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Mawlid an-Nabi: Birth of the Prophet Muhammad, Founder of Islam
Mawlid al-Nabim, celebrated on the 12th of Rabiulawal, marks the birth of Muhammad in A.D. 570. The holy day is celebrated in different ways by different Islamic sects.
Mohammed (ca. 570–632) is considered by Muslims to be the prophet and messenger of Allah. Mohammed was raised an orphan in Mecca. As a young man he was a caravan manager in his native city and felt that charity and kindness were lacking in his society. Though reports suggest he had a knack for business, his contemporaries noted that he was also righteous, trustworthy, and fair. At the age of 25, Mohammed married a widow named Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, who bore him six children — four daughters and two sons.
He was 40 when he received the first revelation from the angel Jibrï -l (Gabriel). Deeply shaken by the visitation, Mohammed went home and conveyed this event to Khadijah, who recognized him as a prophet. She is known as the first Muslim.
Over the next 23 years, the angel visited Mohammed conveying single verses or whole chapters. The text was recorded and memorized by many. Around 621, during the night journey called the Isra and Mi’raj, Islamic tradition holds that Mohammed was taken by Jibrï -l to meet with God. The prophet was then instructed that all Muslims should pray five times a day. Two months after performing the Hajj, Mohammed became ill. He died of fever in 632 at the age of 62.