Mawlid

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Mawlid_table_infobox_0

MawlidMawlid_header_cell_0_0_0
Also calledMawlid_header_cell_0_1_0 Mawlid an-Nabawī (المولد النبوي), Eid-e-Milad un-Nabi, Havliye, Donba, GaniMawlid_cell_0_1_1
Observed byMawlid_header_cell_0_2_0 Adherents of mainstream Sunni Islam, Shia Islam and various other Islamic denominations. As a public holiday in Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Benin, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Chad, Egypt, Fiji, Gambia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, Tunisia, and YemenMawlid_cell_0_2_1
TypeMawlid_header_cell_0_3_0 IslamicMawlid_cell_0_3_1
SignificanceMawlid_header_cell_0_4_0 Traditional commemoration of the birth of MuhammadMawlid_cell_0_4_1
ObservancesMawlid_header_cell_0_5_0 Hamd, Tasbih, fasting, public processions, Na`at (religious poetry), family and other social gatherings, decoration of streets and homesMawlid_cell_0_5_1
DateMawlid_header_cell_0_6_0 12 Rabi' al-awwalMawlid_cell_0_6_1
2019 dateMawlid_header_cell_0_7_0 10 November (Sunni, Ibadi)

15 November (Shia)Mawlid_cell_0_7_1

2020 dateMawlid_header_cell_0_8_0 29 October (Sunni, Ibadi)

3 November (Shia)Mawlid_cell_0_8_1

FrequencyMawlid_header_cell_0_9_0 once every Islamic yearMawlid_cell_0_9_1

Mawlid, Mawlid al-Nabi al-Sharif or Eid Milad un Nabi (Arabic: مَولِد النَّبِي‎, romanized: mawlidu n-nabiyyi, lit. Mawlid_sentence_0

'Birth of the Prophet', sometimes simply called in colloquial Arabic مولد, mawlid, mevlid, mevlit, mulud, among other vernacular pronunciations; sometimes ميلاد, mīlād) is the observance of the birthday of the Islamic prophet Muhammad which is commemorated in Rabi' al-awwal, the third month in the Islamic calendar. Mawlid_sentence_1

12th Rabi' al-awwal is the accepted date among most of the Sunni scholars, while most Shi'a scholars regard 17th Rabi' al-awwal as the accepted date, though not all Shi'as consider it to be this date. Mawlid_sentence_2

The history of this celebration goes back to the early days of Islam when some of the Tabi‘un began to hold sessions in which poetry and songs composed to honour Muhammad were recited and sung to the crowds. Mawlid_sentence_3

It has been said that the first Muslim ruler to officially celebrate the birth of Muhammad in an impressive ceremony was Muzaffar al-Din Gökböri (d. 630/1233). Mawlid_sentence_4

The Ottomans declared it an official holiday in 1588, known as Mevlid Kandil. Mawlid_sentence_5

The term Mawlid is also used in some parts of the world, such as Egypt, as a generic term for the birthday celebrations of other historical religious figures such as Sufi saints. Mawlid_sentence_6

Most denominations of Islam approve of the commemoration of Muhammad's birthday; however, with the emergence of Wahhabism/Salafism and the Ahmadiyya, many Muslims began to disapprove its commemoration, considering it an illicit religious innovation (bid'ah or bidat). Mawlid_sentence_7

Mawlid is recognized as a national holiday in most of the Muslim-majority countries of the world with the exception of Saudi Arabia and Qatar which are officially Wahhabi/Salafi. Mawlid_sentence_8

Some non-Muslim majority countries with large Muslim populations such as India also recognise it as a public holiday. Mawlid_sentence_9

Etymology Mawlid_section_0

Mawlid is derived from the Arabic root word (Arabic: ولد‎), meaning to give birth, bear a child, descendant. Mawlid_sentence_10

In contemporary usage, Mawlid refers to the observance of the birthday of Muhammad. Mawlid_sentence_11

Along with being referred to as the celebration of the birth of Muhammad, the term Mawlid refers to the 'text especially composed for and recited at Muhammad's nativity celebration' or "a text recited or sung on that day". Mawlid_sentence_12

