[NOTE: This is a summary of a speech delivered at a Eid-Milad-un-Nabi (peace be upon him) program in Calgary]
In the Name of Allah the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful. All praises belong to Allah and May Allah’s blessings upon his Last Messenger, Muhammad ibn Abdullah (peace be upon him).
My Dear elders, brothers, sisters and children, Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah Wa Barakatoh,
Over the years, I have attended many gatherings with my Muslim brothers. We all socialize and interact in these gatherings. These beautiful gatherings provide us opportunities to get to know each other and exchange our thoughts and perspectives on issues and problems of Muslim Ummah. I always wished that some of my brothers could have differently thought on the issues of this Ummah. There are so many more important issues of this Ummah but these brothers have chosen to discuss these minor issues more than the actual big issues. We could have concentrated on the issues of Chechnya, Kashmir, Philistine, Bosnia, Kosovo, Albania, Somalia, Philippines, Iraq, Sudan, Afghanistan etc.. We could discuss more on how could we improve the standard of living in Muslim countries? How could we help our Muslim brothers and sisters around the world? How can we bring political, economical and social stability in our Muslim countries? How can we work together to make ourselves stronger and united? How can we improve literacy and health standards in Muslim countries? But unfortunately, our religious leadership has divided us so bitterly that we become enemy or friend based upon our sectarian beliefs. This is sad and very unfortunate situation. Why is this happening? In my opinion, there is only one reason. We are hypocrites. We do not practice what we say. It is easy to criticize and find problems in others but it is very difficult to realize our own weaknesses and difficulties. We always find some excuses or twist the interpretation of Islamic teachings to fit to our own desires and school of thoughts. This is evil and Allah has destroyed previous nations just because of this hypocrisy. Let me give you few examples.
Some of our brothers create a huge disagreement on the issue of whether should we say ” SALAM (saluting) ON OUR PROPHET (peace be upon him)” in public or not? The dispute become very grave if some of us stand-up during SALAM. This issue has caused fights inside the mosques and created animosity among Muslims. This dispute has turned away many Muslims from the mosques. The management committees of several mosques have made this issue so big that they would prefer not have a Muslim brother or sister praying in the mosque who believes in saying SALAM on the Prophet by standing.
Muslims say SALAM on the Prophet by standing just to express their respect towards the Prophet (peace be upon him). On the other side those brothers who “HATE” to standup during SALAM on the Prophet would quickly stand-up as soon as they hear the national anthem of Canada, USA or their country of origin. I have attended several gatherings in Canada and USA on Pakistan’s independence day and got the opportunity to watch all brothers who do not like to standup during SALAM on the Prophet but will gladly standup when a singer ask them to standup on a certain song during a musical show. ” They will be considered ill-mannered if they stay sitting”, said one of the brother. I raised this question to an Imam of a mosque and he replied, “Participating and standing during songs in Pakistan day gatherings is not part of the religion but standing up during SALAM on the Prophet may be considered as part of Islam. Since, it is not prescribed by the Prophet, therefore, it is wrong to say SALAM loudly in the public and worse if you stand-up.”
I am not sure on what basis these “moulvees” (Imams) divide a Muslim’s life? What action of a believer is in the Islam and what action is outside the Islam?. But what we have learnt about Islam is that each moment of Mo’min’s life, every action of Mo’min’s behaviour is Eibadah (worshipping Allah). When a Mo’min eats, sleeps, enjoys Allah’s blessings, do business, work and even have sexual relationship with his /her wife / husband are considered part of Eibadah. On what basis these moulvees can say that this is within Islam and that is out side Islam? These moulvees consider saying SALAM on the Prophet as Bid’a (innovation) in Islam. While, their entire approach of dividing a believer’s life is not only Bid’a but a very obvious approach against the teachings of Islam. Saying SALAM on the Prophet does increase love and respect for the Prophet, which ultimately encourages a Muslim to follow the Prophet (peace be upon him). Saying SALAM on the Prophet strengthens the faith. If during the anthem its O.K. to standup just to show respect and solidarity with the country. It is far better to standup during saluting (SALAM) the Prophet just to show solidarity with the Muslims and respect for the Prophet (peace be upon him). If standing during SALAM is a bid’a then the standing up for an anthem is a bigger bid’a.
