Since Pakistan is an Islamic country, all Islamic events are celebrated with great zeal. Similarly, 12 Rabi ul Awal, a day when Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was born, is a significant event for Muslims. They observe it every year on the 12th Day of ‘Rabi ul Awal’ month in the Islamic calendar, depending upon the sighting and location of the moon.
It is going to fall on October 19, 2021, and just like every time, this year it will also be a public holiday. With that, there are bound to be some celebrations on the streets, homes, some public places, and of course on the internet as well. Although it is an event for all Muslims, different sects celebrate it in different ways. Similarly, netizens have their way of sharing thoughts on the event.
How do Pakistanis Celebrate 12 Rabi ul Awal?
On this day, all schools, government offices, private businesses, and shopping centers are closed and roads, buildings, parks, mosques, and markets are illuminated with night lights.
In Mosques, Muslims offer special prayers, increasingly recite Durood Sharif, hold Naat (Tribute) competitions, quizzes, and spread awareness about the Seerat (perfect way of life) of Muhammad (PBUH). Muslims belonging to one sect wear green turbans and green flags while holding rallies and processions. Some also cook and donate special food and distribute sweets called ‘Neyaz’ among neighbors, friends, families, mosques, and poor communities.
In rural areas and not-so-modern parts of the cities, the devotees of Prophet (PBUH) have their way to celebrate. They try to set the theme with props, based on the geography of the Arab world, particularly where Holy Prophet (PBUH) lived. For this, they make hills, as they are of huge significance for several reasons. For the first time, Muhammad (PBUH) reportedly addressed his people from the top of the hill to call them towards Islam. They also use props for date trees, and camels in the theme to create an Arabian atmosphere.
Difference of Celebration Reflected in Memes
There’s no doubt that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is a highly respected personality in an entire world. However, when it comes to 12 Rabi ul Awal, there is a difference of opinion in different sects. A certain school of thought thinks that there should not be any celebration on this day. While others think that there should be and those who don’t celebrate are wrong.
Due to sectarianism in Pakistan, there are conflicts between several groups and each of them tries to push its ideology. Sometimes these things lead to abuse and violence, which ultimately disrupts the event. In some places, hateful speeches start at other sects and each tries to claim that they are right and others are doing wrong. Those in minority are often in danger of facing a vicious attack.
This difference of opinion is highlighted in various memes on social media.
Muslims belonging to different sects are often seen mocking each other for their beliefs. When people of one sect are engaged in celebrating in their way, others with different opinions, chant slogans. Then the first group also chants back slogans and everything turns into a war of ego as depicted in this meme.
It does not matter how people celebrate, since the day is auspicious for all Muslims then it should have been respected by everyone regardless of their sect.
Significance of 12 Rabi-ul-Awal for Muslims
12 Rabi ul Awal is the birthday of the most beloved Prophet of Muslims, Muhammad (PBUH). Muslim community all over the world whole-heartedly shows its love, devotion, and alliance to the Prophet (PBUH). The day is significant because Muhammad (PBUH) was born when the majority of the people were drawn to the darkness and worshipped many different beings. Muslims believe that Muhammad (PBUH) is the last prophet to arrive to carry forward the message of monotheism as Abraham, Jesus, Moses, and others did before.
Most Muslims in the US, Canada, Europe, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and South East Asia celebrate Eid Milad-un-Nabi with passion and enthusiasm. They hold a gathering called ‘Milad’ in which the guests sing and pray praises to the Prophet (PBUH). They also exchange gifts, go on parades, and do many other activities together.
However, in the Middle East and other surrounding countries, Muslims do not celebrate this event due to cultural norms and different beliefs as per the sect, they adhere to.