Khutbas by Imam Habib
Khutba on Mawlid
الحمد لله، الحمد لله الذي أنعم على هذه الأمة بإرسال حبيبه الحنيف، وألهم أمته بالاحتفال بمولده الشريف، نحمده تعالى ونستعينه، ونشكره تعالى ونستغفره ونستغيثه، نعوذ بالله من شرور أنفسنا ومن سيئات أعمالنا، من يهد الله فهو المهتد ومن يضلل فلن تجد له وليا مرشدا، ونشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له، له الملك و له الحمد، يحيي ويميت، بيده الخير، وهو على كل شيء قدير، ونشهد أن سيدنا و مولانا محمداً عبده ورسوله، وحبيبه وصفيه، بلغ الرسالة وأدٌى الأمانة ونصح الأمة، النبي الأمي الذي أرسله الله بالهدى والدين الحق، بشيرا ونذيرا بين يدي الساعة، صلى الله عليه وسلم وعلى آله وأصحابه ومن تبعهم بإحسان إلى يوم الدين.
أما بعد! فيا عباد الله اتقوا الله حق تقاته ولا تموتن إلا وأنتم مسلمون. يأيها الذين ءامنوا اتقوا الله وقولوا قولا سديدا يصلح لكم أعمالكم ويغفر لكم ذنوبكم. ومن يطع
الله ورسوله فقد فاز فوزا عظيما. اتقوا الله فيما أمر وانتهوا عما نها عنه وزجر.
قال الله عز وجل في كتابه العزيز: وَذَكِّرْهُمْ بِأَيَّامِ اللَّهِ
Allah says in His Noble Book, the translation of which is, “And remind them of the Days of Allah.” Muslims, tonight is the first night of Rabi’ al-Awwal, meaning that one of the ayyam of Allah will shortly be upon us, the anniversary of one of the great days of Allah upon which He bestowed upon us His most bounteous blessing and greatest mercy. That day is the mawlid, the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad, whom Allah sent as a rahmatan lil-‘alamin - a mercy for all the worlds, and by means of whom He brought mankind out of the darkness and into the light. That day is the twelfth of Rabi al-Awwal, whose night coincides with the night of Tuesday the fifteenth of February, and is a day upon which any slave of Allah who has gratitude in his heart, any slave of Allah who truly understands the value of the Messenger of Allah should rejoice, for Allah says,
قُلْ بِفَضْلِ اللَّهِ وَبِرَحْمَتِهِ فَبِذَلِكَ فَلْيَفْرَحُوا
the translation of which is, “Say: ‘It is the favour of Allah and His mercy that should be the cause of their rejoicing.” The fadl and the rahma represented by the person of the Messenger of Allah should be clear to any Muslim. Indeed, he is the greatest blessing that any one of them will ever receive. Qadi Iyad says in his shifa,
فأي إحسان أجلُّ قدرا، وأعظمُ خطرا من إحسانه إلى جميع المؤمنين؟ وأي إفضال أعمُّ منفعة، وأكثرُ فائدة من إنعامه على كافة المسلمين، إذ كان ذريعتَهم إلى الهداية، ومُنقذَهم من العماية، وداعيَهم إلى الفلاح، والكرامة، ووسيلتَهم إلى ربهم، وشفيعَهم، والمتكلمَ عنهم، والشاهدَ لهم، والموجبَ لهم البقاء الدائم، والنعيم السرمد.
“What goodness could be worthier or of greater importance than his goodness to all the believers! What favour could be more universally beneficial and of greater use than his blessing to all the Muslims, since he is their means to guidance, the one who rescues them from blind error, and the one who summons them to success and honour? He is their means to their Lord and their intercessor. He speaks up on their behalf, bears witness for them and makes eternal life and everlasting bliss obligatory for them.”
The whole of creation rejoiced in his birth, even the trees, rocks and animals, and even the kuffar, for it is narrated in Bukhari that Abu Lahab, he who is mentioned in the Quran in surat Tabbat yadah as being one of the inhabitants of the Fire, felt such joy when his slavegirl, Thuwaybah, informed him of the birth of the Prophet that he freed her on the spot, and as a result of that his punishment in the Fire is lessened every Monday, the day of the week upon which the Prophet was born.
Then there are the wonders that took place the night he was born, as the earth acknowledged his coming, when the arcade of Chosroes shook and its balconies fell down, the waters of Lake Tiberias ebbed, and the flame of Persia, which had not been put out for a thousand years, was extinguished.
