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Milad an-Nabi Celebrations

Brief Introduction of Eid e Milad-Un-Nabi


Milad un Nabi marks the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

Mawlid or Eid Milad an-Nabi (Qur'anic Arabic: مَوْلِدُ آلنَبِيِّ‎ mawlidu n-nabiyyi, “Birth of the Prophet” Standard Arabic: مولد النبي mawlid an-nabī) is refered to the observance of the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) which occurs in Rabi' al-awwal, the third month in the Islamic calendar.

Eid Milad an-Nabi Celebrations:

During this occasion people decorate mosques, their houses and streets with colourful flags, lightings and other special arrangements are made to express their love for the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Special activities including reciting of the Holy Quran, Mehfal-e-Naat and Qawalis are arranged. The women also arrange Milad Mehfils to pay tributes to Holy Prophet Muhammed (PBUH).

Leading religious scholars highlight the life of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) in different congregations. Milad conferences are also arranged.

Eid Milad an-Nabi is celebrated with very high spirit across countries like Pakistan, India, Indonesia, and many other countries with large muslim population.

More Details:

Muslim parents will tell stories of the Prophet's life to their children. Those Muslims who celebrate this festival do so joyfully. It may seem strange to non-Muslims, but many Muslims do not believe in celebrating birthdays or death anniversaries because there is no historical evidence that the Prophet Muhammad ever did this.

A blessing for the whole universe:

Despite this, large numbers of Muslims do commemorate the birth anniversary of the Holy Prophet, which falls on 12 Rabi-ul-Awwal of the Islamic lunar calendar. This date is important to Muslims because the birth of the Prophet Muhammad is regarded as a great blessing for the whole of humanity.

The Prophet Muhammad is deemed to be the chief of all the Prophets sent on earth and it is to him that the Holy Qur'an was revealed.

A quiet festival:

There are only restricted festivities on Eid Milad–Un-Nabi because the same day also marks the anniversary of the death of the Prophet.

Focussing on the Prophet (PBUH):

The event is marked by public gatherings of Muslims. At these meetings religious leaders make speeches about the life of the Prophet. Stories are told about different aspects of the life of the Prophet, his birth, childhood, youth and adult life. The most important part of Eid Milad-Un-Nabi is focusing upon the character of the Prophet; on his teachings, sufferings, and how he forgave even his most bitter enemies.

Muslims think about the leadership of the Prophet, his bravery, wisdom, preaching and his final triumph over the Meccan Muslims.

Festivities:

As well as recounting the Prophet's life, salutations and songs in his praise are recited. In some countries, streets and mosques are decorated and illuminated at night. Some Muslims donate to charity. Families gather together, feasts are arranged and food is served to guests and the poor.
The earliest accounts for the observance of Mawlid can be found in eighth-century Mecca, when the house in which Muhammad was born was transformed into a place of prayer by Al-Khayzuran (mother of Harun al-Rashid, the fifth and most famous Abbasid caliph). The early celebrations included elements of Sufic influence, with animal sacrifices and torchlight processions along with public sermons and a feast.

The celebrations occurred during the day, in contrast to modern day observances, with the ruler playing a key role in the ceremonies. Emphasis was given to the Ahlal-Bayt with presentation of sermons and recitations of the Qur'an. The event also featured the award of gifts to officials in order to bolster support for the ruling caliph.

The first public celebrations by Sunnis took place in twelfth-century Syria, under the rule of Nur ad-Din Zangi Though there is no firm evidence to indicate the reason for the adoption of the Shi'ite festival by the Sunnis, some theorise the celebrations took hold to counter Christian influence in places such as Spain and Morocco.

Theologians denounced the celebration of Mawlid as unorthodox, and the practice was briefly halted by the Ayoubides when they came to power, becoming an event confined to family circles. It regained status as an official event again in 1207 when it was re-introduced by Muzaffar ad-din, the brother-in-law of Saladin, in Arbil, a town near Mosul, Iraq.

The practice spread throughout the Muslim world, assimilating local customs, to places such as Cairo, where folklore and Sufic practices greatly influenced the celebrations. By 1588 it had spread to the court of Murad III, Sultan of the Ottoman empire. In 1910, it was given official status as a national festival throughout the Ottoman empire. Today it is an official holiday in many parts of the world.


Islamic scholars are divided on whether observing Mawlid is necessary or even permissible in Islam. Some see it as a praiseworthy event and positive development, while others say it is an improper innovation and forbid its celebration.

A number of Islamic scholars, such as Muhammad Alawi al-Maliki, Gibril Haddad, and Zaid Shakir, all subscribing to the Sufi movement, and Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the primary scholar of the Muslim Brotherhood movement, have given their approval for the observance of Mawlid. They cite hadith where Muhammad recommended fasting on Mondays, as that was the day he was born and also the day prophecy descended on him. They suggest that fasting on Mondays is also a way of commemorating Muhammad's birthday. However, there is division among them on the lawfulness of the methods of the celebrations. Most accept that it is praiseworthy as long as it is not against sharia (i.e. inappropriate mingling of the sexes, consuming forbidden food or drink such as alcohol, playing music etc).

Notable scholars who consider Mawlid to be bid'ah and forbid its celebration include Muhammad Taqi Usmani, a Hanafi scholar from Pakistan who has served as a judge on the Shariah Appellate Bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and subscribes to the Deobandi movement, and Abd-al-Aziz ibn Abd-Allah ibn Baaz, who was the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia subscribing to the Salafi movement. Although all agree that the birth of Muhammad was the most significant event in Islamic history, they point out that the companions of Muhammad and the next generation of Muslims did not observe this event. Furthermore, they highlight that Muhammad did not observe the birth or death anniversaries of his family and loved ones, including that of his first wife Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, nor did he advise his followers to observe his birthday.


Milad Procession in India. Blackburn, UK Under supervision of Shaykh Sufi Riaz Ahmed Naqshbandi Aslami Where Mawlid is celebrated in a carnival manner, large street processions are held and homes or mosques are decorated. Charity and food is distributed, and stories about the life of Muhammad are narrated with recitation of poetry by children. Scholars and poets celebrate by reciting Qaṣīda al-Burda Sharif, the famous poem by 13th century Arabic Sufi Busiri.

Mawlid is celebrated in most Muslim countries, and in other countries where Muslims have a presence, such as Pakistan, India, Britain, and Canada. Pakistan has a national holiday during Eid Milad-un-Nabi whereas Saudi Arabia is the only Muslim country where Mawlid is not an official public holiday. Participation in the ritual celebration of popular Islamic holidays is seen as an expression of the Islamic revival.

Among non-Muslim countries, India is noted for its Mawlid festivities. The relics of Muhammed are displayed after the morning prayers in the Indian states of Jammu and Kashmir at Hazratbal shrine, on the outskirts of Srinagar. Shab-khawani night-long prayers held at the Hazratbal shrine are attended by thousands.

During Pakistan's Mawlid celebration, the national flag is hoisted on all public buildings, and a 31 gun salute in the federal capital and a 21 gun salute at the provincial headquarters are fired at dawn. The cinemas shows religious rather than secular films on 11th and 12th Rabi-ul-Awwal.

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