The sheikh has been asked as in “Fatawa sheikh Mohammad Al Salih Al Othaimeen”, prepared and organized by Ashraf Abdel Maksoud (1 / 126)
What is the ruling of celebrating the prophet’s birthday?
We see that one's faith can't be perfected until he loves the messenger (peace and blessings upon him) and glorifies him with what he should glorify him with, and with what is suitable for him (peace and blessings upon him), and there is no doubt that the sending of the messenger (peace and blessings upon him) and I don't say his birth, but his sending as he wasn't a messenger until he was sent, as people of knowledge have said, he has been informed by Iqra' (Surah Al-'Alaq) and has been sent by Al-Muddaththir (Surah Al-Muddaththir), and there is no doubt that his sending is a benefit to the whole mankind as Allah has said: Say (O Mohammad, peace and blessings upon him) “O mankind!, verily I am sent to you all as the messenger of Allah, to whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth. None has the right to be worshiped but he. It is he who gives life and causes death. So believe in Allah and his messenger, the prophet who can neither read nor write (i.e. Mohammad, peace and blessings upon him), who believes in Allah and his words, and follow him so that you may be guided.” Al-'Araf: 158.
And if he was so, then as a part of our glorification, respect, and politeness towards him, and as a part of taking him as a leader and someone to follow, is not to exceed than the worships he has legislated for us, because the messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him) died and there was nothing good for his nation but he has showed it and has ordered us to do, and there was nothing evil for his Ummah, but he has clarified it and warned us from. So, as we believe in him as a leader and someone to follow, we don't have the right to celebrate his birth or his sending, as celebration means happiness, joy, and showing glorification, and all these things are types of worship that get us closer to Allah, so we are not allowed to legislate in worships but what Allah and his messenger has legislated. So, celebrating the birthday is considered innovation, and the prophet (peace and blessings upon him) said: “Every innovation is misguidance.” He has said this is general word, and he (peace and blessings upon him) is the best to know what he says, the most eloquent in what he speaks, and the most advising in what he guides to, there is no doubt in this, and the messenger hasn't excluded anything of the innovations that is not misguidance, and it is well known that misguidance is the opposite of guidance. That's why The Al-Nasa'i reported another narration: “Every misguidance is in hellfire”, therefore if celebrating his birthday (peace and blessings upon him) one of the things liked by Allah and his messenger, then it would have been permissible, and if it was permissible, then it would have been preserved, as Allah has ensured preserving his rulings, and if it was preserved, the guided caliphs, the companions, their followers and those who followed would have left it. Since they haven't done anything of this, it has been know that this is not a part of the religion of Allah, and what I advice the Muslims in general with, is not to avoid such things whose legality haven't been proved neither by the Qur'an nor by the traditions of the messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him), nor in the deeds of the companions, and to pay attention to what is clear in the rulings as known obligatory and preferable deeds, and in it there is sufficiency and reform of the individual and the society.
And if you looked carefully into the conditions of those who are fond of such innovations, you will find them reluctant not only in doing preferable deeds, but also in doing duties and obligations. This is a part from the exaggeration in the prophet (peace and blessings upon him) that is found in these celebrations, that leads to the major shirk (making partners with Allah) which causes one to get outside the religion, and that the messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him) have fought people for it, and have made their bloods, money, and property lawful. We hear that there are some poems that are said during these celebrations that surely causes one to get out of the religion, as they repeat the saying of the Busiri:
O the most honored creature, who can I seek for refuge
But you, when a great accident happens to me
If you weren't to take my hand on the day of resurrection
Shaking it, then say “Oh, foot slips!”
Among your generosity are this life and the other one
And among your knowledge is the knowledge of the tablet and the pen.
Such attributes are due only to Allah, and I am astonished by who says such words. If he understands what he is saying, then how can he justify saying to the prophet: “Among you generosity is this life and the other one”, and “Among” here is stating that it is part of his generosity, and “the other one” is the hereafter. So, if this life and the one to come is among the generosity of the messenger (peace and blessings upon him), and not all his generosity, then what is left for Allah, for sure, nothing would have been left, neither in this life nor in the hereafter. And also “And among your knowledge is the knowledge of he tablet and the pen”, and “Among” here is stating that it is part of his knowledge, and I don't know what will be left for Allah, if we talked to the messenger (peace and blessings upon him) with such speech.
And wait my Muslim brother... If you fear Allah, then give the messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him) the degree Allah has given to him. He is the slave of Allah and his messenger, so say “Slave of Allah, and his messenger”. And believe in what Allah has commanded him to convey to all mankind: Say (O Mohammad, peace and blessing upon him) “I don't tell you that with me are the treasures of Allah, nor (that) I know the unseen; nor that I tell you I am an angel. I but follow what is revealed to me.” Al-An'am: 50, and what Allah has commanded him with when he said: Say (O Mohammad, peace and blessing upon him) “It is not in my power to cause you harm, or to bring you to the right path.” Al-Jinn: 21, and in addition to that: Say (O Mohammad, peace and blessing upon him) “None can protect me from Allah's punishment (if I were to disobey him), nor can I find refuge except in him.” Al-Jinn: 22, even if Allah wants to do something to the messenger (peace and blessings upon him), no one can protect him from Allah.
So, the net result of these festivals or celebrations of the prophet's (peace and blessings upon him) birthday, is not just limited to being an innovation in the religion, but also other bad things are added to it and can lead to major shirk.
Moreover, from what we have heard, there is intermixing between men and women, and there is clapping and using Duff (one-sided drum), etc.. and other bad things that no believer can have doubt in condemning them, and we are satisfied with what Allah and his messenger have legislated for us, as in it is the reform of the hearts, countries, and people.
“Fatawa sheikh Mohammad Al Salih Al Othaimeen”, prepared and organized by Ashraf Abdel Maksoud (1 / 126)
Transelated by: Mohamed Mansour