Assalamo Alaikum WaRahmataullahiWaBarakatahu
Juwairiyah bint Al-Harith (May Allah be pleased with her) reported, the Mother of the Believers: The Prophet (peace be upon him) came out from my apartment in the morning as I was busy in performing the dawn prayer. He came back in the forenoon and found me sitting there. The Prophet (peace be upon him said, “Are you still in the same position as I left you.” I replied in the affirmative. Thereupon the Prophet Peace be Upon Him said, “I recited four words three times after I had left you. If these are to be weighed against all you have recited since morning, these will be heavier. These are: Subhan-Allahi wa bihamdihi, `adada khalqihi, wa rida nafsihi, wa zinatah `arshihi, wa midada kalimatihi [Allah is free from imperfection and I begin with His praise, as many times as the number of His creatures, in accordance with His Good Pleasure, equal to the weight of His Throne and equal to the ink that may be used in recording the words (for His Praise)].”[Sahih Muslim]. Take two minutes to memorise the above and repeat it three times in the morning and in the evening. And it really does take only two minutes.
This week I will look at the evidence from the Hadith and what the scholars have said on the subject which includes many well known scholars of the past which include Imam Suyuti and Imam ibn Taymiyya.
Evidence of Hadith (Narrations of the Holy Prophet (Allah’s Grace and Peace be upon him)
There are many narrations, which proves the Milad Sharif.
1) The Prophet of Allah (Allah’s Grace and Peace be upon him) himself stated his own birth from very beginning He says: “I had been transferred, continuously, from purified offspring to purified wombs. I had been given birth by a lawful marriage not by adultery. When Allah Almighty sent Adam Alaihis Salam on earth so He put me in his spine and then transferred in Nuh Alaihis salam in his boat, and then in Ibrahim Alaihis salam Allah Almighty transferred me continuously from noble offspring to the purified wombs up to that He brought me in my parents who never committed adultery.”
(Tafseer Ruhul Bayan, Vol. 3, Page 54)
As I have written in the beginning that Milad means the time of birth or place of birth. So the Holy Prophet (Allah’s Grace and Peace be upon him) himself celebrated his own Milad. In the same way many Muslims following the Holy Prophet (Allah’s Grace and Peace be upon him) narrate the events of the birth of the Holy Prophet (Allah’s Grace and Peace be upon him) .This hadith is the clear proof Milad un Nabi (Allah’s Grace and Peace be upon him) and as well as tell us that to celebrate Milad un Nabi (Allah’s Grace and Peace be upon him) is not innovation (bidat) but it is a sunnah (tradition) of Prophet (Allah’s Grace and Peace be upon him).
There are many other narrations which narrate that the Prophet of Allah (Allah’s Grace and Peace be upon him) celebrate his own Milad several times, some of those narrations have been written in Mishkat Sharif.
2) “The one who rejoices on the birth day of the Holy Prophet would not be severely punished and it is hopped that a Muslim who celebrate the Milad un Nabi (Allah’s Grace and Peace be upon him), will not be punished in hell. Imam Bukhari Rahmatullah Alaih narrates that Abu Lahab would be punished lightly in the hell on Monday. Because he rejoiced and freed his handmaid indicating by his finger, when the Prophet of Allah Almighty (Allah’s Grace and Peace be upon him) took birth. So as a reward of happiness on Milad un Nabi (Allah’s Grace and Peace be upon him) he would be given water by his finger. (Saheehul Bukhari Vol. 2, Page 764)
Imam Shams ud din Naseer Al Damaishqi narrates this hadith in poetry. Here is its translation.
If such kafir was denounced (in the Quran)
And perished are his hands, and in the flame is his eternal abode.
It is narrated every Monday.
His torment is made easy for his joy at the birth of Ahmad. (Allah’s Grace and Peace be upon him)
What is the expectation then of a servant who spent all his life.
Happy with the arrival of Ahmad (Allah’s Grace and Peace be upon him) and died on the one ness of Allah Almighty. (Haul-ul-Ahtifal Bil Mawlid Al-Nabvi Al Sharif, Page 11)
3) The Holy Prophet Muhammad (Allah’s Grace and Peace be upon him) celebrated his own Milad by having fast. Imam Wali ud din write this narration with reference to the Saheeh Muslim. When the Prophet of Allah (Allah’s Grace and Peace be upon him) was asked about the fast of Monday. He (Allah’s Grace and Peace be upon him) said:
“I took birth and the Quran was revealed upon me in this day.”
(Mishkat Sharif, Page 179)
This narration proves that to celebrate Milad un Nabi is a tradition of the Holy Prophet (Allah’s Grace and Peace be upon him) on every Monday. Secondly it is lawful to fix a particular day for Milad un Nabi (Allah’s Grace and Peace be upon him). Thirdly it is an act of sunnah to worship in the pleasure of the Milad un Nabi (Allah’s Grace and Peace be upon him)
Evidence of general consensus of Muslim ummah and scholars (Ulema)
1) Imam Al-Hafiz Al-Suyuti in his famous book “Al-Hawii Lil-Fatawii” allocated a special chapter on that topic and named it “The Excellence of Objective in Celebrating the Mawlid” where he said: The question under consideration is what the verdict of the Shari’ah on celebrating the Holy Birthday of the Noble Prophet (Allah’s Grace & Peace be upon Him) during the month of Rabbi-ul-Awwal. From the point of view of Shari’ah is this a praiseworthy action or a blameworthy one? And do those who arrange such celebration Receive blessings or not? He said:
“The reply to this question is that in my view the Milad Shareef (Celebration of the Birthday of the Noble Prophet Allah’s Grace & Peace be upon Him) is in fact such an occasion of happiness on which people assemble and recite the Holy Qu’ran to the extent that is easy. Then they relate the prophecies concerning the appearance of the Noble Prophet (Allah’s Grace & Peace be upon Him) that have been transmitted in Ahadith and Author, and the miraculous events and signs that took place on his birth. Then food is set before them and according to their desire they partake thereof to satisfaction. This festival of celebrating the birthday of the Noble Prophet (Allah’s Grace & Peace be upon Him) is a Bid’ah Hasanah (good Innovation) and those arranging it will get blessing, since in such a celebration is found the expression of joy and happiness at the greatness and eminence of the Noble Prophet (Allah’s Grace & Peace be upon Him) and his birth”.
