*Reference: Fatāwā Naḏhīrīyyah, Volume 1, page 214, Urdu._

*Translation & Notes by Shaykh Zulfiker Ibrahim Memon Madani Al-Atharee [حفظه الله]*
*Student of Deputy Mufti of Makkah – Shaykh Wasiullah Abbas (حفظه الله) & Student of Former Grand Mufti of Jamia Salafiyyah, Banaras – Rais Nadvi (رحمه الله).*

Question: What is the Islāmic ruling regarding standing, out of respect, at the celebrating ceremony of his birthday? And what if it is done with the belief that the soul of the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ‎ is omnipresent and indeed attends such ceremonies, and that the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ‎ himself is always present in every place? Also, if someone was to attend such gatherings but did not believe such beliefs, what would be the ruling upon him?
Response: To stand and attend out of respect without the belief that the soul of the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ‎ being omnipresent is an innovation in the Dīn, and to believe that the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ‎ is present in everyplace is Shirk. This is because the unique attribute of being omnipresent [His knowledge in every place] is unique and solely belongs to Allāh ﷻ, alone.
It must be understood and contemplated that if the remembrance of the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ‎ is celebrated and commemorated at one hundred places at the exact same time, then how could the soul of the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ‎ be able to attend all these gatherings? Also, how could his soul be so special so as to be present at each of these celebrations at the same time, and to that specific gathering alone?
The scholar, Qādhī Shihāb ad-Dīn Dawlat ‘Ābādī [رحمه الله‎] (d.849 AH) has stated in his book Tuḥfatul-al-Qudhāt:
‎وما يفعله الجهال على رأس كل حول في شهر ربيع الأوّل ليس بشيء ويقومون عند ذكر مولده صلّى الله عليه وسلّم ويزعمون أن روحه صلّى الله عليه وسلّم يجيء فزعمهم باطل بل هذا الإعتقاد شرك وقد منع الأئمة الأربعة مثل هذا.

“And what some ignorant people do at the beginning of every year in the month of Rabī’ al-Awwal, which is to stand at the remembrance ceremony of the birth of the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ‎ allegedly believing that the soul of the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ‎ attends, this has no basis in the Dīn, and this belief of theirs is false and void: rather this belief is polytheism, and indeed the four Imāms have prohibited and barred such beliefs.
The scholar, Qādhī Nasīr ad-Dīn [رحمه الله‎] (d.1031 AH) has written in Tarīqah as-Salaf:
‎وقد أحدث بعض جهال المشايخ أموراً كثيرة لا نجد لها أثراً في كتاب ولا في سنة منها القيام عند ذكر ولادة سيد الأنام عليه التحية والسلام

“And some ignorant faith leaders have introduced into the Dīn many issues and affairs which we find no evidence for in the book of Allāh ﷻ or in the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ‎. From amongst them is to stand at the remembrance of the birth of the leader of all human beings, may the Ṣalāh & Salām of Allāh ﷻ descend upon him.”

It has also been mentioned in Sīrah-Shāmī (d.943 AH):

‎جرت عادة كثير من المحبين إذا سمعوا بذكر وضعه صلى الله عليه وسلّم أن يقوموا تعظيما له صلى الله عليه وسلّم وهذا القيام بدعة لا أصل لها.

“It has become the common practice of many who consider themselves to be amongst those who truly love the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ‎, that if they listen to the remembrance of the birth of the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ‎ they stand up out of respect for the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ‎. This standing is an innovation in the Dīn and has no basis in the Dīn.”
Sayyid Naḏhīr Ḥusayn Dehlawī Abū Tayyib Muḥammad Shamsul-Ḥuq [رحمه الله‎]

(d.1295 AH) – Corresponding to 1878 CE.

