- Is it permissible to celebrate the birth of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, as long as the celebration does not include any violations of the Sharee'ah? If the answer is no, what is the reason behind this ruling?
- Is it permissible to praise the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam? What are the permissible types of praise?
- Would you please shed light on the meaning of the Hadeeth in which the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, forbade Muslims from exaggeration when praising him as the Christians had done with the son of Maryam (Mary), may Allaah exalt his mention. [Al-Bukhaari]?.
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, the meaning of the Hadeeth (narration) mentioned in the question is that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, forbade Muslims from exaggerating in praising him by ascribing to him one of the characteristics that are specific to Allaah The Exalted, such as knowledge of the Unseen, disposing the affairs of the Universe and the like. This includes considering him god, as Christians consider ‘Eesa (Jesus) .
As for celebrating the birth of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, it is impermissible even if there are no violations of the Sharee'ah (Islamic law) because such an act is an innovation in religion. The most accurate definition of an innovation in religion is a deed which was not done by the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, although the motives to do it existed and no impediment hindered it. On the other hand, it is well-known that the Companions loved the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, more than anyone else. This could have been a motive for holding a celebration for his birthday and there was nothing to prevent them from celebrating this occasion except their knowledge that acts of worship must be based on evidence from the Quran or the Sunnah (Prophetic tradition). Also, there is no proof either from the Quran or the Sunnah to indicate the permissibility of celebrating the birth of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Therefore, such an act is impermissible and considered an innovation in religion.
As for praising the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, it is permissible to do so when there is no prohibited exaggeration. For example, it is permissible to say that he is the best of the creation of Allaah The Almighty or to praise his noble manners, biography or the like.
Allaah Knows best.
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