What is Barawafat?
“Barawafat” is a festival celebrated by the Muslim community throughout the globe. It commemorates the birth of Prophet Muhammad, the founder of Islam.
It is celebrated, in the Islamic calendar month of – Rabi-al-Awwal, which is the third month.
Though, the exact date of celebration varies for Shia and Sunni clans of Muslim faith. The festival is popularly known as “Mawlid” in Malaysia, where it is celebrated with flamboyance and enthusiasm.
When Is Barawafat In 2021?
Barawafat or Milad-UN-Nabi 2021 will be celebrated on Monday, 10th October- Tuesday 12th October 2021.
When Is Barawafat Holiday in India?
Barawafat is celebrated in the Islamic calendar month of Rabi-Al-Awwal, the third month of Islamic calendar. However, the exact date of Prophet Muhammad’s birth varies with the Sunni and Sia clans of Muslim community.
Sunni scholars accept the 12th day of Rabi-Al-Awwal as the birth date of Prophet Muhammad, while Sia scholars believe 17th day of Rabi-Al-Awwal as his birth date.
What happened on Eid Milad Un Nabi?
The name of Prophet Muhammad was Muhammad Abdullah, and he was born to Amna Khatoon, in 570 CE in the Arabian city of Mecca.
He was the founder of the Islamic religion and the last prophet of the theory of oneness (monotheistic) after Adam, Jesus, Abraham, and other prophets.
Muhammad was orphaned at the age of six, and was brought up by paternal grandfather Abu Talib and his wife Fatima bint Asad.
While young, Muhammad would escape from everyday chorus to pray for long hours in the Hira cave, in the vicinity of the city of Mecca.
Enlightenment came to him when he was 40. He is believed to be visited by Gabriel (an angel) in the cave.
The time was around 610 CE and it was then when Gabriel revealed the beginning of the Quran to Muhammad.
Later, Muhammad started publically preaching the revelations. He projected himself as the messenger of God and professed the theory of “God is one” and that complete submission to Islam is the only feasible solution.
Initially Muhammad’s followers were few and he faced formidable opposition from Meccan Polytheists, who believed in multiple deities.
In 615 CE, to save his followers from getting prosecuted, Muhammad sent them to the Kingdom of Aksum, which constitutes modern-day northern Ethiopia and the state of Eritrea.
After seven years, in 622, Prophet Muhammad and his followers migrated to the city of Medina, 300 Km north of Mecca.
This particular event of Prophet Muhammad’s escape from Mecca, reportedly fearing assassination, is called “Hegira” and marks the beginning of the Islamic Hijri calendar.
Shortly after his arrival to Medina, Prophet Muhammad derived a Charter of Medina, also called the Constitution of Medina.
He united various tribes of Medina and led many intermittent fights between Medina and Mecca Tribes.
In December 629, Muhammad gathered an army of 10000 and marched to the city of Mecca. The army constituted of the Muslims converted from other faiths.
Muhammad’s conquest of Mecca faced less opposition and his army won with minimal bloodshed. In 632 CE, he went on a farewell pilgrimage (Hajj) with all his wives, nominating Abu Dujana Ansari as the governor of Mecca, during his absence.
In the turn of events, Muhammad died of an illness, few months after his return from pilgrimage. By the time of his death, most of the Arabian Peninsula was successfully converted to Islam.
The revelations from God (Allah) that Muhammad reportedly received until his death formed the verses of Holy Quran.
How Is Milad-Un-Nabi Celebrated ?
Barawafat is enthusiastically celebrated in all the countries with significant Muslim population, like – India, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Russia etc.
However, the countries of Qatar and Saudi Arabia don’t celebrate Barawafat, because they follow the doctrine of Wahhabism and Salafism, which disapprove of the commemoration stating it as unnecessary.
In all the rest of the countries, it is celebrated with much glow and fanfare by both the Shia and Sunni Muslim communities.
Barawafat is celebrated like a carnival. Long street processions are taken out by the believers of Muslim faith.
People of the Muslim faith decorate their homes and mosques. Hundreds of devotees carrying green-colored flags could be seen in the procession.
The teachings of Prophet Muhammad and the verses of the Quran are recited; also food and clothes are celebrated to the needy.
In general, the celebration of Barawafat looked like a fair with many simultaneous activities; though, at the core of the celebrations, there is love and respect for Prophet Muhammad.
Feasting is also an important part of celebrations. Various dishes especially desserts have a special place in the celebrations. Desserts prepared from honey, fermented butter and dry fruits are very popular in North Africa.
Various kinds of soups are also prepared as delicacies during the festival. Family and friends gather together to feast on the delicacies.
In the Pakistan’s capital of Islamabad, the celebration commence with 13 gun salutes and also with 21 gun salutes in provincial capitals followed by singing of religious hymns and rhymes.
In India, Barawafat or Milad-Un-Nabi is celebrated with special fervor in Hazratbal shrine at Srinagar in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Night long prayers are held at the shrine which contains an ancient relic of Prophet Mohammed.
Such overnight celebrations and long congregations are taken out on Barawafat, in other Indian cities of Hyderabad, Agra, Hubballi, Mumbai, Firozabad, Aligarh, Muzzafarnagar etc.
Significance of Barawafat
Prophet Muhammad is believed to be the founder of Islam and his birthday is celebrated as Barawafat or Milad-Un-Nabi on the 12th day of Rabi-Al-Awwal by Sunni Muslims and on the 17th day of Rabi-Al-Awwal by Shia Muslims.
On this day, teachings of Prophet Muhammad and verses of Holy Quran are recited in mosques as well as Muslim household. It is the day of public gathering, where people take part in congregations.
Parents, teach their children about the life and teachings of Prophet Muhammad. It gives children a chance to connect with their religious doctrine and understand their beliefs.
Apart from the recitation of holy Quran and the teachings of Muhammad, the festival is also recognized by delicious dishes prepared especially during Milad-Un-Nabi.
Family and friends gather for feasting and food is also given to the poor. There is also a custom of distributing clothes and other usable articles to the poor and needy.