Eid-Milad-un-Nabi – History and Importance
The Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday is a commonly known festival in Muslim culture known as Milad un Nabi. It is celebrated in most countries in the world including India. This day is celebrated to commemorate the day of birth of the Prophet Muhammad. It’s celebrated in the Islamic calendar’s third month. While the Shias are celebrating it on the 17th of the month, according to the Islamic calendar, the Sunni are celebrating on the 12th of the month. In the Gregorian calendar, the date of this festival varies.
The celebration of Prophet’s birthday is believed to have originated in the 8th century when the Prophet Muhammad’s birth house was converted into a house of prayer by Al-Khayzuran. Al-Khayzuran was the mother of a caliph, Harun-al-Rashid. Originally, the festival was celebrated only by the Shias. Centuries ago, the day was celebrated with animal sacrifices and huge processions during the day which culminated with a speech by the rulers. Gifts were also offered to the individuals in power.
How it is celebrated?
According to tradition, parents tell their children stories based on the life of the prophet Mohammad and decorate their homes and mosques with many light lamps.
The day is normally celebrated with a festive arrangement and family get together. This festival’s main aspect is to do charity and help the needy. Families also enjoy the feasts with the needy and taking part in donations.
Apart from this, public gathering and processions also take place where people give speeches highlighting the life of the Holy Prophet.
This festival was adopted by the Sunni somewhere in the 12th century, though with a different date. Although the festival’s celebration was met with some resistance in the Sunni, the festival was adopted in large numbers by the 15th century and began to be observed as a national holiday in many parts of the world by the beginning of the 20th century.
The Milad un Nabi or Mawlid is celebrated in different ways in different parts of the world. For example, in Pakistan, it is celebrated with the raising of the national flag on national monuments followed by a gun salute at dawn. In some other parts of the world, the festival is observed with large processions and a carnival-like atmosphere. There is an atmosphere of bonhomie and people can be seen exchanging gifts and distributing food to the poor. The day is celebrated with the offering of prayers by thousands in mosques and the mosques being decorated with lights. This is a public holiday in most of the Muslim countries.
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