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The Beauteous Fragrances

Of Celebrating the Birth of Prophet Muhammad

صلى الله عليه وسلم

Download: The_Beauteous_Fragrances_formatted3.pdf

 

Milad An-Nabiyy

An Iridescence of Bliss

 

FOREWORD

This compilation that I called "The Beauteous Fragrances of Celebrating the Birth of Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم Milad An-Nabiyy An Iridescence of Bliss" is a humble selection from the writings and sayings of some of the great scholars of the People of Truth, Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jama^ah, among the Ash^ariyys and the Maturidiyys, and is primarily based on the work of His Eminence, Shaykh ^Abdullah al-Harariyy entitled:

Ar-Rawa’ih Az-Zakiyyah Fi Mawlid Khayr al-Bariyyah

(The Beauteous Fragrances of Celebrating the Birth

of the Best of the Creations)

Most Muslims today are Ash^ariyys who are the followers of Imam Abu Al-Hasan Al-Ash^ariyy and they are of the Shafi^yy school of thought. A significant number of Muslims are Maturidiyys who are the followers of Imam Abu Mansur Al-Maturidiyy and they are of the Hanafiyy school of thought. Both schools reflect the one and same creed of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jama^ah.

 

Sine 1150 years the astute scholars and knights of knowledge of the People of Truth, Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jama^ah, have been among the Ash^ariyys, primarily, and the Maturidiyys.

The purpose of selecting and translating this work is to highlight to the English reader the scholars’ support for the practice of celebrating the birth of the Prophet, their reasons for judging it as a good and rewardable innovation, and that they are the authority upon which Muslims at large--in the East and the West--rely in implementing this honorable practice.

Contrary to the vast majority of Muslims, scholars and laypeople alike, the Wahhabi faction—just a handful of 1.5M supporters among 1.3B Muslims worldwide-- deem such honorable practice as devious and grounds for blasphemy. Yet the Wahhabies have no way of attempting to transmit the knowledge of the religion except through the narrations and reports of the Ash^ariyy and the Maturidiyy scholars.

 

Riad Nachef

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

PAGE

 

Forward……………………………………………….……............3

Table of Contents……………………………………………..........5

INTRODUCTION.................................................................... 6

Innovations: Meaning and Judgment........................................... 12

Examples of Good Innovations.................................................. 17

Examples of Bad Innovations Related to the Creed...................... 23

Examples of Bad Innovations Related to the Practice................... 24

Hadiths Mentioning Innovation (Bid^ah)

And Their Meanings..................................................... 26

Celebrating the Mawlid

And the Proof of its Permissibility................................. 29

Verses of the Qur’an that Honor Prophet Muhammad................ 35

The Honorable Genealogy of the Prophet.................................. 38

Aminah’s Pregnancy with Prophet Muhammad.......................... 40

The Honorable Birth of the Prophet.......................................... 41

The Signs that Accompanied the Prophet’s Birth....................... 44

The Time and Place of the Prophet’s Birth............................... 46

The Names and Distinguished Epithets of the Prophet............... 47

The Story of the Nursing of the Prophet

And the Splitting Open of His Chest............................ 50

A Glance at the Prophet’s Genuine Attributes,

Honorable Merits, and Pure Manners.......................... 55

Warning Against Some Works Authored

In the Name of the Mawlid (For the Misguidance

Contained Therein)...................................................... 60

SUPPLICATION................................................................. 67

ENDNOTES....................................................................... 68

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

I begin with the name of Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.  I praise Him and I seek His generosity and forgiveness. I humbly ask Him to raise the rank of Prophet Muhammad and protect his nation from what he feared for them.  I profess that no one is God except Allah, and I reaffirm my belief about Allah as beautifully stated by the famous Shafi^iyy scholar, Shaykh Fakhrud-Din Ibn ^Asakir, who died in 620 AH:

Allah is the only God in His Dominion.  He created the entire world, the upper and lower, the ^Arsh and Kursiyy, the heavens and earth, and what is in them and in between them.

All the creation is subjugated by His Power.  No speck moves except by His will.

He has no manager for the creation with Him, and has no partner in Dominion.

He is attributed with Life and His Existence does not come to an end (al‑Qayyum).  He is not seized by somnolence or sleep.

He is the One Who knows about the unforeseen and what is evidenced by His creation.  Nothing on earth or in heaven is hidden from Him.  He knows what is on land and in the sea.  Not a leaf does fall but He knows about it.  There is no grain in the darkness of earth, or anything that is moist or dry except which is inscribed in a clear Book.  His Knowledge encompasses everything.  He knows the count of all things.

He does whatever He wills.  He has the power to do whatever He wills.

To Him is the Dominion and He needs none; To Him belong the Glory and Everlastingness.  To Him are the Ruling and the Creating (al‑Qada').  He has the Names of Perfection.  No one hinders what He decreed.  No one prevents what He gives.  He does in His dominion whatever He wills.  He rules His creation with whatever He wills.

He does not hope for reward and does not fear punishment.  There is no right on Him that is binding, and no one exercises rule over Him.

Every endowment from Him is due to His Generosity and every punishment from Him is just.  He is not questioned about what He does, but they are questioned.

He existed before the creation.  He is not attributed with a before or an after, an above or a below, a right or a left, an in front of or a behind, a whole or a part.

It must not be said:  When was He?  Or Where was He?  Or How is He?  He exists without a place.  He created the universe and willed for the existence of time.  He is not bound to time and is not designated with place.

His management of one matter does not distract Him from another.  Delusions do not apply to Him, and He is not encompassed by the mind.  He is not conceivable in the mind.  He is not imagined in the self nor pictured in delusions.  He is not grasped with delusions or thoughts.

{لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَىْءٌ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ}

This ayah means:  [Absolutely nothing is like Him   and He is attributed with Hearing and Sight.]

I profess that Muhammad is the slave and messenger of Allah and I confirm my conviction about Muhammad and the prophets before him, may Allah raise their ranks, as profoundly elucidated in the Mutamimah of Ibn ^Asakir:

Know, may Allah be merciful to you by guiding you to the acceptable deeds, that our Master Muhammad, the son of ^Abdullah, the son of ^Abdul Muttalib, the son of Hashim, the son of ^Abdu Manaf, the son of Qusayy, the son of Kilab, the son of Murrah, the son of Ka^b, the son of Lu'ayy, the son of Ghalib, the son of Fihr, the son of Malik, the son of an‑Nadr, the son of Kinanah, the son of Khuzaymah, the son of Mudrikah, the son of Ilyas, the son of Mudar, the son of Nizar, the son of Ma^add, the son of ^Adnan—is the slave of Allah, His Messenger, His Prophet, and His Khalil.

He is the best of the entire creation, and the leader of his followers who will have shining faces and illuminated upper arms and lower legs on the Day of Judgment.  His Lord sent him to the humans and jinn as a luminous lantern—giving good tidings and warnings, and calling to worship Allah by His Will.

He received the Revelation through the entrusted Jibril who is the head of the honored angels.  Allah created them from light.  Obedience is inherent in them, and Allah gave them the strength to obey.  They do not sleep and they do not get tired.  They do not eat or drink.  They do not disobey Allah, but rather they perform all what Allah ordered them to do.

His Book is the Wise Dhikr.[1] His laws are straight, truthful, and easy.  His nation is the best of the nations.  No human has a higher status than his, and no creature can attain his status.

He is the last of the Prophets and their leader, the most knowledgeable among them and the highest in status, the most articulate and the strongest, the most beautiful, brave, courageous, and generous.  He had the most signs among them and the most outstanding miracles.

All the prophets were people of merit and patience, belief and certainty, truthfulness and religiosity, chastity and impeccability, intelligence and brilliance, trustworthiness; and conveyance of the Message.  The prophets were numerous—the first of them was Adam, peace be upon him, who was created from clay as an unimpaired human in the best of forms.  After him among his progeny are:  Shith, Idriss, Nuh, Hud, Salih, Shu^ayb, Ibrahim, Lut, Isma^il, Ishaq, Ya^qub, Yusuf, Musa, Harun, Yusha^, Yunus, Ayyub, Dhu-l-Kifl, Ilyas, al-Yasa^, Dawud, Sulayman, Zakariyya, Yahya, ^Isa, al‑Khadir, and many others.

Their religion is one—Islam.  They are the best of Allah's creations.  They are alive, praying in their graves.  They are al‑wasilah, they intercede on the Day of Judgment, and the intercession of our prophet is the greatest.

The summation of all what was mentioned is included in the hadith of the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam:

<< الإيمان أن تؤمن بالله وملائكته وكتبه ورسله واليوم الاخر والقدر خيره وشره >>

<<The belief is to believe in Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, the Day of Judgment, and destiny—what is good and what is evil.>>  This hadith is sahih, related by Muslim.

Without a doubt, our beloved Prophet Muhammad, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, the Trustworthy, conveyed the full message from Allah.  He delivered to the nation what grants it success in this life and everlasting winning in the Hereafter.  May Allah reward him greatly for the prolific benefits he delivered to us.

Thereafter, every year when the month of Rabi^ al-Awwal appears, it brings with it the fragrant tones and shades of the memory of the honorable birth of Prophet Muhammad, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam.  The birth of the last prophet and best of all creations was a beacon of light shining in the vast desert, spreading throughout the entire world.  His birth turned the sun-scorched desert into a garden that leads to Paradise, providing the world with the glittering brilliance of Islam.  His message altered the course of the world from prevailing dungeons of ignorance into sparkling gardens of knowledge and belief.  Those who followed his message were raised from the pits of sinfulness to the proud peaks of obedience.  Those who genuinely follow his message shall be bestowed with the everlasting enjoyments of Paradise.

Celebrating the birth of our Master Muhammad is sound, gratifying, and rewarding practice, for it reflects our delight for the birth of the one whom Allah sent as a mercy for us.  Among its merits are such rewardable practices as joining with other Muslims in remembering Allah, praising the Prophet and recalling the events of his honorable life story and learning rich lessons from them, feeding the poor, and reciting verses of the Qur’an.  In performing these and other good deeds one is hopeful to be rewarded by Allah.

The reputable Muslim scholars of the East and the West regarded the practice of celebrating the Mawlid as honorable, good, and rewardable.  Many of them authored books to praise and highlight the legitimacy of this practice.[2] This compilation is a humble selection from the writings and sayings of some of the great scholars of the People of Truth, Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jama^ah, among the Ash^ariyys and the Maturidiyys, and is primarily based on the work of his Eminence, Shaykh ^Abdullah al-Harariyy entitled: Ar-Rawa’ih Az-Zakiyyah Fi Mawlid Khayr Al-Bariyyah (The Beauteous Fragrances of Celebrating the Birth of the Best of the Creations).  The purpose of selecting and translating this work is to highlight to the English readers the scholars’ support for the practice of celebrating the birth of the Prophet and their reasons for judging it as a good and rewardable innovation.

We encourage those Muslims who celebrate the birth of the Prophet to continue their practice and to encourage others to do so.  We hope to convince those who have been deluded and who are doubtful about the legitimacy of this practice, to listen to the words of the reputable scholars on this issue and to stop depriving themselves (and others) of the rewards they otherwise might earn.

 

INNOVATIONS:  MEANING AND JUDGMENT

 

According to the Arabic language, the term ‘innovation’ (bid^ah), refers to any newly introduced matter, one not based on a preceding example.   In the religious context, the innovation (bid^ah) is any newly introduced matter, one neither mentioned in the Qur’an nor ordered by the Prophet. Ibn ^Arabi said:  “…innovations are not dispraised due to the term “innovation” or its meaning.  Rather, innovations are dispraised if they contradict the rules of the Religion and if they invite to misguidance.”

There are two categories of innovations:

The Innovation of Misguidance.  The innovation of misguidance is the innovation which contradicts the Qur’an and the Sunnah.

  1. The  Innovation of Guidance.  The innovation of guidance is the innovation which conforms to the Qur’an and the Sunnah.

