Sunday, February 05, 2006

Deobandi Controversy on Celebrating the Mawlid

A Study & Critique to Controversial Deobandi Stances on Celebrating the Mawlid in light of classical Mawlid works

Chapter 1.

1. Shaykh Rasheed Ahmad Gongohi says in his Fatawa Rasheediya, chapter on Halal and Haram (2:150) to the following question,

‘‘Q: Is it correct to conduct a Mawlud Majlis that is free of Qiyam (standing up at time of birth) and is celebrated according to the sound tradition?

A: Conducting a Mawlud Majlis in ‘all states’ is not allowed since inviting people for a desirable practice is abandoned. End of fatwa’’

Urdu transliteration:

‘‘Su’wal: In’iqad-e-Majlisey Milad bi-duwn Qiyam, ba-riwayat-e-Sahih, durust hai ya nahin?

Al-Jawab: In’iqad-e-Majilsey Mawluwd ‘har haal’ main na-ja’iz hai. Tada’iy amr-e-manduwb key wasitey mana` hai. Faqat’’

The Shaykh’s fatwa along with its reasoning is in sheer disregard of any kind of Mawlid gathering. The Shaykh’s reasoning (ta’lil) for the impermissibility of conducting a Mawlid gathering is that inviting people towards a desirable (Manduwb) practice in Islam is impermissible! This absurd blunder in the Shaykh’s reasoning is evident to any sane person.

According to this reasoning (ta`lil), the ruling that governs the permissibility or impermissibility of a gathering is observed by the existence of its cause and its absence. If the cause exists thus the gathering is impermissible.

The maxim is:
ﺎﻣﺪﻋﻮ ﺍﺪﻭﺟﻮ ﻪﺗﻠﻋ ﻊﻣ ﺮﻭﺪﻳ ﻡﻜﺤﻠﺍ
al-Hukmu yaduru ma` `illatihi wujuwdan wa `adman

Moreover, it’s surprising to see the Deobandis desert this point when stipulating the conditions for conducting a Mawlid gathering!

The Shaykh’s student and Khalifa of Haji Imdadullah Makki, Sayyid Hamza[1] condemns this view in his endorsement to Shah `Abd al-Haq Ilahabadi’s Mawlid book entitled Al-Durr al-Munazzam,

‘‘This gathering is a virtuous practice so why would not inviting to it be considered virtuous? Inviting towards such a gathering will be practicing according to the imports of these verses, ‘invite people to the way of your Lord’, ‘co-operate with one another in affairs of virtue and god-wariness’, (and the Hadith) ‘ the one who guides towards righteousness is akin to the one who practices upon it.’’[2]

2. On another occasion in Fatawa Rasheediya (3:94) Shaykh Rasheed answers a similar question,

‘‘Q: Is it allowed to take part in an `Urs gathering (commemoration day for the `awliya) in which ‘only’ the Qur’an is recited and sweet is shared?

A: It is not allowed to take part in any `Urs or Mawlud gathering and ‘no form’ of Urs and Mawlud is permissible. End of fatwa, And Allah knows best’’

Urdu Transliteration:

‘‘Su’wal: jis Urs main ‘sirf’ Qur’an sharif parha ja-wey auwr taqseem-e-shirini hu, shareek huwna ja’iz hai ya nahin?

Al-Jawab: kisi `Urs auwr Mawlud sharif main sharik huwna durust nahin, auwr ‘kuw’i-sa’ `Urs auwr Mawlud durust nahin. Faqat, wallahu a`lam.’’

The reader will realise that the question pertains to the `Urs gathering only, and the answer extends to stipulate the impermissibility of celebrating a Mawlid gathering, in the absolute proposition.

3. Shaykh Rasheed Ahmad Gongohi issues the following fatwa to the imposed question in Fatawa Rasheediya (2:155),

‘‘Q: How is it considered [in Islam] to attend a Mawlud gathering, in which authentic narrations are recited, ‘no reprehensible practices are contained’, and is free from fabricated and forged narrations?

A: It is impermissible ‘for other reasons’. End of fatwa.’’

Urdu transliteration:

‘‘Mas’alah: Mahfiley Milad, jis main riwayat-e-sahiha parhi jaweyn, ‘auwr laaf uw gazaf’ auwr riwayat-e-mawdhu`ah auwr kadhiba na huwn, sharik huna kaiysa hai?

Al-Jawab: na-ja’iz hai, ‘ba-sabab auwr wujuh kei’. Faqat’’

This fatwa categorically stipulates the impermissibility of a Mawlid gathering even if it is free of any kind of reprehensible act. The fatwa hence endorses the Wahabi heterodoxy against celebrating Mawlid.

According to this selected group of scholars from the Sub-continent, reprehensible issues that render conducting & attending a Mawlid gathering impermissible are,[3]

1. Fixing a date
2. Free-mixing between the opposite sexes
3. Wasteful spending

So what are the ‘other’ reasons for the impermissibility of attending a Mawlid Majlis even if it’s free from reprehensible acts? Well, ‘invitation’ was one of them, which was mentioned previously in the Shaykh’s own words. And the others are…? Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Adam may have some more knowledge to this.

4. On the contrary, Shaykh Rasheed Ahmad Gongohi’s student and Shaykh Abu al-Hasan Nadawi’s elder, Khaleel Ahmad Saharanpuri (Ambetwi) told the scholars of the Two Holy Sanctuaries in 1326h that even ‘‘mentioning of the dust which parts the Prophet’s sandal and the urine of his donkey which he mounted is not considered blameworthy and it is not a forbidden bid`ah according to the scholars of Deoband, let alone celebrating the Mawlid’’. Shaykh Khaleel Ambetwi told the aforementioned scholars that Deobandi scholars were in favour of Mawlid celebrations and not against them. [4]

Bear in mind that the very same Shaykh Khaleel opposed, in al-Muhannad, his own opinion on celebrating Mawlid gatherings in his Urdu work, ‘Baraheen-e-Qati’ah’ in which he compared the Mawlid gathering which consists of Qiyam to Kunhaya, a Hindu festival!

Bear in mind also that this Deobandi stance was only stipulated (in 1326h) after Shaykh Rasheed Ahmad Gongohi (d.1323h) passed away. Mawlana Rahmatullah Keerwani and Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki had passed away too, and the only elderly Indian scholar of this range remaining in Hijaz at that time was Shah `Abd al-Haq Ilahabadi (d.1333h), who endorsed Hussam al-Haramain in 1324h against Deobandi heterodoxy and authored Al-Durr al-Munazzam in support of Shaykh `Abd al-Samee`s ‘Al-Anwar al-Sati`ah’ on the desirability of celebrating Mawlid and performing Qiyam.[5]

5. Furthermore, Shaykh Hussain Ahmad Dandawi Madani supported the Muhannad’s defence of the Deobandis on the Mawlid, in his book ‘Al-Shihab al-Thaqib’ opposing Shaykh Gongohi’s several fatwas.

6. Shaykh Ashraf `Ali Thanawi says in Ifadhaat al-Yawmiya,

‘‘A person from Kanpur wrote a letter to me in which he asked: what was the ruling of celebrating `Eid Milad al-Nabiyy day? In its reply I wrote, was there anything similar to it in the best of times (khayr al-Qurun)? I wrote this because if I wrote it is bid`ah people worry by this word’’.[6]

Urdu Transliteration:

‘‘Aiyk shakhs ka Kanpur sey khat aaya tha. Iss mein daryafat kiya tha keh yawm-e-Eid Milad al-Nabiyy karna kaysa tha? Mein ney jawab mein likh diya keh Khayr al-Quruwn mein iski kuwyi nazir pa’i jaati hai? Yeh isliyey likha hai keh agar bid`at likh diya tuw lauwg bid`at sey ghabratey hain.’’

7. Shaykh Ashraf `Ali Thanawi says,

‘‘I spent a certain period of time opposing them in the Mawlid practice. When I went to Haj, Haji Sahib heard about the incidents (of him opposing the Mawlid) so he told me it was important to be calm. This is why I joined in at times. For a long time I continued celebrating Milad and performed Qiyam after which I realised that my first method was better, on which I remain until today, Alhamdulillah’’.[7]

8. Shaykh Ashraf `Ali Thanawi records the following incident in Ifadhaat al-Yawmiya,

‘‘Once, Hadhrat Rasheed Ahmad Gongohi Sahib was in the service of Hadhrat Haji Sahib (Imdadullah Faruqi) in Makka when someone invited Haji Sahib for a Mawlud gathering. Hadhrat (Haji Sahib) asked Mawlana (Gongohi): Mawlawi Sahib! Do you want to attend? Mawlana replied: No Hadhrat, I am not going there because I prevent people back in India (from attending the Mawlid). If I attend here, those people will say, he was attending (Mawlids) over there (in Makka).[8]

Urdu Transliteration:

‘‘Aiyk baar jab key Hazrat Mawlana Rasheed Ahmad Sahib Gongohi Hazrat Sahib ki khidmat mein ba-Muqam Makka Mu`azzama hazir they, Hazrat Haji Sahib key paas Mawlud Shareef ka bulawa aaya. Hazrat nein Mawlana sey pucha: Mawlawi Sahib chaluw gey? Mawlana ney farmaya: keh na Hazrat! Mein nahin jata, kuyuwn keh Hundustan mein luwguwn ku man` kiya karta huwn. Agar mein yahan shareek huwgaya tu wahan key luwg kahein gey keh wahan bhaley shareek huw gaey they. ’’

9. Shaykh Khaleel Ahmad admitted that he compared the Mawlid and Qiyam to the Hindu Kunhaya festival in Baraheen-e-Qati`ah. The explanation he gave to it in Al-Muhannad was this,

‘‘To consider during Qiyam that His noble soul is going to come from the realm of souls to the worldly realm, hence the people stand up, is also from their ridicules, since this Qiyam requires the actual noble birth and how can this birth take place? So, repeating Qiyam during the Noble birth is like the practice of the Indian Majus since they are doing exactly what they do during the ceremony of their god Kunhaya’s birth, or it is like the actions of the Rafidhis who repeat the martyrdom of the Ahl al-Bayt every year’’.

In short, the import here is that if one stands up during Qiyam with the intention that the Noble soul is going to come to the gathering, the Mawlid and Qiyam will be like the Hindu Kunhaya gathering.

The Shaykh’s reasoning that considering the attendance of the Prophet’s soul during Qiyam requires the occurrence of his noble birth and every time Muslims stand up in Qiyam this is entailed, is a categorical blunder since habitual birth is not the requirement of a soul coming back in to this world (`alam al-Khalq) as the souls are free from bodily limitations. You will realise this from Haji Imdadullah’s imminent statement.

