UiTO Channel: Tazkirah Harian:
The Birth-Date of the Prophet and the History of the Mawlid
Dr. Yasir Qadhi said:
1) The very first Sunni to publically celebrate the mawlid was a Sufi mystic by the name of Umar al-Mulla. He seems to be a person of dubious character, and the least that can be said about him was that he was by no means a scholar of the religion.
2) Government-sponsored mawlids in Sunni lands were first introduced by Muẓẓafar al-Dīn, who got the idea from Umar al-Mulla. These celebrations were extremely popular amongst the masses, and helped secure popularity for the rulers.
3) Late in the sixth Islamic century, the mawlid had been introduced to some Sunni lands, but the mainlands of Islam (e.g., Mecca, Damascus, etc.) had not yet begun to commemorate the day with any festival.
4) In Mecca, no festival or public celebration occurred, instead the birth-date was an occasion to open up historic sites for the people. Also, the birth-date itself had not yet been associated with the 12th of Rabīʻ al-Awwal; rather, it was associated with the first Monday of Rabīʻ al-Awwal.
5) The association of the mawlid with the 12th of Rabīʻ al-Awwal was clearly a Fatimid influence, which was later followed by other government-sponsored mawlids.
5 ) The mawlid spread in various lands due to miscellaneous factors. In some lands, it was patronized by the rulers and used as a means of legitimizing their rule. In other lands, it was used as a tactic to divert Muslims from that which was clearly impermissible to a matter that was deemed to be praiseworthy.
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