This is the mawlid, the day upon which the Prophet was born, narrated by Ibn ‘Abbas and others as having been on Monday the 12th of Rabi’ al-Awwal, the same day as that upon which he first received revelation and the same day as that upon which he died. And it is a day that Muslims the world over commemorate and celebrate by reciting Quran, singing poems in praise of the Prophet, studying his seera and gathering and feeding the poor.
This is the practice of the majority. But there are some others who object to the Mawlid being celebrated, claiming that it has nothing to do with Islam. Their two main objections to it are that is a bid’a that it was not practiced by any of the early generations of the Muslims, and that, even if it were permissible to celebrate his birth, one cannot make an eid of it or single out a particular day of the year for that purpose.
As for their first objection - that it is a bid‘a - it is true. The first generations of the Muslims did not celebrate the Mawlid, despite their unparalleled love of the Messenger of Allah. And the truth of the matter is that they did not need to do so, since they celebrated his life and birth every day of their lives. In the same way that their direct connection to the sunna spared them the need of codifying a system of fiqh or a tariqa of tasawwuf, so too did their enormous love and devotion to the Prophet spared them the need of having an official celebration of his birthday. But that did not stop the later generations from needing all those things. The fact that something was not done in the time of the Prophet does not necessarily make it haram, for no one objected to the establishment of the tarawih prayer by Umar ibn al-Khattab, or the convening of a second adhan for the Jumua prayer by Uthman as being unacceptable. No, bid’a is not the monolith that some suppose. An innovation is only haram when it contradicts the Quran or Sunna. Imam ash-Shafi’i said,
ما أحدث وخالف كتاباً أو سنة أو إجماعاً أو أثراً فهو البدعة الضالة، وما أحدث من الخير ولم يخالف شيئاً من ذلك فهو المحمود
“Whatever is innovated and goes against the Book or Sunna or consensus or traditions of the Companions is misguided innovation. But as for what is innovated and is good, not contradicting any of the things we have mentioned, that form of innovation is praiseworthy.”
There is no doubt that meeting to study the seera of the Prophet, pour down blessings upon him and write and recite poems in his honour are all practices that are good and recommended in the deen. So establishing and engaging in such practices can only be a good thing. The Prophet said,
“من سنَّ فِي الإِسلامِ سُنَّةً حسنةً فلـه أجرُها وأجرُ مَن عمِلَ بها بعدَه مِن غيرِ أن ينقُصَ مِن أجورِهم شيءٌ، ومَن سنَّ في الإسلامِ سنةً سيئةً كان عليه وزرُها ووزرُ مَن عمِلَ بها مِن بعدِه مِن غيرِ أن ينقُصَ مِن أوزارِهم شيءٌ.”
“Anyone who introduces a good sunna into the deen of Islam will receive the reward for doing that sunna and the reward of everyone else who puts that sunna into practice without lessening from their reward in any way. And anyone who introduces a bad sunna into the deen of Islam will bear the sin for doing it and the sin of everyone who puts that sunna into practice without lessening from their sin in any way.”
According to the sources, this practice of celebrating the Mawlid was first initiated in the seventh century hijri by the king of Erbil in Iraq, Abu Sa‘eed al-Muzaffar bin Baktakeen Kawkabriyy, a man whose nobility, knowledge, sense of justice and deep-seated love of the Prophet was praised by Ibn Kathir and adh-Dhahabi among others. He would invite the scholars and men of Allah of his day to come and remember the life of the Prophet and sing his praises, and this practice of his swiftly gained acceptance throughout the Muslim world, being adopted by scholars and commoners alike until it came to be practiced in almost every land in which Muslims could be found. And that fact is, in itself, one of the strongest proofs of its praiseworthy nature, for Ibn Mas’ud is narrated as having said,
ما رآه المسلمون حسناً فهو عند الله حسن، وما رآه المسلمون قبيحاً فهو عند الله قبيح
“What the Muslims view as good is good in the eyes of Allah, and what the Muslims view as ugly is ugly in the eyes of Allah.” Thus, celebrating the mawlid is something which is good in the eyes of Allah. But do not take it from me. Rather listen to what Imam as-Suyuti had to say about it:
هو من البدع الحسنة التي يثاب عليها صاحبها لما فيها من تعظيم قدر النبي ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ وإظهار الفرح والاستبشار بمولده الشريف
“This festival of celebrating the mawlid of the Noble Prophet is a bid'a hasana (good innovation) and those who take part in it will be rewarded, since in it people honour the greatness and status of the Prophet and give expression to their joy and happiness at his birth.”
أقول قولي هذا و أستغفر الله لي و لكم و لسائر المسلمين من كل ذنب فاستغفروه إنه هو الغفور الرَّحيم.الحمد لله الحمد لله رب العالمين، وأشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له وأشهد أن محمداً عبده ورسوله، صلى الله وسلم وبارك عليه وعلى آله وصحبه، والتابعين وتابعي التابعين ومن تبعهم بإحسان إلى يوم الدين.
