Naqshbandiya Foundation for Islamic Education

The Naqshbandiya Foundation for Islamic Education (NFIE) is a non-profit, tax exempt, religious and educational organization dedicated to serve Islam with a special focus on Tasawwuf(Sufism),

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Mawlid Celebration in 14th Century Muslim Granada,Spain


April Najjai Associate Professor of History at Greensboro College, North Carolina

The available information regarding the celebration of the mawlid festival in the Kingdom of Granada comes from a work called the Nufadah al-jirab fi ‘ulalat al-igtirab 'only work of its kind known to have survived from the Nasrid dynasty. The author of the treatise, Ibn al-Khatīb, was the grand vizier of the Nasrid dynasty under the rule of Yusuf I (1333 -1354 CE/733–755 H) and of Yusuf’s son, Muhammad V (1354-1359; 1361-1391 CE/755-760; 762-792 H). The celebration itself was an all-night affair that lasted over twelve hours, beginning with the Maghrib prayer at sunset, through the night prayer of Isha’, and ending after the Fajr prayer at dawn the next morning. Ibn al-Khatib gives no names of specific people who attended the festival save one—Ibn Khaldun, an official from the Marinid court in North Africa whose ancestors had fled Islamic Spain a hundred years earlier. He had come to Granada on a diplomatic mission and had only arrived four days previously; he stayed in Granada long enough to attend the mawlid festival the next year, too.

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