Significance of Barawafat
Prophet Muhammad is believed to be born on the 12th day of Rabi-ul-Awwal as is known to Muslims. Muslims celebrate this day grandly under the name Milad-un-Nabi, and it literally means the birth of the Prophet. It is also known as Mawlid. Muslims celebrate this occasion through festivities and get-togethers.
The main focus of these Milad-un-Nabi gatherings is to remember Prophet Muhammad’ s holy birth and the teachings of his lifetime that had inspired many a soul since ages. The Muslims learned men and poets recite special poems composed by a famous Arabic Sufi poet called Basuri. In some parts of the world, a public holiday is declared to celebrate this festival. The death anniversary of Prophet Muhammad too falls on the 12th day of Rabi-ul-Awwal, in the third month of the Islamic calendar. This particular day is celebrated as Barawafat. The word Bara signifies the twelve days of the Prophet’s sickness. To remember these twelve days of His sickness, the Muslims preach and attend mosques and narrate the life and noble deeds of Mohammad Prophet, and provide insights into his preaching.
How Barawafat is celebrated
In some parts of India, people also perform the sandal rite over the footprints of the Prophet that are carved in stone. The Muslims religiously believe that Prophet had ascended to the heaven on a horse-like animal. A representation of this particular animal form is kept near these symbolic footprints. Preparations of this ritual mainly involve decorating the premises and the place that contain the footprints and the animal form.
Muslims sing elegies in the memory of the last days of the Prophet. In the city of Lucknow in India, the Barawafat festival is celebrated by carrying out elaborate processions by the Sunni sect of Muslims. Some time back, these processions were banned temporarily because of the clashes between the two sects of Muslim faith: the Shias and the Sunnis. But the laws have allowed these processions once more by the authorities after a settlement and conflict resolution in which the leaders of the two sects agreed to make peace, which took place in 1999.