Pakistanis Celebrate Eid-Milad-un-Nabi, Good Friday and Holi Today

Posted on March 21, 2008
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Religion, Society
15 Comments
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Adil Najam

The vast majority of Pakistanis are Muslims – over 160 million according to some counts – and will celebrate Eid Milad-un-Nabi today to mark the birth of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Coincidently, this year Eid Milad-n-Nabi comes on exactly the same day when the another 3 million Pakistani Christians will be marking Good Friday to commemorate the day when Prophet Jesus (PBUH) was crucified. About an equal number of Pakistanis – the 3 million Hindus and Sikhs in Pakistan (also here and here) – will be celebrating the festival of Holi today (my understanding is that although Holi is a primarily Hindu festival it is also widely celebrated by Sikhs, especially in the Punjab).

Masjid PakistanGurdwara PakistanGirja PakistanMandir Pakistan

Whether they be in the masjid, their mandir, thier gurdwara or their girja ghar, we share heartfelt good wishes with all – in Pakistan and everywhere else – who commemorate these occasions today. The coincidence of Eid Milad-un-Nabi, Good Friday and Holi falling on the exact same day (in 2006 it was Diwali and Eid that came back to back) can be symbolic. But only if we want it to be so.

Symbolism, after all, is important only if one is inclined to derive the message from the symbol. For those who do, there are many good messages to be derived from this coincidence. None more important than the message of religious harmony, tolerance and minority rights. It is a message that we in Pakistan as well as everyone else in our conflict torn world can learn much from.


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For those Pakistanis who are Muslims and live as the overwhelming majority in Pakistan today may be a good day to think of those Muslims – including but not only Pakistani Muslims – who live as minorities in societies where the overwhelming majorities are of other faiths. How would we like them to be treated by those around them… and should we not treat those of other religious traditions who live amongst us the same way. To think not just of the bad treatment that we object to, but of the good treatment that we all hope for. Maybe this would be a good opportunity and a good way to think of what it means to be a minority. In doing so, I hope they will also think of non-Muslim minorities living in Pakistan. Maybe those of other faiths living elsewhere in the world will similarly think of the religious minorities – including but not only Muslims – in their own societies and do likewise.

Maybe on this day when so many people in so many places are reminded of why their own faith means so much to them and gives so much to them … maybe on this day they will all also take a moment to show respect to the faiths of others as much as they want their own faith to be respected. I have no relious or scholarly authority to know what Muhammad, Jesus or the great sages of Hinduism would have said about this, but within my heart I cannot imagine that they could possibly have wanted otherwise.

Peace, to all.

15 Comments on “Pakistanis Celebrate Eid-Milad-un-Nabi, Good Friday and Holi Today”

  1. Daktar says:
    March 21st, 2008 3:44 am

    Yes, this world needs tolerance and a message of religious coexistence. Thank you ATP for highlighting this message for people of all religions all over the world.

  2. March 21st, 2008 9:06 am

    THIS IS TO LET EVERYONE KNOW THAT COMMENTS ARE UP AGAIN. For some technical reasons people were not able to leave comments between 11PM last night and now. Hopefully, that issue is now resolved. Our apologies for the inconvenience.

  3. Ayaz Siddiqui says:
    March 21st, 2008 9:18 am

    You forgot Nauroze…Happy Nauroze to my Parsi friends

  4. Anwar says:
    March 21st, 2008 9:50 am

    A wonderful coincidence. Greetings to followers of all faiths.

  5. libertarian says:
    March 21st, 2008 10:49 am

    Adil, good wishes to you too. Nice sentiment and good plug for tolerance. The reality, unfortunately, is anything but – Pakistan’s minorities are being marginalized into extinction (how else to explain folks “hugging the Sikh policeman” – hug him and display tolerance credentials before he vanishes too). How about plugging for equal rights under the law? Protecting minorities requires extra oversight – not just legalize it in high-sounding language and maintain status quo – Pakistan is a Republic, not a Democracy. How about highlighting violence (state and civilian) or illegal actions against minorities that would be patently unpopular on this forum? Can you back up your message of tolerance with some hard action?

    Or maybe the point of the post was just to wish everybody.

  6. SMM says:
    March 21st, 2008 11:51 am

    very good post. You r right we should all think of how we would want to be treated if we were minorities. All over the world and our region specially we see intolerance from those in majority. This is so everywhere. At least on such days we should hoighlight what is common.

    So before people spoil this thread too I just want to say thank you.

  7. Deeda-i-Beena says:
    March 21st, 2008 2:29 pm

    Adil: Congratulations for a great and timely Post.
    Ayaz Siddiqui: Thanks for reminding us of Nauroze and the Parsi faith.
    Interestingly, Nauroze is also being celebrated in Afghanistan today as a day to welcome Spring, and as a “non-religious” day and if I am not wrong in Iran too.
    Great day for all mankind.

  8. MQ says:
    March 21st, 2008 2:49 pm

    In addition to Iran and Afghanistan, Nauroz is also celebrated in Turkey and some parts of Central Asia.

  9. bhitai says:
    March 21st, 2008 7:15 pm

    Norouz is also celebrated in parts of Pakistan. Today in Hangu, a Norouz celebration turned into a sectarian fight after Taliban allegedly attacked a gathering at a local mosque. Another rally taken out by Sipah-e-Sahaba (i wonder why they are still allowed to roam free) came under attack by a rival faction in Khairpur.

    Unfortunately we don’t seem to have the capacity to celebrate even the most joyous of days with a bit of decency and dignity anymore!

    happy Eid-e-milad to all..

  10. Beej Kumar says:
    March 21st, 2008 9:05 pm

    Have fun, everybody!! :)

  11. Rafay Kashmiri says:
    March 22nd, 2008 6:29 am

    @Celeberation is how the Juhalas functions to prove
    to the world that they exist, it is indeed a manifestation
    of the absence of Iman, faith, belief, Dharam, atleast a
    very weak one disliked by all the “saints, Wallis, and even
    Prophets “. Today, seculars are so bankrupt, that they have
    only this to display as “the rest” of their “poverty of soul”.

    Hullah Gullah karwao gay kab tak,
    Lao gay kittnay Dewanay abhi aur.

    Manalo tum sub apnay “Tehwaar”
    Banalo tum apni aik janat aur.

    Karlo tum Islam-kushi apnay taur
    pakar jab hogi to chil’lao gay tum.

    Hisab dogay tum, aur tumhari naslain bhi
    Ghulami kar chukay ho,aur karogay naslon tak

  12. Absar says:
    March 22nd, 2008 8:55 am

    Religious harmony is one of the biggest issues of our age everywhere in the world. Too many followers of all religious seem more interested in being angry at other religions than just following the good that is in their own religion. As if religion was some sort of a competition and you have to prove you are better than others!

  13. S.A. says:
    March 22nd, 2008 3:20 pm

    Beautiful post. Thank you for expressing the sentiment of the silent majority of the world who just want to live in peace and with respect. Respect for all. Peace for all.

  14. Eidee Man says:
    March 22nd, 2008 3:34 pm

    FIVE holidays and I don’t get a single day off??

  15. someone says:
    March 23rd, 2008 3:57 am

    Well said, Rafay Kashmiri! We have to keep the flag flying regardless of the seculars and juhalas.

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