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The Birth-Date of the Prophet and the History of the Mawlid – Part III of III

In our previous two articles, we had discussed the date of the birth of the Prophet (Ṣallāhu ‘alayhi wa salam) and demonstrated that there are over half a dozen opinions, the strongest being that he was born on the 8th of Rabīʻ al-Awwal, in the Year of the Elephant. We also mentioned that the first recorded instance of a public celebration of the mawlid occurred in Shi’ite Fatimid Egypt, around the turn of the sixth century of the hijra. In this article, we shall mention the earliest references in Sunni lands to the mawlid.

The Mawlid in Sunni Lands

The earliest recorded reference in Sunni lands of the mawlid occurs in a history book written by ʻImad al-Dīn al-Iṣfahānī (d. 597 AH/1200 CE), entitled al-Barq al-Shāmī. This work mentions the main political occurrences of Greater Syria (i.e., Sham) during the last three decades of the sixth Islamic century, in particular the wars of the Muslims against the Crusaders. Unfortunately, the original work remains in manuscript form and has yet to be edited, but a number of summaries exist, the most famous one being Sanā al-Barq al-Shāmī of al-Bundari. It is from this printed work [1] that the following is extracted.

In the year 566/1170, Nūr al-Dīn al-Zangī’s (d. 569/1174) brother passed away in Mosul, a well-known city of Iraq. Nūr al-Dīn was the famous leader of the Zangid dynasty, and helped propel Salāh al-Dīn al-Ayyūbī (d. 588/1193) to fame. Nūr al-Dīn visited the city of Mosul in order to quell a dispute regarding the succession of his brother, who had been the governor of the region. There, the historian tells us, he met a certain ‘Umar al-Mulla, who was in charge of a zawiya (Sufi monastery). This zawiya was a popular place for the local leaders and noblemen to visit, and in particular “…every year, during the days of the mawlid of the Prophet (Ṣallāhu ‘alayhi wa salam) he would invite the governor of Mosul, along with the poets, who would come and sing their poems, and be rewarded [by the governor] for this.”[2]

This small reference, in passing, is the earliest reference we have to a public mawlid being celebrated in Sunni lands. The person who initiated it, ‘Umar al-Mulla, was a venerated Sufi ascetic, and not a scholar of the religion. We do not know many details of his life or even date of death. And while the historian ‘Imad al-Dīn did claim he was a righteous saint (a claim that was mentioned by all those who copied the story from Imad al-Dīn’s work), another scholar strongly disagreed. Ibn Rajab (d. 795), in his biographical dictionary Dhayl abaqat al-anabilah, mentions this ‘Umar al-Mulla, also in passing, in the context of a famous Ḥanbalite scholar. Under the entry of Muḥammad b. Abd al-Bāqī (d. 571), a Ḥanbalite scholar from Mosul, he mentions how ‘Umar al-Mulla was greatly respected in the city of Mosul, and a disagreement happened between the two of them, which resulted in Muḥammad b. Abd al-Bāqī being falsely accused of stealing, because of which he was beaten. Writes Ibn Rajab,[3] “As for this ‘Umar, he outwardly showed himself to be a pious man and ascetic, but I believe him to be [a follower] of the innovated groups. And this incident [with Muḥammad b. Abd al-Bāqī] also shows his injustices and transgressions [against others].” And Ibn Kathīr (d. 774) mentions that when Nūr al-Dīn Zangi abolished the unjust taxes that had been levied on the people, ‘Umar al-Mulla actually wrote him a letter chastising him for his decision, and saying that this would lead to an increase of evil in the land. At which Nūr al-Dīn responded back, saying,

“Allāh created the creation, and legislated the Sharīʻah, and He knows best what is beneficial for them. So if He knew that there should have been an increase [in revenue from taxes], He would have legislated it for us. Hence, there is no need for us to take more than what Allāh has decreed, since whoever adds to the Sharīʻah has presumed that the Sharīʻah is incomplete and he needs to perfect it by his addition. And to do this is arrogance against Allāh and against what He has legislated, but darkened minds will never be guided, and may Allāh guide us and you to the Straight Path.”[4]

In what can only be described as a reversal of traditional roles, it was the ruler who chastised the ʻsaint’ when ‘Umar al-Mulla actually encouraged the collection of unjust taxes, while Nūr al-Din sought to abolish it.

Before proceeding, it is noteworthy that the mawlid instituted by ‘Umar al-Mulla involved singing poems in praise of the Prophet (Ṣallāhu ‘alayhi wa salam) and nothing more than this. Unfortunately, the books of history do not mention the nature or content of these poems; however, it would not be too far-fetched to assume that at this early stage the poems would have praised the Prophet (Ṣallāhu ‘alayhi wa salam) in the manner that he truly deserves, and without the attribution of Divine characteristics to him that later poets are guilty of.

The city of Mosul was located in a relatively small province, and remained under the control of the larger Zangid Empire. Hence, it was only natural that mawlid celebrations performed in Mosul would not garner too much attention nor have a large budget at their disposal to use for the mawlids. Rather, for this to occur, it had to be sponsored by a dynasty that could afford to do so, and this dynasty was found in the neighbouring province of Irbil, a city less than a day’s journey from Mosul. As news of the mawlid spread to this city, the ruler of the semi-autonomous province, Muẓẓafar al-Dīn Kokburi (d. 630/1232), took it upon himself to celebrate the mawlid in an extremely lavish manner. It would take another few decades for the mawlid to spread to Irbil, but eventually, sometime in the early part of the seventh century, Muẓẓafar al-Dīn became famous for the extravagant mawlid ceremonies that were sponsored through the State Treasury of his principality.

The historian Ibn Khallikān (d. 681/1282) mentions that Muẓẓafar al-Dīn was known for his generosity, for he had built many khānqahs (monasteries) for the Sufis to worship in. Ibn Khallikān was also from Irbil, and was a friend of Muẓẓar al-Dīn, and witnessed first-hand the mawlid celebrations. Writes Ibn Khallikān:[5]

Two days before the mawlid, Muẓẓafar al-Dīn would take out camels, cows and sheep – a large number, beyond counting – and he would send these animals, accompanied with drums and song and other instruments, until they would reach the large open ground [outside the city]. Then, these animals would be slaughtered, and pots would be set up, and all types of different foods would be cooked, until finally it would be the Night of the Mawlid itself [meaning the night before the mawlid]. On that night, he would allow samāʻas [special poems] to be sung in his fort, and then he would descend down [to the people], the procession being led by countless candles. Amongst these candles were two, or four – I forget now – that were so large that each one had to be carried on a mule, and behind it was a man in charge of keeping the candle erect [on the mule], until it reached the Sufi monastery. Then, on the very morning of the mawlid, he commanded that the Royal Robe be taken out from the Palace to the khānqah (Sufi monastery), by the hands of the Sufis. Each Sufi would wear an expensive sash around his hand, and they would all walk in a procession, one behind the other – so many in number that I could not verify their quantity. Then, Muẓẓafar al-Dīn himself would descend to the khānqah, and all of the noblemen and leaders and gentry would gather together. A chair would be placed for the preachers, and Muẓẓafar al-Dīn himself would be in a special tower made of wood [that he had built for the occasion]. It had many windows, some of which faced the people and others faced the open ground, which was a large ground of immense size. The infantry would also gather there, in procession. So Muẓẓafar al-Dīn would listen throughout the day, sometimes looking at the people and sermons, and sometimes at the infantry, and this would continue until the infantry finished their processions. Then, a general tablecloth would be laid out for the poor, and all who wished could eat from it, bread and other types of foods beyond count! And there was another tablecloth laid out as well, for the people of the monastery, those close to the throne, and while the sermons would be delivered, he would call [each speaker] one by one, and the noblemen and leaders and guests who had come for this season: scholars, and preachers, and reciters, and poets, and he would give each of them garments, and they would then return to their seats. Once this was finished, they would all gather at the tablecloth to partake of the food. This would continue until the ‘Aṣr prayer, or even after that, and he would spend the night there, and the samaʻās would continue to the next day. And this would be done every year, and what I have described is in fact a condensed summary of the reality, for to mention it in detail would be too cumbersome and take a long time. Finally, when these ceremonies would be completed, he would gift an amount to every visitor who had come from afar, as provision for his journey home. And I have already mentioned how, when Ibn Diḥya passed by Irbil, he wrote up a work regarding the mawlid, because of what he had seen Muẓẓafar al-Dīn do, and because of this he was gifted a thousand gold coins, along with the generous hospitality he was shown for the duration of his stay.

