The Mawlid (pl. mawalid) has been a source of spiritual nourishment for generations of believers going back to the earliest communities that followed the blessed era of Nubuwwa. While mawlids varied in form and substance, reflecting the cultural imperatives of the communities that celebrated them, whether from Singapore to Senegal or Gujarat to Georgetown, their inherent essence remained the same. For hundreds of years the mawlid served as a bulkhead that strengthened the edifice of love which believers have for the Messenger of Allah, upon him be peace and blessings, and allowed hearts to be connected to the Prophetic tradition in both its inward and outward substances.
As Muslims began arriving in larger numbers to the city of Toronto in the 1960’s and 70’s from all corners of the world, they also began observing the mawlid on the occasion of the lunar month of Rabi’ al-Awwal. Muslims from Guyana and Trinidad gathered in the east and west ends of the city and so too did members of the Pakistani, Mauritius, South African, and Indian communities. Which mawlid a person attended had less to do with his tariqa and more to do with the type of celebration and cuisine that appealed to him.