أما بعد! فيأيها الذين ءامنوا اتقوا الله ما استطعتم واسمعوا وأطيعوا وأنفقوا خيرا لأنفسكم. يا عباد الله أوصيكم وإياي بتقوى الله وطاعته وأحذركم وإياي عن معصيته ومخالفته.
A second objection that is commonly raised to the celebration of the mawlid is the fact that it is celebrated on a particular day in the year. Allah, they say, has only prescribed two eids in the year - the Eid al-Adha and the Eid al-Fitr, and to prescribe others is to add and legislate in the deen what is not part of it and that is reprehensible.
Firstly, in response to this objection, it must be said that the Muslims in no way limit the celebration of the life and birth of the Prophet to this one day. On the contrary, gatherings which celebrate the Prophet’s birth take place throughout the year, such as during the moussem of our shaykh after Ramadan. Indeed, you will find that not a day goes by except that the birth of the Messenger of Allah is being celebrated and commemorated by Muslims somewhere in the world.
Secondly, no one is saying that commemorating the birth of the Prophet is obligatory or even sunna. Rather, the celebration is convened in accordance with the Islamic usuli principle of masaalih mursala (preserving matters that are intended by the deen), for it is in the general public interest to remind ourselves of the great merit of the our noble Messenger and the events that took place in the course of his life lest we all too quickly forget them and start to neglect his sunna. And without a day to concentrate our minds on doing just that, that is exactly what would happen.
Thirdly, contrary to their assertions, there is no limit in the deen of Allah to the number of eids that can be celebrated. Indeed, Allah uses the word ‘eid’ to refer to the day when the food-laden maida - table - was sent down to the people of Isa, saying,
قَالَ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ اللَّهُمَّ رَبَّنَا أَنْزِلْ عَلَيْنَا مَائِدَةً مِنَ السَّمَاءِ تَكُونُ لَنَا عِيدًا
the translation of which is, “‘Isa son of Maryam said, ‘Allah, our Lord, send down a table to us out of heaven to be an eid for us,” And there is no doubt that the sending of a Messenger is a greater source of joy and a greater cause for celebration than the sending of a table.
And the Prophet himself used the word eid to refer to other days of the year. For example, he said,
إن يوم الجمعة عيدكم فلا تصوموه، إلا أن تصوموا قبله أو بعده
“The day of Jumua is your eid, so do not fast it except when you also fast the day before it or after it.” And in the tafsir of Ibn Kathir, in a report about Umar, we find that a Jewish man said to him, “Leader of the Believers! There is an ayat in your Book which you recite, which if it been revealed to us, we would have taken the day (upon which it was revealed) as an eid.” “Which ayat is that?” Umar asked him. The Jew replied,
الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِى
the translation of which is, “Today I have perfected your deen for you and completed My blessing upon you.” so ‘Umar said, “By Allah! I know when and where this verse was revealed to the Messenger of Allah. It was the evening of the Day of `Arafah on Friday, both of which are eids for us.” So, there is no basis whatsoever for saying that the deen of Allah only allows the celebration of two eids. On the contrary, any day on which something joyful happens may be taken as an eid, and what event more meriting of joy than the birth of the Prophet has there ever been?
Furthermore, there is proof from the Prophet that one may single out a day to celebrate because of something momentous that happened on that day:
لما وصل النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم المدينةَ ورأى اليهود يصومون يوم عاشوراء سأل عن ذلك فقيل له: إنهم يصومون لأن الله نجّى نبيهم وأغرق عدوهم فهم يصومونه شكرا لله على هذه النعمة، فقال صلّى الله عليه وسلّم: نحن أولى بموسى منكم، فصامه وأمر بصيامه
“When the Prophet arrived in Madina and saw the Jews fasting Ashura, he asked about that and was told, ‘They fast it because, on that day, Allah rescued their Prophet and drowned their enemies. They fast it out of thanks for Allah for that blessing.’ So the Prophet said, ‘We have more right to Musa than you, [O Jews]’ and fasted and commanded the believers to fast.” The Prophet commemorated that day because of the mercy that Allah had shown Musa on it. And furthermore, the Prophet stated that one of the things that makes a day special is a Prophet being born on it, for when he listed the merits of the day of Jumua, he said,
وفيه خُلق آدم
“Adam was created on it.” And not only that, but he also used to hold the day upon which he himself was born in esteem, and mark the occasion by fasting it:
عن أبي قتادة أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلّم سُئل عن صيام يوم الاثنين؟ فقال (فيه وُلدتُ وفيه أُنزل عليَّ )
“Abu Qatadah narrated that when the Prophet was asked why he used to fast every Monday, he replied, ‘On that day I was born, and on that day I first received revelation.’”
