Fragrance of the beloved Prophet ﷺ
Fragrance of the beloved Prophet ﷺ
The Dawn of Blessings
In an era covered entirely in the darkness of disbelief and idolatry, a Noor gleamed in the blessed house of Sayyidatuna Aaminah رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْھا in Makka-tul-Mukarramah, illuminating the entire universe.
On the 12th of Rabi ul Awwal at the time of dawn, the Holy Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم was born. He arrived as the light and mercy for distressed and sorrowful humanity, transforming the dark night of miseries, hardships, trials, and tribulations into a radiant and comforting morning of joy.
Immediately upon the birth of the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم, the dark clouds of oppression and disbelief dissipated; the palace of Kisra, owned by the Iranian king, was struck by an earthquake that destroyed its fourteen spikes (i.e., embedded for adding beauty); the non-stop burning flames, which had endured for a thousand years in Iran, were distinguished; the river 'Sava' ran dry; idols tumbled headlong; and the blessed Kabah began to sway.
The Holy Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم was sent as a mercy for all of humanity. Indeed, the day when Allah Almighty mercy descends is a day filled with joy and happiness, as Allah Almighty states:
“Say you (O Beloved), ‘Only Allah’s Bounty and His Mercy; and only upon it they should rejoice.’ That is better than all of their (accumulated) wealth.” [Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)] (Part 11, Surah Yunus, verse 58)
The Holy Quran itself is commanding us to mark and celebrate the Divine mercy. So, is there any other mercy of Allah Almighty above the Holy Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم upon this, the Holy Quran clearly mentions:
“And We did not send you (O Beloved) but as a mercy for all the worlds.” [Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)] (Part 17, Al-Ambiya, verse 107)
The Reason Behind Calling It Rabi ul Awwal
Rabi, which signifies springtime, marks the period between the hot and cold seasons. The initial phase of spring was termed 'Rabi-ul-Awwal' by the Arabs. It was during this time that flowers and mushrooms would flourish. The season in which fruits would grow was called ‘Rabi-ul-Aakhir’. When the months were designated, inspired by the names of these two seasons, the two months following Safar were named Rabi-ul-Awwal and Rabi-ul-Aakhir respectively.
(Lisan-ul-‘Arab, vol. 1, p. 1435)
The Significance of Rabi ul Awal
Rabi ul Awal is the third month of the Islamic year. This month is a collection of virtues and honors, as it is the month in which the messenger of Allah Almighty, a mercy to the universe, the prophet possessing numerous commendable attributes, the Seal of Prophethood صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم, arrived into this world. Hence, this month garnered all these virtues and honors due to the birth of the Holy Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم.
Sayyiduna Imam Zakariyya Bin Muhammad Bin Mahmood Quzwayni رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه states: ‘This is the month in which Allah Almighty has opened the doors of virtues and honours upon the people of the world for the sake of His Final Prophet’s صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم blessed being. It was on the 12th of Rabi ul Awal that the Messenger of Allah صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم was born.’ (‘Ajaaib-ulMakhluqat, p. 68)
The importance of Rabi ul Awwal cannot be overstated. Had the Holy Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم not graced this world, every Eid would lose its true essence, and no night would hold the same spiritual significance as Baraat (Salvation). In reality, all the joy and liveliness in the world is attributed to the very presence of the Holy Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم. The 12th day of this sacred month holds immense virtues and greatness. This date is the Eid of Eids for the devotees of the Prophet.
(Lataaif-ul-Ma’arif, p. 104; Mawahib-ul-Ladunniyyah, vol. 1, p. 75)
How Should We Spend Rabi ul Awwal?
The love for the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم forms the foundation of belief, and an indicator of this love is to abundantly remember one's beloved. A narration affirms, ‘Whoever loves someone, he makes mention of him in abundance.’ (Jami’-us-Sagheer, p. 507, Hadees 8312)
In general, we should praise the Holy Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم and manifest our affection for him through our words and deeds throughout the entire year. However, especially during the month of Rabi ul Awwal, in gratitude for such a remarkable blessing from Allah Almighty, we should frequently invoke the mention of the Holy Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم.
This remembrance can take various forms, such as sending Salat upon the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم, reciting Nat, discussing his greatness, conducting a Mawlid gathering (in accordance with Shariah while being considerate of the rights of local residents, passers-by, and the rights of people in general), participating in such gatherings, and more.
