DID THE SAHABA CELEBRATE MILAD-UN-NABI (Peace & Blessings be upon him)?
In the name of Allah, Most Merciful, Most Gracious.
Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon our Master Muhammad, his family and companions.
The legal and religious status of celebrating the birth of Holy Prophet (Peace & Blessings be upon him) in light of the actions of the Sahaba.
A minority group amongst us often challenge the Ahlus Sunnah-wa-Jamaat to show proof of the Sahaba celebrating the Mawlid. What these narrow minded individuals do not realise is that every worship and every good deed we do is in fact commemorating the Mawlid for if it was not for the BIRTH (MAWLID) of the beloved Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) we would not even be Muslims. What value would our heart beat have if we were not even believers on the path of Islam. May Almighty Allah give hadaya to those that don’t understand, that even every breath that we take is a mercy from Almighty Allah due to the Mawlid (Birth) of our Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam).
They ask for evidence of actions that the Sahaba (Allah be pleased with them) performed. We would like to ask these minority, that setting the Mawlid aside, show us any single action that you perform, is the same spirit, might and splendour as the Sahaba of Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) performed. Indeed they will never be able to answer or fulfill this for the Sahaba were the elite who perfected their worship and actions through direct teachings of our beloved Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam).
Perhaps these people do not realise, if it was not for the Mawlid (Birth) of our beloved Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) then Hazrat Abu Bakar Siddique (Allah be pleased with him) would not have fought the false prophet, Hazrat Umar (Allah be pleased with him) would not have established the Muslim empire into Afica and Europe, Hazrat Usman (Allah be pleased with him) would not have donated his whole wealth for the Muslims, Hazrat Ali (Allah be pleased with him) would not have gone against the khawarij.
No one today can seriously claim to follow the actions of the elite Sahaba (Allah be pleased with them all). However we can ensure that our actions are in accordance to the Quran and Sunnah. So let us establish the facts from the false claims. Let us examine the actions that make up the Mawlid and see if these were ever performed by the Sahaba (Allah be pleased with them all).
Prior to presenting the evidence, readers are requested to note the SHARIAH RULE that EVEN the MERE SILENCE of the Holy Prophet upon his witnessing of any event / action (and not preventing or expressly forbidding it) constitutes an implied approval of the same, and it thus becomes an approved action. It is most disappointing to see these days that Muslims are being accused of doing shirk etc at Mawlid gatherings. These are nothing but futile accusations for the very essense of being a Muslim is to worhsip the One and only One Deity worthy of ALL WORSHIP – Almighty Allah.
Take for example the saying of Shaykh al-Islam Imam Ibn Hajr al Haytami (Rahimuhullah):
The gatherings of Mawlid and Adhkaar which take place during our time, they are mostly confined to good deeds, for example in them, Sadaqat are given, Dhikr is done, Durud and Salam is sent upon the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) and he is praised…….And the second type of gathering is sunnah which comes under those ahadith which are regarding adhkaar Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: The people do not sit but they are surrounded by angels and covered by Mercy, and there descends upon them tranquility as they remember Allah – narrated by Muslim. [Fatawa al-Hadithiyyah, Page 202] (The fatwa also warns against prohibited actions – but this is standard all year round to avoid prohibited actions)
Definition of Milad-un-Nabi
The word Milad has been derived from “viladut” which means birth. Therefore, according to the Arabic language, Milad is a word which signifies the place and time of birth. In the light of Shariah, we mean, Milad is to remember the events which took place at the birth time of the Holy Prophet (salallaho alaihi wasalam) and we get the opportunity of narrating the Seerat of the Prophet (salallaho alaihi wasalam) on this occasion. We also present the Holy Prophet (salallaho alaihi wasalam) gifts of Durood -o- salam. We mention before the people attributes and praises of the Prophet (salallaho alaihi wasalam). We do not believe that Milad is restricted to only one day but we believe that the remembrance of the Holy Prophet (salallaho alaihi wasalam) is incumbent in every minute and second of time. Milad un Nabi (salallaho alaihi wasalam) is a great source of preaching. It is an opportunity for dawah and the scholars to teach Muslims on this Holy occasion, moral behavior of the Holy Prophet, (salallaho alaihi wasalam) His etiquettes, His affairs, His Seerat, His dealings and His shamail.
1) Fixing a day or selecting one day for the propagation of Islam
Did the Sahaba fix days for propagation of Islam like we see the Muslim ummah commemorating on the 12th Rabbi-ul-Awwal every year?? Read below for the answer from Sahih Bukhari..