Date Mawlid_section_1

According to the majority of Sunni Muslims and some Shi'as, Muhammad was born on the 12th of Rabi' al-awwal. Mawlid_sentence_13

Many Twelver Shia Muslims on the other hand assert that Muhammad was born on the 17th of Rabi' al-awwal. Mawlid_sentence_14

It stands as a matter of ikhtilaf or disagreement since some Shiite scholars such as Kulayni, Saduq, and al-Thani have affirmed the date of the 12th of Rabi' al-Awal. Mawlid_sentence_15

Nonetheless, others contend that the date of Muhammad's birth is unknown and is not definitively recorded in the Islamic traditions. Mawlid_sentence_16

The issue of the correct date of the Mawlid is recorded by Ibn Khallikan as constituting the first proven disagreement concerning the celebration. Mawlid_sentence_17

History Mawlid_section_2

In early days of Islam, observation of Muhammad's birth as a holy day was usually arranged privately and later was an increased number of visitors to the Mawlid house that was open for the whole day specifically for this celebration. Mawlid_sentence_18

The early celebrations, included elements of Sufic influence, with animal sacrifices and torchlight processions along with public sermons and a feast. Mawlid_sentence_19

The celebrations occurred during the day, in contrast to modern day observances, with the ruler playing a key role in the ceremonies. Mawlid_sentence_20

Emphasis was given to the Ahl al-Bayt with presentation of sermons and recitations of the Qur'an. Mawlid_sentence_21

The exact origins of the Mawlid is difficult to trace. Mawlid_sentence_22

According to Muhammad in History, Thought, and Culture: An Encyclopedia of the Prophet of God, the significance of the event was established when Muhammad fasted on Monday, citing the reason for this was his birth on that day, and when Umar took into consideration Muhammad's birth as a possible starting time for the Islamic calendar. Mawlid_sentence_23

According to Festivals in World Religions, the Mawlid was first introduced by the Abbasids in Baghdad. Mawlid_sentence_24

It has been suggested that the Mawlid was first formalized by Al-Khayzuran of the Abbasids. Mawlid_sentence_25

Ibn Jubayr, in 1183, writes that Muhammad's birthday was celebrated every Monday of Rabi' al-awwal at his birthplace, which had been converted into a place of devotion under the Abbasids. Mawlid_sentence_26

According to Nico Kaptein, Egyptian scholar Hasan al-Sandubi believes that the first Fatimid ruler who settled in Egypt, al-Muizz li-Din Allah celebrated the Mawlid for the very first time, but al-Sandubi has no source for his claim. Mawlid_sentence_27

The oldest description of Mawlid dates from beginning of 6th/12th century and we are not sure whether the Mawlid existed before this period. Mawlid_sentence_28

Kaptein says that the Mawlid must have been established, or came into being in the 5th/11th century. Mawlid_sentence_29

Furthermore, Kaptein says that the Mawlid was originally a Shi’ite festival, and that in the Fatimid period the Mawlid was celebrated during the daytime. Mawlid_sentence_30

There are two sides: some thought that Saladin abolished all Fatimid institutions when he gained control of Egypt, while others, including Kaptein, thought that the Mawlid continued to exist after the fall of the Fatimids. Mawlid_sentence_31

Hasan al-Sandubi argued that once Egyptian people had become used to celebrating the Mawlid, they kept celebrating the festival in their own way. Mawlid_sentence_32

Kaptein says that the oldest Mawlid celebrations in Sunnite circles were those held by Syrian ruler Nur al-Din: under him, the Mawlid was celebrated at night, and during these festivities poems were recited to eulogize the ruler. Mawlid_sentence_33

Ali, Fatima, al-Hasan, and al-Husayn were among the most important ancestors of the Ismailite Fatimids, and the choices of these people is Shi’ite, even though reverence for the members of the “Family of the Prophet” is also shown by Sunnites. Mawlid_sentence_34

Kaptein makes a very important point: the view of Muslim authors on the origin of the Mawlid cannot be detached from their position in theological debates on the Mawlid. Mawlid_sentence_35

According to the hypothesis of Nico Kaptein of Leiden University, the Mawlid was initiated by the Fatimids. Mawlid_sentence_36

It has been stated, "The idea that the celebration of the mawlid originated with the Fatimid dynasty has today been almost universally accepted among both religious polemicists and secular scholars." Mawlid_sentence_37

Annemarie Schimmel also says that the tendency to celebrate the memory of the Prophet's birthday on a larger and more festive scale emerged first in Egypt during the Fatimids. Mawlid_sentence_38

The Egyptian historian Maqrizi (d. 1442) describes one such celebration held in 1122 as an occasion in which mainly scholars and religious establishment participated. Mawlid_sentence_39

They listened to sermons, distributed sweets, particularly honey, the Prophet's favourite and the poor received alms. Mawlid_sentence_40

This Shia origin is frequently noted by those Sunnis who oppose Mawlid. Mawlid_sentence_41

According to Encyclopædia Britannica, however, what the Fatimids did was simply a procession of court officials, which did not involve the public but was restricted to the court of the Fatimid caliph. Mawlid_sentence_42

Therefore, it has been concluded that the first Mawlid celebration which was a public festival was started by Sunnis in 1207 by Muẓaffar al-Dīn Gökburi. Mawlid_sentence_43

It has been suggested that the celebration was introduced into the city Ceuta by Abu al-Abbas al-Azafi as a way of strengthening the Muslim community and to counteract Christian festivals. Mawlid_sentence_44

Start of a public holiday Mawlid_section_3

In 1207, Muẓaffar al-Dīn Gökburi started the first annual public festival of the Mawlid in Erbil (modern day Iraq). Mawlid_sentence_45

Gökböri was the brother-in-law of Saladin and soon the festival began to spread across the Muslim world. Mawlid_sentence_46

Since Saladin and Gokburi were both Sufis the festival became increasingly popular among Sufi devotees which remains so till this day. Mawlid_sentence_47

Observances Mawlid_section_4

Mawlid is celebrated in almost all Islamic countries, and in other countries that have a significant Muslim population, such as Ethiopia, India, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, France, Germany, Italy, Iraq, Iran, Maldives, Morocco, Jordan, Libya, Russia and Canada. Mawlid_sentence_48

The only exceptions are Qatar and Saudi Arabia where it is not an official public holiday and is forbidden. Mawlid_sentence_49

However, In the last decades of the late 20th century there has been a trend to "forbid or discredit" Mawlid in the Sunni Muslim world. Mawlid_sentence_50

In Turkey, Mawlid (Turkish: Mevlid Kandili or "the candle feast for the Prophet's birthday") is celebrated as a public holiday and traditional poems regarding Muhammad's life are recited both in public mosques and at home on the evening. Mawlid_sentence_51

Often organized in some countries by the Sufi orders, Mawlid is celebrated in a carnival manner, large street processions are held and homes or mosques are decorated. Mawlid_sentence_52

Charity and food is distributed, and stories about the life of Muhammad are narrated with recitation of poetry by children. Mawlid_sentence_53

Scholars and poets celebrate by reciting Qaṣīda al-Burda Sharif, the famous poem by 13th-century Arabic Sufi Busiri. Mawlid_sentence_54

A general Mawlid appears as "a chaotic, incoherent spectacle, where numerous events happen simultaneously, all held together only by the common festive time and space". Mawlid_sentence_55

These celebrations are often considered an expression of the Sufi concept of the pre-existence of Muhammad. Mawlid_sentence_56

However, the main significance of these festivities is expression of love for Muhammad. Mawlid_sentence_57

The first Sunni mawlid celebration that we have a detailed description of was sponsored by Muzaffar al-Din Kokburi and included the slaughtering of thousands of animals for a banquet which is believed to have cost 300,000 dirhams. Mawlid_sentence_58