[1] The standing posture in the Indian sub-continent is known as Ṣalāt-wa-Salām amongst the Barailwīs (a prominent Indian sufi sect). This standing posture is adopted by many extreme Barailwīs and originates from Ṣalāh according to the Ḥanafī maḏhab. The devoted stand as if in Salah, placing the right hand on top of the left hand below the navel, with the eyes closed at times, in a state of ‘Muraqabah’ (contemplation) along with great humility and submission. This is usually practiced in congregation but may be done individually. I have condemned this type of standing on numerous occasions whilst guarding the Prophet’s ﷺ‎ grave. This kind of standing posture as practiced by many Barailwīs & Deobandīs (Ḥayātī) at the grave of the Prophet ﷺ‎ is done for long periods until we, the guards, forbid this evil and tell them to give salāms according to the Sunnah and leave, as practiced by ‘Abdullāh ibn ‘Umar [رضي الله عنه] and reported by Imām Abū Dāwūd [رحمه الله‎] in his Sunan. Ironically, if you compare their Ṣalāh with the same standing posture for Allāh ﷻ, it is less then thirteen seconds! This is the reality of their Ṣalāh for him ﷺ, and their humility for Him, as witnessed by myself now for over eight years. This type of standing posture with humility should only be done for Allāh ﷻ, the Most High, as it is an act of ‘Ibādah, just like Rukū’ and Sajdah which is only intended for Allāh ﷻ, alone.
[2] According to the research and predominant opinion of the Leader of the Barailwi sect, Aḥmed Raza Khān Barailwī (1856-1921 CE): The Messenger of Allāh ﷺ‎ was born on the 8th Rabī’ al-Awwal and died on the 12th Rabī’ al-Awwal. Refer to ‘Nutqul-al-Hilāl’ page 12 & 13, and ‘Fatāwā Rizwiyyah’ Volume 26 page 412,415 (Anjuman-Faizān Raza). Despite this, his followers blindly celebrate ‘The Prophet’s Birthday’-which itself is an innovated practice in this complete Dīn of ours-on the 12th Rabī’ al-Awwal.
Further, they do engage in vocal and dramatic celebration by marching the streets in a practice known as ‘Julūs’ in Urdū. This is an imitation of the Rāfidī Shī’ahs who on the 10th Muḥarram also march on the streets mourning the martyrdom of the noble companion, the grandson of the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ‎, Ḥusayn bin ‘Alī ؓ by beautifying a white horse for Ḥusayn bin ‘Alī ؓ. The Barailwīs in comparison beautify the (Pīr) Shaykh’s car, which is usually already a top class expensive car, with Christmas decorations. The laymen walk both behind and alongside such ornamentations chanting away in the freezing cold, as according to them the Prophet’s ﷺ‎ birthday according to them falls in winter. Meanwhile, the Pir himself seems to share none of this suffering, since he is comfortable in a well decorated car with air-conditioning, usually accompanied by his close friends and aides. Such disturbance-causing processions usually go forth on a Sunday, (nevermind the fact that sundays are in fact a christian holiday) and cause great inconvenience for locals, both Muslims and non-Muslims, by roads being blocked, traffic and pedestrians being diverted, making it difficult for everyone to commute locally. All this, done in the name of Islām and loving the Prophet ﷺ‎. Such marching, in terms of the disturbance it causes, is identical to a protest – an act introduced by the west which has no basis in Islām; rather it is an imitation of the western disbelievers who introduced this act to cause chaos and havoc in peaceful societies, let alone the celebration of a birthday party which happens to be a pre-christian Pagan tradition, later adopted into christianity.  
[3] The issue of the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ‎ being omnipresent, is commonly referred to as ‘Hādhir, Nādhir’. This terminology cannot be found in the books of ‘Aqīdah by the pious predecessors of the golden era because it was invented and propagated by the Barailwīs  in the Indian-Subcontinent and is therefore an innovation in the Religion of islam.This revolting belief of Ahmed Raza Khan Barailwi was used as a criterion to test a normal Muslim’s ‘Aqīdah and declare them to be disbelievers if they disagreed with this belief: in fact Aḥmed Raza Khān Barailwī himself was notorious for declaring others who disagreed with his beliefs as disbelievers (Takfīr). This issue has been refuted by the scholars who follow the Salaf right from the time it was invented and introduced. Some of the scholars who refuted this concept and illustrated books on this subject are:
