Q. Is it permissible to celebrate the Prophet’s birthday?
A. Celebrating the birthday of the Prophet (SA) is an act which the Prophet (SA) himself did not do. The Sahabahs, Tabieen, Tabu’t Tabieen and all the early generations of Muslims also did not celebrate it. It is for this reason, the overwhelming majority of reliable scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah have considered it to be an innovation (Bidah) since there is no source for it in the Shariah. In many sound and authentic narrations, it is evident that the Prophet (SA) has condemned all acts of Bidah (innovation) and has warned us against them. In this regard, the Prophet (SA) is reported to have said, ‘Beware of newly invented matters, for every newly invented matter is a Bidah (innovation) and every Bidah is misguidance’. (Tirmizi).
In another tradition, the Prophet (SA) said, ‘Whoever brings into our religion (of Islam) any new practice which is not from the religion (of Islam), then it will be rejected and condemned’. (Bukhari, Muslim).
Innovations are therefore condemned in Islam, and Muslims have been warned against them. It is for this reason, the great companion, Huzaifah (RA) said, ’O Muslims, whatever religious practices the Sahabah did not do, you must not do them’. (Kitabul Itisaam).
From these traditions, and explainations of ‘the topic of celebrating the Prophet’s birthday’, the great scholars have mentioned that it is a Bidah, and hence, one must not do it.
And Allah knows best.
Mufti Waseem Khan