The presence of guests and the distribution of monetary gifts at mawlid festivals had an important social function as they symbolized “concretizing ties of patronage and dramatizing the benevolence of the ruler” and also held religious significance, as “issues of spending and feeding were pivotal both to the religious and social function of the celebration.” Early fatwas and criticisms of the mawlid have taken issue with the “possibility of coerced giving” as hosts often took monetary contributions from their guests for festival costs. Mawlid_sentence_59

Jurists often conceptualized the observance of the Prophet’s birthday as a “form of reciprocation for God’s bestowal of the Prophet Muhammad” as a way of justifying celebrations. Mawlid_sentence_60

According to this thought, the bestowal of such a gift required thanks, which came in the form of the celebration of the mawlid. Mawlid_sentence_61

Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali (1392 CE) and Ibn Hajar al-Asqalini (1449 CE) both expressed such ideas, specifically referencing the hadith about the Jews and the fast of ‘Ashura’, but broadening the conception of “thanks to God” to multiple forms of worship including prostration, fasting, almsgiving, and Qur’anic recitation. Mawlid_sentence_62

The only limitation Ibn Hajar places on forms of celebration is that they must be neutral under Shari’a. Mawlid_sentence_63

During Pakistan's Mawlid, the day starts with a 31-gun salute in federal capital and a 21-gun salute at the provincial capitals and religious hymns are sung during the day. Mawlid_sentence_64

In many parts of Indonesia, the celebration of the Mawlid al-nabi "seems to surpass in importance, liveliness, and splendour" the two official Islamic holidays of Eid ul-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. Mawlid_sentence_65

In Qayrawan, Tunisia, Muslims sing and chant hymns of praise to Muhammad, welcoming him in honor of his birth. Mawlid_sentence_66

Also, generally in Tunisia, people usually prepare Assidat Zgougou to celebrate the Mawlid. Mawlid_sentence_67

Among non-Muslim countries, India is noted for its Mawlid festivities. Mawlid_sentence_68

The relics of Muhammad are displayed after the morning prayers in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir at the Hazratbal Shrine, where night-long prayers are also held. Mawlid_sentence_69

Hyderabad Telangana is noted for its grand milad festivities Religious meetings, night-long prayers, rallies, parades and decorations are made throughout the city. Mawlid_sentence_70

Mawlid texts Mawlid_section_5

A literary genre emerged with work thematically focused on the prophet’s birth and youth, and the recitation of such works was used as a practice on the Prophet’s birthday. Mawlid_sentence_71

Scholarly works from this genre originated with Imami Shi’ites. Mawlid_sentence_72

However, it is believed that the first holy birth celebrated in a book was not that of the Prophet, but of Ali ibn abi Talib (Mawlid amir al-mu-minin) in 815 CE. Mawlid_sentence_73

Several other Shi’ite mawlid texts were produced commemorating figures including Ibn Babawayh, Hasan and Husayn, and Fatima. Mawlid_sentence_74

Sunni mawlid works focusing on the birth of the Prophet originated later than those from Shi’ite figures. Mawlid_sentence_75

The earliest is attributed to Muhammad ibn Salama al-Quda’i in 1062 CE. Mawlid_sentence_76

al-Quda’i lived under Fatimid rule, but “there is no concrete evidence that the Fatimids held mawlid celebrations at this early date.” In addition to these titled works by identifiable scholars, Marion Katz indicates that mawlid tradition actually drew heavily from an extensive collection of narrative material that originated with popular preachers and storytellers. Mawlid_sentence_77

Kitab al-anwar is considered to be the most influential text in the development of the mawlid genre. Mawlid_sentence_78

Dated to 1295 CE, the text is believed to have been written by Abu’l Hasan al-Bakri. Mawlid_sentence_79

The text is notable for its dramatic and theatrical descriptions of the events in the Prophet’s life. Mawlid_sentence_80

al-Bakri’s work was denounced by scholars including al-Dhahabi Ibn Kathir, Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, Ibn Hajar al-Haytami, al-Qalqashandi, and al-Safadi. Mawlid_sentence_81

