In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Introducing and welcoming Dr. Nabulsi:
Dear Spectators, Assalamu Alaikum wa Rahmatu Allah wa Barakatoh (may the Peace, Marcy and Blessings of Allah be upon you), and welcome to a new episode of your program Faith is Good Conduct. We are still with Dr. Muhammad Rateb An-Nabulsi, the Professor of Scientific Miracles of the Noble Quran and Prophetic Sunnah in both the Faculty of Islamic Law and the Faculty of Fundamentals of Islamic Religion in Damascus. You are welcome sir.
Thanks Mr. Alaa' (the interviewer), may Allah reward you.
The Shari'ah ruling on celebrating the Prophet's birth anniversary:
Dear Sir, I would like to dedicate this episode and the next one insha' Allah, and we may need more episodes to discuss an important topic as it coincides with the Prophet Muhammad's (peace be upon him) birthday who was described by his Lord as:
(And verily, you (O Muhammad, peace be upon him) are on an exalted standard of character)
This Prophet, peace be upon him, is the mercy sent to people, he is the last Prophet, peace be upon him, whose Message summarized all Messages before it and included them all. With his Message, coming, birth, Prophethood, and death no other Divine Message has been sent to people on earth. Thus, his Message which is the last Divine Message is universal till the Day of Resurrection.
Dear Sir, Allah, Glorified and Sublime be He, says
(And verily, you (O Muhammad, peace be upon him) are on an exalted standard of character)
Our Lord, Glorified and Sublime be He, says about the Prophet, peace be upon him:
(Muhammad, peace be upon him, is the Messenger of Allah, and those who are with him are severe against disbelievers, and merciful among themselves.)
Thus, this da'wah (calling to Allah) has moved the Ummah (Islamic nation) and the humanity from ignorance and darkness to civilization, light, progress, knowledge, love, and beauty. The man of this anniversary and this Message is the one who was not known before or after receiving the Message for anything against chivalry or morals. He was rather called the truthful and the honest man in before the Message was sent down on him. Is it not a right to celebrate the anniversary of this man's birth? Should we not make the celebration we are used to, and which happened yesterday, in our Masajid, houses, and everywhere. There is a clamor about this issue as some people say that celebrating the Prophet's birth anniversary is an innovation, every innovation is a misguidance, and every misguidance is to Hellfire, so the way to Hell is directly open (for each misguidance). How do we deal with this issue? What is the true Shari'ah ruling on it?
Types of people in celebrating the Prophet's birth anniversary:
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, the faithful and honest. Mr. Alaa', may Allah reward your for this important question. Let me before starting with anything clarify two points:
1. Folkloric celebration should not be intended in itself:
The first point: there is a folkloric type of celebrating the Prophet's birth anniversary, we are familiar with for a long time. I wish to have a real celebration of the Prophet's birth anniversary, but do you know what the difference between the two types is? Folkloric celebration is to use decorations and to deliver speeches praising the person whose anniversary we celebrate.
In my view the true celebration is to follow the Prophet's example and sunnah. You might not believe that, but I say that the suffering of Muslims all over the world could be linked to following the Prophet, peace be upon him. As Allah, Glorified and Sublime be He, says.
2. Following the way of the Prophet saves us from Allah' Punishment:
(And Allah would not punish them while you (Muhammad, peace be upon him,) are amongst them)
Mr. Alaa' the strongest form of negation is used in wa Ma Kaan Allah (and Allah would not). This negative form is called nafi ash-sha'n (the negation of someone's situation). If you ask a person, "Are you hungry?" He would answer, "No, I am not." But if you asked him, "are you a thief, Allah forbids. He would say: I would not steal, I never do such a thing, I never wish it, I never accept it or I never accept to be known for it." Some scholars mentioned more than ten negative forms indicating the same sense of this form in Arabic. Allah the Almighty says:
(And Allah would not punish them)
His Ummah will never ever be punished if the Prophet's method is implemented in their life, homes, jobs, earnings, staying and travels, happy and sad events, in their dealings, and in peace and war. I would like to repeat this and I mean it: as long as Muslims follow the Prophet's method in Muslims' life, Allah, Glorified ad Sublime be He, will never punish us. Accordingly, we can connect the suffering of Muslims, and their situation that does not please a friend but makes enemies happy, to refraining from following Allah's Messenger, peace be upon him. The truth is that the Prophet's status is much greater than to be remembered one day every year. The Prophet's rank entails remembering him every day, applying his method at our homes, to our relations and marriage, to raising children, to dealing with neighbors, at works, to earnings, and to spending.
