Exposing the Innovated Practice of the Mawlid – Important Facts Related to Celebrating the Prophet’s Birthday

الحمد لله رب العالمين، وصلى الله وسلم على نبينا محمد وعلى آله وأصحابه أجمعين،  أما بعد


The Ruling on Celebrating the Birthday of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam)

Shaikh Muhammad bin Ibraheem Aal Ash-Shaikh (rahimahullaah) said:

“Celebrating the birthday (of the Prophet) is an innovation and is newly invented; and is thus rejected back upon the one who carries it out.”[1]


The following question was presented to the permanent committee of scholars in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia:

What is the ruling on celebrating the birthday of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) during the month of Rabee’ Al-Awwal out of veneration of him (‘alaihi salaatu wa salaam)?

Answer: Veneration of the Prophet and respecting him lies in: having Eemaan in his messengership as well as in acting upon that which he came with from Allaah. As for celebrating his birthday; then it is a newly invented innovation.[2]


The Birthday of the Prophet was not Celebrated During the Era of the Salaf

Shaikh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez bin Baaz (rahimahullaah) said:

“For he (i.e. the Prophet) (‘alaihis salaatu was salaam) remained in Makkah for thirteen years and in Madeenah for ten years, and he did not celebrate this birthday nor did he tell his Ummah to do that. Then his companions (radhiyallaahu ‘anhum wa ardaahum) did not do that nor did the rightly guided Caliphs nor anyone else from the companions. Then those that followed them upon excellence from the Taabi’een and the followers of the Taabi’een from the preferred generations. All of them were upon this way – they did not do anything from this – not in speech nor in action.”[3]


Shaikh ‘Abdul-Muhsin Al-‘Abbaad (hafidhahullaah) said:

“It has not been transmitted from the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) that he celebrated his own birthday, nor has it come from the companions and the Taabi’een and the followers of the Taabi’een. Rather three hundred years passed and no celebration of the Prophet’s (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) birthday took place, rather there is no mention within it of birthdays. So if that was acceptable; the Sunnah would have come with it and the people of the preferred generations would have practiced it – and they were the foremost in (implementing) every good. It is not conceivable nor acceptable that the truth should be veiled from the people of the three preferred generations, so they did not induce it; and those that induced it were those that came in the fourth century and thereafter.”[4]


The Fatimid Shi’ites Established This Innovated Practice & the French Under Napoleon Bonaparte Revived & Endorsed it!

It is well documented in the books of history that those who introduced the act of celebrating the Prophet’s birthday amongst the Muslims were the Shi’ite Faatimiyyah (the Fatimids)[5] during their rule in the fourth century after the hijrah.

Shaikh ‘Abdul-Muhsin Al-‘Abbaad (hafidhahullaah) said regarding this:

“Indeed the celebration of the noble Prophet’s (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) birthday was newly introduced during the fourth century after the hijrah, this being along with other birthdays that were introduced by the ‘Ubaidi Raafidhah who are referred to as: the Faatimiyyah (the Fatimids). Their rule over Egypt began in the fourth century. Taqi ud Deen Ahmad bin ‘Ali Al-Maqrizee mentioned in his book: Al-Mawaa’idh wal I’tibaar be Dhikr Al-Khutat wal Aathaar (1/490) that the Faatimiyyah had celebrations throughout the year as well as seasons; and then he mentioned them – and they are a great many.”


Al-Maqrizee himself said:

“The Fatimid Caliphs had celebrations and seasons throughout the year, and they were the season at the beginning of the year and the first of the year and the day of ‘Aashuraa and the Prophet’s (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) birthday as well as the birthday of ‘Ali bin Abee Taalib and the birthday of Al-Hasan and Al-Hussain. Likewise the birthday of Faatimah Az-Zahra and the birthday of the ruling Caliph; likewise the first of the month of Rajab as well as the night of its midpoint and the first of the month of Sha’baan as well as the night of its midpoint.”[6]


Some eight hundred years later the contemporary historian of Egypt ‘Abdur-Rahmaan Al-Jabarti who witnessed the French occupation of Egypt under Napoleon Bonaparte stated:

“In it (i.e. the month of Rabee’ Al-Awwal in the year 1798CE/1213H) the chief of the army enquired regarding the Prophetic birthday and why they had not engaged in it as was their custom. So Shaikh Al-Bakree apologized citing the disruption in affairs and a suspension of usual circumstances. So he could not accept this and said: ‘it must go ahead’ and so he handed Shaikh Al-Bakree three hundred riyals in French money as assistance to it and so ordered for the hanging of ornaments and ropes and lamps/candlesticks. So the Frenchmen gathered on the day of the Mawlid and so they played in their squares/domains and beat their drums along with the sound of their clattering noise…”


After mentioning how they then gathered together to spend the rest of the day and night beating drums and playing wood-wind instruments (flutes) of varying sounds, he said:

 “And at night they set off varying oil fired bonfires and set off rockets that rose up into the air.”[7]


The reason why the French endorsed and permitted such events and celebrations during their occupation of Egypt is explained by Al-Jabarti himself who later stated:

“The French permitted that for the people due to their seeing in that the leaving/abandonment of the legislations and the gathering of the women as well as the following of desires and the presence of distracting amusements and the performance of forbidden things.”[8]


Such Gatherings Serve as Occasions for Sinfulness and Disobedience in the Religion

Shaikh Muhammad bin Ibraheem Aal Ash-Shaikh (rahimahullaah) said when speaking about many of those that attend such gatherings:

“From those of them who establish the celebrations of the birthday by utilizing songs and musical instruments and having a lack of dignity and respect for the Book of Allaah, The Most High.”[9]


He said likewise:

