Blessings for Eid al-Adha
|Observed by||Muslims and Druze|
Dhabihah, sacrifice of a sheep,cow, goat, buffalo or camel
Donating one-third or more of the sacrifice meat to friends and neighbors
Donating one-third or more of the sacrifice meat to the poor and needy
Meals, especially lunches and late breakfasts (brunches)
|Begins||10 Dhu al-Hijjah|
|Ends||12 Dhu al-Hijjah|
|Date||10 Dhu al-Hijjah|
|2018 date||21 August|
|2019 date||11 August|
Eid al-Adha (Arabic: عيد الأضحى, translit. ʿīd al-aḍḥā, lit. 'Feast of the Sacrifice', [ʕiːd ælˈʔɑdˤħæː]), also called the "Sacrifice Feast", is the second of two Muslim holidays celebrated worldwide each year, and considered the holier of the two. It honors the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son, as an act of obedience to God's command. Before Abraham sacrificed his son, God provided a male goat to sacrifice instead. In commemoration of this, an animal is sacrificed and divided into three parts: one third of the share is given to the poor and needy; another third is given to relatives, friends and neighbors; and the remaining third is retained by the family.
In the Islamic lunar calendar, Eid al-Adha falls on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah. In the international (Gregorian) calendar, the dates vary from year to year drifting approximately 11 days earlier each year.
Eid al-Adha is the latter of the two Eid holidays, the former being Eid al-Fitr. The word "Eid" appears once in Al-Ma'ida, the fifth sura of the Quran, with the meaning "solemn festival".
Like Eid al-Fitr, Eid al-Adha begins with a prayer of two rakats followed by a sermon (khutbah). Eid al-Adha celebrations start after the descent of the Hujjaj, the pilgrims performing the Hajj, from Mount Arafat, a hill east of Mecca. Eid sacrifice may take place until sunset on the 13th day of Dhu al-Hijjah. The days of Eid have been singled out in the Hadith as "days of remembrance" and considered the holiest days in the Islamic Calendar. The takbir (days) of Tashriq are from the Maghrib prayer of the 29th of Dhul-Qadah up to the Maghrib prayer of the 13th of Dhu al-Hijjah (thirteen days and nights).
The Arabic term "sacrifice feast", ʿīd al-aḍḥā / ʿīd ul-aḍḥā is borrowed into Indo-Aryan languages such as Urdu, Hindi, Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, and Austronesian languages such as Malay and Indonesian (the last often spelling it as Aidil Adha or Idul Adha). Another Arabic word for "sacrifice" is Qurbani (Arabic: قربان.) The Semitic root Q-R-B (Hebrew: ק-ר-ב) means "to be close to someone/something"; other words from the root include qarov, "close", and qerovim, "relatives." The senses of root meaning "to offer" suggest that the act of offering brings one closer to the receiver of the offering (here, God). The same stem is found in Hebrew and for example in the Akkadian language noun aqribtu "act of offering."
Eid al-Kabir, an Arabic term meaning "the Greater Eid" (the "Lesser Eid" being Eid al-Fitr), is used in Yemen, Syria, and North Africa (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt). The term was borrowed directly into French as Aïd el-Kebir. Translations of "Big Eid" or "Greater Eid" are used in Pashto (لوی اختر Loy Axtar), Kashmiri (Baed Eid), Urdu and Hindi (Baṛī Īd), Bengali (বড় ঈদ Boro Id), Tamil (Peru Nāl, "Great Day") and Malayalam (Bali Perunnal, "Great Day of Sacrifice"). Albanian, however, uses Bajram(i) i vogël or "the Lesser Eid" (as opposed to Bajram i Madh, the "Greater Eid", for Eid al-Fitr) as an alternative reference to Eid al-Adha.
The festival is also called "Bakr-Eid" in Urdu and Hindi language (بقر عید, baqr `īd), stemming from the Arabic word al-Baqara meaning "The Cow", although some have attributed it to the Urdu and Hindi word bakrī, meaning "goat", because of the tradition of sacrificing a goat in South Asia on this festival. This term is also borrowed into other Indian languages, such as Tamil Bakr `Īd Peru Nāl.
In Uzbekistan it is called Qurbon Hayiti (Kurban Eid).
