Over the years, there have been a lot of misconceptions about Mawlid Nabiyy and it has always been our responsibility to clarify these misconceptions.
It is very necessary to be objective about this subject instead of being biased or following any false dogma.
The term Mawlid Nabiyy is an Arabic word which means Birth of the Prophet. The Birth implies ‘the coming to life’ and the Prophet stands for the ‘Best of Mankind’ and ‘the Mercy to the Entire Universe’.
Celebration means expression of happiness and to rejoice over something good. Therefore, rejoicing over the birth or coming to life of the Best of Mankind should be something of joy and pride for all Muslims.
Celebration of Mawlid Nabiyy means ‘the expression of happiness, gratitude and appreciation for the coming to life of the Best of Creation.
It also means expression of happiness, gratitude and appreciation for the coming to life of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) as the Mercy to the Entire Universe.
This implies that the birth of the Holy Prophet Muhammad is important to all Muslims. Thus, every Muslim must be happy over this and must not be antagonistic.
There is no wrong in having an occasion or gathering to discuss about the Messenger of Allah and someone that is most beloved to Allah. If you think such gathering of Mawlid Nabiyy to discuss about the Prophet is an innovation, then you are not being just. It is rather more appropriately a development for Islam and the Muslims all over the world.
Muhammad is the best of mankind. He is the best of creation. He is the most favoured Prophet and the most honoured Messenger. He is the greatest personality in this life. Even a random search on the internet on who is the world’s best man will reveal no one but the Holy Prophet Muhammad.
All great personalities in this life are celebrated and Muhammad is the greatest of all personalities. Allah Himself exalted him and elevated his remembrance and commemoration as stated in the Holy Qur’an:
‘Have We not elevated your remembrance and status’ (Q94: 4)
Muhammad is the Best of Mankind with the Most Excellent Character and this is well stated by Allah in the Holy Qur’an: ‘And truly you (Muhammad) are upon the most excellent character.’ (Q68: 4)
Celebrating Mawlid Nabiyy is a way of honouring the Holy Prophet Muhammad. Allah instructs us to honour him and He promised that those who do so will be successful in this life and in the Hereafter.
‘So it is those who believe in him, who honour him, who support him and who follow the light which was sent down with him, they are all those who will be successful.’ (Q7: 157)
Muhammad is the mercy sent by Allah to the entire universe. Allah instructs us in His Holy Book to rejoice and celebrate over the mercy He sent to us. And the Ultimate Mercy is Muhammad.
‘And We have not sent you (Muhammad) except as a MERCY to the ENTIRE UNIVERSE.’ (Q21: 107)
And Allah says: ‘Say! By the favour of ALLAH and His MERCY- in that let them rejoice (and celebrate). That is better than what they gather (of wealth).’
Allah and His Angels celebrate the Holy Prophet Muhammad by blessing him with abundant peace and salutations. Allah also orders the generality of the believers to celebrate him with peace and salutations.
‘Verily, Allah and His Angels shower peace and salutations upon the Prophet (Muhammad). O you who believe! Shower upon him peace and salutations with all respects.’ (Q33: 56)
For those who consider Mawlid Nabiyy as an innovation, it is better for them to know that innovation is broadly of two types: the good and the bad.
Whatever innovation that is good and with basis is indeed needed and acceptable in the religion and whatever innovation that is bad and without basis is not needed and must be rejected in religion.
According to the Holy Prophet Muhammad in his Hadith; ‘Whoever introduces a good practice in Islam will have its reward and the reward of all those who follow it, without their rewards being diminished in any respect.’ (Related by Muslim)
This Hadith is an indication of a good innovation.
There is also the second part of this Hadith that talks about bad innovation. ‘Whoever introduces an evil (or bad) practice in Islam will bear its sin and the sins of those who follow it, without their sins being diminished in any respect.’ (Related by Muslim)
According to Umar bn Al-Khattab, he clearly mentioned that Taraweeh Prayer in congregation is an innovation but a Good Innovation. This is because at the time of the Holy Prophet Muhammad and Abu Bakr, Taraweeh Prayer was always observed individually and not in congregation. It was Umar that changed that practice and introduced the practice of observing Taraaweeh Prayer in congregation.
After Umar bn Al-Khattab (r.a.) did this, he stated clearly: ‘what a good bid‘a (innovation) this is’ (Fiqh us Sunna, vol. 1., page 126)
Even the compilation of the Qur’an into a book form was considered an innovation by Abubakry and also Zaid specifically. Today we have digital Qur’an and even audio, visual as well as android Quran.
We should always be grateful to Allah for giving us and the entire world Muhammad. Muhammad is the Most valuable, most honoured and greatest personality.
Muhammad is our glory and he is the greatest benefactor of Muhammad.
WHAT DO THEY DO AT MAWLID GATHERING?
1. Special Prayer
2. Qur’an Recitation
4. Mad-hu Nabiyy
6. Salawaat ‘ala Nabiyy
8. Reminder on the Life of Muhammad
It is permissible to serve refreshment and more encouraged to serve sweets and chocolates to children. This is well stated in a book titled ‘Bayna Saail wal Faqeeh’ (Between the Questioner and the Jurists) authored by Sheikh Dr. Muhammad Bakr Ismaeel, author of the popular book Al-Fiqh Al-Waadih.
May we be included in the fortunate and blessed company of the Holy Prophet Muhammad in the Hereafter.
(Executive Director, IRFAN CENTRE for Research and Human Development)