The Shaykh was condemned for this opinion in four of Al-Muhannad’s endorsements and was castigated at large by the scholars of Makka and Madina in Taqdees al-Wakeel in 1307-8h for holding this view.[9]

Shaykh Ahmad bin Muhammad Khayr al-Shinqiti says in his endorsement to Al-Muhannad,

‘‘As for the coming of His soul, upon him be peace and blessings, in various times for elite men in the Ummah is not an impossible condition. And whosoever believes in this ought not be considered mistaken, since it is a possible thing as He is alive in His noble grave and does what he likes in the world with Allah’s permission. One’s belief should not be that he is the owner of all benefit and detriment since there is no true benefactor and who gives loss other than Allah. He Most Exalted says, ‘say I do not owe for myself any benefit or loss except that which Allah wills’ (A`raf: 188). As for the belief that He is born at time of Qiyam, it cannot be considered to be the view of a completely sane person. And as for the teacher’s statement: one [who believes the aforementioned during Qiyam] is mistaken and akin to the Majus’, it would have been better for him to say a statement more appropriate than this one’’.[10]

The Shaykh of Al-Azhar, Saleem al-Bishri says in his endorsement,

‘‘All praise is for Allah alone, and peace and blessings be upon the prophet after whom there is no prophet.

To Proceed: I came to know of this excellent epistle and found it based on sound beliefs. They are they beliefs of Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jama`ah except that disallowing standing at the time of mentioning His birth and slandering the one who performs Qiyam, comparing him to the Majus and Rawafidh is not appropriate since many Imams praised the mentioned Wuquf (Qiyam) with the intention of honouring and showing respect to the Prophet. This is a practice free of any reprehensibility. And Allah Knows best.

Endorsed by Shaykh Saleem Bishri, Sulayman al-Abd and Muhammad Ibraham al-Qayani- both teachers at Azhar’’[11]

Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki condemns this view in Shama’im-e-Imdadiya saying,

‘‘Our scholars cause a lot of quarrel on the Noble Mawlid issue. Yet however many scholars have upheld its permissibility. When there is a perspective of its permissibility then why are they so extreme? And imitating the Haramain is sufficient proof for us. Yet however, one should not, in Qiyam, have the belief that the Prophet is being born. If one considers that He may possibly attend the gathering, there is no harm in this since the realm of creation (`alam al-khalq) is restricted in time and place whereas the realm of the souls is free of this thus if He wants to come, its is not far from his blessed person to do so’’.[12]

Urdu Transliteration:

‘‘Hamarey ulama Mawlid Shareef mein buhut tanaza`ah kartey hain. Ta-ham Ulama jawaz ki taraf bhi ga’ey hain. Jab suwrat jawaz ki mawjud hai phir kyuwn aiysa tashaddud kartey hain. Auwr hamarey wasitey ittiba`-e-Haramain kafi hai. Albatta, waqt-e-Qiyam key I`tiqad-e-tawallud nah karna chahiyey. Agar ihtimal-e-tashreef awariy kiya jawey tu kuch muza’iqa nahin kayuwnkeh `alam-e-khalq muqayyad ba-zaman uw makan hai laiykin `alam-e-amar in duwnuw sey paak hai. Pas, qadam ranja farmana dhaat-e-babarakaat ka ba`eed nahin.’’

The aforementioned passage categorically suggests that some of Haji Imdadullah’s followers were in utter disagreement with the sound scholarly view on the Mawlid and Qiyam. And the rest of the passage clearly illustrates the Shaykh’s position.

In 1329h (three years after Al-Muhnnad came into print), the student of Shah `Abd al-Haq Muhajir Makki, Shaykh Kareemullah Muhajir Madani (a scholar from Madrasa Sawlatiyyah in Makka)[13] and Shaykh Ahmad Rampuri Muhajir Madani translated Khaleel Ahmad Saharanpuri’s fatwa from Baraheen-e-Qati’ah against celebrating the Mawlid that was endorsed by his Shaykh, Rasheed Ahmad Gongohi, and sent it to the most giant Hadith master in the world, Shaykh Badr al-Din Hassani in Damascus. The Shaykh told his student, the prestigious teacher of renowned scholars of Damascus, Shaykh Mahmud Rasheed al-`Attar, to pen a detailed refutation to it, which was published in the monthly magazine of Damascus ‘Al-Haqa’iq’ in Muharram 1330h. It was recently published in 1998 and republished again in Lahore by Ridha Foundation in June 2001. The refutation is called ‘Istihbab al-Qiyam `inda Dhikri Wiladatihi `Alaiyhi al-Salatu wa al-Salam’.

If it were permissible for me to question, why are there two opinions on the permissibility of the Mawlid among Deobandi scholars? If one of them is correct the other renders incorrect since it impossible for two opposites to unite in one issue at one time. The maxim is:

ﻞﺎﺣﻣ ﻥﻳﺩﺿﻟﺍ ﻉﺎﻣﺘﺠﺇ
Ijtima` al-Dhiddayn muhal

This conflict or idhtirab among Deobandi views reflects on the state of the Deobandi general public, the majority of whom condemn Muslims for celebrating the Mawlid (as observed in the sub-continent and elsewhere) and a minority who are mild in the issue and blend in.

The Mawlid Conflict during Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki’s Era

Haji Imdadullah Faruqi was born in 1223h/1808-9 in the village of Natowta in Saharanpur, India. In 1857 he fought against the British in colonial India and migrated to the blessed land of Makka in 1276h/1859-60. The Shaykh was renowned for his knowledge of was a master of the Sufi Doctrine. Major scholars from Deoband such as Shaykh Ashraf `Ali Thanawi and Rasheed Ahmad Gongohi were some of his followers. Some of these scholars differed with him in various issues yet many of his staunch followers such as the Muhaddith of Kanpur Ahmad Hassan Kanpuri, the teacher of all sciences (Ustaaz al-Kull) Mawlana Lutfullah `Ali Garhi and Mawlana Hussain Ilahbadi, Sayyid Hamza, Shaykh `Abd al-Samee` Baydil, Shaykh Kareemullah Muhajir etc stuck close to the Shaykh’s positions. Haji Imdadullah passed away in the noble city of Makka in 1317h/1899-1900 and was buried next to his most dear colleague, the teacher of Makka, Haji Rahmatullah Muhajir Makki, in the Mu`alla graveyard, may Allah have mercy on them both.

Haji Imdadullah, in his treatise ‘Faisala-e-Haft Mas’la’, warned Deobandi scholars for spreading misgivings in the public on certain issues, one among them was their stance on the Mawlid, on which he made his stance very clear saying,

‘‘This faqir’s stance (lit. mashrab) is that I attend the Mawlid gathering and I consider it a means of achieving blessings hence I celebrate it every year. I experience pleasure and grace during Qiyam’’. [14]

Urdu Transliteration:

‘‘Mashrab Faqir ka yeh hai keh Mehfil-e-Mawlud mein shareek huwta huwn balkeh zaree`ah-e-barakat samajh kar har saal mun`aqid karta hun. Auwr Qiyam mein lutf auwr lazzat paata huwn.’’

In a letter to Shaykh Ashraf `Ali Thanawi, a Mureed of Haji Imdadullah says,

‘‘Didn’t the Mawlid gatherings of Haji sahib, those which he celebrated at his abode and those which he attended in India and in Makka, consist of inviting people (tada`i), using plentiful light, applying fragrance, setting up a seating place for the public and a high raised seat for the speaker, Qiyam during the specific time of mentioning the birth, and gathering all elite and lay people for the celebration? Yes of course it did!’’[15]

Urdu transliteration:

‘‘Kiya Hazrat Haji Sahib kei yahan ju mehfil-e-Milad Sharif huwti thi, ya jin Mahafil kei andar Hindustan main, ya Makka Mu`azzama main Hazrat Haji Sahib ku shirkat ka ittifaq huwa huwga, un Mahafil mein tada`i, kathrat-e-rushni, auwr isti`aml-e-khushbu uw ihtimam-e-faruwsh uw ja’iy nashist-e-dhakir ka buland uw mumtaz karna auwr Qiyam bi al-takhsis `inda dhikr al-Wiladat auwr ijtima` har khass uw `aam ka no huwta tha? Nahin, zarur huwta tha.’’

The Shaykh’s purpose behind penning ‘Faisila-e-Haft Mas`alah’ was to bring the scholarly dispute to a minimum in the subcontinent. Yet however the conflict remained in its form until it hit its peak. Shaykh Rasheed Ahmad Gongohi wrote a fatwa against the Mawlid celebration that was repeatedly published from Matba`ah Hashimi in Meerath, clearly stating that ‘‘it is impermissible to attend such gatherings and is sinful’’[16] to which Shaykh `Abd al-Samee` Baydil Rampuri (d.1318h/1901), a renowned Khalifa of Haji Imdadullah, penned a refutation entitled ‘Al-Anwar al-Sati`ah fi Ithbaat al-Muwlud wa al-Fatiha’ in which he gathered evidence for celebrating the Mawlid and on the permissibility of reciting Fatiha for the deceased over food and the consuming it.

Mawlana `Abd al-Samee` was shocked by this attack and clearly said in Al-Anwar al-Sati`ah, ‘‘the absurdity of words and ridiculousness of meaning in this passage (from the fatwa) puts doubt in my heart that these are not the words of Mawlawi Rasheed Ahmad Sahib’’. The reason for this, explains Mawlana Gulam Dastageer, is because his guide, Haji Imdadullah Sahib Muhjar Makki used to attend Mawlid gatherings and on his return to India used to recite his poetry in which he would call upon the Prophet and asked for help. So did Haji Imdadullah’s teacher, Shah `Abd al-Gani Sahib Muhajir Madani who gave the fatwa of permissibility on attending Mawlid gatherings in several books. Hence, the author of Al-Anwar al-Sati`ah collected several reliable reports of the teachers and Shaykhs of Mawlawi Rasheed Ahmad Sahib who were in favour of Mawlid celebrations to encounter his opposition’’.[17]

Al-Anwar al-Sati`ah received an endorsement from Imam Ahmad Ridha who had already penned his position on the permissibility of celebrating the Mawlid and Qiyam in his work entitled ‘Iqamat al-Qiyama Li-Ta`in al-Qiyam li-Naby Tihama’ in 1301h. Mawlana Haji Rahmatullah Keerwani, the author’s teacher, also endorsed Al-Anwar al-Sati`ah as did Shaykh Abu Muhammad `Abd al-Haq al-Dihalwi.[18]

In 1304h/1887, Shaykh Khaleel Ahmad Ambetwi and his teacher Shaykh Rasheed Ahmad Gongohi (d.1323h), who both belonged to Haji Imdadullah Makki’s Tariqa Chistiya Sabiriya, wrote a refutation to the abovementioned Al-Anwar al-Sati`ah by the name ‘Al-Baraheen al-Qati`ah `ala zilam al-Anwar al-Sat`iah’ in which they compared the Mawlid gathering to the Hindu Kunhaya festival, and stipulated several other unorthodox views.