(And Allah would not punish them while you (Muhammad, peace be upon him) are amongst them)Scholars of the interpretation of the Noble Quran said, "The ayah is very clear, and it means that as long as the Prophet, peace be upon him, is among you, you are saved from Allah's Torment." However, what is the meaning of the ayah after the death of the Prophet, peace be upon him? The meaning is that "as long as the Prophet's sunnah, method, good conduct, principles and stances applied in Muslims' life, no power on earth will be able to defeat them":
(And Allah would not punish them while you (Muhammad, peace be upon him) are amongst them)
Thus, I would like to add to the folkloric celebration a true celebration by following this right method, because it is the Method of the Lord of the Worlds.
3. Every problem on earth is the result of deviating from Allah's Method:
I want to confirm to you and to our spectators that every problem on earth is the result of deviating from Allah's Method, from the instructions of the Maker, and from orders and prohibitions. Man is the most complicated machine in the universe, his Creator is Wise, and He has given man the instructions for operation and maintenance. Thus, we really celebrate the anniversary of the Prophet's birth when we follow his example; the way he used to be at home, and the way he dealt with his wife, children, neighbors, brother, Companions, pain, happiness, sadness, staying, and travelling.
Man and the three types of personality:
Every person has a personality he has and a personality he hates to have. He could be an educated person who hates ignorance, and he could have a high taste of beauty and he hates the unbeautiful things. If you ask me about the man whose method I like to follow, I would reply to you whom you are to ask me. Let me repeat, for every person, there is a personality he has, a personality he hates to have, and a personality he wishes to have.
(Indeed in the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad, peace be upon him) you have a good example to follow for him who hopes in (the Meeting with) Allah and the Last Day)
I have not answered your question yet. The fact we are discussing is the ruling on celebrating the Prophet's birth anniversary, and first, we made a difference between the folkloric celebration and the true following.
It is just the same difference we made throughout the long episodes of this program between the shallow worship and the true one which manifests the relation with Allah, Glorified and Sublime be He.
I also said that the Prophet's position is higher than to be remembered on a single day.
The same could be said about mother's day!!!
I would like to mention mother's day. In the heedless west, a mother might not be able to see her son more than once a year, so they need to have a mother's day. I do not refuse it here, but in our Islamic culture we have good human relations, tight communication, successful and comprehensive families, so the mother would see her son every day, and if he does not deal with her with dignity, respect and honoring, he would be rejected in the Muslim society. Thus, we do not need such days as the westerners do. This is only a short comment.
The ruling on celebrating the Prophet's birth anniversary in the Quran:
1. The first ayah:
Allah, Glorified and Sublime be He, says:
(And all that We relate to you (O Muhammad, peace be upon him) of the news of the Messengers is in order that We may make strong and firm your heart thereby.)
If the heart of the master of mankind and the beloved one to Al-Haqq (Allah the Truth) got strong and firm by hearing about other Prophets' news, then hearing the story of the best of mankind will fill our hearts with faith, zeal, and glory, and we will follow the good example of great people. This ayah is the first evidence that we have to get to know Allah's Messenger, peace be upon him.
The addressee here is the Prophet, peace be upon him, and as you explained, in the ayah the stories of other Prophets, peace be upon them, who are less than him in status are referred to.
Yes, he is the top Prophet, peace be upon him, the master of all Prophets and Messengers, peace be upon them, yet his faith increases by listening to the stories of Prophets, peace be upon them, who are less than him. Accordingly, we, the defaulting believers would sparkle if we listened to the story of the master of Prophets, peace be upon them, and I have just given you the proof.
2. The second ayah:
The second evidence is:
(Or is it that they did not recognize their Messenger (Muhammad, peace be upon him).)
Allah calls us to know the Prophet, peace be upon him, because it is part of religion, or we can say that it is half of religion, because the first word in Islam is "La Ilaha illa Allah Muhammad rasulu Allah (There is no Deity worthy of worship but Allah and Muhammad is Allah's Messenger). Principles are not enough to convince us of idealism unless they are embodied in a man, who feels as we feel, wishes as we wish, fears as we fear, and desires as we desire.
(Verily, there has come unto you a Messenger (Muhammad, peace be upon him) from amongst yourselves (i.e. whom you know well).)
Had he not been a human being who has all the characteristics of human beings, he would not have become the master of mankind. Because he is a man who fears like us, feels pain like us, and worries like us. Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said:
(Indeed I have feared for the sake of Allah, such that no one has feared, and I have been harmed for the sake of Allah, such that no one has been harmed. Thirty days and nights have passed over me, and there was no food with Bilal and I forced something with a liver to eat, except what Bilal could conceal under his armpit.)
Had he not been a human being with all the characteristics of human beings, he would not have been the master of all mankind. He triumphed over his human characteristics, so he became the master of all mankind. This Noble Prophet, peace be upon him, is the one whom Allah asked us to know, because the Divine Perfection which man takes from being connected with Allah was manifested clearly in the Prophet's personality, who was the symbol of human perfection that is derived from the Divine Perfection. He is the symbol of human perfection acquired from connection with Allah, Glorified and Sublime be He.
