The Obligation to Increase the Love and Honor of the Prophet

Allah asks the Prophet, Peace be upon him, to remind his Nation that it is essential for those who claim to love Allah, to love His Prophet: "Say to them: If you love Allah, follow (and love and honor) me, and Allah will love you" (3:31).

The Celebration of the Holy Prophet's birth is motivated by this obligation to love the Prophet, Peace be upon him, to obey him, to remember him, to follow his example, and to be proud of him as Allah is proud of him, since Allah has boasted about him in His Holy Book by saying, "Truly you are of a magnificient character" (al-Qalam 4).

Love of the Prophet is what differentiates the believers in the perfection of their iman. In an authentic hadith related in Bukhari and Muslim, the Prophet said: "None of you believes until he loves me more than he loves his children, his parents, and all people." In another hadith in Bukhari he said: "None of you believes until he loves me more than he loves himself" and Sayyidina `Umar said: "O Prophet, I love you more than myself."

Perfection of faith is dependent on love of the Prophet because Allah and His angels are constantly raising his honor, as is meant by the verse already quoted, "Allah and His angels are praying on the Prophet" (33:56). The divine order that immediately follows in the verse, "O believers, pray on him," makes it clear that the quality of being a believer is dependent on and manifested by praying on the Prophet. O Allah! Send peace and blessings on the Prophet, his family, and his companions.

The Prophet Emphasized Monday As the Day He Was Born

Abu Qatada al-Ansari narrates in Sahih Muslim, Kitab as-siyam, that the Prophet was asked about the fast of Monday, and he answered: "That is the day that I was born and that is the day I received the prophecy."

We quote again from Mutawalli Sha`rawi: "Many extraordinary events occurred on his birthday as evidenced in hadith and history, and the night of his birth is not like the night of any other human being's birth." These events and the hadiths pertaining thereto, such as the shaking of Chosroes' court, the extinction of the 1,000-year old fire in Persia, etc. are related in Ibn Kathir's work al-Bidaya, Vol. 2, pages 265-268.

We quote from the book Kitab al-Madkhal by Ibn al-hajj (Vol. 1, p. 261): "It is an obligation that on every Monday of Rabi` ul-Awwal we increase our worship to thank Allah for what He gave us as a great favor--the favor of sending us His beloved Prophet to direct us to Islam and to peace... The Prophet, when answering someone questioning him about fasting on Mondays, mentioned: On that day I was born. Therefore that day gives honor to that month, because that is the day of the Prop... and he said: I am the master of the children of Adam and I say that without pride... and he said: Adam and whoever is descended from him are under my flag on the day of Judgment. These hadiths were transmitted by the Shaikhayn [Bukhari and Muslim]. And Muslim quotes in his Sahih, the Prophet said, On that day Monday I was born and on that day the first message was sent to me."

The Prophet emphasized the day of his birth and thanked Allah for the big favor of bringing him to life by fasting on that day as is mentioned in the hadith of Abu Qatada. This means that the Prophet was expressing his happiness for that day by fasting, which is a kind of worship. Since the Prophet emphasized that day by fasting, worship in any form to emphasize that day is also acceptable. Even if we change the form, the essence is kept. Therefore, fasting, giving food to the poor, coming together to praise the Prophet, or coming together to remember his good manners and good behavior, all of this is considered a way of emphasizing that day. (See also the hadith "Dying on Monday" below.)

Allah Said: Rejoice in the Prophet

THIRD: To express happiness for the Prophet coming to us is an obligation given by Allah through Qur'an, as Allah said in Qur'an: "Of the favor and mercy of Allah let them rejoice" (Yunus 58).

This order came because joy makes the heart grateful for the mercy of Allah. And What greater mercy did Allah give than the Prophet himself, of whom Allah says, "We did not send you except as a mercy to human beings" (Al-Anbiya' 107).

Because the Prophet was sent as a mercy to all mankind, it is incumbent not only upon Muslims, but upon all human beings to rejoice in his person. Unfortunately, today it is some Muslims who are foremost in rejecting Allah's order to rejoice in His Prophet.

The Prophet Celebrated Great Historical Events

FOURTH: The Prophet always made the connection between religious events and historical events, so that when the time returned for a significant event, he reminded his sahaba to celebrate that day and to emphasize it, even if it had happened in the distant past. This principle can be found in the following hadith of Bukhari and others: "When the Prophet reached Madina, he saw the Jews fasting on the day of `Ashura'. He asked about that day and they told him that on that day, Allah saved their Prophet, Sayyidina Musa and drowned their enemy. Therefore they are fasting on that day to thank Allah for that favor." At that time the Prophet responded with the famous hadith, "We have more right to Musa than you," and he used to fast that day and the day preceding it.

Allah Said: Invoke Blessings on the Prophet

FIFTH: Remembrance of the birth of the Prophet encourages us to pray on the Prophet and to praise him, which is an obligation on us through Allah's order in the verse,

"Allah and His angels are praying on (and praising) the Prophet; O believers! pray on (and praise) him and send him utmost greetings" (al-Ahzab 56). Coming together and remembering the Prophet causes us to pray on him and to praise him. Who has the right to deny the obligation which Allah has ordered us to fulfill through the Holy Qur'an? The benefit brought by obeying an order of Allah, and the light that it brings to our heart, cannot be measured. That obligation, furthermore, is mentioned in the plural: Allah and His angels are praying on and praising the Prophet -- in a gathering. It is entirely incorrect, therefore, to say that praying on and praising the Prophet must be done alone.