Malawi proposed holiday for Prophet Muhammad’s birthday: Muslims split

Malawi’s minority Muslim population has been pushing the government to declare the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday a public holiday, but the three-year campaign has been plagued by disagreement among Islamic scholars.

Mohammed:  No to Prophet's holiday

Mohammed: No to Prophet’s holiday

A  group of Muslim scholars discourages the celebration.

Sheikh Imran Sheriff, who chairs the Supreme Council of Ulemas, said: “We don’t celebrate because, according to the Islamic knowledge, Prophet Muhammad was born on 12th Rabi’ al-awwal and also died on the same day, same date and same time. And therefore, we feel that it is not advisable to celebrate while the same person is dead.”

Sheriff, who lectures in Islamic studies at the Chancellor College of the University of Malawi, also said the style of festivities contradicts the Quran’s teachings.

“Those who are championing the celebrations are our Indian Muslim friends,” he said. “We have never seen any Indian Muslim woman coming out to celebrate. Yet they encourage Malawian Muslim women to come along with their sisters and their daughters. That is un-Islamic.”

Sheriff said Malawi celebrations have included other practices – such as glittering lights, exchanging gifts and erecting shrines on traffic circles or roundabouts – that his group considers un-Islamic.

Sheikh Salmin Omar Idruss, secretary general of the Muslim Association of Malawi, said his group was not consulted by those requesting the holiday designation and therefore does not have an official position.

Personally, he does not support the call for a public holiday, he said.

“I don’t participate [in the celebrations] and I have never participated and I will never,” he said. “This is because I don’t subscribe to those types of beliefs.  According to how I understand the Islamic text, I know the Prophet did not do it, so why should I?”

But Sheikh Adam Aman King’ombe, a scholar with the Qadria Muslim Association of Malawi, said the Quran allows Muslims to celebrate the day. He quoted a passage, saying, “‘‘You the believers, because of getting Quran and Islam as your religion, and to get mercy of Allah, which is the Prophet Muhammad, you have to celebrate.’ That’s why we are celebrating.”

Another scholar, Sheikh Jafali Kawinga, said there’s nothing wrong in celebrating Muhammad’s birthday. Though the celebration did not occur during the prophet’s life, from 570 to 632, such innovations are allowed in modern Islam.

“For instance, there is an innovation of Ijtema, the gathering of Muslims each and every year,” Kawinga said. “It was innovated because it is a time when Muslims meet together and discuss issues pertaining to the religion.

“Likewise, [at] the time of the prophet there was no such [birthday] celebration. But today we celebrate his life and the din [religion] does not prohibit such innovation.”

Kondwani Nankhumwa, information minister for the southern African nation, told VOA “the government will act accordingly once the issue is discussed at Cabinet level.”

Right now, the only Islamic holiday publicly observed in Malawi is Eid al-fitr, a celebration that marks the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

In calling for a public holiday, Faizal Aboo said Malawi’s government should follow the lead of at least 50 other countries, including Indonesia, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia.

“Malawi should be no different,” said Aboo, media coordinator for the Al-Traq Qadeia Sunni Association, a local charity assisting Muslims in Malawi.

The country has nearly 17 million people. Aboo said that, with at least 5 million Muslims among them, officials should give “serious thought” to designating the holiday.

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58 thoughts on “Malawi proposed holiday for Prophet Muhammad’s birthday: Muslims split”

  1. If it was never practised by our beloved Prophet why doing it??The Prophet (SAWW) said,
    anyone who innovates into Islam (good or
    bad) is not one of us.
    On this one I am with you Sheikh Imraan Sharif 100%
    If Saudis are doing it still does not make it right-we have to safeguard our beautiful religion

  2. patrick says:

    The little knowledge that i have about islam is that mohammad was an arab of origin and it makes no sense for these mwenyes to be celebrating the birthday of the said mohammad . Even in saudi arabia where mohammad was born they dont celebrate.
    Mr abboo wait until a prophet is born in India or Pakistan then you can start celebrating the so called birthday

  3. 2mbwe says:

    Don’t inflate number of muslims in Malawi.check with google population of muslims per country in Africa,so it is 20% of Malawis population which mathematically leads to 2.8 million people or thereabout,and why are you busy organising for their holiday? Whose holiday? For what? There is again this other holiday that has no specific date eeeeish a waist of time.Most people realise that there is holiday while in office kikikikiiii and who told you that this is the only true religion? Govt must be extra careful and before reacting let’s ask for our GOD’S intervention.

  4. hoitty says:

    Malawi government should nit dare give these zealots a holiday. It was a big mistake what Bingu did, giving a eid holidy to these blood thirsty, mass killing for 72 virgins reward terrorists. You give them an inch they take a mile. Thheir leader muluzi never gave them shit! You see mow they have built schools, radio and they are demanding holidays. The stupid politicians get excited and give these barbarians priviledges hoping for votes, but they only vote for their fellow moslem Atupele. Joyce Banda a christian, instead of supporting christian institutions was busy promising Islamic bank, getting funds for Islamic university. Foolish woman. These zealits don’t believe in women leadership. You wanted their votes but see what they gave you ZERO VOTES. PETER Mutharika dont give them this holiday matter what. There is no christian holiday in the countries they have mentioned that Malawi should emulate. Next time they will say we should pray 5times a day like Saudi Arabia and women should stop driving like Saudi Arabia. Zimayamba chonchi pang’onopang’ono.

  5. Real Patriot says:

    What Mr Faizal Aboo should know that Malawi as a christian country will not follow some Islamic state like Indinesia,Malaysia and others having unnecessary Islamic holidays.If he is not happy living in Malawi he can open his shop in homeland Uttar Pradesh and demand alot of Islamic holidays.He should also stop inflating the number of moslems in Malawi.There are very few moslems in Malawi and we drink together in pubs these days.Little by little they are running away from their conservative religion.Mr Faizoo should relocate to Islamic Republic of Pakistan if he is tired living in Malawi.

  6. Kapolo says:

    Brothers and sisters before sending any comments about Islam please learn Islam with good intention you find your all answer. Today’s Muslim practicing or not but the fact is Islam the only true religion.

  7. Against Mbuzi says:

    Mr. Mbuzi,

    You really sounded like your name. “MIND YOUR LANGUAGE MR. MBUZI”. if you do not have anything good to say and frustrated as usual better keep your mouth shut.

  8. mangochi kabwafu says:

    To hell with this stupid article. You mention of holidays in these moslem countries, do they have A SINGLE CHRISTIAN HOLIDAY? Mind you, Malawi is a christian country and therefore should have NO single islamic holiday including the one we have now. In the UK, there is barely mention of these islamic activities and there is NO SINGLE ISLAMIC HOLIDAY.

    Cut these useless holidays and get back to work. Ulesi basi, kuzolowera kupemphetsa. Should we be giving you aid money out of hard working yet you spend time celebrating these useless events. Kupusa basi. With the stupid leadership which just aims at appeasing these terrorists, I see this becoming a reality.

    1. Kapolo says:

      My brother before comment against Islam please learn Islam you will find all your answer

    2. out says:

      Silly and stupid idea. Izi Amin sent them packing. The mwenyes grab all contracts here but externalize the money kwao only a few use it to develop Malawi Aboo wapanga ciani kuno cowoneka. Azipita kwawo we are not a Muslim country. In a democracy the majority rules. We are a Christian country go to hell. Why r we allowing this nonsense can a Malawian born in India or Pakistan demand a Christian holiday there. Akulitora boma coz of our own tax money. Stupid pitani kwanu timacha inu chipembedzo cakupha.

  9. Stanley says:

    Why boko haram vs boko haram who is right or who is wrong? Go to said Arabia and ask for public holiday.

  10. Matey U .Mopiya says:

    Mr Aboo don’t confuse us ,where did you get the figure of 5 million,in Malawi they are about 1.600 million Muslims check with the NSO .Do they have Christian holidays in Malaysia or Indonesia?