Even Ibn Tay’miah said in his book “Necessity of the Right Path”, p. 266, 5th line from the bottom of that page, published by Dar Al-Hadith, the following:
“As far as what people do during the Milad, 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 (Allah’s Grace & Peace be upon Him), Allah Almighty will surely reward them for such Ijtihad”. He then said: “Although Milad was not practiced by (Salaf), they should have done so since there was no objection against it from the Shari’ah point of view”.
And we certainly only celebrate Milad out of love and admiration to the Prophet of all Mankind.
2. Imam Al-Hafiz Al-Qastalani, who gave commentary on Sahih Bukhari, said: “May Allah Almighty shower his Mercy upon a person who takes the days of the month of Rabbi-ul-Awwal, in which the Noble Prophet (Allah’s Grace & Peace be upon Him) was born, as days of feast and celebration for doing so is the best cure for the heart of an ailing person.”
3. Al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar was asked, same reference of Imam Suyuti, about Milad Shareef. His reply was:
“Milad Shareef is, in fact, an innovation, which was not transmitted from any pious predecessor in the first three centuries. Nevertheless, both acts of virtue as well as acts of abomination are found in it (i.e. Sometimes acts of virtue are found therein and sometimes acts of abomination). If in the Milad Shareef only acts of virtue are done and acts of abomination are abstained from, then the Milad Shareef is a Bid’ah Hasanah (good innovation), otherwise not.”
He then added ”
“To do any virtuous act and to observe it annually as means of recollection for any special day on which Allah Almighty has bestowed any favor or removed any calamity is a form of showing gratitude to Allah Almighty. Gratitude to Allah Almighty is expressed through different kinds of Ibaadah (worship) -prostration and standing in prayer, charity and recitation of the Holy Qu’ran. And what is a greater favor from Allah Almighty can there be than the appearance of the Prophet of Mercy (Allah’s Grace & Peace be upon Him) on this day (i.e. 12th of Rabbi-ul-Awwal)?” Some people do not limit it and celebrate the Milad Shareef on any day of Rabbi-ul-Awwal. Nay, some people have extended it even more and increased the period to the whole year. According to the latter, the Milad Shareef can be celebrated on any day of the year. The objective here is the same, i.e. to rejoice at and celebrate the Holy Birth of the Noble Prophet (Allah’s Grace & Peace be upon Him).
4. Imam Abu-Bakr Abdullah Al-Dimashqi compiled a number of books on the subject and called them “Collection of Traditions on the Birth of the Chosen Prophet”, “The Pure Expression on the Birthday of the Best of Creations” and “The Spring for the Thirsty One on the Birth of the Rightly Guided”.
5. Imam Al-Hafiz Al-Iraqi wrote a book and called it “The Pure Spring on the Sublime Birth”.
6. Imam Ibn Dahyah wrote a book and called it “Enlightenment on the Birthday of the Bearer of Good News, The Warner”.
7. Imam Mulla Ali Qari wrote a book and called it “The Quenching Spring on the Birthday of the Prophet”. (Allah’s Grace & Peace be upon Him)
8. Imam Shams ul-Din bin Naseer Al-Dimashqi, said in his book: “The Spring for the Thirsty One on the Birth of the Rightly Guided” about the story of Abu Lahab that he will receive a light punishment every Monday for expressing joy at the birth of the Noble Prophet (Allah’s Grace & Peace be upon him) on that day. The Imam said the following verse of poetry, the translation is: If such Kafir was denounced in the (Qur’an) and perished are his hands, and in the Flames is his eternal abode It is narrated that every Monday.
His torment is made easy for his Joy at the Birth of Ahmad What is the expectation then of a servant who spent all his life Happy with the Arrival of Ahmad (Allah’s Grace & Peace be upon Him) and died on the Oneness of Allah.
9. Imam Shams Ul-Din Ibn aL-Jazri, the Imam of reciters, wrote a book and named it “The Scent of Notification on the Blessed Birthday”.
10. Imam Al-Hafiz Ibn Al-Jawzi said in the description of Milad: “Peace and Tranquility takes over during that year and a good glad tiding to obtain your wish and inspiration”.
11. Imam Abu-Shamah, The Sheikh of Al Hafiz Al Nawawi, said:
“The best of the innovations of our times is what is carried out on the day of corresponding to the birthday of our Beloved Prophet (Allah’s Grace & Peace be upon Him), where people give out donations, practice what is right, express their joy and happiness, in doing so is surely a sign of love and admiration for the Prophet (Allah’s Grace & Peace be upon him)”.
I would like to end with this final point. Regarding the validity of celebrating the birth of Nabi Peace be Upon Him is a divisive issue with some ulema allowing it and others not. And when there is a genuine difference of opinion on any matter then there one is obliged to condemn the act. This ummah is facing many difficulties, surely our efforts should be used to help against those atrocities. We will be questioned on how we spent our time and I for one will not want to answer that I spent my time arguing with my brother whether we should be celebrating the birth of His Prophet of Mercy Peace be Upon Him, but I rather say that I spent my time providing food and shelter, constructing His Houses (masjids), helping the orphans etc..
May Allah Ta’ala give us the strength to live together as one Ummah.