In Bangladesh this Eid is called ঈদুল আজহা(idul azha) & কুরবানির ঈদ(kurbanir id) in Bengali. Literary meaning of Kurbanir Id is the festival of Sacrifice. Idul Azha is loan word from Arabic. বকরিদ(bokrid) is sometimes called in Old Dhaka which means the festival of Goat. This word is come from Hindustani. It is called ꠛꠇꠞꠣ ꠁꠖ(boxra id) in Sylheti, which means the festival of goat too.
Some names refer to the fact that the holiday occurs after the culmination of the annual Hajj. Such names are used in Malaysian and Indonesian (Hari Raya Haji "Hajj celebration day",Lebaran Haji, Lebaran Kaji. When this was not yet an official feast in the Philippines, this was how it was called in Mindanao and other predominantly Muslim areas. When it became a legal holiday in 2009, it became officially known as Eid al-Adha. Some also reference it with local language names like Kapistahan ng Pagsasakripisyo in Tagalog. In Tamil it is called (Hajji Peru Nāl).
It is also known as Id ul Baqarah in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and in the Middle East, as Eid è Qurbon in Iran, Kurban Bayramı ("the Holiday of Sacrifice") in Turkey, Baqarah Eid in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Trinidad, Eid el-Kebir in Morocco, Tfaska Tamoqqart in the Berber language of Jerba, Iduladha or Qurban in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, Qurbani Eid in Bangladesh, Bakri Idh ("Goat Eid") in parts of Pakistan and India and Tabaski or Tobaski in Senegal and West Africa (most probably borrowed from the Serer language — an ancient Serer religious festival), Babbar Sallah in Hausa language and ciida gawraca in Somali. Eid al-Adha has had other names outside the Muslim world. The name is often simply translated into the local language, such as English Feast of the Sacrifice, German Opferfest, Dutch Offerfeest, RomanianSărbătoarea Sacrificiului, and HungarianÁldozati ünnep. In Spanish it is known as Fiesta del Cordero or Fiesta del Borrego (both meaning "festival of the lamb").
According to Islamic tradition, the valley of Mecca (in present-day Saudi Arabia) was a dry, rocky, and uninhabited place. God instructed Abraham to bring Hagar (Hājar), his Arabian (Adnan) wife, and Ishmael to Arabia from the land of Canaan.
As Abraham was preparing for his return journey back to Canaan, Hagar asked him, "Did God order you to leave us here? Or are you leaving us here to die?" Abraham did not even look back. He just nodded, afraid that he would be too sad and that he would disobey God. Hagar said, "Then God will not waste us; you can go". Though Abraham had left a large quantity of food and water with Hagar and Ishmael, the supplies quickly ran out, and within a few days the two began to feel the pangs of hunger and dehydration.
Hagar ran up and down between two hills, Safa and Marwa, seven times, in her desperate quest for water. Exhausted, she finally collapsed beside her baby Ishmael and prayed to God for deliverance. Miraculously, a spring of water gushed forth from the earth at the feet of baby Ishmael. Other accounts have the angel Jibra'il, striking the earth and causing the spring to flow in abundance. With this secure water supply, known as the Zamzam Well, they were not only able to provide for their own needs, but were also able to trade water with passing nomads for food and supplies.
Years later, Abraham was instructed by God to return from Canaan to build a place of worship adjacent to Hagar's well (the Zamzam Well). Abraham and Ishmael constructed a stone and mortar structure – known as the Kaaba – which was to be the gathering place for all who wished to strengthen their faith in God. As the years passed, Ishmael was blessed with nubuwwah (prophethood) and gave the nomads of the desert his message of submission to God. After many centuries, Mecca became a thriving desert city and a major center for trade, thanks to its reliable water source, the Zamzam Well.
One of the main trials of Abraham's life was to face the command of God to sacrifice his dearest possession, his son. The son is not named in the Quran, but Muslims believe it to be Ishmael, though it is mentioned as Isaac in the Bible. Upon hearing this command, Abraham prepared to submit to will of God. During this preparation, Shaitan (the Devil) tempted Abraham and his family by trying to dissuade them from carrying out God's commandment, and Abraham drove Satan away by throwing pebbles at him. In commemoration of their rejection of Satan, stones are thrown at symbolic pillars during the Stoning of the Devil during Hajj rites.
When Abraham attempted to cut his throat, he was astonished to see that his son was unharmed and instead, he found a ram which was slaughtered. Abraham had passed the test by his willingness to carry out God's command.
This story is known as the Akedah in Judaism (Binding of Isaac) and originates in the Tora, the first book of Moses (Genesis, Ch. 22). The Quran refers to the Akedah as follows:
100 "O my Lord! Grant me a righteous (son)!"