Categorizing innovations into these two types is derived from the hadith of the Prophet narrated by al-Bukhariyy and Muslim in their Sahihs from the route of ^A’ishah in which she said:  “The Messenger of Allah said:

<< مَنْ أَحْدَثَ فى أَمْرِنَا هذا مَا لَيْسَ مِنْهُ فَهُوَ رَدٌّ >>

(which means) :  <<The matter innovated in our Religion which does not comply with it is judged as rejected.>>” Muslim narrated this saying of the Prophet with the following words:

<< مَنْ عَمِلَ عَمَلاً لَيْسَ عليه أَمْرُنَا فَهُوَ رَدٌّ >>

This means:  <<The one who does something that does not conform to our Religion is judged as rejected.>>”

This saying of the Prophet on the one hand elucidates that it is not just any new matter in general which is judged as rejected, but rather only that new matter which does not conform to the rules of the Religion.  On the other hand, it is understood if it conforms to the rules of the Religion, it is not rejected.

Likewise, the same meaning is understood from the saying of the Prophet that was narrated by Muslim in his Sahih from the route of Jarir Ibn ^Abdullah al-Bajliyy in which he said:  “The Messenger of Allah said:

<< مَنْ سَنَّ فى الإسْلامِ سُنَّةً حَسَنَةً فَلَهُ أَجْرُها وَأجْرُ مَنْ عَمِلَ بها بَعْدَهُ مِنْ غير أن يَنقص من أجُورِهم شىء ومَنْ سَنَّ فى الإسْلامِ سُنَّةً سِيّئَةً كان عليه وِزْرُها وَوِزْرُ مَنْ عَمِلَ بها من بعده من غير أن ينقص من أوزارهم شىء >>

This means:  <<The one who innovates a good innovation in Islam shall be rewarded for it and similarly rewarded when another imitates him in performing that deed—without the reward of the latter being decreased. And, the one who innovates a bad innovation in Islam will be sinful for it and will similarly bear a sin when another imitates him in that bad innovation—without any of the latter’s sin being lessened.>>”

In Fath al-Bari, (Ibn Hajar’s explanation of al-Bukhariyy) the Hafidh Ibn Hajar explained the statements of Ibn Shihab and ^Abdur-Rahman Ibn ^Abdul Qari as were reported by al-Bukhariyy in his Sahih, the Chapter on Tarawih Prayers.  Ibn Shihab said, “At the time of the death of the Prophet, it was not the practice of the people.”  (Ibn Hajar said this means the people did not pray the Tarawih Prayer in congregation.)  Ibn Shihab continued to say, “The situation stayed as such during the caliphate of Abu Bakr and part of the caliphate of ^Umar.”  ^Abdur-Rahman Ibn ^Abd Al-Qariyyii said, “I went out to the mosque one evening during Ramadan with ^Umar Ibn al-Khattab.  We found the people praying as individuals and in small congregations.  ^Umar said he saw it better if all the people would congregate behind one imam, and he congregated them behind Ubayy Ibn Ka^b.  Then, on another evening during Ramadan, I went out to the mosque with ^Umar and we found the people congregating behind one imam^Umar said:  (نعم البدعة هذه), and in the narration of Al-Muwatta’ of Imam Malik, ^Umar said:  (نعمت البدعة هذه).”  Both narrations contain the word bid^ah (innovation) and mean:  “Indeed this is a good innovation.”

The Hafidh Ibn Hajar commented on ^Umar’s statement by saying, “The innovation is the matter which is done without a preceding example.  Religiously it sometimes means a matter done against the Sunnah and as such the innovation is dispraised.  However, to be more thorough, if the innovation falls under what is religiously good, then it is good.  If it falls under what is religiously bad, then it is bad.  Otherwise, the innovation is permissible (mubah).  The innovation can also be classified according to the five judgments." He means the judgments pertaining to the doings of the slave, i.e., obligatory, recommended, permissible, disliked, or forbidden.

Al-Bukhariyy reported in his Sahih the following saying of Rifa^ah Ibn Rafi^ az-Zarqiyy:

One day we were praying behind the Prophet.  When he straightened up from ruku^ he said:   سَمِعَ اللهُ لِمَنْ حَمِدَه (sami^llahu liman hamidah).  A man praying behind the Prophet added:  رَبَّنا ولَكَ الحَمْدُ حمدًا كثيرًا طيبًا مباركًا فيه    (rabbana wa lakalhamdu hamdan kathiran tayyiban mubarakan fihi).  When the Prophet terminated his prayer he inquired about the person who made the addition.  When the person identified himself, the Prophet told him:

<<رأيتُ بضعةً وثلاثينً مَلَكًا يبتدرونَها أيُّهُمْ يَكْتُبُها أول>>

This means:  <<I saw some (over) thirty angels rushing to write it down first.>>

The Hafidh Ibn Hajar, commenting on this report (in Fath al-Bari) said that it holds the proof that it is permissible to innovate a statement of remembrance (dhikr) during the prayer that the Prophet did not say, as long as it does not contradict what the Prophet had established.

 

Abu Dawud (in his Sunan) reported that ^Abdullah Ibn ^Umar used to add the wordsوَحْدَهُ لا شَرِيكَ لَهُ  in reciting the Tashahhud and that he used to say, “I have added that.”

Imam an-Nawawiyy (in his book, Tahdhib Al-Asma’ Wal-Lughat) said, “Innovation in The Religious Law refers to innovating a matter that was not done at the time of the Prophet.  It is divided into good and bad.

The astute Imam, Abu Muhammad ^Abdul ^Aziz Ibn ^Abdus-Salam (in Al-Qawa^id) said, “The innovation is divided into obligatory, forbidden, recommended, disliked and permissible.  The way to determine the type of innovation is to measure it by the scale of the Religion.  If it falls under the rules of being obligatory, then it is of the obligatory type. If it falls under the rules of being forbidden, then it is of the forbidden type.  By the same analogy it would be classified as recommended, disliked, or permissible.”

Ibn ^Abidin (in “Radd Al-Muhtar) said  “The innovation can be an obligatory matter such as establishing proofs to refute the factions of misguidance or learning Arabic grammar which facilitates one’s comprehension of the Qur’an and the hadith.  The innovation can be a recommended matter such as establishing schools, monitoring stations and every charitable matter that did not exist at the time of the Prophet.  The innovation can be a disliked matter such as ornamenting mosques.  The innovation can be a permissible matter such as excessive eating and drinking and lavish clothing.”

In Rawdat at-Talibin, Imam an-Nawawiyy said about Supplication of Qunut:"This is what is reported about the Prophet and the Scholars added to it :(ولا يعز من عاديت) before (تباركت وتعاليت) and (ولك الحمد على ما قضيت استغفرك وأتوب إليك)after it. He proceeded to say, “Our companions said there is nothing wrong with this addition.  Abu Hamid and al-Bandaniji and others said it is a liked addition.”

In his book “Manaqib ash-Shafi^iyy,Imam al-Bayhaqiyy narrated the saying of ash-Shafi^iyy:  “The innovated matters are of two types.  One of them contradicts the book of the Qur’an, the Sunnah, the doings or sayings of the companions, or the scholarly consensus.  This type is the innovation of misguidance.  The other one is the innovation of goodness which does not contradict any of the aforementioned.  This is an innovation which is not dispraised.”

 

EXAMPLES OF GOOD INNOVATIONS

 

  1. 1. The “Rahbaniyyah;” a practice innovated by the followers of Prophet ^Isa.

In Surat al-Hadid, Ayah 27 Allah said:

{وَجَعَلْنَا فِي قُلُوبِ الَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوهُ رَأْفَةً وَرَحْمَةً وَرَهْبَانِيَّةً ابْتَدَعُوهَا مَا كَتَبْنَاهَا عَلَيْهِمْ إِلَّا ابْتِغَاءَ رِضْوَانِ اللَّهِ }

This Ayah contains the proof that there are good innovations due to that  Allah praised the believing Muslims among the nation of Prophet ^Isa who correctly followed him in the matters of the belief and in clearing Allah from resembling the creation, for the Rahbaniyyah they innovated.  Allah praised those followers of Prophet ^Isa because they were people of sympathy and mercy, and for innovating the practice of Rahbaniyyah, which is giving up the worldly matters to an extent that they would not marry because they desired to dedicate their lives entirely for worshipping Allah.

In Verse 27 of Surat al-Hadid, Allah established that He did not obligate Prophet ^Isa’s followers with the Rahbaniyyah, and He praised them for innovating this practice which was not ordained upon them in the Injil or in the sayings of Prophet ^Isa.  Rather, this was something they innovated and chose to do to exaggerate in obedience to Allah and be accepted by Him.  Those who practiced the Rahbaniyyah chose not to marry, so as not to occupy their time in providing the obligatory spending on the spouse and family members.  Their living quarters were modest structures built of clay in secluded areas, and there, they dedicated all their time for worshipping Allah.

2. For the prisoner to pray two (2) rak^ahs prior to his execution by his captors—a practice first begun by Khubayb Ibn ^Adiyy (one of the best of the Companions).

In his Sahih, al-Bukhariyy narrates the story of Khubayb as follows:  Ibrahim Ibn Musa told me that Hisham Ibn Yusuf told us from the route of Ibn Ma^mar from the route of az-Zuhriyy from the route of ^Amr Ibn Abu Sufyan ath-Thaqafiyy from Abu Hurayrah that he said:

The Prophet sent a delegation and assigned ^Asim Ibn Thabit as their leader.  ^Asim was the grandfather of ^Asim Ibn ^Umar Ibn al-Khattab.  They headed towards their destination until they reached an area between ^Usafan and Makkah.  When the news of this delegation reached a group of blasphemers called Banu Lahyan, these blasphemers gathered one-hundred (100) skilled archers and followed the delegations trail intending to kill them.  The Banu Lahyan troop stopped in one of the houses where they found some pits from the dates of Madinah left behind.  Knowing they were on the right trail, they continued until they caught up with them.

^Asim and his men sought the protection of a nearby hill overlooking the terrain called Fadfad, but they were surrounded by the blasphemers.  At that time, Bani Lahyan gave their word that they would not kill them if they would surrender.  ^Asim said, “As far as I am concerned, I shall not surrender to a kafir. O Allah, inform our Prophet of that for us.”  They fought until ^Asim and six others were killed by the arrows of Banu Lahyan.  When Khubayb, Zayd, and a third man were the only ones left alive, the Banu Lahyan repeated their promise.  Believing their word, the three Companions surrendered to them.  However, as soon as they came down from their position on the hill, the men of Bani Lahyan began to tie them up using the strings from their own bows.  The third companion said, “This is the first sign of betrayal,” whereupon he resisted the surrender and was killed.  The Bani Lahyan took Khubayb and Zayd and sold them in Makkah.

The blasphemers of the tribe of Harith Ibn ^Amir Ibn Nawfal bought Khubayb, because Khubayb was the one who had killed Harith during the Battle of Badr.  He remained their prisoner for a time until they decided to execute him.  At that time he asked to borrow a razor blade from one of the women of the tribe so he could shave.  She lent him a blade.  This same woman, who later on became Muslim, reported:  “I was not paying attention, and one of my sons went to our prisoner, Khubayb, and sat in his lap.  I jumped, terrified, knowing that I had lent him a razor blade.  Khubayb read the fear on my face and said, “Are you afraid that I might kill him?  God willing, I shall not.”  In telling about Khubayb, this woman said, “I have not seen any prisoner of war better than Khubayb.  I observed him, though he was chained in iron, eating grapes at a time when the whole of Makkah did not have a single grape.  It was surely a sustenance given to him from Allah.”

