(Last Updated on : 18/01/2014)
Milad un Nabi implies the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad
, the founder of the religion
of Islam. This festival
is celebrated with enthusiasm in Islamic nations and also in India, and is a significant part of the Islamic culture. It is observed in the third month, as per the Islamic calendar. The Islamic Sect
s celebrates Milad un Nabi on 17th of this holy month, while the Sunni
s celebrate the festival on the 12th of this very month. The actual dates of Milad un Nabi differs in the Gregorian calendar. Muslims believed that during the 8th century, the residence of Prophet Muhammad had been modified into a house of prayer by a man called 'Al-Khayzuran', and based on this historic incident, the festival is observed. Al-Khayzuran was Harun-al-Rashid's mother, and Harun was a Caliph. Milad un Nabi was initially observed by the Shia community
and several centuries ago, celebrations of Milad un Nabi was accompanied by large processions during the daytime combined by a speech by the rulers and also animal
sacrifices. The custom of this Islamic festival include that rich gifts must be bestowed upon influential and powerful people of the society.
At a certain point of time during the 12th century, Milad un Nabi began to be celebrated with pomp by the Sunnis, although it was observed on a separate day as compared to the Shias. Originally, the celebration of this Islamic festival witnessed rebellions from the Sunnis, it was embraced as a popular festival during the 15th century. By the beginning of the 20th century, Milad un Nabi began to be celebrated in large numbers across the country, besides being observed in various portions of the world.
Milad un Nabi is a festival which is celebrated in various styles in numerous parts of the world. Some regions of the world follow this festival with the aide of giant processions and a great, festive ambience, almost as large as a carnival. A spirit of cultural harmony is noticed during Milad un Nabi and gifts are freely distributed amongst the poor and underprivileged at this time. Millions of Muslims offer prayers in mosques to mark this festival, and the mosques
are richly adorned with lights. A public holiday is declared in reverence of Prophet Muhammad, during Milad un Nabi in a majority of Islamic countries.