As can be seen, the ceremony of Muẓẓafar al-Dīn was an extremely lavish and extravagant affair, and would draw large crowds of locals and also visitors. It is clear that the relatively innocuous mawlid of ‘Umar al-Mulla was now being taken to a different level. And because the celebrations of Muẓẓafar al-Dīn attracted more attention than those of ʻUmar al-Mulla, they played a crucial role in spreading the custom of the mawlid and increasing its popularity.

From this, it is clear that the mawlid was imported into Sunni lands at the beginning of the seventh Islamic century, through the actions of ‘Umar al-Mulla and then Muẓẓafar al-Dīn. A contemporary author proves this point beyond a shadow of doubt. Abū Shāmah al-Maqdisi (d. 665) was a famous historian from Damascus. He wrote a number of works, and is most famous for his book Kitāb al-Bāʻith ʻalā inkār al-bidaʻ wa-l-awādith. In it, he follows the opinion that religious innovations can be either reprehensible or praiseworthy (a theological opinion which was and remains the subject of debate amongst scholars, and which deserves to be discussed in another article), and considers the mawlid to be a praiseworthy innovation. What concerns us here is not Abū Shāmah’s legal verdict on the mawlid, but rather his historical context. He writes, [6]

And of the best matters that have been introduced in our times is that which occurs in the city of Irbil – may Allāh protect it – every year, on the day that the Prophet (Ṣallāhu ‘alayhi wa salam) was born. [On this day], charity is distributed, and good [deeds performed], and pageantry is displayed, and happiness [is abundant]. And all of this, in addition to being beneficial to the poor, is an outward manifestation of the love of the Prophet (Ṣallāhu ‘alayhi wa salam) and demonstrates respect for him, and honour in the heart of the one who does this [celebration], and thankfulness to Allāh for what He has blessed us with in the existence of the Messenger that He has sent as a mercy to the worlds. And the first person who ever did this was [a man] from Mosul, the Shaykh ‘Umar b. Muammad al-Mulla, a well-known, righteous man, and it was from his custom that the Governor of Irbil, and others besides him, took this act from.

From this passage, it is clear that the custom of the mawlid was already known to Abū Shāmah in Damascus, but he points out that the celebration occurs in Irbil, and not in Damascus. Hence, at this stage, in the middle of the seventh century, news of the mawlid has reached Damascus, which is around 500 miles away, but the city of Damascus itself has yet to start its own mawlid.

It is also striking to note the similarities between the Fatimid celebrations of the mawlid and the ones sponsored by Muẓẓafar al-Dīn: in both cases, the pomp and pageantry and generosity lavished upon the population must have played a vital role in popularizing these rulers amongst the people.

Before moving on, it is relevant to backtrack a few decades and mention another rudimentary version of the mawlid (if it can even be called such). This version is found in the travelogue of Ibn Jubayr (d. 614), who set foot from Andalus to perform the Hajj and spent the next few years touring Muslim lands, finally settling down in North Africa to record his travels. Ibn Jubayr entered Mecca in 579, and he mentions that on the first Monday of Rabīʻ al-Awwal, the house in which the Prophet (Ṣallāhu ‘alayhi wa salam) was reputed to have been born in would be open for visitors, along with some other ancient historic sites associated with the life of the Prophet, and visitors would enter these houses and seek blessings from it.[7][8]

Therefore, it is clear that Muslims of Mecca did do something special on the first Monday of Rabīʻ al-Awwal, and that is to open the house of the Prophet’s birth. Of significance, though, is that that is all they did. There are no celebrations, no festivals, no songs, no ceremonies. All of this was to come later. In fact, in Mecca the mawlid was not even ‘celebrated’ on the 12th of Rabīʻ al-Awwal, but rather on the first Monday of the month. This was the extent of the mawlid in Mecca in the latter part of the sixth century, before the customs of Muẓẓafar al-Dīn were done in the far away city of Irbil. Hence, to quote this as justification for modern-day mawlids is simply not appropriate.

It can be seen, then, that slowly but surely, the practice of celebrating the mawlid spread to other Muslim lands, and as the decades turned to centuries, more and more layers of celebrations were added. For most lands, it is impossible to document the precise date when the mawlid was initiated, or even the person who exported the idea to each land. Sometimes, however, we are provided such clues. For example, we can trace the beginnings of the mawlid in North Africa, and thence to Andalus to the efforts of a certain Abū al-ʻAbbās al-Azafī (d. 633), who wrote a work entitled ʻThe Edited Pearl Regarding the Birth of the Honoured Prophet‘. The work was the spearheading effort that eventually legitimized the celebration of the mawlid. In it, Abū al-ʻAbbās clearly states that his purpose in legitimizing the celebration of the mawlid is so that the Muslims desist in the evil and reprehensible act of celebrating Christmas, Nawruz and other holy days of the Christians and pagans that some Muslims of Andalus had begun to adopt. He writes, “I have searched intensively and racked my brains to find something that would distract the attention of the people away from these bidʻahs to something that is permissible, which does not cause the one observing it to sin…Therefore, I drew their attention to the birth of the Prophet Muḥammad…” Later in the work, he refutes those who have criticized this act as being a reprehensible innovation by claiming that the mawlid is a praiseworthy innovation, not a reprehensible one. This in itself shows that there were scholars in Andalus who were opposed to this practice and dissaproved of it, hence al-Azafi was forced to defend the practice.[9]

From all the above, we can derive:

1) The very first Sunni to publically celebrate the mawlid was a Sufi mystic by the name of ‘Umar al-Mulla. He seems to be a person of dubious character, and the least that can be said about him was that he was by no means a scholar of the religion.

2) Government-sponsored mawlids in Sunni lands were first introduced by Muẓẓafar al-Dīn, who got the idea from ‘Umar al-Mulla. These celebrations were extremely popular amongst the masses, and helped secure popularity for the rulers.

3) Late in the sixth Islamic century, the mawlid had been introduced to some Sunni lands, but the main lands of Islam (e.g., Mecca, Damascus, etc.) had not yet begun to commemorate the day with any festival.

4) In Mecca, no festival or public celebration occurred, instead the birth-date was an occasion to open up historic sites for the people. Also, the birth-date itself had not yet been associated with the 12th of Rabīʻ al-Awwal; rather, it was associated with the first Monday of Rabīʻ al-Awwal.

5) The association of the mawlid with the 12th of Rabīʻ al-Awwal was clearly a Fatimid influence, which was later followed by other government-sponsored mawlids.

6) The mawlid spread in various lands due to miscellaneous factors. In some lands, it was patronized by the rulers and used as a means of legitimizing their rule. In other lands, it was used as a tactic to divert Muslims from that which was clearly impermissible to a matter that was deemed to be praiseworthy.

Later Claims Regarding the Origin of the Mawlid

It is quite clear that the Fatimid celebration, having preceded the Sunni one by almost a century, was the actual origin of the mawlid. However, most later authorities (most famously al-Suyūtī (d. 911) in his treatise on the subject), either knowingly or unknowingly glossed over the Fatimid origins of the mawlid, and attributed it to the Sunni ruler Muẓẓafar al-Dīn Kokburi. A few modern researchers (such as Kaptein) have theorized that this was done intentionally, in order to cover up the Shiʻite origins of the festival and attribute it to a popular Sunni ruler, viz., Muẓẓafar al-Dīn. But for our purposes it matters little whether al-Suyūtī was aware of the Fatimid origins of the mawlid or not; the fact that cannot be denied is that the origin of a public celebration goes back to their empire, and suspiciously, Muẓẓafar al-Dīn’s similar festival occurred almost a century after theirs.

