Monday, 28 November 2011

Muslim Holidays: Awal Muharram & Mawlid

Islam is a faith fit for all thinking humans. 

There are many celebrations in Muslim countries. I'm writing about 2 celebrations in this post - Awal Muharram and Maulidur Rasul.

MUHARRAM

Muharram is the first month of the Muslim calendar system, the Hijrah calendar. All over the world, Muslims celebrate this new year as "Awal Muharram". Awal Muharram is a holiday throughout the world and Muslim countries have a holiday to mark Awal Muharram. Special prayers are also made near Maghrib and after Maghrib to mark this moment (doa akhir tahun & doa awal tahun). This moment is also important for Muslims as their book of deeds (buku amalan) are also replaced at this time. The book of deeds will be reproduced by the right hand (if the good deeds outweigh the bad deeds) or the left hand (more bad deeds than good ones) at the time of one's trial on the Day of Judgement by Allah SWT.

However, there are some countries which do not celebrate Awal Muharram.

MAULIDURRASUL

Mawlid or Maulidur Rasul marks the birthday celebration of the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. In some countries, anything to honour or show love to Rasulullah is bid'ah. So, they don't celebrate Mawlid. Saudi Arabia and Israel are the only countries in the Middle East where the Prophet's birthday is not a holiday.

In our region in Southeast Asia, the largest region where Muslims reside outside the Middle East, the Republic of Singapore today does not have a holiday for Awal Muharram and for Mawlid. When Singapore was a British Crown Colony, Awal Muharram & Mawlid were holidays.

What is interesting is Singapore, Israel and Saudi Arabia have a lot of things in common when it comes to Muslim holidays - they do not honour Awal Muharram and Maulidur Rasul. In all Muslim countries throughout the world, we declare holidays for all important religious celebrations: Aidilfitri (Eid ul Fitr), Aidiladha (Eid ul Adha), Awal Muharram (first of Muharram) and Maulidur Rasul (birth of Nabi Muhammad s.a.w.).

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