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Eid Milad-un-Nabi – Justice Markandey Katju


Today, 21st November is Eid Milad-un-Nabi ( also called Barah Wafaat ), the birthday of Prophet Mohammad, and celebrations have started from last evening.

I send my greetings to all Muslim brothers and sisters.

On this occasion I am reminded of something which happened when I was a Judge in Allahabad High Court.
A writ petition was filed before me by some ultra orthodox Muslims, perhaps belonging to the Wahabi or Salafi sect or the like. The petitioners’ prayer was that I should ban a procession proposed to be taken out by some other Muslims in Saharanpur, UP to celebrate the birthday of the Prophet.

I asked why should such order be passed ? The counsel for the petitioners said that by celebrating the birthday of the Prophet one was attributing divinity to him. Thus, the Prophet was being treated as a god, which means there are two gods, Allah and Muhammad, which is against Islam, which says that there is only one god, Allah.
I replied that this is a secular country, and everyone was free to believe or practice whatever he/she wanted, provided that it did not harm anyone. If the petitioners did not approve of celebrating the Prophet’s birthday they need not join the procession, or even look at it, but how can they ask that it be forbidden ? Which law prohibited it ?

Saying this I dismissed the petition

By Justice Markandey Katju
former Judge, Supreme Court of India   
Disclaimer: The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not reflect the views and policies of the
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