam  (stand) during these Meelaad  functions. They proceed further  to commit an act of extreme  gravity by branding as Kaafir the one who does not make this  Qiyaam of the Meelaad  celebration. Yet, it could never  ever be substantiated that one  who does not make the Qiyaam is  a Kaafir. The Kitaabs written by  the votaries of Moulood  unambiguously state that the  one who does not make the  Qiyaam is a Kaafir. Now, what is  the basis of making such a grave  statement? Our Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) did not like  people to stand in his respect  even when he (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was alive, leave alone  after his (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) death. It is a proven  fact that our Holy Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  detested people standing for him  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).  Read the following Hadith and  you will see the light dispelling  the darkness which enshrouds  this practice. Hadhrat Anas  (radhiyallahu anhu), one of the  closest of Rasulullah’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) Sahaabah  narrates the following Hadith:

“There was none whom the  Sahaabah loved as much as  Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). When they saw  Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) they did not stand  because they knew that he (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  detested this (practice of standing).” [TIRMIZI-MUSNAD  AHMAD]

The above-mentioned Hadith  which all the learned men of  Islam accept as being authentic,  proves that our Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) disliked  standing for him. Who can question the love which the  Sahaabah had for Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)?  However, despite the burning  love and the total submission  which the Sahaabah offered Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) the Sahaabah did not  stand in respect of Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) for  the simple reason that Rasulullah  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  disliked such a practice. Now  when this was the case during  the very lifetime of Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam),  then reason demands that the  dislike of our Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) for this practice  of Qiyaam will be greater after  his (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  death and in his (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) absence.

If this Qiyaam was necessary whenever we talk or discuss or mention the Holy name of Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) then surely Qiyaam (standing) would have been incumbent upon us on the  following occasions:

(a) During Tashah-hud (i.e. when  sitting in the second rakaat of  any Salaat). In this sitting  posture of Salaat we recite At-tahi-yaat, and during this recital  the following salutations for our  Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  occur: “Salaams upon you, O  Nabi.”

However, no one ever stands up  during his Salaat when he recites  the above salutations in Tashah-hud.

(b) If we happen to be sitting and  the Muath-thin during Athaan  call out: Ashadu Anna Muhammadur Rasulullah then we do not stand up.  Even though Rasulullah’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) Holy name is mentioned in the Athaan ten  times a day no one stands at the  mention of Rasulullah’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) name, if he happens to be  seated.

(c) During a lecture when the  lecturer speaks about the Holy  Birth of Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) or when he  mentions the name of Rasulullah  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), no one stands in reverence at the  mention of Rasulullah’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) Holy name.

(d) When we recite the Kalimah then  we do not stand at the mention  of the Holy name of our Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).

(e) Allah Ta’ala has instructed us to  recite Durood Shareef on  Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). But when anyone  recites Durood he does not stand  when mentioning the Holy name  of Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).

(f) During the Khutbah on Friday the  name of Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) is mentioned  several times, but everyone  remains seated. No one stands up  when the Imaam who recites the  Khutbah says: Allahumma Salli ‘Alaa Muhammad

(g) In the Holy Qur’aan the name of  Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) is mentioned on several  occasions, but when we recite  the relevant verses containing the  name of Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) we do not stand,  and we are not commanded to  stand by Allah Ta’ala.

(h) In the Holy  Qur’aan Allah Ta’ala says:

Verily, Allah and His Malaa-ikah  send salaat upon the Nabi, O you who believe send salaat and  salaam upon him.  

However, despite Allah Ta’ala commanding us in the abovementioned verses to recite salutations on our Nabi  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) we  do not stand at the recital of  Durood because we are not  commanded to do so. Allah Ta’ala  only commands the recitation of  salutations and not Qiyaam  or  standing when we recite these  salutations.

Thus, it is abundantly clear that  the Shariah does not command  or exhort us to stand when the  Holy name of Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) is  taken. If it was necessary to stand  in respect of the name of  Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) then it would be a  greater necessity to stand in  respect when the Glorious Name  of Allah Ta’ala is mentioned. But  no one ever stands when the  Name of Allah Ta’ala is mentioned  or when glorifications unto Allah Ta’ala are recited.

The fact that people stand only when  Rasulullah’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) name is sung in the Meelaad Salaamis is ample proof  that they do not stand in respect and reverence at the mention of our Nabi’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) name. If they did in reality stand for the respect of  our Nabi’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) name then they would  have stood whenever the Holy  name of our Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was mentioned.  But in that case life would become very difficult for the  votaries of Meelaad because if  the lecturer happens to deliver a  lecture on the life of Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and  he mentioned the name of our  Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  a hundred times, our supporters  of Meelaad would have to jump  up every time the name of our  Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) is mentioned. Hence, it is clear  that people stand during the  recital of Salaamis not because of reverence for Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), but  because of force of custom. They  stand because it is customary to  stand when these Salaamis are  recited. They stand because the  crowd stands. And, this standing  or Qiyaam was the invention of irreligious persons. Nowhere in  the  Shariah could this Qiyaam be  established. Thus the majority of  people stand because it is a  custom (made compulsory by the  innovators of the Meelaad) of  these functions.

Others again stand because of a  reason which is much more  dangerous than the reason for  which the majority of people  stand. Some cherish the belief that the Soul of our Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  presents itself at these sessions  of Meelaad, hence it is necessary  to stand in respect. This is a  fallacious and a highly misleading  belief. This belief leads to Shirk  or association with Allah Ta’ala in  an attribute which is exclusive in  Divinity. Let us assume that A  holds a Meelaad function in his  home, B does the same in his  home, C also has a Meelaad  celebration and D does likewise;  also Meelaad functions are taking place in various Musaajid all over  the world. Now let us assume  that these functions happen to  take place at the same time and  the Salaami is being recited at  these various venues at one and  the same  time. A is under the impression that Rasulullah’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) Soul  is present at his function, B, C, D  and the people in the various  Musaajid all over the world are  under the same impression. We  have assumed that the Salaami is  being recited at the same time in  the various places, hence it will  follow that our Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) is present at the  place of A, B, C, D, etc., at one  and the same time. In other  words this belief means that our  Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  is present here, there and  everywhere at one and the same  time. This is bestowing the  Divine Attribute of Omnipresence upon our Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). Thus this belief  assigns to our Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) Divinity by way of according Omnipresence to  our Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). This is in reality the  commission of Shirk which is a  capital crime – a crime most  heinous in the Eyes of Allah.

3)  MEELAAD FUNCTIONS REGARDED AS BEING OF GREATER IMPORTANCE THAN SALAAT

Whenever these functions take  place in places other than  Musaajid wholesale neglect of  Salaat occurs. People are more  concerned with the Meelaad celebration than with their  Salaat. They are ostensibly  gathered to remember MUHAMMAD, RASULULLAH (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), but  they very conveniently overlook and transgress the MESSAGE  and the LAWS brought and  taught to us by Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). If  Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was present today,  what would he (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) say at this wholesale  massacre of Salaat – the most  important Pillar (as far as practice  is concerned) of Islam – and  especially so by those who claim  to sing his (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) praises and make  claims to being the sole  repositories of his (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) love! The  Meelaad function proceeds while  the time for Salaat passes by.  What kind of love – what kind of  demonstration of love for  Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) is this?

Those who participate in these  functions do not make any  special preparations to perform  Salaat in Jamaat which is  Sunnatul Muakkadah, yet they  see that elaborate and special  preparations are made for a  custom which has no origin in  the Shariah of Islam – for a  custom which contains many  innovations.

4)  QAWWAALI AND MUSIC

There exists no difference of  opinion among the Fuqahaa (the  Jurists of Islam) like Imaam Abu  Hanifah, Imaam Maalik, Imaam  Shaafi, Imaam Hambal,  etc, on  the prohibition of music. We  shall content ourselves at this juncture to say that MUSIC is  strictly and unanimously  prohibited in Islam. At some of  these functions qawwaali with  the accompaniment of music  takes place. This, indeed is an  open and a flagrant violation of  the law of Allah. Its evil is  emphasised when it takes place  at a function ostensibly organized in honour of our Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).

5)  RECITING OF UN-ISLAMIC VERSES

Many a time such poetry is  composed and sung at these  functions, which are blasphemous. Much of the  subject matter of these verses is  unsubstantiated, much is mere  figments of the composer’s  imagination, and some verses go  so far as to deify our Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). This,  needless to say, amounts to the  capital crime of SHIRK.

6)  THE CONGREGATION OF FUSSAAQ AND FAAJIR PEOPLE

People of all types frequent and  gather at these functions.  Audacious and rebellious sinners,  people of immoral characters  merely attend these functions to  listen to the sweet voices of  young boys and girls singing, and  for casting surreptitious and evil  glances at members of the  opposite sex – and this too is strictly forbidden in Islam.

7)  INTERMINGLING OF SEXES AT THE FUNCTIONS

Seclusion and separation of the  sexes is a compulsory law in  Islam. Islam demands the  strictest separation of the sexes.  The Law of Islam is categoric in banning women from coming  even to Musaajid for purposes of  Salaat. Salaat is the greatest  practical obligation imposed  upon the Believers by Allah Ta’ala,  yet Allah Ta’ala did not decree the  performance of Jumu’ah Salaat  on women. The performance of  Salaat in Jamaat has not been  ordained by Shariah for women.  Our Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) in fact said that  woman’s noblest and best Salaat  is her Salaat performed alone in  the darkest corner of her home.  Now when it is not even  permissible for females to come  to the Musjid for Salaat purposes,  how can it be permissible for  them to attend these Meelaad functions? Their presence at  these Meelaad functions is a very  strong factor establishing the  prohibition of these functions.  Wherever intermingling of sexes  takes place Shaitaan is present to  plunge man into the tentacles of immorality. Our Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said so. Even if it  is possible to screen the females completely from the men, then  too, it is not permissible for them  to emerge from their homes to  attend these functions for the  simple reason that the Shariah  has decreed that they may not  emerge from their homes for  even Salaat in the Musjid.

8)  ABSTENTION FROM THE COMMAND OF AMR BIL MA-ROOF AND NAHY ANIL MUNKAR

When evil and sin occur it is the  duty upon a Muslim to either  speak out against it if he is able  to do so, or alternatively, he must  withdraw from the place wherein  the un-Islamic practices are being  carried out. Now at these celebrations many of the wrongs  listed on above take place, but no  one will speak out against these  even though convinced of it  being un-Islamic. They will not  speak out against the crimes  committed against Allah nor will  they leave the venues where such  wrongs are being perpetrated in  the Holy Name of Islam. They  choose to be silent compatriots  in these evils. In so doing they are  inviting Allah Ta’ala’s Wrath upon  themselves by shunning the  extremely important Islamic  Injunction of Commanding what  is good and prohibiting what is  evil.