Mawlana Gulam Dastageer says, ‘‘when this risala i.e. Al-Anwar al-Sati`ah, was published it caused much pain to Gongohi Sahib, his followers and students so they disparaged the author…so they wrote several articles in refutation of it and thought that they gave many proofs to refute it. Among those is the treatise by Mawlawi Khaleel Ahmad Ambetwi, a student of Gongohi Sahib, by the name ‘Baraheen-e-Qat`iah `ala al-Anwar al-Sat`iah’.’’[19]

After studying this book, Mawlana Gulam Dastageer Qusuri (d.1315h) a close and dear friend of Shaykh Khaleel Ahmad, travelled to Bahawalpur where Shaykh Khaleel taught, to discuss these issues with him and warn him of the uprising fitna. On 3rd Shawwal 1306h, Mawlana Gulam Dastageer along with Shaykh Sultan Mahmud Talheeri, Shaykh `Abd al-Rasheed, Shaykh `Umar Bakhsh, Shaykh Gulam Nabi, Shaykh Ilah Bakhsh resorted to formally debate Shaykh Khaleel and his supporters, they were Shaykh Mahmud al-Hassan Deobandi, Mawlawi Siddque Ahmad, Mawlawi Muhmmad Murad, Mawlawi `Abd al-Haq Qadhi Pur, Mawlawi Jam`iyyat `Ali from Bahawalpur on the various disturbing passages of Baraheen-e-Qati`ah. After a brutal defeat on the passages of his book ‘Baraheen’, the judge (hakam) the illustrious Shaykh Khawaja Gulam Fareed of Chachara Shareef, Shaykh of Bahawalpur’s governor, Muhammad Sadiq `Abbasi, stipulated that these Deobandi scholars possessed Wahabi beliefs and were not the scholars of Ahl al-Sunnah anymore, whereupon the governor of Bahawalpur ordered Shaykh Khaleel Ahmad Ambetwi to leave the city.[20]

Mawlana Gulam Dastageer Qusuri penned the debate in book form, mentioning the explanations of Shaykh Khaleel Ahmad in favour of Baraheen, and his refutations in exposition of the book’s aberrations and the correct Sunni Doctrine. He called the book ‘Taqdees al-Wakeel `an Tawheen al-Rasheed wa al-Khaleel’. The compiler took this account along with him to the Two Holy Sanctuaries in 1307h and translated much of it into Arabic on his journey their. In Makka, Mawlana Gulam Dastageer presented Baraheen-e-Qatiah to Haji Imdadullah Makki and Mawlana Rahmatullah bin Khaleel al-Rahman Keerwani and told them of the incident that took place with their students, the scholars of Deoband. These scholars were disheartened by what Deobandi scholars were up to back in India so Mawlana Rahmatullah wrote an eight-page endorsement to Taqdees al-Wakeel in which he strongly condemned Shaykh Rasheed Gongohi and supporters for their heretical propagation and their disparagement of Shaykh `Abd al-Samee`s Al-Anwar al-Sati`ah.

The first teacher of Madrasa Sawlatiyya, Shaykh Nur recited the Arabic text of Taqdees al-Wakeel and the second teacher of this Madrasa, Shaykh `Abd al-Subhan recited the full Urdu version of Taqdees al-Wakeel before Mawlana Rahmatullah Keerwani who dictated his endorsement to this Shaykh and stamped it with his personal stamp. Shaykh Nur and `Abd al-Subhan also endorsed Taqdees al-Wakeel.

Mawlana Rahmatullah Keerwani, founder of Madrasa Sawlatiyya, commences his endorsement with these words,

‘‘After Allah’s praise and praise of the Prophet (May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him), Rahmatullah son of Khaleel al-Rahman, who seeks Allah most kind’s mercy and forgiveness for both, says, I have been hearing several negative things about Mawlawi Rasheed Sahib for much time now. I disliked what I heard and never valued it opining that he never said those statements. Until Mawlawi `Abd al-Samee` Sahib, who is connected to my as a student, did not come to Noble Makka, I used to warn him in my letters and when he came to Makka I often warned him with emphasis refraining him from dispute and telling him to consider the scholars of Madrasa Deoband as your elders but that poor man was impatient and would not consider what I would say. And how could he remain silent? Since I received continuously recurrent (mutawatir) reports concerning the scholars of Madrasa Deoband verbally and in writing and I had to say with complete grief, and considered silence unjust, that I used to think Mawlawi Rahseed is guided (Rasheed) but he has turned out to be other than that. From whichever perspective he came, he illustrated fanaticism in such a manner that his words and writing shocks the reader’’.

Shaykh Khaleel Ahmad says in Baraheen-e-Qati`ah[21],

‘‘This needy person asked a blind scholar who delivers a discourse in the Masjid of Makka about the Mawlud who said: it is and innovation and is unlawful. Hence the true scholars of Makka also consider it blameworthy’’.

Urdu Transliteration:

‘‘Is banda-e-aajiz nay ayk nabina `alim sey Masjid-e-Makka mein ba’d nimaz-a-Asr kei w`az karteyhain, haal-e-Mawlud pucha, tuw unhuwn nei farmaya: bid`at haram. Pas, wahan kei `Ulama-e-Haqqani is `amal kuw madhmum jantey hain.’’

Mawlana Rahmatullah comments on Shaykh Khaleel’s abovementioned proof taking,

‘‘He says that I asked a blind scholar about celebrating the Mawlid who told me that it is an innovation and is haram. Surely this scholar is Mawlawi Muhammad Ansari Saharanpuri, whose name he didn’t mention through taqiya because every child and elderly person in Makka considers him a bad person! Or probably took it from someone who is blind in his intellect and eyes. Subhanallah…He took the word of a blind person as proof who in reality is also blind in his intellect’’[22]

The endorsement is dated 15th Dhu al-Qa`da 1307h and stamped with the Shaykh’s personal stamp.

The Mureed of Shaykh Shah `Abd al-Haq Ilahabadi Muhajir Madani, al-Hafiz Abdullah Sindi al-Mutaari also endorsed Taqdees al-Wakeel, in six pages, asking Shaykh Khaleel Ahmad Ambetwi to retract from his positions in Baraheen-e-Qati`ah.[23]

Shaykh Imam al-Din Ahmad, a khalifa and student of Shah `Abd al-Haq Muhajir Makki endorsed this book in Arabic in 2 pages.[24] He requested the scholars of Deoband to retract from their stances in Baraheen and vouched for the authenticity of the Arabic translations that were presented to the Arab scholars.

Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki invited Mawlana Gulam Dastageer Qusuri twice to his abode in Makka for a meal. They discussed various issues pertaining to the current conflict to which Haji Imdadullah requested Mawlana Gulam Dastageer to summarise the Sunni view on the seven disagreed upon issues in Baraheen-e-Qati`ah without mentioning anyone’s name, whereupon Mawlana did so and penned a three-page article.

On the issue of Mawlid, Mawlana Gulam Dastageer Qusuri wrote,

‘‘To compare the regular Mawlid gathering celebrated in the Arab and non-Arab world, to the birth of Kunhaya and to call it an innovation and unlawful, and to consider its Qiyam which is done out of respect and honour for the noble dhikr and is praiseworthy among the scholars, unlawful and even more call it shirk and disbelief…are extremely ugly statements. To utter such hideous statements about practices those have been passed on for many years through the elite men in Islam that are free of reprehensible acts, are not done with the intention of comparison to non-Muslims (tashabuh), and have a legal basis, is extremely inappropriate, may Allah most High grant the virtue of respect’’. [25]

Haji Imdadullah sent this document to Shah `Abd al-Haq Ilahabadi Muhajir Makki who endorsed it, as well as Haji Imdadullah Faruqi Makki himself who wrote the following statement and stamped it in a gathering of scholars and mureeds, in the month of Rabi` al-Awwal 1308h,

‘‘The abovementioned document is correct and is according to my (lit. faqir’s) belief’’.[26]
Shaykh al-Islam, Haji Anwarullah Faruqi from Hayderabad Dekkan also endorsed it.[27]

A Khalifa of Haji Imdadullah and early student of Shaykh Rasheed Ahmad Gongohi, Sayyid Hamza Naqawi Makki also endorsed it saying,

‘‘The beliefs mentioned in this answer are penned in the books of Sunni doctrine, and Allah knows best’’.[28]

The following scholars from Madrasa Sawlatiyya, Shaykh Abu Mu`azzam Sayyid A`zam Hussain, Shaykh `Asmat `Ali and Shaykh Muhammad Sa`eed Mutee`, called upon the scholars of Deoband to retract from their stances and make tawbah for the sake of their teachers, Mawlana Haji Rahmatullah Keerwani and Haji Imdadullah Faruqi. [29]

Baraheen-e-Qati`ah was refuted once again in the Two Holy Sanctuaries in 1324h when it was hit with a massive blow by Imam Ahmad Ridha Khan during his visit to Makka for Haj in 1324h/1905. The Shaykh refuted Baraheen’s stance on the Noble Prophet’s knowledge of the unseen and re-endorsed Taqdees al-Wakeel’s endorsements after 16years from their dates of composition in his unsurpassed Al-Dawlah al-Makkiyya.[30]

Imam Ahmad Ridha condemned the author of Baraheen, Shaykh Khaleel and his teacher Shaykh Rasheed Gongohi for comparing Mawlid gatherings to the Hindu Kunhaya in section five of Al-Dawlah al-Makkiyya and quoted the statements of the scholars of Haramain from Taqdees al-Wakeel.[31]

Among the scholars of the sub-continent who resided in the Two Holy Sanctuaries in 1324h who endorsed Al-Dawlah al-Makkiyya was, Sayyid `Ali Ahmad Hindi Rampuri Muhajir Madani, Shaykh Kareemullah Muhajir Madani (both of them were students of Shah `Abd al-Haq Muhajir Madani d. 1333h), Sayyid Muhammad Uthman Qadiri Haydarabadi and Shah `Abd al-Haq Ilahabadi.[32]

Bear in mind also that Sayyid Khaleel bin Isma`il Makki, librarian of the Mekkan library was a student of Haji Imdadullah Faruqi. Sayyid Khaleel was among the leading scholars of Makka who supported Imam Ahmad Ridha in his encounter against the Baraheen Fitna.[33]

The Arab scholars who endorsed Taqdees al-Wakeel against Baraheen-e-Qati`ah are:

. Muhammad Salih al-Kamal Makki, Hanafi Mufti (on 3rd Dhu al-Hijja 1307h)
He endorsed Al-Dawlah too, p147.
. Muhammad Sa`eed Babusayl Makki, Shafi’I Mufti and Shaykh al-`Ulama
He endorsed Al-Dawlah too, p142.
. Muhammad `Abid Hussain Makki, Maliki Mufti
He endorsed Al-Dawlah too, p145.
. Mufti Khalf bin Ibrahim Makki, Hanbali Mufti
. `Uthman bin `Abd al-Salam Dagistani Madani, Hanafi Mufti
He endorsed Al-Dawlah too, p168.
. Muhammad `Ali bin Zahir al-Watari (on 5th Muharram 1309h)

In total, ‘Taqdees al-Wakeel `an Tawheen al-Rasheed wa al-Khaleel’ received 19 endorsements and 77 scholars from the Arab world endorsed Al-Dawlah al-Makkiyya against the fitna of Baraheen and its authors. Some of its late endorsers are listed below. (Keep in mind that Al-Dawlah al-Makkiya was authored in Dhu al-Hijja 1324h).

