This is the first monograph in Western Orientalism entirely devoted to the history of the birthday festival of the Prophet Muḥammad (Arab. mawlid al-nabī). On the basis of historical sources, Chapters 1 and 2 examine what is known on the history of this festival in the Middle East until the beginning of the 7th/13th century. In Chapter 3 the existence of different views on the origin of the mawlid within Islam itself is examined. It is shown that these different opinions on the origin of the mawlid follows from discussions on the permissibility of its celebration. The rest of the book (Chapters 4 - 8) deals with the mawlid in the Western Muslim world up to the beginning of the 10th/16th century. The following dynasties are treated respectively: the ‘Azafids of Ceuta, the Marīnids and the Waṭṭāsids, the Nasrids, the ‘Abd al-Wādids and the ḥafsids.