When they took Khubayb to the place of his execution he said, “Let me pray two (2) rak^ahs, and he did.  Then he told them, “I would have prayed more had it not been the case that you would think I am stalling my execution out of fear of death.”  Then Khubayb authored several verses of poetry:

فلستُ ابالى حين اقتل مسلما

على اى شق كان فى الله مصرعى

وذلك فى ذات الإله وإن يشأ

يبارك على أوصال شِلو ممزع

This mean:  “If I get killed as a Muslim for the sake of Allah, I shall not care on which of my sides I receive the fatal strike.  If Allah wills, He shall bless me even if my body was torn apart in pieces.”  ^Uqbah Ibn al-Harith killed Khubayb.

The tribe of Quraysh had sent some people to where ^Asim had fallen to bring a part of his body to them, by which they could identify him and confirm his demise.  They wanted to make sure ^Asim was dead because he had killed one of their prominent men during the Battle of BadrAllah, however, protected ^Asim’s body from the people of Quraysh, and they were not able to obtain any part of his body.

3. The addition of writing dots on certain letters of the Arabic alphabet to easily differentiate them from other similarly shaped letters in the Book of the Qur’an—an innovation of Yahya Ibn Ya^mar.

One of the very good innovations is the addition of dots to distinguish certain letters from others in the written Book of the Qur’an.  This good innovation was introduced by Yahya Ibn Ya^mar.  The Companions who had first written down the verses of the Qur’an that were revealed to the Prophet wrote the Arabic letters like the ba’ (ب), ta’ (ت), and the like without the dots.  Likewise written without dots on the Arabic letters were the six books of the Qur’an that ^Uthman Ibn ^Affan ordered to be written and distributed to the different countries including Basra, Makkah, and others.  The copy that was left with ^Uthman was even without dots.

Yahya Ibn Ya^mar, who was the first to introduce the dots to the letters of the Qur’an, was among the followers of the Companions (tabi^in) and was a man of knowledge, merit, and piety.  Ibn Abu Dawud as-Sajastani narrated in his book, Al-Masahif:  “^Abdullah told us that Muhammad Ibn ^Abdullah al-Makhzumi told us that Ahmad Ibn Nasr Ibn Malik told us that al-Husayn Ibn al-Walid told us from the route of Harun Ibn Musa that he said:  ‘The first to introduce the dots to the letters of the Mushafs was Yahya Ibn Ya^mar’.” When Yahya initiated this innovation, the scholars did not denounce his innovation even though the Prophet had not ordered the dots to be added.[i]

4.   Calling a second adhan (call to prayer) for the Friday Prayer—an innovation of ^Uthman Ibn ^Affan, may Allah raise his rank.

In his Sahih, al-Bukhariyy reported:   “Adam told us that Ibn Abu Dhi’b told us from the route of az-Zuhirryy from the route of Assa’ib Ibn Yazid that during the Prophet's time and the caliphates of Abu Bakr and ^Umar, the call for the Friday Prayer (adhan) used to be performed when the imam sat on the pulpit.  During the caliphate of ^Uthman, when the Muslim population grew larger, ^Uthman enforced a third call on the region of az-Zawra’ in Madinah."  In his book, Fath Al-Bari, Ibn Hajar reported the narration of Waki^ from the route of Abu Dhi’b:  “At the time of the Prophet and the caliphates of Abu Bakr and ^Umar , the adhan on Friday used to be two (2) calls.”  Ibn Khuzaymah said the two calls mentioned refer to the usual adhan and iqamahIbn Hajar then explained the saying that ^Uthman enforced a third call, that is, an adhan added after the usual adhan and iqamah.  It may also be called a first adhan in that it was added before the usual adhan and iqamah.  Also it may be called a second adhan in that it followed the usual adhan as in the narration of ^Aqil.

5. The Innovation of Celebrating the Birth of the Prophet.

An entire chapter in this book is devoted to this subject.  See pages 24-29.

6. The muezzin (caller of adhan), calling salah on the Prophet after calling the adhan.

The innovation of saying aloud:” as-salah ^alan-nabiyy” after the adhan-- by the muezzin-- was initiated after the year 700 AH;  Prior to that it was not called out aloud.

7.
Writing sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam ( صلى الله عليه و سلم) after writing the name of the Prophet.

This practice is widely spread among the Muslims and can be found in literally every authored religious work, yet this was not a practice that the Prophet himself did.  The letters that the Prophet sent to kings and leaders were addressed, “From Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah, to so and so…”

8.
The Sufi Orders (Tariqas).

Among the good innovations are the Sufi Orders started by pious, religious people including The Rifa^iyy Order, the Qadiri Order, and about forty (40) other orders—which are all, in essence, good innovations.  The unfortunate fact that some of those who attribute themselves to these orders have actually deviated from them has no bearing on the authenticity and goodness of these orders as originally founded.

 

EXAMPLES OF BAD INNOVATIONS

 

There are two categories of bad innovations, one pertaining to the creed and one related to the practice.

A.     INNOVATIONS OF MISGUIDANCE RELATED TO THE CREED

The bad innovations that contradict the creed of the Prophet and the Companions are numerous.  Examples of such innovations of misguidance are:

1.
Denouncing the attribute of Destining of Allah—an innovation of the Qadariyyah.

Ma^bad al-Jahniyy, in Basrah, was the first to innovate this horrendous innovation of misguidance, as was reported by Imam Muslim in his Sahih from the route of Yahya Ibn Ya^mar.  Those who followed in this misguidance are called the Qadariyyah.  They claim that Allah neither decrees nor creates the voluntary actions of the slaves but rather it is the slave himself who creates his own voluntary actions.  Some of them claim that Allah decreed and created goodness but not evil.  Other examples of their misguidance is their claim that the enormous sinner is neither a believer nor a kafir—rather he is in a state in between those two-- and will be in Hellfire forever.  Moreover, they deny the fact that some Muslim sinners shall be granted the intercession as well as denying the fact that Allah will be seen in the Hereafter by the People of Paradise. 

2.
Claiming the slave does not have a will—the innovation of the Jahmiyyah.

The Jahmiyyah are the followers of Jahm Ibn Safwan.  Another name for them is al-Jabriyyah.  They claim the slave is compelled in his doings and has no choice whatsoever in what he does.  Rather, they say he is like a feather floating in the air which has no choice in its own direction— it moves left or right depending on whichever way the wind blows.

3.
Claiming as kafir the Muslim who commits enormous sins—the innovation of the Khawarij.

The Khawarij are a group who revolted and went against the rightly guided caliph, Imam ^Aliyy Ibn Abi Talib.  They claim the Muslim who commits an enormous sin blasphemes by that.

4.
Claiming that there is no beginning to the creation, i.e., claiming that the universe—like Allah—exists without a beginning.

Such a claim contradicts the judgment of the sound mind and the explicit reliable religious texts.

 

B.     INNOVATIONS OF MISGUIDANCE RELATED TO PRACTICE

Innovations of misguidance pertaining to practice that contradict the methodology of the Prophet and the Companions and contradict the rules of the Religion are numerous.  Examples of such innovations of misguidance are:

1.
Writing the letter sad (ص) when writing the name of the Prophet.  What is even worse is writing (SAW) (صلعم).

2.
Performing Dry Ablution (tayammum) using carpets and pillows that do not contain purifying dust.

3.    Perverting the name of Allah when making dhikr, as do many of those who claim to be following Sufi orders.

Some pervert the name Allah to Allh with leaving out the alif of the madd (the extension represented in a).  Some omit the ha’ ه) ) and say ‘alla’اللا) ).  Some even say Aah, which the linguists unanimously agree is a term used as an expression of pain and ailment.  Al-Khalil Ibn Ahmad said it is not permissible to eliminate the (alif of madd)  (a) from the term Allah.

Explanation of the Hadith of the Prophet Narrated by Abu Dawud from the ٌroute of al-^Irbad Ibn Sariyah

The Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, said:

<<وَ إِيَّاكُم وَمُحدَثَات الأمور فإن كل محدثة بدعة وكل بدعة ضلالة>>

The terminology of this hadith, in particular the term kul كل) ) is known as ^am ( عام ) (general) that has a makhsus (مخصوص)  (specific) meaning.  Classifying the term kul(كل)  in this hadith as ^am/makhsus is determined from the previously mentioned hadiths of the Prophet that established two types of innovations, the good and the bad.  Thus, the meaning of the hadith of the Prophet narrated by Abu Dawud from the route of al-^Irbad Ibn Sariyah is:  <<Beware of the innovated matters, because most of them are of the bad type, and every such innovation is an innovation of misguidance.>>

Imam an-Nawawiyy in his explanation of Sahih Muslim said with regards to this hadith, the saying of the Prophet:

<<وكل بدعة ضلالة>>

is of the ^am/makhsus type and it means ‘most of the innovations’.”  Then, an-Nawawiyy divided the innovations into five (5) divisions obligatory, recommended, forbidden, disliked, and permissible.  This categorization was mentioned by Shaykh ^Abdul ^Aziz Ibn ^Abd as-Salam in some details in the end of the book, Al-Qawa^id.  The Hafidh Ibn Hajar copied that from him in his book, Al-Fath.

An-Nawawiyy proceeded to give examples of the ^am/makhsus and cited the saying of ^Umar “نعمت البدعة هذه”, (What a good innovation this is).   He stressed that although the term kul (كل) is general (^am), it can be specific (makhsus) as in the saying of Allah in Surat al-Ahqaf, Ayah 25:  { تدمر كل شىء }  in reference to the wind that Allah sent as a punishment to the people of ^Ad to destroy them.  Literally the ayah has the general (^am) meaning of:  [The wind destroys everything].  However, the intended meaning is specific (makhsus) and it is:  [The wind destroys most of the things].

Likewise, the term kul (كل) in the hadith of the Prophet << وكل عين زانية >> that was narrated by Ibn Hibban and others is an ^am/makhsus.  The meaning of the hadith is that most of the people look an unlawful look that invites to adultery.  Definitely it is known that the prophets are impeccable from such abjectness, and kul (كل) in the hadith does not include them.

In summary the ^am/makhsus is a known technique used in the Qur’an and the hadith and is recognized by the reputable and qualified scholars.  Under this methodology, although the term used is all-inclusive—to reflect the exaggeration intended by the term—it is restricted to a specific meaning.

In Ayah 25 of Surat al-Ahqaf the term kul (كل) is literally all-inclusive which would mean that the wind destroyed everything.  However, the intended meaning is to reflect its overwhelming effect in that the wind destroyed the people of ^Ad, their belongings, and most of the things that came in its way.

Likewise, in the hadith of the Prophet << وكل عين زانية >> kul (كل) is literally all‑inclusive which would mean that everyone looks the unlawful look.  However, the intended meaning is to reflect the overwhelming reality that most of the people—clearing the prophets, some of the highly righteous whom Allah protected and those born blind until death—look the unlawful look that invites to adultery.

The hadith of the Prophet << وكل بدعة ضلالة >> falls under the same methodology.  Kul (كل) if used literally includes every innovation.  However, the intended meaning is to reflect the exaggeration in that most of the innovations are of the bad kind.

The true meaning of this hadith elucidates that this hadith of the Prophet does not conflict in meaning with the other sahih hadiths of the Prophet (previously mentioned) nor with the ayahs of the Qur’an that establish the existence of good innovations.

 

 

CELEBRATING THE HONORABLE MAWLID
(THE BIRTH OF THE PROPHET)
AND THE PROOFS OF ITS PERMISSIBILITY

 

Celebrating the birth of the Prophet is a good innovation. This celebration was neither practiced at the time of the Prophet nor for several hundred years thereafter.  It was not until the early part of the 7th century AH that this occasion was first celebrated.  This was an innovation begun by the King of Irbil. Irbil is a city in Iraq southeast of Musil on the way towards Iran.

The King of Irbil, al-Mudhaffar (the Victorious) Kukbiriyy, was known for his scholarly status, piety, and bravery.  He gathered many scholars, including scholars of hadith, and the true Sufis, to participate in this honorable celebration.  Many traveled from near and far—places like Baghdad, Musil, Jazirah, Suijar, Nasibin, and others—to attend and participate in this honorable celebration.

