Er­bil cel­e­brates Prophet Muham­mad’s Birth­day

The Kurdish Globe - - NATIONAL -

Er­bil is be­lieved to be the first city in the world that cel­e­brated Prophet Muham­mad's birth­day, known as Mawlud, for the first time dur­ing the time of Sul­tan Al-Muzaf­far. Since that time, peo­ple in Er­bil ev­ery year start dec­o­rat­ing their houses, mosques, shops, and even their cars. The Er­bil Gover­norate also al­lo­cates a bud­get for dec­o­rat­ing the streets with or­na­ments and lights.

Dur­ing the yearly cel­e­bra­tion of the birth­day, which falls on Rabih al-Awal 12th ev­ery year of the Ara­bic cal­en­dar, char­i­ties and alms are given to peo­ple on the oc­ca­sion of the Prophet's birth­day. Memo­ri­als take place in mosques, city cen­ters, mar­kets, neigh­bor­hoods, streets and other places by dis­tribut­ing raw meat, baklava, bis­cuits, sweets, sand­wiches and other foods. Many peo­ple, in­clud­ing chil­dren, go to mosques where the re­li­gious cel­e­bra­tion is held in the pres­ence of the Imam and other Mul­lahs.

The cel­e­bra­tions start usu­ally in the neigh­bor­hoods where peo­ple dis­trib­ute sweets and con­grat­u­late each other on the oc­ca­sion. Then peo­ple head to mosques where singers sing for com­mem­o­ra­tion of Prophet Muham­mad's birth­day. Preach­ers and Imams of the mosques talk about the Prophet's life and features.

"Look how peo­ple are happy, kind, and mer­ci­ful to­day. That is how Prophet Muham­mad was for all of his life. We need to be­have as the prophet be­haved and acted. We as Mus­lims need to re­flect the prophet's features on our lives and if we do that, all peo­ple from other na­tions, races, and re­li­gions will love us," said Ah­mad Jalal, an Imam while preach­ing in Qaysari Mosque.

Jalal asked the at­ten­dees of the cel­e­bra­tion to be­have well not only at the time of the prophet's birth­day but through­out their life pe­riod.

With Imams preach­ing and artists singing re­li­gious songs, sweets were dis­trib­uted among the at­ten­dees. Books and pam­phlets about the prophet's bi­og­ra­phy were pre­sented.

So­ran Omer, one of the at­ten­dees of the cel­e­bra­tion, said" I feel very happy with this great event. I am grate­ful to God for cre­at­ing me as Mus­lim first, Kur­dish and an Er­bil cit­i­zen. I have vis­ited three mosques to­day, and I will go to oth­ers if I have time."

One of the sym­bolic im­ages in the cel­e­bra­tions is peo­ple who have dif­fer­ent views and prac­tice dif­fer­ent re­li­gious be­liefs, send­ing con­grat­u­la­tory mes­sages to their Mus­lim friends.

Muham­mad Noori, an­other at­ten­dant on the oc­ca­sion at the Qaysari mosque, said that re­li­gion is to cre­ate a bridge be­tween dif­fer­ent races, na­tions, peo­ples, cul­tures and col­ors. Re­li­gion is to en­hance so­cial re­la­tion­ships and grow love among peo­ple, and it is also to in­vest dif­fer­ent civ­i­liza­tions and cul­tures.

This year Mawlud was so dif­fer­ent com­pared to the pre­vi­ous years. Many busi­ness­men pro­vided their ser­vices freely for the whole day. Some restau­rants fed peo­ple freely, taxi drivers rode peo­ple for free, and even some bar­bers worked early in the morn­ing un­til late at night with­out re­ceiv­ing money from their clients.

Barzan An­war, a driver who dec­o­rated his car with or­na­ments and words prais­ing the prophet, said "com­mem­o­rat­ing Prophet Muham­mad's birth­day doesn't only mean we have to con­grat­u­late each other, it can be hon­ored by help­ing oth­ers as well. To­day I de­cided to ride ev­ery­body free. I haven't re­ceived a di­nar from any­one so far. I al­ways work for my own but to­day I work for peo­ple."

Due to the unique way of com­mem­o­rat­ing Mawlud in Er­bil, many peo­ple from the other cities of the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion come to the cap­i­tal city to en­joy cel­e­brat­ing the event. Nawzad Ra­sul, who came from Koya city to Er­bil for cel­e­brat­ing Mawlud, said "Ev­ery year I come to Er- bil to take part in the cel­e­bra­tions. Er­bil is distin­guished in com­mem­o­rat­ing re­li­gious hap­pen­ings."

Many TV chan­nels also stopped show­ing their reg­u­lar pro­grams as they ded­i­cated their time for show­ing re­li­gious songs, movies about the prophet's bi­og­ra­phy and trans­mit­ting Mawlud cel­e­bra­tory ac­tiv­i­ties for the whole day.

The Prophet Muham­mad was a re­li­gious, po­lit­i­cal, and mil­i­tary leader from Mecca who uni­fied Arabia into a sin­gle re­li­gious polity un­der Is­lam. He is be­lieved by Mus­lims to be the last prophet sent by God to mankind. Non-Mus­lims re­gard Muham­mad as the founder of Is­lam. Mus­lims con­sider him to be the re­storer of an un­al­tered orig­i­nal monothe­is­tic faith of Adam, Noah, Abra­ham, Moses, Je­sus and other prophets.

Singers sing re­li­gions songs to com­mem­o­rate Prophet Muham­mad's birth­day.

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