In my community, we used to celebrate the birth day of Mohammed (PBUH). In the past 30 or so years a lot of people start saying this is haram. Many people stopped doing it for many reasons but mainly not because they said it is haram but because the people who prohibit it are really bothering the people who do it. Like calling us "Mushrikin" or "Bid'ah".

I can see why they prohibit it, because some people do something considered odd by most Muslims, Like dancing or singing.. But the Celebrations I am talking about are simple, No dancing or any stuff like that. We gather, we read Quran, say some stories about Mohammed (PBUH) and remind each other about his ethics (Akhlaq). One more thing to mention, this kind of Mawlids are celebrated in many random days in a year not only in the real birthday of the prophet. But the name is Mawlid still. I think we do it this way to avoid making that day so special. Many times we call it 'Jalsat Zekr' جلسة ذكر and not Mawlid.

My question: Is celebrating Mawlid the way I describe it Halal or Haram and why?


7 Answers 7


Adding new ibadats to Islam is called bid'at, and it is haram. Then the question turns into Is there an ibadat in Islam for celebrating the birth day of the nabi?. The answer is no. There is no birthday celebration for the nabi in Islam. Nabi's followers had never done any kind of celebration or birthday party for him when he was alive.

Birthday celebration for the nabi is definitely bid'at. Even those who intensely claim that it is not haram accept that it is a bid'at. But they say that it is a good kind of bid'at (bid'at-i hasene). Every bid'at is haram, there is no kind of "good bid'at".

The nabi Muhammad was born in year 571. But, the first mawlid was celebrated in 1232 in Egypt. These celebrations are done mostly by mushriks of the type that are defined in Quran as the ones who are obedient to the pat which they find their fathers on. They defend themselves by saying "These celebrations are being done for centuries. Did all those people do wrong all those years? There were many scholars and omniscient among them. How do you know better than them?".

وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ تَعَالَوْاْ إِلَى مَا أَنزَلَ اللّهُ وَإِلَى الرَّسُولِ قَالُواْ حَسْبُنَا مَا وَجَدْنَا عَلَيْهِ آبَاءنَا أَوَلَوْ كَانَ آبَاؤُهُمْ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ شَيْئًا وَلاَ يَهْتَدُونَ
And when it is said to them, "Come to what Allah has revealed and to the Messenger," they say, "Sufficient for us is that upon which we found our fathers." Even though their fathers knew nothing, nor were they guided?
Maide 104 (5/104)

The number of people doing something can not be used to prove that that thing is rightful. There is no such celebrations in Islam. They are injected inside Islam many years after the death of the nabi. Christians celebrate birthday of a certain nabi, we Muslims don't have such a sunnah (convention).

  • 1
    There is a good documentary about mawlid, but it is not in English. Tonight, I'm going to translate it into English, and add it here. Jul 4, 2012 at 13:31
  • 2
    can you explain what it relation of the verse to question? it a general verse about not following fathers blindly. but celebrating prophet birthday is not for following fathers but to promote teachings of prophet and to attract children and who do not know prophet to Islam. Sep 10, 2012 at 2:29
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    @BattleofKarbala Exactly. The fact that you intend to teach the youth about Islamic practices is an excellent idea. But you should do it in a way which was been prescribed by the messenger. There is no need to cram in innovations to bring about good.
    – Subby
    Jun 30, 2014 at 9:51
  • 4
    To the author and likewise to @Subby, Was it prescribed by the Holy Prophet to use internet to promote Islam? Or have Sheikhs lecture at TV studios or ....? By your notion of 'bida' much of what we do today would be wrong! Reason alone tells us that there's no harm in celebrating the birth of a man who was mercy upon mankind, but even Quran enjoins us to glorify sha'a'ir Allah, i.e. the reminders of Allah. And which is a greater reminder of Allah than the Messenger of Allah, the best and closest to Him? Reason indeed excels over crude Literalism.
    – infatuated
    Mar 18, 2015 at 9:08

The first thing is, scholars are not certain about 12th Rabiul Awaal being the birthday of our prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam. Most are of the opinion that 9th Rabiul Awaal is the day of his birth. The shia scholars held the opinion of 17th. But it is certain that he passed away on this day. So, how can we celebrate this day?

