Milaad - A Caution Against Innovation
`Abdul `Aziz bin `Abdullaah bin Baaz
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious the Most Merciful
implication of Sunna and caution against innovation
All praise be to Allah who completed
the religion for us, perfected the blessing on us
and chose Islam as our religion. May the blessings
and peace be upon His servant and Apostle, who called
upon people to obey his Lord and cautioned against
extravagance, innovation and disobedience; And may
Allah bless his posterity, his companions and those
who follow his footsteps till the Day of Judgement.
I have been acquainted with the article published
in the first page of the weekly magazine "Edarat"
of the Kanpur, Industrial city of Utter Pradesh in
India. The writer alleges that the creed of the Salaf
(Early adherents to Islam) does not agree with the
Sunna. By this, the writer aims at creating division
amongst the Ahl-as-Sunna and encouraging the innovations
and superstitions. This attitude, no doubt, is most
abominable and dangerous and aims at offending the
Religion of Islam and spreading innovations and deviations
from the truth. Furthermore, the article concentrates
clearly on the subject of celebrating the Prophet's
as an excuse to discuss the creed of others. Therefore,
I consider it necessary to enlighten the People on
this subject. So seeking help of Allah, I say:
It is not permissible to celebrate the birthday of
(May the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him),
or somebody else. In fact, it must be stopped, as
it is an innovation in the religion. The Apostle of
neither celebrated it, nor commanded others to do
this for himself. or for any one who died before him
amongst the Prophets, for his daughters his wives,
or his other relatives. The rightly guided Caliphs
the Companions of the Prophet
or the successors who rightly followed them did not
celebrate this event, nor did any one of the muslim
scholars in the centuries before.
They knew the Sunnah of the Prophet
best, they loved him more, and followed the Shari'a
better than those who came after them. If celebrating
his birthday was a good deed, they would have done
We are commanded to follow and forbidden to innovate.
This is because of the perfection of the Islamic religion
and the Sufficiency of what Allah and His Messenger
have given us and are accepted by Ahl-al-Sunna wal-jama'at-
The Muslim community of the companions and those who
followed them in the best way.
It is related to the prophet
that he said: He who innovates something in this
matter of ours that is not of it, will have it rejected.
(Transmitted by Al-Bukhari and Muslim). According
to Muslim who reported: whoever does an act which
is not in agreement with our matter, will have it
rejected. In another tradition the Prophet said:
You must keep to my Sunna and of the Sunna of the
rightly-guided Caliphs, cling to it firmly... Beware
of newly invented matters, for every new matter is
an innovation and every innovation is misleading.
He used to say in every Friday sermon: The best
discourse is the Book of Allah and the best guidance
is the guidance of Muhammad the Apostle of Allah,
and the worst matter is that of innovation and every
innovation is misleading. Thus, these traditions
contain a strong caution against innovations and a
warning that such an act is a deviation from the right
course. The Prophet
warned the people of the gravity of these innovations
and of their bad consequences. There are many traditions
adduced in this connection.
And the Almighty has said:
whatsoever the messenger (Muhammad, saws)
gives you, yake it, and whatsoever he forbids
you, abstain ( from it)...(S.59
Allah, Most High said:
And let those
who oppose the Messenger's (saws) commandment
(i.e. his sunnah: legal way, orders, acts
of worship, statements, etc.), (from among
the sects) beware, lest some Fitnah
(disbelief, trials, afflictions, earthquakes,
killing, overpowered by a tyrant, etc.)
befall them of a painful torment be inflicted
on them. (S.24 A.63)
Allah, the Almighty said.
in the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad, saws)
you have a good example to follow for him
who hopes in (the Meeting with) Allah and
the Last Day and remembers Allah much.
And Allah the Almighty said:
the first to embrace Islam of the Muhajiroon
(those who migrated from Makka to al-Madina)
and the Ansar (the citizens of al-Madina
who helped and gave aid to the Muhajiroon)
and also who followed them exactly (in
Faith). Allah is well-pleased with them
as they are well-pleased with Him. He has
prepared for them Gardens under which rivers
flow (Paradise), to dwell therein forever.
