As Salaamu Alaikum
I need clarification on two matters, a question has arise about tazeem and what are the opinions on this practice. Also the ‘Fatiha ‘ that is practiced at functions
(prayers, reading etc) I believe it is done over food. Someone said the Fatiha was done at the death of the son of Rasullulah. Was any of these practices done at time of Rasullulah. Can you give fatwa on Milad – E- Nabi functions .
جزاك اللهُ خيرًا
Your reply is always well received and accepted.
Wa Alaikum As Salaam
The customary ‘Fatiha’ where duas and fixed Quranic verses are read/recited over food/sweets, and considered as an Islamic practice at functions, is not evident from any of the practices of the Prophet (S.A.S), and the Sahabahs. It is also not evident from the Tabi’een and Imams of Fiqh, Tafseer and Hadith. The scholars have considered this to be an innovation in Islam which has no source, and must not be practiced. (Azeezul Fatawa Vol. 1 122 Darul Ishaat Karachi).
The practice of ‘Standing for the customary Tazeem’ and the ‘Celebration of the Prophet’s birthday’ were latter-day innovations which never existed in the beginning centuries of Islam. As such, since these did not come up at the time of the pious predecessors from among the Sahabahs, Tabieen, Tabut Tabieen (including the four great Imams of Fiqh), one will not find writings of these scholars regarding these innovated practices. However, one will certainly find the strict and firm rulings of these scholars against every type of ‘innovation’ which crept into the Ummah during their times.
For example, it is narrated that the great Sahabi, Abdullah bin Masood (R.A) was informed of a group of people who sat in the Masjid after Maghrib Salaah. One among them would say, ‘Recite Allahu Akbar so many times, recite Subhanallah so many times and recite Alhamdulillah so many times’. The group would then do as was requested. Abdullah bin Masood (R.A) arrived at the Masjid and when he heard what they were reciting, he said, ‘I am Abdullah bin Masood. I take an oath by Allah, besides whom there is no one to be worshipped, that you have innovated a dark Bid’ah, or you are regarding yourselves superior to the companions of the Prophet Muhammad (S.A)’. (Kitabul I’tisaam)
The point to note here is that these people were simply glorifying Allah and praising Him. Hence, one will ask, ‘What is the issue with this? Why did Abdullah bin Masood (R.A) stop them and said that it was a dark Bid’ah?’ The answer to this is that Abdullah bin Masood (R.A) saw that these people have invented and introduced in Islam something which was not taught by the Prophet (S.A). The Tasbeeh (Subhanallah), Takbeer (Allahu Akbar) and Tahmeed (Alhamdulillah) were definitely good, however, the form and manner in which they were doing it, was not evident from the teachings of the Prophet (S.A). Hence, Abdullah bin Masood (R.A) who was one of the greatest companions and most learnt among the companions, condemned this act which the people were practicing as a deviated practice, and so, he referred to it as a ‘dark Bid’ah’.
In another tradition, it is narrated that once a man sneezed in the presence of Abdullah bin Umar (R.A) and said, ‘Alhamdulillah Was Salaamu Ala Rasoolillah’. Upon hearing this, Abdullah bin Umar (R.A) immediately rebuked him, saying that the Messenger of Allah (S.A) did not teach his followers to say that. Instead, one has been taught to say ‘Alhamdulillah ala kulli Haal’. (Tirmizi).
The narration shows that the great companion became upset with the person and rebuked him for doing a thing which was not evident from the Prophet (S.A).
It is also recorded in another narration, that on one occasion, Abdullah bin Masood (R.A) heard that some people gathered in the Masjid and were reciting ‘laa-ilaaha illallah’ and Darood (Salaah and Salaam) in a loud manner. He went to them and said, ‘This (way of recital) was non-existent during the time of the Prophet (S.A). I regard you as innovators’. Abdullah bin Masood (R.A) continued to repeat this until they were all sent out of the Masjid’. (Fatawa Qadhi Khan).
It must be noted here, that these people were only reciting ‘la-ilaaha illallah’ and Darood Shareef, and both of these are great acts that are highly rewarding. Abdullah bin Masood (R.A) did not condemn what they were reciting, (which was ‘la-ilaaha illallah’ and Darood Shareef), instead, he openly condemned the manner in which they had devised for these good actions, because they were reciting these recitals in a manner that was not taught or practiced by the Prophet (S.A).
Note that while reprimanding the people for their actions, Abdullah bin Masood (R.A) said, ‘This method was non-existent during the time of the Prophet (S.A). I regard you as innovators’. This statement (of Abdullah bin Masood) shows clearly that if a form of worship or practice of Islam was not instructed or practiced by the Prophet (S.A), then it will be deemed as an innovation in Islam.