101 So We gave him the good news of a boy ready to suffer and forbear.
102 Then, when (the son) reached (the age of) (serious) work with him, he said: "O my son! I see in vision that I offer thee in sacrifice: Now see what is thy view!" (The son) said: "O my father! Do as thou art commanded: thou will find me, if Allah so wills one practising Patience and Constancy!"
103 So when they had both submitted their wills (to Allah), and he had laid him prostrate on his forehead (for sacrifice),
104 We called out to him "O Abraham!
105 "Thou hast already fulfilled the vision!" – thus indeed do We reward those who do right.
106 For this was obviously a trial–
107 And We ransomed him with a momentous sacrifice:
108 And We left (this blessing) for him among generations (to come) in later times:
109 "Peace and salutation to Abraham!"
110 Thus indeed do We reward those who do right.
111 For he was one of our believing Servants.
112 And We gave him the good news of Isaac – a prophet – one of the Righteous.
— Quran, sura 37 (As-Saaffat), ayat 100–112
Abraham had shown that his love for God superseded all others: that he would lay down his own life or the lives of those dearest to him in submission to God's command. Muslims commemorate this ultimate act of sacrifice every year during Eid al-Adha. While Abraham was prepared to make an ultimate sacrifice, God ultimately prevents the sacrifice, additionally signifying that one should never sacrifice a human life, especially not in the name of God.
Main article: Eid prayers
Devotees offer the Eid al-Adha prayers at the mosque.
Who must attend
According to some fiqh (traditional Islamic law) (although there is some disagreement).
- Men should go to mosque—or an Eidgah (a field where eid prayer held)—to perform eid prayer; Salat al-Eid is Wajib according to Hanafi. Sunnah al-Mu'kkadah according to Maliki and Shafi'i jurisprudence. Women are also highly encouraged to attend, although it is not compulsory. Menstruating women do not participate in the formal prayer, but should be present to witness the goodness and the gathering of the Muslims.
- Residents, which excludes travellers.
- Those in good health.
- Shiite version: Eid prayers are Mustahab (recommended) according to Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. However, they are wajib (obligatory) only in the time when the Mahdi and Jesus return.
When is it performed
The Eid al-Adha prayer is performed any time after the sun completely rises up to just before the entering of Zuhr time, on the 10th of Dhu al-Hijjah. In the event of a force majeure (e.g. natural disaster), the prayer may be delayed to the 11th of Dhu al-Hijjah and then to the 12th of Dhu al-Hijjah.
The Sunnah of preparation
In keeping with the sunnah of Muhammad, Muslims are encouraged to prepare themselves for the occasion of Eid. Below is a list of things Muslims are recommended to do in preparation for the Eid al-Adha festival:
- Make wudu (ablution) and offer Salat al-Fajr (the pre-sunrise prayer).
- Prepare for personal cleanliness—take care of details of clothing, etc.
- Dress up, putting on new or best clothes available.
Rites of the Eid prayers
The scholars differed concerning the ruling on Eid prayers. There are three scholarly points of view:
- That Eid prayer is Fard Kifaya (communal obligation). This is the view of Abu Hanifa.
- That it is Sunna Mu’akkada (recommended). This is the view of Malik ibn Anas and Al-Shafi‘i.
- That it is Wajib on all Muslim men (a duty for each Muslim and is obligatory for men); those who do not do it without an excuse are considered sinners. This is the view of Ahmad ibn Hanbal, and was also narrated from Abu Hanifa.
Eid prayers must be offered in congregation. Participation of women in the prayer congregation varies from community to community. It consists of two rakats (units) with seven takbirs in the first Raka'ah and five Takbirs in the second Raka'ah. For Sunni Muslims, Salat al-Eid differs from the five daily canonical prayers in that no adhan (call to prayer) or iqama (call) is pronounced for the two Eid prayers. The salat (prayer) is then followed by the khutbah, or sermon, by the Imam.
At the conclusion of the prayers and sermon, Muslims embrace and exchange greetings with one other (Eid Mubarak), give gifts and visit one another. Many Muslims also take this opportunity to invite their non-Muslim friends, neighbours, co-workers and classmates to their Eid festivities to better acquaint them about Islam and Muslim culture.
