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823 Some people say that the Eid Milad un Nabi celebrations are a form Bid'ah and the fact that it is not stated in the Quran or there are no Hadiths to prove this.

They also say that the Prophet (S.A.W) did not specifically say to celebrate his birthday; He only said to send Daroods to Him. Also people often say there is no direct evidence from the Quran and Hadith that explicitly state that the Milad should be celebrated, they go one further to say birthdays as a whole should not be celebrated.

Please could you provide direct evidence from the Quran and Hadith only to support the celebration of the Prophets birthday.
Regarding the Mawlid of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), there are two issues that must be clarified before one can offer the evidence in support of this practice.

Firstly, when we talk about a ‘birthday’, then some people automatically think of wild celebrations, parties, cakes and presents. When we refer to the birthday of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah (S.W.T) be upon him) and the resulting celebrations, no one thinks of these elements; rather the parts which make up commemorating his birth date is the remembrance of Allah (S.W.T) and His thanks, the praise of the Perfect Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah (S.W.T) be upon him) and talking about his flawless Seerah.

Secondly, stemming from their ignorance, some Muslims think that if the Quran and Sunnah does not state something is permissible in clear, black and white, unequivocal terms, then it is forbidden.

They therefore think that just because the Quran or the Sunnah does not mention the word ‘Mawlid’ it is therefore forbidden. This is not the case, as the jurists and scholars will affirm.

Take the following verse as an example. Allah (S.W.T) states in Surah Rum:

‘Thus the praise of Allah (S.W.T) when you experience evening and when you wake. And for Him is the praise in the heavens and the earth, and in the late afternoon and when the day begins to decline. (Rum, 17-18)

All the Scholars agree that it is this verse that has made Fajr, Zuhr, Asr, Maghrib and Isha compulsory upon us. This is despite the fact that the verse does not in any way tell us that directly and in explicit terms.

As for the actual evidence in support of the Mawlid, it is more difficult to prove that it is Haram than it is to prove it is permissible. Briefly, here is the evidence from the Quran;

a. The day a Prophet is born is a day of ‘Salaam’ Allah (S.W.T) states regarding Isa (peace be upon him) ‘And Salaam be upon me the day I was born, and the day I die and the day I shall be raised alive.’ (19:33)

b. A day when a great favour is bestowed is a day which can be referred to as an ‘Eid’ and a day when one can rejoice. When the Heavenly Table Cloth was revealed, Isa supplicated: ‘Send us from heaven a table spread (with food) that there may be for us - for the first and the last of us - a festival (Eid) and a sign from You; and provide us sustenance, for You are the Best of sustainers.’ (5: 114). There is no doubt that the greatest favour of all from Allah Almighty is Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him.

c. Allah states in the Qur’an, ‘And remember the bounties of Allah upon you.’ (5:7). Is there a greater bounty that the best of all Prophets (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)?

d. Allah states, ‘Say (O Messenger), With the blessings of Allah and His Mercy, they should rejoice’ (10: 58). In fact, mercy is one of the noble titles given to our Messenger, by Allah Almighty.

As for the Sunnah, again there is ample evidence.

a. In a Hadith narrated by Imam Tirmidhi and Imam Daarmi, Ibn Abbas narrates;
“Some people from amongst the Prophet’s (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) companions were sitting together when Allah’s Messenger came out and drew close to them, until he heard them discussing something. One of them said ‘Allah had taken Ibrahim as a friend’. Another said ‘He spoke to Moses directly’. Another said ‘Jesus was Allah’s Word and His Spirit’. And yet another said ‘Allah chose Adam’.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) went up to them and said; “I have your heard your conversation and your marvelling at the fact that Ibrahim was Allah’s friend, as indeed he was; that Moses was Allah’s intimate friend, as indeed he was; that Jesus was His Spirit, as indeed he was; and that Adam was chosen by Allah, as indeed he was. But truly, I am Allah’s Beloved, and this is no boast.
On the Day of Judgement I shall be the bearer of the Banner of Praise, under which will be Adam and others beside him, and I bear no pride in saying so. I shall be the first intercessor and the first whose intercession shall be accepted on the Day of Judgement, and this is no boast…And I shall be the most honourable in Allah’s sight from among those people of the earlier and later times, and I bear no pride in doing so.”

What this Hadith proves is that the companions used to gather to discuss the Seerah of previous Prophets. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) approved of this and ordered them to remember his Seerah too.

b. Also, al-Bukhari reports in his Sahih that when the Prophet (S.A.W) was born, Abu Lahab freed his slave girl Thuwayba in happiness. When Abu Lahab died, someone from his household saw him in a dream, they asked him what happened in the grave he said “I am being punished severely, but on Mondays, I get water from my finger with which I am freed Thuwayba.’

In other words, expressing happiness upon the birth of the Prophet (S.A.W) is an act which even the worst of disbelievers can benefit from. Then what is the state of the Messenger’s devout followers?

Imam Muslim writes that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was asked about the fast on Mondays, which he used to keep, the Prophet (S.A.W) replied “This is the day of my birth”.

The Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh `Abd al-`Azîz b. `Abd Allah b. Muhammad Âl al-Sheikh, wrote that the Mawlid is wrong and described it as a ‘widespread problem’. Can he please make some comments on Saudi National Day too, which is celebrated with great vigour and verve on the 23rd September each and every year in his home country?

Is this a ‘widespread problem’ too? How does he reach the conclusion that Mawlid is a problem, where his comrades salute the foundation of Saudi Arabia each year?

When commenting on Saudi National Day, Khaled Almaenna, the renowned Editor-in-Chief of Arab News wrote,
‘…As we reflect once again on the National Day we should also be thankful…for the decades of security and stability that we have enjoyed. While other nations around the world floundered we kept going on.’

Does this mean we can have a day to thank Allah (S.W.T) for giving ‘security and stability’ to Saudi Arabia, but not a time when we can thank Allah (S.W.T) for giving us the greatest blessing of all, the Beloved Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)? Is this not a shallow, hypocritical argument?

In addition to this, I will list a number of greatly-respected scholars, Sheikhs, Mujtahids, and leaders, all of whom agree that the Mawlid is a praiseworthy means of proximity to Allah and His Messenger. These include Imam Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani, Imam Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti, Imam Shams al-Din al-Jazri, Imam Zarqani, Mullaa `Ali al-Qari, Imam Shams ud-Din al-Sakhawi, Imam Ibn Jawzi, Imam Qastalani to mention but a few.

(Answered by: Alims at Islamic Centre, Leicester, UK.)
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