This week, the number 10 trend on twitter was Maulid Nabi (also Mawlid). Maulid Nabi 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. Maulid Nabi falls in the month of Rabi’ al-awwal in the Islamic calendar. Shias observe the event on the 17th of the month, coinciding with the birth date of their sixth Imam, Ja’far al-Sadiq,and Prophet Muhammad while Sunnis observe it on the 12th of the month. As the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar, the corresponding date in the Gregorian calendar varies each year. The following table gives a list of dates showing the date Mawlid will be observed. In 2007, Mawlid fell on March 31 for the Sunnis or April 5 for the Shi¢â‚¬â„¢as. In 2011, the Sunnis celebrated it on February 15 and the Shi’as celebrate it on February 20.
The observance of Maulid Nabi 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).
Islamic scholars are divided on whether observing Maulid Nabi is necessary or even permissible in Islam. Some see it as a praiseworthy event and positive development, while others say it is an improper innovation and forbid its celebration.