Celebrating The Birthday “Maulud” Of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH): Where Muh’d Kabir Got It Wrong By Muh’d Mal umfashi
Last week, I wrote a piece here regarding the birthday celebrations of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), this morning I got a rejoinder from a brother. Here’s my response. You’ve to read both papers before you proceed.
As I couldn’t discuss everything, I chose only some points which I believe I did justice to. But this time around, I’ll be on the defense responding to the rejoinder. I hope it’ll be the last I’ll write here on this topic, particularly on this platform.
My Sheikh first raised a point to proof that ‘Not all innovations are misguidance’, because of the saying of Umar (RA) ‘What a fine innovation..’ I must say that this doesn’t make the ‘kulliya’ hadith any specific. This Hadith was reported in the book of Tarawih in both Sahih Bukhari & Muslim, during the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) he prayed and led night prayers in Ramadan for 3 nights, on the fourth night Prophet Muhammad (SAW) refused to come out, later saying ‘I was afraid it’ll become obligatory upon you..and you’ll not be able to carry it out’. The companions continue to pray in segregation at night up to the time of Abubakar (RA). During the caliphate of Umar (RA), he noticed that people were praying individual in the mosque, Umar who knew that the Prophet not even once led such prayers but later stopped in fear of compulsion which muslims might not be able to carry out, knew exactly that at his time it can no longer be made compulsory then ordered the prayers to be led by one Imam in Ubayy bn Ka’ab, reviving the tradition of the Prophet PBUH. At a time when he came back to the mosque saw people praying behind one Imam then he made that statement. From this you can understand that though it was something new at that time because during the time of Umar people pray individually or sleep at nights, but it was practiced before by the Prophet PBUH, so it’s not a new thing to the religion). Something practiced by the messenger PBUH and his companions can never be bidi’a. Umar’s statement was from a linguistic point of view not jurisdiction side. We have innovations In religion (Shari’ah), and innovations in custom. The latter isn’t the bidi’a we are talking about (as explained in my first writing). This explanation can be found in Ibn Rajab’ sharh arba’een.
As for the verses you mentioned, there are many of such in the Qur’an, which you know more than me. You also know that there are sister verses in the Qur’an to prove that the ‘kullu’ in them doesn’t mean every (as in the kulliya Hadith). The verses are specific as you’ve said. What makes the Hadith of ‘Kullu bidi’a dalalat’ so? Until you find an evidence to prove so in another Sahih Hadith or Quran then it should be taken so. Or with Umar’s statement that I’ve already explained didn’t mean other than linguistically?
The Prophet PBUH told the companions not to write anything other than the Quran, for the fear that it may be mixed with the Qur’an. After the Qur’an was compiled (Offcourse not at the time of the prophet but the caliphs), remember he said: for you my Sunnah and the Sunnah of khulafa’ Rashidun (the rightly-guided Caliphs after me). During the month Ramadan the Angel of Revelations ‘Jibril’ used to come to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), the Prophet recites the whole Quran to Jibril (AS) and asks questions, the year the Prophet PBUH died, Angel Jibril came twice. As for the Qur’an competition, 30 Raka’ats Tarawih in the holy mosques, you can ask me about that when I write supporting it or I take participation.
Though there’s a variation on the actual day the best of mankind was born, some say it’s 3rd, 12th, others say it’s 17th all of Rabi’ul Auwal while others entirely report that it’s not in that month. What remains undisputed is that he was born in the year of elephant, 570A.D. In this case on which day do one celebrate? Sheikh Dr. Bilal Philips ‘Abu-Ameenah’ advises that instead one should fast one every Monday. The Prophet was asked why he fasts on Monday, he said it was the day he was born. One couldn’t agree less. Again commemorating the Prophet doesn’t happen in a particular day or night, at the end of call to every prayer, ablutions, prayers we commemorate the seal of the Prophets.
You brought a Hadith, from the authority of Ursa (RA) about Abu-Lahb. I find it ironic that in your 3rd paragraph you said Umar understood the region more than we do, but didn’t acknowledge the fact that Umar didn’t understand the Hadith of Ursa as a reason to celebrate the birthday of the Prophet (PBUH). Not only Umar, but the whole sahabas of the Prophet never celebrated this moment, not even the man who reported the Hadith understand this Hadith as a clear evidence to celebrate Maulud.
