Fatima Shakeel - The 12th Rabiul Awwal is the day which is celebrated with great zeal and fervor by Muslims. Eid Miladun Nabi, which is sometimes also known as Mawlid, is the occasion of the birth of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), as says the name ‘Mawlid’.

This event is marked on Islamic calendar during the month of Rabiul Awwal, the third month in the year of Islam. All around the world this day is celebrated with great enthusiasm and exuberance. Preparations of this special day start picking up momentum almost a week earlier. The day starts by 31 and 21 gun salute in the federal and provincial capitals. Like every year, this day has brought on everyone a great deal of pleasure as the children are once again seen on streets, modelling different types of structures decorating them with their toys, like silicon dolls, die-cast toy cars, and many more. The kids then to give a finishing touch are spraying their structures with rose water. It is believed among some societies that the fragrance of rose is the most favourite smell of Holy Prophet (PBUH) and that is why they love to spray rose water on everything.

Regardless of the fact that different Islamic schools of jurisprudence or fiqh have different ways of expressing their excitement and happiness, they still join hands on this sacred day. All the streets, roads and markets are decorated with various types of lights and flowers dangling from the top of the buildings to the bottom. The rich cities of Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi and Peshawar are all seen emblazoned with colourful funky lights.

The day begins with offering prayers and listening to the special sermon of 12th Rabiul Awwal, which attracts a lot of people to mosques as they feel inclined towards listening and exploring more about the life of their beloved last messenger of Allah Almighty, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). All the men, women and children of all ages are seen occupied in their own tasks, either them being women firing or lightening the chiraghan, which is a small heart shaped oil lamp made of baked clay.

People on this holy event vow to reiterate and retell the message of Holy Prophet (PBUH), which was the message of peace and harmony. This day being a public holiday, brings a lot of people on streets and roads with flag in their hands, on their vehicles, on the rooftops of houses, on the shrines and mosques, which is a symbolic flag of green color, known as the favorite colour of Prophet (PBUH). Other than that, all the politicians do not stay behind and they participate fully by organizing Quran Khwanis and by making public speeches, they urge the public to follow the teachings of their beloved Prophet.

On this very occasion, different rallies and processions are also held. Security being the top most sensitive issue makes the forces guard every street and every neighborhood especially the places where these rallies are supposed to be taken. All these rallies meet at one spot where different religious leaders and scholars make speeches and remind people of Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) sayings, his actions etc.

Different competitions of Naat are also organized, and the winners are given the token of appreciation. Various religious parties also host seerat conferences.

In this age of modernization and advancement, people are extremely caught up in their daily lives and activities, as a result they have forgotten the true teachings brought by Holy Prophet (PBUH) and they have distanced themselves from certain religious activities. However, this special day still ignites a lot of energy among people and they come together to celebrate this occasion.