Daily Trust (Abuja)

Nigeria: 'Celebration Should Not Go Beyond Rabi'ul Awwal'

Ilorin — As Muslims world-wide commemorate the birth of Prophet Muhammd (SAW), Islamic Studies Professor Yusuf Lanre Badmas yesterday advised that the celebration should not be extended beyond Rabi'u-Awwal.

Speaking with Daily Trust in Ilorin yesterday, the don said to avoid creating confusion for the next Muslim generation on the actual birthday of the Prophet, the celebration should not go beyond Rabi'ul Awwal. He also said the period should be an avenue for self-reflection and bringing back those who have deviated from the right path and not a money-making venture.

Badmas, a former Commissioner of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), said "The Maulud celebration can be a forbidden exercise if it is marked with forbidden activities. And if it is used to extort money from the people or if it is used as a mere copying of another religion's way of marking the birthday of their own prophet.

"In these instances, it would be very wrong to mark the birthday. Anything you do in the name of Islam that will lead you to commit sins is forbidden. But on the other hand, it can be a very good exercise, it can be permissible if you use the opportunity for reflection, for self-purity and to what extent have we followed the Sunnah of the Prophet to the teachings of Islam as a whole.

"If the occasion is used to draw attention of the people to our deviation from the right path of Islam, if the occasion is used as a forum to mobilise people, to talk to them, to preach to them because nowadays, people are no longer longing to listen to preaching but perhaps when you organise Maulud, it would give you opportunity to bring them together and encourage them to do the right thing, discourage them from doing the wrong thing, in this instance, yes I will support celebration of the birthday of the Prophet (SAW)."

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