©As-Sunna Foundation of America, 1998
607A West Dana Street
Mountain View, CA 94041
United States of America
(650) 968-2526 fax
As-Sunna Foundation of America
is dedicated to
the Imam of
the Most Distinguished NaqshbandiTariqat
in the present age,
Shaykh Muhammad Nazim Adil al-Haqqani,
in preserving the Truth
in the face of those
who would destroy it
has earned him
the respect of all believers
Should We Celebrate Mawlid -
Dr. `Isa al-Mani` al-Humayri, Department of Awqaaf, Dubai
Office of Religious Endowments and Islamic Affairs, Dubai Administration of Ifta' and Research
Yes we should celebrate it every year
and every month and every week
and every hour and every moment!
The Prophet (s) said, "He who innovates something in this matter of ours that is not of it will have it rejected." He also said, "Beware of innovations, for every innovation (kullu bid`a) is misguidance."
Those opposed to Mawlid cite this saying and hold that the word every (kul) is a term of generalization, including all types of innovations, with no exception, and that therefore, celebrating Mawlid is misguidance. By daring to say that, they accuse the scholars of Islam of innovation. At the top of the list of those they have accused, then, is our Master `Umar (r). Those in opposition to Mawlid quickly reply to this, "But we did not mean the Companions of the Prophet Muhammad (s) ."
It follows, then, that the meaning of "every" (kul) cannot be taken in its general sense. Therefore, although the Prophet (s) may not have said to celebrate his blessed birthday, it is nonetheless not an innovation to do so. For, as the following examples show, there were many actions and practices instituted by his close followers after his time that are not deemed innovation.
Compiling the Quran
In a hadith, Zaid Ibn Thabit (r) related, "The Prophet (s) passed away and the Quran had not been compiled anywhere." Then `Umar (r) suggested to Abu Bakr (r) to compile the Quran in one book when a large number of Companions were killed in the battle of Yamama. Abu Bakr wondered, "How could we do something that the Prophet (s) did not do?" `Umar (r) said, "By Allah, it is good." `Umar (r) persisted in asking Abu Bakr (r) until Allah (swt) expanded his chest for it (Allah made him agree and accept these suggestions) and he sent for Zaid Ibn Thabit and assigned him to compile the Quran. Zaid said, "By Allah (swt), they had asked me to move a mountain, it would not have been more difficult than to compile the Quran." He also said, "How could you do something that the Prophet did not do?" Abu Bakr said, "It is good, and `Umar kept coming back to me until Allah expanded my chest for the matter." This Tradition is narrated in Sahih Al Bukhari.
The Maqam of Ibrahim u in relation to the Kaaba
Al Bayhaqi narrated with a strong chain of narrators from Aisha, "The Maqam during the time of the Prophet (s) and Abu Bakr (r) was attached to the House, then `Umar (r) moved it back." Al Hafiz Ibn Hajar said in Al Fath, "The Companions did not oppose `Umar, neither did those who came after them, thus it became unanimous agreement." He was also the first to build the enclosure (maqsura) on it, which still exists today.
Adding the first call to prayer on Friday
In Sahih Al Bukhari, Al Saib bin Yazid related, "During the time of the Prophet r, Abu Bakr (r) and `Umar (r), the call to Friday prayer used to occur when the Imam sat on the pulpit. When it was `Uthmanst time, he added the third call (considered third in relation to the first adhan and the iqama. But it is named first because it proceeds the call to the Friday prayer.)"
Salutations on the Prophet (s) composed and taught by our Master `Ali (r)
The salutations have been mentioned by Said bin Mansoor and Ibn Jareer in Tahzeeb al Aathar, and by Ibn Abi Assim and Yaqoob bin Shaiba in Akhbar `Ali and by Al Tabarani and others from Salamah Al Kindi.
The addition to the tashahhud by Ibn Masudt
After "wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh," and the Mercy of Allah and Blessings, Ibn Masud used to say, "assalamu `alayna min Rabbina," peace upon us from our Lord. Narrated by Al Tabarani in Al Kabir, and the narrators are those of the sound transmitters, as it has been mentioned in Majm`a Al Zawaid.
The addition to the tashahhud by Abdullah Ibn `Umar (r)
Abdullah Ibn `Umar (r) added the basmala at the beginning of the tashahhud. He also added to the talbia, "labbaika wa sadaika wal khayru bi yadayka wal raghbau ilayika wal `amalu" This is mentioned in Bukhari, Muslim, et al. These are some of the developments instituted by the Prophets (s) Companions, the scholars, and the honorable members of his nation, which did not exist during the time of the Prophet r, and which they deemed good. Are they, then, misguided and guilty of bad innovation?
Sayings of Scholars Concerning Types of Innovation in Islam
As for the claim that there is no such thing in religion as good innovation, here are some sayings of the brilliant scholars of Islam belying this claim.
Imam Nawawi said in Sahih Muslim (6-21), "The Prophets (s) saying every innovation is a general-particular and it is a reference to most innovations. The linguists say, Innovation is any act done without a previous pattern, and it is of five different kinds." Imam Nawawi also said in Tahzeeb al Asma wal Sifaat, "Innovation in religious law is to originate anything which did not exist during the time of the Prophet (s), and it is divided into good and bad." He also said, "Al-muhdathat (pl. for muhdatha) is to originate something that has no roots in religious law. In the tradition of religious law it is called innovation, and if it has an origin within the religious law, then it is not innovation. Innovation in religious law is disagreeable, unlike in the language where everything that has been originated without a previous pattern is called innovation regardless of whether it is good or bad."
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Hajar Al Asqalani, the commentator on al-Bukhari, said, "Anything that did not exist during the Prophets (s) time is called innovation, but some are good while others are not."
Abu Naeem, narrated from Ibrahim al-Junaid, said, "I heard Ash-Shafi`i saying, Innovation is of two types: praiseworthy innovation and blameworthy innovation, and anything that disagrees with the Sunnah is blameworthy."
Imam al Bayhaqi narrated in Manaqib Ash-Shafi`i that he said, "Innovations are of two types: that which contradicts the Quran, the Sunnah, or unanimous agreement of the Muslims is an innovation of deception, while a good innovation does not contradict any of these things."
Sultan al-`ulama, Al `Izz bin Abdus Salam said, at the end of his book, Al Qawaid, "Innovation is divided into obligatory, forbidden, recommended, disagreeable and permissible, and the way to know which is which is to match it against the religious law."
Clearly we see from the opinions of these righteous scholars, that to define innovations in worship as wholly negative without exception is ignorant. For these pious knowers, among them Imam Nawawi and Ash-Shafi`i, declared that innovations could be divided into good and bad, based on their compliance with or deviance from religious law.
Moreover, the following Prophetic saying as stated in Sahih Muslim is known even to common Muslims, let alone scholars: "He who inaugurates a good practice (sanna fil-Islam sunnatun hasana) in Islam earns the reward of it, and of all who perform it after him, without diminishing their own rewards in the least." Therefore, it is permissible for a Muslim to originate a good practice, even if the Prophet (s) didnt do it, for the sake of doing good and cultivating the reward. The meaning of inaugurate a good practice is to establish a practice through personal reasoning (ijtihad) and derivation (istinbat) from the rules of religious law or its general texts. The actions of the Prophets (s) Companions and the generation following them which we have stated above is the strongest evidence.
Those prejudiced against celebrating the Prophets (s) birthday have paved the way for their falsehood by deceiving the less-learned among the Muslims. The prejudiced ones claim that Ibn Kathir writes in his Al Bidaya wal Nihaya (11-172) that the Fatimide-Obaidite state, which descends from the Jew, Obaidillah Bin Maimoon al Kaddah, ruler of Egypt from 357-567 A.H innovated the celebration of a number of days, among them, the celebration of the Prophets (s) birthday. This treacherous lie is a grave insult to the scholarship of Ibn Kathir and the scholarship of all Islam. For in truth, Ibn Kathir writes about the Prophets (s) birthday in al bidaya wal nihaya [13-136], "The victorious king Abu Said Kawkaburi was one of the generous, distinguished masters, and the glorious kings; he left good impressions and used to observe the honorable Mawlid by having a great celebration. Moreover, he was chivalrous, brave, wise, a scholar, and just." Ibn Kathir continues, "And he used to spend three hundred thousand Dinars on the Mawlid." In support, Imam al Dhahabi writes of Abu Said Kawkaburi, in Siyar Alaam al nubala [22-336], "He was humble, righteous, and loved religious learned men and scholars of Prophetic saying."
Sayings of the Rightly-Guided Imams Regarding the Mawlid
Imam Al Suyuti
In Al hawi lil fatawi, Al Suyuti wrote a special chapter entitled, "The Good Intention in Commemorating the Mawlid," at the beginning of which he said, "There is a question being asked about commemorating the Mawlid of the Prophet (s) in the month of Rabi al Awwal: What is the religious legal ruling in this regard? Is it good or bad? Does the one who celebrates get rewarded or not? The answer according to me is as follows: To commemorate the Mawlid, which is basically gathering people together, reciting parts of the Quran, narrating stories about the Prophets birth and the signs that accompanied it, then serving food, and afterwards departing is one of the good innovations; and the one who practices it gets rewarded, because it involves venerating the status of the Prophet (s) and expressing joy for his honorable birth."
In his book Iqtida' al Siratul Mustaqeem [Al hadeeth print, p. 266]. Ibn Taymiyya states, "As to what some people have innovated either to compete with Christians on the birth of `Isa u or for the love of the Prophet (s) and veneration for him, Allah might reward them for their love and ijtihad."
As far as we are concerned, we commemorate the Mawlid for no other reason but what Ibn Taymiya said, "Out of love and veneration of the Prophet." May Allah (swt) reward us according to this love and effort, and may Allah (swt) bless the one who said, "Let alone what the Christians claim about their Prophet, and you may praise Muhammad (s) in any way you want and attribute to his essence all honors and to his status all greatness, for his merit has no limits that any expression by any speaker might reach." [Imam al Busiri]
Hafiz Ibn Hajar al-Haythami
In the same source previously mentioned, Suyuti said, "Someone asked Ibn Hajar about commemorating the Mawlid. Ibn Hajar answered, Basically, commemorating the Mawlid is an innovation that has not been transmitted by the righteous Muslims of the first three centuries. However, it involves good things and their opposites, therefore, whoever looks for the good and avoids the opposites then it is a good innovation. It occurred to me (Suyuti) to trace it to its established origin, which has been confirmed in the two authentic books: al Sahihain. When the Prophet (s) arrived in Medina he found that the Jews fast the day of `ashura; when he inquired about it they said, This is the day when Allah (swt) drowned the Pharaoh and saved Moses, therefore we fast it to show our gratitude to Allah (swt). From this we can conclude that thanks are being given to Allah on a specific day for sending bounty or preventing indignity or harm. What bounty is greater than the bounty of the coming of this Prophet(s), the Prophet of Mercy, on that day?"
"This is regarding the basis of Mawlid. As for the activities, these should consist only of things that express thankfulness to Allah (swt), such as what has been previously mentioned: reciting Quran, eating food, giving charity, reciting poetry, praising the Prophet (s) or on piety which moves hearts and drives them to do good and work for the Hereafter."
These are the derivations that those opposed to Mawlid call false conclusions and invalid analogies.
