Due to the sudden glut of quarter-baked ‘Deobandi’ molvis propagating the blatant lie that the Akaabir of Deoband had approved of the Meelad, a need has developed to elaborate on what the Ulamaa of Deoband had actually stated regarding this matter. The new growing breed of liberal modernist Deobarelwi molvis contend that the Akaabir did not object to the Meelad, but only to Haraam actions such as singing, dancing, free-mixing, and the like. In order to give expression to their shaytaani desire to institute bid’ah into the pure Deen, these modernists, not unlike their salafi-inclined ‘deobandi’ counterparts, read the fatwas of the Akaabir with glasses tinted with bid’ah colours. Thus they intentionally misread and misuse quotes such as the following from Fatwa Rashidiyya:
“The actual extolling of Wilaadat (birth of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace)) is praiseworthy.” (Fatwa Rashidiyyah)
It is indicative of the deviousness, or the serious mental derangement of these bidatis, that they appear unable to see through their bid’ah-coloured blinkers and understand the unambiguous fatwa contained in the very same section of the book banning all Meelad gatherings. At the end of this short explanation we shall quote excerpts of this fatwa which these liberal bidatis had deviously opted to ignore, in order to misconstrue the above statement to grant legitimacy to the Meelad.
THE CRITICAL DIFFERENCE
Firstly, let us define the salient characteristics of Meelad, which even the most passionate defender of bidah will agree, have become inextricably and irreversibly inherent in the very definition of these bidah events, including the so-called ‘good Meelad’ gatherings. In the widespread understanding of the Ulama and the laity alike, the Meelad is a gathering that has been accorded a particular form and cloaked with a specific procedure that distinguishes it from other normal gatherings. It is generally associated with a specific occasion, or with a particular date, particularly in the month of Rabiul Awwal. A significant proportion of the people regard the Meelad as a Sunnah practice. In fact, in practice and in belief a great proportion of the proponents of Meelad treat it with greater importance than prescribed acts of Sunnah, and even Waajib acts, as shall soon be demonstrated with a simple ‘litmus test’.
On the other hand, what is permissible according to the Akaabir of Deoband is Thikr-e-Wilaadat bilaa Quyood, i.e. speaking or lecturing about the events surrounding the birth of Rasoolullaah (Sallallaahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam) in general, without stipulating a day or particular time of year, and without any other stipulations that would render the gathering a bid’ah. The Akaabir explicitly pre-conditioned permissibility of bayaans on the birth of Nabee (Sallallaahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam) with bilaa quyood (without the attachment of stipulations) – such quyood as association with a particular date or time of year that has become undeniably associated with Meelad. Furthermore the gathering should be like any other normal gathering without the accompaniment of any form of fanfare and festival. For the benefit of the quarter-baked bidati molvis, in terms of the Shariah, the difference between Thikr-e-Wilaadat bilaa quyood and the Meelad, is the difference between the sky and the earth. One is Mustahab, while the other is bidah sayyiah. This vital distinction will be illustrated through a few simple examples in this article.
The Salafi sect too hold gatherings in which the life of the Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), including his blessed birth, is expounded upon. But no-one, not even the greatest Jaahil, will call such events ‘Meelad’. Every Jaahil will understand instinctively that there is a difference between such an event and the Meelad. Even the extreme Barelwi bidatis will admit that the Salafi event extolling the birth and life of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is not a Meelad. Now, O Molvi Bidati, understand that this difference between the Salafi event and the Meelad which is instinctively comprehensible to even the greatest Jaahil, is exactly the reason why the Shariah differentiates between the two. While the Meelad is a clear bid’ah, the event held by the Salafi comes under the banner of Mustahab acts – as are all gatherings arranged to propagate any aspect of the Deen, provided such a gathering has not become associated with stipulations in the minds of the masses.
The events approved by the Ulama of Deoband, in which the life and birth of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) are remembered, are not beset with the numerous attachments that have become inseparably attached to the Meelad. Furthermore, other than the Haraam association with a particular date or time of year, the Meelad has been institutionalised into an event that is treated with greater importance than even actions that have been explicitly prescribed by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) as Sunnah. This undue emphasis is in itself a cause for the Meelad to be a clear bid’ah according to principles accepted by Ijma’ (consensus of the Fuqaha).
