Is celebrating Mawalid (birth of the Prophet) bidat (innovation)?

Please note this question is different of "if Mawalid is Halal or Haram" because one action can be bidat but still halal. Or it might be not be bidat, but still haram.

Please mention the reasoning for your answer from Quran or authentic hadith and not only a fitwa.


All perfect praise be to Allah

I will talk with Sunni point of view.

Alright, this topic is a huge and old topic and there are full books on this topic from the time it started it is one of the most often debated topics.

Now i think we should analyze the sum or the base of all this difference of opinion.

First come those who say it is good to do so, one group in them says it is not biddah and they say that it is like using computer(as said in an above answer). But they are basically wrong and are some how have low knowledge and understanding of islam. Because there is difference in Biddaat of world and biddat in deen(innovation in worldly things and innovation in deen)..
Biddat, which are so many times discussed and discouraged in ahadees are not innovation of world but are innovation of deen.
Lets ahve a look at some ahadees.

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "I am your predecessor at the Lake-Fount(Houz al-kausar), and some of you will be brought in front of me till I will see them and then they will be taken away from me and I will say, 'O Lord, my companions!' It will be said, 'You do not know what they did after you had left.'
An-Numan bin Abi Aiyash, on hearing me, said. "Did you hear this from Sahl?" I said, "Yes." He said, " I bear witness that I heard Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri saying the same, adding that the Prophet (ﷺ) said: 'I will say: They are of me (i.e. my followers). It will be said, 'You do not know what they innovated (new things) in the religion after you left'. I will say, 'Far removed, far removed (from mercy), those who changed (in their religion) after me."

Sahih al-Bukhari 6576 and 6584 (their are multiple ahadees with more or less same meaning of this in this chapter of bukhari)

Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said, "If somebody innovates something which is not in our religion, that thing is rejected." Sahih al-Bukhari 2697

These and many more ahadees like these show that there is something called BIDDAH(innovation) which is very bad and a muslim must not do it. If we say something like it is like using computer, than do these ahadees restrain us from inventing or using anything? or any new thing? No, the reality is these ahadees are about the new inventions in deen. As there is a hdees in which Abdullah bin umer see some people counting tasbeehat on some e=stones etc in masjid al nabvi after death of prophet muhammad, and he got angry on them and said they were doing biddah.

Now, come those people who say, it is biddat hasna, they also have some evidences for this, main is the evidence that Umer R.A started the proper Traveeh prayer in masjid al-nabvi and in all islamic state, and that was new thing and there was nothing like this before.
But this also is not logical, because traveeh was prayed with jamaa'at by prophet muhammad 3 nights and he said after that, that this Allah so much liked this prayer, that i feared this traveeh slaat may get FARZ on you, so i didn't came to lead you in this prayer. So, Hazrat Umer R.A starting proper raveeh jamaat was not innovation or new thing, it was just revival of sunnah.

Now comes the people who say that this is biddah, and innovation in religion and must not be done. by above ahadees and many many other ahadees their point of view seems to be more strong(at least in my understanding).

PS: lets say for the skae of argument, if this IS biddah, than in the judgement day i will face all that humiliation on HOOZ Al-KAUSER. All also all other ahdees on biddat apply on me if i am doing it. Now, lets say if this was not that biddah and was actually BIDDAT HASNA, and i was not doing it. I have nothing more to loose, i didn't do it, also no sahaba or taabi or taba tabi did it either, so i am on a safe side and can still go to paradise. So, it makes sense to stay away from this to be on safe side. even if above ahadees on topic does not convince me.

This is a highly controvertial topic and we can't debate here on this. This is my opinion one can agree or dis-agree. But we just can't debate here.

Allah knows Best

  • As we know the answer is determined on the definition one has of of Bidah (innovations). The majority of scholars do not agree with this definition of "there are only bad innovations". In my opinion this question should be answered with: The one that sees innovations as only bad, would say that Yes it's a forbidden. And the others that doesn't find innovations as only bad, would say that it is not forbidden. Nothing more, because to answer deeper you must define the term innovation for both sides, which you haven't done fairly.
    – Kilise
    Mar 2 '16 at 9:35
  • I made a response on a question about bidah, you can find it here: islam.stackexchange.com/questions/1484/… Notice, the one interpreting the hadith which says, "ALL bidah are dalala" and says all bidah in DEEN. This is an interpretion. because the hadith doesn't say in DEEN. How did they filter ALL to only in DEEN? When the ones that say there are good bidah, the other group says how did you filter the hadith to good and bad when it says ALL are bad? Then the questoin is how did you filter it to DEEN when it says ALL. Do you get the point?
    – Kilise
    Mar 2 '16 at 9:35
  • I got your point and i have answer for this, as i said in my answer that this is a huge topic and debates on this topic are not possible here. But let me just answer this part of this topic that how do people filter the innovations in DEEN from the hadees that ALL INNOVATIONS ARE ZALALAH...<br>Oh, well the answer is really in my answer, read first two ahadees which specifies the innovation in religion... this is the answer... let me know of any ambiguity on this point Mar 2 '16 at 10:33
  • As you might understood with my point i mean that It's deceptive to say how could someone INTERPRET this hadith when it clearly says ALL innovations are ZALALAH and in the same time interpret it to ALL innovations in DEEN ZALALAH. That is what I am arguing. And this is the core argument being used.
    – Kilise
    Mar 2 '16 at 10:54
  • We all know that quran and hadees are interpretation of each other. And we get explaination of one hadees form other and one ayah from other or from hadees etc.. So, we must read all ahadees on the topic to get an understanding of the topic rather than relying on one hadees we know. Also if you are saying how muhadiseen seperate the innovation in deen from hadees. Than this means this hadees is void? even though it has sahi sand? or it is better to understand its meaning using other ahadees and quran. Mar 2 '16 at 11:18

Shia view

According to history available it is not proved prophet celebrated Mawalid.

