To Celebrate or Not to Celebrate? Milad un Nabi
Mawlid – Loving the Prophet (peace be on him)
The birthday of the Prophet (peace be on him) manages to excite passionate opinions every year. It is something of a contentious topic. However there is no need for locking horns over this issue, as it can be viewed very simply.
What did the Prophet (peace be on him) do?
The dear Prophet (peace be on him) celebrated his birthday by fasting on Mondays, the day of his birth.
Abu Qataadah al-Ansari (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace on him) was asked about fasting on Mondays and he said:
On (that day) I was born and on it Revelation came down to me. (Muslim)
Do we have to celebrate this day?
It is not Eid – there are only two Eids in the Islamic calendar. There is no Eid al Mawlid in our religion as such. However it is an opportunity to remind people of the Prophet (peace be on him). This does not mean that remembering him is limited to one day a year, or just Rabbi al Awal, we should remind each other of him and send blessing on him all year round.
Indeed, in this [Quran] is notification for a worshipping people. And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds. (21:106-7)
How can we use this opportunity?
We can mark the Prophet’s (peace be on him) birthday through acts of obedience. Gathering to recite the Qur’an and encouraging people to follow the Prophet (peace be on him) and to embody the sunnah can only be a good thing. So it is better to invest in this occasion, especially when our children are surrounded by the festivities of so many non-Muslim occasions.
Islamic schools in Syria and Lebanon traditionally mark the occasion as a day of joy for children, by holding parades and carnivals, dressing up and singing nasheeds, thus leaving the children with fond memories and happy associations. Distributing sweets also brings joy to the community. These are rewarding actions.
It is an apt time to come together for Allah Almighty’s sake, recite the Qur’an, read the seerah and encourage each other to do good.
What shouldn’t we do on this day?
Be careful not to do anything haram in these gatherings. We should avoid participating in anything disrespectful to the Prophet (peace be on him) such as making him a birthday cake!
Imagine if the Prophet (peace be on him) was here with us today, would we be ready to meet him? Would our character and deeds make us feel proud or would we be ashamed of our shortcomings? Let us improve our character and our connection with Allah Almighty and be better people with our families and our community.
For those who do not see this day as valid day for commemorating the Prophet (peace be on him) we cannot convince them. But for the rest of us, we can be thankful to Allah Almighty for sending us a gifted mercy.
O People! I am only mercy gifted to you! (Bayhaqi)
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