Sayyid Muhammad Taaj al-Din Hassani (d.1362/1943), son of Shaykh Badr al-Din Hassani endorsed Al-Dawlah al-Makkiyyah on 9th Rabi al-Thani, 1331h (1913) in Madina.

Shaykh Mahmud Rasheed al-`Attar (d.1364h), one of the most famous students of Shaykh Badr al-Din Hassani who adhered to him for forty years, also a student of the likes of Shaykh `Abd al-Rahman Bahrawi, Shaykh al-Azhar Saleem, Shaykh Ahmad Abu Khutwah, Shaykh Muhammad Ashmauwni and other.

Among his students are Shaykh Abu al-Khayr al-Meednai (d.1961h/1380), Shaykh Taaj al-Din son of Shaykh Badr al-Din Hassani (d.1362h/1943), Shaykh Abd al-Wahhab Dabs wa Zayt (d.1969), Shaykh Muhammad Sa’eed Burhani (author of various books, among them aare his annotations on the popular Hanafi Figh manual, Al-Hadiyat al-`Alaiyyah) Shaykh `Abd al-Fattah `Abu Ghuddah (d.1417h/1997) and others. He authored a refutation against Shaykh Khaleel Ahmad and Shaykh Rasheed Gongohi’s fatwa against the Mawlid celebration in Al-Baraheen al-Qat’iah, calling it ‘Istihbab al-Qiyam `inda dhikri wiladatihi Alaiyhi al-Salatu wa al-Salam’.

Shaykh Muhammad Yahya Maktabi Zummayta al-Dimashqi (d.1378h/1958), the most assiduous student of Shaykh Badr al-Din Hassani who accompanied him for more than sixty years, endorsed Al-Dawlah al-Makkiyyah on 22nd Safr 1337h, in his Maktabah Dar al-Hadith, Damascus.

Shaykh Muhamamd bin `Ali Effendi al-Hakeem Dimashqi endorsed Al-Dawlah al-Makkiyyah on

He pursued the traditional sciences from his Shuyukh, among them were Shaykh Badr al-Din Hassani (d.1354/1935), Shaykh Tahir al-Jaza’iri, and Shaykh Muhammad Tayyib (d. 1345/1924).

Shaykh Muhamamd `Arif bin Muhyyidin bin Ahmad, better known as Al-Mahmalji (d.1335h/1916) endorsed Al-Dawlah al-Makkiyyah in Ramadhan 1329h/1910. He was also a student of Shaykh Badr al-Din Hassani.

The illustrious Sayyid and Alim of Makka, teacher at the Haram, Muhammad bin Sayyid Wasi` al-Husaiyni al-Idrisi endorsed Al-Dawlah in Jamadi al-Thaniyah 1330h, in Madina.

Shaykh Abdullah bin Sadaqah bin Zaini Duhlan Shafi’I Makki endorsed Al-Dawlah on Monday 10th Rajab 1328h.

Sayyid Isma’el bin Kahleel, Librarian of the Mekkan Library endorsed Al-Dawlah al-Makkiyyah in 1328h.

Shaykh Ali bin Ali al-Rahmani, teacher at the Prophet’s Masjid endorsed Al-Dawlah in 1331h.

Shaykh Yaseen bin Sa’eed, teacher of traditional sciences in the Prophet’s Masjid endorsed Al-Dawlah in the end of Ramadhan 1329h.

Shaykh Muhamamd Ya’qub bin Rajab, teacher of the Prophet’s Masjid, endorsed Al-Dawlah al-Makkiyyah on 5th Dhu al-Qa`dah 132h

Mufti Muhammad `Ata al-Kasm Hanafi Dimashqi, student of the most prominent scholars of his era the likes of Shaykh `Abd al-Ghani Meedani Hanafi (author of Sharh `Aqeedah Tahawiyyah and commentary on Quduri ‘Al-Lubab’ etc), Shaykh Abdullah Sukkari, Shaykh Ahmad Halabi and Shaykh Ahmad Tantawi, and Shaykh Saleem `Attar Dimashqi endorsed Al-Dawlah al-Makkiyyah in Rabi al-Thani 1333h, in Madina.

Among the Shaykh’s students were the likes of Shaykh `Abd al-Wahhab Dabs Wa Zaiyt Dimashqi (d.1969), Shaykh Abu al-Khayr Meedani, Shaykh Sa’eed al-Burhani (author of Al-Ta’leeqat al-Mardhiyyah ala al-Hadyat al-`Ala`iyyah) and other prestigious scholars of the era.

Shaykh Muhammad bin Ahmad Ramadhan Shami al-Madani Shadhili (d. after 1340/1921), a scholar in Madina who was renowned for his mastery in Arabic Linguistics and author various books, such as Safwat al-Adab, Musamarat al-Adeeb, Munajaat al-Habeeb, She’ri Diwan and others, endorsed Al-Dawlah in 1331h.

Shaykh Muhamamd Sa`eed al-Qasimi al-Dimashqi (d.1335h or 1337h) endorsed Al-Dawlah on 2nd Ramadhan 1329h.

Shaykh Hussain bin Muhammad bin `Ali endorsed Al-Dawlah in Safr, 1332h.

Shaykh Muhammad Sibgatullah al-Midraas endorsed Al-Dawlah on 15th Rabi al-`Awwal 1331h.

Shaykh Muhamamd Karimullah Muhajir Madani endorsed Al-Dawlah on 22nd Jamadi al-Ukhra 1329h.

Shaykh Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Muhammad Khayr al-Sinari al-Abbasi al-Madani endorsed Al-Dawlah on 25th Jamadiy al-Uwla 1330h.

Shaykh Mustafa al-Tazi bin Gazuz al-Tunisi al-Khalwati al-Maliki, teacher at the Prophet’s Masjid, endorsed Al-Dawlah on 15th Sh`aban 1330h.

Shaykh Abd al-Qadir binMuhammad bin Abd al-Qadir al-Tunisi al-Husaiyni endorsed Al-Dawlah on 29th Rabi al-Akhir in 1329h.

Shaykh Gulam Burhan al-Din ibn al-Sayyid Nur al-Hassan Madani endorsed it on 3rd Jamadi al-Uwla 1329h

Shaykh Sayyid Yusuf `Ata, teacher in the Prophet’s Masjid endorsed it on 17th Rajab 1332h.

Shah `Abd al-Haq Ilahabadi Makki

Shah `Abdul Haq Ilahabadi Muhajir Madani (d.1333h), a dear friend of Haji Imdadullah who resided in the Two Holy Sanctuaries, authored ‘Al-Durr al-Munazzam fi Mawlid al-Nabiy al-A`zam’ in support of ‘Al-Anwar al-Sati`ah’ on the desirability of celebrating Mawlid gatherings and performing Qiyam.

The following scholars endorsed Al-Durr al-Munazzam,

. Mawlana Haji Rahmatullah Keerwani
. The Mureed of Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki, Sayyid Hamza Naqawi Dihalwi who studied under Shaykh Rasheed Ahmad Gongohi for some time
. Mawlana `Abd al-Samee`, Khalifa of Haji Imdadullah Makki and author of Al-Anwar al-Sat`iah
. Mawlawi `Abdullah, Shaykh Qasim Natotwi’s son in law

Mawlana Rahmatullah Keerwani Makki[34]

The Shaykh was born in District Muzaffar Nagar, in a town called ‘Keerana’ in 1817. He died at the age of 75 on 24th Ramadhan 1308h/2nd May 1891. He took the traditional sciences from the prominent scholars of his era in the subcontinent and began his scholarly career debating Christian Missionaries in Urdu and Arabic. Among his renowned debates was with Bishop C.G. Fender in Istanbul, a major Christian scholar who spoke fluent Arabic and Persian and travelled to many countries challenging Muslim scholars to either debate him or accept the Christian faith. The latter faced a brutal defeat by Mawlana Rahmatullah, and penned his oath that he will never discuss such issues again. Mawlana Rahmatullah Keerwani thus authored the acclaimed ‘Izhar al-Haq’ in Arabic on the discrepancies of the Christian beliefs.

The Shaykh was the first Indian scholar to establish a Madarasa in Makka by the name Sawlatiya. He was highly esteemed by Imam Ahmad bin Zayni Duhlan Shafi’i and was given the post to teach Hadith in light of the Hanafi fiqh in Makka.

A Student of Shah `Abd al-Haq Muhajir Ilahabadi, `Abdullah al-Sindi Makki said, ‘‘The Sultan of Rome, may Allah guide him and us to what he pleases, called Hadhrat Mawlana and our chief, Mawlawi Rahmatullah Sahib, may Allah bless the Muslims with his long-living, by the advice of Shaykh al-Islam and the Mufti of all men, the most learned among those scholars who deepened their knowledge in the fundamentals and branches, the most noble scholar in the God-wary scholars, source of excellence and certitude, `Uryani Zaadah Ahmad As`ad Effendi, may Allah prolong his excellencies, ‘‘Pillar of the Two Noble Sanctuaries’’ and the Sultan also gave the titles ‘‘the greatest Qadhi among Muslim jurists, the most prominent guardian among the men of Tawhid, the source of excellence and yaqin, one who raised the flags of Shari`ah and Deen, and heir of the Prophetic knowledge’’.[35]

Shaykh Abu Mu`azzam Sayyid A`zam Hussain, Shaykh `Asmat Ali and Muhammad Sa`eed Mutee` (teachers at Madrasa Sawlatiya) referred to Mawlana Rahmatullah Keerwani in their endorsements with the title, ‘‘the pillar of the Two Holy Sanctuaries’’ (Paya-e-Haramain Sharifayn).[36]

Shaykh Khaleel Ahmad Ambetwi Saharanpuri and Shaykh Rasheed Ahmad Gongohi praised him lavishly in ‘Baraheen-e-Qati`ah’.


The Pre-requisites of Conducting a Mawlid[37]

We observed the view of Shaykh Rasheed Ahmad Gongohi, who based his fatwa on the impermissibility of conducting a Mawlid on inviting towards a desirable act. This, categorically, suggests the impermissibly of conducting a Mawlid in all states, as it was reported in his own words. Nevertheless, Deobandi scholars later opined that the Mawlid is permissible if conducted with certain conditions.

However, I have gathered much information on the absurdity of some of these conditions that are endorsed as the prominent view of the Deobandi scholars.

Condition 1. One must not ‘invite’ people to attend a Mawlid gathering. This condition is illogical as mentioned previously. Sadly, the Deobandis don’t press on this one any more. It is disregarded in their works; see Al-Muhannad that does not mention it, and also Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Adam’s Mawlid article on Sunnipath who turns a blind eye to his elder’s fatwa.

Condition 2. One must not fix a date. This point remains in a mist and I will clarify its true import shortly.

