Eid Al Mawlid, commemorating the birth of Prophet Mohammad, will be celebrated in Morocco this year on January 24th
The celebration will also be held on the same date in France. This was confirmed by an announcement made this week by the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM). "The CFCM announced that the festival which occurs on the 12th day of Rabi 'Al Awal hegira year 1434, will be celebrated this year 24 January," said its president Mohammed Moussaoui.
Note that in the Muslim calendar, a holiday begins on the sunset of the previous day, so observing Muslims will celebrate Mawlid al-Nabi from the sunset of Wednesday, the 23rd of January.
Although Mawlid al-Nabi is always on the same day of the Islamic calendar, the date on the Gregorian calendar varies from year to year, since the Gregorian calendar is a solar calendar and the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar. This difference means Mawlid al-Nabi moves in the Gregorian calendar approximately 11 days every year (as does Ramadan). The date of Mawlid al-Nabi may also vary from country to country depending on whether the moon has been sighted or not.
Celebrations vary from country to country. In Australia, for example, many Muslims fast during daylight hours on Eid Milad ul-Nabi. They may also attend special prayer meetings or lectures on Muhammad's life or on Islam's spiritual aspects. Some Muslim groups also hold classes for children on Muhammad's life or a communal meal or celebration. The rooms used during the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday celebrations are often modestly decorated with banners, flowers or balloons. Other groups hold lectures to inform people about Islam, Mohammed's life and current events in the Muslim world. Stalls selling Islamic books are seen at many events.
|Mawalid in Mogador 1912|
The basic earliest accounts for the observance of Mawlid can be found in 8th century Mecca, when the house in which Prophet Muhammad was born was transformed into a place of prayer by Al-Khayzuran (mother of Harun al-Rashid, the fifth and most famous Abbasid caliph).
Though public celebrations of the birth of Muhammad did not occur until four centuries after his passing away. The oldest Mawlid-text is claimed to be from the 12th century and most likely being of Persian origin.
The early celebrations included elements of Sufi influence, with animal sacrifices and torchlight processions along with public sermons and a feast.
Fundamentalist Muslims, such as the Wahhabi sect, do not celebrate the holiday.