Therefore, to attribute the origins of the mawlid to Muẓẓafar al-Dīn, or even ʻUmar al-Mulla, is simply not accurate.

Conclusion 

The purpose of this article was to give a brief overview regarding the origins of the celebration of the Prophet’s birthday, and some examples of how it spread to other lands. It did not discuss the legal validity for such a celebration, as that is another topic altogether, and one that has been hashed and rehashed on many different sites and forums.

My own leanings, which I have never shied away from expressing, are the same as those of Ibn Taymiyya (d. 728) that he mentioned in his work Iqtiā Sirāt al-mustaqīm: that the general ruling is that such a celebration is not a part of the religion, but was added by later generations, and hence should be avoided; but it is possible that some groups of people who practice it out of ignorance will be rewarded due to their good intentions. The mawlid of the Prophet (Ṣallāhu ‘alayhi wa salam) should be celebrated every day, by following his Sunnah and doing in our daily lives what he (Ṣallāhu ‘alayhi wa salam) wanted us to do.

I also stress that even if I disapprove of a public celebration of the mawlid, not all mawlids are the same, and if the only matter that is done on a mawlid is to praise the beloved Prophet (Ṣallāhu ‘alayhi wa salam) in an appropriate manner, and mention aspects of his sīrah, and thank Allāh for blessing us to be of his Ummah, then this type of celebration is permissible, in fact praiseworthy, on any day of the year, and hence even if some groups choose one specific day to do it, others should not be harsh in their disapproval of it. I believe that the fatwas given by such esteemed authorities as Ibn Hajr (d. 852) and al-Nawawi (d. 676) legitimizing mawlids refer, in fact, to such ‘innocent’ mawlids. Sadly, it is well-nigh impossible to find such ‘pure’ mawlids practiced in our times!

To conclude, it is appropriate to quote a non-Muslim author who has specialized in the topic of the mawlid and written a doctoral dissertation on it, N. J. G. Kaptein. He writes in his monograph,[10]

At the end of this chapter, I would like to draw attention to a number of points that are important for the general history of the mawlid al-nabi:

a) the mawlid was originally a Shiʻite festival

b) the mawlid came into being in the sixth hijri / twelfth Christian century

c) in the Fatimid period the mawlid was not always celebrated on the same date: in 517 the mawlid was celebrated on the 13th Rabīʻ, while according to Ibn Ṭuwayr this festival always fell on the 12th Rabīʻ

d) The mawlid was celebrated during the daytime

e) the ruler played a central role

f) sermons were given and recitations from the Qurʾān took place

g) presentations to officials took place

h) by means of these presentations, amongst other things, the Fatimid’s close relationship with the ahl al-bayt was emphasized, in order to cultivate loyalty to the Fatimid imām-Caliph

i) after the fall of the Fatimids, the mawlid continued to exist.

Kaptein’s conclusions are very reasonable and have clear evidence to back them up, as this article has also showed.

And Allāh knows best…

 

[1] Sanā al-Barq al-Shāmī, Cairo edition, p. 49-52

[2] Also see Ibn Kathir, al-Bidāyah wa-l-Nihāyah, vol. 12, p. 782

[3] Dhayl, vol. 1, p. 254

[4] al-Bidāyah wa-l-Nihāyah, vol. 12, p. 805

[5] In his Wafayāt al-Ayān, vol. 5, p. 78-9

[6] Kitāb al-bāʻith, (Cairo print, 1978), p. 24

[7] See: The Travels of Ibn Jubayr, ed. M. J. De Goeje, p. 114-5

[8] It must be mentioned here, of course, that the practice of seeking blessings from ancient relics was one that was disputed amongst the scholars of Islam, and legal textbooks of the period reference this fact. The more Orthodox scholars disapproved of this practice, and it was generally sanctioned by the masses, and not scholars. However, that is the topic of another paper.

[9] See: P. Shinar, “Traditional and reformist mawlid celebrations in the Maghrib” in: Studies in Memory of G. Wiet, Jerusalem 1977, pp. 371-413; and N. G. J. Kaptien, Muammad’s Birthday Festival, Brill, pp. 76-96

[10] p. 29

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About Shaikh Yasir Qadhi

27 comments

  1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tC0wzGdmeug&list=PLB224FA8AD7361F62

    The playback between 00:01:00 to 00:06:03 (ie 5 minutes only!) adequately explains about Umar RA having unequivocally declaring, “A blessed/favorable innovationis this (نِعْمَ الْبِدْعَةُ هَذِهِ)” [shoHiH al-bukhoriy & muwaTo malik]. For sure, this does not nullify or relief you of the obligation to find a proper aHaadith teacher to explain the FULL quotation (the original texts [النصوص]) and the explanation of Umar’s (RA) words as well as (at least) the other aHaadith connected to the same legal (syari’ah) matter. And btw, this video narration (if not lesson/lecture) is by al-marHum who was assassinated or rather exterminated (as if he was pest) on 20 September 2011 by … .. . .. … (it’s no secret!).

  2. I think there’s some “IT/PC “coding issues” which … .. . let’s see if this attempt is successful, . .. …

    لَا يَقْبَلُ اللَّهُ لِصَاحِبِ بِدْعَةٍ صَوْمًا وَلَا صَلَاةً وَلَا صَدَقَةً وَلَا حَجًّا وَلَا عُمْرَةً وَلَا جِهَادًا وَلَا صَرْفًا وَلَا عَدْلًا يَخْرُجُ مِنْ الْإِسْلَامِ كَمَا تَخْرُجُ الشَّعَرَةُ مِنْ الْعَجِينِ – سنن ابن ماجه – كِتَاب الْمُقَدِّمَة
    GOD would not accept [any of the doings/practices] of/from the “companion of innovators” [صَاحِبِ بِدْعَة] – neither the fasting, nor prayers, nor charity, nor pilgrimage [to Mecca], nor ‘umrah, nor jihad, nor pure, nor just [وَلَا صَرْفًا وَلَا عَدْلًا = neither the obligatory nor the optional form of worship {ie عبادة}]. He (the صَاحِبِ بِدْعَة) exits/goes out of Islam as if the hair is taken/pulled out of dough [ie He (the صَاحِبِ بِدْعَة) has unconsciously, unwittingly and/or ignorantly departed from his religion, Islam].

    الْإِسْنَادُ مِنْ الدِّينِ وَلَوْلَا الْإِسْنَادُ لَقَالَ مَنْ شَاءَ مَا شَاءَ – عَبْدَ اللَّهِ بْنَ الْمُبَارَك – صحيح مسلم – مُقَدِّمَةٌ
    الْإِسْنَادُ = Attribution [of authority] and/or having had and/or received the Islamic [القرآن والسنة –based] knowledge via/through a scholar/teacher who has a documented series or chain of scholars/teachers [all of whom are “authorized” aHaadith narrators/teachers] who are linked and/or connected to the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم
    مِنْ الدِّينِ = is [the crucial and imperative component] of the religion
    وَلَوْلَا الْإِسْنَادُ = and if not for الْإِسْنَادُ and/or if there is no الْإِسْنَادُ and/or if الْإِسْنَادُ is non-existent
    لَقَالَ مَنْ شَاءَ مَا شَاء = surely would say/utter/(state) one who wishes, whatsoever he wishes [unscrupulously, ruthlessly and/or irresponsibly as if there is nil accountability]).

    وَالسَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَةُ اللَّهِ وَبَرَكَاتُهُ وَمَغْفِرَتُهُ – سنن أبي داود وفتح الباري شرح صحيح البخاري – كِتَاب الْأَدَب
    And may [the] peace be upon you as well as GOD’s mercy, blessing and pardon.

    لَا تَقُومُ السَّاعَةُ حَتَّى تَأْخُذَ أُمَّتِي بِأَخْذِ الْقُرُونِ قَبْلَهَا شِبْرًا بِشِبْرٍ وَذِرَاعًا بِذِرَاعٍ فَقِيلَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ كَفَارِسَ وَالرُّومِ فَقَالَ وَمَنْ النَّاسُ إِلَّا أُولَئِكَ – صحيح البخاري – كِتَاب الِاعْتِصَامِ بِالْكِتَابِ وَالسُّنَّةِ
    The Hour will not occur/happen until such time when my people [أُمَّتِي = the Muslims] have taken/adopted what have been taken, adopted, regularly and/or customarily/traditionally practiced and/or carried out by [those people] from the ages/centuries [الْقُرُون] before them [أُمَّتِي], hand-span by hand-span and cubit by cubit [شِبْرًا بِشِبْرٍ وَذِرَاعًا بِذِرَاعٍ]. So [a companion] asked, “O Messenger of GOD, [you mean] like the Persians and the Romans?”; and (the Prophet prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم ) replied, “وَمَنْ النَّاسُ إِلَّا أُولَئِكَ = and which people [could I be referring to] except and/or other than those [which you mentioned, ie the Persians and the Romans]?” >>> The Hour will not occur/happen until such time when my people [أُمَّتِي = the Muslims] have taken/adopted what have been taken, adopted, regularly and/or customarily/traditionally practiced and/or carried out by [those people] from the ages/centuries [الْقُرُون] before them [أُمَّتِي], hand-span by hand-span and cubit by cubit [شِبْرًا بِشِبْرٍ وَذِرَاعًا بِذِرَاعٍ]. So [a companion] asked, “O Messenger of GOD, [you mean] like the Persians and the Romans?”; and (the Prophet prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم ) replied, “وَمَنْ النَّاسُ إِلَّا أُولَئِكَ = and which people [could I be referring to] except and/or other than those [which you mentioned, ie the Persians and the Romans]?”

  3. @ Faraz Choudhry,

    وَالسَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَةُ اللَّهِ وَبَرَكَاتُهُ وَمَغْفِرَتُهُ

    First and foremost, I feel obligated to GOD to embark in an endeavor stop Faraz Choudhry, Aussie Muslim and also any other fellow brothers&sisters in Islam in this forum from persisting to continue lengthening that rope that might certainly choke and/or used to hang your very good-selves. The reality is that I have used technology to meticulously search/locate in this forum, but failed to find the series of words, [quote] “we couldn’t translate the Arabic” [unquote] until Faraz Choudhry’s transmission above; period.

    This is as in, neither can Aussie Muslim deny having stated, [quote] “The scholars of the Sunnah are well aware of the historical background of the Mawlid, but … .. . … … a handful of narrow-minded modernist protestant Muslims attempting to be scholars. ” [unquote] or shall I ask Aussie Muslim to be explicit and unequivocally identify and state who the personality is when Aussie Muslim used the pronoun, “He” in Aussie Muslim’s condescending if not rather abhorrently vile statement, [quote] “He needs to learn from the scholars of the Ummah.” [unquote] nor shall I ask Aussie Muslim to clarify or identify who these “scholars of the Ummah” are. Nor shall I in addition, compel Faraz Choudhry to unequivocally state that Faraz Choudhry is (now) somewhat entitled and has the rights to speak for everyone in this forum when Faraz Choudhry audaciously used the pronoun “we” in the first paragraph of Faraz Choudhry’s transmission above.

    The purpose of sharing Islamic texts (النصوص) in its original form is to “at the very least” attempt to instill, sow the seeds and/or germinate the imperative humility in endeavors towards understanding Islam as the religion among fellow brothers&sisters in Islam, themselves that the “authority” in Islam as the religion is principally and in principle, ultimately based on sacred “original” texts within the realms of the qur’aan was-sunnah (القرآن والسنة); period.

    That said – at this moment in time, I am somewhat (now) also obligated to GOD with the burden to disambiguate, clarify and/or at least share with your good-selves my humble rough translations of the original <<>> as well as reveal [[[the source/authority of such-type quotations]]] which I have posted in this forum thus far.

    لَا يَقْبَلُ اللَّهُ لِصَاحِبِ بِدْعَةٍ صَوْمًا وَلَا صَلَاةً وَلَا صَدَقَةً وَلَا حَجًّا وَلَا عُمْرَةً وَلَا جِهَادًا وَلَا صَرْفًا وَلَا عَدْلًا يَخْرُجُ مِنْ الْإِسْلَامِ كَمَا تَخْرُجُ الشَّعَرَةُ مِنْ الْعَجِينِ – سنن ابن ماجه – كِتَاب الْمُقَدِّمَة
    <<>> [[[sunan ibn majah – introductive book]]]

    الْإِسْنَادُ مِنْ الدِّينِ وَلَوْلَا الْإِسْنَادُ لَقَالَ مَنْ شَاءَ مَا شَاءَ – عَبْدَ اللَّهِ بْنَ الْمُبَارَك – صحيح مسلم – مُقَدِّمَةٌ
    <<>> = <<<“Attribution [of authority]” and/or having had and/or received the Islamic [القرآن والسنة –based] knowledge via/through a scholar/teacher who has a documented series or chain of scholars/teachers [all of whom are “authorized” aHaadith narrators/teachers] who are linked and/or connected to the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم
    <<>> = “is [the crucial and imperative component] of the religion”
    <<>> = “and if not for الْإِسْنَادُ and/or if there is no الْإِسْنَادُ and/or if الْإِسْنَادُ is non-existent”
    <<>> = “surely would say/utter/(state) one who wishes, whatsoever he wishes [unscrupulously, ruthlessly and/or irresponsibly as if there is nil accountability (if at all)]”).>>> [[[‘abdullah ibn mubarok - shoHiH muslim – introduction]]]

    وَالسَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَةُ اللَّهِ وَبَرَكَاتُهُ وَمَغْفِرَتُهُ – سنن أبي داود وفتح الباري شرح صحيح البخاري – كِتَاب الْأَدَب
    <<>> [[[sunan abi dawood and fatHul-baari exegesis of shoHiH albukhoriy]]]

    لَا تَقُومُ السَّاعَةُ حَتَّى تَأْخُذَ أُمَّتِي بِأَخْذِ الْقُرُونِ قَبْلَهَا شِبْرًا بِشِبْرٍ وَذِرَاعًا بِذِرَاعٍ فَقِيلَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ كَفَارِسَ وَالرُّومِ فَقَالَ وَمَنْ النَّاسُ إِلَّا أُولَئِكَ – صحيح البخاري – كِتَاب الِاعْتِصَامِ بِالْكِتَابِ وَالسُّنَّةِ
    <<>> [[[shoHiH albukhoriy – book on being steadfast in abiding to the Book [الْكِتَاب = الْقُرُون = al-qur’aan] and the Sunnah [السُّنَّة] ۞ Please note that the Scholars of Hadeeth and Usool preferred to define the Sunnah in its religious context to mean: “what has been described for others to follow” [ السنة : ما رسم ليحتذى ]. This definition was adopted by al-Khateeb al-Baghdadi (463 H.) in his book al-faqeeh and al-muatfaqih, al-Baji al-Maliki (474 H.) as in his Muntaqa. Abu Bakr al-Jassas (370 H.) stated in al-Fusool fil Usool a clearer definition, when he said: “The Sunnah of the Prophet “( صلى الله عليه و سلم) is what he said or did in continuous manner so that others follow”[سُنَّةُ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ : مَا فَعَلَهُ ، أَوْ قَالَهُ ، لِيُقْتَدَى بِهِ فِيهِ ، وَيُدَاوَمَ عَلَيْهِ] ۞]]]

    ۞ صَدَقَ اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ وَاللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ ۞
    The truth of GOD and His Messenger; and the omnipotent GOD [the creator] is superlatively/infinitely more discerningly discriminating in knowledge (than any one of His creatures).

