Praise be to Allah.[The translation of these words is as follows:
“O Allaah, send perfect blessings and complete peace upon our master Muhammad by virtue of whom [as some of them say] all obstacles are removed, distress is relieved, needs are met, desires are fulfilled and a good end may be achieved and by virtue of whose noble face clouds may be sent, and [send blessings and peace] upon his family and companions with every breath and glance.”]
1.The words of this innovated prayer are clear enough, but there is nothing wrong with explaining them further.
“obstacles are removed” means, a way out is found from whatever obstacles and difficult matters one is faced with.
The phrase may also mean “by virtue of whom anger is calmed.”
“distress is relieved” means anxiety and grief are taken away.
“needs are met” means one gets what one is trying to achieve.
“desires are fulfilled and a good end may be achieved” means his wishes are fulfilled whether that is in this world or in the Hereafter, one of which is that one meets a good end.
“by virtue of whose noble face clouds may be sent” means that he is asked to pray to Allaah to send rain.
2.What some people have told you – that this prayer does not involve shirk and that it is permissible for you to continue to recite it – is wrong. This so-called prayer includes things which clearly go against Islam, such as the following:
(i)It is supposed to be said at times of calamity. This is a contrived reason for an innovated act of worship.
(ii)It is supposed to be recited a set number of times, 4444 times. This is a contrived amount for an innovated act of worship.
(iii)It is supposed to be recited in a communal fashion. This is a contrived method for an innovated act of worship
(iv)It contains phrases which go against Islam, which constitute shirk and which are an exaggeration about the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). It attributes to him actions which cannot be attributed to anyone other than Allaah, such as meeting people’s needs, relieving distress, fulfilling their desires and granting a good end. Allaah commanded His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him):
“Say: ‘It is not in my power to cause you harm, or to bring you to the Right Path’”
[al-Jinn 72:21 – interpretation of the meaning]
(v)It ignores what is taught in the sharee’ah, and makes up a contrived prayer and supplication. This implies that one is accusing the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) of failing to explain everything that the people need, and that one is trying to fill gaps in the sharee’ah.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘Whoever innovates anything in this matter of ours (Islam) that is not a part of it, will have it rejected”
(Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 2550; Muslim, 1718).
According to a report narrated by Muslim (1718), he said: “Whoever does any action that is not in accordance with this matter of ours (Islam) will have it rejected.”
Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “This hadeeth represents one of the most important basic principles of Islam. It is like a yardstick for measuring the outward appearance of actions, just as the hadeeth ‘Actions are but by intentions’ is a yardstick for measuring the inward nature of actions. Just as actions which are not done for the sake of Allaah bring no reward to the one who does them, so too actions which are not done in accordance with the command of Allaah and His Messenger are rejected and thrown back at the one who does them. Everyone who innovates something in the religion for which Allaah and His Messenger have not granted permission, that action has nothing to do with the religion.”(Jaami’ al-‘Uloom wa’l-Hukam, 1/180)
Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “This hadeeth is one of the most important basic principles of Islam and is one of the most comprehensive sayings of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). It is a clear rejection of bid’ah and innovations. The second report adds a further idea, which is that some people may persist in doing some innovated action (bid’ah) for which there is a precedent, and when the first report – ‘Whoever innovates anything…’ – is quoted as proof, such a person may say, ‘But I did not innovate anything. Then the second report – ‘Whoever does any action…’ – may be quoted, which clearly states that all innovated actions are rejected, whether the one who does them invented them or they were previously invented. This hadeeth is one of those which should be memorized and used in denouncing evil actions, and it should be propagated widely.”(Sharh Muslim, 12/16)
3.With regard to celebrating the Mawlid (birthday of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)), doing this is bid’ah. If it was good, those who love the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) more than we do would have done it before us, i.e., the Sahaabah, may Allaah be pleased with them. Most of what is recited on this occasion are weak or fabricated reports of the life of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and it involves exaggeration about our Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). There follow the comments of the scholars:
(a)Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked about the one who completes the reading of the Qur’aan each year on the night of the birthday of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) – is that mustahabb or not?
“Praise be to Allaah. For the people to come together to eat on the two Eids and the days of Tashreeq is Sunnah. This is one of the symbols of Islam which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) set out for the Muslims. Helping the poor by giving them food during Ramadaan is also one of the ways of Islam. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘Whoever gives a fasting person food to break his fast will have a reward like his.’ Giving poor Qur’aan-readers that which will help them to devote their time to the Qur’aan is a righteous deed at any time, and whoever helps them in this manner will have a share in the reward.
But taking as special occasions days which are not prescribed in Islam – such as one of the nights of Rabee’ al-Awwal which is called Laylat al-Mawlid (the night of the Prophet’s birthday), or some of the nights of Rajab, or the eighteenth of Dhu’l-Hijjah, or the first Friday of Rajab, or the eighth of Shawwaal, which the ignorant call ‘Eid al-Abraar (the Feast of the Righteous)’ – these are bid’ahs which the salaf did not regard as mustahabb and they did not do these things. And Allaah knows best.”(al-Fataawa al-Kubraa, 4/415)
(b)Ibn al-Haaj said:
“Some of them commit actions at this time which go against this meaning. When the month of Rabee’ al-Awwal begins, they hasten to indulge in idle entertainment, playing the daff (hand-drum) and reed flute, and other things as mentioned above.
Whoever wants to weep, let him weep for himself and for Islam, and how it and its people and those who follow the Sunnah have become alienated. If they simply wanted to sing songs and entertain themselves, I wish that they would limit themselves to that. But some of them try to follow proper etiquette, so they start the Mawlid with the recitation of Qur’aan. So they look for the one who can recite in the most melodious fashion and provoke enjoyment, and he reads ten aayahs. There are several things wrong with this:
(i)the way in which the reciter reads in this manner which is condemned in sharee’ah, with a quavering tone like that of a singer. This has been discussed above.
(ii)This involves a lack of proper respect towards the Book of Allaah.
(iii)They read Qur’aan briefly before turning to what they really desire, which is to listen to the entertainment of the tambourine and reed-flute, and the singing and quavering tones of the singers, etc.
(iv)They show outwardly something different from that which is in their hearts. This is the essence of hypocrisy, whereby a person makes an outward display of something when deep inside he really means something else – this is wrong except in cases specifically exempted by sharee’ah. They start with Qur’aan recitation when the thoughts of some of them are really focused on the singing.
(v)Some of them cut the recitation short, because they are thinking too much of the pleasure of that which comes after it, as mentioned above.
(vi)If the Qur’aan reading goes on for a long time, some of the audience begin to show signs of boredom, and they do not settle down until the entertainment they like begins. This is not what is meant by the description which Allaah gives of the humble believers, because they love to hear the words of the Lord, as He says in praise of them (interpretation of the meaning):
‘And when they listen to what has been sent down to the Messenger (Muhammad), you see their eyes overflowing with tears because of the truth they have recognized. They say: “Our Lord! We believe; so write us down among the witnesses”’[al-Maa’idah 5:83]
This is how Allaah describes those who listen to His words. But some of these people do the opposite of that. After listening to the word of their Lord, they get up to dance and celebrate and enjoy themselves in unseemly ways. “Truly, to Allaah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return” [al-Baqarah 2:156 – interpretation of the meaning. This phrase is an expression of grief and sorrow] for the lack of shame for committing sins. They do the deeds of the Shaytaan and seek reward from the Lord of the Worlds, claiming that they are doing acts of worship and goodness. Would that only the lowest of people did that, but now this problem has become widespread and you see those who claim to have some knowledge and good deeds doing that, and even some of those who claim to be shaykhs, i.e., those who have followers. All of them are included in what is said above.
It is strange that they have been deceived by this trick of the accursed Shaytaan. Do you not see that a wine-drinker, when the wine first starts to take effect, he begins to move his head non-stop. When the effect becomes stronger, he loses his shame and dignity before those who are with him, and what he wants to conceal will be exposed to his companions. Look at this singer, may Allaah have mercy on you and us. When he starts to sing, you will see people who have dignity and respect, who appear decent and are followed by people of knowledge, falling silent when he starts to sing. Then they start to move their heads a little, exactly like wine-drinkers, as described above. Then when they really start to enjoy the entertainment, they lose their shyness and dignity, exactly like the wine-drinkers, so they get up and start to dance and shout and weep in a show of fake humility. They move in and out and raise their arms and heads towards the heavens as if receiving divine inspiration. They start to foam at the mouth and may even rend their garments and play with their beards.
This is obviously something to be denounced, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade wasting money, and rending one’s garments is obviously included in that.
Secondly, this obviously goes beyond the limits of common sense, because they act like crazy people most of the time.”(al-Madkhal, 2/5-7)
(c)The Standing Committee said:
“Celebrating the birthday of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is not permitted because it is an invented bid’ah (innovation) which was not done by the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or by his rightly-guided successors (al-khulafa’ al-raashideen), or by the scholars of the best three generations [i.e., the first three generations of Islam].”
(Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 3/2)
(d)Shaykh Ibn Baaz was asked: is it permissible for the Muslims to hold celebrations in the mosque to commemorate the life of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) on the night of 12 Rabee’ al-Awwal, to celebrate the Mawlid or birthday of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), without taking that day off as an “Eid”? We are having some disputes concerning this. Some say that it is a bid’ah hasanah (“a good innovation”) and some say that it is not a good innovation.
“The Muslims should not celebrate the birthday of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), whether on the night of 12 Rabee’ al-Awwal or on any other date, just as they should not celebrate the birthday of anyone other than the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), because celebrating birthdays is an innovation which has been introduced into the religion. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not celebrate his birthday during his lifetime, and he is the one who conveyed the religion and laws from Allaah. He did not enjoin that, and it was not done by his rightly guided successors or by any of his Companions or those who followed them in goodness during the best three generations. So it is known to be an innovation, and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘Whoever innovates anything in this matter of ours (Islam) that is not a part of it, will have it rejected’ (Saheeh – agreed upon). According to a report narrated by Muslim, which al-Bukhaari narrated in a mu’allaq majzoom report: “Whoever does any action that is not in accordance with this matter of ours (Islam) will have it rejected.”
Celebrating the Mawlid is not in accordance with the command of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), rather it is something which the people innovated and introduced into their religion during later centuries, so it is to be rejected. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to say in his khutbah (sermon) on Fridays: ‘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 are newly-invented, and every innovation is a going-astray.’ This was narrated by Muslim in his Saheeh. It was also narrated by al-Nasaa’i with a jayyid isnaad, adding the words, ‘and every going-astray leads to Hell.’
Instead of celebrating the birthday of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), we should study his seerah (biography) and the history of his life during the jaahiliyyah and Islam, in schools, mosques and elsewhere. That includes describing the circumstances of his birth and death, with no need to innovate celebrations which are not prescribed by Allaah or His Messenger, and for which there is no evidence in sharee’ah.
Allaah is the Source of Strength. We ask Allaah to grant guidance and strength to all the Muslims and to help them to follow the Sunnah and avoid bid’ah.”
(Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, 4/289)
And Allaah knows best.