Mawlid al-Nabi is the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad, the founder of Islam, on the 12th day of the month of Rabi al-Awwal in the Muslim calendar. The day was first observed around the thirteenth century. It used to be preceded by a month of celebration. The activities on the actual day included a sermon, recitation of litanies, honouring of religious dignitaries, gift giving, and a feast. The festival is celebrated in many countries today. There are some conservative sects (e.g., the Wahhabiyah) that consider the celebration to be idolatrous.