Rabi' al-awwal

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Rabi' al-awwal (ربيع الأوّل) is the third month in the Islamic calendar. During this month, the majority of Muslims celebrate Mawlid - the birthday of the Islamic prophet, Muhammad. Although the exact date is unknown,[1][2] Sunni Muslims believe the date of birth of Muhammad to have been on the twelfth of this month, whereas Shi'a Muslims believe him to have been born on the dawn of the seventeenth day. The name Rabī‘ al-awwal means the first [month] or beginning of spring, referring to its position in the pre-Islamic Arabian calendar. Hence this is considered to be a very blessed month.

Meaning

The word "Rabi" means "spring" and Al-awwal means "the first" in Arabic language, so "Rabi' al-awwal" means "the first spring" in Arabic language. The names seems to have to do with the celebration events in the month as "spring" is the end to winter (symbol of sadness) and consequently the start of happiness. The Arabic calendar being lunar calendar, the month is naturally rotating over years and Rabī‘ al-awwal can be in spring or any other season every now and then, so the meaning can not be related to the actual season.[3]

Celebrations

Main article: Mawlid
Indian Muslims with green flags for Mawlid

Although historians and scholars disagree on the exact date of Muhammad's birth,[4] it is commonly celebrated on 12th or 17th of Rabi' al-awwal. The celebration of the Mawlid is done differently depending on the country. In some areas celebrations begin as early as the first of the month and can continue till the end of the month. Muslims generally put coloured lights on roads, streets, and their homes and put green flags as well to celebrate. In many countries a procession is also conducted on 12th or 17th of Rabi' al-awwal night and day. On these occasions sweets and drinks are also distributed widely from home to home and to the general public. In some areas Muslims also exchange gifts. It is the month of blessings.

Timing

The Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar, and months begin when the first crescent of a new moon is sighted. Since the Islamic lunar calendar year is 11 to 12 days shorter than the solar year, Rabī‘ al-Awwal migrates throughout the seasons. The estimated start and end dates for Rabī‘ al-Awwal are as follows (based on the Umm Al-Qura calendar of Saudi Arabia[5]):

AH First day (CE / AD) Last day (CE / AD)
1437 12 December 2015 10 January 2016
1438 30 November 2016 29 December 2016
1439 19 November 2017 18 December 2017
1440 09 November 2018 07 December 2018
1441 29 October 2019 27 November 2019
1442 18 October 2020 15 November 2020
Rabī‘ al-Awwal dates between 2015 and 2020

Islamic events

Masjid al-Quba, the first mosque, was built in this month.

Other events:

References

  1. ^ Annemarie Schimmel (1994). Deciphering the signs of God: a phenomenological approach to Islam (illustrated ed.). Edinburgh University Press. p. 69. 
  2. ^ Eliade, Mircea, ed. (1987). The Encyclopedia of religion, Volume 9 (illustrated ed.). Macmillan. p. 292. ISBN 9780029098004. 
  3. ^ َAl-Monjed dictionary and encyclopedia - the word Rabi' al-awwal
  4. ^ What is the Authentic Date of Birth and Death of Prophet Muhammad?
  5. ^ Umm Al-Qura calendar of Saudi Arabia
  6. ^ Iranian Revolutionary Guards, Institute of Islamic Studies. Days on viewpoint of Imam Khomeini. Tehran: Islamic research center. p. 176. 

External links

  • Rabi Ul Awal Naats
  • Islamic-Western Calendar Converter (Based on the Arithmetical or Tabular Calendar)
  • Islamic Calendar / Hijri Calendar for Makkah
  • https://habibur.com/hijri/1438/3/
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