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December 24th, 2015

Birthday of Prophet Muhammad marked by Ahmadis of Lahore in 1908, two years before other Muslims in India started doing it

At this link you can read the post I published in January 2015 (one year ago according to the Hijri calendar), in which I quoted a news item from the Ahmadiyya newspaper Badr, dated 30th April 1908 or 26th Rabi-ul-awwal 1326 A.H., reporting that Ahmadis in the city of Lahore held a 'Holy Prophet Muhammad' function, organised by Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, on 12th Rabi-ul-awwal 1326 A.H.

I have an Urdu book entitled Islami Encyclopaedia, published in 1933, compiled by a very famous Muslim journalist, Maulvi Mehboob Alam, founder of the newspaper Paisa Akhbar, and regarded as a pioneer of Urdu newspaper publishing. It has an entry on "Bara Wafat" under which it is written that the campaign arose in the Middle East in 1327 A.H. to hold this festival under the name Eid-ul-Maulood An-Nabawi on a grand scale and as a result this was done in various cities in India in 1328 A.H.

This seems to show that in the Indian subcontinent this kind of function was held by Ahmadis in Lahore two years before other Muslims started holding similar functions about the Holy Prophet.

Interestingly, this entry goes on to say: "Followers of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani, who claimed to be Promised Messiah, hold a special conference on this day." This is clear recognition that Ahmadis were pioneers in this field.

However, the reason given by the writer as to why Ahmadis hold this fucntion is not at all correct (he says that Ahmadis commemorate on this day that while the Prophet Muhammad died, prophethood itself did not die, and will continue, and Mirza sahib was a prophet). Perhaps he should have attended this or any later function held by Ahmadis (at least by Lahore Ahmadis), or read the report in Badr, and he might not have expressed this false impression.

I have put together the report from Badr and this encyclopaedia entry in one document, which is available at this link.

2 Responses to “Birthday of Prophet Muhammad marked by Ahmadis of Lahore in 1908, two years before other Muslims in India started doing it”

  1. March 10th, 2016 at 10:31 pm
    From Isma'il Husayn:

    What are you talking about? Mawlid an-Nabi gatherings have been ubiquitous throughout the Muslim world since the Middle Ages. Grand Milads were held in India from the time of Muinuddin Chishti onward, so how could the Lahori Jama'at have been pioneers at this? 


  2. March 11th, 2016 at 7:17 am
    From Zahid Aziz:

    Dear Mr Ismail Husayn: Have you opened the link which I gave at the end of the above post where external sources have been quoted? You will see there that the general Muslim newspaper Watan wrote:

    “Just as there was great regret that there were no arrangements in Lahore for holding this great occasion of remembrance, there was equal pleasure that on 14th April, corresponding to 12th Rabi-ul-awwal 1326 A.H., on behalf of the Anjuman-i Ahmadiyya Lahore a magnificent meeting was organised by Khwaja Kamal-ud-Din, lawyer, High Court."

    Then under that link I presented the scanned image of the entry from the Urdu book Islami Encyclopaedia, published in 1933, compiled by a very famous Muslim journalist, Maulvi Mehboob Alam. This says that this occasion was previously known in India as Bara Wafat in order to mark the death of the Holy Prophet. Even the name of the entry in this encyclopaedia is Bara Wafat and it has no entry on Milad. It says that in India it was held for the first time under the name Milad in 1328 A.H. which is 1910. It goes on to say that "followers of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad hold a special meeting on this day". And this is a writer who is opposed to the Ahmadiyya Movement, as you can tell from his other comments under this and under another entry.

    So why has this famous writer even mentioned Ahmadis in connection with Milad?

    Please note also that the function started by the Lahore Ahmadis did not consist of any ceremonies, rituals, parades and show that we see in Milad celebrations. Their function consisted of speeches on the life and qualities of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, and removing misconceptions about him, without exaggerated veneration.


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