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To Celebrate or Not to Celebrate…


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To Celebrate or Not to Celebrate…

It’s that time of year again where Muslims are at difference regarding the celebration of the Prophet’s Birthday (peace be upon him). Some are in view that there is nothing wrong in celebrating, while others oppose it completely. So who’s view is the correct one ?

As we know, the Prophet (peace be upon him) was born on a Monday. So the question is, did he ever commemorate his birth day ? Well, let’s take a look.

When the Prophet (peace be upon him) was asked about fasting Mondays, he said: “It is (the day) when I was born and revelation was sent down to me.”  Muslim 1162 e

The Messenger of Allah said: "Deeds are presented on Monday and Thursday, and I love that my deeds be presented while I am fasting." Jami` at-Tirmidhi 747

From these hadiths, we can conclude that the Prophet (peace be upon him) fasted on Mondays out of gratitude that he was born on this day. It was a virtuous day in which the Revelation came down to him and when deeds are presented to Allah. Therefore, the day of his birth was one of the reason he fasted on this day.

So, for those who claim that the Prophet did something special in connection to his birth, then yes, you are right. He most definitely did, how ? By fasting every Mondays. He made it a day of worship. 
In the light of this,  those who truly and genuinely love the Prophet (peace be upon him), will follow his teachings and adhere to his Sunnah,  in this case,  fasting Mondays. 

Allah says in the Quran:
 Say (O Muhammad to mankind): "If you (really) love Allah then follow me, Allah will love you and forgive you of your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." (3:31)

The question now is… did the Prophet (peace be upon him) ever celebrate the DATE in which he was born ? The answer: No.

If we look at all the authentic hadiths available, you will come to learn that never did the Prophet (peace be upon him) nor his companions (may Allah be pleased with him) designate a day from the year to commemorate his birth. And looking back at the righteous predecessors and earlier generations, none of them celebrated a specific date from the year to remember the Prophet (peace be upon him) but rather, they would fast on Mondays. No one ever loved the Prophet (peace be upon him) more than his companions and the earlier generations, so if they saw good in celebrating, they would have done so.  So it's very important that we hold strong to the sunnah and not be misguided by wrong teachings. As the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
Indeed, whomever among you lives, he will see much difference. Beware of the newly invented matters, for indeed they are astray. Whoever among you sees that, then he must stick to my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the rightly guided Khulafa', cling to it with the molars." Jami` at-Tirmidhi 2676

Now, we should ask ourselves another question… Do we really know the EXACT date in which the Prophet (peace be upon him) was born ? Until today, the exact date is unclear and there are no authentic hadiths or proofs deriving the date in which the Prophet (peace be upon him) was born. As a matter of fact, scholars have not only differed regarding the date he was born, but the month as well. The only authentic information we have regarding the birth of the Prophet (peace be upon him) is that he was born in Mecca on a Monday in the Year of the Elephant.

Let's look at another point now. Birthdays. Did you know that the idea of celebrating birthdays is a Pagan tradition ? Now, if the Prophet (peace & blessings be upon him) knew that we turned his "supposed" date of birth into a practice derived from a Pagan tradition, do you think he would accept and be happy about that ?

Remember the hadith : 
When the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) came to Medina, the people had two days on which they engaged in games. He asked: What are these two days (what is the significance)? They said: We used to engage ourselves on them in the pre-Islamic period. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: Allah has substituted for them something better than them, the day of sacrifice (Eid Al-Adha) and the day of the breaking of the fast (Eid Al-FItr). (Abi Dawud 1134)

The religion has been completed over 1400 years ago. If the Prophet (peace be upon him) knew of any good in celebrating his birthday, he would have advised us to do the same to show our love for him. So we should be very cautious to keep away from innovation as the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
"Whoever innovates anything in this matter of ours (i.e., Islam), that is not part of it will have it rejected." Muslim 1718 a

The Prophet (peace be upon him) should not be remembered with deep love only once a year, but daily. Remember, leaving your prayers, abandoning the teaching of the Prophet, committing sins then coming to show true love for him on this one day is not called real love. But rather, it's following his footsteps and teachings, learning about his life, sending peace and prayers on him everyday is what real love means.

May Allah make us from those who follow his every footstep and keep us away from sin and innovation.

 ... This day have I perfected your religion for you and completed My favour to you, and have chosen for you as religion al-Islam.
[Qur'an 5:3]

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