Volume 2, Number 4
Rabi` al-Awwal, 1418/August, 1997
Muslims around the World Celebrate Mawlid an-Nabi
Shaykh Nazim Adil al-Haqqani looks on as Azhari Shaykh Mohammed al-Buheiri recites praise of the Prophet (s) in poetry form, from among the thousands of verses he has memorized, in addition to the seven forms of reciting the Quran, in accord with the practice of the Sahaba

The Muslim world is witnessing a revival of faith and love of Allah and His Prophet (s) in this, the month of the Prophet's birth. Mawlid is being observed this year with an incredible revival of love, affection, establishment of the sunna and a return to Islamic principles and moral values. In 61 out of 62 Muslim nations, the entire month of Rabi` al-Awwal is filled with activities to commemorate the coming to this world of the Prophet (s) who surpasses all other prophets, the Perfect Man, whose advent signified the end of Ignorance and Darkness and the coming of the Age of Enlightenment and Salvation for mankind.

From Indonesia to Morocco from Johannesburg to Kazan, Russia, the Mawlid has been celebrated with great intensity and fervor. Only one Muslim country, whose name we will not mention, did not make the 12th of Rabi` al-Awwal a national holiday this year. Nevertheless, even in that country, whose Religious Ministry has declared the Mawlid an "evil innovation", contrary to the rulings of the majority of scholars of Ahl as-Sunna wal-Jama`ah, the majority of its inhabitants celebrated the Mawlid in their homes. Even the rulers of this single country held large Mawlid celebrations throughout this month. In these gatherings to recall the Prophet's birth, his life story (sirah) and his great character are extolled, as Allah said, "we sent you not but as a Mercy to all the worlds." (21:107). In other areas where this country has influence through its petro-dollars, especially the US and Britain, people held Mawlid disguised under many different names, such as "Sirah Conference", "Islamic Convention" and the like.

Despite all the efforts by one nation to prevent the celebration of the Mawlid, none of the Muslim nations followed its controversial stance. On the contrary, 61 out of 62 Muslim nations made the 12th of Rabi` al-Awwal, the 17th of July, a national holiday.

In every Muslim city and town green flags wave on roads, lamps, rooftops and public buildings. Banners fly from motorbikes, cars, trucks and every other kind of vehicle. Processions by neighborhood youth with loudspeakers generate great enthusiasm among children and youth, celebrating this occasion with joy and love. In addition, thousands of youths wearing green turbans and caps indicate a 'Sunna revolution' has begun to come about in many towns and cities.

Shaykh Hisham Kabbani leads the reciting of the Mawlid to the accompaniement of the daff by master drummers from Lebanon and Egypt at Masjid at-Tawheed, ASFA national headquarters, Mtn. View, California.

Sirah book competitions in national, and regional languages are held, Sirah meetings, and seminars at National Centers are conducted by official organizations and even defense forces to mark the day. Newspapers publish special editions, while TV and radio broadcast programs dedicated to the life, teachings and achievements of our Beloved Holy Prophet (s). Movie theaters screen films on Haj, Ziarat and religious programs instead of their usual American and Indian dunya fare. Sweets and fruits are distributed to orphans, the destitute, widows, hospital patients and prisoners. Mawlid an-Nabi celebrations are organised throughout these countries, both public and private with dinners and speeches on the love of the Prophet (s). Mosques are decorated with lights, streamers and banners and every night of Rabi` al-Awwal is filled with the chanting of Quran and the melodious recitation of Mawlid, praising the Prophet (s), and sending salaams on him, as Allah's order "O you who believe, pray on him with all respect" follows Allah's declaration that: "Allah and His angels are praying on the Prophet" (33:56).

Private religious and cultural and social organizations have chalked out programs to celebrate the blessed season throughout the month of Rabi` ul-Awwal, by organising rallies, processions, holding Mahafil Mawlid and Sirah meetings. The streets have been tastefully decorated and illuminated, especially where Mawlid an-Nabi parades pass and stations are set up to offer cold water, fruit juices, sweets, milk and sherbet to marchers.

All-in-all, this is one of the most festive and religious times of year as the people spend most of the month in worship and praise of the Prophet (s), in a way that one might say, reflects in an humble and insignificant way, the love the Companions of the Prophet (s) showed for him. We hope all have been able to share in this blessed season and that none is left out of its benefits derived from praising and increasing in love of the Holy Prophet (s).

[see Departments for fiqh of Mawlid]

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