Shaykh Isgaak Taliep, Secretary-General of the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) says we should seize the opportunity of this auspicious month to remind ourselves of the station that Prophet (SAW) should have in our lives.
Our Creator, Allah (SWT), chose the month of Rabi’-al-Awwal to confer on mankind the blessing of the birth of Prophet Muhammad (SAW), and to take His Beloved (SAW) back to Him. “Indeed, to God we belong and to God we shall return.” (2:156)
In His Infinite wisdom, our Creator chose to bless Rabi’al-Awwal in this way. Therefore, it is pertinent for us, as the Ummah of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) to respect the auspicious nature of this blessed month.
The birth of the Prophet (SAW) had been anticipated. Our Creator states in the Glorious Qur’an that Isa (AS) had mentioned it to his people five centuries earlier: “And remember when Isa, the son of Maryam, said, “O Children of Israel! I am the messenger of Allah [sent] to you, confirming the Torah (Law) [which came] before me, and giving glad tidings of a Messenger to come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad”’. (Qur’an, 61:6)
He further states that Ibrahim (AS) and Isma’il (AS) had also prayed for the Prophet’s (SAW) birth when they were rebuilding the Ka’bah: ‘Our Lord, send among them a messenger from themselves who will recite to them Your verses and teach them the Book and wisdom and purify them. Indeed, You are the Exalted in Might, the Wise’. (Qur’an, 2:129)
As such, the month of Rabi’-al-Awwal is an important opportunity to remind ourselves of the station the Prophet (SAW) should have in our lives. “And remind, for indeed, the reminder benefits the believers” (51:55)
He is the best of creation, and the lessons from his life serve as a guiding light for all of us, in both the difficult times and the easy times. Our Creator states in the Glorious Qur’an that,
‘The Prophet is closer to the believers than their own selves’. (Qur’an, 33:6)
Therefore, if we do not feel closeness to the Prophet (SAW), we need to ensure that we make the effort to learn more about his character and his life, and understand the enormous sacrifices he made for us as an Ummah. Understanding his life, will inevitably enable our love for him to grow.
Loving him means striving to follow his example, as elucidated in his Sunnah.
The immense loss and shock experienced by the Companions of the Prophet (SAW) at the time of his passing, showed the deep love they had for him. On the 12th of Rabi’al-Awwal, the Prophet (SAW) passed away.
The shock was so immense that some refused to believe that he had left this worldly abode. This included Umar (RA), one of the Prophets closest companions, who was adamant that it was untrue.
Abu Bakr (RA) stated the following in an attempt to calm the Companions of the Prophet (SAW): “He who worships Muhammad should be informed that Muhammad has died. He who worships Allah should know that Allah is ever-living and does not die.” (Al- Bukhari, Hadith no: 3667)
Abu Bakr (RA) then recited the following verse: “Muhammad is no more than a Prophet: many were the Apostles that passed away before him. If he died or was slain, will ye then turn back your heels?” (Qur’an 3:144)
It is also important to remember, that only through the sacrifices, efforts and immense love of the Prophet (SAW) that we have been given the incredible guidance of the Qur’an and Sunnah. Allah (SWT) says in the Qur’an: ‘Indeed Allah conferred a great favour on the believers when he sent among them a Messenger from among themselves, reciting unto them His verses, and purifying them, and instructing them (in) the Book (Quran) and Al-Hikmah, (the wisdom and the Sunnah of the Prophet (saw)), while before that they had been in manifest error’. (Qur’an, 3:164)
While we must not merely single out the month of Rabi- al-Awwal to connect with the Prophet (SAW) and follow his beautiful example, it is natural to remember his beautiful character more in this blessed month.
Therefore, we should utilize this month as an opportunity to build good habits so we can emulate him throughout the year.
Moreover, the month of Rabi-al Awwal is a time to be grateful to our Creator (SWT), for sending us the amazing blessing of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW), and for guiding us to be part of his Ummah.