Every year, on 12 Rabi-al-awwal, some Muslims in Malawi and across the globe celebrate the birth of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (saw). This year, the “controversial” celebration is going to take place on Sunday February 5, 2012.
As usual, Ziyarah parade will be conducted in the major cities of Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu.
In Blantyre, the parade is expected to start from Kanjedza Masjid to Mpingwe Sports Club.
According to the organisers, the celebration produces some notable positive things which include, the demonstration of Muslims’ unity and strength. They also say that the occasion manifests Muslims’ love and pride in their Prophet, encourages Muslims to share what they have with the needy, cementing the bond of nationhood – as it assembles both Muslims and non-Muslims alike and finally gives a chance for the Muslim leaders to rub shoulders with the country’s senior political leadership.
However, such a huge assembly cannot go without some apparent negatives.
Muslim women in Malawi feel that they are racially segregated against, since it is only black women that are invited to the parade while the Asian Muslim women are locked at a secret location.
Criminal elements within the non-Muslims cause chaos and havoc during the time of receiving the handouts, injuring some people (even causing death in 2011) in the process.
Muslim politicians usually hijack the occasions to show their loyalty to the ruling party and the country’s leadership, thereby turning the religious ceremony into a political podium.
Ironically, the unity of Muslims between the Asian Muslims and Black Muslims ends at the end of the parade and does not continue to any further subsequent Mawlid activities.
Of course, we may argue endlessly on the permissibility of celebrating the birth of our beloved Prophet (saw). The editors of Malawi Muslims Website were kind enough and gave both sides enough space here to advance their proofs.
Some sections too, have voiced out their concerns that such celebrations are not allowed. Hence, the celebration remains a hot topic of debate even among the Asian Sunni Community and other scholars over its legality.
However, one thing that I would like to request the organisers of this year’s Ziyarah Parade is to spare our wives, the black woman, who I feel that she is being exploited because of her poverty.
Ever since I was born, I have never seen an Asian woman dancing on the streets (except one mentally retarded lady) but one wonders which Hadeeth or Surah allows this racial and moral abuse during the Ziyarah Parade.
It does not sound religiously correct to woo a poor black woman to the parade by a plastic pail, exploiting her poverty, to dance her buttocks off, in the name of showing our love for the Prophet (saw).
If indeed it is permissible for the women to dance during the parade, why don’t the organisers release the Asian women to join their fellow black Muslim women and give them their own route or say parade at different intervals with the men? Can the same thing be Halaal to a poor black woman and at the same time Haraam to an Asian Muslim woman?
For the black Muslim man, I implore you to leave your wives, daughters and sisters at home and restrain them from joining the parade. The punishment of letting your woman dancing shamelessly on the public road will be severe on the Day of Judgment than the enjoyment of receiving a plastic pail that will only last for three months.
Tell your women that the reward of saying multitudes of Durood Shareef at home during this day in sight of Allah is so enormous than displaying their ornaments during the ziyarah parade, which will only bring divine wrath.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and does not reflect the opinion of Malawi Muslims Website.