Eid Mawlid al Nabawi celebrates the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday. It falls on the 12th or 17th day of the Islamic month of Rabi’ al-awwal, the third month in the Islamic calendar. Prophet’s Birthday 2014 is Monday, January 13, 2014.
Muslim festivals are timed according to local sightings of various phases of the moon. Therefore, the dates of the holidays are subject to change, from country to country; also, the number of days of holiday is based on expected days off for the private sector.
Some Muslims mark this occasion by fasting or holding communal meals, special prayers or outdoor celebrations. Islamic educational institutions often hold lectures or classes on Muhammed’s life and how Muslims can live an honorable life. They may also invite non-Muslims to communal meals and lectures or discussions on Islam. These events usually aim to increase the understanding of Islam in the non-Muslim community, rather than to convert people to Islam.
Some communities hold open-air celebrations or parades. People attending the parades may carry green banners and men and boys wear green clothing or headgear. Girls often wear pink and white clothes. A communal meal may be held or birthday cake may be distributed at the end of the celebrations. The food is often also shared with non-Muslims.
Prophet Muhammed was born in Mecca, now in Saudi Arabia, in the year 570 of the Gregorian calendar. The precise date of his birth is unclear. However, Sunni Muslims observe Muhammed’s birthday on the 12th day of the Islamic month of Rabi’ al-awwal, while Shi’a Muslims mark it on the 17th day of this month. The 17th day of Rabi’ al-awwal commemorates the birth of the sixth Shi’a iman, Ja’far al-Sadiq.
The term Mawlid is used in Egypt and Sudan to refer to the birthdays of both Muhammed and local Sufi saints. The birthdays of about 3000 Sufi saints are marked or celebrated. Some of these birthdays are large celebrations that attract visitors from various countries. One of the most notable of these is the celebration of Ahmed el-Bedawi’s birthday. Ahmed el-Bedawi lived about 700 years ago and is believed to be buried under the Mosque of Sheikh el-Said Ahmed el-Bedawi. The site attracts millions of visitors, including those who sleep in the mosque and in tents on the streets surrounding it.
The word Mawlid, or Milad, depending on the method of transliteration used, comes from the Arabic word for birth and usually refers to the anniversary of Muhammed’s birth. This observance is also known as Mevlid Serif in Turkish, Mawlūd Sharīf in Urdu and Maulidur-Rasūl in Malay.
We would like to wish all of our followers a very happy Eid al Mawlid al Nabawi.
The birth of Mohammad. Ottoman miniature painting from the Siyer-ı Nebi, kept at the Topkapı Sarayı Müzesi, Istanbul (Inv. 1221/223b)