9)  ISRAAF OR WASTE OF MONEY AND LABOUR IN THE ORGANIZATION OF MEELAAD

Great sums of money and  considerable time in labour are  squandered in organizing these  customs which have no Islamic  origin or sanction. Money which  could be utilized for the poor, the  needy, the widows and the  orphans are squandered in  preparing elaborate Meelaad  celebrations. Money is spent unnecessarily in the hiring of  tents, halls, cooking utensils,  eating utensils, for the  preparation of foods, for  engaging the qawwaal, etc. In  short this whole affair becomes a  mere frivolous party attendant  with wrongs and evils.

10)  SOLICITING PUBLIC FUNDS

Many a time the organizers  engage in public collections in  order to accumulate funds to  organize such functions. Charity  is extracted from the public  under the pretences of  organizing an “Islamic” function.  Rich and poor eat the food  prepared of this charity. The  Muslim public who attend these functions indulge in merrymaking at the expense of the charities collected.

11)  TASHABBUH BIL KUFFAAR

The celebration of birthdays and  anniversaries has no connection  with Islam. This is an exclusive  custom of the Kuffaar. Our Nabi  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) did  not celebrate birthdays and  anniversaries. Nor did the  Sahaabah or the great learned  Jurists of Islam. Such celebrations  have no basis in the Shariah. In  upholding these innovatory  customs Muslims are in fact  imitating the Kuffaar and this our Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  has strictly forbidden.

The Hindus have customs of  celebrating the anniversaries of  the death or the birthdays of  their holy people, and so have  the Christians as well as the Rawaafidh sects which have gone  astray. In reality Muslims too  have imitated the Kuffaar in the  introduction of  these  customs.  The Sahaabah of our Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)  never celebrated the birthday of  our Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) nor did the great  learned Jurists and Ulama of  Islam. In fact the Muslim innovators have resorted to a greater ignorance than their non-Muslim counterparts (in custom  and innovation). The non-Muslim  celebrate the birthdays and  death anniversaries of their holy  men on a fixed day each year.  But, the Muslim innovators celebrate the birthday of our Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) on various dates throughout the  year. They do so on different  dates yet they call these various  celebrations MEELAAD or  MOULOODUN-NABI which means  the BIRTH of the NABI (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).

12)  MAINTAINING A CUSTOM WHICH WAS ORIGINATED BY IRRELIGIOUS PERSONS

It has already been explained  elsewhere in this article that the  originators of the Meelaad  custom were irreligious persons.  Six hundred years after our Nabi  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) the  irreligious ruler of Irbal assisted  by irreligious learned men invented and established this  custom. Thus, those who organize Meelaad functions and those who participate in them are in reality assisting to establish a practice introduced by evil men. They are aiding and abetting in the fostering of a custom which is in  total conflict with the Shariah  of  Islam. It is a great crime to  maintain and encourage customs  and practices which were brought into being by those who had no  connection with the Deen, more  so, when these customs and  practices are a conglomeration of  un-Islamic elements.

13)  REVILING AND BRANDING AS UNBELIEVERS THOSE WHO DO NOT PARTICIPATE IN THESE PRACTICES

One of the vilest of habits which  exists in those who desire to  establish these un-Islamic  customs is to brand as Kaafir or  unbeliever whoever does not agree with their views or do not  participate in these Meelaad  functions. Indeed, these  innovators have not shied from  even branding as Kaafir great Ulama, Auliya and pious men of  Islam. At every corner they  produced Kaafirs. It seems that  their only function is to maintain  innovatory customs and to brand  Muslims as Kaafir. The votaries of  these customs have written in their books that those who do  not make the Qiyaam, etc. are  Kaafir. They have written that to  make Qiyaam at these ceremonies is FARDH (Compulsory). What blasphemy they utter! They seem to be totally unconcerned of the Allah, the Greatest, the most  High, hence they  proceed without any hesitation to  pronounce as Kaafir the great  Auliyaa and Ulama of Islam. This  factor of reviling the non-participants is a very strong  reason for the non-permissibility  of this innovatory practice.

14)  REGARDING THE DISTRIBUTION OF SWEETMEATS AS ESSENTIAL

This too, is a further  transgression committed against  the Law of Allah. This custom of  distributing sweetmeats at these  functions is regarded as compulsory. A gross falsity  perpetrated in the name of Islam.

15)  THE BELIEF THAT THE SOUL OF OUR NABI (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) PRESENTS ITSELF AT THE MEELAAD FUNCTION

This factor has already been  explained under the section  dealing with Qiyaam, and it was  shown there how the crime of  Shirk is resultant on this belief.

WHAT THE LEARNED AUTHORITIES OF ISLAM SAY ABOUT MOULOOD

Imaam Ahmad Bin Muhammad  Bin Bisri Maaliki (rahmatullah  alayh) states:

“And, the Ulama of the four Math-habs (Hanafi, Shaafi, Hambali and Maaliki) are unanimous in condemning this practice (i.e. Moulood).” [AL-QOULUL  MU’TAMAD]

“Imaam Abul Hassen Ali Bin Fadhl  Muqeddisi (rahmatullah alayh) states in his Kitaab,  JAAMIUL  MASAA-IL: 
‘The practice of Moulood was not  of the practices of the great,  pious predecessors (SALFE  SAALIH). It was introduced after  the QUROONE THALAATHAH (the  three periods following our Nabi  –– which he––  described as the  “best of times”). It (Moulood) was  innovated during the age of evil  (i.e. of evil people). We do not  follow a practice introduced by  later people, if the pious  predecessors did not practice it.  It suffices for us to follow the  Salfe Saaliheen. And, we have no need to innovate new customs.” [AL-QOULUL MU’TAMAD]

Imaam Ibnul Haaj states:
“Among the Bid’ahs (innovations) which these people have introduced is the practice of Moulood during the month of Rabiul Awwal. They believe that  the Moulood is among the great  acts of Ibaadat (worship) and the  customs of Islam. This practice  consists of Bid’ahs and Haraam  acts.  [MUDKHAL]                                                                  
Imaam Shamsul A-immah Taajud-din Faakahaani says in his  Risalah:
“I know of no basis for this  practice of Moulood as regards  the Qur’aan and the Sunnah. It  has not been reported from any  of the greet Ulama and Imaams  who were the Leaders of the  Deen and who held on firmly to  the ways of the greet  predecessors. In reality, this practice of Moulood is a Bid’ah  innovated by evil people who  were followers of lust  …”

Allamah Abdur-Rahman Mughzi  (rahimahullah) states in his  Fataawa:
“Verily, the practice of Moulood is  a Bid’ah. The Messenger of Allah (salpallaahu alayhi wasallam) did  not order or practise it, nor did  his Khulafaa (his representatives)  or the Jurists of Islam.” [SHARATUL ILLAHIY-YAH]

Besides the abovementioned  opinions and statements of the  Jurists of Islam there are many  other references on the subject.  The true Ulama and the Jurists of  Islam have condemned and  branded this practice as  forbidden right from the very  time it was introduced as part of  the Deen of Allah, i.e. 600 years after our Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). In every age the true  and uprighteous learned men of Islam have opposed and rejected  this practice. Shaikhul Islam Ibn  Taimiyyah Hambali (rahmatullah  alayh) rejected this practice in his  Fataawa. Imaam Jasiruddin Shafi  (rahmatullah alayh) condemned  this practice in Irshaadul Akhyaar,  and so did Hadhrat Mujaddid Alfe  Thaani (rahmatullah alayh) (See Maktoobaat, PartV).

The discussion of these pages is  sufficient, in fact more than  sufficient for the unbiased seeker  of the Truth to arrive at the right  – the Islamic conclusion, that the  customary Moulood practices are  not permissible in terms of the Shariah. Never mind what the  votaries of these innovatory  practices say, just remember that  this custom of Meelaad was not  ordered by Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam); it was not  practised by Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam); it  was not practised by even one  Sahaabi of our Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) – the Sahaabah  did not practise it; the great  Imaams and Jurists of Islam did  not practise it. It (Meelaad) was  introduced in Islam by men who  loved this life and its pleasures  –  it was innovated 600 years after Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). These are facts which  even the votaries of Meelaad do  not refute. May Allah save us and  all Muslims from all un-Islamic  customs, Aameen.

MOULOOD – BASELESS ARGUMENTS

The protagonists of the custom  of Moulood/Meelaad or the  celebration of the birthday of  Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) present a number of  spurious and baseless arguments  in support of their un-Islamic  practice. Qur’aanic verses and Hadith narrations totally  unrelated to their innovated  practice are cited, distorted and  falsely interpreted to deceive  those who lack Islamic knowledge. Among their spurious  arguments is their statement:

“Man must thank and show his  appreciation to the Almighty for  the bounty in the person  of  the  Holy Prophet (peace be upon  him).”  

According to the upholders of  Moulood the purpose for this  innovation is to thank Allah. It is  thus a thanksgiving day. For  offering thanks to Allah Ta’ala for  the great bounty in the form of  Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), a day is set aside in  the year when praises are sung  and food is eaten and  merrymaking is adopted. But,  what is the Islamic proof for  setting aside a day in the year to  offer thanks in this way for this  wonderful Bounty? From whence  did these people obtain their  direction for celebrating the  birthday of Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)? Did the Sahaabah not love Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)?  Were the Sahaabah unaware of  the birthday of Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)? Did  the Sahaabah not realize that  they had to offer thanks on a  special day for the great bounty?  The Bounty had come to them in  the first instance. The Bounty  had extricated them from the  dregs of kufr and barbarism. How  is it that they did not see it fit to  set aside a day for Moulood  celebration? Were they then  deficient in their love for  Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)? The innovation of  Moulood does in fact imply that  the Sahaabah-e-Kiraam were  unaware of the way in which to  manifest their love for Rasulullah  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and  that this ‘favour’ was conferred  centuries after the Sahaabah to  the innovators who had  introduced the Meelaad custom  which is in fact an inheritance  acquired from irreligious persons.

DAY OF DUROOD?