Then again, if people would celebrate this day-

  • Without performing any haram act like singing, dancing etc,
  • Without considering it an integral part of Islam

Then probably it could be considered permissible. But people consider this as a part of Islam. Even they act like denying celebration of mawlid is like denying a part of Islam. So, it has become Bidah.

The islamic culture normally do not celebrate any historical event. The only exception is the Eid-ul-Adha which commemorates the sacrifice of Ibrahim alaihis salam.

  • +1, some even going to say this day is Eid and this is the best Eid!
    – Anwar
    Aug 31, 2012 at 14:16
  • similar uncertainty is about Ghadr night. and in such cases both uncertain days are considered to ensure we have not lost it. also date of birthday of prophet seems irrelevant to this question. Sep 12, 2012 at 6:41
  • Shia sources says that the death of the prophet was on 18 Safar.
    – Cyclone
    Jan 19, 2014 at 0:44

It depends on if it is Bidat or not. some scholars consider it Bidat and some not. Bidat is changing a law of Islam. But there is no law in Islam saying celebration for prophet SAWW is Haram. So it is not Haram. Even if there was no celebration at time of prophet SAWW this is not enough to prove it is Haram but a law saying it is Haram is needed. In Islam by default every thing is Halal unless it is specified to be Haram. this law called the principal of Ibahah. But this is not about Ibadaat (worshiping laws). And celebration is not among Ibadaat.

Please note all following Fatwa are only about celebrating (without any other Haram act like dancing and etc. and with Halal acts like giving free foods to people and children and reciting happy poems about prophet, giving gifts to children who answer questions about life of prophet correctly,..)

According to Jafari Fiqh, it is Halal. (ref)

According to sunni scholars, there is a difference of opinion. Some, like Al-Azhar University of Egypt consider it Halal. (Arabic ref, English ref) Others (Salafi/Wahhabi scholars), like followers of Ibn Taymiyah and Muhammad Inn Abdul-Wahhab, consider it Haram. (ref)

  • 3
    "in Islam by default every thing is Halal unless it is specified to be Haram." This is only in reference to things that are not Ibaadat. But for acts of worship, all things by default are haram unless explicitly stated to be permissible. I could think of several things I could do to alter my salat for e.g. perhaps add a 3rd sujud (for more reward), does that mean it's permissible because there's no hadith that explicitly forbade that?
    – Seeker
    May 15, 2014 at 15:44
  • @Seeker yes you are right. thanks. but still celebration is not Ibaadat (worship). May 15, 2014 at 15:51
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    I think Mawlid (of the Prophet) is regarded by most that celebrate it as a religious celebration. Therein lies the problem.
    – Seeker
    May 15, 2014 at 16:07
  • 1
    @Seeker can you show any evidence? happiness for coming of a great prophet to earth is not necessarily a religions law. is there any evidence saying it is obligatory as an Islamic law to can be considered Bidat? any religious celebration is not Bidat. unless it is declared as a law in Islam. people voluntarily make Halal happiness. but some want to people forget prophet SAWW and follow what they say instead. May 16, 2014 at 5:20

Despite being considered an innovation, in that there is insufficient evidence that it was either practiced or recommended by the prophet himself, many scholars consider celebrating mawlid acceptable so long as it is done with good intentions.

According to Hanbali scholar Ibn Taymiyyah, those who celebrate may still be rewarded for their love of the prophet and for whatever good they do, even if they are not rewarded for the act of innovation itself. And Al-Suyuti, a prominent Shafi'i scholar, describes his own opinion thus:

If one takes care to include in such a commemoration only things that are praiseworthy and avoids those that are otherwise, it is a praiseworthy innovation, while if ones does not, it is not.

For further detail, Sheikh G F Haddad explains the legality of this issue with references, including those previously mentioned, in the following fatwa:


Imam Al Shatibi in his book "Al-Aitsam" describes a biddah a"s any action which had a reason to be practised in Khairul Qurun but was not practised at that time, instead the practice takes place later."

