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Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

This article comprises of three parts. In part one, the various opinions regarding the birth-date of the beloved Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam are mentioned. In part two, the history of celebrating this day will be documented.

The Date of the Prophet's Birth

It is a commonly held belief that the birth-date of the Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam is the 12th of Rabīʿ al-Awwal, in the 'Year of the Elephant', which is the year that the Abyssinian Emperor Abraha attacked the Kaʿbah with an army of elephants. However, most Muslims are unaware that there has always been great controversy over the precise date of the Prophet's salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam birth, and it is quite possible that the 12th of Rabīʿ al-Awwal is not in fact the strongest opinion on the matter.

There is no narration in the famous 'Six Books' of ḥadīth that specifies when the Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam was born. Rather, the only narration that exists specifies the day he was born, and not the date. Abū Qatāda narrates that a Bedouin came to the Prophet and asked him about fasting on Monday, to which the Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam replied, “That is the day I was born on, and the day that the revelation began” [Narrated by Muslim]. Therefore, the Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam was born on Monday. But Monday of which month, and which year? For that, we need to turn to other sources. Again, no standard source book of ḥadīth mentions any precise date. However, there is a tradition of disputed authenticity, in the Sunan of al-Bayhaqī [vol. 1, p. 79] states that Suwayd b. Ghafla narrated, “The Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam and I were born in the same year, the 'Year of the Elephant.'” Certain other evidences also indicate that he was born this year. Hence, from the extended books of ḥadīth, two pieces of information can be gleaned: that he was born on a Monday (and this is confirmed), and that he was born in the 'Year of the Elephant' (and this is most likely correct).

When we turn to books of history, a number of dates regarding the birth of the Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wa sallamare found. Ibn Isḥāq (d. 150 AH), the earliest and most authoritative biographer of the Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam, states, without any isnād or other reference, that the Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam was born on Monday, the 12th of Rabīʿ al-Awwal, in the 'Year of the Elephant'.1 Between Ibn Isḥāq and the birth of the Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam lies almost two centuries, so some more proof is needed before this date is settled on.

Another extremely important early source, Ibn Saʿd (d. 230 AH) in his Ṭabaqāt,2 mentions the opinion of a few early authorities regarding the date of his birth. In order, they are:

1) Monday, 10th of Rabīʿ al-Awwal, the 'Year of the Elephant'.

2) Monday, 2nd of Rabīʿ al-Awwal.

3) Monday, no precise date.

4) The 'Year of the Elephant', no precise date.

It is interesting to note that Ibn Saʿd, one of the most respected historians of early Islam, does not even list the date of the 12th of Rabīʿ al-Awwal as a possible candidate. Of course the last two opinions are correct and do not clash with any specific date, but by quoting earlier authorities who only gave this information, it can be noted that the precise birth date of the Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam was not known to them, hence they only gave the information they knew.

Ibn Kathīr (d. 774), the famous medieval historian, also lists many opinions in his monumental al-Bidāya wa-l-nihāyah regarding the birth-date of the Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam.3 He states that the majority of scholars believed that the Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam was born in the month of Rabīʿ al-Awwal, but differed regarding the precise day of the month. Some of these opinions are:

1. 2nd Rabīʿ al-Awwal. This was the preferred opinion of Abū Maʿshar al-Sindī (d. 171 AH), one of the earliest scholars of sīra, and of the famous Māliki jurist and scholar, Ibn ʿAbd al-Barr (d. 463). It was also listed by al-Wāqidī (d. 207 AH) as a possible opinion. [Al-Wāqidī is one of the most reputable early historians of Islam, despite his weakness as a narrator of ḥadīth].

2. 8th of Rabīʿ al-Awwal. This was the opinion of the Andalusian scholar Ibn Ḥazm (d. 456 AH), and many of the early scholars. Imām Mālik (d. 179 AH) reported this opinion from al-Dhuhrī (d. 128 AH) and Muḥammad b. Jubayr b. Muṭʿim (a famous Successor), amongst others. Ibn ʿAbd al-Barr, while subscribing to the first opinion, said that this opinion was the opinion of most historians. Ibn Diḥya (d. ~ 610 AH), one of the first to write a treatise on the birth of the Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam, also considered this date to be the strongest opinion.

3. 10th of Rabīʿ al-Awwal. This has been reported by Ibn ʿAsākir (d. 571 AH) from Abū Jaʿfar al-Bāqir (d. 114 AH), a descendant of the Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam and an alleged imam of the Shiʾites. It is also the opinion of al-Shaʿbī (d. 100 AH), a famous scholar and student of the Companions, and al-Wāqidī (d. 207 AH) himself.

4. 12th of Rabīʿ al-Awwal. This is the opinion of Ibn Isḥāq (d. 150), who reported it without any reference. In other sources, it is reported as the opinion of Jābir and Ibn ʿAbbās, but there is no isnād found in any primary source book to them. Ibn Kathīr writes, “…and this is the most common opinion on the matter, and Allah knows best.” I could not find this opinion attributed to any other authorities of the first few generations of Islam.

5. 17th of Rabīʿ al-Awwal. This was the opinion of some Shiʾite scholars, and is rejected by most Sunnī authorities.

6. 22nd of Rabīʿ al-Awwal. This opinion has also been attributed to Ibn Ḥazm.

7. In the month of Ramaḍān, without a specific date, in the 'Year of the Elephant'. This was the opinion of the famous early historian al-Zubayr b. al-Bakkār (d. 256), who wrote the first and most authoritative history of Mecca, and some early authorities agreed with him.

8. 12th of Ramaḍān, in the 'Year of the Elephant'. This opinion was reported by Ibn ʿAsākir as being held by some early authorities.

These are the most predominant opinion regarding the date of the Prophet's salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam birth. However, this is by no means comprehensive – for example, a modern researcher has concluded that the 9th of Rabīʿ al-Awwal is the strongest candidate for the exact date, whereas a few earlier authorities even disputed the very year, claiming that it was ten, or twenty-three, or forty years after the 'Year of the Elephant'.4

Why is the opinion of the 12th of Rabī al-Awwal so popular?

As can be seen, there are numerous opinions regarding the precise date of the birth of the Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam, some of which differ about the month, and others even the year. However, an overwhelming majority of historians and scholars agreed that he was born on a Monday, in Rabīʿ al-Awwal, in the 'Year of the Elephant', which corresponds to 570 (or 571) C.E.

Within the month of Rabīʿ al-Awwal, more than half a dozen opinions exist. Out of all of these dates, the two dates of the 8th and the 10th were in fact more popular opinions in the first five centuries of Islam, and in particular the former opinion was given greater credence. Why, then, is the date of the 12th of Rabīʿ al-Awwal considered the most popular in our times, so much so that most people are unaware of alternate opinions? This question is all the more compelling in light of the fact that Ibn Isḥāq narrates this opinion without any reference. This can be explained, and Allah knows best, by two factors.

Firstly, the popularity of Ibn Isḥāq himself. His book of sīra is a primary source of information regarding the biography of the Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam. Since his bookis a standard reference for all later writings, many scholars simply copied and pasted his opinion, disregarding the other opinions (some of which were given more weight by earlier authorities).

Secondly – and this perhaps is a stronger factor – the first time that a group of people decided to take the birthday of the Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam as a public day of celebration (i.e., the inception of the celebration of the mawlid) , it so happened that they chose this opinion (viz., the 12th of Rabī al-Awwal). Hence, when the practice of the mawlid spread, so did this date. This also explains why Ibn ʿAbd al-Barr, writing before the conception of the mawlid in the fifth century of the hijrah, stated that the most common opinion amongst historians was in fact the 8th of Rabīʿ al-Awwal, and yet Ibn Kathīr, writing three centuries later, after the mawlid had been introduced as a public festival, stated that the 12th of Rabīʿ al-Awwal was the most common opinion.

