Jesus and Muhammad Share a Birthday for First Time in 457 Years
By Gwyneth Talley, Young Explorers Grantee
Last week, for the first time in 457 years, the same day saw both Christians celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ on December 25 and Muslims celebrating the birth of the Prophet Muhammad on the 12th day of Rabi’ al-awwal (though there are large populations of both religions that recognize different dates).
Wishing “peace and goodwill” as well as “happy holidays” are common during winter every year to encompass the many end-of-year celebrations in different faiths. This year (and last, and next, as Mawlid falls in January and December) Muslims have a holiday to be included in that number as well.
There are so many traditions associated with Christmas that it can be overwhelming: a massive amount of gifts, food, and candy; a jolly man that comes down the chimney without being suspected of burglary; children trying to appease said jolly man; the Peter, Paul and Mary Christmas Celebration; and songs, sculptures, paintings, and church services honoring the Virgin Mary giving birth to Jesus in a stable and placing him in a manger.
Due to Islamic practices, there are no depictions of Muhammad as a child (or any older) so there are no nativity scenes. Muslims who celebrate Mawlid gather with their families, pass out sweets, and read stories about the Prophet. Food and charity are distributed to the poor and people gather at the mosque to pray and listen to poetry and songs —> Read More