12th of Rabiul awal brings with it great blessings and joy for the Muslims. It is the day when Allah Almighty sent His Most Beloved and the Most Praised Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) to this world to guide the humanity towards ultimate Truth and path of light.
The Nur which shined in the home of Hazrat Bib Amna (R.A), soon spread to the whole world. Even after more than 1400 years have passed, this Nur is still shining with full brightness and is source of Hadayat for the Seekers and Believers.
The Believers celebrate this day as ‘Eid e Milad nu Nabi’. This day is rightly called a Eid because it’s the 3rd and biggest of all other Eids. It was through Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) that we came to know about Allah Almighty and got Holy book ‘Quran Sharif’. On this day we remind ourselves of the unaccountable blessings, kindness and Love which the Muslim Ummah got from Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) and thank Allah Almighty for making us Ummati of His Great Prophet (peace be upon him)
There is neither any mind which can truly realize the status of Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) nor any words which can describe his greatness. Only, Allah Almighty knows because He is the One who Created His Most Beloved Muhammad (peace be upon him) and awarded him ‘Maqam e Mahmood’.
1400 years ago, our forefathers were living in darkness. They had completely forgotten about teachings of Allah Almighty and were worshipping idols. They had become inhuman to such an extent that they used to bury their daughters alive. Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) reminded them about Allah Almighty, taught them Holy Quran and guided them through his Sunnah. The dark ages was transformed into one of the most enlightened age and brought forward great personalities like Hazrat Abu Bakar Siddique(R.A), Hazrat Farooq e Azam (R.A), Hazrat Usman Ghani (R.A) and Hazrat Ali ul Murtaza, Sher e Khuda (R.A). The very people became Champions of Human Rights and gave the example of equality and justice which the world has never seen before. Women got their rights in property and got right of witness. Jannah was put under the feet of mothers and promised to those who would take proper care of their daughters. Even minorities got their due rights.
The Nur of Muhammad (peace be upon him) will remain shining forever even when the sun would stop shining. Allah Almighty has made him source of help and happiness for all the humanity, from the ‘Beginning’ till after the ‘End’. The Mercy of Allah Almighty and kindness of His Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has no boundaries, for sure.
On the eve of Eid e Milad un Nabi believers offer special prayers. Mosques are illuminated and sweets are distributed. Special Mahafil e Naat Khawani are arranged at various places across Pakistan and Fasting is observed by many on the day of 12th Rabiul Awal.
People in Pakistan rightly observe Jashn e Eid e Milad un Nabi (peace be upon him) for Pakistan came into existence through special prayers of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him). Our motherland enjoys special place in his heart. He is always there to help and pray whenever there is need. That’s why I have never seen or read that any Sufi or Spiritual Saint had talked against creation of Pakistan. How could anyone dare to talk against a country which was born due to the prayers of Allah’s Most Beloved Prophet (peace be upon him).
But with great love comes great expectations. We, his Ummaties, his spiritual sons, have more responsibility to follow his teachings and commands while celebrating his arrival. We should be following his teachings like not blocking the passages and not using public resources. I believe, no Believer would ever wish to do something forbidden by him.
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Malaysian Sunni Muslims in a Mawlid procession in capital Putrajaya, 2013.
|Also called||Eid al-Mawlid an-Nabawī (المولد النبوي), Havliye, Donba, Gani|
|Observed by||Adherents of mainstream Sunni Islam, Shia Islam and various other Islamic denominations except a few such as Wahhabism/Salafism etc.|
|Significance||Traditional commemoration of the birth of Muhammad|
|Observances||Hamd, Tasbih, fasting, public processions, Na`at (religious poetry), family and other social gatherings, decoration of streets and homes|
|Date||12 Rabi' al-awwal|
|Frequency||Annual/lunar (every 12 lunations)|
Mawlid or Mawlid al-Nabi al-Sharif (Arabic: مَولِد النَّبِي mawlidu n-nabiyyi, "Birth of the Prophet", sometimes simply called in colloquial Arabicمولدmawlid, mevlid, mevlit, mulud among other vernacular pronunciations; sometimes ميلادmīlād) is the observance of the birthday of the Islamic prophetMuhammad which is commemorated in Rabi' al-awwal, the third month in the Islamic calendar. 12th Rabi' al-awwal is the accepted date among most of the Sunni scholars, while Shi'a scholars regard 17th Rabi' al-awwal as the accepted date.