Conclusion:

The exact birth-date of the Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam has always been the subject of dispute amongst classical scholars. Nothing authentic has been reported in the standard source books of tradition, and this fact in itself shows that it was not held in the significance that later authorities did. The 12th of Rabīʿ al-Awwal is a strong candidate for being the exact birth date of the Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam, but the 2nd, 8th and 10th are also viable and well-respected positions, with the 8th being the weightiest.

As to who was the first to celebrate the mawlid, and how it spread in Muslim lands, that shall form Part II of this article, insha Allah.

90 Responses

  1. SaqibSaab

    Well presented. It was beneficial to see the different sources as references and what they say in an academic manner. JazakAllah khair, Shaykh.

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  2. Ibn Qays

    MashaaAllah, very interesting. I’m wondering what opinion did Ibn al-Qayyim give in Zaad al-Ma’aad?

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  3. MR

    So we can safely say the month of Rabī’ al-Awwal is the month of the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) birthday. :-D

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  4. Ibn Mikdad

    Esselamu alaykum wa rahmatullah wa baraktuhu,

    Just one question. If we know that the Prophet s.a.w.s. was born on one of the monday of Rabīʿ al-Awwal in 570 and 571 C.E., would it not be useful to count back through the calender and see on what dates did mondays fall in Rabīʿ al-Awwal in these two years?

    Wassalaam

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    • Shujauddin

      Assalaam U Alaikum Wa Rehmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu,
      Please find the dates and days as below

      569 AD = -55BH Tuesday
      570 AD = -54BH Sunday
      571 AD = -53 BH Thursday
      572 AD = -52 BH Monday
      Since we have to take -53 BH as the year (Age of Huzoor Muhammad (SAW) at the time of Hijrat), and if we calculate, we will find Monday falling on 9
      571 AD = -53 BH Monday on 9th Rabbi Ul Awwal

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  5. MR

    Mawlid Mondays:

    Abu Qatadah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) 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.”

    Source: Sahih Muslim

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  6. Yasir Qadhi

    Esselamu alaykum wa rahmatullah wa baraktuhu,

    Just one question. If we know that the Prophet s.a.w.s. was born on one of the monday of Rabīʿ al-Awwal in 570 and 571 C.E., would it not be useful to count back through the calender and see on what dates did mondays fall in Rabīʿ al-Awwal in these two years?

    Wassalaam

    The problem with this is that the ‘conversion’ between Gregorian and Hijri is not precise. No one kept records back then, and we have at least half a dozen attempts (some of them online, most in print) to provide such conversion tables, but no two tables are completely identical.

    Yasir

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  7. ASC

    Jazak Allah Khairun Shaykh…this is really beneficially for us…as it is “mawlid season”..I think we def need to have some information on this topic, so people can read for themselves…Def looking forward to part 2 very soon!!

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  8. ibnabeeomar

    in one class i took on salah, we learned that some of the variant narrations about different acts such as being able to say tasleem once instead of twice, or reciting basmala out loud – that they are all from the sunnah, and the best way to implement the narrations was to do different things at different times.

    i think the desi tv stations on satellite are trying to deal with the ikhtilaaf in this manner. there is mawlid programming every day during rabi al-awwal.

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  9. Amatullah

    Assalamu Alykum Warahmatullah

    JazakAllahu Khair ya Sheikh,

    MashAllah I’m so pleased with the educated discussion.

    The refutations, ‘anti-mawlid approach’ and the fatwa approach never appealed me. Plus I never couldn’t connect to my subjects with regards to giving nasiha on this topic since we didn’t really have a common platform to begin with. Now I understand where to start from and to see the picture as a whole. Instead of getting into arguments, the interesting discussion is bound to attract attention, InshAllah.

    May Allah SWT grant you the best of Dunya and Akhira. Ameen.

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  10. Yasir Qadhi

    Date & Time of Birth

    http://www.livingislam.org/fiqhi/fiqha_e43.html

    Jazak Allah for that. However it appears that the strongest opinion is that the actual birth took place after Fajr, and Allah knows best. Since this was not relevant to the intent of the article I didn’t go into this tangent, but there are some statements to support this (and the opinion that you referenced has its evidence as well).

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  11. Dawud

    mashAllah for the educated and polite discussion:

    I agree with the statement of Shaykh Abullah bin Bayyah on the matter:

    http://binbayyah.wordpress.com/2009/02/06/on-celebrating-the-prophet%e2%80%99s-birthday/
    So in my opinion there is no need to prolong discussion of it, nor to fuel further debate about it. In conclusion: whoever celebrates the Mawlid by relating events from the life of the Prophet, peace be upon him, or by recounting his splendid virtues; doing so without mixing this with any act that the Sacred Law deems repugnant; nor with the intention of it being recommended or obligatory – so if it is celebrated with the conditions I have mentioned; without bringing in to it anything that contravenes the Sacred Law; but out of love for the Prophet, peace be upon him – then, Allah willing, there is no problem with it, and he will be rewarded. This was mentioned by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah who said that one will be rewarded for their intention. He states this in Iqti∂å’ al-Íirå† al-Mustaq•m.2 As for those who abstain from the act, also desiring to conform to the prophetic guidance and fearful of falling into bid‘ah, they too shall be rewarded, Allah willing. The issue is not really that big; nor is it necessary to pay it more attention than it actually deserves.

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  12. Kanika A.

    Jazzak Allah khair shaikh for that informative article.

    I dont know if this is within the scope of the next article but could you shed some light on the burda. I have heard from one of your lectures that it contains statements of shirk in them. I am learning Arabic from a student of knowledge and I asked him about it yesterday. He said a lot of people have misunderstood the statement “prophet (saw) has the knowledge of the pen and the tablet”. He said that this knowledge doesnt mean complete knowledge and it simply means more knowledge than any of regular humans. He said the word ‘min’ means a part of knowledge. He also told me that it used to be on the walls of Masjid An-Nabawi at some point etc.

    I personally like to be on the safer side and leave the doubtful for that which is undoubtful but I am just curious about this b/c of its immense popularity (and i have heard it before and honestly it does sound pretty good !) – but I would like to know what the truth is …

    Assalamalaikum

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  13. abu Rumay-s.a.

    Masha`Allah nice piece as usual.

    One further point to consider is that had the exact date been of religious or spiritual significance, would it not have been revealed through clear authentic narrations?

    for indeed there is nothing that draws us closer to Allah except that the Prophet (saws) has informed us about it…

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  14. abu Rumay-s.a.

    there is one interesting attempt by an egyptian, Mahmud Pasha al Falaki back in 1986 as cited in Dr. Mohar Ali’s book, Siratal Nabi that this person carried out minute astronomical calculations and estimated that the only Monday in Rabi Al Awala between 8-12 (from different narrations) is the 9th.

    Again, as shaikh Yasir pointed out, the problem is with the hijri-miladi conversions which differ and are not precise and the premise is based on certain assumptions which leads further ambiguity when trying to identify the exact date…

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  15. AbdelRahman

    If I was born on the 12th of Rabi’ Al-Awwal, do you think it’d be cool if we had one of those conjoint birthday parties?

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  16. Muslim Investor

    Sh. Yasir,

    Jazak Allah kheir for this attempt. I do however have an elementary question on this topic. Besides the fact that Muhammad (pbuh) is our prophet and we love him and want to celebrate his life and remember his deeds and message. Why is it important to know the date of his birth? If I know Bedouin culture, few if any know the date of their birth. Many know the year based on a major event that took place in that year based on someone, perhaps family, related it to them at an older age. This phenomenon still exists among many in the Gulf where birth certificates did not exist for a long time. As such, birthdays and birthday celebrations have not been a significant part of the culture.

    Thank you and Allah knows best.

    Ahmed

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  17. Kanika A.

    wow subhanAllah…looks like I found my answer on Almaghrib forums.

    If there is anybody else interested in “shirk in burda” (written by Sh. Yasir) here’s a link:

    http://forums.almaghrib.org/showpost.php?p=381421&postcount=6

    very interesting how my teacher translated that line as He (saw) has part of knowledge of tablet and pen whereas in the above post Sh. Yasir translated it as … “part of the knowledge of prophet (saw) is the knowledge of tablet and pen”

    … now this comes down to Arabic and I find this issue as a doubtful matter so I choose to stay away from it inshAllah.

