Mawlid Conference – Sh. Hamza Yusuf and Imam Tahir Anwar – March 8, 2009

May Allah (swt) bless our scholars. Ameen!

Sh. Abdallah bin Bayyah on Celebrating the Prophet’s (saas) Birthday.

39 Replies to “Mawlid Conference – Sh. Hamza Yusuf and Imam Tahir Anwar – March 8, 2009”

  1. Afterall there is no compulsion in religion….if it applies to faiths other than islam, then certainly it applies to the different opinions, sects, orders etc etc within islam. Let those who want to celebrate, celebrate and let the party poopers do their own thing.

  2. Abu Lahab is condemned to hell in the Quran, yet still, every Monday in Hell, he will get a finger amount of water as a Shifa b/c he was happy when the Prophet (peace be upon him) was born. We are not condemned to hell, what will be our shifa if we show happiness of the birth of the Prophet (peace be upon him)? As Shaykh Qardawi says: Celebrating the birth of the Prophet (peace be upon him), is celebrating the birth of Islam.

  3. As-salamaulikum,

    Can any of you give me proof whether the Sahabas or the early generations of Muslims ever celebrate the Prophet’s (sallahu alaihi wasalaam) birthday?

    The first Mawlid was initiated by the Fatimid (Shi’a) Dynasty, 300 years after the death of Prophet Muhammad (sallahu alaihi wasalaam).

    Why didn’t the first three generations of Muslims not celebrate the birthday? Did Abu Bakr (ra), Umar (ra), Uthman (ra), Ali (ra) not love the Prophet (sallahu alaihi waslaaam) as much as the following generations? Did the first three generations of Muslims not understand Surah Maryam?

    Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “I urge you to follow my Sunnah and the way of the rightly-guided khaleefahs after me; adhere to it and cling to it firmly. Beware of newly-invented things, for every newly-invented thing is an innovation (bid’ah) and every innovation is a going-astray.” (Narrated by Ahmad, 4/126; al-Tirmidhi no. 2676)

    The Prophet (sallahu alaihi wasalaam) encouraged us to be different then the Christians (who celebrates the birthday of Jesus Christ (alaihis salaam)
    Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever imitates a people is one of them” (narrated by Ahmad, 2/50; Abu Dawood, 4/314). And he said, “Be different from the mushrikeen” (narrated by Muslim, 1/222, no. 259)

    Among those who denounced the celebration of this occasion was Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah, in Iqtidaa’ al-Siraat al-Mustaqeem; Imaam al-Shaatibi in al-‘I’tisaam; Ibn al-Haaj in al-Madkhil; Shaykh Taaj al-Deen ‘Ali ibn ‘Umar al-Lakhami who wrote an entire book denouncing it; Shaykh Muhammad Basheer al-Sahsawaani al-Hindi in his book Siyaanah al-Insaan

    Also Allah (swt) says:
    “This day, I have perfected your religion for you”
    [al-Maa’idah 5:3]

    If the religion is perfect then why do people feel the need to add Mawlid into the Islamic calendar? Don’t we send blessings upon the Prophet in every prayer “atleast” 17 times a day? Why do we need to specifically venerate him on one single day when we do it everyday?

    The people who venerated the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) the most were the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them), as ‘Urwah ibn Mas’ood said to Quraysh: “O people, by Allaah I have visited kings. I went to Caesar, Chosroes and the Negus, but by Allaah I never saw a king whose companions venerated him as much as the companions of Muhammad venerated Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). By Allaah, whenever he spat it never fell on the ground, it fell into into the hand of one his companions, then they wiped their faces and skins with it. If he instructed them to do something, they would hasten to do as he commanded. When he did wudoo’, they would almost fight over his water. When he spoke they would lower their voices in his presence; and they did not stare at him out of respect for him.” (al-Bukhaari, 3/178, no. 2731, 2732; al-Fath, 5/388).

    Yet despite this level of veneration, they never took the day of his birth as an ‘Eid (festival). If that had been prescribed in Islam they would not have neglected to do that.

    I pray to Allah to send blessings and salutations eternally upon the Prophet Muhammad (sallahu alaihi wasalaam) and I ask Allah to guide Muslims to the true path of Sahabas and also to save us from Bi’dah.

    Wa’saalamu Alaikum

  4. The Prophet (saas) and the Sahabahs and the first three generations and everyone after did celebrate the birth of th Prophet (alyhisalam).

    They did it every Monday by fasting. 😀

    The fast on Monday was to commemorate the birth of Rasul alyhisalam.

  5. As-salamu alaykum wa rahmatullah,

    Jazakullah khayran, MR, for the fatwa. It is splendid.

    I mean no disrespect to any brother or sister here, but there really is no need to quote the Qur’an and ahadith for evidence regarding the mawlid, since we, as mere laymen and followers, do not have the right to make ijtihad. The fact of the matter is, that the position of Ahl us-Sunnah wa l-Jama’ah is that it is permissible to “celebrate” the birth of the best of creation, salla lahu ‘alayhi wa alihi wa sallam, and it is also permissible not to celebrate it. Both sides have their proofs and these should be respected, just as the great fatwa by shaykh bin Bayyah proclaims.

    If some of our brightest, most illuminating ‘ulama deemed this practice permissible–then it IS permissible. Unfortunately, we live in an age where everything is to criticized and scrutinized, including the heirs of the prophets–our scholars. Also, I am quite convinced that these scholars knew where this practice originated when they made their rulings.

    This lecture, “Who are the rightly guided scholars?”, is worth listening to. I have listened to it more than once, trying to get what I wrote above into my head, so I am in no way exempting myself from my own criticism.

    Part 1:

    Part 2:

    Part 3:

  6. @MR –They fast on Monday and Thursday every week because that is time when the deeds are brought up to heaven. Not because he was born on Monday, You’ll find the hadith easy that they fasted every monday and thursday because thats when the deeds are collected.

    I still Love Hamza Yusuf and will not stop befitting from him for this mistake.

  7. @farooq:

    1255. Abu Qatadah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) was asked about fasting on Mondays. He said, “That is the day on which I was born and the day on which I received Revelation.”


  8. @MR
    Masha allah MR that is a beautiful hadith. How can we have monday blues when our messenger sallallah alayhi wasalam was born on mondays and that was the day the quran was first revealed

    1256. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “Deeds of people are presented (to Allah) on Mondays and Thursdays. So I like that my actions be presented while I am fasting.”

    This is the one I was talking about. We have to take into context everything, because sometimes the best of creation sallallah alayhi wasalam would say one thing to one person and something else to another depending on the circumstance.

    wallahu a’lam

  9. @Abdu l-Ghaffûr

    “but there really is no need to quote the Qur’an and ahadith for evidence regarding the mawlid, since we, as mere laymen and followers, do not have the right to make ijtihad.”

    Akhi, I wasn’t presenting “an” Ijtihad. Its not acceptable for a laymen to even think about issuing an Ijtihad.
    my commentary was based on a fatwa by
    Shaykh Dr. Saalih ibn Fawzaan al-Fawzaan
    who is a Member of the Committee of Senior Scholars, Saudi Arabia.

    Also quoting the Qur’an and ahadith by laymen is acceptable. Both have their Tafseers so one can look up to find out the meaning behind the verses.

    So you are stating that the Sahabas and the Salafs were observing the nawafil fast on Mondays because it was the Prophet’s (sallahu alaihi wasalaam) birthday?

  10. Aren’t you stretching it MR with the fasting on Monday as a reason to celebrate the birthday of the Rasool(pubuh)?

  11. As-salamu alaykum,


    Based on your response, I am getting the feeling that you took offense to my initial reply. If this is the case, I apologize. I might have come across a bit harsh, or “pointing fingers”-ish.

    As you did not state that your post was based on a fatwa (or am I just not seeing it?), I could not have known. It did not seem like that was the case.

    Anyways, it is permissible to celebrate the mawlid and not to celebrate it—this is my point. Either you do it or you do not, and it should not be a point of division and hostility (and I am not referring to you, brother).


    That hadith is one of the many proofs that both our classical and modern ulama have used when establishing the permissibility and/or the recommendation for “celebrating” the birth of Rasulullah, salla lahu alayhi wa alihi wa sallam.

  12. Very good point @Faisal.
    Your 1st comment made the most sense.

    Also, brothers and sisters. We must remember one hadith regarding this celebration:
    “Leave that about which you are in doubt for that about which you are in no doubt.”

