View Full Version : Celebrating birthdays is an innovation
12-23-2007, 03:04 PM
Celebrating birthdays is an innovation in the religion of Allaah, and it is not permissible to do this. It is not permissible to eat the food that has been prepared for this occasion. Their claim that the food for the birthday celebration is for the guests does not make it excusable to eat it. Hospitality is subject to its own rulings, and matters are judged according to the intentions behind them. It is very clear that the food is being prepared for this innovated occasion, and eating this food is one of the things that helps them to persist in doing this. It is a kind of co-operation in sin and transgression. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): Reply
“Help you one another in Al Birr and At Taqwa (virtue, righteousness and piety); but do not help one another in sin and transgression” [al-Maa’idah 5:2]
Shaykh ‘Abd al-Kareem al-Khudayr
With regard to al-salaah al-naariyah, this is one of the innovated Sufi prayers; it is not permissible to attend those gatherings or to take part in them
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12-23-2007, 03:07 PM
Celebrating innovated festivals Reply
Firstly: ‘Eid (festival) is the name given to something which returns (ya’ood), and is used to describe gatherings which happen repeatedly, on a yearly, monthly or weekly basis, etc. So an ‘eid includes a number of things, such as a day which comes regularly, e.g., ‘Eid al-Fitr and Friday; gatherings on that day; and actions such as acts of worship and customs which are done on that day.
Secondly: any of these things which are intended as rituals or acts of worship aimed at drawing closer to Allaah or glorifying Him in order to earn reward, or which involve imitating the people of Jaahiliyyah or any other groups of kaafirs, is a prohibited bid’ah, an innovation which comes under the general meaning of the hadeeth: “Whoever innovates something in this matter of ours (Islam) that is not part of it, will have it rejected.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari and Muslim).
Examples of that include Mawlid al-Nabi (the Prophet’s birthday), Mother’s Day and national holidays, because in the first case there are innovated acts of worship which Allaah has not prescribed, and because it involves imitation of the Christians and other kaafirs. And in the second and third cases there is imitation of the kuffaar. But in cases where the intention is to organize work to serve the interests of the ummah and to put its affairs straight, or to organize programs of study, or to bring employees together for work purposes etc., which in and of themselves do not involve acts of worship and glorification, then these are a kind of benign innovation which do not come under the meaning of the hadeeth, “Whoever innovates something in this matter of ours (Islam) that is not a part of it will have it rejected.” So there is nothing wrong with such things, indeed they are allowed by sharee’ah.
And Allaah is the Source of strength. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions, and grant them peace.
12-23-2007, 03:13 PM
There is nothing in the Qur’aan to say that we should celebrate the Mawlid or birthday of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). The Prophet himself (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not do this or command anyone to do it, either during his lifetime or after his death. Indeed, he told them not to exaggerate about him as the Christians had exaggerated about Jesus (upon whom be peace). He said: “Do not exaggerate about me as the Christians exaggerated about the son of Maryam. I am only a slave, so say, ‘The slave of Allaah and His Messenger.’” (Reported by al-Bukhaari). What has been reported is that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) made the day of his birth a day of worship, which is different to celebration. He was asked about fasting on Mondays, and he said: “That is the day on which I was born and the day on which I was entrusted with the Mission or when I was first given Revelation.” (Reported by Muslim, al-Nisaa’i and Abu Dawood). Reply
Moreover, we know that the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) were the people who loved the Prophet most. Was it reported that Abu Bakr, who was the closest of people to him and the one who loved him the most, celebrated the birthday of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)? Was it reported that ‘Umar, who ruled for twelve years, or ‘Uthmaan, did this? Was it reported that ‘Ali, his relative and foster son, did this? Was it reported that any of the Sahaabah did this? No, by Allaah! Is it because they were not aware of its importance, or did they not truly love the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)? No one would say such a thing except one who has gone astray and is leading others astray.
Did any of the imaams – Abu Haneefah, Maalik, al-Shaafi’i, Ahmad, al-Hasan al-Basri, Ibn Seereen – do this or command others to do it or say that it was good? By Allaah, no! It was not even mentioned during the first and best three centuries. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said in a saheeh hadeeth: “The best of mankind are my generation (or my century), then those who come after them, then those who come after them. Then there will come a people who will not care if their testimony comes before their oath or vice versa (i.e., they will not take such matter seriously).” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, Muslim and al-Tirmidhi). The celebration of the Prophet’s birthday appeared many centuries later, when many of the features of true religion had vanished and bid’ah had become widespread.
Thus this celebration became a sign of one’s love for the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)? But can it be possible that the Sahaabah, the imaams and the people of the best three centuries were unaware of it, and it was only those who came later who were aware of its importance?! What the Qur’aan tells us is that love of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is demonstrated by following the guidance he brought. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Say (O Muhammad): ‘If you (really) love Allaah, then follow me, Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allaah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
Say: ‘Obey Allaah and the Messenger.’ But if they turn away, then Allaah does not like the disbelievers.” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:31-32]
The first aayah explains that love is just a claim, but the proof of sincerity is following what the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) brought. The second aayah reaffirms the importance and necessity of obeying Allaah and His Messenger. Hence Allaah ended the aayah with a very stern warning in which those who refuse to obey are described as kaafirs, and Allah does not love the disbelievers. We ask Allaah to keep us safe from that. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told us of the danger of not obeying him, and the danger of adding to what he brought. The celebration of Mawlid or his birthday is indeed an addition to what he brought – as all the scholars agree. He said: “The best of speech is the Book of Allaah, and the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad. The most evil of things are those which are newly-invented (in religion), and every innovation is a going astray.” (Reported by Muslim and al-Nisaa’i).
We ask Allaah to protect us from bid’ah and to bless us by helping us to follow. Allaah knows best. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad.
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