SHAFAQNA – A colourful procession to mark the birth of the prophet Muhammad will take place early in January.
Muslims from Bath and the surrounding areas are expected to be among the the thousands of worshipers to take to the streets of Bristol on January 3 for the parade and celebrations.
The procession will leave Easton Jamia Masjid on St Marks Road, at 2.30pm aiming to arrive at Fishponds Madani Masjid on Lodge Causeway at 3.30pm.
The event is being arranged by the city’s four biggest mosques – Easton Jamia Mosque, Fishponds Madani Mosque, Totterdown Mosque and Hazarat Bilal Centre.
All four chairmen will address the crowds at various points throughout the march, preaching various messages of peace and promoting diversity and inclusion, as well as thanking Bristol for allowing its citizens to share their religious festival on the streets,
It is hoped that thousands of people from all backgrounds and ages will take part and follow the route agreed by the police and Bristol City Council. This year’s procession is expected to be the biggest ever.
Afzal Shah said: “This year will be the largest gathering for a Mawlid a procession in Bristol yet, I feel this positive action will promote harmony and help people understand Islam much more, in light of recent events it’s essential the Muslim community are proactive in positive discussing, actions and dialogue.
“I will be there and I’d like to thank the chairs of the four mosques, the congregations and most of all the Imaam’s for promoting this brilliant initiative. I think we should all add this now to our yearly diary.”
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 based around the movements of the moon.
In the UK most Muslims mark the occasion by fasting or by holding special prayers or conferences.
Arif Khan, chairman of The Council of a Bristol Mosques, said: ” Muslims are peaceful people in a Bristol it is a shame that when a Muslim commits a crime it’s blamed on the whole religion however when a non Muslim commits a crime it’s usually blamed on other factors.
“The Council of Bristol Mosques is working with the community at all levels and is pleased to promote and organise the years Mawlid march, we are hoping this will be the best one yet.”