Narrated Abu Wail: Abdullah ibn Masud (ra) used to give a religious talk to the people on EVERY Thursday. Once a man said, “O Aba ‘Abdur-Rahman! (By Allah) I wish if you could preach us daily.” He replied, “The only thing which prevents me from doing so, is that I hate to bore you, and no doubt I take care of you in preaching by selecting a suitable time just as the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) used to do with us, for fear of making us bored.” [Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 3, Number 70]
Of course – the commemoration of Mawlid should not be restricted to the 12th of Rabbi-ul-Awwal but instead should be remembered every breath we take through constant dhikr of Allah and reciting durood upon the Master Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wasallam).
2) To gather to perform Dhikr of Allah and his beloved Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)
Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him): A group of the Sahaba of the Holy Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) was sitting together and the Holy Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) came and approached them and he heard them talking to each other. Some of them said that Allah subhanahu wa ta’la took Ibrahim (Alayhissalam) as His friend, and others said that Allah subhanahu wa ta’la took Musa (Alayhissalam) as His kaleem [the one who spoke directly with Allah], and others said Allah subhanahu wa ta’la took ‘Isa (Alayhissalam) as a word of Allah, and others said that Allah subhanahu wa ta’la chose Adam (Alayhissalam). The Holy Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said to them, ‘I heard your conversation and you are wondering at Ibrahim (Alayhissalam) being the friend of Allah, and it is true, and Musa (Alayhissalam) being Najeeullah [the saved one of Allah], and ‘Isa (Alayhissalam) being Rawhullah, and it is true, and Adam (Alayhissalam) being chosen by Allah and it is true, but, I am the Beloved of Allah and I say it without pride [Habeebullah wa laa fakhr], and I am the bearer of the flag of praise on the judgment day, and Adam (Alayhissalam) and everyone descended from him are under my flag on judgment day and I say it without pride. I am the first intercessor and the first to intercede on the judgment day and I say it without pride. And I am the first to move the handles of the door of paradise and Allah will open paradise for me and I am the first to enter it and with me will be the poor and humble of the believers, and I say it without pride, and I am the first to be honoured among the first and last of creation and I say it without pride.” [Tirmidhi Sharif: Kitabul-Munaqib, (Book of Merits) Chapter Babun Fi Fazaldh-un-Nabi, (The Merit of the Prophet – Peace & Blessings be upon him). Also transmitted by Imam Darimi, Hafiz ibn Kathir, Imam Suyuti and others]
The ones that doubt should understand, the true gathering of Mawlid-un-Nabi is precisely to sit in the Masjid and do dhikr (speeches) of the beloved Sayyidina Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), in the same way that the Sahaba were also doing the dhikr of the Prophets (Allah be pleased with them all).
Narrated Hazrat Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him), the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: ‘Allah proclaims ‘Whatever conjecture My servant has about Me I fulfil it. I am with him when he performs My Dhikr, if he performs My Dhikr within (by) himself I remember him within Myself and if he performs My Dhikr in a group then I remember him in a group better than his. (Part of a longer hadith)… [Sahih Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 93, Number 502]
Hazrat Abu Sa’id Khudri reported that Hazrat Mu’awiya went to a circle in the mosque and said: What makes you sit here? They said: We are sitting here in order to remember Allah. He said: I adjure you by Allah (to tell me whether you are sitting here for this very purpose)? They said: By Allah, we are sitting here for this very purpose. Thereupon, he said: I have not demanded you to take an oath, because of any allegation against you and none of my rank in the eye of Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) is the narrator of so few ahadith as I am. The fact is that Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) went out to the circle of his Companions and said: What makes you sit? They said: We are sitting here in order to remember Allah and to praise Him for He guided us to the path of Islam and He conferred favours upon us. Thereupon he adjured by Allah and asked if that only was the purpose of their sitting there. They said: By Allah, we are not sitting here but for this very purpose, whereupon he (the Messenger) said: I am not asking you to take an oath because of any allegation against you but for the fact that Gabriel came to me and he informed me that Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, was talking to the angels about your magnificence. [Sahih Muslim, Book 35, Hadith Number 6521]
Note well here that the Sahaba mentioned the remembrance of Allah, Guidance, Islam and Favours. And there is no doubt that the Holy Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is Allah’s greatest favour, and that Allah is well pleased who thank Him for His favours! It is obvious here that the Sahaba had not been specifically instructed to form such a remembrance group – and their witness was the Holy Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), who gave them glad tidings for this deed of theirs. May Allah grant us the same wisdom.
