Do Ahmadis celebrate Milad al-Nabi [birth of the Holy Prophet]?

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Allah Almighty states in the Holy Quran:

اِنَّ اللہَ وَ مَلٰٓئِکَتَہٗ یُصَلُّوۡنَ عَلَی النَّبِیِّ ؕ یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا صَلُّوۡا عَلَیۡہِ وَ سَلِّمُوۡا تَسۡلِیۡمًا

“Allah and His angels send blessings on the Prophet. O ye who believe, you too should invoke blessings on him and salute him with the salutation of peace.” (Surah al Ahzab, Ch.33: V.57)

The Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

“A person who invokes durood on me will receive ten blessings from Allah.” (Sahih Muslim, Kitab as-Salat)

There are countless occasions and various ways of expressing love and affection towards the Holy Prophetsa.

Rabi‘ al-Awwal, the third month of the Islamic calendar, for instance, is a time when the hearts of the Muslim world are compelled to remember the blessed personage of the Holy Prophetsa, as it is the month in which he was born. A great number of Muslims gather on 12 Rabi‘ al-Awwal across the globe and celebrate the day when the blessing for all universe, Hazrat Muhammad al-Mustafasa came into this world.

Pondering over the history of Islam, we do not find any evidence whatsoever which indicates that either the Holy Prophetsa celebrated his own birthday or his companionsra who possessed extreme love for him commemorated the day of his birth. Nevertheless, celebrating the birth of the Holy Prophetsa, people decorate mosques, houses, streets and parks with lanterns and twinkling lights.

Wiki Commons

Mass gatherings are held and blessings are invoked along with songs being sung in his praise to show extreme devotion for the Holy Prophetsa.

Some people cut cakes to celebrate the birthday of the Holy Prophetsa and candles are lit.

Firdaus Latif, Wiki Commons

On the other hand, a group of Muslims consider these practices to be against the Sunnah of the Holy Prophetsa and even oppose the act of remembering and highlighting the character and blessed life of the Holy Prophetsa.

Regarding the celebration of Milad al Nabi, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat believes that either extremes are bad.

Considering it forbidden to mention even the name of the Holy Prophetsa on this occasion is one extreme, while on the contrary, celebrating it by introducing a number of innovations in the blessed and peaceful religion of Islam is another extreme.

In response to a question about maulood khawani [invoking blessings on the Holy Prophetsa on the day of his birth], the Promised Messiahas said:

“The act of remembering [the life and character] of the Holy Prophetsa is a very remarkable thing. In fact, a hadith confirms that mercy descends by remembering the prophets and auliya [beloved ones of God]. Even God Himself has drawn attention towards the remembrance of prophets. However, if such innovations become a practice that causes a defect in the unity of God, then it is not permissible. Honour the Glory of God according to His status and regard the dignity of a prophet in accordance with his station. The words of present-day Maulvis are full of innovations. If innovations are not present [in a practice], it becomes a kind of sermon. The remembrance of the Holy Prophet’ssa arrival, birth or demise is worthy of reward.” (Malfuzat, Vol. 3, pp. 159-160)

Highlighting the significance of Durood Sharif, the Promised Messiahas states:

“What is Durood Sharif – to call upon that lofty station of the Holy Prophetsa, through which these tubes of spiritual light emerge. It is incumbent upon whoever wishes to have the blessings and beneficence of Allah the Exalted to invoke Durood Sharif in abundance so that the beneficence is stirred.” (Al Hakam, 28 February 1903, p. 7)

Following the footsteps of the Promised Messiahas, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, members of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat in Islam engage in invoking blessings upon the Holy Prophetsa throughout the year. Jalsa Seerat-un-Nabi [gatherings dedicated for the life and character of the Holy Prophetsa] are conducted across the globe. The blessed model of the Holy Prophetsa and the teachings of Islam are highlighted. Ahmadis pray and strive to act upon the guidance and instruction laid down by the mercy of all mankind.

Regarding the celebration of Milad al-Nabi, the present head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih Vaa said that though commemorating Eid Milad al-Nabi like the other Muslims do is wrong, considering it forbidden is incorrect also. He explained that Eid Milad al-Nabi was even celebrated in Qadian and Rabwah where people used to decorate their houses by installing lamps and lights along with small flags. He further said that such celebrations are forbidden which involve harmful innovations that have nothing to do with Islamic teachings, but if it is celebrated to highlight the massage of Islam and the Holy Prophetsa in certain countries or as Jalsa Seerat-un-Nabi, then there is no harm in it.

Huzooraa also drew attention towards studying and being well-informed about the life and character of the Holy Prophetsa and suggested to read the second half of the book, Introduction to the Study of the Holy Quran written by Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih IIra, as it contains a brief history of Islam and Prophet Muhammadsa.

Hence, Ahmadis celebrate Milad al-Nabi every day of the year by spreading the true teachings of Islam and presenting the Holy Prophetsa as a role model before the world. Moreover, we do not consider it unlawful to celebrate the day of the Holy Prophetsa as far as it is celebrated within the limits laid down by Islam and proves beneficial for mankind.

However, we should remain cautious that no harmful innovations are involved in it. The actual purpose which is the remembrance of the Holy Prophetsa should not be pushed aside or ignored, as it is stated by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa:

“May Allah make it so that to avoid the evils of the world and to foster the love of the Holy Prophetsa in our hearts, to spread his teachings in the world and we continue to be the recipients of the blessing and beneficence by invoking Durood, by turning to Allah and seeking His help. May God Almighty help us.” (Friday Sermon, 10 February 2006)

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