    I shall conclude by repeating what I have stated before, indeed “We can agree to disagree” which should be agreeable and/or applicable (under current circumstances’ context) to referred to “There is no compulsion religion” [QS 2:256].

    Lastly, I must also state that I do not particularly require/need Faraz Choudhry, Aussie Muslim or anyone in this forum to reveal his/her current location and/or to disambiguate the logged times of transmissions as published by “islam21c”. I/q4u2die am/is located in/at Singapore (ie that island at the southern tip of the Malayan peninsula).

    Good-bye.

    ۞ وَالسَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَةُ اللَّهِ وَبَرَكَاتُهُ وَمَغْفِرَتُهُ ۞

  4. Faraz Choudhry

    Salaam ‘q4u2die’, we told you that we couldn’t translate the Arabic and I could only make out “The Hour will not be established until…”, “oh Messenger of Allaah…”, and “Sahih Bukhaari”. What’s the point of leaving the text untranslated as we never claimed to be scholars.

    We’re not doing any pigeon-holes here and simply are suggesting that people relearn the dheen and the Sunni aqeedhah including its history, alongside other aqeedhahs and their history, geopolitical background and significances. A study of eschatology would be beneficial too. Sects do exist and are there to do the work of Adh-Dhajjaal ultimately… have you heard of the land of Najdh within K.S.A.? I speak from that much knowledge and not dogma.

    Allaah Guides who he wishes and leaves to stray who he wishes and there are obviously some who neither want to use their `aql not learn or deal with the truth, and among those are people trying and failing here to be diplomatic and very obviously fudging the issues.

  5. Salaam,

    Just trying to translate the Arabic and I could only make out “The Hour will not be established until…”, “oh Messenger of Allaah”, and “Sahih Bukhaari” which is better than using G.T. would translate it I’m sure. Any help would be appreciated.

  6. Faraz Choudhry

    I don’t know Arabic nor am I gonna rely on Google Translate for this as it’s a permanent beta tool. End of day, haqq is haqq and baathil is baathil. Allaah gave us `aql to distinguish between those who use it and those twisted enough to believe that Mawlidhs add to the dheen. Good innovations don’t add to the dheen but practice, promote and help it further. It’s ironic that those who accuse Sufis of innovations, are doing bad innovations themselves by making haraam what’s halaal. When they lose the argument then out come the personal attacks and accusations.

  7. Taking into consideration brothers, Faraz Choudhry’s العقل and Aussie Muslim’s command of Arabic; given the “quotations” (or texts = النصوص) which have been provided with translations (and those which I already requested brothers Faraz Choudhry & Aussie Muslim to translate), the following is just 1 more “quotation” (or text = النص) for my two esteemed brothers herein (ie brothers Faraz Choudhry & Aussie Muslim) to faithfully translate and share with all of us in this “forum”.

    لَا تَقُومُ السَّاعَةُ حَتَّى تَأْخُذَ أُمَّتِي بِأَخْذِ الْقُرُونِ قَبْلَهَا شِبْرًا بِشِبْرٍ وَذِرَاعًا بِذِرَاعٍ فَقِيلَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ كَفَارِسَ وَالرُّومِ فَقَالَ وَمَنْ النَّاسُ إِلَّا أُولَئِكَ ~ صحيح البخاري – كِتَاب الِاعْتِصَامِ بِالْكِتَابِ وَالسُّنَّةِ

  8. Offensive or otherwise, I also wish to share with my Muslim brothers&sisters the matter of fact that despite there being that occasion known as Christmas Day and All Saints’ Day, contemporary Christians domiciled at different geographical locations on this earth do commemorate/celebrate the existence and/or being of their own respective preferred “saints”; and perhaps what was meant by “thinking out loud”, [quote] righteous personalities [unquote] are “saints” as listed hereunder,
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_saints
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Sufi_saints

  9. @ thinking out loud
    Neither should you be exempted and/or excluded from your own counsel [quote] There’s no need to become emotional. [unquote] as your having asked, challenged and/or stated [quote] Why stop at the birth of prophet SAW and why not commemorate and celebrate the birth of other sahaabah or other righteous personalities to bring people closer to Islam? [unquote] can certainly be deemed “offensive” to some. |:-)

  10. thinking out loud

    There’s no need to become emotional. I think the problem is a lack of maturity. People can live in peace while having intellectual differences on matters such as these. I think comments like this the salafi, deobandi, Sufi, wahabi mantras doesn’t add much weight to ones argument. It just polarises people into their own bubble. Ultimately the truth is the truth regardless of who presents it. No one human has a monopoly on the truth except for the prophet SAW. Comparing astronomy with religious holidays is like comparing apples with oranges. Ultimately it comes down to where and how you draw the line with respects to acts of worship, including religious holidays? Why stop at the birth of prophet SAW and why not commemorate and celebrate the birth of other sahaabah or other righteous personalities to bring people closer to Islam?

  11. The digression is that technology and/or the www/internet had certainly at least made simultaneous global interaction of contemporary thoughts and ideas (if not beneficial knowledge!) possible and one is never judged based on his ethnicity nor his current geographical location.

    Let alone creed or religion, when converted (using a free app on my cell-phone), I was born on Friday, 23 of Rabīʻ al-Awwal 1376, but (Hijri or Gregorian) I have never made it a point to commemorate/celebrate my birthday. Why – because such a thingy has no precedence and/or was ever customarily and/or traditionally a part of or related to my race/ethnicity.

    As Islam is a global religion, I am ethnically and geographically not Arabic nor from the Middle East. I am a Muslim born and still remained on the island at the southern tip of the Malayan peninsula. Humorous or otherwise, I’d say that “Nowadays, there are Muslims everywhere including Oz and La-la land.”

  12. Faraz Choudhry

    Abu Ibrahim, you also need to get some education about the dheen and the aqeedhah of Ahli Sunnah wal Jamaa`th, and where the Fake Salafi or Wahhaabi sect come from, learn your history. In your answer to me you’re going back to that mantra of “if the early generations didn’t do it then why is it permissible?” as with that mindset even the study of astronomy wouldn’t have advanced in the early Muslim world like it did ‘cos it would have been rejected as bidh`ah.

  13. Dearest brothers Faraz Choudhry & Aussie Muslim as well as all my brothers&sisters in faith herein,

    The following is not quite a digression.

    As a recapitulation, I commenced my participation herein by stating that [quote]
    Their publishing your comment is proof of their being open, not biased, prejudiced, jaundiced and/or perversely brutal against other standpoints/convictions; period. [unquote].

    حسن الظن بالله والناس perhaps the administrators/moderators of this website simply encourage/promote healthy and gentlemanly open forum, discussions and/or comments.

    Please note that one/we can certainly “agree to disagree”; as in it is an historical fact that the companions رضي الله عنهم of the prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم‎ not only disagreed but also went on to go into wars/battles against each other.

    I read/look at these series of 3 articles as those about sharing an adequately well-researched historical facts. Or are we (herein) now also going to go on and deny, disagree, argue and/or fret about the historically documented facts (even in the aHaadith), etc which did inform us about the reality of the wars/battles fought among/between the companions رضي الله عنهم .

    I am a Sunni but I can “agree to disagree” with a fellow Sunni or a Shi’ite Muslim on any one or many issues/matters including but not limited to commemorating/celebrating the birthday of the prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم without having to lean into discriminatory, condescending and/or punitive insinuations or pigeon-hole/categorize another as a fundamentalist, traditionalist, innovator, sufi, salafi, wahhabi, etc. And it is no secret that the Shi’ite Muslim would (also/too) unequivocally state that he subscribes and adheres to the sacred texts as found within the realms of القرآن والسنة .