The l-hamdu (praise with lip) and other rites
The l-hamdu is recited from the dawn of the ninth of Dhu al-Hijjah to the thirteenth, and consists of:
Allāhu akbar, Allāhu akbar الله أكبر الله أكبر lā ilāha illā-Allāh لا إله إلا الله Wallāhu akbar, Allāhu akbar والله أكبر الله أكبر walillāhi l-ḥamdu ولله الحمد
Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest,
There is no god but Allah
Allah is greatest, Allah is greatest
and to Allah goes all praise.
Multiple variations of this recitation exist across the Muslim world.
Traditions and practices
See also: Eid cuisine and Eidi (gift)
Men, women, and children are expected to dress in their finest clothing to perform Eid prayer in a large congregation in an open waqf ("stopping") field called Eidgah or mosque. Affluent Muslims who can afford it sacrifice their best halal domestic animals (usually a cow, but can also be a camel, goat, sheep, or ram depending on the region) as a symbol of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his only son. The sacrificed animals, called aḍḥiya (Arabic: أضحية), known also by the Perso-Arabic term qurbāni, have to meet certain age and quality standards or else the animal is considered an unacceptable sacrifice. In Pakistan alone nearly ten million animals are slaughtered on Eid days costing over US$2.0 billion.
The meat from the sacrificed animal is preferred to be divided into three parts. The family retains one third of the share; another third is given to relatives, friends, and neighbors; and the remaining third is given to the poor and needy. Though the division is purely optional wherein either all the meat may be kept with oneself or may be given away to poor or needy, the preferred method as per sunnah of Muhammad is dividing it in three parts.
The regular charitable practices of the Muslim community are demonstrated during Eid al-Adha by concerted efforts to see that no impoverished person is left without an opportunity to partake in the sacrificial meal during these days. Hajj is also performed in Saudi Arabia before Eid ul Adha and millions of Muslims perform Hajj. On the event of Hajj lots of Muslims slaughter animals and divide a major part of the meat for poor people.
During Eid al-Adha, distributing meat amongst the people, chanting the takbir out loud before the Eid prayers on the first day and after prayers throughout the four days of Eid, are considered essential parts of this important Islamic festival. In some countries, families that do not own livestock can make a contribution to a charity that will provide meat to those who are in need.
Eid al-Adha in the Gregorian calendar
See also: Islamic calendar
While Eid al-Adha is always on the same day of the Islamic calendar, the date on the Gregorian calendar varies from year to year since the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar and the Gregorian calendar is a solar calendar. The lunar calendar is approximately eleven days shorter than the solar calendar. Each year, Eid al-Adha (like other Islamic holidays) falls on one of about two to four different Gregorian dates in different parts of the world, because the boundary of crescent visibility is different from the International Date Line.
The following list shows the official dates of Eid al-Adha for Saudi Arabia as announced by the Supreme Judicial Council. Future dates are estimated according to the Umm al-Qura calendar of Saudi Arabia. The Umm al-Qura is just a guide for planning purposes and not the absolute determinant or fixer of dates. Confirmations of actual dates by moon sighting are applied on the 29th day of the lunar month prior to Dhu al-Hijjah to announce the specific dates for both Hajj rituals and the subsequent Eid festival. The three days after the listed date are also part of the festival. The time before the listed date the pilgrims visit the Mount Arafat and descend from it after sunrise of the listed day.
In many countries, the start of any lunar Hijri month varies based on the observation of new moon by local religious authorities, so the exact day of celebration varies by locality.
|Islamic year||Gregorian date|
|1436||24 September 2015|
|1437||12 September 2016|
|1438||1 September 2017|
|1439||23 August 2018 (calculated)|
|1440||12 August 2019 (calculated)|
^a The son is not named in the Quran, but most modern Muslims adhere to the view that it was Ismail (Ishmael). Sayings attributed to Muhammad and Islamic commentaries differ on whether Abraham's older son Ishmael, or his younger son, Ishaq, was asked to be sacrificed in the vision. A chain of narration from Yunnus b. Abd al-Ala attributed to Abdallah b. Abbas: "The Prophet in a conversation in which he said, 'Then we ransomed him with a tremendous victim.' And he also said, 'He is Isaac.'"  The Sunni commentary Tafsir Ibn Kathir: "Ibn Jarir narrated that Ibn 'Abbas said, 'The one who was ransomed was Ismail, peace be upon him. The Jews claimed that it was Ishaq.'"
- ^Kadi, Samar (25 September 2015). "Eid al-Adha celebrated differently by Druze, Alawites". The Arab Weekly. London. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
- ^ abc"The Umm al-Qura Calendar of Saudi Arabia". Retrieved 7 March 2017.