Though there is “no concrete evidence that al-Bakri’s work was originally produced in connection with the celebration of the Prophet’s birthday,” his emphasis of the origins, birth, and youth of the Prophet diverges from patterns of early biographies and reflects a devotional framing of Muhammad’s life. Mawlid_sentence_82

Furthermore, whether it was intentional or not, the text “suited later conceptions of appropriate mawlid narratives so well that it was adapted to the purpose of recitation during the season of the Prophet’s birthday, apparently by both Sunnis and Shi’ites.” Mawlid_sentence_83

Along with being referred to as the celebration of the birth of Muhammad, the term mawlid also refers to the 'text especially composed for and recited at Muhammad's nativity celebration' or "a text recited or sung on that day". Mawlid_sentence_84

Such poems have been written in many languages, including Arabic, Kurdish and Turkish. Mawlid_sentence_85

These texts contain stories of the life of Muhammad, or at least some of the following chapters from his life, briefly summarized below: Mawlid_sentence_86

Mawlid_ordered_list_0

  1. The Ancestors of MuhammadMawlid_item_0_0
  2. The Conception of MuhammadMawlid_item_0_1
  3. The Birth of MuhammadMawlid_item_0_2
  4. Introduction of HalimaMawlid_item_0_3
  5. Life of Young Muhammad in BedouinsMawlid_item_0_4
  6. Muhammad's orphanhoodMawlid_item_0_5
  7. Abu Talib's nephew's first caravan tripMawlid_item_0_6
  8. Arrangement of Marriage between Muhammad and KhadijaMawlid_item_0_7
  9. Al-Isra'Mawlid_item_0_8
  10. Al-Mi'radj, or the Ascension to heavenMawlid_item_0_9
  11. Al-Hira, first revelationMawlid_item_0_10
  12. The first converts to IslamMawlid_item_0_11
  13. The HijraMawlid_item_0_12
  14. Muhammad's deathMawlid_item_0_13

These text are only part of the ceremonies. Mawlid_sentence_87

There are many different ways that people celebrate Mawlid, depending on where they are from. Mawlid_sentence_88

There appears to be a cultural influence upon what kind of festivities are a part of the Mawlid celebration. Mawlid_sentence_89

While many early Mawlid works are lost one of the most widely available early texts is the Mawlid al-'arus ("Mawlid of the bride/groom") attributed to the preacher Ibn al-Jawzi. Mawlid_sentence_90

It can for example today be purchased as a pamphlet in Damascus for small change. Mawlid_sentence_91

Permissibility Mawlid_section_6

Among Muslim scholars, the legality of Mawlid "has been the subject of intense debate" and has been described as "perhaps one of the most polemical discussions in Islamic law". Mawlid_sentence_92

Traditionally, most Sunni and nearly all of the Shia scholars have approved of the celebration of Mawlid, while Salafi and Ahmadiyya scholars oppose the celebration. Mawlid_sentence_93

In the past, the Mawlid was thought of as a bida. Mawlid_sentence_94

Saudi Arabia currently forbids the celebration of the Mawlid. Mawlid_sentence_95

Support Mawlid_section_7

Examples of historic Sunni scholars who permitted the Mawlid include the Shafi'i scholar Al-Suyuti (d 911 A.H.). Mawlid_sentence_96

He was a scholar who wrote a fatwa on the Mawlid, which became one of the most important texts on this issue. Mawlid_sentence_97

Although he became famous outside of Egypt, he was caught in conflicts in Egypt his entire life. Mawlid_sentence_98

For example, he believed that he was the most important scholar of his time, and that he should be regarded as a mujtahid (a scholar who independently interprets and develops the Law) and later as a mujaddid (a scholar who appears at end of a century to restore Islam). Mawlid_sentence_99

These claims made him the most controversial person of his time. Mawlid_sentence_100

However, his fatwa may have received widespread approval and may not have provoked any conflicts. Mawlid_sentence_101

He stated that: Mawlid_sentence_102

Al-Suyuti thought that the Mawlid could be based on the fact that the Prophet performed the sacrifice for his own birth after his calling to be the Prophet. Mawlid_sentence_103

