There are certain special holidays which Muslims world-wide celebrate or consider holy. Other days are specific to Sunni or Shi’ah Muslims depending on beliefs and location.
Here is a detailed list of the Muslim holy days (or holidays) in Islam:
Muharram (Islamic New Year)
Ashura (celebrating Moses exodus day and for Shi’ah Muslims, commemorates the anniversary of the martyrdom of Imam Husayn ibn Ali) )
Mawlid al-Nabi holidays (Muhammad’s Birthday)
Ramadan begins (the holy month of fasting)
Eid al-Fitr (Ramadan ending holidays)
Eid al-Adha (Festival of Sacrifice holiday)
Other Special Days
Laylat al-Qadr (the Night of Power) (usually the 26th or 27th day of the month Ramadan)
Laylat ul Isra and Miraj – the Night of the Journey and Ascension”. It is on 26 of Rajab. It is the night when Muhammad was, according to Hadiths, taken to “the furthest mosque” (generally understood to be Jerusalem) on a Buraq (a beast resembling horse with wings; some people consider it a cherub) and ascended to the highest level of the heavens. It is said that he negotiated with God about the number of prayers, which started at fifty a day, but on his way down he met Moses who asked him to ask for a reduction in the number because the requirement was difficult for Muhammad’s people. Muhammad returned to God and several times asked for and was granted a reduction of five prayers, until the number was reduced to five in total, with the blessing that if they were properly performed, the performers would be credited with fifty prayers instead of five.
Laylat ul Bara’ah – Laylat ul Bara’ah is Arabic for “the Night of Freedom from Fire.” It occurs on the night between the 14th and 15th of Sha’ban. It is considered a night when Muslims are graced with Divine Mercy and blessings. The night is spent in the recitation of the Qur’an and special prayers.
Jumu’ah-tul-Wida (last Friday in the month of Ramadan) – Muslims regard this jumu’ah as the second holiest day of the month of Ramadan and one of the most important days of the year. Some Muslims spend a large part of their day on Jumu’ah-tul-Wida doing special worship called ibadah.
Shab-e-Br’aat (15th of Shabaan) – Shias believe that Muhammad al-Mahdi was born. Shias believe him to be the twelfth, final and current Shia Imam and also the Mahdi, a very important Islamic figure who is believed by all Muslims to bring absolute justice to the world by establishing Islam as the global religion.
* Some Sunni groups believe that Mid-Sha’ban is a night of worship and salvation and it is commonly believed that during this night, Allah prepares the destiny for all people on Earth for the coming year. For this reason it is sometimes called Night of Emancipation.
The Islamic / Muslim / Hijri Calendar
Names of the Islamic months
The Islamic Calendar months are named as follows:
1. Muharram محرّم (long form: Muḥarram ul Ḥaram)
2. Safar صفر (long form: Ṣafar ul Muzaffar)
3. Rabi’ al-awwal (Rabī’ I) ربيع الأول
4. Rabi’ al-thani (or Rabī’ al Thānī, or Rabī’ al-Akhir) (Rabī’ II) ربيع الآخر أو ربيع الثاني
5. Jumada al-awwal (Jumādā I) جمادى الأول
6. Jumada al-thani (or Jumādā al-akhir) (Jumādā II) جمادى الآخر أو جمادى الثاني
7. Rajab رجب (long form: Rajab al Murajab)
8. Sha’aban شعبان (long form: Sha’abān ul Moazam)
9. Ramadan رمضان (or Ramzān, long form: Ramaḍān ul Mubarak)
10. Shawwal شوّال (long form: Shawwal ul Mukarram)
11. Dhu al-Qi’dah ذو القعدة
12. Dhu al-Hijjah or Hajj ذو الحجة
Names of the days of the week
1. yaum al-ahad يوم الأحد (first day – Sunday)
2. yaum al-ithnayn يوم الإثنين (second day – Monday)
3. yaum ath-thulaathaa’ يوم الثُّلَاثاء (third day – Tuesday)
4. yaum al-arbia`aa’ يوم الأَرْبِعاء (fourth day – Wednesday)
5. yaum al-khamis يوم الخَمِيس (fifth day – Thursday)
6. yaum al-jumu`a يوم الجُمُعَة (gathering day – Friday)
7. yaum as-sabt يوم السَّبْت (sabbath day – Saturday)
Note: The Islamic dates are based on the Lunar Calendar. A lunar calendar is a calendar oriented at the moon phase.
Since there are about twelve lunations (synodic months) in a solar year, this period (354.37 days) is sometimes referred to as lunar year, corresponding to thirteen sidereal months (355.18 days).
For some lunar calendars, such as the Chinese calendar, the first day of the month is determined by the day during which the moment of new moon arrives, according to a particular time zone. Many other lunar calendars are based on first sighting of the lunar crescent. Thus, different lunar calendars differ in which day is considered the first day of the month. The average length of the synodic month is 29.530589 days. This means the length of a month is alternately 29 and 30 days (termed respectively hollow and full).
Because observations are subject to uncertainty and weather conditions, and astronomical methods are highly complex and differ from place to place.