Mawlid (Qur'anic Arabic: مَوْلِدُ النَبِيِّ mawlidu n-nabiyyi, “Birth of the Prophet” Standard Arabic: مولد النبي mawlid an-nabī, sometimes simply called in colloquial Arabic مولد , mawlid, mevlid, mevlit, mulud among other vernacular pronunciations) or sometimes ميلاد , mīlād is a term used to refer to the observance of the birthday of the Islamic prophet Muhammad which occurs in Rabi' al-awwal, the third month in the Islamic calendar.
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 Sufi saints.
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. Other terms used for this event include:
* Mawlid an-Nabī (pl. al-Mawālid) – The Birth of the Prophet (Arabic)
* Milād an-Nabī – The Birth of the Prophet (Arabic/Urdu)
* Mevlid-i Şerif – The Blessed Birth / Mevlüt – The Name (Turkish)
* Mevlud/Mevlid – Birth (Bosnian)
* Mawlūd-e Sharīf – The Blessed Birth (Dari/Urdu)
* Zadruz-e Payambar-e Akram – The birth of the great/blessed Prophet (Persian)
* Eid al-Mawlid an-Nabawī – Festival of the birth of the Prophet (Arabic)
* Eid-e-Milād-un-Nabī – Festival of the birth of the Prophet (Urdu)
* Mawlid en-Nabaoui Echarif – The Blessed Birth of the Prophet (Algerian)
* el Mūled (en-Nabawi)/Mūled en-Nabi – The birth (of the prophet)/Birth of the prophet (Egyptian Arabic)
* Yawm an-Nabī – The Day of the Prophet (Arabic)
* Maulidur-Rasūl – The Birth of the Messenger of Allah (Malay)
* Mulud – The Birth (Javanese)
* Maulid Nabi – The Birth of the Prophet (Indonesian)
* Maulud Nabi – The Birth of the Prophet (Malaysian)
* Maulidi – ? (Swahili)
* Meeladu Nabi – The Birth of the Prophet (Bangladesh,Sri Lanka, Maldives, South India)
* Gamou – ? (Wolof)
* Nabi/Mahanabi Jayanti – The birth of the (great) Prophet. (Sanskrit), (Indian Languages) 'Maha' means great.
Mawlid is celebrated in most Muslim countries, and in other countries where Muslims have a presence, such as India, Britain, Russia and Canada. Saudi Arabia is the only Muslim country where Mawlid is not an official public holiday. Participation in the ritual celebration of popular Islamic holidays is seen as an expression of the Islamic revival.
Where 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.
During Pakistan's Mawlid celebration, the national flag is hoisted on all public buildings, and a 31-gun salute in Islamabad and a 21-gun salute at the provincial headquarters are fired at dawn. The cinemas shows religious rather than secular films on 11th and 12th Rabi-ul-Awwal.Hundreds of thousands of people gather at Minar-e-Pakistan Lahore between the intervening night of 11th and 12th Rabi' al-awwal for Mawlid celebrations , this is the worlds biggest gathering for Mawlid celebrations.
Among non-Muslim countries, India is noted for its Mawlid festivities. The relics of Muhammad are displayed after the morning prayers in the Indian states of Jammu and Kashmir at the Hazratbal Shrine, on the outskirts of Srinagar. Shab-khawani night-long prayers held at the Hazratbal Shrine are attended by thousands.
Other non-Muslim countries noted for its Mawlid festivities are Kenya and Tanzania where it is known as "Maulidi". In Kenya, the most famous place is the coastal island of Lamu and Malindi. In Tanzania the largest celebrations are on the island of Zanzibar.
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. The Indonesian Javanese week-long Sekaten ceremony commemorates Mawlid in the Sultanate of Yogyakarta.