Observance of Milad and its relevance with Hadith and Quran
By: Suhaib Rafi Mir
Milad-un-Nabi (SAW) refers to the observance of the birth anniversary of the last prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and the pious day is celebrated across the world in the third month of the Muslim lunar calendar. This year Milad was observed on 19th October in India. Several Sunni Muslims, especially Hanafis, observe fast on this day besides reciting Quran, Naat’s, Hadith as well as Seera of the prophet (biography).
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was born in the city of Mecca on 12th Rabi-ul-Awal. While the exact birth date varies from scholar to scholar and from school of thought to another, the month however is the same according to all the top scholars and jurisprudents. After attaining the age of 40 our prophet attained enlightenment in the cave named Heera near Mecca where Allah sent his angel, Gabriel, to the prophet and gave him the first Quran’s message which he later preached to everyone.
There there is a huge debate among various scholars regarding the celebration of Milad, most of them however think that if the celebrations are according to Quran and Hadith, there isnnt any issue. But there are certain practices that are far away from Islamic teachings and yet find people strangely associating with Milad celebrations. This includes have parties and cutting cake etc, which acrording to most of the scholars isn’t Islam and doesn’t represent those who are supporting celebration of Milad. Narrated from Abu Qatada Ansari, that the massager of Allah (PBUH) was asked about fasting on Monday’s and he said on (that day) I was born and on it, the revelation came down to me. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) observe a fast on Monday to convey thanks to Allah and in the explanation, he said I was born on Monday. So, the prophet himself observed his Milad and thus conferring the status of Sunna to celebrating Milad.
What matters in Islam basically is the Quran and hadith and some Quran’s verses read as- “Say, in the bounty of Allah and in His mercy, in that let them rejoice, it is much better than what they accumulate”. Quran also says that “…we have not sent you, (O Muhammad) except as a mercy to the world.”
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 for all creatures and everything. Hence the main essence of celebrating the birthday of the prophet is conveying thanks (shukur) to Almighty Allah.
Now the way in which we are observing/celebrating Milad is actually the issue rather the event itself and there have been several hundred debates regarding this and most of the Islamic scholars have seen no problem in celebrating the Milad if the celebrations are withon the bounds of Islam. 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 practise) without being diminished in any respect (Sahih Muslim, book of knowledge-34, hadith 6466).
There is a clear distinction between a good practice as well as a bad practice in Islam and it makes all the difference in the case of Milad also. Those people who think that they can go to any extent and forget the limitations as well as boundaries put forth by the Sharia are surely beinging a bad name to the Muslim Umma. But there are those who have profound respect and reverence not just for milad but for the Sunna of the prophet and whenever they have to celebrate Milad, they do it within the Sharia boundaries and therefore make a strong case for celebrations on Milad.
The writer is Pursuing Law at the Department of Law University of Kashmir