If the Sahabah (companions) did not entertain the ‘bringing about’ of any new Islamic practice, then no one has the right to do so. There are many more incidents like the above which indicate to the great detestation shown by the Sahabahs to practices which were invented by the people, and were not evident from the teachings of the Prophet (S.A).
So, as stated before, the practices which we are speaking about were latter-day inventions and innovations, hence, one will not find explicit statements regarding a ‘specific custom’ from the very early scholars. Nevertheless, the statements, rulings and fatwas of these scholars of the very early generation of Islam show the great detestation, condemnation and disapproval to all those innovated practices that people tried to contrive at their times.
Besides this, we find that when these practices were innovated, the reliable scholars living at that time and after, spoke against them, and condemned these as reprehensible innovations that are against the teachings of Islam.
Before going into some of these fatawas, I will like to focus a little on the practice of ‘standing for the Prophet (S.A)’ or ‘standing for Tazeem (Salaah/Salaam).’
First of all, it must be known that this practice of standing during the singing of the Tazeem is not evident from any of the sources of Islamic teachings. It cannot be established from any practice or statement of the Prophet (S.A) or from any statement or practice of the thousands of Sahabahs (companion) who live with the Prophet (S.A.S). It also cannot be established from any statement or practice of the thousands of scholars from the Tabieen, and Tab’ut Tabieen (2nd and 3rd generation of Muslims) including the great Imams of Fiqh, Hadith and Tafseer. As mentioned before, these practices were latter-day inventions which were brought into Islam, and were thereafter considered to be a part and parcel of the Islamic teachings.
With respect to the act of standing for the Prophet (S.A), (Standing for Tazeem) we see that there are a few traditions which clearly show that the Prophet (S.A) detested this practice and he forbade his followers from standing for him. In this regard, the great companion, Abu Umamah (R.A) narrates that, ‘The Messenger of Allah (S.A) came to us leaning on a staff and we stood up for him. He said, ‘Do not stand as the non-Arabs do, exalting and showing greatness to one another’. (Abu Dawood – Chapter of a man standing up for another man)
This hadith clearly shows that the Prophet (S.A) ordered his companions by saying, ‘Do not stand as the non Arabs do, exalting and showing greatness to one another’. In the hadith, the Prophet (S.A) identified to the Sahabahs that the act of standing in order to show greatness to one another, was a non Arab practice which should not be adopted by Muslims. This hadith tells us that the ‘standing of the Sahabahs’ was in the normal ‘standing manner’ without any special posture or position. It was simply a manner of standing. However, the Prophet (S.A) disliked this and told the companions that they should not stand.
There is another tradition recorded by Imam Muslim in his Saheeh which is narrated from Jabir (R.A). He (Jabir (R.A)) states, ‘The Prophet (S.A) was ill, and we performed Salaah behind him while he was sitting. He looked at us and when he saw that we were standing, he indicated to us that we should sit, (and so we sat). When he completed his salaams, he said, ‘You had almost done the practice of the people of Persia and Rome. They stand for their kings while they (their kings) are sitting. You must not do this’. (Fathul Baari vol.11 pg.60 Qadeemi Kutub Karachi). This hadith as well as the other one narrated by Abu Umama Al Bahili shows that the Prophet (S.A) disliked his followers standing for him, and so he stopped them from standing.
Some people, in order to justify their standing for the Prophet, say, ‘The Prophet (S.A) stopped them from standing like the non-Arabs, he did not really stop them from standing’.
To this, we say that the above mentioned hadith of Jabir (R.A) clearly shows the act of standing in itself was a practice of the Persians, Romans and non-Arabs in general. The Prophet (S.A) did not indicate to a special posture of their standing. He clearly told them ‘La Taqoomoo’ (‘Do not stand’), because the mere standing was in itself a non-Arab practice which the Prophet (S.A) disliked very much.
Another tradition which clearly shows that the Prophet (S.A) disliked ‘standing for him’ is the narration of Anas (R.A) which has been recorded by Tirmizi, Ahmad and Bukhari in Adabul Mufrad. The hadith states that Anas (R.A) said, ‘There was no one more beloved to them than the Messenger of Allah (S.A). However, whenever they saw him, they never used to stand because they knew of his dislike for that’. (Having quoted this, Imam Tirmizi said, ‘This hadith is good and sound. Hafiz Ibn Hajar also confirmed the soundness of this hadith in Fathul Baari vol.11 pg.60 Qadeemi Kutub Karachi)
While commenting on the above hadith, the Muhaditheen have stated that ‘all the companions did not stand for him, though he was the most beloved to them. He (the Prophet S.A) was very humble and he opposed the habits of the proud, arrogant and tyrant rulers and leaders. He refrained from these non-Arab mannerisms and customs, and instead, he adopted the habits of the Arabs and refrained from the mannerisms and customs of the non-Muslims in their standing, sitting, eating, drinking, wearing, walking and all other actions and pattern of conduct. (Tuhfatul Ahwazee – (Sharh of Tirmizi) vol.8 pg.29 Qadeemi Kutub Karachi; Mirqaat – Sharh of Mishkaat vol.8 pg.510, Faisal Publishers New Delhi 2006).
These ahadith bear ample evidence to show the following:
1) The Prophet (S.A) disliked people from standing for him
2) The Prophet (S.A) officially prohibited the practice of standing for him by saying to the Sahabahs, ‘Do not stand for me’.
3) The Sahabahs did not stand for the Prophet (S.A) during his lifetime and after his death.
It is therefore clear, that the act of standing for the Prophet (S.A) was a latter-day innovation. This was never practiced during the early centuries of Islam at the time of the Sahabahs, Tabieen and Tab’ut Tabieen.
It is extremely sad to see that although the Prophet (S.A) clearly issued the order saying, ‘Do not stand’, some Muslims show total disregard to this command, and boldly violate this order by standing for the Prophet (S.A) while claiming to love and obey him.
Besides standing for the reason that it is a mere custom, some go beyond this, and claim that they stand because the soul of the Prophet (S.A) presents itself at their functions. This is a very dangerous statement which is a fallacious and highly misleading belief. This belief leads to shirk or association with Allah in an attribute which belongs to Him Alone. It is really a sad state of affair to know that Muslims have started to have this belief that the Prophet (S.A) is actually visiting their functions and is present at these places. This is a deviated and misguided belief which is in total opposition to the Holy Quran and the teachings of the Prophet (S.A), and is in contradiction to the creed of the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah.
The established doctrine/teaching of the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah is that the Prophet (S.A) is alive in his blessed grave in Madina, and those who recite ‘Salaam/Salaah’ to him, angels are appointed by Allah to convey these to him, while he is in his blessed grave. He does not come out of his grave to roam the earth attending functions every minute of the day or night. Having this sort of belief is sheer deviation and open ignorance.
With respect to the Islamic verdicts (Fatawa) regarding these issues, the great scholars of Islam who were asked about these matters and lived amongst people who practiced these innovations, gave their answers based on the correct and sound guidelines given by the Sacred Shariah. While answering a question regarding Qiyaam (standing to sing the Tazeem), the late great Mufti Muhammad Kifayatullah (A.R) writes, ‘The customary standing for Tazeem (sending Salaams upon the Prophet S.A) in the Milad/Mawlood gatherings is without any proof/source and basis. It is not evident from any source in the Shariah’. (Fatawa Kifayatul Mufti vol.1 pg.159)
(Mufti Muhammad Kifayatullah was one of the greatest Mufti’s of the Indo-Pak continent who lived from 1872-1952. He was known as the grand Mufti of the Indo-Pak continent during his time, and his fatawas are known to be authentic and sound and well accepted by all the scholars who lived at his time and those who came after until today. His fatawas are compiled in nine volumes under the name Kifayatul Mufti).
Similarly, while answering the question of standing for the Tazeem (the customary standing to sing salaams upon the Prophet S.A), the grand Mufti of Gujurat (state) in India, Mufti Syed Abdur Rahim writes, ‘This standing has no basis in Islam. It is not evident from the teachings of the Prophet (S.A), and also not evident from the statements of the Tabieen and Tab’ut Tabieen. Establishing this ‘standing for Tazeem’ is a Bidah.
In Seerat Shami, it is mentioned that some people have started a custom that at the time of speaking of the Prophet (S.A) they stand. This is a Bidah. (Fatawa Rahimiya vol.2 pg.74).
