Holding birthday parties for children

Question 25: Some of our Muslim brethren hold birthday parties for themselves and their children, what is the ruling on such festivals?

Answer: The basic principle regarding acts of `Ibaadah (worship) is that they are Tawqeefee (bound by a religious text and not amenable to personal opinion), and as such, no one is allowed to worship Allaah in a way other than which He ordained, because the Prophet (peace be upon him) said in the Saheeh (authentic) Hadeeth... read more here.

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Good Innovation and bad innovation

Question 24: Scholars hold different opinions concerning Bidd`ah (innovation in religion); some of them say that there is a good Bidd`ah and a bad one. Is this true?

Answer: Bidd`ah: It can be defined as all things invented or acts done for which there is no precedent. It can be either related to the dealings and affairs of worldly life, such as inventing planes, cars, trains; and electrical devices, cooking utensils, air conditioners used for warming and cooling; and even war machines such as bombs, submarines, tanks, and other objects made to serve people in this world. Such things in themselves are permissible and there is no sin in inventing them... read more here.

Banquets and festivals held on the occasion of the Mawlid

Question 23: In Tanzania we prepare a banquet to be held in a special location in our town where we gather and say: “This banquet is offered by the founder of Qadiriyyah Tareeqah (Sufi order).” Is this act regarded as Bidd`ah (innovation in religion) or does it comply with the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him)? We do not visit the Masjids (mosques), unless we make this banquet and recite the birth narrative of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Is there anything wrong in doing these things?

Answer: During the lifetime of the Prophet (peace be upon him), the Sahaabah (Companions of the Prophet), and Salaf (Righteous Predecessors), banquets were not prepared for honoring any of the late righteous men. None of the Sahabah or Salaf celebrated the Mawlid (the Prophet’s birthday) either during the lifetime of the Prophet (peace be upon him) or after his death. They never prepared food to commemorate the Prophet’s death. Celebrating the birth of the Prophet (peace be upon him), or that of righteous people, caliphs, outstanding personalities, Shaykh `Abdul-Qaadir or others, by reciting eulogies or even worse claiming that the soul of the Prophet (peace be upon him) attends the celebration, are all considered reprehensible Bidd`ahs... read more here.

Refuting the arguments of those who approve of the Mawlid

Question 22: Recently, I heard you saying that celebrating the Mawlid (the Prophet’s birthday) is disapproved of by Sharee`ah (Islaamic law) and falls under Bidd`ah (innovation in religion). I would like to say in this regard that during the celebration of the birthday of the Prophet (peace be upon him) people gather as brothers, practice piety, read the Qur’aan and the Sunnah and recite poetry that praises Islaam or the great Messenger (peace be upon him). This is what happens during the celebration of the birthday of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and there is nothing in these acts that contradicts Sharee`ah (Islaamic law). With all due appreciation and respect, please explain this matter.

Answer: There is no doubt that celebrating the birthday of the Prophet (peace be upon him) may include some of what the questioner mentioned when attended by learned and aware people. However, we must remember that we are servants commanded to obey and we are not lawgivers or legislators. We are to follow the Commands of Allaah and implement His Law. We must not introduce into Islaam that which Allaah has not permitted or approved, this should be remembered very well. Allaah, the Almighty, states... read more here.

Islaamically unlawful acts in Mawlid celebrations

Question 21: Dear Chairman and members of the Fatwaa’ Committee, there are some villages here in Jordan, particularly in my village of Kharja, where they continually read the birth story of the Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him) in the following manner:

1. A group of men, which sometimes also includes some women, read the birth story of the Prophet (peace be upon him). In this story are claims such as: “Anyone whose name is Muhammad will be called by a summoner from Allaah on the Day of Resurrection, and it will be said to them: Enter Paradise in honor of Muhammad (peace be upon him),” and “Anyone who invokes blessings upon Muhammad (peace be upon him) thousand times, Allaah will prohibit the Fire from touching their body,” and “When `Abdullaah, the father of Muhammad (peace be upon him), married Aminah one hundred women in Makkah died, because they had not married`Abdullaah.” Also, when the narrator reaches the part relating the Prophet’s mother giving birth to him, everyone stands up; and when they read the part about his birth, they recite it, to show respect for Muhammad (peace be upon him). There are even more exaggerated acts performed in a birthday commemoration called Mawlid Al-‘Arawee.

Answer: Firstly: It is permissible and encouraged to read the Seerah (the Prophet’s biography) to learn the rites and acts of ‘Ibaadah (worship) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to perform, in words and deeds, and learn about his noble manners. However, gathering regularly, at a certain time, to specifically relate the story of the Prophet’s birth is a detestable Bidd‘ah (innovation in religion) that neither took place during the lifetime of the Prophet (peace be upon him) nor that of the first three generations of Islaam, which the Prophet (peace be upon him) attested to their being the best of all. It is authentically reported that he (peace be upon him) saidread more here.

