At this time of the year muslims all over the world are celebrating birthday of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) ‘Maulud’, in some countries like ours it’s a national holiday.
All Islamic scholars agreed to the fact that Maulud festivals are innovations, not practised during the time of the Prophet neither his companions, in other words the period Prophet Muhammad PBUH described as best of generation. (Tirmidhi, Sahih Bukhari & Muslim)
The question is should we, still celebrate Maulud?
All innovations are misguidance- Tirmidhi
Some still argue, like in the works of Usman D. Fodio that innovation (Bidi’a) can be categorised into good, bad, recommended etc. This classification itself is another bidi’a as it’s not known in the early Islam era. While others are on the side that Bidi’a means aberration not innovation, but to understand this famous Hadith above, another Hadith from Nana Aishat (RA) explains more:
“Whoever introduces something new into this matter of ours that is not from it will have it rejected.” – Bukhari & Muslim
In another narration:
“Whoever does an act that is not in accordance with this matter of ours will have it rejected.”-Muslim
This not only counter the proof that Bidi’a means something ‘new’ but also shows the Prophet was referring to the religion of Islam when he said ‘this matter of ours’, once he told his companions you know more than I, when it comes to your dunya (this world).
To even make mention of wearing jeans today, having a Facebook account, flying in aeroplane etc as bidi’a is no point. When you travel for Hajj by Dana air how much reward have you more than one who flies Mangal air? Do you expect 10 rewards wearing jeans trouser over one who wears not? When Aishat (RA) said the Prophet mentioned that ‘He will have that which he brought to the religion rejected’, she was referring to act of worship.
“In the Bounty of Allah, and in His Mercy -therein let them rejoice.” That is better than what (the wealth) they amass. Yunus:58
The mercy in the above verse refers to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) according to most exegetists, as so Maulud should be celebrated for the love of Muhammad (PBUH). No doubt his coming was a blessing to all humankind and should be rejoiced! The question is, how do we rejoice? And the answer is in the companions of the final Prophet himself, whom the Qur’an was revealed at their time and they had the best teacher in the world to learn from.
Could it be possible that a ‘king’ that lived over 600 years after revelations has stopped, understood this verse more the companions that were present at the time of revelations? Even more than Abdullah bn Abbas (The Prophet himself often pray to his Lord): “O Lord, make him (Bn Abbas) acquire a deep understanding of the religion of Islam and instruct him in the meaning and interpretation of things.”
O Messenger of Allah, you are more beloved to me than everything except for myself.” The Prophet said, “No, by the one in whose Hand is my soul, until I am more beloved to you than yourself.” Umar said, “Indeed, now I swear by Allah that you are more beloved to me than myself.” The Prophet said, “Now you are right, O Umar.”-Bukhari
Hadith from Umar showing his love for the Prophet, yet never celebrated Maulud. Umar was the caliph (Ameer-el-Muminin) but neither in his time nor the time of the other rightly guided caliphs was Maulud celebrated! Despite the unrivaled, unequivocal and unconditional love these men had for their Prophet.
..Those of you who live long after me shall witness great differing. So upon you is (to follow) my Sunnah, and the Sunnah of the rightly-guided Caliphs, hold tightly to it and bite onto it with your molar teeth..
–Sunan Abi Dawud
I’ve seen in writings that since there’s no any clear prohibition on Maulud then there’s no problem with it. Going as far saying ‘All that’s not haram (prohibited) it’s halal (allowed)’. Again, it’s not haram, that’s why it’s bidi’a.
And whatever the Messenger gives you, take it, and whatever he forbids you, leave it. And fear Allah: truly Allah is severe in punishment. 59:7
You can understand from the above verse that you take only what the Prophet gives (don’t innovate which he didn’t), and leave whatever he forbids.
It’s bidi’a to celebrate it because it was never done at the early period of Islam not only that it wasn’t known at the time of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) himself.
“Indeed the most detestable of things to Allaah are the innovations.”-Ibn Abbas
“Innovation is more beloved to satan than sin, since a sin may be repented for but innovation is not repented for..”-Sufyan Thauri
When you ask him why he prays five times daily, or fast a month in a year, or visit the holy house at least once a lifetime, or pay Zakkah he’ll mention few verses and Hadith of the Prophet to support it. Now, why did you support Maulud celebrations? Blank!
With even more explanations on how to pray, who to give Zakkah to, when to fast and where to visit in Hajj from supporting claims, one more question how do you celebrate Maulud?
Maulud is a tribute to beloved Prophet… and should be clear of evil things-Hadrat Isma’il Hiqqi, a Darika sufi
The last question, is the Maulud celebrations of today free of evils?
..This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion..-Quran 5:3
May the soul of Malik bn Abbas rest in peace, who said ‘whatever wasn’t part of the religion on that (day the verse above was revealed) will never be part of the religion today. About 500 years after his statement Maulud was introduced!
No doubt the sahabas, tabi’ and tabi-tabi’ are the best of generations, some even promised paradise while still on earth and there’s no any clear narration that they ever practised such celebrations. Then the best is to refrain from such acts. Is following the pious generation not enough to get to Jannah?
We should not only celebrate the Prophet a day or over one night, but all our lives. In the day and night, at home and abroad, in our homes and workplaces, young and old, dressing, eating, drinking, saying and writing. The best way to celebrate the best of mankind is by following what he commands us and refraining from that which he forbids.
Muhammad Malumfashi is on twitter @ya_waliyyi