He said that Abu Lahab, who he called an unbeliever, had been condemned by what was revealed in the Qu’ran but was rewarded in the fire “for the joy he showed on the night of the birth of the Prophet” by releasing from slavery Thuwayba when she had informed him of the birth of the Prophet. Mawlid_sentence_104

Therefore, he talked about what would happen to a Muslim who rejoiced in his birth and loved him. Mawlid_sentence_105

In response to al-Fakihani, al-Suyuti said a few things. Mawlid_sentence_106

He said that “because a matter is not known it does not necessarily follow that the matter does not exist nor ever has existed.” He also said that a “learned and judicious ruler introduced it,” in responding to al-Fakihani’s statement that “on the contrary, it is a bida that was introduced by idlers… nor the pious scholars…” Al-Suyuti also said in response to “Nor is it meritorious, because the essence of the meritorious is what the Law demands,” that “the demands of meritorious are sometimes based on a text and sometimes on reasoning by analogy.” Al-Suyuti said that bidas are not restricted to forbidden or reprehensible, but also to the permitted, meritorious, or compulsory categories in response to al-Fakihani’s statement that “according to the consensus of the Muslims innovation in religion is not permitted.” In response to al-Fakihani’s statement that “This, not withstanding the fact that the month in which he… is born namely Rabi'I, is exactly the same as the one in which he died. Mawlid_sentence_107

Therefore joy and happiness in this month are not any more appropriate than sadness in this month,” al-Suyuti said that “birth is the greatest benefaction which has ever befallen us, but his death the greatest calamity that has been visited upon us.” He said that the Law allows expression of gratitude for benefactions, and that the Prophet had prescribed the sacrifice after the birth of a child because this would express gratitude and happiness for the newborn. Mawlid_sentence_108

Indeed, al-Suyuti said that the principles of the Law say it is right to express happiness at the Prophet’s birth. Mawlid_sentence_109

The Shafi'i scholar Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani (d 852 A.H.) too approved of the Mawlid and states that: Mawlid_sentence_110

The Damascene Shafi'i scholar Abu Shama (died 1268) (who was a teacher of Imam al-Nawawi (d 676 A.H.)) also supports the celebration of the Mawlid. Mawlid_sentence_111

The Maliki scholar Ibn al-Hajj (d 737 A.H.) also spoke positively of the observance of the Mawlid in his book al-Madhkal.Al-Hajj addresses his thoughts on the paradoxical problem of misguided Mawlid observance when he says: Mawlid_sentence_112

Likewise, the Shafi'i Egyptian scholar Ibn Hajar al-Haytami (d. 974 A.H.) was an avid supporter of the Mawlid and wrote a text in praise of it. Mawlid_sentence_113

This was supported and commented on by the Egyptian scholar and former head of Al-Azhar University Ibrahim al-Bajuri and by the Hanafi Syrian Mufti Ibn Abidin. Mawlid_sentence_114

Another Hanafi Mufti Ali al-Qari (d. 1014 A.H.) too supported the celebration of the Mawlid and wrote a text on the subject as did the Moroccan Maliki scholar Muḥammad ibn Jaʿfar al-Kattānī (d. 1345 A.H.). Mawlid_sentence_115

Ibn al-Jazari (d. 833 A.H.), a Syrian Shafi'i scholar considers the celebration of the Mawlid to be a means of gaining Paradise. Mawlid_sentence_116

In the Muslim world, the majority of Sunni Islamic scholars are in favor of the Mawlid. Mawlid_sentence_117

Examples include the former Grand Mufi of Al-Azhar University Ali Gomaa, Muhammad Alawi al-Maliki of Saudi Arabia, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the primary scholar of the Muslim Brotherhood movement, Habib Ali al-Jifri, Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, Muhammad bin Yahya al-Ninowy of Syria, Muhammad Ibn Ahmad al-Khazraji, president of the Heritage and History Committee of the United Arab Emirates and Zaid Shakir, all of whom subscribe to Sunni Islam, have given their approval for the observance of Mawlid. Mawlid_sentence_118

