Rabiul Awwal is the third month of the Islamic calendar that is often used to remember Allah’s great favor upon us the birth of the last noble Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be upon Him). The month normally brings joy for the entire Muslim Ummah. Significantly, Prophet Muhammad (saw) is the master of messengers liberated the people from darkness (days of ignorance) to the light of Islam. Muslims were made the best nation because they belong to his Ummah; hence have one degree higher grade than other nations. Allah (swt) says
كُنْتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ تَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَتَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ وَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ
“You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in Allah.” [Aal-e-Imran: 110]
In an opinion held by the Muslim majority historians among them Ibn Kathir, it is mentioned that Prophet Muhammad (saw) was born on a Monday, in 12th Rabiul Awwal, (in the year 571 CE). And in an authentic hadith reported by Muslim from Abu Qatadah that the Prophet ﷺ responded with why he fasted on Mondays by saying:
فِيهِ وُلِدْتُ وَفِيهِ أُنْزِلَ عَلَيَّ
“It was on this day that revelation came down to me”
Although the month is accompanied by long debates on the validity of commemorating the day, the Prophet was born. It is important to expound that Islam has a unique method for settling disputed issues. Any Muslim carrying an Islamic opinion should be treated as a Muslim so long as his/her opinion is Islamic and based on Islamic evidence. It is paramount to respect each other’s opinions as any ijtihad (extracted ruling) which has a semblance of evidence (shibhu-Dalil). It is a fatal mistake to turn disputed issues amongst the Muslims into fierce battle and violence. Furthermore, the early great scholars who lived under the Islamic system tackled and resolved all jurisprudential matters based on evidence presented. This means that their differences did not whatsoever fracture the Unity of Muslims neither did they did they busy themselves condemning each other. They were really focusing on Islam that remained their reference point for all actions, both personal and societal.
Reflecting on the Month of Rabiul Awwal should be in the sense of reminding the Muslims on the life, struggles and the noble characters of the Prophet (saw) which instils an un-comparable tranquility in their hearts. Allah (swt) says:
ٱلنَّبِيُّ أَوْلَىٰ بِٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ مِنْ أَنْفُسِهِمْ
“The Prophet is more worthy of the believers than themselves”
The questions to ponder in this great Month are; what was the Prophet (saw) sent for? What was his mission? What did he (saw) bring for us? Unfortunately, these tough questions are ignored and lost by many Muslims. A critical reflection on the life of Prophet (saw), Muslim will learn that the Prophet’s life was centered upon bringing real change from shirk society dominated by tribalism, racism, illiteracy and division into a profound society which was built by the strong creed on oneness of Allah, unity and enlighten. To achieve this tremendous goal, the Prophet (saw) practiced and conveyed about Implementing Islam to create a just, balanced and harmonious society in Madinatul Munawwarah. The rightly guided companions of Prophet (saw) took this endeavor of protecting Islam and conveying its noble message conquering the land after land. Sadly, after all this golden and shining history, the reality of Muslims today turned into an extremely dark and stark under secular liberal society when West led by the former super power Britain destroyed the Islamic entity i.e. Khilafah state which used to be a super power for thirteen centuries. The demise of Khilafah brought fragmentation of Muslim lands, exploitation of the Ummah’s wealth and more tragic suspension of ruling by Islam. The whole of Islam is viciously attacked by secular fundamentalists within Muslim countries whose Qibla has changed from Makka to Washington and London. Muslim leaders have allowed belligerent foreign powers to harm Muslims right under the guise of War on Terror.
It is superficial for Muslims when highlighting the birth of the Prophet (saw) to only focus on his character, the various miraculous incidents where even the animals came to the Prophet (saw) and the love people had for him rather on the huge task the Prophet (saw) under took towards implementing Islam. Since the situation of the Ummah is terrible. It is therefore imperative not take this great month as only for making a lot dhikr, sending abundant salam to the Prophet (saw) rather Muslims should strives towards the revolutionary mission of the Prophet (saw) to establish Islam on the earth.
Media Representative of Hizb ut Tahrir in Kenya