Is celebrating the Milaad a Bid’ah (innovation)?

Is celebrating the Milaad a Bid'ah (innovation)

Question:

On celebrating the Prophet’s (pbuh) birthday (Milaad) I thought it is biddah. I’m a bit confused an wonder if u can help?

 

Answer:

In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful, 

 

The arrival of the beloved Prophet Muhammed (peace and blessings be upon him) into this world is a great blessing for mankind until the day of judgement. This is because he is the best man to walk on the face of this earth.
 

One may commemorate and acknowledge the coming of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) into this world, providing this commemoration and acknowledgement is done within the confines of  Shariah.

 

This means that a person does not make it compulsory on him/her-self, or on others, he does not criticise a person that does not participate in his/her commemoration, nor does he believe the commemoration to be from the basis of Shariah etc. 

 

 Keeping all this in mind, some noteworthy points should be mentioned:

 
1)There is no confirmed date to when our Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) came to this world. There are many narrations that are all disputed but there is no clear-cut, undisputed and correct narration to prove what day our Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) actually came to this world.

 

2)Our beloved Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) never ever encouraged anyone to celebrate his coming to this world, never in his time and never in any narration did he mention this. Furthermore, the companions of our beloved Prophet, the Tabi’n or the Tabi’ Tabi’n never ever conducted such ceremonies of commemoration, nor did they encourage this.

 
For something to be classified a Bid’ah (innovation) there are many requirements. Scholars of this field have mentioned a lot of detail. In short, something that has no basis in Shariah, thinking it to be from Shariah, making it compulsory upon oneself and others, reprimanding or criticising those who do not engage or take part in it is known as Bida’h (innovation).

 
All in all, the Prophet’s (peace and blessings be upon him) coming to this world is something that cannot be forgotten until the day of judgement. Also, it is something that cannot be limited to a day because we don’t even know the exact date the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) came to this world. Furthermore, there is no better way to commomerate the coming of our Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) to this world than acting upon his beloved Sunnahs (traditions) and beautifying our lives according to the life of our beloved Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).This is one of his primary missions of coming to this world-to teach us how to live life in order that we please our Creator.

 
Unfortunately, people have specified a day of our Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) coming to this world, made it compulsory upon themselves to commomerate on this day, criticise those who do not participate, take part or concur with there commomerating on this specific day-additionaly people have started believing this to be from the basis of Shariah, which then consequently makes this a Bida’h (innovation). Unfortunately, people have gone to the extent that they have made this in to a creedal matter.

 
However, if commemorating the Prophet’s (peace and blessings be upon him) coming to this world is free from the above mentioned faults/vices and also any other faults/vices then it will be permissible and also an act of virtue to have a gathering commemorating our Prophet’s (peace and blessings be upon him) arrival to this world, where in we should also emphasise on his noble qualities, his immaculate lifestyle (Seerah), his sublime character and various other aspects of his life.

 
In addition to the above, consider the priceless words of my teacher, Shaykh Yunus (Bolton, UK) (May Allah preserve him): 

 
The commemoration and celebration of the Prophet’s (peace and blessings be upon him) birth should be a time of joy and happiness without hesitation. It should be a time to show our gratitude to our Lord that, we have been granted the privilege to be from among his nation. We should rejoice that, it is the birthdate of simply the greatest human being created by Allah.We should celebrate this day by reflecting back on the previous year and thinking; how many of the Prophet’s (peace and blessings be upon him) teachings have we implemented in our lives? How many of his mannerisms have we researched with the intention of practicing?

 
Our whole life is for the ‘worship’ of the Lord and gaining nearness to Him and this is only possible through the teachings of our beloved Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).Our celebration of his life should be to practice upon his teachings and in modelling our life upon his, as much as possible.Let the Milaad (commemoration of the Prophet’s (peace and blessings be upon him) birth) be a day of reflection and our reformation rather than a day of merry, lights and folly to be forgotten in a day for another day next year.That was not our Prophet’s (peace and blessings be upon him) legacy.

 

And Allah, the Almighty knows best
 

(Mufti) Sufyan Ibn Yakub Khapi

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Tayyib HMC FInder

Munadil Islaam

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