The Official Site of Shaykh Abdul Raheem (hafizahullah)

Should we celebrate mawlid?

Question: Assaalmo Alaykum
1) Can we say Ya rasoolallah, being living far off from rauda rasool?

2) Should we celebrate mawlid? Is it not an innovation?

Answer: 1) The first question has been answered before on this website. See Q497.

2) ‘Celebrating Mawlid’ is a general term. What type of celebration are you enquiring about?

The one that is widespread in our Asian culture in this day and age, has many innovations in it. Many Khuraafaat are included in there, e.g. free mixing, music, qawwali, wasting time, abandoning salah, burdening the poor beyond their limits, and in some places re-enacting the birth, etc. If Rasulullah Sallallahu alayhi qowasallam was with us today, he would have stopped us from doing such things.

Where there is nothing contrary to the shariah, ie. some people get together and one of them explains the magnificence of Rasulullah Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, and relates the miraculous events that occurred at the time of his blessed birth, and talks about his seerate tayyibah, then there should be no harm in there, because this is to increase the love of Rasulullah Sallallahu alayhi wasallam in our hearts. And this love is the essence of our deen Islam, our iman is classed as incomplete when any deficiency creeps in this love.

In this day and age we see that people have drifted away from the deen and this love has diminished. The special bond and connection which the ummah had with Rasulullah Sallallahu alayhi wasallam is nowhere to be seen.

We study our salafe saliheen and see that they had so much love for Rasulullah Sallallahu alayhi wasallam that when he would be mentioned, tears would start flowing from their eyes. They would often use phrases like ‘may my mother and father be ransomed for him’ They would prefer him over their own lives, properties, children, family and the whole world put together.

Therefore, to achieve an iota of that ishqe Rasul, the least we could do is hold seerat jalsas in his remembrance, encourage people to read lots of durood shareef, and to follow in his footsteps. In fact we should invite non Muslims to such gatherings too and make them aware of how dearly we hold our beloved Prophet Sallallahu alayhi wasallam, perhaps they could begin to love him too.

Remember that for something to be allowed, it doesn’t have to be directly in the Quran and Hadith, it merely has to be in confirmation with the guidelines given by Allah and his Rasul, and in confirmation with the understanding of our salafe saliheen. Salafe saliheen may not have held such gatherings, however, they did not need them, they held Rasulullah sallallhu alayhi wasallam in high esteem and would always keep him in their minds. Also they did not face the fitnas that we are facing today. Allah knows best.

May Allah bless us with the correct understanding of our deen, and may He inspire us with the true love of His beloved Sallallahu alayhi wasallam. Ameen ya rabbal aalameen bi hurmati sayyidil mursaleen salawatullahi wa salamuhu alayhi wa ala aalihi wa ashaabihi ajmaeen ila yawmiddeen.

5 Responses

  1. Anon

    If only there wasn’t a difference of opinion with regards to the EXACT date of birth of the Prophet (saw), then maybe your argument of allowing mawlid nabi would be convincing.

    Additionally, why is it that we don’t have evidence of the first 3 generations celebrating the mawlid? They were the best of the ummah and we cannot be better than them collectively, so it is better to stick to the salaf and don’t celebrate it.

    A. R. Says:
    Jazakallah for that. I agree that it is better to stick to way of salaf. I also agree that the timing should not be fixed, rather, anytime is a good time to remember him.

    I have already said in my answer that the salaf did not need it. They would remember rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wasallam at all times, narrating his ahaadeeth and propagating his Deen.

    We are nowhere near our salaf, let alone being better than them. I was very strict in this matter, then I heard my ustadh sheikh Yunus Saheb mentioning that Hafidh ibn hajar and so and so used to hold mawlid. This made me flexible. Of course, he knows Hafidh much better than me. I also thought what harm is there in holding seerat gatherings throughout the month of Rabiul Awwal? Especially when legends like Hafidh did it.

    Our sufi Tahir Saheb narrated a quote of Hazrat Mawlana Qasim Nanotwi rahmatullahi alayhi who said “Mawlid is not as bad as people make it nor is it as good as people make it”

  2. anonymyous

    Assalamualaukum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakauthu

    Is it true that it is written in Tadhkirat Rasheed that Hadhrat Mualana Khalil Ahmed Saharanpuri also attended a mawlid with stipulated conditions? And what were the conditions?


    A.R. Says:
    Yes, it is true, what I remember reading is that some people who had just done tawbah from bid’at approached Hazrat gangohi rahmatullahi alayhi. They said the month of Rabiul Awwal is here and we used to do mawlid, our community is now divided, we are the seniors, we want to hold everyone together. Hazrat said no problem, Khalil Ahmed wil come.

    Mawlana Khalil ahmed Saheb said, the mawlid shud not be for a specific group, the gathering should be general, there should be no women in the gathering, no music, no singing, no food etc. I will come at my time and deliver a speech. He went and gave a beautiful speech in which he narrated the incidents that took place upon the blessed birth of rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, and proclaimed his greatness. The whole congregation was happy and they said this is the correct way of celebrating the birth. Those who used to do bid’at repented, and the community were united. This is the only time it was done and that was due to maslihat of the time, it was not a general habit of theirs. Allah knows best.

  3. Adam

    Assalamu alaikum.
    Just a few points about the mawlid from a student of Sheikh Abdur – Rahim.
    Mawlid is Masdar Meemy, and can indicate the verbal noun, the noun of place, and noun of time. Now the verbal noun, which is his actual birth (as oppose to his birthday), well everybody HAS to celebrate his birth. One should feel joy every moment of his life, at the blessing of the prophetصَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ .
    As for the noun of time, (his birthday in Rabiul Awwal), one can infer indirectly from the Qur’an and Sunnah, as to the validity of celebrating his birthday.
    Surah Maryam is full of mention of the birthday of Eesa ( Alaihis Salam):
    1: وسلام عليه يوم ولد
    2:والسلام علي يوم ولدت
    What is that if it’s not a celebration of the birth of Jesus( Alaihis Salam)? So if Allah Ta ‘ala mentions the celebration of birth of Eesa( Alaihis Salam), why can we not celebrate the birth of the Imam of Eesa, and Imam of all the worlds (Salallahu alaihi wasallam)?
    Also, Allah Ta’ala addresses the prophet in Surah Hijr, in the context of the story of Lut( Alaihis Salam):لعمرك
    So, Allah Ta’ala is taking an oath of the passage of the life of the prophet (Salallahu alaihi wasallam), and Allah only takes an oath on great things. So his life is great, and something worthy of being celebrated.

    Also Imam Bayhaqi narrates the following hadith in his book Fadailul Awqaat:

    أَخْبَرَنَا أَبُو الْحُسَيْنِ مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ الْحُسَيْنِ الْقَطَّانُ بِبَغْدَادَ ، أَنْبَأَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ جَعْفَرُ النَّحْوِيُّ ، حَدَّثَنَا يَعْقُوبُ بْنُ سُفْيَانَ ، حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو النُّعْمَانِ ، وَالْحَجَّاجُ ، قَالا : أَنْبَأَنَا مَهْدِيُّ بْنُ مَيْمُونٍ ، حَدَّثَنَا غَيْلانُ بْنُ جَرِيرٍ ، عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ مَعْبَدٍ الزِّمَّانِيِّ ، عَنْ أَبِي قَتَادَةَ الأَنْصَارِيِّ ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ لَهُ رَجُلٌ : يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ، صَوْمُ يَوْمِ الاثْنَيْنِ ، قَالَ : ” فِيهِ وُلِدْتُ وَفِيهِ أنزل عَلَيَّ الْقُرْآنُ

    So He صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ attaches the signifcance of fasting on Mondays, to the fact that he was born that day. This shows, albeit indirectly, that celebrating his birth (either through fasting or otherwise) is an alltogether appropriate and meritorious act that should be encouraged and condoned.

  4. anonymous

    Maulana Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri Rahmatuyllahi Alaihi has written in Al-Muhannad ‘ala al-Mufannad

    Question Twenty One
    Do you say that the commemoration of his (Allah bless him and grant him peace) birth is deemed
    blameworthy (mustaqbah) in the Shari‘ah, from the evil and prohibited innovations (al-bid‘at alsayyi’ah al-muharramah), or [do you believe] otherwise?
    Far be it that any of the Muslims say, let alone we, ourselves, say, that commemorating his noble
    birth (upon him blessing and peace), rather even commemorating the dust on his shoes and the
    urine of his (Allah bless him and grant him peace) camel, are deemed blameworthy in the Shari‘ah,
    from the evil and prohibited innovations; for, commemorating the states which have the least
    connection with the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) is from the most
    desirable of recommended acts (ahabb al-mandubat) and the greatest of preferable acts (a‘la lmustahabbat) according to us, whether it is the commemoration of his noble birth or
    commemoration of his urine, feces, standing, sitting, sleeping and waking as is stated clearly in our
    treatise called Al-Barahin al-Qati‘ah at various junctures therein, and in the fatwas of our teachers
    (mashayikh) (may Allah have mercy on them), as [is mentioned, for example] in the fatwas of
    Mawlana Ahmad ‘Ali al-Muhaddith al-Saharanpuri, the student of Shah Muhammad Ishaq al-Dahlawi
    then al-Muhajir al-Makki, which we will quote in translation, that it may become an example of all
    [the other fatwas]:
    He (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked about the milad function, in which manner is it
    permissible and in which manner is it impermissible? He replied [saying] that:
    Commemorating the noble birth of our master, the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant
    him peace) using sound narrations, during times devoid of the obligatory duties of worship, and in
    forms not contravening the path of the Companions and the people of the three generations whose
    greatness has been attested to, and [in forms not] containing beliefs that may be conceived of as
    shirk and bid‘ah, and in manners which do not contravene the conduct of the Companions which is
    the measure of his (peace be upon him) statement, “What I and my Companions are upon,” and in
    gatherings free from abominations of the Shari‘ah, is a cause for goodness and blessing, with the
    condition that it is accompanied by pure intention and sincerity and the belief that it is included
    within the totality of recommended good remembrances (jumlat al-adhkar al-hasanah almandubah), and is not restricted to a time from the times. When it is so, we do not know of any
    Muslim who rules it to be unlawful (ghayr mashru‘) or bid‘ah. To the end of the fatwa.
    It is learnt from this that we do not denounce the commemoration of his noble birth. Rather, we
    denounce the abominable acts that are associated with it as you [may] have seen in the mawludi
    functions which [take place] in India, of narrating weak and forged narrations, the mixing of men and
    women, extravagance in lighting candles and decorations, and the belief that it is obligatory, by
    vilifying, insulting and anathematising those who do not attend their function with them, and other
    such abominations of the Shari‘ah which are almost not found to be absent from them. If they were
    free of these abominations, far be it that we say that commemorating the noble birth is abominable
    and a bid‘ah. How can this ugly belief be suspected of a Muslim? Hence, this attribution to us is also
    from the inventions of the deceptive lying deviants.

