Monday, April 10, 2006

The Mawled ( Prophet Muhammad's Birthday)

Today coincides in the Islamic Calendar with the birth of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), generally Libyans do not celebrate birthdays although the trend has caughtup with us in the last decade especially children and teenagers and so 'fashionistas'. The Prophet however is remembered in the Muslim world in various ways.

"There is a difference of opinion about whether the Milad Un-Nabi should be a
time of celebration."

Some like in Saudi Arabia prohibit the celebration of his birthday and others make a great show of it. Here in Libya it is an official holiday - so yay we have the day off.

In my parents time it used to be celebrated by lighting candles and prayers. Families would gather and pray in union. Candles in Libya are decorated and called the 'gindil' ( literally the candle). Today and as far as I can recall, people have added other traditions to this simple Milud festivity. Firecrackers and fireworks which kids and youth enjoy , candles given to children and tambourines.

Darbuka or tambourine

Decorated Gindil & firecrackers

I do not know where the tambourine came from ( so if someone knows please tell us ) but I assume it is to convey joy with the music at the Prophet's arrival.

Recent additions are - I was surprised to see :Christmas trees !

Fireworks are a big thing here in Libya, something like the 4th of July in the US but minus the organisation and safety , unfortunately we have too many accidents because of this and children end up in hospital.

Anyway I'm hoping all will go well this year, and wishing you all a Happy Mawled Nabawy Sharif ( or Milud). I've been to the market yesterday and took the few photos of the stalls which you have been looking at and which were doing great business with 'Milud' things . Enjoy another 'gindil':)


Anonymous said...

Happy Mawled Nabawy Sharif. Love the Christmas trees lol, a new fashion maybe.

AK said...


have fun + also have fireworks on guy fawkes night, which celebrates failiure of plan to blow up parliament houses

removedalready said...

Ours is nothing like the Libyans, I think we prohibit fireworks & firecrackers. It's more sombre and quiet. The music you'd hear are from the nashid & kompang

Anonymous said...

Cheers from Cairo! I was there in Tripoli that night too. And yes I was pretty worried about those kids too.

Anonymous said...

Happy Malwed H. I must say that I have never heard of this holiday before, but it sounds to me like a mixture of Christmas and the Forth of July.

"...unfortunately we have too many accidents because of this and children end up in hospital."

Sounds familiar. If you've ever had a fire cracker go off in your fingers, like me, I'm sure you can relate. It still doesn't stop me of course. It's just too much damned fun. I'm like a big kid around fireworks. :-)