Muslim Holy Days (Islamic Special Holidays)

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)

Hajj Pilgrimage to Mecca

Arafat Day (9th day of month Dhu’l-Hijjah or Hajj, unity day at Arafat mountain)

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.


  1. Advised by Jesus himself to fast privately and without open display (Matthew 6:16-18), we make ourselves available for responses to this communication but without identifying ourselves individually by name. May God comfort you, sustain you in hope, and bestow on you every blessing.
    Ramadan Fasters of Christ.
    [Edited for brevity – Admin]

  2. Mash’allah! May your son have a good life.

    P.S. Why does it annoy you?

  3. Wow. Thank you for making your religious tradition look better than mine. Can I play that game too? Compared to the good vibe of Eid al Adha, Muslims find Christmas and its focus on and enjoyment of the torture and brutal death of an innocent man. Stoning the devil symbolizes Muslims overcoming the evils of temptation. Is that something you would find fault with?

    Considering the fact that Hajj is mandatory once in one’s life and the fact that people waste time going on vacation and going to other places, I think I would prefer to “take out apay day loans just to make a trip to participate in this event” to humble myself before God and ask forgiveness for every sin I have committed in my life than go to ,say, Disneyland.

    • Um… Easter is the one with the brutal torture and death. Christmas is all angels and shepherds and wise men from the east (probably Arabs and Persians- they were among the most scientifically advanced in the age). For the record, I was raised a Roman-Catholic, but I believe that whatever a person’s faith, they should have the freedom to practice it to the extent that it does not intrude onto the personal freedoms or rights of another. Judgement is the domain of God, not man. Quite frankly, I feel it is incumbent upon us each to find the flaws in our “Holy Books” that would be inherent in anything touched by man. The inspired beauty of art, poetry, and science comes closer to the word of God than many of the sour, misogynistic, uneducated, and politically manipulative edicts set forth in much of the world’s so-called religious teachings. We CAN find truth in those teachings, but we must do some critical thinking to do so. How many more of our fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons, and daughters must die before we stop breaking laws like “Thou salt not kill” because someone else has rationalized a way around it… created an exception… a way to justify an act of barbarism. Holiness will never spring from violence… only peace.

  4. By the way, I like how you try to make it seem as though Muslims and westerners are two different groups, despite the fact that there are millions of American and European Muslims. Thank you for trying to otherize Muslims. It tells a lot about you.

  5. hello i like this website a little bit because muslims everywhere is my favourite

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