Calendar of Islamic Holidays 2012
The Islamic Calendar features dates that are of significance to Muslims and their faith. Many of the dates are linked to the lunar cycle which means they change from one year to the next.
4 February Milad Un Nabi (Shia Muslims)
9 February Milad Un Nabi (Sunni Muslims)
20 July Start of Ramadan
14 August Lailat al Qard
19 August Eid-Ul-Futr
26 Oct Eid-Ul-Adha
15 November Al-Hijra
24 November Ashura
Milad Un Nabi – The Birthday of the Prophet
This day is celebrated on two separate days in the Islamic Calendar. During 2012 Shia Muslims celebrated on 4 February, and Sunni Muslims celebrate on 9 February. Festivals on either day are restricted because it is also the anniversary of the Prophets death and because by tradition, Muslims do not celebrate either event because there is no evidence of the Prophet himself celebrating. Nevertheless, the event is marked by large numbers of Muslims who gather in public to listen to speeches about the life of the Prophet.
Muslims will think about the Prophets character and in some countries, mosques are decorated and lit with bright colourful lights. Many Muslims will also use the celebration as a time to draw the family together and will recite tails of the prophet to young children at family gatherings.
Ramadan – The Month of Fasting
During the ninth lunar month, Muslims fast during daylight to remind themselves that it was during this month that the Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet. Similarly, they believe that the gates of Heaven are opened, and the gates of hell are closed.
Celebrations include the reciting of the Qur’an and most Mosque will recite one-thirtieth of the holy book each night at evening prayers. Good actions are also said to bring greater rewards during this month because the month has been blessed by Allah and because the gates of Hell remain chained, it is also believed that Devils can’t tempt believers so most Muslims will attempt to give up bad habits and become better Muslims during this important month.
Lailat al Qadr – The Night of Power
The Night of Power marks the night when the Holy Qur’an was first revealed to the Prophet, and it marks what Muslims believe to be the most important night in all history. Because of its significance, Muslims regard this night as a particularly good time to ask for forgiveness of one’s sins. The day is marked with prayers and readings from the Qur’an
Eid-Ul-Fitr – The End of Ramadan
Celebrating the end of Ramadan with the appearance of the New Moon the festival also thanks Allah for providing the strength and guidance to reach the end of Ramadan. There is a great air of celebration as Muslims will traditionally wear their finest, or even new clothes for the festival, and homes are also brightly decorated. Mosques hold special outdoor services, and the end of fasting is also celebrated with a special meal – the first to be eaten during the daytime for a whole month.
Eid-Ul-Adha – The Festival of Sacrifice
This is a four-day festival that marks the willingness of the prophet Abraham to sacrifice his son’s life at the behest of Allah. Despite being tested by the Devil Abraham prepared his son for sacrifice but God intervened at the last minute to save Isma’il. Today the celebrations remind Muslims of their own submission to Gods will, and they mark this with sacrifices, which are then distributed to the needy in the community.
Islamic Holidays 2012
The festival is also marked by the giving of presents in many families to reflect the sacrifice Abraham was prepared to make to God.
Al Hijra – Islamic New Year
A low-key date in the Islamic Calendar, not celebrated as much as Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha. The day marks the day when the Prophet, and his followers moved from Mecca to Medina and is regarded as a good time for making resolutions about changes you will bring into your life.
Ashura – The martyrdom of Hussein
Celebrated mainly by Shia Muslims this day marks the martyrdom of the Prophets Grandson, Hussein. The day is a solemn day marked with ritual prayers and plays that restage the martyrdom in public with many taking place in public mourning rituals.