This article is dedicated to the Beloved Prophet Muhammad (saw) and all Muslims, especially the Muslims of South Africa.
Remembering the birthday of the Noble Prophet Muhammad (saw)
Every year, in this month of Rabbi-ul-Awwal, Muslims through out the Islamic World commemorate the birth of the beloved and most esteemed Prophet Muhammad (saw). He was sent as a messenger from Allah to guide and lead mankind from a state of ignorance and darkness to one of light and spiritual awakening.
When the Prophet (saw) was born, the signs of goodness, peace and tranquillity slowly began to manifest itself in the lives and characters of the people of Makkah, and all they interacted with, including the trees and animals. Thus the birth of the beloved Prophet (saw) was a mercy unto all creation.
Verily this birthday represents the movement of the rebirth of human nature from the bonds of injustice and evil to justice and goodness; it represents the spreading of mercy in this world that was overcome with corruption and sin. This birthday came to enlighten mankind to its true nature of goodness and kindness, so that the veils of ignorance would be lifted and truth and justice would reign supreme.
The birth of the Prophet Muhammad (saw) marked an end to the social injustices that existed not only in Makkah, but everywhere in the world. The Qur’aan states ‘All of you are from Adam and Adam is from sand.’ This implies that all people are equal, irrespective of their social background. There is also no differentiation between male and female: ‘Oh mankind! Verily, We created you from a male and a female, and We made you into nations and tribes so that you may know each other. Indeed, the most honourable of you in front of Allah is the one who is the most God-conscious.’ This illustrates that the male and female complete each other, and neither of the two can live without the other. Thus the birth of the Prophet (saw) had tremendous implications for the concept of equality and social justice.
The celebration of the Prophet’s birthday is also a reminder of the brotherhood and unity of Islam. It is a form of unification of Muslims when all are remembering and commemorating the birth of the noblest of prophets whose message of Islam brought with it a new way of life that resounded with mercy, truth, kindness, love, compassion, justice and equality for all. It is also a celebration of knowledge and spiritual awakening. The Prophet Muhammad (saw) was a teacher who led by example, and his teachings encompassed all facets of life in all its diversity. Thus he brought about an awareness and an appreciation for their existence that was previously lacking in his followers. They gained a new and enlightened perspective on the world, and were empowered in this way.
The birthday of the Prophet (saw) is a reminder of the courage that Islamic Aqidah nurtured in the spirits of the Muslims. They chose to face the challenges that confronted them, rather than running away; they began loving death for the sake of their religion and yearning for it, rather than fearing it. Thus the Muslims died for the highest and most honourable of reasons: the survival of the religion of Islam.
On the 12th of Rabbi-ul-Awwal we recall all the goodness, all the love, all the brotherhood, all the cooperation, all the strength, all the courage and all the humanity of the Muslims. It marks the day of moving from a state of ignorance and darkness to one of enlightenment. Thus, are we aware that the birthday of our beloved prophet Muhammad (saw) is, without a doubt, the real day of our birth!
Adapted from, Dr Jamaal Mahmood Abu Hassaan, teacher of Uloomul Qur’aan (Sciences of the Qur’aan) and Tafseer, Zarqa Private University, Jordan.