Rabiulawal in India
The life of Prophet Muhammad, the messenger of Allah, was a lesson for mankind. Born in 570 in Rabi-ul-Awwal, the third month in the Islamic calendar, in the Arabian city of Mecca, Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) received his first relevation from Allah at the age of 40, and started preaching these relevations proclaming the oneness of God.
As humanity stepped into modernisation and soon started forgetting the basic laws of mankind, his teachings have helped us even more in purification of our hearts and his lessons are vital for a blessed and noble lifestyle. More than fourteen hundred years have passed, and his birth is celebrated magnificently to signify that the Prophet will always live in the hearts of the virtuous.
History of the Mawlid
The origins of the observance of the Maulid/Mawlid/Milad-un-Nabi can be dated back to the Fatimid dynasty in eleventh century Egypt and even today, miles away from the origin, the subcontinent shines on the Prophet’s birthday which is celebrated on the 12th of Rabi’ al-awwal.
In India, this day is declared as a public holiday. The holy relics of the Prophet are displayed in Jammu and Kashmir State of India at Hazratbal shrine, on the outskirts of Srinagar. This place is also known as Assar-e-Sharief, madinat-usSani, Dargah Sharief and Dargah. After the morning prayers on the day of Milad-un-Nabi, ‘Shab-khawani’ night-long prayers are held at the Hazratbal shrine which is attended by thousands of people. Muslim devotees across Kashmir Valley even come here on this day to worship.
The day starts by visiting the Masjid and offering special prayers and reciting the preachings of the holy Prophet and the prayers are followed by praises and poetry in the honor of Prophet Muhammad. Sweets and appetizers greet the pious Muslims entering the Masjid and the air carries the essence of happiness and joy. The spirit of togetherness is evident in the charm of the blissful faces and the sparkle of the contented eyes speak more than the tales.
The cities are soaked in green attires, resembling peace and the serenity of paradise, and the major cities often observe marches and processions, reverberating with slogans praising the Prophet, spreading joy amongst one and all. Night-long prayers and meetings to listen to stories and poems (nats or qasidahs) about Muhammad’s (S.A.W) life, deeds and teachings are carried out in several Masjid’s and community centers in the town, and the buildings and roads often exhibit pictures and posters featuring the mosques in the holy cities of Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.
The Muslim homes have a festive ambience and often cook toothsome delicacies and mouth-watering sweets, and the children are told about the greatness of the Prophet and his noble deeds. Prayers are offered and sweets are distributed in the neighbourhood, and certain major spots in the city have food stalls to feed the poor and the needy. Several communities distribute warm clothing to the poor and the food distribution programmes are managed and organized by the people of the society, and working for the noble cause is considering a great honor. Apart from public displays and rallies, several blood donation and medical camps are also organized, distributing fruits at government hospitals and arranging trips for poor children to pleasure places.
The celebrations, no matter how extravagant they are each year, always fall short of expressing the greatness of the affection that every Muslim carries in his heart on the Prophet’s (S.A.W) birthday. The spirit is so vast, that even the non-believers hold a spirit of joy and warmth in their hearts, and are involved in the celebrations just as much, making the preachings of the Prophet even more meaningful and evident. Donations and charity show the concern for our less fortunate brothers and are done on a large scale, truely demonstrating the understanding and love of Islam.[divider]
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