  11. Concerned says:

    @ hekima

    Only the day of judgement will tell my brother. And talking windows will not solve your problem. Plse get Devine help. The people in shorts really have a few good words for every one. Abale Islam

    1. Hekima says:

      @concerned
      you have a big problem and i don’t have one. A shiekh will always be a muslim , in reference to sheikh Dr imraan sharif. Brother, the fact still remains that you know less about Islamic knowledge and better shut your rotten mouth

  12. PHIRI says:

    SIWAAI IBLEES KAY JAHAAN MAIN SABHI TOW KUSHIYA MANA RAHAHAIN

  13. KING SOLOMONS PALACE says:

    I QUOTE SAUDI ARABIA’S GRAND MUFTI-SHEIK ABDUL AZIZ BIN ABDULAH ALSHAIKH SAYING, ” CELEBRATIN BIRTH OF MOHAMED IS SUPERSTITIOUS AND HERESY”THIS I RESEARCHED FROM GOOGLE AND HATE MAKING COMENTS WITHOUT FACTS.THIS IS AS PER SAUDI PRESS AGENCY (SPA).THIS IS IN SUPORT OF LECTURER-SHEIKH IMRAN SHERIFF’S VIEW. NOW THIS MALAWIAN SCHOLAR SAYS HE ONLY SEES NATIVE MALAWIAN WOMEN IN THESE CEREMONIES AND NOT THE INDIAN WOMEN .ISNT THIS DISCRIMINATORY ,OR I CALL IT A YOKE ON MALAWIANS THESE INDIAN MOSLEMS SEE THEMSELVES AS MASTERS TO THEIR MALAWIAN COLEAGUES ISNT THAT ENOUGH EVIDENCE? WHAT A RELIGION? SO FAIZAL ABOO IS ON THE WRONG SIDE OF HIS RELIGION.MY ADVICE TO ABOO AND ALL THOSE WHO SAY ISLAM IS RELIGION OF PEACE IS THIS-PLS CONCENTRATE ON TEACHING YO FOLLOWERS TO AVOID EXTREMISM.WHY DO I SAY SO IT IS BECAUSE THERE IS SO MUCH BLOODSHED IN THE NAME OF ISLAM WORLDWIDE-EG .BOKO HARAM HAS SHED INOCENT BLOOD,TALIBANS KILL YOUNG KIDS AT SCHOO IN PAKISTAN.PLS CONCENTRATE ON THESE AREAS.OPEN YO EYES

  14. Political Analyst says:

    Umbuli and Fanatism!

  15. chims says:

    Malawi should be no different! and the 50 nations should be no different to christianity and must celebrate Christmas including Indonesia,India,Saudi Arabia, Algeria,Pakistan, Afghanistan, Egypt, Libya and what have you.let it start from there and we will give you what you want.please I need your feedback on this mattet.

  16. Achimidzimidzi says:

    This will be first time and may be the only country. Sit down and discuss and don’t start divisions and subtractions.

  17. Hw abt African Traditional Religions. If dat works, fink of kulamba day, m’bona day,hire sellasie day etc. Hw many holidays shal we have?

  18. mzee says:

    Adam king’ombe is tanzanian , and if i may be allowed to ask , do they have a holiday on the said date ?
    MALAWIANS woke up

  19. Im a muslim but I totally disagree to this innovation of this celebration much worse declaring a public holiday,,,,,if Gvt is to declare it let the muslims among themselves vote,,,these Indian-muslims are weak and most of Qadria indivduals are misled by money

  20. Boko says:

    If you want to see that this birthday holiday is useless, Ask Faizal Aboo why he and all those that want this day to be made a public holiday keep their wives and children in doors instead of marching with the rest of the people. Does it mean that this celebration is for the benefit of the black women and their daughters only?

    You Indian Muslims are corrupt people that should not say anything about the deen of Islam. Especially Faizal Aboo you get dirty money and think that if you use it on celebrating this useless holiday then you have cleansed your dirty money. Forget man, Allah is the Knower of everything.

    Why is it that on Eid al-fitr all the Indian families, women and children come out in full to celebrate and not this birthday thing? Wake up black Muslim women don’t be used by these Indians who are getting rich in our name. They go to countries like Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Malaysia and many others looking for donations in our names, when they come here they dish out a few kwachas to a few indigenous Muslims, then use the rest to build their empires while we die in poverty. Then they call TV and radio just to witness their handouts to us to blind the sponsors that they are helping us.
    Shameless hypocrites. Fotseki.

    Sheikh Adam Aman Kang’ombe is a puppet of these Indians because he relies on them for everything, what do you expect from him? He can’t bite the hand that feeds him. He is a useless misguided pompous old man. He can’t think for himself. Don’t take him seriously.