Since, we do not consider that standing-up during SALAM is forbidden in Islam, therefore, standing up during anthem is also not forbidden in Islam as long as the wording of any anthem does not contradict with Islamic beliefs.
Listening Na’at (a type of poetry to praise the Prophet) of Prophet (peace be upon him) is also some thing which is not welcome by some of our brothers and sisters. Especially in the mosques reciting Na’at is considered by some moulvees as bad as saying SALAM on the Prophet (may Allah forgive me). Therefore, those brothers and sisters who follow such moulvees do not only make jokes of Na’at Khwani but also ask other Muslims not to attend a gathering where Na’at will be recited. The increasing popularity of Na’at and its influence on Muslims have bothered such moulvees and their followers. On the other hand those brothers and sisters who are very much against singing a Na’at to praise our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) gladly attend musical programs where the singers, male and females sing romantic / vulgar songs. In these cultural programs singers do all kind of things which are considered sin in Islam. These opponent of SALAM on the Prophet and NA’AT Khwani get glued to their seats in these musical programs. They miss their obligatory prayers but they do not want to miss the songs. They would not even ask the management committee of these programs to give a break for prayer during their cultural events. They enjoy seeing Muslim and non-Muslim female dancers dancing on the stage and do not feel bad about it. But if a Na’at Khawn sings a Na’at, they get stomachache. When you see these people out side those cultural programs, in the mosques or elsewhere, they showoff their piety big time. They talk like that they are the authority on Islam and any Fatwa they would give against SALAM on the Prophet and NA’AT KHWANI will be very Islamic. Their moulvees would not make speeches against such musical filth and would not ask them not to attend these programs. These moulvees would not get tired by making long speeches against SALAM on the Prophet and Na’at Khwani. I wish these moulvees spend more time on explaining Muslims about the basic requirements of Islam rather than spending their energy against praising of our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him).
During Prophet’s (peace be upon him) time the companions of the Prophet (peace be upon them) used to praise Prophet (peace be upon him) while he was sitting among them. They used to praise him (Na’at or Madiha) in Masjid Al Nabawi Al Sharif, in the battlefields and in the gatherings (HAFLAH). Today, these moulvees have forbidden Muslims to praise their Prophet in the Mosques. Most of the Mosque management committees are comprised of Muslims who do not understand Islam in detail. They rely on the guidance of Imam (moulvee). Moulvees have taken full advantage of this lack of knowledge and have used these management committees to protect their own sectarian beliefs.
Celebrating Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi (Prophet’s birthday) (Peace be upon him). According to some moulvees celebrating Prophet’s birthday is very un-Islamic. They preach this in the mosques and in private gatherings. They have been successful in changing some of our brothers and sisters minds just like Qadyanis and Ahmadies. On the other hand, these moulvees and their followers would not have any trouble in celebrating Independence day, 4th of July, Canada day, Memorial day, Victoria day, in some cases birthdays of their own children etc.. These moulvees and their followers can organize programs such as “celebrating new building for the Islamic School”, “new building for the Mosque” etc. Organizing programs to honour a big Shaikh visiting from Saudi Arabia or Pakistan, organizing a conference to mark certain occasion or event etc.. All these programs fall under the “Islamic Category ” regardless that there is NO proof that such programs were ever organized by the Prophet (peace be upon him) or by the companions of the Prophet (peace be upon them). But for them organizing a program to mark the birthday of the Prophet is very “un-Islamic”. I get surprised upon the approach of these “BIG” Shaikhs who not only oppose the celebrations of Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi but any gathering, at anytime around the year (does not have to be Prophet’s birthday) under the title of Milad-un-Nabi or Mawlid-un-Nabi is “un-Islamic” for them. Because Prophet himself did not organize programs called Eid-Milad-un-Nabi or Milad-un-Nabi or Mawlid-un-Nabi (peace be upon him). They may be right. But where did the Prophet or his companions organized programs under the title of “Seerat-un-Nabi” or “Dars-e-Hadith” etc.. On what occasions Prophet or his companions advertised certain programs and invited people from far and wide to come and attend programs except Hajj?
