Although not obligatory, the celebration of Muhammad's birthday, called Mawlid an-Nabi, is nevertheless quite widespread.

It takes place on the 12th day of Rabi’ al-Awwal, the third month of the Muslim calendar.

For many Muslims this is a longstanding historical and cultural event which they see as an expression of their joy and love for the Prophet, who taught them what it means to be Muslims.

Here are five ways Muslims celebrate the occasion:

  • In much of the Muslim world, the celebration includes: lectures, speeches, poems and spiritual songs on the life of Muhammad and the Islamic lifestyle.
  • Many Muslims may fast during the day as the Prophet did on Mondays.
  • Muslims recite Quran and teach the people about the life of the Prophet
  • In some communities, the celebrations of Mawlid may even last the whole month of Rabi’ al-awwal.
  • People may organise street parades for Mawlid as it is celebrated in a carnival manner, and some of the celebrations may be held outdoors.

It’s worth noting that some Muslims do not celebrate this event, although this is a smaller percentage.

They are of the opinion that since the Prophet himself did not celebrate his birthday, neither should Muslims.

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