The scholars of both the East and the West judged this innovation as a good, rewardable practice.  The Hafidh Ibn Hajar al-^Asqalaniyy; his student, the Hafidh as-Sakhawi;the Hafidh as-Suyutiyy, and many others accepted this practice as a good innovation, as evidenced in their sayings and writings.

The Hafidh as-Sakhawi said in his book of fatwas (edicts), “Celebrating the birth of the Prophet was innovated after the lapse of the first three centuries.  Since then, the Muslims at large in the major cities have been celebrating the Mawlid.  During the nights of the celebration they give much in charity and recite the story of the honorable Mawlid.  As a result, they reap many blessings and merits.”

The Hafidh as-Suyutiyy authored a treatise in support of the Mawlid.  He called it Husn Al-Maqsad Fi ^Amal Al-Mawlid (The Good Endeavor of Celebrating the Mawlid).  In this book he replied to a question regarding the judgment of celebrating the Mawlid during the month of Rabi^ al-Awwal, and whether such practice is praised, dispraised, rewardable, or non-rewardable.  His reply was:  “I see the basis of the celebration, i.e., gathering the people, reciting Qur’an, narrating the story of the Mawlid and the wondrous signs accompanying it, offering food for people to eat --after which they leave--to be a good innovation.  That is, it is rewardable for the one who does it, because it involves aggrandizing the status of the Prophet and it reflects one’s delight about the honorable birth of the Prophet.  The first to innovate celebrating the Mawlid was the King of Irbil, the Mudhaffar, Abu Sa^id Kukbiriyy Ibn Zayn ad-Din ^Aliyy Ibn Buktakin.  He was one of the glorious, grand, and generous kings with many good traces.  He is the one who built the Mudhaffariyy Mosque on the pinnacle of Mount Qasiyun.”

In his book of history, Ibn Kathir said, “He, the Mudhaffar King, used to grandiosely celebrate the honorable Mawlid during the month of Rabi^ al-Awwal.  He was courageous and was one who cared for others.  He was a hero, a scholar, mindful, and just; may Allah bestow His mercies upon him and reward him.  Shaykh Abu al-Khattab Ibn Dihyah compiled a volume on the honorable birth of the Prophet for al-Mudhaffar that he called At-Tanwir Fi Mawlid Al-Bashir An-Nadhir (The Enlightenment of the Mawlid of the One Who Gives the Good Tidings of Paradise and Warns Against the Tortures of Hellfire).  Al-Mudhaffar rewarded this shaykh for authoring that book by giving him one thousand dinars.  He ruled for a long time until he died while holding the Faranj[3] under siege in the city of ^Akka in Palestine in the year 630 AH.  He had a praiseworthy history and inner self.”

The grandson of Ibn al-Jawziyy mentioned in “Mir’at az-Zaman” that the elites of the scholars and the Sufis used to attend the celebration with him.

In his biography of Ibn Dihyah, Ibn Khillikan said:  He (Ibn Dihyah) was among the elite of the scholars and the famous people of merit.  Ibn Dihyah entered the countries of ash-Sham and Iraq coming from Morocco.  In his travels he passed through Irbil in the year 604 AH and found its king, the glorious Mudhaffar ad-Din Ibn Zayn ad-Din, very keen about celebrating the honorable Mawlid.  He authored a book about the Mawlid for the king entitled Al-Tanwir Fi Mawlid Al-Bashir An-Nathir, and personally read it for him.  The king rewarded him with one thousand dinars.”

The Hafidh as-Suyutiyy said, “The Imam of the hafidhs, Ahmad Ibn Hajar al-^Asqalaniyy, found one ground for celebrating the Mawlid and I have found a second...”  Ibn Hajar’s ground as-Suyutiyy is referring to can be found in Ibn Hajar’s response regarding celebrating the Mawlid:

“The basis for celebrating the Mawlid is an innovation that was not reported about any of the pious scholars who lived during the first three hundred years after the immigration of the Prophet (as-Salaf as-Salih).   Even so, this celebration has merits and disadvantages.  As such, the one who is keen to observe implementing the merits and avoiding the disadvantages during the celebration is performing a good innovation, otherwise one is not.  (Ibn Hajar said)  I found solid grounds for celebrating the Mawlid in the hadith of the Prophet reported by al-Bukhariyy and Muslim in their Sahihs:

<< إن النبى قدم المدينة فوجد اليهود يصومون يوم عاشوراء فسألهم فقالوا: هو يوم أغرق الله فيه فرعون ونجى موسى فنحن نصومه شكرًا لله تعالى فقال النبى أنا احق منكم بموسى فصامه وأمر بصيامه >>

This narration was also reported by Ibn Majah, Malik in his Muwatta’, and Ahmad Ibn Hanbal in his Musnad.  It reports that the Prophet came to Madinah and found the Jews fasting the tenth day of Muharram.  When he inquired about the reason, the Jews said,  “This is the day on which Allah drowned Pharaoh and rescued Musa.  We fast it every year to be thankful to Allah.”  The Prophet said, “I am more deserving of Musa than you are,” and he fasted this day and ordered the Muslims to fast it also.

(After stating the incident Ibn Hajar said)  “From this incident, we benefit in understanding the permissibility of doing something on a specific day to show our thanks to Allah for an endowment that He bestowed upon us or a hardship he removed from us.  Moreover, it shows the permissibility of repeating that action every year on that specific day.  What reflect our thanking to Allah can be various acts of worship such as praying, fasting, giving charity, or reciting Qur’an.  On what day do we find a grace or an endowment greater than the emergence of the Prophet, the Prophet of Mercy?”

Ahmad Ibn Zayni Dahlan, the Mufti of Makkah, (in his book: “Ad-Durar As-Saniyyah) said, after mentioning the saying of Allah (Al-Hajj, 32):

{وَمَنْ يُعَظِّمْ شَعَائِرَ اللَّهِ فَإِنَّهَا مِنْ تَقْوَى الْقُلُوبِ }

“What reflects aggrandizing the Prophet is the delight on the day of his birth, narrating the story of his Mawlid on that night, offering food, and other good things that Muslims usually do.”

 

Henceforth, it stands tall and clear that celebrating the Mawlid of the Prophet is a good innovation.  There are no grounds whatsoever for one to denounce this practice.  Rather, it is worthy of being classified as a good innovation because it is included in the hadith of the Prophet related by Muslim mentioned earlier:

<< مَنْ سَنَّ فى الإسْلامِ سُنَّةً حَسَنَةً فَلَهُ أَجْرُها وَأجْرُ مَنْ عَمِلَ بها بَعْدَهُ مِنْ غير أن يَنقص من أجُورِهم شىء ومَنْ سَنَّ فى الإسْلامِ سُنَّةً سِيّئَةً كان عليه وِزْرُها وَوِزْرُ مَنْ عَمِلَ بها من بعده من غير أن ينقص من أوزارهم شىء >>

which means:  <<The one who innovates a good innovation in Islam shall be rewarded for it and similarly rewarded when another imitates him in performing that deed—without the reward of the latter being decreased.  Likewise, the one who innovates a bad innovation in Islam will be sinful for it and will similarly bear a sin when another imitates him in that bad innovation—without any of the latter’s sin being lessened.>>

It is true that the Prophet mentioned this hadith in relation to a specific incident which occurred when a group of very poor people came to the Prophet in al-Madinah.  Their extreme state of poverty was manifested by their clothing.  They were wearing only a single sheet of material to cover their ^awrah (unlawful nakedness) with a hole cut in the middle for their head.  These people were not inhabitants of al-Madinah, though they had come there out of their love for and desire to meet the Prophet.  When the Prophet saw their state of poverty, the expression on his face changed to sadness.  He urged the Muslims to contribute and pay in charity to those needy people what would be enough to alleviate their sadness and their need.  The Muslims responded by gathering a sizable amount and that pleased the Prophet.

Although the Prophet stated this hadith at that specific incident, the meaning is general and covers the general cases.  It is not permissible to claim that this hadith applies only to charities because the Prophet used a general term in this hadith.  He did not specify the reward to ‘he who spends in charity’; rather, he said, ‘he who innovates a good innovation.’  The scholars of the fundamentals of the Religion stated a clear rule:

العبرة بعموم اللفظ لا بخصوص السبب

This means the scope of application (i.e., of the hadith) is determined by the generality of the term used and not by the specific incident that triggered the hadith.  Hence, anyone who denies that is defying the course of the one who is mindful.

 

VERSES OF THE QUR’AN THAT HONOR PROPHET MUHAMMAD,  صلى الله عليه وسلم  AND AGGRANDIZE HIM

 

Allah honored His chosen Prophet in many verses of the Qur’an.  Some verses highlight the refined manners of the Prophet as in Surat al-Qalam, Ayah 4:

{وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلى خُلُقٍ عَظِيمٍ}.

This ayah means:  [Certainly you have the great manners (morals).]

 

Surat at-Tawbah, Ayah 128, highlights the sublimity of the Prophet’s genealogy and status.  Allah said:

{لَقَدْ جَاءَكُمْ رَسُولٌ مِنْ أَنْفُسِكُمْ عَزِيزٌ عَلَيْهِ مَا عَنِتُّمْ حَرِيصٌ عَلَيْكُمْ بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ رَءُوفٌ رَحِيمٌ}.

This ayah means:  [A messenger from among you came who grieves for what is hard on you, who wants very much that which benefits you (the guidance…).  He is very kind and merciful to the believers.]

Surat al-Fath, Ayah 29, points out Allah’s praise of Prophet Muhammad in the books Allah revealed to His prophets:

{مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ وَالَّذِينَ مَعَهُ أَشِدَّاءُ عَلَى الْكُفَّارِ رُحَمَاءُ بَيْنَهُمْ تَرَاهُمْ رُكَّعًا سُجَّدًا يَبْتَغُونَ فَضْلًا مِنَ اللَّهِ وَرِضْوَانًا سِيمَاهُمْ فِي وُجُوهِهِمْ مِنْ أَثَرِ السُّجُودِ ذَلِكَ مَثَلُهُمْ فِي التَّوْرَاةِ وَمَثَلُهُمْ فِي الْإِنْجِيلِ كَزَرْعٍ أَخْرَجَ شَطْأَهُ فَآزَرَهُ فَاسْتَغْلَظَ فَاسْتَوَى عَلَى سُوقِهِ يُعْجِبُ الزُّرَّاعَ لِيَغِيظَ بِهِمُ الْكُفَّارَ}

Surah Al-^Imran, Ayah 81, shows that Prophet Muhammad is favored over the rest of the prophets:

{وَإِذْ أَخَذَ اللَّهُ مِيثَاقَ النَّبِيِّينَ لَمَا ءَاتَيْتُكُمْ مِنْ كِتَابٍ وَحِكْمَةٍ ثُمَّ جَاءَكُمْ رَسُولٌ مُصَدِّقٌ لِمَا مَعَكُمْ لَتُؤْمِنُنَّ بِهِ وَلَتَنْصُرُنَّهُ قَالَ ءَأَقْرَرْتُمْ وَأَخَذْتُمْ عَلَى ذَلِكُمْ إِصْرِي قَالُوا أَقْرَرْنَا قَالَ فَاشْهَدُوا وَأَنَا مَعَكُمْ مِنَ الشَّاهِدِينَ}

Ayahs 4 and 5 of Surat al-Hujurat, Ayah 24 of Surat al-Anfal, and Ayah 63 of Surat an-Nur all show the obligation of respecting, aggrandizing, and holding the Prophet at a sublime status.  Ayahs 4 and 5 of Surat al-Hujurat:

{إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُنَادُونَكَ مِنْ وَرَاءِ الْحُجُرَاتِ أَكْثَرُهُمْ لَا يَعْقِلُونَ (4) وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ صَبَرُوا حَتَّى تَخْرُجَ إِلَيْهِمْ لَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَهُمْ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ}

mean:  [Certainly most of those who call you from behind your wives’ chambers lack understanding.  Had they patience until you went out to them this would have been better for them.  Allah is forgiving and merciful.  Ayah 24 of Surat al-Anfal:

{يَاأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا اسْتَجِيبُوا لِلَّهِ وَلِلرَّسُولِ إِذَا دَعَاكُمْ لِمَا يُحْيِيكُمْ }

means:  [O believers, respond obediently to Allah and to the Messenger when he calls you to that which makes you alive (life by Islam after death by blasphemy)].  Ayah 63 of Surat an-Nur:

{لَا تَجْعَلُوا دُعَاءَ الرَّسُولِ بَيْنَكُمْ كَدُعَاءِ بَعْضِكُمْ بَعْضًا}

means:  [Do not call the Prophet the way you call one another] This refers to how they used to call the Prophet, ‘O Muhammad’, ‘O Abul-Qasim’; rather, the Ayah orders honoring him by calling him ‘O Prophet of Allah’, ‘O Messenger of Allah’).

 

Surat al-Ahzab, Ayahs 6 and 53 indicate the continuity of the obligation of aggrandizing the Prophet.  Allah said:

{النَّبِيُّ أَوْلَى بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ مِنْ أَنْفُسِهِمْ وَأَزْوَاجُهُ أُمَّهَاتُهُمْ}  {وَلَا أَنْ تَنْكِحُوا أَزْوَاجَهُ مِنْ بَعْدِهِ أَبَدًا}.

These ayahs mean:  [The Prophet is more deserving to the believers than their own selves. and his wives are the mothers of the believers] and [Do not ever marry his wives after him]

Surat al-Hijr, Ayah 72 reveals that Allah swore by the Prophet’s life-- thereby honoring his status.    Allah said:

{لَعَمْرُكَ إِنَّهُمْ لَفِي سَكْرَتِهِمْ يَعْمَهُونَ}.

This ayah means:  [I adjure by your life O’Prophet Muhammad) they (the blasphemers) are confused and hesitant in their intoxication.]

THE HONORABLE GENEALOGY OF THE PROPHET

The details of the lineage (genealogy) of the Prophet up to ^Adnan are a case of consensus among the Muslims.  The Prophet is:  Muhammad the son of ^Abdullah the son of ^Abdul-Muttalib the son of Hashim the son of ^Abdu Manaf the son of Qusayy the son of Kilab the son of Murrah the son of Ka^b the son of Lu’ayy the son of Ghalib the son of Fihr the son of Malik the son of an-Nadr the son of Kinanah the son of Khuzaymah the son of Mudrikah the son of Ilyas the son of Mudar the son of Nizar the son of Ma^add the son of ^Adnan.

^Adnan is a descendant of Prophet Isma^il, the son of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham).  According to the authentic narrations, Isma^il is the one whom Allah ordered Prophet Ibrahim to slaughter.  The scholars hold different opinions as to the details of the lineage between ^Adnan and Isma^il.  May Allah raise the rank of Prophet Muhammad, the Master of the sons of Adam, and the ranks of all his brothers' prophets and messengers?

Prophet Muhammad, who has the above mentioned honorable lineage, is the elite of the sons of Hashim and the greatest among them.  Imam Muslim narrated in his Sahih, as did others from the route of Wathilah Ibn al-Asqa^, that he said, “The Prophet said:

<< إن الله اصطفى كنانة من ولد إسمعيل واصطفى قريشا من كنانة واصطفى من قريش بنى هاشم واصطفانى من بنى هاشم >>“

This means:  <<Allah chose the tribe of Kinanah from the sons of Isma^il, the tribe of Quraysh from Kinanah, the tribe of Hashim from Quraysh.  And Allah chose me from the sons of Hashim.>> In his Sunan, at-Tirmidhiyy narrated the following hadith of the Prophet, which according to Abu ^Isa, is hasan sahih:

<< إن الله اصطفى من ولد إبراهيم إسماعيل واصطفى من ولد إسماعيل كنانة واصطفى من كنانة قريشا واصطفى من قريش بنى هاشم واصطفانى من بنى هاشم >>

This means:  <<Allah chose Isma^il from the sons of Ibrahim, Kinanah from the sons of Isma^il, Quraysh from Kinanah, the tribe of Hashim from Quraysh, and He chose me from the sons of Hashim.>>

These texts, and more, unequivocally testify that the Prophet is definitely the choicest of the choicest.

AMINAH’S PREGNANCY WITH PROPHET MUHAMMAD

^Abdullah, the Prophet’s father, married a woman from the tribe of Bani Zuhrah named Aminah Bint Wahb Ibn ^Abd Manaf Ibn Zuhrah Ibn Kilab.  She conceived the Master of all Creations and Nations whom Allah brought into existence as a blessing .Allah willed to bestow the endowment of emerging Prophet Muhammad in this existence as a mercy for all—Arabs and non-Arabs.  His Message is a guiding light for Bedouins and city dwellers alike.

 

Ibn Sa^d narrated in his book, Tabaqat Ibn Sa^d, from the route of the aunt of Yazid Ibn ^Abdullah Ibn Wahb Ibn Zam^ah that she said,  “We used to hear that Aminah said about her conceiving and carrying the Prophet:

I felt neither conceiving him nor the burden of pregnancy women usually feel. However, I did notice skipping my menstruation, and perhaps it used to appear and disappear.  Someone came to me while I was half asleep and half awake and asked me, ‘Do you feel you have conceived?’ It was as if I answered, ‘I do not know.’ He told me, ‘You have indeed conceived the Master of this nation and its Prophet.’  This confirmed to me that I was pregnant.  It was on a Monday. When the time of my delivery became near, he came again and said to me, ‘Say: I seek refuge for him by the One Who does not have a partner in Godhood (al-Wahid), the One of Whom the entire creation is in need (as-Samad)-- from the evil of every envious person.’ She said, ‘This is what I used to say’.”

 

THE HONORABLE BIRTH OF THE PROPHET

Imam Ahmad narrated (in his Musnad), al-Bayhaqiyy (in Ad-Dala’il), al-Hakim (in his Mustadrak), and others from the route of al-^Irbad Ibn Sariyah, the Companion of the Prophet, that he said:  “I have heard the Prophet say:

<< إنى عبد الله وخاتم النبيين، وإن ءادم لمنجدل فى طينته، وسأخبر كم عن ذلك: دعوة أبى إبراهيم، وبشارة عيسى بى ورؤيا أمى التى رأت، وكذلك أمهات النبيين يرين.وأن أم رسول الله رأت حين وضعته نورا أضاءت له قصور الشام >>“

This means:  <<I was decreed by Allah as His slave and the last of the prophets when Adam, prior to his creation, was still a form of clay. And I shall tell you more.  My revelation as a prophet was Allah’s answer to Prophet Ibrahim’s supplication.  ^Isa, the son of Mary, announced the good news of my forthcoming.  My mother saw the dream about me as all mothers of prophets see dreams about them.>> When the Prophet’s mother delivered him she saw a light that illuminated the palaces of the countries of ash-Sham.”  Al-Bayhaqiyy commented that Prophet Muhammad was predestined as the slave of Allah and the last of the prophets before Adam was created as the father of humans and the first of the prophets.

Imam Ahmad, al-Bayhaqiyy, and at-Tayalisiyy narrated from Abu ‘Ummah that he said, “It was asked, ‘O Messenger of Allah, how did you come about?’  The Prophet said:

<< دعوة أبى إبراهيم، وبشارة عيسى ابن مريم، ورأت أمى أنه خرج منها نور أضاءت منه قصور الشام >>“

which means:  <<In revealing me as a prophet, Allah answered the supplication of my forefather, Prophet Ibrahim, and confirmed the good tidings announced by ^Isa, the son of Maryam, and my mother saw a light come out of her that illuminated the castles of ash-Sham.>>  Ibn Sa^d narrated that the Prophet said:

<<رأت أمى حين وضعتنى سطع منها نور أضاءت له قصور بصرى >>

which means:  <<When my mother delivered me, she saw a light glowing out of her that illuminated the palaces of Busra.  It was narrated that when Aminah delivered the Prophet, he landed on his knees with his head raised to the sky.  A light came out with him that illuminated the palaces of ash-Sham and enabled his mother to see the necks of the camels in Busra (an old Damacene city known as Huran by the Jordanian borders).

Ayahs 126 and 129 of Surah al-Baqarah tell about the supplication of Prophet Ibrahim (mentioned in the previous hadith) which he made after he finished building the Ka^bah.  Verse 126:

{وَإِذْ قَالَ إِبْرَاهِيمُ رَبِّ اجْعَلْ هَذَا بَلَدًا ءَامِنًا وَارْزُقْ أَهْلَهُ مِنَ الثَّمَرَاتِ مَنْ ءَامَنَ مِنْهُمْ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ}

Means:  [And remember Ibrahim said,  “My Lord make this a city of peace and feed its people with fruits, those of them who believe in Allah and the last day”].  Verse 129:

{رَبَّنَا وَابْعَثْ فِيهِمْ رَسُولًا مِنْهُمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ ءَايَاتِكَ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ}

means:  [Our Lord, send amongst them a messenger of their own, who shall recite to them Your Verses and teach them the Qur’anic scripture and the wisdom, and purify them, for You are the ^Aziz and the Wise.]  Allah answered Prophet Ibrahim’s supplication for a prophet to be sent and sent our prophet, Prophet Muhammad.

The good tidings that Prophet ^Isa announced to his people regarding the forthcoming of Prophet Muhammad (mentioned in the previous hadith) is told to us in the Qur’an in Surah as-Saff, Ayah 6:

{وَإِذْ قَالَ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ يَابَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ إِنِّي رَسُولُ اللَّهِ إِلَيْكُمْ مُصَدِّقًا لِمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيَّ مِنَ التَّوْرَاةِ وَمُبَشِّرًا بِرَسُولٍ يَأْتِي مِنْ بَعْدِي اسْمُهُ أَحْمَدُ}.

This ayah means:  [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 good tidings of a messenger to come after me whose name shall be Ahmad.”]

The night of the Mawlid is an honorable, blessed, and grand night.  It is a sublime night full of evident illuminations; a precious night on which Allah brought Prophet Muhammad into existence.  His mother conceived him in a valid marriage and gave birth to him on that honorable night.  The narrations, texts, and news testify to the mind-boggling and sight-astonishing enormous merits and blessings that accompanied his birth.

 

 

THE SIGNS THAT ACCOMPANIED THE PROPHET’S BIRTH

 

Many signs accompanied the honorable birth of the Prophet.  Al-Bayhaqiyy, Ibn ^Asakir and others narrated from the route of Hani’ ِl-Makhzumi that he said,  “On the night of the birth of the Messenger of Allah, the palace of Kisra (the King of the Persians) shook and fourteen (14) balconies fell from it.  The fire of the Persians which had been burning continuously for one thousand (1,000) years went out.  The lake of Sawah (in Persia) dried up.

The fourteen (14) fallen balconies from the palace of Kisra mentioned in the hadith was a sign that the ruler ship of the Persians would last for only fourteen (14) more Persian kings.  And this is what happened—the fourteenth (and last) Persian king ruled during the caliphate of ^Uthman, may Allah raise his rank.

The fire of the Persians is in reference to a fire that they had kept burning day and night for one thousand (1,000) years.  At the time of the birth of the Prophet, the Persians were fire-worshipers.  They worshipped the fire unrightfully.  On the night of the birth of the Prophet, this fire went out—a sign of the truthful call of Prophet Muhammad to worship Allah alone.

The lake of Sawah mentioned in the hadith was a lake so vast that ships used to sail in it.  It dried up when the Prophet was born.

Some scholars mentioned that another sign which accompanied the birth of the Prophet was that the devils were stricken with falling stars and were blocked from hearing any of the news exchanged by the angels in the sky.  However, the more famous saying is that the devils were stricken with falling stars when Allah revealed Muhammad as a prophet.

