The Light Show Begins.’s just the beginning of Rabi-ul-Awwal and Karachiiets have started to show their devotion to the Holy Prophet, Muhammad (SAW) by turning the whole city into a light show. A lane I passed today in Block 5, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, was all decorated with green tube lights and bulbs in red, green, yellow and blue. The ambience of colors spreading everywhere with light was sure creating a wonderful display, but is this the only way to show one’s devotion towards Allah and his Prophet (SAW), indeed not but as we tend do waste so much money at several other festivities then why not have a light show for this day as well, but yes if we let our shadows downcast the poor, all this light show will mean not much.

46 Comments so far

  1. tooba (unregistered) on March 23rd, 2007 @ 2:29 am

    today on my way bak all the way from pechs to gulshan..there were these green lights everywhere; on streets, on trees, on sign boards, on poles, on houses- everwhere! i wonder– only if all this was spent on food and clothing for the needy; wouldnt it have served the purpose better? i.e. to show love and respect to the Holy Prophet (saw)!
    and this trend of illuminations was always there but its growing now every year! this year its just TOOo much and like u mentioned, its JUST the staring of rabi-ul-awwal.

  2. Newb3e (unregistered) on March 23rd, 2007 @ 2:32 am

    i m against it
    but then again you cant say any thing against it to anyone hamaray baralwi hazrat hum ko gushtak e rasool (SAW) bolay gay
    itna paisay kisi gareeb buchon pay laga dayta tu acha hota

  3. d0ct0r (unregistered) on March 23rd, 2007 @ 3:01 am

    it does not have any religious significance at all…

  4. F. AHMED (unregistered) on March 23rd, 2007 @ 3:05 am

    it’s all ok…if only they don’t take illegal electricity connections from kundas:))

  5. Tamed~. (unregistered) on March 23rd, 2007 @ 3:21 am

    I am not against it as far as electricty is not coming from Kunda connections as rightly said above.

    & to them who are opposing the lightining should had opposed this as well (follow the link below).

  6. Tamed~. (unregistered) on March 23rd, 2007 @ 3:22 am

    I am not against it as long as electricty is not coming from Kunda connections as rightly said above.

    & to them who are opposing the lightining should had opposed this as well (follow the link below).

  7. Ali (unregistered) on March 23rd, 2007 @ 5:32 am

    Recently I have read some excellent seera books and I never came across a single occassion during and after the life of our holy prophet (PBUH)that his birth was celebrated either by Himself or any of his Companions.

  8. MB (unregistered) on March 23rd, 2007 @ 7:56 am

    Its not devotion
    Its stupidity
    If Prophet (PBUH) would be hear he would first take into task the gov. then the KESC & all responsible for wasting everyone’s money “just to show devotion”

    There are thousand better & useful ways to show devotion.

  9. ash (unregistered) on March 23rd, 2007 @ 8:10 am

    how people celebrate is their own buisness …no we dont need a light show to love the Prophet PBUH …but come on …how is this a bad thing? People are visual, whatever resonates with you resonates …i’ll be the first to say i love this picture.

  10. MB (unregistered) on March 23rd, 2007 @ 8:36 am

    As for picture : No question about it , love it too
    I wish we could have no issues with electricity & had extra to use, then it would look even better.

  11. ash (unregistered) on March 23rd, 2007 @ 8:58 am

    chaar din ki chandni hai …enjoy it while you can then its load shedding time …dont always worry about the load shedding ahead of time buddy :)

  12. MB (unregistered) on March 23rd, 2007 @ 9:08 am

    haahhaha….kia baat hai aap kee…….
    lets enjoy….
    But by the way, its not ahead of time. AAj kal bhi ho rahi hai load shuddering.

  13. ash (unregistered) on March 23rd, 2007 @ 9:19 am


  14. Umair Salam (unregistered) on March 23rd, 2007 @ 11:32 am

    I don’t agree with the celeberation of birthdays as an Islamic thing…but if people want to do it, go ahead ;)
    love the picture…i’d love to see more pics of karachi here or on Flickr, some nice ones, unlike this, please:

  15. MB (unregistered) on March 23rd, 2007 @ 12:26 pm

    There is already a recent post on it

  16. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on March 23rd, 2007 @ 12:28 pm

    As I said once that people just try to associate their personal fantasies with the religion. This meelad thing is just another example of it.
    I myself belong to a Barelvi family but I know that that it’s nothing but another ‘Bidat'[innovation] since Prophet of Islam[SAW] were not used to celebrate B’days. The intresting thing is that they celebrate 12th as His[saw] b’day while His[saw] death of Birth is 9th RabiulAWal rather 12th Rabiul Awwal.

