When is Muhammad's Birthday in 2014?
'Mawlid' is Celebrated by Muslims during the month of Rabiulawal, the third month of the Muslim calendar.
Shias observe the event on the 17th of the month, while Sunnis observe it on the 12th of the month.
As the Islamic calendar is based on lunar cycles, the date in the Gregorian calendar will vary each year.
Also known to Muslims in Malaysia as Maulud Nabi. This is purely a religious festival and is marked as a public holiday.
Prophet Muhammad was born on 12 Rabiulawal in 570 AD.
His birthday is celebrated with religious lectures and recitals of verses from the Koran.
The basic earliest accounts for the observance of Mawlid can be found in 8th century Mecca, when the house in which Prophet Muhammad was born was transformed into a place of prayer.
Though public celebrations of the birth of Muhammad did not occur until four centuries after his passing away. The oldest Mawlid-text is claimed to be from the 12th century and most likely being of Persian origin.
During Mawlid celebration, the national flag is hoisted on all public buildings, and a 31-gun salute in Islamabad and a 21-gun salute at the provincial headquarters are fired at dawn. Hundreds of thousands of people gather at Minar-e-Pakistan Lahore between the intervening night of 11th and 12th Rabi' al-awwal for Mawlid celebrations, this is the worlds biggest gathering for Mawlid celebrations.
In India, this holiday is observed in the following states: Andaman & Nicobar, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Mizoram, Odisha, Puduchery, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh.