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Festivals - Eid-e-Milad

Eid-e-Milad also known as 'Milad-ul Nabi' or Mawlid is celebrated to commemorate the birth and death anniversary of Prophet Muhammad. It is celebrated on the twelfth day of the third month Rabi-ul-Awwal according to the Islamic calendar. On this day attend religious services at mosques and socialize with loved ones.

Mawlid falls in the month of Rabi' al-awwal in the Islamic calendar. Shias observe the event on the 17th of the month, coinciding with the birth date of their sixth Imam, Ja'far al-Sadiq, while Sunnis observe it on the 12th of the month. As the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar, the corresponding date in the Gregorian calendar varies each year. Milad un Nabi (Birthday of the Prophet Muhammad) Shia Muslims celebrate this 5 days later. Some Muslims do not approve of celebrating the birthday, and regard doing so as a religious innovation. Milad un Nabi (Shia) Birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. Sunni Muslims celebrate this 5 days earlier. Some Muslims do not approve of celebrating the birthday, and regard doing so as a religious innovation.

Id-e-Milad is a festival of both rejoicing and mourning. The festival of Id-e-Milad popularly known as Barah Wafat the twelfth day is one of the important festival in the Muslim calendar. The Prophet was born on the twelfth day of Rabi-ul-Awwal. The celebrations of birthday are subdued as the day also happens to be the death anniversary of Prophet Muhammad. The day is marked by holding religious discourses, reading the Holy book of Quran and giving alms to the poor. This is the third month of the Muslim year. This is usually in September and October. The word 'barah' refers to the twelve days of the Prophet's sickness. In 632 Muhammad fell ill and suffered for several days with head pain and weakness. He succumbed on Monday, in the city of Medina. He is buried in his tomb (which previously was in his wife Aisha’s house), which is housed within Mosque of the Prophet in Medina, is the second holiest mosque in Islam. On such days, there are sermons which are delivered in mosques by learned men. These sermons concentrate on the life and noble deeds of the Prophet.

Prophet Mohammed, son of Abdul Muttalib, of the Qureysh tribe, was born at Mecca in 570AD. From about 610 AD, he began to receive revelations sent down from Allah through angel Gabriel. He spread the word among people, and soon had a small community of followers. Later Islam became one of the most popular religions of the world. In 632 AD, Prophet Muhammad went on a pilgrimage to Mecca followed by thousands of his devotees, where he preached his farewell sermon and later left the mortal world forever. The festival mainly commemorates the teachings and beliefs of Prophet Mohammed. During the twelve days, sermons and Koranic texts narrating the life and noble deeds of the Prophet are recited in mosques.

Learned men and scholars focus their sermons on the life and teachings of Prophet Mohammed and inspire people to follow the path of good life as shown in Quran. Hence, the festival gives a chance to people to introspect their deeds and think of ways of being a better person.

On this day, a 'sandal 'rite is performed. This is done over the symbolic footprints of the Prophet which is engraved in the stone. A representation of 'buraq', which is a horse on which the Prophet is believed to have gone to heaven and this is kept near the footprints of the prophet. The foot is also smeared with sandal paste or scented powder. The house and casket having all of these are elaborately decorated. There are elegies or 'marsiyas' which are sung in memory of the last days of the Prophet. The twelfth day which is also known as the Urs is observed in prayers and alms-giving quietly.During these days, learned men and scholars in mosques, focus on the life and noble deeds of the Prophet and deliver sermons.

In many places hymns are sung and elegies or marsiyas are recited in memory of the last days of the Prophet. Acts of charity are also done by devout Muslims and alms are distributed to the poor and the needy. Later, people invite friends and relatives for a feast


The Garebeg festival celebrating Mawlid in Yogyakarta, Java Island, Indonesia

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 Qa?ida 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 India, Britain, and Canada.[23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30][31] 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 Muhammad are displayed after the morning prayers in the Indian states of Jammu and Kashmir at the Hazratbal Shrine, on the outskirts of Srinagar. Shab-khawani night-long prayers held at the Hazratbal Shrine are attended by thousands.

Other non-Muslim countries noted for its Mawlid festivities are Kenya and Tanzania where it is known as "Maulidi". In Kenya, the most famous place is the coastal island of Lamu and Malindi. In Tanzania the largest celebrations are on the island of Zanzibar.

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.

Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi (Birth of the Prophet) is celebrated on 15th February 2011.

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