Preaching and giving sermons on the day of Mawlid

Question 20: What is the ruling on preaching and giving sermons on the day of Mawlid (the Prophet’s birth)?

Answer: Propagation of virtue and prevention of vice, teaching people the rules of their religion and preaching them to soften their hearts are lawful at anytime, for the general stated commands to do so, without limiting to specific times. Allaah (Exalted be He) says (what means)read more here.

Gatherings to commemorate the Mawlid

Question 19: Is it permissible to gather on the 12th of Rabee‘ Al-Awwal to commemorate the Mawlid (the Prophet’s birthday)?

Answer: Celebrating the Mawlid is an act of Bidd‘ah (innovation in religion). The Prophet (peace be upon him) neither celebrated it nor ordered it to be celebrated. The Sahaabah (Companions of the Prophet), who were the keenest to honor and follow the Messenger (peace be upon him) and his Sunnah, did not celebrate it either. Indeed, all goodness lies in following the very way and guidance of the Prophet (peace be upon him) for he said: Anyone who introduces anything into this matter of ours (Islaam) that is not part of it will have it rejected.read more here.

Reciting the birth narrative of the Prophet in Rabee` – I or on marriage occasions

Question 18: What is your opinion regarding a group of Muslims who are accustomed to reading and revering a book entitled “Mawlid Al-Nabee (the Prophet’s Birth)” on the twelfth of Rabee` Al-Awwal of each Hijree year, and on such occasions as wedding ceremonies or delivery of a child. The book is written by Shaykh Muhammad `Uthmaan Al-Mirghaanee. The main theme of the book revolves around Prophet Muhammad’s biography. The author claims that the Prophet (peace be upon him) attends in person during recitation of the book. The book falls in two chapters.

Answer: All praise be to Allaah Alone, and peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allaah, his family and Companions. To proceed:

Celebrating the Prophet’s birthday in Rabee` Al-Awwal or any other month is a prohibited Bidd`ah (innovation in religion). The same applies to reading books on the Prophet’s birth in Rabee` Al-Awwal or on such occasions as wedding ceremonies, delivery of a child, holding Aqeeqah (sacrifice for a newborn) or any occasion of the sort… read more here.

Ruling on schools and factories taking holidays on the Mawlid

Question 17: What is your opinion – may Allaah keep you as a pillar supporting the Islaamic Ummah (nation based on one creed) – on schools and factories taking holidays, or giving Khutbah (sermons), lectures, etc., as we do here in Africa on the occasion of the Mawlid (the Prophet’s birthday)?

Answer: Celebrating Mawlid and taking holidays on this occasion is a Bidd`ah (innovation in religion), as neither the Prophet (peace be upon him) nor his Sahaabah (Companions, may Allaah be pleased with them) did this. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Anyone who introduces anything into this matter of ours (Islaam) that is not part of it will have it rejected.read more here.

Poems praising the Prophet excessively

Question 16: In Al-Azhar Magazine, (vol. 4, issue 69 – Rabee` Thaanee 1417 A.H., p. 540), I read a poem called, “Longing” by Ibraheem `Eesaa marking the occasion of the Mawlid (the Prophet’s birthday). I have doubts regarding some of its verses for they include seeking help from other than Allaah. The poem reads as follows…

Answer: This poem is an invocation and an appeal to the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) after his death regarding matters that Allaah Alone can do. The verses contain some polytheistic phrases such as, “Save the truth! For it is about to be erased by a fool”, “O my beloved! Offer your graces for they are thirst-quenching” and “Choose me! Shelter me!” To believe in these matters is Kufr (disbelief) that may drive a person out of Islaam, Allaah Forbid! A person should perform sincere Tawbah (repentance to Allaah) of this and dedicate all acts of `Ibaadah (worship) such as Du`aa’ (supplication) and Istighaathah (seeking help) to Allaah only. In addition, a person should believe that Allaah (Glorified be He) is the only Sustainer Who can extend benefit and afflict Harm… read more here.

Circumcision on the day of Mawlid (prophet’s birthday)

Question 15: Some people used to celebrate the circumcision of children on the occasion of the Mawlid (the Prophet’s birthday) offering sacrifices and inviting other families. After the circumcision, they offer money to the circumcised child. Is there a special way to celebrate the circumcision?

Answer: All praise be to Allaah Alone, and peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allaah, his family and Companions. First, circumcision is one of Sunan-al-Fitrah (Islaamic practices of personal hygiene) instructed to by the Prophet (peace be upon him)… read more here.

Newly-invented practices while celebrating the Mawlid

Question 14: You requested of me to describe the kinds of Bidd‘ah (innovation in religion) that take place in Masjids (Mosques) when celebrating the Mawlid (the Prophet’s birthday). They are many, may Allaah grant us help! These newly-invented matters are like holding ceremonies, where voices are raised, without paying regard to worshippers offering Salaah (Prayer) or Qur’aan reciters. This is in addition to chanting a poem after performing Salaah. Once the Imaam utters Takbeer (saying: “Allaahu Akbar [Allaah is the Greatest]”), the chanter says…

Answer: First: All that you have mentioned in your question are newly-invented practices introduced into Islaam, which are not permissible to be done. It is authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Anyone who introduces anything into this matter of ours (Islaam) that is not part of it will have it rejected. Second: It is not permissible to bury the dead in Masjids for the Prophet (peace be upon him) warned saying: May Allaah curse the Jews and the Christians; they have taken the graves of their prophets as places of worship.(Agreed upon its authenticity)… read more here.

