The Prophet's birthday occasion is dear to all Muslims. Though some people engage in debates on whether or not it is permissible to celebrate this great occasion, all Muslims should love the Prophet (peace be on him) more than their own lives, properties, etc.
Some other people may, moreover, indulge in fruitless debates over the exact date of the birth of the Prophet (peace be on him). Though scholars should objectively study and research such issues, significant lessons of the occasion should not be ignored, according to article by prominent scholar Dr. Wael Shihab, carried by OnIslam.net.
I believe that in the occasion of the Prophet's birthday we need to live his Sunnah (Prophet's way of life and morals) and follow in his footsteps. Living the Sunnah is part and parcel of the sound Islamic faith. Whoever looks for God's pleasure should follow the example of his Prophet (peace and blessings be on him). Allah says: "Verily in the Messenger of Allah you have a good example for him whose hope is in Allah and the last Day, and remembers Allah much."
Sunnah: A Main Fountain of Shari`ah
Some people underestimate or misunderstand the position of the Sunnah. Some mistakenly think that they may dispense with the Sunnah and depend solely on the Qur'an. Those people, in fact, do not understand the Qur'an itself. In many Qur'anic verses, God asks Muslims to strictly follow and obey the Sunnah. For instance, God says: "Say: Obey Allah and obey the Messenger, but if you turn away, he (the Prophet) is only responsible for the duty placed on him (i.e. to convey Allah's Message) and you for that placed on you. If you obey him, you shall be on the right guidance. The Messenger's duty is only to convey (the message) in a clear way." "But no, by the Lord, they can have no (real) Faith, until they make you [the Prophet] judge in all disputes between them, and find in their souls no resistance against your decisions, but accept them with the fullest conviction."
Shari`ah, as a matter of fact, has two wings, one is the Qur'an and the other is the Sunnah. All Muslim schools unanimously agree that the Qur'an and the Sunnah are the main sources of Islamic legislation. Sunnah is the practical application of the Qur'an. It explains the Qur'an and elaborates on its general instructions. Sunnah sometimes initiates rules by virtue of the divine support and revelation to the Prophet (peace be on him) as God says: "By the star when it sets. Your companion [Prophet Muhammad] has neither gone astray nor has he erred. Nor does he speak of his own desire. It is only revelation that has been revealed." True Muslims, therefore, should never doubt the obligation of following the Prophet's Sunnah.
Living the Sunnah
In this great occasion, let's agree on living the Sunnah. We may differ over the legality of celebrating the Prophet's birthday. However, we should never dispute over reviving and living up to the Sunnah. Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) is a model example for Muslims in all aspects of life. We should translate the Sunnah into practice when dealing with our families, with all people, with the environment, etc. Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) is described by God as mercy for all. His noble values are nothing but mercy for Muslims and non-Muslims. God says: "And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds."
Muslims, therefore, should spread mercy, peace, love, and justice all over the world. Mercy and justice are essential values of all Shari`ah laws and norms. Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah emphasized that Shari`ah is based on wisdom and consideration of people's interests both in this world and the world to come. It is all about justice, mercy, and welfare. Therefore, any case that brings about injustice, cruelty, evil, and disorder is not of Shari`ah, even if some people may interpret it to be so; Shari`ah signifies Allah's mercy and justice among His people. Shai`ah reflects Allah's wisdom, which does prove, beyond any shadow of doubt, His existence and the truthfulness of His messengers.
Finally, living the Sunnah is a real manifestation of one's love to God Himself. God says: "Say (O Muhammad), "If you should love Allah , then follow me, [so] Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful." In this great occasion, let's be united over what we agree on. We should faithfully work together for the wellbeing and goodness of all. Let's forget our differences and maintain good values that we all share and work for our common interests.
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