Barawafat, popularly known as Milad-Un-Nabi is a festival celebrated by great enthusiasm and joy by Muslims all over the world. Also known as Mawlid, it celebrates the birth of the Prophet Muhammad and falls on the twelfth day of Rabi-ul-Awwal month. Prophet Mohammed was born in 571 A.D. on 12th April at Mecca in Saudi Arabia to Amina and Abdullah. His father passed away before his birth and he had to bear the sorrow of losing his mother at the tender age of six. Homes of devotees and mosques are decorated beautifully with light and colourful flags on this day and a celebratory atmosphere prevails. People participate in colourful processions that comes out on the street chanting slogans about the greatness and virtue of the Prophet. Food, clothes and alms are distributed among the poor and the destitute and the teachings of the blessed Prophet are emphasized.
Among many important festivals celebrated by the Muslim community, Barawafat Festival is counted as a day of celebrating the birth of the Prophet Muhammad. It is also known by the name Milad-Un-Nabi. For celebrating this festival Muslims consider the Islamic calendar that reflects that birthday of the prophet Muhammad occurs in the third month, that is called Rabi' al-awwal.
It is said that this festival is being celebrated since 11th century. Various rituals are performed during the festival. The renowned men in the Mosque deliver sermons, and throw light on the life and noble works of the Prophet and motivate people to walk on his footprints. Public meetings are organised in the mosques where the Islamic religious leaders and scholars makes people aware about the different aspects of the life of Prophet Mohammad. The devotees offer Tribute to him on this day. They also sing religious songs. On this occasion all streets, mosques and buildings are decorated with colourful streamers and banners and are decorated with colourful lights at night time.
In many parts Feasts are arranged and food is offered to the guests and the poor and deserving people without any discrimination of caste. Huge processions pass through the street narrating the story and life- teaching of Prophet. Barawafat Festival is celebrated in all of those countries where any number of Muslims resides. Saudi Arabia is the only Muslim country where there is no official public holiday announced on this auspicious day.
A significant aspect of Barawafat is that it is also the day the Prophet left his worldly abode for the heavens above. Thus Barawafat as such marks both the birth and death anniversary of the holy Prophet. ‘Bara’ means twelve in Urdu and ‘Wafat’ means death and the name derives its origin to the fact that the Holy Prophet passed away after twelve days of sickness.
Activities during Barawafat include:
Decoration of homes, buildings and mosques
Communal meals in mosques and dargahs
Large scale meetings where teachings and virtues of the Holy Prophet is elaborated upon and religious poems (nats) are sung.
By- Anita Aishvarya