Prophet's birthday celebrations

Q517 :My uncle has a large number of followers. Every month, he performs a celebration of the Prophet's birthday when he feeds the poor with money he collects from his followers. He recently asked me to make a hut for him in the graveyard where he lives alone. He also asked me to erect a wall around the grave of my deceased father. Please comment.

A517 : There is no doubt that Prophet Muhammad conveyed to us Allah's final message and the code of living He wants us to implement in our lives. Every Muslim, therefore, loves the Prophet more than he loves his parents or himself. Without the Prophet's teachings, humanity would have lived in darkness. Our love of the Prophet and the position of honor given to him must conform to what he has taught. Suppose that you have two children and one of them is obedient and dutiful and the other is not that dutiful. When you are asked who of your children loves you best, you are bound to answer that the one who is dutiful loves you much more than his brother. You consider the dutifulness of the first son the mark of his love to you. This is indeed the truth. If your other son professes everyday that he loves you very much and he kisses your hand when he goes out or when you come home, but nevertheless does not abide by your wishes or do your bidding, you do not take his protestations of love very seriously. Therefore, our love of the Prophet must be measured by the same yardstick. If we follow the Prophet's guidance and abide by his teachings and implement what he wants us to implement, then we love the Prophet. If we are satisfied by professing that we love him and we try to give the proof of that by holding parties to celebrate his birth, then our claims are devoid of any substance. As for celebrating the Prophet's birthday, whether done every year or every month or every week, that can only be judged according to the Prophet's guidance. We have nothing in what the Prophet has said or done to indicate that he has celebrated his own birthday. None of his companions or the generation which succeeded him held any such celebrations at any time or in any form. Therefore, we can only say that this celebration is an innovation which earns no reward. I am afraid that your uncle's desire to live in the graveyard is very strange. The place of a learned Muslim is within his community to whom he tries to explain the Islamic teachings and whom he encourages to follow the Prophet's example. To erect a wall around a grave or indeed to do anything with a grave which is a mark of distinction is strongly discouraged. A grave must be simple and raised only about a foot over the ground and should not have a pyramid like shape. Its top should be flat. Tombs are not allowed in Islam. Prophet's children, grandchildren

Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )