The Friday Message - Issue No: 320 - Unpacking Meeladun Nabi

masjid un nabawiSalamun alaykum,

Heartiest Felicitations on the Auspicious Occasion of Meeladun Nabi

Meeladun Nabi

Meelad / Mawleed in Arabic means birth, birthday, nativity. 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 which 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, taking into account this historical difference in dates, the ummah has been observing the period from 12th to 17th Rabi’ ul Awwal as Usbu ul wahdah; the Unity week.

The occasion of Meeladun Nabi is one such day on the Islamic calendar when the sectarian lines blur, and 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 Meeladun Nabi celebrations. All this grand celebration 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, 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. Lessons/ moral from teaching and lifestyle of the Prophet is gained from discourses delivered. Further such gatherings are a blessed assembly where the recitation of Quran, dhikr of Allah, salawat is performed. Thus attendees derive thawab.

Not all celebrate Meeladun Nabi:

However, some segments of the Muslim community do not favour the celebrations of Meeladun Nabi. They consider it to be bid’a–an innovation; which was not practiced by the Noble Prophet. This group is very vocal in condemning people who arrange or participate in Meeladun Nabi to an extent of considering them to be misguided, disbelievers and destined for hell.
Is it not ironic that a section of the community by opposing Meeladun Nabi celebrations cause disunity in the Muslim ummah whereas the birth of this elevated personality is a blessing and mercy to all mankind and the universe?
Allah SWT, Rabbul ‘aalamin (Lord of the Universe) introduces the Prophet as Rahmatu lill ‘aalamin; Mercy for the Universe: “And We did not send you, but as a mercy to all the universe.”  (Sura Al Anbiya 21:107).

Unpacking the true meaning of celebrations:

Currently the Christian community is observing Advent in preparing for the celebrations of Christmas. 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. Church leaders are vocal that the essential message of Christmas, the birth of Jesus, needs to be unpacked.

What about Meeladun Nabi ?

Whilst the Meeladun Nabi celebrations need to continue with greater vigour, however observing the obscurity of true meaning of Christmas, the questions I ask during these days of celebrating Meeladun Nabi are:

  • Is the true purpose for celebrating Meeladun Nabi being realised?
  • Is the message of Rasullallah who was Divinely sent as a mercy for the universe being unpacked for emulation?
  • Would not the Muslim ummah be in a state different than we find it today?

Likewise, we as a community of Ahlul Bayt followers who passionately observe the days dedicated to the wiladat and shahadat of our beloved Prophet and the Ahlul Bayt a.s.; need to search for answers to the following questions:

  • Is this our practice of observing various wiladat and shahadat commemorations the ultimate end for attaining closeness to Ahlul Bayt and gaining the Divine Pleasure?
  • What more needs to be unpacked in the commemoration of the wiladat and shahadat of the Ahlul Bayt? What else is expected from a mu’min?

Khushali Mubarak.

Wa ma tawfiqi illa billah.

Fazle Abbas Datoo
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Resident Alim
Wessex Shia Ithna Asheri Jamaat

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