The upholders of the customary  Moulood celebration contend  that this is their day of Durood,  hence they claim:

“….praises are sung in his honour,  blessings and salutations of  Peace are showered upon him,…”  

It is indeed peculiar for those  who raise the slogan of Hubb-e-Rasool (love for the Rasool) to appoint a short time in a day per year for reciting Durood on Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). A Muslim is supposed  to recite Durood daily. If a Muslim one who claims to love Rasulullah  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) – recites Durood daily as he should, then what is the meaning of a  special day for singing praises  and showering blessings and  salutations? This a Muslim does  daily or should do daily, not once  a year in a function of  merrymaking where violations of  the Shariah are perpetrated. Their claim is utterly meaningless.

Who taught the Ummah about the recitation of Durood? How  did the Sahaabah recite Durood?  Surely they did not have a day in the year for this important act of  Ibaadat and demonstration of love for Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)! The Sahaabah  recited Durood and so did the  Ummah thereafter. When Durood constitutes part of the Muslim’s  daily Thikr, then of what purpose is the fixation of a day for Durood  and singing of praises? What Shar’i proof do these people have  for their innovation? Nothing at  all! Muslims are required to recite  Durood the way the Sahaabah  recited Durood, not in the new  fangled way innovated by  irreligious persons.

DAYS OF CELEBRATION

Attempting to substantiate their  innovation of Meelaad, the votaries of this custom seek to draw support from the ways of  the kuffaar, thus they say:

“All the religions of the world, at some or other time, celebrate certain days of the year since time  immemorial.” “In Islam these days  have a special significance;…”  

Why look askance at the ways of  non-Muslims when Islam has  clear directions for the Ummah? What is the need for this comparison? The need is there to eke out miserable support for the  baseless suppositions and baatil customs of the Ahl-e-Bid’ah. A Muslim should not refer to the  method of the kuffaar. Our days  of celebration have been clearly explained and enumerated by Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). Islam’s Days of Celebration do not include Meelaad/Moulood. Islam does not know of any ‘Prophet’s Day  Celebration’ as the Meelaad-preachers are dubbing of recent.  If this custom had significance  whatsoever, the Sahaabah would  have been the very first persons to have  celebrated  Meelaad.  After  all, days of celebration – existed “since time immemorial”.  The Sahaabah with their over-brimming love for the Rasool (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) did  not require the advice of anyone  regarding  the  fixation  of  a specific day for Durood and  praise-singing. They did not  require anyone to remind them of the birthday of Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). But, their deliberate and conscious  abstention from innovating a day  of celebration which in Islam is in  fact not a day of celebration, is  ample testimony for the claim  that Meelaad-day  has  neither  origin nor sanction in the  Shariah, nor is there any significance in it. On the contrary, the Wrath of Allah Ta’ala descends on the innovators of  baatil customs.

THE AIM

Further arguing their baseless  case, the supporters of Meelaad  say:

“The aim is the remembrance of  those great souls who sacrificed themselves in contributing to the upkeep of Islam and in so doing bring home to the future  generations the responsibilities  they have to bear as far as Islam  is concerned.”

Irrespective of any aim and any  benefit, no one has the right to  innovate a practice and assign it  a religious status. The aim, no  matter how laudable, does not  justify bid’ah which changes the  purity of the Sunnah. Furthermore, the Sahaabah were well aware of such laudable aims.  Did they not understand the kind of aim expressed in the aforementioned statement? The  welfare of Islam and the Ummah  and the love of Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) were  foremost and uppermost in their  minds and ingrained in their hearts, but they never considered  the need to celebrate a day for the “remembrance of great souls” who had sacrificed themselves for the “upkeep of Islam”. This is indeed a baseless claim in support of the bid’ah of Moulood.
If there was any Islamic validity and need for the enactment of  days of celebration in remembrance of great souls who had sacrificed for the sake of Islam, the Sahaabah would have been the first to have initiated  this process. But, Islamic history bears testimony that no such days of remembrance or days of celebration were introduced by the Sahaabah or by the illustrious authorities of the Shariah for centuries after the demise of  Nabi-e-Kareem (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). Great and noble souls  such as Sayyidush Shuhadaa Hadhrat Hamzah,Hadhrat Umar, Hadhrat Uthmaan and countless Sahaabah were martyred in the Path of Islam. Besides the  Shuhadaa (Martyrs), numerous  Sahaabah sacrificed their all in their Service of love and devotion for Islam and the Rasool of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). But never did Islam enact a day of celebration in honour and in remembrance of any of its most valiant Sons who shook the world from top to bottom. But, the  Ahl-e-Bid’ah considered it appropriate centuries later to innovate customs and festivals inherited from pagan kuffaar.  Such innovated customs were merely disguised with an Islamic hue by the introduction of Islamic  acts of Ibaadat. Since there is no Islamic precedent nor any valid Shar’i  basis for the Moulood festival, this practice is utterly  baatil and un-Islamic.

A DISTORTION

Among their arguments in favour of Meelaad is their baseless  interpretation of the following  Qur’aanic aayat:

“And remind them of the days of  Allah.”  

They present their  misinterpretation as follows:

“The days are those wherein Allah  has sent His bounties unto His servants…… Those who believe  know that above all the gifts  from Allahu Ta’ala none is more apparent in greatness than the very person of the Holy Prophet  of Allah (peace be upon him)……. Then surely to celebrate the day  of his coming cannot be branded  as an innovation or as an  unfounded custom or ritual.”  

Why should it not be branded as  such? When this custom has no beginning in Islam, when it was an unknown practice to the Sahaabah and when it did not exist for many centuries after the  demise of Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), then why should it not be branded as an unfounded and a baatil custom of  evil innovation? Did the  Sahaabah not realize that Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was the greatest  Bounty of Allah Ta’ala upon mankind? Why did the Taabieen  and those after them not appreciate this fact? In the logic of the Ahl-e-Bid’ah the Sahaabah and the Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen and all the illustrious Souls who lived in Khairul Quroon (the three noblest ages succeeding the age  of Rasulullah sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) did not understand or appreciate this greatest of Allah’s Bounties, hence they did not innovate Meelaad. The Ulama-e-Haqq abstain from this baseless, innovated and unfounded custom  just as the Sahaabah had abstained, just as the Taabieen and their followers had abstained.  But, the votaries of this custom spit venom and brand as kufr abstention from their innovated baatil!

The noble Nabi of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and his illustrious Sahaabah were fully  aware of the meaning of the  aforementioned aayat. They, better than all, understood what  was meant by “the  days  of  Allah”. If this aayat even remotely  suggested days of celebration,  then undoubtedly, Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) would have ordered the observance of Meelaad and other days in remembrance of the sacrifices of the great souls in the  cause of Islam. But there is absolutely nothing of this sort of festival and custom ordered by Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) nor did the Sahaabah ever introduce any such festival or  celebration. The Ahl-e-Bid’ah are  audaciously implying that they possess a greater understanding of the aayat (mentioned above) than Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and his Sahaabah.

By reminding people of past great events of admonition, kindness and favours of Allah Ta’ala  (referred to as “the days of Allah” in the aayat) is meant nothing other than naseehat – giving good counsel, warning and admonishing.It does not mean the enactment of celebrations and festivals on specific days of the years. There is no basis whatever in the Shariah for this  interpretation advanced by the supporters of Moulood festivities.  The emphasis of Islam is on reminding of the days of Allah,  i.e. Naseehat, hence Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Deen  is  Naseehat”. Islam does not stipulate that the process of  reminding about the “days of Allah” be on specific days of the year.

While the Qur’aan Majeed says: “Remind them of the days of  Allah”, the Ahl-e-Bid’ah say:  “Remind them on particular days  of the birth of the Nabi.” But, the Qur’aan does not mention this.  Bounties do come within the scope of the meaning of “days of Allah”, but the Islamic way of “reminding” is not the innovation  of customs, rituals and festivals which have no sanction in the Shariah. The interpretation of the Ahl-e-Bid’ah is thus baatil.

ANOTHER DISTORTION

In support of Meelaad, its votaries cite the following aayat: “Say (O Muhammad) with the descent of Allah’s Bounty and Mercy the believers should be happy.” 

Arguing the Meelaad case on the  basis of this verse, the Ahl-e-Bid’ah say:
“Here the Holy Qur’aan clearly sanctions the fact that the  believers should rejoice the bestowal of the gifts from Allahu  Ta’ala. ……Thus to be happy, to rejoice and to celebrate the coming of the most supreme of Allah’s Gifts is an action of compulsory gratitude to Allah Almighty in accordance with the Divine command.”  

To be happy and to rejoice over the bounties and gifts of Allah Ta’ala are one thing. No sensible person has ever denied this fact or taken up cudgels against it. But, to forge customs and to innovate unfounded practices and  to introduce festivals akin to the festivals of paganism are entirely different issue which have nothing whatever to do with the expression of the Mu’min’s happiness for the Bounty of the Blessed Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). The argument of Haqq  is not directed against lawful and valid rejoicing, happiness and gratitude. The argument is in refutation and in denial of the  baatil Meelaad and customary evil  festivals of the Bid’atis –  functions of merrymaking and  haraam – functions where dagga smoking qawwaals preside with their haraam musical instruments; where fussaaq and fujjaar gather,  where they sing the night through, where the raucous clamour of Hubb-e-Rasool is  dinned throughout the night but  the Fajr Salaat is abandoned at the altar of this conception of ‘Hubbe Rasool’ which sanctions all the haraam acts of flagrant  transgression. This conception of  ‘Hubb-e-Rasool’ of-the Ahl-e-Bid’ah of our time tolerates the destruction of almost every Sunnah of Muhammadur Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). This is not an expression of love and gratitude.  It is the manifestation of the bestiality of the carnal nafs  floundering in the sea of  shaitaani deception and baatil.

