Should we celebrate Eid Milad un Nabi? Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was born in this hijri month of Rabi’ al-Awwal and people started celebrating from the beginning of this month saying that this is the month in which the prophet was born, so we celebrate his coming. is this permissible? Should we celebrate Eid Milad un Nabi?
This is a good question and we can cascade this question to similar questions that follow the same pattern. and this pattern is: are we allowed to introduce something in the religion of Islam?
Celebrating Eid Milad un Nabi is Bidah (Innovation in Religion)
Because the Prophet (SAW) told us that he left us with clarity and certainty, where day and night are so clear for everyone to see, similarly, things in religion are clear and no one would go astray except someone who’s doomed, said the Prophet Muhammad (SAW). He also told us that whoever innovates in our affairs, in our religion, what is not part of, it is rejected.
Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaaahu Álayhi Wasallam) said: – “Whoever introduces anything that is not part of Deen, into this Deen of ours, it shall be rejected.” (Bukhari/Muslim)
He also said in another hadith: “Hold steadfast onto my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the rightly-guided Khulafaa, after me. Hold steadfast onto it firmly, and beware of newly-introduced practices, for every new practice is an innovation and every innovation leads one astray.” (Abu Dawood/Tirmizi)
The Holy Quran says: “And whatsoever the messenger giveth you, take it. And whatsoever he forbiddeth, abstain (from it). And keep your duty to Allah. Lo! Allah is stern in reprisal.” (Quran 59:7)
“Verily in the messenger of Allah, ye have a good example for him who looketh unto Allah and the last day, and remembereth Allah much.” (Quran 33:21)
“This day have I perfected your religion for you and completed my favour unto you, and have chosen for you a religion, al-Islam.” (Quran 5:3)
So the month of Rabi’ al-awwal, the third month of the Hijri calendar, does it have any importance to the Muslims? well, we know Ramadan is important, we know the sacred four months are important, we know the three months of hajj are important. we know that things that Allah or the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) had said to us are important, we consider them to be important. but is it up to us to select for example the month of Rajab and say that this is the month that the night journey, the miraculous night journey (Isra Miraj) took place so we praise it. or the month of Shaaban because it has the middle of Shaaban night in it, or this or that. do we have this privilege to do so? well, we have to go back to the basics, and the base basics state that innovating in Islam (Bidah) is not permissible.
The basics for any Muslim like us, who are logical. we’re not scholars, we’re not intellectual people, we are laymen. we know that we have the Quran, and we have the Sunnah. so we go through the biography of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW), we find that scholars differed on whether he was born in the month of Rabi’ al-awwal, the twelfth of Rabi’ al-awwal or the ninth or before that or not. but all scholars agree that the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) died on the 12th of Rabi’ al-awwal. he died, and he passed away on this month. so are you celebrating his birth or his death? watch out.
Secondly, what is more important? his birth, what he lived for 40 years like any other human being, or the day he was revealed to, and became a prophet, a messenger of Allah azzawajal? definitely, this is the day to be praised, if we were to praise it.
Thirdly did the Prophet of Allah ever in his life tell us anything about the issue of Rabi’ al-awwal being important, being good, being this, or being that? has he ever highlighted the date of birth which is the twelfth of Rabi’ al-awwal as claimed by a lot of scholars? and it’s an issue of dispute has he ever said to us that this is something that you people have to praise and look up to and celebrate?
Now we know that when he came to Medina, he found the people of Medina celebrating and feasting. and when he asked them, he told them that Allah had substituted them with two days better: the day of Eid al-hajj and the day of Eid al Fitr. that’s it. two days to celebrate throughout the whole year. never ever he mention anything about his birthday or the birthday of Prophet Isa (A.S.) or the birthday of Prophet Ibrahim al-khalil (peace be upon them all). his companions who loved him more than we love him without any doubt, had never ever mentioned it or celebrated it. so is it possible that we know more than them? that we love him more than them? or is it possible that Shaytan is messing up with our deen because we are ignorant, and we have so deviated from the straight path that we are not concerned. we do not even want to refer back to the Quran and Sunnah for answers.
This is the question you have to answer and you have to do your due diligence on whether you’re following the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) for real or you’re following your whims and desires. and may Allah make the Muslims follow the sunnah and abide by it. so if we ask ourselves whether should we celebrate Eid Milad un Nabi, it must become clear to us now that it is not permissible. it is bidah.
Did renowned Muslim scholars observe Mawlid al-Nabi?
Did any of the imams—Abu Haneefah, al-Shafi’i, Malik, Ahmad, al-Hasan al-Basri, and Ibn Seereen—perform it, order others to do it, or declare it to be just (may Allah’s mercy be upon them)? No, by Allah! During the first and best three centuries, it was not even acknowledged.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said in a sahih hadith:
“The best of mankind are my generation (or my century), then those who come after them, then those who come after them. Then there will come a people who will not care if their testimony comes before their oath or vice versa (i.e., they will not take such a matter seriously).” (Reported by al-Bukhari, al-Tirmidhi and Muslim).
On the day of his birth, what did the Prophet Muhammad do?
It has been reported, that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) declared his birthday a day of worship, as opposed to a holiday. When asked why he fasted on Mondays, he responded, “That is the day on which I was born and the day on which I was entrusted with the Mission or when I was first given Revelation.” (Reported by Muslim, al-Nasai and Abu Dawood)
When did the Milad un Nabi celebration begin?
It wasn’t until many years later after many of the characteristics of real religion had disappeared and bid’ah (innovation in religion) had spread widely, that the Prophet’s birthday was commemorated.
Thus, one’s affection for the Prophet (peace be upon him) became evident through this festival. But is it possible that the Sahabah (Companions), the imams, and the people of the finest three centuries were ignorant of it and that those who followed them were the only ones who understood its significance?
Conclusion: Should we celebrate Eid Milad un Nabi
Is it permissible to observe Prophet Muhammad’s birthday? Should we celebrate Eid Milad un Nabi?
Nothing in the Quran commands us to observe the Mawlid al-Nabi or the Prophet Muhammad’s (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) birthday. Neither during his lifetime nor after his passing, the Prophet (pbuh) did not carry out this command or give anybody else the authority to do so.
In fact, he warned his Companions to not exaggerate about him in the same way that Christians had done with Jesus (peace be upon him). He said:
“Do not exaggerate about me as the Christians exaggerated about the son of Maryam. I am only a slave, so say, ‘The slave of Allah and His Messenger.’” (Reported by al-Bukhari)