Last night I sat down and listened to the beautiful recitation of the Quran. I then heard him recite poetry praising Allah and asking Allah to send peace, blessings and mercy upon the best of creation, Muhammad ibn Abdallah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). I then listened to a poem written by Habib Umar about the life of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). I then heard a short talk on what type of love we should have towards the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) by a student who studied in Syria (may Allah help the people there). We then heard again another poem about the Prophets of Allah, the mothers/wives of the Prophets and the companions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon them all). It then ended with a dua asking Allah to increase the love of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) in our hearts and prayers for all Muslims around the world.

That my folks is a mawlid. The name maybe be derived from ‘to give birth’ in Arabic and in English it would be translated to the Prophet’s birthday, but the reality is it is beyond that. It is not just about the birthday. It is about reviving the love the companions (may Allah be pleased with them all) had for the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). They were eager to be as closest as possible to him. They were eager to walk in his exact footsteps. They followed him to the exact point. They even wanted his sweat because it smelled of musk and of it’s blessings.

The mawlid is not fard, but what we do in a mawlid is fard. Allah commands us to send peace and blessings upon Muhammad (33:56). So whether you call it mawlid, dhikr, salawat, etc. Do it. Just do it. Your heart will be at ease and I guarantee you will feel better.

As for doing it once a year, there is not a single scholar I know who says it should be done once a year. In fact I have heard Shaykh Hamza Yusuf saying it is a biddah to ONLY do the mawlid once a year. We should do it every night and every morning. Bilal (ra) used to send salawat 100 times every friday. The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said in a hadith that is why he was in Jannah. That is a mawlid in modern day terminology. Last night many of the poetry recited was sending salawat upon the best of creation, Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

Again, the actual word ‘mawlid’ is not from the Quran or the Sunnah. What is done in a mawlid is from the Quran and Sunnah.

“Allah and His angels send blessings on the Prophet: O ye that believe! Send ye blessings on him, and salute him with all respect.” (Surah al Ahzab, Ayah 56)

So whether you call it mawlid, dhikr, salawat, etc. at the end of the day it is something all Muslims should do every day and every week. I personally believe that the ‘mawlid’ event of bringing Muslims together to revive the obligation to send salawat upon the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is necessary. People don’t do it. I don’t do it as often as I should. Many in our community do not do it. Instead of hanging out with friends watching a movie or sports (which is okay), we can also hang out and sit for some time and send salawat upon Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

It’s all about sending blessings and salutations upon Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). If it was as common as it was during the earlier generations there probably would be no need for mawlids, but we do because we have strayed. Just like there were no Islamic weekend classes taught by Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) or there were no annual conventions hosted by the Association of Companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) during the time of the earlier generations because it wasn’t needed. We need Islamic weekend courses and we need Islamic conventions. We also need gatherings of dhikr and salawat.