Muslim leaders in Malawi have explained that it was purely a coincidence that the birthday of Prophet Muhammad and Jesus Christ were just a day apart this year.
Thousands of people lined the streets on Christmas Eve as the Muslim community celebrated the birthday of the Prophet Mohammed.
In Blantyre, over 70 thousands attended the Ziyara Parade organized by the Attariqatul Qadriya Sunni Association of Malawi (AQSA) on Thursday.
Speaking at the function, Sheikh Tariq Chmambi, Imaam for Kanjedza Mosque said the coincidence of the date is a reminder for peace and harmony between faiths.
He asked for unity and tolerance among people of different beliefs in the country in order to promote peace and development.
Sheikh Tariq also said described the event as very important to Islamic religion because in the process, they find solutions to some of the challenges that Islamic community is facing ion the country.
“ Apart from that we always give gifts to those people who have come to attend this event, we also celebrate by going to the rural areas where we give out special gifts to the needy like bicycles and sewing machines and chickens,” he said.
Similar parades also took place in the cities of Mzuzu and Lilongwe as well as some other districts.
Parade Media Spokesperson Ridwan Omar also took time to clarify on why they celebrated the birth of Muhammad on 24th December, a day before Christians also celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
“It is just coincidence that this year we have conducted this celebration today on 24th December, others are saying we want to confuse people but it’s not true you know we clebrate the birth of the Prophet Muhammad in accordance with their lunar calendar,” he explained.
The colourful event on Thursday afternoon saw all traffic brought to a halt, as the event took place.
The Prophet’s birthday – known as Eid MIlad ul-Nabi – falls on the 12th or 17th day of the Islamic month of Rabi’ al-awwal.
It changes every year because the Islamic calendar is lunar.
So this year there have been two Prophet’s Birthdays – on January 3 and Christmas Eve.
Last year there was only one, on January 14, while in 2016 it will fall on December 12.
In a similar way that Christians use Christmas as a way of learning and reflecting on Christ’s life, Muslims see the Eid Milad ul-Nabi as an important time to learn about and reflect on Mohammad’s life.
Mohammad’s birth was approximately in the year 570 (in the Gregorian Calendar).
His uncle raised him after both the boy’s parents died while he was very young and he began to preach around the age of 40 and he died from an illness in 632.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :