Allah has given us infinite blessings; so it is an obligation on us to thank Him. Among these blessings the biggest blessing which Allah has mentioned specifically is the birth and prophethood of our beloved Prophet Mohammad. The month of Rabi-al-Awwal is the month of bestowal of this greatest favour. In this blessed month the soul of universe, the beloved of Allah and the king of universe our Holy Prophet came in this world. And as this month arrives, happiness spreads all around the Muslim world. The lovers of Holy Prophet become extremely delighted. Everyone starts singing the encomiums in his praise replete with joy and pleasure. Blessing of Allah descends in every house. In this blessed month, the atmosphere fills with the salutations and salawat and it feels as if lights and colours are showering.
Ways of celebrating Mawlid of Holy Prophet
Love and affection for the Holy Prophet is essential for the faith of every Muslim. His every follower shows his love for him in his own way. Some become more grateful to Allah while some send excessive salutations, some organize assemblies while some conduct processions, some hold ceremonies while some give food to poor people. And many of the fortunate ones show their love and happiness by adorning their homes and streets with lights. In this ambience replete with faith and love for Holy Prophet, the atmosphere echoes with the slogans of “Welcome O dearest Prophet, welcome O dearest Prophet”. From the age of Companions of Holy Prophet till now, the Muslims are celebrating the Mawlid of Holy Prophet in their own ways.
Meaning of Eid Milad-un-Nabi
The word Milad (Mawlid) comes from Wiladat (birth), Eid means celebration and Eid Milad-un-Nabi means celebrating the birth of Holy Prophet.
Way of Allah to celebrate the Mawlid
Allah held the very first assembly for Mawlid in which all the Prophets were present. The purpose of this assembly was to declare the greatness, virtues and qualities of Prophet Mohammad, the beloved of Allah. Allah says about this assembly in sura Al-Imran in these words:
وَ اِذۡ اَخَذَ اللّٰہُ مِیۡثَاقَ النَّبِیّٖنَ لَمَاۤ اٰتَیۡتُکُمۡ مِّنۡ کِتٰبٍ وَّ حِکۡمَۃٍ ثُمَّ جَآءَکُمۡ رَسُوۡلٌ مُّصَدِّقٌ لِّمَا مَعَکُمۡ لَتُؤۡمِنُنَّ بِہٖ وَ لَتَنۡصُرُنَّہٗ ؕ قَالَ ءَاَقۡرَرۡتُمۡ وَ اَخَذۡتُمۡ عَلٰی ذٰلِکُمۡ اِصۡرِیۡ ؕ قَالُوۡۤا اَقۡرَرۡنَا ؕ قَالَ فَاشۡہَدُوۡا وَ اَنَا مَعَکُمۡ مِّنَ الشّٰہِدِیۡنَ ﴿۸۱﴾
Meaning: “And, (O Beloved, recall) when Allah took a firm covenant from the Prophets: ‘When I give you the Book and Wisdom, and then there comes to you the Messenger (who is exalted in glory above all and) who shall validate the Books you will have with you, you shall then, most certainly, believe in him and most surely help him.’ Allah said: ‘Do you affirm, and on this (condition) hold fast to My heavy covenant?’ All submitted: ‘We affirm.’ Allah said: ‘Bear witness then, and I am also with you amongst the witnesses.’ (3:81)
This verse proves that it is the Sunna of Allah to celebrate the Mawlid of Holy Prophet and Allah held the first assembly Himself.