That is the supreme success. (S.9 A.100)
And Allah, the Almighty said:
day, I have perfected your religion for
you, completed My Favour upon you, and
have chosen for you Islam as your religion
(S.5 A.3). This verse decisively
indicates that the Almighty Allah has completed
the religion for this Ummah, and has showered
His blessings on them.
passed away only after he had imparted the complete
message of Allah to the Ummah as well as his legislations
concerning sayings and deeds. He also stressed that
all things invented by people and then attributed
to the religion of Islam are innovations and to be
rejected, even if their inventors did so in good faith.
It is established that the Companions of the Prophet
the righteous successors after them warned the people
against innovations as they add to Islam and legislate
what is not permitted by Allah, in line with the enemies
of Allah such as the Jews and the Christians who added
to their religion and innovated what was not allowed
by Allah. Moreover, to admit innovation in Islam is
incomplete and imperfect. Such a belief is not only
an evil but contradicts the following verse: This
day, I have perfected your religion for you....
And the sayings of the Prophet which warn us against
To celebrate the anniversary of the birth of Prophet
and the others, means that the Religion is not perfected
by Allah (the Glorious, the Almighty) for this Ummah,
and the Apostle did not impart to the people what
was necessary regarding their religious duties, till
these late ones appeared and invented in the religion
what is not permitted by Allah, thinking that this
would bring them nearer to Allah.
Undoubtedly, this is a great danger and is tantamount
to criticzing Allah the Almighty and the Prophet (Peace
be upon him): whereas Allah the Almighty has already
completed the religion and perfected His grace, and
the Prophet (peace be upon him) has conveyed the message
openly and informed the Ummah of all such ways that
will lead them to the Paradise and save them from
According to an authentic Hadith, on the authority
of Abdullah bin Amr bin Al-As the Messenger of Allah
Allah Ta'ala (the Almighty) did not send a Prophet
but obliged him to lead his people to the best way
which is known to him, and warn them against the worst
which is known to him. (Transmitted by Muslim).
It is well-known that our Prophet
is the best of all the prophets, the last and the
most perfect of them regarding the way he conveyed
the message and advised his people.
Had the celebration of Milaad been an act of Religion
chosen by Allah for His servants, the Prophet would
have either explained that to his people, would have
celebrated it during his life, or his Companions would
have done it. As these did not happen, it becomes
clear that Islam has no concern with Milaad. On the
contrary, it is one of the innovations against which
the Prophet has warned his people as mentioned earlier.
A host of scholars have not only rejected the celebration
of Milaad but have warned against it in view of the
evidences given above.
According to the rule of the Islamic Shari'a all matters
regarding legalization or prohibition and all disputes
among the people, should be referred to the Book of
Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (Peace be upon
him) in line with the saying of Allah:
A. O you
who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger
and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority.
(and) if you differ in anything amoungst
yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger
(saws) if you believe in allah and in the
Last Day. That is better and more suitable
for final determination. (S.4 A.59)
And Allah The Almighty said:
in whatsoever you differ, the decision
thereof is with Allah (He is the Ruling
Judge). (S.42 A.10)
Referring this issue back to the Book of Allah, we
find it ordaining upon us to follow the Messenger
in his Commandments and warns us against what ever
he prohibits. Furthermore it tells us that Allah has
perfected the religion for the people. So, as long
as Milaad is not among the teachings of the Prophet
, it cannot
be a part of the religion which Allah has perfected
for us and asked us to adhere to by following the
Again when we refer this issue back to the Sunnah,
of the Messenger of Allah ,
we do not find either the Prophet or the Companions
doing it by themselves or asking others to do it,
So it becomes evident that Milaad, is not a part of
religion, rather one of innovations and blind immitation
of the people of the book, i. e. the Jews and the
Christians in their festivals. With this argument
in mind, it becomes crystal clear for everyone having
the least insight and inclination towards truth and
justice, that celebrating any birthday has nothing
to do with Islam. It is rather among the innovations
which Allah and His Messenger
warned against emphatically.
A wise man must not be deceived by seeing a large
number of people doing it throughout the world because
the truth is known and recognized by the evidences
of Shari'a and not by the acts of a great number of
Allah Ta'ala (the Almighty) says regarding the Jews
and the Christians:
they say, "None shall enter Paradise
unless he be a Jew or a Christian."