Ibn Taymiyya’s Opinion on the Meetings of Dhikr
The following is the opinion of Ibn Taymiyya on meetings of dhikr:
Ibn Taymiyya was asked about people that gather in a masjid making dhikr and reading Qur’an, praying to Allah and taking their turbans off their heads (leaving their heads bare) and crying, while their intention is not pride nor showing off but seeking to draw closer to Allah: is it acceptable or not?
He replied: Not only is it acceptable but it is good and recommended.
[Vol. 22, page 253 of the Collected Fatwas, King Khalid ibn `Abdul `Aziz edition (“Majma’a Fatawa Ibn Taymiyya”)]
3) Giving Charity
Narrated by Hazrat Asma (Allah be pleased with her), Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “Give (in charity) and do not give reluctantly lest Allah should give you in a limited amount; and do not withhold your money lest Allah should withhold it from you.” [Sahih Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 47, Number 764]
Narrated by Hazrat Abu Hurairah (Allah be pleased with him), A man asked the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), “O Allah’s Messenger (SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam)! What kind of charity is the best?” He (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) replied. “To give in charity when you are healthy and greedy hoping to be wealthy and afraid of becoming poor. Don’t delay giving in charity till the time when you are on the death bed when you say, ‘Give so much to so-and-so and so much to so-and so,’ as at that time the property is not yours but it belongs to so-and-so (i.e. your inheritors).” [Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 51, Number 11]
So is it biddah to give charity?!?! Ofcourse not and there is no prescribed time when giving charity is allowed and when it is not allowed. Giving charity for the pleasure of Almighty Allah is permissible every single day of the year. For people to try and restrict others from performing this worthy act is a biddah in itself. So see for yourself who are doing the biddah!
4) Recitation of Durood and Salaam upon the beloved Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)
Almighty Allah says: “Surely Allah and His Angels send blessings on the Holy Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). O you who believe! Send Blessings (Durood) and Salutations (Salaams) on the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) with worthy Salutation”. [Surah al-Ahzab: 56]
Hazrat Ibn Masood (Allah be pleased with him) has narrated that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: Verily the most close person to me on the day of Qiyamah is one who sent the most Durood (blessings) upon me. [Tirmizi, Volume 2, Hadith:484]
Abdullah bin Amr bin Al-‘As reported that he heard the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) saying, “If anyone invokes blessings upon me once, Allah will bestow blessings upon him ten times over.” [Imam Muslim]
So is it biddah to to recite durood and salaam upon the beloved Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) ?!?! Ofcourse not and there is no prescribed time when reciting durood and salaam is allowed and when it is not allowed. Sending peace and blessings upong the beloved Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) for the pleasure of Almighty Allah is permissible every single day of the year. For people to try and restrict others from performing this worthy act is a biddah in itself. So see for yourself who are doing the biddah!
5) Recitation of Poetry, Nasheeds and Naats
Narrated Hazrat Ubai bin Ka’b: Allah’s Apostle said, “Some poetry contains wisdom.” [Sahih Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 73, Number 166]
Narrated Hazrat Salama bin Al-Aqwa: We went out with Allah’s Apostle to Khaibar and we travelled during the night. A man amongst the people said to ‘Amir bin Al-Aqwa’, “Won’t you let us hear your poetry?” ‘Amir was a poet, and so he got down and started (chanting Huda) reciting for the people, poetry that keep pace with the camel’s foot steps, saying, “O Allah! Without You we would not have been guided on the right path, neither would we have given in charity, nor would we have prayed. So please forgive us what we have committed. Let all of us be sacrificed for Your cause and when we meet our enemy, make our feet firm and bestow peace and calmness on us and if they (our enemy) will call us towards an unjust thing we will refuse. The infidels have made a hue and cry to ask others help against us. Allah’s Apostle (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “Who is that driver (of the camels)?” They said, “He is ‘Amir bin Al-Aqwa.”‘ He said, “May Allah bestow His mercy on him.” [Sahih Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 73, Number 169]
The Prophet’s (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) uncle al-`Abbas composed poetry PRAISING THE BIRTH of the Holy Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), in which are found the following lines: “WHEN YOU WERE BORN,a light rose over the earth until it illuminated the horizon with its radiance. We are in that illumination and that original light and those paths of guidance and thanks to them we pierce through.” [Ibn Sayyid al-Nas narrated it with his isnad through al-Tabarani and al-Bazzar in Minah al-Madh (p. 192-193), also Ibn Kathir in al-Sira al-Nabawiyya (ed. Mustafa `Abd al-Wahid 4:51), and `Ali al-Qari in his Sharh al-Shifa` (1:364) says it is narrated by Abu Bakr al-Shafi`i and al-Tabarani, and cited by Ibn `Abd al-Barr in al-Isti`ab and Ibn al-Qayyim in Zad al-Ma`ad. Ibn Hajar’s Fath al-Bari.]
