Facing The Ka'aba

September 27, 2023

Significance of Eid-ul-Maulud and why Muslims celebrate the Day

Ramadan Talk

By Miftaudeen Raji

In the spirit of love, governments and Muslims all over the world mark Eid-ul-Mawlid, the commemoration of the birth of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), but not many understand the significance and why Muslims celebrate the Day.

In Nigeria, the Federal Government declares a public holiday to mark the Day. For this year, the government declared Wednesday, September 27, 2023, to mark the celebration of Eid-ul-Maulud. 

The Federal Government, while congratulating all Muslim faithful both home and in the diaspora for witnessing this year’s occasion, urged Nigerians to be tolerant and imbibe the spirit of love, patience, tolerance and perseverance which are deep spiritual virtues that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) exemplified.

Eid-ul-Maulud, an observation of the day when the Islamic prophet Muhammad is reported to have been born, is commemorated in Rabi’ al-Awwal, the third month in the Islamic calendar. 

It is commonly considered by Muslims to be 12 Rabi’ al-Awwal. The date is according to historic speculation and not something that is certainly known.

But, prominent Islamic scholars in the world have established the virtues and importance of Maulud Nabiyy and what to note regarding celebrating the birth of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

Foremost Islamic scholar, Sheikh Muhammad Nasiruddin Albani noted that there is a difference of opinion among scholars of Islam regarding the celebration of Maulid Nabiy.

Sheikh Albani, however, stated that, “It is important to use this occasion to remember and learn from the life of the Prophet Muhammad. His character, his kindness, and his devotion to Allah should inspire us all.”

In an article titled, “Significance of Mawlid An-Nabiy: Why do we Celebrate the Day,” the Chief Missioner, Nasrul-Lahi-l-Fatih Society (NASFAT), Imam Abdul-Azeez Onike Morufu highlighted the importance of of the Day and why Muslim celebrate it.

Imam Onike noted that, since the texts are silent on particular forms by which the love of  Prophet Muhammad (Blessings and Peace be Upon Him) and rejoicing in him had to be observed, the following among others are why people feel the mawlid An-Nabiy is celebrated:

“(1)The famous 20th century imam of al-Azhar Mosque, Sheikh Salih al-Jafari, debunked the claims that based off the celebration of the Noble Prophet’s birthday on the Christian Christmas holiday and therefore a promotion of “shirk” (polytheism) and anathema to the Islamic teachings that there is no deity other than God. 

He therefore stated that the Muslims are celebrating that the Prophet “was born; that the Prophet (peace be upon him) is a creation of God,” making it clear that the Prophet is among God’s creation, while God is beyond creation (Reynolds, 2017).

“(2) The celebration of mawlid increases the love of our Prophet in the hearts of Muslims including children and adults.

“(3) It is an opportunity to remind ourselves what the Noble Muhammad lived for, and also reflect on his teachings.

“(4) Opportunity to showcase the Prophet as  a paragon of love, mercy, compassion, benevolence, generosity, justice and all virtue. Indeed, God says about him: {We have not sent you but as a mercy to the worlds} [Quran 21:107].

“(5) Expression of thankfulness and joy over the coming of the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, the greatest of creation and a mercy to all the worlds: 

“(6) According to Ustadh Salman Yunous, It was a unifying occasion that brought believers together as a lively community of piety. It rooted and expressed their identity as believers, followers, and lovers of the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him. It fostered pride in the community and strengthened connections between individuals.

“I pray may Allah (swt) continue to bless the Prophet (saws), his companions and his followers till the day of Qiyaamah, may He return abundant prosperity to Nigeria and the world at large,” Imam Onike stated.

Sheikh Dahiru Usman Bauchi noted that Maulid Nabiy serves as a reminder of the Prophet Muhammad’s character, his compassion, and his role as a mercy to mankind. 

“It is a time to renew our commitment to follow his noble example and spread his message of peace and unity,” he added.

According to Sheikh Isa Ali Pantami, a former Nigerian Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, the celebration of the Prophet’s birth is a time to strengthen our love for him and deepen our understanding of his teachings. 

“It is an opportunity to bring Muslims closer together and promote the values of compassion, justice, and righteousness,” he said.