Eid Miladun Nabi: Creating commotion in the name of love

Published: January 14, 2014
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Millions of lights are put on houses, mosques and shrines during Eid Miladun Nabi and those who refrain from doing so are often termed as ‘not among us’ by those who ‘religiously’ follow this practise. PHOTO: AFP

Millions of lights are put on houses, mosques and shrines during Eid Miladun Nabi and those who refrain from doing so are often termed as ‘not among us’ by those who ‘religiously’ follow this practise. PHOTO: AFP Millions of lights are put on houses, mosques and shrines during Eid Miladun Nabi and those who refrain from doing so are often termed as ‘not among us’ by those who ‘religiously’ follow this practise. PHOTO: AFP

My slumber was abruptly bothered as if I was suffering from sleep apnea. Irritated, I stretched out my hand for my mobile phone. It read 2am and it was a bitterly cold night. Rubbing the sleep from my eyes, it suddenly dawned on me that I was disturbed by Ashiqan-e-Rasool.

It has increasingly become a fashion to celebrate Eid Miladun Nabi in an extremely disquieting way that no sane human being would appreciate. Of course, those who perform these irritatingly annoying tasks would not agree with me and might even deem my statement to be sacrilegious but I beg you to think pragmatically and answer this question,

Are the acts performed during the days of Eid Miladun Nabi rationally acceptable?

During these days houses, public places, mosques and shrines are lit up on a monumental scale. Literally, millions of lights are put on these places to make them glow painfully bright and those who refrain from doing so are often termed as ‘not among us’ by those who ‘religiously’ follow this practise.

I have even seen those people lighting up their houses who hardly ever step inside a mosque to offer their prayers as well as those who are not well-versed in basic Islamic concepts such as Hajj, the six kalmas and so forth.

I wonder why these people do not spend all this money on something productive.

I know that these people will now question why ‘critics’ like me always raise the issue of productivity when it comes to celebrating religious occasions but I honestly believe that the amount of money poured in to light up houses and buildings would have a far more healthy impact on our society if spent in a constructive way.

This does not mean that zealous followers cannot express their love for the Prophet (pbuh); they will just have to do it in a manner that would have been acceptable in his (pbuh) eyes. And I really do not think that he would appreciate the extravagance that is behind the stringing up of these lights and decorations.

Recently, our youth has started indulging in another disturbing fad on the occasion of Eid Miladun Nabi. They spill out on the streets in caravans of silencer-less motor bikes with naats (religious poetry, praising the Prophet) playing on loud speakers fixed onto their bikes. What is galling is that most of these youngsters have little or no religious fervour for the Prophet (pbuh) and many of them just take this as an opportunity to show off their bikes with their killer speeds and stunts in the hope of attracting the opposite sex.

All these acts go against the basic standards of morality.

They do not care that their commotion might disturb the sick or those sleeping, nor do they care that a student might be unable to study due to the racket that they create on the streets. They do not even think that it might distract those who are actually praying and showing their devotion to God and the Prophet (pbuh) in a silent and respectful manner.

Unfortunately, it has become a pastime for these young and restless minds to disrupt the peace and to actually feel a sense of satisfaction in their absurd actions. I fail to understand why they would not rather spend this invaluable time to actually contribute to the society in a positive and meaningful manner.

If these lights and sounds were not disturbing enough, people have also adopted the trend of blocking the streets by placing carpets and traditional shamiyaanas (decoration tents) for laying out a banquet on this occasion. They have no qualms about blocking the road and causing a disruption to the passers-by.

This of course, compels people to alter their route and costs them not just time but money as well in this time of high fuel prices. But do the people who ‘religiously’ put out food and block roads care?

Not at all.

Such a loss of time, money and energy is a national loss which is never taken into account. A more practical and humanitarian solution would be to hold these activities in an empty plot or lawn so that passers-by and those not interested in the activities, are not affected in the least.

In my humble opinion, such an act would actually boost the goodwill among people and make them more tolerant and accepting of each other’s beliefs and practices.

