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Muslim feasts

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Mosque in Acre



Compared to Judaism or Christianity, there are fewer Muslim feasts. In the calendar we can find six (besides the feasts which are connected with the pilgrimage to Mecca):

  • The new year, or Hegira: the Hegira is the beginning of the Islamic new year and commemorates the departure of Mohammed from Mecca to Medina, in 622.
  • The Prophet’s Birthday: during the month of Rabi I the Muslims celebrate Mohammed’s birth in 570, as well as his whole life
  • Laila Al- Bar’h or the Night of Forgiveness: the Muslims forgive each other all their grievances in order to prepare for Ramadan.
  • The Fast of Ramadan: is the most known Muslim feast and also the most important time of the year in Islam.
  • Eid-al- Fitr marks the end of the Fast of Ramadan
  • Eid-al-Kebir, “the Great Feast” commemorates the sacrifice of Abraham.

Yet, all these feasts do not have the same significance as Jewish or Christian feasts.

For example, if we take the beginning of the new year. The Hegira is not considered a feast, even if it marks the most important event in Islamic history, i.e. the departure, the exile -one of the meanings of the word “Hegira” - of Mohammed from Mecca to Medina in 622. Instead, the Hegira is a mere marker of the change of year. Besides, according to certain Islamic traditions, it is even considered impious to celebrate the day as a feast!

Also, let us bear in mind that the Hegira calendar is purely lunar, so a feast may fall in any month!

Currently, we are in the year 1436 of Hegira.

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A minaret


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