The Hafidh al-^Iraqiyy mentioned in his book, Al-Mawlid Al-Hani, from the route of Baqiyy Ibn Makhlad,  “Among the signs is that Iblis, the forefather of the devils, was blocked from the news of the sky so he rang out a very loud scream.  Likewise, he rang out when he was damned, when he was taken out of Paradise, and when the Chapter of the Fatihah was revealed.”

Also among the signs are the sounds that were heard at the time of Zawal (beginning of noon time) coming from the interiors of the idols in Makkah announcing the good news of the appearance of Prophet Muhammad.

 

THE TIME AND PLACE OF THE PROPHET’S BIRTH

Although some scholars have different opinions regarding the year in which the Prophet was born, most of them agree that he was born in the Year of the Elephant.  Ibn ^Abd al-Barr said that the Prophet was born a month after the incident of the elephant.  It was also said his birth was forty (40) days after that incident, and others said after fifty (50) days.  Al-Bayhaqiyy narrated in his book, Dala’il An-Nubuwwah, from the route of Ibn ^Abbas, that he said,  “The Prophet was born in the year of the Elephant.”

The Prophet was born in the month of Rabi^ al-Awwal, the third month of the Islamic lunar calendar.  The adopted saying is that he was born after the lapse of twelve (12) nights of the month of Rabi^ al-Awwal.  The scholars agree that he was born on a Monday.  Imam Muslim narrated in his Sahih from the route of Abu Qatadah al-Ansariyy that when the Messenger of Allah was asked about why it is sunnah to fast on Monday, he replied:

<< ذاك يوم ولدت فيه، وأنزل على فيه>>

This means:  <<This is the day on which I was born and the day on which I received the Revelation.>> The Prophet was born in the honorable city of Makkah, most likely in an area known as Suq al-Layl.  The mother of Harun ar-Rashid turned this place into a mosque, as was mentioned by the Hafidh al-^Iraqi and others.  Al-Azraqi said, “There is no difference in opinion among the people of Makkah that the Prophet was born in that house.”  Nowadays this place is known as ‘Mahallat Al- Mawlid.’

THE NAMES AND DISTINGUISHED EPITHETS OF THE PROPHET

Allah said in Surah al-Fath, Ayah 29:

{مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ}

This means [Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah] and in Surah as-Saff, Ayah 6, predicating about Prophet ^Isa:

{وَمُبَشِّرًا بِرَسُولٍ يَأْتِي مِنْ بَعْدِي اسْمُهُ أَحْمَدُ}

This means:  [I give the good tidings that a messenger will come after me whose name is Ahmad.]

Al-Bukhariyy, Muslim, at-Tirmidhiyy, and others narrated from the route of Jubayr Ibn Mut^im that he said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah say:

<<إن لى أسماء: أنا محمد، وأنا أحمد، وأنا الماحى الذى يمحو الله بى الكفر، وأنا الحاشر الذى يحشر الناس على قدمى، وأنا العاقب الذى ليس بعده أحد>>

This means :  <<I have certain names.  I am Muhammad.  I am Ahmad.  I am al-Mahiyy—the one by whom Allah removes blasphemy.  I am al-Hashir—the one at whose feet (i.e. following after me) the people shall assemble.  I am al-^Aqib—the one after whom there is no prophet.>>”

Muslim narrated in his Sahih from the route of Abu Musa al-Ash^ariyy that he said, “The Prophet used to tell us about his names saying:

<< أنا محمد، وأحمد, والمقفى، والحاشر، ونبى التوبة، ونبى الرحمة >>

This means :  <<I am Muhammad, and Ahmad, and al-Muqaffi, and al-Hashir, and Nabiyy at-Tawbah, and Nabiyy ar-Rahmah.>>”

Imam Ahmad narrated in his Musnad from the route of Jubayr Ibn Mut^im that he said, “I heard the Prophet say:

<< أنا محمد، وأنا أحمد، والحاشر، والماحى، والخاتم، والعاقب >>

This means :  <<I am Muhammad, and I am Ahmad, and al-Hashir and al-Mahi, and al-Khatim and al-^Aqib.>>”

Al-Bayhaqiyy narrated in his book, Dala’il An-Nubuwwah, from the route of Abu Hurayrah that he said, “The Messenger of Allah said:

<< إنما أنا رحمة مهداة >>

which means: <<Indeed I am a mercy given as a gift to you.>>”

Al-Bayhaqiyy (in Dala’il An-Nubuwwah) and at-Tayalisiyy (in the Musnad) narrated from the route of Jubayr Ibn Mut^im that he said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah say:

<< أنا محمد، وأحمد، والحاشر، ونبى التوبة، ونبى الملحمة >>

This means :  <<I am Muhammad and Ahmad and al-Hashir and Nabiyy at-Tawbah and Nabiyy al-Malhamah.>>”

With regards to the epithets of the Prophet, al-Bukhariyy and Muslim (in their Sahihs) and others narrated from the route of Abu Hurayrah that he said,  “The Messenger of Allah said:

<< تسموا باسمى ولا تكتنوا بكنيتى >>

This means :  <<Name yourselves after my name but do not name yourselves with my epithet>>” Al-Bayhaqiyy narrated in Dala’il An-Nubuwwah from the route of Abu Hurayrah that he said, “The Messenger of Allah said:

<< لا تجمعوا بين اسمى وكنيتى، أنا أبو الٌقاسم، الله يرزق، وأنا أقسم >>

This means :  <<Do not name yourselves after my name and epithet conjointly.  I am Abu al-Qasim, Allah gives the sustenance and I distribute.>>”

Al-Hakim narrated in his Mustadrak from the route of Anas Ibn Malik that he said, “When Ibrahim, the son of Marya[4] was born, Jibril came to the Messenger of Allah and told him:

<< السلام عليك يا أبا إبراهيم >>

(which means) :  <<As-salamu ^alayka, O Abu Ibrahim.>>” This hadith of al-Hakim has Abu Lahi^ah among its narrators and he is a weak link in the chain of narration.

 

THE STORY OF THE NURSING OF
THE PROPHET
AND THE SPLITTING OPEN OF HIS CHEST

Some reports say the Prophet’s father, ^Abdullah, died when the Prophet was two months old.  Some said he died even before the Prophet was born. There are also other reports on the subject.  Halimah as-Sa^diyyah was honored to be the wet-nurse of the Prophet and she told the following story:

I went to Makkah with other women from the tribe of Bani Sa^d Ibn Bakr.  We were looking for infants whose parents wanted them wet-nursed.  During the journey to Makkah, I was riding a female donkey off-white in color.  It was a year of drought and we had nothing, only an old camel that hardly gave any milk.  My own son’s hungry crying kept my husband and I awake at night because I did not have a drop of milk in my breasts to feed him.

 

When we arrived in Makkah, each one of us was offered the Prophet as a nursing son.  We all refused at first because he was an orphan, and we depended on the generosity of the child’s father for our services.  We used to say, “He is an orphan.  How generous can his mother be?”  Every woman in our group except for me managed to get a baby to nurse.  I hated to return the only one empty handed.  I told my husband I would go back and take that orphan, and I did.  When I came back to where my animal was, my husband asked me, “Did you take him?”  I told him I had because I could not find any other.  He said, “May Allah endow His blessings on us.”

By Allah, as soon as I put him in my lap my breasts filled with milk.  Both he and his brother (her own son) drank their fill.  When my husband went out that night to check our old camel, he found her udder full of milk.  We got all the milk we wanted from her.  My husband and I drank our fill and slept soundly that night, as did our boys.  My husband said, “O Halimah, I think you have put your hands on a blessed creation.  Look how our sons sleep.”

We started heading back, and to everyone’s surprise my female donkey was energetic and in the lead.  They asked me, “Is this the same donkey you rode on our trip here?”  I said it was.  My donkey remained in the lead until we reached the outskirts of where our tribe, Bani Sa^d Ibn Bakr, was camped, and it was a very dry land.

 

We all used to send our sheep out to graze with our shepherds.  By Allah, my sheep would come back satiated; their udders full of milk, whereas the others’ sheep would come back hungry and dry.  We had all the milk we wanted when none of the others had a drop of milk.  The others told their shepherds to take their sheep to the same place Halimah’s shepherd takes hers to graze.  They sent their sheep to graze in the same meadow with ours, but their sheep would still come back hungry and dry when ours came back satiated and full of milk.

The Prophet matured in a day what a child normally matures in a month and in a month what a child normally matures in a year.  At one (1) year old,[5] he was a very strong child.[ii] We went back to his mother, and I, or rather my husband, asked if she would allow us to keep him a while longer.  We told her we were afraid for him to be exposed to the diseases of Makkah.  In reality, we wanted to keep him with us because of the blessings we saw from having him.  We kept on asking her until she agreed that we take him.  We took him back and he stayed with us for two months.  One day, he and his brother were attending to one of our animals behind the houses and his brother rushed back trembling.  “Rescue my brother!” he said to his father and me.  “Two men came, laid him down, and split his chest open!!”  We were terrified and rushed out to him.  When we reached him, we found him standing, very pale in color.  His father and I embraced him and asked him about the matter.  He said, “Two men in white clothing came to me, laid me down, and split open my abdomen.  By Allah, I do not know what they have done.”  We carried him back home.  His father said, “O Halimah, I see this child has been inflicted with a matter.  Let us take him back to his mother before any signs of that appear.”  So, we took him back to his mother.

 

His mother wanted to know what brought us back so soon when we had been so persistent in wanting to take him away.  I said that we had fulfilled our commitment and it would be better for her to keep him because now we feared for him.  His mother knew this was not the real reason.  She insisted we tell her what had happened, and we did.  She said, “So this is why you feared for him.”  Then, she reassured us, saying, “This child of mine has a special status.  Let me tell you about him.  I conceived and carried him, yet I felt I never had carried a lighter load or any greater blessing.  When I delivered him, I saw a great light coming out of me, similar to a shooting star that illuminated the necks of the camels in Busrah. Contrary to most deliveries, he came out putting his hands on the ground and raising his head to the sky.”  Then his mother told us, “Leave him here, and go attend to your business.”

The Hafidh al-Bayhaqiyy said (after attributing the story to Muslim), “It conforms to that which is known to the people who authored about the subject of raids.  In his Sahih, Muslim also narrated from the route of Anas that he said, “The Messenger of Allah said:

<< أتيت وأنا فى أهلى، فانطلق بى إلى زمزم، فشرح صدرى ثم غسل بماء زمزم، ثم أتيت بطست من ذهب ممتلئة إيمانا وحكمة فحشى بـها صدرى – قال أنس: ورسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يرينا أثره – فعرج بى الملك إلى السماء الدنيا، فاستفتح الملك ... >>

This means :  <<When I was with my parents, I was approached and taken to the Well of Zamzam.  My chest was split open and washed with Zamzam water.  The contents of a golden container full of belief and wisdom were stuffed inside my chest.  (Anas said, “The Prophet would be pointing out the trace for us.”)  The angel took me up to the lower sky and requested the gate be opened…>>” and Anas continued to mention the Hadith of the Mi^raj (the Ascension).

The Hafidh al-Bayhaqiyy in Dala’il An-Nubuwwah said after mentioning the hadith,  “It is possible that this incident occurred twice; once when the Prophet was a child with Halimah, his wet nurse, and once when he was in Makkah after his Revelation on the night of the Mi^raj (Ascension).”

What supports these words is the saying of Ibn Hibban in his book, Al-Ihsan.  He said, “The chest of the Prophet was split open when he was a lad playing with the boys.  The clot was removed from him.  When Allah willed for him to ascend to the skies, Allah sent Jibril to split his chest open a second time.  He took his heart out, washed it and put it back in its place.  It is not contradictory that this might have happened two times at two different locations.”

