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Rabi' al-Awwal

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Rabi' al-Awwal
Indian Muslims with green flags for Mawlid
Native nameرَبِيع ٱلْأَوَّل (Arabic)
CalendarIslamic calendar
Month number3
Number of days29-30 (depends on actual observation of the moon's crescent)
Significant days

Rabiʽ al-Awwal (Arabic: رَبِيع ٱلْأَوَّل, romanizedRabīʿ al-ʾAwwal, lit.'The initial Rabi', also known as Rabi' al-Ula (Arabic: رَبِيع ٱلْأُولَىٰ, romanizedRabī‘ al-ʾŪlā, lit.'The first Rabi'), or Rabi' I) is the third month of the Islamic calendar. The name Rabī‘ al-awwal means "the first month or beginning of spring", referring to its position in the pre-Islamic Arabian calendar.

In the days of the Ottoman Empire, the name of this month in Ottoman Turkish was Rèbi' ulèvvèl,[1] with the abbreviation Ra.[2] In modern Turkish, it is Rebiülevvel.


The word "Rabi" means "spring" and Al-awwal means "the first" in the Arabic language, so "Rabi' al-awwal" means "the first spring" in Arabic. The name seems to have to do with the celebratory events in the month, as spring marks the end of winter (a symbol of sadness) and consequently the start of happiness. As the Islamic calendar is a purely lunar calendar, the month naturally rotates over solar years, so Rabīʽ al-awwal can fall in spring or any other season. Therefore, the month cannot be related to the actual season of spring.[3]


Although historians and scholars disagree on the exact date of Muhammad's birth,[4] it is celebrated by some Muslims on the 12th or 17th of Rabi' al-awwal, however it can be done on any day at any time of the year.

Mawlid is done across the globe by majority of the Muslim world. A minority of Muslims do not partake as they believe it to be an innovation.

The essence of the Mawlid is from the Sunnah. The sahaba would congregate specifically to thank Allah for blessing them with the prophet, distribute food, read poetry about the prophet as done by Hassan Ibn Thabit, speak about the life and birth of the Prophet and other praiseworthy acts which is what is carried out in Mawlid gatherings today. The Prophet ‎صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم would fast on Mondays as it was the day he ‎صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم was born (Sahih Muslim)

Although a lot of Muslims make an extra effort in the month of Rabi Ul Awwal, mawlid can be done at any day and time of the year. It is done by all Muslims everyday without realising - simply praising the Prophet or speaking about the seerah (life of prophet) can be a form of mawlid. There does not have to be a set day or time, neither does a venue have to booked or does there need to be a significant number of people to partake in Mawlid. It can simply be two people speaking about the Prophet ‎صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم and praising him.

In some countries, a procession is also conducted on the night and day of the 12th or 17th of Rabi' al-awwal. On these occasions, sweets and drinks are distributed widely from home to home and the general public. In some areas, Muslims also exchange gifts.


The Islamic calendar is a purely lunar calendar, and months begin when the first crescent of a new moon is sighted. Since the Islamic lunar 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]):

Rabī' al-Awwal dates between 2021 and 2025
AH First day (CE/AD) Last day (CE/AD)
1443 07 October 2021 05 November 2021
1444 27 September 2022 25 October 2022
1445 16 September 2023 15 October 2023
1446 04 September 2024 03 October 2024
1447 024 August 2025 022 September 2025

Islamic events

Other events:


  1. ^ Youssof, R. (1890). Dictionnaire portatif turc-français de la langue usuelle en caractères latins et turcs. Constantinople. p. 479.((cite book)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  2. ^ Youssof, R. (1890). Dictionnaire portatif turc-français de la langue usuelle en caractères latins et turcs. Constantinople. p. 476.((cite book)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  3. ^ "المنجد في اللغة - المكتبة الوقفية للكتب المصورة PDF".
  4. ^ "".
  5. ^ "The 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.
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Rabi' al-Awwal
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