    You didn’t mention that these devotees would be using illegal connections for all such things.

    Celebrating Rabiulawaal like that was not commin in late 80s and in 90s. They[Green turban guys] all started this to copy shias nothing else as they thought they would be able to demonstrate their majority to general public. when I see all such crappy things in name of religion, I am forced to believe that Deobandis and Wahabis are stil much sensible than barelvis.

  17. tooba (unregistered) on March 23rd, 2007 @ 1:52 pm

    think of it this way- if u love the Prophet so very much, why not follow wot he said pehley and THEn go on showing ur love in these ways…. the sad thing is k we only choose things which we like and leave the rest!

    m also against the idea of holi but then its not a part of our religion. those who hav faith in it should be allowed celebrating it.

  18. JayJay (unregistered) on March 23rd, 2007 @ 2:12 pm

    Let us celebrate any occassion possible as we don’t have many festive days and a life full of miseries otherwise. More celebrations more fun.
    Why do we have to follow the puritanical Wahhabi interepretation of religion, making it dry and ritualistic. Our milder subcontinental version of Islam, tinged with the culture of land, is tolerant, inclusive, non-violent and fun. Let us turn Eid Milad to rival the festivities of Christmas.

  19. JayJay (unregistered) on March 23rd, 2007 @ 2:18 pm

    More More illumination, more decoration, more festivities, more colour please. . . this is Pakistan, the land of the Indus, the land of Sufis, mysticism, love, peace, tolerance…It is not a dry desert.

  20. Unaiza Nasim (unregistered) on March 23rd, 2007 @ 2:29 pm

    I dont think any where in Hadees (And offcourse no where in Quran) it is said to be celebrated this way.
    Its stupidity. I remember hearing loud sounds of naats being played on huge speakers on the back of trucks and those “hari pagri wala’s” thinking it as a sign of devotion to the Holy Prophet (p.b.u.h).
    Crap! We seriously need soem sense.

  21. Farhan (unregistered) on March 23rd, 2007 @ 2:48 pm

    Celebrating the birthday of holy prophet by stealing electricity , if you something to the people using Kundas they will run you over . Isn’t this against the teachings of Islam , ask all those putting the lights to pay the electric bill for them and we will never see the lights again else it will come out of my and your pockets as surcharges , electricity losses etc etc

  22. BoZz (unregistered) on March 23rd, 2007 @ 2:50 pm

    I am totally for the razzle dazzle. After all, our way of following Islam is a sham and a farce so why shouldn’t we do this too. It is apt for our culture.

  23. Abdullah H. (unregistered) on March 23rd, 2007 @ 3:07 pm

    Celebrate what ever you like but NOT in the name of Islam and certainly NOT by stealing. “Khush raho per apnay kharchai per”.

  24. Ali (unregistered) on March 23rd, 2007 @ 3:39 pm

    basically as a nation we are lazy, always look for the easy way out. Doing naat and putting up the light show is very easy, showing our devotion to our Prophet(saw) by following his teaching is a little bit difficult :-)

  25. JayJay (unregistered) on March 23rd, 2007 @ 3:56 pm

    Religion is easy. It was never meant to be difficult. A religion should be fun, not something full of complex and difficult rituals where everything needs to timed and counted (70 times that, 33 this). Don’t look for rewards when following a religion, enjoy it.

    Don’t steal. Celebrate.

  26. Syed Faraz Mahmood (unregistered) on March 23rd, 2007 @ 4:34 pm

    we only want to pretend that we are muslims, we tend to follow and acquire grandiose customs. while totally forgetting about the contradiction that they bear. Lighting from kunda is essentially a theft , and also there is no account of birthday celeberation of Prophet (peace be upon him) , during his time ,or during Khulfa-e-Rashdeen era. There by this is not only inducting a ‘biddat’ in religion but also supporting it with unlawful resources. It is plainly against the preaching of the Prophet , to whom we are pretending a devotee.

  27. JayJay (unregistered) on March 23rd, 2007 @ 5:09 pm

    Faraz Dude, you must be kidding when you say “there is no account of birthday celeberation” 1400 years back. There was no account of cars then too, stop riding on them; there was no account of the electricity, legal or illegal, stop switching on the bulbs; and if you are damn serious in your aspirations to recreate the atmopshere of Khulfa e Rashideen, never ever use the Internet, throw away your computer, and your mouse too.

    Grow up. Think about present and future and evolve your concept and interpretation of religion accordingly. Otherwise be ready to live like cave-dwelling Talibans.

    “Biddat”??? What is that? No seriously, what is it? Nothing related to similar sounding French word.

    Slavary was allowed then but we don’t practice it now; everyone married multiple times then, not anymore; …

    Make your religion practical and easy for today; don’t make it hard. What next camel rides to work?

    Stealing electricity is bad. Rabi ul Awwal or not.

  28. tooba (unregistered) on March 23rd, 2007 @ 5:28 pm

    i guess u should get ur knowledge of Islam pehley and then argue :)

  29. Ali (unregistered) on March 23rd, 2007 @ 5:44 pm

    Islamic point of view ‘Biddat’ is innovation in religion. Riding camel or driving car has nothing to do with religion so there is no question of ‘biddat’ here. If there had been any reference in Quran or hadit that you only have to ride camel and now we are riding cars then it would be biddat. If the campanions of our rasool(PBUH) never celebrated birthday then who are we to celebrate like we do today. Are we more closer to the Prophet (PBUH) then they were or love him more than they did. Mind you ‘sabahas’ were the best of the Ummah. They gave their life, property and in may occasions their family for our Prophet (PBUH). If someone wants to be happy on rabiulawwal then do so but don’t do ‘kharafat’ and try to assume that it is a religous thing.

  30. Abdullah H. (unregistered) on March 23rd, 2007 @ 6:54 pm

    atleast think before writing counter arguments. and dont jump in anything without knowledge..

  31. ALI (unregistered) on March 23rd, 2007 @ 7:17 pm

    Jayjay you really need to think before you write. I can believe how shallow was your argument. Regarding salavery, the concept this in Islam is very different from what was prevelent in West. The slavery as we know was on the racial bases and was for life. People of certain skin colour were made slave with no rights. They were considered property not humans. In Islam slavey was kind of a occupation where the slaves were given rights, were paid and could be of any skin colour. This kind of slavery is still practiced nowadays. How many of us have servents working in our homes? In Islamic history there are cases where salves became learned men and even rulers.

  32. zeeshan syed (unregistered) on March 23rd, 2007 @ 7:19 pm

    I am totally against it and with the people who oppose the idea of such illuminating decorations. They are not at all a part of Islam and rather something that was inspired and adapted from the Hindi culture. Same goes for the firecrackers (patakhay). This should be banned.

  33. zeeshan syed (unregistered) on March 23rd, 2007 @ 7:23 pm

    And somebody above mentioned something about Sufis. The very concept of Sufis and such ROHANI LEADERS was first created by Jews and it can be found in one of the most oldest jewish writings (Search for a book called “Elders of Zion”).

    I can NOT stand Sufis. They did nothing for Islam or for their people. Allah NEVER tells you to go sit in a damn forest and do nothing but to pray. He did not send us to pray all the time, to have huge beards and to see the world beyond. CRAP.

    Stop following Sufi-ism, stop supporting it, stop the people from supporting it. It’s already done us a big amount of damage. Do we want more?

  34. Kashif-x (unregistered) on March 23rd, 2007 @ 7:37 pm

    There is hardly any entertainment for the body and sould if you have to bear to live in the ‘city of lights’ Karachi.

    It might be a waste of precious electricity, but be realistic guys, what is there to see in Karachi ?

    It wont do much harm if the city looks bright and clean for a few days, as soon after there will be pan spits, public urination and wall chalking on every bridge, wall and undespass and would be just another day in the life of a karachiete.

  35. Salman A. (unregistered) on March 23rd, 2007 @ 8:53 pm

    What if we celebrate it with the intent of getting NO rewards (sawab). Will it still be considered a BID’AT? I am not sure about it. Educate me.

