He stopped me in the hallway and said:
We are planing a gathering next week to celebrate the Prophet's birthday (Mawlid). If you have not planned something yourself maybe you can join us.
And why are you celebrating that day? Is it an Eid or a day of festivities? And did you know that Prophet died no the same day the people claim he was born.
I was a bit rough with him, and he became upset and said:
I see you do not care for this occasion which the Muslims prepare for and celebrate with all kinds of foods and special deserts, and with religious poems, songs and prayers upon the Prophet?
I answered him calmly after we entered my office and sat down:
Listen, we are academic people.. so let's talk about this calmly and scientifically so we can reach the truth:
First: The birth date of the Prophet is not known for certain to be on the date the people now celebrate (12th of Rabi'h Al-Awal), and this is even admitted by those who celebrate that date.
Second: Even if the Prophet's birthday is sighted and confirmed, all scholars agree that his companions never celebrated that day, and this celebration started to take place hundreds of years after his death.
Third: Those celebrating the birthday believe they are performing an act of worship and will be rewarded by Allaah. It is known that all forms of worship are forbidden except those taught to us by the Messenger of Allaah, because he said: "There is no form of worship that will bring you closer to Allah but I taught it to you." So celebrating that day violates the Hadeeth.
Fourth: Those celebrating that day are in essence imitating the Christians who celebrate the birth of Christ. The Prophet ordered us not to imitate the nonbelievers; rather, he commanded us to be different from them. And this reminds me of an incident a brother told me, and that is a Muslim wanted to prove to a Christians that Muhammad is better than Jesus, and when the Christians said that Jesus is the son of God, the Muslim said that Muhammad is also the son of Allaah, and hence committed SHIRK.
Fifth: Some of the poems and songs recited in such occasions exaggerate in the praise of the Prophet and put him in the status of a God, like saying: "O Messenger of Allaah, take my hand and show me the way", as if the Prophet is still alive and can benefit us. The Prophet said: "Do not exaggerate in praising me as the Christians exaggerated in praising Jesus, but say the slave of Allaah and His Messenger."
Sixth: Music and dance that accompany such festivities such as the the so-called "Islaamic music" and "Islaamic songs" are not part of our religion, but are acts of the devil, and were never performed by any of the early generation of Muslims.
Seventh: And here he stopped me and said: Is this going to be a long lecture? Forget it, no celebration an no nothing from now on, satisfied?? But tell me, what is the harm in remembering the Prophet, praising him and praying upon him?
I did not tell you
not to pray upon him or remember him, but you should do so at all times,
no only on certain dates. And if we really want to honor and appreciate
the Prophet, then we should study his teachings and apply them in all aspects
of our lives. I guarantee it to you that will be much better for you than
celebrating that day with speeches and "Islaamic songs."