During early 80s, when Dar-ul-Aloom Deuband of India completed its hundred years of existence, the very knowledgeable and very respected scholars of Deuband organized 100th anniversary celebrations of Dar-ul-Aloom Deuband. They not only invited the scholars of Islam around the world but they invited the pagan (Mushrikah) Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi as a Chief Guest for the main program. The religious students and the scholars of Islam were sitting down while Indira Gandhi was sitting on a high chair. ” This must have been very Islamic thing because not a single moulvee, Islamic Scholar or Imam said any thing against it”. But a gathering of Milad-un-Nabi where all the boundaries of Islamic Shari’a are observed is considered un-Islamic by these moulvees. May Allah forgive these moulvees. Can someone show me any reference in hadith that the companions of the Prophet ever celebrated the anniversary of Masjid-e-Nabawi Sharif OR any other Islamic institution? The answer is obviously, NO. Therefore, celebrating 100th anniversary of Dar ul Aloom Deuband is not a bid’a? Can any moulvee explain to me why?
Muslims around the world organize Parades (JALOOS) on the occasion of Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi. In some moulvees’ opinion this is worse than the organizing the Milad gathering. Because, they say, ” it was never done during Prophet’s time and his companions time”. However, can these moulvees show any hadith where Prophet and his companions organized any processions or Parades (Jaloos) other than the caravans (we may consider them as processions because of the resemblance) for Jihad or Hajj. But can these moulvees show any reference that the Prophet or his companions ever organized processions such as “Youme-Shawkat-e-Islam”, “Azmat-e-Sahabah”, “Youm-e-Siyah”, etc… During the elections of 1970s Jama’at-e-Islami organized huge processions in all major cities of Pakistan. In some cities the processions were several miles long. No moulvee gave Fatwa that this kind of thing did not happen during Prophet’s time, why are we doing it? Nowadays, many religious organizations have started to organize “Azmat-e-Sahabah” processions in Pakistan. Is there any reference in hadith to organize such processions? Did Tabe-een or Taba Tabe-een organize such processions? The answer is obviously, NO. (In my opinion, these Azmat-e-Sahabah processions are as important and valid as Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi processions). But we must not pick and choose. “Whatever, I do is valid and whatever the others do is invalid”.
It is clear in the books of hadith that the people of Madinah took out a big processions when the last Messenger of Allah, Muhammad (peace be upon him) arrived in Madinah on the occasion of Hijrah. The girls of Madinah were singing songs, praising the Prophet and thanking Allah for his safe arrival in Madinah. People of Madinah were chanting on this occasion, they were walking with the camel of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Secondly, whenever Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) used to come back from Jihad, the children and the women of Madinah used to stand on both sides of the street to welcome the Prophet (peace be upon him). Therefore, at least there are references in the hadith to celebrate the arrival of the Prophet by chanting, singing Islamic songs and forming processions (Jaloos) but there are no references to organize any other procession.
Did Sahabah or Tabe-een or Taba Tabe-een form certain organizations / committees to manage the affairs of Mosques or to serve the community of certain area? Did they form organizations like ICNA, ISNA, Jamiatul Ulama-e-Islam, Jama’at Ahle-Sunnat, Jama’at Ahl-e-Hadith, Tahreek-e-Jafriyah etc.? Based upon the definition used by these moulvees for Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi this entire setup is bid’a? Why they don’t call this setup as bid’a? Why only Milad-un-Nabi is bid’a?