    And you Sheikh Kawinga, what do you know about deen, why don’t you let real learned Muslim scholars respond. Deen is not about what you think, but about what was written by Allah (SWT). You just give each other these titles of sheikhs and think you know something, useless chap. Ijtma ijtma chiani? Can you compare ijtma and this birthday celebration? And fun enough these are the people communities choose to lead them, when they are not knowledgeable of their deen. May Allah guide us rightly.

  21. Concerned says:

    Is this so called sheikh a Muslim. Does he know who put Islam in its place or his head is full of junk filled from the library. Has he been to Muslim scholar school. Zinazi tizisiya mwanja mwa mulungu. Where did he take this knowledge that the prophet was born on the same day that he passed away. Why don’t we have a open debate with this Shiekh at chancellor college and he should bring his facts

    1. Hekima says:

      @ concerned
      stupid concerned !!! If you really don’t know when the prophet died then learn not to put your sub-standard arguments or rather show level of stupidity on this forum.
      It is a well known fact that the prophet Muhammad died on 12 rabi ul awwal the same day he was born ,
      Anyway,it proves to me that unatulukila pa window. Zinthu zinadzi kumafunsa musanalembe pa net chifukwa

  22. koma eeee iesh says:

    How true is this ..same day.same date same time? themselves akutsana they are not focused …wosalola zimenezi…. i dont understand this religion… i see no logic in what ever they do..mulungu azitichitira chifundo

  23. anabel mitawa says:

    Confused lot

  24. boko harram says:

    Yes Indeed we need holiday at least three holiday a year

  25. Kenkkk says:

    Ha ha copy cats, trying to compete with Christmas, jealous basi!!!

  26. MBUZI says:

    When proposing for special special religious minority consideration of a public holiday for your dead and rotten prophet you should be guided by reason. How do you cite examples of Malaysia, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia and implore Malawi to follow in their footsteps in declaring the birth of Muhammad a public holiday? In doing so you overlook the fact that the cited countries are Islamic entities while our’s is a known Christian country. One of the worst mistakes our cabinet would comit is to give a nod to such a desecrating call. BOLA MWANDIMVA.

  27. ASYATU says:

    My foot !!!
    Kawinga a scholar ? From which school ? I have never personally seen kawinga ‘s wife later alone his children marching in the streets on this particular day.

  28. Mtupatupa says:

    When a kingdom is divided it can not stand: United you stand and divided you fall

  29. Hassam jussab says:

    Do Indian women come for Eid Namaaz
    You have said this under influence of who you know it Mr. Sheriff
    Why don’t you tell your fellow indian believers of wahabi sect to take there wifes to ijtema

    1. Hekima says:

      @ Hassam jussab
      iwe ndi mbulinso yina , a person with no Islamic knowledge.what you probably know is fucking prostitutes in
      Dubai and reporting your fellow asians to MRA.
      With due respect learn to keep quiet or else, will let the cat out of the bag

      1. Mr sherif due respect to you but you r also taking orders from you fellow indian master s so pls don’t make us confuses because the same masters of your s r using you

  30. EID AL-FITR———OK, WELL THE GVT WILL SORT OUT THIS——-JUST WAITING WHAT WILL BE NEXT.

  31. opportunist says:

    Zamkhutu

  32. Jonah Ali Sumani says:

    Do not confuse people please.Sheikh mohomed and Sheikh Idrus u want to tell us that to celebrate the birth of prophet Muhammad is a sin?

  33. koma kumalawi kuli zinthu mpaka mpingo kumafuna holiday. Mpaka kumafanizila ndi indonesia. kuno ndiku African. mwina akadapeleka chitsazo chakuno

  34. Patriot says:

    Chokani apa AGALU inu. Olo kwa aluyako kulibe holiday.
    Zopusa basi.
    Za boko haram kuno ayi SHUPITI ZANU.
    Zakhala bwino kuti mukukangana nokha nokha.
    Mwinanso muyamba kumphana posachedwapa paja ndi khalidwe lanu achina al quaedanu, taliban ndi ziphunzitso zonse za muhamad wodibwa ndi agalu komanso khumba.
    Kikiki

  35. MKWAPU says:

    NAFENSO HOLIDAY HINDU

  36. mukhitho says:

    Anthu aboc halamu inu coz sindinaoneko otsata Yesu kuwukira dziko like momwe mumachitira inu alkhaeda inu zopusa basi holiday yachiani