Numerous other acts in history had been branded bi’dah unanimously by the Fuqaha of all madh-habs, long before such acts reached the level of emphasis the Meelad has today. While Nafl Jamaat is an act of Ibaadah according to the majority of the Fuqaha, the same Fuqaha unanimously branded as bid’ah any Nafl Jamaat that became associated with a particular time of year. The same fatwa of bid’ah is infinitely more applicable to the Meelad today – particularly so since such acts unanimously branded as bid’ah by the fuqaha were never ever accompanied with the whole host of other Haraam attachments that now afflict Meelad gatherings today.
Furthermore, it is noteworthy that the Fuqaha issued fatwas of complete blanket prohibition to such practices as Nafl Jamaat on the auspicious night of 15th Sha’ban, rather than stating that the bid’ah can continue whilst educating the masses and encouraging them to remove the Haraam attachments which naturally become practically inherent within the very definition of the practice.
Even those Ulama who had permitted the simple forms of Meelad during their eras had issued fatwas of complete blanket prohibition on practices that had not approached anywhere close to the level of emphasis, or association to a particular day or month, which accompany all Meelad gatherings today. The significant proportion of Meelad gatherings today that are accompanied by even worse forms of transgression only serve to aggravate the degree of prohibition.
Thus it is an act of futility and deception to cite even those Ulama who had permitted the relatively simple forms of ‘Meelad’ of their times, to justify the permission for Meelad today.
MEELAD OF HAZRAT EESA (ALAYHIS SALAAM) – SAME DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MUSTAHAB & BIDAH
Hazrat Eesa (alayhis salaam) is amongst the greatest of Prophets. His rank is such that Allah (azza wa jal) granted him such unique powers as the ability to speak as a baby, to grant life to the dead, to cure the leper, and many other unique miracles, with the permission of Allah. Hazrat Eesa’s (alayhis salaam) rank is infinitely greater than any of the numerous saints of this Ummah whose birthday or death-day is celebrated often by the Ahlul Bid’ah. However, despite the fact that the specific day of the miraculous birth of Hazrat Easa (alayhis salaam) was an auspicious day, the Shariah did not accord any special status to the days occurring on the same date in subsequent years.
While Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) placed special emphasis on the two Eids, the day of Aashura, Yaum-ul-Arafat, Lailat-ul-Qadr, never did he once arrange a special gathering to commemorate the miraculous birth of Hazrat Eesa (alayhis salaam), nor the birth of any of 124,000 Prophets who had preceded Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), nor his own birth.
If Muslims today institute a Meelad-e-Hazrat Eesa gathering annually in order to commemorate the birth and life of this unique Prophet (alayhis salaam), choosing the 26th December in order to facilitate labouring under the self-deception of differentiation with the Kuffaar, then such an act would be instantly branded a despicable Bid’ah by the Shari’ah.
On the other hand, if a group of Muslims decide to hold an informal event to expound upon the miraculous birth and life of Hazrat Eesa (alayhis salaam), without institutionalising it into a particular form to be associated with a particular date or time of year, or without any other attachments that would render it a bid’ah, then such a gathering would be regarded as Mustahab by the Shariah.
The distinction between the two is so clear that even a child is able to understand it instinctively.
A SIMPLE LITMUS TEST
Before applying a simple ‘test’ to demonstrate just one factor of prohibition of the Meelad, let us cite a few examples of actions, practices, or events that are actual integral parts of the Deen prescribed explicitly by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), unlike the Meelad.
The fasting on Mondays and Thursdays is an actual Sunnah prescribed explicitly by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). The Tahajjud salaat, Ishraaq and Awwabeen prayers are actual Sunnah acts of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). The Sunnah beard of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was proclaimed to be a Shi’ar (a distinguishing salient feature of the Muslims).These are just few examples of practices that are part and parcel of the Deen. There is no doubt about their status as acts of ibaadah instituted by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) himself.
