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I'm a convert, but follow mostly Sunni teachings from Hanafi or Maliki. I'm wondering if celebrating the birth of the Prophet (SAW) is bidah, and thus a sin. My husband thinks so, but he tends to lean highly conservative. I'm of the opinion that it may be innovation, but it's harmless, and just brings the family together for a day of joy. I'm looking for someone to give me hard facts, and prove if it's a harmful bidah or not.

I'm aware that taraweeh prayers are technically bidah, and I have heard that Umar praised them as a "beautiful bidah," although I'm at the moment unable to validate this claim. So, if there can be a bidah that's harmless, and even praised and encouraged, then how can all bidah be harmful, and is the celebrating the Prophet's birthday really so bad?

marked as duplicate by UmH, III-AK-III, goldPseudo Nov 15 '17 at 16:49

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    No one knows the exact dates of birth or death of any prophet. There are even differences in Christmas among Christians. Same goes for Prophet Mohammad PBUH. – Waqas Bukhary Nov 14 '17 at 9:31
  • Todays hanafi and maliki view or the majority view on this is that it isnt a sinful bidah. However there are different opinions on the definition of the term bidah. – Kilise Nov 15 '17 at 13:56
  • Salam please see this also islam.stackexchange.com/questions/29833/… – Faqirah Nov 16 '17 at 5:48
  • Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him himself honoured his birthday by keeping fasts on mondays sunnah.com/muslim/13/256 there is no harm in celebrating rather it is mustahab. – Faqirah Nov 16 '17 at 5:57
  • @Muslimah8320 This is one of the most controversial topic among muslims for some long time now. Some claim the prophet himself celebrated his birthday by fasting on that day; others claim it is Bidaah because Sahabas did not even celebrate their own birthdays let alone the prophet's birthday, and we should follow them given they are more committed to Islam than us. In the end, as the prophet says: do whatever feels right for you. There's no absolute right or wrong here. – Ahmad Tn May 27 '18 at 7:37
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Firstly, albeit my answer is not like @Alex A, but I respect his answer (and as a rule of thumb, there can be diverse viewpoints in different individuals).

Secondly, based on my research/perception, celebrating the birth of the Prophet (peace be upon him and his family) cannot be considered as a Bid'ah or sinful practice, and even it can be a good/profitable practice. But why?

Concise answer:

Such practices are not bid'ah, because bid'ah (innovation) does not include such matters, also, it is not injunction in the Quran and traditions. In Quran, where does it mention that it is haram to celebrate the birth of the Prophet, and to be pleased of that?! Actually, to the best of my knowledge, we cannot call it Bid'ah when/if we don't attribute such celebrating to a kind of Islamic order, and factually we do it with the intention of being pleased of the birth of Prophet Muhammad as the apostle of Allah who indeed helped us to find the right way of Allah, and likewise as a sort of honoring/respecting.

On the other hand, according to the holy Quran (Surah A'raaf), honoring/respecting the prophet is regarded as a character of Mo'menin (believes/faithfuls), so, such celebrating of the Prophet's birthday can be regarded as a kind of honoring his importance/greatness when he is not available now. Consequently, even logically, such celebrating would be a type of keeping alive his greatness/name which in practice can be equal to honoring the prophet who is not currently available to us (from an aspect).

Of note, I found numerous great detailed related answers, but unfortunately were in Persian (Farsi), otherwise I would link them for more helpful information.


Update:

Even though we consider that e.g. there is difference regarding the precise date of his birthday (and seemingly especially between 2 dates), despising that, there doesn't seem to be any remarkable/big problem if we celebrate both of them or at least the one which can be more probable (based on every one belief/assumption). And actually the significant issue is its positive and constructive effect on the society which show a kind of honoring to high-ranking position of the apostle of God (albeit it would be definitely it is held in its the most exact date).


Source:

  • You just answered what I have already answered🤦🏻‍♂️ – Alex A Nov 14 '17 at 10:04
  • I presume you concluded that it is a sinful act but I didn't conclude so, dear mate. – اللهم صل علی محمد و آل محمد Nov 14 '17 at 10:11
  • Well, I have said that they are just prayers – Alex A Nov 14 '17 at 10:15
  • If you look at my comments, you will know if I already said it is not a sinful act – Alex A Nov 14 '17 at 10:15
  • Ok, you are right. – Alex A Nov 14 '17 at 10:17
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Interesting question, well have a look here:

The Prophet said:

”Whoever innovates anything in this matter of ours (i.e., Islam), that is not part of it will have it rejected." Narrated by Al-Bukhari, no. 2697; Muslim, no. 1718

"The most truthful of speech is the Book of Allah and the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad, and the most evil of things are those which are newly-invented."

"And verily, this is My straight path, so follow it, and follow not (other) paths, for they will separate you away from His path." Al-Qur'an 6:153

"Say (O Muhammad to mankind): 'If you (really) love Allah, then follow me (i.e. accept Islamic Monotheism, follow the Qur'an and the sunnah), Allah will love you and forgive you your sins'." Al-Qur'an 3:31

"Follow (the way of the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him)) and do not innovate, for you have been sufficed (in guidance)."

Conclusion: It is not allowed to celebrate any prophet’s birthday because it has been hidden this information of what is the date of birthday of prophet Muhammad. So in other words, yes, it is a sinful thing.

  • Is taraweeh not bidah then? I was under the impression it was an innovation from Umar's time. I could be wrong. – Muslimah8320 Nov 14 '17 at 8:33
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    Al-Bukhari or even the Prophet is not God! – Medi1Saif Nov 14 '17 at 9:33
  • @Muslimah8320 Bid’ah is something introduced in religion. And, Taraweed are prayers – Alex A Nov 14 '17 at 9:36
  • @Muslimah8320 this is a new question you may ask it in a new post or search for it on the site. Short answer: no the Prophet himself did so. 'Omar only saw the necessity or benefit to gather poeple together to pray in one congregation, and even this was practiced a few times by the prophet. – Medi1Saif Nov 14 '17 at 9:37
  • Oh, all right! Sorry, this is my first time on the site. Thanks for the answer! – Muslimah8320 Nov 14 '17 at 14:42

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