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The Proofs Of The Permissibility Of Celebrating The Honorable Mawlid PDF Print Email
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 06 August 2012 05:36


Celebrating the birth of the Prophet is a good innovation. This celebration was neither practiced at the time of the Prophet nor for several hundred years thereafter. It was not until the early part of the 7th century AH that this occasion was first celebrated. This was an innovation begun by the King of Irbil. Irbil is a city in Iraq southeast of Musil on the way towards Iran.

The King of Irbil, al-Mudhaffar (the Victorious) Kukbiriyy, was known for his scholarly status, piety, and bravery. He gathered many scholars, including scholars of hadith, and the true Sufis, to participate in this honorable celebration. Many traveled from near and far—places like Baghdad, Musil, Jazirah, Suijar, Nasibin, and others—to attend and participate in this honorable celebration.

The scholars of both the East and the West judged this innovation as a good, rewardable practice. The Hafidh Ibn Hajar al-^Asqalaniyy; his student, the Hafidh as-Sakhawi;the Hafidh as-Suyutiyy, and many others accepted this practice as a good innovation, as evidenced in their sayings and writings.

The Hafidh as-Sakhawi said in his book of fatwas (edicts), “Celebrating the birth of the Prophet was innovated after the lapse of the first three centuries. Since then, the Muslims at large in the major cities have been celebrating the Mawlid. During the nights of the celebration they give much in charity and recite the story of the honorable Mawlid. As a result, they reap many blessings and merits.”

The Hafidh as-Suyutiyy authored a treatise in support of the Mawlid. He called it Husn Al-Maqsad Fi ^Amal Al-Mawlid (The Good Endeavor of Celebrating the Mawlid). In this book he replied to a question regarding the judgment of celebrating the Mawlid during the month of Rabi^ al-Awwal, and whether such practice is praised, dispraised, rewardable, or non-rewardable. His reply was: “I see the basis of the celebration, i.e., gathering the people, reciting Qur’an, narrating the story of the Mawlid and the wondrous signs accompanying it, offering food for people to eat --after which they leave--to be a good innovation. That is, it is rewardable for the one who does it, because it involves aggrandizing the status of the Prophet and it reflects one’s delight about the honorable birth of the Prophet. The first to innovate celebrating the Mawlid was the King of Irbil, the Mudhaffar, Abu Sa^id Kukbiriyy Ibn Zayn ad-Din ^Aliyy Ibn Buktakin. He was one of the glorious, grand, and generous kings with many good traces. He is the one who built the Mudhaffariyy Mosque on the pinnacle of Mount Qasiyun.”

In his book of history, Ibn Kathir said, “He, the Mudhaffar King, used to grandiosely celebrate the honorable Mawlid during the month of Rabi^ al-Awwal. He was courageous and was one who cared for others. He was a hero, a scholar, mindful, and just; may Allah bestow His mercies upon him and reward him. Shaykh Abu al-Khattab Ibn Dihyah compiled a volume on the honorable birth of the Prophet for al-Mudhaffar that he called At-Tanwir Fi Mawlid Al-Bashir An-Nadhir (The Enlightenment of the Mawlid of the One Who Gives the Good Tidings of Paradise and Warns Against the Tortures of Hellfire). Al-Mudhaffar rewarded this shaykh for authoring that book by giving him one thousand dinars. He ruled for a long time until he died while holding the Faranj[3] under siege in the city of ^Akka in Palestine in the year 630 AH. He had a praiseworthy history and inner self.”

The grandson of Ibn al-Jawziyy mentioned in “Mir’at az-Zaman” that the elites of the scholars and the Sufis used to attend the celebration with him.

In his biography of Ibn Dihyah, Ibn Khillikan said: He (Ibn Dihyah) was among the elite of the scholars and the famous people of merit. Ibn Dihyah entered the countries of ash-Sham and Iraq coming from Morocco. In his travels he passed through Irbil in the year 604 AH and found its king, the glorious Mudhaffar ad-Din Ibn Zayn ad-Din, very keen about celebrating the honorable Mawlid. He authored a book about the Mawlid for the king entitled Al-Tanwir Fi Mawlid Al-Bashir An-Nathir, and personally read it for him. The king rewarded him with one thousand dinars.”

