Our local Imam always in the month of Rabi’ al-Awwal uses his Jumu’ah Khutbas to talk about the birth of the Prophet (peace be upon him). I wanted to know if there is anything wrong with that. Is it a Bid’a?
There appears to be nothing wrong with discussing the blessed birth of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) during the Friday sermons (khutab al-Jumu’ah) of Rabi’ al-Awwal, as long as it is not considered necessary (wajib) or a specifically established Sunna of the Friday Khutba.
The Messenger of Allah’s (Allah bless him & give him peace) blessed Sirah – which includes his birth events (mawlid) – can be discussed at any given time including the month of Rabi’ al-Awwal. In fact, it has been the practice of many past and present day scholars to discuss his birth during the Friday sermons of this month, and many would use this month to study and teach his blessed Sirah.
Those delivering the Friday sermon often discuss events related to the various Islamic months – both current events such as mentioning the virtues of fasting during the month of Ramadan, virtues of Sha’ban during it, and virtues of Hajj during the month of Dhu’l Hijjah; and historic events such as mentioning the Prophet’s ascension to the heavens (mi’raj) during the month of Rajab or Ramadan, the battles of Uhud and Khandaq during the month of Shawwal, and the blessed birth of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) during the month of Rabi’ al-Awwal.
The great scholar of Hadith and Hanbali jurist Imam Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali (Allah have mercy on him) has compiled a detailed work on the merits and virtues of each of the twelve Islamic months titled ‘Lata’if al-Ma’arif fi ma li Mawasim al-Am min al-Waza’if’. In the section on Rabi’ al-Awwal, he has multiple entries on the birth events of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) – the first being, ‘The mention of the birth of the Messenger of Allah (Allah have mercy on him) ( Al majlis al awwal fi dhikr mawlid rasul Allah)’.
The great scholar of Hadith and Hanafi jurist Imam Abdul-Hayy al-Lakhnawi (Allah have mercy on him) has compiled a very useful work for Imams and Khatibs comprising of many sample Friday sermons to be delivered throughout the entire year titled, ‘Al-Lata’if al-Mustahsanah’. In the first sermon of Rabi’ al-Awwal, he says:
“This month of Rabi’ al-Awwal has come unto you; a month in which the beloved of Allah, the intercessor and the most complete one (Allah bless him & give him peace) was born – according to the correct position. As such, increase Salawat on the best of creation in this month and obey his commands in regards to the unlawful and lawful….” ( Al-Lata’if al-Mustahsanah p: 27)
In conclusion, it has been the practice of many scholars and Imams – both past and present – to discuss the blessed birth (mawlid) of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) in the month of Rabi’ al-Awwal. As such, there is nothing wrong with discussing the Mawlid during the Friday sermons of Rabi’ al-Awwal, as long as it is not considered necessary, and that one would not be doing any wrong by not discussing his blessed birth in this month.
And Allah knows best
[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam
Leicester , UK