The reason for celebrating Mawlid was present in Khairul Qurun, as the birth of Prophet SAW was a known matter. But no tradition exists that Ahlul Khair ul Qurun ever did this. The success of later ones depends upon following the former ones (Khairul Qurun).

Also there is a high familiarity of imitation with Christians by celebrating such event.


It is Haram celebrating the Mawlid. For it is an innovation. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) himself, and the first three generations which includes his house hold (ahlul Bait) never celebrated birthday as is commonly done today. What is done today (every year) is as I mentioned is an innovation, for while it is claimed that celebrating it is good and has good, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon Him) said:

ما تركتُ شيئاً يقربكم إلى الله إلا وأمرتكم به

I have not left you with anything that will get you closer to Allah except I have already ordered it/given it

The Hadith is Authentic, Abdurazzaq narrated it in his Musannaf/مصنف as well as others.

I am not saying not to be thankful to Allah for creating Muhammad and bringing down revelation to him. Furthermore we can Fast Mondays out of thanks to Allah for creating the Prophet and bringing down revelation to/through him. This is based on the Hadith in regards to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon Him) being asked about Fasting Mondays, he answered:

‏ذلك يوم ولدت فيه، ويوم بعثت أو أنزل علي فيه

That is the day on which I was born and the day on which I received Revelation

Saheeh Muslim/Riyaddussaliheen

Now as it is obvious, one won't find many fasting Monday, and would find many celebrating the Mawlid every year, what is happening is something got flipped around. And Allah's saying to the Jews came true on Most of us:

أَتَسْتَبْدِلُونَ الَّذِي هُوَ أَدْنَى بِالَّذِي هُوَ خَيْرٌ

Would you exchange what is better for what is less?

Surat Al Baqarah Ayah 61

So Fasting Monday out of thankfulness to Allah for creating/sending and bringing revelation to/through Muhammad is in accordance with the Shariah, while celebrating the Mawlid is not and is an innovation and is haram.

Sources: AlAlbany.net


Here are the reasons, based on which this act and ANY act of birthday celebration is Haram:

  • Innovation

Prophet Muhammad said: “Every bid’ah is a going astray and every going astray is in Hell-fire”.

As this act was not done by Prophet Muhammad himself, neither by any Sahaba, or taboyeen, or tabe-tabiyeen, so this act is considered as newly invented matter in islam (biddat), so its haram. (please note the word "EVERY", which means there is nothing like good biddat, but every biddat leads to hell fire.. as some people believe that there is concept of GOOD biddat as well, there is not)

  • Prophet Muhammad said "

"Whoever imitates a group, then he belongs to them." Abu Dawood, narrated by Hadhrat Ibn Umar (R.A).

And birthday celebration started from kuffar, its origin lies with kuffar, its did not existed in muslim world before.

  • As at the time of prophet Muhammad, NONE of the sahaba ever celebrated any act like that, so if someone wants to celebrate such Prophet Muhamm's birthday, then he is trying to say thet he knows MORE than the Sahaba, and he loves Prophet Muhammad more than the Sahab, which doesnt makes any sense.

  • Majority of scholars agree that it is Haram, based on Clear hadith and verses of Quran.

  • You have doubt that it is not haram? or is it fine to celebrate? then BEWARE, see this hadith:

Prophet Muhammad said:

"The halal is clear and the haram is clear, and between them are matters unclear that are unknown to most people. Whoever is wary of these unclear matters has absolved his religion and honor. And whoever indulges in them has indulged in the haram. It is like a shepherd who herds his sheep too close to preserved sanctuary, and they will eventually graze in it. Every king has a sanctuary, and the sanctuary of Allah is what He has made haram. There lies within the body a piece of flesh. If it is sound, the whole body is sound; and if it is corrupted, the whole body is corrupted. Verily this piece is the heart." [Bukhari & Muslim]

So, based on this hadith, ONLY if you have doubt that its celebration is haram or not, then based on above hadith, Still you should avoid such act at all cost.

Rest, Allah knows the best