“Likewise those who attend from the women and the men being put to trial due to them and by their looking at them and of hearing their voices and their clapping and other than that which becomes the cause of the prevalence of immense corruption and other than that from the trials and corruptions that are not hidden from the one who knows of their circumstances.”[10]


Shaikh Muhammad bin Ibraheem mentions likewise when quoting the words of Shaikh ul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah:

“As for the gathering for the purpose of the birthday being upon: singing and dancing and the like of that; as well as taking that as a form of worship; the no one from the people of knowledge and Eemaan doubts that this from the wicked evils which should be forbidden – and no one makes that permissible except an ignorant one or a heretic.”[11]


Shaikh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez bin Baaz (rahimahullaah) said:

“And that which occurs within by way of the use of musical instruments and drums and the mixing of the women with the men is yet another evil, along with other evils – it is obligatory to prohibit all of them.”[12]


Shaikh Saalih Al-Fawzaan (hafidhahullaah) said:

“Indeed from that which increases the vices as well as being from the newly invented affairs and the innovations and the rejection of the blessings is that which is practiced in these days on the occasion of celebrating the Prophetic birthday. Along with that which takes place within it by way of evils and vices which the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) is free from…”[13]


One of Two Types of People Partakes in Celebrating the Prophet’s Birthday

Shaikh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez bin Baaz (rahimahullaah) said:

“Whoever does that from the people; then he is between two affairs:

Either he is ignorant and does not know the truth in which case he is to be taught and enlightened aright.

Or that he is fanatically enthusiastic to desires and in obtaining an objective and so he should be urged to that which is correct and should be supplicated for with attaining guidance and ability. Neither of the two is a proof, not ignorance nor the fanatical enthusiast, rather the proof is in that which Allaah and His Messenger said – not in the statement of other than them.”[14]


Finally we ask Allaah, The Most High that He guides the Muslims to the Sunnah and in adhering to it and holding onto it and to abandon such innovated practices which have nothing to do with the religion of Islaam and instead only distance the people further from the correct teachings of the religion. The Muslims should remember also that the best of people after the Prophets and the Messengers were the companions of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), and were thus chosen by Allaah for the companionship of His Prophet. They loved the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and followed his teachings carefully and adhered to his Sunnah and preserved it for those who came after them. Yet despite their love, honour and veneration for the Prophet they did not celebrate the mawlid – nor did any one of them innovate into this religion that which was not from it, therefore the path to success which they were upon is the path that every Muslim should seek to adhere to. Regarding this the following statement and advice from the noble companion ‘Abdullaah bin Mas’ood (radhiyallaahu ‘anhu) suffices in this regard; he said:

“Whoever seeks to follow a way; then let him follow the way of those that have passed away – they are the companions of Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam). They were the best of this Ummah and the most righteous hearted of them and the deepest of them in knowledge. They were a people whom Allaah chose for the companionship of His Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and to transmit His religion, therefore imitate them in their mannerisms and in their ways – for they were upon upright guidance.”[15]



[1] Fatawaa wa Rasaa-il Samaahah Ash-Shaikh Muhammad bin Ibraheem bin ‘Abdil-Lateef Aal Ash-Shaikh vol 3 p.59.

[2] Fatawaa Al-Lajna Ad-Daa-imah vol 3 p.28.

[3] Source: http://www.binbaz.org.sa/mat/4854

[4] Source: http://www.al-abbaad.com/index.php/articles/132-1436-03-11

[5] Regarding the Fatimid ‘Ubaidiyeen Shaikh ul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) said as is found in Ar-Radd ‘alal Bakree (p.307): “They were inwardly atheist; they took from the madhab of the philosophers and the Majoos (the Magians) of that which they then mixed with the statements of the Raafidhah. Hence the best that they could manifest from Islaam was the religion of the Raafidhah, as for inwardly then they were atheist.”

Al-Haafidh Ibn Katheer said regarding them in his Al-Bidaayah wan-Nihaayah (vol 10 p.346): “a group from the scholars and the judges and the notables and the just ones and the righteous and the Fuqahaa (jurists) and the Muhadditheen (scholars of hadeeth) all wrote and all bore testimony that the Fatimids rulers were disbelievers, corrupt and wicked atheistic heretics, deniers (of the Names and Attributes of Allaah). Likewise that they renounce Islaam and instead believe in the madhab of the Majoos (the Magians) and of the Thanwiyyah (dualists/dualism – those hold light and darkness as deities), they have suspended the bounds and made allowable the private parts and have permitted wine and shed blood and reviled the Prophets and cursed the Salaf and claimed Lordship.”

[6] Al-Mawaa’idh wal I’tibaar be dhikr Al-Khutat wal Aathaar  vol 1 p.490.

[7] ‘Ajaa-ib Al-Aathaar fee At-Taraajim wal Akhbaar p.260-261.

[8] ‘Ajaa-ib Al-Aathaar fee At-Taraajim wal Akhbaar p.335

[9] Fatawaa wa Rasaa-il Samaahah Ash-Shaikh Muhammad bin Ibraheem bin ‘Abdil-Lateef Aal Ash-Shaikh vol 3 p.59.

[10] Fatawaa wa Rasaa-il Samaahah Ash-Shaikh Muhammad bin Ibraheem bin ‘Abdil-Lateef Aal Ash-Shaikh vol 3 p.59.

[11] Fatawaa wa Rasaa-il Samaahah Ash-Shaikh Muhammad bin Ibraheem bin ‘Abdil-Lateef Aal Ash-Shaikh vol 3 p.60.

[12] Source: http://www.binbaz.org.sa/mat/10009

[13] Source: http://af.org.sa/node/2335

[14] Source: http://www.binbaz.org.sa/mat/4854

[15] Ash-Sharee’ah of Al-Aajuree (no.1143).

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