Discussion of Ḥadīth on Mawlid
A full takhrīj of the famous narration used by Ahl al-Bidʿah to justify their celebration of the Prophet’s birthday. Know – O Sunnī – that even if this weak ḥadīth could be considered authentic, then it would be referring to the ʿaqīqah of the Prophet and not his birthday.
Do you see the Companions of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam), for whom the ʿaqīqah was not performed in the days of Jāhiliyyah, performing ʿaqīqah for themselves in Islām? This is from the rejected (narrations).
Discussion of the ḥadīth "The Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) performed ʿaqīqah for himself after his Prophethood."
Al-Ṣuyutī said, "another primary text has occurred to me by which the legitimacy of the Mawlid can be derived, namely what is reported by al-Bayḥaqī from Anas that ‘the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) performed ʿaqīqah for himself after his prophethood.’ And it occurs that his grandfather ʿAbd al Muṭṭalib performed the ʿaqīqah for him when he was a child of seven years, and the ʿaqīqah is not repeated a second time. So therefore, this is to be taken to mean that what the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) did was to openly manifest gratitude for Allāh making him the mercy for the universe and to legislate this for his ummah, just as he used to do by his sending salām upon himself. Therefore, it is recommended for us that we openly manifest gratitude for his birth." (‘Husnul Maqsad’ of al-Ṣuyutī contained in his ‘Haawi lil Fataawi’)
These words were also quoted by the commentator to ‘al-Muwāhib al-Laduniyyah’ (1/140) - az-Zarkaanee.
The reply to this ḥadīth:
1. When Imām Mālik was asked about this ḥadīth he replied, "do you see the Companions of the Messenger of Allāh (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam), for whom the ʿaqīqah was not performed in the days of Jāhiliyyah, performing ʿaqīqah for themselves in Islām? This is from the rejected (narrations)" [quoted from him by ibn Rushd al-Mālikī in the ‘Book of ʿaqīqah’ of his work ‘al-Muqaddamaat al-Mumahhadaat’ 2/15]
2. Abū Dāwūd said in his ‘Masaa’il Imām Aḥmad’ his work in which he reports from him, "I heard Aḥmad….so Aḥmad said, ʿAbdullāh ibn Muharrar from Qatādah from Anas that ‘the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) performed ʿaqīqah for himself’. This ḥadīth is munkar (rejected) due to the weakness of ʿAbdullāh ibn Muharrar’" [This was report was also mentioned by ibn al-Qayyim in his ‘Zaad al-Ma’aad’ and ‘Tuhfatul Mawdood bi Aḥkāmil Mawlood’ (pg.51)]
3. Ibn Hibbān said in his ‘Kitāb al-Majrooheen’ (2/29) in the biography of ʿAbdullāh ibn Muharrar, "he reported from Qatādah from Anas that ‘the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) performed ʿaqīqah for himself after Allāh had sent him as a Prophet.’…he (ibn Muharrar) used to be from the best of the servants of Allāh, except that he was from those that would lie without knowing it, and reverse (the meanings) of the narrations without understanding…..Abū Ishāq at-Taalaqaanee said, ‘I heard ibn al-Mubārak saying: if I was given the choice of entering Paradise or accuse ʿAbdullāh ibn Muharrar. I would choose to accuse him and then enter Paradise. For when I saw him I found dung to be more beloved to me than him.’ [this report is also narrated by Imām Muslim in the introduction to his ṣaḥīḥ]. I (ibn Hibbān) heard al-Dārimī saying, ‘I heard Yahyá ibn Ma’een saying: ʿAbdullāh ibn Muharrar is not trustworthy and precise (thiqah)’"
4. al-Bazzaar said, "….from ʿAbdullāh ibn Muharrar from Qatādah from Anas that the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam)….ʿAbdullāh ibn Muharrar was alone in reporting the ḥadīth and he is severely weak, one would find written from him what is not found with other than him." [‘Zawaa’id al-Bazzaar ʿalá Kutub as-al-Sitta’ in the chapter ‘Qadā al-ʿaqīqah’]
5. al-Bayḥaqī said, "ʿAbdullāh ibn Muharrar reported a munkar (rejected) ḥadīth concerning the Prophet’s performing ʿaqīqah for himself …[quotes the ḥadīth]…..Abdur Razzaaq said, ‘indeed they (scholars of ḥadīth) abandoned ʿAbdullāh ibn Muharrar due to the state of this ḥadīth and it is reported from another perspective from Qatādah and yet another perspective from Anas and it is nothing." [Sunan al-Kubrā (9/300) of al-Bayḥaqī. Chapter: ‘al-ʿaqīqah Sunnah’] This is the reference from which al-Ṣuyutī quotes the ḥadīth, yet it is strange that he did not quote the rest of al-Bayḥaqī’s words.