(And by the Mercy of Allah, you dealt with them gently)
This is the second evidence
(Or is it that they did not recognize their Messenger (Muhammad, peace be upon him).)
3. The third ayah:
The third evidence is:
(Say (to them O Muhammad, peace be upon him): "I exhort you on one (thing) only: that you stand up for Allah's sake in pairs and singly, and reflect (within yourselves the life history of the Prophet): there is no madness in your companion (Muhammad, peace be upon him),)
Why do we not gather in a Masjid or in one of our houses, and talk about the Prophet, peace be upon him, about this great leader, about his great manners and noble attitudes, about his exalted status, his right method, his humbleness, his justice, his mercy, and his loyalty? I swear by Allah that talking about Allah's Messenger, peace be upon him, fills the hearts with happiness.
Why do we not gather to talk about this Noble Prophet, peace be upon him, since knowing him is part of da'wah, and it is even half of religion. We cannot even convince people with Allah's Method except by showing it applied by a human being. Thus, it was said that "The universe is a silent Quran, the Quran is a talking universe, and the Prophet, peace be upon him, is a walking Quran. His manner was the Quran through his faithfulness and honesty.
The second truth Mr. Alaa' is that we live by seeing the live example. Sometimes when idealism is far from reality it becomes ridiculous. The greatest thing in Islam is that it makes idealism realistic, and it makes the reality ideal. This compatibility between idealism and reality is the greatest thing in Islam. Hence, when I give information about the Prophet, peace be upon him, his attributes, his morals, his perfection, his humbleness, his justice, his mercy, and when I tell people about the Prophet, peace be upon him, showing them how the perfection represented in a human being, this is a form of da'wah to Allah.
When I say that this celebration is an act of worship, then I am introducing an innovation as the basis in worship is prohibition, and no act of worship can be legislated except with a daleel qat'i (definite evidence) proved in a text, whereas the basis in things is that they are permissible unless there is a daleel qat'i that makes them forbidden. Thus, it is fine when I celebrate the Prophet's birth anniversary without saying that the whole universe has been created for his sake, which is an exaggeration. Instead, we can say that the universe in general and human beings in particular have been created to follow the example of the Prophet, peace be upon him, to implement his method and to learn from his perfections.
Truth is in the middle between two excesses:
The truth is in the middle between two excesses; it is between those who prohibit celebrating the Prophet's birth anniversary considering it a way to Hell as you mentioned in the introduction, and those in some Islamic countries where there are innovations, dancing, mixing between men and women, black magic and other intolerable things. We are between rejecting the celebration, and following innovations. Rejecting the celebration is extremism and innovations are extremism too, while the truth is in between them.
Sir, according to what you have discussed so far, it would be so nice that family members gather and decorate the house, and the father tells his family about the Noble Prophet, peace be upon him.
Raise your children on loving Allah's Messenger:
I would rather say it is a duty, not a permissible matter, since it is indicated in a hadith that you should of the Prophet, peace be upon him. You should raise your children on loving your prophet It will be naivety if I say to my son, "O son, you should love Allah's Messenger". . However, it would be meaningful, when I sit with my child, tell him about the Prophet's love to children, tell him how Hassan and Hussein (his grandchildren), may Allah be pleased with them, used to mount his back while prostrating and how he used to prostrate for a long time so they would be comfortable, and when I tell him about his loyalty to his wife. When Mrs. Aishah asked him, "What is your love to me like?" He, peace be upon him, said, "It is like the knot of the robe." She used to ask him from time to time, "How is the knot." He used to answer, "As it is." He, peace be upon him, was an excellent husband, a merciful father, a generous neighbor, a close and loyal friend.
When I see someone who is full of perfection, mercy, chastity, morals, and humbleness I take him as a good example. In fact Mr. Alaa', every one of us thinks of a person like the people who enjoys the pleasures of the worldly life and those who are wealthy. You hear someone says, "This man gains 18 million as a profit" or "that man has two billions". People of desires say, "This person has a house, women, so and so." Hence, each one has, unconsciously, an example who has what he aims at. However, I believe that the true believer always aspires to follow the method of Allah's Messenger, to follow his sunnah, and to be close to his human perfections. Thus, I see that celebrating the Prophet's birth anniversary is part of religion without calling it an act of worship in order to keep adherent to the Quran and sunnah.
Exactly sir, we should adhere to the Quran and sunnah. We do not say that it is an act of worship. I have never heard anyone calling it an act of worship
On the other hand, some people reject the celebration and consider it a way to Hell. They accuse the people who celebrate it of making it an act of worship though nobody said that.
Virtues of Monday, the day when the Prophet was born:
It is known that the Prophet, peace be upon him, used to fast on Monday, and when he was asked about it he, peace be upon him, said, "I was born on Monday." This is mentioned in a sahih (authentic) hadith.