Condition 3. Men and women must not free-mix. There is no disagreement on this condition.

Condition 4. Wasteful spending. I will elaborate on this condition imminently.

Deobandi Assertion 5. The Mawlid must not be called `Eid. I will shed light on how this point is misused and presented in a negative way.

Fasl 1

A Study to Fixing a Date

If fixing a date and time to all Islamic practices renders the nature of the practice impermissible then all Deobandi Seerah conferences, Hadith lectures and Religious Functions render impermissible since they are fixed to a date and time. Likewise all Mawlid gatherings, as observed in the west and elsewhere, are usually fixed to a date and time. It is illogical to believe that people will coincidently gather to celebrate a Mawlid and that is how it should be done.

So what does fixing a date mean? Is there any permissible form of this?

By Allah’s aid, let me explain.

The maxim is: Fixing a date and time to a practice, with the intention that it must only be commenced within that date and time is impermissible unless it is fixed by the Shari`ah itself.

For example, to conduct a Salawat gathering on a fixed date with the intention that it can only be conducted on that date otherwise the Salawat will not be sent to Our beloved Prophet (May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) and we will not be rewarded is a ridiculous practice. Likewise, to conduct a Mawlid with the intention that it is incorrect to conduct it on another date and that that is the only fixed time and date prescribed for it in the Shari’ah, is also an erroneous view. The reason for this is because the Shari`ah has not fixed any date for these practices and one will be acting like the Lawmaker (Shari`) and this is a sinful practice.

This nature of Fixing a date and time for a Mawlid is blameworthy in Islam.

Imam Mulla `Ali Qari says,

‘‘We do not say that celebrating the Mawlid is fixed to one specific night and whosoever upholds that it is fixed by the Shari`ah is an innovator since His (May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) remembrance, and connection with Him is required at all times. Yet, however, the Month in which He was born has strong precedence over the others’’. [38]

The last sentence yet denotes the significance of celebrating Mawlid in the month of Rabi` al-Awwal, even though it can and should be celebrated in other months too.

However, if the dates fixed for a Mawlid gathering are not with this intention, as they pre-dominantly are not, since we observe Sunni Masjids celebrating the Mawlid throughout the Month of Rabi` al-Awwal and throughout the year and not only on the 12th of Rabi` al-Awwal, it is permissible for local mosques to fix a date and time according to the maslahah (consideration of public interest) of the local community to a date which suites them best. This kind of fixing a date is not only prescribed in Sunni Brelvi gatherings but also in Deobandi Seerah conferences and Religious functions etc. An example of this out side the Shari`ah is fixing a date and time to see the doctor or visiting the dentist etc. This time fixing is based on one’s personal maslahah (interest).

On the contrary, there are certain practices that are qualified and restricted to certain times and dates by the Divine Law (Shari`ah) itself and they must be practiced within the time limits such as Salah, Hajj and fasting during the month of Ramadhan. Man cannot change them nor include any other practices to them through his will.

Therefore, we learn that there are two kinds of fixing dates.

1- The dates fixed by the Shari`ah itself, (Ta`yeen Shari`).

2- Fixing a date based on maslahah (public interest) and custom (Ta`yeen `Urfi)

This categorising is logical and makes sense to any sane person. Hold fast on to this exposition so you do not slip in this issue.

Hence, fixing a date and time for a Mawlid in the correct manner, as done throughout the Muslim masses in the Muslim world is sound and this practice is not blameworthy.

Not only contemporary Sunnis celebrate the Mawlid in Rabi` al-Awwal and specifically on the 12th of Rabi` al-Awwal but the former masses of Muslim generations also celebrated throughout the month of Rabi` al-Awwal for its significance and esteem over all other months. Below are some examples on the permissibly of fixing a date to a Mawlid gathering.

1. The Mawlid conducted by the renowned king, Malik Muzaffar who was lavishly praised for his Mawlid practice by the scholars such as Ibn Kathir in al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya, Imam Dhahabi in his Siyar, Imam Jalal al-Din Suyuti in Husn al-Maqsid, Sibt Ibn al-Jawzi in Mir`at al-Zaman etc, celebrated the Mawlid on a fixed date which continued for several days during Rabi` al-Awwal. Major luminaries and pious men gathered in it to rejoice.

2. Sheikh Jamal al-Din Muhammad bin Jarrillah bin Zuhaiyrah states,

‘‘It was a custom in Makka that the Shafi`i Jurist allowed the citation of the Prophet’s birth place (May Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him), on the 12th of Rabi` al-Awwal after Maghrib prayer, thus, all other three jurists, prominent scholars and learned men along with the huge crowds gathered with lanterns and lights…And I am not aware of the first person who began this practice even after asking my contemporary historians’’. [39]

3. Sheikh Qutb al-Din al-Hanafi states,

‘‘Major fuqaha and prominent scholars, along with the four jurists of Makka, used to gather on the 12th of Rabi` al-Awwal after Maghrib prayer for the annual Mawlid ceremony. They held lots of candles, torches and lights and marched from the Haram to ‘suwq al-layl’ where the Prophet (May Allah send abundant peace on him) was born. The public crowd gathered at the house and one of the scholars would deliver a speech and make the closing du`a’’.[40]

4. The commentator of Sahih Bukhari, Imam Qastallani says,

‘‘The people of Islam always celebrate the month of His birth (May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) by preparing feasts, giving various sadaqah in its nights, express their joy, increase in doing virtuous acts, and recite the Noble Mawlid to receive plentiful blessings. It is observed that the Mawlid is followed with abundant blessings by Allah’s enormous grace and that the year passes safely for the people…’’ [41]

Shaykh `Abd al-Haq al-Dihalwi said the same in ‘Ma Thabata bi al-Sunnah’, p102.

5. The teacher of Imam al-Nawawi, Ustaaz Abu Shaama is recorded to say,

‘‘Among the best innovations in our times is the blessed Mawlid which is celebrated annually, in the city of Irbil[42], in the month of Rabi` al-Awwal on the day of the noble birth, in which people give sadaqah, display joy, beauty, and decoration, all of which is done out of love for Allah’s messenger, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, and this also shows kind conduct towards the poor’’. [43]

6. The Late Hanafi Jurist, Sayyid Ibn `Abideen Shaami states,

‘‘Whoever is truthful and sincere in his love should rejoice in the month of the Prophet’s Mawlid (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) and should perform a gathering on His birth in which the events that took place during the birth ought to be mentioned from sound Hadith narrations. By Allah’s grace, there is hope for such a person to enter the stations of pious men through the intercession of Allah’s Messenger. Whosever’s body is filled with His love will, by Allah’s will, never decay in the earth’’.[44]

7. Shaykh Ibn Hajar Makki was asked about celebrating the Mawlid to which he replied,

‘‘A clear proof for its permissibility opened up to me that is, the Asl of this practice is the Hadith of Bukhari and Muslim who narrate that when the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) came to Madina, He saw the Jews fasting on `Ashurah day. They were questioned about this whereupon they told that this was the day when Allah drowned Fir`auwn and gave triumph to Musa. So we fast today to express our gratitude to our lord. It is understood from this hadith that whenever the specific day in which Allah bestowed his favour or removed affliction comes, one should thank Allah for it…and what favour is greater than Allah’s Messenger?’’[45]

8. The founder of Madrasa Sawlatiyya in Makka and teacher of major Imams in his era, Shaykh Rahmatullah Keerwani Muhajir Makki says,

‘‘There is no harm in conducting a Mawlid gathering after which food or sweet is served among the people as long as it is free of reprehensible acts such as using a flute and singing along with it and exaggerated (Urdu. ‘beyhuda’) lighting, as long as it is according to authentic narrations and consists of mentioning the miracles and birth events of Hadhrat, May Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him. Rather, it is fardh kifaya (a communal obligation), in our times to conduct such Mawlid gatherings according to the conditions I have mentioned, since Christian missionaries are widely spread throughout the land and they criticise Hadhrat, May Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him and His Deen. I advise (Nasihah) my Muslim brethren that they should not stop from conducting such majalis. There is no harm in fixing a date as long as the concept behind it is not that ‘the Mawlid is not allowed on another date’ since it’s permissibly is well established. And Qiyam (standing up) during the mention of the Birth is considered permissible among the pious scholars, Mutakallimeen, pure Sufiya and hadith masters for the last six hundred years…’’[46]

9. Mawlana `Abd al-Hay al-Lakhnawi states,

‘‘When the Mawlid gathering is celebrated in the desirable manner, it is virtuous. When the people of the Two Holy Sanctuaries, Basra, Syro-Palestine, Yemen and from other countries sight the moon of Rabi` al-Awwal they express their joy, celebrate the Mawlid, spend time in virtuous practices such as reciting the Qur’an and pay heed to listening to the Mawlid. In these countries, the Mawlid is also celebrated outside of Rabi` al-Awwal. And one should not have this belief that if the Blessed Mawlid is conducting in Rabi` al-Awwal it is virtuous other wise there is no reward’’. [47]

10. Imam Jamal al-Din al-Kattani says,

‘‘The birthday of Allah’s messenger, May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, is highly honourable, esteemed, reverenced and noble. His existence is the beginning of all success for the one who follows him and whosoever prepared for this day and expressed his joy for the Prophet’s birth, will be saved from the torture of hellfire. So one should express their joy on this day and spend as much as his can afford’’. [48]

11. Mufti `Inayat Ahmad Kakurwi says,

‘‘The custom of the Two Holy Sanctuaries and in other parts of the Muslim world is to celebrate the noble Mawlid in Rabi` al-Awwal. They gather people, recite the Mawlid and salawat, and usually serve food or sweet to the public. Hence, this practice contains enormous blessings and is a means of increasing one’s Love of Allah’s messenger, May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him. In Madina Munawwara, the Mawlid is celebrated in the noble Mosque and in Makka Mu`azzama it is celebrated at the birth place’’.[49]

12. Shaykh Ibn al-Haj says concerning the 12th Rabi` al-Awwal,

‘‘It becomes necessary that one increases acts of worship and piety to pay gratitude to the Master Allah on Monday the 12th of Rabi`al-Awwal for the all of these benevolent bounties he bestowed upon us and the greatest of them all is the Birth of Musatafa, the chosen One’’. [50]

All of the abovementioned quotes are clear in their import stating not only the permissibility but the desirability to fix a date to the Prophet’s Mawlid gathering, during Rabi` al-Awwal and specifically on the 12th night for its excellence over other nights.

