In the name of Allāh the Most Beneficent and the Most Merciful. All praise is due to Allāh, Lord of all that exists. And I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allāh alone without any partners. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His Slave and Messenger (ﷺ) and upon his family and all his companions.
O Allāh, teach us that which will benefit us, and benefit us with what You have taught us, and increase us in knowledge, and rectify all our affairs, and don’t leave us to our own for even a blink of an eye.
As to what proceeds…
Noble brothers, tonight’s talk is related to an affair, we will go into some details regarding it. However, I want to start with a story that happened a few years ago around the same time now regarding this topic.
One of the visitors of this blessed land met me around this time. He said in amazement, “Verily I am really amazed of the condition of many of the people in Madīnah, the land of the Messenger of Allāh (ﷺ).”
Around the same time as now is the ‘birthday’ of the Prophet (ﷺ). He says, “I am amazed. I don’t see any sort of manifestation of the Prophet’s (ﷺ) birthday in Madīnah.”
He says that, “Madīnah should be the first land in this dunyā to celebrate the Prophet’s (ﷺ) birthday. I don’t see any manifestation of any sort of the Prophet’s (ﷺ) birthday in Madīnah, while many other lands during these days have very big celebrations of the Prophet’s (ﷺ) birthday. They stay up late in the night and recite poetry, and perhaps for this occasion they beat on drums and dance, and things of this nature.”
So, he said, “But Madīnah doesn’t have any manifestation of the celebration of the Prophet’s (ﷺ) birthday.” And he asked, “What’s the reason?”
I said to him, “If you knew the reason, this amazement (you have) in your heart will go away; one reason.”
He said, “What is it?”
I said, “Because they love the Prophet (ﷺ) and because of this they don’t celebrate the Prophet’s (ﷺ) birthday.”
He said, “Amazing!”
I said, “Yes. True love for the Prophet (ﷺ) is not by innovated manifestations (Celebrating the Prophet’s (ﷺ) birthday) in the religion of Allāh. The only true manifestation of love for the Prophet (ﷺ) is following him.”
I said to him, “If you want a proof regarding this affair, do you know a more truthful love for the Prophet (ﷺ) than the love of Abū Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthmān, ‘Alī, the other ten companions that were guaranteed paradise, and the rest of the companions and those that follow them exactly? Do you know whose love of the Prophet (ﷺ) is more truthful than theirs?
And do you think that those that came after them, especially these later generations, will have a stronger love for the Prophet (ﷺ)?
He said, “No.”
I said, “None of the companions celebrated the Prophet’s (ﷺ) birthday. None of the Tabi‘īn celebrated the Prophet’s (ﷺ) birthday.”
These celebrations weren’t introduced to the Ummah except at the end of the third generation, as it was mentioned by many of the people of knowledge. And the best generations all passed without any of these celebrations and it’s not possible to say that Allāh (ﷻ) reserved this good (Celebrating the Prophet’s (ﷺ) birthday) for the later generations and deprived the companions, and those that followed them exactly from this good.
Rather, the truth is that it is an evil that Allāh (ﷻ) protected and saved the companions from falling into and he tested those that came after them with it.
If there was any good, they would’ve preceded us to it, because they precede us in all good.
Allāh (ﷻ) said, “And the first to embrace Islām of the Muhājirūn (those who migrated from Makkah to Al-Madīnah) and the Anṣār (the citizens of Al-Madīnah who helped and gave aid to the Muhājirūn) and also those who followed them exactly (in Faith).” (9:100)
So those are the people of the beginning of Islam, the people of good.
“The best of mankind is my generation. Then those that follow them. Then those that follow them.”
None of them celebrated the Prophet’s (ﷺ) birthday whatsoever, and it wasn’t known that any of them celebrated it.
So if someone said, “Verily, our intention with these celebrations is to raise the mention of the Prophet (ﷺ) and to manifest his magnificence.” It is said to him that concern for this affair, the affair of magnifying of the Prophet (ﷺ) and raising his mention, continues in the Islamic Ummah everyday. They don’t specify one day in the year.
Allāh (ﷻ) says, “And raised high your fame?” (94:4)
And with this, his (ﷺ) mention is raised with the Adhān, with the Tashahhud and in many places in the daily life of the Muslims. So the Lord of all that exists is not mentioned in the Testimony of faith except that it’s coupled with the Testimony of the Prophet’s messengership.
And the people of Islam everyday continue to mention the Prophet (ﷺ) and listen to his aḥādīth, and read his biography, and acquaint themselves with his characteristics, his specific traits, descriptions and actions. They read his aḥādīth, learn his biography and know his guidance.
So they are with him everyday. If this is what magnifying and raising his mention means, then this is not specified for a specific day of the year.
If what’s intended is to make manifest the love of the Prophet (ﷺ), then verily the love of the Prophet (ﷺ) is not done except by following him.
