​Commemoration of Maouloud: The Islamic Foundations. By Serigne El Hadji Madior Cisse

Throughout the ages, the lovers of the Prophet (PBUH), champions of faith and virtue, have competed in talent to express to him, with poems of indescribable beauty, their gratitude in order to be worthy of his intercession on resurrection day. It is practically essential to list all the texts that the singers of the Prophet wrote and which are read and sung on the occasion of the commemoration of his Nativity. One of the companions of the Prophet (PSL) Hassa Ibn Thabit (May Allah be pleased with him) had addressed him thus:

“Better than you, my eyes have not seen it! »
« More beautiful than you, woman did not engender him! »
“You were created perfect as if you were created to your liking! “.

1- The praise of the Prophet is not constitutive of the sin of shirk; on the contrary, it is inherent in the Islamic message.

What seems or should go by itself is nevertheless disputed by certain unenlightened minds who have allowed themselves to doubt the Islamic legitimacy of this form of worship. In support of their thesis, they invoke the hadith of the Prophet (PSL) which states: “Do not praise me as the Nazarenes did to Issa, Son of Mary, Peace be upon him”.

On the basis of this text, they prohibited any form of praise of the Prophet, believing that emphasizing his superiority over other creatures is an innovation (bida) which also leads to shirk (a sin which consists in associating with Allah another deity).

This position is however based on an erroneous interpretation, because what the Prophet (PBUH) forbade is the laudatory speech which would see in him a “son of God” and which would recall that of the Nazarenes. On the other hand, any praise which, without going into this specific excess, describes the Prophet as the best of creatures and therefore recognizes him as a creature and a servant of the Creator, is Islamically founded, better is obligatory.

The Creator is also the first to praise His Messenger in these Koranic terms: “And you are certainly of eminent virtue” (Sura The Feather, verse 4). In addition, He recommended politeness and discipline towards him: “O you who believe! Do not raise your voices above the voice of the Prophet, and do not raise your voice when speaking to him, as you raise it with each other, otherwise your works will become in vain without your realizing it. Those who with the Messenger of Allah lower their voices are those whose hearts Allah has tested with piety. They will have forgiveness and a huge reward. Those who call you out loud from behind the apartments, most of them don’t reason. (Sura The Apartments, verses 2, 3 and 4).

In the same vein, the Prophet himself praised himself, not out of pretension, but to give thanks to his Lord as a servant. Some of the most famous hadiths include:
“I am, without any pretension, the most pious and the best of Adam’s descendants in the eyes of Allah” (Reported by Tabarani and Bayhaqi);

“I am the best of the people of the right and the best of the first”, those whom the Qur’an considers to be the first to follow Allah’s orders on earth and who are the first in the hereafter (Sura The Event, verses 8-11).

“I am, without any pretension, the chief of the descendants of Adam on the Day of Resurrection; unpretentious, I carry the flag of gratitude (liwa al hamd) to the Lord; without claim, there is not a single prophet, of Adam and those who follow him, who is not placed under my flag and I am the first to be resurrected” (Reported by Tirmizî).

Bukhari and Muslim also reported this hadith narrated by Anas: “When Al Buraq (the holy horse) was brought to the Messenger of Allah to make the night journey (isrâ), he was difficult”. The Archangel Gabriel then said to him: “You are doing this to Muhammad! Better than him in the eyes of Allah, never rode you! And he was sweating heavily.

2- The commemoration of Maouloud is a great innovation that was initiated by the Prophet (PSL).

Often, we speak of the bida in reference to a partial and biased innovation in the sense that we retain for all meaning to this notion only the bad one. To fully understand the question, let us examine the hadiths: “Any innovation that cannot be integrated into this Rule, ours, must be rejected” (Bukhari and Muslim); “Any initiative which does not conform to our Rule is to be rejected” (Muslim); “Be sure to follow my sunnah and that of the rightly guided caliphs, resolutely stick to observing it. Beware of dubious innovations in religion, because any risky innovation is heresy, any heresy is misguidance, any misguidance is liable to hell” (Abou Daoud and Tirmizî).

But he also said: “Whoever has been the author of a good innovation in Islam, will have his reward as well as that of anyone who observes it without reduction of their respective rewards; whoever will have been the author of an innovation in Islam, will bear his sin as well as that of any person having observed it without reduction of their respective sins” (Muslim).

From these hadiths, it appears that there are two forms of bida or innovations: the good one which is rewarded and the bad one which is condemned according to their conformity or not with the Koran, the sunnah or the consensus of the Muslims. Consequently, to condemn any innovation without reason is to go against Islam and thereby condemn any evolution. And yet, Islam has been enriched over time with several good and beautiful innovations on the technological, cultural and scientific levels, such as the printing and distribution of the Koran, the construction of schools, hospitals, cemeteries and on the religious level. such as the nafila prayers on the occasion of Ramadan considered by the Caliph Oumar as a “beautiful bida”.

Yes, the notion of beautiful bida exists! The Maouloud in its form that we know and promoted by Seydi Hadj Malick SY (May Allah be pleased with him) is one because it is a question of answering the call of Allah by remembering the day of the Nativity of the best of creatures, by praying over the Prophet and addressing him greetings: “And remind them of the days of Allah” (Sura Ibrahim, verse 5); “Certainly Allah and His Angels pray on the Prophet; O you who believe, pray on him and send him your greetings” (Surah The Allies, verse 56).

Better to look closely, it is not an innovation, but a sunna initiated by the Prophet himself (PSL). It is reported that he commemorated his birth weekly by observing the fast every Monday. And when he was asked about the reason for his fast on Mondays, he answered: “It is the day of my birth and the day when the revelation descended on me”.

In this way, he set an example by instituting the celebration of Maouloud through acts of worship. Seydi Hadj Malick was thus inspired by estimating that all the days of the year of the birth of the Prophet are to be celebrated, which is why we organize gamous at any time of the year. It is reported that on the occasion of his last pilgrimage, the Prophet sacrificed in camels a number equivalent to the number of years he lived. Likewise, he always urged the baptism of the newborn on the seventh day to show the importance of commemoration, because he said: “If it had not been the first day, there would never have been a seventh”. .

And the believer to say to himself, with faith, in these exceptional moments of mercy and grace: “if it had not been for the Day of his Nativity (PSL), humanity would not have emerged from the darkness of nothingness”.

“Glory be to your Lord, the Lord of power. It is above what they describe! And peace be upon the Messengers, and praise be to Allah, Lord of the Universe! (Surah The Rows, verses 180-182).

Extracts translated from the teachings in Arabic and Wolof, on Islam and the tariqa tidjaniya, of the spiritual guide Serigne El Hadj Madior CISSE, head of the dahira Moutahabina Fillahi and disciple of Khalifa Ababacar SY (RTA).

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​Commemoration of Maouloud: The Islamic Foundations. By Serigne El Hadji Madior Cisse

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