Milad un Nabi marks the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad.
Sunni Muslims celebrate this 5 days earlier. And Shia Muslims celebrate this 5 days later.
It may seem strange to non-Muslims, but many Muslims do not believe in celebrating birthdays or death anniversaries because there is no historical evidence that the Prophet Muhammad ever did this.
Despite this, large numbers of Muslims do commemorate the birth anniversary of the Holy Prophet, which falls on 12 Rabi-ul-Awwal of the Islamic lunar calendar.
This date is important to Muslims because the birth of the Prophet Muhammad is regarded as a great blessing for the whole of humanity.
The Prophet Muhammad is deemed to be the chief of all the Prophets sent on earth and it is to him that the Holy Qur’an was revealed.
There are only restricted festivities on Eid Milad-Un-Nabi because the same day also marks the anniversary of the death of the Prophet.
The event is marked by public gatherings of Muslims. At these meetings religious leaders make speeches about the life of the Prophet.
Stories are told about different aspects of the life of the Prophet, his birth, childhood, youth and adult life.
The most important part of Eid Milad-Un-Nabi is focusing upon the character of the Prophet; on his teachings, sufferings, and how he forgave even his most bitter enemies.
Muslims think about the leadership of the Prophet, his bravery, wisdom, preaching and his final triumph over the Meccan Muslims.
As well as recounting the Prophet’s life, salutations and songs in his praise are recited. In some countries, streets and mosques are decorated and illuminated at night.
Some Muslims donate to charity. Families gather together, feasts are arranged and food is served to guests and the poor.