- ^Quran 5:114. "Said Jesus the son of Mary: "O Allah our Lord! Send us from heaven a table set (with viands), that there may be for us—for the first and the last of us—a solemn festival and a sign from thee; and provide for our sustenance, for thou art the best Sustainer (of our needs).""
- ^"Eid Al Adha (Sacrifice Feast of Muslims) - Prayer Times NYC". Prayer Times NYC. 2017-08-08. Retrieved 2017-08-07.
- ^Noakes, Greg (April–May 1992). "Issues in Islam, All About Eid". Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. Retrieved 2011-12-28.
- ^ abBianchi, Robert R. (11 August 2004). Guests of God: Pilgrimage and Politics in the Islamic World. Oxford University Press. p. 398. ISBN 978-0-19-029107-5.
- ^ abSheikh Ramzy (2012). The Complete Guide to Islamic Prayer (Salāh). AuthorHouse. p. 310. ISBN 978-1-4772-1530-2. [self-published source]
- ^ abJain Chanchreek; K. L. Chanchreek; M. K. Jain (1 January 2007). Encyclopaedia of Great Festivals. Shree Publishers & Distributors. p. 78. ISBN 978-81-8329-191-0.
- ^Kazim, Ebrahim (2010). Scientific Commentary of Suratul Faateḥah. Pharos Media & Publishing. p. 246. ISBN 978-81-7221-037-3.
- ^Diouf, Niokhobaye , « Chronique du royaume du Sine », suivie de notes sur les traditions orales et les sources écrites concernant le royaume du Sine par Charles Becker et Victor Martin (1972), . (1972). Bulletin de l'IFAN, tome 34, série B, no 4, 1972, p. 706-7 (p. 4-5), p. 713-14 (p. 9-10)
- ^« Cosaani Sénégambie » (« L’Histoire de la Sénégambie») : 1ere Partie relatée par Macoura Mboub du Sénégal. 2eme Partie relatée par Jebal Samba de la Gambie [in] programme de Radio Gambie: « Chosaani Senegambia ». Présentée par: Alhaji Mansour Njie. Directeur de programme: Alhaji Alieu Ebrima Cham Joof. Enregistré a la fin des années 1970, au début des années 1980 au studio de Radio Gambie, Bakau, en Gambie (2eme partie) et au Sénégal (1ere partie) [in] onegambia.com [in] The Seereer Resource Centre (SRC) (« le Centre de Resource Seereer ») : URL: http://www.seereer.com. Traduit et transcrit par The Seereer Resource Centre : Juillet 2014  p. 30 (retrieved: September 25, 2015)
- ^Brisebarre, Anne-Marie; Kuczynski, Liliane, « La Tabaski au Sénégal: une fête musulmane en milieu urbain », KARTHALA Editions (2009), pp 86-7, ISBN 9782811102449 (retrieved : September 25, 2015)
- ^Becker, Charles; Martin, Victor; Ndène, Aloyse, « Traditions villageoises du Siin », (Révision et édition par Charles Becker) (2014), p 41
- ^(in Spanish)La Fiesta del Cordero en Marruecos, Ferdaous Emorotene, 25 November 2009
- ^Elias, Jamal J. (1999). Islam. Routledge. p. 75. ISBN 978-0-415-21165-9. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
- ^Muslim Information Service of Australia. "Eid al – Adha Festival of Sacrifice". Missionislam.com. Retrieved 2011-12-28.
- ^Quran 37:100–112Abdullah Yusuf Ali translation
- ^"Question & Answer Search (Eid)". The Official Website of His Eminence Al-Sayyid Ali Al-Husseini Al-Sistani. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
- ^Asmal, Fatima (6 July 2016). "South African women push for more inclusive Eid prayers". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
- ^"Sunnah during Eid ul Adha according to Authentic Hadith". Scribd.com. 2010-11-13. Retrieved 2011-12-28.
- ^حجم الحروف – Islamic Laws : Rules of Namaz » Adhan and Iqamah, retrieved 2014-08-10
- ^"The Significance of Eid". Isna.net. Archived from the original on 2013-01-26. Retrieved 2011-12-28.
- ^"Eid Takbeers – Takbir of Id". Islamawareness.net. Retrieved 2011-12-28.
- ^"Bakra Eid: The cost of sacrifice". Asian Correspondent. 2010-11-16. Retrieved 2011-12-28.
- ^"Eid al-Adha 2016 date is expected to be on September 11". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 2016-08-14.