EVERY single sunnah practice prescribed by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) such as the examples above were upheld meticulously by the Sahabah, Tabi’een, Tab-e-Tabi’ieen, and the Auliya of all ages. In fact, the only objective measure through which the identity of the true lovers of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) can be determined is ‘fanatic’ adherence to each and every Sunnah. The effect of true love, not fake hollow love held by lovers of bid’ah, is that one cannot bear to imagine the possibility of omitting any Sunnah of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).
Numerous anecdotes of the true Auliya illustrate the intense grief and internal commotion they experienced due to an accidental omission of Tahajjud, or a particular fast on Monday, or missing one Rak’at for one of the Jama’at prayers, or forgetting to perform khilaal during wudhu, or any other Sunnah of their beloved Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)
O Quarter-Baked Modernist Molvi Bidati! Observe carefully whether the omission of any of the above practices, whose ‘Sunniyat’ (Sunnah status) is beyond any doubt, is liable to cause even the slightest grief to proponents of Meelad such as your bidati-self. Let alone the odd accidental omission of a fast on Monday, or a Rak’at in Jama’at, or any other Sunnah act, the flagrant repeated omission of acts labelled as the Shi’ar of the Muslims fail to cause the slightest grief. Yet, all these practices are Sunnah prescribed directly by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) for whom bidati fraudsters deceptively profess intense love for.
Now, O Upholder of Bidah! Observe the litmus test in action: The omission of the Meelad gathering on a particular day or month, or the omission of any other constituent of Meelad which has become inherently attached to it, is liable to cause much greater grief, controversy, and commotion amongst the bidati Ulama and masses, then the intentional, perpetual omission of any of the Sunnah practices cited as examples – whose Sunnah status is beyond any doubt. Both the Ulama and the laity, in practice and/or in belief, regard the Meelad on a particular day, or during a particular month, as a more important act of ibaadah than the sacred Sunnah practices instituted explicitly by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).
While the fist-length beard, the trousers above the ankles, and other prescribed Sunnats had been established directly by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) as the Shi’ar of the believers, many of these bidatis have supplanted the real Shi’ar with their bid’ah Shi’ar of Meelad of Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), Meelad of Hazrat Easa (alayhis salaam), Meelad of Hazrat Abdul Qadir Jilaani, Meelad of local Peer Sahib, Meelad of their Holy Cows, etc. A significant proportion of these bidatis regard non-participants of the Meelad as deviants, and many even go as far as branding those who refuse to participate in this bid’ah event as Gustakh-e-Rasul, i.e. the worst of Kaafirs.
The above facts are undeniable proof that not only the Meelad has become an integral part of the ‘Deen’ of the Ahlul bid’ah, thus rendering it a bid’ah, it has also entrenched itself into their ‘Deen’ far deeper than acts actually prescribed as Sunnah explicitly by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).
THE NAFL JAMA’AT ON SHAB-E-BARAAT
We shall now elaborate on just one example of an act proclaimed as bid’ah by Ijma’ (consensus). The Nafl Jama’at arranged on the auspicious night of the 15th of Shab’an, and the Nafl Jama’at associated with the month of Rajab, called Salaatul Raghaib, were proclaimed to be bid’ah unanimously by the Fuqaha of all madh-habs.
Take note of the fact that Nafl Jam’aat is a praiseworthy act of Ibadah in the Maliki, Shafi’i and Hanbali madh-habs. In the Hanafi madh-hab the Nafl Jam’aat is also permissible if it occurs informally, without organisation or invitation to others, and if it is limited to only three or four people. Openly inviting others to the Nafl Jam’aat renders it into a bid’ah practice in the Hanafi madh-hab.
The Fuqaha of all madh-habs unanimously branded the Salatul Nisf Shab’an and Salatul Raghaib as bid’ah because it became associated with a particular time or date, even though the particular time itself may have been an auspicious occasion according to the Shariah. Of significance is the fact that, other than being associated with a particular night or month, these gatherings of pure Salaat were never afflicted with any of the other numerous Haraam attachments that have become irreversibly associated with Meelad gatherings today.