    I hope this benefits others who had the same concern as I did.

    Assalamalaikum

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  18. AsimG

    Asalaamu Alaykum,

    Jazakullah Khair Shaykh for this very informative article.

    Insha’Allah you will come out with article 2 quickly so many can learn and benefit from it

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  19. J

    Anyone who celebrates Mawlid should also celebrate Christmas, the birthday of Prophet Eesa [as].

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  20. Kaja Moinudeen

    Assalamulaikum,

    So do we derive that we can celebrate Prophet (SAWS)’s birthday every monday by fasting on that day?

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  21. Al-Madrasi

    @ Kaja

    So do we derive that we can celebrate Prophet (SAWS)’s birthday every monday by fasting on that day?

    WaAlaikum Salam wr wb,

    We, as muslims, do not fast on the days that we celebrate. Fasting is forbidden of Eid’s along with Ayyamuthashriq (three days followed by Eid-ul-azh-ha) and Prophet (SAW) and forbade fasting on fridays alone unless with some exceptions…

    Rasool (SAW) encouraged the ummah to fast on monday…. Adding to the fact that exact Birth date of Prophet (SAW) was not explicity revealed to us, should suggest us something….

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  22. Abd- Allah

    I don’t see the importance of knowing the exact date of when the prophet salla Allah alyhi wasallam was born. What difference does it make, unless you are looking to celebrate the bid’a of the Mawlid. I don’t see how knowing the exact date will help you please Allah or go to Jannah, or not knowing it will lead you to hell. If no authentic report has reached us about the exact date, it means it is not important, as this deen is complete.
    Allah knows best.

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  23. Dawud Israel

    It would be beneficial to have a disclaimer for adab on this…lest this degenerate into a hate-fest full of arguing and bickering–things that are most definitely NOT in the Sunnah- yet find their way to all Muslims regardless of their understanding of Islam.

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  24. Al-Madrasi

    Scientific Calculation about the Year:

    A Lunar month is about 29.5 days, so there are totally 354 days per lunar year, which fall short 11 days per year (Short Days – SD)

    This Gregorian Year (GY): 2009, Hijri Year (HY): 1430. Rasool (SAW) made hirjah after 53 years (well, here one can count as Rasool (SAW) was 53 or 54 years Hijri years old, I am going to count as 54 to make sure about the lower bound of the year).

    HY+54=1430+54=1484 (Total number of lunar years from Rasool SAW birth year)

    Total no of days in difference with Gregorian year: 1484*11= 16324

    Total no of Hijri years accounted for those days: 16324/354=46.113 (approx 46)

    Total number of equivalent gregorian years for 1484 Hirji years = 1484 – 46 = 1438

    Subtracting Total no. of Gregorian Years from this Grogorian Year = 2009 – 1438 = 571

    Scientifically (possibly lowest) year seems like 571 AD, Allah knows the best.

    If I were to count as Rasool (SAW) was 53 when hijri year counted, then it would be 572 AD.

    Since its just the beginning of the year 2009 and other parameters, it seems reasonable to say 571AD.

    Allah knows the best.

    P.S: This is just my opinion, if someone has a different calculations or if I missed anything here, feel free to point it out.

    Barakumullahu Feek.

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  25. kaschif

    Asalaamu alaykum,

    Funny we are debating the DATE….
    Whereas the nations before us: Christians also debate the DATE: link

    We are following them EXACTLY…

    salaamu alaykum

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  26. Al-Madrasi

    @ kaschif,

    WaAlaikum Salam wr wb,

    I do not think, the point of the article is to debate on the date, its rather, debating on the date is pointless and we do not benefit anything out of it spiritually.

    Allah azzawajal knows best.

    Barakallahu Feek.

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  27. J

    I really think that some people need to get a clue. Ustadh Yasir Qadhi is making it clear that we don’t know the exact date the Prophet [s] was born in order to establish a proof against those who celebrate Mawlid. So all of these comments like “why are we even debating this” are really silly, because the point is to establish a proof. And Ustadh Yasir Qadhi is trying to do that in an intellectual way that is probably going to be more convincing than the way us hot-heads debate those who celebrate Mawlid.

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  28. J

    Hmm, my above comment seems a bit rude. I apologize. All I mean to say is that give Ustadh Yasir Qadhi the benefit of the doubt, and know that he has always been strongly opposed to such bidah. I could’ve said all of that in a better way (without the “get a clue” comment), and I apologize.

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  29. Abd- Allah

    “in order to establish a proof against those who celebrate Mawlid”

    Brother J, I see your point, but this argument that you don’t know the exact date so you can’t celebrate the Mawlid is a very weak one to say the least. However, the fact that the prophet salla Allah alyhi wasallam never celebrated his Mawlid, nor did any of his companions celebrate it, should be enough proof against those who celebrate the Mawlid. If that isn’t sufficient for them then nothing will be.

    I still think that there is no point in debating the exact date, because there are no authentic reports that support any one date specifically, so there will be no end to that debate. But as it was mentioned before, I think the whole point of this article was that there is no exact date that is supported by authentic proof. I think that Sh Qadhi could have summed up his entire article into this statement and moved on to the second part of his article instead.
    Allah knows best.

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  30. J

    As-salam Alaykum,

    Dear brother Abd-Allah, I think it just another point to use against them. It’s pretty silly to take out a day of the year to celebrate when you’re not even sure it is the right day, and most probably is not! I think that although it is not a primary argument, it is a solid secondary argument. Wallahu Aalim.

    As for just summarizing arguments instead of talking about them indepth, I have a lot of experience with debating Ahl al-Bidah, and I have found that thorough and comprehensive arguments are necessary, if hearts and minds are to be won. But to each their own! Those who just want a summary can just read the two paragraph conclusion.

    Fi Aman Allah

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  31. Abd- Allah

    “I have a lot of experience with debating Ahl al-Bidah”

    You see brother J, there is no point in debating Ahl al-Bidah. They either know the truth but are stubborn and willingly go against following the sunnah, so there is no point in debating them in that case because they will never agree to the truth and they will never be convinced, or they are ignorant about the sunnah and that is why they are falling into innovations, in which case it is enough for you to show them the truth and they will accept it without arguing about it.

    If I have learned anything from debating Ahl al-Bidah is to never debate them, because there is no benefit in it.
    Allah knows best.

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  32. J

    As-Salam Alaykum, my dearest brother Abd-Allah.

    I strongly disagree with you.

    It was in fact this same attitude that caused me to launch my website, http://www.ahlelbayt.com . I got so frustrated with Sunni scholars saying “no need to debate the Rawaafidh”. It was this same dismissive attitude of our scholarship and dawah-carriers that caused the fitnah of Shi’ism to go unchecked on the internet in the English language. Sunnis were falling like flies to the Rawaafidh juggernaut. So I strongly disagree with you: we need to produce quality, thorough, and comprehensive refutations of Ahl al-Bidah. It is not so much for their sake, since like you said, most of them are stubborn and obstinate upon their bidah. Rather, it is for the sake of the onlookers, the neutral people on the sidelines who listen to these debates, no matter how much we tell them not to. By not engaging in refutation, we are letting Ahl al-bidah get a free ride.

    Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah said:

    “Refuting Ahl al-Bidah is a Jihad, to the extent that Yahya ibn Yahya said: ‘Defense of the Sunnah is more excellent than Jihad in the path of Allah.’” (Naqdul-Mataq wal-Kalam)

    Within a few months of launching the site, we stopped the Shi’ite juggernaut in its tracks, bringing it to a grinding halt. Al-Hamdu Lillah. I cannot take the credit for that, since I had immense help from people who chose to remain behind the scene and anonymous, and without their help it would not have been possible. All praise is due to Allah [swt].