It is not an Islamic teaching to fix specific days for the innovation of celebrations to express happiness  and to rejoice and be grateful for  the bounties of Allah Ta’ala. If expression of gratitude and happiness had to be by means of  annual festivals and celebrations  then the Sahaabah would have been the first to have done so.  The conspicuous absence of  Meelaad celebration in the ranks  of the Sahaabah and the Taabieen  speaks volumes for the fallacy of  the Bid’ati claim. The Ahl-e-Bid’ah are implying that the Sahaabah  were ungrateful to Allah Ta’ala for  the greatest of Bounties since they did not indulge in Moulood.  Yet, they were the happiest and the most grateful of Muslims for the Boon of Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), but their happiness, rejoicing and gratitude did not assume the form of Meelaad celebration.  They never specified any ‘Prophet’s Day’. Happiness and  gratitude stem from the heart  and manifest themselves on the external body of the Mu’min in the form of IbaadatNafl Salaat in solitude, Saum, Sadqah, Thikrullah and service to the servants of Allah Ta’ala. Islamic  happiness and expression of gratitude to Allah Ta’ala do not consist of singing and merrymaking under Deeni guise. The Mu’min expresses his undying  loyalty and remembrance for  Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) by the inculcation of  the Sunnah – by following the  Sunnat teachings and practices  in the minutest detail. Love for the Rasool (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) means total obedience  to him, hence the Qur’aan Shareef  declares:

“Say (O  Muhammad!): If you love  Allah then follow me (Muhammad).”  

Love for Allah and love for the Rasool are enshrined in  submission and obedience to the  Command and to the Sunnah,  not in singing praises and listening to songs sung by dagga-smoking qawwaals with the  accompaniment of haraam  musical  instruments. The whole  customary Meelaad celebrations  in vogue among the Ahl-e-Bid’ah  is one huge trick and deception  of shaitaan talbees-e-Iblees.

The claim that celebration of  Moulood “is an action of compulsory gratitude, to Allah  Almighty in accordance with  Divine command”, is a vile fabrication– a lie spoken in the  Name of Allah Ta’ala. Let them  produce the “Divine command”  which commands Meelaad  celebration, Qur’aanic verses  totally unrelated to this bid’ah  are not proof for this baatil claim.  Those who venture such falsehood in the Name of Allah Azza Wa Jal should heed well the following warning of Rasulullah  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam):

“He who speaks a lie on me deliberately should prepare his abode in the Fire (of Jahannum).”

Moulood – MORE BASELESS ARGUMENTS

Arguing their case, the votaries  of customary Moulood celebrations present certain  narrations attributed to Hadhrat  Abu Bakr, Hadhrat Umar, Hadhrat Uthmaan and Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhum). Some such narrations are:

“He who hath spent in the recital  of Moulood-un-Nabi one dirham then he shall be my companion in  Jannat.”  (This narration is attributed to Hadhrat Abu Bakr  –  radhiyallahu  anhu).

“He who hath kept in veneration  the Moulood-un-Nabi of the Holy Prophet (on whom be peace) he  hath kept Islam alive.”  (Attributed  to Hadhrat Umar– radhiyallahu anhu)

“He who hath spent one dirham  in the recital of Moulood-un-Nabi  he is as he had been a participant  in the battles of Badr and Hunain.”  (Attributed to Hadhrat  Uthmaan – radhiyallahu  anhu).

“He who revered Moulood-un-Nabi and was instrumental in its recital, he shall leave this world  upon Iman and shall enter Jannat without reckoning.”  (Attributed  to Hadhrat Ali – radhiyallahu  anhu).

No wonder that the participants  in the customary Moulood  celebrations ignore the  performance of Salaat and rather  spend the night listening to  drunken qawwaals singing and  drumming away their tablas until  just before Fajr. But as the  Muath-thin is about to call the  Fajr Athaan they slink away like shayaateen into their beds. This  easy prescription of  “entering  Jannat without reckoning” as  long as Moulood was upheld has  made people audacious and careless about Deeni Commands.

The  abovementioned  narrations  in the first place do not appear in  any of the highly placed authentic  Books of Hadith. Let the  supporters of customary Moulood  celebrations present the proof  for the authenticity of these narrations. Secondly, why did the  Khulafa-e-Raashideen not  participate in Moulood celebration? Narrations in this  regard are being attributed to the Khulafa-e-Raashideen, but why  did they not organize customary  Moulood celebrations if indeed  this custom was of the significance mentioned in these narrations attributed to them?

Assuming that the narrations are  correct, then too, here is no  substantiation for the customary  Moulood functions prevailing in  the ranks of the Ahl-e-Bid’ah.  There is no argument in the fact  that speaking, discussing and  feeling ever grateful for the Birth  (Moulood) of the Nabi (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) are all acts of  merit, barkat and thawaab. It was  never contended that it is wrong  to discuss the Moulood (Birth) of  Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). But, the customary  Moulood functions with its  accompaniment of haraam  factors is the target for the criticism of the Ulama-e-Haqq. If  Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu  anhu) mentioned the significance  of Moulood, he meant thereby  the Birth of Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), which was a great or the greatest boon to  mankind and Jinnkind. He did not  refer to the type of Meelaad  function in vogue today. He  never meant by Moulood, the  functions consisting of qawwaali,  etc. There never existed the  customary Moulood function  during the time of the Sahaabah  nor for centuries thereafter. It is,  therefore, highly deceptive to  extract a mere word from a narration and claim that the term  refers to a present-day baatil  custom which has neither origin  nor sanction in the Shariah.

If the customary Meelaad celebration had any basis in the Sunnah and if the Khulafa-e-Raashideen did in fact speak so glowingly of  these practices as is being alleged, then the least expected of them was practical expression of such an important celebration which is purported to secure the entry of its votaries into Jannat without reckoning. The fact that the early six centuries of Islam were without this customary Meelaad practice is sufficient proof for the Meelaad custom being a bid’ah (an innovation). It is typical of the perpetrators of bid’ah to clasp at any straw to eke out support for their un-Islamic practices.

The Ahl-e-Bid’ah have all along presented a variety of spurious ‘proofs’ and baseless arguments in  substantiation of their innovated practice of Meelaad. Their latest attempt consists of presenting ‘hadith’ narrations which have absolutely no standing of authenticity in the Shariah. They tender narrations claiming that Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) himself spoke highly of the custom of Meelaadunnabi. Other narrations cited, allege that the Khulafa-e-Raashideen exhorted the observance of this practice.

It is a well-established Islamic fact that the custom of Meelaad or Moulood never existed in Islam for approximately six centuries from the time of Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). If  there was any merit  in this practice of the Ahl-e-Bid’ah, surely Rasulullah  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and the Sahaabah would have upheld it. But all Shar’i facts and Islamic  history testify that Meelaad did  not exist during the time of Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), the Sahaabah and for  centuries after them.

Such fallacious ‘proofs’ and miserable attempts of the Bid’ati group should be dismissed as claims devoid of substance.

A blatant attempt to justify  the  custom of Meelaad is made by an  effort to enlist Hadhrat Mujaddid  Alf-e-Thaani (rahmatullah alayh).  Thus, the votaries of  Meelaad  allege:

“Imaam Rabbani Mujaddid Alfi  Sani, in his writings, says of Mauludun-Nabi: ‘What matters   when the Qur’aan is recited sweetly and when praises are sung in honour of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him)!” e

Indeed, nothing matters to recite  the Qur’aan Majeed sweetly and to sing the praises of Rasulullah  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). But,  Meelaad of the Ahl-e-Bid’ah is not  mere sweet recitation of the  Qur’aan nor is it merely a session  where-praises are sung in honour of Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). The many evils  associated with this custom of  the Ahl-e-Bid’ah can never be  justified or supported by an unrelated statement of Hadhrat Mujaddid (rahmatullah alayh). It  is necessary for the Bid’ati group to state the context in which Hadhrat Mujaddid (rahmatullah  alayh) made his statement.  Furthermore, it is incumbent for  the supporters of Meelaad to  inform Muslims what exactly Hadhrat Mujaddid Alf-e-Thaani  said directly in reference to the  practices of bid’ah. Since it is a forgone conclusion that the  upholders of Meelaad will never  act honestly by informing people  of Hadhrat Mujaddid’s view on bid’ah, we shall do so. It is highly  misleading to describe the  customary Meelaad simply by  asserting that it is merely “sweet  recitation of the Qur’aan and  singing of praises in honour of Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam).” The present Moulood is a bid’ah custom – a bid’ah  sayyiah (evil innovation), which the votaries of bid’ah describe as  bid’ah hasanah (beautiful innovation). In refutation of their contention of bid’ah hasanah we shall reproduce verbatim the view of Hadhrat Imaam Rabbaani Mujaddid Alf-e-Thaani (rahmatullah alayh) as it appears  in the book, Endless Bliss, a publication of the Turk, Huseyn Hilmi Isik who incidentally is a great enemy of the Ulama of Deoband and a supporter of Moulood and other acts of bid’ah:

MUJADDID ALF-E-THAANI ON BID’AH

“The happiest, the most fortunate  person is he who recovers one of the forgotten sunnats and annihilates one of the widespread  bid’ats in a time when irreligiousness is on the increase. We are now in such a time when  a thousand years have elapsed  after the Best of man kind  [Hadhrat Muhammad]. As we get  farther from the time of  happiness of our Prophet, the  sunnats are gradually being covered and, lies being on the increase, the bid’ats are spreading. A hero is needed who will uphold the sunnats and stop,  expel the bid’ats. To spread bid’ats  is to demolish Islam. To respect those who make up and commit bid’ats, to deem them great will  cause Islam to perish. It is declared in a hadith, “He who says  ‘great’ about those who commit bid’ats has helped the demolition  of Islam”. The meaning of this should be given die consideration  on. Utmost energy should be spent in striving for uncovering  one sunnat and annihilating one  bid’at. For strengthening Islam  any-time, especially when Islam  has become so weak, it is necessary to spread the sunnats  and demolish the bid’ats. The  former Islamic savants, having seen maybe some beauty in the  bid’ats, gave some of them the name of hasana [beautiful]. But  this faqir [Imaam-Rabbani means  himself] do not follow them in this respect; I do not regard any  of the bid’ats as beautiful. I see all  of them as dark and cloudy. Our  Prophet declared: “All bid’ats are  aberration, deviation from the  right way”. In such a time as this when Islam has become weak, I  see that salvation and escaping Hell is in holding fast to the  sunnat; and destruction of the  deen is, no matter how, in falling for any bid’at. I understand that  each bid’at is like a pickaxe to  demolish the building of Islam  and all sunnats are like brilliant stars to guide you on a dark night. May Allahu Ta’ala give  enough reasonableness to the  hodjas of our time so that they  will not say that any bid’at is  beautiful or permit any bid’at to  be committed. They should not tolerate bid’ats even if they seem  to illuminate darknesses like the  rising of the sun! For, the satans  do their work easily outside the  sunnats. In the early times, Islam  being strong, the darknesses of  bid’ats were not conspicuous,  but, maybe, along with the world-wide powerful light of Islam, some of those darknesses passed  as bright. Therefore they were said to be beautiful. Whereas,  those bid’ats did not have any  brightness or beauty, either. But now, Islam having become weak and disbelievers’ customs and  even the symptoms of disbelief  having become settled [as fashion] among Muslims, each  bid’at has displayed its harm, and  Islam, without anyone noticing it,  has been slipping away. Our hodjas should be most vigilant in  this respect, and they should not  pioneer the spreading of bid’ats  by saying, “it is permissible to do  so and so”, or “such and such things is not harmful”, and  putting forward the old fatwas.  Here is the place for the saying,  “The deen will change in process  of time”. It is wrong for disbelievers to use this saying as  tongs for demolishing Islam and  settling the bid’ats and disbelief.  The bid’ats having covered all the  world, this age roosts like a dark  night. The sunnats being on the  decrease, their lights blink like  fire-flies flying here and there in  dark night. As the committing of  bid’ats increases, the darkness of  the night has been increasing and  the light of sunnat has been  decreasing. But the increasing of  the sunnats would decrease the  darkness and increase the light.  He who wishes may increase the darkness of bid’at, thus strengthening the devil’s army! And he who wishes may increase  the light of sunnat, thus  strengthening the soldiers of  Allahu Ta’ala! Know well that the end of the devil’s army is calamity,  loss. He who is in the army of  Allahu Ta’ala will attain endless bliss.”

