Is Commemorating Birth Anniversaries of Religious dignitaries, an innovation or an act of polytheism?

Mujtaba Abbas

Commemorating remembrance of eminent servants of Allah (SWT) like creating a memorial or celebrations of their Milad, in the view of wises is very clear, but for clarification of every kind of doubt in this matter legitimate testimonies are hereby presented.  1.    Organizing Ceremonies manifestation of Love.   Quran-e-Kareem, Invites Muslims towards love for Holy Prophet and his Holy House Hold.                    قُل لَّا أَسْأَلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ أَجْرًا إِلَّا الْمَوَدَّةَ فِي الْقُرْبَىٰ( Shura 26/23)Say (Oh Prophet): ‘For this I ask of you no wage except the love of the (Prophet’s) house hold.There is no doubt about commemorating ceremonies for religious dignitaries is nothing but manifestation of love and attachment of people for them, which is in the view of Holy Quran completely correct and acceptable.  2.     Organizing Ceremonies, a Homage to Holy Prophet. Quran-e-Kareem, in addition to companionship of Holy Prophet, has introduced glorification of stature of Holy Prophet as a benchmark for salvation and prosperity.  فَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا بِهِ وَعَزَّرُوهُ وَنَصَرُوهُ وَاتَّبَعُوا النُّورَ الَّذِي أُنْزِلَ مَعَهُ أُولَئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ (Araf/157)Those who believe in him and honor him, those who aid him and follow the light sent forth with him, shall surely prosper. In the light of this verse, it is well understood that honoring Holy Prophet in the view of Islam is completely desirable and praiseworthy and organizing ceremonies which are for having alive the glorious remembrance of Holy Prophet (PBUH) and for his eminent prominence to show our praises for him, shall beoccurrenceof gratification of Allah (SWT). Therefore in this verse of Quran four qualities for salvation are mentioned:                    A: Faith;(الذین آمنوا به)(those who believe him).                   B: Following his light; (واتّبعوا النّور الذی أنزل معه)                                         (The light sent forth with him is to be followed)

C: Helping him; (ونصروه)  (Being helpful for him)

D: Homage and glorification for stature of Holy Prophet; (و عزّروه)  (Honor him).

Therefore, honor and homage for Prophet in addition to faith in him and helping him and following his directions is imperative and celebrating beloved Holy Prophet is an example of (وعزّروه) .

  1. Organizing ceremonies is dedication and obedience for Allah (SWT).

Allah in Holy Quran has mentioned about glorifying the Prophet: (وَرَفَعْنٰا لَکَ ذِکْرَکَ) (Inshirah94/4) (Have We not raised your remembrance?)

In the light of this verse we can understand that Allah (SWT) wants magnificence and glory of Holy Prophet should spread across world and himself has weave Quranic verses in praise of His Prophet.

We too in obedience of His Holy Book, with organizing mnemonic splendor ceremonies, the utmost status of Holy Prophet being our role model of perfection and attainment by glorifying him and by this way degrees of our dedication and following of Allah (SWT) is showcased.  It is very much clear that the intention of Muslims from these ceremonies is nothing elsebut to make long loud the beloved Prophet.

 

  1. Coming down of revelation is not less than coming down of food.

Quran-e-Kareem through the tongue of Prophet of Allah mentions this story:

قَالَ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ اللَّهُمَّ رَبَّنَا أَنْزِلْ عَلَيْنَا مَائِدَةً مِنَ السَّمَاءِ تَكُونُ لَنَا عِيدًا لِأَوَّلِنَا وَآخِرِنَا وَآيَةً مِنْكَ وَارْزُقْنَا وَأَنْتَ خَيْرُ الرَّازِقِينَ(Maeda 5/114).

‘Allah, our Lord, ‘ said (Prophet) Jesus, the son of Mary, ‘send down upon us a table out of heaven, that shall be a festival for us the first and the last of us and a sign from You. And provide for us; You are the Best of providers.

 

Prophet Jesus prays Allah for the Food of skies, so that Allah send down that Food for them and they will celebrate the day of coming down of Food as Festival (Eid).

This is what we want to ask that a Prophet who wants to celebrate a festival (Eid) the day on which Food of Skies is been sent down for them, which was not more than a fulfillment of bodily satisfaction. But if the Muslims of world celebrates the day of coming down of Allah’s revelation on Prophet or celebrates Prophet’s birth anniversary which are meant for the rescue of whole mankind and are actual resources for meaningful life of a human being. Organizing ceremonies of celebrations and celebrating these days as festivals (Eid) are sources of innovations and polytheism?

 

  1. Tradition Muslims.

The followers of Islam from ages organize such ceremonies for glorifying the remembrance of Holy Prophet.

Hussain Ibn Mohammed Diyar Baqari in his book Tarikh Khamis mentions:

Muslims of all over world used to celebrate the month in which Prophet Mohammed’s (PBUH) day of birth falls along with giving away feasts and during nights of that month alms were distributed among needy people, symbols of happiness were put into gear and all other kindness used to cover whole society and for recitation of memoirs of Milad of Prophet events were organized, and the illustration of his blessings and mercy used to be manifest on everybody.

With all above mentions we attain a general ruling for ceremonies of remembrance of dignitaries of our religion being legitimate and desirable in the light of Quran and tradition of Muslims.

Thus proves baselessness of such claims which says remembering Gods dear ones is an innovation. It is to be noted that innovation is one whose recommendation partially or generally used or applied against Quran and Tradition. While as the general ruling in this matter is completely aligned with Quran and the permanent tradition of Muslims which we understand.

Likewise organizing these ceremonies are only treated as symbols   of respect and glorifying the eminent servant of Allah (SWT) with this belief that their devotion and necessitous is all towards Almighty Allah. Thus has absolute harmony with basic principle of monotheism and Unanimity worship of Allah (SWT).

Therefore it get clearer that anyone who opposes these kind of ceremonies in which God’s dear ones are remembered has no base and foundation. We believe it can never cause polytheism and dualism for a Muslim.

 

Mujtaba Abbas (agamujtaba@gmail.com)

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