Observance of Eid-e-Milad (SAW)
Suhaib Rafi Mir
Milad-U-Nabi refers to the observance of the birth anniversary of the last prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The pious day is celebrated across the world in the third month of the Muslim lunar calendar. This year eid-e-Milad will be observed on 19th October in India. Sunni Muslims especially Hanafis observe fast on this day and and engage in celebrations.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was born in the city of Mecca on 12th Rabi-ul-Awal (birth date varies from scholar to scholar) but the month is the same. After attaining the age of 40 our prophet (PBUH) attained enlightenment in the cave named Heera near Mecca where Allah send his angel Gabriel to the prophet (PBUH) and gave him the Quran’s message which he later preached to everyone.
Different views arise whether observing Milad is allowed in Islam or is prohibited. Here I want to highlight some points with proof (hadiths and quranic verses)
“Narrated from Abu Qatada Ansari, that the massager of Allah (PBUH) was asked about fasting on Monday and he said on (that day) I was born and on it, the revelation came down to me. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) observed a fast on Monday to convey thanks to Allah and in the explanation, he said I was born on Monday. So, the prophet (PBUH) himself observed his Milad thus it is Sunnah. And now why do Muslims celebrate Milad-un-Nabi?
What matters in Islam basically is the Quran and hadith. Read some Quran’s verses,
1. Say, “in the bounty of Allah and in His mercy, in that let them rejoice, it is much better than what they accumulate. [10:58]
2. Quran says: we have not sent you, (O Muhammad) except as a mercy to the world [21:107]
Referring to both the above verses rejoicing over the mercy is nothing but rejoicing over the birth of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) because he is the greatest mercy of Allah. Hence the main essence of celebrating the birthday of the prophet (PBUH) is conveying thanks (shukur) to Almighty Allah.
Allah sends mercy to the mankind that is the reason we fast on Monday to convey thanks to Allah. Now, why thanking Allah? The answer is Allah asked us to rejoice over his mercy. [Quran-10:58]
Now the way in which we are observing/celebrating is this allowed or it is prohibited.
Here come two concepts that have been taken from the hadith-one is Bid’at Hasana and another is Bid’at Siya.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said “ he who introduced some good practice in Islam which was followed after him (by people) and that practice is not against Islam he would be assured of reward like one who followed it without their reward being diminished in any respect.
And “he who introduced some evil practice in Islam which has been followed subsequently (by others), he would be required to bear the burden like that of one who followed this (evil practice) without being diminished in any respect. [Gist of Sahih Muslim, book of knowledge-34, hadith 6466]
From the above hadith two points came out one is introducing good practice in Islam and another is introducing evil practice in Islam. Now the way in which we are celebrating Milad un Nabi, is this evil practice in Islam.
While celebrating the birth anniversary of Muhammad (pbuh) we offer nawafils, we recite the Quran, give charity and the crowd gathering in masjids on this day is ten times more than any other day.
This depicts that the occasion connects us with almighty Allah. We rejoice in the hope of the glory of Allah. We rejoice over the mercy which Allah has sent to us. Alhamdulillah!
(The author is pursuing Law at the Department of Law, University of Kashmir)