The above excerpt very adequately states the viewpoint  of Hadhrat Mujaddid on the  question of practices dubbed  bid’ah hasanah.

WHAT IS MEELAAD?

A bid’ati molvi speaking in  support of innovation of Meelaad  celebrations argued that Meelaad  “is the origin of all other Eids”.  In  view of it being the “origin” of  Eidul Fitr and Eidul Adha (according to the bid’ati), there is  the need to celebrate Meelaad in  the way the qabar pujaari sect is  presently doing. If Meelaad was  the origin of the other Eids, why  neither Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) nor the  Sahaabah (radhiyallahu anhum)  ever taught or practised this  custom? Why is the Shariah  totally silent about Meelaad if it was indeed a practice of any significance?

Meelaad celebrations are ostensibly organized to express love and  honour for Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). But who had greater love for Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) – the  Sahaabah or those given up to acts of grave-worship? We see the Sahaabah rigidly clinging to  the minutest details of  Rasulullah’s (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) Sunnah – even to such detailed acts which are not imposed on the Ummah by the  Shariah. On the contrary we find  the loud-mouthed grave-worshippers shunning almost  every Sunnat act of Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). We  find clean-shaven fussaaq –  dagga smoking qawwaals –  singing the praises of Rasulullah  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) with  the accompaniment of haraam  musical instruments. Are these  fujjaar superior in love for Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) than the noble  Sahaabah who offered their  blessed bodies as shields to protect the mubaarak body of Nabi-e-Kareem (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) from the spears and  arrows of the kuffaar? But never did any of the Sahaabah innovate  this custom of Meelaad.

That the Sahaabah had the highest degree of love for Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) cannot be contested.  Therefore, the best and the most  acceptable ways of expressing love for and honouring Rasulullah  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) can  be obtained from only the Sahaabah. Any person who even  implies that he has greater love  for Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) than the Sahaabah or  that his way of expressing such  love is better than the way of the  Sahaabah is undoubtedly a  shaitaan. When Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) has commanded obedience to the Way of the Sahaabah, it will be  quite obvious that those who  deviated from the Path of the  Sahaabah are the followers of  shaitaan.

If Meelaad was the mother of the other Eids, then surely Rasulullah  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) would have explained the  importance of upholding this so-called “eid Meeladun Nabi”. But, we find that for centuries, from the age of the Sahaabah, the Ummah did not know anything  about this innovated custom of the Ahl-e-Bid’ah. Only after six  centuries had passed did the  bid’ah of Meelaad celebration  rear its head in the Ummah.

The  custom of Meelaad originated in  the year 604 A.H. in the city of  Mosul at the behest of the evil  king Muzaffaruddin Kaukri Ibn Irbal. Huge sums of money misappropriated from the Baitul Maal were squandered on festivals in the name of Meelaadun Nabi. Evil and haraam  were perpetrated under cover of Hubb-e-Rasool. Today the qabar  pujaaris are branding the people of the Sunnah as kaafir since  they refuse to uphold a practice which has neither origin nor sanction in Islam – leave alone it being the origin of the Eids.

The bid’ati molvi in asserting that  the festive of Meelaad is the  origin of the Islamic Eids has only  exhibited his profound ignorance.  He has demonstrated that the  bid’ati mind derives greater pleasure in customs and practices unconnected to the Sunnah.

A custom which was introduced six hundred years after Rasulullah  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) can never be accorded the  significance which the acts of  the Sunnah enjoy. Why do the people of bid’ah consider the ways of the Sahaabah insufficient for the  expression of love and honour to  Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)? Why is the Tareeqah of the Sahaabah not accorded the  same concern, vigour and importance as some Muslims prefer to give to innovated customs such as Meelaad? Did the Sahaabah organize any  festival? Other than the two Eids, Islam is conspicuous for its lack of festivals and celebrations. Even the Eids were not festivals and occasions of celebration as  people of our times understand celebration to mean. The way to celebrate Eid is recorded in detail in the Sunnah. Haraam activities  do not constitute part of the Islamic celebration of Eid. Eid too,  while a day of happiness, is a day  of Ibaadat. Frivolities do not form part of Islamic and Sunnah culture. Qawwaali, brigades and  other western-orientated displays  of the nafs are the tools of shaitaan. Such activities do not form part of the Sunnah, but they  do form part of the Customary Meelaad celebrations of the qabar pujaari sect.

The 12th day of Rabiul Awwal is  accorded Shar’i status and great displays of love (albeit hollow) for  Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) are made on these occasions of Meelaad. Did the Sahaabah then not know that  Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was born on this day?  Why did they not uphold this day  as a day of Eid? Why did Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) not instruct them to  celebrate this day as a day of Eid  and festivity? The votaries of this  custom designate this day as “a  day of resolution”. But why has  the Shariah never described this  day as a “day of resolution”? Why  did the Sahaabah, despite their  profound love for Nabi-e-Kareem  (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) not stipulate this day as a day of resolution? Yes, we all know that Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) has described the  Night of Baraa’t as the Night of  Stocktaking. And, we know that  Lailatul Qadr has been described  as a very auspicious Night. And,  we have been apprized by Islam that the 10th Muharram is a great  day – not because of the Shahaadat of Hadhrat Husain (radhiyallahu anhu), but because  of a number of other factors. The  10th Muharram was a day of  auspiciousness long before the martyrdom of  Hadhrat Husain (radhiyallahu anhu). But, qabar pujaaris emulating the Shiahs,  have introduced Shiah beliefs into Islam.

It is indeed a queer phenomenon that those who shout the loudest  about love for Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) are the worst criminals violating the  Sunnah of Nabi-e-Kareem (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). What else is to be expected from mobs of grave-worshippers. Such  vile innovators who displace and murder the Sunnah will be buffeted from Haudh-e-Kauthar on the Day of Qiyaamah by Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and the Malaaikah.  May Allah Ta’ala save us from such  calamities.

Love for Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) is not qawwaali-singing and slogans. Love for Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) is obedience to the  Sunnah, everyday obedience.

RESOLUTION?

A molvi arguing the case for Meelaad celebrations says:

“The day is essentially a day of  rededication and resolution to do good things and not to practice ‘falsehood, forgery, bribery and corruption.”  

Rededication and resolution are daily practices or should be daily practices of Muslims. The Sunnah  of Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) commands daily Muhaasabah (Reckoning of one’s deeds) and Muraaqabah (Meditation on various aspects of  the Aakhirah, etc.) But, to the  bid’atis it is a practice to be resorted to once a year on the occasion of Meelaad. The irony is  that even on the day of Meelaad, the participants in these celebrations do not rededicate themselves to good. Meelaad  celebrations consist primarily of the following ingredients: 

Qawwaali singing.
⚫ Music. Public  feasting.
Haraam brigade trumpeting and marching in emulation of the kuffar.
⚫ Singing songs of praise. 
⚫ Some such songs being  excessive veneration to the  degree of shirk and kufr.
Niaaz or the distribution of food parcels supposed to be blessed.

There is no piety in these celebrations. There is absolutely no resemblance to the Sunnah in  these festivals ostensibly organized to praise Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and to “rededicate” oneself to do  good. People have organized and attended these customary Meelaad celebrations for many  years, but none ever emerges with  piety. Such celebrations have never converted the evil. These celebrations are totally devoid of roohaaniyat. How can roohaaniyat permeate a function which is bereft of Deen? No one has ever learnt anything of the Deen from  these celebrations. No one has acquired any Deeni knowledge from the talks of speakers at these celebrations. They do not speak what Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) spoke. They do not teach what the Sahaabah  practised.

The baatil of the Meelaad-qabar pujaari group is manifest from their beliefs. Among their beliefs is that Meelaad is superior to even the Fardh Salaat. A single Meelaad session compensates for  a year’s Salaat omitted. This attitude of the bid’atis appeals to ignorant people who find the  Ibaadat of Islam difficult impositions. For such people the celebrations of merry-making appear very alluring since everything done in these  celebration’s is pleasant to the nafs of man – singing, music,  feasting, etc., are most satisfying  pursuits to the bestial nafs of  man.

Consistency of the Deobandi Akaabir Regarding the Mawlid

[By Maulana Zameelur Rahman]

The Deobandi view on Mawlid consists of the following ingredients:

1. To discuss, commemorate and mention the birth of Rasulullah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) is in itself rewarding and recommended just as commemorating any other aspect of his person (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam)

2. The commemoration that is observed at the time of Rabi’ al-Awwal is customarily attached to and inseparable from a number of innovated or unlawful conditions, like specifying it to the date of the 12th and narrating fabricated reports.

3. These conditions make the commemoration impermissible, bid’ah or makruh

4. As this commemoration-with-unawful/innovated-conditions is the common and widespread (murawwaj) form of “mawlid” functions held in Rabi’ al-Awwal, a general fatwa of impermissibility ought to be given to prevent the ‘awamm from falling into evil. This is known as “Sadd adh-Dharaa’i” (blocking the means), a principle proven from rulings of Hanafi fiqh.

Such a position is self-consistent.