Sufficient for the Muslims who fix dates to the Mawlid is the practice of the people of the Two Holy Sanctuaries. Sayyidi Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki said,

‘‘The noble Mawlid is celebrated by the entire public of the Two Holy Sanctuaries. This alone is adequate proof for us’’.[51]

Shah `Abd al-Haq Ilahabad Muhajir Makki, in his book ‘Al-Durr al-Munazzam fi Hukmi `Amali Mawlid al-Nabiyy al-A`zam’, brings much proof on the desirability of fixing a date for Mawlid celebrations whilst refuting the view that it is not allowed. Shaykh Gongohi’s student and Haji Imdadullah’s Khalifa, Sayyid Hamza, considers fixing a date an excellent practice.[52] Likewise Mawlana Haji Rahmatullah Keerwani and other endorsers of this book support this position.[53]



Wasteful Spending

Muslims, all over the world, spend their time, efforts and wealth to hold beautiful Mawlid gatherings to exhibit their gratitude to Allah Most High and show reverence to the Beloved Messenger, may Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him verbally, physically and materialistically. Expressing Joy in all forms is recommended as obvious from the Scholarly statements.

According to the sound explanation to wasteful spending, wealth spent in this good cause is not considered blameworthy since its purpose is to express joy and happiness on the Birth of Sayyiduna Rasulullah, may Allah send abundant peace and blessings upon him.

The absolute Muhaqiq, Ibn al-Hummam says, ‘‘whatever is more respectful and shows more esteem is considered praiseworthy’’. [54]

ﻫﺍ ﺎﻨﺴﺣ ﻦﺎﻜ ﻞﺎﻟﺟﺈﻠﺍﻮ ﺐﺪﺄﻟﺍ ﻲﻔ ﻞﺧﺩﺃ ﻦﺎﻜ ﺎﻣ ﻝﻜ: ﺭﯾﺩﻗﻠﺍ ﺢﺗﻓﻠﺍ ﻲﻔ ﻢﺎﻣﻬﻠﺍﻥﺑﺍ ﻞﺎﻗ

Fatawa Hindiya (also known as Fatawa Alamgeeriya) and Mansak Mutawassit stipulate this maxim too.[55]

It is on this basis that the scholars said,

ﺭﻳﺨﻟﺍ ﻲﻓ ﻒﺍﺮﺳﺇ ﺎﻟﻮ ﻑﺍﺭﺴﺈﻠﺍ ﻲﻔﺭ ﯾﺨﺎﻟ

‘‘There is no virtue in wasteful spending and spending in acts of virtue is not considered wasteful’’(proverbial).[56]

1. Imam Mulla `Ali Qari, whilst stating the tenth proof for the desirability of celebrating the Mawlid says,

‘‘A Mawlid gathering in which joy is expressed, and consists of feeding the Muslim public and praising Him (May Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him), is a way of showing esteem and honour to Him, and honouring Him (May Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him) is required by the Shari`ah’’.[57]

2. The teacher of Imam al-Nawawi, Ustaaz Abu Shaama states,

‘‘Among the best innovations of our times is the blessed Mawlid which is celebrated annually, in the city of Irbil[58], in the month of Rabi` al-Awwal on the day of the noble birth, in which people give sadaqah, display joy, beauty, and decoration, all of which is done out of love for Allah’s messenger, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, and this also shows kind conduct towards the poor’’[59]

4. Hafiz al-Sakhawi says,

‘‘The people of Islam in all parts and major cities of the world always celebrate in the month of His birth, May Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him, by preparing feasts, giving various Sadaqahs in its nights and expressing their happiness…’’[60]

5. Imam Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti says,

‘‘My opinion on the Mawlid is that it is from the praiseworthy innovations for which one will be rewarded since the public gather, recite what they can easily from the Qur’an, the Prophet’s seerah and birth events are mentioned and a feast is served, and this shows honour to the Prophet’s excellence, and is a form of displaying happiness and gratitude for his noble birth’’. [61]

In a previous quote, Imam Jamal al-Din al-Kattani says,

‘‘One should express their joy on this day and spend as much as his can afford’’.[62]

Hence, spending on a Mawlid celebration is based on how much one can afford. If it be a large amount then one should spend it in preparations and also give charity in this month, and if one posses little, he should do whatever he can manage to do even if it be as little as preparing chickpeas in happiness of the Beloved’s birthday!

The father of Shah `Abd al-`Aziz al-Dihalwi, Shaykh `Abd al-Rahim al-Dihalwi (a family of traditional Islamic sciences’ masters in India) mentions his annual practice,

‘‘I used to prepare food during the days of the Prophets’ Mawlid, May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, and once in many years, I was not able to prepare anything other than mashed chickpeas so I did and distributed it in the people for which I saw Him smiling in happiness, May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, and before him were chickpeas’’. [63]

Shaykh `Abd al-Haq Muhaddith al-Dihalwi says,

‘‘The people of Islam always celebrate the month of His birth, May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, in which they prepare feasts, give various charities during its nights, express their joy, and recite His Mawlid’’. [64]

I mentioned the Mawlid gathering prepared by the highly praised Malik Muzaffar earlier. He was a king who spent in large amounts to celebrate the Mawlid. Imam Ibn Kathir and others mentioned that he spent 300,000 Dinars in the annual Mawlid preparations and 100,000 on his guesthouse. He prepared somewhat 10, 00o chicken meals, 30, 000 sweet dishes and 100,000 buttered bread for the people. It was a gathering that was attended by the major scholars of his era and was praised by Ibn Kathir, Imam Dhahabi, Imam Suyuti and others. Yet none among the scholars disparaged him for his excessive spending since it was for a good cause. If this excessive expenditure were a blameworthy act, the scholars certainly would not have honoured him. Imam al-Dhahabi, in his Siyar, clearly mentioned that the King was acclaimed for eradicating reprehensible practices under his rule!

Imam Naseer al-Din Ibn al-Tabbakh says,

‘‘When one spends his wealth on the 12th night, gathers the people to feed them with lawful food, and narrates to them reports which will remind them of the hereafter, he will be rewarded on his good intention if it is done out of expressing joy on the His Mawlid, May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him’’. [65]

This ‘wasteful spending’ question was put forward to Imam Ahmad Ridha, to which he replied,

‘‘There is no virtue in wasteful spending and spending in acts of virtue is not considered wasteful. Imam Ghazali narrates from Abu `Ali Rawdbari (May Allah have mercy on both) that a pious man once prepared for a gathering of dhikr in which he lit 1000 candles. A man came into the mosque and after witnessing the event, turned back on his feet. The pious man gripped his hand and exclaimed, ‘blow out a single candle that I lit for other than Allah!’ The person blew at them but now candle went out!’’[66]

Below are some more statements of the scholars from which we learn that spending in a good cause to display materialistic esteem and respect for a certain thing is permissible as long as the intention is correct. I previously presented the statements of Imam Ibn al-Humam and fatawa al-Hindiya.

1. Shaykh al-Sayyid Ibn `Abideen al-Shami (May Allah have mercy on him), a late major Hanafi Jurist states,

‘‘Beautification of the Qur’an is permissible out of reverence for it and decoration of the mosques is also permissible with the same intention’’.[67]

2. Ibn al-Munir (May Allah have mercy on him) states,

‘‘Decorating the mosque is allowed out of reverence’’.[68]

3. Shaykh `Abd al-Ghani al-Nabulsi, in his Sharh al-Tareeqa al-Muhammadiya, says,

‘And from the blameworthy practices is to light candles, lamps and burners in the graveyards for verily it is a waste and a form of misuse. There is no benefit for anyone in doing so and it is an unlawful innovation and not praiseworthy due to wasteful spending. My Father, May Allah have mercy on him, said in his commentary on Sharh al-Durar in the chapter of ‘miscellaneous topics’, to take lanterns to the head tops of graves is an innovation and a waste of money, this is recorded in [Fatawa] al-Bazzaziya… and this ruling only applies when there is no benefit in such a practice. Thus, if the grave is in a mosque, or on a public pass way, or if there is somebody sitting at the grave or the grave is of one of Allah’s friends or of a scholar from the honourable scholars, it is permissible to do this practice without restriction. Since, this is done out of reverence for the honourable soul so that the light shines on the soil which touches the body akin to the sun that shines on the earth, thus, it will be a sign for people so that they may come there and take blessings from the grave and make an answered supplication. And actions are based on intentions. [69]

4. The decoration of Masjid al-Nabawi with pure Gold and Silver was done to show honour to the Mosque in which the best and Most honoured of all creation, Sayyiduna Muhammad, May Allah’s eternal peace and everlasting blessings be upon him, rested in. Hence, expenditure in this good cause is not considered blameworthy.

Many scholars authored large accounts on the history of the Two Holy Sanctuaries.

. Imam Abu al-Hassan `Ali Nur al-Din bin Abdillah Samhudi (d.911), a contemporary historian and scholar to Imam Jalal al-Din Suyuti, authored ‘Wafa’ al-Wafa bi-Akhbari Dar al-Mustaf’a in 893h and summarised it in 886h by the name ‘Khulasat al-Wafa’ in which he mentioned the different kinds of lanterns made of gold silver and diamonds, and the beatification of the Prophet’s Mosque.

.Hafiz al-Hadith Muhammad bin Muhammad bin al-Najjar (d.642h) authored al-Durrat al-Thameena fi Akhbar al-Madinah in which he mentioned that several kings would gift lights made of gold and silver to the Prophet’s Mosque.

.Imam Ibn Hajr Makki authored ‘Al-I`lam bi-A`lam Baytillah al-Haram’ in which he penned the accounts of the auspicious gatherings of Sultans and scholars of the Two Holy Sanctuaries in which lights of gold silver and diamonds were affixed to the walls of Masjid al-Haram and Masjid al-Nabawi. He mentioned that Sultan Murad Khan Son of Sultan Saleem Khan (d.984) was the first Ottomon Sultan who gifted extremely dear lanterns to the Mosques.

.Imam Taqiy al-Din al-Subki dedicated a whole book to the lanterns of Madina by the name, ‘Tanzzul al-Sakinah `ala Qanadeel al-Madinah’.

.Imam al-Barzanji authored ‘Nuzhat al-Nazireen fi Masjidi Sayyid al-Awwaleena wa al-Akhireen’ in which he reports that Malik Walid beautified the Prophet’s mosque with gold water, the door handles and pillars were beautified with it too. [70]

.Likewise, Al-Nasir Li-Deenillah spent 1000 dinars on beautifying the Prophet’s mosque with pure gold and the best architects were appointed to decorate the mosque. [71]

.Poems were written on the walls and pillars of the Prophet’s mosque in gold. Malik Sultan Saleem ordered a calligrapher to write a Turkish poem of tawassul in gold on the walls of the sacred hujra.[72]

.Other than those hanging in the sacred tomb, there were 620 lights on the ceiling of Masjid al-Nabawi. Chains of pure silver held the lights on the frontier ceiling.[73]

In the aforementioned examples, it has become more evident than the glowing sun at noon that spending in a good cause to show reverence and honour for a deeni cause is not considered wasteful and blameworthy. Also, spending on something that is originally considered as wasteful hence reprehensible in the Shari`ah may change due to its intention as mentioned in the quote of Shaykh `Abd al-Ghani al-Nabulsi.

None other than the ill minded will disagree on this point that the intention is the basis of actions.