“Say (O Muhammad (ﷺ) to mankind): "If you (really) love Allāh then follow me (i.e. accept Islamic Monotheism, follow the Qur'an and the Sunnah), Allāh will love you and forgive you of your sins. And Allāh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." (3:31)
Love is not that an individual practices affairs that are not from the legislations of Allāh (ﷻ) and claims he is only doing this for his love of the Prophet (ﷺ). For verily true love is only following him and traversing upon his methodology.
Not to mention what happens in many of these celebrations from practices that are in opposition to the Sharī‘ah and from the greatest of them is going to extremes in praising the Prophet (ﷺ). Rather it (these celebrations) is built upon that.
And the Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Do not praise me as the Christians praised the son of Maryam. Indeed, I am a slave of Allāh. So say, “the slave of Allāh and His Messenger.”
And in another ḥadīth, he said, “I am only the slave of Allāh, and His Messenger. I do not like that you elevate me above my rank in which Allāh, the Exalted, has place me.”
So the celebrations are established upon reciting poems that go to extremes in regards to the Prophet (ﷺ) and excessiveness in his praise, and placing him above his station.
The poems are built upon going to extremes in the Noble Prophet’s (ﷺ) praise. Rather, they consider that the celebration of the Prophet’s birthday isn’t complete unless some of these poems (that contain excessiveness) are recited.
Not to mention that in many of these celebrations of the Prophet’s (ﷺ) birthday have the beating of drums, dancing and other than that, to the extent that yesterday a noble brother told me that he witnessed in some of these places, during these days, inside the masājid the beating of the drums, dancing and they claim this is from the manifestations of the celebration of the Prophet’s (ﷺ) birthday.
The Prophet (ﷺ) mentioned to his Ummah a comprehensive principle regarding this matter when he said in his tremendous ḥadīth. The scholars consider it one of the foundations of this Sharī‘ah. Indeed it is his (ﷺ) saying,
"Whoever commits an act which is not a part of our matter (religion) will have it (his act) rejected."
Even if what was intended was manifesting love (for the Prophet (ﷺ)), it’s rejected, it’s not accepted from him, because Allāh (ﷻ) doesn’t accept a deed except that it is sincerely for Him and in accordance to the guidance of His Messenger (ﷺ).
It's mentioned about many of those that celebrate the Prophet’s birthday that they’re so concerned and keen on not missing the night of the Prophet’s birthday and the celebration that they miss the Fajr prayer that same night and other nights as well!
So the obligatory acts are lost but the innovations are upheld and this is a tremendous calamity that has happened with this innovation that they have persisted upon and adhered to.
This innovation has an evil affect on their lives; (from them is) the loss of some of the Sunan, rather the (the loss of) obligatory acts of the religion.
In summary, what is obligatory upon the Muslim is to make his love for the Prophet (ﷺ) a truthful love, a love that springs from the heart, a love that bears the fruits of adhering and emulating, a love that is upon the way of the noble companions (May Allāh be pleased with them), a love that brings out following him not inventing new matters to the religion of Allāh (ﷻ) and practicing deeds that has no origin or foundation in the legislation of Allāh (ﷻ).
There are beneficial, comprehensive treatises containing precious and tremendous benefits by a group of our senior scholars.
The speech of the noble Shaykh Muhammad ibn Ibrāhīm, the first Mufti of this land, the speech of noble Shaykh Abdul-Aziz ibn Bāz, the speech of the noble Shaykh Muhammad ibn Sāleh al-‘Uthaymīn has been gathered and it contains beneficial explanations.
And I believe that copies are available here to benefit from. And maybe it can be gifted to whoever wishes to benefit from it by the permission of Allāh (ﷻ).
I ask Allāh, the Generous, the Lord of the magnificent throne, by His beautiful names and lofty attributes, to grant us all perfect adherence and to protect us all from innovation and desires. O Allāh, we seek refuge in You from evil character, desires and afflictions. O Allāh, rectify all of our affairs oh our Lord, and don’t leave us to our own for even a blink of an eye.
O Allāh, guide us to Your straight Path. O Allāh, grant our souls righteousness and purify it, You are the Best of those who purify it, You are its Protector and Guardian. O Allāh, forgive us, our parents, our scholars, our leaders, the Muslims, the believers, the ones that are alive, and the ones who have passed away. O Allāh, apportion for us such fear that should serve as a barrier between us and acts of disobedience; and such obedience that will take us to Your Paradise; and such certainty that will make easy for us to bear in the calamities of this world.
O Allāh! let us enjoy our hearing, our sight and our power as long as You keep us alive and make our heirs from our own offspring, and make our revenge restricted to those who oppress us, and support us against those who are hostile to us let no tribulation afflict our Religion; let not worldly affairs be our main concern, or the limit of our knowledge, and let not those rule over us who do not show mercy to us!
O Allāh, You are free from every imperfection and praise be to You. I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped except You. I seek Your forgiveness and turn to You in repentance. O Allāh send your Ṣalāt and Salām upon your slave and messenger our Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions.