Why I think celebrating Rabi ul Awwal is a waste of time.
I assume anyone who read the title must be either intrigued, amazed or furious. Completely understandable and I do not wish to add more fuel to the fire in anyway. In any case, I urge the readers to understand the points I will make inshAllah. Since this topic has now become a matter of intense debate and sensitivity, it is hard for me as a simple writer not to offend anyone’s view. I apologize but at the same time I am not really looking to please anyone too. So here goes something.
Over the past recent years, Muslims have seen a recent increase in the “converts” population. Alhmdulillah, All praise to Allah SWT for inclining the hearts of those who disbelieved to the truth because without His help this could not have happened. It is the word of Allah SWT that unites us muslims and it is the acts, kindness and love of prophet Muhammad SAW that has made us the longest surviving Ummah till the day of Judgement. It does not surprise me when I say this. But no matter how bad a Muslim is by character that is if he/she is a bad practicing Muslim, if anyone insults the prophet SAW , he will stand up in rage and strong emotion to make sure not another word is uttered against the most beloved prophet of the Muslim Ummah. And why not? The prophet SAW was the one who will on the day of Judgement be in sajdah crying out to Allah SWT’s mercy for his Ummati (followers) to be removed from Hell fire till none of them are left. I mean, it is emotionally challenging to see someone leave his comfort and his serenity and cry out in the most glaring heat for days and years just for those people who never saw him? Or really tried hard to implement his Sunnah or followed Islam properly in general?. It doesnt take a genius to love the Prophet SAW who gave dua instead of cursing a disbeliever who he thought would embrace Islam.Long story short, if we were to analyze the love of the prophet SAW for his Ummah, we would be forever in love with him and that is alhmdulillah with most of us.
We, often forget that, love for Allah SWT comes with a condition stated in the Quran itself “And whosoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad ), and transgresses His limits, He will cast him into the Fire, to abide therein; and he shall have a disgraceful torment” Pretty simple to understand folks. Allah SWT has stated not only in this ayat but numerous times that to love Him, you have to Obey His laws and the Prophet SAW. Which means his Sunnah. Disobeying either or both of them, the place is the one we do not want to go . Yet we see a rise in so many festivities that are in the name of Allah or Prophet SAW but they hardly hold any significance in Islam in general. Rasulallah SAW’s birthday for example, is regarded as something so divine and so virtuous that it has now become a symbol of celebration and more like an unofficial Eid. I have addressed this issue alot and unfortunately many people have disagreed. With sound authentic ahadith and sunnah of the prophet SAW it has shown that this celebration is Biddah ( innovation ) and the prophet SAW has never celebrated it the way some Muslims do. But I am not going to argue from this view point, it has been debated over and over again and has now started to become very weak for those who do not want to accept. But my argument is as follows, precise,small and to the point.
- Lets start with something basic-Extravagance. Every 12th of Rabi Ul Awwal, people decorate the streets, their houses with so many lights and decorative items. People who hold Milad in their house , do it with so much extravagance that it sort of really defeats the purpose of what someone is gathering for. If all the people want to enjoin piety and righteous acts then why not do it in a simple way, rather than wearing high fashion clothes, cooking luxurious food and decorating the house etc. Rasulallah SAW lived a simple life, then why are the people not following that?
- Celebration of rabi ul awwal has a cultural look to it- Lets face it. Under the name of Islam, many idiotic acts have been done such as worshipping the graves,dead people etc. However the celebration of prophet’s birthday itself has become such a cultural thing. People only do it like its a big event and celebrate it in such a way that gives it just a cultural look and less islamic. Reciting nasheeds and cooking sweet stuff, where is the islamic touch to it ? Just liek christians have cultural aspects in their so called religious activities, this is nothing less.
- Hypocrisy- Thats right. The whole year, people go against the sunnah of the prophet SAW, commit acts of haram, deliberately and involuntarily and continue to do so. By celebrating the birthday of the prophet SAW, how would it bring anyone closer to the prophet or Allah SWT in general? How can someone love the prophet SAW by holding just one celebration event of his birthday when the whole life he/she has been not following the prophet’s Sunnah?
- Women- I see women coming to the Milads with dupatta on their head and acting all pious. I find that insulting to Islam and to the concept in general. The prophet SAW is the example for us to follow, his family his children and his companions. Prophet SAW’s wives observed Hijab, but why do women observe a mini hijab only on that special occasion? How is that going to explain the purpose you are gathered for? When women can go against the hadith of the prophet SAW in which he has incurred the curse of Allah and himself on those women who pluck their eyebrows, then how can they proudly attend milads and claim they love the prophet SAW?
I believe our actions define what we are and whom we follow. Observing the birthday of the prophet SAW may seem highly virtuous and correct maybe because your fathers and forefathers have been doing it. But is it really? If this was the case the Prophet SAW would have done it because after all he was the Last Prophet. He was the mercy to mankind. He was the leader of the last Ummah. He had every right to. If not his birthday, he would have celebrated Hassan and Hussain’s birthday, the grandsons he loved so much that he did dua for them. If he wanted, he would have celebrated fatimah R.A’s birthday, the daughter he loved so much that he layed down his cloth for her when she used to enter the room. If not the prophet SAW, the rightly guided caliphs would have those who were given the good news of receiving Jannah in their lifetime. But that never happened. It is because at that time, the Caliphs knew what the real meaning of love was. Not to hold ceremonies and milad events but to practice vigorously and follow the prophet SAW. Companions died saving the Prophet but are we ready to die for the love of Allah SWT and defending or practicing the Sunnah of the Prophet SAW?
I would leave that for YOU to answer.