These are their own desires. Say (Muhammad,
saws) "Produce your proof if you are
truthful." (S.2 A.111).
And the Almighty also said:
And if you obey
most of those on earth, they will mislead
you far away from Allah's Path. They follow
nothing but conjectures, and they do nothing
but lie. (S.6 A.116)
Most of these innovations, in addition to their innovatory
nature, also do not usually escape from a number of
other evils, such as mixed gatherings of men and women,
songs accompanied by musical instruments. drinking
intoxicants, narcotics and the like. They may also
involve the worst thing i. e. the greatest Shirk,
through showing exaggeration in the Messenger of Allah
other saints and through praying to him, invoking
his help or believing that he knows what is hidden
and all similar claims which render a believer as
an infidel. It is authentically reported that the
Messenger of Allah has said: Beware of extravagance
in the Religion: It has caused the people before you
to perish. He also said: Do not lavish praise
on me as the Christians did with the son of Maryam.
I am just a bondman. So Simply say: The bondman of
Allah and His Messenger (Transmitted by Bukhari).
It is curious to note that a great many people partcipate
most actively in these celebrations and defend them
vehemently, while they sit back from attending the
obligatory forms of worship such as daily and friday
prayers. They are not even ashamed of this, nor do
they realize that they are committing a great evil.
Undoubtedly, this shows the weakness of their faith,
their short-sightedness, and the deeply ingrained
rust on their hearts because of sins and disobedience.
We ask Allah's protection for us and for all the Muslims.
It is even more astonishing to note that some people
believe that the Messenger of Allah
is present at Milaad. Consequently they stand to greet
and Welcome him. That is not only a sheer lie but
a worst form of ignorance, as the Prophet
shall niether come out of his grave before the Day
of Resurrection, nor shall he meet the people or attend
their meetings. Instead, he shall remain in his grave
till the Day of Resurrection while his soul rests
at the highest of the high with his Lord in the most
exalted and highest place.
Allah Ta'ala (The Almighty) Says:
After tht, surely,
you will die. Then (again), you will be
ressurrected on the Day of Ressurection.
(S.23 A.15 & A.16)
And the prophet
said: I am the first one to rise from the grave
on the Resurrection Day and I will be the first intercessor
and the first one whose intercession is to be accepted.
The aforesaid evidences from the Quran and Hadith
prove beyond doubt that the dead people will come
out of their graves only on the Day of Resurrection.
All the scholars of Islam agree upon this. A Muslim
should be aware of these things and must not be easily
misled by the innovations and the superstitions created
by the ignorant people with no authority from Allah
As for offering the blessings and greetings
(Salat and Salam) to the prophet (peace
be upon himl, they are among the most prefered
and virtuous deeds in accordance with the
saying of Allah:
Allah sends His Salat (Graces, Honours,
Blessings, Mercy, etc.) on the Prophet
(Muhammad, saws) and also His angels too
(ask Allah to bless and forgive him). O
you who Believe! Send you Salat
on (ask Allah to bless) him (Muhammad,
saws), and (you should) greet (salute)
him with the Islamic way of greeting (salutation
has said: Whosoever sends blessings on me one time,
Allah sends blessings on him ten times.
It is prescribed on all times, particularly at the
end of each prayer. It is held obligatory at last
Tashahud of each prayer by most of the scholars. It
is strongly required at a number of occasions such
as immediately after Adhaan, at the mention of the
name of the Prophet ,
during the day of Friday and the night preceding it
according to a host of Ahadith.
This is what I wanted to emphasize regarding this
issue. I hope it will satisfy everyone whom Allah
has shown the light.
How sad it is to see some devoted Muslims, known for
their strength of faith and love for the Prophet
organizing such innovatory celebrations.
Let us ask such people: "Tell us, if you belong to
Ahl-as-Sunna and follow the Prophet ,
whether he himself or one of his Companions or their
Successors did this or is it no more than a blind
following of the enemies of Islam from among the jews
and the Christians and the like?"
The love of the Prophet
is not reflected by the celebration on his birthday,
but by obeying him, believing in his teachings, keeping
away from what he prohibited and by worshipping Allah
in the way he prescribed for us.
It is also reflected through offering Salat and Salam
to him from time to time, particularly at the mention
of his name and during prayers.
