Significance of Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi

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When talking about Islamic festivals, we mostly know about Muharrum, Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha, people also observe Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi or Eid-e-Milad. It is a day dedicated to Prophet Mohammad and his teachings.
Though this day is also day of departure of prophet from this ending world but we celebrate it as birthday and not as mourning because his ‘nazool’ (arrival) was more important for Muslims rather his ‘wisaal’(departure). According to popular belief, the Holy Prophet was born on the twelfth day of Rabee-ul-Awwal in 570 CE in Mecca.
Rabi-ul-Awwal is the third month of the Islamic lunar calendar. The Ahl as-Sunnah however, does not specify that one must celebrate “Milad” only on 12 Rabee-ul-Awwal,it can be celebrated at anytime of the year, remembering the teachings of the Prophet. Though widely observed in all the Muslim dominated countries, there is a lot of debate surrounding the festival. While mostly all the sects approve of the festival, few sects like that of Wahhabi and Ahmadiyya oppose it.
Many scholars and historians also believe that in early days no such festivities to celebrate the Prophet’s birthday were in place. In fact, many argue that it was only adopted to counter the festivities Christmas celeb r a t i o n s — t h e birthday of Jesus Christ. While some historians trace the origin of the celebrations to Turkey, few argue it began in Egypt. Followers who approve ofthe celebrations claim that there are many references of Milaad-un-Nabi in the holy Quran. Eid-e-Milad is also called Maulid or Mawlid, since naat and hyms are sung in praise of the Prophet. It is believed that, listening to these recitation one gets worldly and heavenly rewards.
The Sunni and the Shia sects have a different take on the ways of marking the day. The Shia community believes that on this day Prophet Muhammad chose HazratAli as hissuccessor.The Sunni community holds prayers throughout the month and they do not practice mourning on this day. Mawlid is celebrated in most countries with large street processions and decorations of homes or mosques. Food and other offerings are distributed, and stories about the life of Prophet Muhammad are narrated. Poetry or‘naats’are recited after prayers and sweets are distributed among the poor.
Throughout the world, t is an important day for the Muslims and people offer prayers and take part in other ritualistic customs. In Jammu and Kashmir, the relics of Muhammad are displayed at the Hazratbal Shrine, the important Islamic pilgrimage spot on the banks of Dal Lake. In east London, the 34th annual and central jaloos (procession) of Eid-Milad-un-Nabi would be brought on Sunday (Nov 26) from Waltham Forest Council Hall at 11am and will complete its journey at the same place after visiting various roads of the area. Later in the evening, the annual gathering would be held at Waltham Forest Assembly Hall. It’s a day to remember the teachings and kindness of the holy Prophet and the faithful observe his birthday out of a desire to show their love and reverence of the Prophet.
HadratAllama MullaAli Qari narrating the routine of the people of Madina Munawwarah writes; “The people of Madina Munawwarah (May ALLLAH have Mercy on them) used to arrange and attend mawlid gatherings with great enthusiasm and sincerity on the occasion of Mawlid Sharif.” [Mawrid ar-Rawi Fi Mawlid an-Nabawi, Page 29] Ibn Jauzi says;“People of Haramain Shareefain (Makkah and Madinah) and Egypt and Yemen and Syria and of the eastern and western cities of Arabia hold functions in celebration of the birth of the Prophet (PBUH), they rejoice at the sighting of the moon of Rabi al-Awwal, bathe and put on their best dresses adorn themselves in various ways, put on scent, and give alms with great joy, and exert themselves in listening to the Mawlid of the Prophet (PBUH). By doing so, they themselves attain to success, as it has been proved that by celebrating the Mawlid of the Prophet (PBUH) much good accrues the whole year round, security and comfort, greater means of livelihood, increase in children and in wealth, peace in cities and contentment and peace in homes.”
Gatherings of Mawlid an-Nabi (PBUH) first appeared in the 3rd/4th Hijri.Then 700 years back from today, a pious and virtuous person named Umer bin Mullah Muhammad Mousli (يضر هللا هنع (established it on regular basis. Following him the great commander Sultan SalahuddinAyyubi’s dearly loved Sultan Arbal Malik Abu Saeed Muzaffar al-Din celebrated Mawlid an-Nabi officially. Ibn-e-Khalqaan Arabali Sha’fai was eyewitness of that festival. According to “Tarikh-e-Mar’at az-Zaman” millions of rupees were spent on those festivities. In the beginning of 7th Century of Hijri Calendar a great Scholar named Abul Khattab Umer Bin Hasan dah’hia QalbiAndalusi Balansi wrote a book on the topic Milad an-Nabi (PBUH) named “At-Tanveer Fi Mawlid as-Siraj al-Muneer”.
In 1207, He went to Sultan Arbal’s castle and presented his book on Mawlid to him, for which he was awarded a thousand gold coinsfrom the Sultan. This wasthe status and respect of Mawlid Shareef in hearts of earlier leaders of Islam. It is stated in Seerah al-Halabiya that “Muslims have been celebrating gatherings of Mawlid Sharifin large cities for some time.” [Seerah al-Halabiyah, Page 80] Shaykh Yusuf bin Ismail an-Nabhani states; “Dwellers of Makkah visits Birthplace of Prophet (peace be upon him) on the eve of Mawlid anNabawi every year and arrange enormous gatherings.” [Jawahir al-BiHar, Page 122] In “Fuyudh al-Haramain”, Shah Waliullah has pointed out: “The birth of the Prophet (PBUH) was celebrated by the people of Makkah who received blessings on account of it.” Summarily, the most significant day in the history of mankind is the 12th of Rabi al-Awwal. The significance of the day is associated with the dignity of the man who was born on this day. The man born on this day was the answer to Abraham’s supplication.
And he was the glad tidings that Jesus Christ gave to his people. His birth had been foretold in previous divineBooks.The Jewsrecognized him as well as one recognizes one’s child. They would even pray against their enemies through him. In short, he is a great blessing forthe whole of humanity.The 12th of Rabi al-Awwal is especially important to the Muslims, because on this day the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) was born.This day takes them back to the memory of the one who led humanity from darkness to light and who is described.