Celebrating Rabi Al- Awal or 12th of Rabi Al- Awal

Rabi Al- Awal Rabi Al- Awal or 12th of Rabi Al- Awal

It is an undoubted fact that the prophet Muhammad (SAW) is the one who is a guide for all humanity and genie. Allah (SWT) chose him to bring out humanity from the darkness of Shirk and heathenism and made him an example for true believers to be followed. As Allah (SWT) says in his book: “indeed, in the prophet of Allah, there is a fair example for those who have hope in Allah and the Day of Judgment, and remind Allah profusely.” (Quran, ch 33, ver 21). And as one of the most famous Islamic scholars, Skeikh Ibn Timia says that Allah (SWT) has never blessed humanity as much as with the sending of the prophet Muhammad (SAW) to them.
Therefore, we Muslims have to be aware of the prophet Muhammad’s (SAW) life, his habits, his likes and dislikes, his orders and commands, his face and appearance, and every event of his life according to the time it happened. And after that, we have to obey all those specifications in ourselves. Since, by saying لا اله الا الله محمد رسول الله we have confessed that we accept him as our master, our guide, and our sample. As a result, it is so important for us to know about every event of the prophet’s (SAW) life, and to apply all those information in our lives.
Rabi Al- Awal is the third month in the Islamic or Hijri calendar in which the prophet Muhammad (SAW) was born. According to approximately all of the Islamic historians, the prophet (SAW) was born in Rabi Al- Awal. But on which date of Rabi Al- Awal, there is a little bit of controversy among the historians. Some historians say on 8th of Rabi Al- Awal, some of them point out the 9th of Rabi Al- Awal, and many of them say the 12th of Rabi Al- Awal. However, the majority of Islamic historians mention the 12th of Rabi Al- Awal as the death day of the prophet (SAW) in the 11th year of migration.
Thus, some Muslims around the world nowadays celebrate the 12th of Rabi Al- Awal, aiming that this is the blessed month and date on which the greatest person in the world, the prophet Muhammad (SAW) was born. They normally make invitations to gather people in a place and then recite Naats, Nasheeds, poems, and rhythms mostly to praise the prophet (SAW) and to mention his beautiful days. Sometimes, it costs thousands or even hundreds of thousands for arranging the ceremony and beautifying it. All this is normally called Eid Milaad Unnabi.
Another category of Muslims around the world doesn’t make such gatherings and festivals. They only make this day off, try to donate to other Muslims and relatives, and just consider this day as the most blessed one. However, there is a third party also that strictly prohibits any type of special deeds on this day, and insists on considering this day as a normal day just like other days of the year.
Now starting from the first category of the participators, so, this type of participation was first started in 604 Hijri by two people named Sultan Abu Said Muzaffar and Abu Al- Khattab Ibn Dahia. At first, this type of ceremony was so moderate and without any immense lights, expenses, Nasheeds, and the types of Naats famous nowadays. But as time passed, it got larger and more costly until it got the shape identified above.
According to many Islamic scholars, this type of ceremony and festival is prohibited in Islam. They provide the following reasons for its prohibition:
First of all, the Suhabah of the prophet Muhammad (SAW) were the people who understood the glory of prophet Muhammad (SAW) and the blessing of this day more than anyone else. Thus, they expressed the obedience of the prophet Muhammad (SAW) with their actions, their speeches, and their thoughts. They obeyed every single Sunnah of the Prophet (SAW) in a manner that has no sample in the rest of the centuries. From themselves to their wealth and offspring, from their social life to political life and war, from the beginning of their lives to the end, they loved to follow precisely what the prophet (SAW) did something or said. But we find no such events and ceremonies in their lives. They never made any such gathering on this day, and even never called this day Eid Milaad Unnabi.
Furthermore, after the Suhabah, the Tabaen and Taba’ Tabaen, and the rest of the Muslim generations until the sixth Hijri century, No Muslim made any ceremony on this day in the manner we have these days. Besides the lack of any proof in the previous period, these types of festivals usually cost so much that instead can help the poor Muslims survive a good life if paid to them. In addition, the people invited for reciting Nasheeds, Naats, and other Islamic rhymes exaggerate what they say and speak of something which can’t be found in any authentic Islamic context. And finally, the most harmful thing about it is that many of the participators of these gatherings consider it a Sunnah, and blame the ones who don’t participate in their meetings. As a result, it is easy to conclude that participating in the birth date of the prophet (SAW) in such a manner has no roots in Islam, and must be avoided.
As far as the second party is considered, so, it should be said that Muslims can honor the 12th of Rabi Al- Awal with some conditions. Following these conditions can make this day a memorial day for Muslims, as well as getting rewards from Allah (SWT).
First of all, no fete mentioned above should be applied. Making immense lights, inviting people as someone is making invitations for a wedding, and making it expensive shout be avoided.
Singing or reciting something that has no foundation, or can’t be found in any authentic Islamic book has to be prevented.
It should not be considered one of the Sunnah of Islam.
It should not be called Eid Milaad Unnabi. Since, the prophet of Allah (SAW) says that Muslims have two Eids in the year, which, the first is Eid Al- Udha and the second is Eid Al- Fitr. And also, this is the day the prophet of Allah (SAW) left the world. Indeed, most scholars confirm this day as the death day of the prophet (SAW) but have controversy in accepting it as his birthday.

What can we do on this day?

All we can do on this day is to think about the glorious self of the prophet Muhammad (SAW). To think how important he was for us, and all humanity. To understand and feel his love within our souls. To mention him, and send on him Salah and Salaam. To talk about his life, his appearance, and his style of sitting, standing, sleeping, or eating. To know his Sunnah and hadiths, the speeches he has left us for our welfare. And finally, to advise each other to grab his religion, and not to follow other cultures and lifestyles.

Can we make meetings and gatherings on this day?

After all, if someone wants to hold a meeting for this day, and talk about the life of the prophet (SAW) and know his Sunnah, or if someone wants to make charity on this day, they can do it. However, they have to keep in mind all the points mentioned above. Anyway, as the third one of the three parties advises, every day for a Muslim is the day for worship and giving charity. For a true Muslim, it’s not important to take a special day in the year, and on that particular day, send Salah to the prophet (SAW), or try to know about his wonderful life. Indeed, a real Muslim would every day add his knowledge about the life and Sunnah of the prophet Muhammad (SAW), and try to send Salah to him.

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