The Hafidh as-Suyutiyy said, “The Imam of the hafidhs, Ahmad Ibn Hajar al-^Asqalaniyy, found one ground for celebrating the Mawlid and I have found a second...” Ibn Hajar’s ground as-Suyutiyy is referring to can be found in Ibn Hajar’s response regarding celebrating the Mawlid:

“The basis for celebrating the Mawlid is an innovation that was not reported about any of the pious scholars who lived during the first three hundred years after the immigration of the Prophet (as-Salaf as-Salih). Even so, this celebration has merits and disadvantages. As such, the one who is keen to observe implementing the merits and avoiding the disadvantages during the celebration is performing a good innovation, otherwise one is not. (Ibn Hajar said) I found solid grounds for celebrating the Mawlid in the hadith of the Prophet reported by al-Bukhariyy and Muslim in their Sahihs:

<< إن النبى قدم المدينة فوجد اليهود يصومون يوم عاشوراء فسألهم فقالوا: هو يوم أغرق الله فيه فرعون ونجى موسى فنحن نصومه شكرًا لله تعالى فقال النبى أنا احق منكم بموسى فصامه وأمر بصيامه >>

This narration was also reported by Ibn Majah, Malik in his Muwatta’, and Ahmad Ibn Hanbal in his Musnad. It reports that the Prophet came to Madinah and found the Jews fasting the tenth day of Muharram. When he inquired about the reason, the Jews said, “This is the day on which Allah drowned Pharaoh and rescued Musa. We fast it every year to be thankful to Allah.” The Prophet said, “I am more deserving of Musa than you are,” and he fasted this day and ordered the Muslims to fast it also.

(After stating the incident Ibn Hajar said) “From this incident, we benefit in understanding the permissibility of doing something on a specific day to show our thanks to Allah for an endowment that He bestowed upon us or a hardship he removed from us. Moreover, it shows the permissibility of repeating that action every year on that specific day. What reflect our thanking to Allah can be various acts of worship such as praying, fasting, giving charity, or reciting Qur’an. On what day do we find a grace or an endowment greater than the emergence of the Prophet, the Prophet of Mercy?”

Ahmad Ibn Zayni Dahlan, the Mufti of Makkah, (in his book: “Ad-Durar As-Saniyyah) said, after mentioning the saying of Allah (Al-Hajj, 32):

{وَمَنْ يُعَظِّمْ شَعَائِرَ اللَّهِ فَإِنَّهَا مِنْ تَقْوَى الْقُلُوبِ }

“What reflects aggrandizing the Prophet is the delight on the day of his birth, narrating the story of his Mawlid on that night, offering food, and other good things that Muslims usually do.”


Henceforth, it stands tall and clear that celebrating the Mawlid of the Prophet is a good innovation. There are no grounds whatsoever for one to denounce this practice. Rather, it is worthy of being classified as a good innovation because it is included in the hadith of the Prophet related by Muslim mentioned earlier:

<< مَنْ سَنَّ فى الإسْلامِ سُنَّةً حَسَنَةً فَلَهُ أَجْرُها وَأجْرُ مَنْ عَمِلَ بها بَعْدَهُ مِنْ غير أن يَنقص من أجُورِهم شىء ومَنْ سَنَّ فى الإسْلامِ سُنَّةً سِيّئَةً كان عليه وِزْرُها وَوِزْرُ مَنْ عَمِلَ بها من بعده من غير أن ينقص من أوزارهم شىء >>

which means: <<The one who innovates a good innovation in Islam shall be rewarded for it and similarly rewarded when another imitates him in performing that deed—without the reward of the latter being decreased. Likewise, the one who innovates a bad innovation in Islam will be sinful for it and will similarly bear a sin when another imitates him in that bad innovation—without any of the latter’s sin being lessened.>>

It is true that the Prophet mentioned this hadith in relation to a specific incident which occurred when a group of very poor people came to the Prophet in al-Madinah. Their extreme state of poverty was manifested by their clothing. They were wearing only a single sheet of material to cover their ^awrah (unlawful nakedness) with a hole cut in the middle for their head. These people were not inhabitants of al-Madinah, though they had come there out of their love for and desire to meet the Prophet. When the Prophet saw their state of poverty, the expression on his face changed to sadness. He urged the Muslims to contribute and pay in charity to those needy people what would be enough to alleviate their sadness and their need. The Muslims responded by gathering a sizable amount and that pleased the Prophet.

Although the Prophet stated this hadith at that specific incident, the meaning is general and covers the general cases. It is not permissible to claim that this hadith applies only to charities because the Prophet used a general term in this hadith. He did not specify the reward to ‘he who spends in charity’; rather, he said, ‘he who innovates a good innovation.’ The scholars of the fundamentals of the Religion stated a clear rule:

العبرة بعموم اللفظ لا بخصوص السبب

This means the scope of application (i.e., of the hadith) is determined by the generality of the term used and not by the specific incident that triggered the hadith. Hence, anyone who denies that is defying the course of the one who is mindful.




Allah honored His chosen Prophet in many verses of the Qur’an. Some verses highlight the refined manners of the Prophet as in Surat al-Qalam, Ayah 4:

{وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلى خُلُقٍ عَظِيمٍ}.

This ayah means: [Certainly you have the great manners (morals).]


Surat at-Tawbah, Ayah 128, highlights the sublimity of the Prophet’s genealogy and status. Allah said:

{لَقَدْ جَاءَكُمْ رَسُولٌ مِنْ أَنْفُسِكُمْ عَزِيزٌ عَلَيْهِ مَا عَنِتُّمْ حَرِيصٌ عَلَيْكُمْ بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ رَءُوفٌ رَحِيمٌ}.

