Across Indonesia today it is a public holiday in celebration of Muhammad’s birthday. Also called Maulid Nabi, government offices and numerous shops are closed, and, no newspapers are printed for this day.
Maulid Nabi (12th of Raby’al-Awwal, 3rd month)
This day is remembered as the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad PBUH. It is a very popular day of celebration. It, probably, began early in the Fatimid Egypt (beginning of 10th C.E.) where people began distributing sweets and making special chanting and festivities on this day.
There are no special prayers or religious services associated with this day, but many Muslims use this day to talk about the Prophet, his life and examples. They use it as a time to express their love and devotion for Prophet Muhammad.
It is now celebrated with varying degrees of enthusiasm throughout the Muslim world and wherever Muslims live. Some people, however, criticize it because it has no sanction in the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet and the early community did not mark this day with any special festivities.