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Mosques In India

There are a lot of festivals and celebrations observed by Indians within various states, cultures and religions. Meelad un Nabi is one such occasion which is observed by muslims according to the Islamic lunar calendar. Meelad un Nabi is an official holiday in several states, but many people from other communities know very least about it. Though Meelad un Nabi is not a muslim festival like the two Eid festivals (Ramadhan and Bakrid), it is an occasion marking the birthday of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him).

Who is Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)?

Every nation has a leader and every religion has a messenger. Almost every human on this earth follow someone regarding principles, conduct or general way of life. Muslims follow the footsteps of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in every aspects of life.

God created humans and sent guidance for them to lead a rightful life. A prophet is someone human, who brings a message from God. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) lived around the early 7th century A.D. in the land of present Saudi Arabia. Throughout the centuries, his message spread worldwide and now muslims are living all over the world.

What is the meaning of meelad un nabi?

The word meelad is derived from the Arabic word “walad” which means offspring or birth. Meelad is used to denote birthday. The word nabi is derived from the Arabic word “naba” which means news or message. Hence, a nabi is a person who conveys a message. This term in particular is used for prophets sent by God.

When does it come?

Meelad un Nabi falls on 12th of Rabiul Awwal, the third month of Islamic calendar. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was born on that day, and the name of his parents were Abdullah and Aamina. According to the Julian calendar, it was calculated as 570 A.D. The Islamic calendar Hijri begins after his migration to Madina, and hence his birth year is known in Arabic as ‘aam-ul-feel which means “the year of elephant”. His birth was a historical incident, as the jews were able to recognise the birth of last Prophet by observing the stars.

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Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was born among the prestigious tribe of Arabs known as “Quraysh”. His father Abdullah had passed away before his birth. His mother Aamina passed away when he was a small kid. Hence, he became an orphan since very early childhood. He was later brought up by his grandfather and uncle. This made him to love and care for orphans very much later throughout his life.

What are the Islamic rulings regarding birthday celebrations?

The rulings of Islamic belief are clearly prescribed in the holy text Qur’aan and the Prophet’s sayings. There is no direct text regarding the celebration of meelad un Nabi in any one of them. Also, there is no direct evidence about Prophet and his companions celebrating their birthdays. Hence, a few Islamic scholars do not approve any birthday celebrations.
In many parts of north and south India, meelad un Nabi is observed with a few events such as praising the Prophet and sending salutations called “Salawat” upon him. In a few places, people even recite poetic verses about him.

What can be done on that day?

Though there are no records of observance of meelad un Nabi during the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), muslims worldwide observe his birthday out of their love and respect for him. There is no evidence of birthday celebrations being approved in Islam and hence those who celebrate meelad un Nabi just keep it simple.

The best ways of observing meelad un Nabi would be creating and spreading awareness about the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). This includes educating people about his way of life, his honesty, simplicity and leadership.

P.S. – PBUH stands for Peace Be Upon Him, which is generally used after the Prophet’s name.

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