Mawlid-un-Nabi (SAW) Festival 2009 (MYL NL)

Throughout history, the Milād of the Prophet (SAW) has always been celebrated with great enthusiasm and pride. Although the presence of Milād celebrations in Europe is fairly recent, the young generations of Muslims are developing unique ways of expressing their love for the Prophet of Islam (SAW).

In the Netherlands, Minhaj Youth League initiated the ‘Milaad Festival’ in 1999 which, since then, has developed into the biggest Milād celebration for Muslim youth in this country. On the 11th of April 2009, after nearly six months of preparations the team of approximately 40 volunteers saw their dream come true once again. In the beautifully decorated ‘Dr. Anton Philips Hall’ in the Hague, everything was set and ready to receive the 800 visitors who came solely for celebrating the Milād of the Prophet (SAW).

The event started with the recitation of the Holy Quran by brother Sheraz Malik, who has been gifted by Allah (SWT) with a beautiful voice. Brother Sheraz is an active member of MYL NL and is the driving force behind the team of Naat performers of MYL. Brother Sheraz and his team (Bilal Raja, Assad Ali and Mohid Nazir) continued the evening with the famous Qasidah Burdah and ended with the Salāt ‘ala an-Nabiyy which sayyidi Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr. Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri wrote in Arabic.

Soon after, Umar Mirza took to the stage and welcomed everyone to the Festival. He spoke about the love for the Prophet (saws) and emphasized on establishing and maintaining this link with the Prophet (saws). Brother Umar, president of Al Hidayah / MYL NL and coordinator of the Milaad Festival, has been working tirelessly day and night to make this event successful.

After these welcoming words Fathi Otmani performed some Nasheed. Brother Fathi is an upcoming Nasheed singer in the Netherlands who writes and composes his own Nasheed songs. After these inspiring Nasheeds brother Azhar Usman, a comedian from USA, made everyone laugh in his unique style and through the medium of comedy. Smiles were all around and the proverb “laughter is Allah’s sunshine” really came true with his performance.

While the guests were still in a joyful mood, a team of young Indonesian brothers and sisters were introduced who sang the praises of the Prophet (SAW) in their own language. While they were hymning the praises, the translation in English and Dutch was simultaneously shown at the screen behind them. After the crowd amazement of their performance the buzz could be felt throughout the break of 20 minutes for the evening prayers during which some light snacks and drinks were offered.

The second part of the evening began with the recitation of the Holy Quran. Brother Zieshaan Amanat Ali recited the verses of surah al-Duha in his own unique style.

After the recitation, Muhammad Tasneem Sadiq (secretary NEC NL and coordinator youth) took to the stage. He addressed the audience by stating that every generation learns about the Prophet (SAW) in just two ways: by looking at and listening to their righteous scholars who are the heirs of the Prophet (SAW). Watching the scholars gives you a sense of the Prophetic character and listening to them makes you aware of the Prophetic knowledge. With these words he introduced the main guest of the evening: Shaykh Muhammad Ramadan al-Qadri.

Shaykh Ramadan al-Qadri is the student of Shaykh-ul-islam Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri and is currently serving as the principal of the Farghana Institute in Manchester, UK. He is involved in bringing classical education to the youth. His topic was ‘Prophet Muhammad (SAW): Everything loves him’. He gave examples from the Hadith literature to illustrate how even animals changed their natural habits to show people the status of the Prophet (SAW). The Shaykh emphasized the importance of talking to people according to their states and habits. He ended his speech with a narration from Abu Hurayrah (ra) who tells his story about a small bag with 21 dates in it which, by the blessings of the hand of the Prophet (SAW), turned up containing a total of 26.000 kilo of dates during the span of more than 20 years. “The blessing of the Prophet (SAW) is still with us, because the Prophet (SAW) is alive”, he concluded.

The evening ended with the ‘Salam group’ who performed nasheeds in Arabic and Moroccon dialect, in the typical style of Fez. They were introduced by Brother Mohammad Cheppih, who gave a short introduction on the Nasheed culture cultivated by the Prophet (SAW) and read out poetry of Hassan bin Thabit, the famous Companion whose poetry was loved by the Prophet (SAW). When the ‘Salam group’ started with the famous Tala ‘al Badru Alayna, all the main guests came on the stage and the audience stood up and expressed their love through waiving with their hands in the air. Flowers were thrown into the audience and rose petals were flying everywhere. With a concluding dua, the evening came to an end.

The whole evening was masterly hosted by Brother Faisal Mirza in his own unique way. The audience was given the chance to convey their feelings through text messaging / SMS, which were read out by Brother Faisal throughout the program.

Pakistani, Dutch, Moroccon, Turkish, Indonesian, Surinam… different nationalities, from different cultures, nations and backgrounds were present just for the sake of the Milād of the prophet (SAW). Among the guests were Qari Muhammad Zubair (Minhajian), Allama Ahmad Raza Naqshbandi (Minhajian), Maulana Iftikhar Shah sahib (Qartaba), Maulana Firoz Hansildaar (Noeroel Islam), Maqsood Shah Sahib (President NEC), MYL UK, MYL France and many other prominent guests and scholars from the Netherlands.

Every participant received a bottle of water, a rose flower, a sweet snack (‘Gulab Jamun’) and many thanks and dua’s at the exit.

The whole program was meticulously planned and well executed, the credits of which go solely to our Shaykh, Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr. Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri who keeps inspiring the youth to work tirelessly for the promotion of peace and integration in our communities.

Special thanks to the volunteers who worked hard to make this programme a success: Their names are Abdullah Ahmad, Abid Qureshi, Adeel Mahmood, Adil Chaudry, Ahlam Amrani, Aliza Kazmi, Anny Sheikh, Assad Ali, Assia Eddini, Athar Yaqub, Azeem Mirza, Azmi Latif, Bilal Raja, Faisal Mirza, Faiza Mirza, Farhat Qureshi, Fazal Idoe, Hamid Chaudry, Juneed Sethi, Leyla Gulbetekin, Meryam Yilmaz, Naem Sadiq, Nabeel Mahmood, Nabeela Zarkouni, Nazier Aziem, Niloufar Soekhai, Nosheen Ali, Qasim Arif, Qasim Hussain, Rafiah Sayed, Saad Waheed, Sabine Idoe, Sabirina Chaudry, Sakiena Idoe, Sanna Yaseen, Sobia Mahmood, Tabinda Mahmood, Taimoor Nazir, Umar Chaudry, Umar Mirza, Waqar Khan, Aziza el Bali.

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