Rabi’ul Awwal: The Birth and Death Month of the Holy Messenger

Ibn Kathir explains, “Allah has chosen elites from His creation: from among the angels, He chose Messengers. From among mankind, He chose Messengers. From among speech, He chose dzikr (remembrance of Him). From among spaces on earth, He chose the mosques. From among the the months, He chose Ramadhan and the sacred months. So, venerate that which has been chosen by Allah, for people of understanding and wisdom respect that which has been chosen by Him.” (Tafsir Ibn Kathir)

The Holy Messenger, Prophet Muhammad SAW is the last prophet of Muslims. He was the one who brought the light of hope and peace to the entire world by Islam. He was the bravest, kindest, and most sagacious prophet ever lived. He was the one with the most difficult tasks to do, since he was the last prophet, so he should make sure that his ummat would not turn back their knees against Allah even without his guidance. He was also the one known as being Shiddiq (Truthful), Amanah (Trustworthy), Tabligh (Advocate), Fathanah (Wise).

This man was once a baby that was born in Rabi’ul Awwal, 571 AD. His father has died before he was even born, whereas his mother died in Abwa, on the way back from visiting her husband’s grave. That was when Muhammad was 6 years old, which made him an orphan in such an early age.

The day when he was born was the day of many big occurrence. As Abdul Muthalib (Muhammad’s grandfather) says, when he was in Ka’bah, all the statues regarded as God by the Quraisy people collapsed, kneeled down to Allah. From the walls, he could hear, “The prophet of our choice is born. …”

In another place, far away in Parsi, Kisra throne fractured, and the fourteen pillars of its castle caved in. In that place also, the eternal fire that had been flaming for almost a thousand years was eventually went out. These all are the evidence of this man’s greatness, the prophet of Allah, chosen to bring Islam to the world.

Rabi’ul Awwal is not only the month on which Muhammad was born. It is also a month on which he died, that has been coloured by the grief and sorrow.

Muhammad SAW died on Monday, 12th Rabi’ul Awwal 632 AD. He had been ill for quite a while, but he still managed to go to the mosque and do the prayer together with the ummah a few days prior to his death. On the day that he died, the Muslims ummah were so shocked so that some of them refused to believe that he had passed away. Just a few hours before his death, he had gone into the mosque and watched the people praying, and Anas (RA) later said, ‘I never saw the Prophet’s face more beautiful than it was at that hour’. It seemed impossible that he (SAW) should have left them, and even Umar (RA), one of his closest Companions, was adamant that it was a lie. He (RA) said afterwards, “… I was so astounded that I fell to the ground. My legs would no longer carry me, and I knew that Allah’s Messenger had died.”

Abu Bakr (RA), however, reminded the people that the Prophet (saw) was only a human therefore he was not immortal. He (RA) said, “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.”

Rabi’ul Awwal should reminds us of these events that brings us the memories of Muhammad SAW, his life, and his struggle throughout life. It is always nice to commemorate his beautiful character and emulate it for ourselves, in order to build good habits. It is also a good time for being grateful to Allah for the bountiful blessing of sending the Messenger to us and guiding us to His Light. It is a good time for us to once more contemplate our purpose and revive our connection with Allah and His Messenger by learning more about the Qur’an and Sunnah. This is the sublime blessing of Rabi’-ul-Awwal.

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