Mawlid, Mawlid al-Nabi al-Sharif or Eid Milad un Nabi is the observance of the birthday of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Most denominations of Islam approve of the commemoration of Muhammad’s birthday; however, with the emergence of WahhabismSalafism and the Ahmadiyya, many Muslims began to disapprove. MawlID is recognized as a national holiday in most of the Muslim-majority countries of the world.
About Mawlid in brief
Mawlid, Mawlid al-Nabi al-Sharif or Eid Milad un Nabi is the observance of the birthday of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Most denominations of Islam approve of the commemoration of Muhammad’s birthday; however, with the emergence of WahhabismSalafism and the Ahmadiyya, many Muslims began to disapprove its commemoration. The history of this celebration goes back to the early days of Islam when some of the Tabi‘un began to hold sessions in which poetry and songs composed to honour Muhammad were recited and sung to the crowds. The first Muslim ruler to officially celebrate the birth of Muhammad in an impressive ceremony was Muzaffar al-Din Gökböri. The Ottomans declared it an official holiday in 1588,known as Mevlid Kandil. MawlID is recognized as a national holiday in most of the Muslim-majority countries of the world with the exception of Saudi Arabia and Qatar which are officially WahhabiSalafi. Some non-Muslim majority countries with large Muslim populations such as India also recognise it as a public holiday. The exact origins of the Mawlids is difficult to trace. It has been suggested by Al-Khayzuran of the Abbasids that Muhammad’s birth was first formalized by Ibn Jubayr in 1183. According to Muhammad in History, Thought, and Culture: An Encyclopedia of the Prophet of God, the significance of the event was established when Muhammad fasted on Monday, citing the reason for this was his birth on that day, and when Umar took into considerationMuhammad’s birth as a possible starting time for the Islamic calendar.
The oldest description of Mawlod dates from the beginning of the 6th century and we are not sure whether it existed before this period. The term is also used as a generic term for the birthday celebrations of other historical religious figures such as Sufi saints. Along with being referred to the celebration of Muhammad, the term MawLid refers to the ‘text especially composed for and recited at Muhammad’s nativity celebration’ or \”a text recited or sung on thatDay\”. According to the majority of Sunni Muslims and some Shi’as, Muhammad was born on the 12th of Rabi’ al-awwal. Many Twelver Shia Muslims on the other hand assert that Muhammad wasborn on the 17th ofRabi’Alawwal and this is the accepted date. Some Shiite scholars such as Kulayni, Saduq, and al-Thani have affirmed the date of the 12-Rabi-Awal. Nonetheless, others contend that the date is unknown and is not definitively recorded in the Islamic traditions. The celebrations occurred during the day, in contrast to modern day observances. Emphasis was given to the Ahl al-Bayt with presentation of sermons and recitations of the Qur’an. The early celebrations, included elements of Sufic influence, with animal sacrifices and torchlight processions along with publicsermons and a feast.