Peace be upon him on the day of his birth. Birth and death are so important in man's life, and they are considered the gravest events.
Therefore, it is important for man to know when he was born. He should know the date of his birth since it is related to religious understanding and performing the Divine Assignment. He should know when he reaches the age of assignment. If this (man's date of birth) is not clear and specific rights might not be proved, because we are not sure of this matter.
As you explained, the Prophet, peace be upon him, is our good example and every person of this worldly life has an example, while the believers' good example is the Prophet, peace be upon him, because he came in with a method that is applicable whenever and wherever, he made balance between this world and the Hereafter, he came with good manners and morals and he abstained from doing anything improper, not only the prohibited matters. Isn't it true Sir?
The Prophet, peace be upon him, has the best morals
When he used to come into his house, he used to raise his gown, could the sound of the gown when it touches the ground wake up the household or the wife? He used to care about the highest degrees of good manners and etiquette. He used to raise his gown in order not to bother his family. Also, he, peace be upon him, used to say:
(Do not cause people to have a red face.)
If someone makes a mistake, you should not embarrass him. Unless the information is valuable and related to Aqidah, and if it does not cause harm, you should not embarrass him in front of people. Do not cause people to have a red face. He, peace be upon him, was the best one in etiquette. When he ate dates, he would not hold the kernel with his fingers, because if he touched it and then touched another date without eating it, his saliva would be on a date that he did not eat. He used to put the kernel on the top of his fingers, so that his fingers would keep dry. This is the highest degree of etiquette and good manner.
There was a woman who used to clean the Masajid, and according to the social traditions, the cleaning people have the lowest social rank. That woman died, and the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, did not tell the Prophet, peace be upon him, about her death thinking that her position was not that significant. A few days later, he asked about her, and they answered, "She died." He said, "Why did you not inform me." They said, "We thought that it was an ordinary event that was not worth mentioned." He went to her grave and made funeral prayer for her (this prayer is an exception on graves).
His loyalty, modesty, and service to his Companions were amazing.
(Once, he, peace be upon him, was travelling with his Companions and they wanted to slaughter a she-camel to eat. One of them said, "I will slaughter it", the second said, "I will remove its skin ", the third said, "I will roast it", and the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, "I will collect the firewood." They said, "Prophet! You need not take the trouble. We shall attend to everything." He, peace be upon him, answered, "I know you can do everything, but I do not like to enjoy a preferential treatment from you. Allah does not like to see His servant distinguishing himself from his peers.")
When he likened the previous religions to a high strong building which only needed a brick to be complete, he, peace be upon him, said, "…and I am that brick." What kind of humbleness is that? He is the master of Prophets and Messengers, peace be upon them. Who needs to know these facts? Business men, company managers, men of similar industries need to know them, so that they would not compete (in a dishonest manner). He, peace be upon him, said, "and I am that brick." He considered himself a brink in a high building. When we follow the example of this Noble Prophet, peace be upon him, our problems will be solved and conflict and hatred will disappear, so we are in dire need of his sunnah nowadays.
Sir, we are running out of time, but as we promised our spectators we will continue with this stage insha' Allah. We will continue discussing this issue and deal with other points of it.
The episode in brief:
I would like to encourage our dear brother to make sure as they may not believe me that knowing the Prophet's sunnah both As-Sunnah Al-Qawliyyah (in his As7adeth) and As-Sunnah Al-Fi'liyyah (actions) is as obligatory as performing the salah. Salah is obligatory, and so is knowing the Prophet's sunnah. I will prove to our dear spectators that knowing the Prophet's sunnah both Al-Qawliyyah and Al-Fi'liyyah is fard ayn (an individual obligation), and I will give evidences of that. Without the evidence everyone can say whatever he wants, but this religion is so important and no one on earth dares to give his own opinion about it. I will give you insha' Allah in the next episode evidences that knowing the Prophet's sunnah is fard ayn (individual obligation) just like salah, as Allah, Glorified and Sublime be He, says:
(And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad, peace be upon him) gives you, take it, and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it).)
When do I treat myself from hypertension? I do so when I know that I have hypertension. Much in the same in the line, how can I take whatever he, peace be upon him, gives me and abstain from whatever he, peace be upon him, forbids me if I do not know what he gives and what he forbids. Every house should have a book of the Noble Hadith and a book of Seerah (the prophet's, peace be upon him, biography.)
We wished to continue this interesting discussion, but time is over. I would like to thank Dr. Muhammad Rateb An-Nabulsi, the professor of Scientific Miracles of the Noble Quran and Prophetic Sunnah in both the Faculty of Islamic Law and the Faculty of Fundamentals of Islamic Religion in Damascus. As we promised our dear spectators, we will go on with our discussion insha' Allah in the coming episodes. Thank you Sir, see you.