Q: What is the truth about Milad?
On the 12th of Rabi-Awwal Milad-un-Nabi is celebrated with great
fanfare and Milad meetings are arranged. What is the ruling of Shariah
A: The gatherings arranged to remember
the birth of the Prophet Muhammad, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, the mercy
to the mankind, are called Milad gatherings. Remembering the life of the
Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, and teaching others about it, is
an act of great blessing and virtue. However all good deeds have to be
performed according to the rules and guidelines established by the Shariah.
To exceed them is a grave sin. For example reciting the Qur'an is a great
act of virtue, but it is prohibited to do so while one is in ruku or sujud
in prayers. Likewise, Salat is one of the most important acts of worship.
Yet, it is haram to perform it at sunrise or sunset.
Similarly, there are rules governing
the blessed remembrance of the Sirah. For example, this remembrance must
not be associated with a particular day or month; it should be considered
equally virtuous during every month of the year, every week of the month,
and every day of the week. Also it can take any permissible form. For example
you can arrange a reading of an authentic book on Sirah or have a lecture
delivered by a scholar. Doing that is not only permissible but it will
bring great reward. But it is important to stay away from the evils found
in the prevalent Milad gatherings. Here are some of those evils:
For these reasons one should refrain
from the prevalent Milad gatherings. However if care is taken to avoid
all of these evils and to follow the Shariah carefully, then a meeting
organized to remember the Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, with the
sole purpose of seeking Allah's pleasure, will Insha-Allah be a blessed
event. And Allah knows best.
A particular date (12 Rabi-Awwal) has
been designated for this remembrance. There is no evidence supporting this
designation during the time of Sahaba (Companions), the tabiyeen (the generation
that followed the companions) or taba-tabiyeen (the next generation). This
designation is bida'a (innovation).
The element of showoff (riya) is commonly
present in these gatherings.
If someone does not attend these gatherings,
he is looked down upon.
Distribution of sweets is considered
an indispensable part of the proceedings.
To meet the expenses donations are collected
from sometimes unwilling people who give money under social pressure. According
to the hadith it is not permissible to take any Muslim's money without
Intermixing of men and women commonly
takes place in these gatherings. People stay late at night in these meetings
thereby missing the next morning's prayers.
The focus of the talks delivered there
is very limited. The Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, has given guidance
for every aspect of our life. These cover acts of worship, dealing with
other people, morals and manners, social relationships, business dealings,
etc. However, it has been observed that the prevalent Milad talks concentrate
mainly or solely on the account of the birth of the Prophet, Sall-Allahu
alayhi wa sallam, and his miracles. They do not attempt to cover the vast
teachings of the Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam. [Thus, not only
the form of these meetings but also the message given by them is generally
a distorted one. Translator.]
Written: Muhammad Abdul Muntaqim
Sylheti (Darul-Ifta, Darul-uloom Karachi)
Justice Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani
Mufti Muhammad Rafi Usmani
Mufti Abdul Rauf Sakharvi
And many others.
Translated from Urdu by Khalid Baig.