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India Scholars Protest Prophet Mawlid Celebrations

MUMBAI – Leading Muslim scholar across India took mosque podiums during Friday sermon to appeal to the faithful against what they describe as”noisy celebrations” of Prophet Muhammad’s birthday (peace be upon him), urging them to mark the occasion by helping the needy and poor.

“The day should be observed with utmost respect to commuters and neighbors,” Grant Road-based Madrassa Jamia Ashrafia Qadria’s head Maulana Syed Moin Ashraf was quoted by Times of India on Sunday, December 11.

Loudspeakers and DJs at high decibel defeat the very purpose of commemorating the memory of the Prophet who preached self-restraint even in celebrations,” the imam, who recently called a meeting of imams to guide the community on the right way to celebrate the Prophet’s birthday, added.

The Prophet’s birth falls on the 12th day of Rabi-ul-Awwal (the third month in the Islamic calendar).

Many Muslims see the Prophet’s birthday as an important time to learn about and reflect on the life of Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him.

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Lectures and speeches are often recorded and published as podcasts.

Around the world, celebrations of the Prophet’s birthday include stalls selling Islamic books, leaflets, clothing, prayer mats and other materials.

Many scholar agreed, saying that the day should be used as an opportunity to help the poor and needy.

“Help orphans, poor patients and needy widows. The day should not be wasted in useless activities but marked with prayers and in seeking divine blessings,” said imam Maulana Khalilur Rahman Noorie.

He added that when some youths ride bikes recklessly or do stunts on local trains as part of celebrations of the Prophet’s birthday, they actually bring bad name to the religion.

“Efforts should be to uphold the teachings of the Prophet, not to defame the religion with un-Islamic and unlawful activities,” said Maulana Noorie. All India Milli Council (Maharashtra)’s general secretary M A Khalid appealed to the youths to conduct themselves decently.

“While they have the rights to celebrate their Prophet’s birthday, they must take care that others are not inconvenienced. The image of the religion gets hit by some overenthusiastic devotees who play DJs and shout slogans loudly,” said Khalid.