Maulidin Rasul 1429 Hijra

Last year I remembered describing that I was watching television the night before the Maulid when there was someone from the Religious Affairs Ministry talking about the history of Maulud Nabi or as we now call it Maulidin Rasul - the ceremony to commemorate the birthday of Prophet Muhammad SAW. I was quite intrigued as he was talking about how grand the first celebration was which was surprisingly only held a few hundred years after the death of the Prophet.

It seemed that the first tribe to hold the ceremony was Bani Ubaid Al-Qoddakh who call themselves 'Fatimiyyah' and this tribe came from the Syiah Rafidhah. They entered the City of Cairo in 977 (362 Hijra) and since then the practice of holding maulid spread.

It was not just Maulidur Rasul which was celebrated by the Fatimiyyah but also members of Rasulullah's Family such as Zainab, Hassan and Hussain. They also celebrated other prophet's birthday including that of Nabi Isa A.S. In 488 Hijra, Prime Minister al-Afdal Shahindah stopped all the celebrations as he based it on a kitab Al-Kamel written by Ibnu Al-Atheer. When Al-Ma'moon Al-Bataa'ni controlled the government, the celebrations were allowed.

Then al-Ayubbiah took control, all the celebrations were once again stopped. Though the society at large continued to celebrate the occassion in their own homes. In the 7th century, Prince Mudhafir Al-Deen Abi Sa'd Kawakbri ibn Zein Ed-Deen 'Ali ibn Tabakatikin did the ceremony at the City of Irbil. The prince took a keen interest in the celebrations that he prepared tents and other facilities and took care to watch the celebrations seated in his tent. The celebrations were held on the 8th Rabiulawal or sometimes the 12th.

The celebrations included reciting the history of Rasulullah SAW to slaughtering animals for a feast. According to Ibnu Haajj Abu Abdullah Al-Adbari, the celebrations were widely known during King Mudhafir's era. By the 7th century Hijra, King Mudhafir Abu Sa'ad Kaukaburi held a huge celebration which was said to be prepared with 5,000 roasted meat, 10,000 chickens, 100,000 glasses of milk and 30,000 plates of dessert.

If you read widely, among Islamic theologians, there is a debate as to whether holding the maulidin Rasul is an accepted practise. The debate centered around the argument that holding a celebration to celebrate the birthday was not done by the Prophet or among his companions. Though some argued that it was known that the Prophet does celebrate it albeit quietly by fasting during his Birthdays. So based on that, it is an acceptable practise. Wallahualam. Though one more moderate argument I read written by an Ustaz Mohd Ghouse Khan gives a better argument among which is that the debate around this is 'furu' which is that the debate is over small matter and not matter which affects the Islamic principles.

In Brunei, we have always celebrated it by having a procession around the cities of the four districts. Today we will continue to do so. I have a number of photographs of old Maulidun Rasul celebrations both in BSB and Seria.


Al-Qadr said…
A good food for thought, as usual, BRo! I didn't take part in yesterday's Maulidur Rasul procession but watched snippets of it on telly i.e. in between switching channels - 2 RTB, 2 RTM & TV3 - all showing Prophet Muhammad's (Peace be upon him) celebrations all over Brunei and Malaysia. His Majesty's Titah in conjunction with the event was indeed the best part of it, year in year out. We should take heed!

The "Dikir Maulud" held in all Masjids nationwide, 12 days prior to the big day was a good idea BUT I don't quite agree with some wealthy Bruneians who also threw out similar "Dikir" ceremonies in their homes which are only walking distances to the Masjid, leaving the 'House of ALLAH' almost empty since their grandiose homes offered much more sumptuous "Big Makan" treats! Likewise, I noticed yesterday after the grand gatherings in all districts, "Big Makans" were also organised by participating contingents in restaurants or catered tents. The good thing or "Hikmah" out of this post-Maulud thingy is that food businesses' spin-offs stimulate the local economic gains...

Also, another good thing about the Bruneian way of celebrating is that Muslim women are not encouraged to come out in full swing since such openness would only lead to 'promiscuity' or overly enthusiastic intermingling between opposite sexes. And you know how one thing leads to another, boy-meets-girl stories.;)

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