The Virtue of Rabi’ al-Awwal10 min read

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The Virtue of Rabi’ al-Awwal

The significance of this blessed month lies in the fact that it is the time of the noble birth of the Prophet Muhammad (), the pride of the universe. We do not deny the virtue of this month; indeed, it is filled with virtue. If it were not virtuous, why would the noble Prophet (ﷺ) have been born in it? The month in which your birth took place is not just any ordinary month; it is sacred because it is the place of the noble birth of the Prophet (ﷺ). Therefore, to this day, it remains a sacred place, and people visit it.

Similarly, the time when the Prophet (ﷺ) was born is also noble. Just as Friday is the chief and most excellent day among all days because it holds three significant events related to Prophet Adam (ﷺ), similarly, in Rabi’ al-Awwal, there are three significant events related to the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ). Firstly, his noble birth, which coincidentally occurred in the same month as that of Prophet Adam (ﷺ). Secondly, the event of his prophethood and mission, which, according to some narrations, also took place in this month, similar to Prophet Adam’s (ﷺ) entry into Paradise. Lastly, the third event is his noble passing, which also took place in this same month.

Was the virtue of Rabi’ al-Awwal already established before the birth of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), or did it gain virtue because of his birth?

This month possesses virtue whether it was virtuous from the beginning, and the reason for its virtue is the noble birth of the Prophet (ﷺ), or whether the virtue was bestowed upon it due to the birth of the Prophet (ﷺ). Just as Friday is virtuous because of the events related to Prophet Adam (ﷺ), it is also possible that similar events in this month, including the birth of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), have added to its virtue.

It is also possible that the virtue existed beforehand, and these events were mentioned as signs of that virtue. Similarly, the Prophet (ﷺ) used to fast on Mondays, and he would mention that it was the day of his birth. This statement could be an indication of the existing virtue of Monday or an attribution of virtue to it due to the Prophet’s (ﷺ) birth.

وَعَن أَبِي قَتَادَةَ قَالَ: سُئِلَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ عَنْ صَوْمِ الِاثْنَيْنِ فَقَالَ: «فِيهِ وُلِدْتُ وَفِيهِ أُنْزِلَ عَلَيَّ» . رَوَاهُ مُسْلِمٌ

He said that when God’s messenger was asked about fasting on Monday he said, “On it I was born and on it the revelation was first sent down to me.”* *The meaning seems to be that as this day is so distinguished, one could not choose a better one. (Mishkat al-Masabih)

In both cases, it is possible that the virtue of this month, Rabi’ al-Awwal, is associated with the events of my birth and Prophethood, and therefore, I observe fasting on Mondays. Whether the virtue is inherent in the month or attributed to it due to these events, there is no conflict.

Comparing the Virtue of Rabi’ al-Awwal and Ramadan

The virtue of Rabi’ al-Awwal is of such a nature that, in some aspects, it surpasses the virtue of all other months. It is mentioned that the virtue of Ramadan has been established by Allah Himself. So, the virtue of Ramadan has both been created and declared, whereas Rabi’ al-Awwal’s virtue is only created, not explicitly declared. However, in the context of certain aspects, Rabi’ al-Awwal is superior to all months, and this is because of the noble birth of the Prophet (ﷺ) in this month.

If we broaden our perspective, it is possible that the virtue of Ramadan can also be understood in the same context as Rabi’ al-Awwal. Why is Rabi’ al-Awwal virtuous? It is because of your noble birth. And why is Ramadan virtuous? It is because of your noble worship. Therefore, it is evident that the worship performed by the Prophet (ﷺ) is superior to his birth because the purpose and ultimate goal of birth is worship. Hence, the context of worship is more virtuous than the context of birth.

However, it is important to note that while the virtue of Rabi’ al-Awwal, in particular, being the month of the Prophet’s (ﷺ) blessed birth, is unquestionably established, it does not necessarily mean that any specific form of worship must be exclusively allocated to it without proper religious evidence.

Celebrating Gatherings with Special Emphasis in the Month of Rabi’ al-Awwal

Although this date is undoubtedly blessed, since its specific allocation and the obligation of mentioning it are not established, it is considered an innovation (bid’ah). Therefore, we should abandon the practice of assigning special significance to this date. Our belief is that in the month of Rabi’ al-Awwal, the mention of the birth of the Prophet (ﷺ) is permissible even without specific allocation.

The greatest favor upon this Ummah is the mission of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ).

لَقَدْ مَنَّ ٱللَّهُ عَلَى ٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ إِذْ بَعَثَ فِيهِمْ رَسُولًۭا مِّنْ أَنفُسِهِمْ يَتْلُوا۟ عَلَيْهِمْ ءَايَـٰتِهِۦ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ ٱلْكِتَـٰبَ وَٱلْحِكْمَةَ وَإِن كَانُوا۟ مِن قَبْلُ لَفِى ضَلَـٰلٍۢ مُّبِينٍ ١٦٤

Allah has surely conferred favor on the believers when He raised in their midst a messenger from among themselves who recites to them His verses and makes them pure and teaches them the Book and the Wisdom, while earlier, they were in open error. (3:164)

The real essence and blessings lie in the fact that the Prophet (ﷺ) is our guide and source of divine guidance. There are many aspects related to the Prophet (ﷺ) that bring happiness, such as his birth, his Prophethood, and all the other significant events in his life, including the Isra and Mi’raj (Night Journey and Ascension). All these events indeed bring happiness, but their real significance is that they serve as means and foundations for our eternal success and prosperity.

