Friday, March 21, 2008

Milad an-Nabi/Birthday of Prophet Muhammad (Islam), Good Friday (Christianity), Purim (Judaism)

Yesterday (Thursday, March 20th) and today (Friday, March 21st) mark special days in the calendars of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. I personally love it when important days of these three religions clump together. I think there is a message, of some sort, in that occurrence.

Thursday, March 20, 2007 marked Milad an-Nabi: the Birthday of the Prophet Muhammad for Muslims. To mark this day is not to be taken as a sign of 'worshipping' Muhammad or setting him out as God himself. Muhammad was very clear in his instructions that he was not to be worshipped in any way. That would be confusing the messenger with the message and it's sender. Milad an-Nabi is merely a commemoration of the birth of someone who brought forth Allah's great wisdom.

From the About Islam website:

In the Islamic calendar, the 12th day of Rabi-al-Awwal marks the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

There is a difference of opinion about whether the Milad Un-Nabi should be a time of celebration. There is evidence that the Prophet, his Companions, and the early followers after them did not celebrate or otherwise observe his birthday. On the contrary, Muhammad was careful to warn his people not to imitate other faiths, whose followers elevated their prophets and added to the religion what was not in the original teachings.

Those who disagree claim that although not practiced in the early years of Islam, the remembrance of the Prophet's birthday is a "good innovation." They see it as a time to read the Qur'an, and remember the life, teachings, and example of the Prophet Muhammad.

See the entire article on Milad an-Nabi at

For Western Christians, March 21, 2008 is Good Friday, or Holy Friday (the Friday before Easter), the most solemn day of the liturgical year. It commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

From Wikipedia:

The Dutch name Goede Vrijdag translates as "Good Friday". Other languages refer to this day in different ways (most often as Holy Friday).

In the Holy Land, Good Friday is known as "Great Friday." In German it is "Karfreitag", an Old German word meaning "Friday of lamentation", although this meaning is not obvious to speakers of modern German. In Armenia it is called "High Friday (Ավագ Ուրբաթ)". In Russia it is called "Passion Friday" (Страстной Пяток / Страстная Пятница). In Ethiopia it is called Friday of the Crucifixion (arib siqilat)

Great Friday: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece (Μεγάλη Παρασκευή / Megáli Paraskeví), Hungary, Macedonia, Malta (Il-Ġimgħa l-Kbira), Poland (Wielki Piątek), Lithuania, Romania, Serbia, [[Slovakia]Velky Piatok], Slovenia, and in the Eastern Orthodox Church generally; Sri Lanka (Maha Sikurada); Indonesia (Jumat Agung)

Holy Friday: Latin America, Spain (Viernes Santo), France (Vendredi Saint), Italy (venerdì santo), Portugal, Brazil (Sexta-Feira Santa), Philippines (Mahal na Araw or Biyernes Santo), Vietnam (Thứ sáu Tuần Thánh), Japan (聖金曜日)

Long Friday: Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Faroe Islands, Iceland

Day of Christ's Suffering: Chinese-speaking areas (基督受難日)

Sad Friday: Arabic-speaking locals

Good Friday (English language) but Aoine Chéasta Passion Friday (Irish Language): Ireland

Read the entire article on Good Friday at

Today in Judaism, is part of the celebration of Purim. In Purim Jews recall the story of Esther, who saved her people in Persia from annihilation. Purim is one of the most joyous and fun holidays on the Jewish calendar. Children often dress up in costumes for the occasion.


The story of Purim is told in the Biblical book of Esther. The heroes of the story are Esther, a beautiful young Jewish woman living in Persia, and her cousin Mordecai, who raised her as if she were his daughter. Esther was taken to the house of Ahasuerus, King of Persia, to become part of his harem. King Ahasuerus loved Esther more than his other women and made Esther queen, but the king did not know that Esther was a Jew, because Mordecai told her not to reveal her identity.

The story of Purim is every interesting and entertaining. I encourage you to read the whole story of Purim on

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