Opposition Mawlid_section_8

Ibn Taymiyya's position on the Mawlid has been described as "paradoxical" and "complex" by some academics. Mawlid_sentence_119

He ruled that it was a reprehensible (makrūh) devotional innovation and criticised those who celebrated the Mawlid out of a desire to imitate the Christian celebration of Jesus's birthday. Mawlid_sentence_120

At the same time, he recognised that some observe Muhammad's birthday out of a desire to show their love and reverence of him and thus deserve a great reward for their good intentions. Mawlid_sentence_121

The Salafi writer Hamid al-Fiqi (d. 1959) criticised Ibn Taymiyya for holding this view and stating that "How can they receive a reward for this when they are opposing the guidance of God's Messenger (pbuh)? Mawlid_sentence_122

". Mawlid_sentence_123

The Mawlid was not accepted by Wahhabi and Salafi. Mawlid_sentence_124

Taj al-Din al-Fakihani (d. 1331), an Egyptian Maliki, considered Mawlid to be a blameworthy innovation that was either makruh or haram. Mawlid_sentence_125

Al-Fakihani said that there was no basis of this in the Book of God, nor in the Sunna of the Prophet, and that there was no observance of it on authority of scholars of the umma. Mawlid_sentence_126

He said that it was a “bida that was introduced by idlers, and a delight to which gluttons abandon themselves.” He mentioned how the five legal categories included whether it is compulsory, meritorious, permitted, reprehensible, or forbidden. Mawlid_sentence_127

He said it was not compulsory, meritorious, or permitted, and therefore it was reprehensible or forbidden. Mawlid_sentence_128

He said that it was reprehensible when a person observed at their own expense without doing more at the gathering than to eat and abstain from doing anything sinful. Mawlid_sentence_129

The second condition of the category of forbidden, according to al-Fakihani, was when committing of transgressions entered into the practice, such as “singing–with full bellies–accompanied by instruments of idleness like drums and reed flutes, with the meeting of men with young boys and male persons with attractive women–either mixing with them or guarding them–, just like dancing by swinging and swaying, wallowing in lust and forgetting of the Day of Doom.” He also said, “And likewise the women, when they come together and there lend their high voices during the reciting with sighing and singing and thereby during the declaiming and reciting disobey the law and neglect His word: ‘Verily, your Lord is on a watchtower’ (Sura 89:14).” He further said, “Nobody with civilized and courteous manners approves of this. Mawlid_sentence_130

It is only pleasing to people whose hearts are dead and do not contain few sins and offenses.” Finally, he said that the month where the Prophet was born was also the month in which he died, and so implied that joy and happiness in that month are not more appropriate than sadness in that month. Mawlid_sentence_131

Fellow Egyptian Maliki Ibn al-Haj al-Abdari also considered Mawlid as a blameworthy innovation that was either makruh or haram, who added that the celebration was never practiced by the Salaf. Mawlid_sentence_132

However Ibn al-Haj affirms the auspicious qualities of the month of the Mawlid in the most effusive terms and considers Muhammad's date of birth as a particularly blessed time of the year. Mawlid_sentence_133

The Maliki scholar Al-Shatibi considered Mawlid an illegitimate innovation. Mawlid_sentence_134

The Andalusian jurist Abu 'Abd Allah al-Haffar (d. 1408) opposed Mawlid, noting that had the Sahaba celebrated it then its exact date would not be a matter of uncertainty. Mawlid_sentence_135

The former Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Abd al-Aziz ibn Baz, along with Hammud ibn 'Abd Allah al-Tuwayjiri (d. 1992), another Saudi scholar, in their opposition also argued that there were many worthy occasions in Muhammad's life which he never commemorated, such as the revelation of the first verses of the Qur'an, the Night Journey and the hijra. Mawlid_sentence_136

In 1934, the minister of education in Egypt criticized the "useless stories" which filled Mawlid poetry, as he believed these were incompatible with a modern and scientific viewpoint that represented Muhammad on a more sober level. Mawlid_sentence_137

