Mawlid or Mawlid al-Nabi al-Sharif Festival of Hui Ethnic Minority
English Name: Mawlid or Mawlid al-Nabi al-Sharif Festival of Hui Ethnic Minority
Mawlid or Mawlid al-Nabi al-Sharif (Arabic: مَولِد النَّبِي mawlidu n-nabiyyi, “Birth of the Prophet”, sometimes simply called in colloquial Arabic مولد mawlid, mevlid, mevlit, mulud among other vernacular pronunciations; sometimes ميلاد mīlād) is the observance of the birthday of Islamic prophet Muhammad which is commemorated in Rabi’ al-awwal, the third month in the Islamic calendar. 12th Rabi’ al-awwal is the accepted date among most of the Sunni scholars, while Shi’a scholars regard 17th Rabi’ al-awwal as the accepted date.
The history of this celebration goes back to the early days of Islam when some of the Tabi‘un began to hold sessions in which poetry and songs composed to honour Muhammad were recited and sung to the crowds. The Ottomans declared it an official holiday in 1588, known as Mevlid Kandil. 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.
Most denominations of Islam approve of the commemoration of Muhammad’s birthday; however, with the emerge of Wahhabism/Salafism, Muslims began to disapprove its commemoration, considering it an illicit religious innovation (bid’ah or bidat). Mawlid is recognized as a national holiday in all Muslim-majority countries of the world except Saudi Arabia and Qatar which are officially Wahhabi/Salafi.