Question 208: We are a group of people who memorize the Qur’aan; we meet every year on the day of the Mawlid (the Prophet’s birthday) in the shrine of a Waliy (a pious person), where an annual celebration is held, in which children are circumcised and people offer Sadaqah (voluntary charity) to students, whether in the form of money or supplies. After the people go away, the students collect the money, each according to their standard and generosity, and hold an auction to sell the items given to them as Sadaqah. For instance, one of them asks the others, “What have you put in this piece of cloth?” They reply, “We have put health, wealth, obedience of children, etc.” Thus, this old piece of cloth is sold for many times its original price. This money is used to buy animals to be sacrificed in the shrine. The students stay in the shrine for a week, reciting the Qur’aan many times every night,and offering Salaah inside the shrine, given that the shrine is inside the chamber, and the chamber is inside the graveyard. What is the ruling on such a deed? Is it a means to become closer to Allaah or is it groundless in Sharee`ah? Please advise, may Allaah reward you!
Answer: First, Muhammad (peace be upon him) is our beloved Prophet; the most pre-eminent among the descendants of Adam; the last of prophets; the Messenger sent to all the people; and the first one to make Shafaa`ah (intercession) on the Day of Judgment. However, celebrating his Mawlid is a Bid`ah (innovation in religion), as neither he (peace be upon him) nor the Rightly-Guided Caliphs or the rest of his Sahaabah (Companions) did it, although they were the people who knew his Sharee`ah the most, the believers who loved him most, and they were keen on following and honoring him. If celebrating the Mawlid had been permissible, they would have done it. This was not authentically reported from him (peace be upon him) or from them; it is considered an innovated Bidd`ah. It was authentically reported that he (peace be upon him) said, If a person innovates things in our affairs for which there is no valid reason, these are to be rejected. Narrated by Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim. Doing this in the shrine of a righteous person makes this Bidd`ah even more rejected and exceeding the limits in honoring the righteous people, which is considered evident falsehood... read more here.