Eid-e-Milad-unnabi (PBUH)– past and present

images[9]naat-khawan-at-milad-un-nabi2[1]milad-decoration3[1]Eid-Milad-un-Nabi-HD-Wall-papers-2014-30[1]I want to talk about the good old childhood days when jashan-e-eid-e-milad-unnabi was celebrated with much spirit but less showiness. The days when we, as children, were excited to gather with the family members and sometimes with neighbours and friends in the lounge, drawing rooms or sitting rooms of anyone’s house on white sheets with pillows placed purposefully to pay homage to the Holy Prophet (PBUH), his family and the creator with full spirit and respect. The divine feeling that filled the atmosphere, the scented agarbatti’s fragrance and the home-made cuisine and sweets to treat the guests and distribute among the participants still fill my heart with nostalgia.
There was no concept of professional naat khawains in those golden days. In zanana (ladies) milad, girls and women of the house recited surrahs, naats mostly in chorus or sometimes solo and read zikr and riwayats at their best to pay tribute to our beloved Prophet (PBUH) while all attendants including little girls contributed humbly in chorus and durod-o-salam which also served as training institution for future naat khawains.gallery04[1]
In mardana (male) milad, same practice followed by the male members of the house. My mother’s grandfather belonged to Lucknow and he and his five sons with all grandsons, uncles and son-in-laws learnt and followed dada in reciting naats, chanting durud, salaam and presenting riwayat with all its spirit and style.
I miss those pious celebrations of Eid-e-Miladunnabi which used to continue throughout the month, at one house or the other in family, friends and in neighbourhood. It is not just out of nostalgia but also due to the fact that I find most modern day’s milads pompous, loud and spiritless. I miss the respect and the fervour with which we ourselves spread chandnis, put gao takiyas, placed our note books and diaries containing dozens of naats, hamds, zikr with milad-e-akbari and that precious new additions which we endeavored to find, practice and add-on our credit. I miss the aroma of those homemade treats, gulab pash, itir lagi cotton and flower buds and the twinkling of rosewater during salaam and I also miss that close bond and spiritual feeling that I sensed in those gatherings with my family members, friends and neighbours.
I fail to transfer same feelings to my children despite all the lighting, humdrum, firework, special programs and mahafil-e-naat arranged at massive level in the modern media-inflicted world. There might be more professional naat khawains, better sophisticated equipment, hi-ranged loud speakers and much money to arrange splendid milad or watch one on a TV channel or the other but it lacks the respect, zeal and closeness which I attained through the simple and spiritual gatherings of my childhood.

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