Mawlid , the birth day of virtue

 Beyond closing offices and institutions to mark days, it is important to examine the merit beneath to celebrate religious and others festivals. One of the most important festivals on the Ethiopian calendar, Mawlid (the birth day of Prophet Muhammad) is celebrated across the country by the faithful of Islam.

Islamic leaders of the country claimed that the celebration of the prophet’s birth day attributed to the commemoration of a day that brought justice, equality, fraternity and it is the day of culmination of barbarism.

In connection with the 1,496th birth day of prophet Muhammad the Ethiopian Islamic Affairs Supreme Council President Mufti Haji Omar Idris told members of the press on Saturday that: “We celebrate the day for the fact that it is the day of virtue”

Mufti Haji Omar said the day reminds the faithful to work harder for the benefit of the country and the people as well as helping the needy and the displaced ones.

His Highness restated that the festival is a celebration of good deeds and beginning of wisdom, reigning of moral, supporting and helping the needy.

Mufti Haji Omar added that deaths and displacements are on the rise in our country and called on the government to work to stop the deaths, displacements, and destruction of property.

Documents tell that: ‘Mawlid’ is celebrated by Muslims during the month of Rabiulawal, the third month of the Muslim calendar.

Also commonly known as ‘Milad un Nabi’, this day is observed as a public holiday in many countries with a large Muslim population as it commemorates the anniversary of the birth of the founder of Islam and the proclaimer of the Qurʾan.

As the Islamic calendar is based on lunar cycles, the date in the Gregorian calendar will vary each year. The Islamic Calendar is about 11 days shorter than the Gregorian calendar, meaning that in some years this holiday will occur twice.

Prophet Muhammad was born in Mecca on 12 Rabiulawal in the year 570 CE. The prophet’s full name is Abū al-Qāsim Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn ʿAbd al-Muṭṭalib ibn Hāshim.

By his 6th birthday, Muhammad was an orphan and was raised by Uncle Abu Talib and his grandfather Abdul-Muttalib. He learned about business from his uncle and earned a reputation as a trustworthy trader.

It was not until Muhammad was 40 years old that he was commanded by the angel Gabriel, who carried Alah’s message, to declare Alah’s oneness and to shun the idolatry of his tribesmen.

Over the following 20 years, his preaching of the Qur’an which was revealed to him would establish one of the world’s great religions, Islam.

Around the Islamic world, Muhammad’s birthday is celebrated with religious lectures and recitals of verses from the Qur’an, in mosques decorated with lights to mark the occasion.

The basic earliest accounts for the observance of Mawlid can be found in 8th century Mecca when the house in which Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was born was transformed into a place of prayer by Al-Khayzuran. Al-Khayzuran was the mother of a caliph, Harun-al-Rashid.

Though public celebrations of the birth of Muhammad did not occur until four centuries after his passing away, the oldest Mawlid-text is claimed to be from the 12th century and most likely being of Persian origin.

The Sunni and Shia branches of Islam have different ways of marking the day. The Shia community believes that on 12 Rabiulawal, the Prophet Muhammad chose Hazrat Ali as his successor. The Sunni community holds prayers throughout the month and they do not practice mourning on this day.

 BY LAKACHEW ATINAFU

THE ETHIOPIAN HERALD  OCTOBER 19/2021

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