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The Friday Message - Issue No: 343 - Unpacking Meeladun Nabi

Salamun alaykum,

Heartiest Felicitations on the Auspicious Occasion of Meeladun Nabi

At the sighting of the crescent of month of Rabi’ ul Awwal, Muslims all over the world celebrate with intense felicitations the occasion of Meeladun Nabi –the birth of our Noble Prophet Muhammad Mustafa SAWW. Meelad / Mawleed in Arabic means birth, birthday, nativity. This occurred on the 17th Rabi’ ul Awwal in the year of the Elephant (Aamul Feel) corresponding to 570 C.E. Some historians also record the birthdate to be 12th Rabi’ ul Awwal.

The variation in dates should not be a cause for differences. For more than three decades, considering this historical difference in dates, the Muslim ummah has been observing the period from 12th to 17th Rabi’ ul Awwal as Usbu’ ul wahdah; the Unity week.

Coming together:

The occasion of Meeladun Nabi is one such day on the Islamic calendar when the sectarian lines blur. Muslims across the world, cutting across political, ideological and cultural differences, join the celebrations together. Around the world numerous events such as the recitation of Quran, dhikr of Allah, poems, salawat, dramas, sporting events, competitions, charity distribution and various other functions are organized at different levels to celebrate and express the joy of this auspicious event of Meeladun Nabi. Through these diverse activities Muslims of all ages come together for the celebrations. This grand commemoration is done with great vigour and fervour to honour the birth anniversary of the Prophet; that great personality who is the best among all creations and who leads mankind out of darkness /ignorance into light/enlightenment.

Such great is the excitement and happiness of this occasion that the whole month of Rabi’ ul Awwal is dedicated towards celebrating this lofty personality.

Why celebrate Meeladun Nabi?

Muslims indulge in these celebrations for several reasons. The birth of Nabi Muhammad Mustafa SAWW, the chosen messenger of Allah is a great boon bestowed upon believers and mankind. For which we are obliged to express our deep gratitude and appreciation in all forms. Meeladun Nabi is a form of expressing gratitude to Allah SWT for this great endowment. These gatherings are a blessed assembly due to the recitation of Quran, dhikr of Allah and salawat poems.In addition lessons/ moral from teaching and lifestyle of the Prophet is gained from discourses delivered. Thus, attendees derive thawab; Divine reward.

Unpacking the true meaning of celebrations:

Whilst the Meeladun Nabi celebrations need to continue with greater vigour, it is essential that the true meaning and purpose of commemorations does not become obscure. One can’t fail to notice that widely the true meaning of Christmas has been eclipsed by the commercialization of celebrating this event. For some people the celebration of Christmas is related only to the festivities for the 25th December and the exchange of gifts for this occasion. This is despite Church leaders being vocal that the essential message of Christmas-the birth of Jesus- needs to be unpacked.

The questions I ask during these days of celebrating Meeladun Nabi are:

  • Is the practice of observing various wiladat and shahadat commemorations the ultimate end for gaining the Divine Pleasure and attaining closeness to Ahlul Bayt?
  • What more needs to be done to realise the true purpose for celebrating Meeladun Nabi, and other wiladat /shahadat commemorations?
  • Is the message of Rasullallah who was Divinely sent as a mercy for the universe being unpacked for emulation so that the Muslim ummah be in a state different than we find it today?

Khushali Mubarak.

Wa ma tawfiqi illa billah

Sheikh Fazle Abbas Datoo
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Resident Alim
Wessex Shia Ithna Asheri Jamaat