Our religious students take various subjects while studying in religious institutions. There are various sciences in Islamic studies such as science of “SARF WA NAHW” (Arabic language grammar), science of “FIQAH” (jurisprudence), science of “HADITH” (dour-e-hadith), etc… Did the Prophet or the companions classify the Islamic studies in such subjects? Although, these topics existed during their time but never considered as separate subjects. Why don’t we consider this classification of Islamic studies as bid’a? Why only Milad-un-Nabi gathering is bid’a?
Today, our scholars take pride in their degrees. Many of them have Ph.D. degrees. Although, the companions of the Prophet were the only people who had the best understanding of Islam. But non-of them had degrees. Therefore, getting degrees in Islamic Studies should be a bid’a because it was not done during Prophet’s time. Don’t they have dual standards?
The A’raab on Qur’anic text (madda, fatha, kasrah, dhammah etc..) were not used during Prophet’s time or his companions time and even many years after them. They were introduced by Hajjaj ibn Youssef during his rule. Hajjaj was informed that non-Arabs can not read Qur’an correctly because they do not know the pronunciation of Arabic words. In order to preserve the correct Arabic pronunciation Hajjaj introduced these A’raab.
Based upon the definition of bid’a used by these moulvees for Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi, this introduction of A’raab should be “un-Islamic” as well. But unfortunately, if these A’raab are removed from Qur’anic text most of these moulvees may not be able to read Qur’an correctly.
Some moulvees add in their names the affiliation of their religious school after they graduate from there. For example, ISLAHI, NADVI, Al-AZHARI, etc.. Did any Sahabah changed or added in their names such names? Sahabah were the students of Prophet’s school. Did any Tabe’e or Taba Tabe’ add or change their names after they graduated from a religious institution? Certainly, not. Why is this not a Bid’a?
If these moulvees have so high standards of following the Sunnah of the Prophet that they would not do things, which did not occur during Prophet’s time. Why they do pick and choose among the tradition of the Prophet? They Must not attend gatherings, which are organized under the titles, which are not proven by Hadith. They should not celebrate any other day except Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul Adhha. They should not standup for any occasion. They must ask their followers not to listen any kind of music and make sincere effort for this. Do not participate in any rallies and Jaloos. Do not organize programs for anybody including Prophet and his companions. Do not read Qur’an which has A’raab.
Dear brothers & Sisters, non-of the above mentioned actions have any proven link in Qur’an and Hadith but these false scholars of Islam do not consider these things as bid’a. Although, Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi was also not celebrated during Prophet’s time and the companions of the Prophet’s time but still the significance of a prophet’s birthday is mentioned in Qur’an. Allah says in Surah Maryam (verse 15) about Prophet Yahya (peace be upon him), So Peace on him The day he was born, The day he dies, and the day he Will be raised up To life (again). Similarly, in verse 33 Allah has quoted Prophet Jesus’ words, So Peace is on me The day I was born, The day I die, And the day I shall be raised up to life (again). Both verses show that the special blessings of Allah come on the birthdays and the death days of Prophets. Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was asked why do you fat on Mondays. He said I fast Mondays because I was born on that day. At least we know that the birthdays of Prophets have some importance in Qur’an. The difference is on the format of the celebrations which is a valid difference of opinion but where is the connection in Qur’an and Hadith for the above bid’a (innovations) carried out by these moulvees? They do not see their own bid’a but the celebration of Prophets birthday is a sin for them (may Allah forgive them).
(The legality in Islamic Shari’a of celebrating Prophet’s Birthday is a separate topic and will be discussed separately)
Let me give you just few examples of this hypocrisy. All these moulvees know that the Prophet never liked to be a rich person. Whatever, he got he gave away immediately. How many rich moulvees in Muslim countries are willing to become poor and willing to give away their wealth in the spirit of the following of the Prophet?
