A day to revisit Prophet's life

ABU DHABI — Celebrations on the birthday of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) vary from one Muslim country to another. While some have diverse traditions and customs, all festivities are based on love, compassion and reverence to the Holy Prophet (PBUH).

By Adel Arafah|and Anwar Ahmad (Our staff reporters)

Published: Fri 21 Mar 2008, 9:49 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 6:47 PM

Khaleej Times spoke with Muslims from different countries who are here to find out how they normally paid homage to the Holy Prophet on this auspicious day.

A common response was "reciting the Holy Quran, remembering the Holy Prophet's sayings and following the path treaded by him which is called Sunnah".

Rashid Marai, an Emirati, considered the birthday of Prophet Muhammad "a great day in the life of his family as well as others in the UAE generally."

"On this day, the head of each family preaches to his sons and daughters about the matchless qualities of the Holy Prophet. The day of his birth marks the end of the darkness of ignorance and the beginning of the light of Islam."

Marai explained that a group of nationals usually gathered on the glorious day to listen to speeches about the Holy Prophet and the event climaxed in the evening with a delicious banquet.

Egyptian national Abdul Hamid Mohammed recalled the popular celebrations starting a week in advance of the Holy Prophet's birthday in his country. "Villagers hoist flags and tour all corners of the village, chanting religious songs praising the life and times of the Holy Prophet and round up celebrations in front of a mosque or on a public field. Animals are also slaughtered."

Sudani national Yusri Yusouf talked of religious congregations gathering at different schools on the first day of the Hijrah month of Rabi Al Awwal. "The military musical bands gather before the governor's court and then move towards the town where the procession ends at a celebration field."

Dr Ibrahim Gahouji from Palestine talked of the great celebrations that marked the day in the olden days. "Before the Israeli occupation of Palestine, massive celebrations were held. Well-off people slaughtered animals and distributed the meat to the poor. Large tents were put up to enliven the spectacular day.

"On this auspicious day, worshippers were reminded of the path chosen by the Holy Prophet, his suffering at the hand of infidels, his migration from the Holy City of Makkah to Madina and his struggle to spread his message. Palestinians today only have memories of those pleasant days of the past," he said.

Ahmed, an Emirati living in Abu Dhabi who was attending an art exhibition of the Holy Quran, said: "On this day, we would recite the Holy Quran and perform Nawafils (prayer) and remember the Holy Prophet. I don't support lavish functions on this occasion but this is the time to recall our deeds and review them."

According to Indian expatriate Majeedur Rehman, "We go to mosques and pray till late night. Many Jalse preaching meetings are also organised at various places of the city. Scholars from Islamic seminaries address people and remind them of the importance of this day. Many people offer Fatihaa and visit graveyards of their loved ones to pray."

Rashid Haider of Pakistan said people offered Fatihaa for the Holy Prophet. "They listen to preachings by scholars who remind the audiences about the Prophet's deeds and what is going on in the present day society. Some people visit the Mazars."

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