For the lovers of both Prophets, the year 2015 has been a very special one. For the first time in many years, the birthday of Jesus Christ according to Christians and birthday of prophet Muhammad (PBUH) according to the Islamic lunar calendar have occurred back to back.
Devotees at the Minhaj-ul-Quran centre in Rutherglen paid great respect at the birth of prophet Muhammad (PBUH) known as Mawlid in Arabic on 23rd of December 2015, two days before the birth of Jesus Christ, according to many Christians.
Mawlid has a special spiritual significance to present an opportunity for celebrators to commemorate the birth, the life and the teachings of two of Islam’s most prominent Prophets at the same time; prophet Muhammad and prophet Jesus (Peace & blessing be upon them both). For many this is a spiritual bonanza, to be blessed to have the opportunity to speak about both these great prophets, and translate it into a strong affinity between Muslims and Christians.
Around 200 members of the community, including children, ladies, men and women gathered to mark the birthday of their prophet. It was a joyous event with food for the body, mind and soul.
There was Quran recitation, recitation of poetry in praise of the prophet, followed by lectures from various Islamic scholars across the local and national communities in Britain giving their analysis on the supreme character and the mystical dimensions of the life of the prophet of Islam. Many people and families even came from as far as Bradford in England to attend the enormously successful event.
Honoured guest Imam Habib ur Raham from Central Mosque Glasgow said: “Remembering the prophet at any time is the most virtuous and the most beneficial acts of worship.” Other guests including Shaykh Rehan Raza said: “Just mere happiness of the birth of holy prophet is compulsory on each and every individual follower of holy prophet regardless of which sect they follow.”
The event can be understood through three dimensions -- expression of love for God and his prophet, togetherness of the community, and education. Community leaders used this occasion as an opportunity to teach about and inculcate love for the prophet. The crowning moment of this event is the praise of the prophet's moral character and in that a systematic moral education provided to the young and the old through examples from the life of the prophet.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) continues to inspire, educate and bring literally hundreds of millions of people together to become better human beings. In the Quran (94:4), God says to his prophet: "We have glorified your remembrance," and these Mawlid celebrations are a way in which Muslims participate in fulfilling God's promise to his prophet.
Indeed, the collective remembrance of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is nourishment for the soul.
By Shahid Ashraf Khan (Media Secretary Glasgow)