The world celebrates Prophet Muhammad’s birthday on every 12th of Rabiul-Awal, which is the third month of the Islamic calendar. In most muslim countries, the day is a public holiday and the countries will hold a big celebration on the streets with people singing devotional songs and hymn to commemorate Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday. There will be alms given to poor children and orphans and prayers reverberating throughout the mosques
In Brunei, the joyous occasion starts with 12 nights of devotional songs. On the day itself, there is a procession at all four districts. These processions will usually start with a recital of a few verses from the Al-Quran, which is then followed by a performance of dikir marhaban before the walk commences. Other than that, there will be prayers, nasyid performances, tausyeh and dikir marhaban and religious talks at various community halls around Brunei to further enlighten the celebration.
The uniqueness of the celebration is that, every culture have its own way to celebrate. While most of the culture will be celebrating with a grand procession on the streets, there are subtle differences such as in their devotional songs, hymns and even dance. An obvious difference is the food – in any celebration, food is a big part of the occasion. These foods shows the difference in how people celebrate in each country.
- In Egypt, during the occasion, they sell the traditional sweets known as “Halawat al-Mawlid” usually called Al-Arosa (Bride) and Al-Hosan (the horse) but there are others more conventional type of the mawlid candy such as Foolia (caramelised peanuts).
- In Morocco, there are local pastries such as kahbu al ghazal or ‘gazelle’s horns’, kraschel, briouat, baghrir and m’semmen being made during the celebration.
- In the region of India famous for their spices, during the festivals, they eat spicy food with camel, goat or mutton meat.
For Brunei, there is no specific type of food that is served, but during the processions, people will enjoy local street food that are offered at the time. These are some of unique food that are served in the countries around the world during the celebration. During the day, we should continue to focus on the life and teachings of Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. and give alms to the poor for the sake of Allah.