There are currently almost 2 billion Muslims globally. Aren’t you curious what one third of the global population celebrate? Well let’s find out, do Muslims have holidays?
Islam celebrates life and culture! We see this clearly in the colorful clothing of muslims all around the world! The famous German poet, Goethe, once wrote a poem about Muhammad ﷺ.
“In the valley down below
‘Neath his footsteps spring the flowers,
And the meadow
In his breath finds life.”Mahomet’s Song
Let’s take a look at some of the celebrations and special days of Islam!
This is one of the most important Muslim holidays, celebrated at the end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting. It marks the conclusion of a month of fasting and prayer. Muslims gather for special prayers at mosques, exchange gifts, and enjoy festive meals with family and friends.
Also known as the “Festival of Sacrifice,” Eid al-Adha commemorates the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham in the Judeo-Christian tradition) to sacrifice his son in obedience to God’s command. Muslims who can afford it may sacrifice an animal, such as a sheep or a goat, and distribute the meat among family, friends, and those in need.
Just like Eid al-Fitr, Muslims all around the world dress in their best clothes and attend the Eid Salah at the mosque in the morning. Afterwards, we visit each other and celebrate together with a large communal feast!
On the 10th of Muharram, we celebrate Ashura! Ashura marks the day the Musa (as) crossed the red sea with the Israelites.
During Ashura, it is sunnah to fast during the day. The reward of doing so is the forgiveness of all the previous year’s sins!
“The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) was asked about observing As-Saum (the fast) on the tenth day of Muharram, and he replied, “It is an expiation for the sins of the preceding year.””Riyad as-Saliheen
But be ready for a bite at night!
In countries like Morocco, the night is filled with bonfires, carnival and special dishes and sweets like Fekkas and Krichlate!
The birth of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ
On the 12th of Rabi al-Awwal, many Muslims celebrate the Mawlid – the birth of our Prophet ﷺ.
In Turkey, mosques become filled with worshippers who recite traditional poems about the life of the Prophet ﷺ. And in Pakistan, a 21-gun salute is even given in cities across the country!
The breaking of the fast!
Eid al-Fitr begins with the first day of Shawwal. After the sighting of the moon, we say “Eid Mubarak” to each other, wishing each other a blessed Eid. In the morning, just after sunrise, we dress in our best clothes and go to the mosque to pray the Eid Salah.
After a month of fasting, we have a religious obligation – to eat!
During Eid, it’s common for Muslims all around the world to host communal feasts with family, friends and neighbors. In Indonesia, people return en-masse to their home towns and villages – a practice known as Mudik – to eat and spend time with their families.
Also known as the “Night of Decree” or “Night of Power,” it is believed to be the night when the first verses of the Quran were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. It falls during the last ten nights of Ramadan and is a night of intense prayer and worship.
It is observed on the 9th day of Dhul-Hijjah, the month of pilgrimage (Hajj). Pilgrims gather at the plain of Arafat near Mecca and engage in prayer and supplication. For Muslims not performing Hajj, fasting on this day is highly recommended.
Islamic holidays offer a rich tapestry of traditions and spiritual significance, providing Muslims around the world with opportunities for reflection, community, and celebration. These special days not only deepen the connection to their faith but also serve as occasions for strengthening family bonds and showing compassion to those in need. Whether it’s the joyous feasts of Eid, the solemnity of Ashura, or the profound nights of Ramadan, Islamic holidays stand as vibrant reminders of the diverse and colorful tapestry of Muslim cultures and the enduring values that unite them.