Last weekend, communities around Wakefield gathered in the Cathedral precinct to mark the Islamic festival of Mawlid. Mawlid is the celebration of the birth of the Prophet Muhammad.
The festival, observed by praising Allah, fasting, poetry, family gatherings and the decoration of streets and homes, is celebrated in 27 regions throughout the UK. In Birmingham an annual public procession takes place, drawing thousands of Muslim worshippers.
However, this was the first year ever that the festival was celebrated in Wakefield. The city put its own special spin on proceedings by handing out chocolates and roses with messages of peace. Activity was planned under the banner of Interfaith Week 2018, with organisers aiming to use Mawlid as an opportunity to engage with local communities and spread understanding of the faith.
In an interview prior to the event, community worker Usman Ali said: “Here in Wakefield we are organising Wakefield’s first ‘Mawlid in The City.’
“The campaign is a grass roots interfaith campaign helping to bring people together around messages of peace.
“Mawlid is a great month to spread the message.
“This year we are inviting people of faith and no faith to come together and to prepare and distribute hundreds of roses attached with messages of peace, love and harmony.”