The significance of the 12th of Rabi al-Awwal

Muhammad Hanif (FMRi)

The most significant day in the history of mankind is the 12th of Rabi al-Awwal. The significance of the day is associated with the dignity of the man who was born on this day. The man born on this day was the answer to Abraham’s supplication. And he was the glad tidings that Jesus Christ gave to his people. His birth had been foretold in previous divine Books. The Jews recognized him as well as one recognizes one’s child. They would even pray against their enemies through him. In short, he is a great blessing for the whole of humanity.

The 12th of Rabi al-Awwal is especially important to the Muslims, because on this day the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) was born. This day takes them back to the memory of the one who led humanity from darkness to light and who is described by Allah as “a mercy to all the worlds”.

The Muslims in East and West celebrate the Prophet’s birth anniversary on the 12th of Rabi al-Awwal. Such an occasion is meant to remind people of how the Prophet lived his life. Allah Almighty directs us to follow in the footsteps of His Beloved Messenger: “Verily, in the Messenger of Allah, you have a good example for him who looks to Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah much.” (al-Qur’an, 33: 21)

Nowadays, celebration of such a religious occasion is extremely important, especially for youth. Forgetful of such sacred events and their significance, they have indulged in other pleasures. When their hearts become abodes for the love of the Prophet, the best of the creation, they will emulate his practice who was an embodiment of love, sympathy and peace. So the commemoration of the Prophet’s birthday should be cherished and maintained.

Such celebrations will instil in them the values, ethics and moral code practised by the Prophet. This occasion serves a great purpose in that it brings the people closer to the teachings of Islam and to the Prophet’s way of life. It causes them to remember that the Prophet was a blessing for the whole universe, so they should also behave with others like him. His lesson of forbearance will motivate them to forgive even the bitter enemies.

On this occasion the Muslim parents should tell the stories of the Prophet to their children – stories that shed light on different aspects of his life: his birth, childhood, youth and adult life. This practice will kindle the flame of love in their hearts. And this message will serve as a beacon of light for the future generations, so that they will live together in peace, fraternity and solidarity. His care for all of humanity sets the best example for humanity.

In recent times, a very commendable practice has begun. Mawlids are being organized in place of secular celebrations: they are organized to mark a child’s birthday, move into a new house, marriages and similar events. Today’s violence-stricken, dark world can only be illuminated through the light of his teachings which show us how much tolerant he was towards others. Mawlid celebrations aim at the promotion of the culture of love and fraternity, peace and harmony, justice and equality, restoration of human rights and denouncement of terrorism. Also, they give the message of human dignity, forgiveness and accommodation. The Muslims congratulate one another on this day and salute and greet the Beloved Messenger of Allah.