3.1) ‘Allāmah Tayyib Makkī Rampurī [رحمه الله‎], a contemporary of Aḥmed Raza Khān, who refuted him on many subjects, and authored ‘Rasā’il ‘Ilm al-Ghayb’
3.2) ‘Allāmah Abū al-Qāsim al-Banārsī [رحمه الله‎] who refuted the book ‘Kashf as-Sirr al-Maknūn Bi Ithbāt ‘Ilm Mā kān wa Yakūn’
3.3) Shaykh Badī’ az-Zamān [رحمه الله‎] who authored ‘Risālah Taḥqīq ‘Ilm al-Ghayb’
3.4) ‘Allāmah Sayyid Abū Turāb Rushd Allāh Shāh Rāshidī [رحمه الله‎] who authored ‘Kashf ar-Rayb Un Mas’alātil-‘Ilm al-Ghayb’,
3.5) ‘Allamah Naḏhīr Aḥmed Raḥmānī [رحمه الله‎]  [teacher of our Shaykh, Wasī’ Allāh ‘Abbās -] who authored ar-Raddu alal-al-‘Aqā’id-al-Bid’īyyah’,
3.6) ‘Allāmah ‘Abdur-Rauf Jandhagarī Raḥmānī [رحمه الله‎] who authored ‘Tardīdai-Hādhir Nādhir’ – this book was refuted by the Grand-Muftī of the Barailwīs of India, ‘Abdul-Mannān, in a book by the name of ‘As-Shāhīd’.
Our Shaykh, Muḥammad Rais Nadvī, [رحمه الله‎] who was the Grand-Muftī of Jāmi’ah Salafīyyah, Banāras, India, and responded by writing a refutation of ‘As-Shāhīd’ by the name of ‘Taṣḥīḥul-Aqā’id bi-Ibṭāl Shawāhidus-as-Shāhīd’. After this the Barailwī, ‘Abdul-Mannān attempted to refute some issues of our Shaykh, Muftī Rais Nadvī [رحمه الله‎] ’s book in his new edition of ‘as-Shāhīd’ published in 1987. Our Shaykh, Muftī Rais Nadvī [رحمه الله‎] , refuted him once again in 1990 in his new published edition of ‘Taṣḥīḥul-Aqā’id bi-Ibṭāl Shawāhidus-as-Shāhīd’ which deals with 212 Issues in no less than 552 pages. The Barailwīs have yet to respond and it has now been almost over 20 years since the refutation was published. 
[4] Aḥmed Raza Khān (1856-1921 CE) wrote two poems, one in Arabic and the other in Urdū, both containing words of Shirk, Bid’ah and exaggeration to the highest degree, which are chanted by the Barailwīs. The first poem is in Arabic and Urdū and begins with ‘Yā Nabī Salāmu ‘alayka’ and the second poem is in Urdū and starts with ‘Mustafa Janai Raḥmat Pai Lakho Salām’. These two poems have been clung on to by the Barailwīs, as if by their molar teeth: they have made it incumbent upon their followers to stand up and hymn these poems on every important occasion, such as social events, wedding ceremonies, and as a must on every Friday after the Ṣalāh. These poems have been made a criterion to distinguish who loves the Messenger and who opposes him-– not the following of the the Sunnah, which is and should be made the real criteria. Samir Hosein, A close friend of mine from the South American Island of Trinidad, informed me that this standing is known as ‘Tāḏhīm’ in his country. The names may vary according to different locations but the practice, belief and concept remains the same. 
[5] Ahl al-Sunnah Wal-Jamā’ah do not state that Allāh is Omnipresent, with His Thāt. Rather they believe that Allāh ﷻ’s knowledge is omnipresent [i.e. His knowledge encompasses all things apparent and hidden). Ahl al-Sunnah Wal-Jamā’ah further believe that Allāh, the Most high, with His Thāt, is above the seven heavens, above His ‘Arsh, and separate from His creation in a manner that befits His majesty. This is established from the Qur’ān & Sunnah, as well as the consensus of the companions of the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ. This was also the belief of Imām Sayyid Naḏhīr Ḥusayn ad-Dehlawī [رحمه الله‎], refer to his Fatāwā, Fatāwā Naḏhīrīyyah, page 4, on this issue.
[6] His name is Qādhī Aḥmed bin ‘Umar ad-Dawlah ‘Ābādī, nicknamed Shihāb al-Dīn [رحمه الله‎]. He was born after (700 AH), and was extremely intelligent and very quick to understand the most difficult of issues. He wrote many books, the famous one being on the Arabic language, which was an explanation of ‘Kāfiyah’ of Ibn al-Ḥājib. He died in the year 849 AH. Refer to Nuzhatul-Khawāṭir volume 3, pages 14-16. 
[7] He is Qādhī Nasīr al-Dīn son of Qādhī Sirāj Muḥammad al-Ḥanafī al-Burhānpurī. His birth date is unknown in the books of biographies. Amongst his teachers are Ḥakīm ‘Uthmān Bopkānī Sindhī (d.1008 AH) and Mawlānā ‘Ilm Allāh Imaithwī (d.1024 AH). He was one of the most knowledgeable in Arabic language, Ḥanafī Fiqh and the disciplines of Ḥadīth of his time. Refer to Nuzhatul-Khawāṭir Volume 5 page 451. Two incidents he encountered had an outstanding impact upon the rest of his life. 
7.1). He defeated the great Rāfidī scholar Shukr Allāh Shirāzī in a debate at the age of eighteen. 