The Wahhabiyya, as the writer tends to put it, are
not new in rejecting all such innovations. Their creed
is to hold fast to the Book of Allah and the Sunnah
of His Messenger :
to follow his footsteps and those of his rightly guided
successors: to believe and practice what was propounded
by the virtuous predecessors and the Imams of learning
and guidance who were capable to issue religious injunction
concerning the knowledge of Allah, and His attributes
of perfection and dignity as shown in the Glorious
Book and the authentic traditions of the Prophet and
as wholeheartedly accepted by his companions. The
Wahhabiyya believe in them, the way they are reported
without any alteration, personification, examplifying
or negation of such attributes. They stick to the
way of successors and their followers from among the
people of learning, faith and piety. They believe
that the foundation of the faith is to bear witness
that there is none to be worshipped except Allah and
that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. To them,
this is the root of faith and one of its most exalted
branches as well.
They know in accordance with the consensus of the
muslims, that this root requires knowledge, acknowledgement
It implies that none is to be worshipped except Allah
the Almighty. Who has no associates at all. It further
implies the negation of worshipping any other except
Him. It shows why jinn and mankind were created; why
the Messengers were sent and why the Books were revealed.
In addition, Ibada (worship) is not only complete
submission and love but also complete obedience and
veneration as well. Islam is the only religion prescribed
by Allah and disseminated by the prophets and nothing,
save it, is acceptable to Allah whether in the past
or the present. The one who submits his will to Allah
as well as to someone else beside Him is a Mushrik
(polytheist). The same is true for the one who prays
to Allah and someone else beside Him. As for the one
who does not submit to Him, he is arrogant concerning
his duties towards his Creator.
Allah the Almighty Says:
And verily, We
have sent among every Ummah (community,
nation) a Messenger (proclaiming): "Worship
Allah (alone), and avoid (or keep away
from) Taghut (all false deities
etc., i.e. do not worship Taghuts
beside Alah)." (S.16 A.36)
Thus the creed of the wahhabiyya is based upon fulfillment
of witnessing that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah
and completely abandoning all innovations, superstitions
and whatever goes against the Shari'a.
This is what Shaikh Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab - may
Allah have mercy upon him - believed and invited others
to believe. Whoever accredits to him anything contrary
to it, does not only lie but commits a great sin and
claims what is totally unfounded. He will, no doubt,
receive what Allah has promised to all the fabricators
The Shaikh has shown - through a series of his well-known
treatises and scholarly books on the topic of the
Declaration of Unity: La ilaha ill' Allah. - that
no one deserves worship except Allah the Almighty
and that this type of worship should be devoid of
all sorts of SHIRK whether big or small. Anyone who
is aware of these writings, his way of preaching and
calling people to Allah and of the way of his pupils
and disciples, can easily find out that his approach
was not different from that of our virtuous predecessors,
the great Imams of learning and guidance. Indeed,
he has propounded what they did throughout their lives
concerning the worship of Allah Alone and leaving
all innovations and superstitions aside.
It is in no need of any addition after what Allah
and His Prophet have ordained and what the Ahl-al-Sunnah
Wal' Jama'at, from among the Companions, the Successors
and their followers have already received. To forbid
celebrating the birthday of the Prophet due to its
innovative nature in addition to the signs of extravagance
and Shirk normally associated with it, is not un-lslamic
orderogatory to the Prophet .
Instead, it is an act of obedience as the Prophet
said: Beware of the extravagance in matters of
religion. Those before you have perished because of
extravagance in the matters of religion.
Again he said: Do not lavish praise on me as the Christians
did with the son of Maryam. I am but a bondman. So
simply say: "Slave of Allah and His Messenger".
This is what I wanted to point out regarding the aforesaid
May Allah help us and all the Muslims to understand
His religion, to continually confirm us on it, stick
to Sunnah and keep away from the innovation. Indeed
He is Generous and Kind.
And May Allah Shower His blessings and mercy upon
our prophet Muhammad, his posterity and his Companions.
ABDUL AZIZ BIN ABDULLAH BIN BAZ
THE PRESIDENCY OF ISLAMIC RESEARCH, IFTA,
DAWA AND INSTRUCTION.