- ^al-Tabari; Translated by William M. Brinner (10 June 2015). History of al-Tabari Vol. 2, The: Prophets and Patriarchs. Albany, New York: State University of New York Press. p. 83. ISBN 978-0-7914-9751-7.
- ^Tafsir ibn Kathir
Malaysian Sunni Muslims in a Mawlid procession in capital Putrajaya, 2013.
|Also called||Eid al-Mawlid an-Nabawī (المولد النبوي), Havliye, Donba, Gani|
|Observed by||Adherents of mainstream Sunni Islam, Shia Islam and various other Islamic denominations except a few such as Wahhabism/Salafism etc.|
|Significance||Traditional commemoration of the birth of Muhammad|
|Observances||Hamd, Tasbih, fasting, public processions, Na`at (religious poetry), family and other social gatherings, decoration of streets and homes|
|Date||12 Rabi' al-awwal|
|Frequency||Annual/lunar (every 12 lunations)|
Mawlid or Mawlid al-Nabi al-Sharif (Arabic: مَولِد النَّبِي mawlidu n-nabiyyi, "Birth of the Prophet", sometimes simply called in colloquial Arabicمولدmawlid, mevlid, mevlit, mulud among other vernacular pronunciations; sometimes ميلادmīlād) is the observance of the birthday of the Islamic prophetMuhammad which is commemorated in Rabi' al-awwal, the third month in the Islamic calendar. 12th Rabi' al-awwal is the accepted date among most of the Sunni scholars, while Shi'a scholars regard 17th Rabi' al-awwal as the accepted date.
The history of this celebration goes back to the early days of Islam when some of the Tabi`in (the successors of the Companions of the Prophet) began to hold sessions in which poetry and songs composed to honor the dignity and the righteous example of the Messenger of Allah were recited and sung to overflowing crowds in the major cities of Islamic Civilization.. The Ottomans declared it an official holiday in 1588, the term Mawlid is also used in some parts of the world, such as Egypt, as a generic term for the birthday celebrations of other historical religious figures such as Sufisaints.
Most denominations of Islam approve of the commemoration of Muhammad's birthday; however, some denominations including Wahhabism/Salafism, Deobandism and the Ahmadiyya disapprove its commemoration, considering it an unnecessary religious innovation (bid'ah or bidat).Mawlid is recognized as a national holiday in most of the Muslim-majority countries of the world except Saudi Arabia and Qatar which are officially Wahhabi/Salafi. Shaykh Faraz Rabbani states that the Mawlid is generally approved of across the four Islamic schools of law and by mainstream Islamic scholarship.
|Look up mawlid in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
Mawlid is derived from the Arabic root word (Arabic: ولد), meaning to give birth, bear a child, descendant. In contemporary usage, Mawlid refers to the observance of the birthday of Muhammad.
Along with being referred to as the celebration of the birth of Muhammad, the term Mawlid also refers to the 'text especially composed for and recited at Muhammad's nativity celebration' or "a text recited or sung on that day".
The date of Muhammad's birth is a matter of contention since the exact date is unknown and is not definitively recorded in the Islamic traditions. The issue of the correct date of the Mawlid is recorded by Ibn Khallikan as constituting the first proven disagreement concerning the celebration, among the most recognisable dates, Sunni Muslims believe the date to have been on the twelfth of Rabi' al-awwal, whereas Shi'a Muslims believe the date to have been on the seventeenth.
In early days of Islam, observation of Muhammad's birth as a holy day was usually arranged privately and later was an increased number of visitors to the Mawlid house that was open for the whole day specifically for this celebration, this celebration was introduced into the city Sabta by Abu 'l'Abbas al-Azafi as a way of strengthening the Muslim community and to counteract Christian festivals.
The early celebrations, included elements of Sufic influence, with animal sacrifices and torchlight processions along with public sermons and a feast, the celebrations occurred during the day, in contrast to modern day observances, with the ruler playing a key role in the ceremonies. Emphasis was given to the Ahl al-Bayt with presentation of sermons and recitations of the Qur'an.
According to the hypothesis of Nico Kaptein of Leiden University, the Mawlid was initiated by the Fatimids, with Marion Holmes Katz adding "The idea that the celebration of the mawlid originated with the Fatimid dynasty has today been almost universally accepted among both religious polemicists and secular scholars." This Shia origin is frequently noted by those Sunnis who oppose Mawlid, among Sunnis, the Mawlid celebration emerged in the 12th century, and the first detailed description of a Sunni Mawlid celebration was of one sponsored by emir Gökböri.