In ‘Ahsanul Fatawa’, Mufti Rasheed, the great Mufti of Nazimabad, Pakistan writes, ‘Standing (for Tazeem) in the Milad gatherings is a Bidah, there is a clear prohibition for this in the hadith’. (Ahsanul Fatawa vol.1 pg.373)
At another place, while answering another question regarding Milad and standing for Tazeem, Mufti Muhammad Kifayatullah (A.R) (the former grand Mufti of the Indo-Pak continent) writes, ‘Establishing the gatherings of the customary Milad is not evident in the Shariah. This was not present in the three best generations of Muslims (the Sahabahs, Tabieen and Tab’ut Tabieen) and was also not present during the period of the four Imams of Fiqh (namely, Imams Abu Hanifa, Malik, Shafi, Ahmad). Also, there is no narration of permissibility or allowance that has been narrated from these great Imams or from the Shariah itself. If standing for the Tazeem/Salaam is done on account of love for the Prophet (S.A) when his name is mentioned, then, to a greater extent, standing should be done when Allah’s name is mentioned, since Allah deserves more respect. However, no one does this. Further to this, one may ask, ‘If one stands out of respect for the Prophet (S.A) then why should this be specific to certain selected functions? Why isn’t it done at home or at the mosque whenever one mentions the blessed name of the Prophet (S.A)? If one is true in his words that he stands for the respect of the Prophet (S.A), then he must stand every time he mentions the name of the Prophet (S.A), or whenever he hears this name. However, no one does this. If one stands because he thinks that the soul of the Prophet (S.A) visits the gathering, then this is even worst, since there is no evidence in the Shariah to support this. Also, at one given time, there are thousands of such gatherings/functions in the world. If it is accepted that the Prophet (S.A) visits all these gatherings at one time, then this has the substance of shirk in it. (Kifayatul Mufti vol.1 pg.157. Published by Darul Isha’at Karachi, Pakistan)
Similarly, another one of the grand Muftis of India, Mufti Azizur Rahman Sahab (whose fatawa were written during the period 1329 A.H – 1334 A.H) has the following:
The grand Mufti was asked, ‘Is the customary Milad and standing for Tazeem permissible or not?
Mufti Azizur Rahman gave the following answer, ‘The customary Milad shareef and the customary standing for Tazeem which comprise of invented and prohibited practices are not permissible. These are innovations’. (Azeezul Fatawa vol.8 pg.98-99. Published by Darul Ishaat, Karachi, Pakistan)
It is also written in Fatawa Haqaniya:-
Question: ‘While sitting in a gathering or function, some people, upon hearing the mention of the Prophet (S.A) stand up and recite Salaat and Salaam upon the Prophet (S.A). What is the ruling of this ‘standing’?
Answer (given by Shaikul Hadith and Mufti Abdul Haqq), ‘Sending blessings and greetings to the Prophet (S.A) is a good action. However, standing at the time of doing this is not evident from the pious predecessors or from the latter day scholars. Besides this, the Prophet (S.A) himself disliked the Sahabahs (companions) standing for him. As such, to stand while sending Salaat and Salaam upon the Prophet (S.A) and to consider it essential is opposing the teachings of the Shariah’. (Fatawa Haqaniya vol.2 pg.72). Fatawa Haqaniya is a compilation of Islamic verdicts issued by one of the leading Islamic Institutes in Pakistan known as Jamia Darul Uloom Haqaniya. Shaikul Hadith, Mufti Abdul Haqq was one of the great Muftis/scholars of Pakistan. Published by Jamia Darul Uloom Akora Khatak, Nawshera, Pakistan).
Mufti Abdul Haqq (A.R) was also asked about the Miladun Nabi, to which he gave a well explained answer. The question posed to him was:
Question: ‘What do the scholars and Muftis of the Hanafi Mazhab say regarding this matter. In our times, gatherings of Milad shareef are held where talks and advice are given. Some scholars give motivational talks from the Quran and Sunnah, and Islamic songs and poetry are recited regarding Allah, the Prophet (S.A), love for doing good deeds and other beautiful topics. If scholars and common Muslims participate and attend these gatherings, would it be considered as Bidah (innovation) or not?
The answer which was given by the great Mufti and Shaikul Hadith and other leading scholars was:
Answer: ‘Based on the clear explanations given by the great and leading scholars, the gathering termed as Eid Miladun Nabi which in our times, is considered to be a great act of Ibadah and a very good work by some individual scholars and some common Muslims, is nothing but the worst type of Bidah (innovation)’.
‘It must be noted that love and respect for the Prophet (S.A) is an integral part of Imaan. To speak about his entire blessed life from birth to death is an act of great blessings. This however, should not be confined to a special day of the specific month of Rabiul Awwal. Instead, a true lover of the Prophet (S.A) must speak about the life of the Prophet (S.A) everyday in his life. With respect to these, there is absolutely no difference among the Muslims. The issue of dispute and contention is only with regards to the customary celebration which is held in Rabiul Awwal. It must be understood that this is something totally different from showing love and respect for the Prophet (S.A). Both are two different issues, and are not the same’.
