Yasir Qadhi and the Mawlid

I have been following the three part “The Birth-Date of the Prophet and the History of the Mawlid” by Yasir Qadhi and was interested to see what his conclusions were. One particular passage in the last part (Part III) had me scratching my head, leaving aside the other issues of accuracy and the veracity of what he has written for people more expert in these matters than me.

Yasir Qadhi says (in Part III):

I also stress that even if I disapprove of a public celebration of the mawlid, not all mawlids are the same, and if the only matter that is done on a mawlid is to praise the beloved Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam in an appropriate manner, and mention aspects of his sirah, and thank Allah for blessing us to be of his Ummah, then this type of celebration is permissible, in fact praiseworthy, on any day of the year, and hence even if some groups choose one specific day to do it, others should not be harsh in their disapproval of it. I believe that the fatwas given by such esteemed authorities as Ibn Hajr (d. 852) and al-Nawawi (d. 676) legitimizing mawlids refer, in fact, to such “innocent” mawlids. Sadly, it is well-nigh impossible to find such “pure” mawlids practiced in our times!

OK, so in essence he does not object to the Mawlid as such, great, but then goes on to say that the fatawa given by Ibn Hajar and Imam Nawawi (what about Suyuti and Ibn Kathir’s approval?) are to do with “innocent” mawlids (what does that mean?) and then says “it is well-nigh impossible to find such “pure” mawlids practiced in our times”!, well either he is not looking hard enough or is being disingenuous. OK so he uses quotation marks around “innocent” and “pure” to suggest that there is some leeway or that the standards he considers as a being pure and innocent are in fact his own imaginings of those standards. All the Mawlids that I have ever been to are “to praise the beloved Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam in an appropriate manner, and mention aspects of his sirah, and thank Allah for blessing us to be of his Ummah”, I wonder what he considers as “impurities” and “corruptions” that happen in the gatherings I have been to? Is it just a case that he just doesn’t go to Mawlids, and is this just a case of poisoning the minds of people around this issue and also trying to co-opt the opinions of the aforementioned ulama who approve of the Mawlid, as validating his claim that the fatawa legitimizing mawlids “refer, in fact, to “innocent” mawlids”? – And Allah knows best.

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14 thoughts on “Yasir Qadhi and the Mawlid”

  1. BismillaharRahmanirRahim

    Selam alaykum, Yasir Qadhi’s comments probably aren’t worth the thoughtful introspective consideration that you have given it. He could easily clear up any misgivings by stating exactly what he feels takes away the honor of a “innocent” and “pure” Mawlid, rather than leaving it as a poisonous guessing game, smearing doubt across the issue.

    -Saifuddin

  2. Sallams Mas’ud bhai.
    Hope you’re well insha’Allah.

    Where can one find Imam Suyuti and Imam Ibn Kathir’s articles on the mawlid, of which you mentioned?
    Jazak’Allah khayr.

  3. What he said sounded similar to what some deobandi scholers say. The problem is some people are quick to judge all mawlids in a negative way when in reality they have probably attended very few events. He does seem to have softened as i couldnt imagine him saying this a couple of years ago.

  4. You can find a clear explanation in Sirah ul Nubuwah of Ibn Kathir’s which has been published into English by Garnett Press. In the first few chapters you will see lengthy accounts around the birth of the Prophet and the multiple opinions around his birth.

  5. Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah.

    I hope you’re doing well, insha’Allah. Let’s just imagine for a second that no mawlid was ever celebrated in history.

    What would one conclude about such a celebration?

    It is a means to a praiseworthy end (remembering, honoring, and celebrating the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace)). As such, the means would also be praiseworthy, as long as it is free of corrupting elements–which is the general case of the mawlid gatherings of the scholars and righteous and those guided by their teachings.

    As for the claims of “exaggerated” love or praise. Subhan Allah! How can humans fulfill the praises of one praised so highly by His Lord?

    And Allah alone gives success.

    Faraz Rabbani

  6. he probably meant mixing of genders inappropriately… women singing, dancing, using musical instruments that are haraam and smoking ciggies and chewing ghaat.
    considering his aqeedah, he could also mean, where direct tawassul is not made
    —-
    Mas’ud: I have never seen or been to this type of Mawlid.

  7. ”Sadly, it is well-nigh impossible to find such ?pure? mawlids practiced in our times!
    This statement of Yasir Qadhi is where he is on a different course as compared to countless ulema like Shaykh Habib Umar. Nearly all ulema will be criticial of the impermissable actions that may occur in the mawlid but sadly Shaykh Yasir is of the opinion that in our times its impossible to find innocent mawlids. One must ask how many mawlids has the shaykh been to?

    However i must add that the shaykh has clearly softened and im still suprised he said that it is permissable if done proprerly.

  8. AsSalaamAlaikum,

    I can also imagine that the shaykh is perhaps referring to some mawlids where some aspects are perhaps overtly ritualistic and focus less on praise but border on saint/prophet worshipping?

