LAHORE –Eid Miladun Nabi was celebrated across the country including the City on Friday with religious zeal and reverence to mark the birth of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), amid elaborate security arrangements.

In view of the growing incidents of terrorism, the authorities made strict security arrangements for the participants of the central procession in particular, and for the masses in general, as thousands of police, special force and Rangers personnel were guarding sensitive areas. Volunteers of bomb disposal squad and ambulance units remained stand by to meet any emergency while units of rangers and reserve police were also on alert.

Like the previous year, the Eid Miladun Nabi was observed as Namoos-e-Risalat Day in response to organized blasphemies by repeated publication of profane sketches specially by Danish, Norwegian and French media besides the conspiracies by certain lobbies in the country to amend Blasphemy laws.

The nation paid homage to the last Prophet of God by holding seerat conferences, processions, Naat Khwani, Quirat, Qawwali and Naatia Mushaaira. The faithfuls decorated mosques, government and private buildings, markets, roads and streets to express joy on the birth of last messenger of God who brought Islam and Quran for the mankind. In sermons, religious scholars and ulema highlighted the significance of the occasion and asked the people to follow the uunnah of Muhammad (PBUH) to achieve success in the life and the life after death.

All the events reflected a renewed enthusiasm towards protecting the honor of the Prophet (SAW) and renewed zeal to follow his Sunnah and becoming better Muslims. The day began with a 31-gun salute in Islamabad and 21-gun salutes in provincial capitals including Lahore. Special prayers were offered for the security, solidarity and prosperity of the country and unity among Muslim ummah.

In Lahore, Markazi Milad Committee took out central procession from Railway Station in the afternoon that ended at Data Darbar after passing through traditional route via Australia Chowk, Branderth Road, Dil Mohammad Road, Mochi Gate, Shah Alam Chowk, Gawalmandi, Akhbar Market, Mausoleum of Qutubuddin Aibak, Circular Road, Anarkali, Lohari Gate and Bhatti Gate. Prior to the procession a grand meeting was held which was addressed by prominent figures from all walks of life. The meeting was inaugurated by PPP secretary general Senator Jahnagir Badr and committee president Malik Aftab Rabbani, while former judge of Lahore High Court Dr Munir Mughal was also present. Aslam Gill and Diwan Mohi-ud-Din hoisted national flag. Khaksar Tehrik President Dr Sabiha Arshad Mashriqi and DCO Noorul Amin Mengal were also present. The participants of the ceremony were sprinkled with rose water and petals by an aeroplane. Sabeels of water and juices were set up along the entire route to facilitate the participants. Volunteers set freed thousands of pigeons and balloons in the air which presented a delightful sight.

Newspapers brought out special editions while electronic media aired special programmes to highlight the importance of the occasion. Mosques and all important government and private buildings were tastefully decorated with illuminations. Groups of volunteers and market committees decorated their own markets/mohallas/houses and surroundings with illuminations, colored flower ropes, buntings, chandeliers and ribbons and many organizations also held competitions among people for best decorated mohallah and street.

Children and youth erected the clay replica of desert and mountains of the Arab peninsula where the divine message was first dawned on the Holy Prophet (PBUH). However, several Ulema and concerned citizens objected to the playing of loud music at the replica of Arab hill at countless number of places in the city.

Besides the central procession several other small processions were also taken out in the city to mark the occasion which merged into the central procession. Participants of the procession recited Naats and Qawwalis along the route. A meeting was also held at Data DArbar after the culmination of the procession.

To mark Miladun Nabi a grand Milad Conference was organised by TehrikMinhaj-ul-Quran at Minar-e-Pakistan. TMQ chief Dr Tahirul Qadri addressed the participants. Noted scholars and Naat Khwans from across the country participated in the conference. The participants were offered dinner for which one hundreds of goats were slaughtered. Dr Tahirul Qadri highlighted the significance of the occasion for the promotion of Islamic values and message of love, justice and peace. He also castigated the western media and intellectuals for committing gross blasphemy of the Prophet in the name of freedom of expression. He criticized the US for victimizing Islam by tagging it with the term terrorism whereas the US itself was the biggest terrorist in the world.