A GLANCE AT THE PROPHET’S GENUINE ATTRIBUTES, HONORABLE MERITS, AND PURE MANNERS

Al-Bukhariyy and Muslim (in their Sahihs) and others narrated from the route of al-Bara’ Ibn ^Azib that he said, “The Messenger of Allah had the most beautiful face and the best manners.  He was neither exceedingly tall nor short.”  Al-Bayhaqiyy (in Ad-Dala’il), at-Tabaraniyy (in Al-Mu^jam Al-Kabir and Al-Awsat) narrated from the route of Abu ^Ubaydah Ibn Muhammad Ibn ^Ammar Ibn Yasir that he said,  “I asked ar-Rubbayyi^ Bint Mu^awwidh to describe the Prophet for me.  She said, ‘If you see him you would say the sun is shining. ’”

At-Tirmidhiyy (in his Sunan) and Ahmad (in his Musnad) narrated from the route of Abu Hurayrah that he said, “I have not seen anything more beautiful than the Prophet and anyone faster in his walk than the Prophet.  It is as if the land folds up for him.  We endeavored to walk as swiftly as the Prophet.”

Al-Bukhariyy, Muslim, and an-Nasa’iyy (in their Sahihs) and others narrated from the route of Anas Ibn Malik that he said, “The Prophet’s hair was shoulder-length.”  Al-Bukhariyy and Muslim using different terminology said, “The Prophet’s hair reached to the middle of his ears.”

Muslim narrated in his Sahih from the route of Anas Ibn Malik that he said, “I have not smelled anything --whether musk, amber, or other than that-- better smelling than the Prophet.  I have not touched anything-- whether silk, taftan, or other than that-- smoother than the hand of the Prophet.”

Al-Bukhariyy and Muslim narrated in their Sahihs from the route of al-Bara’ Ibn ^Azib that he said, “The Prophet was medium in height and he had wide shoulders.  He was the greatest of the people.  His hair reached his ears.  I have never seen anything more beautiful especially when he wore maroon-colored clothing.

Muslim narrated in his Sahih from the route of Anas Ibn Malik that he said, “The Prophet was neither exceedingly tall nor short.  His complexion was neither whitish pale nor too dark.  His hair was neither extremely curly nor straight.  Allah revealed him as a prophet when he was forty (40) years old.  He lived in Makkah for ten (10) years.  When he died in his early sixties, he did not have more than twenty (20) white hairs in his beard and on his head.”

Al-Bayhaqiyy (in his Dala’il) narrated from the route of Ibn ^Umar that he used to recite in the mosque of the Prophet the piece of poetry that Abu Talib (the Prophet’s uncle) used to recite in describing the Prophet’s complexion:

White face, by it

One asks Allah for the rain,

He was the resort and feeder of the orphans

And the protector of widows.

Everyone who heard him recite this poetry used to say, “This is how the Prophet was.”

Al-Bazzar narrated in Kashf Al-Astar from the route of ^A’ishah that she said, “I said about my father (Abu Bakr), ‘White face, by it one asks Allah for the rain, the supporter of the orphans and protector of widows.’  My father said, ‘This is the attribute of the Prophet. ’”

Surah al-Qalam, Ayah 4 best elucidates the manners of the Prophet:

{وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلى خُلُقٍ عَظِيمٍ}.

This ayah means:  [Indeed you have great manners.]

Muslim narrated in his Sahih from the route of ^A’ishah that when she was asked about the manners of the Prophet, she said, “His manners were the glorious Qur’an.”

Al-Bukhariyy (in his Sahih) and others narrated from the route of ^Abdullah Ibn az-Zubayr that he said in explaining Ayah 199 of Surah al-‘A^raf:  {خُذِ الْعَفْوَ} “Allah ordered His Prophet to overlook and forgive the shortcomings of others.”

Al-Bukhariyy and Muslim (in their Sahihs), al-Bayhaqiyy (in Ad-Dala’il), and others narrated from the route of ^A’ishah that she said,  “Every time the Prophet had a choice between two matters, he chose the easier one as long as it did not involve a sin.  If it was sinful, he would be the farthest of the people from it.  The Prophet never revenged for his own sake.  He would revenge only when the religious boundaries were crossed.”  Al-Qattan added, “He would revenge for the sake of Allah.”

Abu Dawud at-Tayalisiyy (in his Musnad) and al-Bayhaqiyy (in his Dala’il) narrated from the route of ^A’ishah that when asked about the manners of the Prophet, she replied, “He was neither abhorrent nor outrageous and he did not hawk in the marketplace.  He did not reciprocate an ill-doing with an ill-doing; rather, he would forgive and overlook.

Al-Bukhariyy and Muslim (in their Sahihs) and al-Bayhaqiyy (in his Dala’il) narrated from the route of Abu Sa^id al-Khudriyy that he said, “The Messenger of Allah was more shy than a virgin in her quarters and if he hated something we could see it in his face.”

Al-Bukhariyy and Muslim (in their Sahihs) and at-Tirmidhiyy and Ibn Majah (in their Sunans) narrated from the route of al-Mughirah Ibn Shu^bah that he said, “The Prophet prayed night prayers until his feet swelled.  Ought I to not be a thankful slave’?”

Also among his praiseworthy characteristics is that the Prophet was extremely courageous.  He was strict in carrying out the matters ordered by AllahAhmad (in his Musnad) narrated from the route of ^Aliyy Ibn Abu Talib that he said, “On the day of the Battle of Badr we shielded ourselves from the blasphemers behind the Prophet.  He was the most severe of the people on the blasphemers.”

Among Prophet Muhammad’s honorable merits is that he was extremely generous, and stories of his generosity are numerous.  Muslim (in his Sahih) and Ahmad (in his Musnad) narrated from the route of Anas that he said, “The Prophet never denied the request of the one who just embraced Islam.  Once a man who had just embraced Islam came to the Prophet and asked that he is given something.  The Prophet gave him a flock of sheep filling the area between two mountains.  This man rushed to his people and told them, ‘Embrace Islam, for Muhammad gives like what the one who does not fear poverty gives. ’”

The Prophet was well-known for being humble, detached from this world, and one who chooses the Hereafter over this world.  Al-Bayhaqiyy (in Ad-Dala’il) and at-Tirmidhiyy and Ibn Majah (in their Sunans) narrated from the route of ^Abdullah that he said, “The Prophet was lying on a bamboo carpet which left a mark on his skin.  I started rubbing it off, saying, ‘O Messenger of Allah, I favor you over my own mother and father.  Will you not permit that we spread something underneath you to protect you from this carpet?’  The Prophet said, ‘What business do I have with this world?  I am like a rider who stopped under a tree for some shade and then he went on and left it behind. ’”

The Prophet was attributed with all the good attributes.  He was truthful, trustworthy, kind to his relatives, chaste, generous, and brave.  He was obedient to Allah all the time, in every circumstance and situation, and with every breath.  He was profoundly articulate and advised others perfectly.  He was full of mercy and sympathy for others.  He was charitable and full of pity for others.  He was the caretaker of the poor, the needy, the orphans, the widows, and the weak.  He was humble.  He loved the needy and attended their funerals and visited the sick among them.  He was all this and he was a beautiful person with an honorable lineage.

Allah said in Surah al-An^am, Ayah 124:

{اللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ حَيْثُ يَجْعَلُ رِسَالَتَهُ}

This means:  [Allah knows best who to entrust for conveying His message.]

 

WARNING AGAINST SOME WORKS AUTHORED IN THE NAME OF THE MAWLID (for the Misguidance Contained Therein)

The honorable merit of the Prophet is well-founded in the Qur’an and the confirmed hadiths.  Hence, no fabrications or exaggerated narrations are needed to confirm his sublime status and profound merit.  Ahmad (in his Musnad) and Ibn Hibban (in his Sahih) narrated from the route of ^Umar Ibn al-Khattab that he said, “The Messenger of Allah said:

<< لا تطرونى كما أطرت النصارى عيسى، فإنما أنا عبد، فقولوا عبد الله ورسوله >>

This means :  <<Do not praise me unlawfully as the Christians did when they unlawfully praised ^Isa.  I am just a slave of Allah.  So say about me, ‘He is the slave of Allah and His Messenger’.>>”

Lying about the Messenger of Allah is not a matter taken lightly.  Rather, it is an enormous sin.  Muslim (in his Sahih) and at-Tirmidhiyy and Ibn Majah (in their Sunans) narrated that the Messenger of Allah said:

<< من حدث عنى بحديث يرى أنه كذب فهو أحد الكاذبين >>

This means:  <<The one who narrates a hadith about me and knows that it is fabricated, and then he is one of the fabricators.>>

Al-Bukhariyy and Muslim (in their Sahihs) and Abu Dawud, at-Tirmidhiyy, and Ibn Majah (in their Sunans) narrated that the Messenger of Allah said:

<< من كذب على فليتبوأ مقعده من النار >>

This means:  <<Let the one who fabricates a hadith about me prepare himself for his seat in Hellfire.>>

It is clear that attributing to the Prophet a fabricated and untrue matter is a dispraised exaggeration.  Moreover, doing so can not be justified by claiming it to be similar to narrating the weak hadiths pertaining to the fada’il (merits of the Prophet).  According to most of the scholars (jumhur) it is acceptable to narrate a weak hadith if it pertains to the fada’il.  However, there is consensus among the scholars that it is not acceptable to narrate a fabricated hadith pertaining to the fada’il.

Unfortunately, these days many of the books on the Mawlid which are widespread and read by many are full of contraventions and vileness.  Included in these books are fabricated hadiths, defective narrations, and dispraised exaggerations.  They contain lying about the Religion, likening Allah to the creations, and attributing bodily attributes to Him.  It is forbidden to narrate such fabrications without exposing their false content.  It is obligatory upon one to warn against such books and fabrications.

One of the most widespread of these books is called Mawlid Al-^Arus which was falsely attributed to Ibn al-Jawziyy.  That Mawlid Al-^Arus was not authored by Ibn al-Jawziyy is obvious because his writings are full of statements which contradict what is written in Mawlid Al-^Arus with regard to clearing Allah from resembling the creations and from attributing bodily attributes to Him.  The weak language and poor sentence structure of Mawlid Al-^Arus is another evidence that its author was not Ibn al-JawziyyIbn al-Jawziyy was a scholar of hadith, a scholar of jurisprudence, an interpreter of the Qur’an, and was deeply rooted in preaching and providing guidance.  Whenever Ibn al-Jawziyy spoke, he moved the hearts of the people.  One hundred thousand people became Muslim after listening to his strong preaching, profound articulation, and good expressions.  Ibn al-Jawziyy mastered the Arabic language and was extremely articulate.  It was Brookleman, an Orientalist, who falsely attributed Mawlid Al-^Arus to Ibn al-Jawziyy.

Among the blasphemous statements contained in Mawlid Al-^Arus is that Allah took a handful of the ‘light of His Face’ and ordered it to be Muhammad, and so it was.  Such a statement means that part of Allah became Muhammad.  May Allah protect us from blasphemy.  Allah is clear of having parts and is clear of dispersing.  Allah is clear of partitions and divisions.  Allah is clear of all of that.  He does not resemble any of His creations, and none of His creations are like Him.  Allah said in Surah ash-Shura, Ayah 11:

{لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَيْءٌ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ}

Which means:  [Absolutely nothing is similar to Allah, and Allah is attributed with Hearing and Sight.]  The one who believes that Muhammad or other than Muhammad is part of Allah is definitely a blasphemer.

Allah said in Surah az-Zukhruf, Ayah 15:

{وَجَعَلُوا لَهُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ جُزْءًا}

Which means:  [They (the blasphemers) attributed to Him a part among His slaves.]

Another widespread contravention is the false saying that Muhammad is the first of the creations.  This false statement came about because of the spread of a fabricated hadith[6] called Hadith Jabir:

<<. أول ما خلق الله نور نبيك يا جابر خلقه من نوره قبل الأشياء >>

This means:  <<“The first that Allah created, O Jabir, was the light of your prophet.  Allah created him from His light before creating other things.”>> This hadith has no foundation and is a fabrication about the Prophet.  Moreover, it contradicts the Qur’an and the Sunnah.  Contradicting the Qur’an is self apparent when one reads Surah al-Anbiya’, Ayah 30:

{وَجَعَلْنَا مِنَ الْمَاءِ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ حَيٍّ}

This means:  [We created from water all living things], and Surah al-Kahf, Ayah 110:

{قُلْ إِنَّمَا أَنَا بَشَرٌ مِثْلُكُمْ يُوحَى إِلَيَّ}

This means:  [Say, O Muhammad, I am only a human like you except that I receive the Revelation and you do not.]

Hadith Jabir contradicts the confirmed hadiths about the first creation of Allah.   Al-Bukhariyy (in his Sahih) and al-Bayhaqiyy (in Al-Asma’ Was-Sifat) narrated from the route of ^Imran Ibn al-Husayn that he said,  “The Messenger of Allah said:

<< كان الله ولم يكن شىء غيره وكان عرشه على الماء >>

(which means):  <<Allah existed eternally and there was nothing else existing and Allah created His ^Arsh (the ceiling of Paradise) on water.>>” Ibn Hibban (in his Sahih) narrated from the route of Abu Hurayrah that he said, “O Messenger of Allah, when I see you I feel good on the inside and it delights my eyes, so tell me how the creation started.  The Prophet said:

<< كل شىء خلق من الماء >>

This means :  <<Everything was created from water.>>”

As-Suddiyy narrated from many routes in the explanation of Fath Al-Bari the saying of the Prophet:

<< إن الله لم يخلق شيئا مما خلق قبل الماء >>

Which means:  <<Allah did not create any of His creations prior to the water.>>

The first hadith explicitly states that the water and the ^Arsh are the first creations of Allah.  The fact that the water was created before the ^Arsh is taken from the second and third hadiths.

The claim that Hadith Jabir was narrated by al-Bayhaqiyy is untrue.  The claim that Hadith Jabir is in Musannaf ^Abdur-Razzaq is also untrue.  It is neither in Musannaf ^Abdur-Razzaq nor in his Jami^ nor in his Tafsir of the Qur’an.  Rather, one finds in his Tafsir what contradicts Hadith Jabir. Indeed what he mentioned is that the water is the first creation of Allah.

The Hafidh as-Suyutiyy said in his book Al-Hawi Lilfatawa about Hadith Jabir, “It does not have any reliable chain of narration.”  Moreover, he explicitly stated in his explanation of at-Tirmidhiyy, “The hadith referencing that the light of Muhammad is the first creation is not confirmable.  The superficiality of the terms of Hadith Jabir is a proof that it is fabricated.  The Prophet was the most articulate of the creations of Allah; hence, he did not utter any superficial statement.”

The Hafidh and Scholar of Hadith, Shaykh Ahmad Ibn as-Siddiq al-Ghumariyy judged Hadith Jabir as fabricated on the grounds of the superficiality of its terms and the invalidity of its meanings.  Shaykh ^Abdullah al-Harariyy explained that the meaning of the statement in Hadith Jabir that Allah created the Prophet from ‘His Light’ before other things is contradictory and superficial enough to judge the hadith as fabricated.  He said that on one hand, it could mean that Allah created a light and from that light He created Muhammad.  As such, Muhammad would be the second creation of Allah—and this is contrary to what is claimed.  On the other hand, it can mean that Muhammad is a part of Allah—and this is abhorrent blasphemy for attributing parts to Allah.

Another defect of this hadith is the idtirab (shakiness) of its terms.  There are some narrations of Hadith Jabir in which the terms used are very divergent—enough to change the meaning.  The terminology of the narration of az-Zarqaniyy and as-Sawiyy are very different and this makes the hadith mudtarib (shaky).

The hadith:  <<I was the first of the prophets in creation and the last in Revelation>> is a weak hadith, as copied by the scholars in Al-Maqasid Al-Hasanah, Kashf Al-Khafa, and Asna Al-MatalibBugyah Ibn al-Walid, who is a mudallis,[7] is one of the narrators of this hadithSa^id Ibn Bashir is also among the narrators and he is da^if (a weak narrator).

The so called hadith:  <<I was a prophet when Adam was in a state between water and clay>> and the so called hadith:  <<I was a prophet and there was no Adam, no water and no clay>> are fabricated and have no foundation as mentioned in At-Tadhkirah Fi Al-Ahadith Al-Mushtahirah, Al-Maqasid Al-Hasanah, Kashf Al-Khafa, Tanzih Ash-Shari^ah, Al-Asrar Al-Marfu^ah, and Asna Al-Matalib.

The rule remains strong that there is no need to ascribe a meaning or an interpretation to a sahih hadith for the sake of a fabricated hadith which has no foundation.

Another fabrication found in some books on the Mawlid is the saying:  “O Muhammad, if it were not for you I would not have created the planets.”  This saying was judged by the scholars of hadith as fabricated-- as reported by al-^Ajluni (in Kashf Al-Khafa) and as-Saghaniyy (in his Mawdu^at).

 

Also, an abhorrent lie is what was mentioned about Jibril receiving the Revelation from behind a barrier.  It is claimed that one time the barrier was removed and Jibril saw Prophet Muhammad receiving the Revelation.  So it is claimed Jibril said:  منك وإليك   which means:  “From you and on to you.”  This contradicts the saying of Allah in Surah ash-Shura, Ayah 52:

{وَكَذَلِكَ أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ رُوحًا مِنْ أَمْرِنَا مَا كُنْتَ تَدْرِي مَا الْكِتَابُ وَلَا الْإِيمَانُ}

This means:  [O Muhammad, likewise We revealed to you Jibril, and prior to that you had neither knowledge of the Book nor the details of belief.]

Also among the fabrications is what some books on the Mawlid mention from the route of Abu Hurayrah they say he said, “The Prophet asked Jibril how old he was.  Jibril replied, ‘O Messenger of Allah, I do not know except that there is a star that appears once every seventy thousand years, and I have seen it seventy-two thousand times.’  The Prophet said, ‘by the glory of my Lord, I am that star. ’”

SUPPLICATION

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, Who endowed upon us many endowments, and Who enabled us to translate this valuable booklet about the honorable birth of the Prophet that we named "The Beauteous Fragrances Of Celebrating the Birth of Prophet Muhammadصلى الله عليه وسلم Milad An-Nabiyy An Iridescence of Bliss".  We ask Allah to make it of widespread benefit and to make our intentions pure and sincere in seeking the reward from Allah alone.  We humbly ask Allah to make this work a reason for our winning on a day in which neither money nor children will benefit one, and only one’s own piety, God-fearingness, and soundness of heart shall matter.

No one evades sinning except by the protection of Allah, and no one gives us the strength to be obedient to Allah except Allah.  May Allah raise the rank of Prophet Muhammad and his kind Al and Companions and protect his nation from what he fears for them.

 

O Allah we ask you and direct ourselves to You by Your Prophet, Muhammad, the Prophet of Mercy.  O Muhammad we direct ourselves to Allah by you, so that Allah may forgive all of our sins, enable us to see you in your original form in our dreams, assemble us under your banner, move us away from Hellfire, and grant us the upper parts of Paradise.

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.

 

Completed Ramadan 12, 1419 AH  December 30, 1998 at 9:45PM

Riad Nachef





ENDNOTES

 


 

[1] Dhikr here refers to the ayahs of the Qur’an.

[2]Among such works are Al-Maqsad Fi ^Amal Al-Mawlid by the Hafidh of Hadith  as-Suyutiyy and At-Tanwir Fi Mawlid Al-Bashir An-Nadhir by Abu al-Khattab Ibn Dihyah.

[3] The army of the enemy which is constituted of non Muslims.

[4] Marya was owned by the Prophet.

[5] Al-^Iraqi said the one (1) year is an error in Ibn Hibban’s narration and what is correct is two (2) years.  For more detail, see endnote (ii), page _____

[6] A fabricated hadith is a fabricated statement attributed to the Prophet.

[7] Mudallis means he insinuates the names of the wrong narrators.

 


 

[i] When the Companions first wrote down the Qur’an, for certain wisdom they did so without writing the dots.  This was because the Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet with different methods of recitation. In some of the recitations, the word would be recited with the letter ta’(ت) and in other recitations, it would be recited with the letter ya’ (ي).  The ta’ and the ya’ are written in the same shape or format, however, they differ in the placement of the dots on them.  The ta’ (ت) has two dots on top and the ya’ (ي) has two dots underneath.  Writing the format of the word without the dots would allow for either the ta’ or the ya’ to be read.  As such, one Book, compiling the letters and the words (without the dots) would enable more than one method of recitation.  However, if the dots are applied, this is restricted.  The flexibility of reading the different recitations from one Book is eliminated, and if one wanted to recite according to a different recitation, one would need to rewrite the words with the dots placed differently to suit that recitation.  For that wisdom, the Companions did not innovate the dots before this time.  However, later on (at the time of Yahya Ibn Ya^mar), the benefit of this innovation became apparent.  At that time, many of the non-Arabs had embraced Islam and reading the Qur’an without the dots without making errors and mistakes constituted a hardship for those Muslims.  To reduce the difficulty, Yahya applied the dots to the letters of the Qur’an.  The Companions found that to be a good action on his part.  This innovation of Yahya Ibn Ya^mar is included and covered by the hadith of the Prophet:  << The one who innovates a good innovation in Islam shall be rewarded for it and similarly rewarded when another imitates him in performing that deed—without the reward of the latter being decreased…>>

[ii] Ibn Hibban in Al-Ihsan Bitartib Sahih Ibn Hibban said, after he mentioned the aforementioned story, “Wahb Ibn Jarir Ibn Hazim told us from the route of his father from the route of Muhammad Ibn Ishaq. We were told the same by Jahm Ibn Abi Jahm. ^Abdullah Ibn Muhammad told us, Ishaq Ibn Ibrahim told us Wahb Ibn Jarir told us the Hafidh al-^Iraqi said, after attributing the story to Ibn Hibban and reporting his words,  “This is how Ziyad Ibn ^Abdullah al-Bakka’iyy narrated it from the route of Ibn Ishaq. ”—So he was explicit in stating that it was narrated, however, he was doubtful about the continuity of the chain (the ittisal).  Likewise, he said, it was narrated to us by a ^ali chain of narration from the route of Muhammad Ibn ^Aliyy Ibn ^Abd al-^Aziz al-Qatrawaniyy; narrated to us by Muhammad Ibn Rabi^ah, by ^Abd al-Qawiyy Ibn ^Abd al-^Aziz Ibn al-Hasan al-Khal^iyy by ^Abdur-Rahman Ibn ^Umar an-Nahhas.  We were told by ^Abdul Malik Ibn Hisham, by Ziyad Ibn ^Abdullah al-Bakka’iyy, by Muhammad Ibn Ishaq he said:  Jahm Ibn Abu Jahm, the freed slave of al-Harith Ibn Hatib al-Jumahi, from the route of ^Abdullah Ibn Ja^far Ibn Abu Talib or from he who told him he said:

Halimah Bint Abu Dhu’ayb as-Sa^diyyah, the mother of the Messenger of Allah that wet-nursed him, narrated that she left her town with her husband, a young son of hers that she was nursing… and he mentioned the rest of the story using different terminology and he added:  the Prophet kept on taking from the endowments and blessings that Allah provided for him until both of his years lapsed.  He used to grow up vigorously unlike other children; by the time he became two years of age he was a very strong child.  He said --‘both of his years,’-- which is correct.  Likewise, the narration of al-Bayhaqiyy stipulates.  The narration of Ibn Hibban of ‘one year’ is an error on the part of one of the narrators.  This is the end of the words of al-^Iraqi.