Mawlid an-Nabi

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The Islamic Calendar
Muslim Holidays
• Islam

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Mawlid an-Nabi is a special holiday for many in the Muslim faith. It is celebrated to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad, who entered the world in 570. It is celebrated on the 12th day of Rabi al-Awwal, the fifth month of the Islamic Calendar. (In 2021, this holiday falls on October 18 on Western calendars.)

On this day Muslims celebrate by focusing on the life and teachings of Muhammad. They sing songs and say special prayers. A special part of this remembrance is on how he forgave even his most bitter enemies. As with other holidays, Muslims also give to the poor.

This holiday was first celebrated in the 13th Century and was the end of a month of celebration. The holiday was then celebrated more heavily, with huge gatherings of people in one place, special gift giving, and a monstrous feast. Celebrations are more subdued now. In fact, Muhammad urged his followers not to make a big deal out of his birthday, like Christians do for Jesus (Christmas). Following this directive, many Muslims do not celebrate Mawlid an-Nabi, considering it not to be a holiday at all.

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David White