Muslim Holidays mainly revolve around pivoting two main observances – Eid-Ul-Fitr and Eid-Ul-Adha. Observances to celebrate Eid-Ul-Fitr begin in the holy Islamic month of Ramadan, which is the ninth month as per the Muslim calendar, and religious rituals continue for the whole month.

Eid-Ul-Adha is observed on the twelfth or the final month of the Islamic calendar which is known as Dhu al-Hijjah, which is considered to be very auspicious by pious Muslims and many devotees undertake pilgrimage known as Hajj during this month, whereby people visit the Islamic holy city of Mecca. Every pious Muslim who is physically able is expected to undertake Hajj at least once in a lifetime.

The religion of Islam and its preachers have always upload five pillars which are considered to uphold the spirit of Islam and keep up its unity and the torch of flame alive. Among those five, Hajj is considered to be the strongest. Muslims believe that when one undertakes Hajj one is declaring complete subjugation and surrender to Allah, who is considered to be the Supreme Being by the Muslims.

It signifies the devotion and faith that one has for Allah. Usually, Hajj can be undertaken as per Muslim rule anytime between the 8th and the 12th month of the Muslim calendar. This period is known as the Waqf al Arafa.

Muslim Holiday Calendar is planed according to the lunar based calendar followed for the traditional Islamic rites and rituals. When plotted against the modern day Gregorian calendar, the dates keep varying from one year to the next.

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Here is a comprehensive Muslim Holiday Calendar for the year 2016 –

  • 05 May, 2016 (Thursday) -- Lailat al Miraj:

  • This is celebrated on the twenty seventh day of the Islamic month o f Rajab, which is the seventh month. Muslims believe that on this day the Prophet took a nighttime journey from Mecca under the guidance of Allah to Jerusalem (known as the Farthest Mosque). His Ascension to Heaven then took Place. In Heaven Allah purified him, and ordered him to preach the principle of Islam that requires devotees to pray for five times during a day.
  • 21 May, 2016 (Saturday) -- Laylat al Bara'at/ Shab e Barat:

  • This is known as the “Night of Salvation” and is observed on the fourteenth or the fifteenth day of the Muslim month of Sha'aban, which is the eighth month as per the traditional Islamic calendar. During this time Muslims believe that they should repent for all the sins they may have committed. They believe that if they do so, then it shall seek them forgiveness from Allah. On this day people perform special prayers. Night vigil is often organized as a custom. The Sunni sect of the Muslims believes this day to be the birth anniversary of the twelfth Imam Al Mahdi.
  • 07 June, 2016 (Thursday) -- Beginning of Ramadan:

  • This is observed on the ninth month of the traditional Muslim calendar known as Ramadan, and is considered to be a very auspicious period by devout Muslims. People observe a fast during this time which is known as Roza when they abstain from food and drink of all kinds from dawn to dusk. At dawn they have a small meal known as Suhoor, and at dusk the fasting is broken with a meal known as Iftaar. Muslims believe that this is the time when all kind of abstinence should be practiced and discipline the mind to think about religious and life’s philosophies.
  • 02 July, 2016 (Saturday) -- Night of Destiny or Night of Power (Laylat al-Qadr):

  • This is the holy night when the Muslims believe that Allah revealed the first five verses of Quran, which is considered to be the holy text of the Muslims, to Prophet Muhammad. This is celebrated on the twenty seventh day of the holy Islamic month of Ramadan. Prayers and holy recitals mark the occasion.
  • 07 July, 2016 (Thursday) -- Eid-Ul-Fitr (end of Ramadan):

  • The term Eid-Ul-Fitr literally signifies “The Festival of Breaking the Fast”. This is celebrated on the first day of the tenth month of the Muslim calendar which is known as Shawwal. This is the day when Muslims observe gaiety and joy as the month long fasting comes to an end. People wear new clothes, decorate homes, meet friends and family, and participate in feasting and merrymaking.
  • 13 September, 2016 (Tuesday) -- Eid-Ul-Adha/ Eid-e-Qurban/ Eid-Ul-Zuha:

  • This is observed on the tenth day of the Muslim month of Dhu al-Hijjah, and is celebrated for four days. This is the day that honors the greatness and devotion of Ibrahim or Abraham who did not hesitate to sacrifice his first born son Ismail or Ishmael when Allah commanded him to. This is the mark of his absolute subjugation. As per beliefs, Allah intervened and saved Ismail by substituting a lamb in his place. Because of this, animal sacrifice is largely practiced on this day. Special prayers are also held.
  • 03 October, 2016 (Monday) -- Al-Hijira (beginning of holy month of Muharram):

  • This is first day of the first month of the Islamic calendar and it also considered being the most auspicious of the twelve months that make up the Muslim calendar. As per the Muslim belief, it is the month in which Prophet Mohammad migrated to Medina from Mecca. Muslims celebrate their traditional New Year on this day.
  • 12 October, 2016 (Wednesday) – Ashura (tenth day of Muharram):

  • This is observed on the tenth day of the Islamic holy month of Muharram. On this day Muslims all around the world mourn the demise of Husayn ibn Ali, who was the grandson of Prophet Mohammad, who was martyred in the Battle of Karbala. This is a special day especially for the Shia sect of Muslims because of the fact that the Battle of Karbala is one of the central ideas around which the beliefs of the Shia sect is grounded.
  • 12 December, 2016 (Monday) -- Milad un Nabi (Birthday of the Prophet Muhammad):

  • This is a very important observance for the people of Islamic faith for it celebrates the birth of Prophet Muhammad, who the Muslims revere as the messiah of Allah. This day is observed on the twelfth day of the third month of the Muslim calendar which is known as Rabi' al-awwal. Since it is believed that the Prophet was born in Mecca, the house in which is believed to be the birth place of the Prophet, is decorated beautifully. Ceremonial prayers are observed. This is the day for prayers and recitation of the Prophet’s preaching. Children are taught about about the Prophet’s life and his philosophies. In some places carnivals are organized. Often hymns are sung in praise of the Prophet.
  • 17 December, 2016 (Saturday) -- Milad un Nabi (Shia):

  • The Shia sect of the Muslims observes the birth anniversary of Prophet Muhammad on a different day than the others. As per their belief, the birthday of the Prophet is celebrated on the seventeenth day of the third month of the Muslim calendar which is known as Rabi' al-awwal.