Imam Mohammed bin Abu Bakr Abdullah al Qaisi al Dimashqi
He wrote Jami` al athar fi mawlid, Al nabiy al mukhtar, Al lafz al raiq fi mawlid khayr al khalaiq, and Mawlid al sa`ada fi mawlid al hadi.
Imam Al `Iraqi
He wrote Al Mawlid al heni fi al mawlid al sani.
Mulla `Ali Al Qari
He wrote Al mawlid al rawi fil mawlid al nabawi.
Imam Ibn Dahiya
He wrote Al Tanweer fi mawlid al basheer al nadheer.
Imam Shamsu Din bin Nasir al Dimashqi
He wrote Mawlid al sa`ada fi mawlid al hadi. He is the one who said about the Prophets (s) estranged uncle, Abu Lahab, "This unbeliever who has been disparaged, perish his hands, will stay in Hell forever. Yet, every Monday his torment is being reduced because of his joy at the birth of the Prophet r. How much mercy can a servant expect who spends all his life joyous about the Prophet (s) and dies believing in the Oneness of Allah (swt)?"
Imam Shamsu Din Ibn Al Jazri
He wrote Al nashr fil qiraat al `ashr, `urf al tareef bil mawlid al shareef.
Imam Ibn al Jawzi
Imam Ibn al Jawzi said about the honorable Mawlid, "It is security throughout the year, and glad tidings that all wishes and desires will be fulfilled."
Imam Abu Shama
Imam Abu Shama (Imam Nawawis shaykh) in his book al baith ala Inkar al bida` wal hawadith (pg.23) said, "One of the best innovations in our time is what is being done every year on the Prophets (s) birthday, such as giving charity, doing good deeds, displaying ornaments, and expressing joy, for that expresses the feelings of love and veneration for him in the hearts of those who are celebrating, and also, shows thankfulness to Allah (swt) for His bounty by sending His Messenger (s), the one who has been sent as a Mercy to the worlds."
Imam al Shihab al Qastalani
Al Qastalani (al Bukharis commentator) in his book Al mawahib al ladunniya (1-148) said, "May Allah (swt) have mercy on the one who turns the nights of the month of the Prophets (s) birth into festivities in order to decrease the suffering of those whose hearts are filled with disease and sickness."
There are others who wrote and spoke about Mawlid, such as Imam al Sakhawi, Imam Wajihu Din bin `Ali bin al Dayba al Shaybani al Zubaidi, and many more, which we will not mention due to the limited space available. From these many evidences, it should be clear by now that celebrating the Mawlid is highly commendable and allowed. Surely we cannot simply shrug off as heretics the scholars and dignitaries of this nation who approved the commemoration of the Mawlid and wrote countless books on the subject. Are all these scholars, to whom the whole world is indebted for the beneficial books they have written on Prophetic sayings, jurisprudence, commentaries, and other sorts of knowledge, among the indecent who commit sins and evil? Are they, as those opposed to Mawlid claim, imitating the Christians in celebrating the birth of Jesus? Are they claiming that the Prophet (s) did not convey to the nation what they should do? We leave answers to these questions up to you.
We must continue to examine the errors which those opposed to Mawlid utter. They say, "If celebrating the Mawlid is from the religion, then the Prophet (s) would have made it clear to the nation, or would have done it in his lifetime, or it would have been done by the Companions." No one can say that the Prophet (s) did not do it out of his humbleness, for this is speaking evil of him, so they cannot use this argument.
Furthermore, that the Prophet (s) and his Companions did not do a certain thing does not mean they made that thing prohibited. The proof is in the Prophets (s) saying, "Whoever establishes in Islam, a good practice...." cited earlier. This is the strongest evidence that gives encouragement to innovate whatever practices have foundations in religious law, even if the Prophet (s) and his Companions did not do them. Al Shafi`i said, "Anything that has a foundation in religious law is not an innovation even if the Companions did not do it, because their refraining from doing it might have been for a certain excuse they had at the time, or they left it for something better, or perhaps not all of them knew about it." Therefore, whoever prohibits anything based on the concept that the Prophet (s) did not do it, his claim has no proof and must be rejected.
Thus, we say to the rejecters of Mawlid: based on the rule you have attempted to found, that is, that whoever does anything that the Prophet (s) or his Companions did not do is committing innovation, it would follow that the Prophet (s) did not complete the religion for his nation, and that the Prophet (s) did not convey to the nation what they should do. No one says this or believes this except a heretic defecting from the religion of Allah (swt). To the doubters of Mawlid we declare, "Based on what you say, we convict you," for you have innovated in the basics of worship a large number of things that the Prophet (s) did not do nor did his Companions, the Generation after the Companions, or the Generation after them. For instance:
lCongregating people behind one Imam to pray salat al tahajjud after salat al tarawih, in the two Holy Mosques and other mosques.
lReciting the prayer of completion of the Quran in salat al tarawih and also in salat al tahajjud.
Designating the 27th night of Ramadan to complete reading the entire Quran in the two Holy Mosques.
A caller saying, after salat al tarawih, in the Qiyam prayer, "May Allah reward you."
lThe saying: "Oneness of Allah (swt)s divided into three parts: Oneness of Godhood; Oneness of Lordship and Oneness of of the Names and Attributes." Is this found in a hadith, the statements of the companions or the statements of the four imams?
lFounding organizations which did not exist in the time of the Prophet, such as Islamic universities, societies for committing the Quran to memory, and offices for missionary work, and committees for enjoining good and forbidding evil.
We are not objecting to these things, since they are forms of good innovation. We merely list these innovations to point out that those who oppose Mawlid clearly contradict their own rule stating that anything that neither the Prophet (s) nor his Companions did is innovation. Since they claim that all innovation is bad, they themselves are guilty.
Yet another claim they make is to say that those who commemorate the Mawlid are mostly indecent and immoral. This is a vulgar statement and it only reflects the character of the one saying it. Are all the distinguished scholars that we have mentioned, from the point of view of those opposed to Mawlid, indecent and immoral? We wont be surprised if this is what they believe. This is a most serious slander. We say, as the poet said, "When Allah (swt) wants to spread a virtue that has been hidden, He would let a tongue of an envious person know about it."
Those opposed to Mawlid, may Allah (swt) guide them, have confused some expressions, and claim that some religious scholars associate partners with Allah. Take for example the plea of Imam al Busiri to Prophet Muhammad (s), "Oh, most generous of creation, I have no one to resort to, save You, when the prevailing event takes place." They must examine carefully the saying of Imam Al Busiri: "`inda hulul al-hadith il `amami, when the prevailing event takes place." What is al `amam? It means that which prevails over the whole universe, and all of creation, in referring to the Day of Judgment. Imam Al Busiri is asking intercession from the Prophet (s) on the Day of Judgment because on that day we will have no one to resort to or appeal to. Imam Al Busiri seeks his intercession to Allah (swt) through the Prophet (s), for when all other Messengers and Prophets will be saying, "Myself, myself," the Prophet will be saying, "I am the one for it, I am for it [the Intercession]." It becomes even more clear now that the doubts of those opposed to Mawlid are unfounded, just as their charges of associating partners with Allah (swt) are unfounded. This is due to their blindness, both physical and spiritual.
Another similar example can be found in the well-known saying transmitted by the distinguished Imam al Kamal bin al Hammam al Hanafi, author of Fath il qadeer fi manasik al farisi, and Sharh al mukhtar min al sa`ada al ahnaf. When Imam Abu Hanifa visited Medina, he stood in front of the honorable grave of the Prophet (s) and said, "O, most honorable of the Two Weighty Ones (humankind and jinn)! O, treasure of mankind, shower your generosity upon me and please me with your pleasure. I am aspiring for your generosity, and there is no one for Abu Hanifa in the world but you." Again, we must not misinterpret this entreaty, but realize its true meaning.
Yet another misconception those opposed to Mawlid hold can be seen in their statements such as these: "What occurs during Mawlid is mixing between men and women, singing and playing musical instruments, and drinking alcohol." I myself know this to be a lie, for I have attended many Mawlids and have not seen any mixing and never heard any musical instruments. As for drunkenness, yes, I have seen it, but not that of worldly people. We found people intoxicated with the love of the Prophet r, a state surpassing even the agony of death, which we know overcame our master Bilal at the time of his death. In the midst of this sweet stupor he was saying, "Tomorrow I shall meet the loved ones, Muhammad (s) and his Companions."
To continue, those opposed to Mawlid say, "The day of the Prophets (s) birth is the same day of the week as his death. Therefore, joy on this day is no more appropriate than sorrow, and if religion is according to ones opinion, then this day should be a day of mourning and sorrow." This kind of lame eloquence is answered by the Imam Jalal al Din al Suyuti, in Al hawi lil fatawi (pg.193), "The Prophets (s) birth is the greatest bounty, and his death is the greatest calamity. Religious law urges us to express thankfulness for bounties, and be patient and remain calm during calamities. Religious law has commanded us to sacrifice an animal on the birth of a child [and distribute the meat to the needy], which is an expression of gratitude and happiness with the newborn, while it did not command us to sacrifice at the time of death. Also, it prohibited wailing and showing grief. Therefore, the rules of Divine Law indicate that it is recommended to show joy during the month of the Prophets birth and not to show sorrow for his death."
Furthermore, Ibn Rajab, in his book Al lataif, dispraising the rejecters of Mawlid based on the above argument said, "Some designated the day of `ashura as a funeral ceremony for the murder of al Hussein. But neither Allah (swt) nor His Prophet (s) commanded that the days of the prophets great trials or deaths should be declared days of mourning, let alone those with lesser rank."
We conclude this article with a saying of the Prophet (s) which has been narrated by Abu Ya`ala, from Hudhaifa and about which Ibn Kathir said, "Its chain of transmission is good." Abu Ya`ala said, "The Prophet (s) has said, One of the things that concerns me about my nation is a man who studied the Quran, and when its grace started to show on him and he had the appearance of a Muslim, he detached himself from it, and threw it behind his back, and went after his neighbor with a sword and accused him of associating partners with Allah (swt). I then asked, Oh, Prophet of Allah, which one is more guilty of associating partners with Allah, the accused or the accuser? The Prophet (s) said, It is the accuser."Completed, with all Praises to Allah and salutations and peace be upon our master Muhammad (s) and the family of Muhammad and his Companions?
Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim
In Honor of Our Beloved Prophet (s)
An Explanation of the Dubai Fatwa
Shaykh Hisham Muhammad KabbaniEvery year at this time, Muslims around the globe commemorate with profound love and abounding joy the birthday of our Beloved Prophet Muhammad (s) . In keeping with Allahs (swt) Way, His Sunna of recollecting the birthdays of the prophets as special events in the history of mankind, Muslims have found unique Islamic forms of worship to express their joy, their gratitude and their connection to the birth of the Master of Humankind and Jinn, Sayiddina Muhammad al-Mustafa r.
His greatness reflects the Greatness of His Creator, and his purity outshone that of angels, mankind and spiritual beings. His advent on this earthly sphere was accompanied by extraordinary signs and miraculous occurrences, harbingers of the inestimable effect our perfect leader, the Prophet of Islam r, the Guide of the believers, was to have on history.
