The festival of Id-e-Milad popularly known as Barah Wafat the twelfth day is one of the important festival in the Muslim calendar. The day commemorates the birth and also the death of Prophet Mohammed. It falls on the twelfth day of the third month Rabi-ul-Awwal of the Muslim calendar, which is usually in September and October. Here, Barah or twelve stands for the twelve days of the Prophets illness. The birthday celebrations are subdued, as the day also happens to be the death anniversary of Prophet Muhammad. Holding religious discourses, reading the Holy Quran and giving alms to the poor mark the day. Various kinds of practices and rituals are followed during these days. Learned men deliver sermons in mosques, focusing on the life and noble deeds of the Prophet. In some parts of the country, a ceremony known as sandal rite is performed over the symbolic footprints of the Prophet engraved in stone. Are presentation of buraq, a horse on which the Prophet is believed to have ascended to heaven, is kept near the footprints and anointed with sandal paste or scented powder, and the house and casket containing these are elaborately decorated. Elegies or marsiyas are sung in memory of the last days of the Prophet. The twelfth day or the urs is observed quietly, in prayers and alms giving. These few days of the festival reminds us of his life and noble deeds.
In India, however, the celebrations mainly consist of street
processions and functions. Where Nats (poems praising the Prophet and
his noble deeds) are sung and scholars preach sermons on the life and
teachings of the Holy Prophet. In some parts of the country, a 'sandal'
rite is also performed. In places like Mumbai, hundreds of people throng
the colorfully decorated markets and payed obeisance at the mosque as
children and young men took out a procession. In Muslim dominated
Lucknow, the main feature was Milad procession taken out by thousands of
Sunni Muslim faithfuls. Youths and children singing devotional songs
formed part of the cavalcade, which included exhibits depicting mosques
of the holy cities of Mecca and Medina.
Id-e-Milad/Barah Wafat celebration involves various rituals and practices. This write up gives an idea how Id is celebrated across India.