Refutation of Bid`at The Shar`ee status of customary Meelaad celebrations
Q: Can a gathering be organised to commemorate the birth of Nabi ?
A: Discussing any aspect pertaining to the blessed life of Nabi , whether it is his noble birth, his breastfeeding, his weaning, his infancy, his youth or old age, the animal whose milk he drank, the camel he rode, the weapons he used for jihaad etc., is a means of one’s success and good fortune. Those who study or teach Hadeeth are also included in this category, as well as those who are engaged in any work related to Ahaadeeth. Each one of these is referred to as Meelaad.
However, it should be borne in mind that the present customary practice of Meelaad, wherein a special gathering is held to discuss the blessed birth and life of Nabi , was not conducted by Nabi himself nor by Hadhrat Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, Abdullah bin Mas`ood or Abdullah bin Zubair . In short, none of the Sahaabah held such gatherings. Thereafter, we observe that none of the taabi`een conducted such programmes either, whether it was Hasan Basri, Muhammad bin Sireen or Mak-hool Shaami رحمهم اﷲ.
Succeeding them were the A’immah-e-Mujtahideen, like Imaam Abu Hanifah, Imaam Maalik, Imaam Shaafi`ee, Imaam Ahmad bin Hambal رحمهم اﷲand neither of them as well conducted such programmes.
In fact, even the mashaayikh of the four silsilahs of Tasawwuf did not organise such gatherings. The very first person to initiate such a programme was the ruler of Irabl whose name was Zafar or Muzaffar. He had organised it with great pomp and show. Lavish arrangements were even made for the lighting and fragrance.
This incident had taken place in the year 601 A.H. or 602 A.H.; meaning that for six hundred years, this practice was unheard of and was non-existent. Allamah Ibnul Haaj has severely criticised such a practice in his book, ‘Al-Madkhal’ wherein he dedicated twenty-three pages to elucidate the ills and harms of such gatherings.
Malfoozaat of Faqeeh-ul-Ummat