Mawlid: Independence Day of the Muslim Nation
Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him and on his family and companions, is our hero, nayour superhero! The people of each Muslim country rejoice in having achieved freedom from the colonialists who once held them in chains, considering their independence day the birth of their nationa national holiday. In any Muslim country the emphasis on this is so strong, that every child has memorized the date of independence and the events associated with it. The anniversary of that day represents their liberation from imperialism and having assumed their new identity as a young nation.
On that holiday, flags fly on every street, the portrait of the "Father of the Nation" is prominently displayed everywhere, names of founding heroes and their stories are broadcast throughout the month, week and day. Everywhere the birth of a nation is commemorated by means of dazzling displays, parades, lights, decorations, fireworks, and military processions, as in America on the 4th of July. Subhanallah, no objections are made to the commemoration of Muslim national holidays.
Therefore, does it not behoove the Muslims to commemorate the one who brought us independence from other than Allah (swt), who took us from unbelief to faith, from idolatry to monotheism, founded our Nation and gave us our identity as Muslims? He gave us more than a nationhe gave us an ummah!
Why not rejoice in that eventremember his greatness, his courage, his leadershipand thank Allah (swt) for that day He favored and honored us to be of the Nation of Muhammad (s) ? As the Best Nation on earth, will we not enter Paradise first for the greatness of our prophet?
Annual Global Mawlid Conference
To further this discussion, it becomes essential to understand the difference between halal and haram, and the real meaning of innovation.
As Islam progressed in America, many Islamic organizations sprang up, dedicated to reviving and supporting the spirit of Islam. All these organizations hold annual Islamic conventions and conferences. No one would deny these gatherings are rewarded by Allah (swt), because they bring Muslims together to worship Allah (swt) in congregation in many ways: praying, studying Quran and hadith, studying fiqh, seerah, tafsir, Islamic science, Islamic applications of secular science, Islamic politics and so on, invoking Allah (swt)n a gathering, introducing families to one other, increasing brotherly ties, and soliciting donations for building mosques, schools and Islamic institutions.
Most Islamic organizations hold their annual conference on the same day every year. Usually this day is a national holiday, such as Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgivingeven Christmas. The dates these conferences are held on are so well-established that every American Muslim knows which national holiday is the day of the annual conference of each particular Islamic organization.
Not only is it ironic that the day is emphasized, but that the day emphasized is not an Islamic holiday! Most dangerous is that our youth attend such conferences in a hotel on Christmas where they are exposed to large, glamorous parties which promote drinking, dancing and other haram behavior. Yet attendees are often those who insist that to honor Mawlid on the 12th of Rabi al-Awwal leads to harm.
If Islamic gatherings can be held on the same secular or Christian holiday every year and Muslims will be rewarded for attending them, why not emphasize a particular day for communal supererogatory worship to commemorate the Mawlid of the Prophet (s)?
Is it Islamic justice to reject the 12th Rabi` al-Awwal as commemoration of the birth of our Prophet (s) but to assign Christmas Dayand other Christian and secular holidays such as Labor Day for a "35th Annual Convention" or Independence Day for the "15th Annual Ijtima`a"? Do we want our youth to consider these unIslamic holidays as standard events for Muslims? The sponsoring organizations are proud of the numbers of conference attendees on that holiday, although that day was nowhere emphasized in Quran or Sunna, nor in the practice of the Salaf.
If we give credence to the claim, "In Islam there is no compromise", then why compromise on these dates? The same excuseof allowing annual Islamic events on secular U.S. or Christian holidays must be given for the Mawlid.
Therefore, Muslims can proudly say that this year, 1.2 billion Muslims will be attending the 1472nd Annual Global Conference for Commemorating the Birth of the Prophet (s) (i.e. 1419 years since the Hijrah, plus 13 years in Makkah added to the 40 years before the Prophet (s) received revelation).
We are in support of the practices of commemorating Mawlid and sponsoring Islamic conferences. We only present these facts here to provide a clear analogy (qiyas) of the fact that what is done every year by all Islamic organizations is no different than what is done to commemorate the Prophets (s) birth; thus, we must put an end to criticism of topics of whose scholarly roots the average reader may be unfamiliar.
Early Commemoration of Mawlid in Makkah
Let us review some of the early sources mentioning public commemoration of the Mawlid in Makkah al-Mukarrama. One is Ibn Jubayrs (540-614) Rihal ("Travels"), wherein he describes his observation of Mawlid:
"This blessed place [the house of the Prophet r] is opened, and all enter to derive blessing from it (mutabarrikeen bihi), on every Monday of the month of Rabi` al-Awwal; for on that day and in that month was born the Prophet r."
The 7th-century historians Abul `Abbas al-`Azafi and his son Abul Qasim al-`Azafi wrote in their Kitab ad-durr al-munazzam: "Pious pilgrims and prominent travelers testified that, on the day of the Mawlid in Makkah, no activities are undertaken, and nothing is sold or bought, except by the people who are busy visiting his noble birthplace, and rush to it. On this day the Ka`ba is opened and visited."
The famous 8th-century historian Ibn Battuta relates in his Rihla: "On every Friday, after the Jum`uah prayers and on the birthday of the Prophet r, the door of the Ka`ba is opened by the head of the Banu Shayba, the doorkeepers of the Ka`ba, and that on the Mawlid, the Shafi`i qadi (head judge) of Makkah, Najmuddin Muhammad Ibn al-Imam Muhyiddin al-Tabari, distributes food to the shurafa (descendants) of the Prophet (s) and to all the other people of Makkah."\
Three 10th-Century Accounts of Mawlid
The following description consolidates eyewitness accounts by three 10th-century authorities: the historian Ibn Huhayra from his Al-Jami` al-latif fi fasl makka wa ahliha; al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar al-Haytami from his Kitab al-mawlid ash-sharif al-mu`azzam, the historian al-Nahrawali from Al-i`lam bi-a`lam bayt Allah al-haram. A fourth account by al-Diyarbakri (d. 960) in his Tarikh al-khamis correlates exactly with the following:
"Each year on the 12th of Rabi` al-Awwal, after the evening prayer, the four qadis of Makkah (representing the four Sunni Schools) and large groups of people including the scholars (fuqaha) and notables (fudala) of Makkah, shaykhs, zawiya teachers and their students, magistrates (ruasa), and scholars (muta`ammameen) leave the mosque and set out collectively for a visit to the birthplace of the Prophet r, shouting out dhikr and tahlil (la ilaha illa Allah).
"The houses on the route are illuminated with numerous lanterns and large candles, and a great many people are out and about. They all wear special clothes and they take their children with them. Having reached the birthplace, inside a special sermon for the occasion of the birthday of the Prophet (s) is delivered, mentioning the miracles (karamat) that took place on that occasion. Hereafter, the invocation for the Sultan (i.e. the Caliph), the Amir of Makkah, and the Shafi`i qadi is performed and all pray humbly.
"Shortly before the night prayer, the whole party returns from the birthplace of the Prophet (s) to the Great Mosque, which is almost overcrowded, and all sit down in rows at the foot of the Maqam Ibrahim. In the mosque, a preacher first mentions the tahmid (praise) and the tahlil, and once again the invocation for the Sultan, the Amir, and the Shafi`i qadi is performed. After this the call for the night prayer is made, and after the prayer the crowd disperses."
Similar events are recorded as having taken place in Makkah and Madinah up to the year 1917. Only then did these traditions and practices cease in these two holiest cities, though they are still held in the homes of many Hijazi families, attended by many Muslims who come from around the world. At that time, muqrieen (reciters) of Quran and maddaheen (those who praise the Prophet r) from Egypt, Syria, Pakistan and many other countries visit Makkah and Madinah and participate in these private ceremonies.
Until today in Muslim countries around the globe, government offices, universities and businesses are closed on that day.
Mawlid is Sunnatullah
A nation is only as great as its greatest man or woman. What then of a Nation, whose greatness is derived from the Incomparable Perfect Man, whose creation preceded all others? His very nature was not simply heroic, not just greatno, it was magnificentnot as appreciated by limited minds of men, but by the Creator Himself, for Allah (swt) praised our Holy Prophet (s) in countless verses of Quran, and He swore an oath by his perfect character when He I said, "And lo! Thou art of a tremendous nature!" [68: 4]
And the Prophet (s) was most pleased when he was mentioned in the Holy
Quran in Surat al-Isra, attributed as "`abd",
saying, "Glorified be He Who carried His servant by night from the Inviolable Place of Worship to the Far Distant Place." [17: 1]
One might ask, "How is Mawlid part of the Sunna?" But recall the day of freedom and independence of Bani Israil, the 10th of Muharram, the day on which Sayiddina Musa saved his people from the bondage of Pharoah, who drowned. The Jews of Madinah observed this as a special day on which they fasted, in gratitude for Sayiddina Musas salvation.
When the Prophet (s) migrated to Madinah, he found the Jews fasting that day. Upon inquiring as to the reason, the Prophet (s) ordered his community to fast that day, saying "We have more right on Musa u than they do." Thus, the day of independence for Bani Israil became a day of worship for the Muslims.
As the followers of Muhammad (s) , is it not appropriate for us to say, "We have more right on commemorating Muhammad (s) than any other nations in commemorating their prophet?" Yes, and let us praise Allah (swt) on that day and rejoice in His mercy as He ordered, "Of the favor and the mercy of Allah let them rejoice." [10: 58] This order came because joy makes the heart grateful for Allahs (swt) mercy. What greater mercy did Allah (swt) grant to mankind than the Holy Prophet (s) himself, about which He I says, "We did not send you except as a mercy to human beings?" [21: 107 ]
Let us recall then, with love and fervor, joy and deep emotion, the birth of our Beloved Prophet, as Allah Himself I commemorates without cease, in His final revelation, the births of the Prophet Yahya u, "So peace on him the day he was born, the day that he dies, and the day that he will be raised up to life (again)!" [19: 15] And similarly, Sayiddina `Isa u, "So peace is on me the day I was born, the day that I die, and the day that I shall be raised up to life (again)"! [19:33]. Similarly the conception of Sayiddina Ismail u, Sayiddina Ishaq u and of the Virgin Mary u were mentioned in the Quran.
We also find another birth commemorated in the verse, "In pain did his mother bear him, and in pain did she give him birth." [46: 15] Ibn Abbast in his Quranic commentary explains that this verse was revealed in reference to as-Siddiq al-Akbar (r). What then of the one who is higher in station, who is the Seal of the Prophets and Master of all Mankind?
The mention of his (s) birth in Quran is more subtle and more exalted, closer to the angelic realm where Allah (swt) said, "Indeed, there has come to you Light and a clear Book from Allah." [5: 15] Quranic commentators have concluded that the "Light" as mentioned here is the Holy Prophet r, and his birth is the turning point of a new cycle in the history of humanity: bringing the Divine message of Islam and the Holy Quran.
The Quran relates the supplication of `Isa u on behalf of his Disciples when he said, "O Allah, send for us a heavenly table that we will eat from; and it will be a feast (`eid) for the first of us and for the last of us...." [5: 114] That feast was held in honor of a heavenly table, sent down from paradise full of food: seven loaves of bread and seven fish, as mentioned in traditional commentary on that verse. For a table of food, an `eid was held. What then for the coming to mankind of one who would serve not their worldly needs, but one sent by Allah (swt) as the Intercessor for all nations? Does not this day deserve at least an annual commemoration?
