Instead of debates, let’s take a quick …

Instead of debates, let’s take a quick poll. Agree, disagree?

As many Muslims yesterday celebrated the birthday of Prophet Muhammad, a Qatari scholar criticised the celebrations as an “un-Islamic habit”, which he said, was initiated by “heretic Muslims”.

In his Friday sermon, Sheikh Mohamed Hassan al-Mreikhi criticised clerics who permitted such celebration, saying that their justifications for celebrating the day were “baseless” and hence, it was bida’a (an innovation in the religion).

“From a historical viewpoint, there was no evidence that the Prophet was born on that specific day of the year. And if there was any good in marking the Prophet’s birthday, it was the companions of the Prophet who should have been the first people to do that, but there is no proof that they did,” Sheikh al-Mreikhi told a congregation at the Omar bin al-Khattab mosque at Khalifa Town.

Sheikh al-Mreikhi slammed Muslim countries that observe the Prophet’s birthday as a public holiday. “Some countries used to celebrate the occasion by stopping their business, let alone that several sins are being committed by some Muslims during such celebration,” he added.

The scholar denied that there could be “good innovation” and “bad innovation” in Islam, saying that any addition to the religion should be rejected. “All the justifications given by those who support such celebration are baseless including the one that marking the day would be an opportunity for Muslims to remember their Prophet,” he added.

He blamed the origination of the practice on the Fatimide state, whose rulers were “heretic Muslims and originally Jews”.