Religious Holidays Quiz

Handy Religion 2e
ISBN: 9781578593798
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What and when are some of the Major Muslim Observances?

  • The Islamic New Year starts the year.
  • Many Sunni Muslims celebrate, Rabi al-Awal, the Birthday of the Prophet on a different day than observed by Twelver Shia Muslims.
  • Muhammad's Night Journey and Ascension is celebrated.
  • Feast of the Breaking of the Fast closes Ramadan.


Major Muslim Observances, with names of the Islamic Lunar Months

1 Muharram: Islamic New Year

10 Muharram: Day of 'Ashura (i.e., "tenth" day). For Sunni Muslims, day of recommended fast (parallel to Jewish Day of Atonement originally). For Shia Muslims, the martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of Muhammad, and his followers in 680 c.e.

12 Rabi al-Awal: Birthday of the Prophet observed by many Sunni Muslims

17 Rabi al-Awal: Birthday of the Prophet observed by Twelver Shia Muslims

13 Rajab: Birthday of Ali ibn Abi Talib

27 Rajab: Muhammad's Night Journey and Ascension

15 Sha'ban: Middle of Sha'ban, or Night of Forgiveness, and the birthday of Muhammad al-Mahdi, Twelfth Shia Imam

1 Ramadan: Beginning of month-long fast

21 Ramadan: Martyrdom of Ali ibn Abi Talib

27 Ramadan: Initial "descent/revelation of the Qur'an," (observed on the 17th of Ramadan in Indonesia and Malaysia, also known as the "Night of Power"

1 Shawwal: Feast of the Breaking of the Fast, closing Ramadan--one of the two greatest festal days

8-13 Dhu al-Hijjah: Season of official Hajj to Mecca

10 Dhu al-Hijjah: Feast of Sacrifice during Hajj season, recalling God's command that Abraham sacrifice his son (Isma'il)--second of the two greatest festal days

18 Dhu al-Hijjah: Feast of Ghadir Khumm, Shia observance of the Prophet's designation of Ali as his "caliph"

From The Handy Religion Answer Book, Second Edition by Jack Rendard, Ph.D., (c) 2012 Visible Ink Press(R). Your Guide to the World's Major Faiths

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