Allah says in sura Al-Maidah:
یٰۤاَہۡلَ الۡکِتٰبِ قَدۡ جَآءَکُمۡ رَسُوۡلُنَا یُبَیِّنُ لَکُمۡ کَثِیۡرًا مِّمَّا کُنۡتُمۡ تُخۡفُوۡنَ مِنَ الۡکِتٰبِ وَ یَعۡفُوۡا عَنۡ کَثِیۡرٍ ۬ؕ قَدۡ جَآءَکُمۡ مِّنَ اللّٰہِ نُوۡرٌ وَّ کِتٰبٌ مُّبِیۡنٌ ﴿ۙ۱۵﴾
Meaning: O People of the Book! Indeed, there has come to you Our Messenger who (clearly) unfolds to you many such things from the Book as you have been concealing and who overlooks many of (your) wrongs (too). There has indeed come to you a light from Allah (i.e., Muhammad [blessings and peace be upon him]) and an Enlightening Book (i.e., the Holy Qur’an). (5:15)
At the time of birth of Prophet Mohammad, Allah showed love for His beloved by creating an environment of celebration in the entire universe. The beloved for whom Allah says:
لولاک لما اظہرت الربوبیۃ
- Meaning: If it was not for you (O My beloved Mohammad) I would not have manifested my lordship.
لولاک لما خلقت الافلاک
- Meaning: If it was not for you (O My beloved Mohammad) I would not have created the universe.
The beloved for whom Allah created the universe, He Himself celebrated his birth more than anyone else.
Hadiths about Mawlid
Hadiths say that at the time of birth of Holy Prophet, Allah illuminated the entire universe and filled it with fragrance. He lighted up the whole earth from east to west by bringing the stars down. Even Bibi Amna (mother of Holy Prophet) saw the castles of Syria in that light. Moreover, Allah opened the gates of paradise and fragranced the heavens. He hoisted the flags from east to west and at the roofs of Kaaba, sent down seventy thousand houris from heaven to earth to welcome the beloved Prophet and appointed many of them at the house of Bibi Amna. He also appointed thousands of angels to welcome him. At the time of birth, the houris gave Bibi Amna a drink from paradise. Allah also gave tongue to all the animals of Quraysh to express their happiness upon Mawlid of the Holy Prophet.
In the joy of Holy Prophet’s birth Allah gave sons to women of Arab throughout that year. So that the ignorant Arabs would not kill any newborn girl according to their tradition in that age. Seventy thousand scented trees laden with fruits were planted alongside the pond of Kawther in the paradise. In delight Allah loaded the trees of Arab with fruits, made the dry fields lush and revitalized the famine struck land. Hence, Allah celebrated the Mawlid of His beloved Prophet in every possible way.
Some poetic words for Holy Prophet
جب کہ سرکارؐ تشریف لانے لگے
حور و غِلماں بھی خوشیاں منانے لگے
ہر طرف نور کی روشنی چھا گئی
مصطفٰیؐ کیا ملے زندگی مل گئی
اے حلیمہ تیری گود میں آگئے
دونوں عالم کے رسولؐ، اللہ ہی اللہ
Meaning: When the beloved Prophet came, even the houris celebrated. The light spread everywhere. We got life due to our beloved Holy Prophet. O Halima! the Prophet of both realms came into your lap. Allah be glorified!
Allah forgives the one who celebrates Mawlid:
When Sobia, the slave of Abu Lahab informed him about the birth of Holy Prophet, he said out of happiness with the gesture of his finger, “Go, you are free from now”. Afterwards, he died as an infidel. One night he came in the dream of Hazrat Abbas and said, “After separating from you I am given severe punishment but on every Monday my finger (with which he freed the slave) is watered. (Sahih Bukhari)
If Allah treats a disbeliever like Abu Lahab well just because he celebrated the birth of Holy Prophet thinking that he was his nephew then what would be the rank of the followers of Holy Prophet who celebrate the Mawlid of Holy Prophet in his love and because he is Allah’s beloved.
Holy Prophet said:
“I am the slave of Allah and I am the seal of Prophets from the time when Adam was between water and clay. I am also the prayer of Ibrahim and the glad tiding of Jesus as well as the observation of my mother when she saw light in which she viewed castles of Syria like the mothers of other Prophets.” (Musand Ahmad, Dalail-e-Nabuwat, Mastadrak)
Celebration before the birth of Holy Prophet
Celebration by king of Yemen
One thousand years before the birth of Holy Prophet, there was a king of Yemen Taba al-Hamiri who had great status and grandeur. He was distinguished in the world because of his intelligence and was one of the five kings who had ruled the entire earth. At that time he had about one lakh thirty three thousand rider soldiers and one lakh thirteen thousand foot soldiers. One day the king left Yemen to conquer the areas around it. When he reached Makkah while conquering, the people of Makkah were not impressed by his even a bit. This made the king furious. One of the ministers told him:
“The people of Makkah are proud on their greatness because they have Kaaba in their city which is the home of Allah. Hence, they do not give worth to anyone because they have the Kaaba.” On hearing this, the king decided to torment this city and ordered for a massacre.
The mysterious disease
As soon as he issued this order, a mysterious disease caught him. Blood started to flow down from his ears, nose and mouth. He suffered extreme pain and no doctor could cure him. A wise man said that he could cure him on a condition that he would answer all his questions correctly. The king agreed. The wise man kept on asking him short questions. When he told the man about his decision of massacre in the city of Makkah, the wise man said:
“O King! This decision is the real cause of your disease which has troubled you for so many days. Withdraw your orders because Kaaba is the home of Allah and He has taken the responsibility of this home Himself.” Thereafter, the king repented with a pure heart, took back his orders and eventually, got rid of this mysterious disease. After that he circumambulated the Kaaba and invited the people of Makah to a grand feast. He prepared a sheath for Kaaba, took all the idols out of it and adorned it.
The king went to conquer Medina
Then he continued his mission and went to conquer Medina. He wanted to attack Medina but the people of Medina were not able to fight him back therefore they closed the gates of the city and enclosed themselves in the fort. Months passed by in this condition but the king could not succeed. One day he found the seeds of dates from the tents of his army. This surprised him because there were no dates in provisions for this journey. When he asked his army, they told him that the people of Medina threw sacks full of dates from the city wall. The king was astonished that he wanted to kill the people of Medina but they were serving his army. In order to know the truth he sent his chiefs to the people of Medina.
Words of people of Medina
People of Medina said, “We came here from distant cities. Some are from Khyber, some from Syria, Egypt while some are from other regions, but we all are Jews. We have read in Torah and Psalms that the last Prophet would come here and we are waiting for that day while living here. According to our holy books, the last Prophet would be gentle, merciful, gracious, kind as well as hospitable. So we are trying to adopt his sacred attributes. ”
Their words and courtesy impressed the king and his heart melted. He thought that the Prophet had not even arrived but the people had started to adopt his attributes, this highly influenced the king. He kept on crying and saying that if he could stay till the time of Holy Prophet he would embrace Islam wholeheartedly. When the Holy Prophet would reach Medina being distressed due to the cruelties of his countrymen, he would serve him.
The king took permission from the people of Medina to see the streets, markets and homes of this city of the beloved Prophet. With a procession he took rounds of the streets and markets of Medina. The condition of his ample desire and infinite happiness was such that he started to say poetry full of pain and passion for the Prophet. Historians say that the procession raised slogans of “O Mohammad! O Mohammad!” And the people of Medina cried a lot while remembering the Holy Prophet.
First procession of Mawlid in the history of world
This was the first procession of Mawlid of Holy Prophet in the history of world. It was taken out thousand years before the birth of Holy Prophet in the city where he was destined to come. After the procession the king cleaned the city of Medina and built here beautiful and grand buildings. He wanted to stay in Medina for the rest of his life and wait for the Holy Prophet but he had to return because of an insurrection in Yemen.
Letter for the Holy Prophet
Before returning, he built homes in Medina for about four hundred scholars. He wrote a letter for Holy Prophet and handed over to the king of Medina requesting him that if he would meet the Holy Prophet, he would give him this letter respectfully and if he could not get this opportunity then he would advise his descendants. Hence, from generation to generation that letter reached Abu Ayub Ansari, the Companion of Prophet Mohammad.
That was the reason why the camel of Holy Prophet sat in front of Abu Ayub Ansari’s house at the time of migration to Medina and the Holy Prophet lived in that house. It will not be wrong to say that the Holy Prophet did not live in Abu Ayub Ansari’s house but in his own house. This is because thousands of years ago one of his true lovers, king Taba al-Hamiri built this house for him and desired that he would live here. Medina was chosen as the city of migration because of Holy Prophet’s first lover Taba al-Hamiri who got the first opportunity to celebrate the Mawlid in this city in the form of procession.