Allah (swt) also mentions in the Holy Quran how He brought together the souls of the prophets before creating their physical forms: "Behold! Allah (swt) took the covenant of the prophets, saying: I give you a Book and Wisdom; then comes to you a messenger, confirming what is with you; do ye believe in him and render him help? Allah said: Do ye agree, and take this my Covenant as binding on you? They said: We agree. He said: Then bear witness, and I am with you among the witnesses." [3:81]
If Allah (swt) mentioned his birth before this worldly life, in the presence of the souls of all prophets on the Day of Promises, does that day not deserve commemoration, as it is commemorated in the Quran? What of Allahs (swt) mention of the Prophets (s) birth in hadith, when He told Adam u, "If he comes in your time you must follow him." If Allah (swt) is reminding us of this great event, who are we to say "forget about it?"
We know there are only two `eids in Islam and no others: `eid al-adha and `eid al-fitr. Therefore, people must not confuse `eid with commemoration (dhikra). The Prophet Muhammads (s) birthday is not an `eid, but it is an exceedingly important event that took place for humanity in the Light sent with himthe message of Islamwhich brought the two `eids.
What then can we recall of the birth of the Prophet (s)? What is known of it? According to Ibn Kathirs, Al bidaya wal nihayat and Dhikra mawlid rasulillah, "Paradise and the skies were decorated and angels moved about in continuous processions, the palace of Chosroes was shaken and the fire of 1000 years ceased to burn." All these events happened on the night and within the moment of the Prophets (s) birth. So, it is not `eid on a particular day, but it is a universal blessing from Allah (swt) to humanity, for which reason its commemoration is needed.
He was the most honored and perfect creation that Allah (swt) created as a servant, and raised him by putting his name with His Name, elevated him on the night of the Ascension and revealed to him the Holy Quran. If Allahs (swt) creation rejoiced at the advent of the Prophet (s) on the day of his birth, what about us, for whom his birth is the greatest favor, and the means by which we were granted the religion of Islam? Is it not illogical to say, "We must not rejoice on that day," when all heavens and all creations were doing so, in the most auspicious manner?
Imam al-Fakhr al-Razi said, "The Prophets (s) importance is a favor for all human beings and Allah (swt) has honored the Arabs by him and improved their status for the sake of the Prophet (s). From bedouins raising sheep as shepherds, they became leaders raising nations. For the sake of the Prophet (s), He took them from utter ignorance to the station of knowledge, enlightenment and leadership. He put them over all other nations, better than Jews and Christians, who were always proud of Moses (as) and Jesus (as) and the Torah and the Gospel. Allah (swt) made them better than everyone, so He made the Arabs and Muslims proud of their Prophet (s) above anyone."
Evidence for Mawlid from the Sunna of the Prophet (s)
Muslim narrated that, "Abi Qatada (r) said that the Prophet (s) was asked about fasting on Monday and he said That was the day I was born." This hadith is clear evidence of the importance of the commemoration of the Prophets (s) birthday through worship. Al-Hafiz ibn Rajab al-Hanbali, in his book Lataif al-maarif (p. 98), in explaining this hadith of Muslim said, "It is good to fast on the days that Allah (swt) honored and favored his servants."
It is incumbent not only on Muslims but on all human beings to rejoice in his advent, the day of his birth. As al-Hafiz ibn Rajab al-Hanbali said, "The best favor that Allah (swt) has granted this nation is the birth of Prophet Muhammad (s) when he was sent to humanity. So we review and recall Allahs (swt) favor of sending the Prophet (s) by fasting on that day."
Thus, commemoration of the Prophets (s) birthday by any form of worship, starting with fasting, was derived analogously by the great scholars of jurisprudence, who concluded that all forms of worship according to the Quran and Sunna are meritorious to perform on that day. This includes recitation of Quran, loudly or quietly, individually or in congregation, praising the Prophet ramongst the most meritorious forms of worship, feeding people, charity and remembering Allah (swt).
Allahs (swt) injunction stands unceasingly, "Verily, Allah and His angels are praying on the Prophet. O believers, pray on him." [33: 56] This clear order to praise the Prophet (s) includes remembering who the Prophet (s) was and what he did. Thus, coming together and sitting in a session in which the sirah is told and the Prophets (s) excellent character is recalled, and his person is praised, even through excessive salawat, is a form of worship. Similarly, fasting on the day of the Prophets (s) birth or on any Monday is an act of worship related to his birthday, which brings nearness to Allah (swt), as the Prophet (s) explicitly stated.
Similarly, the Prophet (s) slaughtered an `aqiqa on his own behalf, 40 years after his birth, though one had been slaughtered by his grandfather when he was born. This is a firm evidence from the Sunna for increasing acts of worship and remembrance of his birth, for the `aqiqa is an act of worship associated with a birth.
By analogy (qiyas), any worship increased on Monday or on the day of the Prophets (s) birth, is acceptable and meritorious. Thus, sitting in commemoration of the Prophet rby remembering his sirah, praising him, offering food to people, giving donations to the poorare all forms of worship in the commemoration of the Prophets (s) birth, whether it be every Monday, every month or every year, or even every day of the year.
Recitation of Poetry in Praise of the Prophet (s) is Sunna
Recitation of poetry in the Prophets (s) honor is one of the meritorious acts recommended by the Sunna. Thus, we find it is one of the primary means of observing the Mawlid in almost all Muslim nations. Here we cite a few examples from sirah and hadith in which the Prophet (s) listened to poetry in his praise.
The Prophets uncle al-`Abbas composed poetry praising the birth of the Prophet r, in which are found the following lines: "When you were born, the earth was shining, and the firmament barely contained your light, and we can pierce through, thanks to that radiance and light and path of guidance." [Suyutis, Husn al-maqsid, Ibn Kathirs Mawlid, Ibn Hajars Fath al-Bari.]
Ibn Kathir mentions the fact that according to the Sahaba, the Prophet (s) praised his own name and recited poetry about himself in the middle of the battle of Hunayn in order to encourage the companions and scare the enemies. That day he said:
"I am the Prophet! This is no lie. I am the son of `Abd al-Muttalib!" [Ibn Kathir, Dhikra Mawlid an-Nabi]
The Prophet (s) was therefore happy with those who praised him because it is Allahs (swt) order, and he rewarded them from what Allah (swt) was providing him by praying for them and giving them gifts. Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya relates that the Prophet (s) prayed that Allah (swt) support Hassan ibn Thabit with ruh al-qudus (the Divine spirit) as long as he would support the Prophet (s) with his poetry. Similarly, the Prophet (s) rewarded Ka`b ibn Zuhayrs (r) poem of praise with a robe (burda).
Hasan ibn Thabit (r) recited this poetry about the Prophet (s) on the day of his death saying:
I say, and none can find fault with me
But one lost to all sense:
I shall never cease to praise him.
It may be for so doing I shall be
forever in Paradise,
With the Chosen One for whose
support in that I hope,
And to attain to that day I devote
all my efforts.
[Ibn Hisham, notes to his Seerah, p. 797, Karachi, Oxford Press.]
As mentioned in the Dubai Fatwa, Al-Hafiz Shamsuddin Muhammad ibn Nasruddin ad-Dimashqi in reference to the Prophets (s) uncle, Abu Lahab, noted in his book, Mawlid as-sa`adi, that his punishment in Hell is lessened every Monday because upon hearing the good news of his nephew, the Prophets (s) birth, he released his handmaiden Thuayyba out of joy. For his celebration of the Prophets (s) birth his punishment is reduced on the day of his birth. "What then" he asks, "of the believer who all his life was joyful for the existence of the Prophet rand died believing in the Oneness of God?"
With these hadith in mind, people constantly relate the Prophets (s) sirah, speak to their children about the importance of the Prophet (s) in their lives, offer food, help people, recite poetry in his praise and recite salawat (darood) excessively. Alhamdulillah according to the principles of the Quran and Sunna, this is considered an acceptable and effective approach to revive the love of the Prophet (s) and his message, in our ears and in our lives.
Regarding praise of the Prophet (s) and other subjects, we would like to share here what Shaykh Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab declared in muallafat ash-Shaykh Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab, al-rasail ash-shakhsiyya, published by the Islamic University of Muhammad ibn Saud, on the occasion of "Shaykh Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab Week", 1980.
"I was never against tawassul nor against praising the Prophet, nor against Dalail al-khairat [a book of prayers on the Prophet r], but all these I accept. I never said I reject the four schools and that I claim ijtihad and that I am exempt from taqlid [obligation to follow one of the schools of fiqh], and I do not say differences among the ulama are a curse and I do not call kaafir those who seek tawassul through the pious, and I dont call al-Busiri, who wrote Al-mudariyya and Al-burda, kaafir for saying, O Most honored of creation, and I never forbade the visit of the Prophets (s) tomb, and I never said, burn Dalail al-khairat and Rawd al-rayyahin [books of praise of the Prophet r], and I never said that Ibn al-Farid and Muhyiddin ibn Arabi are kaafirs."
So, as Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahhab, student of Ibn Taymiyya, did not reject all of these things, why do some contemporary scholars reject them today? This is an unambiguous article published by a Saudi Arabian University on the occasion of Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab Week, 1980. In fact, we must ask: if Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab has a special week to commemorate his life and work, why then is it "wrong" to have one daythe 12th of Rabi` al-Awwalto commemorate the life and work of the Greatest Perfect Human Being, Sayiddina Muhammad (s) ?
Islamic Fundraisers and Mawlid
Nowadays, we often see Muslims gather on specific days to serve food, give speeches on the life of the Prophet (s) and on Islam, to pray, recite Quran and Islamic poetry, chant qasidas or naat, tell some jokes, and also collect money for the purchase of a mosque or an Islamic school. However, if one looks in the seerah, the Prophet (s) never held a fundraising dinner. When he needed finances for a battle, to build a mosque or for whatever purpose, he asked his Sahaba to donate and they would give. Some gave all, some gave half, others gave what they could afford. Without the "bait" of delicious food or some show in a fancy hotel, they gave of their wealththey simply obeyed.
No one has ever condemned fundraising dinners as a reprehensible innovation, although it is a newly-developed form of worship and an encouragement for worship (donation, sadaqa), without precedent in the life of the Prophet r, his Companions, or the pious predecessors. Those who judge fairly and without bias must acknowledge there is no genuine difference between a fundraiser and a traditional Mawlid ceremony commemorating the Prophets (s) birthday.
One is a dinner and remembrance of the Prophets (s) birthday by means of different kinds of worship. A fundraising dinner might even involve mixing of men and women, women uncovered, and hosting non-Muslims as guests of honor, in whose attendance all take pride and for whom attendees stand in admiration and respect.
If one wishes to be very strict, then we must apply the rules evenly and not discriminate. After all, what is more deserving of a dinner, a function or a ceremony building a new mosque, or building love of the one who taught us to worship in mosques, peace be upon him?
Recently 50 years of the occupation of Al-Quds was marked across the U.S. by many Islamic organizations. If Al-Quds can be commemorated, cannot the one (s) who was blessed by Allah swt to visit al-Quds and ascend from there to the heavens be commemorated on a special day?
Imam Mutawalli Sha`rawi said in his book, Maidat al-fikr al-islamiyya (p. 295), "If living beings were happy for his coming (to this world) and every inanimate creation was happy at his birth and all plants were happy at his birth and all animals were happy at his birth and all angels were happy at his birth and all believing jinn were happy at his birth, why are you preventing us from being happy at his birth?"
