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Happy Mawlid al-Nabi! What is Mawlid al-Nabi and How is it celebrated?

Thursday 08/November/2018 - 02:19 PM
File photo
File photo
Edited by: Yara Sameh

What is Mawlid al-Nabi?
Mawlid al-Nabi، the Birthday of the Prophet، is a holiday in the religious tradition of Islam، one of the world's largest religions.

Mawlid al-Nabi celebrates the birth of the Prophet Muhammad، the founder of Islam. Born in Mecca on August 20، 570 C. E.، he was a shepherd and a trader who began to receive revelations from God when he was forty years old.

Prophet Muhammad’s birthday is commemorated by Muslims during the month of Rabi' al-awwal، the third month of the Muslim calendar.

Prophet Muhammad’s birthday is also called Maulud Nabi، and is commonly marked by religious lectures and readings of the Quran.

Muhammad’s birth was approximately in the year 570 (in the Gregorian Calendar). His uncle raised him after both the boy’s parents died while he was very young. Prophet Muhammad learned the trades of the merchant and of shepherding.

He began to preach around the age of 40. Eventually، he and his followers numbering around ten thousand took control of Mecca. Muhammad died from an illness in 632 after uniting Arabia into a single Muslim entity.

Over the next twenty-three years، he not only established the Islamic religion، but also brought an unprecedented degree of political unity to the Arab tribes.

His birth is considered an event of major importance in the Muslim world because he was the last of the prophets and the one to whom the Qur'an (the holy book of the Islamic faith) was revealed.

Joyful but low-key observance of the Prophet's birthday dates back to early centuries of Muslim history. These observances grew larger and more complex over time.

How is it celebrated worldwide?
The holiday is celebrated with large street parades in some countries. Homes and mosques are also decorated. Some people donate food and other goods for charity on or around this day. Others listen to their children read out poems about events that occurred in the Prophet Muhammed's life.

Mawlid is celebrated in this way in many communities across the United States، the United Kingdom، Canada، or Australia.

The biggest Mawlid al-Nabi celebrations in the Middle East usually take place in Egypt. Official Egyptian celebrations can be traced back to the time of the Fatimid Dynasty (909-1171)، whose rulers traced their own ancestry back to Muhammad.

In those days، the festivities began with prayers at the al-Azar mosque and concluded with readings from the Qur'an given in the royal palace. Poor people، mosque guardians، and religious officials who attended the palace event were given specially prepared sweets.

Today، Mawlid al-Nabi is a public holiday in more than forty countries around the world. Muslims gather together in groups to remember Muhammad on his birthday.

They honor the birth of Muhammad in a wide variety of ways that reflect their heritage، culture، and local customs.

In Egypt، Muhammad's birthday is celebrated by illuminating the city of Cairo and with special ceremonies and performances، including a DHIKR.

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