Mawlid / Prophet’s Birthday
Prophet’s Birthday, also colloquially known as the Prophet’s Birthday, is a holiday that observes and celebrates the birthday of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. It is often observed on the 12th day of the third month of the Islamic calendar.
While Sunni Muslims often celebrate it on this date, Shi’a Muslims usually celebrate it on the 17th day of the month.
History of Mawlid
During the sixth century of the Gregorian calendar, Muhammad was born in the Arabian city of Mecca. It is believed that he was born in 570, however, the exact day and date are unclear.
Some groups of Muslims choose to celebrate his birthday on the 12th day of Rabi’ al-awwal, while other groups choose to celebrate his birthday on the 17th day of Rabi’ al-awwal – which also coincides with the birth of Ja’far al-Sadiq.
In parts of Egypt and Sudan, the name of this holiday refers to the birthday of not only Muhammad but also the birthday of thousands of Sufi saints as well. The word Mawlid comes from an Arabic word that means “birth,” which is why it is used to refer to the anniversary of Muhammad’s birth and is used to form the basis of Mawlid.
However, this day is also known by other names in other languages. For instance, in Turkish, it is known as Mevlid Serif, and in Malay, it is known as Maulidur-Rasūl.
Mawlid Customs & Traditions
In some Islamic countries, Mawlid is a public holiday in which many governmental agencies, businesses, and other agencies are closed. However, some Muslims believe that the observance of birthdays, even of the Prophet’s birthday, is a violation of Islamic law.
Until this day, this issue is still being debated with both sides using the Hadith to back up their views. When this day is celebrated, it is celebrated with large street parades. It is often customary for devotees to decorate their homes, businesses, and mosques.
Most people will make donations of food and clothing to their favorite charities on this day. This holiday is sometimes celebrated by some Muslim communities in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
However, in these countries, this holiday is not a public observance, and businesses and governmental buildings do not close. However, not all Muslims in these countries celebrate this day, and some merely spend their free time reading the Quran.