Celebrating The Birth Day (Moulid) Of The Prophet (ﷺ)
As Muslim were ordered by Allaah Almighty to follow His book and follow the Sunnah of the Prophet (ﷺ).
"Obey Allah and obey the messenger, and beware! But if ye turn away, then know that the duty of Our messenger is only plain conveyance (of the message)." [Surah Al-Maeda-92]
“And let those who oppose the Messenger's (ﷺ) commandment (i.e. his Sunnah— legal ways, orders, acts of worship, statements) (among the sects) beware, lest some Fitnah (disbelief, trials, afflictions, earthquakes, killing, overpowered by a tyrant) should befall them or a painful torment be inflicted on them.” [Surah Al-Noor-63]
The above two verses and other verses similar to these in the Qur'an clearly order the believers to obey Allaah and His messenger (ﷺ), and whoever shows otherwise, is promised to be punished or trials will befall him.
One of the most controversial issues that many Muslims argue or dispute almost every year is the celebration of the Moulid of the prophet (ﷺ).
As Muslims we have different approaches to resolve any dispute, especially if it is an intellectual issue. The fundamental approach to resolve intellectual issues is to refer them to the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of the prophet (ﷺ). That is the only source of guidance leads to the truth. Also these two noble sources of guidance must understood in their context and according the explanation of the prophet --- and his companions. Furthermore, scholars who followed their steps in a good manner and learned Islam through them, shall be followed and comprehend the text of the Qur'an and Sunnah according to their understanding.
Let's apply such methodology to verify whether celebrating the Moulid of prophet (ﷺ) is allowed or not allowed in Islam..
No direct or indirect reference in the Qur'an says that Muslims shall celebrate the Moulid. Some people who support such celebration, however, they may come with some verses using them out of their context claiming that such verses convey the meaning of the celebration of the birth day of the prophet (ﷺ). I can confirm with no hesitation that all those claims baseless.
As for the Sunnah also there is no direct reference says that Muslims should celebrate the such day. There are some Hadiths, however, used to support the such event.
Most of those hadiths are either weak or fabricated. We here will only talk about the sound Hadiths:
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) was asked about fasting on Mondays. He said, "That is the day on which I was born and the day on which I received Revelation."
[Muslim – Hadith 1162]
There is no doubt by using the above Hadith to support celebration Moulid of the prophet (ﷺ) is taking it out of its context.
As the Hadith mentioned three things, not just the birth of the prophet (ﷺ), if this is the Sunnah, then why were the companions never fasted their birth days? As well there is another Hadith explains, why was the prophet --- fasts Monday?
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, "Deeds of people are presented (to Allah) on Mondays and Thursdays. So I like that my actions be presented while I am fasting."
[Tirmthi – Hadith 747]
The above Hadith clearly mention the reason why the prophet (ﷺ) likes to fast the two days.
The right methodology to understand any text is to get all verses and hadiths related to that same topic and understand it according to those collections. By doing so, it would eliminate any misconceptions may arise from one text or another.
Another point worth to be mentioned here in regard of fasting Monday, celebration of any sacred day or event could be different from culture to another, however, in Islamic context fasting considered as act of worship, not a celebration. In Hajj during the days of Tashreeq (following the day of Al-Udha) it is not permissible for Muslims to fast during those days, also after Ramadan during the Eid day it is not permissible to fast as that show opposite of celebration of the Eid.
'A’isha and lbn 'Umar (RAA) narrated, ‘Nobody was allowed to fast on the days of Tashreeq except for those, who could not afford the Hadi (sacrifice).'[Al-Bukhari – 1894]
Nubaishah Al-Hudhali (RAA) narrated that The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:
“The days of Tashreeq are days of eating, drinking and remembering (dhikr) of Allah, the Most Great and Glorious." [Muslim – 1141]
Furthermore, the Hadith mentioned that day was also when prophet received Qur'an, and we know that the Qur'an was revealed in Ramadan which supported by direct reference in the Qur'an. Therefore, why those who celebrate Moulid do not celebrate it in Ramadan?
Concerning Islamic history, historians differed on the day of when prophet --– was born in Makkah. The year was indicated and famous among historians, Monday also was confirmed by the prophet --- himself. No definite date, however, can be taken as a reference to celebrate such day. One fact though, is that the twelve of Rabi Al-Awwal is the day when the prophet --- passed away. As such people in fact celebrating the day of his death.
Some people when you tell them celebrating Moulid is innovation (Bida'a), they will reply with two frequent answers: you really do not have respect or love to the prophet ---, the other answer they say: you are inventing new religion as all Muslims over the world celebrating such great day.
Well, the answer to these claims is as follows:
who is following the authentic Islam? The one who celebrates the Prophet’s Moulid or the one who does not celebrate it? The objective answer from a fair-minded person will be the one who does not celebrate is who following the authentic Islam. The companions (may Allah be pleased with them), the Taabi‘een and their followers, and those who came after them – until the ‘Ubaydi era in Egypt [the ‘Ubaydis followed an extreme form of Shi‘ism] – never celebrated the Moulid. Rather it was introduced after their time. As such, its clear who follows innovated religion.
Moreover, we need to examine who really loves the Prophet (ﷺ) more. Is it the companions (may Allah be pleased with them all) or those who came after them in later centuries? The answer in the mind of any rational and fair-minded person will undoubtedly be that the companions loved the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) more. Had they ever celebrated his birthday? Absolutely never celebrated!
Then how could be for those people who celebrate the Moulid of the Prophet (ﷺ), love him more than the companions?
Another question should be addressed here: what does mean to love the Prophet (ﷺ) ? Any objective person will say: loving the prophet (ﷺ) means following his teachings and his path. If those who celebrate his birthday really love him, then should have followed his teachings and followed his path. They would be content with what the companions were content with. As they best generation who loved and followed the Prophet (ﷺ) in all aspects of religion and life.
We also need to look at the date these innovators celebrate: they celebrate on the date of his death, not his birth! The baatini (esoteric) ‘Ubaydis – who fabricated their lineage and called themselves the Faatimis (Fatimids) after Faatimah (may Allah be pleased with her) – convinced the people of their bid‘ah and the people foolishly accepted it. Those people were heretics who wanted to express joy on the occasion of the death of our Prophet (ﷺ), then they invented this occasion and held celebrations at that time. Their aim was to express their joy, but the simple-minded among the Muslims thought that those who went along with them in those celebrations were only expressing their love of the Prophet (ﷺ). Thus their evil plot succeeded and they also succeeded in distorting the meaning of love and turned it into the chanting in the Moulid day, distributing food, sweets, and holding parties in which there is dancing and free-mixing between men and women, accompanied with music, and immoral actions.
Adding to that what they have invented of different types of supplications and statements of sheerk which associated in those gatherings.
Celebrating of Moulid is not Sunnah, it is rather an innovation, and prophet (ﷺ) never celebrated it nor his companions who loved him more than anyone who came after them. This is very plain Bid'ah and all types of innovations are misguidance and all misguidance lead to Hell-fire. Any action which is not based on the Qur'an and Sunnah is in-vain and considered as falsehood and not accepted by Allaah. Actually the person who practice innovations is cursed and Satan loves him as he will never repent till he dies.
May Allaah guide us all and save us from all types of innovations and make us stick to the Sunnah of the prophet (ﷺ) and the Sunnah of Al-Khulafa Ar-Rashideen.