Mumbai: It was a double celebration at the Khilafat House on Sunday, as the All India Khilafat Committee (AIKC) celebrated the 100th year of Eid-e-Milad or Prophet Muhammad’s birthday on a grand scale, along with the centenary of the Khilafat movement.
The celebration procession was led by activist Swami Agnivesh, Asif Zakaria, Syed Shoaib Baqai, Amin Patel, Roshan Baig and other members of AIKC.
Led by Mahatma Gandhi in 1919 and on the invitation of brothers Maulana Mohammed Ali Jauhar and Shaukat Ali, the Khilafat movement had galvanised the struggle against the British Raj by uniting Hindus and Muslims.
“This year is special as the Eid-e-Milad celebrations coincide with the centenary celebrations of the Khilafat movement,” said Sarfraz Arzoo, acting chairman of AIKC.
The annual procession is carried out since nearly 100 years. As a mark of respect, many people do charity work, visit hospitals and even look forward to spreading the Prophet’s message. Poems praising the Prophet are particularly played on this day.
“The first celebrations were held at the peak of the Khilafat movement. Mahatma Gandhi had foreseen that without the help of Muslims, the freedom struggle will not progress the way he wanted to.It was the first instance of a Hindu-Muslim collaboration and had become a symbol of communal harmony and a unity in diversity,” he said.
Mosques around the city were decorated and sweets were handed out to children. An important feature is the recital of songs and poems recognising Muhammad as the last Prophet sent by god.
One of the most prominent poems is Qasida al-Burda, which venerates the Prophet, who is said to have cured a poet of partial paralysis.