Muslims around the world celebrate Milad Un Nabi with great enthusiasm as it commemorates the birth of prophet Muhammad, who was born in Arabia on the 12th day of Rabi-ul-Awwal in 571 A.C. The event is celebrated as Eid-e Milad by the Muslim communities.
In Kenya Milad un Nabi is celebrated in style with the climax being the famous Lamu Maulid festivals. This year’s celebration was graced by a renowned classical music troupe from the Islamic Republic of Iran which goes by the name Alghadir Music Troupe with the invitation of the Cultural Council of the Embassy of Islamic Republic of Iran.
The songs which constitute the Alghadir repertoire are mostly Arabic although there are several other songs in Persian. The lyrics are implicitly spiritual in nature, usually referred to as Qasida al-Burda.
The central themes of Alghadir masterpieces are lyrics of love and devotion for Prophet Muhammad (P.b.u.h) as it marks the birth of the Holy Prophet.
Alghadir troupe charmed the residence of California in Pumwani, Nairobi with their nightingale voice leaving them yearning for more. It was also the same case at the Madina Centre where the Alghadir Music troupe poignantly expressed their souls longing and joy for Prophet Muhammad (P.b.u.h). The group also had a small stint at the Rasul Al Akram Boys in Langata which was covered by the National broadcaster KBC.
The four-man Alghadhir Music Troupe then headed to Lamu the hotbed of Maulid celebrations and there without doubt they will enchant the Muslim adherent with their superb voice. They had a superb performance at the Mkunguni ground, Swaafa Mosque, Mkomani girls primary School, and two residential Maulid. After Every performance, the audience craved for more.
The Cultural Councillor of the Embassy of Iran Mr. Mohammad Hassan Ipakchi cannot go unnoticed for bringing such a superb troupe to perform in Kenya. He deserves a pat on the back as he has also spice up this years Lamu Maulid festival with a Quranic Art Exhibition that involves display of calligraphy, Quran software, and copies of the Holy Quran with different writing styles.
The Cultural Council of the Embassy of Iran officially opened the calligraphy exhibition at the Lamu Fort accompanied by the chairman of the National Museum of Kenya Mr. Issa Timamy, Director General, National Museum of Kenya Dr. Farah Idle, Ass. Director, sites and Monument, Coastal Region Mr. Athman Hussein, and the Curator Lamu Museum, Salim Bunu among other dignitaries.
The guests took a short tour at the exhibition hall to view the winning calligraphy artworks that won the calligraphy competition organized by the Lamu Museum.
The Cultural Counsellor then took the dignitaries to the Cultural Councils exhibition stand where he explained to them the different Quranic writing styles and calligraphy.
The Cultural Council of the Embassy of Iran had also organized a Shairi writing competition on the birth of the Holy Prophet (P.b.u.h) which was announced in december 2011 and the deadline of submission of the poems was end of January 2012. Research Institute of Swahili Studies in East Africa (RISSEA) shortlisted the winners of the competition who were awarded during the Lamu Maulid festivity.
The Curator of the Lamu Museum Mr.Salim Bunu acknowledged the utmost support of the Cultural Council in making the calligraphy exhibition a success. The Cultural Counselor Mr. Ipakchi on his part was full of gratitude to the National Museum of Kenya and particularly Lamu Museum for their continued support and friendly relation.
Organizing the exhibitions was a show of commonality of cultures between Iran and Kenya. This was depicted by the invitation of several Qasida groups from neighbouring countries and within Kenya including Iran, the calligraphy exhibition by Lamu museum and the Holy Quran exhibition organized by the Cultural Council.
To enhance these commonalities further the National Museums of Kenya could organize Quranic Exhibition during the forthcoming Holy month of Ramadhan in Iran.
The founder of the Islamic Revolution of Iran, Imam Khomeini (SA) designated the period of Milad-un-Nabi celebrations from 12th to the 17th of Rabi al-Awwal as the Islamic Unity Week. This dynamic concept aims to bring all Muslim schools of thought on the common platform of Islamic unity.
The idea of Islamic Unity Week has awakened Muslims from centuries of slumber largely because of the discord sowing policies of the enemies of Islam especially the Western colonialists.
The Ummah should also realize that only unity and solidarity would enable them to utilize their vast untapped potential and rescue them from the never-ending devious plots of their enemies who range from imperialists, Zionists, arrogant powers and Islamophobes.