Celebrating the Birth, the Life and the Message of Last Messenger of Allah, Muhammad (Peace be upon him)
By Syed Soharwardy
For the last 14 centuries, the extremist anti-Islam fanatics have been criticizing our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him), our religion Islam and our Holy book Qur’an. But these anti-Islam fanatics have not been very successful in their false propaganda. After the 9/11 tragedy and the recent American attacks on Muslim countries have created un-parallel interest about Islam in the minds of the western non-Muslim population. This interest has been both positive and negative. In order to reduce the positive interest in Islam, the anti-Islam fanatics are using all the means at their disposal. The electronic and print media in North America, Europe and Australia have been constantly used for attacking on the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (Peace be upon him). There is hardly any speech on TV when a TV Evangelists do not attack, directly or indirectly, on Islam and Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) in their programs. It seems that the major purpose of CNN, CBN, FOX, etc.… is to increase tension and misunderstanding between Muslims and Christians.
Unfortunately, Muslim organizations and businessmen did not realize the importance of the media. We were successful in building mosques and schools in most of the parts of the western world but we completely ignored the value of media. We know that the media plays an important role in shaping of the public opinion.
What should we do under this situation? First of all we must not lose hope. We should use whatever occasions, events, and resources that are available to us for presetting Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) to our next generation and to the non-Muslims of the western world.
Unfortunately, Muslims are so deeply divided that instead of focusing on the real issues we are wasting our time and resources in countering each other. Every year, one of the most unproductive and useless discussion takes place in the month of Rabi- Al -Awwal. As Rabi-Al-Awwal is approaching, the annual campaign of Fatwas and speeches FOR and AGAINST celebrating the Birth of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) has started. What a waste?
The people who oppose celebrating the birthday of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) argue that it should not be celebrated because Prophet himself and his companions after him did not celebrate his birthday. Why should we celebrate? In their opinion, celebrating Prophet’s birthday is a Bid’a (innovation / distortion) in Islam.
Although, there is not a single verse in Qur’an OR a Hadith of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) forbidding the celebration of Prophet’s birthday. However, those who oppose the birthday celebration of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) quote lots of verses from the holy Qur’an and the Hadith giving the impression to less knowledgeable Muslims that it is forbidden. A few weeks ago, a brother gave me a fatwa handout against celebrating the birthday of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and told me that ” there are several verses and Hadith in that handout against Eid-Milad-un-Nabi”. This is the deception, which ordinary Muslims do not understand. They just see the NUMBER of references made from Qur’an and Hadith regardless those references do not relate to the concept ofEid-Milad-un-Nabi (Birthday of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him). These opponents of Eid-Milad-un-Nabi purposely misquote and misinterpret Qur’anic verses and the Hadith of Prophet (Peace be upon him) in order to misguide Muslims which is itself a Bid’a(distortion in Islam).
What is Eid-Milad-un-Nabi? Eid-Milad-un-Nabi is a gathering in which Muslims discuss the birth, the life and the Message of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him). They feed the poor. They present the message of Islam to the non-Muslim community. At this occasion Muslims remind themselves to love and follow Allah’s last Messenger (Peace be upon him) in daily life. It is like any other religious get-together of Muslims.
If a gathering to discuss the birth, the life and the message of Prophet of Islam is a Bid’a (distortion in Islam) because Prophet himself and his companions (Peace be upon them) did not organize or asked us to organize then, for the sake of Allah, please ask yourself why Muslims celebrate / organize the following gatherings. These gatherings and celebrations were never organized by Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him), neither by his noble companions and neither in the history of Islam organized by anyone until recently. At least, Muslims for the more than 12 centuries have undisputedly celebrated Eid-Milad-un-Nabi. The Eid-Milad-un-Nabi has been made controversial during the last century. It had never been a controversial issue.
- The only worldwide gathering of Muslims recommended and practiced by Prophet Muhammad and his companions (Peace be upon them) is Hajj. Where you find a verse or Hadith to organize worldwide gatherings of Muslims in the name of TABLEEGH? InPakistan and Bangladesh the annual TBALIGHEE IJTIMA’ attracts more worldwide Muslims than Hajj. Isn’t this a Bid’a?
- In Pakistan, during Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s time (1970s), he invited Imam Ka’ba to visit Pakistan. When Imam Ka’ba (a fierce opponent of Eid-Milad-un-Nabi but gave fatawa to bring US troops on Saudi soil during the Gulf War) came Pakistan, Muslims abandoned mosques and prayed Friday prayers behind him in grounds and stadiums. Imam Ka’ba did not give Fatwa against such behaviour. Prophet and his companions (Peace be upon them) never did such a thing. Never happened before in the history of Muslims? Wasn’t that Bid’a?
- The scholars, Ulema and students of Dar-ul-Aloom Deuband (one of the oldest Islamic universities in India) celebrated the 100th and 150th anniversaries during the last century. The 100th year celebration program was presided by the Hindu Prime Minister ofIndia, Indira Gandhi. Did Prophet or his companions ever celebrated the anniversary of Masjid Al Quba, Masjid Al Nabawi, etc.? Talk about inviting a “Mushrikah” to preside over the gatherings of Ulema-e-Islam. Wasn’t that a Bid’a?
- Few years ago in UK, the Ahl-e-Hadith party held TOWHEED-O-SUNNAT conference and invited Imam Ka’ba and many other scholars. Did Prophet Muhammad or his noble companions (Peace be upon them) ever organized a program called TOWHEED-O-SUNNAT Conference and traveled to speak at the conference? Wasn’t that a Bid’a?