We quote again from Mutawalli Sha`rawi: "Many extraordinary events occurred on his birthday as evidenced in hadith and history, and the night of his birth is not like the night of any other human beings birth." These events and the hadiths pertaining thereto, such as the shaking of Chosroes court, the extinction of the 1,000-year old fire in Persia, etc. are related in Ibn Kathirs work Al-Bidaya, Vol. 2, pages 265-268.
We hold the hope that every house, every masjid, every street, every school, college and university, every store and factory, every office and government department will shine with lights of happiness and rejoice in the person of the Prophet r, just as the Ka`aba was illuminated in the time of our ancestors, and as paradises and skies were illuminated with stars on the day of the Prophets (s) birth.
The evidence we have quoted proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that the celebration of the Mawlid and all that pertains thereto of praise and respect for the Prophet (s) of Islamsuch as salawat, prayers on the Prophet r, seerah (life story), qaseeda (poetry), and madih (praise)is not only permissible but which according to most opinions is praiseworthy and recommended! O people of Islam! O nation of the Prophet Muhammad (s) ! Celebrate and commemorate your Prophet (s) with pride and joy and do not go into dispute in matters that create discord and confusion.
We conclude with the hadith of Muslim, "The Prophet (s) said whoever innovates something good in Islam will have its reward and the reward of all those who act according to it, and whoever innovates something evil will have its sin and the sin of those who act according to it." This is a clear statement, along with the numerous proofs presented in this article and the Fatwa of the Awqaaf of Dubai, supported by the opinions of the most highly regarded scholars of Islam, of the acceptability of Mawlid and of its deserving reward.
This article was not written to cause division and discord, but rather to end the arguments revolving around this topic. Let everyone follow their heart and let us unify ourselves and keep Allahs (swt) order in the Holy Quran to "Hold fast to the rope of Allah and do not separate."
Let us pray for Heavenly Support for a better Islamic world in which everyone can find a place for himself or herself, based on the accepted schools of thought and the ijtihad of scholars?
The Divinely-Granted Gifts in the Form
of the Muhammadan Grants
By Ahmad Shihab Al Deen Al Qastallani
Translated by Staff of As-Sunna Foundation of America
On how Allah bestowed honor upon Muhammad (s), by giving precedence to his Prophethood. Also, on the purity of his lineage, the signs that accompanied his conception, birth, and upbringing.
The Creation of His Blessed Soul
When Allah made the Divine decree to bring Creation into existence, He brought forth the Muhammadan Reality from His Lights. He then pulled away from this Reality all the worlds, upper and lower. Allah then informed Muhammad of his Prophethood, while Adam was nothing but soul and body. Then from him gushed forth the springs of the souls, making him superior to all created things, and the greater father to all things in existence. In Sahih Muslim, the Prophet (s) said that Allah wrote the Destinies of the Creation fifty thousands years before He created the Heavens and Earth, and His Throne was on the Water, and among the things that have been written in the Dhikr, which is the Mother of the Book, is that Muhammad (s) is the Seal of Prophets. Al Irbadh ibn Sariya, said that the Prophet (s) said, "According to Allah, I am the Seal of the Prophets, while Adam was still in clay."
Maysara Al Dhabbi (r) said he asked the Prophet (s), "Oh, Messenger of Allah, when did you become a prophet?" He (s) answered, "While Adam was still between the soul and the body."
Suhail bin Salih Al Hamadani said, "I asked Abu Ja'far Muhammad ibn Ali (r), How did Prophet Muhammad (s) precede the other prophets when he is the last to be sent? Abu Jafar (r) answered that when Allah drew forth the children of Adam and made them testify concerning Himself (answering His question, Am I not your Lord?), Muhammad (s) was the first to answer Yes! Therefore, he preceded all the prophets, even though he is the last to be sent."
Al Shaykh Taqiy al Deen Al Subki comments on this hadith saying that since Allah created souls before bodies, Muhammads (s) saying, "I was a prophet," is a reference to his sanctified soul, to his reality; and our minds fall short of understanding these realities. No one can understand them except the One who created them, and those whom Allah has supported with divine light.
So, Allah has bestowed prophethood upon the soul of the Prophet (s) before even the creation of Adam; for He created it thus, and He blessed immeasurably this creation, writing Muhammads (s) name on the Heavenly Throne, and informing the angels and others of His high esteem for him. Thus, Prophet Muhammads (s) reality has existed ever since, even though his body came later. Al Shibi related that a man said: "O, Messenger of Allah, when did you became a prophet?" He said: "when Adam was between the soul and the body, when the covenant was taken from me". Thus he (s) is the first of the prophets to be created, and the last to be sent.
It was narrated that the Prophet (s) was the only one to be drawn forth from the loins of Adam before his soul was blown into him, because he (s), is the cause for the creation of mankind, he (s) is their master, their substance, their extraction, and the diadem of their necklace.
Ali ibn Abi Talib (r) and Ibn Abbas (r) both narrated that the Prophet (s) said, "Allah has never sent a prophet, from Adam onward, unless he took from Him the covenant regarding Muhammad (s): if Muhammad (s) is sent in that prophets lifetime, he was to believe in him and support him, and that prophet was to take this covenant to his people as well.
It has been narrated that when Allah created the light of our Prophet Muhammad (s), He ordered him to look at the lights of the other prophets. His light covered them, and Allah had them talk and they said, "Oh, our Lord, who is covering us with his light?" Allah replied, "This is the light of Muhammad Ibn Abdullah; if you believe in him I will make you prophets." They said, "We believe in him and in his prophethood." Allah said, "Shall I be your witness?" They said, "Yes." Allah said, "Do you agree, and take this My covenant as binding on you?" They said, "We agree." He said, "Then bear witness, and I am with you among the witnesses" (3-81). This is the meaning of Allah's saying. "Behold, Allah took the covenant of the prophets, saying, I give you a book and wisdom, then comes to you a Messenger, confirming what is with you; believe in him and render him help."
Shaykh Takiy Deen Al Subki said, "In this noble verse the tribute to the Prophet (s) and the veneration of his high prestige is evident. It also indicates that if he had been sent in the other prophets lifetimes, that his message would have been for them to follow, too. Therefore, his prophethood and message is general to all creation from the time of Adam until the day of Judgment, and all the prophets and their nations are from among his nation. So, Muhammads (s) saying, "I have been send to all the people," is not only for people in his time and until the day of Judgment, but also includes those before them. This further explains his saying, "I was a Prophet (s) when Adam was still between the soul and the body." Knowing this, Muhammad (s) is the Prophet of prophets, as was made clear on the night of his Ascension, when all the prophets prayed in congregation behind him. His pre-eminence will be further evident in the Hereafter, when all the Prophets will be under his banner.
The Creation of His Sacred Body
Ka'b al Ahbaar (r) said, "When Allah wanted to create Muhammad (s), he ordered the Angel Gabriel to bring him the clay which is the heart of the earth, its splendor and light. Then Gabriel descended, accompanied by the angels from the Highest Part of Paradise. He took a handful for the creation of the Prophet (s) from the spot where his hallowed grave is; it was shining brightly white. Then he kneaded the clay with the most superior water of creation from the Heavenly Fountain Tasneem, in the clear flowing rivers of Paradise, until it became like a white pearl with a tremendous white radiance. The angels carried it, circling the Heavenly Throne and the mountains and the oceans. In this way the angels and all creation came to know our Master Muhammad (s) and his prestige, before they knew Adam."
Ibn Abbas (r) said, "The origin of the clay of Prophet Muhammad (s) is from the navel of the earth, in Mecca, at the spot where the Ka'aba is located. Therefore, Muhammad (s) became the origin of creation, and all created things are his followers."
The author of Awarif Al Maarif [al-Suhrawardi], said that when the Flood, surged, sending foam in every direction, the essence of the Prophet (s), ended up near his burial ground in Medina, so he (s) became someone of both Makkah and Madina.
It has been narrated that when Allah created Adam (as), He (swt) inspired him to say, "Oh, Lord, why did you give me the nickname, Abu Muhammad (the father of Muhammad)?" Allah replied, "Oh, Adam, raise your head." He raised his head and saw the light of Muhammad (s) in the canopy of the Throne. Adam then asked, "Oh, Lord, what is this light?" Allah replied, "This is the light of a prophet from your progeny. His name in the heavens is Ahmad, and on Earth it is Muhammad (s). If it were not for him, I would not have created you, nor heaven, nor the Earth."
Abd Al Razzaq narrates, from Jabir bin Abdullah (r), that he said, "Oh, Messenger of Allah, may my father and my mother be sacrificed to you, tell me about the first thing that Allah created, before all other things." He said, "Oh, Jabir, Allah created, before anything else, the light of your prophet from His Light. That light started to move about by Allahs Divine Power to wherever Allah wished. At that time there was neither Tablet nor Pen; neither Paradise nor Fire, no angels; neither Heaven, nor Earth; neither Sun nor Moon; neither Jinn nor humankind. When Allah wanted to create His Creation, He divided that light into four parts. From the first part he created the Pen, from the second, the Tablet, and from the third, the Throne. Then He divided the fourth part into four parts: the first part formed the bearers of the Throne, the second part became the Footstool, and from the third He created the rest of the angels. He then divided the fourth part into four parts: He created the heavens from the first part, the earths from the second, the Paradise and Fire from the third. Then he divided the fourth part into four parts: creating the light of the vision of the believers from the first part, the light of their hearts (that is knowing Allah) from the second, and from the third the light of their pleasure and joy (Uns, which is La ilaha illa Allah, Muhammadun Rasoolullah).
Another narration from Ali ibn Al Husain (r), from his father (r), from his grandfather (r), from the Prophet (s) who said, "I was a light in front of my Lord, fourteen thousand years before the creation of Adam." It has been narrated that when Allah created Adam (as), He (swt) put that light in his back, and it used to glow from his front overwhelming all the rest of his light. Then Allah raised it to the Throne of His Sovereignty, and had it carried on the shoulders of His angels, and ordered them to take Adam around the heavens and show him the wonders of His Kingdom.
Ibn Abbas (r) said, "Adams (as) creation was on Friday in the afternoon. Allah then created for him Eve, his wife, from one of his left ribs while he was asleep. When he woke up and saw her, he felt at ease with her, and he stretched his hand out to her. The angels said, Stop, Adam. He said, Why, didn't Allah create her for me? They said, Not until you pay her dowry. He asked, What is her dowry? They answered, To recite praises on Muhammad three times." [and in another narration, twenty times].
It has also been narrated that when Adam (as) left Paradise, he saw written on the leg of the Throne and on every spot in Paradise, the name of Muhammad (s) beside the name of Allah. He asked, "Oh, Lord, who is Muhammad?" Allah answered, "He is your son, who, were it not for him, I wouldn't have created you." Then Adam said, "Oh, Lord, for the sake of this son, have mercy on this father." Allah called out, "Oh, Adam, if you were to intercede through Muhammad (s) for the inhabitants of Heaven and Earth, We would grant you intercession."