There is nothing inherently contradictory in this position. If all these ingredients are kept in mind, then one will be able to make sense of all pronouncements on mawlid made by the Akabir of Deoband.

It is often insinuated by Barelwis that Deobandis are inconsistent, or even coy and deceptive, in their views about Mawlid. For instance, it is claimed that there is a contradiction between what Mawlana Khalil Ahmad al-Saharanpuri (rahimahullah) wrote on the Mawlid in al-Muhannad (in 1325 H/1907), after the death of Mawlana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi (rahimahullah) to the Arabs, and what he wrote in al-Barahin al-Qati’ah (in 1304 H/1887 CE) with the approval of Mawlana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi (rahimahullah), to the Indians.

In fact, what was mentioned in Muhannad is almost identical to what is found in al-Barahin al-Qati’ah.

On p. 8 of al-Barahin al-Qati’ah, it clearly states:

ﻧﻔﺲ ﺫﻛﺮ ﻣﻴﻼﺩ ﻓﺨﺮ ﻋﺎﻟﻢ ﻋﻠﻴﻪ ﺍﻟﺴﻼﻡ ﻛﻮ ﻛﻮﺋﻰ ﻣﻨﻊ ﻧﮩﯿﮟ ﻛﺮﺗﺎ ﺑﻠﮑﮧ ﺫﻛﺮ ﻭﻻﺩﺕ ﺁﭖ ﺹ ﻛﺎ ﻣﺜﻞ ﺫﻛﺮ ﺩﯾﮕﺮ ﺳﻴﺮ ﻭﺣﺎﻻﺕ ﻣﻨﺪﻭﺏ ﮨﮯ ﭼﻨﺎﻧﭽﮧ ﻳﮧ ﺍﻣﺮ ﻓﺘﻮﯼ ﻣﻮﻟﻮﯼ ﺍﺣﻤﺪ ﻋﻠﯿﺼﺎﺣﺐ ﻣﺤﺪﺙ ﺳﮩﺎﺭﻧﭙﻮﺭﯼ ﻣﯿﮟ ﺻﺮﺍﺣۃ ﻣﺬﮐﻮﺭ ﮨﮯ

“We make no prohibition of the essence of commemorating the birth of the Pride of the World, upon him peace. Rather commemorating his birth, just like commemorating his other conditions and states, is praiseworthy. Thus, this matter is mentioned explicitly in the fatwa of Mawlawi Ahmad ‘Ali Sahib Muhaddith Saharanpuri.” (Al-Barahin al-Qati’ah, p. 8)

In Muhannad, he says, reiterating this same message:

“Commemorating the states which have the least connection with the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) is from the most desirable of recommended acts (ahabb al-mandubat) and the greatest of preferable acts (a‘la l-mustahabbat) according to us, whether it is the commemoration of his noble birth or commemoration of his urine, faeces, standing, sitting, sleeping and waking as is stated clearly in our treatise called Al-Barahin al-Qati‘ah at various junctures therein.”

He also refers to the fatwa of Mawlana Ahmad Ali Saharanpuri (rahimahullah) in Muhannad. The fatwa states that if the commemoration of the birth is free of impermissible activities, like narrating fabricated narrations, missing obligatory prayers, introducing polytheistic and innovated practices, giving it greater importance than it has, restricting its timing, then it is a rewardable practice. Mawlana Saharanpuri adds to the impermissible activities: free-mixing, extravagance and the belief in its obligation.

However, in Muhannad, he adds that the mawlid gatherings of India are rarely found to be free of these impermissible practices. Therefore, based on the principle of Sadd adh-Dhara’i, , the fatwa will be of general impermissibility.

For details on this, one may refer to the 2nd and 3rd principles discussed here: Mawlid, Deoband and Hanafi Fiqh and this article: The Principles of Blocking the Means .

Similarly, Al-Barahin al-Qati’ah says:

ﺍﻟﺒﺘﮧ ﺍﻣﻮﺭ ﻏﻴﺮ ﻣﺸﺮﻭﻋﮧ ﺟﻮ ﺍﺱ ﮐﮯ ﺳﺎﺗﮫ ﺿﻢ ﮨﻮ ﮔﺌﮯ ﮨﯿﮟ ﺍﺱ ﻛﻲ ﻭﺟﻪ ﺳﮯ ﺣﻜﻢ ﻣﺠﻤﻮﻋﮧ ﭘﺮ ﺑﺪﻋﺖ ﻭﻣﻨﻜﺮ ﮨﻮﻧﮯ ﻛﺎ ﻳﺎ ﺷﺮﻙ ﻭﺣﺮﻣﺖ ﻛﺎ ﻟﮕﺎﻳﺎ ﺟﺎﺗﺎ ﮨﮯ ﺍﻭﺭ ﻳﮧ ﺣﻜﻢ ﺑﺎﻋﺘﺒﺎﺭ ﺍﻥ ﻗﻴﻮﺩ ﻏﻴﺮ ﻣﺸﺮﻭﻋﮧ ﮐﮯ ﮨﮯ ﻧﮧ ﺑﻮﺟﮧ ﻧﻔﺲ ﺫﻛﺮ ﮐﮯ

“However, those unlawful things that have become attached to them (i.e. Mawlid functions), due to this, a ruling is given to the sum-total of being bid’ah and abomination or of shirk and prohibition. And this ruling is by consideration of those unlawful restrictions, not because of the commemoration itself .” (p. 8)

Keep in mind that these are passages from al-Barahin al-Qati’ah, the book written by Mawlana Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri (rahimahullah) and approved by Mawlana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi (rahimahullah)

It is clear from this passage from al-Barahin and the answer in al-Muhannad, that there is essentially no difference in what they say.

From reading all of Mawlana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi’s (rahimahullah) fatwas on this issue, and not looking at only some of them selectively as Barelwis usually do, we get the same message. Thus in one fatwa, he explicitly says:

ﻧﻔﺲ ﺫﻛﺮ ﻭﻻﺩﺕ ﻣﻨﺪﻭﺏ ﮨﮯ ﺍﺱ ﻣﻴﻦ ﻛﺮﺍﻫﺖ ﻗﻴﻮﺩ ﮐﮯ ﺳﺒﺐ ﺁﺋﻲ ﮨﮯ

“The birth-commemoration itself is recommended, and its reprehensibility is a result of the [innovated] restrictions [in the general Mawlid functions].” (Fatawa Rashidiyyah, p. 258)

Furthermore, in several places of the Fatawa, Mawlana Gangohi (rahimahullah) clearly qualifies the prohibition with the “widespread” ( murawwajah) Mawlid functions.

For example, on p. 174, he says:

“The widespread mawlud function is bid’ah, and because of being mixed with reprehensible matters it is prohibitively disliked.” On p. 270, it explicitly states that because most mawlid and ‘urs functions are not free of bid’ah (innovated restrictions) and unlawful practices, all of them should be avoided.

There are other fatwas that give the general ruling of impermissibility. This is not a contradiction as one who understands the above-mentioned principles will appreciate. This ruling reflects the general condition of the Mawlid functions of that time for which the fatwa of impermissibility was given, regardless of whether the unlawful aspects are present in the specific function in reference or not. Those that are free of the impermissible activities are not excused from the fatwa for the principle of blocking the means (sadd adh-dhara’i’); that is, to prevent the public from falling into the impermissible aspects that such functions could could lead to.

Hence, there is no inconsistency between what is found in Fatawa Rashidiyya, al-Barahin al-Qati’ah and al-Muhannad on the issue of the Mawlid, if all are read in context.

In sum, Barahin and Fatawa Rashidiyyah clearly states that the essence of the birth-commemoration is permissible and desirable. Mawlana Gangohi’s (rahimahullah) fatwas in general opposition are based on the principle that even those gatherings free of the impermissible activities that have become associated with them could eventually lead to these abominations and evils.

There is, therefore, no contradiction in the Deobandi view regarding the Mawlid as expressed by Mawlana Gangohi and Mawlana Saharanpuri (rahimahumullah).

One may summarise the Deobandi position in one sentence as follows:

The birth-commemoration in its essence is praiseworthy, but because the Mawlid functions held in Rabi’ al-Awwal have become inseparable from impermissible and innovated aspects, the fatwa is given of general impermissibility, to prevent the masses from falling into sin and to block the means to these evils.

MAWLID, DEOBAND AND HANAFI FIQH

By Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (rahimahullah)
Translated by Hamood Abdul-Aleem

There are three types of mawlid gatherings and the ruling for each is different.

First Type

The first type of gathering is that which does not contain any of the prevalent and customary restrictions ( quyud). Neither [does it contain] mubah (permissible) restrictions nor
makruh (prohibitively disliked) ones, i.e., it is free from all [sorts of] restrictions. For instance, a few people gathered by coincidence, no one had invited them with any extraordinary effort; rather they were gathered for some other permissible event.

In this gathering, either by reading from a book or by delivering a lecture, the blessed event of the birth and the characteristics, habits, miracles and virtues of our Radiant Master (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam), the Lord of the Universe, the Source of Pride for the Prophet Adam (alaihissalaam), were narrated based on sound sources.

During this narration, if the need was felt to enjoin good actions and discuss religious rulings and one proceeded in doing so without hesitation or this gathering was held to listen to a religious discourse and within it these blessed events and virtues were narrated, then this is the type [of mawlid ] that is permissible without any objection. Moreover, it is sunnah and
mustahabb (recommended).

The Honorable Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) narrated his personal events and virtues in a similar way and later his Companions (radhiyallahu anhum) narrated them, the chain of which continues through the hadith scholars of present with the blessings of Allah Most High and it will continue until the end of time.

Second Type

The second type of gathering is that which contains unlawful restrictions, which in their essence are detestable and sinful. For instance, the relating of fabricated narrations that did not occur; the recitation of odes by charming and sweet-voiced young boys; the spending of unlawful money [earned] from bribes or usury on this [gathering]; exceeding what is necessary by extravagantly lighting, carpeting and decorating the venue; making an extraordinary effort to gather people, the likes of which is not even made for congregational salah or a lecture; insulting and dishonoring Allah Most High or the Prophets (alaihissalaam) explicitly or implicitly in prose and poetry; missing salah in congregation or missing it altogether due to attending this gathering or if due to it little time for performing salah remains or a strong possibility of this happening exists; the chief organizer of the event is holding it to boast and gain popularity; considering the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) omnipresent ( hadir wa nadir) in the gathering, or the existence of any other unlawful action of these types (above). This is the type [of mawlid ] which is mostly rampant among the masses and the ignorant ones, and is considered completely impermissible and sinful in Shari’ah.

The Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Whoever tells lies about me, let him take his place in Hellfire.”

It was narrated that Sayyiduna Hafsa ibn ‘Asim (radhiyallahu anha) said: “The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said: ‘It is sufficient for a man to be considered a liar to speak of everything that he hears’” ( Muslim).

It is understood from these hadiths that great care should be practiced when relating narrations . To narrate hadiths without knowledge and research is a sin and it is especially a great misfortune when one wrongly attributes an action to the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam).

Sayyiduna Jabir (radhiyallahu anhu) reports that the Messenger of Allah 9sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Music grows hypocrisy in the heart as water grows herbage” (Sunan al-Bayhaqi ).

It is understood from this hadith that singing is blameworthy, especially where the possibility of fitna (temptation) exists such as the singing of an attractive woman.

Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah (radhiyallahu anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Allah the Exalted is Pure and He only accepts that which is pure. Allah has indeed commanded the believers with what He has commanded the Messengers, He said, ‘O (you) Messengers! Eat of all things pure, and do righteous deeds,’ (23:51) and, ‘O you who believe! Eat of the lawful things that We have provided you’ (2:172).

Then he mentioned a case of the man who sets out on a long journey, his hair becomes ruffled and his face is covered with dust and he raises his hand towards heaven and supplicates, ‘O Lord, O Lord’, while his food is unlawful and his drink is unlawful and his sustenance is unlawful, how would the supplication of such a person find acceptance?” (Muslim ).

From this hadith it is understood that no matter how sincere one is in worship, unlawful wealth renders it worthless. Moreover, the sin which remains upon this person for spending unlawful wealth is separate.

Allah Most High says in the Qur’an: “Do not be extravagant” (7:31) and He says: “Surely, squanderers are brothers of Satan, and Satan is very ungrateful to his Lord” (17:27).

Any expenditure without a lawful objective is included in this (extravagance and squandering), regardless if it is [spent on] lighting or other formalities.
On the issue of dress and unlawful appearance, the hadiths which have been narrated are mentioned in the first chapter [of the book
Islah al-Rusum ]. There is no need to repeat them here.
Sayyiduna Hudhayfah (radhiyallahu anhu) narrated that the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said: “By Him in Whose hands is my life (Allah the Almighty), necessarily you should enjoin good and forbid evil, or else Allah will certainly send chastisement upon you. And then you will pray but your supplications will not be accepted.” ( Al-Tirmidhi )

[Imam Ahmad (rahimahullah) relates from] Sayyiduna Hasan (radhiyallahu anhu), who said: “‘Uthman ibn Abi al-‘As (radhiyallahu anhu) was invited to a circumcision, but he declined the invitation. Asked why, he answered: ‘In the days of the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) we did not go to circumcisions and we were not invited’” (Musnad Imam Ahmad, 4/217).

It is understood from this narration that to invite individuals for an event which is not established from the Sunnah was something a Companion of the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) disliked and refused to attend.

From this we can ascertain that invitation is proof of [making] extraordinary effort. If the Shari’ah does not place extraordinary importance on a matter, to make extraordinary effort for it is inventing in the religion. For this reason, when Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar (radhiyallahu amhum) saw people gathered for duha (forenoon) prayer in the mosque, he declared it an innovation ( bid’ah ). Based on this, the fuqaha (jurists) consider supererogatory (nafl) prayer in congregation makruh.

No explanation is needed on [the obviousness of] the kufr (disbelief) and blameworthiness of insulting Allah Most High, the Prophets or the Angels. Which Muslim denies this [act of kufr ]??

Despite this, many ignorant poets are involved in it. It is not permissible to compose such poetry nor is it permissible to read or listen to it.

Similarly, it is obvious that missing congregational prayer or wasting time is impermissible because the means ( dhari’ah ) to a sin is also a sin. It is because of this the prohibition for having conversations after ‘isha
prayer is related in a hadith . The reason — mentioned in the hadith commentaries for this prohibition — is due to the hindrance it may cause in [waking up for] tahajjud or morning ( fajr) prayers.

Similarly, everyone is aware of the prohibition of ostentation and vanity because that which leads to haram (a prohibited act) is also
haram . It is mentioned in a hadith that [Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar radhiyallahu anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said:] “He who wears the clothing of fame in this world will be dressed in humiliating clothes on the Day of Judgment” (Abu Dawud ).

In another hadith, Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Verily, even a little ostentation (riya’ ) is shirk” ( Ibn Majah ).

Omnipresence (being hadir wa nadir) is dependent on knowledge ( ‘ilm ) and power ( qudrah), since the knowledge and power of Allah Most High is Most Perfect ( kamil), He is omnipresent at all times and in all places. If this belief about the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) or the anbiya’ (prophets) and awliya’ (saints) is based on the understanding that the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) has this knowledge and power in essence like the belief of some ignorant individuals then this is shirk . This is even if it (omnipresence of the Prophet) is considered to be less than that of Allah Most High because it is explicitly mentioned in the Qur’an that the mushrikin (polytheists) of Arabia were engaged in shirk .

It is also established by the Qur’an that they did not consider their demigods equal to Allah.
If it is believed that Allah Most High informs and gives permission [to the Prophet] then this will not be shirk although [such a belief] without having a basis in the Shar’iah is certainly a sin. This is because everyone knows that lying is prohibited. A lie, just as it is uttered by the tongue, is also present in the heart since that is where it originates. It reaches the tongue [from the heart] such that suspicion (or mistrust) is merely an action of the heart. In relation to this, Allah Most High says in the Qur’an, “O ye who believe! Avoid suspicion as much (as possible), for suspicion in some cases is a sin.” (49:12) and it comes in a hadith that Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah (radhiyallahu anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said, “I warn you of suspicion, for suspicion is the most false form of talk.” ( Al-Bukhari )

In short, due to these [above mentioned] unlawful actions this [ mawlid ] gathering also becomes unlawful. Participating in this gathering is not correct either.

Nowadays most gatherings are of this sort. If all of the impermissible actions are not present in them, at least some of them are almost certainly present. A single unlawful action is enough for a gathering to be deemed unlawful, as it is obvious.

Third type

This is the gathering in which neither is there the sort of disengagement and informality that is found in the first type [of mawlid gathering] nor are there any unlawful restrictions like those found in the second type. Even though this gathering does contain restrictions, they are lawful (halal) and permissible ( mubah) in their essence, such as [mentioning] authentic and reliable narrations [in the gathering]; the presence of a trustworthy and pious orator; the absence of opportunities to arouse illicit desires; the spending of lawful and pure (tayyib ) wealth on the gathering; the decorations [at this place] do not reach the boundaries of wasteful spending ( israf ); the attendees of this gathering are dressed in accordance with the Shari’ah although if someone, by chance, does come dressed in violation of the Shari’ah then the speaker, if he has authority to do so, does not refrain from enjoining good and in a similar way, in accordance with the situation, he speaks about other important rulings; if there is recitation of poetry then it is not accompanied with music; the content [of the lecture] does not exceed the limits of the Shari’ah; no exaggeration is employed in informing and inviting people [to the gathering]; no hindrance is created in any compulsory form of worship due to attending this gathering; the intention of the person who organized the event is sincere, i.e., he does it merely to attain blessings and for the love of the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam); and if the vocative case ( sighah al-nida ) is used, it is used with absolute assurance — backed by strong evidence — that the attendees are not deficient in their understanding that they will begin considering the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) to be Omnipresent ( Hadir wa Nadir) and the Knower of Unseen ( ‘Alim al-Ghayb).

If the gathering is free from all other types of evils as well but it includes things such as sweets, standing up ( qiyam ), carpeting, pulpit, incenses and similar things, which in their essence are not unlawful, then this is the type of gathering of extremely cautious individuals which maybe rarely occurs. Thus, this type of gathering is neither absolutely permissible like the first type, nor is it absolutely impermissible like the second type.

On [the issue of] permissibility, there is some detail, which will be mentioned soon. Before these details are discussed, there are certain principles of Islamic law worth mentioning, which will be helpful in understanding the discussion [which follow the principles].

First Principle

To consider an unnecessary action necessary and emphatic in one’s ‘aqidah (belief) or to consistently act upon it with such persistence that it equals or exceeds the amount of effort put into obligatory ( fard ) or compulsory ( wajib ) acts — such that it is considered blameworthy to leave this action and the one who leaves it worthy of rebuke — then these two actions are prohibited. This is because this involves breaking the rulings of Shari’ah. Restricting ( taqyid), stipulating ( ta’yin ), specifying ( takhsis), making mandatory ( iltizam), delimiting ( tahdid), etc. are [all] from the variations of this principle and issue. Allah Most High has said in the Qur’an that whoever exceeds the limits set by Allah Most High is from the oppressors.

Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (radhiyallahu anhu) said: “You should not give away a part of your prayer to Satan by thinking that it is necessary to depart [after finishing the prayer] from one’s right side only; I have seen the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) often leave from the left side” ( al-Bukhari ).

Al-Tibi, the commentator of Mishkat al-Masabih , said that it is learned from this
hadith that whoever insists on a mustahabb (recommended) matter and is determined in strictly adhering to it ( ‘azimah ) without ever making exception ( rukhsah), i.e., acting upon its opposite, then Satan takes his part in misguiding this person. So, what can be said regarding that person who insists upon a bid’ah
or an evil action (i.e., an unlawful belief or action)?

The author of Majma’ said that it is learned from this hadith that sometimes a mandub (recommended) action becomes makruh if it is thought that it will exceed in its rank. Based on this, Hanafi jurists have declared the specifying of surahs in prayer as makruh , regardless if the adherence is in belief or practice. This matter has been clearly mentioned in Fath al-Qadir .

[Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah (radhiyallahu anhu) reported that] the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Do not single out the night [preceding] Friday among the nights for prayer and do not single out Friday among days for fasting but only when anyone among you is accustomed to fast [on dates] which coincide with this day (Friday).” ( Muslim)

Second Principle

A mubah action, in fact even a mustahabb one, becomes unlawful and prohibited due to the joining of an unlawful action with it. For example, going to a dinner party [which one is invited to] is mustahabb , rather it is a sunnah, but the presence of an unlawful action at this gathering will make it prohibited to go there. Similar to this has been mentioned in the
hadiths and [books such as] Al-Hidayah , etc. Similarly, performing supererogatory (nafl ) prayer is mustahabb , but during makruh times it is prohibited and sinful. It is understood from this that a lawful action becomes unlawful due to its association and affiliation with an unlawful action.

