Historical & Current Events dictionary

Rabiʿ al-Awwal

or Rabi-ul-Awal or Rabi’-ul-Awwal [ rob-ee ahl ah-wawl ]

What is Rabiʿ al-Awwal?

Rabiʿ al-Awwal is the third month of the Islamic calendar.

Arabic words are transliterated in various ways, and Rabiʿ al-Awwal is sometimes spelled as Rabi-ul-Awal, Rabi’-ul-Awwal, or in other ways.

It comes between the months of Safar and Rabiʽ al-Thani (also known as Rabiʽ al-Akhir).

Rabiʿ al-Awwal is thought to be the birth month of the Prophet Muhammad, which is observed during the month on the holy day known as Mawlid. In some places, such as Pakistan, this celebration is observed throughout the entire month.

When is Rabiʿ al-Awwal?

Because the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar (on which dates depend on the sighting of a new moon), the corresponding dates during which it is observed vary from year to year. In 2021, Rabiʿ al-Awwal is expected to begin on October 7, 8, or 9 (depending on location and the sighting of the moon), and end on November 5 or 6. In 2022, it is expected to begin on September 27 or 28 and end on October 25 or 26.

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Where does Rabiʿ al-Awwal come from?

In Arabic, Rabiʿ al-Awwal literally translates to “the first spring.” (Rabiʿ al-Awwal can coincide with spring, but because the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar, the month gradually moves throughout the seasons.)

Muhammad’s journey from Mecca to Medina and his death are also said to have taken place during Rabiʿ al-Awwal.

Examples of Rabiʿ al-Awwal

happiness is rabi ul awal is coming soon
@DaneenKhizar, September 22, 2021
Today is Friday 1st Rabi'ul-Awwal, 1440AH 9th November, 2018. - Moon Sighting Committee
@NSCIAng, November 9, 2018
The month of Rabi’-ul-Awwal is a good time to remind ourselves of the place of the Prophet (saw) in our lives. He is the best of creation, and he should be dearer to us than any place or person, including ourselves.
Safa Faruqui, Muslim Hands, October 2019
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Who uses Rabiʿ al-Awwal?

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  • The Prophet Muhammad’s journey from Mecca to Medina is known as Hijra, among other transliterations from Arabic, including Hijrah, Hegira, and Hejira (all from an Arabic word meaning “flight” or “departure”). It is thought to have taken place during the month of Rabiʿ al-Awwal in 622 c.e., which in Islam is considered the start of the Muslim era.

What are other words used in discussion of Rabiʿ al-Awwal?

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This is not meant to be a formal definition of Rabiʿ al-Awwal like most terms we define on Dictionary.com, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of Rabiʿ al-Awwal that will help our users expand their word mastery.