بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Celebrating the occasion of the birthday of the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) is forbidden and is to be rejected for a number of reasons:
1 – It is not part of the Sunnah of the Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) or of the khaleefahs who succeeded him. Since this is the case, then it is a forbidden innovation, because the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: “I urge you to follow my Sunnah and the way of the rightly-guided khaleefahs after me; adhere to it and cling to it firmly. Beware of newly-invented things, for every newly-invented thing is an innovation (bid’ah) and every innovation is a going astray.” (Narrated by Ahmad, 4/126; al-Tirmidhi no. 2676).
Celebrating the Mawlid is an innovation introduced by the Shi’a Faatimids after the three best centuries in order to corrupt the religion of the Muslims. If a person does anything in order to draw closer to Allaah which was not done by the Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) or enjoined by him, and was not done by the khaleefahs who succeeded him, this action implies that he is accusing the Messenger of not explaining the religion to the people, and that he disbelieves in the words of Allaah (interpretation of the meaning):
“This day, I have perfected your religion for you.” [al-Maa’idah 5:3] because he is adding something extra and claiming that it is a part of the religion, but the Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) did not bring this.
2 – Celebrating the birthday of the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) is an imitation of the Christians, because they celebrate the birth of the Messiah (peace be upon him). Imitating them is extremely haraam. The hadeeth tells us that it is forbidden to imitate the kuffaar, and we are commanded to differ from them. The Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: “Whoever imitates a people is one of them.” (Narrated by Ahmad, 2/50; Abu Dawood, 4/314). And he said, “Be different from the mushrikeen.” (narrated by Muslim, 1/222, no. 259) – especially with regard to things that are the symbols or rituals of their religion.
3 – Besides being bid’ah and an imitation of the Christians, both of which are haraam, celebrating the birthday of the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) is also a means that leads to exaggeration and excess in venerating him, which even goes as far as calling upon him (making du’aa’ to him) and seeking his help, instead of calling upon Allaah, as happens now among many of those who observe the bid’ah of the Mawlid, when they call upon the Messenger instead of Allaah, and ask him for support, and sing qaseedahs (odes) of shirk praising him, like Qaseedat al-Burdah etc. The Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) forbade going to extremes in praising him, as he said: “Do not extol as the Christians extolled the son of Maryam. For I am just His slave, so say, the slave of Allaah and His Messenger.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4/142, no. 3445; al-Fath, 6/551), i.e., do not exaggerate in praising me as the Christians exaggerated in praising the Messiah and venerated him until they worshipped him instead of Allaah. Allaah forbade them to do that when he said (interpretation of the meaning):
“O people of the Scripture (Christians) ! Do not exceed the limits in your religion, nor say of Allaah aught but the truth. The Messiah ‘Eesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), was (no more than) a Messenger of Allaah and His Word, (“Be!” – and he was) which He bestowed on Maryam (Mary) and a spirit (Rooh) created by Him.” [an-Nisaa’ 4:171]
Our Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) forbade us to exaggerate concerning him lest the same thing happen to us as happened to them, so he said: “Beware of exaggeration, for those who came before you were destroyed because of exaggeration.” (narrated by al-Nasaa’i, 5/268; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Sunan al-Nasaa’i, no. 2863).
4 – Observing the innovation of the Prophet’s birthday opens the door to other kinds of bid’ah and being distracted by them from the Sunnah. Hence you find that the innovators are very active when it comes to bid’ah and very lazy when it comes to the Sunnah; they hate it and regard those who follow it as enemies, until their entire religion is innovated anniversaries and Mawlids. They have split into various groups, each of which commemorates the anniversary of its imaam’s birth, such as the births of al-Badawi, Ibn ‘Arabi, al-Dasooqi and al-Shaadhili. No sooner do they end the celebration of one birthday but they start the celebration of another. This results in exaggeration concerning these dead people and others, and in calling upon them instead of Allaah, believing that they can bring benefit and cause harm, until they deviate from the religion of Allaah and go back to the religion of the people of the Jaahiliyyah of whom Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And they worship besides Allaah things that harm them not, nor profit them, and they say: ‘These are our intercessors with Allaah.‘” [Yoonus 10:18]
“And those who take Awliyaa’ (protectors, helpers, lords, gods) besides Him (say): ‘We worship them only that they may bring us near to Allaah.‘” [al-Zumar 39:3]