Authenticity of the Hadith 'Make a mention of the virtues of your dead'

Q: We have a knowledgeable Shaykh who says in gatherings: "Remember all our dead", yet the Prophet's birthday (peace be upon him) is a Bid`ah (innovation in religion). And the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "Have Good mention of your dead". Is this an authentic Hadith from the Prophet? What is the ruling on these gatherings?

A: First: What is mentioned is not the text of the Hadith. It was narrated by Abu Dawud, Al-Tirmidhy, Al-Hakim and Al-Bayhaqy on the authority of Ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with them both) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Make mention of the virtues of your dead, and refrain from (mentioning) their evils. But this Hadith is not Sahih (authentic) because it includes `Imran ibn Anas Al-Makky in its Sanad (chain of narrators), whose narration is classified by Al-Bukhari as Munkar (a weak narration that conflicts with an authentic Hadith). Al-`Uqaily also said that Al-Makky's Hadith has no corroborating evidence. Second: Assuming that this Hadith is authentic, it neither refers to the birthday of the Prophet (peace be upon him) nor to celebrating or gathering on that day. Rather, the indication is to remember the goodness and virtue of him in addition to other Muslims at any time, everywhere and without specification, except for what has been stipulated by Shari`ah. This is a prescribed right of all Muslims in general, and for the Prophet (peace be upon him) in particular, when his name is pronounced in the Adhan (call to Prayer) and Iqamah (call to start the Prayer), Tashahhud (testification recited in the sitting position in the second/last unit of Prayer) in prayer, in Friday Khutbahs (sermons) and such like, provided that there should be no appointment of a specific day, night or gathering. Neither the Rightly Guided Caliphs nor any of the Sahabah (Prophet's Companions) (Part No. 3; Page No. 41) (may Allah be pleased with them) did this, given that they were better in knowing and understanding the Shari`ah and its objectives, more keen to act accordingly and to fulfill the rights of the Messenger (peace be upon him) than us. The best guidance is their guidance. Therefore, celebrating birthdays is a Bid`ah in religion as it goes against the guidance of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and his Sahabah (may Allah be pleased upon them).May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.