Condemnation of celebrating the Mawlid (Prophet’s birthday)

Ruling on celebrating the Mawlid:

Scholars classified the gatherings held during the month of Rabee` Al-Awwal, which are called Mawlid (the Prophet’s birthday), into two types:

First: Gatherings free of prohibited actions, which are considered Bidd`ah (innovation in religion) and fall under the same ruling as other newly-invented practices in Islaam. the Shaykh of Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah said in his compilation entitled “Al-Fataawaa’ Al-Kubraa”: “As for specifying a celebration other than the Islaamic celebrations such as certain nights during the month of Rabee` Al-Awwal, referred to as the night of Mawlid, or some nights in the month of Rajab… read more here.

Ruling on poems that excessively praise the Prophet during Mawlid celebrations

Question 12: What is the ruling on celebrating the Mawlid (the Prophet’s birthday) every Friday night? There is a book titled “Al-Mawlid Al-Rabi`ee” which contains many poems praising the Messenger (peace be upon him), many invocations of blessings and peace on the Prophet and praises him a lot. It also narrates the Seerah (the Prophet’s biography) from birth to death. Please explain this issue and present your evidence!

Answer: Celebrating the birthday of the Prophet (peace be upon him), or that of any other person, is baseless in Sharee`ah (Islaamic law) and has no supporting evidence. The Prophet (peace be upon him) did not do this during his life, nor did his Rightly-Guided Caliphs who were the most knowledgeable of the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the most beloved to him. the Sahaabah (Companions of the Prophet Muhammad) after his death did not celebrate his birthday, nor did the Taabi`oon (Followers, the generation after the Companions of the Prophet) during all early centuries of Islaam, renowned as the best… read more here.

Ruling on celebrating the Mawlid (the Prophet’s birthday)

Question 11: Is it Halaal (lawful) or Haraam (prohibited) to celebrate the Mawlid (the Prophet’s birthday)?

Answer: Celebrating the birthday of the Prophet (peace be upon him), or of any other person, is a Bidd`ah (innovation in religion). It is authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) stated: Anyone who introduces anything into this matter of ours (Islaam) that is not part of it will have it rejected.read more here.

Islaamic institutions that celebrate the Mawlid

Question 10: Some Islaamic institutions celebrate the Mawlid (the Prophet’s birthday). Did the Prophet (peace be upon him) do this, or did he order this to be done after his death?

Answer: Celebrating the occasion of the Mawlid is a forbidden Bidd`ah (innovation in religion), for there is no evidence from the Qur’aan or the Sunnah to support this act. It was not practiced by any of the four Rightly-Guided Caliphs. Moreover, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Anyone who introduces anything into this matter of ours (Islaam) that is not part of it will have it rejected. He (peace be upon him) also said: Adhere to my Sunnah (way) and the Sunnah of the righteous, Rightly-guided Caliphs; hold fast to it and bite onto it with your molars (i.e. cling firmly to it). Beware of newly-invented matters (in religion), for every newly-invented matter is a Bidd‘ah, and every Bidd‘ah is a Dalaalah (deviation from the right).read more here.

Refuting the claim that celebrating the “Mawlid is a good innovation”

Question 9: Our question is about celebrating the Mawlid (the Prophet’s birthday), is it Bidd`ah (innovation in Islaam)? I heard in some places and from some scholars that it is a good Bidd`ah and Allaah knows best, may Allaah bless you!

Answer: Celebrating the birth of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and righteous people is Bidd`ah which began in recent centuries, after the best three centuries of Islaam: the first, the second and the third centuries after Hijrah. It is one of the Bidd`ahs which some people have introduced into Islaam out of love for such celebrations, thinking that it is a good thing to do. The correct opinion, according to verifying scholars, is that such celebrations are Bidd`ah… read more here.

Is it true that the Prophet attends Mawlid celebrations?

Question 8: What is the ruling on celebrating Al-Mawlid Al-Nabawee (the Prophet’s birthday)? Is it true that the Prophet (peace be upon him) attends it in person?

Answer: Honoring the Prophet (peace be upon him) can be achieved by believing in his message and acting according to the Law revealed by Allaah through him, whereas celebrating his birthday is an act of Bidd‘ah (innovation in religion). It is authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Anyone who introduces anything into this matter of ours (Islaam) that is not part of it will have it rejected. It is not authentically proven that the Prophet (peace be upon him) attends anywhere after his death. The basic rule is the non-occurrence of that. Accordingly, we should abide by this fact until otherwise is proven… read more here.