- Currently, US raged war against Iraq. All over the world Muslims took out large rallies, having signs and banners against the war. In Pakistan million marches were held in all major cities. Scholars of Islam addressed those rallies. Among those scholars there were those who consider Eid-Milad-un-Nabi as Bid’a. I ask a very simple question. Did Prophet Muhammad, his companions and the noble scholars of Islam after them ever took out rallies, banners protesting against an aggression? Weren’t those rallies, processions and banners Bid’a?
- During 1970 elections in Pakistan Jamat Islami took out major processions in the name of Youm-e-Shawkat-e-Islam. This name itself undermines the religion of Islam. Everyday is Youm-e-Shawkat-e-Islam not when Jamat Islami contests elections. When did Prophet and his companions organize Youm-e-Shawkat-e-Islam? Wasn’t that Bid’a?
- Although, in Saudi Arabia there is no official national holiday but Saudi’s do celebrate Youm-ul-Watani. Television telecasts special programs and newspapers print special editions and private companies take a day off. At least, I have not seen that the Saudi scholars have ever protested to their government to stop Youmul-Watani. But they are very quick in giving Fatwa against Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi.
- Saudi scholars who oppose the celebration of Prophet’s birthday, gave Fatwas for justifying US troops in Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War. Can we trust them? That was a real distortion in Islam.
- In North America, ISNA, ICNA, CAIR and many other Muslim organizations organize their annual conventions. In most cases people have to purchase tickets to listen the speeches of various scholars of Islam. Isn’t this entire setup a Bid’a? Where Prophet (Peace be upon him) OR his companions (Peace be upon them) OR scholars of Islam after them organized such conventions? Why people have to pay in order to listen the scholars of Islam? Is this correct? This is a Bid’a.
- The very concept of forming organizations such as Jama’t Ahl-e-Hadith, Party of Salafis, Jama’t Islami, WAMY, Rabita Aalm-e-Islami, ISNA, ICNA, CAIR, ISCC, is a Bid’a. Neither Prophet nor his companions (Peace be upon them) ever formed organizations and named them. The only name for worldwide Muslim community is “Muslims”. Only Allah creates the individual or tribal diversification for identification not human beings.
- In many Muslim and non-Muslim countries Muslims establish management committees for mosques. Did Prophet or his companions or scholars after them establish management committees for mosques? Isn’t the current entire administration setup of mosquesBid’a?
- In Pakistan, there is lady. She considers herself a scholar of Islam. She gives fatawa not only against Eid-Milad-un-Nabi but against many other things. But she organizes prayer get together for woman only. She organizes Salat-at-Tasbeeh get together for women only. She organizes Taraweeh prayers for women only. She has invented many things in Islam for the sake of women but for her Eid-Milad-un-Nabi is Bid’a? Where she finds bases for her style of preaching Islam? She organizes gatherings of women against the teachings Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) which is a worse form of Bid’a.
- Today, in North America Muslim associations organize fundraising dinners for mosques, Islamic schools or for humanitarian purposes. They sell tickets and invite speakers. When Prophet or his companions (Peace be upon them) raised funds through fundraising dinners? When Prophet or his companions (Peace be upon them) sold $5, $25, $100, etc. food plates for the good cause. Isn’t this all Bid’a?
My dear Muslim brothers and sisters,
All this confusion was started from Saudi Arabia during and after the Wahabi revolution. Before Wahabi revolution in Saudi Arabia Muslims used to celebrate their beloved Prophet’s Birthday without any confusion and restriction. Muslims are now traveling more forUmrah and Hajj and many Muslims from various parts of the world work in Saudi Arabia. They think whatever is practiced in Makkah and Madinah must be correct. Imagine, if you had been in Makkah or Madinah during the Ottoman Empire you would have seen the celebration of Eid-Milad with your own eyes in Makkah and Madinah. Ottomans ruled Makkah and Madinah and the entire Muslim world for seven centuries. The Wahabi revolution was one of the major causes of destruction of Khilafah Al-Islamiyah. In the entire Muslim world Saudi Arabia is the only country where Eid–Milad-un-Nabi has been stopped from celebrating. All over the Muslim world including GCC countries, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, Oman, Bahrain etc. Eid-Milad-un-Nabi is celebrated as a national holiday.
Please read the Travel Story of Ibn-e-Batuta. He has described the eye-witnessed celebration of Prophet’s Birthday in Makkah inside the Haram and the city. Ibn-e-Batuta was just a traveler. He wrote what he saw in Makkah.
We must not pay attention towards the FITNAH created by the misguided and fanatics. Let’s go back to Islam which was given to us by our beloved Muhammad -ur-Rasool-ullah (Sallallaho Alaihe wa Aal-e-hee wa As-haab-e-hee wa Azwaj-e-hee wa barak wasallam) and practiced / interpreted by his companions and the early scholars (Salaf) of Islam.
I request all of you to celebrate the Birthday of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) with utmost enthusiasm and devotion. Especially this year after so many fanatics like Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwel, Franklin Graham had badmouthed about our beloved (HABEEB, Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam) in the media.
WE MUST SHOW THE WORLD THAT WE LOVE MUHAMMAD (PEACE BE UPON HIM) MORE THAN OUR OWN PARENTS, OUR OWN CHILDREN AND OUR OWN LIVES.
Lets make a commitment on the Birthday of our HABEEB (Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam) that we will follow his teachings for the rest of the year and during the rest of our lives.
May we live as the true lovers of Rasool-ullah (Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam) and may we die in the love of Rasool-ullah (Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam). Ameen
You may read the detailed articles and Fatwas about the permissibility of celebrating Eid-Milad-un-Nabi in the light of Qur’an, Hadith and the Fatawa of scholars of Islam (Salaf) at
Please let us know if ISCC can help you in organizing Meelad Gatherings in your areas. All ISCC services are FREE.