Mawlid is an Islamic observation of the birth day of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. This is commemorated in Rabi' al-Awwal, the third month of the Islamic calendar. Most Sunnis consider this to be 12 Rabi' al-Awwal, although most Shi'ites consider 17 Rabi' al-Awwal to be the date. Mawlid's parentage is disputed in the Islamic world. It was introduced by the Abbasids or Fatimids.
The first public festival was started by the Muslim general Gökböri in 1207. Under Murad III (1574–1595) in the Ottoman Empire, Mawlid became an official holiday in 1588. Most denominations of Islam approve of the celebration of Muhammad's birthday.
The Ahl-i Hadith, Ahmadiyya, Deobandism, Salafism and Wahhabism movements condemn its commemoration as a bid'a ("innovation") in Islam. Mawlid is recognized as a national holiday in most of the Muslim-majority countries of the world, with the exception of Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
Mawlid comes from the Arabic root of the word, meaning giving birth, having a child, an offspring. In modern usage, Mawlid refers to the celebration of Muhammad's birthday. In addition to being referred to as the celebration of the birth of Muhammad, the term Mawlid refers to "a text specially composed and recited during the celebration of the Nativity of Muhammad" or "a text recited or sung on that day". The term Mawlid is also used in some parts of the world such as Egypt as a general term for the day on which someone is born, the celebration of other historical religious figures such as Sufi saints.
According to most Sunni Muslims and some Shiites, Muhammad was born on the 12th of Rabi' al-awwal. On the other hand, many Twelver Shia Muslims claim that Muhammad was born on the 17th of Rabi' al-awwal. This is a matter of ikhtilaf or disagreement as some Shia scholars such as Muhammad ibn Ya'qub al-Kulayni, Ibn Babawayh and Zayn al-Din al-Juba'i al-'Amili confirmed the date of Rabi al-Awal's 12th day. Nevertheless, others argue that Muhammad's date of birth is unknown and not definitively recorded in Islamic traditions. The question of the correct date of the Mawlid was recorded by Ibn Khallikan as the first proven disagreement regarding the celebration.
Iran National and Public Holidays