    So the simple saying, when in doubt, stay away from it should be applied here on such a matter like this when there is so much controversy.

    What is the most that will happen if you don’t celebrate it?
    What may happen if you do celebrate it?

  13. As-salamu alaykum,


    I respect your opinion, but I do not agree with your statement at all. So many of our most brilliant scholars have deemed it both permissible and recommended. There is simply no reason for a muslim not to follow these stars of our din if one feels that it would benefit him or her, as long as it is in agreement with proper fiqh. Especially in our time, when the Prophet is attacked and slandered on a regular basis, so we acknowledge our beloved with pride. Also, there is a lot of brothers and sisters out there who have very little knowledge about him, so having a month that really emphasizes who he is and his importance might be good.

  14. Wa Salaam,
    one month should NOT be focused on emphasizing Prophet Muhammad slallahu alayhi wasalaam. Every month should.
    The scholars you say that have given permission are the only one that you know of, not the many more around the world.
    I do not understand how one human can benefit by celebrating his birthday? That cleary means one is lacking Eman, and needs a boost, like the birthday to boost up his Eman. Just like the Christians do on Christmas. Go to church at midnight.
    We know clearly what to do when the Prophet Muhammad is attacked or slandered. I will give you a short story:
    During the sixth Crusade against the Muslims after the Crusaders attacked the town of Dimyat in Egypt in the year 615 and occupied it, the Ayyubi Amir Muhammad Kamil was in Mansorah fighting them. It is said that there was one of these men from the Crusaders who used to come out everyday and curse Muhammad (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) in worst words, and he would do that on a daily basis! The Amir of the Muslims Muhammad Kamil, would just wish if he could get his hands on this man and capture him and he engraved his face in his memory.
    Ten years later the Crusade failed and they left, but this particular man went on to carry on the fight to Sham and -praise is to Allah- he fell into the custody of the Muslims and the Amir Muhammad Kamil remembered him, we are talking about year 625, ten years later! So he send him to Medina and gave command to the Amir of Madina to slaughter him in front of the grave of Muhammad (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) on the day of Jumuah (Friday). Ten years
    later, and he did not forget!

  15. How about we celebrate the Prophet’s (saw) birthday by following his example and trying our best to be like him?

  16. As-salamu alaykum,
    Why we celebrate with Mawlid?
    * Allah command us in Quran to be happy with his mercy & the prophet is one of his mercy not only to Muslims but also to all mankind
    * All creatures were happy with his birth e.g ( the fire of Fares ceased that day- a soft wind full Mecca in that night…) so why not we be happy with his birth? Are we a little than the fire & the wind?
    * The Prophet said that in the true Hadith,he fast every Monday coz that is a day of his birth
    * Our celebration is a form of honor to our great Prophet not a form of sacredness of him as Christians do in Jesus birth
    * Allah mention the ex-Prophets stories to the Prophet to support his heart as Muslims do with their Prophet birth & life to support their hearts by this kind of remembering celebrations during the year( Mawlid-Hejra – Badr day…etc)
    *** this is what I want to say & forgive me for bad english

  17. @Abdu l-Ghaffûr

    Walaikum salaam brother, No no no no no… I did not take offence from your comment. I always appreciate debates with proper adhab.. also it helps me to learn a lot as well

    If there is an ijtihad with the proper sources regarding the permissibility of Mawlid, then I will accept it myself.

    Regarding the hadith

    1255. Abu Qatadah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) was asked about fasting on Mondays. He said, “That is the day on which I was born and the day on which I received Revelation.”

    InshAllah, I plan to research this Hadith and even ask a few knowledgeable brothers regarding its use to back the celebration of Mawlid.

    However, if one of you could post me a fatwa, ijtihad with evidences, I will inshAllah look into it.

  18. @ MR

    you say that the fast of Monday’s is to commemorate the birth of the Prophet sallahu alayhi wasalam. Can you please provide some proof for your claim? What about the fast of thursdays? Who’s birthday is that for?

    The fact is, the mawlid is a bid’ah that WAS NOT celebrated by the Prophet sallahu alayhi wasalam, his companions, or any of the first 3 generations.

    Why are you knowingly spreading falsehood?