This concept is supported by the Quranic principle of “Yatlu ‘Alayhim Aayatihi” (He recites to them His verses), which signifies the importance of conveying the message. It is also a rational understanding that the true essence of these events is to provide a basis for our guidance and everlasting happiness.

Hence, the true essence of these blessings lies in the qualities and characteristics they represent. While the blessed birth or the miraculous Isra and Mi’raj are indeed occasions of great joy, it is through these events that we receive the priceless gift of guidance and the means to achieve eternal happiness. Without the birth of the Prophet (ﷺ), how would we have received this blessing? Therefore, the difference lies not only in the happiness but also in the significance of the events. The events related to Prophethood are even more significant than the blessed birth. If gatherings are held to celebrate the blessed birth, then gatherings to commemorate the other significant events, such as the Isra and Mi’raj or the conquest of Mecca, should also be organized.

Just as the blessed birth is one of the significant events in the life of the Prophet (ﷺ), these other events are also part of his life, and some of them even surpass the blessed birth in importance. The Quranic principle confirms this, and it is also a rational understanding that the true source of happiness lies in qualities and attributes. Moreover, these qualities and attributes are also essential for our guidance and eternal success.

Therefore, gatherings should not only celebrate the blessed birth but also include commemorations of the Isra and Mi’raj, the conquest of Mecca, and the migration (hijrah) to Medina. These events, just like the blessed birth, are a source of immense joy and carry the teachings of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Who else should express this joy and appreciation than those who follow his guidance?

Faith and righteous deeds are great blessings. At this time, we can attain the wealth of faith and righteous deeds solely by following the example of the Prophet (ﷺ). If the Prophet (ﷺ) did not bring us this guidance, we would be deprived of this wealth. Allah, the Most High, has bestowed a great favor upon us by sending His Messenger (ﷺ), and this favor is acknowledged in the Quran. Allah mentions in the Quran:

وَلَو لَا فَضْلُ الله عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَتُهُ لَاتَّبَعْتُمُ الشَّيْطَنَ الأَقلِيْلًا

In another context, it is stated:

ولولا فضل الله عَلَيْكُمُ وَرَحْمَة لكنتُم مِنَ الخَسِرِينَ

Hazrat Ibn Abbas (رضي الله عنه) explained on these occasions that the source of Allah’s favor and mercy is related to the prophethood of Muhammad, peace be upon him. So, the meaning of the verse is that if Allah had not called Muhammad, (ﷺ) for the mission, you would have been unsuccessful and deprived of His mercy and favor. And if Allah had not shown His mercy and kindness through the prophethood of Muhammad, (ﷺ) you would have followed Satan, except for a few individuals among you.

This shows that the real favor and mercy, which are worthy of happiness and joy, are that we have been granted the opportunity for faith and righteous deeds through the presence of Prophet Muhammad, (ﷺ) It is a great blessing that has made us successful in both this world and the hereafter. Insha’Allah, through this blessing, we will experience happiness in paradise.

However, nowadays, people often talk about the blessings related to the birth and other events in the life of the Prophet, peace be upon him. These spiritual blessings include faith, divine knowledge, and attaining paradise in both this world and the hereafter. These blessings have all been obtained through the mediation of Prophet Muhammad, (ﷺ) Sadly, these blessings are not often emphasized today, even though it is necessary to do so because the effects of his advent and the blessings that came with it are palpable. The presence of the Prophet, (ﷺ) illuminated the entire world, and the effects of his presence, such as faith and righteous deeds, will become evident on the Day of Judgment and in paradise. Neglecting these aspects is a mistake, and it is essential to emphasize them.

Furthermore, the impact of the Prophet’s arrival is not just that we exist, but rather that we exist with faith and righteous deeds. The full favor comes from faith in and recognition of the divine, as well as righteous actions, which make humans the noblest of creations. Therefore, it is crucial to highlight these aspects as well.

The presence of the Prophet (ﷺ) is a great blessing

It is essential for every Muslim to express gratitude for this blessing and find joy in it. There should be no doubt in the mind of any Muslim that every blessing of Allah is worthy of thanks, especially when it is a significant blessing, particularly when it is a religious blessing, and even more so when it is a great religious blessing. Among these blessings, there is one that is the essence of all religious and worldly blessings. And what is that blessing? It is the arrival of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), not only for the followers of Islam but for all of humanity. This is because you are also among the recipients of worldly blessings, and only Muslims. Rather, it is for the entire world. Thus, it is the guidance of Allah

وَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَـٰكَ إِلَّا رَحْمَةًۭ لِّلْعَـٰلَمِينَ ١٠٧

And We have not sent you but as mercy for all the worlds. (21:107)

Look, there is no distinction in the universe. It has become evident that the presence of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) is a source of mercy for everything, whether they are human or non-human, Muslim or non-Muslim. Whether they existed in the time of the Prophet or came later, Allah Almighty created the existence of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) first, and he is the existence of light. The Prophet (ﷺ) was created first in terms of the existence of light, and in the end times, this light manifested and shone brilliantly in the material world, enlightening the entire universe. Therefore, the presence of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) is a source of mercy for all creatures, from the beginning to the end of the world. Thus, the existence of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) has been established as the essence of all blessings. When the existence of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) is the essence of all blessings, gratitude and joy are commanded upon these blessings according to the standards of Sharia (Islamic law). For us, Sharia is the standard, and whatever joy is permissible according to the rules of Sharia is allowed, and whatever is not permissible is forbidden. For example, prayer is a divine blessing, and if a person, out of happiness, decides to pray five units (rak’ahs) instead of the prescribed four in a prayer, it will not be a reward; instead, it will be a sin because they have violated the rules of Sharia

 

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Umme Muhammad

Umme Muhammad

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