    Jews, Christians, Hindus, etc., they all celebrate the birthdays of their gods and prophets. Why shouldn’t we also express our jubilation on this day? After all 12th Rabi-ul-Awwal is only one of the few occasions when we seem to be united, at least the vast majority does.

    Personally, I love this day for multiple reasons:
    1- Our prophet (PBUP), the greatest human being who came to this universe, is believed to have born on this data.
    2- Some people give it to charity on this occasion.
    3- We see signs of happiness on our streets/houses, see the above picture.
    4- Holiday, and for most of us, delicious food :)

  36. Xono (unregistered) on March 23rd, 2007 @ 9:09 pm

    If only Xono could blow up the entire planet to clean it of the mess that has amassed.

  37. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on March 23rd, 2007 @ 10:47 pm

    if u love the Prophet so very much, why not follow wot he said pehley and THEn go on showing ur love in these ways

    Very well said Tooba. It’s very simple thing. If you love your parents,wife or husband, you actually do things which please them. If at one side you say “I love my mom” while on other hand you are disobeying her then it’s not going to declare you a true lover of your mom infront of others. You could fool to others but not your mom since she know what are you in real. Atleast we can make first step by start drinking water in 3 gulps?

    Don’t look for rewards when following a religion,

    @jay; I don’t know in which context you said this but this is the first time you have made some sense. I do agree with you that we shouldn’t pray for getting into Jannah or rewards. IMO, Ibadat has two forms, one is treating Allah as a lover and other is treating Allah as your Master. When you accept Allah as a lover, you are bound to do whatever Allah says to you. Since “aashiq” doesn’t care wat is good for him or not, all he sees that his lover is happy or not. Guys talk about Logics when God is discussed, where do all logics go when we fall in love with some human being? At that time every logic goes away. When you can love uncondtionally with your wives,husbands,girl/boy friends then why do you get irked to love God unconditionally? I don’t get it at all.

    Accepting Allah as a Master means you have to follow whatever He[SWT] orders. If Allah said to perform Wadu before Salat then you as a slave have no right to ask WHY do I do it? That’s other thing that God Himself cleared many things by explaining the logic behing several religious practise but things like about ROOH[Sprit], Allah didn’t explain further so its better we shutup and follow as a slave of God.

    Enjoy it

    The definition of Enjoyment varies from one person to another. What is enjoyable for you wouldn’t be enjoyable for me. Are you going to make statment that Muslims of 1st generation spent a bored life? Kid, do some homework rather making immature statments like camel ride etc. In desert lands, Camels are still used whether its arabia or India. If you are proposing using Suzuki or Toyota cars just because Camel is old thing then I must laugh at your teachers who gave you education in childhood.

  38. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on March 23rd, 2007 @ 10:56 pm

    @ZeeShaan Syed; Poor you my friend. You got chance to read elders of Zion[A good stuff to read I agree] but you didn’t make attempt to read ‘Kasful Mahjoob’ or books like ‘Tazkartul Aulia’ by Fareed-uddin Attar? I wonder whether you got chance to read the biography of Imam[Hanifa,Malik.Shafa’ai and Hambal](RA)? Did you read about Junaid Baghdadi[RA] Try to read once, specially Kashful Mahjoob in which Ali Hejveri(RA) explains all kinds of sufiism including fake one which you despise, I’m sure it will change your perception about Sufis.

    Don’t mix with genuine sufis with the guys who are drug addicts and reside on different shrines. During Military clash with MQM in 90s, several MQM workers took shelter in different shrines of Interior sind. Now those Altaf Bhai’s guys can’t be taken as Sufis just because they stayed in shrines.

  39. Syed Faraz Mahmood (unregistered) on March 24th, 2007 @ 1:29 am

    wel said adnan bhai.
    just want to add few points, being a muslim our religious festivals have been decided long ago. though we can have cultural adaptations from our cultural but then it should not contradict or violate our religious belief.
    furthermore ,as per my knowledge , the birthdate of Prophet (Peace be upon him), is different among the scholars. though most agreed on 12 but acc. to some its different ( 9 , if i remebered correctly).
    wel there is no harm in celebrating as far as it does not become a must celebration. we should not follow others to acquire customs and traditions. Our Prophet (Peace be upon him), always insisted on to preserve our identity. Fasting on 9-10 /10-11 moharram is a great example,
    @JayJay ,
    no offense ,but please re-read my earlier comments. i think you did not understand my point correctly.

