Thousands of Muslims in Malawi attended the Ziyara Parade organised by the Attariqatul Qadriya Sunni Association of Malawi (AQSA) in Blantyre on Wednesday.
The parade which started from Kanjedza Mosque in Limbe was graced by among other prominent figures including the state president Dr Bingu wa Mutharika and first lady madam Calista.
Mutharika paraded until the Roundabout close to Sacha’s near Yiannakis. This is the first time that the state president has graced an Islamic occasion since some years ago. Mutharika last attended an annual Islamic gathering IJTIMA which was held in Namwera Mangochi.
Speaking at the function, coordinator for the Blantyre event, Shaffique Giga said the commemoration helps to bring together Muslims and act as a show of solidarity. Giga said this year’s event has recorded a massive attendance ever since time immemorial.
He has meanwhile said they intend to ask government to make 12th Rabbiul Awwal a public holiday to enable more Muslims attend such important event.
Similar parades also took place in the cities of Mzuzu and Lilongwe as well as some other districts. The parade, which aimed at commemorating the birth of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW), is one of the biggest crowds pullers the Muslim community has ever seen apart from the annual conferences.
In Limbe, Blantyre the parade, ended at Mpingwe sports Club. Muslims from Mulanje, Thyolo, Chiradzulu, and other surrounding areas were then greeted to lecturers and Ziyara recitals.
However, some sections have voiced out concerns that such celebrations are not allowed. According to Muslim scholars, the Prophet (SAW) never celebrated his birthday nor did he encourage his followers to celebrate birthdays.
However, the celebration is still a hot topic of debate among the Asian Sunni Community and others scholars over its permissibility.