Imam Mahdi's Birthday around the world in 2021

Imam Mahdi's Birthday around the world in 2021
Dome of the mosque, Isfahan, Iran. Image via Deposit Photos

  Dates of Imam Mahdi's Birthday around the world
2022 IranMar 19
Iran Sat, Mar 19National Holiday
2021 IranMar 29
Iran Mon, Mar 29National Holiday
2020 IranApr 9
Iran Thu, Apr 9National Holiday
2019 IranApr 21
Iran Sun, Apr 21National Holiday
2018 IranMay 2
Iran Wed, May 2National Holiday
Commemorates the anniversary of the birth of the 12th and Last Imam of Twelver Shia Islam.
Related holidays

When is Imam Mahdi's Birthday?

Imam Mahdi's Birthday is a national holiday in Iran on Mid-Sha’ban, the fifteenth day of the eighth month of the Islamic lunar calendar.

As the Islamic calendar is about 11 days shorter than the western calendar, please see our table to see what date it falls on.

This holiday commemorates the anniversary of the birth of the 12th and last Imam of Twelver Shia Islam.

History of Imam Mahdi's Birthday

In both the Sunni and Shia branches of Islam, it is believed that the 12th Imam would be the final Imam who would be the 'Mahdi' or 'Guide' for humanity until the Day of Judgement.

About 1,200 years ago, according to Shia tradition, Imam Hassan Asgari, the 11th Imam give birth to a son, Muhammad.

Because of the ruling Abbasid Caliph's crackdown to avoid the birth of the 12th Imam, Asgari kept the child’s birth secret and informed only close companions of the existence of his successor.

Aged five, Muhammad al-Mahdi, disappeared on the same day that his father died.

In Shia eschatology (theology of the destiny of man), Imam Mahdi is the Saviour or Messiah, the prophesied redeemer, who will revive peace, administer justice and rid the world of evil. It is said that Imam Mahdi will reappear alongside Jesus to be saviours of the planet and will appear and rule for five, seven, nine, or nineteen years before the Day of Judgment and rid the world of evil.

In Iran, people decorate and light up streets and gather inside mosques and other religious sites across the country to celebrate this auspicious occasion. 

In Tehran, you will see makeshift booths on the sides of the roads which will offer tea and sweets to passers-by.

As this is a  public bank holiday in Iran with most major businesses closed for the day. 

In some other Islamic countries, Mid-Sha’ban is observed as Shab-e-Barat, a night when Muslims believe the fortunes of men are decided for the year ahead and when Allah descends to earth and offers mercy and forgiveness to sinners.

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