It is an unfortunate fact that these gatherings for Eid Miladun Nabi in mosques and homes cannot be traced back to the Prophet (pbuh) and are practices that have been adopted over time. While I have no objection to gatherings for Milad, I am sure that all sensible Muslims would agree that using such high frequency speakers and garish lighting is not the proper way of celebrating the birth of someone who cared even for the comfort of a sleeping cat.

Religious and cultural occasions are meant to be celebrated in a peaceful manner. After all, these occasions are meant to bring people closer to each other through their shared love and respect for the Prophet (pbuh).

However, the ruckus on our roads before, during and after this auspicious occasion paints quite another picture altogether.

Imran Sahir

Imran Sahir

A blogger, poet and short story writer who loves to contribute to activities building peace, social justice and equality and has offered his services in the non-profit sector. He tweets as @iksahir (twitter.com/iksahir)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Israr

    I wonder why such topics are not discussed by the teachers and mentors at school levels. We need to have such debates at all levels.Recommend

  • subhan

    dear try to be broad minded atleast in thinking
    subhanRecommend

  • deep

    Well you wouldn’t want to stay anywhere in India – where we are not short of festivals and noise.Recommend

  • Waqar Qureshi

    Should we celebrate new year night?
    If such questions were not raised then, why now?
    Yes public comfort must not be compromised at any cost, that will be against IslamRecommend

  • Depth Charge

    I do not understand why Muslims worship prophet Muhammad. Did he not say?

    ““Do not praise me as the Christians praised the son of Maryam. Indeed, I am a slave of Allah. So say, ‘the slave of Allah and His Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam).’”

    Sahih al-Bukharee vol. 6, no. 478.

    Did Allah not say in the Quran (18:110)?

    Say [O Muhammad]: “I am but a mortal man like all of you.

    So why is the prophet’s status exceeded beyond what Allah and he himself said, and why are divinely qualities attributed to him?Recommend

  • Justice Miscarried

    I agree with the author that all religious, political activities must be conducted in a way that does not disturb the non-participants. In my apartment complex of approximately one hundred flats, high frequency loudspeakers blared all night with qawwali and I could not sleep. My neighbor’s very old mother was extremely sick and no one cared. In the first place, loudspeakers should not be used if that disturbs the quiet of other. If they must be used the volume should be lowered so as to remain within the confines of the gathering.
    I am for religious activities and their total freedom but they should not impinge on the freedom of others.Recommend

  • pakistani

    you should have been there celebrating as well..just kiddingRecommend

  • I am Muslim

    I agree with the author. We should see others as well. In our surrounding we have kids youngsters and senior citizens who may be ill or need some peace of mind we should look after it even we can celebrate in simple way like going in mosque and praying for every individual and our country as well.Recommend

  • Zain ul Abadin

    Why do these type of people get so disturbed when someone celebrate these events. Where was the write when many people could not sleep because of new years eve’s fireworks yet knowing it is a total waste of money and got nothing to do with Muslims.Recommend

  • Rija

    12th of Rabi-ul-awal is an auspicious day which accounts for two major incidents in the history of Islam, the birth as well as the demise of our Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H)…

    If we ever ponder over it, we’ll realize that the reason why ALLAH chose the same day for his demise is because he doesn’t want us to either celebrate it wholeheartedly nor mourn intensely over his death, He always portrayed balance in his ways…

    By cutting cake on account of his birthday doesn’t seem the right way ‘at least to me’, the best way to reveal your happiness is by the recitation of Durood…

    (No offense intended)Recommend

  • Rija

    12th of Rabi-ul-awal is an auspicious day which accounts for two major incidents in the history of Islam, the birth as well as the demise of our Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H)…

    If we ever ponder over it, we’ll realize that the reason why ALLAH chose the same day for his demise is because he doesn’t want us to either celebrate it wholeheartedly nor mourn intensely over his death, He always portrayed balance in his ways…

    By cutting cake on account of his birthday doesn’t seem the right way ‘at least to me’, the best way to reveal your happiness is by the recitation of Durood…

    (No offense intended)Recommend

  • acidic

    Very well written, it has not only become a fashion but now been accepted as a part of Muslim’s culture, even though it has nothing to do with Islam, prophet S.A.W and companion’s life…… Now, govts. are also involve so who is good to pay heed to it?
    Recommend

