Rabi al-Awwal – Celebrating the Birth of the Prophet Muhammad
In the Name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful
The third month of the Hijri calendar, Rabi al-Awwal (the first month of Spring) marks many important events in the Islamic calendar. The most significant event in the history of Islam, according to many scholars, is the birth of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) on the 12 th Rabi al-Awwal. It is with this blessing that Allah ta’Ala has allowed us to know His presence and guided us to Islam.
In Sahih Muslim it is written, “Abu Qatada Ansari (Allah be pleased with him) reported that Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) was asked about fasting on Monday, whereupon he said: It is (the day) when I was bornand revelation was sent down to me.”
From this hadith we can see that the Prophet (PBUH) commemorated the significance of the day of receiving revelation and the day of his blessed birth. Allah ta’Ala blessed us with revelation and also blessed us with the birth of Islam. To celebrate this “Day of Allah” is a rewarded act.
|Ibn Taymiyyah||Ibn Rajab|
|“Those people who celebrate Milaad through the love and respect of the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa alihi wa sallam), will be rewarded by Allah (sub hana wa ta Allah)”||It is recommended to fast on those days AllahAlmighty has sent us blessings. The greatest favour which AllahAlmighty has bestowed us with, is the sending down of the Prophet (PBUH).|
|– Iqtidaa’ us-siraat-il-Mustaqeem, page 294||Itaa’if-ul-ma’rif, page 111|
Some say that the Arab culture of the time did not celebrate birthdays as significant events. In the Qur’an you can find mention of the glad tidings of Isaac and after him Yaqub (Jacob) and the miraculous birth of Isa (Jesus) (Peace Be on Them All). The Prophet (PBUH) himself gave thanks and celebrated the birth of his son Ibrahim by freeing a slave (Tareekh ibn Kathir). The day of the birth itself was remarkable as it has been related by the Prophet, “I am a result of the supplication of my father Ibrahim (Abraham) and the glad tiding brought by Isa. And my mother – when she bore me – saw a light shone out from her, which lit up the palaces in Syria…”
Imam Bukhari writes, “When Abu Lahab died someone from his household had a dream and asked him what happened in the grave and he replied, “I am being punished severely but on Mondays, I get water from my finger with which I freed Thuwayba”. Ibn Kathir writes that Abu Lahab freed Thuwayba on the day his nephew the Prophet (PBUH) was born. Abu Lahab at this time did not know the destiny of the Prophet (PBUH) but even then he is given respite because of the joy he showed and act he performed.
They (companions of the Prophet) saw him with their very eyes when he was alive, enjoyed his presence directly, kissed his very hand, almost fought with each other over the remnants of his ablution water, shared his purified hair on the day of the greater Pilgrimage, and even if he spat it would virtually not fall except in someone’s hand so that he could pass it over his face. – Ahmad ibn Hanbal on the authority of his son Abd’Allah
With the correct intention and understanding there is reward in celebrating the birth of the Prophet (PBUH). Sayyid Muhammad al-Maliki reminded us we should not restrict the celebration of the birth of the Prophet (PBUH) to just one night as this would be an innovation in religion. We should remember the Prophet (PBUH) at all times. The blessed month of Rabi al-Awwal gives us more inspiration to remember the Prophet, described as the “Best of Creation”.
“Indeed Allah and His angels send blessings on the Prophet: You that believe! Send blessings on him and salute him with all respect.” (TMQ: 33:56)
When attending a gathering celebrating the Prophet’s (PBUH) birth and life you can expect to hear the recitation of the Qur’an, talks about the life of the Prophet (PBUH) and his companions (RA), increased giving in charity and singing praises (naats and nasheeds) and sending salawat in abundance with utmost sincerity. May Allah ta’Ala accept our good deeds and forgive us through the intercession of our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).