Omar Ibn Al Khattab (r) said that our Master Muhammad (s) said, "When Adam committed the sin, he said, Oh, Allah, I ask you for the sake of Muhammad to forgive me. Allah said to him, How did you know Muhammad when I haven't created him yet. Adam answered, Because, O My Lord, when You created me with Your Hand, and blew into me from Your Spirit, I looked up and saw written on the legs of the Throne, La ilaha illallah, Muhammadun Rasoolullah. I knew that You did not attach any name to Yours except that of the most beloved of Your creation. Allah said, Oh, Adam, you have spoken the truth: he is the most beloved of My creation. And since you asked Me for his sake, you are forgiven. Were it not for Muhammad, I would not have created you. He is the seal of the prophets from your progeny."
In the Hadith of Salman (r) it is related that: Gabriel (as) descended on the Prophet (s) and said, "Your Lord says, If I have taken Abraham as a beloved, intimate friend, I have taken you for the same. I have never created any creation more precious to Me than you, and I have created this world and its inhabitants for the purpose of letting them know your honor and what you mean to Me; and if it were not for you I would not have created this world."
Eve (as) gave birth to forty sons from Adam (as), in twenty births; but she gave birth to Seth (as) separately, out of respect to Our Master Muhammad (s), whose light moved from Adam to Seth. Before Adams death, he gave Seth custody over his children, and he, in turn, entrusted the children with the testament of Adam: to put this light only into pure women. This testament continued, century after century, until Allah gave this light to Abdul Muttalib and his son Abdullah. In this way, Allah kept pure the impeccable lineage of Prophet Muhammad (s) from the fornication of the ignorant.
Ibn Abbas (r) said, "Muhammad (s) said, Nothing of the fornication of ignorance has touched my birth. I was born by no other than the marriage of Islam."
Hisham ibn Muhammad Al Kalbi narrated that his father said, "I counted for Prophet Muhammad (s) five hundred mothers, and I never found in any of them a trace of fornication, or any of the ignorant ones affairs."
Ali (r) said that the Prophet (s) said, "I came forth from marriage, I did not come from fornication; from Adam until I was born to my father and mother, nothing of the fornication of ignorance has touched me."
Ibn Abbas (r) said Prophet Muhammad (s) said, "My parents never committed fornication. Allah kept moving me from the good loins to the pure wombs, purified and refined; whenever there were two ways to go, I was in the best of them."
Anas (r) said Prophet Muhammad (s) recited, "La qad ja'akum Rasoolun min Anfasikum, and said, I am the best among you in my lineage, in my relations, and ancestry: there is no fornication in my fathers all the way back to Adam."
A'isha (r) related from the Prophet (s) that Gabriel (as) said, "I have searched the Earth east to west, and I have never found a man better than Muhammad (s), and have never seen any father's sons better than the sons of Hashim."
In Sahih Al Bukhari, Abu Huraira (r) relates that the Prophet (s) said, "I have been sent from the best generations of the sons of Adam, one after the other, until I reached the one I am in."
In Sahih Muslim, Wathila ibn al Aska' narrated that Muhammad (s) said, "Allah has chosen Kinana from the sons of Isma'il, and Quraish from Kinana, and from Quraish the sons of Hashim, and finally chose me from the sons of Hashim."
Al Abbas (r) said Prophet Muhammad (s) said, "Allah created the creation, and put me in the best groups, and the best of the two groups; then He chose the tribes, and put me in the best of their families. Therefore, I have the best personality, the best soul and nature, and possess the best origin among them."
Ibn Umar (r) said Muhammad (s) said, "Allah examined His creation and chose the children of Adam from among them; He examined the children of Adam and selected the Arabs from among them; He examined the Arabs and chose me from among them, so I was always the choicest of choices. Behold, people who love the Arabs, it is out of love for me that they love them, and those who hate the Arabs, it is out of hatred for me that they hate them."
Know that Muhammad (s) was not directly related to any brothers or sisters from his parents; he was their only child and their lineage stops at him. In this way, he exclusively enjoyed a lineage which Allah (swt)ntended as the highest that prophethood can reach, and which holds the ultimate honor.
If you examine the status of his lineage (s) and know the purity of his birth, you will be certain that his is a progeny of honorable fathers, for he is Al Nabi (s), Al Arabi (s), Al Abtahi(s), Al Harami(s), Al Hashimi(s), Al Quraishi(s), the elite of the Sons of Hashim(s), the one who had been chosen from the superlative tribes of the Arabs, from the best lineage, the most noble descent, the most flourishing branch, the highest pillar, the best origin, the strongest roots, possessing the most eloquent tongue, the most articulate diction, the most outweighing scale, the most perfect faith, the most powerful company, the most honorable kinfolk from both parents, and from the most honorable of Allah's land. He (s) has many names and the foremost of which Muhammad (s) the son of Abdullah. He is also the son of Abdul Muttalib, whose name is Shaybat-ul Hamd, the son of Hashim, whose name is Amr, the son of Abd Manaaf, whose name is Al Mugheera, the son of Qusai, whose name is Mujammi', the son of Kilaab, whose name is Hakeem, the son of Murra, the son of Ka`b (of the tribe of Quraish), the son of Lu'ai, the son of Ghalib, the son of Fihr, whose name is Quraish, the son of Maalik, the son of Al Nazhir, whose name is Qais, the son of Kinana, the son of Khuzaima, the son of Mudrika, the son of Ilias, the son of Mudhar, the son of Nizar, the son of Ma'add, the son of Adnan.
Ibn Dihia said, "The scholars agree and the scholarly consensus is proof that Prophet Muhammad (s) has mentioned his lineage back to Adnan, and did not go beyond that."
Ibn Abbas (r) related that whenever Muhammad (s) mentioned his genealogy, he never went beyond Ma'add, the son of Adnan, and would stop, saying, "The genealogists have lied." He would repeat that twice or thrice. Ibn Abbas also said, "Between Adnan and Isma'il there are thirty fathers who are not known."
Ka'b Al Ahbaar (r) said, "When the light of Muhammad (s) arrived at Abdul Muttalib, and he had reached the age of maturity, he slept one day in the courtyard of the Kaba; when he woke up his eyes were blackened with antimony (kohl), his hair was oiled, and he was adorned with the robe of gorgeousness and beauty. He was amazed, not knowing who had done this to him. His father took him by the hand and hastened to the soothsayers of Quraish; they advised him to get him married, and he did. The smell of the finest musk used to exude from him, with the light of Muhammad (s) glowing from his forehead. Whenever there was a drought, Quraish used to take him to Mount Thabeer, and call on Allah through him asking for Allah to send rain. Allah would answer their call and send them rain because of the blessings of the light of Muhammad (s)."
When Abraha, the king of the Yemen came to destroy the sanctified house and news of this came to Quraish, Abd Al Muttalib told them, "He will not get to this House, for it is under the protection of its Lord." On the way to Mecca Abraha plundered Quraish's camels and sheep, among them four hundred she-camels that belonged to Abd Al Muttalib. He and many of the Quraish rode to Mount Thabeer. After climbing the mountain the light of Allahs Prophet (s) appeared in the form of a circle on his forehead like a crescent, and this beam reflected on the Sanctified House. When Abd Al Muttalib saw that, he said, "Oh, people of Quraish, you may return now, it is safe. By Allah, now that this light has formed a circle on me, there is no doubt that victory belongs to us."
They returned to Mecca where they met a man sent from Abraha. Upon looking at the face of Abd Al Muttalib the man was overwhelmed; his tongue stuttering. The man fainted, all the while bellowing like an ox being slaughtered. When he regained his senses, he fell in prostration to Abd Al Muttalib, saying, "I bear witness that you are truly the Master of Quraish."
It has been narrated that when Abd Al Muttalib appeared before Abraha, the huge white elephant in his army looked at Abd Al Muttalibs face and kneeled down like a camel does, and fell into prostration. Allah caused the elephant to speak, saying, "Peace be upon the light in your loins, Abd Al Muttalib." When, the army of Abraha approached to destroy the Holy Ka'ba, the elephant kneeled down again. They beat him severely on his head to make him stand up, which he refused to do. But, when they turned him around toward Yemen, he stood. Then Allah sent against them flights of birds from the ocean, every one of them carrying three stones: one in its beak, and one in each claw. The stones were the size of lentils, and when one hit a soldier, it killed him. They fled in chaos. Abraha was stricken with a disease. His fingertips began to fall off, one by one. His body poured out blood and pus, and eventually his heart split and he died.
It is this event that Allah was referring to when He addressed His Prophet (s) saying, "Seest thou not how thy Lord dealt with the companions of the elephant..." This event is an indication of the prestige of our Master, Muhammad (s), and a sign of his prophethood, and its establishment. It also points out the honor given to his people, and how they were protected, which caused the Arabs to submit to them and believe in their nobility and distinction, because of Allah's protection of them and defending them against the plots of the seemingly invincible Abraha.
The Conception of the Beloved Prophet
Once while sleeping in the courtyard of the Kaba after Allah had saved Abd Al Muttalib from Abrahas wrath, he saw an amazing dream. He woke up frightened, and came to the soothsayers of Quraish, to whom he related his dream. They told him, "If it is a true vision, then from your loins someone will come whom all the inhabitants of Heaven and Earth will believe in, and who will be very well known. At that time he married Fatima, and she conceived Abdullah, Al Zabeeh (r), whose story is well known.
Years later, when they were returning home after having sacrificed a hundred camels as a ransom to save his life, Abdullah (r) and his father passed by a Jewish soothsayer named Fatima. When she looked at the face of Abdullah (r), who was then the most handsome man in Quraish, she said, "I will give you the same number of camels which were sacrificed for you if you have intercourse with me now." She said this because of the light of prophethood that she saw in his face, and she was hoping that she would conceive this honorable prophet. Abdullah (r) replied,
"Regarding haram, death is better,
And I don't see any halal in sight,
And about what you are asking for,
An honorable one must protect his honor and religion."
The next day, Abd Al Muttalib brought him to meet Wahab ibn Abd Manaaf, who was the chief of Bani Zuhra, their master in lineage and origin. Abd Al Muttalib married Abdullah (r) to Wahabs daughter, Aamina (r), who was then the best woman in Quraish, both in lineage and birth. They became husband and wife on Monday, one of the days of Mina, at the mountain pass of Abu Talib, and she conceived the Prophet.
The next day, Abdullah (r) went out and passed by the woman who proposed to him earlier. He asked her, "Why don't you offer me what you offered me yesterday?" She replied, "The light that you were carrying yesterday has left you; therefore I have no need for you today. I was hoping to have that light in me, but Allah willed it to be put elsewhere."
As early as the Prophets conception, many wonders began to happen to Aamina. Sahl Ibn Abdullah Al Tustari said, "When Allah created Muhammad (s) in his mother's womb, on a Friday night during the month of Rajab, he ordered Ridwan, the Keeper of Paradises, to open the Highest Paradise. A caller announced in the Heavens and Earth that the concealed light which would form the guiding prophet would settle on that very night in his mother's womb where his creation would be completed. It was also revealed that he would come out as a bearer of glad tidings and as warner.
It is narrated by Ka'b Al Ahbaar (r), that on the night of the Prophets conception it was announced in Heaven and each of its divisions, and on Earth and all its corners, that the concealed light, from which the Prophet of Allah (s) was made, would settle in Aamina's womb.
