The Celebration of Mawlid

The Celebration of Mawlid

From Qur'an and Sunnah

The celebration, commemoration and observance of the birth, life, achievements and favours of the Holy Prophet (sallalahu alayhi wa salaam) upon the ummah are a practice, which is meritorious, and a necessary requirement for the education, information, and awareness of the ummah. That Prophet upon whom was revealed the Holy Quran, who gave us Islam, knowledge of Allah, a pattern of life second to none, who will be with us and intercede for us on the day of Qiyaamah to whom we owe so much of any amount of homage that we pay to him will never be sufficient. Expressions of love by the ummah in the form of Meelad un Nabi, Seerat un Nabi, etc. are humble efforts by the ummah to show gratitude to Allah for His favour by blessing us with such a Nabi, and to the Nabi for bringing us out of the darkness of ignorance. This is also coupled with the practical application of the sunnah and the teachings of the Holy Quran. What is it that occurs in such gatherings and what is the basis of the establishment of such gatherings?

The essence of Mawlid un Nabi is to remember and observe, discuss and recite the event of the birth and the advent of the Holy Prophet (sallalahu alayhi wa salaam). The pregnancy of Sayyida Aamina the miracles of the birth of the Prophet (sallalahu alayhi wa salaam), His lineage, his suckling by Sayyida Halima Sa'diyya, Na'at (Praise of the Holy Prophet in poetry or prose, etc.). This, if observed, recited or read, individually or collectively- in private or in a gathering- seated or standing whether recited in poetry or prose is all the observance of Meelad un Nabi. The discussion of the message, character and teachings of the Holy Prophet (sallalahu alayhi wa salaam) are also discussed in great detail. To celebrate the birth of the Holy Prophet and to express happiness and joy at the advent of the Holy Prophet (sallalahu alayhi wa salaam), and to give expression to this happiness by applying scent or giving charity, feeding people is what occurs at a "ceremonial" Mawlid an-Nabi. These practices are all in keeping with Quranic directives: And solemnly rehearse/remember Allah's favours on you, And the fact that He sent down to you the book and wisdom for your instruction. (2:231)

The advent of the Holy Prophet (sallalahu alayhi wa salaam) is the greatest favour of Allah, and Allah Himself affirms His favour upon mankind by sending His beloved Holy Prophet (sallalahu alayhi wa salaam). Allah did confer a great favour on the believers when he sent among them a messenger from among themselves, rehearsing unto them His signs purifying them and instructing them in scripture and wisdom, while before that, they had been in manifest error. (3:164) In Mawlid an-Nabi this favour of Allah is rehearsed and remembered, as Allah Himself has commemorated in this Quranic verse. Hence the observance of Mawlid an-Nabi is in keeping with this sunnah (practice) of Allah as expounded in this Quranic verse.

And the bounty of Thy Lord rehearse and proclaim. (93:11)

The birth of the Holy Prophet (sallalahu alayhi wa salaam) is the greatest bounty of Allah upon the believers; hence to proclaim and celebrate this bounty of Allah as practised in Mawlid an-Nabi is in keeping with this clear command of Allah in the Holy Quran.

Now hath come to you a messenger from amongst yourselves: it grieves him that you should suffer, ardently anxious is he over you: to the believers is he most kind and merciful. (9:128)

In this verse Allah first speaks of the advent of the Holy Prophet (which encompasses his birth), then the lineage and nobility of the Holy Prophet (sallalahu alayhi wa salaam) and then Allah extols and praises the virtues of the Holy Prophet (sallalahu alayhi wa salaam). These are the very acts, which are also performed in Mawlid an-Nabi.

Say: In the bounty of Allah and in his mercy, in that rejoice: that is better than the wealth they hoard. (10:58)

Here Allah commands us to rejoice in the bounty and mercy He has bestowed. What greater bounty can one rejoice about than the bounty of the sending of the Holy Prophet (sallalahu alayhi wa salaam) whom Allah has called in the Holy Quran the Mercy for all the Worlds. (21:107)

In this manner there are various verses of the Holy Quran wherein Allah has mentioned the advent of the Holy Prophet. From these clear Quranic verses we can then deduce that the observance, the commemoration of the birth and advent of the Holy prophet is a practice of Allah, practice which we have also been commanded to practice. Allah has also commemorated the "Mawlid"(birth) of other prophets such as Sayyiduna Isa (alayhi salaam) and Sayyiduna Moosa (alayhi salaam) in great detail in the Holy Quran as well.

