The following verse is usually presented to object against Mawlid:
Quran [Surah al-Maidah 5 verse 3]……”Today I have perfected your religion for you and have completed My favour upon you and I have chosen Islam for you as a religion….”
Lets see what the great scholars write about this verse in more detail:
This verse was revealed on Friday 9th Zul-Hijjah, in the year 10AH., during the Farewell Pilgrimage in Arafat at the time of Asr Prayer. At that time over one hundred thousand Muslims were present in the vicinity of Arafat and the banner of Islam was aloft in most areas of the Arabian Peninsula. This verse is a great gift to the Muslim Ummah from Allah Almighty. It informed us that the religion for which the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) was sent was today completed with all its teachings, principles, beliefs and morals on Halal and Haram. (Tafsir Kabir)
Also the completion of religion meant that Allah’s favour had also been completed. The religion of Islam, which was the religion of all previous Prophets and Messengers, and a complete way of life according to its time and place, has now in its final and universal form been decreed for you as the preferred religion.
Here, Almighty Allah informs Muslims that Islam is now complete and that additions to it are no longer required. Islam is perfect, with no shortcomings. It is the preferred way of life and leads to the pleasure of Allah. (Tafseer ibn Kathir). “Accepting a creed or religion other than Islam is totally unacceptable according to Allah [Quran 3:85]”
This same verse is also a clear indication that Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is the final Prophet. If Islam is now complete with no room for change and alterations in its rulings, then no purpose remains for sending another Prophet. Point to note here, when the Quran state, the Religion is complete, this is referring to not allow changes to the Principles and Beliefs eg Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is the last and final Messenger, the obligatory salah is 5 and no one can change this to 4 or 6 etc. Jumha salah can only be on Jumha, Hajj can only be on 9th zul-hijjah etc etc. It does not mean that those acts that are within shariah eg halal cannot be done anytime eg dhikr gatherings, durood gatherings, voluntary fasts – all acts of Sunnah that are done during the Mawlid. These don’t go against what is Halal. In fact you only have to read the complete verse of al Maidah 5:03, it actually begins with stating the foods that are forbidded (haram). From this complete verse we understand that indeed Islam is complete with no room for change and alterations so one cannot begin to declare something that is explicitedly stated in the Quran as haram to be lawful (halal). This would go directly against the tenets of Quran and Islam. But how is performing the acts of Sunnah during a gathering that people happen to call Mawlid (yet you can call them Peace Conference or Seerah Conference) all of a sudden constitute changes to the deen.
Also the companions expressed great joy and happiness when this verse was revealed, but Hazrat Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) was overcome with sadness and tears. When asked why he was upset he replied that this verse was an indication that the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) was soon to leave this mortal world, because his mission was complete (Tafseer ibn Kathir). This is exactly what happened, and not longer after this verse was revealed the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) departed this world.
Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) once recited this verse. A nearby Jew overheard the recitation and remarked “If this verse has been revealed to us, we would have taken this day as a day of celebration (Eid).” Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) said, “This verse was revealed on a day of two Eids; since it was a Friday and the Day of Arafat.” (i.e these two days were already considered as an Eid for Muslims narrated in Tirmizi: Book exegesis of the Quran: Surah al-Maidah). It can be deduced from this narration that it is legitimate to have a day of celebration on occasaions of happiness and blessing, for if it wasn’t, Ibn Abbas would have remarked that to celebrate on this day is innovation (Bidah) but he didn’t. Thus, to commemorate the mawlid of the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is perfectly legitimate, since He (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) is the greatest blessing and gift from all of Allah’s blessings (Tafseer Khazaa’in-ul-Irfaan), and the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) himself used to fast every Monday to commemorate his birthday (Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Vol 5, p.299)
Next Article: Did the Sahaba Celebrate Mawlid?