Regarding the following claim made about the Sahaba:
>None of them ever celebrated
This is a statement with which the Companions no doubt will take issue against Brother Lashay on Qiyama, given (a) their knowledge that the Prophet (SAWS) was born on Yawm al-Ithnayn [Monday] and (b) their observance of supererogatory fasting on that day for that very reason. This amounts to the Companions' celebration of the Prophet's birthday.
Mostly, (c) their explicit celebration of the day he was born in poetry:
The uncle of the Prophet (S) al-`Abbas ibn `Abd al-Muttalib (RA) said:
And then, WHEN YOU WERE BORN, a light rose over the earth until it illuminated the horizon with its radiance. We are in that illumination and that original light and those paths of guidance - and thanks to them we pierce through.
Ibn Sayyid al-Nas narrated it with his isnad through al-Tabarani and al-Bazzar in Minah al-Madh (p. 192-193), also Ibn Kathir in al-Sira al-Nabawiyya (ed. Mustafa 'Abd al-Wahid 4:51), and 'Ali al-Qari in his Sharh al-Shifa' (1:364) says it is narrated by Abu Bakr al-Shafi'i and al-Tabarani, and cited by Ibn 'Abd al-Barr in al-Isti'ab and Ibn al-Qayyim in Zad al-Ma'ad.
The light mentioned by al-`Abbas is confirmed by the Prophet (S) himself in the famous narration describing his own birth. `Irbad ibn Sariya and Abu Umama - Allah be well-pleased with both of them - said that the Prophet (SAWS) said: "I am the supplication of my father Ibrahim, and the good tidings of my brother 'Isa. The NIGHT I WAS DELIVERED my mother saw a light that lit the castles of Damascus so that she could see them."
It is narrated by al-Hakim (2:616-617), Ahmad in his Musnad, and al-Bayhaqi in Dala'il al-Nubuwwa (1:110, 2:8). Ibn al-Jawzi cites it in al-Wafa' (p. 91, ch. 21 of Bidayat Nabiyyina (S), and Ibn Kathir in his Mawlid Rasul Allah (SAWS) and his Tafsir (4:360). Al-Haythami (8:221) said al-Tabarani and Ahmad narrated it, the latter with a fair (hasan) chain. Also narrated by Ibn Hisham in Sirat Rasul Allah (Dar al-wifaq ed. 1/2:166) and al-Tabari in his History.
The poet of the Prophet (S) Hassan ibn Thabit (RA) said:
By Allah, no woman has conceived and
To one like the Messenger,
the Prophet and guide of his people.
Nor has Allah created among his
One more faithful to his sojourner or his promise
Than he who was the source of our
Narrated by Ibn Hisham in the last lines of his Sirat Rasul Allah (S).
Accordingly, it would have been better and more precise to say: "None of them ever celebrated Prophet's birthday in our fashion."
Then of course: none of them prayed in our fashion either. Nor fasted in our fashion. Nor paid zakat in our fashion. Nor accomplished pilgrimage or jihad in our fashion. Etc.
As a rule we should be very careful when comparing ourselves to the Salaf, most expecially the Companions - Allah be well-pleased with them. The speaker stands as the first one condemned by his own words when mentioning them. Astaghfirullah.
As for statements made about the Muslims in the wake of the
above false premise, apparently as a criticism of the celebration of Mawlid:
Today our lives and our outlooks
bear little resemblance to theirs. We praise but do not listen to him; we claim
to love, but refuse to follow; we claim to believe but lead lives like those who
don't. We emphasize what the Companions ignored and ignore what they emphasized.
They loved the Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, and had their lives to
show for it. And we? Can we honestly say that we love the Prophet as he should
The Prophet (SAWS) told us: "Do not be conformers who say: 'If people do good we shall do good, and if they do wrong we shall do wrong.' Rather, make yourselves ready to do good if people do good, and, if they do wrong, not to do wrong." Al-Tirmidhi declared it hasan gharîb. It is narrated by al-Bukhari in al-Tarikh al-Kabir (4:367 #3169) with the wording: "Do not be conformers who turn with every wind." Also narrated - in its full wording - mawqûf from 'Abd Allah ibn Mas'ud by al-Tabarani in al-Kabir (9:152 #8765).
In other words, we should never stop doing something good just because people are generally not as good as before!
None but Allah SWT loves the Prophet (S) as he should be loved, and those whom Allah SWT favors with a special favor.
The latter Awliya are present at all times until Qiyama.
Need I remind Brother Lashay of the mutawatir hadith: "A party of my Community shall not cease to remain victorious, standing for truth, until the Hour rises"?
We should stand with that party and not with any other.
And as for that party - undoubtedly formed of those who bear true love for the Prophet SAWS - has anyone, honestly, ever witnessed any of them counsel us to abandon celebrating the birth of the Prophet (SAWS) on the dubious bases cited above? Astaghfirullah.
As I recall the same Brother Lashay, a year ago, had quoted an excerpt, apparently from the Maktubat of our Naqshbandi Grandshaykh Imam Ahmad Sirhindi (QAS) condemning the Mawlid. To which the following excerpt was posted from another brother, also apparently from the Imam's Maktubat:
"Gatherings of Meelaad as-Shareef with the recitation of Holy Quraan with good (melodious) voice and Naats and Qasidaas are recited for Huzoor Sallallaho alayhi wa sallam then what is the hesitation ? " [Ahmed Sirhindi, Maktobaat, Volume 1, First Chapter, Maktoob number 42, page 154]
I am still waiting for Brother Lashay's comment on the apparent contradiction of the two fatwas from Mujaddid Alf al-Thani.
In the meantime, we will continue to invoke abundant blessings and peace on the Best of Creation and to celebrate his Light day and night after the model provided by his noble Ansar Companions who said:
The full moon rose over us
from the mountains of al-Wada`!
WE MUST GIVE THANKS
as long as there remains one who calls unto Allah!
Narrated by al-Tabari in al-Riyad al-Nadira (1:480) and Ibn Kathir in al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya (Ma`arif ed. 3:197, 5:23).
Dr. GF Haddad