But this does not mean Mawalid is Bidat.

Prophet did not use cell phone and computer. So it is Haram? No but it is Mubah because we do not have any evidence prophet made it Haram.

While we do not have an evidence prophet made something Haram we are not allowed to make it Haram only because we do not have any evidence to show prophet made it Halal.

Also maybe prophet did something but its hadith did not survive in 1400 years in history and wars and for different reasons. Currently I have no evidence they celebrated mawalid. Also we have no evidence they banned it. So banning what prophet did not ban is Bidat. When there is no evidence for ban or permit of an action in Islam it is considered Mubah. Not Haram. Changing something from Mubah to Haram is Bidat.

According to Shia Islam, it no Bidat. (ref)

According to Sunni scholars, there is a difference of opinion. Some, like Al-Azhar University of Egypt consider it no Bidat. (Arabic ref, English ref) Others, like Ibn Taymiyah and Muhammad Inn Abdul-Wahhab), consider it Bidat. (ref)

Mawalid of family members is not Islamic but still is not Harm while it does not contain a Haram act. it’s like using computer. Not banned and not recommended in Islam. But some Shia Hadith from Imams for shia like Imam Sadiq a.s says: our followers are happy with our happiness and are sad with our sadness. Can you prove why Mawalid is Bidat?

According to Shia Islam when there is no evidence for one action to be Halal or Haram it is Mubah and not considered ad Bidat because there is no positive or negative rule for ir in Islam.

Cultures change over time and prophet said leave cultures not conflicting Islam. if prophet did not celebrate Mawalid it was not usual at that time.

Milawd itself is not done while claimed to be part of Islam. but it is used as a tool for advertising and promoting Islam and teachings of prophet. when you give free foods to people at Mawalid it attracts other people to Islam and make interest in them to learn about prophet and Islam



Definition of Bidah [Rasool Allah (saww) vs. Salafies]

  • 2
    Milawd itself is not done while claimed to be part of Islam. but it is used as a tool for advertising and promoting Islam and teachings of prophet. So the methods of teaching islam taught by the prophet and allah are not that good, so humans have to go about inventing their own methods of teaching people about islam? i.e. Milawd? Personally, I think the teaching style of the prophet was the best, and no human method which came after the prophets teaching methods can be better. Dec 23 '12 at 10:06
  • 1
    @oshirowanen, brother, no body says the method of teaching of the Prophet is wrong or no good. In fact, in most cultures, mawlid is sth that causes the people remember the person. For the Prophet and the holy household, people use it to teach people about Islam, God and the Prophet (pbuh). I think Saudi Arabia is the only country which does not have holiday in the birth day of the Prophet (pbuh). What is the propblem of celebrating this this day to preach Islam, if no haram is involved?
    – rowman
    Dec 23 '12 at 13:54

Shiites and Sunnis in general celebrate and emphasize the birthday of the Prophet (PBUH). The view that Christmas is heresy has many opponents in Shiites and Sunnis. Many scholars and writers believe that although there is no direct reference to the birth of the Prophet in the Shari'a, there are many arguments and verses that confirm the celebration. Scholars have used general Qur'anic concepts such as the necessity of loving the Prophet (PBUH), the necessity of honoring the Prophet (PBUH), etc. on the legitimacy of celebrating the birth of the Prophet (PBUH). Jafar Sobhani, a Shiite scholar, believes that celebrating the birth of the Prophet (PBUH) is an expression of love for him; A love that has also been considered and instructed in the Qur'an.

Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a Sunni scholar, in addition to quoting verses from the Qur'an, believes that holding ceremonies for the birth of the Prophet and other Islamic events is in fact a reminder of the blessings God has bestowed on Muslims, and this reminder is not only heresy but also desirable. Tahir Ghaderi, a Sunni scholar, does not consider the celebration of the birth of the Prophet of Islam illegitimate and heresy, and introduces it as a permissible and legitimate thing, and believes that performing any action that is not forbidden and permissible in the Shari'a has become the culture of society and its purpose. There is nothing wrong with expressing happiness on the occasion of the birth of the Prophet of Islam.

Ref: https://fa.wikishia.net/view/%D8%AC%D8%B4%D9%86_%D9%85%DB%8C%D9%84%D8%A7%D8%AF_%D9%BE%DB%8C%D8%A7%D9%85%D8%A8%D8%B1(%D8%B5)#.D8.A8.D8.AF.D8.B9.D8.AA_.D8.A8.D9.88.D8.AF.D9.86_.D8.AC.D8.B4.D9.86_.D9.85.DB.8C.D9.84.D8.A7.D8.AF

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