Muslims commemorate Mawlid, or Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday, during ‘Rabi’ al-Awwal,’ the third month of the Islamic calendar. This year, it takes place on October 8. Because it marks the birth anniversary of Islam’s founder and the proclamation of the Quran’s first verse, this day is honored by many countries with significant Muslim populations as an official holiday. The Shia community celebrates the event on the 17th of the month, but the Sunni community celebrates it on the 12th. It’s a day to gather and celebrate the founder of one of the world’s most significant religions with millions of followers.
History of Prophet Muhammad’s birthday
Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) was born in Mecca on the 12th day of Rabi’ al-Awwal in 570 A.D. He is believed to be a descendant of Ishmael, one of the two sons of Abraham. His father died before he was born, so his uncle Abu Talib and grandfather Abdul-Muttalib raised him following the death of his mother when he was six.
Celebrations of Muhammad’s birthday are held in mosques where religious lectures and Quranic verse recitations occur. Early celebrations of Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday date back to the eighth century, when al-Khayzuran converted the house where Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) was born into a place of prayer. Although public celebrations of Muhammad’s birth did not begin until four centuries after he died, textual evidence suggests that the oldest Mawlid text dates back to the 12th century and is most likely of Persian origin.
The day is marked differently by Sunni and Shia Muslims. Shiites believe that Prophet Muhammad chose Hazrat Ali to succeed him on the 12th of Rabi’ al-Awwal. The Sunni faith does not mourn on this particular day but prays regularly throughout the month.
Recitations of Islamic poetry from the Mawlid were common in the 1970s and 1980s on television, on stage, and from Abu Dhabi’s Bahar Palace. Although the Mawlid was said more frequently back then, it is now only chanted on Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday.
Prophet Muhammad’s birthday timeline
The Prophet (P.B.U.H.) is born on the 12th day of Rabi’ al-Awwal in the holy city of Mecca.
A year after the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) and his mother, Aminah bint Wahb, reunite following the traditional separation after birth, she passes away.
The earliest known Mawlid text is created, most likely in Persia.
Al-Khayzuran turns the house where Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) was born into a place of prayer, one of the earliest records of a Mawlid celebration.
Prophet Muhammad’s birthday FAQs
What is the prophet’s full name?
Muhammad’s full name is Abū al-Qāsim Muḥammad ibn ‘Abd Allāh ibn ‘Abd al-Muṭṭalib ibn Hāshim.
Do all Muslims celebrate Muhammad’s birthday?
No, not all Muslims do. Some branches of Islam, such as Wahhabi and Salafi, do not. In Qatar and Saudi Arabia, celebrations are not held.
How many times is the celebration held?
This holiday may be celebrated twice because of the Islamic Calendar’s 11-day difference from the Gregorian calendar.
How to Observe Prophet Muhammad’s birthday
Attend religious recitals
In mosques, Prophet Muhammad’s (P.B.U.H.) birthday is marked by religious lectures and recitations of lines from the Quran. Attend these gatherings to honor the founder of one of the world’s largest religions.
Recite Islamic poetry
U.A.E. tradition has the family gathering to recite Islamic poetry, much of it from the Al Mawlid Al Barzanji collection. Men of all generations and occupations sit in a U-shaped formation, and an orator with a microphone recites the poems so that they are heard by those residing in every part of the house.
There may also be a musical accompaniment, such as the drum-like background music of the Al Daf, a traditional Emirati instrument. After the recitations, sponge cake, tea biscuits, and other Emirati dishes may be indulged in. Any leftovers will be given away to the poor before the day is out.
5 Facts About Prophet Muhammad That You Didn’t Know
He was trustworthy
As a result of what Muhammad had learned from his uncle, he gained a solid reputation as a reliable businessman.
It took decades to establish Islam
The Islamic way of life was founded over two decades through Muhammad’s public preaching of revelations from Allah in the Quran.
Angel Jibreel visited him
Only after Muhammad turned 40 was he instructed by the messenger angel Jibreel to proclaim God’s message and shun the idolatry of his people.
He never ate alone
Because it is part of the Sunnah to eat with others, the Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) never ate alone and always invited others to join him, urging others to do the same.
He has a long lineage
Muslims believe that his lineage may be traced back to the Prophet Ismail (A.S.) and that there are 2,670 years between Islam's first and second Prophets.
Why Prophet Muhammad’s birthday is Important
It commemorates a great prophet
This day celebrates the great prophet and founder of Islam, who started one of the most prominent religions in the world. It is only fitting to honor his work and teachings.
The celebrations are jovial
Several communities in the U.A.E. celebrate with big parades and open-air festivities. Male parade participants frequently wear green clothing and carry green flags, while young girls often wear pink and white apparel and participate in the procession. Non-Muslims are sometimes given food, including a meal or a birthday cake.
We revisit Muslim texts
Some traditional celebrations in the U.A.E. include reciting poems from important Muslim documents. This is a great way to reflect on the religion’s tenets. Even if you aren't Muslim, you can learn many valuable lessons from these texts.
Prophet Muhammad’s birthday dates