The history of this celebration goes back to the early days of Islam when some of the Tabi`in (the successors of the Companions of the Prophet) began to hold sessions in which poetry and songs composed to honor the dignity and the righteous example of the Messenger of Allah were recited and sung to overflowing crowds in the major cities of Islamic Civilization.. The Ottomans declared it an official holiday in 1588. The term Mawlid is also used in some parts of the world, such as Egypt, as a generic term for the birthday celebrations of other historical religious figures such as Sufisaints.
Most denominations of Islam approve of the commemoration of Muhammad's birthday; however, some denominations including Wahhabism/Salafism, Deobandism and the Ahmadiyya disapprove its commemoration, considering it an unnecessary religious innovation (bid'ah or bidat).Mawlid is recognized as a national holiday in most of the Muslim-majority countries of the world except Saudi Arabia and Qatar which are officially Wahhabi/Salafi. Shaykh Faraz Rabbani states that the Mawlid is generally approved of across the four Islamic schools of law and by mainstream Islamic scholarship.
|Look up mawlid in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
Mawlid is derived from the Arabic root word (Arabic: ولد), meaning to give birth, bear a child, descendant. In contemporary usage, Mawlid refers to the observance of the birthday of Muhammad.
Along with being referred to as the celebration of the birth of Muhammad, the term Mawlid also refers to the 'text especially composed for and recited at Muhammad's nativity celebration' or "a text recited or sung on that day".
The date of Muhammad's birth is a matter of contention since the exact date is unknown and is not definitively recorded in the Islamic traditions. The issue of the correct date of the Mawlid is recorded by Ibn Khallikan as constituting the first proven disagreement concerning the celebration. Among the most recognisable dates, Sunni Muslims believe the date to have been on the twelfth of Rabi' al-awwal, whereas Shi'a Muslims believe the date to have been on the seventeenth.
In early days of Islam, observation of Muhammad's birth as a holy day was usually arranged privately and later was an increased number of visitors to the Mawlid house that was open for the whole day specifically for this celebration. This celebration was introduced into the city Sabta by Abu 'l'Abbas al-Azafi as a way of strengthening the Muslim community and to counteract Christian festivals.
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 Ahl al-Bayt with presentation of sermons and recitations of the Qur'an.
According to the hypothesis of Nico Kaptein of Leiden University, the Mawlid was initiated by the Fatimids, with Marion Holmes Katz adding "The idea that the celebration of the mawlid originated with the Fatimid dynasty has today been almost universally accepted among both religious polemicists and secular scholars." This Shia origin is frequently noted by those Sunnis who oppose Mawlid. Among Sunnis, the Mawlid celebration emerged in the 12th century, and the first detailed description of a Sunni Mawlid celebration was of one sponsored by emir Gökböri.
Among Muslim scholars, the legality of Mawlid "has been the subject of intense debate" and has been described as "perhaps one of the most polemical discussions in Islamic law". Traditionally, most Sunni and nearly all of the Shia scholars have approved of the celebration of Mawlid, while Wahhabi and Ahmadiyya scholars oppose the celebration.
Examples of historic Sunni scholars who permitted the Mawlid include the Shafi'i scholar Al-Suyuti (d 911 A.H.) who stated that:
My answer is that the legal status of the observance of the Mawlid – as long as it just consists of a meeting together by the people, a recitation of apposite parts of the Qur'an, the recounting of transmitted accounts of the beginning of (the biography of) the Prophet – may God bless him and grant him peace – and the wonders that took place during his birth, all of which is then followed by a banquet that is served to them and from which they eat-is a good innovation (bid'a hasana), for which one is rewarded because of the esteem shown for the position of the Prophet – may God bless him and grant him peace – that is implicit in it, and because of the expression of joy and happiness on his – may God bless him and grant him peace – noble birth.