Among Muslim scholars, the legality of Mawlid "has been the subject of intense debate" and has been described as "perhaps one of the most polemical discussions in Islamic law". Traditionally, most Sunni and nearly all of the Shia scholars have approved of the celebration of Mawlid, while Wahhabi and Ahmadiyya scholars oppose the celebration.
Examples of historic Sunni scholars who permitted the Mawlid include the Shafi'i scholar Al-Suyuti (d 911 A.H.) who stated that:
My answer is that the legal status of the observance of the Mawlid – as long as it just consists of a meeting together by the people, a recitation of apposite parts of the Qur'an, the recounting of transmitted accounts of the beginning of (the biography of) the Prophet – may God bless him and grant him peace – and the wonders that took place during his birth, all of which is then followed by a banquet that is served to them and from which they eat-is a good innovation (bid'a hasana), for which one is rewarded because of the esteem shown for the position of the Prophet – may God bless him and grant him peace – that is implicit in it, and because of the expression of joy and happiness on his – may God bless him and grant him peace – noble birth.
The Shafi'i scholar Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani (d 852 A.H.) too approved of the Mawlid and states that:
As for what is performed on the day of the Mawlid, one should limit oneself to what expresses thanks to God, such as the things that have already been mentioned: [Qur'anic] recitation, serving food, alms-giving, and recitation of praise [poems] about the Prophet – may God bless him and grant him peace – and asceticism which motivate people to perform good deeds and act in view of the next world.
The DamasceneShafi'i scholar Abu Shama (d 665 A.H.) (who was a teacher of Imam al-Nawawi (d 676 A.H.)) also supports the celebration of the Mawlid as does the Maliki scholar Ibn al-Hajj (d 737 A.H.) who spoke positively of the observance of the Mawlid in his book al-Madhkal. Likewise, the Shafi'i Egyptian scholar Ibn Hajar al-Haytami (d. 974 A.H.) was an avid supporter of the Mawlid and wrote a text in praise of it. This was supported and commented on by the Egyptian scholar and former head of Al-Azhar UniversityIbrahim al-Bajuri and by the HanafiSyrianMuftiIbn Abidin. Another Hanafi Mufti Ali al-Qari (d. 1014 A.H.) too supported the celebration of the Mawlid and wrote a text on the subject as did the Moroccan Maliki scholar Muḥammad ibn Jaʿfar al-Kattānī (d. 1345 A.H.).Ibn al-Jazari (d. 833 A.H.), a Syrian Shafi'i scholar considers the celebration of the Mawlid to be a means of gaining Paradise.
In the Muslim world, the majority of Sunni Islamic scholars are in favor of the Mawlid. Examples include the former Grand Mufi of Al-Azhar UniversityAli Gomaa,Muhammad Alawi al-Maliki of Saudi Arabia, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the primary scholar of the Muslim Brotherhood movement, Habib Ali al-Jifri,Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri,Muhammad bin Yahya al-Ninowy of Syria, Muhammad Ibn Ahmad al-Khazraji, president of the Heritage and History Committee of the United Arab Emirates and Zaid Shakir, all of whom subscribe to Sunni Islam, have given their approval for the observance of Mawlid.
The Mawlid was not accepted by Wahhabis and Salafis. Taj al-Din al-Fakihani (d. 1331), an Egyptian Maliki, considered Mawlid to be a blameworthy innovation that was either makruh or haram. This view was shared by fellow Egyptian Maliki Ibn al-Haj al-Abdari, who added that the celebration was never practiced by the Salaf, however Ibn al-Haj affirms the auspicious qualities of the month of the Mawlid in the most effusive terms and considers Muhammad's date of birth as a particularly blessed time of the year. The Maliki scholar Al-Shatibi considered Mawlid an illegitimate innovation.  The Andalusian jurist Abu 'Abd Allah al-Haffar (d. 1408) opposed Mawlid, noting that had the Sahaba celebrated it then its exact date would not be a matter of uncertainty. The former Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Abd al-Aziz ibn Baz, along with Hammud ibn 'Abd Allah al-Tuwayjiri (d. 1992), another Saudi scholar, in their opposition also argued that there were many worthy occasions in Muhammad's life which he never commemorated, such as the revelation of the first verses of the Qur'an, the Night Journey and the hijra.
The Ahmadiyya fall into the group who oppose Mawlid; however, they hold gatherings called jalsa seerat-un-Nabi commemorating the life and legacy of Muhammad oriented towards both Muslim and non-Muslim audiences. These gatherings are not held on any specific date, rather they may be held throughout the year.