Observe a fast on the 12th of Rabi ul Awwal, for fasting on the day of the Prophet's صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم birth is an expression of gratitude for Allah Almighty's blessing, and there exists abundant reward for it. The Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم himself used to fast on every Monday and celebrated the day of his birth.
As Sayyiduna Abu Qatadah رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ narrates: ‘The Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم was asked about fasting on Monday and he said, ‘I was born on this day and revelation was sent to me on this day.’ (Muslim, p. 455, Hadees 2750)
All of these expressions serve as means of remembering the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم. Therefore, all these activities should be integrated into our routine during the month of Rabi-ul-Awwal.
Celebrate Eid Milad un Nabi صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم with Great Zeal
Celebrate Milad – the blessed birthday of Nabi Muhammad صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم with immense enthusiasm and passion. If a fervent disbeliever like Abu Lahab could reap benefits by commemorating the Milad of the Holy Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم, though not with the intention of recognizing him as the last Messenger of Allah Almighty but solely as his nephew, then why should we Muslims remain deprived of the 'rewards and blessings' for celebrating the Milad to seek the pleasure of Allah Almighty?
The Benefits of Mawlid
Those who observe the Mawlid celebration receive numerous spiritual and worldly blessings from Allah Almighty. Sayyiduna Imam Ibn al-Jawzi رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه states: ‘The one expressing joy and happiness upon the Mawlid will find this to be a barrier between [him and] Hell. Whoever spends a single dirham out of happiness for the Mawlid will receive the Prophet’s صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم intercession, and Allah Almighty will give him 10 dirhams in return for one. O Ummah of the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم, glad tidings unto you! You have been deemed worthy of receiving tremendous goodness in this world and the hereafter. The one who celebrates the Mawlid of the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم will reap blessings, respect, goodness and honour. He will enter Paradise whilst wearing a pearled turban and green attire.’ (Majmu’ Lateef-ul-Unsi, p. 281)
Sayyiduna Imam Ahmad Bin Muhammad Qastalani رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه states: ‘From the oft-observed benefits of conducting a Mawlid gathering during Rabi-ul-Awwal is that, that particular year remains one of safety and wellbeing. May Allah Almighty send mercy upon the one who makes the nights of Rabi-ul-Awwal into Eid.’ (Al-Mawahib-ul-Ladunniyyah, vol. 1, p. 78)
Shaykh Muhaqqiq Sayyiduna Shaykh Abdul Haq, the renowned scholar of Hadith, states: ‘Muslims have always held gatherings [of Mawlid] in the month of the Prophet’s صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم birth and offer plenty of charity in its nights. Due to the blessings of this act, these people experience all sorts of blessings. From the specific experiences of a Mawlid gathering is that its participants remain safe all year round, and there are glad tidings for the fulfilment of their needs and the accomplishment of their goals. May Allah Almighty shower many blessings upon the one who makes the day of Mawlid into Eid.’ (Ma-Sabata Min-al-Sunnah, p. 102 selected)
Reward for Eid Milad un Nabi Celebration
Shaykh ‘Abdul Haq Muhaddis Dehilvi رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه stated, ‘Those rejoicing on the blessed event of 12 Rabi ul Awwal celebrating the Milad of the Holy Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم will enter Jannaat-un-Na’eem (i.e., Heaven with blessings) by virtue of the ‘Divine mercy and grace’. From earliest times, Muslims have always been holding ‘Milad gatherings’ marking and celebrating the Milad of the Holy Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم, arranging feasts etc., and giving Sadaqah in abundance.
On this auspicious occasion, people express their feelings, full of bliss and spirituality; hold big and small congregations, decorate their shops and houses with lights and flags, and spend their wealth generously. By the blessings of all these noble deeds, Allah عَزَّ وَجَلَّ showers His blessings on them.’
(Ma Sabat Bis-Sunnah, pp. 102, summarised)
The Night Superior to Shab-E-Qadr
Sayyiduna Shaykh Abdul Haq Muhaddis Dehlvi رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه stated that, ‘Indeed, the blessed night of the birth of the Holy Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم is Afzal [superior] to even Shab-e-Qadr, mainly because this is the night in which the Holy Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم was born. So, the night that is honored by the advent of the Holy Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم is more sacred than the night which is honored by the ‘descending of angels.’ (Masabata bis-Sunnah, pp. 100)