Special celebration for Calgary Muslim community



Special celebration for Calgary Muslim community

Calgary Herald | February 14, 2015

Atthar Mahmoud, vice -president of the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada, stands beside a painting of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem in his S.W. Calgary home Thursday, February 12, 2015.
Atthar Mahmoud, vice -president of the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada, stands beside a painting of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem in his S.W. Calgary home Thursday, February 12, 2015. TED RHODES / CALGARY HERALD

An important celebration is taking place for Calgary Muslims today (Saturday February 14).

The 19th Eid-e-Milad un Nabi program, in honour of the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday, is being organized by the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada and its affiliate mosques.

Atthar Mahmood, vice-president of the Council and president of Muslims Against Terrorism, says the original date of the Prophet’s birthday was January 3.

He says the Prophet was born in Mecca on the 12th of Rabi ul Awwal — the third month of the Islamic calendar —  in 571 AD.

“This day is observed as a national holiday in all Muslim countries but Saudi Arabia. On this occasion, all mosques are decorated with lights and programs are held and speeches are given by Muslim leaders on the teachings of our beloved Prophet,” says Mahmood.

“The Islamic Supreme Council holds these celebrations throughout the country from Halifax to Victoria, in which many different scholars from different countries are invited and provide lessons to the general public about the lifestyle of the Prophet, may peace be upon him.”

In Calgary, the program takes place at 6 p.m. at the Genesis Centre at 7575 Falconridge Blvd. N.E.

At the event, Sabhi Rehmani, who is coming to Canada from Pakistan for the first time to address the audience in Calgary, is a guest speaker along with Qari Fassiuddin Soharwardy, also from Pakistan, whose presentation on the teachings of the Prophet will be in the form of poetry or hymn singing.

Also speaking will be Professor Imam Syed Badiuddin Soharwardy and Imam Muhammad Ayub Razawi.

Mahmood says there is ample parking at no charge to the general public and dinner will be served right after the program.

Mahmood says Muslims believe God sent 124,000 Prophets for proper guidance to mankind and Muhammad is the last Messenger of God.

“Muslims believe by celebrating they are rewarded by good deeds by Allah,” he says. “Muslims believe by following instructions as described by Allah they will be rewarded by good deeds and their sins are washed away by good deeds.”

On a spiritual level, he says celebrating the birthday is an expression of love for the Prophet, an indication of how close followers are to Allah and the Prophet.

Mahmood says there are several rituals commonly seen during this time.

“People start their day with prayers and recitation of the Qur’an,” he says. “There are decorations of houses, buildings and government buildings.

“Large programs are held in mosques to listen to sermons by scholars and Imams along with personal programs in people’s residences by listening to authorized people (talk) about the life of Prophet … The most important is listening to poetry recitation (of) Qasida al Burda Sharif — famous poetry of the 13th century. After the programs in mosques and houses, multiple dish feasts are served and sweets are distributed. It is very common to hold the Milad celebration through the year. People do it in their homes or main halls.”

The Council is also holding a Milad convention on Sunday at 5:30 p.m. at the Woodbine Community Centre, 1991 Woodview Drive S.W.

Muslim organizations participating in the program include: the Hussaini Association of Calgary; the Ismaili Muslim Council; and the Bohra Muslims of Calgary.

Speakers include: Syed Sabihhuddin Rehmani; Qari Fassiuddin Soharwardy; Prof. Syed Soharwardy; Imam Syed Mujtaba Rizvi; and Imam M. Azfar Razawai.

Dinner follows the program at 8:30 p.m.



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