Ibn Taymiyya's position on the Mawlid has been described as "paradoxical" and "complex" by some academics. He ruled that it was a reprehensible (makrūh) devotional innovation and criticised those who celebrated the Mawlid out of a desire to imitate the Christian celebration of Jesus' birthday, at the same time, he recognised that some observe the Prophet's birthday out of a desire to show their love and reverence of the Prophet and thus deserve a great reward for their good intentions. The Salafi writer Hamid al-Fiqi (d. 1959) criticised Ibn Taymiyya for holding this view and stating that "How can they receive a reward for this when they are opposing the guidance of God's Messenger (pbuh)?".
Mawlid is celebrated in almost all Islamic countries, and in other countries that have a significant Muslim population, such as India, the United Kingdom, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, France, Germany, Italy, Russia and Canada. The only exceptions are Qatar and Saudi Arabia where it is not an official public holiday and is forbidden. However, as a result of Wahhabi and other strict traditionalist Muslim influence, since the last decades of the late 20th century there has been a trend to "forbid or discredit" Mawlid (along with similar festivals) in the Sunni Muslim world.
Often organized in some countries by the Sufi orders, Mawlid is celebrated in a carnival manner, large street processions are held and homes or mosques are decorated. Charity and food is distributed, and stories about the life of Muhammad are narrated with recitation of poetry by children. Scholars and poets celebrate by reciting Qaṣīda al-Burda Sharif, the famous poem by 13th-century Arabic Sufi Busiri. A general Mawlid appears as "a chaotic, incoherent spectacle, where numerous events happen simultaneously, all held together only by the common festive time and space", these celebrations are often considered an expression of the Sufi concept of the pre-existence of Muhammad . However, the main significance of these festivities is expression of love for Muhammad.
During Pakistan's Mawlid, the day starts with a 31-gun salute in federal capital and a 21-gun salute at the provincial capitals and religious hymns are sung during the day.
In many parts of Indonesia, the celebration of the Mawlid al-nabi "seems to surpass in importance, liveliness, and splendour" the two official Islamic holidays of Eid ul-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.
In Qayrawan, Tunisia, Muslims sing and chant hymns of praise to Muhammad, welcoming him in honor of his birth. Also, generally in Tunisia, people usually prepare Assidat Zgougou to celebrate the Mawlid.
Among non-Muslim countries, India is noted for its Mawlid festivities, the relics of Muhammad are displayed after the morning prayers in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir at the Hazratbal Shrine, where night-long prayers are also held.
Along with being referred to as the celebration of the birth of Muhammad, the term Mawlid also refers to the 'text especially composed for and recited at Muhammad's nativity celebration' or "a text recited or sung on that day", these texts contain stories of the life of Muhammad, or at least some of the following chapters from his life, briefly summarized below:
- The Ancestors of Muhammad
- The Conception of Muhammad
- The Birth of Muhammad
- Introduction of Halima
- Life of Young Muhammad in Bedouins
- Muhammad's orphanhood
- Abu Talib's nephew's first caravan trip
- Arrangement of Marriage between Muhammad and Khadija
- Al-Mi'radj, or the Ascension to heaven
- Al-Hira, first revelation
- The first converts to Islam
- The Hijra
- Muhammad's death
These text are only part of the ceremonies. There are many different ways that people celebrate Mawlid, depending on where they are from. There appears to be a cultural influence upon what kind of festivities are a part of the Mawlid celebration; in Indonesia, it is common the congregation recite Simthud Durar, especially among Arab Indonesians.
Main article: Urs
In some countries, such as Egypt and Sudan, Mawlid is used as a generic term for the celebration of birthdays of local Sufi saints and not only restricted to the observance of the birth of Muhammad, around 3,000 Mawlid celebrations are held each year. These festivals attract an international audience, with the largest one in Egypt attracting up to three million people honouring Ahmad al-Badawi, a local 13th-century Sufi saint.
Mawlid an-Nabawi celebrations in Cairo in 1878
The Ottoman flag is raised during Mawlid an-Nabi celebration of Mohammad's birthday in 1896 in the field of municipal Libyan city of Benghazi
An illuminated view of Presidency and Parliament House decorated with colorful lights in connection with Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi celebrations in Pakistan
Under supervision of Shaykh Sufi Riaz Ahmed Naqshbandi Aslami, 2007
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