In a treatise dedicated to this issue, Shaykh al-Izz ibn al-Salam summarized the reasons based on which there was agreement of the Fuqaha that these Nafl congregations were bid’ah. He states several times that the reason for prohibition was because the masses would think that this Salaat in the manner it is performed has its origin in the Sunnah:
“When a scholar performs this Salaat al-Ragha’ib in congregation with the public then the masses will think that it is the Sunnah of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), hence he would be attributing a falsehood to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) by his example. Sometimes one’s practical example is similar to verbal expression.”
Of relevance to the argument that Meelad is merely an extolling of the life of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), Shaykh al-Izz ibn al-Salam refutes the contention that Salatul Raghaib was merely a Nafl Jama’at, and thus an act of ibaadah clearly permitted by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam):
“As for the hadith of Anas and ‘Itban ibn Malik (Allah be pleased with them), there is a difference between them and Salat al-Ragha’ib because being led in Salat al-Ragha’ib gives the impression to the public that it is a Sunnah and a symbol (salient feature) of the Deen whereas what is reported in the Hadith of Anas and ‘Itban (may Allah be pleased with them), is a rare circumstance, hence the public does not believe that it is Sunnah, rather they believe that it is permissible.”
Reiterating this elsewhere, he says:
“Salaat al-Ragha’ib with its peculiarities conveys the impression to the public that it is a Sunnah from the Sunnahs of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), and this is the factual position.”
Innumerable other fuqaha simply confirmed the consensus of these simple Nafl congregations being bid’ah based on its association with a particular date or time of year. For example, Imam Nawawi, stated in his Sharh Muslim, while commenting on the following Hadith which proscribes specifying dates and time not prescribed in the Shar’iah, that any such specification not found in the Sunnah would cause the masses to gain the erroneous impression that the specification itself is from the Sunnah:
“Do not single out the night (preceding) Friday from among the nights for prayer; and do not single out Friday from among the days for fasting, but only when anyone among you is accustomed to a fast which coincide with this day (Friday).”
Cursing the initiator of this simple ‘good deed’, who will forever accrue the benefits of this ‘bid’ah hasanah’, Imam Nawawi states:
“The ‘ulama use this hadith to prove the dislike of the bid’ah prayer called Salat al-Raghaib. May Allah destroy the fabricator and creator of this prayer. This is because it is a reprehensible innovation from the type of innovations that is divergent and ignorant.” (Sharh Sahih Muslim).
The Hanafi jurist, Ibn ‘Ābidīn al-Shami states that despite Salaah being the best institution, the Nafl Jamaat on the nights of Rajab was forbidden due to an association with a particular time that is not found in the Sunnah:
“This is why they forbade gathering for Salāt al-Raghā’ib which some worshippers invented because it has not been transmitted in this form in those specific nights, even though Salāh is the best institution.”
THE UNANIMOUS STANCE OF THE DEOBANDI AKABIR ON MEELAD
The unanimous stance of the Akaabir of Deoband with regards to Meelad is represented by the following unambiguous excerpts found in the very same section of the book from which these deobarelwi hybrids selectively quote from in order to justify their inclinations to the pseudo-sufi religion:
“The customary act of moulod is bid’ah and haraam. To speak about Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) – no one forbids this. But do so as was practised during Quroon-e-Thalaathah (Khairul Quroon). Neither were there moulood functions nor qiyaam (standing) when Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is mentioned. All of us have been commanded to follow the Salaf-e-Saaliheen. We have not been commanded to follow the Khalaf (the later era Ulama whom the deviates quote for giving credibility to bid’ah).