These moulvees oppose standing during the SALAM on the Prophet. They make speeches in public against Milad-un-Nabi but when the government of Pakistan organizes Seerat Conference on 12 Rabi-ul-Awal all the invited moulvees including those who consider saying SALAM as un-Islamic would standup during SALAM because of the presence of President of Pakistan or the Prime Minister of Pakistan in that gathering. Does the presence of high rank officials forces these moulvees to compromise on their beliefs?
Dear brothers in sister, I did not purposely give you any example of things, which did not exist during Prophet’s time such as technological and scientific inventions. I can go on and give you many more examples of duality and hypocrisy of those who oppose standing during SALAM on the Prophet, Na’at Khwani and celebrations of E-id-e-Milad-un-Nabi (peace be upon him). I think you understood what I tried to say. If you still have questions please feel free to ask me after the program.
Now, let me give you some of the bahavioural aspects of such people who consider themselves as the true Muslims and the others who disagree with them as wrong Muslims or Bid’atees or Mushrik or even Kafir.
They are very judgmental: They will quickly guess what are your intentions. They comment about other Muslims in a very negative way. They consider that the Prophet did not even know what is behind the wall. He had no knowledge of unseen. While, these people will tell you your outcome in the hereafter with surety that you will go to heaven or hell.
They are very quick in giving FATWAH: If you do not follow their sectarian beliefs, they will declare you as kafir, Mushrik or Jahannami in seconds.
They gossip too much: You will find them always gossiping about the Muslim brothers and sisters. They will make up things and associate with you even you did not say such things.
Very jealous of those who express their love for the Prophet.
They always make fun of Auwlia Allah (friends of Allah): During conversations they try to quote any statement made by anybody about Auwlia Allah and try to degrade these friends of Allah. They always quote some ignorant people’s actions and beliefs about the Auwlia Allah and try to prove that respecting these friends of Allah is very MUSHRIKANA action.
They hide the verses of Qur’an in which Allah has praised his Prophet, Prophet’s family and Prophet’s companions.
They will not hesitate to miss interpret the Qur’anic verses regarding the high ranks of Prophet, his family, his companions and the Auwlia Allah.
When their own leader or Shaikh meets with them they show complete respect for him. I have seen how the people and the moulvees respected and loved Shaikh Bin Baz of Saudi Arabia but if you show same respect to your Murshad or Imam of your school of thought, you will be declared MUSHRIK immediately.
These moulvees go and kiss royal family members’ hands, noses, cheeks, heads, foreheads, necks etc.. and some time people even touch their knees and feet provided that the person is a minister and high in royal family ranks but if you go and kiss hands of your parents or Murshad, you will be declared MUSHRIK immediately.
Calling names for Muslims: These people call names for other Muslims who they do not like and still claim that they understand Qur’an very well. While, Qur’an considers calling names as FISQ.
Very violent: They are ready to fight with you. They think they are doing Jihad. They have no tolerance for the difference of opinions. They will shout and try to intimidate you. They will not hesitate to say to you, “this is MY Mosque” if you try to distribute flyers of your programs or want to organize Milad-un-Nabi in the Masjid. They will fight with you even in the Mosque and will ignore the respect for Allah’s house. They have made these Mosques as their personal properties.
Full of hate: They always teach hate for others. Anyone, who is not on their path is considered as non-believer. They believe that fighting against those Muslims who disagree with them is a not a sin.
Conspiracy against Muslims: If you celebrate Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi they will try to isolate you. They will not let you join community or Mosque committees or organizations. They will smile on your face but as soon as they go to their own people they make plans against you while still thinking that Allah will be very happy with this. Very similar approach to the hypocrites of Madinah during Prophet’s time.
Friendship and Unity on their Terms & Conditions: You can become their friend and may be the best friend if you become one of them and compromise on all issues and opinions based upon their philosophy.
