Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine

Jamadi Thani / Rajab 1425 H July 2004
Volume 17-07 No : 211
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If Mawlid is Bidat, it is Bidathul Hasana!
Shaykh Fowzan is Right!
Minor or Major - Bidah is Bidah!
Types of Kufr

If Mawlid is Bidat, it is Bidathul Hasana!

By M.J. Mohamed Iqbal

I was quite happy and pleased to see the publication of the article “Who says Mawlid is Haram” by Ata Ashraf in the June issue of Islamic Voice. Ashraf very rightly records the significance of Mawlid Sheriff with brief details.

The renowned Islamic Scholar Fuad Nahdi, the Editor in-chief of Q-News (UK Monthly Magazine) in his writing said about the celebration of Mawlid:

“During such times of violence, ignorance and hatred - of duplicity, bestiality and inhumanity - it is perhaps more difficult but even more necessary to talk about the healing, loving and inspirational nature of the Mawlid- celebration of the birth of the noble Prophet.

This year the Milad un-Nabi, which fell on the twelfth of Rabi al-Awwal, was celebrated on May 1. Throughout most of the Muslim world it is an occasion of joy -“ a time to reflect and celebrate, to recite poetry, a time to renew and regain our compassion through reminiscing, admiring and learning about his perfect example. The depth and breadth of the Mawlid celebration is one way of measuring the Islamicity of a society. The more veneration and love a community shows for the Prophet, upon whom be blessings and peace, the more likely it is a community guided by authentic Islamic principles.

It is obvious to any objective observer that groups which fanatically oppose the Mawlid tend to always be those who are violent and irresponsible, people who have lost touch with the essence of the faith and, basically, their humanity.

The Mawlid is an exercise in pure love. For centuries it has been the basis of training hearts in the art of loving and adoration. A heart that has learnt to love the noble Prophet will never be seduced by hatred or anger.

From the Muslim point of view, the Prophet is the symbol of perfection of both the human person and human society. He is the prototype of the individual and the collectivity. As such he bears certain characteristics which can only be discovered by studying the traditional accounts of him. The many Western works on the Prophet, with very few exceptions, are useless from this point of view no matter how much historical data they provide for the reader. The same holds true in fact for the new type of biographies of the Prophet written by modernised Muslims who would like at all cost to make the Prophet an ordinary man. The universal characteristics of the Prophet are not the same as his daily actions and day to day life. They are, rather, characteristics which issue forth from his personality as a particular spiritual prototype. Seen in this light there are some three qualities. Prof Seyyed Hossein Nasr describes them as thus: “First, the Prophet possessed the quality of piety in its most universal sense, that quality which attaches man to God. The Prophet was in that sense pious.

“Secondly, he had a quality of combativeness, of always being actively engaged in combat against all that negated the truth and disrupted harmony. Externally, it meant fighting wars, either militarily, political or social ones, the wars which the Prophet named the “little holy war” (al-jihad al-asghar). Inwardly this combativeness meant a continuous war against the carnal soul (nafs), against all that in man tends towards the negation of God and His Will, the “great holy war” (al-jihad al-akbar).

The love of the Prophet and celebration of the Mawlid is incumbent upon all Muslims and especially upon those who aspire towards the saintly life. This love must not be understood in an individualistic sense. Rather, the Prophet is loved because he symbolises that harmony and beauty that pervade all things, and displays in their fullness those virtues, the attainment of which allow man to realise his Godly nature.

“Lo! Allah and His angels shower blessings on the Prophet, O ye who believe! Ask blessings upon him and salute him with a worthy salutation.” [33:56]. It is sad to see there are gatherings to say that Mawlid should not be celebrated. Even if they say it is “Bidat” definitely it is “Bidathul Hasana”, which has goodness and satisfaction of Almighty Allah! I have been doing Mawlid Majlis from my childhood and conducting great Mawlid conferences inviting great scholars of Arab and Non-Arab Scholars.

The writer is based in
Dubai and can be reached at
jmiqbal@emirates.net.ae

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Shaykh Fowzan is Right!

