Meelad (or Milad), the celebration of the birthday of Prophet Muhammed, is a key event in the Galle Muslim Cultural Association (GMCA) calendar. In fact, the GMCA has oganised Meelad Un Nabi celebrations in the month of Rabbi-ul- Awwal – uninterrupted - since its inception in 1963.
Meelad celebrations in the Galle Fort begin a month ahead of the birth anniversary date, with competitions for schoolchildren of the Southern Province. Tajweed, Qirath, Qaseeda and essay competitions (in Sinhala and Tamil languages) are held for girls upto the age of 12 and boys upto the age of 24. There are also azan competitions, an interschool quiz competition and other special prizes. Entries for the oratory – in English, Sinhala and Tamil languages – and calligraphy competitions are called for from all over the island.
Since over a decade now, for 11 days, the GMCA also organises a week of Hadith Majilis held at the Galle Fort mosque where prominent and well respected speakers discuss such topics as the rights of women in Islam, the Islamic way of married life and the signs of Qiyamath Day.
On the day of Meelad celebrations itself, the GMCA organises a public event. Choristers welcome the eminent chief guest to the stage and speeches and prize giving follows. All winners of the various competitions are awarded their trophies and winners of the oratory and essay competitions present their prize winning entries on stage.
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