Gambia’s President Adama Barrow has declared Friday a bank holiday in observance of the Muslim feast of Mawlid Nabi (Prophet Muhammad’s birthday) commonly known as ‘Gamo.
Mr Barrow is expected host an event with religious leaders at State House.
The Gambia is a Muslim dominated country and feast is celebrated in all regions of the country with recitation of the Holy Qur’an and religious teaching.
The origin of Mawlid Nabi observance reportedly dates back to the period of the early four Rashidun Caliphs of Islam. The Ottomans declared it an official holiday in 1588.
Most denominations of Islam approve of the commemoration of Muhammad’s birthday, however, some denominations including Wahhabism/Salafism, Deobandism and the Ahmadiyya disapprove its commemoration, considering it an unnecessary religious innovation (bid’ah or bidat).
Mawlid Nabi is recognised as a national holiday in most of the Muslim-majority countries of the world except Saudi Arabia and Qatar which are officially Wahhabi/Salafi.