    My having stated that [quote]
    Sacred or otherwise, textually the only reference to a birthday in the Bible is that celebrated by Pharaoh (Gen. 40:20). In a nutshell commemorating/celebrating a birthday is also a “later” Christian and Jewish practice, custom or tradition. There are aplenty of scholarly articles written by Christians and Jews (themselves) about this in the www; period. So (with reference to the aHaadith as quoted) who are we copying, replicating, simulating and/or emulating? [unquote]
    would be adequate as proof that neither did I abandon what الله has endowed me by way of العقل .

    That said (about العقل) – although for verification purposes or otherwise, I did share the source of my previous (all-in-Arabic) quotations, on this occasion, in the good spirit of camaraderie, I shall accord the honor of identifying the origin, source and/or personality/scholar and also translating and/or interpreting the following “quotations” to brothers Faraz Choudhry & Aussie Muslim (and/or the moderators herein): –

    لَا يَقْبَلُ اللَّهُ لِصَاحِبِ بِدْعَةٍ صَوْمًا وَلَا صَلَاةً وَلَا صَدَقَةً وَلَا حَجًّا وَلَا عُمْرَةً وَلَا جِهَادًا وَلَا صَرْفًا وَلَا عَدْلًا يَخْرُجُ مِنْ الْإِسْلَامِ كَمَا تَخْرُجُ الشَّعَرَةُ مِنْ الْعَجِينِ

    الْإِسْنَادُ مِنْ الدِّينِ وَلَوْلَا الْإِسْنَادُ لَقَالَ مَنْ شَاءَ مَا شَاءَ

    وَالسَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَةُ اللَّهِ وَبَرَكَاتُهُ وَمَغْفِرَتُهُ

  14. Faraz Choudhry

    Ameen Linda. The reality is that there’ll never be complete unity among the Muslims as by DoJ we’ll be 73 sects, only one of which will be on the Straight Path to Paradise. Who is the Saved Sect? Well, unfortunately most of them will claim to be on the Haqq and Ahli Sunnah wal-Jamaa`th (Sunni). Here’s how to tell the true Sunnis apart from the hypocrites, and other deviant and Western-infiltrated sects:

    – Sunnis follow the Qur-aan and Sunnah properly upon the thawheedh. Islam is vast beyond just Qur-aan and Sahih Hadith as there are many more books of the Hadith.

    – They understand and follow the whole spirit of the our dheen behind all the rituals. They enjoin and practice the full dheen and aren’t selective and hypocritical about it. They celebrate Muhammadh (*) by akhlaaq and not just by Mawlidhs and even basic daily rituals. They don’t practice half Islam and add to it like the Wahhaabis ironically accuse Sunnis of while doing it themselves. Celebrating the Mawlidh is NOT imitating the way that non-believers celebrate festivities.

    – They accept knowledge and even debate with humility and use the `aql which God gave them. No arrogant rejection of debate and logic, and blind following dubious shaykhs.

    – The Hadith on bidh`ah is one thing that centrally divides the Sunnis from the Wahhaabis, those who use `aql from those who blindly follow twisted logic.

    It is not the Decree of Allaah that Muslims will become all united and these are the fithnah of our time. I could go on about the history of where Wahhaabis came from and the British role towards helping them destroy the Ottoman Empire. BUT SISTER, I URGE YOU not to blindly follow any bad-aqeedhah person who tells you that Mawlidh is a bad innovation and thereby accuse us of doing Zikr in congregation.

    1. Research and gain knowledge about the Sunni aqeedhah… who are the Waliullaahs and spiritual Sufi masters of today?

    2. Do the Wahhaabis have any further proof that things that don’t follow the exact method of the first generations al;ways have to be forbidden even if the component parts are from the religion and have their own rewards? This Hadith on bidh`ah is much misinterpreted and misused for sectarian agendas.

    3. Don’t forget to use your `aql (intellect) in your research and avoid blind following.

    (*) Salallahu `alayhi wa Salaam

    • Bro… absolutely everything you just said is the mantra of EVERY sect of the past, present and future… Of course you and everyone else will think that what they happen to follow is the ‘saved sect'; everything you have mentioned is subjective that everyone will lay claim to. Not even the most misguided Muslim will say they don’t claim to follow the ‘quran and sunnah’… and then they will resort to name-calling and ad hominem attacks to divert their own minds away from dealing with uncomfortable facts highlighted by attempts such as this article and others like it. Articles that try to establish some facts that everyone can agree on and move forward in a clear, lucid and objective way. If you will reject this based on fallacies such as ‘wahabi’ conspiracies etc. then you will be doomed to stay in an endless loop of confused bickering and arguing.

      This article is about communicating established historical facts – it’s not making a claim about the ruling on taking rabi’ al awwal as a 5th sacred month or 3rd Eid. The reason why everyone is getting all defensive is because YOUR OWN mind and fitrah is screaming out to you to accept a simple but inconvenient consequence: that no one for over half a millennium in the Muslim ummah ever even CARED about the DATE of the prophet’s birth, صلى الله عليه وسلم. This is a man whose every little detail was preserved and taught by the scholars, to the extent that we even know how many white hairs in his blessed beard, صلى الله عليه وسلم… our minds should therefore put 2 and 2 together and wonder, if 12 rabi’ al awwal was supposed to be another ‘eid, then why didn’t anyone know about it?

  15. I am only a revert to Muslim, and trying to learn my deen every day and get closer to my creator. I beg Allah every day to make me died as a student because he knows best. All these discussion lead to fighting against each other, and it’s is the work of the devil. We shoul keep the Sunnah of the prophet PBUH, help all those not yet Muslim to see the good in us. Our young Muslim around thee world are so attracted to the dunya and we are loosing lot of them, they need us to be united to get victory over the world, and work our best to get jannah, May Allah have mercy and guide us in knowledge. Ameen

  16. Vide my posting/comment (logged/dated 13/01/2014 at 4:01 am), the following are the English “translations” of the Q&H quotations which I shared.

    اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ * سورة الفاتحة –٦
    Show us the straight way. [1:6]

    وَلَا تَقْفُ مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ ۚ إِنَّ السَّمْعَ وَالْبَصَرَ وَالْفُؤَادَ كُلُّ أُولَـٰئِكَ كَانَ عَنْهُ مَسْئُولًا * سورة الإسراء – ٣٦
    And pursue not that of which thou hast no knowledge; for every act of hearing, or of seeing or of (feeling in) will be enquired into (on the Day of Reckoning). [17:36]

    يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ وَأُولِي الْأَمْرِ مِنكُمْ ۖ فَإِن تَنَازَعْتُمْ فِي شَيْءٍ فَرُدُّوهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَالرَّسُولِ إِن كُنتُمْ تُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ ۚ ذَ‌ٰلِكَ خَيْرٌ وَأَحْسَنُ تَأْوِيلًا * سورة النساء –٥٩
    O ye who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those charged with authority among you. If ye differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger if ye do believe in Allah and the Last Day: that is best, and most suitable for final determination. [4:59]

    وَمَن يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَالرَّسُولَ فَأُولَـٰئِكَ مَعَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِم مِّنَ النَّبِيِّينَ وَالصِّدِّيقِينَ وَالشُّهَدَاءِ وَالصَّالِحِينَ ۚ وَحَسُنَ أُولَـٰئِكَ رَفِيقًا * سورة النساء –٦٩
    All who obey Allah and the Messenger are in the company of those on whom is the Grace of Allah― of the Prophets (who teach) the sincere (lovers of Truth), the witnesses (who testify), and the Righteous (who do good): ah! How a beautiful fellowship! [4:69]