‘There were no greater lovers of the Prophet (S.A) than the Sahabahs. Similarly, no one showed more love and respect to the Prophet (S.A) than the Sahabahs. Their love for the Prophet (S.A) was perfect and complete. For the full twenty three years of prophethood, the Sahabahs stayed with the Prophet (S.A). After this, the glorious Caliphate lasted for thirty years. Sahabahs continued to live until 110 A.H, and then the Tabieen and Tab’ut Tabieen continued to live until approximately 220 A.H. Until this period of the third century, no one can give any evidence that during this long period, the gathering of Miladun Nabi was established. In the blessed life of the Prophet (S.A), nothing of the sort occurred and he did not give any permission to celebrate his birthday. The question therefore is, ‘If this act is a blessed one which brings about blessings, then why was it not established at his time? When it is evident that it did not take place at his time, then why should it not be called a Bidah (innovation)? You should not look at the external shape and body of this to consider it a good practice’.
‘(It should be noted that) this custom and innovation was not present during the first 600 years of Islamic History. This (custom) was not an invention of a companion (Sahabi), Tabi’ee, Muhadith, Jurist or a Saint. In fact, this type of gathering was the invention of an irreligious King in the year 604 A.H in the city of Mosul. While writing about this, Imam Ahmad bin Muhammad Misri Maliki (A.R) states, ‘The King of Irbal, Muzaffar Abu Saeed Kawkari was a spend drift (Musrif). He ordered the scholars of his time to act according to their opinions and judgements and leave off the Mazhab of others. A group of the scholars became inclined to him. He (the King) had gatherings of the Milad during the month of Rabiul Awwal, and he was the first of the kings to innovate this practice’. (Al Qaulul Mu’tamad Fi Amalil Mawlid).
‘One of the main supporter/scholar who supported the irreligious king in this innovation was Umar bin Dahiya Abul Khattab who died in the year 633 A.H. The evil character of this irreligious learnt man is a fact upon which there exists unanimity among the great and pious scholars of Islam. The great scholar, Hafiz Ibn Hajar Al Asqalani (A.R) says about this scholar who was responsible to a great extent for the innovation of the Miladun Nabi, ‘He was a person who insulted the Jurists of Islam and the pious predecessors of the former times. He had a filthy tongue. He was a foolish man, ignorant, excessively proud, possessed little insight in the affairs of Islam and was negligent’. (Lisaanul Mizaan). Hafiz Ibn Hajar further writes, ‘Allama Ibn Najaar (A.R) said, ‘I have witnessed unanimity of opinion among the people as to him (the scholar Umar bin Dahiya) being a liar and an unreliable person’- (Lisaanul Mizaan)’
‘It is these two people who came together and invented the practice of Miladun Nabi. Many scholars coming after this period rejected and refuted this celebration and considered it as an evil Bidah. From among these scholars are:
– Imam Naseerudeen Shafi in his ‘Irshaad Al Ikhtiyaar’
– Mujahid Alf Thani in his ‘Maktoobaat’
– Allama Ibn Ameer Al Hajj Maliki in his ‘Al Madkhal’.
‘In ‘Al Madkhal’, Allama Ibn Ameer Al Hajj Maliki writes, ‘And from among these invented practices of Bidah, which they hold as being from the great acts of Ibadah and a symbol of Islam is what they do in the month of Rabiul Awwal from the Milad. This is in itself an innovation (Bidah), because this is an excess in Deen and was not from the acts of the pious predecessors of the past’. (Al Madkhal)
‘Allama Abdur Rahman has written in his Fatawa, ‘Certainly the practice of Milad is a Bidah (innovation). The Prophet (S.A) did not speak about it, he did not do it and the four Khalifas as well as the Imams have not done it’.
Allama Ahmad bin Muhammad Misri Maliki writes, ‘The scholars of the four Mazhabs have full unanimity that this act (of the Milad) is blameworthy’. (Fatawa Haqaniya vol.2 pg.93-95)
What we have seen so far from the quotations of sound and reliable scholars who occupied noble positions among the Muslim Ummah, is that the practices of Miladun Nabi and standing for the Prophet (S.A) are all reprehensible innovations which have no source and origin in Islam. These were latter day innovations which some Muslims brought about in the religion of Islam. However, it is important to note that such practices were not left unchecked. From its beginning time until today, Muslim scholars, as well as, ardent followers of the Prophet (S.A), continued throughout the ages to condemn and criticize those who practiced these innovations and made it a part of Islam. They also continued to advise the Muslims to stay away from these practices since they were not part of the religion of Islam. Alhamdulillah, through the preaching and teaching of the rightly guided scholars, the majority of Muslims in every era refrained from such innovated practices and held on to the true teachings of the Prophet (S.A).
And Allah Knows best
Mufti Waseem Khan