6. al-Nawawī said, "as for the ḥadīth that he -i.e. ash-Shayraazee - mentioned concerning the Prophet’s performing ʿaqīqah for himself, then it was reported by al-Bayḥaqī with his isnād from ʿAbdullāh ibn Muharrar from Qatādah from Anas…[ḥadīth]…and this ḥadīth is false (bāṭil). al-Bayḥaqī said: this is a rejected ḥadīth…(quoting previous words of Bayhaqee)….and ʿAbdullāh ibn Muharrar is dāʿīf, being agreed upon to be so by the memorising scholars. He (ʿAbdullāh ibn Muharrar) is abandoned." [‘Majmūʿ Sharḥ Muhadhdhab’ (8/330) of al-Nawawī chpt: ‘ʿaqīqah’]
7. al-Mizzi in his biography to ʿAbdullāh ibn Muharrar endorses the above words of ʿAbd al Razzaaq. [‘Tahdhīb al-Kamāl’ of al-Mizzi]
8. al-Dhahabī said during the course of presenting the biography of ʿAbdullāh ibn Muharrar, "Aḥmad said: the people have abandoned his ḥadīth. Al-Jawzajānī said: destroyed. al-Dāraqutnī and a group (of scholars) said: abandoned. Ibn Hibbān said: he used to be from the best of the servants of Allāh except that he would lie without knowing it, and reverse (the meanings) of the narrations without understanding…." [‘Meezaan al-I’tidaal’ of al-Dhahabī]
9. ibn Hajr al-Asqʿalánee said, "his saying - i.e. ar-Rāfi’ee - it is reported that he (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) performed ʿaqīqah for himself after his prophethood by al-Bayḥaqī from the ḥadīth of Qatādah from Anas. He (ibn Hajr) said: it is munkar, it contains ʿAbdullāh ibn Muharrar and he is severely weak. Abdur Razzaaq said…[the words previously quoted]. I (ibn Hajr) say: as for the other perspective from Qatādah then I have not found it as a ḥadīth of the Messenger (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam), all that is reported is in this regards is that Qatādah used to pass rulings on this as related by ibn ʿAbd al Barr. Rather al-Bazzaar and others were certain that ʿAbdullāh ibn Muharrar is alone in reporting this ḥadīth from Qatādah. As for the other perspective still from Anas then it is reported by Abū al-Shaykh in ‘al-Adaahee’ and ibn Ayman in his ‘Mūsánnaf’ via the route of ʿAbdullāh ibn Muthnaa from Thamaamah ibn ʿAbdullāh ibn Anas from his father. An-Nawawee said in ‘Sharḥ Muhadhdhab’: this ḥadīth is false." [‘Talkhees al-Habeer’ 4/147 of ibn Hajr chpt: ‘al-ʿaqīqah’]
10. Likewise, in Fath al-Baree he declares the ḥadīth from all of its various perspectives to be dāʿīf. [Sharḥ Baab Imaatatul Adha]
11.Therefore az-Zarqaanee in his ‘Sharḥ Muwaahib’ (1/140) follows up his quote by quoting the verdicts of ibn Hajr and al-Nawawī on this ḥadīth and then saying, "therefore to use it to derive the legitimacy (of the Mawlid) is not correct."
[Taken from 'al-Qawl al-Fasl' of Shaykh Ismāʿīl al-Anṣārī with summary]