The light mentioned by al-`Abbas in the narration above is confirmed by the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) himself in the famous narration describing his own birth. `Irbad ibn Sariya and Abu Umama (Allah be pleased with both of them) said, that the Prophet said: “I am the supplication of my father Ibrahim, and the good tidings of my brother `Isa. The NIGHT I WAS DELIVERED my mother saw a light that lit the castles of Damascus so that she could see them.” [It is narrated by al-Hakim (2:616-617), Ahmad in his Musnad, and al-Bayhaqi in Dala`il al-Nubuwwa (1:110, 2:8). Ibn al-Jawzi cites it in al-Wafa` (p. 91, ch. 21 of Bidayat Nabiyyina ), and Ibn Kathir in his Mawlid Rasul Allah and his Tafsir (4:360). Al-Haythami (8:221) said al-Tabarani and Ahmad narrated it, the latter with a fair (hasan) chain. Also narrated by Ibn Hisham in Sirat Rasul Allah (Dar al-wifaq ed. 1/2:166) and al-Tabari in his History]
The Holy Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) heard Syedna Anas (Allah be pleased with him) and other Companions praising him and reciting poems while digging before the famous battle of the Trench (Khandaq), as they said: “We are the ones who gave bay’ah to Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) for jihad as long as we are living.” [Imam Bukhari & also Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya wrote in his book “Madarij as-Salikin,” Vol. 1]
Ibn Qayyim also mentions `Abdullah ibn Rawaha’s long poem praising the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) as the latter entered Mecca, after which, the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) prayed for him. He prayed that Allah support Hassan, another poet, with the Holy Spirit as long as he would support the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) with his poetry. Similarly the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) rewarded Ka’b ibn Zubayr’s poem of praise with a robe. Ibn Qayyim continues, “`Aisha always recited poems praising him and he was happy with her.” [Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya, “Madarij as-Salikin”]
The poet of the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam), Hassan ibn Thabit (Allah be pleased with him) said: By Allah, no woman has conceived and GIVEN BIRTH To one like the Messenger, the Prophet and guide of his people. Nor has Allah created among his creatures One more faithful to his sojourner or his promise Than he who was the source of our light. [Narrated by Ibn Hisham in the last lines of his Sirat Rasul Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)]
So do you still think it is biddah to recite poetry to commemorate the arrival of the Blessed King (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)?!?! Well while you digest these evidences, we will continue to invoke abundant blessings and peace on the Best of Creation and to celebrate his Light day and night after the model provided by his noble Ansar Companions who said: The full moon rose over us from the mountains of al-Wada`! WE MUST GIVE THANKS as long as there remains one who calls unto Allah! [Narrated by al-Tabari in al-Riyad al-Nadira (1:480) and Ibn Kathir in al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya (Ma`arif ed. 3:197, 5:23)]
6) Procession (jaloos) and showing happiness for the Beloved Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)
Narrated Syedna Anas ibn Malik: When the Apostle of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) came to Medina, the Abyssinians played for his coming due to joy; they played with spears. [Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 41, Number 4905]
Narrated Hazrat Aisha(RadiAllahu Anha): …. When the Muslims of Medina heard the news of the departure of Allah’s Apostle from Mecca (towards Medina), they started going to the Harra every morning . They would wait for him till the heat of the noon forced them to return. One day, after waiting for a long while, they returned home, and when they went into their houses, a Jew climbed up the roof of one of the forts of his people to look for some thing, and he saw Allah’s Apostle and his companions dressed in white clothes, emerging out of the desert mirage. The Jew could not help shouting at the top of his voice, “O you ‘Arabs! Here is your great man whom you have been waiting for!” So all the Muslims rushed to their arms and received Allah’s Apostle on the summit of Harra. The Prophet turned with them to the right and alighted at the quarters of Bani ‘Amr bin ‘Auf, and this was on Monday in the month of Rabi-ul-Awal…..(Part of a longer hadith) [Sahih Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 58, Number 245]
Imam al-Nasa’i narrated that Hadrat Sayyiduna Ameer al-Mu’awiyah (may Allah be pleased with them) said,
The Messenger of Allah came to a circle – meaning of his Companions – and said, “What has made you sit together?” They said, “We sat to pray to Allah and to praise Him for guiding us to His religion, and for blessing us with you.” He said, “By Allah, nothing else made you sit together?” They said, “By Allah nothing else made us sit together!” He said, “Know that I did not make you swear on this because I doubted you, but because Gabriel came to me and informed me that Allah (Azza wa Jall) is proudly showing you off to the angels!”