The Shafi'i scholar Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani (d 852 A.H.) too approved of the Mawlid and states that:
As for what is performed on the day of the Mawlid, one should limit oneself to what expresses thanks to God, such as the things that have already been mentioned: [Qur'anic] recitation, serving food, alms-giving, and recitation of praise [poems] about the Prophet – may God bless him and grant him peace – and asceticism which motivate people to perform good deeds and act in view of the next world.
The DamasceneShafi'i scholar Abu Shama (d 665 A.H.) (who was a teacher of Imam al-Nawawi (d 676 A.H.)) also supports the celebration of the Mawlid as does the Maliki scholar Ibn al-Hajj (d 737 A.H.) who spoke positively of the observance of the Mawlid in his book al-Madhkal. Likewise, the Shafi'i Egyptian scholar Ibn Hajar al-Haytami (d. 974 A.H.) was an avid supporter of the Mawlid and wrote a text in praise of it. This was supported and commented on by the Egyptian scholar and former head of Al-Azhar UniversityIbrahim al-Bajuri and by the HanafiSyrianMuftiIbn Abidin. Another Hanafi Mufti Ali al-Qari (d. 1014 A.H.) too supported the celebration of the Mawlid and wrote a text on the subject as did the Moroccan Maliki scholar Muḥammad ibn Jaʿfar al-Kattānī (d. 1345 A.H.).Ibn al-Jazari (d. 833 A.H.), a Syrian Shafi'i scholar considers the celebration of the Mawlid to be a means of gaining Paradise.
In the Muslim world, the majority of Sunni Islamic scholars are in favor of the Mawlid. Examples include the former Grand Mufi of Al-Azhar UniversityAli Gomaa,Muhammad Alawi al-Maliki of Saudi Arabia, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the primary scholar of the Muslim Brotherhood movement, Habib Ali al-Jifri,Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri,Muhammad bin Yahya al-Ninowy of Syria, Muhammad Ibn Ahmad al-Khazraji, president of the Heritage and History Committee of the United Arab Emirates and Zaid Shakir, all of whom subscribe to Sunni Islam, have given their approval for the observance of Mawlid.
The Mawlid was not accepted by Wahhabis and Salafis. Taj al-Din al-Fakihani (d. 1331), an Egyptian Maliki, considered Mawlid to be a blameworthy innovation that was either makruh or haram. This view was shared by fellow Egyptian Maliki Ibn al-Haj al-Abdari, who added that the celebration was never practiced by the Salaf. However Ibn al-Haj affirms the auspicious qualities of the month of the Mawlid in the most effusive terms and considers Muhammad's date of birth as a particularly blessed time of the year. The Maliki scholar Al-Shatibi considered Mawlid an illegitimate innovation.  The Andalusian jurist Abu 'Abd Allah al-Haffar (d. 1408) opposed Mawlid, noting that had the Sahaba celebrated it then its exact date would not be a matter of uncertainty. The former Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Abd al-Aziz ibn Baz, along with Hammud ibn 'Abd Allah al-Tuwayjiri (d. 1992), another Saudi scholar, in their opposition also argued that there were many worthy occasions in Muhammad's life which he never commemorated, such as the revelation of the first verses of the Qur'an, the Night Journey and the hijra.
The Ahmadiyya fall into the group who oppose Mawlid; however, they hold gatherings called jalsa seerat-un-Nabi commemorating the life and legacy of Muhammad oriented towards both Muslim and non-Muslim audiences. These gatherings are not held on any specific date, rather they may be held throughout the year.
