Prophet Muhammad’s birthday is commemorated in Tanzania on 12 Rabi’ al-awwal of the Islamic calendar. The Anniversary of the Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday is a major public holiday especially for Tanzania’s Muslim population, many of whom live on the island of Zanzibar or along the mainland coast.
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“Maulid“, a transliteration of the Arabic term for birthday, is the usual name by which Muhammad’s Birthday is known in Tanzania. While almost all Muslims participate, the Sufi sects who first brought Islam to the region are among the most serious and vibrant in the celebrations.
On Zanzibar, the holiday’s observance is handled in a very organised way. Each local community has its own festival put on by its community leader. Then, there is an additional part of the celebration where people publicly recite the numerous names of Allah mentioned in the Koran.