Introduction: World’s second most observed religion ‘Islam’ has some specific festive occasions out of which Milad un Nabi is the popular one in Muslim culture since the iconic prophet Mohammad took birth on the earth on this sacred day. This festival came in to trend due to tremendous contribution of Prophet Mohammad to Islam whose uttermost good-faith crowned him with the title ‘the most revered personality’ ever recorded in the annals of history.

Occurrence: As per Islamic calendar, Milad un Nabi occurs in the third month. The ‘Shia’ community celebrates this festival on 17th of the month Rabi’ al-awwal while the ‘Sunnis’ observes it on 12th of that month as per Islamic calendar. But Gregorian calendar shows different dates of this festival’s occurrence.

Another name: Id-e-Milad or Prophet’s birthday

History: The origin of this festival is supposed to be laid in history books which confirm it to be 8th century. This is the period when Prophet Muhammad’s house was transformed into a shrine for observing prayer by Al-Khayzuran. Al-Khayzuran was the name of caliph Harun-al-Rashid’s mother. The pioneer- celebrants of this festival hailed from the community ‘Shia’ centuries ago. Animals were sacrificed, huge processions were exhibited and the celebration used to reach culmination by the speech deliverance of the contemporary rulers. The ministers-in-power used to receive precious gifts on this day.

Somewhere in the 12th century, Sunnis also began to celebrate this festive with zest and gusto despite being resisted by many ‘Sunnis’. But massive mass of ‘Sunni’ community began to show their reverence and inclination to the festival by 15th century as well as by 20th century.

Ways of celebration:   

  • Discussion and celebration are conduction regarding the virtuous deeds done by the Prophet, about his birth and about his teaching as well.
  • E-cards are also mailed to the dear-ones for enjoying the advent of the Prophet Mohammad’s birthday.
  • Night long prayer sessions are held.
  • Large procession is organized.
  • Mosques and homes are embellished with buntings and banners.
  • Sandal rites over the symbolic footprints of admirable Prophet Mohammad.
  • Communal feasts are held in mosques and community buildings.
  • Exhibition displaying the images of shrines in the pious cities of Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia are also held.