10 Feb

Eid Milad Celebrations in Libya

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In Libya, women are preferred to stay at home, in fact families’ gatherings indoors are best, because other than the Maluf processions that men do in the afternoon (which is how Eid Milad is celebrated here in Tarabulus only) in the evening, the young take to the streets and start the process of blowing them up! Young guys can be very artful with fireworks here, that at every corner in every street you are bound to come across a scene similar to a war zone! So we just stay in and do our own Zikr where the elder women play the Darbuka and lead the session while others repeat after her. And there are some men who go and attend Hadrahs at night.

Oddly enough, I still have more remarks to make! About the “war zones” that our streets turn into, and what the young become artful with, are not just fireworks but also firecrackers of course. Here we call them “5ottolawwa7” which basically means (light it and throw it !)
Another thing, there’s this practice we used to do as kids: we would hold procession torches in the streets and sing folklore stuff. The story goes like this, that the Jews used to turn all the lights off on the Milad as a sign of affliction and sorrow! So we go on holding lamps and torches igniting the streets just to rub it in their faces!
We did have Jews here in Libya, in fact most folklore stuff and symbols come from them, but when the war broke out between the newly purported state of Israel and Egypt in the 60s people here kinda started persecuting them, which was clearly wrong because they had nothing to do with the war, but still, every time people here heard of a defeat on the Arabs side, they became heated.
The government tried to protect them, they put them in a camp here near some town, but eventually they fled to Italy. And from there immigrated to Israel.
This was an even greater defeat to us, because those who left this country were harmless people, well, semi-harmless; they were awfully clever with trade! And devilishly rich! And it was no surprise that the only two breweries and taverns in Tripoli were established by them, but still, the fact that they didn’t go to Israel regardless of the state’s effort to entice them to come there, with all the privileges they offered them for being genuine Jews! It was our loss, that they went there in the end and persecuted the Palestinians in their turn, and the young generations were fed the mentality of Zionism and distortion of the Talmud.
Even if this celebration was “bed3a.” It is an “approbated” bed3a. In a time where we seem to be losing identity in the middle of world Globalization, and the fast pace of life that causes the man to crater into oblivion even about his Creator! It would be frightful for us to pass this glorious day without so much as acknowledging Allah’s best blessing on humanity and showing gratitude for it. The thing is, this should be done everyday anyway! So, with those who claim celebrating this day a bad thing, and refusing to even mention his name in it! Are in fact acting against God’s commands.
Indeed, there are some A7adiths attributed to the Sahaba which do seem questionable, because the word “Milad'”s origins is disputable to being from the time of the Sahaba, and believe me! There’s no one more inclined than the Salafis to follow the Sahaba’s A7adiths. But the Salafis themselves deny these concerning the Milad and condemning it to be a “Be3a” neither the Prophet (3laih alsalat wa alsalam) nor the Sahaba and the Tabe3een (radia allahu 3laihem) did it.
But, still. We do it under the pretext of it being a commendable bed3a.

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