Celebration of the Prophet Birthday is often called to be Mawlid or Mawlid al-Nabi al-Sharif. It is a celebration to commemorated the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad in the third month of the Islamic calendar. The month is Rabi’ al-awwal some scholars agreed to determine the 12th day of Rabi’ al-awwal as the accepted date but some scholars do accept the 17th day.
In Islamic tradition itself there are several views of this celebration. They also have rule of celebrating Prophet birthday. Since some madhhab forbidden it and some set it as permissible and recommended. Those who declined the celebration said that it might lead Muslims to bid’ah, or invention on religious matter that did not have predecessor.
It has been a great debate for years among scholars. Since there is no strictly evident that lead Muslims into the same law, therefore we should understand the rule of celebrating the Prophet birthday. It will avoid us on committing sins and know the true essential of this celebration and hope that we will not involved in most common bid’ah in Islam.
Rule of Celebrating Prophet Birthday
Before we going any further of how should we address the Prophet birthday, let’s take a good look of several verse in Quran. This verse actually are clear enough.
“Say, (O Muhammad), ‘if you should love Allah then follow me, so Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.”(QS. Ali ‘Imran : 31)
“Follow (O mankind), what has been revealed to you from your Lord and do not follow other than Him any allies. Little do you remember.”(QS. Al-A’raf : 3)
“And (moreover), this is My path, which is straight, so follow it, and do not follow (other) ways, for you will be separated from His way. This has He instructed you that you may become righteous.”(QS. Al-An’am : 153)
And the Prophet also mentioned in hadith below, about how we should behave towards something resemble to bid’ah (innovations in religious matter). You may want to read also about law of playing music in mosque.
“The most truthful of speech is the Book of Allah and the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad, and the most evil of things are those which are newly-invented.”Narrated by Al-Bukhari
“Whoever innovates anything in this matter of ours (Islam), that is not part of it will have it rejected.”Narrated by Muslim
From the above verses and hadiths, we would like to simplified that rules of celebrating the Prophet Birthday as follows,
1. It’s not part of the Sunnah from the Prophet
Since it is not part of the sunnah then celebrating the Prophet birthday is forbidden innovations. We know that this celebration is introduced after three best centuries and the intention might be to corrupt Islamic religion.
In the hadith it is said that we should only follow the Sunnah from the Prophet, and the way of the rightly-guided caliphs after him.
It means that every invention or innovation according religion after those will be included as bad innovation or invention. You may want to read also about prohibitions of speculation in Islam.
“I urge you to follow my sunnah and the way of the rightly-guided Caliphs after me, adhere to it and cling to it firmly. Beware of newly-invented things, for every newly-invented thing is an innovation (bid’ah) and every innovation is a going-astray.”Narrated by Ahmad, Tirmidhi)
2. We should not celebrate birthday excessively
When we saw Muslims nowadays, the Mawlid has become something more excessive rather than religious act. Muslims competing to make festive and grand events.
This is what must be kept away from Muslims, because it’s not in line with the teachings of Islam. Birthday is common thing and there is nothing special about it, the most important thing is that we always strive to be better people from year to year. Remember that there are prohibitions of birthday celebration in Islam.
3. It’s also same as assuming that Islamic teachings are not perfect
While we as Muslims have faith that Islam is perfected religion. Through the Prophet and the Book of Quran we learn about Islam.
And Allah SWT has declared that Islam already perfected and the Prophet Muhammad is the last prophet. As written in the verse below,
“This day those who disbelieve have despaired of (defeating) your religion, so fear them not, but fear Me. This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion.”(QS. Al-Ma’idah : 3)
Logically if we add an extra things that does not have any predecessor and claiming that it was a part of Islam, but the Prophet did not bring this means we doubt the teaching of Islam and the Prophet itself. It also equal to disbelieving of the words of Allah.
4. Do not imitate the custom or teaching that are identical of other religion than Islam
Celebrating the Prophet birthday is almost identical to Christians when they celebrate the birth of Messiah. Imitating other religion in Islam is forbidden and included as haram act.
“Be different from the mushrikin”Narrated by Muslim
5. Do not make this as an exaggerating event
Allah SWT and His Messenger do not like exaggerating things in any aspect. When we perform Mawlid there is possibility it will be an exaggerating event, and deviated from the original goal as mentioned in the following hadith,
“Beware of exaggeration, for those who came before you were destroyed because of exaggeration.”Narrated by An-Nasai
6. It may lead to another bid’ah
Another rule of celebrating Prophet birthday is that it may lead Muslims to another bid’ah. It is important to make all deed or activities done is solely for Allah and according to Quran and Sunnah.
If something came from the human innovation or invention there must be any possibilities to be misguided. If Muslims accept this kind of innovation, in the future it is not impossible there will be another innovations under the pretext of religion. You may want to read also about concept of thanksgiving in Islam.
“And they worship other than Allah that which neither harms them nor benefits them, and they say, ‘These are our intercessors with Allah.’ Say, ‘Do you inform Allah of something He does not known in the heavens or on the earth?’ Exalted is He and high above what they associate with Him.”(QS. Yunus : 18)
Those are the rules of celebrating Prophet Birthday in Islam. Hope that you don’t feel confused anymore on the rule to celebrate Prophet’s Birthday!