Rabi-ul-Awwal is the third month of the Islamic calendar. Rabi-ul-Awwal literally means “the first month of spring.”
Rabi-ul-Awwal is a monumental month in Islamic history. Allah (SWT) says in the Holy Qur’an: “We have sent him (Muhammad SAWS) as a source of mercy for the ‘Aalameen (humans, jinns, and all else that exists)” (Surah al- Anbiya, Ayah 107).
Indeed, it is in this blessed month of Rabi-ul-Awwal that Allah (SWT) sent our Beloved Nabi (SAWS) into the world to wipe away the darkness of Ayyaam-ul-Jahiliyyah (the Days of Ignorance) and to fill the world with the eternal light of the Qur’an.
In addition to the birth of our Beloved Prophet (SAWS), there are several other significant events that took place in Rabi-ul-Awwal:
- Rasulullah (SAWS) was bestowed with Nubuwwat (prophethood) in this blessed month.
- According to several scholars, Mi’raaj occurred in Rabi-ul-Awwal as opposed to Rajab.
- Rasulullah (SAWS) reached Madinah after Hijrah (migration) in Rabi-ul-Awwal.
- Rasulullah (SAWS) departed from the world in this month, 63 years after his birth.
Hazrat Abu Qataadah (R) reports that Rasulullah (SAWS) was asked as to why he (SAWS) would fast on Mondays. He (SAWS) replied, “That is the day in which I was born” (Sahih Muslim).
This Hadith illustrates the fact that our commemoration of significant events consists of fasting or performing other acts of worship (such as on the 10th of Muharram). Our celebration of important events should not be similar to those of the Kuffaar (disbelievers). It is therefore unfortunate that many Muslims cross the boundaries of the Shari’ah in observing the birth of our Beloved Nabi (SAWS). For instance, several Muslims participate in the celebrations of Milaad-un-Nabi (“the birthday of the Prophet (SAWS)”), believing it to be a way of expressing their love for Rasulullah (SAWS).
If celebrating the Milaad was permissible then it would also have been performed at the time of Rasulullah (SAWS). Who can possibly have a deeper love for Rasulullah (SAWS) than the Sahabah (R)? However, there was no such practice present amongst Rasulullah (SAWS), the Sahabah (R), or the Tabi’een. The celebration of the Milaad is Bid’ah (an innovation) in Islam. Rasulullah (SAWS) said: “Whoever innovates something in this matter of ours (i.e., Islam), it will be rejected” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari). Therefore, participating in Milaad-un-Nabi is impermissible.
Additionally, there are many evils that can take place at a Mawlid (a gathering for celebrating Milaad-un-Nabi) such as music, wasting money, missing fardh (obligatory) prayers, and intermingling with members of the opposite gender. Furthermore, the Mawlid resembles the Christians’ celebrations of the birth of the Messiah (AS).
It should also be remembered that our love for Rasulullah (SAWS) and obedience of him is not just confined to the month of Rabi-ul-Awwal. Allah (SWT) sent Rasulullah (SAWS) and allowed him to live the perfect example of a complete way of life for all the believers to follow.
Allah (SWT) says in the Qur’an: “Verily for you in the messenger of Allah there was a good example […]” (Al Ahzab, 21)
Also, Rasulullah (SAWS) said “None of you truly believes until I am more beloved to him than his father, his children, and mankind in its entirety” (Bukhari).
According to this Hadith, in order to have kaamil (complete) imaan, we must love Rasulullah (SAWS) more than all of mankind. This love should exist all the time and should not be confined to designated month or day. And the best way to express our love for Rasulullah (SAWS) is by obeying him and by following the beautiful example that Allah (SWT) has set for us through him.
May Allah (SWT) shower us with the blessings of Rabi-ul-Awwal, may He allow us to develop an intense love for our Beloved Nabi (SAWS), and may He allow us to become firm adherents to the Sunnah of Rasulullah (SAWS). Ameen.