This year Muhammad’s birthday, Mawlid or Eid Milad un Nabi, derived from the Arabic ‘to give birth’, is observed on sundown of 18 October to sundown on 19 October. The date varies each year as it is governed by the lunar calendar. Prophet Muhammad’s birthday is commemorated by Muslims during the month of Rabi’ al-awwal, the third month of the Muslim calendar and the day is commonly marked by religious lectures and readings of the Quran.
Muhammad’s birth was approximately in the year 570 (in the Gregorian Calendar). His uncle raised him after both the boy’s parents died while he was very young. Prophet Muhammad learned the trades of the merchant and of shepherding.
He began to preach around the age of 40. Eventually, he and his followers, numbering around ten thousand took, control of Mecca. Muhammad died from an illness in 632 after uniting Arabia into a single Muslim entity.
Mawlid is celebrated differently by Muslims in different countries. In some cities, the holiday highlights national pride with the raising of the national flag and ceremonies at national monuments. In other places, the day can take on a more festive atmosphere. Some Muslims exchange gifts or give to the poor and go to mosques for prayer. However it is observed, Mawlid brings Muslims together in a public display of respect for and celebration of the prophet Muhammad.