7.2). Whilst studying an issue of the Ḥanafī Fiqh with his Shaykh, Mawlānā ‘Ilm Allāh Imaithwī (who was also his father in-law) his teacher gave preference to the opinion of Abū Ḥanīfah and presented it as evidence. In response Qādhī Nasīr al-Dīn said: ‘He is a man and so am I’. His teacher became so upset with such a statement that he took out his sword and wanted to strike of the head of his student and son in-law. Qādhī Nasīr al-Dīn would give preference to Ḥadīth over the statements of the Jurists and reject analogy, as mentioned by the author of Nuzhatul-Khawāṭir, Volume 5 page 301. He died in the year 1031 AH. 

[8] This book was illustrated by Muḥammad bin Yūsuf Ṣālih ash-Shāmī (d.943 AH). The book that he wrote on Sīrah was known as ‘Subul-al-Hudā wal-Rashād fī Sīratil-Khayril-al-Ibād’. 
[9] Fatāwā Naḏhīrīyyah, Volume 1 page 214, Urdū. 
[10] He was the Imām, Shaykh al-Islām, and Grand Muftī of the Indian Sub-continent, Sayyid Naḏhīr Ḥusayn ad-Dehlawī [رحمه الله‎], born in the year 1220 AH corresponding to 1805 CE. He left home at the age of 17 in search of Islāmic knowledge. He arrived in Delhi on the 13th Rajab 1243 AH where he studied under the most prominent scholars of Islām of that era. His teachers include ‘Allāmah Shāh Muḥammad Ishāq Dehlawī [رحمه الله‎](1192 AH-1262 AH) who was the grandson of ‘Allāmah Shāh ‘Abd al-‘Azīz Dehlawī [رحمه الله‎]. Imām Sayyid Naḏhīr Ḥusayn Dehlawī [رحمه الله‎] authored over 60 books, amongst them is his Fatāwā known as Fatāwā Naḏhīrīyyah in 3 volumes, and Mayārul-Ḥuq on the issue of Taqlīd (blind-following a particular Fiqh Maḏhab). He called to Tawḥīd and taught Ḥadīth and defended the Sunnah all his life. He is considered unanimously amongst Ahl al-Sunnah wal Jamā’ah as one of the Imāms of his time who revived Al-Da’wah Al-Salafīyyah in the Indian subcontinent. He died on the 10th Rajab 1320 AH corresponding to 15th October 1902 CE. Those amongst his senior students include ‘Allāmah Shams al-Ḥuq Adhīmabādī [رحمه الله‎] (d. 1329AH), ‘Allāmah ‘Abd al-Raḥmān Mubarakpurī [رحمه الله‎]
 (d.1353 AH), ‘Allāmah Thanā’ Allāh Amritsarī [رحمه الله‎] (d.1368 AH.) and many others. Refer to the introduction of Fatāwā Naḏhīrīyyah [رحمه الله‎] page 26-51 for a detailed biography of the Imām. 

[11] He was the great Muḥaddith, Faqīh of the Ahl al-Ḥadīth of his time. He was born in the year 1857 CE, he studied with many great scholars, the most famous being Imām Sayyid Naḏhīr Ḥusayn ad-Dehlawī [رحمه الله‎]. He authored many books mainly on the different disciplines of Ḥadīth, his most outstanding and famous book being the commentary of Sunan Abī Dāwūd ‘Ghāytaul-Maqṣūd’ in thirty-two volumes & ‘Awnul-Mābūd’ in seven volumes. The Salafī scholar also had a great library which treasured hundreds of manuscripts; his library was considered one of the best libraries in the Indian sub-continent. He was the successor of his teacher Imām Sayyid Naḏhīr Ḥusayn al-Dehlawī [رحمه الله‎]. He died in the year 1911 CE. For a detailed biography of the Imām refer to books on his biography by Shaykh ‘Uzayr Shams.

Special Courtesy: Shaykh Zulfiker Ibrahim Memon Madani Al-Atharee.