    وَمَن يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ يُدْخِلْهُ جَنَّاتٍ / وَمَن يَعْصِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَيَتَعَدَّ حُدُودَهُ يُدْخِلْهُ نَارًا * سورة النساء – ١٣/١٤
    those who obey Allah and His Messenger will be admitted to (جَنَّاتٍ) Gardens / those who disobey Allah and His Messenger and transgress His limits will be admitted to a (نَارًا) Fire [4:13/14]

    وَأَنَّ هَـٰذَا صِرَاطِي مُسْتَقِيمًا فَاتَّبِعُوهُ ۖ وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا السُّبُلَ فَتَفَرَّقَ بِكُمْ عَن سَبِيلِهِ ۚ ذَ‌ٰلِكُمْ وَصَّاكُم بِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ * سورة الأنعام –١٥٣
    Verily, this is My Way leading straight: follow it: follow not (other) paths: they will scatter you about from His path: thus doth He command you, that ye may be righteous. [6:153]

    أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ لَتَتَّبِعُنَّ سَنَنَ مَنْ قَبْلَكُمْ شِبْرًا بِشِبْرٍ وَذِرَاعًا بِذِرَاعٍ حَتَّى لَوْ سَلَكُوا جُحْرَ ضَبٍّ لَسَلَكْتُمُوهُ قُلْنَا يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ الْيَهُودَ وَالنَّصَارَى قَالَ فَمَنْ * صحيح البخاري – كِتَاب أَحَادِيثِ الْأَنْبِيَاء
    قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ لَتَتَّبِعُنَّ سَنَنَ الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ شِبْرًا بِشِبْرٍ وَذِرَاعًا بِذِرَاعٍ حَتَّى لَوْ دَخَلُوا فِي جُحْرِ ضَبٍّ لَاتَّبَعْتُمُوهُمْ قُلْنَا يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ آلْيَهُودَ وَالنَّصَارَى قَالَ فَمَنْ * صحيح مسلم – كِتَاب الْعِلْمِ
    قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ لَتَتَّبِعُنَّ سُنَّةَ مَنْ كَانَ قَبْلَكُمْ بَاعًا بِبَاعٍ وَذِرَاعًا بِذِرَاعٍ وَشِبْرًا بِشِبْرٍ حَتَّى لَوْ دَخَلُوا فِي جُحْرِ ضَبٍّ لَدَخَلْتُمْ فِيهِ قَالُوا يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ الْيَهُودُ وَالنَّصَارَى قَالَ فَمَنْ إِذًا * سنن ابن ماجه – كِتَاب الْفِتَن
    Verily Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: ‘You will indeed follow the ways of those before you, hand span by hand span, and an arm’s-length after another. Even if they enter into a lizard’s hole, you will follow them.’ We (the Sahaba) asked, ‘Is it the Jews and the Christians (whom you meant as “those before you”)?’ He replied, ‘Who else!’” [Reported by Bukhari, Muslim & Ibn Majah with slight textual differences but with similar content/message.]

    قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ مَنْ تَشَبَّهَ بِقَوْمٍ فَهُوَ مِنْهُمْ * سنن أبي داود – كِتَاب اللِّبَاسِ – فتح الباري شرح صحيح البخاري – كِتَاب اللِّبَاسِ – لبس الحري / كِتَاب الْجِهَادِ وَالسِّيَرِ
    “Whoever resembles a people, he is (included) amongst them.” [Reported by Abu Dawud & in Fathul Bari (ie exegesis of SaHih Bukhari)]

    صدق الله ورسوله
    The truth of God and His Messenger

    Sacred or otherwise, textually the only reference to a birthday in the Bible is that celebrated by Pharaoh (Gen. 40:20). In a nutshell commemorating/celebrating a birthday is also a “later” Christian and Jewish practice, custom or tradition. There are aplenty of scholarly articles written by Christians and Jews (themselves) about this in the www; period. So (with reference to the aHaadith as quoted) who are we copying, replicating, simulating and/or emulating?

  17. “Sadly, it is well-nigh impossible to find such ‘pure’ mawlids practiced in our times!”

    Wow? I attended one at a local mosque last week – we listened to some beautiful Quranic recitations, some great poems were recited about the Prophet.saws, and then a small section of the Seerah was read including the description of the Prophet.saws. These are the most common form of mawlids you’d find being practiced all around the world, so I’m not sure which world Yasir refers to when he says “nigh impossible to find such mawlids”. It really seems like a deceitful, ill-intentioned and demeaning comment to make, which exposes the poor attempt to hide ideological underpinnings of this 3 part series.

    I’m humoured to read such a line which really breaks down the credibility of the entire article. It goes to show that the author has little or no connection to the generality of the Ummah but is instead trapped in a world of narrow-mindedness from a previous fragrance he once used. He needs to learn from the scholars of the Ummah.

    The scholars of the Sunnah are well aware of the historical background of the Mawlid, but that has no relation to its permissibility. Its permissibility comes down to applying the methodologies of the rules of Fiqh, which when applied, most of the notable scholars have come to a conclusion that it’s not only permissible, but praiseworthy! I think I will choose to follow them, rather than a handful of narrow-minded modernist protestant Muslims attempting to be scholars.

  18. I like the factual aspects of the articles. However the conclusions are ridiculous.

    “the general ruling is that such a celebration is not a part of the religion, but was added by later generations, and hence should be avoided; but it is possible that some groups of people who practice it out of ignorance will be rewarded due to their good intentions.”

    This act should be avoided that much is obvious. Every body that innovates does so with good intentions. How does the author know people will be rewarded??

  19. Good historical overview, but the underlying ideological push is quite apparent (even with disclaimers stating otherwise). The mawlid being permissible or praiseworthy returns to a particular methodological outlook towards innovation, which has little to do with the ‘origins’ of the practice. This same methodology that allowed the mawlid to begin with in its simple, institutionalized form can be employed to allow the same practice in more exotic forms. Therefore, Shaykh Yasir’s statement that Nawawi and Ibn Hajar and the like meant X type of mawlid or Y misses the point because the methodology they employed to reach such a conclusion can be used to justify manifestations of the mawlid that Shaykh Yasir finds objectionable. In other words, Shaykh Yasir is simply back projecting his own ideas of what could be an arguably permissible mawlid onto these scholars and their fatwas, while not paying sufficient attention to the methodological underpinnings of the fatwas themselves and what thet entail.

    Lastly, the generalization regarding the difficulty of finding specific “permissible” type mawlids is off. i have been in the Middle East long enough to take note of the fact that such mawlids are in fact the default here, and elsewhere as well.

    Regardless, the article is still beneficial as a historical overview and insight into the early mawlid.

  20. Dear Faraz Choudhry,
    Their publishing your comment is proof of their being open, not biased, prejudiced, jaundiced and/or perversely brutal against other standpoints/convictions; period.
    Me?
    Well, about this issue and/or Islam as the religion, I wish to share the following with your good-self and other muslim brothers and sisters herein the following quotations from Q&H: –

    اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ * سورة الفاتحة – ١٧:٣٦

    وَلَا تَقْفُ مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ ۚ إِنَّ السَّمْعَ وَالْبَصَرَ وَالْفُؤَادَ كُلُّ أُولَـٰئِكَ كَانَ عَنْهُ مَسْئُولًا * سورة الإسراء – ١٧:٣٦

    يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ وَأُولِي الْأَمْرِ مِنكُمْ ۖ فَإِن تَنَازَعْتُمْ فِي شَيْءٍ فَرُدُّوهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَالرَّسُولِ إِن كُنتُمْ تُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ ۚ ذَ‌ٰلِكَ خَيْرٌ وَأَحْسَنُ تَأْوِيلًا * سورة النساء – ٤:٥٩