  40. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on March 24th, 2007 @ 2:32 am

    my answer to Zeeshan regarding sufiism is in moderation due to its length or some urdu word which seems unnacceptable in english.anyways

    Salman, In Quran Allah clearly mentioned that He rejected all previous Shariyah so copying people of old religions like Christianity or Judaism is not acceptable. Islam has its own way of celebrating festivals. Two Eids are biggest fesivals for us while Friday is the weekly celebration Day for Muslims. There was no other Eid in Islam. God gave us choices, if we don’t sense them then it’s not Allah’s fault.

  41. JayJay (unregistered) on March 24th, 2007 @ 11:46 am

    Thank you all for your showing so much interest in my views. I still say celebrate whenever you could, whatever the excuse, religious one or a cultural one. Celebrating birthdays or any other happy ocassion does not need to be tested against what is in the scriptures. Ours is a land of ‘melas’ and festivities.

  42. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on March 24th, 2007 @ 12:24 pm

    @zeeshan syed: Alas, you got time to read Elders of Zions but didn’t make attempt to read ‘Kasful Mahjoob’ by Ali Hejveri[RA]. He clearly explained all kinds of sufiism including fake sufiism which you mentioned in your post.

    Also try to grab ‘Tazkartul Aulia’ by Fareed uddin Attar(RA) and biographies of four Imams[Abu Hanifa,Malik,Shafa’i and Hambal[RA]. It would change your wrong perception about Sufis or Sufiism.

  43. hh (unregistered) on March 24th, 2007 @ 12:33 pm

    If you wanna celebrate the bithday of the prophet (SA) then celebrate it every day of the year by following his teachings and examples.

  44. Mohsin Raza (unregistered) on March 24th, 2007 @ 3:07 pm

    As Hazrat Ali(as) said:

    “For a believer every day is eid if he’ll not do a sin”

  45. ozma fazal khan (unregistered) on March 25th, 2007 @ 11:01 pm

    Good to hear some of the comments , especially those questioning the authenticity of such acts as well as terminologies like ‘bidaat’ and ‘kahrafat’..Masha Allaah, there are still people among the youth who strongly feel for their religion and stand for it when needed.
    There is no doubt that this form of ‘celebration’ has no basis in Islam. I have spent 20 years of my life in the Gulf with staunch Arabs/ Muslims but never in those years see them celebrating ‘Milad” . I think its our weakness in this part of the world as well as the heavy impact from across the border for ‘ritualistic religion’ . The sad part however, is teh Prophets Hadeeth which says: the one who resembles with a people will be picked from among them..(meaning) taht you will be judged / dealt with in a way similar to teh people you copy.
    So, to those out there who don’t know about it, be good muslims.make your Prophet proud. The prophet whose only concern in life was his ‘ummaat’ ,,,us muslims. He would always pray for us and am sure still does and will intervene for us on the day of Judgment.
    You could pick a good book on him and read his miracles, read about his behavior with his family members, with slaves , with neighbours , with friends, and you will see the beauty of the Prophet Mohammad Salaiy Allaah o Alaihee wa sallum.
    As a starter: MAke sure you recite teh Durood when ever you hear his nobel name, taht will be worth the lights of this world and and enough insha Allah to ligthen your here after..
    Remebre, Allah Loves His Prophet,and expects us to love our Prophet and follow his ways.
    Allaah give us teh strength and courage to be proud of our Islam and give us teh ability to speak for Islam whenever we can..That is Jihad of teh modern times.

  46. sarah (unregistered) on April 1st, 2007 @ 8:17 am

    Why are you saying that all the money should go to the poor and needy? What’s wrong with putting lights up to show your celeberating? Why do the middle class always think when they see lights.. oh that money was better spent given to the poor. The rich usually do give to the poor. What they spend on decoration they also spend on poors too. (the thing is SOME do it the correct way. by not telling everyone they helped the poor).
    By putting up lights EVERYONE KNOWS there is something to celeberate. It brightens up every mood. So please stop saying useless things like that money should’ve gone to the poor.

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