    Back to the point: we need thorough and comprehensive refutations. I agree with you that 1-on-1 debates are useless, and that is why I avoid those. But when Ahl al-Bidah publicly post their articles and doubts, it is incumbent on Ahl as-Sunnah to rise up and slaughter their arguments one by one, in a thorough and comprehensive manner, leaving them no leg to stand upon. Staying silent in the age of information is no longer an option. Those quotes from the salaf about not debating Ahl al-Bidah do not AT ALL apply here, because that was coupled with the issue of isolating them and denying them the platform to speak. Now–thanks to the internet–they have the platform to speak, so simply ignoring them will NOT isolate them; rather, it will allow them to preach unchecked.

    Fi Aman Allah

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  33. J

    “If I have learned anything from debating Ahl al-Bidah is to never debate them, because there is no benefit in it.

    Shaykh al-Islam said:

    It is clear that opposing the innovators is of general benefit to the Muslims and is considered one of the types of Jihad in the path of Allah. Since purifying the Religion of Allah, and its Manhaj (methodology), its Shari’ah, and defending it from their attacks and that of their enemies is a collective obligation–a fact which is agreed upon by the scholars. For if Allah did not raise up some people to repel the harms (caused by) others, then the Religion would become corrupted. Indeed, this type of corruption is even greater than the corruption resulting from the disbelievers conquering the Muslims. This is because when the disbelievers conquer the Muslims, they do not corrupt their hearts nor their Religion, except after some time. Whereas the innovators corrupt the hearts from the very outset.

    (Majmoo al-Fatawa, 28/231-232)

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    • Amad

      salam
      Bros/Sis: I think we are over-extending the purpose of the article. There is room for academic discussions without delving into debates, isn’t there? Don’t be too sure either that the point of this post is to set up for some grand refutation… I actually have no idea what the 2nd post is going to be about, and I won’t speculate either. I think Shaykh Bin Bayyah’s opinion is something we should consider strongly before commenting. Furthermore, let’s at least give a chance for the 2nd part before making our own conclusions :)

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  34. midatlantic

    Good info as always Sh Yasir.

    I actually skipped over what Sh. Bin Bayyah said until Amad suggested we consider it. Maybe I am missing something, but if we take his argument, isn’t it possible a Muslim can easily legitimize celebrating Christmas, if done with the same preconditions he stipulates?

    Bottom line: there is nothing that draws us closer to Jannah except that our Rasool sallallahu alaihi wa sallam already told us about it. May Allah unite us with him in Jannah.

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  35. Abd- Allah

    Brother J, the scholars producing refutations for their innovations and deviations is one thing, but arguing with them on a one to one basis with their average follower, who knows nothing but to follow his own scholar blindly, THAT is which will not be of any benefit. I am not sure about which “Sunni scholars saying “no need to debate the Rawaafidh”. ” that you are talking about here, but the scholars I follow have produced some valuable scholarly works that refute their deviations. However, the scholars refuting them by writing a book is one thing, and us going around and DEBATING the average “innovator” who blindly follows his leader will NOT produce any benefit.
    Allah knows best.

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  36. S

    These are statements/opinions of scholars who are highly respected by all scholars Ahle Sunnah wa Jama’ah.

    These should clarify some of the misconceptions around Mawlid both with respect to date and permissibility of its celebration.
    There are many opinions of other scholars(Imam Suyuti, Ibn Hajr, etc) supporting the permissibility of Mawlid but wanted the post to be brief.

    I do not want to fanatically and arrogantly stick to these ipinion and say: “whoever calling Mawlid a reprehensible bidah are commiting a great bidah themselves by calling something reprehensible bidah when it is not, since its proven by statements of the scholars below”.

    Brothers, lets calm down, pleaase. At some point we need to come to terms and agree that there are real and valid diference of opinions on many matters in our religion. Why call each other mubtadia, because at the end of the day every single one of us will become a mubtadia. Lets have hope in Allah(SubhanaHu Wa Ta’la) that he will overlook our differences and accept all of us into jannah together.

    Also, can someone verify the sources if they have access to these books below, to make sure someone is not making this up :). If we do not we should accept our scope of reference is probably limited and give our brothers benefit of doubt.

    Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali said in Lata’if al-Ma`arif [p. 185]: “The vast majority hold that he [the Prophet ] was born on the Second Day of the Week (al-Ithnayn = “Monday”) 12 Rabi` al-Awwal… in the Year of the Elephant.”

    Ibn Taymiyya said in his book Iqtida’ Al Sirat Al Mustaqeem (Cairo, al-Fiqqi 1950 edition, pages 294 and 297)

    “What some people innovated, either to emulate the Christians who celebrate the birth of `Isa (as) or out of love for the Prophet and in order to exalt him:
    Allah MAY reward them for such love and effort but not for the innovations [...]. So one MAY magnify the birthdate of the Prophet upon him blessings and peace, AND treat it as a festival, perhaps obtaining IMMENSE REWARD for it because of his good intentions in honoring the Messenger of Allah.”
    (ma yuhdithuhu ba`du al-naasi immaa mudaahaatan lil-nasaara fi meelaadi `Isaa `alayhi as-Salam wa’imma mahabbatan lil- Nabiyyi SallAllahu `alayhi wa Sallam wata`zeeman lahu, wAllaahu qad yutheebuhum `ala haadhihi al-mahabbati wal- ijtihaadi laa `ala al-bida`i [...]. Fata`zeemu al-mawlidi wattikhaadhuhu mawsiman qad yaf`aluhu ba`du al-naasi wayakunu lahu feehi ajrun `azeemun lihusni qasdihi wata`zeemihi lirasulillaah).

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  37. Mustafa

    To NJ:

    I’ve skimmed through the article, and it seems like the difference is in fundamental issues. It deserves a full refutation, but not here. Very briefly:

    — There is no such thing as “good bid’ah” in Islam. The “bid’ah” in the hadeeth is used in the religious sense, while Umar(R) used it in the normal sense. All the examples given were either 1. not changes in the religion or 2. ijtihaad of companions that does not necessarily have to be correct. Everything that is called “good bid’ah” is either not good or not a bid’ah. The definition given by scholars mentioned is only defining what it is in the linguistic sense, and it refers to all new things that will appear, religious or non-religious.

    — The companions did not see the Milaad as the most blessed day in Islam. They used the year of Hijrah instead to start the calendar. We have deemed important what they did not, and we have aggrandized what they deemed irrelevant in the practice of the religion. The Sahaabah and their students didn’t see fit to do it, as they knew that the only way to “enact a good sunnah” is to revive an act that is already from the sunnah (the context of that hadeeth itself shows that), not to go about adding Eids to Islam. Only the sunnah can tell us what is a good/bad sunnah!

    Conclusion: Is it a religious act that has no precedent, and the best generations that ever lived didn’t see fit, and it is shameful that some still claim they have more understanding of the religion and love for the Prophet(SAW) than they did? Love is to go where one’s beloved goes and to stop where he stops!

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  38. Dawud Israel

    Amad, I suggest again, that there be a disclaimer on this and the following article to discuss with adab. These comments are far too sectarian in my humble opinion.

    An intellectual discussion is better since it’s open to everyone rather than turning it into a refute-fest. Baraka Allahu feek.

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    • Amad

      Amad, I suggest again, that there be a disclaimer on this and the following article to discuss with adab. These comments are far too sectarian in my humble opinion.

      Dawud, this is Sh. Yasir’s post, so I am not in a position to make any disclaimers, because he reads all the comments. I will still mention it to him in case he didn’t get a chance to check MM today.

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  39. Atif

    When is ibn Taymiyyah’s (r) birthday? Isn’t it also 10th or 12th of Rabi’al Awwal? :)

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  40. Faiez

    Question: We often hear great scholars, such as ibn ishaq, taking opinions without any source (i.e. 12th of rabi al-awwal). Sometimes I think, they couldn’t have just pulled a number out of the air, their intelligent individuals. Where do you think he got this date from if no sources are listed?

    JazakAllahu khayr for this excellent article shaykh.

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  41. Dawud Israel

    Ahh, ok. Jazaka Allahu khayran Amad.