    However like you all have said, i havent seen that anywhere in my experience, and if it does occur it is most certainly a small minority.

    I pray everyone is well, and has a lovely day inshallah.

    Safian

  9. I believe that Shaykh Yasir Qadi means several things when he is talking about impurities.

    1.) In Mawlid, like any any other Muslim gathering these days – there are several things that take place such as intermingling of the sexes (even if there are barriers people always find ways), women coming to the Masjid with improper clothing/perfumes, back biting takes place, wasting of food etc etc. And we should truly try our best to prevent such things from happening and instead of taking this type of criticim as insulting or offensive, we should try our best to change our ways and to work towards having better adhab in our getherings, ESPECIALLY the Mawlid.

    2.) Other impurities he might be talking about are basically when people say “Ya Rasullulah” and sing Nasheeds using these phrases and send Salaams on the Prophet, Sall Allahu Alayhi Wa Salam, by saying “Asalatu Asalamu Alayka Ya Rasullulah”. When we “over praise” the Prophet, Sall Allahu ‘Alayhi Wa Salam, if there is such a thing. When they have “khatams” over food to bless it and pass it out. When Muslims believe that the Prophet, Sall Allahu Alayhi Wa Salam, is Omnipresent meaning that he witnesses these types of gatherings, using Tawasul through Prophets and Saints in our Duas..etc, etc etc. Basically, by impurities I don’t think he really means anything specifically to do with the Mawlid function – it has to do with the differences that their scholars will always have with other scholars whether its the Mawlid or any other gathering. This is always the main division, and if insha’Allah these things can be explained with patience and persistence to our Muslim brothers, I believe that people who do not understand them will slowly begin to – it will relieve all this tension and misconception of them and will prevent people from thinking their Muslim brothers are comitting shirk.

    These are just my guesses as to what he means by impurities.

  10. Walaykum Salam Wa RahmatAllahi Wa Barakaatahu,

    Jazakum Allah khair Shaykh Faraz for commenting and for everyone elses comments.

    Shaykh Faraz: I’m hoping you can provide some clarification with parts of your comments. From a fiqh perspective, is the rule that any means that has a praiseworthy end becomes acceptable, regardless of whether or not there is any explicit scripture in support of it?

    For example, if someone loves to pray salah and feels that Salatul Fajr is too short and begins to extend it to three rakah’s, is not the actual intention praiseworthy? he wants to spend more time remembering Allah and standing for Salah. I know the two issues are sort of like apples and oranges and that this analogy may not be the best, but I’m wondering if there is any restriction on the principle of ‘the end justifies the means’ from an usul standpoint.

    For exaggeration, arent there ahadith in which the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said not to overpraise him as the christians did jesus alayhis salam? I’m not saying that a mawlid is overpraise or that the actions within it are overpraising, but that it is possible to overpraise the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam or else we wouldnt have been provided that warning, right?

    And Allah alone gives success.

    Mas’ud: The Fara’id are fara’id and clear, therefore no changes, modifications or additions are accepted. Your example is not quite apples and oranges, rather it is apples and stones. I believe there is a principle in fiqh that “overwhelmingly all actions and things in this world are permissible, unless an evidence can be brought to the contrary”, I am sure Shaykh Faraz will correct me if I am wrong, but I heard Shaykh Nuh (HafidhAllah) mention this.

  11. Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

    Br. Ibn Zubayr, Jazakum Allahu khayran for your comments.

    1. The principle that, “Means take the rulings of ends,” is conditioned by the soundness of the means. It isn’t a condition, per se, that the means have specific textual basis. “Soundness” implies, of course, that it doesn’t entail the impermissible or reprehensible.

    2. The prayer example isn’t sound, as the example goes against specific Divine Commands.

    3. The hadith forbids exaggerated praise of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) as the Christians praised Isa (peace be upon him). How did they praise him? They affirmed Divinity to him. The affirmed that which is inadmissible and untrue about him.

    As for praising the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), we have a great tradition of expressive praise of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), from his family members themselves (such as al-Abbas and others), his companions (such as Hassaan and others), and every subsequent generation. The talk by Shaykh Saleh mentions a few examples.

    Giants of Islamic scholarship have accepted, praised, and commented on the great poetry in praise of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), such as the Burda and Hamziyya of Imam Busiri, both of which have numerous commentaries by giants such as Ibn Hajar, Zakariyya al-Ansari, Shaykh Zada, Qari, and numerous others.

    And Allah alone gives success.

    Faraz Rabbani.

  12. Jazakum Allah khair Shaykh Faraz for commenting and providing feedback. May Allah preserve you and allow us to benefit from your ilm.

    akhi Mas’ud- please dont get defensive. I was simply trying to get some clarification with what the Shaykh said and not attempting to attack the mawlid 🙂

  13. Salams. Is the theory that the first Mawlids in history began in the Fatimid dynasty in the Ismaili context? And came the Sunni lands a century later? And is that point irrelevant?

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