What is the evidence on celebrating birthdays, is it allowed in islam?
The evidence in the Qur’aan and Sunnah indicates that celebrating birthdays is a kind of bid’ah or innovation in religion, which has no basis in the pure sharee’ah.
It is not permitted to accept invitations to birthday celebrations, because this involves supporting and encouraging bid’ah. Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Or have they partners with Allaah (false gods) who have instituted for them a religion which Allaah has not allowed…?” [al-Shoora 42:21]
“Then We have put you (O Muhammad) on a plain way of (Our) commandment. So follow that, and follow not the desires of those who know not. Verily, they can avail you nothing against Allaah (if He wants to push you). Verily, the zaalimoon (wrongdoers) are awliyaa’ (protectors, helpers, etc.) to one another, but Allaah is the Wali (Protector, Helper) of the muttaqoon (pious).” [al-Jaathiyah 45:18-19]
“Follow what has been sent down unto you from your Lord, and follow not any awliyaa’ (protectors, helpers, etc.) besides Him. Little do you remember!” [al-A’raaf 7:3]
According to saheeh reports, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever does something that is a not part of this matter of ours (i.e., Islam) will have it rejected” (reported by Muslim in his Saheeh); and “The best of speech is the Book of Allaah and the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).
The most evil of things are those which have been newly invented (in religion), and every innovation is a going astray.” There are many other ahaadeeth that convey the same meaning.
Besides being bid’ah and having no basis in sharee’ah, these birthday celebrations also involve imitation of the Jews and Christians in their birthday celebrations. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, warning us against following their ways and traditions: “You would follow the ways of those who came before you step by step, to such an extent that if they were to enter a lizard’s hole, you would enter it too.”
They said, “O Messenger of Allaah, (do you mean) the Jews and Christians?” He said, “Who else?” (Reported by al-Bukhaari and Muslim). The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) also said: “Whoever imitates a people is one of them.”
All praise be to Allah, the most compassionate, the most merciful.
Eid-Milad (Prophet’s Birthday) is one of those things that divide the Muslim community. Many people firmly believe that it is a day of great importance and must be celebrated with zeal and vigor. while many others claim it to be bidaah, an innovation.
Before coming to the point whether we should or should not celebrate (Prophet’s Birthday) it we must know some important facts:
1. Quran doesn’t mention anything about (Prophet’s Birthday) it.
2. Prophet sallalhu-alaihi-wasalam never commanded anyone to celebrate (Prophet’s Birthday) it, during his lifetime or after his death.
3. Prophet sallahu-alaihi-wasalam in fact commanded his ummah not to exaggerate about him as the Christians had exaggerated about the son of Maryam.
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).
4. Prophet sallahu-alaihi-wasalam commanded his ummah to fast on Mondays, (and it can be any Monday of the year) as his birthday was on Monday. He didn’t ask for any (Prophet’s Birthday) celebration, rather an act of worship that would benefit only the worshipper.
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).
5. No sahabah (May Allah be pleased with them) ever celebrated (Prophet’s Birthday) or even thought about it. they were most close and loved Prophet salallahu-alaihi-wasalam more than any other human could love. Yet they never celebrated it!
6. Abu-Bakar Siddique never did it. Umar Radiallahu anhu didnt celebrate it! Uthman radiallahu anhu never thought about it!
7. Ali may Allah be pleased with him, was the foster son, cousin, and son-in-law of Prophet Muhammad Sallahu-alaihi-wasalam, Did he celebrate it?
8. None of his wives knew about it. None of his daughters knew about it.
Are we trying to claim that our love for him(saw) is greater than the love of Sahabah? 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.
9. None of the imaams -Abu Haneefah, Maalik, al-Shaafi, Ahmad, Al-Hasan al Basri, Ibn Seereen; did this or commanded others to do it. 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.
It has become the sign of one’s love for the Prophet sallahu-alaihi-wasalam. But can it be possible that his family, shahbah, all the best generations and the great scholars of Islam were unaware of it? it was celebrated by those people who came much later after the Prophet’s time. How could they know its importance but not those who lived with Prophet Sallahhu-alahi-wasalam?
What the Qur’an 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]
In the first Aayah, it is clearly explained that love is just a claim, the proof for this claim is in the actions of following what Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him taught us. The second aayah reaffirms the importance of obeying Allah and his messenger. Allah aza wajal ended the aayah with a stern warning, that whosoever disobeys Him, are described as kaafirs and Allah does not love 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 (PROPHET’S BIRTHDAY) 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 evilest 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. And Allaah knows best.
May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him).
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