ﺖﺎﯾﻧﻟﺎﺑ ﻝﺎﻣﻋﺄﻠﺍ ﺎﻣﻧﺇ
Innama al-a`mal bi al-niyaat

The Salaf disliked beautifying Mosques and the Qur’an yet however later scholars gave the fatwa of its permissibility since times had changed; the earlier generations were not moved by the decorations of this contingent world but people later inclined towards the world and eyes and minds were attracted by materialisation hence scholars legalised beatification of Islamic heritage so that it brought about honour and respect in peoples’ hearts. Such issues are mentioned in fiqh manuals.

Hence Deobandi scholars must resist from maligning Muslim masses for celebrating Mawlid gatherings on certain dates and for decorating and beautifying mosques and homes, since they do this to exhibit their love and display their esteem for the Last Messenger of Allah, May Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him. And to show such respect is recommended in the Shari`ah as mentioned in the prestigious scholarly statements, Walhamdulillah.

The way of true moderation (Mahaj al-Wasatiyya) is to increase the praise of our blessed Habib Sayyiduna Rasulullah, May Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him, and exaggerate in his honour since there is no limit to his nobility and perfection.

Shaykh Ahmad Ibn Hajar Makki said,

‘‘Whosoever exaggerates (mubalagah) in showing respect and honour to the Prophet (May Allah shower his peace and blessings upon him) whilst abstaining from increasing it to the Divine Most High, has surely abided the Truth and protected both rights of Divinity and Messengership, and that is surely the moderate way, free of laxity and extremism’’.[74]

My good-counsel to propagators of moderation is to consider the abovementioned quote and the verses of the Blessed Burda,

Da` madda`athu al-nasara fi Nabiyyihimi
Wahkum bi-ma sha’ita fihi madhan wahtakimi

‘‘Refrain from what the Christians claimed about their Prophets (Divintiy),
And ascribe any other attribute of honour to Him’’

Wansub ila dhatihi ma shi’ta min sharafin
Wansub ila dhatihi ma shi’ta min `izami

‘‘And ascribe to Him whatever nobility you desire,
And attribute to him whatever Excellency you want’’

Fa inna fadhla Rasulillahi laysa lahu
Haddun fa-yu`riba `anhu naqitun bi-fami

‘‘For surely the excellence of Allah’s messenger has no limit
So that the reciter can encapsulate it by the expressions of words’’


The Shari`ah categorises Issues (matalib) as five kinds[75],

1. Dharurah/Necessity. A dharurah is something without which one will certainly die or will most likely die. For example, drinking water and consuming food enough to save one’s life is a dharurah.

2. Haja/Requirement. A haja is something without which one can survive but faces difficulty without it such as necessary lighting in cities and homes.

3. Manfi’a/Benefit. An example of this is to have more than one light in a room even though one light suffices one’s requirement. Another example is to purchase brown bread and goat meat for consumption.

4. Tahsin or Zeena/Beautification. An example of this is to desire sweet dish after food.

5. Fudhul/Extras (Israf/Waste). Excessive utilization, without a virtuous intention, such as spending extravagantly on food.

Money spent in beautification of Mawlid gatherings is not Fudhul, since its purpose is to display materialistic respect for the noble birth. Hence this practice belongs to the fourth category, namely, Zeena.

Fasl 3

Is the Mawlid Celebration an ‘`Eid’?

Among the other misgivings in the Deobandi School regarding the Mawlid is the application of the word ‘`Eid’. As Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Adam mentioned in his article on the Mawlid, that the Deobandi stance is that one should not call the Mawlid an `Eid since the shari`ah prescribed only two `Eids (Ref:Sunnipath).

`Eid al-Fitr and `Eid al-Adha are two major `Eids in Islam. The word `Eid means a day of happiness thus the two major `Eids are days of rejoice. Yet what day is more joyful and heart cooling than the day of the Prophets’ noble birth?

Another meaning of the word `Eid is ‘a day fixed by the Shar`iah which returns only once in a year’. This is also the import of `Eid when prefixed to al-Adha and al-Fitr.

Bear in mind that single words may have more than one import and Usul al-Fiqh tells us that there are Haqiqi and Majazi meanings, and meanings belonging to certain nomenclatures (Istilah), customs (`Urf) and lexicons (Lugat) etc. Therefore one must not neglect the purport of the word and its usage in various meanings since this brings about misconceptions about concepts and usages.

When the word `Eid is prefixed to the Mawlid it does not mean ‘a day which is fixed by the Shari`ah that is to be celebrated on that specific date only such as Eid al-Fit and Adha’, alternatively it means ‘a day of joy and happiness’.

This is where people slip, so hold fast to this point.

The Day of Joy

Let us observe the following verse of the Qur’an.

Sayyiduna Isa, May Allah send peace upon him, made this supplication,

‘‘O Allah! Lord and Cherisher of us all! Send down to us a tray of food from heaven, that it may become a day of rejoicing (`Eid) for us all-the first as well as the last of us-and let it be a sign from you; and grant us sustenance and indeed you are the provider of all’’. (Ma’ida: 114)

If the day, in which a heavenly tray of food is revealed as Allah’s bounty and sign is considered as `Eid in light of this verse, then why not consider the noble birthday of our Beloved Habib `Eid, rather, the best of `Eids? Since, He is the greatest bounty and sign to humankind from Allah Most High, who saved humanity from the torture of the scorning hell fire and showed mankind the way to Allah’s Tawhid.

Allah Most Exalted says,

‘‘And give glad tidings to the believers that your are undoubtedly an enormous bounty from Allah for them’’ (Ahzab: 47)

Therefore, we can say that the Noble Mawlid is considered an `Eid through the inferred meaning (Madlul al-Nass) of Sayyiduna Isa’s dua. Hence `Eid Milad means ‘the day of joy and happiness’ and not ‘a day that should only be celebrated once a year’ since it is blameworthy to consider the Mawlid to be fixed to only a certain time as I illustrated before.

Further more, Allah most High declares in the blessed Qur’an,

‘‘Say: Upon Allah’s grace and mercy they should rejoice thereat, and it is far better than all things they amass’’ (Yunus: 58)

Shaykh Ashraf `Ali Thanawi, a renowned scholar of Deoband, stipulates the following commentary to this verse,

‘‘Considering the prior verses to this, grace and mercy here denote the Qur’an. Yet it is far better to uphold another meaning here which has a general proposition so that the ‘Qur’an’ is a part of its generality. The meaning therefore is to consider the coming of Hudhur, (May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him), who is a grace and mercy. This tafsir encapsulates all other meanings since all bounties and mercies, whether they are worldly or connected to the religion, including the Qur’an, are part of the verse since the existence of Hudhur is the origin of all bounties and source of all mercy. Therefore the meaning of this verse will be that Allah the Divine most High is ordering us to rejoice on his birth since Hudhur is the means of all bounties for us….And not matter how much we rejoice in happiness and joy of this blessed person, it will always be little’’. [76]

Here is Sayyidi Ibn `Abideen’s view, the major Hanafi jurist who is an agreed upon Imam in the Hanafi School, who calls the Mawlid celebration an `Eid. He says,

‘‘May Allah show mercy on a person who celebrates the Mawlid nights considering them `Eid, and even if one recites plentiful Salat and Salam upon the Prophet, the purpose is fulfilled’’.[77]

The commentator of Sahih Bukahri, Imam Qastallani regards the Mawlid an `Eid, he says,

‘‘May Allah send his grace upon a person who makes the nights of His Mawlid `Eids, so that it becomes a severe problem on a person who has illness in his heart ’’. [78]

Shaykh Fat`hullah Banani says,

‘‘It is obligatory on His Ummah, whose rank was raised by Allah over all other nations, that they make the night of His Mawlid the biggest `Eid’’.[79]

The Knower of Allah, Shaykh Abu `Abdillah bin `Ibad was once asked about lighting lanterns and various other practices done to display happiness and joy on the Prophet’s Mawlid to which he replied,

‘‘It is obvious that it is an `Eid from the days of Eids for Muslims and a season from its seasons, hence it is done to show happiness and joy for the Blessed Mawlid’’.[80]

Imam al-Sakhawi states his experience of the Mawlid celebration in Makka,

‘‘The people of Makka pay more heed to the Mawlid than they to `Eid, since all men attend the birthplace, whether pious or sinful, fortunate or unlucky’’.[81]

More than Two `Eids in Islam?

Moreover, it is a misgiving to assume that there are only two `Eids in Islam. Jumu`ah day, `Arafat day and the days of Tashreeq are also the days of `Eid. This is another categorical misgiving of Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Adam’s article on the Mawlid on Sunnipath.

Sayyiduna Abu Huraira said he heard the Noble Prophet say,

‘‘Jumu`ah day is `Eid therefore do not fast on your `Eid day, instead fast a day before or a day later’’.[82]

The latter also narrates,

‘‘One day `Eid fell on Jumu`ah day so the Prophet, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, said to the companions, Two `Eids have gathered in your day today’’.

There is a similar narration from Iyyas bin Abi Ramla Shaami in al-Mustadrak. Hakim said its channel of transmission is authentic even though Bukhari and Muslim did not narrate it. It has a supporting hadith on Muslim’s condition. Imam Dhahabi agreed with him in his Talkhees.[83]

Jumu`ah is greater than the Two `Eids

In a hadith narrated by Abu Lubaba bin `Abd al-Mundhir, may Allah be pleased with him, the prophet, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, said,

‘‘Jumu`ah day is the chief of all days and the greatest of them in Allah’s sight. It is greater to Allah than the day of Adha and Fitr’’.[84]

The reason of its excellence was explained in another hadith narrated by Auws bin Auws, Allah be pleased with him, who said,

‘‘Whilst explaining the excellence of Jumu`ah day, the Prophet said: Jumu`ah is the most excellent day. Adam was born in it and he passed away in it’’. [85]

We learn from the above-mentioned hadith that among the excellences of Jumu`ah day, the chief of all days, is that it is the day in which our father, Sayyiduna Adam, was born. So what excellence can one imagine about the day connected to the Master of all Prophets, chief of all creation, Sayyiduna Rasulullah? His Noble birthday is most definitely the day of `Eid, as understood as the hadith’s inferred meaning (Dalalah al-Nass).

`Arafa day is `Eid

Timidhi records a hadith from `Abdullah Ibn `Abbas who narrates that ‘‘the Prophet recited this verse, ‘and today we have perfected for you your religion’ whereupon a Jew who was sitting nearby remarked, if this verse ever revealed on us we would have marked the day of its revelation as `Eid. After hearing what he said, the Prophet, may Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him, replied, you celebrate only one `Eid and this verse has revealed on a day which consists of two `Eids, the day of Jumu`ah and the day of `Arafat’’.[86]

Imam Bukhari in his Sahih narrates a similar report. [87]

The Days of Tashreeq are also `Eid

Imam Hakim Naisaburi narrates in His Mustadrak from the companion `Uqba bin `Amir who said,

Allah’s Messenger said, the days of `Arafa, Nahr, Tashreeq are the days of `Eid for us people of Islam. They are the days of eating and drinking’’.[88]

Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal’s view

It is reported that Imam Ahmad upheld that Jumu`ah night is greater than the night of Qadr since the Light of Prophet Muhammad, Allah's peace and blessinsg be upon him, was transferred to his mother Amina’s womb.

