#MawlidDebate: Tis the time to celebrate..

In the UK among the young third generation testosterone fueled teen and young adult population of Indian-subcontinent descendants of Muslims, there is a raging storm going on between two opposing parties; Those for and against the celebration of Mawlid. A religious celebration of the birth of the noble Prophet Muhammad may Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him, done by a large section from within the Muslim world and afar. On social media sites and video-blogging web sites videos and counter-videos have been uploaded by the spearheads of both parties. Led by Imam Muhammad Asim Hussain, of the party for the Mawlid

Imam Muhammad Asim Hussain

and Imran Ibn Mansur, a Youtube celebrity, of the party against the Mawlid, each claiming to speak the final truth and showing the ‘evidence’.

Imran Ibn Mansur

It is dispiriting to the majority of hand-to-mouth Muslims why so much vehemence and vigor is being given on a topic which is not even considered a considerable tenant of the faith at a time when legions of secular atheist theologies are polarizing everyday lives of Muslims worldwide. With increasing vengeance and glee the advocates of ending religion and secularist campaigns are gaining more ground as it sweeps into mainstream acceptance through movies, documentaries and Television shows.  Yet, alarmingly there are strong sections of the Muslim communities, largely the imported-culturally secluded Indian subcontinent Muslims have no answers or are unable to give coherent answers to these new fallacies taking hold rapidly in every young Muslim’s life, right from the pre-school to the highest levels of educational institutions of any land. Fallacies which eagerly promote the idea religion is a cause for chaos in the world and removing it from every civilization will put an end to the ceaseless violence across the world and bring about a utopia of bliss, hope and peace. A period which will see great scientific and technological advancement being made and people’s lives improved exponentially.

Yet, coming back to the closed-nit repetitive age-old arguments of the Mawlid it is clear where the priorities lay; on non-substantial topics which have no baring on one’s faith or no faith. There have been disagreements on the topic of Mawlid between the greatest scholars of the time throughout the centuries. It means the mass hysteria being created in UK now by the two leading proponents of the arguments will not solve this issue anytime soon. Both parties have entrenched themselves in their own views, which to them is ‘the ultimate truth and nothing but the truth’. Which, for the educated mind, should be the end of the topic – agree to disagree and move to resolving more urgent issues facing the Muslim youth en-mass. However, having said this, there are two major points which must be addressed that has arisen from the debacle between Imam Asim and Imran Ibn Mansur:

  1. The debate is between a serious student of Ilm, who has at least studied Islam and its major facets under qualified ulema for a several years, and is a scholar in his own right – Imam Muhammad Asim Hussain, and a part-time chill-axing no body in the name of Imran ibn Mansur who may have attended a few classes on Arabic grammar, usul and seemingly gathered enough ‘fans’ to think he has now mastered the level of understanding which the traditional scholars would gain only after some serious studying under masters of their own field for many years.  This has resulted in a number of things occurring most notably the name-calling and ill-fated words being exchanged between the two. Although  this has been largely kept in check it is beginning to creep in with language used mostly by Imran Ibn Mansur’s followers throwing in few swear words every so often to people of the other party. This is a prime example of the captain and his crew; the type of captain you have on a ship will reflect on how his crew will be. If he is crude then crew will mirror the captain and his attitude. The contrast between the two proponents of the debate cannot be different and far part than it is! – A scholar and a back-to-front wearing cap, sports brand loving youngster.
  2. This ultimately has led to ego-eccentric remarks being made, (when the arguments you are trying to make falls flat miserably, with stick-man argument against a man of knowledge then undoubtedly ego will come into play). In one clip the pseudo-cleric Imran ibn Mansur dismisses a point made by Imam Muhammad Asim Hussain supposedly for mispronouncing the name of a book. Claiming, ‘if you cannot pronounce the title of the book how can you quote from it?’ – Mind you, this is from a average person who may have attended a few lessons on Arabic syllables, saying this to a man who is in some respects an expert in the field – a scholar/imam. This is what happens who egos come are left unchecked and left to ravage your faculty of thought.  – You stop seeing your place in line and go on to accuse and correct people you have no authority over. From the onset if Imran was to acknowledge that he is not a scholar and therefore deal with respect and dignity when speaking to an Imam, a man of knowledge it would have been a right start. Instead this individual has further enraged the opposing audience with inflammatory remarks about a companion of the Prophet may Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him. In one video from a number of counter videos produced by Imran he tries to dismiss the notion that a ‘good biddah’ (Biddah hasanah) was started by Syyiduna Umar may Allah bless him. In which he says If the Prophet may Allah’s peace be upon him, had categorically said all biddah are in hell-fire then who’s words can be used against this to prove a good biddah? Alluding to the fact Syyiduna Umar may Allah bless him, said on seeing the taraweeh being performed in congregation ‘what a good biddah that is’. He then ends the video by quoting the famous hadith in which it is reported that people who changed the religion after the Prophet may Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him passed away would be dragged to hell. This then led to a chorus of scholars condemning the novice for his ignorant remarks on the illustrious companion without understanding the nuances of the situations or statements. The audacious man then saw to redress this apparently misquoted clip in another of his endless counter videos which he ends up making similar accusations again. This is what happens when a average person tries to be something he is not and instead ends up digging a large hole for himself which he cannot get out of.

You may have realized i have not included any ‘evidence’ for, for or against Mawlid as this argument will not end by me doing so. People from both sides have made their minds up on this issue! Instead what i have tried to draw on is the level of ignorance and blindingly obvious raw nature of the debate and how it does not mean a great deal of anything never mind facing up to the level of seriousness both these individuals are making it out to be. If you do not agree with Mawlid stay silent and do not cause discord and fitna. On the flip side those who  agree with it do not begrudge those who do not  because brotherhood should be stronger

To close, what this commotion actually shows is the super-fast fiber optic broadband pace in which the ummah is severing its links to the traditional way of doing things. Traditionally during the companions and the time of their students no one dared argue with a scholar out of awe and respect for them if they knew next to nothing about Islam. If they disagreed with his view they never sought to seek publicity by airing their discontent to the public out of fear they may be talking with their egos and not purely for the sake of Allah azzawajal. It was considered one of the most abominable acts a person can do, – to speak against a scholar when a person is not qualified to do so – as scholars were seen as the heirs of the Prophet may Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him. Secondly, it also shows how fast the traditional concepts of learning Islam is being eroded as we fall headlong into the last days of the end times. There was a time when a man who wanted to learn about Islam would have to learn from authentic scholars, travel the lengths of this world seeking out pious men of Allah and sit at their feet. In which he would first learn how to be a student and then learn how to learn things before he can actually begin his journey on the path of knowledge. Now in the age of egocentric individuals businessmen disguised as experts of authentic Islāmic learning have become the mouthpiece of Islam along the way earning their two pence worth of fame and money through the YouTube views program.

One of Imran ibn Mansur’s Youtube videos.
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