By Abdul Hamid Khan Lodhi

This is with reference to Ata Ashraf’s comments-“ Who says Mawlid is Haram?” in Islamic Voice-June 2004 in response to the article ‘Say No to Innovation” by Shaykh Salih Fowzan al Fowzan in the May 2004 issue of Islamic Voice. Truth is always bitter and invites confrontation. Bidatis develop hostility with people who are on the right path of the Quran and Sunnah (Siratul Mustaqeem) and label these people as wahabis. It is pitiable that they are not aware that they are criticising their own religion of Islam of which they profess but do not follow. Mr. Ata Ashraf could not digest the truth that every innovation is bidat, he got furious and abused the author of the article nastily. He used the world “foolish author” several times for which he is answerable to Allah as Shaykh Fowzan’s article is right and based on the Quran and Hadith. Mr. Ata Ashrafs comments are anti -Islamic. The celebration of Mawlid was not known upto the 6th century. It was in the 7th century that these celebrations started. Here the question arises as to why people take so much interest to establish this innovation which originated in the 7th century? Why don’t Muslims take similar interest and exert themselves to establish Allah’s commands?

The writer is based in
Dowlaiswaram

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Minor or Major - Bidah is Bidah!

By By P. Sabjan

I felt sorry to go through the article by Mr Ata Ashraf in the June issue of Islamic Voice-‘ Who says Mawlid is Haram? The language used by him is in bad taste. Who are Muslims/ Muslims are those who follow the Quran and the Sunnah of the Messenger. The Prophet (Pbuh) has strongly warned about the danger of innovation. I am an ordinary Muslim and living in a remote locality. I am reading various Islamic publications along with Islamic Voice since the last 20 years. Whele reading Ata Ashraf’s interpretations, I remembered the commands of Allah in Sura Al-Anam 70, verse 6 which means, “ leave alone those who take their religion to be mere play and amusement and are deceived by the life of this world, but continue to admonish them with it (Al-Quran) lest a soul is caught in its own ruin by its own action”. We must never forget our personal responsibility for all we do. (The writer is based in Lakshadweep)

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Think about it

Types of Kufr

The Qur’an uses the word Kufr to denote people who cover up or hide realities. The Qur’an uses this word to identify those who denied Allah’s favours by not accepting His Dominion and Authority. Kufr thus is an antonym for Iman or disbelief in Allah and a Kaafir is a non-believer. This type of Kufr is called Al-Kufr-ul- Akbar or major kufr. There are many types of Al-Kufr ul Akbar:

  1. Kufrul-’Inaad: Disbelief out of stubborness. This applies to someone who knows the truth and admits to knowing the truth and admits to knowing it with his tongue, but refuses to accept it and refrains from making a declaration.
  2. Kufrul-Inkaar: Disbelief out of denial. This applies to someone who denies with both heart and tongue.
  3. Kufrul-Kibr: Disbelief out of arrogance and pride. The disbelief by the devils (Iblees) is an example of this type of Kufr.
  4. Kufrul-Juhood: Disbelief out of rejection.This applies to someone who acknowledges the truth in his heart, but rejects it with his tongue.
  5. Kufrul-Nifaaq: Disbelief out of hypocrisy.This applies to someone who pretends to be a believer but conceals his disbelief. Such a person is called a MUNAFIQ or hypocrite.
  6. Kufrul-Istihaal: Disbelief out of trying to make HARAM into HALAL. This applies to someone who accepts as lawful (Halal) that which Allaah has made unlawful (Haram) like alcohol or adultery.Only Allaah subhanahu wa ta’ala has the prerogative to make things Halal and Haram and those who seek to interfere with His right are like rivals to Him and therefore fall outside the boundries of faith.
  7. Kufrul-Kurh: Disbelief out of detesting any of Allaah’s subhanahu wa ta’ala commands. Allaah subhanahu wa ta’ala says: Perdition (destruction) has been consigned to those who disbelieve and He will render their actions void.
  8. Kufrul-Istihzaha: Disbelief due to mockery and derision.
  9. Kufrul-I’raadh: Disbelief due to avoidance. This applies to those who turn away and avoid the truth. Allaah subhanahu wa ta’ala says: And who is more unjust than he who is reminded of his Lord’s signs but then turns away from them.
  10. Kufrul-Istibdaal: Disbelief because of trying to substitute Allaah’s Laws. This could take the form of:
    (a) Rejection of Allaah’s law (Sharee’ah) without denying it
    (b) Denial of Allaah’s law and therefore rejecting it, or
    (c) Substituting Allaah’s laws with man-made laws.

Imaam ibn Katheer rahimahullaah
Adapted from ‘Tafseer ibn Katheer’

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The debate on this issue can go on, but ultimately we end up proving each other wrong or right which is never-ending.
The essence of Islam is to adhere to the teachings in the Quran and the Sunnah which is there before us.
It is upto all of us to open our eyes and understand waht the Quran and Sunnah says about these issues.
Hence the debate on this issue stands disclosed.

Editor.

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