The above hadith is one of the clearest evidences for the permissibility of the Mawlid, and clearly shows the companions gathering together to thank Allah (Most High) and give thanks for blessing them with the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). Are the Mawlid gatherings not what is being described in the hadith?
1. Sunan an-Nasa’i, Vol. 6, Book 49, Hadith 5428
2. Sahih Muslim, Book 40, Hadith 2701
3. Jaami’ Tirmidhi, Hadith 3326
4. Musnad Imam Ahmad, Hadith 16488
5. Sahih Ibn Hibban, Hadith 820
6. Musnad Abi Ya’la, Hadith 7331
7. Musannaf Ibn Abi Shayba, Hadith 28894
8. Tabarani, Mu’jam al-Kabeer, Hadith 16079
9. Riyad as-Salihin, Book 16, Hadith 1450
Narrated Syedna Anas ibn Malik (radiAllahu Anhu): ….The news that Allah’s Prophet had come circulated in Medina. The people came out and were eagerly looking and saying “Allah’s Prophet has come! Allah’s Prophet has come! So the Prophet went on till he alighted near the house of Abu Ayub-al-Ansari….(Part of a longer hadith) [Sahih Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 58, Number 250]
Narrated Syedna Al-Bara bin Azib (radiAllahu Anhu): The first people who came to us (in Medina) were Mus`ab bin `Umar and Ibn Um Maktum who were teaching Qur’an to the people. Then their came Bilal. Sa`d and `Ammar bin Yasir. After that `Umar bin Al-Khattab came along with twenty other companions of the Prophet. Later on the Prophet himself (to Medina) and I had never seen the people of Medina so joyful as they were on the arrival of Allah’s Apostle, for even the slave girls were saying, “Allah’s Apostle has arrived!” And before his arrival I had read the Sura starting with:– “Glorify the Name of your Lord, the Most High” (87.1) together with other Surahs of Al-Mufassal. [Sahih Bukhari, Volume 5, Book 58, Number 262]
From these hadiths taken from Sahih Bukhari and also the books of Syrat that have been written, we learn that when Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) migrated from Makkah to Medina, he was welcomed with great enthusiasm by the people of the city. There was an atmosphere of celebration and festival in Medina, the like of which had never been seen before. People lined up on both sides of the road to welcome the coming of the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam); Men, women and children joyously greeted the Holy Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). All the while, tambourines were being played and the following words were sung:
wajaba al-shukru ‘alayna,
ma da’a lillahi da’
O the White Moon rose over us
From the Valley of Wada’
WE MUST GIVE THANKS
As Long As There Remains One Who Calls Unto Allah!
Ayyuha al-mab’uthu fina
ji’ta bi-al-amri al-muta’
Ji’ta sharrafta al-Madinah
marhaban ya khayra da’
O you who were raised amongst us
coming with a work to be obeyed
You have brought to this city nobleness
Welcome! best call to God’s way
Insha-Allah on the day of Resurrection, the streets will testify the love the Sahaba have for the Beloved Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam).
Subhan-Allah and guess what day and date it was when the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) entered Madinah when the companions celebrated? It was a Monday 12th Rabbi-ul-Awal ie the same day and date the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) was born. To arrange special celebration on this day to recognise the excellency of the beautiful Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is proven and permissible from this.
Subhan-Allah – the act of praising the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) through poetry during a procession (jaloos) has also been APPROVED by our beloved Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). During the conquest of Makkah, when the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) entered Makkah, the Companions celebrated by reciting Naats/Poetry loudly. On this occasion Hazrat Abdullah Bin Rawaha (Allah be pleased with him) were walking in front of the Islamic army and were reciting the verses of Naat loudly. Hazrat Umar (Allah be pleased with him) came to him and asked is it justified that you are reciting the verses loudly near the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). The prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) himself intervened and said: Don’t stop him from that. His verses are wounding the hearts of kafir (non-muslims) like arrows. [Imam Tirmidhi, Nasai and Sunan-e-Kubra; also mentioned by Imam Asqalani]
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