  • effi

    Periodically this occasion will be converted like Christmas. People don’t follow what this man(PBUH) came for and what he said to the people. At the last moments he (PBUH) stressed on offering prayer and we don’t care of prayers even on his birth date. Everyone Muslim is allowed to celebrate this blessing but this celebration ought to be within boundaries. Some nice tips are
    – To celebrate it by reading daroord sherif as many times as one can not necessarily in loud voice.
    – Giving charity as Prophet (PBUH) liked charity.
    – Greet each other in good manner.
    – Tend to offer all of five prayers from now onwards.
    – Promise with yourself to obey as much of sunnah as you can.
    – Don’t showoff for something which will hurt the poor in the neighborhood.

    This kind of celebration are prudent and indeed be impressive to others as well as to our society.Recommend

  • Waqas

    very well written!!!!!Recommend

  • Waqar Qureshi

    FYI: They do not worship. Study before commentingRecommend

  • Kazim

    Your comment sounds that you are very much inspiredRecommend

  • Justice Miscarried

    Yes, New Year celebrations should also not be so loud as to disturb the peace and quiet of others. By all means, everyone should have total freedom to observe their religious events, without however, causing sleepless nights to others. No religion says that you should hurt others or even disturb others with your religious observations.Recommend

  • Justice Miscarried

    Religious exhibitionism is yet another form of religious extremism.Recommend

  • Pappu

    There is no “confirmed” single date of birth or date of death of Prophet as per Islamic scholars. Please read.

    http://islamandpsychology.blogspot.ae/2011/02/date-of-birth-and-date-of-death-of.htmlRecommend

  • Ali

    Muslims do not worship anyone except Allah. On 12th Rabi Ul Awal many Muslims across the world celebrate the birthday of their Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H). They celebrate it because they are happy that their Prphet (P.B.U.H) was born on this day.

    Don’t we celebrate the birthday of our loved ones; our siblings, cousins, friends?

    I am not commenting on that is it correct or wrong to celebrate on 12th Rabi Ul Awal. I just wanted to tell you that Muslims do not worship anyone except Allah.Recommend

  • Ali Tahir

    “Literally, millions of lights are put on these places to make them glow painfully bright and those who refrain from doing so are often termed as ‘not among us’ by those who ‘religiously’ follow this practice.”
    .
    Similarly a lot of people who are following this practice are said to be doing biddat and shirk by the “others”. Muslims in general and Pakistanis’ in particular have this inbred habit to give labels and give judgments about those whom they disagree with. One should live and let liveRecommend

  • Parvez

    Agree.
    This is an extension of what I call ‘ wearing your religion on your sleeve ‘.Recommend

  • Aslam Butt

    I am not supporting the lack of discipline in celebration but your allegation of worshipping is totally false and only points to your close mind (closed by the Saudi mentors)Recommend

  • Muhammad Saad

    Prophet Muhammad S.A.W.W. is the blessing for the entire mankind and nature,, putting these acts on his names is a serious crime, if one is willing to celebrate this he/she can do it the way which doesn’t offend others in their daily routine and other emergency situation. Also we should know where we are spending, we lit up 12500 Diya ( Resmbling Hindu Celebration on arrival of Lakshmi Devi and other gods of their) which needs alot of expensive oil, we lit up billions of bulbs and other things on stolen electricity or even if not this cost is a total waste but it could have been useful if provided needy people to comfort their needs of food, education and medical expenses. This is a serious point people are starving to death and we are spending billions on this celebration which has no clue from Sunnah.Recommend

  • Muhammad Saad

    Prophet Muhammad S.A.W.W. is the blessing for the entire mankind and nature,, putting these acts on his names is a serious crime, if one is willing to celebrate this he/she can do it the way which doesn’t offend others in their daily routine and other emergency situation. Also we should know where we are spending, we lit up 12500 Diya ( Resmbling Hindu Celebration on arrival of Lakshmi Devi and other gods of their) which needs alot of expensive oil, we lit up billions of bulbs and other things on stolen electricity or even if not this cost is a total waste but it could have been useful if provided needy people to comfort their needs of food, education and medical expenses. This is a serious point people are starving to death and we are spending billions on this celebration which has no clue from Sunnah.Recommend

