The Islamic calendar, also known as the Hijri Calendar, is based on sighting of the moon. It started after the Hijrah of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) to Madina. There are different months with their own significance respectively. Rabi ul Awal is the 3rd month in the Islamic Lunar Calendar which holds great importance and significance in the lives of Muslims. In Arabic, the word “Rabbi” means spring while “al awwal” means the first. Hence Rabbi ul Awwal translates into 'The First Spring'. The month of Rabi-ul-Awal comes after Safar-al-Muzaffar and is the most significant month in the Islamic history. The month of Rabi al Awwal holds special significance as Muslims believe that the Holy Prophet (PBUH) was also born in this month. Due to the birth of Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in this month, it is considered special for Muslims worldwide. Muslims often celebrate it on 12th Rabi ul Awwal, terming the day as Eid Milad un-Nabi. A lot of Muslims also hold Milad throughout the month in remembrance of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The Birth of the Prophet (PBUH) is celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm by many Muslims all over the world. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was the Last Prophet and Messenger of Allah (SWT). He was a beloved prophet of Allah (SWT) and the Holy Quran was blessed upon Him as a guiding light for the rest of humanity. This month reminds the Muslims about the great personality of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) who had taken the humanity out of the darkness of Kufr (denial of the Truth). The month also serves a great purpose as it brings the people closer to the teachings of Islam and to the Hazrat Muhammad’s (SAW) way of life. It acts as a reminder that the beloved messenger was a blessing for the whole universe.
There are many other events which also took place on this month of Rabi ul Awwal that are as follows:
-1st Rabi ul Awal: Hijrat-e-Madina started
The Prophet (saw) and his Companion, Abu Bakr (ra), emigrated from Makkah to Yathrib during Rabi’-ul-Awwal. This event is known as the Hijrah. Hijrat” is an Arabic word, derived from “hijr,” means “to depart.” It is also used for “to shift”. In Islam, it generally means “to give up one’s own land” or “to migrate from one place to another place” mostly for the sake of Deen/faith and Allah. Hijrat as a term came into prominence from the Hijrat (migration) of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his followers from Mecca to the city of Medina in 622 A.D. The Hijrah marked the beginning of a new chapter for Muslims. In short: it was a migration towards saving the new message of Islam and establishing a fresh society, in which Islam would flourish and spread all over the world.
Month of Rabi’-ul-Awwal Construction of Masjid-e-Quba
The first masjid in Islam was established in Quba.In the 13th year of the proclamation of Prophethood, the King of Madinah صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم migrated to Madinah and reached Quba on the 12th of Rabi’-ul-Awwal, the place where he laid the foundations of the Masjid and personally participated in its construction with the companion. This Masjid is still known today as ‘Masjid-e-Quba’. Quba mosque has a special and unique place in the hearts of Muslims due to its association with the prophet Muhammed -peace be upon him- as it is the first mosque ever built. It is also known to be the second largest and prominent mosque in Madina after the Prophet's Mosque.
-12th Rabi ul Awal: Muslims celebrate Eid Milad un Nabi
Eid Milad un Nabi is known as the birthday of the Islamic prophet Muhammad (pbuh). The birth of the Prophet (saw) was ‘a mercy to the worlds’ . On the occasion of 12 Rabi-ul-Awal, a national public holiday is observed all over Pakistan and in some other Islamic countries as well.The Muslim Ummah worldwide celebrates this tremendous day whole-heartedly to show great devoutness and alliance with their Prophet (SAW). Mosques, homes, are other commercial buildings seem to be blazed with green lights and green flags on this auspicious day. People decorate their homes and even streets and roads with full enthusiasm to show great happiness on this day.
This is the time to be grateful to Allah (saw) for the amazing blessing of sending the Prophet (saw) to us and guiding us to His Light.The month of Rabi’-ul-Awwal is also a good time to revive or strengthen your connection with the Prophet (saw) and his Sunnah. Afterall, it is only through the sacrifices, efforts, and immense love of the Prophet (saw) that we have been given the incredible guidance of the Qur’an and Sunnah.. There are so many precious and beautiful Sunnah of the blessed prophet (PBUH) that we can benefit from and strive to embody all year round.
Look after orphans. The Prophet (PBUH) was born an orphan, and in a famous hadith said:
“I and the one who cares for an orphan will be together in Paradise like this” and he (SAW) held his two fingers together to illustrate. (Bukhari)
Fasting the Sunnah days (Mondays and Thursdays among others)
“The deeds are presented on Monday and Thursday. Thus, I love for my deeds to be presented while I am fasting.” (Tirmidhi)
Speaking good or keeping silent
“..Speak a good word or remain silent” (Bukhari)
Visiting the sick:
“Feed the hungry, visit the sick, and set free the captives.” (Bukhari)
SIMPLE WAYS TO MAKE THE MOST OF RABI’ AL AWWAL AND TRULY HONOR THE PROPHET (SAW)
HOLY QURAN SOURCES:
Reconnect With Allah swt
Rabi’ al Awwal is a time for renewal; being grateful to Allah swt, reviving our connection with Him and His Messenger by learning more about the Qur’an and Sunnah.
It’s a time to be thankful to Allah swt for sending our beloved Prophet (pbuh) to us to guide us to His Light. It is a time for grounding ourselves in our purpose of worshiping Allah swt.
Increase Your Salawat/Salutation Upon The Prophet (pbuh)
“Indeed, Allah showers His blessings upon the Prophet, and His angels pray for him. O believers! Invoke Allah’s blessings upon him, and salute him with worthy greetings of peace.”
The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: “Whoever sends blessings upon me, Allah will send blessings upon him tenfold”.
[Sahih Muslim, 384]
There are numerous such documented benefits of sending salam and blessing to the Prophet (pbuh). When you send salutation to the Prophet (pbuh), you are obeying the command of Allah, Allah returns the salutation ten times, the Prophet(pbuh) hears your greeting, and last but not least you get peace and blessings from the angels.
There are countless virtues that we have inherited from the life and teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The month of Rabi’ Al-Awwal also provides us the opportunity to reflect and take stock of the lessons we can derive from his precious life.