By Adil James, MMNS
Bloomfield–March 21–Perhaps the controversy surrounding the blessed celebration of Miladun Nabi (s) has finally subsided in America. While in every Muslim country the blessed date of the coming to this planet of the final and most beloved Messenger of Allah (s) is a national holiday and has been for centuries, in America for many years extremists fought against the celebration and recognition of that tremendous event.
Several mosques in the Southeast Michigan area held Miladun-Nabi (s) programs, including the Brownstown mosque, Masjid Umar Bin al-Khattab, as well as the MCWS Canton Mosque, and IAGDâ€™s womenâ€™s group had a huge Miladun Nabi (s) program (attended by 600 sisters who completely filled both banquet halls at IAGD) as well.
I attended the particularly large Milad celebration at the Bloomfield mosque this Sunday.
Speakers and reciters included Imam Musa, Imam Lela, Dr. Asif Baig, Sheikh Ahmed Mabrouk, Khwaja Muneeruddin, Shaukat Najmi, Jameel Arif, Jameel Syed, Amir Khan, Mohammad Khalid, and Ishtiaq Jilani.
According to Jameel Arif, who sang beautiful Naath at the most recent Bloomfield Mawlid, â€œa lot of people were doing private programs celebrating it at their homes.â€
Most of the Mawlid celebrations, however, were organized by individuals rather than by mosques as a whole–and perhaps an indication of the more religious nature of the Mawlid celebrations was the fact that they were hosted and paid for mostly by their hosts–unlike the majority of mosque events which require payment as one enters.
Many of the local imams have been celebrating the Mawlid, including Imam Aly Lela of IAGD, Imam Muhammad Musa of Bloomfield, and Imam Sulaiman Ali of the MCWS Canton Mosque. Imams Musa and Lela spoke at the Bloomfield Mawlid, Imam Musa speaking on the greatness of the holy Messenger, and Imam Lela advocating the showing of love for the blessed Prophet (s) by celebrating Mawlid.
The Pakistani tradition of celebrating Mawlid involves few speeches but much singing by many individual reciters who usually sing beautiful Urdu Naaths with soaring voices.
Individual singing is the tradition in Pakistan, explained Jameel Arif, who said thereâ€™s â€œhardly any group singing. We recite the Salaam at the end,â€ all together, â€œjust to finish the event.â€
But in a sign of the American melting pot and the presence here of many different ethnicities and vibrant cultures, the Bloomfield Milad also had several people singing Arabic qasidas, together with two speeches in praise of the Holy Prophet (s) by Imams Musa and Lela.
This year the Bloomfield mosque was very very full, almost as full as I have ever seen it, with the exception of the previous yearâ€™s Miladun-Nabi (s) when it was even impossible to find space to park, and literally impossible to find a chair to sit in inside the spacious Bloomfield gymnasium.
Dr. Asif Baig is the founding member of the Michigan Milad Committee, he explained, and he organized and sponsored the Milad celebration this year and also every year â€œfor the past 15 years.â€
This year there were fewer people at the Bloomfield Milad, but still very many; Dr. Baig estimated that this year there were approximately 600 people, and that last year there had been about 700.
Dr. Baig explained that in the early days his Miladun-Nabi (s) celebrations had been at the Troy mosque (IAGD), and had been attended by only about 100 people, but that the number of attendees grew every year, many times growing by as many as 100 people.
â€œIt has been increasing and increasing and people love it, and all year long people ask me when is it going to be, who is reciting, who will be there,â€ said Dr. Baig.
This year the Bloomfield mosque gave the gymnasium to the Milad celebration without charging rent.
â€œPeople came from Canton, Troy, Farmington Hills, and sometimes people from Grand Rapids also,â€ said Dr. Baig. Reciters also came some from as far afield as Windsor.
Dr. Baig spoke highly of Imam Lela for his speech on the greatness of Prophet (s), and spoke highly of Mrs. Baig also, saying â€œshe has been very helpful in organizing the dinner and everything. May God bless her… And preparing the food also–I want awareness among the people of how successful the event was.â€
â€œI feel great, it was a real spiritual boosting experience,â€ said Dr. Baig, â€œI do it mostly from love and respect for our Prophet (s), you know how wonderful the speeches by Imam Musa and Imam Lela–unless we love the Prophet (s) our Islam is not complete.â€
More Milad celebrations are scheduled, including one on April 10th in Windsor Ontario, at which the famous Naath reciter Fasihuddin Suhrawardi will recite.