The well-known Deobandi Shaykh, Ashraf `Ali Thanawi says,

‘‘It is narrated that Imam Ahmad said that Jumu`ah night is greater than the night of Qadr in various ways since the Messenger of the world came into the blessed womb of his mother and this coming contained uncountable blessings and mercies of this world and the hereafter ’’.[89]

He translated these words into Urdu from Shaykh `Abd al-Haq al-Dihalwi’s Persian commentary on Mishkat al-Masabih.[90]

Shaykh Fat`hullah Banani mentions Imam Ahmad’s stance saying,

‘‘Jumu`ah night is greater then the night of Qadr because the Noble Light was transferred to the blessed womb of Amina this night’’[91]

Now let us ponder, if the night of Jumu`ah is greater than the night of Qadr due to the transference of the Prophet’s Light into Sayyida Amina, then what can one imagine about the boundless excellence of the 12th of Rabi` al-Awwal in which the Noble Habib was born and physically came into this world?

In reality, the Mawlid night is greater than all other `Eids in Islam and its happiness if everlasting for Muslims. This is why Mulla `Ali Qari said,

‘‘We do not call it `Eid since it is greater than `Eid and all other `Eids in Islam’’.[92]

Hence, Deobandi scholars must stop condemning Muslims for calling the Mawlid an `Eid, and Allah and his Messenger give guidance.

Final word

I hope this article has eradicated trendy misgivings borne in the minds of many people and that it has expounded on the absurdity of some late 19th century and some Modern fatwas against the Mawlid Celebrations.[93]

My advice to Sunni Muslims and especially to Deobandi scholars is to consider the specific nasihas of Sayyidi Shaykh Ibn `Abideen and Mawlana Rahmatullah Keerwani and remain committed to them.

I penned this article to achieve a greater station with Allah and to increase my Love for Sayyiduna Rasulullah hoping that it me be a lantern for others. If this information is correct it is from Allah, otherwise it is from me, and a flaw on my behalf.

Munawwar Ateeq Rizvi

[1] He also endorsed Taqdees al-Wakeel against the fitna of Baraheen-e-Qati`ah in which the Mawlid is compared to the Hindua Kunhaya festival.
[2] Al-Durr al-Munazzam, p136.
[3] See Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Adam’s article on the Mawlid on Sunnipath.
[4] Al-Muhannad, Question 21
[5] See more on this on the section to ‘Haji Imdadullah’
[6] Ifadhaat al-Yawmiyya, 4: 539.
[7] Ibid. 4:512
[8] Ifadhaat al-Yawmiya, 7:206.
[9] See section on ‘Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki’.
[10] Al-Muhannad, p127
[11] Al-Muhannad p129
[12] p 93. See also: Imdad al-Mushtaq by Shaykh Ashraf Ali Thanawi p56.
[13] Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Adam, in his muqaddimah to Al-Muhannad’s new edition with footnotes, asserted that Madrasa Sawlatiyya in Makka was affiliated to Deoband. You will learn in this short treatise how this ascription is a mere misgiving and that the scholars of Madrasa Sawlatiyya initiated against the Deobandi Fitna.
[14] Faisala-e-Haft Mas’alah, p5
[15] Bawadir al-Nawadir, Matba`ah Deoband, p201.
[16] Taqdees al-Wakeel `an Tawheen al-Rasheed wa al-Khaleel, p5-7.
[17] Ibid. p8.
[18] P 314-5 & 308.
[19] Ibid. P9.
[20] Taqdees al-Wakeel, p13.
[21] p20
[22] Taqdees al-Wakeel, p415 to422
[23] Ibid p 423 to 428.
[24] Ibid p428-430.
[25] Taqdees al-Wakeel, p443.
[26] Taqdees al-Wakeel, p444.
[27]Founder of Jamia Nizamia Hayderabad and auhtor of Anwar-e-Ahmadi fi Mawlid al-Nabiy. Among his student’s was the Mujaddid of his era and Muhaddith of Dekkan, Shah `Abdullah Hayderabadi who authored a five volume commentary on Mishkat al-Masabih in Arabic called ‘Zujajat al-Masabih’ and is a major source for Hanafi evidences and one of the best. It was endorsed by Shaykh `Abd al-Fattah Abu Guddah and others.
[28] Ibid. p444
[29] Ibid. P445.
[30] Al-Dawlah al-Makkiyya, from pages 86-88.
[31] Ibid. p87.
[32] Al-Dawlah, p179, 201, 231.
[33] See: his endorsements to Al-Dawlah al-Makkiyya from p38 to 142, Hussam al-Haramain p30-31, Malfuzat Imam Ahmad Ridha vol 2.
[34] Visit the Shaykh’s biography and works on
[35] Taq:423
[36] Taqdees al-Wakeel: 445
[37] See: Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Adam’s article on
[38] Al-Mawrid al-Rawi, p7-8
[39] Al-Jami` al-Latif fi Fadhli Makkata wa Ahliha wa Bina’i al-Bayt al-Shareef, see: al-Qawl al-Fasl, p145, 146
[40] Al-I`lam bi A`alam Baytillah al-Haram, p196
[41] Al-Mawahib al-Luduniyah, 1:27, Dar al-Kutub al-`Ilmiyyah, Beirut
[42] This Mawlid was hosted by Malik Muzaffar, the king of Irbil.
[43] Al-Ba`ith `ala Inkar al-Bida` wa al-Hawadith, p13. Also, Seerah Insan al-`Uyun, Shaykh Burhan al-Din al-Halabi, 1:137, ed. Mustafa Albabi & Sons, Egypt
[44] Sharh al-Mawlid li-Ibn Hajar by Ibn `Abideen, quote. Jawahir al-Bihar, 3:340, Mustafa Albabi & sons, ed. 1379h
[45] Imam Suyuti mentions this in Husn al-Maqsid fi `Amal al-Mawlid, al-Hawi li al-Fatawa, 1:196
[46] See: Shaykh Rahmatullah Keerwani’s endorsement on Al-Anwar al-Sati`ah p314, 315. Bear in mind that Shaykh Khaleel Ambetwi’s book Al-Baraheen al-Qati`ah which is endorsed word by word by his teacher Rasheed Ahmad Gongohi is a refutation to this work. See also: The Shaykh’s endorsement to Shah `Abdul Haq Muhajir Makki’s account of the Mawlid gatherings in Masjid al-Nabawi entitled Al-Durr al-Munazzam.
[47] Fatawa `Abd al-Hay 2:283
[48] Subul al-Huda, 1:441
[49] Tawarikh-e-Habib-e-Ilah, p15
[50] Al-Mudkhal 1:361.
[51] Shama`im –e- Imdadiya, p87-88
[52] Endorsement p136
[53] See endorsements from pages 133 to 143.
[54] Fat`h al-Qadeer, 3:94, ed. Maktaba Nuriya, Sakkhar
[55] Nizam al-Din, Fatawa Hindiya, 1:265, Maktaba Kubra Ameeriya, Bawulaq, Egypt 1310h
[56] ‘Fawa’id al-Fu`wad’. It was originally said by Shaykh Abu Sa`eed Abu al-Khayr. Quote: Mehr-e-Munir, p359.
[57] Al-Mawrid al-Rawi
[58] This Mawlid was hosted by Malik Muzaffar, the king of Irbil.
[59] Al-Ba`ith `ala Inkar al-Bida` wa al-Hawadith, p13. See also: Sirah Insan al-`Uyun by Shaykh Burhan al-Din al-Halabi al-Shafi`I, 1:137, Mustafa Albabi & Sons
[60] Subul al-Huda, 1:439
[61] Husna al-Maqsid fi `Amal al-Mawlid, al-Hawi li al-Fatawa, 1:189.
[62] Subul al-Huda, 1:441
[63] Al-Durr al-Thameen, p40
[64] Ma Thabat bi al-Sunnah, p102
[65] Subul al-Huda 1:441
[66] Malfuzat, p112
[67] Radd al-Muhtar
[68] Ibn al-Munir ala al-Jami al-Sahih
[69] Sharh al-Tariqa, 2: p630
[70] Nuzhat al-Nazireen fi Masjid Sayyid al-Awwaleena wa al-Akhireen, al-Barzanji, p18
[71] ibid. p45
[72] Nuzhat al-Nazireen, p 45
[73] Nuzhat al-Nazireen, p 64
[74] Al-Jawhar al-Munazzam, p12, Maktaba Qadiriya, Lahore ed.1405h
[75] See: Jaliyy al-Naas fi Amakin al-Rukhas in Fatawa Radhawiya vol 25. Also, Imam al-Hamawi’s Gamz `Uyun al-Basa’ir `ala al-Ashbah wa al-Naza’ir li Ibn Nujaym who quotes Imam Ibn al-Hummam’s Fat’h al-Qadir, 1:276, Dar al-Kutub al-`Ilmiyya ed.1985.
[76] See the Shaykh’s selected speeches by the name ‘Milad al-Nabiy’, p120-12, ed. Jamili Kutub Khana, Lahore, Pakistan.
[77] Sharh al-Mawlid li-Ibn Hajar by Ibn `Abideen, quote. Jawahir al-Bihar 3:340, Mustafa Albabi & sons, ed.1379h
[78] Al-Mawahib al-Luduniyah, 1:27, Dar al-Kutub al-`Ilmiyyah, Beirut
[79] Mawlid Khayri Khalqillah, p16
[80] Al-Miyar al-Murib wa al-Jami` al-Magrib `an Fatawa Ahl Africia wa al-Undlus wa al-Magrib authored by Shaykh Abu al-Abbas Ahmad ibn Yahya al-Wanshrareeshi 11:278. Quote: al-Adillat al-Shar`iyah fi jawaz al-ihtifal bi-Milad Khayr al-Bariyyah by Shaykh Izz al-Din Hussain al-Shaykhp39.
[81] Al-Mawrid al-Rawi, p28
[82] Al-Mustadrak, 1:603
[83] Al-Mustadrak, Kitab al-Jumu`ah.
[84] Miskhat, Bab al-Jumu`ah
[85] Abu Dawud, Nisai, Ibn Maja, Darimi.
[86] Tirmidhi, Tafseer of Surah Ma`idah.
[87] Bukhari, Kitab al-iman. See also its commentary by Imam `Aini, Umdat al-Qari.
[88] Al-Mustadrak, 1:600
[89] Jumu`ah key faza’il uw Ahkam, p4.
[90] Asha`at al-Lum`at, 1:577
[91] Mawlid Khayri Khalqillah, p158
[92] Al-Mawrid al-Rawi p30
[93] Among such fatwas is Mufti Taqi Uthmanis on It was refuted by Sayyidi Gibril F.Haddad, may Allah preserve him and extend his rays in the easts and wests, ameen.
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