    From what I understand, the majority opinion is that mawlid is permissible (or laudable), so I am wondering in light of that if the Muslims of the past viewed this in a different way then we do today?

    I also know people who have “mawlids” have them on a weekly basis, throughout the year which prompts me to think that there was no connection of a celebration of the birthday of the prophet- but that, they intended to have a celebration of the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wasalam) and his life, not necessarily his birth. But then arbitrarily chose this day, think it a appropriate to have a celebration of his life on one of the days that may have been his birthday- that is, they didn’t attach importance to the day as much as they did to celebrating our Prophet (salallahu alayhi wasalam)’s legacy as their main goal.

    The research in this essay makes me think that might be possible, similar to how the fast of Ashura was enjoined by our Prophet salallahu alayhi wasalam in memory of Musa alayhi salam.

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  42. ALGEBRA

    Aslamu-alaikum:
    What’s the point of this article. REALLY………………….
    salam

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  43. Qas

    Aslamu-alaikum:
    What’s the point of this article. REALLY………………….
    salam

    To mention “the various opinions regarding the birth-date of the beloved Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam”.

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  44. ALGEBRA

    Aslamu-alaikum:
    I thought we weren’t suppose celebrate birthdays…………….:)

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  45. Abu Abdurrahman

    It truely is so sad how any such topic can cause such an uproar among any Muslim crowd. While I do understand why people feel matters such as these are important, I cannot but feel it a pitiful state that we are in that at the same points of each calender year we as an Ummah will always go through the same thoughts and argumenets – sometimes without even knowing the other scholarly opinoins on the matter – and perhaps even more misguidedly, are not ever ready to listen to what any brother who may be of a different position to that of our own has to say. Wallahumusta’an, Allah’s aid is sought indeed.

    Our mannerisms of conversing with one another in general, or the lack thereof – myself perhaps first and foremost, could in the general sense be the single biggest bid’ah that our communities bleed from. I point that out even though I do accept that conflating the lack of adab of discourse with the actual academic material under any given discussion is also not of that much help; but I think you will all understand and appreciate that what is of greatest need perhaps is for the communities to be given furhter tarbiyyah by their leaders and role models wherever possible. Littel knowledge has always proven to be a threat to communal well being – and even with sounder levels of awareness, the need for taqwa along with ‘ilm is always paramount. Allah knows best.

    Notwithstanding the above, I also do feel that reacting to the said lack of adab of differing by throwing the baby out with the bath water is also not of considerable help, in m personal opinion.

    Taking the topic of Milad as an example.

    Simply pointing to the matter as one of difference of opinion and that scholars (Ibn Hajr and so and so… etc.) all opined to it being ok, and that Sh. Bin Bayyah said it is masnoon ( although he has never said that it is sunnah rather said you *cannot* say it sunnah or that nabi sallahu alayhi wa sallam did, but if you do it than inshallah rewarded). This is not a very pragmatic approach for one who believes it to be a case of an almost absolute matter, not practised for over 620 odd years, after the death of the Prophet of Allah, ‘alayhi wa alihis salatu was salam. Could there really be somethign so good left out by all these generations or some need so great tohat need be addressed in tems of people forgetting their love for nabi (alayhi salam) that we need to concede a novel practice? For one holding that position – and that is a very tenitable position no doubt – then why should one then have start going through great lengths to quote a list of Ulema who permitted certain forms of Mawlid, when we can almost say with surety that they would never approve of most of the ways in which it is celebrated and practised today. On the contrary the way it will normally be practised, especially “back home” will entail some close to shirk rituals which all and sundry will understand to be condoned regardless of how clear we try and state that as not being the case.

    I just feel that the rules of fatwa would push us, quite clearly, in the direction of not so needlessly conceding the acceptance of the practice of Mawlid in its current form, as we are almost talking about something totally different to what some of the earlier scholars (arounf the 7th Century) were referring to. It would almost be like the caseof the ‘opinion’ of Music ( going against the overwhelming majority and the official stand point of all 4 madhhabs) – and now you have thousands and thousands saying “oh Sh. Qardawi allows Music, therefore I can listen on to my Hip hop, RNB!!” – Wa laa hawla wa la quwwata illah billah, if they only read the strict guidelines.. But the message can never , and will never reach the masses in that clear form, ever. ANd we should be aware of that.

    Instead, I feel that we should, perhpas be taught more tolerance in our mannerisms of differing even with those who simply hold what we may understand to be a wholly untentitable position (but is being follwed sincerely) – and wherever possible to highlight the ‘correct’ view (!!), but in a beautiful, and gentle, manner – if the circumstances allow it without causing some sort of civil strife. Otherwise leaving it to those who actually know how and when to do this. That I feel, and Allah knows best, is a far more amicable and prudent approach, and perhaps to simply point out that it isn’t out of respect of love for the Prophet (alayhi wa alihis salatu was salam), that we hol this position – on the conrary we accept the validity/acceptability of even making sending salutations and benediction of him a Rukn, or Essential Element/Pillar of our Prayers (which a view within the madhhabs – Hanbali to be precise)…..

    And with this, we are not in need of allowing mixed messages to reach the masses from the same indivual. Please forgive us if we’ve spoken out of turn. And Allah is the Source of all Strength.

    Wassalamu alaykum

    Abu Abdurrahman

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  46. S

    Shukran Br. Abu Abdurrahman for the balanced approach to this issue, may Allah(SubhanaHu Wa Ta’la) reward you. If you follow the post above in chronological order, you would see that the world “Ahl al bidah” was being used synonymously for people celebrating mawlid and were being compared to rawafidh!! People who posted the opinions of scholars would not have posted those opinions, If your post had come condemning such posts in the first place. I give you benefit of doubt and not consider you biased.

    Btw, about the opinions of scholars ya akhi, the difference is in principle.

    The people who follow a madhab/school of rightly guided imams and follow scholars who have carried their school forward at different points in history and amended based on the situations of their times, like Imam Nawawi, Imam Rafii, Imam Ibn Hajar Haythami, Imam Ramli, etc for Shafii school, the opinion of the scholar is final for such people. Since they understand the scholars are more qualified than them, have vast scope of reference and they are carrying forward the great legacy of scholarship of 1000+ years, an unbroken chain going back to Prophet Sallalahu Alayhi Wa Sallam. If the great scholars who are carrying forward this legacy to this day, permit a certain act(like Mawlid) and they very well know the current times, the story just ends here. People’s heart are convinced that they are following our Prophet Sallalahu Alayhi Wa Sallam in best possible manner. The bottomline is, most people take our religion not from books but sitting at the feet of scholars carrying forward the legacy of 1000+ years of scholarship and unbroken chain going back to our Prophet and Messenger Sallalahu Alayhi Wa Sallam. Thats what i learned from my teachers.

    For people, who are proponents of “Do it yourself islam” directly deriving ruling from the Athar of Sahaba and Sayings of our Prophet Sallalahu Alayhi Wa Sallam after 1400 years or only following the opinion of minority scholars of this ummah who are far apart scattered in the history, the story is different for them. They will certainly come up with different opinions opposing the scholarship of 1000+ years.

    I do not want to get into debate on following a madhab and issue of not following one. I would suggest a book that recently got published translated in English called Al-La Madhhabiyya: by Shaykh Dr. Muhammad Sa`id Ramadan al-Buti(Scholar of eminence who taught at Al-Azhar University in 1960s).
    http://www.islamopedia.co.uk/shop/article_ASunniPubs%2520001/Al-La-Madhabiyya—Abandoning-the-Madhabs.html?shop_param=cid%3D1%26aid%3DASunniPubs%2520001%26

    I consider all the brothers whether they follow mawlid or not, follow madhab or not, my brother and i hope Allah(SubhanaHu Wa Ta’la) will forgive all of us for our shortcomings and make us enter jannah together.

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  47. S

    I saw there was an excellent article tittled Misunderstanding about Ibn Taymiyyah and Mawlid. Why was it just deleted after a couple of brothers asked questions ? The questions were certainly not with bad adab by any standard coz i read them…Censorship ??

