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Russia’s Muslims to mark Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday

January 12, 2014, 3:32 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, January 12, /ITAR-TASS/. Muslims in Russia will mark one of the most vital religious holidays on Sunday - Mawlid al-Nabi or Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday. According to the old tradition, it falls on the 12th day of the third month in the Islamic lunar calendar.

In Moscow, a festive concert on the occasion of Mawlid al-Nabi will take place in the Crocus City Hall on January 26. The event will be organized by the Russian Mufti Council and the Religious Administration of Muslims of Moscow.

“This is an interesting annual cultural and educational event. It is a tribute to the bright memory of one of the greatest prophets and enlighteners in human history and a sign of gratitude for the rich spiritual heritage,” the organizers said.

The event’s programme will include a charitable fair and a music concert calling for peace and accord among people. The interrelationship between three religions - Judaism, Christianity and Islam - will be the concert’s main theme. The organizers believe that an inspiring Mawlid al-Nabi programme will disclose the essence of world unity contained in the Abrahamic religions and their prophets: Moses, Jesus and Muhammad.

The Russian Mufti Council believes that integrity and recognition of unity in diversity are one of the main human values in contemporary world whose urgency and importance cannot be put to doubt.

A Revival of Generosity action is also timed to coincide with Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday. Visitors of some Moscow restaurants will be able to taste deserts marked with special cards for free on January 13-19. The Russian Mufti Council will also accept applications for participation in the 9th All-Russian poetic contest devoted to the life of Prophet Muhammad until March 1. The authors of the best works will get a monetary prize.

The first celebrations of the birthday of Prophet Muhammad (570-632) took place only 300 years after the arrival of Islam. The first mentioning of the holiday dates back to the 12th century. The religious authorities refused to recognize the holiday for a long time because they thought that it had appeared under the influence of Christian Christmas. The date was fixed as “an approved novelty” much later.

Mawlidal-Nabi is marked by prayers and religious readings. On this day, people traditionally invite guests and treat them with food; read the Hadith (a narrative record of the sayings and customs of Muhammad) and give alms to the poor.

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