CAIRO – Egypt, among other Muslim-majority countries, on Friday began celebration the birth of Prophet of Islam, Muhammad, an observation known in the Arab world as al-Mawled al-Nabawi.
The religious occasion is marked in Rabi’ al-Awwal, the third month in the 12-month Islamic lunar calendar, which employs the Hijri era, marked by the migration of Muhammad and his followers from Mecca to Medina in 622 CE.
The most distinguished aspects of Egypt’s celebrations include buying candy dolls, which come in two forms; a bride for girls and a horse and rider for boys.
The sweets are made as hard sugary figures for children to eat. Before they are bought, the dolls are decorated with fabric and other colorful objects.
In Egypt’s crowded neighborhoods, stands have been set up selling these candy dolls as well as other nutty sweets.
These stands use bright lights in the night as a way to draw in customers.
The Shiite Fatimid Caliphate in Egypt (909-1171) was the first to use the candy dolls in celebrating the prophet’s birth.
Over the course of time, this way of observing the prophet’s birth lost its links with the Shiite state and became a key part of how common Egyptians celebrate the birth of the prophet.
Muhammad was born in 570 CE in Mecca, in 613 he announced publicly that he was God’s Messenger; that is a prophet following the Judeo/Christian tradition.
Muhammad died on June 8, 632 having unified all of the Arabian peninsula and establishing one of the world’s biggest religions, Islam.