What is Eid Milad-un-Nabi?

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Eid Milad-un-Nabi is a festival celebrated by the people of Pakistan. This day is precious because of the birthday of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Sunni Muslims observe 12th Rabbi-ul-Awwal (third month in the Islamic Calendar) as Eid Milad-un-Nabi while 17th Rabi-ul-Awwal is observed by the Shia Muslims as the birthday of their sixth Imam Jafar-al-Sadiq

Why they do it?

The celebration of Milad-un-Nabi has observed differences among the Islamic Jurisprudence (Fiqh). Some scholars believe that that celebration of this day should be forbidden and they challenge the holiday legality in light of Islamic law as there is no proof from Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) life of such practice. Others believe that this day should be celebrated festively. However, there is a significant amount of Muslims that celebrate this day with utmost religious zeal.

Starting the day

Starting of the day is with an official 31- gun salute at the federal capital and a 21-gun salute in the provincial headquarters. The national flag is upheaved in all prime buildings including governmental, non-governmental facilities, their Holy place (mosques) and even households are gracefully ornamented and colourfully illuminates at night.

How do they celebrate

The religious scholars and intellectuals gather at the Seerat conferences that are organized at the federal and provincial level to she light on the life of Prophet Muhammad’s, his saying, philosophies and teachings. Naat (poetry written in the praise of Prophet) and Quran recitation competitions are held.

A lot of charity is donated. Food and sweets are distributed among the poor and needy. Moreover, donations are given to support orphanages, widows and asylums for the physical and mental challenges. At the mosques, special prayers are offered and religious leaders and scholars preach the Prophet Muhammad’s teaching. All aspects of his life are discussed such as his morals, forgiveness, kindheartedness, wisdom, bravery, honesty and peace lovingness.

Milad-un-Nabi rallies, congregations and processions take place in major cities of Pakistan. These rallies start from the central location, which can be mosques or any public prominence, passing through the designated routes, back to the starting point.

How do they celebrate

Background

Milad-un-Nabi was first celebrated in Egypt towards the end of the 11th century. The attributed of this celebrations were Quran recitations, public sermons, animal sacrifices and feast.

The public observance of Milad-un-Nabi first took place in Syria by the Sunnis in the 12th century under the rule of Noor-un-Din Zangi. The day was given as the official status as national festivals throughout the Ottoman Empire. Milad-un-Nabi is now formal holiday in numerous Muslim countries throughout the world.

Symbols

Green coloured pennants would be seen often during the procession of Milad-un-Nabi, on mosques and shrines. The green colour is affiliated with being one of the favourite colour of Prophet. Candles and lamp oil are illuminated on the evening of 12th Rabi-ul-Awwal as one of special welcome for the celebration of Prophet’s birthday.

The date of Muslim days differs by 11 days each year as they follow the lunar calendar.

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