  37. Mtimawanyerere says:

    Mwayambapo, if the proposal was coming from you, then it would have been right, but since is coming from the so called minority, then its wrong. By the way who says they are minority, I would say they are the majority, compared you people trained in Saudi Arabia. Stay focused

  38. lilian says:

    hokoyo.okhaokha kkk.ife ongoonera

  39. Moni says:

    If not careful, Muslims might fall into Satan’s trap by trying to emulate what others do. It’s unfortunate that evil people like Al-Qaida, ISIS, Boko Haram etc.., call themselves Muslims whilst being agents of the destruction of Islam through money. It’s only in Malawi where Islam showed it’s true colors but now with these too many demands because others have, we may begin to tarnish that image. Stop being selfish and follow only the commandments of Allah, don’t add things to satisfy our egos. I urge government not to listen to these calls, we don’t need them. There’s no modern Islam or old Islam, but Islam of all times. No one should equate Islam to any particular time. Musawasocheletse Aslam kuti akaphye chifukwa cha zowonjezera zanu. Ziyara sayenda m’miseu koma imapangidwa usiku pomalalikira anthu za ukulu wa namalenga.

  40. Karo gaii says:

    This is a xnity nation we dont wont the muslims to b involved much in the governace.we shud not forget these r terorist,thy will will terorise malawi if we r not careful.DONT GIV THEM MORE FREDOMS PLZ.more nations r refraining them.thy r the relatives to the masacars ie bokohalam,alshabab,m24,alqaida

  41. zanga phee! says:

    zankutu zimenezo ngati akutsutsana okha palibe chanzeru awa a bokohalaam!

  42. lôok @ them musliz r confused ppo.okhaokha tsopano,ndichifukwa chake amatibulana okhaokha anthu amenewa.

  43. ben wa ben says:

    Amangwetu chichi

  44. tuvitwana says:

    I ADVISE OUR CABINET TO TREAD CAREFULLY HERE. ALL THE COUNTRIES MENTIONED ABOVE WHICH CELEBRATE THE DAY ARE STRICT ISLAMIC ONES. DO THE THESE COUNTRIES ALSO CELEBRATE XMAS? WE CHRISTIANS ARE VERY STUPID, THESE CRIMINALS SLOWLY WANT TO ISLAMISE MALAWI. MTHARIKA B CAREFUL, O KNOW THIZ PIPO IMEET U N GIVE U MONEY BUT
    DON’T SELL MALAWI .
    SEA WHAT IS HAPPENING IN MIGE

  45. Chabecheker says:

    I support sheiks sheriff and kawinga. The indians are very selfish people;they cant allow indian women to marry black malawian men yet the indian men sleep with malawian black girls. This can be described as exploitative racism. The purpose to seek this holiday by indians is to exploit our girls for sex; the request for holiday must be rejected. Malawi has too many holidays instead we need more days to work in order to fix our economy

  46. aphiri says:

    And i quote” to get the mercy of Allah which is prophet muhammad” was (is) prophet muhammad Allah? Lol. Ok mukutelo eti .muli bhoo

  47. ganimunthu says:

    Hehehhe koma asilamu inu mumanamizana kuti mukwana 500000 koma abale
    You can even hardly count 200000
    You can not even reach 1,600,000 please behave……..

  48. Sheikh imran sheriff and Sheikh Salmin Omer Idruss, I salute u 2 guys for great ideas. This shows that u r worshiping true God. U hav shown a very greatest maturity split in a sense that u dnt do God’s things for agaist. T s nt race bt all w are searching palace in heaven. Am christian by faith bt honestly u hv impressed me. My God bless u two guys and other who thinks like u.

  49. jonas says:

    Don’t mention European or Asian countries, mention African countries such as south Africa, Zimbabwe and see if they celebrate as well. Let’s be realistic with our country’s laws on official holidays.

  50. JCInLA says:

    Noooooooooooooooooooooooooo!
    I am a proud Malawian muslim, and what I just read smells sh*t. Never shall Malawi start being dictated by any religion. We should never entertain the idea that we should practice those laws that are in Saudi Arabia, Indonesia etc.
    We should have our own laws, including NOT allowing such a stupid holiday. We muslims should help our country by helping our fellow Malawians in any capacity we can.

  51. Afumu says:

    Can you first propose for eid ul Adha to be declared as a holiday! Think Muslims brothers… UNITE! Aboo all the countries u mention have never declared it a holiday

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