This article will discuss the futile and baseless objections that are often raised by the Shirk Brigade and Bidah Bandwagon. For such individuals we recommend they read all our articles on Milad-un-Nabi and also the Answers and Rebuttals (below) to the Objections that they may have. Insha-Allah once you have read these articles, Allah willing you will also become a celebrator of the Mawlid.
Decorating the Masjid with Lights
In the name of Allah, Most Merciful, Most Gracious.
Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon our Master Muhammad, his family and companions.
a) Allah Almighty states in the Holy Quran, “Only he who believes in Allah and the Last Day and establishes Prayer and pays Zakat (the Alms-due) and who fears none but Allah can maintain and frequent the mosques of Allah. So they alone are expected to become the rightly-guided.” [Surah Taubah 9, Verse 18]
The Commentators of the Holy Quran (Mufassireen/Tafsir Masters) state that praying with jamaat in Masjid, keeping the Maasajid clean, spreading mats of high quality, brightening the Maasajid with lighting, etc. arc all included in causing Maasajid to prosper. Prophet Sulaiman (Alayhissalam) used to make the Masjid Baitul-Muqaddas bright with Kibreet-e-Ahmar (a flammable substance). There was so much brightness because of this that women miles away were able to spin their threads! – [Tafseer Roohul-Bayaan]
b) Sayiduna Abu Saeed Khudri (ra) states, “The Sahabi, Tameem Daari (Allah be pleased with him) was the first person to light lamps in the Masjids.” [Sunan Ibn Majah]
c) Ibn-e-Shaheen Muhaddis narrated from Hadrat Abi Ishaq Hamdani : He says that on the first night of Ramadan, Sayiduna Ali ibn Abu-Talib Radialahu Ta’ala Anhu visited Masjid-Nabavi, in which lanterns/lamps were burning and the Holy Qur’an was being recited. He said “O Umar ibn Khattab! May Almighty Allah illuminate your grave, as you have illuminated the masjid at the time of the recitation of the Holy Quran.”
It is proven that brightening the Masjids in Ramadaan has been practiced from the time of Sayiduna Umar (Allah be pleased with him). It should also be noticed that the other Sahaaba didn’t object to this either. Rather, Sayiduna Ali (Allah be pleased with him) made dua for him. We also learn that by brightening the Masjids, Insha-Allah, our graves will also be brightened. Also note that if making special arrangements and illuminating the Masjid is allowed to commemorate the month we received the Holy Qur’an which is a blessing and grace of Allah, then there should be no problem if we illuminate our Masaajid to commemorate the month we received the biggest blessing of Almighty Allah in Rabi-ul-Awwal, our beloved Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).
In this day and age, to adorn Masjids, continuously keep them bright and make special provisions for lighting on important occasions is good even according to common sense, because we frequently decorate our homes and go out of our way to have special lighting installed on special occasions, e.g. weddings, birthdays etc.
When our homes are worthy of being decorated and made bright, surely Allah’s house, which is the most excellent of homes, should be decorated more than any other so that the greatness of our Masaajid is inculcated in the hearts of people. This practice is a means of propagating the deen of Islam, and instilling a sense of awe into the Muslims for the Masaajid.
Finally, Ibn Taymiyya mentions a fatwa given by Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (rah), whereby when the people told Imam Ahmad (rah) about a prince who spent 1000 dinars on the decoration of Qur’an he said: “That is the best place for him to use gold.”[Iqtida’ al-sirat al-mustaqim]
Was Imam Ahmad (rah) making bidah when he allowed the decoration of Qur’an? Ofcourse the answer to this is No.
Do not Exaggerate in Praising me as the Christians praised the son of Mary
There is a very famous hadith that is often quoted recorded by Imam al-Bukhari in his Sahih, on the authority of Sayyiduna Umar ibn al-Khattab (Allah be pleased with him) that he heard the Messenger of Allah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) say: “Do not exaggerate in praising me as the Christians praised the son of Mary, for I am only a Slave. So, call me the Slave of Allah and His Messenger.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, no: 3261)
Strange as it may seem people actually like to debate on how much should we Praise Nabi (salallahu alayhi wa sallam). There are many disagreements between different groups of Muslims, who accuse each other of over praise or under praise. The following is some evidence and then for you to decide what you should do, you should go with what your heart inclines to.
The meaning of this Hadith is quite clear and simple, in that one must avoid exaggeration in praising the Messenger of Allah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) in a manner the Christians praised Sayiduna Esa (peace be upon him). Anything besides this has been implicitly permitted in this Hadith.
Now, we need to see how the Christians exaggerated in their reverence for Sayiduna Esa (peace be upon him). The Christians exaggerated in praising Sayiduna Esa (peace be upon him) to the level that they considered him to be either a God, son of God or a partner of God. Hence, it will be completely unlawful and disbelief to elevate the status of the Messenger of Allah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) in a manner that one considers him to be a God, son of God or a partner of Allah.
Allah Most High is one and unique in his essence and attributes, as Imam al-Tahawi (Allah have mercy on him) states: “We say about Allah’s unity (tawhid) – with Allah’s help- that Allah is One, without any partners.” (al-Aqidah al-Tahawiyya, p: 5)
The renowned commentator of Sahih al-Bukhari, Imam Hafidh Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani (Allah have mercy on him) states in the explanation of this Hadith, quoting from Ibn al-Jawzi:
“The reason behind this prohibition (of exaggerating in the praise of the Prophet) was due to what was mentioned in the Hadith of Mu’adh, where he (Sayyiduna Mu’adh, Allah be pleased with him) sought the Messenger of Allah’s (Allah bless him & give him peace) permission in order to prostrate before him. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) forbade him from doing so. Hence, the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) feared that someone else may exaggerate even more, thus he was quick to prohibit such exaggeration with great emphasis. Ibn al-Tin said: The meaning of “Do not exaggerate in praising me” is that do not praise me as the praise of Christians. So much so that some exaggerated and regarded him (Sayiduna Esa) to be a partner of God. Some claimed that he was God himself, whilst others said that he was the son of God.”(Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, Fath al-Bari, 12/183-184)
The above passage from one of the greatest commentary on Sahih al-Bukhari quite clearly indicates that the prohibition is of giving the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) the rank and status of Allah in any way or form. He is not God, neither a partner of God, nor His son. He is the Servant of Allah and his beloved Messenger (eternal peace and blessings be on him).
This Hadith does not in any way forbid one from praising the beloved of Allah greatly and excessively. Our presence is because of the Messenger of Allah. He is our master, beloved, intercessor and leader.
We love him greatly, more than anything and everything in this world. Hence, we should send blessings on him and praise him as much as we can. If we don’t praise the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) and show reverence to him, then who will we praise.
As long as one avoids considering the Messenger of Allah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) being equal to Allah Most High and avoids attributing divinity to him, there is absolutely nothing wrong in exaggerating in his love and praise, as the author of Qasida al-Burda, Imam al-Busayri (Allah have mercy on him) so beautifully said:
“Leave what the Christians claim about their Prophet. Then decide and say what you wish in praise of him (salallahu alayhi wa sallam).”
Next Article: Did the Sahaba Celebrate Mawlid?