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  48. Faisal

    @NJ

    “sunnah.org” is a deviant website so we should be careful before reading or posting their articles.

    Below is a description of the site from http://www.bilalphilips.com

    http://www.sunnah.org

    This is a site to beware of. It is full of deviant Sufism. It has a page in praise of Qasidat -ul Burdaa. It claims that Ibn Taymiyyah, Ibn al Qayyim, Ibn Hazm, Al-Jazai’ri, Al Abanee and bin Baz are all Innovators!!

    Among other false claims on the website are the following statements about Kashf:

    Kashf (Unveiling) is a reality which refers to the miraculous knowledge of the awliya (Friends of Allah). Such knowledge attains higher levels than that of any other knowledge of humankind and jinn including in certain cases the knowledge of Prophets…

    Thus it is related by one of the Imams of hadith whose word lies beyond suspicion, that “it is well-known that he (Imam Nawawi) used to meet with al-Khidr (as)” and converse with him among many other mukaashafaat

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  49. MUA

    S – concerning your statement: “Since they understand the scholars are more qualified than them, have vast scope of reference and they are carrying forward the great legacy of scholarship of 1000+ years, an unbroken chain going back to Prophet Sallalahu Alayhi Wa Sallam. If the great scholars who are carrying forward this legacy to this day, permit a certain act(like Mawlid) and they very well know the current times, the story just ends here.”

    This is not accurate at all nor true. As far as the unbroken chain, the burden of proof is on you to show that there exists unbroken chains in regards to ilm outside of ilm al-hadith. I know for a a fact that for example, the Naqshabandi tariqa (mujadidi & haqqani branches included) have a broken chain at the very begining of their silsila – study it closely from Jafar as-Sadiq to Bistami to Kharqani. Huge gaps. In fact, in order to make it “unbroken” they invented the concept of “uwaysi silsila” in which the dead sh. will transmit to the living. This would never be permittied in ilm ul hadith studies. Imam Shatibi also scrutinized the silsilat of several of those who claimed to have received knowledge in an unbroken manner all the way to the Prophet saaws (actually to Allah). I even brought this to the attention of one of their murids who didn’t do his due diligence before buying into the idea that you’re peddling. And he took it to his sh. who in front of a public gathering used it as a credential for his knowledge (and soem how an irrefutable proof just like you’re doing), and when he was asked my question in private he said, “well if the light bulb is so bright who cares where the electrcity is coming from.” That’s so disengenous. Also many researchers who have studied silsilat of the various tariqat have noted that not a single one is “unbroken.” It’s sickening that people use this as a credential for their ilm. LIkewise, as for ijaza, this is a huge field on pedagogy that needs to be studied closes. But remember that even the classical and medieval scholars who received ijazat to transmit and/or teach knowledge or books from their shuyukh never used this “unbroken chain” argument to stymie any criticism of their ijtihad and opinions. Rather they had to prove their ijtihad was correct based on legal devices, hermenutics, evidence, and reasoning. None of them said this knowledge goes back all the way to the Prophet saaws, they were much more humble and said this is the best we can do and we think it is rigth with the possibility of being wrong. Their approach was exoteric not esoteric.

    In light of this your argument of “do it yourself Islam” falls apart too. Even scholars who received ijaza from their shuyukh differed in areas of knowledge, the ijaza did not eliminate that fact. So please don’t make it seem that the reason why there are differences is because you have some people who studied from books of ahadith and athar. Btw, those who did had usool too, they didn’t just haphazardly come up with fatawa. In fact, there is a hadith of the Prophet in Fath al-Bari that there will be people who get knowledge from waraqat and they will have a high level of Iman equal to the early generations.

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  50. NJ

    Faisal,

    I just happened to provide a link to an article that is also found on other websites. I don’t want to enter into an argument about sufism. The point was only to provide the other side of the argument relating to mawlid. I do not follow Hisham Kabbani, and definitely not Bilal Philips.

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  51. S

    Br. MUA,

    You are going too far akhi, i never mentioned anything about Tariqa. Perhaps you imagined me as one of the whirling devishes, didn’t you :)?

    Its no difficult task if you are a student of knowledge of any calibre to find, not just the regular scholars following one of the four schools but great luminaries who themselves were at the level of being mujtahids but still followed one of the four madhhabs, in every century since the time of those great Imams. Infact the reason why only four schools survived is because only the knowledge/principles of these schools was propogated in huge numbers to this day. There were other scholars who were considered mujtahid mutlaq like Imam al-Awzai, Imam Layth bin Saad(contemporary of imam Malik), Imam Tabari, etc their schools died down due to lack of transmission of their knowledge and principles in huge numbers. You don’t have to go too far, take example of Hanbali fiqh scholars, is it so difficult to find a more than a couple of scholars in each islamic century from the time of Imam Ahmad ? To name a few very famous Hanbali scolars:

    Al-Khallal (d. 311)
    Ghulam al-Khallal (d. 363)
    Ibn Hamid (d. 403)
    al-Qadhi Abu Ya’la (d. 458)
    Abu al-Khattab (d. 510)
    Abu Isma’il al-Harawi (d. 481)
    Abul-Wafa ‘Ali ibn ‘Aqil (d. 488)
    Abdul-Qadir Gilani (d. 561)
    Ibn al-Jawzi (d. 597)
    Ibn Qudama al-Maqdisi (d. 620)
    Majd al-Din Ibn Taymiyah (d. 653)
    Taqi al-Din Ibn Taymiyah (d. 728)
    Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziya(d. 751)
    and so on to this day.

    Everyone of them followed Hanbali fiqh.
    If we can so easily find these luminaries, its easy to see the great numbers of regular scholars who just followed them and trasmitted the knowledge to next generation.

    The chain of knowledge from Imam Ahmad(RahimuHullah) to our Beloved Prophet (Sallalahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) is not too long ya Akhi. Its so well known that i’m not even mentioning it.

    So what makes us think that people who follow one of the four madahib, do not have a UNBROKEN chain in science of Fiqh ?

    Same thing with other sciences like Tajweed, i know scholars whose chain of Ijazah in Tajweed goes back to our Prophet SallalahuAlayhi Wasallam.

    Anyways, i did not get into this discussion. Please forgive me if i have said something wrong. Insha’Allah i’m going to end my postings on this thread here. And i want to remind myself and everyone, argumentation is not part of our deen and is bad Akhlaq to argue.

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  52. Abd- Allah

    “directly deriving ruling from the Athar of Sahaba and Sayings of our Prophet Sallalahu Alayhi Wa Sallam”

    Brother S, obviously there is a problem here! You are calling on people to take what the scholars say while disregarding what the authentic sayings of our prophet sallalahu alyhi wasallam. ALL scholars make mistakes and wrong rulings on some issues, so the only way to ensure that what you are practicing is what the prophet sallalahu alyhi wasallam and his companions were practicing is to go back to his sayings and to the athar. Of course you take knowledge from scholars, but you do not take it blindly. You accept what the scholars say if it is in accordance with the prophet’s sayings, but if it clearly opposes them, then you do not take it, as scholars could make wrong rulings, but the sayings of the prophet sallalahu alyhi wasallam are all true.

    Everyone would agree that the prophet sallalahu alyhi wasallam and his companions never celebrated the Mawlid, so if you are one of those who celebrate the Mawlid, then ask yourself, are you on a better guidance than what the prophet sallalahu alyhi wasallam was upon? If you think there is good in celebrating the Mawlid, then don’t you think that the prophet sallalahu alyhi wasallam would have told us about it and ordered us to do it?
    {…This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion…} (5:3)

    The prophet sallalahu alyhi wasallam said: “Verily, the best words are those of Allah; the best guidance is that of Muhammad (sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam), the worst matters [in creed or worship] are those innovated [by people], for every such innovated matter is a bid’ah, and every bid’ah is a misguidance which deserves the Fire.”