  5. Ali Asghar Shah

    Asalaamualaykum Shaykh,

    The muslims of Indian subcontinent as you know were divided only into two groups at the time of Shah Abdul aziz r.a and they were Ahle Sunnah and Imamiya shi’i.

    Now we have ahle hadith, people who call themselves deobandi and those who say they are barelwi. Each claims t be from Ahle Sunnah. I believe botth those who hold views like the ulema of deoband do and the ulema of barelwi do they are both from Ahle Sunnah.

    Why is it that Imam Ahmed riza khan r.a wrote a refutation ont he works of Maulana Ashraf Ali thanwi r.a and Rashid Ahmed gangohi r.a. Was it a deliberate move towards fitna or was it misunderstanding.

    Nowadays people say what are u deobandi or barelwi and this war split is only in indian sub-continent and not any where else.

    Shaykh i think much information needs to be spread if more eitedaal can be proomoted between both of them. I knwo there are extremists from both sides. Maybe if you can give dars on promoting more unity within Ahle sunnah wal jamaahin indian sub-continent. We here in India look to you as an authority in Shariah and indeed Allah has blessed you with great and very vast Knowledge.

    Shaykh you also know that Shaykh abdul haqq muhaddith dehlwi r.a held it mushtahab to choose 12th rabbil awwal as Milad un Nabi saws. Whereas Mufti taqi Uthmani saahab states in his book on months of a Muslim that it is not a nice thing to do by choosing one particular date. Is it not true that scholars who were much more learned than Mufti taqi saahib like As-suyuti, Ibn Subki, Shah Waliullah, Shah Abdur rahim made Mawlid.

    So why should this topic be used to further divide the muslims and call it a Bidah? Yes the way these Buzurg made Mawlid was different. Also shaykh it is true that Many ulema have stated that it is in Allah’s power to grant ability to Nabi saws to be Haazir in any place while at the same time having his presence at his Rauza. We have about the life of Prophets in Barzakh and yes it does not call for us to follow jews in their ghuloo.

    But Shaykh is it also not true that the Muqaam of Nabi saws is not given due honor by the salafis of Aaale e ibn wahhab.

    A place where Imam Malik r.a never used a horse to ride they stand near Rauza with their shoes on and some say it is not permissible ot travel with a niyah to visit the Blessed Grave of Holy Prophet saws.

    Shaykh you must be aware that Imam Nawawi, Tajuddin ibn subki and many other ulema have givena beautiful answer to this misunderstanding of the hadith on travelling to mosques except Masjid ul haram, Masjid un Nabawi saws.

    Please shaykh give if you get time a dars on removing the misconception in these topics which has become the pet topic of the fitnah parast maulvis who are only maulvis by name to divide us and create hatred.

    Please give dars on promoting more unity within the Ahle Sunnah specially the barelwi and deobandi spplit.

    Please forgive us in writing such a lenghty question , now i do not wish to give you a headache by leanghtening it more.


    ———— —————— ————————-

    Walaikumussalam w w

    Jazakallah for your kind thoughts and words.

    I feel you should be the one giving lecture on this topic. You’ve written so much I don’t know what to say or where to start so I’ll just leave it at this.

    Maybe if Allah gives tawfeeq we will say something down that line.

    There is this nice book by Dr Ashfaaq called ’12 Aashiqaane Rasul’ he has mentioned those personalities from the Indian sub continent who migrated to madina munawwarah and died there. He has written their brief biographies. Half of them are deobandees while the others are from the barelwi maktabe fikr.

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