Did the Prophet (salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) celebrate his birthday?

Some scholars took the following Hadeeth as evidence to celebrate the birthday of the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). They said that the following Hadeeth indicates the significance of the day that he was born and was commissioned as a Prophet.

Abu Qatadah (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) narrated that Allaah’s Messenger (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was asked about observing fast on Mondays. The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “It is the day I was born and the day the Revelation was sent down to me.” [Muslim, no. 1162]

In another narration, Abu Qatadah (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) said: “Allaah’s Messenger (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was asked about the fast on the day of ‘Arafah, whereupon he said: ‘It expiates the sins of the preceding year and the coming year.’ And he was asked about fasting on the day of ‘Ashura’, whereupon he said: ‘It expiates the sins of the preceding year.’ He was then asked about fasting on Monday, whereupon he said: ‘That is the day on which I was born, on it I was commissioned with Prophethood and on it (the Qur’an) was revealed to me.’” [Reported by Muslim]

Shaikh Ibn ‘Uthaimeen (Rahimahullaah) said: “Those who have taken this Hadeeth as evidence to celebrate the birthday of the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) are mistaken; they are like those who hold on to algae, which floats on the surface of the water, to save them from drowning. If the drowning person holds on to it, it will not benefit him; it will only increase him in evil. We say that this is wrong from different aspects:

First: The Hadeeth does not specify a day in the month, rather it specifies a day of the week. Those who celebrate the birthday have specified a day in the month (of Rabi’ul-Awwal); however, the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) specified the day and not the month.

Accordingly, if his birthday had happened to occur on any day other than Monday, then one would not be asked to observe fast because the Hadeeth mentions the fast on Monday only.

Second: The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) did not mention any significance for this day except fasting. This indicates that any other act is not prescribed. In this way, this Hadeeth will become a plea against them, not for them.

Do these people who celebrate the birthday of the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) observe fast on that day? If they observe fast on other than Monday, it is considered Bid’ah because they are specifying a day in a month and not a day in the week, then from this aspect it is also considered Bid’ah.

Third: The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “That is a day on which I was born. On it I was commissioned with Prophethood and on it (the Qur’an) was revealed to me.”

These innovators do not consider the Revelation on this day, rather they consider only the birth without the Revelation of Qur’an to him (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). However, the Grace of Allaah (Ta’ala) in His sending down the Qur’an to the Messenger of Allaah (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), is far better and more complete than His favor of his (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) birth. This is because the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) attained the honor by Prophethood and having the Qur’an revealed to him, as before that he was just a human from among those of mankind who were not Prophets or Messengers. He (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was not a Prophet except after it was revealed to him, and there was no religion that he brought except after he received the Revelation.

Also, those who celebrate his birthday on the twelfth of the month celebrate it whether it occurs on Monday or Sunday or Friday, or any day and this is not correct.

Fourth: Their designating the twelfth of the month is historically incorrect. It is affirmed according to the calculation which is based on certainty that his birth was on the ninth. And there are six or seven opinions regarding his birth and there is no consensus (agreement).

It is known that this Bid’ah did not exist in the era of the Companions, the Tabi’een, or the followers of the Tabi’een. The best generations passed away without any of them talking about or taking any action regarding this Bid’ah. Accordingly, it is considered an innovation in the religion. Anyone who seeks nearness to Allaah by practicing an innovation is misguided, and their innovation is to be rejected.

We also tell the people who commemorate this event: ‘You should start this day by observing fast, but commemorating it by distributing sweets and rejoicing, and singing the songs which consist of excessive praise for the Prophet, which he (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) himself did not approve of, then this is not the way of establishing his mention; rather, all this is considered in opposition to the Messenger (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).’

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The Enlightenment into Islam Center is a community of sisters who aim to please Allah by seeking knowledge and calling the people (Muslims as well as non-Muslims) to Tawheed and obedience to Allah by spreading the true knowledge of Islam based on the Qur'an and the Sunnah.

Posted on December 12, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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