Also, on that day all the idols on Earth turned upside down. Quraish was suffering from a severe drought and great distress, but through this blessed event the earth turned green and the trees bore fruit, and blessing came to them from every direction. Because of these blessed signs, the year when Muhammad (s) was conceived was called the Year of Triumph and Joy.
Ibn Ishaq narrated that Aamina (r) used to say how she had been visited by angels while she was pregnant with the Prophet, and she was told, "You are pregnant with the master of this nation." She also said, "I never felt that I was pregnant with him, and I never experienced any difficulties or food cravings like other women do; I only noticed that my menstruation had stopped. Once, an angel came to me while I was in between sleeping and wakefulness, and said, Do you feel that you are pregnant with the Master of people?, then he left me. When the time of birth approached, he came again and said. Say: I seek refuge for him with The One from the evil of every envious one. and name him Muhammad."
Ibn Abbas (r) said, "One of the miracles of the Prophets conception was that on that night, every one of Quraish's animals spoke and said, By the Lord of the Ka'ba, the Messenger of Allah has been conceived. He is the leader of the world and the light of its inhabitants. There is no throne belonging to any king of this world which hasnt been turned upside down tonight. The beasts of the east rushed to the beasts of the west carrying the good news, and likewise the inhabitants of the oceans greeted each other. Every day of the month of his conception there was a call in Heaven and a call on Earth: Rejoice, the time is near when Abul Qasim will appear, blessed and fortunate."
Another narration indicates that on that night, each and every home was illuminated, and the light reached everywhere and each and every beast spoke.
Abu Zakariya Yahia ibn Aa'ith said, "Muhammad (s) remained in his mothers womb the entire nine months, during which she never had any complaints of pain or anything that pregnant women often experience. She used to say, I have never seen an easier pregnancy than this one, or a more blessed one."
When Aamina (r) was in her second month of pregnancy, Abdullah died in Medina amongst his uncles of the Bani Al Najjar, and was buried in Al Abwa'. It has been mentioned that when Abdullah (r) died, the angels said, "Oh, our Lord and Master, your prophet has become an orphan." Allah said, "I am his protector and supporter."
The Miraculous Birth of Muhammad (s)
Amr ibn Qutaiba heard his father, who was very knowledgeable, say, "When it was time for Aamina to give birth, Allah said to the angels, Open all the gates of Heaven, and the gates of Paradise. The sun on that day was dressed with a great light, and in that year Allah allowed all the women on Earth to conceive boys, for the sake of Muhammad (s)."
Ibn Abbas (r) said Aamina (r) used to relate, "An angel came to me in a dream during my sixth month of pregnancy and said to me, Oh, Aamina, you are pregnant with the best of the worlds. When you give birth to him name him Muhammad, and keep it secret. When I started to experience the pains of labor no one knew that I was home alone, including Abd Al Muttalib who was doing his circumambulation of the Kaba. I heard a loud bang that scared me. Then I saw what looked like the wing of a white bird, rubbing my heart, causing all fear to subside, and every pain I was feeling disappeared. Before me appeared a white drink which I drank, after which a bright light fell upon me and I was surrounded by some women, tall as palm trees, who looked like the women of Abd Manaaf. I was amazed, thinking, Oh, how did they find out about me? They said to me, We are Asia, pharaoh's wife, and Maryam, the daughter of Imran. My condition continued to intensify, and I could hear the banging getting louder and more frightening hour after hour. While I was still going through this I suddenly saw a piece of white silk stretched between Heaven and Earth, and heard someone say, Hide him so people can not see him. I saw men standing in the air with silver jugs in their hands. I saw a group of birds filling my room, each possessing emerald beaks and ruby wings. Then Allah removed the veil from my sight, and I witnessed the whole Earth east and west, and three banners erected; one in the east, one in the west and one on top of the Ka'ba. Then I gave birth to Muhammad. Immediately he was prostrating, raising his two hands to Heaven as if in humble supplication. Then I saw a white cloud coming from Heaven which covered him causing him to disappear from my sight, and I heard a voice calling, Take him around to all the corners of earth, east and west, and into the oceans, so all will know him by his name, his attributes, and his form. Then the cloud quickly disappeared."
Al Khateeb Al Baghdadi narrates that Aamina (r) said, "When I gave birth to Muhammad I saw a large illumined cloud, wherein I heard horses neighing, wings flapping, and men talking. It covered him and he disappeared from my sight. Then I heard a voice calling, Take Muhammad all over the Earth. Show him to every spiritual being; the Jinn, human beings, angels, birds, and wild beasts. Give to him the shape of Adam, the knowledge of Seth, the courage of Noah, the intimacy of Abraham, the tongue of Ismail, the contentment of Isaac, the eloquence of Salih, the wisdom of Lot, the glad tidings of Jacob, the strength of Moses, the patience of Job, the obedience of Jonah, the strife of Joshua, the protection of David, the love of Daniel, the reverence of Ilias, the impeccability of John the Baptist, and the asceticism of Jesus, and immerse him in the qualities of the prophets. Then the cloud cleared and Muhammad was grabbing a piece of green silk, folded tightly, with water gushing forth from it, and someone was saying, Great, great, Muhammad has grasped the whole world; all the creation in it has entered into his grasp, with none left out. Then I looked at him and he looked like a moon on the night when it is full. His fragrance spread like the finest musk and suddenly, there were three individuals, one held a silver jug, the second, an emerald washtub, and the third, a piece of white silk, which he unfolded. He then took out a dazzling looking ring and washed it from the jug seven times, then he made a seal between his shoulders with the ring, wrapped him with the silk, and finally carried him under his wings and gave him back to me."
Ibn Abbas (r) related, "When Muhammad (s) was born, Ridwan, the keeper of Paradises, spoke in his ear saying, Rejoice, oh, Muhammad, whatever knowledge any other prophet has, you have been given that knowledge. Therefore, you are the most knowledgeable and the most courageous of heart, among them."
Ibn Abbas (r) also said that Aamina (r) said, "When I gave birth to the Prophet, with him came out a light that lit the space between the east and west. He then fell on the ground, and leaning on his hands, took a handful of soil, grasped it, then raised his head toward Heaven."
Al Tabarani narrates that when he fell to the ground, he had his fingers drawn together, with the index finger pointing, testifying to the oneness of Allah.
Uthman ibn Abi il Aas narrated that his mother Fatima said, "At the time of Muhammad's (s) birth I saw the house filled with lights and the stars drew so near that I thought they were going to fall on me."
Al Irbadh Ibn Sariya related that Prophet Muhammad (s) said, "I am the slave of Allah, and the Seal of the Prophets, from the time when Adam was thrown from clay. I will explain this to you: I am the answer to the prayer of my father Abraham, the glad tidings of Jesus, and the vision that my mother saw. Mothers of prophets often see visions." When the Prophets mother gave birth to him she saw a light which lit the palaces of Syria. This is what his uncle Al Abbas (r) was referring to when he said in his poem, "When you were born, the earth shone and the horizon was illuminated with your light. We are traveling in that light and in the paths of righteousness."
Ibn Sa'd narrated that when Aamina (r) gave birth to the Prophet (s) he had no meconium (fetal fecal matter) in him.
Regarding the light which illuminated the palaces of Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Jordan, there is a reference being made here to the benefit that these kingdoms received from the light of Muhammads (s) prophethood, as these are the places of his dominion. It has been he said, "Prophethood is no longer with the Children of Israel, oh, people of Quraish. By Allah, Muhammad will lead you to have such influence that it will be spoken of from east to west."
Some of the wonders of the Prophets birth have been narrated by Ya'qoob ibn Sufian, with a fair chain of narrators, in Fath Al Bari. He said that the Palace of Kisra of the emperor of Persia shook and fourteen of its balconies collapsed; the water of Lake Tiberias abated; the fire of Persia was extinguished (according to numerous narrations this fire had burned non-stop for a thousand years); and in the Heavens security was increased, being filled with more guards and shooting stars which prevented the devils hiding there from their evil eavesdropping.
According to narrations by Ibn Umar (r) and others Prophet Muhammad (s) was born circumcised and with his umbilical cord already cut off. Anas (r) related that the Prophet (s) said, "One of the signs of the honor I have been given by my Lord is that I was born circumcised, and no one saw my private parts."
There are different opinions regarding the year of Prophet Muhammads (s) birth. The majority agree that he was born in the Year of the Elephant, and that it was fifty days after the incident with Abrahas elephant, and it was at dawn of the twelfth night of the month of Rabi' Al Awwal. Ibn Abbas (r) said, "Muhammad (s) was born on a Monday, given the prophecy on a Monday, immigrated from Mecca to Medina on Monday, arrived in Medina on a Monday, and carried the black stone on a Monday; moreover, the opening of Mecca and the revelation of Surat Al Ma'ida were both on a Mondays."
Abdullah ibn Amr ibn Al Aas (r) said, "There was a monk in Marr Al Zhahran, of the people of Syria, whose name was Easa. He used to say, It is about time that among the people of Mecca a child will be born whom the Arabs will submit to, and whose dominion the non-Arabs will also be under. This is his time. Whenever there was a newborn boy, he used to inquire about him. On the day of the birth of Muhammad (s), Abd Al Muttalib went out and visited Easa. He came out and said to him, May you be the father of the blessed newborn I told you about. I said he would be born on a Monday, receive prophethood on a Monday, and die on a Monday. Abd Al Muttalib replied, Tonight, at dawn, I had a newborn. The monk asked, What did you name him.? He answered, Muhammad. Easa said, I was anticipating that this newborn would be from among your kinfolk. I had three signs: his star appeared yesterday, he was born today, and his name is Muhammad. On the solar calendar it was the 20th of April and it is said that he was born at night.
Aisha said, "There was a Jewish merchant in Mecca on the night that the Prophet (s) was born. He inquired, Oh, people of Quraish, was there any newborn among you? They replied, We don't know. He said, Tonight, the Prophet of this last nation was born. Between his shoulders there is a mark containing a few hairs on it like a horses mane. They accompanied the Jew and went to the Prophet's mother, and asked her if they could see her son. She brought him to them and they uncovered his back and saw the birth mark, whereupon the Jew fell unconscious. When he regained consciousness, they asked him, Woe to you. What is the matter with you? He answered, By Allah, prophethood has gone away from the children of Israel."
Al Hakim narrated that the Prophet (s) was born in Mecca in the house of Muhammad bin Yousif. He was breast fed by Thuwaiba, the freed female slave of Abu Lahab. He freed her upon her bringing him the good news of the Prophets birth. After his death, Abu Lahab was seen in a dream, when he was asked, "How are you faring?" He answered, "I am in the fire. However, I get a break every Monday, when I am able to suck water from this spot between my fingers," and he gestured with two of his finger tips. "This miracle is due to my freeing Thuwaiba when she brought me the good news of the birth of the Prophet."
Ibn al Jazri said, "If Abu Lahab, the infidel, who was dispraised in a Qur'anic revelation, was nevertheless rewarded because of his rejoicing at the birth of the Prophet, how about Muslims from among his nation who rejoices in his birth and do the best they can out of love for him? By my life, their reward from Allah, the Generous, will be entry into the paradises of bliss with Allahs abundant bounties."