Ibn Taymiyya's position on the Mawlid has been described as "paradoxical" and "complex" by some academics. He ruled that it was a reprehensible (makrūh) devotional innovation and criticised those who celebrated the Mawlid out of a desire to imitate the Christian celebration of Jesus' birthday. At the same time, he recognised that some observe the Prophet's birthday out of a desire to show their love and reverence of the Prophet and thus deserve a great reward for their good intentions. The Salafi writer Hamid al-Fiqi (d. 1959) criticised Ibn Taymiyya for holding this view and stating that "How can they receive a reward for this when they are opposing the guidance of God's Messenger (pbuh)?".
Mawlid is celebrated in almost all Islamic countries, and in other countries that have a significant Muslim population, such as India, the United Kingdom, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, France, Germany, Italy, Russia and Canada. The only exceptions are Qatar and Saudi Arabia where it is not an official public holiday and is forbidden. However, as a result of Wahhabi and other strict traditionalist Muslim influence, since the last decades of the late 20th century there has been a trend to "forbid or discredit" Mawlid (along with similar festivals) in the Sunni Muslim world.
Often organized in some countries by the Sufi orders, 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. A general Mawlid appears as "a chaotic, incoherent spectacle, where numerous events happen simultaneously, all held together only by the common festive time and space". These celebrations are often considered an expression of the Sufi concept of the pre-existence of Muhammad . However, the main significance of these festivities is expression of love for Muhammad.
During Pakistan's Mawlid, the day starts with a 31-gun salute in federal capital and a 21-gun salute at the provincial capitals and religious hymns are sung during the day.
In many parts of Indonesia, the celebration of the Mawlid al-nabi "seems to surpass in importance, liveliness, and splendour" the two official Islamic holidays of Eid ul-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.
In Qayrawan, Tunisia, Muslims sing and chant hymns of praise to Muhammad, welcoming him in honor of his birth. Also, generally in Tunisia, people usually prepare Assidat Zgougou to celebrate the Mawlid.
Among non-Muslim countries, India is noted for its Mawlid festivities. The relics of Muhammad are displayed after the morning prayers in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir at the Hazratbal Shrine, where night-long prayers are also held.
Along with being referred to as the celebration of the birth of Muhammad, the term Mawlid also refers to the 'text especially composed for and recited at Muhammad's nativity celebration' or "a text recited or sung on that day". These texts contain stories of the life of Muhammad, or at least some of the following chapters from his life, briefly summarized below:
- The Ancestors of Muhammad
- The Conception of Muhammad
- The Birth of Muhammad
- Introduction of Halima
- Life of Young Muhammad in Bedouins
- Muhammad's orphanhood
- Abu Talib's nephew's first caravan trip
- Arrangement of Marriage between Muhammad and Khadija
- Al-Mi'radj, or the Ascension to heaven
- Al-Hira, first revelation
- The first converts to Islam
- The Hijra
- Muhammad's death
These text are only part of the ceremonies. There are many different ways that people celebrate Mawlid, depending on where they are from. There appears to be a cultural influence upon what kind of festivities are a part of the Mawlid celebration. In Indonesia, it is common the congregation recite Simthud Durar, especially among Arab Indonesians.
Main article: Urs
In some countries, such as Egypt and Sudan, Mawlid is used as a generic term for the celebration of birthdays of local Sufi saints and not only restricted to the observance of the birth of Muhammad. Around 3,000 Mawlid celebrations are held each year. These festivals attract an international audience, with the largest one in Egypt attracting up to three million people honouring Ahmad al-Badawi, a local 13th-century Sufi saint.
Mawlid an-Nabawi celebrations in Cairo in 1878
The Ottoman flag is raised during Mawlid an-Nabi celebration of Mohammad's birthday in 1896 in the field of municipal Libyan city of Benghazi
An illuminated view of Presidency and Parliament House decorated with colorful lights in connection with Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi celebrations in Pakistan
Under supervision of Shaykh Sufi Riaz Ahmed Naqshbandi Aslami, 2007
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