Search our site or Ask

Question:

I have seen some websites for wahhabis or deobandis saying that mawlid is an innovation and that the Prophet did not celebrate it nor companions and so it's haram to celebrate mawlid or take part in it. Is Milad un nabiy (Mawlid - Celebration of the Birth of the Prophet) a good "Bidaa" ?? pls provide proofs so we know.

 

Answer:

Praise be to Allah, and may Allah raise the rank of our beloved master Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم)

Yes, Mawlid celebration is a good innovation that is celebrated by millions of Muslims.

To celebrate the birth of the Prophet by doing rewardable deeds-- that can be done on any day of the year--is considered an innovated practice because this was not done at the time of the Prophet. Although this innovation was praised by the Muslim scholars of Islam, some people consider any innovation an innovation of misguidance. Those who consider any innovation an innovation of misguidance have been misled, because there are two sahih hadiths which support celebrating such an event. Imam Muslim related, through the route of Jarir Ibn ^Abdullah, the Prophet said:

«من سنَّ في الإسلام سنة حسنة فله أجرها وأجر من عمل بها إلى يوم القيامة، لا ينقص من أجورهم شىء ومن سنَّ فِى الإسلام سنة سيئة فعليه وزرها ووزر من عمل بها إلى يوم القيامة لا ينقص من أوزارهم شىء»

This hadith of the Prophet means: <<The one who innovates a good innovation in Islam has its reward and a reward similar to those who follow him in it--until the Day of Judgment--without lessening their reward. The one who innovates an innovation of misguidance would be sinful for it and has sins similar to those who follow him in it--until the Day of Judgment--without lessening their sins.>>


There are two types of innovations (Bid^a) mentioned in this hadith: "The innovations of guidance and The innovations of misguidance" or the "good bid^ah and the bad bid^ah".

What complies with the Qur'an, the Sunnah, the Ijma^ (scholarly consensus), and the sayings and practices of the Companions is an innovation of guidance, and what contradicts the Qur'an, the Sunnah, the Ijma^, and the sayings and actions of the Companions is an innovation of misguidance. This definition of the two types of innovations was given by many knowledgeable and trustworthy scholars of Islam; among them Imam ash-Shafi^iyy, Imam an-Nawawiyy, al-Bayhaqiyy, and the Hafidh, Ibn Hajar al-^Asqalaniyy.

It is apparent Muslims have not gone astray in celebrating the birth of the Prophet, based upon the aforementioned hadith, because the deeds practiced during this event are considered rewardable by the standards of the Religion, and in line with the definition of innovations of guidance. Unfortunately, there are some people who misinterpret a sahih hadith related by Abu Dawud: "كل بدعة ضلالة"

which means: <<Most innovations are innovations of misguidance.>> Those who are misguided interpret the word (kul) as `every' and thus claim this hadith means: "Every innovation is an innovation of misguidance. Their claim is unfounded for two reasons. Linguistically, this hadith is similar to the hadith related by al-Bayhaqiyy: "كل عين زانية"

Which clearly does not mean: "Every eye gazes the look of the adulterer;" rather, "Most people are guilty of the forbidden look." The person blind since birth would surely not have the forbidden look, and it is known the Prophets would never commit such an abject sin. The word "كل" (kul) as used in both hadiths refers to `most,' although it can mean "every" it does not mean this in all cases.

As a matter of fact, in the explanation of Sahih Muslim, an-Nawawiyy said: "The saying of the Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, «كل بدعة ضلالة» is among the terms which are: "عام مخصوص" (^am makhsus) i.e., a general statement giving a specific meaning; which is a known field in Islam, and the meaning of the hadith is "most innovations are innovations of misguidance."

This field the"عام مخصوص" is seen in the Qur'an in Ayah 3 of Surat al-Ahqaf: [تدمر كل شىء] which means the wind Allah sent as punishment to the people of ^Ad demolished most of the things.

To accept the meaning: "Every innovation is an innovation of misguidance," as the meaning of the sahih hadith related by Abu Dawud would negate the sahih hadith related by Imam Muslim which specifies two types of innovations: the innovations of guidance and the innovations of misguidance. In the rules of the Religion it is not permissible to interpret two sahih hadiths in contradiction to one another, therefore we know the true meaning.

Although most innovations are innovations of misguidance, there are numerous examples of Religiously acceptable innovations. During the Caliphate of ^Umar Ibnul Khattab, ^Umar initiated the gathering of people in Ramadan to pray the Tarawih Prayer in congregation. When he saw the people performing this prayer in congregation he said:


نِعْمَت البِدعَةُ هَذِه"ِ"
"What a good bid^ah (innovation) that is!"


The high status of ^Umar Ibnul Khattab is known, thus it is important to point out ^Umar used the explicit term البِدعَةُ "innovation" in his praise. If all innovations were misguided--as some claim--^Umar would not have innovated this practice, nor expressed this praise, yet both al-Bukhariyy and Muslim related this incident. During the era of the followers of the Companions of the Prophet, another praise-worthy innovation took place. Initially, letters like the ba, ta, tha, and ya, did not have dots above or below them. This practice of distinguishing between the letters by using this notation began after the time of the Prophet.

Allah knows best.