This ayah means: [A messenger from among you came who grieves for what is hard on you, who wants very much that which benefits you (the guidance…). He is very kind and merciful to the believers.]

Surat al-Fath, Ayah 29, points out Allah’s praise of Prophet Muhammad in the books Allah revealed to His prophets:

{مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ وَالَّذِينَ مَعَهُ أَشِدَّاءُ عَلَى الْكُفَّارِ رُحَمَاءُ بَيْنَهُمْ تَرَاهُمْ رُكَّعًا سُجَّدًا يَبْتَغُونَ فَضْلًا مِنَ اللَّهِ وَرِضْوَانًا سِيمَاهُمْ فِي وُجُوهِهِمْ مِنْ أَثَرِ السُّجُودِ ذَلِكَ مَثَلُهُمْ فِي التَّوْرَاةِ وَمَثَلُهُمْ فِي الْإِنْجِيلِ كَزَرْعٍ أَخْرَجَ شَطْأَهُ فَآزَرَهُ فَاسْتَغْلَظَ فَاسْتَوَى عَلَى سُوقِهِ يُعْجِبُ الزُّرَّاعَ لِيَغِيظَ بِهِمُ الْكُفَّارَ}

 Surah Al-^Imran, Ayah 81, shows that Prophet Muhammad is favored over the rest of the prophets:

{وَإِذْ أَخَذَ اللَّهُ مِيثَاقَ النَّبِيِّينَ لَمَا ءَاتَيْتُكُمْ مِنْ كِتَابٍ وَحِكْمَةٍ ثُمَّ جَاءَكُمْ رَسُولٌ مُصَدِّقٌ لِمَا مَعَكُمْ لَتُؤْمِنُنَّ بِهِ وَلَتَنْصُرُنَّهُ قَالَ ءَأَقْرَرْتُمْ وَأَخَذْتُمْ عَلَى ذَلِكُمْ إِصْرِي قَالُوا أَقْرَرْنَا قَالَ فَاشْهَدُوا وَأَنَا مَعَكُمْ مِنَ الشَّاهِدِينَ}

Ayahs 4 and 5 of Surat al-Hujurat, Ayah 24 of Surat al-Anfal, and Ayah 63 of Surat an-Nur all show the obligation of respecting, aggrandizing, and holding the Prophet at a sublime status. Ayahs 4 and 5 of Surat al-Hujurat:

{إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُنَادُونَكَ مِنْ وَرَاءِ الْحُجُرَاتِ أَكْثَرُهُمْ لَا يَعْقِلُونَ (4) وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ صَبَرُوا حَتَّى تَخْرُجَ إِلَيْهِمْ لَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَهُمْ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ}

mean: [Certainly most of those who call you from behind your wives’ chambers lack understanding. Had they patience until you went out to them this would have been better for them. Allah is forgiving and merciful. Ayah 24 of Surat al-Anfal:

{يَاأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا اسْتَجِيبُوا لِلَّهِ وَلِلرَّسُولِ إِذَا دَعَاكُمْ لِمَا يُحْيِيكُمْ }

means: [O believers, respond obediently to Allah and to the Messenger when he calls you to that which makes you alive (life by Islam after death by blasphemy)]. Ayah 63 of Surat an-Nur:

{لَا تَجْعَلُوا دُعَاءَ الرَّسُولِ بَيْنَكُمْ كَدُعَاءِ بَعْضِكُمْ بَعْضًا}

means: [Do not call the Prophet the way you call one another] This refers to how they used to call the Prophet, ‘O Muhammad’, ‘O Abul-Qasim’; rather, the Ayah orders honoring him by calling him ‘O Prophet of Allah’, ‘O Messenger of Allah’).


Surat al-Ahzab, Ayahs 6 and 53 indicate the continuity of the obligation of aggrandizing the Prophet. Allah said:

{النَّبِيُّ أَوْلَى بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ مِنْ أَنْفُسِهِمْ وَأَزْوَاجُهُ أُمَّهَاتُهُمْ} {وَلَا أَنْ تَنْكِحُوا أَزْوَاجَهُ مِنْ بَعْدِهِ أَبَدًا}.

These ayahs mean: [The Prophet is more deserving to the believers than their own selves. and his wives are the mothers of the believers] and [Do not ever marry his wives after him]

Surat al-Hijr, Ayah 72 reveals that Allah swore by the Prophet’s life-- thereby honoring his status. Allah said:

{لَعَمْرُكَ إِنَّهُمْ لَفِي سَكْرَتِهِمْ يَعْمَهُونَ}.

This ayah means: [I adjure by your life O’Prophet Muhammad) they (the blasphemers) are confused and hesitant in their intoxication.]