Rejoicing over Allaah's mercy does not include celebrating Prophet's birth
Fatwa No: 281791

  • Fatwa Date:10-4-2015 - Jumaadaa Al-Aakhir 21, 1436
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Question

One of my friend quoted the following verse of Quran-Chapter Yunus Verse no. 57 and 58 for Muhammad SAWS as Rehmat (mercy) and thereupon rejoice(celebrate) as an evidence from Quran for celebrating the Birthday of Prophet SAWS. Please clarify as some scholars say Rehmat(mercy) mention in verse refers to Quran/Islam but he says it refers to Prophet Muhammad SAWS, Rejoice means Celebrating the Mercy. It is not his own opinion but opinion of Muslim Scholars he is connected with basically Sunni Dawate Islami in India and Pakistan.It is shocking for me how there is a evidence in Quran for Celebrating 12th Rabi ul awwal or Birthday of Prophet. If it is then why are we neglecting it ?Please try to give revelation detail of above verse of Quran and preferbly give answer from Quran itself else Saheeh Hadeeth.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His Slave and Messenger.

First of all, you should know that celebrating the birth of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is a religious innovation. We previously discussed some of the misconceptions concerning this in Fataawa 1563 and 92435, so please refer to them.

Scholars held different opinions regarding the interpretation of the verse that reads (what means): {Say, "In the bounty of Allaah and in His mercy – in that let them rejoice; it is better than what they accumulate."} [Quran 10:58]

The author of Fat-h Al-Qadeer said: "The bounty of Allaah means the grace and endless blessings of Allaah conferred upon His slaves in this world and the Hereafter, and mercy means His mercy upon them.

"It has been reported that Ibn ‘Abbaas  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him said: 'The bounty of Allaah is the Quran and His mercy is Islam.'

"Al-Hasan, Adh-Dhahhaak, Mujaahid, and Qataadah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them all, said: The bounty of Allaah is Eeman (faith) and His mercy is the Quran.

"It is most correct to say that the bounty and mercy of Allaah in the verse should be interpreted in a general sense. The Quran and what it contains are included in this even more so than anything else, and there is no doubt that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is a mercy, and so he is included in this general sense, as indicated by the words of Allaah (which mean): {And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds} [Quran 21:107], and the words of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam: 'I am nothing other than a gift of mercy.'" [Al-Haakim, At-Tabaraani, and Al-Bayhaqi]

However, where is the evidence here that supports the permissibility of celebrating the birth of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam? The believer rejoices over his Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and properly loves and honors him; however, this should not cause him to commit an innovation unfounded in the religion. Even if we hypothetically assumed that this evidence is actually supportive of the permissibility of celebrating the birth of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, how could the early Muslims – the Companions and the Successors (Taabi‘een) and their followers – have failed to reach this understanding and conclusion. They never celebrated the birth of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, although they loved and revered him the most and were keener on performing righteous deeds and gaining rewards.

Therefore, the above consists in confusion and a haphazard conclusion about this innovation, and it is the greatest proof that there is no evidence for celebrating his birth, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Among the greatest causes of deviation is that Muslims believe that a religious innovation is founded in the religion before investigating the evidence supporting it, and when their claim is questioned, they start investigating the relevant evidence (in an attempt to prove their argument correct)! This is a major cause of disagreement within the Ummah because it brings about transgression and enmity. Allaah The Exalted says (what means): {And they did not become divided until after knowledge had come to them – out of jealous animosity between themselves.} [Quran 42:14]

The Muslim is enjoined to investigate the religious evidence first, believe in it, and then act upon it instead of hastening to act upon unfounded claims and then try to find justifications for it in the religion. The best way to avoid blameworthy divergence is to adhere to the guidance of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and the correct understanding of Islam by him and his followers. Al-‘Irbaadh ibn Saariyah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him reported that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: "Verily he among you who lives long will see great controversy, so keep to my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the rightly guided caliphs, those who guide to the right way. Bite down on it with your molar teeth. And beware of newly invented matters, for verily every innovation is misguidance." [Ahmad, Abu Daawood, At-Tirmithi and Ibn Maajah]

We implore Allaah to protect Muslims' religion and graciously guide them back to the Truth and the straight path.

Allaah Knows best.

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