As for Imam Suyuti in his Hawiyyi lil Fatawy and all other scholars who agree with Maulud being permissible, like Qastalani, Haytami, Asqalani are of the view that Bidi’a can be good or bad. Imam Ibn Rajab Al Hambali explained that the bidi’a Imam Shafi’ was taking about has nothing to do with religion, Shafi’ knows nothing can be added into the religion. Purely he was taking from a linguistic term. And that’s how bidi’a got to be categorised into permissible, offensive, recommended and necessary. If they’ve in the first place agreed that the statement ‘kullu bidi’a dalalat’ is a comprehensive statement with no exclusion then we’ll not have to discuss this. I said this categorisation is something the first and best three generators never did. When you mentioned that the number of scholars who agree with Maulud in shari’ah, I was a bit surprised.
Your final question to me was, what if you stop calling it Maulud? And may be deliver a lecture on the biography of Muhammad (PBUH), whatever name you give it, why on that occasion? I’m not unaware of you quoting AbdulHaleem Ibn Taymiyyah, in his Majmaoo’ Fatwa he said : Celebrating occasions not of the ones prescribed in Islam (like Rabiu Auwal, Nisf (15th) Sha’aban, Rajab night of 19 etc.), these are innovations which the salaf disproved and did not do. Allah knows best, he said.
Thank you, you gave me a perfect reference to Ibn Taymiyyah’ work supporting Maulud as most of who agree with you do. Ibn Abbas (or Ibn Umar, as I can remember which) used to tell the sahabas: I’m telling you about Rasul (PBUH) and you’re telling me about Abubakar (RA)…? Who’s Ibn Taymiyyah, I’m telling you the best generations never did and you’re quoting Ibn Taymiyyah? No wonder, after going through the reference you gave me to not much of my surprise this is what I found;
From the book Iqtidaa’ al-Sirat al-Mustaqeem li Mukhaalafat ashaab al-Jaheem (Following the Straight Path in Differentiating from the Companions of the Hell-Fire). Chapter on ‘Innovated festivals’. It’d be surprising for Taymiyyah who view the Maulud as a form of emulating the Christians (as I’ve stated above from his Majmaoo Fatwa) to write supporting Maulud, do you think not so?
Why you decided to skip the introduction of the chapter, still unknown to me.
As for what people do during the Maulud, either as a rival celebration to that which the Christian do during the time of Christ’s birthday or as an expression of their love and admiration and a sign of praise for the Noble Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), Allah will surely reward them for such Ij’tiha”. He then said: “Although Maulud was not practiced by (Salaf).. [quoted from your paper]
I don’t know why you decided to quote half of the context. Here’s the remaining:
..but not for the innovation of taking the birthday of the Prophet (saas) as a festival; despite the differences regarding his actual birthday. For indeed, this was an act never performed by the earlier generations … had it been good in essence or correct Islamically, then those earlier generations (may Allah be pleased with them) would have more right to such a deed than us, for they had greater love for the Messenger (saas) and exalted him more than we do, and they were more concerned and ardent with performing good deeds than us.”
And loving him and exalting him (saas) in truth is through following him, obeying him and adhering to his instructions; by reviving his Sunnah both outwardly and inwardly; by spreading the guidance with which he was sent; and by striving upon all of that with our hearts, hands and tongues. Indeed, this was the way of the foremost among the earlier generations from the Muhajireen and Ansaar and those who followed them with excellence. Whereas the majority of those whom you find enthusiastic to implement such innovations as what we have discussed – despite what they may have of good intentions and ijtihaad, and it is hoped that Allah will reward them for these two (intention and ijtihaad) – yet you generally find them weak and apathetic in regards to adhering to the instructions of the Messenger (saas) …”
Every innovation is misguidance, even if it looks good – Salaf.
If I said anything right, it’s from God Allah (SWT) , if I erred is from me and shaytan.
Muhammad Malumfashi can be reached @ya_waliyyi