Dubai on Monday hosted an operetta titled The Prophet of Mercy, commemorating the Prophet Mohammed's birthday, at the Cultural and Scientific Association Theatre in Al Mamzar.
Directed by Iraqi composer Waseem Faris, the performance incorporated seven odes expressing love for the Prophet Mohammed, alongside spiritual dances and visual effects.
The event began with a video performance of Emirati artist Hussain Al Jassmi's song Woleda Al Huda (The Guide Was Born). Written by Egyptian poet Ahmed Shawqi, the song was accompanied by members of Samer Mansour's dancing troupe, wearing Emirati national dress and holding a luminous globe, transforming the dance into a spectacle of light.
As part of the programme, a heartfelt poem written by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, titled Nabii Al Salam (The Prophet of Peace) was also set to music — composed by Faris and performed by Fayez Al Saeed, Fahed Al Kabisi and Jassim Mohammed.
Renowned Tunisian singer and Islamic chanter Lotfi Bouchnak, known as Tunisia’s Luciano Pavarotti, was featured in the song Taj Al Rusul (The Crown of the Messengers), which highlighted the values of the Prophet Mohammed.
Between segments, presenter Safi Mounzer explored Islamic values in the context of the Prophet Mohammed's life, and the effect they have had on society since. He synchronised his performance to an audio recording of the narrator, Wael Habbal, the Arabic voice of Google Maps.
Habbal, who is from Syria, said the secret to connecting with his audience was controlling the speed of his delivery and pitch.
"The spiritual script that was written determined my voice," he said. "My voice was wholehearted and honest.
"Nowadays, some speakers use high-pitched and assertive voices, which makes them less truthful. Today, I wanted the audience of all ages to feel the word and live the spiritual moment. With my voice, I gave them the opportunity to spend some time reflecting on themselves and lifted up their soul."
Faris, who directed the operetta, said the work evoked the values of morality and tolerance, through the spirit of Islamic artistic expression. Faris described Al Mawlid festivities, spanning chanting, dancing and music, as among the most important art forms in the UAE.
"This art has been associated with religious and social events throughout history to strengthen community ties and is one of the UAE's most prominent traditional arts."
The event was organised by the Cultural and Scientific Association in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and Youth and the Dubai International Holy Quran Award. Bilal Al Bdour, chairman of the association's board of directors, said the Prophet Mohammed's birthday was a time of remembrance.
"We pass this message on to our children and future generations in order to ensure that his honourable memory remains in everyone's minds at a time when humanity is in dire need of reflecting on his conduct and becoming illuminated by his guidance in this dark time," he said.
Scroll through images of more celebrations of Prophet Mohammed's birthday below: