Muslim holidays in Islam

The months
of Islam
  1. Muharram
  2. Safar
  3. Rabi' al-awwal
  4. Rabi' al-thani
  5. Jumada al-awwal
  6. Jumada al-thani
  7. Rajab
  8. Sha'aban
  9. Ramadan
  10. Shawwal
  11. Dhu al-Qi'dah
  12. Dhu al-Hijjah
  • Friday is an important day in the life of a Muslim and it is believed that any devotional acts done on this day gain a higher reward. This day however should not be understood as a Sabbath (day of rest). Muslims reject the belief that God rested after Creation. They attend a mid-day meeting at a local mosque. It consists of prayers and a sermon by the Imam (Muslim priest or pastor).
  • Ramadan is the month when Muslims must fast (abstain from food and water) during daylight hours. Ramadan prayer guide
  • Feast of Breaking the Fast (Eid al-Fitr), or the Little Feast (al-Eid saghir) occurs at the conclusion of Ramadan and is held on the first day of the month of Shawwal.
  • The Big Feast, (Eid al-Adha), "The Feast of Sacrifice" (Kurban Bayram), also known as Tabaski in West Africa 70 days after the Little Feast. Animals are slaughtered to commemorate Abraham's sacrificing of a ram instead of his son as recorded in the Qur'an. (The Bible says it was his son Isaac who was to be sacrificed.) Those who are able make a pilgrimage to Mecca do so just before this date, on the Hajj.
  • Ashura the 10th day of the month of Muharram This is the day on which God saved Moses and the Jews from Pharaoh in Egypt as he crossed the Red Sea (the Exodus day). According to Islamic tradition the prophet Muhammad fasted along with the neighboring Jewish communities on this occasion, and according to narrations, Muhammad planned on fasting on the 9th and 10th of Muharram. (According to Judaism the Jews left Egypt on the first day of Passover, and they crossed the Sea of Reeds on the next morning, both of which are celebrated as holidays with meals.) This is also the day on which Muhammad's grandson, Husayn ibn Ali, was killed in the Battle of Karbala. For Shi'a Muslims this is a day of mourning. Many Sunni Muslims also commemorate this event, but in a less dramatic fashion than the Shi'a. The observance of Ashura is frowned upon by fundamentalist Muslims.
  • Muslim New Year not generally celebrated as an official Islamic holiday, although many Muslim communities have devised or revived some kind of new year ritual celebration. Fundamentalist Muslims frown on the observance of Muslim New Year.
  • Muhammad's Birthday (Al-Mawlidu N-Nabawi Sh-Sharif) Some scholars consider this holiday to be an innovation in the religion, as Muhammad himself did not celebrate it, except by fasting. This holiday is prohibited by the Islamist movement (fundamentalist Islam). Some Arab nations, such as Saudi Arabia, forbid Muslim celebration of Muhammad's Birthday.
  • Laylat al-Qadr (The Night of Power) is on one of the odd last ten nights of Ramadan (19,21,23,25,27,29). It is considered the holiest night of Ramadan. The Night of Power marks the date of the revelation of the first verses of the Qur'an to the Prophet Muhammad. It is believed by some Muslims that if one offers voluntary worship on that night, all past sins are forgiven.
  • Laylat ul Isra' wa-l-Miraaj (The Night of the Journey and Ascension) is on 27 of Rajab. It is the night when Muhammad was, according to tradition, taken to "the furthest mosque" (generally understood to be Jerusalem) on a Buraq (a beast resembling horse with wings. Some people consider it a cherub.) and ascended to the highest level of the heavens. It is said that he negotiated with God about the number of prayers, which started at fifty a day, but on his way down he met Moses who asked him to ask for a reduction in the number, because the requirement was difficult for Muhammad's people. Muhammad returned to God and several times asked for and was granted a reduction of five prayers, until the number was reduced to five in total. A blessing is given if the five prayers were properly performed. The blessing gives a credit of fifty prayers instead of five.
  • Laylat ul Bara'ah (The Night of Freedom from Fire) occurs on the night between the 14th and 15th of Sha'ban. It is considered a night when Muslims are graced with Divine Mercy and blessings. The night is spent in the recitation of the Qur'an and special prayers.

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