    The prophet sallalahu alyhi wasallam said: “Whoever introduces to our matter (religion) that which is not a part of it, will have it (his innovation) rejected.” [al-bukhari & Muslim]

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  53. S

    Br. Abd Allah,
    Your argument is nothing but a good example of sophistry my brother. Its more complicated than what you explain. You mean to say Ibn taymiyyah, Imam Nawawi, Ibn Kathir, Ibn Hajar Al Asqalani, Imam Suyuti, etc who were not from the same time and age , errored together by their outright or silent acceptance of mawlid and suddenly in 13th century or 14th century it dawned upon someone to correct them !
    We got to be a little less arrogant than that habibi.

    You cannot be a Judge, Accuser and Executioner together at the same time.

    This is the principle, someone who is accused is considered, innocent unless proven guilty. Thats how law works, accused is not considered guilty by default unless proven innocent. Have mercy on your brother ya akhi, pleasee, don’t be unjust to them.

    If you accuse someone of going against th sunnah, you need to come up with a hadith which explicitly says its haram or makruh to celebrate the Prophet (Sallalahu Alayhi wa Sallam)’ s birthday, specifically. If that was the case and if there existed a sahih hadith that its haram to celebrate the Prophet(Sallalahu Alayhi wa Sallam)’ s birthday and Prophet(Sallalahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) had mentioned it explicitly, then i’m sure all the scholars mentioned above would not have kept quite and would have called it haram. Our Prophet(Sallalahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) also said my ummah will not agree upon an error. So came the principle of Ijma(Consensus).

    The mubah(permissible) action/means take the ruling of their end goals. If the action/means are mubah(not haram) and end goals one is trying to acheive with it is mustahabb or mandub, then the actions/means are considered mustahab/mandub. End goal here is effort to increase love of our Prophet(Sallalahu Alayhi Wa Sallam), rejoicing on his birth, etc. Thats what Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah was mentioning up there, since he was a great A’lim and understood this basic principle.

    For those who deny principle, please go ahead with whatever please you ya Akhi. I’m done. Wasalam.

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  54. MUA

    fyi – the discussion and my responses to S has carried on to the second article on this topic.

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  55. abu abdAllah Tariq Ahmed

    bismillah was salamu alaykum. i found this article after reading part II. :) mashaAllah, shaykh, you do a good job of “incompletion” — we finish the article and just want more. :)

    @Amad/Omar — links to part II?

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  56. MA

    Assalam-alaikum,
    As pointed by other brothers what the point of this article. Is that to educate that the day Mohammaed salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam is born isn’t know to anyone or is that refute the celeberation of Mawlid as Bida( mostly liberal and generously)means to undermine a cause. I wish not the same case with the author insha-allah.

    > “when Abu Lahab died, someone from his household saw him in a dream, they asked him what happened in the grave he said ‘I am being punished severely, but on Mondays, I get water from my finger with which I am freed Thuwayba.’” (Sahih Bukhari in the book of Nikah, and Ibn Kathir mentions it in his books Sirat al-Nabi Vol.1, p. 124, Mawlid al-Nabi p. 21, and al-Bidaya p. 272-273.)

    > Ibn Kathir writes that Abu Lahab freed Thuwayba on the day that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) was born. (Ibn Kathir in his Sirat al-Nabee).

    Jazakallah
    MA

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  57. Abd- Allah

    Brother MA,
    if you closely examine that hadith in bukhari that abu lahab’s punishment was less, then you would have known that this was not part of the hadith itself but was what ‘arwa, one of the narrators of the hadith, had said based on a dream of abu lahab’s family who saw him in the dream, so this is in no way clear cut proof that abu lahab’s punishment is less.

    Imam nawawi gave an example that if it was the night of the 30th of sha’ban and no one has sighted the moon yet, but one man saw the prophet in his dream telling him that tomorrow is the first day of ramadan, then that would not be used as proof for that man or anyone else to start fasting only based on that dream. This is if the man saw the prophet in the dream, so how about if the person in the dream was abu lahab, and we both know the difference between the two, then what abu lahab says in a dream could not be taken as proof that what he is saying is true as it was only a dream, not to mention it was abu lahab who said that and not some one reliable, which wouldn’t have made a difference anyways, because it was only a dream.

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  58. Abd- Allah

    Brother MA,
    here is clear proof from the Quran that neither abu lahab nor any other disbeliever who is being punished in hell will have his/her punishment lessened:
    [But as for those who disbelieve, for them is fire of hell; it taketh not complete effect upon them so that they can die, nor is its torment lightened for them. Thus We punish every ingrate.] (35:36)

    and if you want more specific reference to abu lahab, then please read surah # 111, it will clear things up for you whether abu lahab will have his punishment lessened or not for any reason..

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  59. MA

    Jazakallah Br.Abd-Allah for the reply. One just can’t be-little a means of Vahiee – by saying its just a Dream(s). If you recollect Surah- Yosuf when Yousuf alayhi wa sallam describe the very dreams to His father. I can’t imagine reason of that Auhors has inscribing those words (“….I am being punished severely, but on Mondays, I get water from my finger with which I am freed Thuwayba…”) in Sahih al Bukhari it just a dreams or words are trustworthy..~~.

    IBN Muhammad bin Abdul Wahab Najdi’s book – Mukhtassar Sirat-ur-rasool, Milaad-un-nabi:

    Thuwaiba, who was the freed slave of Abu Lahab fed Rasolallah Sallalalhu ?alaihi wa sallam milk. Abu Lahab freed Suwaiba at the time when she informed him that a son has been born at your brother?s house. After the death of Abu Lahab he was seen in a dream, in which he said ?I am in severe punishment but this is lessened on Mondays, he showed his forefinger, and said that he would suck from it. This is so because it was with this finger that I freed Suwaiba when she informed of the birth of the Prophet, and she also fed the Prophet Sallalalhu ?alaihi wa sallam .. Ibn Jawzi states: Abu Lahab is that kaafir who has been specially referred to, in the Qur?an. If such a person can be rewarded for celebrating the Milaad of the Prophet Sallalalhu ?alaihi wa Sallam, then imagine how great the reward would be for a Muslim when he celebrates it.”

    Jazakallah
    MA

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  60. Abd- Allah

    Brother MA,
    are you asking us to follow the sunnah of abu lahab? I’d rather follow the sunnah of the prophet sallalahu alyhi wasalam…

    You say dreams are a means of “Vahay” and are true, so would you accept if i tell you that i had a dream that says we should not celebrate the Mawlid because it is an innovation?

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  61. MA

    Brother Abd-Allah , all I am saying to recognized the meaning of “Rahmatul-lil-Allamin” and it is NOT “Rahmatul-lil-Momeneen” or NOT “Rahmatual-lil-Muslimeen”

    To the second point there are numerous hadith been talken valid (though) been or seen Him-salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam when they haven’t accepted islam. So once they accepted Islam its accepted as it and not been refuted as wrong. by saying you were not muslim at that time.

    Are you saying the Sh. al Bhukari did a mistake by mentioning (”….I am being punished severely, but on Mondays, I get water from my finger with which I am freed Thuwayba…”) and should be deleted…

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  62. Abd- Allah

    “Are you saying the Sh. al Bhukari did a mistake by mentioning (”….I am being punished severely, but on Mondays, I get water from my finger with which I am freed Thuwayba…”) and should be deleted…”

    No brother MA, sheikh Bukhari did NOT do a mistake by including this part, because this is part of being a good scholar, he included everything that he was told in his book, because it is part of being honest and reporting everything that reaches you, so along with some hadeeths, the scholars sometimes report what other people have said about the hadeeth or what one of the sub-narrators said before or after relating the hadeeth, but that does not make what they say part of that hadeeth and does NOT make it a form of legislation. It is not sheikh bukhari’s fault if some people are misunderstanding what he included in his book which was NOT part of a hadeeth but a dream that one of the family members of abu lahab had.

