5 Countries Where Eid Milad-un-Nabi is Celebrated with Great Religious Zeal
Eid Milad-un-Nabi also called as Mawlid in colloquial Arabic marks the commemoration of the birth of the Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) on the twelfth day of the third month of the Islamic lunar calendar, Rabi-ul-Awwal. Muslims all over the globe celebrate this day with great religious fervor and zest. In several Muslim countries, this day is regarded as a public holiday. Traditions and rituals of various kinds are observed by the Muslims in different parts of the world ranging from religious discourses and recitation of the Holy Quran to giving alms to the poor. This article will take you through the festivities and celebrations arranged by the Muslims in different parts of the world on this most revered of days.
1 – Pakistan
On the occasion of 12th Rabi-ul-Awwal, mosques, streets and buildings are illuminated with profound respect and delicacy. The day starts with a 31-gun salute in the federal capital and 1 21-gun salute in the provincial capitals. Processions are taken out and naats are recited in the remembrance of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). The streets are littered with flags and banners with texts highlighting the importance of this great day. Crowds gather at major spots in the cities to participate in the festivities while models of significant Islamic places including Masjid-e-Nabwi and other holy places are placed in streets.
2 – India
India houses approximately 180 million Muslims who celebrate Mawlid with tremendous zeal. Street processions and functions are held while naats are recited and eminent religious scholars preach sermons on the life and teachings of the Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH). In some parts of India, Muslims perform a ceremony known as the Sandal rite over the symbolic footprints of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) engraved in stone. In places such as Mumbai and Lucknow, processions are taken out and cavalcades move through the streets exhibiting depictions of holy sites in Mecca and Medina. The relics of Holy Prophet (PBUH) are displayed after the morning prayers at the Hazratbal Shrine in the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir.
3 – Tunisia
The day of Eid Milad-un-Nabi is celebrated as a national holiday in Tunisia as schools, banks and markets remain closed for the day. Families get together to share bowls of assida which is a Tunisian dessert that is prepared from Aleppo pine nuts and is composed of layers of cream. The religious observances in Tunisia begin with a grand ceremony at Oqba Ibn Nafaa mosque in Kairouan in which high profile religious and political dignitaries participate. The ceremony includes recitations from the Holy Quran and sermons by renowned religious scholars.
4 – Lebanon
In the southern Lebanese city of Sidon, Sufi Muslims pierce their cheeks with skewers in a ritual to commemorate the birth of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). Whirling dervishes perform in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli as they whirl like planets around the sun turning dance into a form of prayer.
5 – Indonesia
Villagers in western Java perform rituals as symbol of self-purification in commemoration of the birth of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). In Central Java, a ritual is performed in which six cone-shaped offerings called gunungan are carried from the Kasunanan Surakarta Palace to the Agung Mosque to be blessed by clerics before being distributed to the people. Similarly, children who have passed khatam (a Quran reading class) ride horses. The procession is followed by friends of the Quran reading class, family members, and close neighbors. The khataman kids clad themselves in special clothing and adorn their wardrobes with flowers.