Mawlid an Nabi or Milad al-Nabi is a special day for the believers of Muslim faith. This day is marked by the celebration of the birthday of the final prophet of Islam, prophet Muhammad. The Muslims celebrate Milad al -Nabi on the 12th day of Rabi al-Awwal, the fifth month of the Islamic Calendar.
The Holy Day Of Celebration
The celebration of this holy day centers round the life and preaching of Prophet Muhammad. Both Shia and Sunni Muslims celebrate Mawlid an Nabi with great devotion. They decorate their homes, hold processions and prepare luscious food and distribute them. Learned people of Islam narrate life stories of Prophet Muhammad and the children recite poems. A special part of the remembrance is about the forgiveness of Muhammad even to his bitter enemies. The believers of Islam sing songs and chant special prayers. The Muslims give charity to poor like other holidays.
The Origin Of Mawlid an Nabi
The holiday of Milad al- Nabi was first celebrated in the 13th century and marked the end of a month of celebration. The holiday, the actual day of Muhhamad s birthday then included a sermon, honoring of religious dignitaries and recitation of litanies. The day was celebrated with pomp and grandeur with huge mass commemoration, special gift giving and a sumptuous feast. Later celebration gradually became more subdued. It is said that Prophet Muhammad had advised his followers not to celebrate his birthday with such lavishness. Believing this directive, many conservative sects like the Wahhabiyah consider the celebration of Mawlid an Nabi as idolatrous.
Life Of Prophet Muhammad
Prophet Muhammad entered this world in about A.D 570 and passed away in A.D 632. He established Islam as an official religion and replaced tribal loyalty with egalitarianism. He received a vision of the angel Gabriel at a crucial point in his life and was called into service as a prophet. He again received a second vision of Gabriel and was told to magnify thy Lord .
Muhammad began to preach publicly in Mecca and many people started to follow him. But many people were opposed to him and pose threat to his life so he fled to Yathrib in A.D 622. This 200 miles journey from Mecca to Yathrib is known as Hegira. The Muslim Calendar starts with Hegira.
Mawlid an Nabi In The Western Calendar
Milad al- Nabi falls on the 12th of the fifth month, Rabi-ul-Awwal in the Islamic Calendar. But this date varies in the Gregorian Calendar from year to year because the Islamic Calendar is a lunar calendar while the Gregorian calendar is a solar calendar. Milad al- Nabi will fall on 5th April in 2007.
Therefore, Mawlid an Nabi is a day of joyous celebration for the followers of Islam.