Q. I wanted to find out if the celebration of Meelad un Nabi and Mawluud is permissible.
A. The celebration of Meeladun Nabi and Mawluud is not based on evidences from the sacred shariah, and hence not permissible.
Having love in one’s heart for the Messenger of Allah (S.A.S.) and feeling a sense of happiness and joy that Allah has sent him as a Messenger are basic requirements for every Muslim. However, to carry these feelings to the extent of a customary celebration on a yearly basis is not permissible. These practices are not evident from the teachings of the Prophet (S.A.S.) and have not emanated from the righteous Companions (Sahabahs) Tabieen and Tabut Tabieen. None of the great Imams of Fiqh, like Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Malik, Imam Shafi and Imam Ahmad bin Hambal (A.R.) as well as the other great Imams of Hadith and Tafseer have given any allowance for such celebrations.
It is interesting to note that those who lived with the Messenger of Allah (S.A.S.) were filled with great love for the Prophet (S.A.S.) and they also expressed it in many ways. However, none of them celebrated his birthday. For a period of twenty three years, the Prophet lived as a Prophet with the sahabahs, however this celebration was not held. After this, the rule of the four Khalifas (Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, Ali R.A.) lasted for thirty (30) years, yet this sort of celebration did not take place. Then the companions of the Prophet (S.A.S.) remained alive until 110 A.H., yet no celebration of the Meelad took place. After this the period of the Tabieen and the Tabe Tabieen remained until (approximately) 220 A.H., yet no celebration of this nature took place.
It is worth mentioning that for such a long period in which the best of the Ummah existed, those who had perfect and complete love for the Prophet (S.A.S.) lived and died, however, none of them celebrated the Meelad. If the celebration of the Meelad was so important and it was so blessed and worthy of establishing then why wasn’t it practiced by those who were the greatest lovers of the Prophet (S.A.S.). When the beloved Messenger of Allah (S.A.S.) did not indicate to such celebrations in words or actions, and his blessed companions did not practice such celebrations, then why has this become such an important act of virtue? The Prophet (S.A.S.) knew when he was born and this was also known to the sahabahs, however, the day, date and month were never taken as celebrations. If it is said that the Prophet (S.A.S.) was very humble and hence did not want to have such celebrations for himself, then the question can be asked, as to why the sahabahs did not do it after his demise?
When this sort of celebrations did not exist during the three blessed periods, the question may arise as to when did it start?
In this regard, books of Islamic history tell us that the first incident of this nature started in 605 A.H. (See Al Bidayah by Hafiz Ibn Katheer and Ibn Khallikan). This shows that for a long period of six hundred years, no such celebration of Meelad un Nabi existed or took place among the Muslims in any city or country.
And Allah knows best.
Mufti Waseem Khan