Celebration after the birth of Holy Prophet
This was only the incident of celebration of Mawlid before the birth of Holy Prophet. After his blessed birth, his Companions often celebrated the Mawlid and Holy Prophet always loved this celebration. After he passed away, his lovers continued celebrating the Mawlid in their own ways.
Quotes of scholars
about celebration of Mawlid
Imam Mohammad Bin Zafar al-Makki
Imam Mohammad bin Zafar al-Makki says that it is written in Ad-Dar -al-Muntazim “The lovers of Holy Prophet have been arranging feasts in the joy of Mawlid. Among the people of Cairo who have been arranging feasts with love, the most prominent is Shaikh Abu al-Hasni who is famous with the name of Ibn-e-Qafal.”
Imam Abu Shama
Imam Abu Shama says: “Among our good innovations there are those which we do at the Mawlid. Such as giving alms, virtuous deeds, decorations and other acts to show love towards the Prophet. Apart from obliging the Saints it is also an evidence that the person celebrating the Mawlid has great love and respect for the Prophet. He shows gratitude towards Allah for His greatest favour in the form of Holy Prophet.”
Shah Abdul Raheem
Shah Waliullah’s father Shah Abdul Raheem says, “I used to arrange feast every year for the Mawlid. But once I couldn’t because of poverty. So I distributed roasted chickpeas among people to celebrate the Mawlid. That night I dreamt that those chickpeas were in front of Holy Prophet and he was eating them happily.
Shah Abdul Aziz
Shah Abdul Aziz says, “The grace of month of Rabi al-Awwal is because of the Mawlid of Holy Prophet. The more the followers will send salutations and blessings upon him and arrange food the more grace will descend on them.”
Sultan Mohammad Asghar Ali
Sultan Mohammad Asghar Ali says, “I wish that I keep on listening the praise and encomiums of my Holy Prophet throughout my life as his love is the reason of my being. Life is useless without the love of Holy Prophet.” He used to celebrate the Mawlid of Holy Prophet on a grand level regularly twice a year for which he arranged a lavish feast. Besides these two main celebrations, he used to celebrate the Mawlid during the whole year wherever he went.
Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman
Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman is the present Shaikh of Sarwari Qadri order. He celebrates the Mawlid of Holy Prophet every year on 12th Rabi al-Awwal in Khanqah of Sarwari Qadri order with great splendour. Grand langar is arranged for the devotees. Also on this blessed occasion he gives Ism-e-Mohammad to the seekers of Allah himself. Many seekers are achieving love of Holy Prophet and Divine closeness by covering the spiritual journey under his supervision.
نگاہِ مرشد سے عشقِ مصطفیؐ حاصل
خدا کا قرب دیتی ہے محبت پیر خانے کی
Explanation: The divine sight of spiritual guide blesses with the love of Holy Prophet. One who truly loves the spiritual guide, finds the closeness of Allah.
Sultan ul Ashiqeen says:
“Remembering and praising the sacred self of Prophet Mohammad is worship. Sending salutations and blessings (Darood) upon his marvelous self is another way of admiring him.”
When Muslims were united under the Ottoman Caliphate, they celebrated the Mawlid of Holy Prophet with love, respect, splendour and grandeur. But when the Muslim world dispersed, the umma also lost unity. We pray Allah to unite the Muslims again, free them from nationalism and sectarianism and make one Muslim nation. Amin.
This blog is English translation of an Urdu article of the magazine “Mahnama Sultan-ul-Faqr Lahore” for the month of November, 2019. The title of the Urdu article is:
Aashiqan e Rasool aur Jashn e Eid Milad-un-Nabi
(عاشقانِ رسول اور جشنِ عید میلا دالنبیؐ ). Originally penned by Noreen Abdul Ghafoor Sarwari Qadri from Sialkot. Presented in English by Zainab Moghees Sarwari Qadri, exclusively for websites. Do not forget to visit the original article to which you only have to click the link
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