By Husain Zakariyya Yawale.
The Messenger of Allah, on the authority of Aishah, said:”He who originates something in this matter of ours that is not of it, will have it rejected.” And “He who does an act which our matter is not [in agreement] with, will have it rejected.” [Sahih al-Bukhari/2697 and Sahih Muslim /1718].
The month of Rabi’ul Awwal is the third month of the Islamic Lunar calendar, and is usually referred as ‘Shahrul-Maulud’; the month of birthday celebration, by the people of bid’ah or bidi’ists. The fact is that the authentic Prophet’s date of birth remains disputable amongst historians, though the most common is the 12th. Of Rabbi’ul Awwal; the year of elephant.
As a matter of fact, in Islam there are only two allowable holidays: Idul Fitri (the first day Shawwal, after the fasting of the month Ramadan) and Idul Adha [(the 10th day of Zuhijjah (the month of pilgrimage)]. Thus, any additional holiday is not approved by the Shari’ah!
Mauloud celebration, as far as history can remember, was first celebrated in Egypt during the rule Fatimides, an off-shoot of the religion Shi’ism religion, around the year 487-515 AH/1095-1121 CE, as recorded by Qalqashandi, in his book Subh Al-A`shah. The same account reported that the Fatimides also recognized and celebrated Chrismas during their reign in Egypt. The celebration was not only for the Prophet’s birthday only, but also for the birthday of Ali (the Prophet’s cousin), Fatimah (his daughter) and the Amir as the present imam of the Shi’ite. The influence of the Shi’ite doctrines concerning the celebration of the Prophet’s birthday was very clear and is still eminent in Egypt, even today.
In Daura city of the present Katsina state of Nigeria’s version, remains the most traditional in form and style. Their’s version of mauloud celebration is an avenue where almost every Haram is not only permissible and allowable on that day, but abundant and plenty. It is christened, ‘sallar gani’, meaning, ‘here I am freely for you’! A detail encounter with someone who knows it, will certainly make you hate it!
The style of kano mauloud mould is another wassailing crowd of all categories of grime alakadabrised as the traditions of Islam. It is celebrated with inventive colorful attires and innovating conducts completely opposed to Islam. The celebration offers undisturbed free blending and fusing of unmannered grown-up boys and girls going on for days and nights untrammeled! Songs and phrases uncensored are loudly rehearsed, without minding the insults and vilifications contained in either the content or context of the materials. Just anything in the name of praises and eulogies of our dearest Prophet, sallallahu alaihi wa sallam to any level unholiness! One is free to describe the Prophet and his Companions with animalistic tendencies or behavious; zakin Allah, gwankin manzo, giwar manzo or just anything! You can call them lions, elephants, giraffes, buffaloes or anything that will rhyme with the both the intonation, the modulation or the tonality or all of them!
Another newfangled phenomena of the Shi’ites’s mothod of Maulouds in Nigeria is called non-elimination method; an all inclusive celebration for anybody or organization against the ‘Ahlus-Sunnah wal jama’ah’ is an ally. That is why, the Tijjanis, the Qadaris, the Ahmadis, the ‘Qala-Qatos’, even the ‘inda ta fadi sha ‘ and ‘yan ta mores’ are free to join. In their Maulouds you see young men and women in various regalia and raiment, with flags to differentiate the 12th imams, dancing freely in unison with raps and solos. In the various groups you will find, the ‘Micheal Jacksons, the Bob-Maleys, the Niggers and all for, (wal iyazu billahi) the Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu alaihi wasallam!
“And We have not taught him (Muhammad SAW) poetry, nor is it meet for him. This is only a Reminder and a plain Qur’ân”.[Y. S.: 69]
“As for the poets, the erring follow them. See you not that they speak about every subject (praising others right or wrong) in their poetry? And that they say what they do not do”.[ash-Shu’ara’: 224-226]
Thus, the Prophet of Allah is distant away from these inventions, distortions, innovations and fake showings of happiness or allegiance, during his life time and even after death!
Consequently, there were days of European crusades when for almost 200 years invaded the Middle East to fight Muslims in their own lands. Their tenure put in motion the processes of cultural acculturation, adaptations and assimilations. Both Islamic and Christian aestheticism exchanged adherents; while the Christians robbed away sciences, technologies and wisdom of the East to the West, the Muslim blindly imitated the Christians’ cultures that later presided over their affairs, and all the resultant baseless charges in modes of worship. Consequently, one of these unfounded traditions is the folklore of celebrating the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h) the way, manner and with utterly reasonless, the Christians today celebrate the birthday of Jesus Christ, known as Christmas or Xmas!
Unfortunately, Prince Muzaffar paid great attention to such celebrations and ordered tents to be erected right from the beginning of the month of Safar. The tents were extravagantly decorated in a very long row to shelter villagers and foreigners free and away from censorship of behavious. The full celebration usually begin from the 8th of Rabi’ul Al-Awwal and well through the 12th day, and beyond. It was a moment when all proscribed and the forbidden deeds were lifted; decrees and draconian rules alike, and official inspiritment and advocacy were at their peak; in that moment, there was no single haram! Ibn Al-Hajj Abu `Abdullah Al-`Abdari in his book ‘Al-Madkhal’, said that such festivals were widespread in Egypt during his reign and condemned the innovations that used to take place during such festivals.
Generally, the pro-maulud group hinged their argument on the need to remember the life and time of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), and to make the youngsters aware of the treasures and values of Islam. However, the reasons may sound alluring; it is still an act contrary to the teachings of the Prophet and his companions. The Prophet never celebrated his birthday nor did his companions, during or after his life. He only used the Qur’anic injunctions to positively change the whole world in just 23 years! He became a walking Qur’an, in actions and in speech!
Additionally, Imam Muslim reported on the authority of Qatadah Al-Ansari that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), was asked about fasting on Monday and he replied: “It is the day on which I was born and on which I received the Divine Revelation”. It is also reported on the authority of Ibn `Abbas and Ibn Jabir that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was born in the “year of the elephant”, received the Divine Revelation, ascended to the Heavens, migrated to Madinah and ultimately passed away all on the 12th of Rabbi’ul Awwal. These superimposed events on single date can cause a lot of incomprehension, especially to those who are bent on keeping the christo-shi’ism ritual.
The declaration of 12th Rabbi’ul Awwal of every year as national holiday was only a political gift by the government in order to continue to rip-off the sentiment of the teaming majority of illiterates and ignorants Muslims on rainy days. It was not based on any tangible Islamic precept with roots from the relics of the prophetic traditions or Salafi history. For the traditional sheikhs, it was a means of public extortion, unsanctioned taxes, multiple levies, unislamic excise, baseless tolls and high duty! The financial rip-off was generous, while the silliness spiritual blessing from the sheikhs in return, was additional means of legalizing religious corruption!
This group has gone far to grade the celebration of the Prophet’s birthday as the most eminent event the world has ever witnessed; it is more important than Lailatul Qadr, Eid-ul Fitr, Eid-ul Adha Lailatul Isra’ and the Hijrah! Thus, if what they conjectured is by any standard near to righteousness, the implication would be a direct accusation of Allah- (wal iya dhu billah)- of absent-mindedness, forgetfulness and unknowingness to have not revealed thus, to His last and final Messenger! Or incriminating His Prophet of dishonesty or untruthfulness of concealment or hiddenness, had He (Allah) revealed so! Logically one would ask; how can such very significant and rewarding event could have escaped Allah’s mentioning of it in the Qur’an, and/ or His Trustworthy Prophet in the Sunnah? Why could anyone believe the sincerity of the love of the Prophet by his able and upright companions? Such prodigious omission is not only insensitive and callous but inexorable! Thus, this is unattainable, unacceptable and unforgivable gravious omission, even from the semi empirical approach.
Today in Nigeria, many African and Arab states, invented pseudo-maulouds in commutations of their village, tribal, regional, sectarian and cultist leaders, all in the name of Islam!