  • Mudassar Nawaz

    My Feelings couldn’t be explained better than this ; Salute to the author ! Please keep writing more & more ! Lucid & candid !!!Recommend

  • Undergrounded

    This is really an a subject that should be addressed. It’s a very common misconception in Pakistan that there’s a third Eid in Islam called “Eid Milad Un Nabi”, whereas this has no link to Islam whatsoever. Neither the Prophet Muhammad PBUH nor his Sahaaba/companions RA celebrated it, which means that making it a part of Islam is an act of bid’at. Certain Islamic sects in Pakistan spend too many resources “celebrating” this event instead of concentrating on following the lifestyle of Prophet Muhammad PBUH. When Islam calls for simplicity in life, such lighting and noisy celebrations are totally against it. Unfortunately today we’re giving bad name to Islam by concentrating on the “rituals” part instead of the “spirit” part of our religion.Recommend

  • Hasan

    I too don’t agree with such hollow, ostentatious displays of diety. Islam doesn’t need such flamboyant shows of virtue, if in truth Pakistanis can’t do justice to Islam in their everyday lives.Recommend

  • tahironly

    hahaha, freedom of expression.
    every one can write and get published his thoughts….
    why author is hiding his eye after write such free soul article..kiddingRecommend

  • Waqar

    But the problem is that celebrating a birthday in Islam is haram…You can ask Mufti of any sect.Recommend

  • http://imransahir.wordpress.com/ Imran khan Sahir

    Thanks for the kind words dear. Will try my best to keep it up and hope to see contribution from people like you too.Recommend

  • Anwaar

    and how about the loudspeakers used during Ashura … and the blockage of roads and juloos during throughout Moharram and Safar…. no article on that….

    and Trust me i am not from the “Barelvi” sect …. but pointing out one and letting the other go doesn’t seem fair…..Recommend

  • Idrees

    The same goes with the ASHURA and CHEHLUM days……. and the same solution should be opted for that tooRecommend

  • GM

    Mr. Author, just watch it must : On Celebrations of Mawlid Un Nabi

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mtu_J4aIjUgRecommend

  • Muhammad Saad

    If anyone thinks that these processions, rallies and lighting is a celebrations, they should carryout processions on highway and lit up the villages who are in serios need of this.Recommend

  • http://www.infopakistan.pk/ Khurram ShahzAd

    I guess we have forgot how to mind our own business. If someone
    decorates their home, it must not offend us. My neighbours dd that, but I
    didn’t, but i didn’t even thought about its right or wrong. It was
    their choice, if they feel good by putting up some lights, let them be.

    However,
    stopping the streets and forcing people to change route, that is
    unacceptable, they could arrange such events but should used some open
    spaces so people are not bothered. Bike stuff you told, I have not
    experienced on this occasion, if it happens, its definitely wrong.Recommend

  • Bill Mugson

    Shame on you Imran Sahir. You are not only a disgrace to yourself but to your country’s culture and also to the parents that brought you up. Merely for the purposes of cheap publicity you went ahead and took on an event of such a high significance to not only Muslims but to everyone around the world. You blame the west but you are the real blasphemous experts sitting right there eating your own roots.Recommend

  • Syed Jawad

    How funny is it ,that you are asking question about what is rational and yet your whole post is a waste of time and full of irrationality.Lighting are pain fully bright?seriously,why you go to a eye specialist ,may be he recommend you to wear sun glasses at night.Its seems you are the only one who is disturbed by the celebration of profit.The people who are celebrating are human too,they also want to sleep at night,they also have children and old persons and patients in their home.But you may be surprised that all of them are happy on this day,noone of them is disturebed because of celebration.Only people on this planet get distured by Eid milad celebration,who dont like the Eid milad concept at the first place,they didn’t like it when theree was no electricity ,no loud speaker,they will not like in future whatever technolgy may come in.All that drama of being rational and asking stupid rational questions is crap.Recommend