    Just like Imam Malik ibn Anas said “he who innovates an innovation in Islam, while regarding it as something good, has claimed that Muhammad has betrayed his trust to deliver the message, as Allah says, ‘this day have I perfected for you your religion’. And whatsoever was not part of the religion then, is not part of the religion today.”

    Mawlid was not part of our complete religion back then at the time of the prophet sallalahu alyhi wasalam and his companions, and nor is it part of our complete religion today!

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  63. MA

    Brother Abd-Allah , I am not sure what or whom you are refering to by “other scholars”. any-how to complete the argument…
    …. its hard for me to find a reason when a person is reluctant to accept the very wording of the hadith..(just coz it undermine the very argument in context) … that too from a most Authentic book – Sahih al-Bukhari. Moreover I don’t think the basis of scholarship (sorry for typo…–>>..shouldn’t be that if a scholar is support Mawlid is considered to be so called “black listed scholars.” and the one doesn’t is pristine and righteous scholar. Well I leave it to an individual to decide …. as no soul will bear the burden of other …~.

    Imam al-Bukhari writes that:

    ” When Abu Lahab died, someone from his household saw him in a dream and asked him what happened in the grave. He said, ‘I am being punished severely, but on Mondays I get water from the finger with which I am freed Thuwayba [Abu Lahab's slave] ‘”

    Jazakallah
    MA

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  64. Abd- Allah

    Brother MA,
    I will put what I am trying to say as simple as possible maybe this way you understand what I am trying to say:

    What Imam bukhari wrote about abu lahab, that was a DREAM that one of his FAMILY MEMBERS had about him, so it is NOT A HADEETH, and it is NOT WHAT THE PROPHET SAID, it is only what THAT FAMILY MEMBER of abu lahab had said about a dream that he had, so just because it is in Sahih Bukhari does NOT make it true.

    Now even if what you are claiming that what is mentioned in bukhari is true, then that would still NOT legislate the Mawlid, because it is not something that the PROPHET legislated. If you don’t agree that the Mawlid is bad, then answer me this, why do you think that NONE of the COMPANIONS celebrated Mawlid if it was something good once they knew about this family member of abu lahab who had the dream about him?

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  65. dawud

    the debate above seems to be getting nasty – and if the person critizing the hadith quoted from Bukhari was a recognized hadith scholar, that might be one thing, but neither of you are. Leave it at that.

    It was recognized that fasting on Monday was done because the Prophet was born on that day, and it’s not a strange thing. Being grateful for the Prophet’s birth is natural.

    Stop making big issues out of what is not, and leave argumentation to scholars. Sh. Abdullah bin Bayyah spoke better than you both above.

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  66. Abd- Allah

    “and if the person critizing the hadith quoted from Bukhari ”

    Brother dawud,
    what you and many other people don’t seem to understand that this “hadith” quoted in bukhari is NOT a hadith. That is all what i was saying, and it doesn’t take a hadith scholar to know that. Go read that “hadith” yourself and you will know right away that this is NOT something that the prophet peace be upon him said. In addition, most of the arguments that i make are not mine, and i only say what i hear other credible scholars say. As for that “hadith” in bukhari, it is NOT a hadith, go ask any sheikh and he will tell you that it is NOT a hadith eventhough it is in bukhari. Not everything in bukhari is a hadith you know.

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  67. dawud

    the question about ‘following the Sunnah of abu Lahab’ was snarky and rude, and I should avoid answering in that mode – just consider the thought: freeing a slave is a confirmed Sunnah, fasting on Monday is a confirmed Sunnah with the scholars affirming that it is a special day due to it being the day of the Prophet’s birth – so which part of this is ‘following the Sunnah of abu Lahab’ ???!?

    Freeing a slave?

    being grateful for the birth of a child?

    The scholars who wrote before you didn’t feel like mocking the Sunnah of fasting on Monday or freeing a slave, so please keep up your superior speech, arrogance in dealing with your brethren is why most muslims ignore ideologues of your ilk.

    in general, I would think Shaykh Abdullah bin Bayyah put it best:
    http://binbayyah.wordpress.com/2009/02/06/on-celebrating-the-prophet%e2%80%99s-birthday/
    So in my opinion there is no need to prolong discussion of it, nor to fuel further debate about it. In conclusion: whoever celebrates the Mawlid by relating events from the life of the Prophet, peace be upon him, or by recounting his splendid virtues; doing so without mixing this with any act that the Sacred Law deems repugnant; nor with the intention of it being recommended or obligatory – so if it is celebrated with the conditions I have mentioned; without bringing in to it anything that contravenes the Sacred Law; but out of love for the Prophet, peace be upon him – then, Allah willing, there is no problem with it, and he will be rewarded. This was mentioned by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah who said that one will be rewarded for their intention. He states this in Iqti∂å’ al-Íirå† al-Mustaq•m.2 As for those who abstain from the act, also desiring to conform to the prophetic guidance and fearful of falling into bid‘ah, they too shall be rewarded, Allah willing. The issue is not really that big; nor is it necessary to pay it more attention than it actually deserves.

    and Ustadh Yasir Qadhi affirmed the same by quoting the same statement from ibn Taymiyyah’s ‘Iqtida as-Sirat ul-Mustaqim’ – those who continue to argue may pretend they know better than these two contemporary scholars, or think that their opinion should outweigh what those scholars have to say, but they should bring a dalil better than ‘what other credible scholars say’

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  68. Abd- Allah

    “so which part of this is ‘following the Sunnah of abu Lahab’ ???!?”

    Brother dawud, the people who celebrate Mawlid say that if abu lahab got his punishment decreased because he freed a slave on Mawlid, and they use that as an excuse to celebrate the Mawlid. So celebrating the Mawlid is the sunnah of abu lahab, because it is definitely NOT the sunnah of the prophet peace be upon him nor that of his companions may Allah be pleased with them.

    Imam Malik ibn Anas said “he who innovates an innovation in Islam, while regarding it as something good, has claimed that Muhammad has betrayed his trust to deliver the message, as Allah says, ‘this day have I perfected for you your religion’. And whatsoever was not part of the religion then, is not part of the religion today.”

    Mawlid was not part of our complete religion back then at the time of the prophet sallalahu alyhi wasalam and his companions, and nor is it part of our complete religion today!

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  69. Salahuddin

    Salaam u aleykum wa rahmatallah

    Whether the Prophet saw was born on the 2nd, 8th, 10th or 12th of Rabbi ul-Awwal, doesnt really matter. We NEVER limit the Mawlid celebration to be for just one day. People celebrate Mawlid un-Nabi all year round… Many people label the Mawlid as beeing biddah, saying that we shouldnt limit the dhikr of RasoolAllah saw to be just one day, and be forgetfull rest of the year. This is NOT the fact..as I said…the date is irrelevant as people celebrate the Mawlid of RasoolAllah all year round.

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  70. atasha umar

    SALAM ALL, WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT IS TO FOLLOW WHT THE NABEE SAW SAID 4 US ALL TO FOLLOW.IF V R TRYING TO FOLLOW IT ,GOOD ENOUGH,IF V R NOT,THN TRY TO DO IT .THT IS ALL THT MATTERS.WASSALM

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  71. Ayesh ziyad

    Assalumu alkium!
    Every muslim love Hazrat muhammad (s.a.w.w).but here the celebrattion of birth is a conflit between muslims.But if we fallow the sahi hadith conflit will surely solve. And when we look at sahi hadith we find that Hazrat Muhammad (S.a.w.w) and Sahaba (R.A) did not celebrate this day. Can v Question who celebrate dis day frm where they have invented this day???????????????.Its a bidat .And every bidat is GUMRAHI……………………..KIndly leave ur firqa and only be a momin muslim……………………
    Wassalm………………

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  72. Rahmad

    asalamu alykum. What Muslim doing when the time of birth of prohet muhammad.

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  73. Fazlur Rehman Shaikh

    2nd Rabi’ul Awwal in the year of the Elephant was a Monday and corresponded to 23rd June 570 AC. This could be the real date of the birth of our Prophet (SAW).

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