They will interpret the verses of Qur’an and Hadith based upon their own understanding of it. They will use the interpretation of other scholars if it fits in their ideology.
They are very critical of other scholars of Islam such as, Imam Shafi’e, Imam Malik, Imam Ahmed, Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Jozi, Imam Ghazali, Imam Asqalani Hazrat Abdul Qadir Jilani, etc.. Again, they will use these scholars when their interest matches with these Heroes of Islam. Otherwise, they will not hesitate to criticize them.
They segregate among the companions of the Prophet. They do not hesitate to criticise them as well.
They will hardly talk about the family of the Prophet, Ahle-Bait. Love and respect for the family of the Prophet is not important for them at all.
They celebrate and organize programs in the memory of their own leaders but if you organize a program in the memory of Hazrat Abdul Qadir Jilani or other Sufiya-e-Kiram they can not digest this.
They will not standup during SALAM on the Prophet except when they have some interest such as needing votes for elections or pleasing high officials or spying on your gatherings.
Very cunning: They will keep the grudge against you in their hearts and look for an opportunity to hurt you.
Above all, they talk about Allah’s Messenger very ordinarily and take him very casually. They always see the Prophet as competing against Allah (may Allah forgive me). If you praise the Prophet, they quickly conclude that you are bring him at the level of Allah (may Allah forgive me).
They emphasize on the following of the Prophet rather than loving him. While, Allah has asked us to love him more than our ownselves and then follow him in all aspects of life. And you know how much they follow him. It’s a lip service.
They do not hesitate to destroy and disrespect the papers, banners and the pictures which might have the verses of Qur’an or pictures of Prophet’s Mosque. I have eyewitnessed such events where the moulvees have thrown flyers in garbage which has “YA RASOOL-ULLAH” written on it. In 1994, I was in the procession of Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi in, Karachi, Pakistan when the students and the teachers of a Darul Aloom attacked on the procession and ran over the banners which have the verses of Qur’an, pictures of Ka’ba and Masjid Nabawi. They completely destroyed those banners. They stepped on them. They burnt them. If a non-Muslim had done similar action the entire Muslim world would have protested against it including these moulvees.
Last week, according to an Urdu Newspaper (Jang), almost 1,50,000 religious students, public, Ulema, Islamic scholars celebrated 150th anniversary of Dar-ul-Uloom Deuband. Those who do not know, Dar-ul-Uloom Deuband is one of the oldest Islamic University in India. Guests from around the world came to Pakistan and attended the celebrations. Special train and bus services were arranged. Thousands of people were fed and they all listen the wonderful speeches of Ulama-i-Deuband in this huge gathering.
But this celebration has left me little confused. First of all the Muslims of the subcontinent know that the Deuband school of thought almost follows the WAHABI school of thought which is very very careful in celebrating events and occasions. They claim that they do not do any thing which Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) did not do. They consider and preach that if we (Muslim) do any thing which Muhammad (peace be upon him) or his companions (May Allah be pleased with them) did not do is an innovation (distortion) in Islam. For example, celebrating Prophet Muhammad’s birthday, reciting Qur’an for Eisal-i-thawab, making collective du’a after Salat, praising (Salam on) prophet Muhammad by standing, etc…
Can someone tell me when and where Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) OR his companions (May Allah be pleased with them) OR Tab-i-een OR Taba Tab-i-een (May Allah’s blessings upon them) celebrated 150th or 100th or any other anniversary of any mosque, institution, etc.? I am sure no one can prove this. Why these Ulama pick certain events and declare them as Bid’a while they themselves have created lots of Bid’a but do not consider them Bid’a? I think this is what has divided the Muslim Ummah. Celebrating our Prophet’s birthday is Bid’a but celebrating Dar-ul-Uloom Deuband’s birthday is not a Bid’a, It is very strange. May Allah give these Ulama some better understanding of Islam. Ameen.