12th Rabi' al-Awwal is the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. It is also said that he passed away on this date. I have seen many people especially in South Asia celebrating the birthday of Prophet Muhammad S.A.W (Eid Milad Nabi). I researched on this topic and finally concluded that we should not celebrate this day. It is biddah (addition in Islam) and I personally don’t support it. However, this biddah has also entered Middle East as UAE government announced public holiday on 12th Rabi' al-Awwal last year. I have tried to explain in detail in the below paragraphs, why we should not celebrate the Birthday of Prophet Muhammad S.A.W (Eid Milad Nabi).
What is Biddah? The literal definition of Biddah-Innovation according to Shariah would be “Doing action in matters of the deen (religion) that Allah has not prescribed”. It can also be taken as “Worshipping Allah in ways that are not those of the Prophet (PBUH) or his rightly guided successors after Him. There are certain characteristics which define what is or is not Biddah. To make it perfectly clear, it is Biddah when;
1-A ritual, a religious deed or an act of worship is performed which has not been allowed or proven in the Quran and the Authentic Sunnah and Ahadith.
2-A deed is a good deed which is part of Islam and has not been proved.
3-The deed is a source for rewards (thawab).
4-There is no apparent harm in doing the deed as it seems to be a good deed.
5-A deed becomes a ritual or general celebration, which is considered as an important part of Islam, although it may not be mentioned or proved in the Sunnah and Qur’an.
6-Fabricated Ahadith or weak Ahadith are used to justify a deed when it is known that these cannot be used as evidence.
Amongst the reprehensible innovations, which the people have invented over the years, is the celebratory ritual of the birthday of the Prophet (PBUH), in the month of Rabi’ Al-Awwal. Now let me ask you this, did the Sahaabah celebrate the Milad? The Sahaabas lay witness to the revealing of the Qur’an for the first time by the Prophet (PBUH). They lived with the Prophet and walked, talked, ate and sat with Him. During their time if they were confused on any issue the Prophet (PBUH) would immediately remove all doubts from their mind. This proves that their understanding of Islam was better than any of us who have come after them.
However, when we look at the practices and daily lives of the Sahaabah, we will never ever find any of them celebrating the birth of the beloved Prophet, whether it was during his lifetime or after he passed away. None of his closest companions, which included the first four Caliphs, his wife and even other close companions like Talha and Az-Zubair, ever celebrated his birthday. Does that not prove anything?
The Sahaabahs adored and loved the Prophet (PBUH). They gave up their homes, wealth, families, and lives for the sake of the Prophet (PBUH) in the blink of an eye. Yet all their love did not encourage them to celebrate the birthday of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). Their love for the Prophet was displayed by following his teachings and applying it to their daily lives and not associating one day to shower him with love and affection like Fathers’ Day and Mothers’ day in the West. If the great 4 Caliphs, during their 28 years of combined rule, did not transgress from the true path of Islam, then who are we to do so? If the best of mankind, who are the people who stood by the Prophet during his time, did not celebrate his birth, then why should we?