Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi or Mawlid: The Birthday of Prophet Muhammad

Eid e Milad un Nabi or Mawlid is the birthday of Mohammed, the prophet who is the founder of Islam, known to the world through the holy book Koran.

The day comes on Rabi' Al-Awwal, the Islamic calendar's third month which means the spring has commenced.

The months of the Islamic calendar begin at the sight of the new moon's first crescent. Because Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi falls in Rabi' Al-Awwal, it's believed to be a blessed month.

Eid e Milad | Milad an Nabi | Eid e Milad un Nabi | Mawlid: Birth of prophet Muhammad (Illustration of hugging men, a boy performing sajdah and namaz, a girl in burka, and a mosque in the background
Mawlid or Eid e Milad: Birth of Prophet Muhammad

Eid-e-Milad | Milad an-Nabi | Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi | Mawlid

Islam: Shia and Sunni

Islam has two major denominations: Shia and Sunni. About 85 to 90 percent of the Muslims of this world are Sunni; the rest are Shia.

Shia Islam and Eid-e-Milad

The Muslims belonging to Shia are also known as Twelvers which refers to Twelve Imams who are prophet Mohammed's political and spiritual successors.

Shia Muslims believe that Mohammed had born on the dawn of the Muslim calendar's 17th.

Sunni Islam and Eid-e-Milad

Sunni and Sunnism terms are derived from Sunnah, which refers to usual practices, habits, traditions, or customs. Muslims consider the term for habits or sayings of Mohammed, the prophet. People belonging to Sunni Islam do not perform any action or possess any belief against the prophetic Sunnah. Those who follow them and indeed specializes in prophetic Sunnah are called Sunnists.

Sunni Muslims believe that Mohammed had born on the dawn of the Muslim calendar's 12th.


The observance of Mohammed's birthday is known as Mawlid, which is a word derived from the term with Arabic root. It means to give birth or to bear a child.

The festival of the prophet's birth is known as Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi and Eid al-Mawlid an-Nabawi in Urdu and Arabic respectively. The day of the prophet in Arabic is called Yawm an-Nabi.

In Malay, the birth of Allah's Messenger is called Maulidur-Rasul.

The 'birth of the prophet' is known as different terms in diversified locations and languages such as:

  • Mawlud or Mawlid an-Nabi: Arabic
  • Milad an-Nabi: Urdu
  • Muled en-Nabi or el Muled or en-Nabawi: Egyptian
  • Eid-e-Meeladun Nabi: Bangladesh, Maldives, Sri Lanka, South India
  • Maulid Nabi: Indonesian
  • Maulidi: Swahili, Hausa
  • Maulud Nabi: Malaysian

This birth of prophet is observed as a blessed event, and the term 'Blessed Birth' is known as:

  • Mawlud-e Sharif: Urdu (Dari)
  • Mawlid en-Nabaoui Echarif: Algerian
  • Mevlud or Mevlid: Bosnian
  • Mevlid-i Serif: Turkish
  • Mevlydi: Albanian
  • Milad-e Payambar-e Akram: Persian

The great prophet's birth is known as Nabi or Mahanabi Jayanti in Sanskrit and South Indian terminology. Here 'Maha' refers to 'great'.

The 'birth' has also its terms:

  • el Muled: Tunisian Arabic
  • Mulud: Javanese

Islamic Unity Week

Shia and Sunni believe Mohammed to be born on the 17th and 12th day of Rabi' Al-awwal respectively. To give respect to both of the denominations, the days from 12 to 17 of Rabi' Al-Awwal are assigned as Islamic Unity Week by the Islamic Republic of Iran, which brings scholars and followers to common ground.

Celebration of Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi 

Mawlid or Eid-e-Milad is celebrated as performing a sacred practice. The ritual celebration of Mawlid is observed in a carnival manner. Mosques and homes are embellished and huge street processions are performed. Eatables are distributed and charity or donation is given. Not only elders, but the children also play their part by narrating the stories of Mohammed's life in poetic forms. The rationale of the celebration resides in expressing the love for the prophet Mohammed.

Mawlid Texts

Mawlid is also referred to as the recited or sung texts that contain the life events or stories related to Muhammad.

Eid Milad-un-Nabi: Celebration in Pakistan

The day is considered a public holiday in Pakistan. Processions and celebrations are made by hoisting the national flag on public buildings. The salute of 31 guns in Islamabad and 21 guns in capitals are fired at the time of dawn.

Not only public buildings but private residence is also illuminated and decorated with Fairy lights. Rabi-ul-Awwal's 11th and 12th days become special for cinemas too as they screen religious films. Huge mass marks the presence at Lahore's Minar-e-Pakistan on the 11th and 12th intervening night.

This contribution to the Mawlid celebration is one of the biggest gatherings. The popularity of this practice is seen in South Asia, Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh in Urdu and Punjabi. At many places, this turns into a week-long celebration. The events include chanting and singing too, welcoming and praising Muhammad in honor of his birthday.

Eid e Milad | Milad an Nabi | Eid e Milad un Nabi | Mawlid: Birth of prophet Muhammad
Mawlid or Eid e Milad: Birth of Prophet Muhammad
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