The observance of the birth of the Holy Prophet (sallalahu alayhi wa salaam) is also a sunnah of the previous prophets who foretold their respective nations of the birth and advent of the Holy Prophet (sallalahu alayhi wa salaam) in great detail. This can be found in the Torah (Old Testament) as well as the Bible (Gospel, New Testament). Allah also affirmed this commemoration of the birth of the Holy Prophets by other prophets such as Sayyiduna Isa:

And remember Jesus the son of Mary said: O children of Israel, I am the messenger of Allah sent to you confirming the Torah (which came) before me, and giving glad tidings of a messenger to come after me whose name shall be Ahmad. (61:6)

The arrival of the greatest prophet of Allah and his message was also observed by Allah and all the prophets (alayhim salaam) in a special gathering where Allah recited and discussed the characteristics and attributes of the Holy Prophet (sallalahu alayhi wa salaam) and took a pledge/covenant from all the prophets that they would believe in him and be his helpers:

Behold! Allah took the covenant of the Prophets, saying: I give you a book and wisdom: then comes to you a messenger, confirming what is with you; do ye believe in him and render him help Allah said: Do ye agree, and take this my covenant as binding on you? They said: We agree. He said: Then bear witness, and I am with you among the witnesses. If any turn back after this, they are perverted transgressors. (3:81-82)

Subhanallah. Allah indeed has perfected deen wherein he has made everything clear and emphasised His injunctions so that we may act upon it and not fall into dispute and be lead astray.

The Holy Prophet (sallalahu alayhi wa salaam) also rehearsed and commemorated his 'mawlid' (birth), his lineage, his nobility and his prophethood on the pulpit as- is to be found in Mishkaat ul Masaabih in the chapter on 'Virtues of the Holy Prophet'. The Holy Prophet (sallalahu alayhi wa salaam) incidentally used to fast every Monday and when asked as to the reason He replied that it were the day of his birth and the day of the first revelation. We can understand from this that the Holy Prophet (sallalahu alayhi wa salaam) observed his 'mawlid' weekly, individually, as well as in the gathering of the sahaba in the masjid on the mimbar.

Even a kafir (unbeliever) such as Abu Lahab at the rejoicing of the birth of his nephew (the Holy Prophet) for the freeing of a slave on this occasion is given respite every Monday from the punishment of Allah because he celebrated the birth of the Holy Prophet (sallalahu alayhi wa salaam). (Bukhari -Chapter on Marriage). Such is the mercy of Allah upon one whom Allah has cursed in the Holy Quran because he celebrated the birth of the Holy Prophet (sallalahu alayhi wa salaam). May Allah reward a Muslim if he does the same Inshallah.

The sahaba -e- kiraam would also gather to read, recite and rehearse the birth, advent attributes and praise of the Holy Prophet (sallalahu alayhi wa salaam) as mentioned in detail the Torah. (Mishkaat- Chapter on Virtues of the Holy Prophet). The sahaba such as Hassaan bin Thabit and Ka'ab bin Zuhayr (radiallahu anhum) would also compose Na'at in praise of the Holy Prophet (sallalahu alayhi wa salaam). The Prophet (sallalahu alayhi wa salaam) himself would set a platform for them for this purpose and would make dua to Allah to let Gibreel (alayhi salaam) assist them in their recitation of Na'at. (Allahumma ayyidhu bi ruhil Quds) (Mishkaat- Chapter on poetry)

Great ulema, jurists, authorities of hadith, commentators on the Holy Quran have also discussed the merit of Mawlid an-Nabi, and have sanctioned this act.

Great ulema-e-haqq such as Ibn Hajar Haitami Hafiz Ibn Hajar Asqalani, Ibn Jawzi, Imam Sakhaawi Imam Sayyuti have regarded Mawlid an-Nabi as mustahab. Imam Asqalani (who is the famous commentator on Bukhari called Fath ul Bari and Imam Sayyuti (author of the famous tafsir Jalaalain) have written books on the permissibility of Mawlid an-Nabi. Contemporary ulema such as Shah Waliullah, Haji Imdaadullah Muhajir Makki (rahamtullahi alaihim) have also observed and sanctioned Mawlid an-Nabi. Haji Imdaadullah- who is the Pir-o- murshid of the great leaders and founders of the school of Deoband - in his book Faisalah haft Masa'la in chapter 8 himself states:

The standpoint of this insignificant is that I participate in the gathering of Mawlid an-Nabi, and I regard it as a great barakah and I hold it annually and enjoy and receive spiritual benefit from it.

That which the believers regard as good is regarded as good by Allah.

My ummah will never agree on that which leads astray.

(Hadith-Mirqaat-Baab-ul- I'tisaam)

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