    وَمَن يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَالرَّسُولَ فَأُولَـٰئِكَ مَعَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِم مِّنَ النَّبِيِّينَ وَالصِّدِّيقِينَ وَالشُّهَدَاءِ وَالصَّالِحِينَ ۚ وَحَسُنَ أُولَـٰئِكَ رَفِيقًا * سورة النساء – ٤:٦٩

    وَمَن يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ يُدْخِلْهُ جَنَّاتٍ / وَمَن يَعْصِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَيَتَعَدَّ حُدُودَهُ يُدْخِلْهُ نَارًا * سورة النساء – ٤:١٢/١٣

    وَأَنَّ هَـٰذَا صِرَاطِي مُسْتَقِيمًا فَاتَّبِعُوهُ ۖ وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا السُّبُلَ فَتَفَرَّقَ بِكُمْ عَن سَبِيلِهِ ۚ ذَ‌ٰلِكُمْ وَصَّاكُم بِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ * سورة الأنعام – ٦:١٥٣

    أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ لَتَتَّبِعُنَّ سَنَنَ مَنْ قَبْلَكُمْ شِبْرًا بِشِبْرٍ وَذِرَاعًا بِذِرَاعٍ حَتَّى لَوْ سَلَكُوا جُحْرَ ضَبٍّ لَسَلَكْتُمُوهُ قُلْنَا يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ الْيَهُودَ وَالنَّصَارَى قَالَ فَمَنْ * صحيح البخاري – كِتَاب أَحَادِيثِ الْأَنْبِيَاء

    قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ لَتَتَّبِعُنَّ سَنَنَ الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ شِبْرًا بِشِبْرٍ وَذِرَاعًا بِذِرَاعٍ حَتَّى لَوْ دَخَلُوا فِي جُحْرِ ضَبٍّ لَاتَّبَعْتُمُوهُمْ قُلْنَا يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ آلْيَهُودَ وَالنَّصَارَى قَالَ فَمَنْ * صحيح مسلم – كِتَاب الْعِلْمِ

    قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ لَتَتَّبِعُنَّ سُنَّةَ مَنْ كَانَ قَبْلَكُمْ بَاعًا بِبَاعٍ وَذِرَاعًا بِذِرَاعٍ وَشِبْرًا بِشِبْرٍ حَتَّى لَوْ دَخَلُوا فِي جُحْرِ ضَبٍّ لَدَخَلْتُمْ فِيهِ قَالُوا يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ الْيَهُودُ وَالنَّصَارَى قَالَ فَمَنْ إِذًا * سنن ابن ماجه – كِتَاب الْفِتَن

    قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ مَنْ تَشَبَّهَ بِقَوْمٍ فَهُوَ مِنْهُمْ * سنن أبي داود – كِتَاب اللِّبَاسِ – فتح الباري شرح صحيح البخاري – كِتَاب اللِّبَاسِ – لبس الحري / كِتَاب الْجِهَادِ وَالسِّيَرِ

    والسلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته ومغفرته

    q4u2die4

    • Brother, why would you present quotes in Arabic – I’m sure some here are not able to read it.

      Furthermore, the quotes you provide have little or no relevance to the act of Celebrating the Mawlid, just as it has no relevance to the act of going to a University (like Madinah (centre of misguidance) University where Yasir Qadhi studied) to learn an Islamic science, both of which the Sahabah didn’t do.

      I mean, look at the last Hadith ” مَنْ تَشَبَّهَ بِقَوْمٍ فَهُوَ مِنْهُمْ” – “Whoever resembles another people, then he is one of them” – Completely trying to make a random connection between something like Christmas and Mawlid.

      So what you are trying to say, is that getting together, remembering the Prophet (sallallahu a3layhi wasallam), reciting Quran, reciting poems about the Prophet (sallallahu a3layhi wasallam), is the same as celebrating something like Christmas. It clearly demonstrates the intellectual bankruptcy that the Salafi-Wahhabi movement has arrived at.

  21. THE PEACE-KEEPER

    Writing on or about the mawlid, is just like writing on a subject with no hope on finding the Solution to allay the already weak in Faith, Disunited and ever so confusing Customs/Practices or even those who did not know any Better. Scholars are Plentiful but without Agreement as to the Practicalities of the TRUTH. Our Purest of Instructions as Sent or Revealed for All of Mankind to The Very Upright, Truthful, Un comparable Example of The Perfect of all Mankind Our Prophet – Mohammad- saw.
    Being of I do Hope amongst those who are Rightly Guided, I would like to suggest that as a Whole, we seek & Speak only of the Truth. Be United on all Fronts. Stop looking at your Fellow Human Beings as Aliens which we are not and neither can they.
    I do not want to Create Ambiguities, Differences or Hardships on any one. Just like I want to be of those of the Blessed & Righteous, Am seeking likewise for everyone.
    I abhor those Forcing anyone who incite others to Violence, Illegal Occupations of any country etcrtcetc. In the same way I’ll always Aim and Try to Engage in something where Unanimity have been achieved. As for participation in the Mawlid, I’ll leave that to Individuals.

  22. Yasir Qadhi is a total fabricator and LIAR. He lied repeatedly when adressing the issue of Yazeed (Lanti) and Imam Hussein (AS), and totally ignored the historical references of Tabari and other Sunni sources. This deceiver, Yasir Qadhi twists thing to suit his WAHHABI/SALAFI agenda and to spread LIES and PROPAGANDA aimed at confusing Muslims.

    DO NOT TRUST YASIR QADHI. His commentary on history is stupider than those Hindutva fascists that believe the Taj Mahal was a Hindu invention. Yasir is totally delusional.

  23. Faraz Choudhry

    Salaam `alaykum,

    This whole article, all three parts… twist upon twist upon attempting to sound balanced, leading to the possibility of more confusion for some who read it. I’m sorry Shayh Qaadhi but I really need to add some important and essential information to clear things up:

    – You are absolutely correct about celebrating Mawlidh in our daily lives through observing all the priorities within our dheen but don’t make it sound like all milaadh-goers have their priorities twisted. You’re also correct that actions are but by intentions.

    – Pure Mawlidhs DO exists as I’ve been to them and not to the impure ones

    – Milaadhs are a powerful tool for mass public education, invitation and consolidation on matters of practising our daily dheen priorities. Yes, indeed, they have Qur-aan recitations, speeches, Remembrances and supplications, all of which ARE NOT BIDH`AH! It’s almost like saying that the Jumu`ah khuthbah is bidh`ah otherwise!

    – Whoever initiated Mawlidh for whatever intention is SEPARATE to what it involves and their actual benefits for our Ummah.

    The Mawlidh milaadh DOES NOT ADD to the religion but TAKES FROM IT for its obvious benefits. Nobody I know including myself knows of any special rewards over what’s ordained from its components and they are massive circles of gaining knowledge. Plus, we don’t pick always the same month even to do some such Urs events. Food is distributed so the hungry also get fed as well as possibly more knowledgeable in the dheen.

    I would suggest YouTube “Shaykh Alexander Isa Henderson on the Permissibility of Mawlidh” for some further evidences and explanation.

    • Prophet gave us a complete religion, we do not have to do something extra to get extra benefit, and the proof of this is that sahabas did not do it and we do not have any example from the sahabas that anything (bidad ul hasna) was added to our complete religion.
      If as you say that nothing was added, only benefits were taken from it, so you and I know that sajda is the best thing to do, how about doing one more sajda in every rakah, doing three sajdas instead of two, we are not adding any new thing sajda already there we are doing extra of a good deed.

    • Exactly Br. Faraz. Let us all be fairminded here. Saying or believing that it is fard to commemorate the 12th of Rabi-al-awwal a particular way or even at all due to the Prophet s.A.w’s birthday is, assuredly, a bida.

      But believing that he was likely born on or abouts that day and wanting to gather with fellow muslims, not believing it as a fard, in order to do dhikr and grow closer to him and Allah azza wa jal is not just praiseworthy, it’s just plain common sense for anyone trying to grow in faith.

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