Imam Abu Muhammad ibn al-Tabbakh on the gatherings of Mawlid

-مجلس منار الحجاز للسيرة النبوية الشريفة-- - YouTube

Muhammad ibn Yusuf al-Salihi al-Shami (d. 942 AH/1536 CE) records the following opinion from Nasir al-Din al-Mubarak, known as Ibn al-Tabbakh:

If someone spends money (anfaqa al-munfiq) on that night, gathers a group of people to whom he feeds licit things and makes them listen to licit things (at‘amahum ma yajuzu it‘amuhu wa-asma‘ahum ma yajuzu sam‘uhu), and gives the performer who arouses people’s longing for the next world some- thing to wear, all of this out of delight in [the Prophet’s] birth, all of this is permissible and the one who does it will be rewarded if his intention is good. This is not limited to the poor to the exclusion of the rich [i.e., as recipients of food], unless he intends to comfort those who are most needy, in which case the poor yield greater rewards. (1)

The shaykh Nasir al-Din also said, “This is not a sunna, but if one makes expenditures on this day and displays delight out of joy in the entrance of the Prophet into this world,” and performs licit sama‘, this is a good gathering, and anyone who intends that and performs it will be rewarded for it, except that asking people for what they possess for this reason alone, and without necessity and need, is a disapproved request (su’al makruh). The gathering of righteous people (al-sulaha’) simply to eat that food, remember God, and invoke blessings upon the Prophet will multiply good deeds and rewards for them. (2)

al-Mubarak ibn ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn, AbuMuhammad ibn al-Tabbakh (d. 575 AH/ 1178–9 CE) was a Baghdadi Hanbali who settled in Mecca and served as the Hanbali prayer leader in the sanctuary (imam al-hanabila bi’l-haram). He was a distinguished muhaddith, considered the foremost traditionist of Mecca in his time, as well as a faqih. (3)


(1) Muhammad ibn Yusuf al-Salihi al-Shami, Subul al-huda wa’l-rashad fi sirat khayr al-‘ibad, ed. ‘Adil Ahmad ‘Abd al-Mawjud and ‘Ali Muhammad Mu‘awwad, Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiya, 1414 AH/1993 CE, 1:363–4.

(2) Ibid., 1:364.

(3)  Ibn al-‘Imad al-Hanbali, Shadharat al-dhahab fi akhbar man dhahab, Beirut: Dar al-Masira, 1399 AH/1979 CE, 4:253.

[Translated by Marion Holmes Katz]

Update: A reader mentioned that Imam Ibn al-Tabbakh here is not the hanbali scholar cited in Ibn al-Imad’s “Shadharat” by Marion Holmes Katz, but instead a shafi scholar who lived 589-689H, as cited in Imam Suyuti’s “Husn al Muhadarah” Vol 1 P 416.



  1. salam, I’ve been following this blog for a while now and would like to ask you if you have read the book ‘Black terror White soldiers’ it provides a comprehensive study on the origins of Wahhabism. if you’ve read it, I’d like your opinion and if not I would recommend it.
    see what you make of it.

    1. walaikum assalaam

      I have not read that book. I searched about it now that you told me, and I would be curious to see what David Livingstone has to offer. But when interpretation of materials get too far fetched and too much of a conspiracy or when the source of facts are not strong enough, i tend to not pay as much attention to them as its hard to prove or disapprove it. I also had issues with his earlier work when some of the respected sufi figures like Mansur al-Hallaj were given negative tones and built into some kind of hidden conspiracy without any basis at all and even though this is not how the classical scholars viewed the case of al-Hallaj. Of course this does not mean that i say that all claimants of Sufism or esoteric practices are clean and may not be having hidden agendas or be outright fraudsters. But when arguments of this magnitude is being made there needs to be hard evidence.

      Nonetheless i would give it a look as it is always interesting to read about not so well publicized historical content and how the various events in history connect each other or how they emerge from similar base.

      1. Salam, I am neither big on conspiracies and to be honest I probably wouldn’t take some parts of the book seriously but I do have to hand it to him he has done a good job exposing certain things we just overlook and the first section on Islamic Law in particular seems well researched and gives a whole new perspective that I personally have not known probably due to bigots barking ‘anti sharia’ remarks.

        His section on Wahhabism is nothing that you probably don’t already know but there could be something new, still I think you would benefit by simply looking over it.

        I like what he wrote about Abdul Wahhab; when he called for dissension in the Muslim ranks by calling for the overthrow of Osmanli, Livingstone quotes a hadith where RasulAllah(SAW) says (paraphrasing) that once the Muslims have chosen their leader and become unified, anyone who calls for dissension should be killed.
        It just shows the gravity of the situation that is being dealt with.
        Also, the hadith (paraphrasing) where a group (as we now know as the Wahhabis) would take verses talking about kuffar and apply them to the Muslims.

        He presents it from an unbiased view and he does criticise Sufism to a degree, so no Wahhabi can really accuse him of being a Sufi.

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