Rabi' al-Awwal

(Redirected from Rabiʽ al-Awwal)

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.

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

During this month, the majority of Muslims celebrate Mawlid, the birthday of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.[why?] Other Muslims do not believe the celebration is evidenced as necessary or even Islamically permissible in the Quran or authentic Hadith and has evolved as an imitation of the Christian celebration of Jesus' birthday on Christmas. Although Muhammad's exact birthday is unknown,[1][2] some Muslims believe it to have been the twelfth of this month.

In the days of the Ottoman Empire, the name of this month in Ottoman Turkish was Rèbi' ulèvvèl,[3] with the abbreviation Ra.[4] 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.[5]


Although historians and scholars disagree on the exact date of Muhammad's birth,[6] it is celebrated by some Muslims on the 12th or 17th of Rabi' al-awwal.

However, some Muslims do not celebrate the Prophet's birthday, as neither the Prophet himself nor any of his companions observed any such birthday celebrations, and they do not consider it an Islamic obligation nor an act of any religious merit with any basis in the Quran or in any authentic Hadith.

When the celebration of the Mawlid is done by Muslims, it is done differently depending on the country. In some areas, celebrations begin as early as the first of the month and can continue till the end of the month. Muslims generally put coloured lights on roads, streets, and their homes and fly green flags as well to celebrate.

In many 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 also distributed widely from home to home and to 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[7]):

Rabī' al-Awwal dates between 2020 and 2024
AH First day (CE/AD) Last day (CE/AD)
1442 18 October 2020 15 November 2020
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

Islamic eventsEdit

Other events:


  1. ^ Annemarie Schimmel (1994). Deciphering the signs of God: a phenomenological approach to Islam (illustrated ed.). Edinburgh University Press. p. 69.
  2. ^ Eliade, Mircea, ed. (1987). The Encyclopedia of religion, Volume 9 (illustrated ed.). Macmillan. p. 292. ISBN 9780029098004.
  3. ^ Youssof, R. (1890). Dictionnaire portatif turc-français de la langue usuelle en caractères latins et turcs. Constantinople. p. 479.
  4. ^ Youssof, R. (1890). Dictionnaire portatif turc-français de la langue usuelle en caractères latins et turcs. Constantinople. p. 476.
  5. ^ "المنجد في اللغة - المكتبة الوقفية للكتب المصورة PDF". waqfeya.net.
  6. ^ "mysticsaint.info". ww1.mysticsaint.info.
  7. ^ "The Umm al-Qura Calendar of Saudi Arabia". webspace.science.uu.nl.
  8. ^ Iranian Revolutionary Guards, Institute of Islamic Studies. Days on viewpoint of Imam Khomeini. Tehran: Islamic research center. p. 176.

External linksEdit