What is Mawlid?
It is a well-known fact that almost all region has its messenger or Messiah, who descends to the Earth and spreads the message of God, the message of love and peace. It is not untrue that these messengers have their own significance.
History has proved with written facts to substantiate the information that these messengers walked on the earth and spread the message of God, they spread their messages in many ways, some by doing miracles, some by reciting the order of God.
However, the debate is still going on how much of their existence is true and will still go on until one of the party provides or comes with a tangible proof.
Anyhow these messengers play a significant role in the lives of their devotees of the respective religion.
They hold a strong position, so much so that it is sometimes hard to deny that they are not real. There are many such messengers such as Jesus Christ who is referred as the son of God, who was sent to speak about love and care. Prophet Muhammed is another such example of the messenger of God, who spoke about the teachings of Allah.
In this section we will explore about him, his life and his essence in the Islamic World of which he is said to be referred. Moving on to the main case of this section that is what is Mawlid? It is the celebration of the birth of Prophet Muhammed.
In the Islamic world Prophet Muhammed holds a very firm position, especially among the followers of Islam. Hence this day is important for them.
The day is marked and observed in almost every Islamic dominating country. They observe this day with utmost care and respect.
According to the Islamic calendar the day is supposed to fall somewhere in the third month of their calendar. However, the date varies. It is known that there two major sections of the Islamic followers. There are the Sunni Muslims and the Shia Muslims.
And there it is celebrated or observed on different dates. The date doesn’t vary too much. But they fall under the same month of the Islamic calendar. For Sunni Muslims the date falls on 12th of the third month according to the Islamic calendar.
And for the Shia Muslims the date falls on the 17th of the third month of the Islamic Calendar. The celebration of the birth day of Prophet Muhammed is said to date back long in history.
It is said that the celebration of Mawlid dates back to the period of Ottoman Empire.
It is them who first announced it officially to celebrate the birth day of the messenger of Allah, Prophet Muhammed. The day in all is celebrated by remembering him, his teachings, and his words. The followers of Islam sings songs and observe this day.
What history says about Mawlid?
Now let’s talk about how history has shaped the celebration of Mawlid? How history has molded the observance of this day into what is it now seen and observed? It is said that at the beginning of the celebration or the observance of the day, it was a private affair.
That means it was only celebrated in the private sections of the society and that only few were the ones who joined the celebration ceremony and that it only happened as a private affair.
However, as the days went by and the popularity of the celebration ceremony of the birthday of Prophet Muhammed the messenger of Allah increased, the once private affair was shifted to a wide area.
Here many people could join. Many followers were able to participate in the celebration ceremony of it.
Hence from being a private affair, minimum participants to a wide and a grand ceremony. This is one side of the shaping of the celebration of one of the holy festivals of Islam, Mawlid. When speaking of how and why Mawlid is celebrated.
One obvious reason as previously mentioned many times is that it is said to be the birthday of Prophet Muhammed. Another part of the side considers this celebration for some other important purposes. It serves the purpose of uniting and bringing the power, or holding power.
The celebration of Mawlid in some countries or cities such as Sabta, was introduced by powerful authorities to hold a strong position in that period of time.
History has even witnessed the way of observing the day. It has shown how the celebration ceremony of the birthday of Prophet Muhammed has changed in the due course of time and that is has even witnessed changes in various communities of Islamic world.
Different followers observed the day in various different ways. Of such many ways was sacrificing animals, and holding processions by lightening. There were feast that was organized. People who practice Islam would summon the verses of Prophet Muhammed.
There were verses that sung from the holy book of Islam that is Quran. Followers would recite those verses in order to honor and mark the celebration of Mawlid. Now the present time celebration of Mawlid is seen to be observed in a different fashion.
There are even discussions on who introduced the first Mawlid festival. There are many different stories that are related to the celebration of the day.
And different communities or different sections of the Islamic world present a new interesting theory. However, it is said that the very first celebration of Mawlid with all the substantial evidence, that it was marked in the pages of history was celebrated by Emir or Prince of Gokbori.
How Mawlid is observed in present time?
Mawlid is majorly celebrated by the dominating Muslim populated countries. So much so that there is official holiday for the celebration of the day.
However, there are some countries that do not officially celebrate the festival of Mawlid, some of such countries are Saudi Arabia and Qatar, these countries do not have any official date or day dedicated to mark the holiday. Other than predominately Muslim countries, some countries which has a good amount of Muslim population also celebrates the festival of Mawlid.
Some of such countries are Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, etc. In terms of how the day is celebrated, there are verses from the holy scriptures that are read, vigil that are conducted, processions that are held, feast organized.
Stories of Prophet Muhammed are told and displayed in forms of plays. Prayers are conducted, where everyone joins in to mark the birthday celebration of Prophet Muhammed.