Islamic scholars are divided on whether observing Mawlid is necessary or even permissible in Islam. Some see it as a praiseworthy event and positive development, while others say it is an improper innovation and forbid its celebration.
A number of Islamic scholars, such as Muhammad Alawi al-Maliki, Gibril Haddad, and Zaid Shakir, all subscribing to Sufi Islam, and Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the primary scholar of the Muslim Brotherhood movement, have given their approval for the observance of Mawlid. They cite hadith where Muhammad recommended fasting on Mondays, as that was the day he was born and also the day prophecy descended on him. They suggest that fasting on Mondays is also a way of commemorating Muhammad's birthday. However, there is division among them on the lawfulness of the methods of the celebrations. Most accept that it is praiseworthy as long as it is not against sharia (i.e. inappropriate mingling of the sexes, consuming forbidden food or drink such as alcohol, playing music etc).
Notable sunni scholars who consider Mawlid to be bid'ah and forbid its celebration include, Ibn Taymiyyah, Muhammad Taqi Usmani, a Hanafi scholar from Pakistan who has served as a judge on the Shariah Appellate Bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and subscribes to the Deobandi movement, and Abd-al-Aziz ibn Abd-Allah ibn Baaz, who was the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia subscribing to the Salafi movement. Although all agree that the birth of Muhammad was the most significant event in Islamic history, they point out that the companions of Muhammad and the next generation of Muslims did not observe this event. Furthermore, they highlight that Muhammad did not observe the birth or death anniversaries of his family and loved ones, including that of his first wife Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, nor did he advise his followers to observe his birthday.
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