************There are maulouds of the Shehus You can remember; just any body with small and big follwership. There are also the maulouds of some ahlul-bait (RD) such as Ali, Fatimah, Hassan, Hussain, Zainab and many, many others innocent servants of Allah. Every sect has some people they venerate, adore and elegize. Soon some rich men will start the maulouds of their ancestors, notwithstanding they amass their estates or how they died! These innovations and many similar others lack all legitimate sanctions to institutionalize or legitimize what Allah or His Apostle did not!
No true believer would ever doubt the absolute sincerity of the Messenger of Allah in delivering all the revelations he received from his Lord, Allah the Most High! Similarly, all Muslims believe that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is the last and final Prophet and Messenger of Allah. The Qur’an testifies:
‘Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but (He is) the Messenger of Allah, and the seal of the Prophets: and Allah has full knowledge of all things’. (333:40)
Thus, there would never evolve new injunction commanding or prohibiting, legalizing or proscribing to the believers any act of worship (ibadah), after the demise of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), in its smallish or gigantic form.
Therefore, those who hide under the ruse or costumes of the love of the Prophet in decriminalizing the celebration of mauloud, let them know that love is not without legislation in Islam; love is not a let loose affairs! True love of the Messenger of Allah is a religious obligation upon every Muslim the profess and believe in the Kalimah. Incidentally, both the Qur’an and the Sunnah have clearly defined their methodologies. The Qur’an says:
‘Say: “If you (really) love Allah then follow me (Muhammad), Allah will love you’ (3:31)
That is to say, love of Allah and His Messenger is only actualised by strict adhesiveness to the teachings of the Messenger, without adding up or taking away out for any selfish reason. Thus, anyone who follows the Messenger is more eligible to win the love and favour of Allah and the love of His Messenger (pbuh) than anyone who innovate or invent to suite his ego! .
Consequently, anybody who thought that by innovating any kind of ‘act of worship’ to form part of the main Islam out of love of the Prophet, or honouring him, the reality is that he or she is actually detesting, dishonouring and attainting him (SAW) in a way! This is because true loving and honouring of him is only demonstrated in strict following of his Sunnah as it was, and practiced by his Companions. And indeed whoever desires to innovate in the Shari’ah of Allah that which is not from it, then his love of Allah and His Messenger is not only questionable, but irresolute. Allah says:
‘O you who believe! Do not put (yourselves) forward before Allah and His Messenger, and fear Allah. Verily! Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing. O you who believe! Raise not your voices above the voice of the Prophet, nor speak aloud to him in talk as you speak aloud to one another, lest your deeds may be rendered fruitless while you perceive not’, (45:1-2)
And the Messenger of Allah said; :”He who innovates something in this matter of ours that is not of it will have it rejected.” And “He who does an act which our matter is not [in agreement] with will have it rejected.” [Bukhari: 2697 and Muslim 1718]. Similarly, Islam frowns at innovation and objurgates it in totality. The Messenger of Allah said. ‘Every innovation is perversity and every aberration is in the Hell-fire’. And “He who innovates something in this matter of ours that is not of it will have it rejected.”
Islamically attested, marking out only a day out of the 365 days in a year to reminisce and celebrate the Messenger of Allah, and yet call that an act of love and admiration for him, is not only shameful but dishonouring and demeaning both the personality and divine status of the Holy Prophet (pbuh)! A true Muslim commemorates the Messenger of Allah every moment of his entire life, by taking him to be the best of models, in both deeds and tendencies. The Qur’an testifies thus; ‘Ye have indeed In the Messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern (of conduct) for any one whose hope is In Allah and the final Day, and who engages much In the Praise of Allah’. (33:21)
Unfortunately today, numerous poems, songs, drumming, music and dancing by both men and women are encouraged and applauded as means of gracing the celebration of the Prophet birthday? In many instances alcoholic liquor, drugs and substances of intoxication are freely sold or served free. Single and unaccompanied young women are any one’s take that cares. All these are immoralities that are abhorred in Islam, and despised by decency and modesty.
Finally, Truth can only be promoted and defended through legitimacy and lawfulness, notwithstanding that falsehood may only win, but for a short period “O Allah! Show us the truth and grant us the courage to live by it! O Allah! Expose for us falsehood and grant us the audacity to shun it”!