Third Principle

If an unnecessary action of the elect ( khawas) causes a defect to be formed in the ‘ aqidah of the masses ( awam) then this action will become makruh and prohibited for them because saving fellow Muslims from harm is an obligation. It is [incumbent] upon the elect to abandon this action.

An incident is related in the noble hadith about when the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) made the intention to include the Hatim (round wall near Ka’ba) inside the Ka’ba. Because the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) felt that those who had recently entered Islam might develop unsoundness in their belief or anxiety in their hearts and to include the Hatim in the structure was not something necessary, he [decided to] put off this matter and explicitly mentioned this reason [i.e., his concern about their reaction]. This is even though to include the Hatim inside the structure [of the Ka’ba] was mustahsan (commendable) but to avoid the possibility of causing any harm to the masses, he left a
mustahsan act.

In Sunan Ibn Majah , a narration from Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah (radhiyallahu anhu) is mentioned that to provide food to the household of the deceased person on the first day was a sunnah but when people made it a custom, it was abandoned and prohibited. From this it can be observed that in order to preserve the faith of the masses, the elect also abandoned this act.

The act of doing the sajdah (prostration) of thankfulness is mubah according to the hadiths but Hanafi jurists, as mentioned by ‘Allamah Ibn ‘Abidin al-Shami (radhiyallahu anhu), declared this act to be makruh in case the masses start considering it a desired sunnah. It is mentioned in ‘Alamgiri (Fatawa Hindiyyah ) that people used to do this ( sajdah ) after prayers and it is makruh because ignorant people will begin considering it
sunnah and wajib . Any mubah action which comes to this becomes makruh. Although if it is necessary in the Shari’ah, it will not be abandoned rather the corrupt traits which have crept in it will be rectified.

For instance, the act of accompanying the funeral [procession] will not be abandoned due to the association of a makruh action with it such as the presence of a wailing woman; rather the wailing will be prohibited. This is because this (funeral) is something necessary and it will not be abandoned because of a temporary karahah (reprehensibility). This is in contrast to accepting the dinner invitation, which should be refused after [one becomes aware of] the
makruh action’s association with it because the dinner party [in itself] is not something necessary [in the religion]. ‘Allamah Ibn ‘Abidin al-Shami has differentiated [between] these issues as well.

Fourth Principle

The ruling from the muftis could vary in regards to an action which contains temporary
karahah due to differences in time and place or due to their experiences and observations. This means that it is possible for something to be deemed lawful at one time because at this time there was no reason for it to be considered makruh , while at another point in time, the [same] action was deemed unlawful because the reason for it to be now considered makruh had arisen. It is also possible that permission could be given in one country while in another country it is made prohibited due to the above-mentioned differences.

It is also possible that one mufti at a certain time or [in a certain] situation deems something lawful without knowing that the masses have introduced deficient beliefs and practices in it, while another mufti deems this [same] action unlawful because, given his experience and observation, he has knowledge of what the masses are involved in. In fact, this difference of opinion is in the outward sense, not in the real sense ( haqiqi ) … many examples of this can be found in the [books of] hadith and fiqh (jurisprudence).

The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) had given women permission to enter the mosque to perform salah . At that time, the possibility of fitnah (temptation) did not exist but when the Companions (radhiyallahu anhum) saw the changed condition [of the people], they prohibited this.

Similarly, many of the differences between Imam Abu Hanifah (rahimahullah) and the Sahibayn (rahimahumullah) are of this kind.

Fifth Principle

If an unlawful action yields benefits and to acquire them is not necessarily required from the perspective of the Shari’ah or there are other ways to obtain such benefits and [this action] is done with the intention of obtaining these benefits or after seeing these benefits the masses are not stopped [from performing this action], then this is not permissible. A mubah [action] performed with a good intention becomes worship (‘ibadah ) but sin (ma’siyah ) is not mubah, even if it contains thousands of benefits. It is not lawful to commit such an act, nor is it allowed to remain silent on it. This principle is very much self-evident.

For instance, if someone usurps [the wealth of others] and oppresses [people] with the intention of collecting wealth so it can be distributed to the poor and needy. This type of force and oppression can never be considered lawful. This is even if it is hoped that hundreds of thousands of benefits will be obtained from doing this.

After these preliminary comments and principles have been understood, the details of the lawfulness or unlawfulness of the third type [of mawlid gathering] should be heard.

Concluding remarks

Since these above-mentioned restrictions [of the third type of gathering] are in themselves
mubah, there is no defect in their essence, nor will this gathering be considered unlawful and prohibited at any time due to these actions and occurrences. And these actions, in their usual state, will remain mubah if no type of defect arises [due to them]. This ruling is evident from the second principle.

Now, it is worth looking at the fact, whether in our times, if any defect is occurring due to this permissibility. If any defect is seen arising then this gathering should be considered unlawful and prohibited. Knowledge of this issue can be obtained without hindrance merely through experience and observation. There is no need for any argumentation in this [matter].

According to this writer’s experience of many years, it is worth mentioning that without a doubt the vast majority, rather nearly all of the masses ( awam), recognize these restrictions ( quyud) as necessary, emphasized and essential for the gathering. They act upon [these restrictions] similar to how they practice the requirements of the faith. In fact, they act upon them with much more emphasis. Thus, the amount of effort put into the Friday or congregational prayer is very little when compared to the extraordinary effort that is put into acting upon these restrictions. The amount of unpalatability caused by abandoning these restrictions is never equal to that caused by abandoning obligatory and compulsory acts [of worship]. On the contrary, for one [involved in these activities] to abandon [these restrictions] is inconceivable and putting aside the example of the person who refuses [to participate], even if someone abandons these restrictions, he is taunted and cursed beyond bounds. His opponents resort to causing more trouble and verbal abuse than what unbelievers, innovators or evil-doers would cause.

When the masses have brought the issue to this point, in belief and practice, such that they have elevated the rank [of these actions] beyond the rank of obligatory and compulsory acts, then, without a doubt, due to this persistence and necessitation, these actions become prohibited. This has been established by the first principle.

Since these actions are prohibited, if they are found in a gathering then that gathering also becomes prohibited and unlawful. This has been explained in the second principle. This is despite the fact that there is a learned individual [in this gathering] who does not hold these corrupted beliefs and does not consider these actions emphatically necessary or the person who abandons them blameworthy. Although, in our times, such a quality is rarely found in people, if for instance such a person does attend, then he is saved from the sin of having corrupted his beliefs and practice. However, if his actions gave support to and strengthened the activities of corrupt-minded (in belief and practice) individuals, then, how can this person not be blamed for supporting and propagating their makruh act?? This has been discussed in the third principle.

To conclude, wherever the above-mentioned evil practices are not present, even though to expect this from the masses, given their condition, is an extremely remote possibility, but for instance if at any place or time this is the case, then permission will be given. At the same time, it will be necessary in this action to consider these restrictions unnecessary in practice just as they are understood to be unnecessary in belief by repeatedly making it apparent [in practice].

For instance, distributing sweets sometimes, secretly giving cash, produce, or clothes to the poor or sometimes, either due to lack of resources or to merely act upon the rukhsah given in the Shari’ah, nothing is given [to the attendees]. During the course of the lecture, when the blessed virtues and characteristics of the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) are mentioned, if one is overcome with emotions and love [for the Prophet] then he could stand up. There is no reason to specify a particular moment for [doing] this. This would be done when one is in the state of being overcome [by emotions] whether this is at the beginning, middle, or end of the lecture and whether it is done once, twice, or four times during the lecture.
When this feeling of being overcome [with emotions] is not present, one should remain sitting. And at times, even though this feeling is present, one could restrain himself to remain sitting.

This (standing up) should not be stipulated only for this mawlid gathering and if one is overcome with [similar] emotions at other times after the mention of the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam), one could occasionally stand up.

By analogy, if the rest of the mubah restrictions are similarly practiced, even though this type of gathering is not narrated from the pious predecessors ( salaf ), it would not be considered prohibited because it is not against the principles of the Shari’ah. This is the ruling for the third type of gathering with regards to thefatwa (legal verdict).

However, in the best interest of keeping order in the religion, it is necessary to abstain in this regard. This is because this is not from the necessary elements of faith nor is any necessary aspect of the faith dependent upon it. This type of mubah gathering has, in the past, led to [the development of] corrupt traits similar to what can be seen [occurring nowadays] as ignorance is gaining prominence on a daily basis. This is why the dignity of taqwa (piety) is in abstaining. And Allah Most High knows best, His knowledge is Most Perfect and He is Most Wise.
Islah al-Rusum, Section 3, Chapter 1, p. 107-118, Dar al-Isha’at, Karachi
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1. This section ( First type ) is the original (edited) translation by the respected Shaykh Dr. Hanif Kamal, a khalifah of Shaykh al-Islam Mufti Taqi Usmani, which was initially published on the now defunct Basair blog.

2. The term makruh , throughout this article, is referring to makruh tahrimi (prohibitively disliked, highly reprehensible). In Hanafi fiqh, the ruling for makruh tahrimi and haram is the same, i.e., both are sinful.

3. Sayyidatuna ‘A’isha (radhiyallahu anha) narrated: “I asked the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihiwasaloam) whether the round wall (near Ka’ba) was part of the Ka’ba. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) replied in the affirmative. I further said, ‘What is wrong with them, why have they not included it in the building of the Ka’ba?’ He said, ‘Don’t you see that your people (Quraysh) ran short of money (so they could not include it inside the building of Ka’ba)?’ I asked, ‘What about its gate? Why is it so high?’ He replied, ‘Your people did this so as to admit into it whomever they liked and prevent whomever they liked. Were your people not close to the pre-lslamic period of ignorance (i.e. they have recently embraced Islam) and were I not afraid that they would dislike it, surely I would have included the (area of the) wall inside the building of the Ka’ba and I would have lowered its gate to the level of the ground.’” ( Al-Bukhari )

4. Imam Abu Yusuf (d.798 AH) and Imam Muhammad al-Shaybani (d.805 AH)(rahimahumullah)

Websource: http://www.deoband.org/2010/02/fiqh/miscellaneous/mawlid-deoband-and-hanafi-fiqh/