Similar criticism arose in 1982 when a chairman of the Mecca-based Orthodox Muslim Organization Rabita declared celebrations of Mawlid an "evil innovation." Mawlid_sentence_138

While the Ahmadiyya deem the perpetual commemoration of Muhammad's life as highly desirable and consider the remembrance of him as a source of blessings, they condemn the common, traditional practices associated with the Mawlid as blameworthy innovations, Gatherings limited to the recounting of Muhammad's life and character and the recitation of poetry eulogising him, whether held on a specific date of Rabi' al-awwal or in any other month, are deemed permissible. Mawlid_sentence_139

Formal gatherings called Jalsa Seerat-un-Nabi commemorating Muhammad's life and legacy, rather than specifically his birth, are frequently held by Ahmadis and are often oriented towards both Muslim and non-Muslim audiences. Mawlid_sentence_140

These gatherings could be held in the month of the Mawlid but are promoted often throughout the year. Mawlid_sentence_141

Ambiguity Mawlid_section_9

Ibn al-Hajj praised carrying out ceremonies and expression of gratitude during the festival, but rejected the forbidden and objectionable matters that took place at it. Mawlid_sentence_142

He objected to certain things, such as singers performing to the accompaniment of percussion instruments, pointing to their blameworthiness. Mawlid_sentence_143

He asked about what connections there might have been between percussion instruments and the month of Prophet’s birthday. Mawlid_sentence_144

However, he said that it was right to honor and distinguish the birthday because it showed respect for the month. Mawlid_sentence_145

He also said that excellence lied in devotional acts. Mawlid_sentence_146

Therefore, al-Hajj said that “the respect of this noble month should consist of additional righteous works, the giving of alms and other pious deeds. Mawlid_sentence_147

If anybody is not able to do so, let him then in any case avoid what is forbidden and reprehensible out of respect for this noble month.” He said that even though the Quran might be recited, the people actually were “longing for the most skilled adepts of folly and stimulating means to entertain the people,” and said that this was “perverse.” Therefore, he did not condemn the Mawlid, but only “the forbidden and objectionable things which the Mawlid brings in its wake.” He did not disapprove of preparing a banquet and inviting people to participate. Mawlid_sentence_148

In addition, Ibn al-Hajj also said that people observed the Mawlid not just from reasons of respect but also because they wanted to get back the silver they had given on other joyous occasions and festivals, and said that there were “evil aspects” attached to this. Mawlid_sentence_149

Skaykh al-Islam, abu I-Fadl ibn Hajar, who was “the (greatest) hafiz of this time,” said that the legal status of the Mawlid was that it was a bida, which was not transmitted on the authority of one of the pious ancestors. Mawlid_sentence_150

However, he said that it comprised both good things, as well as the reverse, and that if one strove for good things in practicing it and evaded bad things, the Mawlid was a good innovation, and if not, then not. Mawlid_sentence_151

He said that the coming of the Prophet was a good benefaction, and said that only the day ought to be observed. Mawlid_sentence_152

He said that “it is necessary that one restricts oneself to that which expresses gratitude to God… namely by reciting the Quran, the giving of a banquet, almsgiving, declamations of some songs of praise for the Prophet and some ascetic songs of praise, which stimulate the hearts to do good and to make efforts to strive for the Hereafter.” He also said that the “sama and the entertainment and the like” may have been in line with the joyous nature of the day, but said that “what is forbidden or reprehensible, is, of course, prohibited. Mawlid_sentence_153

The same holds true for what is contrary to that which is regarded as the most appropriate." Mawlid_sentence_154

Other uses Mawlid_section_10

Main article: Urs Mawlid_sentence_155

In some countries, such as Egypt and Sudan, Mawlid is used as a generic term for the celebration of birthdays of local Sufi saints and not only restricted to the observance of the birth of Muhammad. Mawlid_sentence_156

Around 3,000 Mawlid celebrations are held each year. Mawlid_sentence_157

These festivals attract an international audience, with the largest one in Egypt attracting up to three million people honouring Ahmad al-Badawi, a local 13th-century Sufi saint. Mawlid_sentence_158


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mawlid.