  • Razzy

    These folks do not even bother with the Azaan. Many in my neighborhood in India were blaring their speakers even as the Azaan was being recited in nearby mosques. Someone had to actually advise these people to at least turn down their loudspeakers at least during the Azaan nevermind the fact that they hardly even offered to the compulsory prayers. Frankly its just disgusting.Recommend

  • Iftekhar Khokhar

    We need to act upon the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (pbuh). Ethics are the basis of Islamic injunctions. Islam means peace, caring for others, love for all the humanity, service to mankind, …………;and no hatred. Holy Quran & Sunnah emphasize practising moral values. In the light of this, we may judge what is required to be done.Recommend

  • Quantum

    @author – your facial hair and your sad look bothers me. Shall I write a blog about this. Celebrating beloved prophets birthday is a couple of days affair. Can you simply tolerate the rights of other to celebrate. No need to rant about your feelings in public domain, I suggest see a psychiatrist. Next you should blog how people shouldn’t celebrate Christmas, Deewali, moharram, youm kip pour, guru Nanak birthday. You claim to be a poet and peace activists, and you cannot tolerate the celebratory raucous for a day or two. It is sad. Again I defend your right to express your opinion, but on the other hand, you should hear the strong criticism laid against you. Your point of defense is pretty childish.Recommend

  • ovais

    if some one is pregnant or dyeing it is impossible to take one to hospital during muharrams and rabiul awal. Its really a pain for the common man. I know there must be security but those who take out these juloos should realize how the common man is affected. People should stop taking out juloos and let others live as wellRecommend

  • good point and…

    “While I have no objection to gatherings for Milad, I am sure that all sensible Muslims would agree that using such high frequency speakers and garish lighting is not the proper way of celebrating the birth of someone who cared even for the comfort of a sleeping cat.”
    Good point. Now what do you think of Azaan using microphones?Recommend

  • gp65

    Deep,
    Whether it is Navratri or Ganesh Chaturthi, loudspeakers are not permitted after a certain cutoff time – at least in Mumbai. When I was a teenager, we would play Dandia unti 4;00 pm in the night. No longer permitted…
    I tend to agree most with the person who said that a live and let live policy is best. If people spend their own money to celebrate something -it is none of anyone else’s business. But if they do things that inconvenience others e.g. block roads or use loud speakers until late in the night – then for sure it does become a legitimate concern for those who may not want to participate.Recommend

  • gp65

    You may disagree with the author but are you not going overboard when you accuse him of blasphemy?Recommend

  • Farzan

    Completely agreed!Recommend

  • Unknown

    Author is clearly coming from a talibanic (deobandi) point of view. He is denying all the ahadees that show Hazoor PBUH did himself celebrated milad.

    Why don’t you object when talibans do a ijtama at raiwand? Shame on you who hate Muhammad PBUH and his birth.Recommend

  • Saqib

    Absolutely right.All public display must be banned. Matam Cheehlum all in their houses or jamaat khannaas./imem barasRecommend

  • Umar Zakaria

    If we had spent that day as “Lets clean the city” would have been complete our faith on religion by 50% and makes more closer to our beloved Muhammad SAWRecommend

  • Mr Bajwa

    Do not put your nose into, what you do not understand. Why you are trying to hurt millions of people who celebrate Eid_Ul_Nabi.

    Dear do not try to speak on sectarian issue on such public places.Recommend

  • Mr Bajwa

    No one worship Prophet PBUH. But We love Mohammad SAW. Does you never heard:
    “tum main se koi us waqt tak momin nhi ho sakta, jb tak main (Prophet) usko uski aulaad, waldain aur dolat se ziyada azeez na ho jao”

    Does you not heard the order of ALLAH

    “Celebrate the blessings of ALLAH”

    Is prophet not blessing to whole world?Recommend

  • Mr Bajwa

    who said that?Recommend

  • Mr Bajwa

    Order of ALLAH

    “Celebrate blessing of ALLAH”

    And We celebrate it proudly. PROPHET S.A.W is blessing for us all, bigger than all other blessings.Recommend

  • Faizan Qadri

    Its like Rabi ul Awwal is incomplete without Milaads and the sound of Naat everywhere. Its beautiful what we Pakistani create.Recommend