Eid Milad un Nabi or Mawlid al-Nabi al-Sharif is being observed by people across the country on November 20 and 21st, 2018. The festival marks the birthday of Prophet Mohammed, the founder of Islam, also believed to be a messenger of God by Muslims. His birth anniversary is commemorated in the month of Rabi’ al-awwal- the third month in the Islamic calendar. The festival is recognised as a national holiday in a number of Muslim-majority countries. ‘Mawlid’ is derived from Arabic and means ‘birth’. However, in contemporary usage, it is commonly referred to as observance of the birthday of Prophet Mohammed. Mawlid al-Nabi al-Sharif is observed in India, among other countries like Sri Lanka, Canada, United Kingdom, Nigeria, France, Italy, Germany and Russia. The celebrations of Mawlid see followers take out large street processions and homes and mosques may be decorated to mark the day.
Eid Milad un Nabi 2018 Significance
The events for Milad or Mawlid may vary according to the country, but in general the day is observed by Muslims on the 12th or the 17th day of the Rabi’ al-awwal Islamic month. While 12th Rabi’ al-awwal is the accepted date among most of the Sunni scholars, Shi’a scholars regard 17th Rabi’ al-awwal as the accepted date.
According to the BBC, on this day parents narrate stories of the Prophet’s life to their kids and the day is marked with public gatherings, with religious leaders making speeches about the life of the Prophet. The most important aspect of the day is to focus on the teachings of Prophet Mohammed. Families gather together and prepare a feast, which is then served to the guests and is also meant to be donated to the poor. Donating to charity is also considered an important aspect of the Eid Milad un Nabi.
Eid Milad un Nabi Food and Feast
Apart from decorations and illuminations of mosques and houses at night, people also engage in singing salutations and songs in the praise of Prophet Mohammed. Different kinds of foods and dishes are prepared during Eid Milad un Nabi, among which desserts have a special importance. In Tunisia, a dessert prepared from honey, smen (a type of fermented butter) and semolina is usually prepared during Mawlid. Other desserts served during Eid Milad un Nabi include bakhlava and rice or semolina puddings. Tharid or tharida, may also be prepared during Mawlid. Tharida is an Arabic soup dish, which is prepared from broth, stewed meat and bread crumbs. The bread crumbs are roughly crumbled using one’s fingers and added to the dish, in order to thicken the soup.
There is no singular recipe to prepare thairda and the dish has multiple variations and versions in different parts of the world. Honey is said to be the sweetener of choice, during this time.