Allaamah Ibnul Haaj who was among the very senior authorities (of the Shariah) says in Madkhal: “From among the many bid’aat which have been innovated, with the belief that it is from among the great acts of ibaadaat and the projection of the shi-aar of Islam, is moulood which they do in the month of Rabiul Awwal. It is a conglomeration of bid’ah and acts of haraam……Even if it (the moulid) is without these evils and only food is served with the intention of moulid, and brothers are invited to participate, and the function is free from all the (haraam) mentioned earlier, then too it is bid’ah merely on the basis of the intention (that the function is moulid), for verily, it is an accretion in the Deen. It is not of the acts of the Salaf of the past. It has not been narrated that any of them had intended moulid. We follow the Salaf. Thus, for us is permissible only that which was permissible for them.”…
Maulana Abdur Rahmaan Al-Maghribi Al-Hanafi, says in his Fataawa: “Verily, moulid is bid’ah. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), the Khulafa-e-Raashideen and the Aimmah Mujtahideen neither advocated it not practised it.” …
Maulana Naseeruddeen Al-Adwi Ash-Shaafi’, in response to a question said: “It should not be practised because it has not been narrated from the Salaf-e-Saalih. It was innovated after the era of Quroon-e-Thalaathah in a wicked age. We do not follow the Khalaf (those of the later eras) in matters which the Salaf had abstained from. Following them is adequate. What then is the need for innovation?”…
Shaikhul Hanaabilah Sharfuddeen (rahmatullah alayh) said: “The function of moulid (celebrating the birthday) of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), which some of the wealthy practise every year, along with its evil acts, it by itself is a bid’ah which was innovated by one who follows his lust, and who does not know what Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) has commanded.” (Al-Qaulul Mu’tamad)…
Qaadhi Shuhaabuddeen Daulatabaadi (rahmatullah alayh) says in his Fataawa Tuhfatul Qudhaat when asked about maulid: “It should not be held because it is an innovation, and every innovation is dhalaalah, and every dhalaalah will be in the Fire. That what the juhhaal (ignoramuses) do in the beginning of every Rabiul Awwal is baseless. They stand when the birth of Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is mentioned, and they think that his Rooh (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is present. Their thinking is baatil. In fact this belief is shirk. The Aimmah have prohibited such acts.” (Fataawa Rashidiyyah)
Hadhrat Maulana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi cites Mujaddid Alf-e-Thani as saying:
“Qutb Rabbaani Sayyid Ahmad Sarhindi Mujaddid Alf-e-Thaani states in his Maktubaat: “If the Sufis of the age act justly and view the weakness of Islam and the prevalence of falsehood, it will be incumbent on them not to follow their shuyookh in acts besides the Sunnah, and that they should not regard fabricated acts as their Deen with the excuse that it was the amal of their shuyookh, for verily, following the Sunnah is the only Way and the repository of goodness and barakaat. In following anything other than the Sunnah is danger upon danger. And, it is on the Messenger to only deliver the Message.”
In response to a questioner who had mentioned: “I have heard that your Shaikh, Haaji Imdaadullah would also listens to moulood.”, Hadhrat Maulana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi (rahmatullah alayh) said:
“Refer to Baraani-e-Qaatiah for a detailed elaboration of moulood gatherings. Hujjat (proof) cannot be made with the statements and acts of the Mashaaikh. On the contrary, Hujjat is with the statements and acts of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and the statements of the Mujtahideen (rahmatullah alayhim). Hadhrat Naseeruddeen Chiraagh Dehlwi (quddisa sirruhu) said that when someone would cite as Hujjat an act of his Shaikh, Sultaan Nizaamuddeen (quddisa sirruhu), he (Hadhrat Naseeruddeen) would say: ‘The action of the Shaikh is not Hujjat.’ Hadhrat Sultaanul Auliya approved of this response…Since this function (of moulid) had not existed during the era of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu anhum) nor during the ages of the Taabi’een and Tabe Taabi’een and the age of the Aimmah Mujtahideen it is bid’ah.”” (Fataawa Rashidiyyah)
Even the greatest Jaahil has been granted sufficient intellect to understand the simple factors of prohibition that have been expounded upon above which differentiate the Meelad from what the Ulama-e-Haqq had actually permitted. Anyone who seeks the truth sincerely will not fail to understand that the prohibition is as clear as daylight. Those who seek to hide behind the skirts of their Ulama who legalize these sessions will not escape divine retribution. On Yaum-ul-Qiyaamah, all of them will come under the purview of the verse of the Qur’an:
“They have taken as Lords besides Allah their Rabbis and their Priests.”