“Seven Day’s Until the Prophet’s Birthday”? Whoa!
This headline caught my attention today. Seven days until Christmas Eve, yes; and eight days until Jesus’ Birthday, yes. From my Christian point of view, this was sounding a bit sacriligious, so I took a moment to look a little closer.
And, as they say on those annoying TV and internet teasers, you’ll never guess what happened next!
The Prophet’s birthday is called Mawlid, which means “to be born,” and was in 570 A.D., on the 13th of Rabail. It seems to be roughly equivalent to our Christmas, but I am just starting to read and will report back after learning more. You see on this entry that the Mawlid cards look very much like our Christmas cards.
Because of differences between the muslim calendar (lunar), the Prophet Muhammed’s birthday, Eid-e-Milad-un_Nabi, occurs on differing dates on our own calendar (solar). This year, he even has two birthdays. The first was earlier this year, and the second coincides with our visit to the United Arab Emirates. It just happens to fall on our Christmas Eve this year – there is no usurpation of Christ’s birthday intended, I don’t think. It could have occurred on other days.
As I see it, the bottom line is that yet another serendipitous blessing has come our way. We will be able to observe this special day of celebration! It will do no harm to our celebration of Christ’s Birth on December 25th. We will spend that day with a group of Christians at a church in Dubai. It is so very interesting to observe the traditions of others.
Quickly, I copied off the contents of 12 articles (80 pages)about Mawlid to read on the way to Dubai. It seems that not everyone feels it is appropriate to celebrate, however, viewing this as verging on Muhammad worship. They prefer to spend the day in extra worship and reading of the Qu’ran. As we would expect, the big party poopers in all of this are the Saudi Arabians and the Qataris. The very conservative Saudis’ reasons are pure, though, ranging from not wanting to imitate a Christian holiday to wanting to ensure that Allah only is worshipped, not his Messenger.
After reading the articles, I may be able to share more. We will arrive the night before, so hope to be awake and functioning by the next day. The Mosque at Abu Dhabi, 60 miles down the road, seems to have a big birthday event, which non-muslims can watch at a distance from the outside. We will learn more about what is happening in Dubai after landing. Sometimes hotels have special events and sometimes there are parades – looking forward to enjoying whatever may unfold.