Friday, March 21, 2008

Celebration of Prophet’s birthday comes under fire

Saturday, 22 March, 2008, Doha
(Gulf Times)

Muslims celebrating the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday in Qatar have come under fire as several Doha-based Muslim scholars yesterday criticised the practice as an “un-Islamic habit” imported from Christians.

Sheikh Raad al-Hussein, who was giving the Friday sermon at Hussein Bin Kamal Mosque at al-Hilal, criticised the celebration of the Prophet’s birthday as bida’a (an innovation in the religion) saying that none of the Muslims who accompanied the Prophet during his life ever celebrated his birthday.

“It has not been proved that any of the earlier Muslims commemorated the occasion. Even the exact day of birth of the Prophet is not known with certainty. Some contemporary researchers have confirmed that he died on the 9th of Rabee’ al-Awal rather than the 12th as is commonly believed. Arabs were not known for using calendars or writing history during that time,” al-Hussein said.

Al-Hussein said that the celebration was always full of undesired and wicked things which oppose the basis of the religion of Islam. “There are many sins committed in the name of that day like free mixing of men and women in one area and many other objectionable acts,” he said.

The scholar warned Muslims against what he called “over praising the Prophet Muhammad” saying that Christians have started praising Jesus excessively and ended up as “worshiping him as a son of God”.
“Muslims have been warned by the Prophet himself not to exalt him as the Christians did with Jesus and worshipped him instead of Allah. This celebration has no basis in the holy Qur’an or the tradition. The Prophet has never performed it or informed his nation to do so,” he said.

He blamed the then-Christian peoples of Egypt and Syria for “exporting their habit of celebrating Jesus Christ’s birthday” to the Muslims in the region.
“Al-Jabarti ,an Egyptian historian who witnessed the French occupation of Egypt in the 19th century said that Napoleon Bonaparte himself participated in the celebration and encouraged it. Unfortunately, we cannot help being affected by such celebrations here in Doha. Many malls started joining the celebration for commercial benefit. They came to us here via the satellite channels,” he said.

Mohamed Hassan al-Mreikhi, a Muslim scholar who was giving the Friday sermon at Othman bin Affan mosque at Al Khor, criticised the Muslim countries which observe the Prophet’s birthday as a public holiday.
“Some countries used to stop their business and delay projects just to celebrate this occasion let alone the sins committed by some Muslims during such celebration. It has never been proved that any of the prophet’s companions had marked the day,” he said.

He also slammed the Muslim scholars who permitted the celebration as “enemy of the Prophet’s tradition”.
“Some scholars have been disillusioned by the enemy of Islam and started urging Muslims for the celebration. They came up with some naïve justifications just to endorse such innovations and celebrate the birthday of the Prophet,” he said, while observing that the habit has been initiated by the Fatimide state which once ruled Egypt and Morocco.

Read also: Milad-un Nabi - Maulid - Prophet Muhammad's Birthday (


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