Today, perhaps for the first time, I had a little milad gathering with my kid. I miss those milad gatherings in Lahore. At the time, we had to sit silently and were told what to do when, but the first – the very first time, a milad hit me, was when I was about fifteen years old. I was reciting naats in a school milad. And suddenly, while reciting the final salam, I found the earth unsteady below my feet, and a stream of tears gushing down my face. I didn’t understand what was happening.
For our little home milad, I found a couple of videos. I wanted to start with Zammilooni because it connected us with Mother Khadija (radiallah anha) and the love of the Prophet for her. Then we listened to ya Nabi salam alayka, a sweet video that reminds us of devotions in the middle of the mundane, and the gift of salawat.
Then I did a recitation of Ya Nabi salam alayka with my daughter, as we stood to honor him. Then we recited some surahs for the Prophet, especially al-Kauther, and talked about it as a gift in his presence.
We listened to Umme Habiba’s گل از رخت آموختہ with the English translation. Then we talked about the metaphorical and lyrical language in Jami’s naat: how the love for the Prophet is often expressed in language about nightingales, ruby lips, cypresses, and eyebrows. We talked about how metaphors express profound spiritual realities and love that people can easily grasp.
We went on to talk about how Sufis often described spiritual experiences and the Sufi path in these metaphors and codes. And we left it there, opening up a path that she can explore later if she wishes.