We’re welcoming the third month of the Islamic calendar - Rabi’-ul-Awwal and we’re already bidding farewell to Muharram and Safar for this Islamic year. It feels as though time passes so quickly, doesn’t it?
Rabi’-ul-Awwal translates to, in a literal term, ‘the first spring’ however this has no relevance in today’s times as the Islamic calendar follows the moon, rather than the solar seasons.
Rabi’-ul-Awwal is a righteous month and Muslims consider this month to be significant because of the occurrence of a few events. They are:
1. THE BIRTH OF PROPHET MUHAMMAD S.A.W.
Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. was born in Makkah on a Monday in Rabi’ul-awwal, though narrations have differ on the exact date - many narrations have stated the 12th of the month.
Humanity was blessed with the birth of the Prophet s.a.w during this month. Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. would eventually lead humanity, starting with the Arabs, Persians and Romans, from the darkness of ignorance to the light, into the light of Tawhid. His birth was a ‘mercy to the worlds’ (Quran, 21:107).
Even with his birth, there were many miracles that surrounded it. Prophet Muhammad’s s.a.w mother Aminah, was conscious of a light within her throughout her pregnancy with the Prophet s.a.w. One day, the light shone so intensely that she could see the castles and palaces of Syria. (Ibn Ishaq).
The Prophet’s s.a.w. foster mother Halimah also witnessed miracles. Her family was suffering from drought but after she took the Prophet s.a.w. as her foster child, her family were blessed for years afterwards.
Prophet Muhammad’s s.a.w. birth had also been anticipated for a long time. Five centuries earlier, Isa a.s. had mentioned it to his people:
‘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”’. (Quran, 61:6)
2. THE HIJRAH OF THE PROPHET S.A.W.
During Rabi’ul-awwal, the hijrah of the Prophet s.a.w. and his companion Abu Bakr r.a. from Makkah to Yathrib (Madinah) also took place. Known as the Hijrah, we Muslims date the Islamic calendar from it. Hence, the first year they spend in Madinah is known as the first Islamic year, denoted by ‘AH’ which stands for ‘After Hijrah’.
The Hijrah is a monumental event in Islam - it marked the beginning of a new chapter for the Muslims. With his wisdom, justice and mercy, the Prophet s.a.w. united the tribes of Yathrib who were divided before the presence of the Prophet s.a.w.
DID YOU KNOW that the first mosque was also built in the month of Rabi’ul-awwal?
The Prophet s.a.w. left Makkah along with Abu Bakr r.a. and they crossed the desert to Quba, a town near the city of Yathrib. They stayed there for three days, during which they built the first mosque, before they continued their journey to Yathrib. There, they would go on to build a second mosque, known today as Masjid An-Nabi.
The Prophet (saw) greeted the people of Quba by saying, ‘O people, give one another greetings of peace, feed the hungry, honour the ties of kinship, and pray in the hours when men sleep. Then you shall enter Paradise in peace’.
The Prophet s.a.w. established a community that centred around Allah’s worship in both Quba and Madinah.
3. THE DEATH OF PROPHET MUHAMMAD S.A.W.
In the eleventh year of Islam, during Rabi’ul-Awwal, the Prophet s.a.w. passed away.
A day or two before his passing, Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. had gone to the mosque and told his people, ‘There is a slave amongst the slaves of God to whom God has offered the choice between this world and that which is with Him, and the slave has chosen that which is with God’. It was a grim time and the Prophet s.a.w. had been sick for a few days leading up to his death.
While his family and closest Companions knew that it would soon be time for him to return back to Allah s.w.t, nevertheless it had been a great shock to the Muslims when he passed away - so much so that there were a few that refused to believe that he had passed on. Even Umar r.a., one of his closest companions, was adamant that the news had been a lie.
It was then that Abu Bakr r.a. stood up and reminded the people that the Prophet s.a.w. was only a Messenger of Allah s.w.t, and he was not immortal.
'O people! If it was Muhammad whom you worshipped, then know that he is dead. But if it is Allah whom you worshipped, then know that He does not die’.
The Prophet’s s.a.w. passing had greatly impacted the Muslims, especially what came after his death, such as the succession of his leadership for the Ummah. The grief and sorrow that the Ummah felt during that point of time had been so intense - they grieved not only for the Prophet s.a.w. Whom they loved more than anyone else in the world, but they also grieved for the end of Revelation.
Compared to the blessed months of Ramadan and Dhul-Hijjah, there are no special recommendations to fast or make dua during the month of Rabi’-ul-Awwal. Nonetheless, the events that happened during this month mark it as a specially blessed month.
Allah chose the month of Rabi’ul-awwal to bless the world with the Prophet s.a.w. as well as to take His Beloved s.a.w. back to Him. Hence, this signifies the importance of the month and that it deserves our attention and respect.
We hope that by looking at the details of the blessed events that occurred during this month, we are able to practise more gratitude for the Prophet s.a.w. and take advantage of this month to nurture good habits so we can emulate the Prophet s.a.w. throughout the year.
Here at Global Ehsan Relief, we aim to help as many communities and individuals in the best and most sustainable way. Join us in our efforts in creating a better future for strugglingindividuals all around the globe, especially the orphans in this blessed month of Rabi’ul-Awwal. Contribute to our Rabi’ul-Awwal campaign today and provide a better future for orphans by Sponsoring an Orphan today.