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Sanni K. Yusuf

The reward for doing solah in congregation is twenty-seven, or twenty-five, at least – as evident in the tradition of the holy Prophet. Lailatul Qadr which has a chapter dedicated to it in the Qur'aan is better than one thousand months – an equivalence of eighty-three years and more. The reward or benefits of the Night of Majesty are unimaginably huge, as prayers are answered and unfavourable destinies rejigged. 

The reward for saluting with salaam is ten on the minimum, twenty on the average and thirty on the aggregate. Salaam alaykum is ten; salaam alaykum warahmatuLLaah is twenty; while salaamu alaykum warahmatuLLaahi wabarakaatuh is thirty. So I ask: ‘What reward has maolid nabiyy?’

I have always wondered why the holy Prophet, in spite of his special selection as a messenger and his closeness to the Creator could forget to have himself celebrated on his birthday. And he didn’t remember, too, when he was asked why he would fast on Monday? That siege of forgetfulness equally gripped Allah that oversight disallowed Him from according it a verse in His Book – Al-Qur’an? A’uudhubiLLaah! AstagfiruLLaah! SubhaanaLLaah! But He did expressly emphasise that not only He but also His Angels would shower As-Solaah on the holy Prophet. Allah therefore, commanded muslims to do as ceaselessly done Himself and His Angels, hence the origin of As-solaatu ‘ala-n-Nabiyy. What then is the place of maolid nabiyy?

The Sahabah whose love and loyalty to the holy Prophet almost transcended the ladder top (some of whose instances verses of the Qur’an were revealed), also forgot to propel their leader to ask for a legitimisation of his birthday commemoration from Allah. 

Abubakr got the mantle of caliphacy after the holy Prophet’s noble demise. He spent years on the throne without showing how dearly his salaf was to him. How come he hated his teacher and leader so much? Perhaps he loved him while he was alive, but hated him on demise, right?

Umar got the baton and reigned for years with no day earmarked to celebrate the Prophet’s birthday. Uthman – the luckiest man who had two daughters of the Prophet married at different times, and who could have had the third had the Prophet any more daughter after the death of Ummu Kulthum. Could the caliph who had benefitted so much affection from the Prophet be so heartlessly ungrateful that he would not reciprocally appreciate such a rare gesture with a maolid nabiyy? Aliyy – the fourth caliph and cousin of the Prophet - was equally not disposed to celebrating his own relation – his father’s beloved. And the Sahabah in general all slept with their heads positioned in the same direction without any single one giving a reminder of the Prophet’s birthday. Who did this to us?

Celebrating maolid nabiyy is like laying claim to all the aforementioned. If it were part of Islam, how come none of the muslims who lived, wined and dined with the noble prophet never did it? If it were an act of ibaadah (worship), what is the reward for the doer or partaker in the celebration? If anyone would dare answer in the affirmative, where then is such readably enshrined – in the Qur’an or in the Hadeeth?

Maolid nabiyy first came to life in Egypt in the 4th century – 362 years after the hijrah of the Prophet to Madeenah. The originator was Ubayd Al-Qaddah – a slave who became freed on account of Ja’far ibn Muhammad As-Saadiq. Ubayd claimed to be a great-grand son of ‘Aliyy ibn Abee Taalib who married Fatimah, the Prophet’s only surviving daughter and child, the reason they claimed to be Faatimiyyuun. Ubayd and his people prevailed on the people of Egypt due to the power they had. The innovation travelled to Iraq, and then to Morocco. And it eventually spread like wild fire to the entire world.

It is evident from the above that maolid nabiyy was never practised by the models of Islam – the holy Prophet, the Sahabah and the other two best generations. And that is why it has no template or pattern. People do it as they so wish, even without any duration. Therefore, doing it now is a daring and disobedient act of bid’ah whose end result is misguidance.

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