And if these proofs were not enough to show that it is permissible to convene a day for the celebration of the mawlid of the Prophet, there is also the fact that it has been the practice of the vast majority of the Muslim umma, scholars and commoners alike to approve of the practice and engage in it. Indeed, its acceptance has almost reached the degree of ijma - consensus.
For example, it is reported that all the major fuqaha and prominent scholars, including the four chief jurists of Makka, would gather on the 12th of Rabi` al-Awwal after Maghrib prayer for the annual Mawlid ceremony in the Haram in Makka, and from there, make their way to the place where the Prophet was born where the crowd would gather and one of the scholars would deliver a speech and make the closing du`a.”
And right from the time in which the practice was first established, there have been numerous scholars and men of Allah who have spoken up in favour of gathering to celebrate the mawlid in Rabi al-Awwal, including such luminaries as Ibn al-Hajj, Ibn Batuta, Imam as-Suyuti, Imam as-Sakhafi, al-hafidh Ibn Hajr al-Asqalani and many others, scholars from all four corners of the globe and from all four madhhabs. Indeed many of them saw the night of his birth as being the greatest night of the year, greater even than the laylat al-Qadr. So who are we to gainsay them?
So, let us take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to remind ourselves of our noble Prophet and his noble qualities and learn more about his seera, let us gather together to rejoice in the greatest blessing that our Lord has given us and show our gratitude and thanks. But we must not let the fact that we celebrate his birth on this particular day stop us from celebrating his birth throughout the rest of this month and indeed throughout the rest of the year, for the blessings that Allah has given us through His Prophet are not confined to any one time. Rather, they are constant and never-ending. Everything we have in this world is granted us because of him. As Imam al-Busayri says in his burda,
لولاه لم تخرج الدنيا من العدم
“If it had not been for him, this world would never have emerged from non-existence.”
So we ask Allah to increase us in love of His noble Prophet and gives us a true appreciation of his station. And to make this coming mawlid a time of great joy and togetherness for the Muslim umma.
إنَّ اللهَ ومَلائِكَتَهُ يُصلُّونَ على النَّبِي يَا أَيُها الذينَ آمنوا صَلُّوا عَلَيْهِ وسَلِّمُوا تَسْليماً. اللهمَّ صَلِّ وسَلِّم وبارِك عَلَيْهِ وعلى آلِهِ وصَحْبِهِ أجمعين.
وارض اللهم عن الخلفاء الراشدين المرشدين الحنفاء ساداتنا وأئمتنا أبي بكر وعمر وعثمان وعلي ، وعن سائر الصحابة أجمعين، خصوصا الأنصار منهم والمهاجرين، وعن التابعين وتابعي التابعين ومن تبعهم بإحسان إلى يوم الدين.
اللهم اهد ولاة أمور المسلمين لما يرضيك ولاتباع سنة نبيك صلى الله عليه وسلم وثبت أقدامهم على الصراط المستقيم وأصلحهم يا رب العالمين.
اللهم بارك على شيخنا، و على أميرنا، وعلى جميع أمراء وزعماء المسلمين.
اللهم بارك على المسلمين في هذه المدينة ووفقهم لما تحبه وترضاه يا أكرم الأكرمين.
اللهمّ أَعِزَّ الْلإسلامَ والمُسِلمينَ (3) واَخْذُلِ الكُفْرَ والكافِرينَ، وانْصُرِ المُجاهِدينَ في سَبِيلِ اللهِ. واجْعَلْ كَلِمََتَكَ هِيَ العُلْيَا وكَلِمَةَ الكُفْرِ هِيَ السُّفْلى.
ربنا ءاتنا في الدنيا حسنة وفي الأخرة حسنة وقنا عذاب النار.
اللهم لا تدعْ في مقامِنا هذا ذنبا إلا غفرْتَه، ولا عيبا إلا سترْتَه، ولا مريضا إلا شفيتَهُ وعافيتَه، ولا مسجونا إلا طلَقْتَ سراحَه، ولا مسافرا في برِّك وبحرِك إلا سلِمتَهُ وغنِمْتَه.
إن الله يأمر بالعدل والإحسان وإيتاء ذي القربى وينهى عَنِ الفحشاءِ والمُنكَرِ والبغي، يعظكم لعلكم تذكرون، ولَذِكْرُ اللهِ أكبر والله يَعْلَمُ ما تَصْنَعُون. وقُومُوا إِلَى صَلاتِكُمْ يرحمكم الله