  19. As-salamu alaykum,
    *The Prophet (PBUH) celebrate with safety of the Prophet Moses by fasting “Ashoraa day” so this is our Prophet way for regard the fast of thursdays coz in these day angles show humans work to Allah & the Prophet (PBUH) said that he loves that happen while his fasting.
    *Muslims untill now celebrate in “Ashoraa day”,so why they couldn’t celebrate with Mawlid,too?
    *The first 3 generations of Muslims didn’t celebrate formally by Mawlid coz there was no need for that coz they & some of their children live with the Prophet & still hear his voice & see his face everywhere but after that Muslims made that good bid’ah to support their hearts & to honor the Prophet whom they believed without seeing or listening to him directly
    * Not all bid’ah in Islam are bad,there are good ones accepted by Al Sahaba & the followers as finishing of Quran reading in 27th of Ramadan (hold in Mecca, too). celebration of national days w accepted by Wahabis themselves
    * Finally, all Islamic scientists & schoolers who allow these celebration from the first time of it until now are hypocrites & only Wahabis who appear in 1932 are the only ones know the real Islamic rules,I don’t think so.

  20. @ muslimgirl

    You have just admitted that it is a bid’ah for which I commend you. There are some who do not even admit that. The question is, is there such thing as a good bid’ah?

    The answer is no. Because, if it were allowed, that means we are effectively allowed to change our religion and morph it and pervert it. Allah condemns the Jews and Christians in the Qur’an for changing their scriptures and distorting it. Why? Because it changes the religion into a man-made one. So, we cannot introduce bid’ahs into Islam, else we would introduce human errors into it and effectively eventually render it into a man-made relgion.

    The fact that wahhabis are staunch against bid’ahs is irrelevent. There have been Muslims throughout the ages who have striven to keep this deen intact and original. I leave you with a hadith of the Prophet sallahu alayhi wasalam:

    “Every innovation is misguidance and going astray” Reported by Abu Daawood (no. 4607), at-Tirmidhee (no. 2676) and it is saheeh. Ibn
    Hajr authenticated it Takhreej Ahaadeeth Ibn ul-Haajib (1/137).
    And he (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) also said: “… and every innovation is misguidance and all misguidance is in the Hellfire.” Reported by an-Nasaa’ee (1/224) from Jaabir bin Abdullaah.

    So now all you need to do is accept that every innovation is indeed a misguidance and a corruption of the deen and therefore leads to the fire. And that includes the Mawlid.

  21. @Zechhetti – See this commenthere I made earlier.

    Also, Sh. AbdulBary Yahya is the one who shared this in the AlMaghrib course, The Shepherd’s Path. So if you have any other questions, please proceed to the AlMaghrib Institute Student Forums and ask the question, inshaAllah.


  22. @ MR

    :-D. I saw that post as soon as I posted my comment.

    But in reality, what it proves is that the fast is for that purpose, i.e. a weekly celebration. Which means that for a yearly celebration there should also be a clear cut hadith? We clearly know that fasting Mondays is from the sunnah (i.e. a weekly celebration of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasalam’s birth), but there is no evidence that they (the sahabah) did a yearly celebration for the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasalam’s birth.

    Therefore for us to do it now after the deen is complete would be an innovation, you see?

    See my comment just above which was a reply to muslimgirl to see why innovations must not be accepted.


  23. @Zechhetti – Then let us start it inshaAllah! Mawlid Mondays! Every Monday until we leave this dunya, inshaAllah!

  24. As-salamu alaykum,
    What is bid’ah ?it is any thing not done by the Prophet or by Al-sahaba & accepted by him.this meaning includes all the new things in our life as materials & machines also include the behaviors or problems that were not in the time of the Prophet .& this is open the way for fatwa& ijtihad w start from the time of Al-Sahaba . it is true that Allah said in Quran that Islam is complete,as regard sources of Shar’ah ( Quran, Sunna & Ijtihad) that mentioned in the Hadith when the Prophet ask Mo’az bin Gabil about his sources of governing- he said ( if I don’t found the judgment in the Quran & Sunna, I search & make my fatwa (Ijtihad).
    Al-imam Al-Shafaie said that with other Imams ( In Islam the bid’ah are 3 kinds good ,bad or banned e.g:-
    ** Good one – Salat Al Traweeh & finishing of Quran reading in 27th of Ramadan
    ** Bad one- decorating of the masjid with pictures
    ** Banned one- Adding or omitting in no. of prayers or Fasting another month & leave Ramadan or Go to Haj in any month of the year
    ** Finally, in Mawlid people read Quran, talk about the Prophet life & make charity to poor people so it is a love & goodness celebration so there is no harm in it ( this is the Fatwa of 100 of scientists & schoolers)

  25. @ muslimgirl

    no, you’ve got it wrong slightly. The bid’ah that is evil is innovations in the deen, that is, innovated acts of worship. Look at the Christians. Easter, Christmas, Sacrament of Reconciliation and so much more is all bid’ah because it was not part of the teachings of Isa (AS).

    And that’s why celebration of the Mawlid comes into this category.

    btw, you’ve just stated that a banned bid’ah is adding or ommitting prayers. So what about the Mawlid. Isn’t that adding another Eid? In the deen there are only 2 Eids: al fitr and al adha.

  26. @MR

    hehe, if that makes more people fast on Mondays then great!

    But I hope you see the point of the annual celebration being an action that has no basis in the sunnah…

  27. As-salamu alaykum,
    ** What is the meaning of the ward “Eid”?.It is arabic name from the arabic verb “A’d” i.e ” return & recurrent ” so the word is not holy ward, it could be used in our daily language
    ** It is a fact that Islam has only 2 holy Eid w are gifts from Allah to Muslims after completion of 2 “pillars” of Islam ” fasting & Haj ” & there are important days in history of Islam w Muslims celebrate in it as a form of remembering the great events in Islam but there is no special prayers for it as in holy Eid
    ** The Prophet (PBUH) reject Eid W associated with worship but accept Eid W associated with great victory of Madinna on enemies before Islam
    ** Friday is a honorable day in Islam & it is the weekly Eid for Muslims & in Friday Allah create “Adam”(PBUH), So Muslims celebrate with “creation of Adam” every week, Why we couldn’t celebrate with Mawlid every year ,in the same month & every week in the same day?

  28. @muslimgirl, you are not making any sense. u keep repeating the same thing over and over.

    @Zecchetti, you broke it down very good.

    @MR, if that makes more people fast on Mondays then great!

  29. @ Muslimgirl

    How do you know that Friday in Islam is an honourable day? Because of the various evidences in the Quran and sunnah right? So, is there a similar degree of evidence to celebrate the mawlid? Nope. Point proven – and hopefully, case closed.

  30. **Ahmed, repetition is good to make you understand, if you want to understand from “a girl” with “no sense” as you mentioned & thank you
    **Zecchetti, the case closed here but I hope you to search & listen to all opinions of Islamic scientists & schoolers not only to those who narrow the interpretation of verses & Hadith and not admit of the fact that Islam is global religion not only of them

  31. # MR March 7th, 2009 at 3:04 am

    The Prophet (saas) and the Sahabahs and the first three generations and everyone after did celebrate the birth of th Prophet (alyhisalam).

    They did it every Monday by fasting. 😀

    The fast on Monday was to commemorate the birth of Rasul alyhisalam.

    So I asked a knowledgeable brother regarding this matter..

    I believe this Hadith was posted before:

    In another Hadith, the Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) was asked about fasting Monday and Thursday, to which he replied, “These are two days which peoples’ deeds are presented to Allah Azza wa jall, so I like my deeds to be presented while I am fasting.”

    SO going back to the Hadith you mentioned.. what does it have to do with celebrating his birthday? What does his birth, revelation etc. have to do with the rules of celebrating that day (without discussing what celebrating means).

    If you say fasting on Monday is Sunnah because he spoke about the benefits then its fine. But if you say that we should celebrate Monday like a holiday then you are making a contradiction between Ahadith. If you say that this is a holiday, i.e. Eid type of a day, then that contradicts other Hadiths about Muslims having two holidays only. Also, please could you send me a fatwa from the ulama whose opinion you follow?

    Mawlid is celebrated like Eid in some parts of the Muslim world. Also, it is a day when various types of food are prepared.. do those people fast on the day?

    JazakAllah Khair brother.

  32. May Allah make us among His servant how are in love with he who is deserved to b loved. for he is the MOSTbloved of Allah’s creatures

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