The people of Islam always celebrate the month of our holy Prophets birth by having feasts, giving all kinds of charity, expressing their joy, increasing their good deeds, and carefully reading the story of Muhammads (s) birth. In return, Allah fills believers with the abundant blessings of this month. It has been proven that one of the qualities of the Prophets birthday, which is called the Mawlid, is that it brings safety throughout the year and the good news that all wishes and desires will be fulfilled. May Allah shower his mercy on everyone who turns the nights of this month of Muhammads (s) blessed birth into festivities.
An Infancy of Wonders
Halima (r) said, "I came to Mecca with some other wetnurses from the tribe of the Bani Sa'd ibn Bakr, looking for newborn babies. It was a bad year for prospective nurslings. I and my child arrived riding a she-donkey and my husband led an old she-camel that didn't have a drop of milk. Throughout the journey the three of us could not sleep at night and I could find nothing in my breast to feed our son.
"When we came to Mecca every woman of our group was offered Prophet Muhammad (s) as a nursling, but each turned down the offer after finding that he was a fatherless orphan. Literally, none of my women friends left Mecca without taking an infant, but no one would accept Muhammad (s). When I could find no other nursling, I told my husband that I hated to be the only one in the group to go back without an infant, and that I wanted to pick up that orphan.
"When I went to get him he was wearing a wool dress, whiter than milk. The fragrance of musk spread from him. Under him was a piece of green silk, as he lay on his back in a deep sleep. I was careful not to wake him, because of his beauty and grace. I carefully came close to him, and putting my hand on his chest, he smiled and opened his eyes. From his eyes came a light which went all the way to Heaven while I was looking. I kissed him between his eyes and gave him my right breast, which gave him all the milk he wanted. Then I switched him to the left, but he refused. That was the way he always was. After he was satisfied, I gave my son his fill. As soon as I brought him to my camp, both my breasts started pouring milk. By Allah's grace, Muhammad drank until he was satisfied, as did his brother. My husband went to our old camel for milk for us, and lo, it was full. He milked enough for us both to drink until we were satisfied, and we spent a wonderful night. Later my husband remarked, Oh, Halima, it looks like you have picked a blessed soul. We spent the first night in blessings and bounties, and Allah continues to give us more and more ever since we chose him.
"I bid farewell to the Prophet's mother, and mounted my she-donkey, holding Muhammad in my hands. My donkey outstripped all the animals of the others who were with me, who were watching it in amazement. When we arrived at the dwellings of Bani Sa'd, which is one of the most barren parts of the land, we found that our sheep were full of milk. We milked and drank plentifully in a time where no one else could find a drop of milk in an udder. Others began to tell each other, Go to pasture wherever the shepherd of the daughter of Abu Thu'aib goes. Still their sheep used to return hungry, with no milk to be found in them, while mine would return full of milk."
The Prophets uncle, Al Abbas (r) said, "Oh, Messenger of Allah, what made me enter into your religion was my witnessing a sign of your prophethood. I saw you in your cradle talking tenderly to the Moon and pointing at it with your finger. It moved across the sky to wherever you pointed." Muhammad said, "I was talking to it, and it talked to me, which distracted me from crying. I could hear the sound of its prostration under the throne."
In Fath Al Bari it is narrated that Prophet Muhammad (s) spoke when he first was born.
Ibn Sab' mentioned that Prophet Muhammads (s) cradle was rocked by the angels.
Ibn Abbas (r) said that Halima (r) used to narrate that when she first weaned Muhammad (s) he spoke, saying, "Allah (swt)s most Great in His Greatness, and much praise be to Allah, and glory be to Allah (swt)n the beginning and end." (Allahu Akbar kabira, wal hamdu Lillahi katheera, wa subhana allahi bukratan wa aseela.) When he grew older he used to go out, and when he saw other children playing, he would avoid them.
Ibn Abbas (r) said that al Shayma'a (r), the Prophet's foster sister, witnessed that as a boy a cloud shaded the Prophet. It stopped when he stopped, and moved when he moved. He grew up like no other boy. Halima said, "When I weaned him, we brought him to his mother, even though we longed for him to stay with us for all the blessings that we saw in him. We asked his mother to let him stay with us until he grew stronger, for we were worried about him being in the unhealthy environment of Mecca. We continued asking until she agreed to send him back with us.
Early Childhood Marvels
"By Allah, two or three months after our return, while we were taking care of some of our animals behind our home, the Prophets foster-brother came running, shouting, It is my Qurashi brother. Two men came to him wearing white clothes. They laid him down and cut his abdomen open. His father and I ran to him. He was standing and his color was changed. His father hugged him and asked, Oh, son, what happened to you? Muhammad (s) answered, Two men wearing white clothes came to me. They made me lay down and cut my abdomen open. They took something out and threw it, then put my abdomen back together the way it was. We took him home and his father said, Oh, Halima, I am afraid that something might have happened to this son of mine. Lets return him to his family before it get worse.
"We took him back to his mother in Mecca. She said, What made you bring him back after you were so anxious to keep him? We told her that we were worried that something bad might happen to him. She said, It is not that, so, tell me the truth. She insisted until we told her his story. She asked, Were you afraid that the Devil might do something to him? No. By Allah, there is no way that the Devil can get to him. This son of mine will be of great standing. You may leave him now."
In the hadith of Shaddad ibn Aws (r) it is related that Prophet Muhammad (s) said, "I was a suckling at Bani Sa'd ibn Bakr. One day while I was in the valley with young boys my age, when suddenly three individuals appeared. They possessed a golden washtub filled with ice and took me from my friends, who ran back to the quarter. One of the three made me lay down gently on the ground and cut open my abdomen from my chest to my pubic bone. I was able to watch and felt no pain. He took out my intestines and washed them thoroughly with the ice, then returned them to my body. The second one rose and told his partner to move aside. He put his hand inside me, removing my heart while I watched him. He cut it, took out a black clot and threw it away, and moved his hands right and left, as if receiving something. Suddenly, there was a ring made of dazzling light in his hand. He stamped my heart with the ring, whereupon it was filled with light. It was the light of prophethood and wisdom. He then returned the organ to my chest and I felt the coolness of that ring in my heart for a long time. The third one told his partner to move aside. He passed his hand over the area which had been cut and it was instantly healed with the permission of Allah. He then took my hand and gently helped me up and said to the first one, Weigh him against ten of his nation. I outweighed them. Then he said, Weigh him against a hundred of his nation. I outweighed them. Then he said, Weigh him against a thousand of his nation. I outweighed them. Then he said, If you weigh him against his entire nation, he would outweigh them. They all hugged me, kissed my forehead and between the eyes and said, Oh, beloved, if you only knew what goodness is waiting for you, you would be delighted." The weighing means a moral weighing. The Prophet, therefore, outweighs all in merit.
The cleansing of his holy chest happened another time when Gabriel brought him the revelation in the cave of Hira' and one more time on the night of his Ascension. Abu Nu'aim narrated in Al Dala'il, the cutting of his chest also when he was twenty years old. The wisdom of cutting his holy chest open in his childhood and removing the black clot, was to cleanse him from childish traits so he would have manly attributes. His upbringing was therefore perfectly immaculate. He was sealed with the seal of prophethood between his shoulders which smelled of musk and looked like a partridge egg.
Ibn Abbas (r) and others narrated that when Muhammad (s) was six years old his mother and Um Aiman (r) took him on a month long visit to his maternal uncles of the Bani Adiy ibn al Najjar in dar al tabia in Yathrib. Later, he recalled events that happened when he stayed there. Looking at a certain house, he said, "This is where my mother and I stayed. I learned how to swim in the well belonging to Bani Adiy ibn Al Najjar. A group of Jews used to frequent this place to look at me." Um Aiman (r) said, "I heard one of the Jews saying that Muhammad was the Prophet of this nation, and this is the abode of his immigration. I understood everything they said."
He and his mother set out to return to Mecca, but when they arrived at Al Abua', not far from Yathrib, she fell gravely ill. Al Zuhri narrated from Asma' bint Rahm, from her mother, "I was present with Aamina, the Prophet's mother, during the ailment that led to her death. At this time Muhammad (s) was a five-year-old boy. As he sat by his mothers head she was reciting some poems, and looked into his face and said, Every living thing must eventually die, everything new must eventually get old, and every abundance must eventually get less. I am dying, but my memory shall remain, I have left behind abundant goodness, and gave birth to purity, then she died. We were able to hear the Jinn crying over her."
It has been narrated that Aamina testified to Muhammads (s) prophethood after her death. Al Tabarani narrated in a chain of narration from A'isha that when the Prophet (s) arrived at al Hajoon he was sad and grieved. He stayed there for as long as Allah willed him to stay. Upon his return, he was happy and said, "I asked my Lord, Mighty and Sublime, to bring my mother back to life. Allah did that and then took her back." Also it has been narrated by both Al Suhaili and Al Khateen that A'isha (r), said that Allah revived both of Prophet Muhammads (s) parents and they both testified to Muhammads (s) prophethood.
Al Qurtubi, in Al Tadhkira, said, "Prophet Muhammads (s) merits and attributes never ceased to occur all his life. Bringing his parents to life so that they could believe in him is not impossible. There is nothing in the Islamic religious laws or logic against it." It is mentioned in the Holy Quran that the one who was murdered in Bani Isra'el was brought back to life to have his murderer revealed to him. Moreover, our Master Jesus used to bring the dead back to life. Likewise, Allah brought a number of dead people back to life at the hands of our Prophet. Why is it not possible that his parents testified to his prophethood after they were brought back to life, since this occurrence only enhances his merit and virtue?
Al Imam Fakhruddin Al Razi said that all the fathers of Muhammad (s) are Muslims, which is proven by Muhammads (s) saying, "I was transferred from the loins of pure men to the wombs of pure women." And since Allah has said "Truly, the pagans are unclean," we see that none of his ancestors were infidels.
Al Hafiz Shams Al Din Al Dimashqi addressed this subject so well when he wrote:
"Allah bestowed upon the Prophet more bounties
And more yet, and unto him He was most kind
He brought his mother back to life, and also his father
So that they could believe in him.
That was a subtle bounty
So believe these miracles, for He is capable of doing that
Even if the creature is weak."
Um Aiman (r) was Muhammads (s) nurse and nanny after his mother's death. He used to say about her, "Um Aiman is my mother after my mother." When Muhammad (s) was eight years old, his grandfather and custodian, Abdul Muttalib died. He was one hundred and ten years old (in another narration, he was one hundred and forty). At that time Muhammads (s) uncle Abu Talib became responsible for him at the request of Abd Al Muttalib, because he was the full brother of Muhammads (s) father, Abdullah.
Ibn Asakir narrated from Jalhama ibn Urfuta that Muhammad (s) said, "I came to Mecca during a drought. Some men of Quraish came to Abu Talib and said, Oh, Abu Talib, the valley is barren and the families are suffering. Let us go and pray for rain. Abu Talib came out, and with him was a young boy who looked like the Sun after the clouds have cleared. He was surrounded by other young children. Abu Talib led him to the Kaba and had him stand with his back against it. There wasnt even a tiny cloud in the sky, but as soon as the young boy rose his hands, clouds started to arrive from every direction and it started raining, then pouring. The valley blossomed and both in Mecca and out in the desert became fertile. About this miracle, Abu Talib wrote the following verses:
To the one of bright complexion,
rain is sent for the sake of his countenance,
He is a refuge for the orphans,
and support for the widows."