Prophet Muhammad (Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him and his household) was born on the 12th of the Lunar month of Rabi’al Awal. Most Muslims throughout the world would be commemorating his birthday.

The Prophet (SAW) was born in the year called Aam ul-Fill, meaning the year of the Elephant. It was called the year of the Elephant because of the uprising of Abraha; the then Governor of Yemen who intended to destroy the Kaaba. He intended to destroy it in order that Arabs would have no alternative but to join him in his way of worshipping.

The Kaaba was not only a symbol of unity among the Arabs in worshipping but also gave them security from Allah wherever they went for the sake of the Kaaba

Abraha and his army of foot soldiers and the Calvary of elephants were rather destroyed. The significance of this destruction of Abraha and his army, leaving the Kaaba intact was to bring an end to hostilities in the world if certain virtues were to be followed with the birth of the Holy Prophet, unfortunately they did not heed to those virtues.

Read the following carefully:

In the Divine hadith (Hadith Qudsi), Allah said through His Prophet (SAW), “O My servants, I have forbidden oppression for Myself and have made it forbidden amongst you, so do not oppress one another. O My servants, all of you are astray except for those I have guided, so seek guidance of Me and I shall guide you, O My servants, all of you are hungry except for those I have fed, so seek food of Me and I shall feed you. O My servants, all of you are naked except for those I have clothed, so seek clothing of Me and I shall clothe you. O My servants, you sin by night and by day, and I forgive all sins, so seek forgiveness of Me and I shall forgive you.”

THE MAULID, BIRTHDAY OF THE PROPHET

His birth means the rebirth of the world. His birth means the rebirth of abundance of Allah’s mercy on Mankind. His birth means the coming of the best man in history. His birth means the advert of the best man to have set foot on the surface of the earth. His birth means the rebirth of equality and justice. His birth came as a solution to all the numerous problems confronting humanity and to bring about the much needed peace and happiness for humanity.

His mission began when he was 40 years of age. Among some of his assignments included as very remarkably put in the following Quranic verses;

“We sent you, O Muhammad, as a mercy for all creatures”. Quran 21:107;

“We have sent you as a universal Messenger to the whole of mankind, giving them glad tidings, and warning them against sin, but most men do not appreciate that”. Quran 34:28;

MAULID CELEBRATION

In celebrating the Maulid, I wish to say what Bernard Shaw said about the founder of Islam Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and I quote, “I have studied him the wonderful man, and in my opinion far from being an anti-Christ, he must be called the saviour of humanity. I believe that if a man like him were to assume the leadership of the modern world, he would succeed in solving the problems in a way that would bring it the much needed peace and happiness.” He also added;

“He was by far the most remarkable man that ever set foot on this earth. He preached a religion, founded a state, built a nation laid down a moral code, initiated numerous social and political reforms, established powerful and dynamic society to practice and represent his teachings and completely revolutionized the worlds of human thought and behaviour for all times to come.” (A collection of Writings of some of the Eminent Scholars” published by the Working Muslims Mission, 1935 Edition, pp 77)

Also Michael H. Hart in his recently published book on ranking of the most influential persons in History, who contributed toward the benefit and upliftment of mankind writes: ‘My choice of Muhammad to lead the list of the world’s most influential persons may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others, but he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular levels.’ See M. H. Hart, The 100: A ranking of the most influential persons in History, New York, 1978, pp33).

The Holy Prophets’ teachings to ensure total and permanent peace and happiness in the world is still intact and could be found in two main sources of Islamic Jurisprudence namely the Quran and the Traditions.

Muslim celebrities like Imam Ahmed, Imam as-Saafi’I, Imam ibn Taimia, Imam ibn Al-Juzia, Ibn Kathir, Imam al-Sayuti and most of as-Salf us-Saulih celebrated the Birthday of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW).

THE FIRST MAULID OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD (SAW)

In Sahih Al-Bukhari, Hadith 7.38, Um Habiba the daughter of Abu Sufyan said that ‘Urwatu bn Az-Zubair; narrated the following … Thuwaiba had been a slave girl whom Abu Lahab had given her, her freedom, when she informed him of the good news that Amina has given birth to a baby boy. Thuwaiba was freed and suckled the Prophet. When Abu Lahb died, one of his relatives saw him in a dream in a very bad state and asked him, “What have you encountered?” Abu Lahb said, “I have not found any rest since I left you, except that I have been given water to drink on every Monday and that was because of my freeing of Thuwaiba, and giving her freedom.”

THUWAIBA’S FREEDOM

The first maulid was the gesture of Abu Lahb upon hearing the birth of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW), he became extremely happy to the extend that; he gave Thuwaiba her freedom in appreciation to the good news of the birth of the Prophet. Every Monday, Abu Lahb who later on became the arch-enemy of the Prophet and contributed to the persecution of the Prophet and his Companions to the extend of waging wars on him. Inspite of the enmity and persecution Abu Lahb died as a non-believer, incidentally, every Monday his punishment is reduced and in addition to that he is given water to drink because of celebrating the birth of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) by freeing his slave girl.

What would be then the reward of a Muslim who believes in Allah and the Prophet and remembers the Prophet’s birthday and celebrates it with gifts of presents, because he/she is happy for this day and occasion, just like what Abu Lahb did? What would be his reward? Certainly without doubt his/ her reward will be much better than Abu Lahb who only was happy during the birth of the Prophet and freeing his slave girl but did not believe in the mission of this Universal Prophet.

FASTING ON MONDAYS

In Hadith 21498, Imam Ahmed Ibn Hambal is reported to have said that, Shuhba said ibn Abass said, the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was asked, the reason behind his fasting on Mondays. The Prophet answered, “I am fasting on Mondays because it was the day I was born, and the day my mission begun”.

Imam Ahmad, Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam as-Shaafi’I, Imam Nabawi, Imam Hafiz

al-Asqalani and most of the as-Salf us-Saulih celebrated the Maulid based upon the Hadith narrated by Imam Ahmad. If the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) could celebrate his birthday, to the extend that he fasted on Mondays, that is in line with remembering his birthday with a fast or with a prayer or with giving of alms like that of Abu Lahb.

IBN ABASS ON MAULID

In the book of At-Tanweer (The Birthday of the Prophet) page 25 written by al-Hafiz Abu al-Khatab ibn Dahiya, he said, ibn Abass on one occasion narrated to the Companions of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) about his birthday contained in the Hadith of Imam Ahmed. When the Sahabi heard the narration they praised Allah, and asked Allah’s peace and blessing to be on the holy Prophet. The Holy Prophet (SAW) over heard them and he came out to them and blessed them by saying special prayers for them. The Hadith 2376 of Imam Ahmad is as follows, on the authority of ibn Abass, who said the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was born on a Monday, and called to Prophethood on a Monday, he left Mecca with the intention of migrating to Madina on a Monday, he reached Madina on a Monday, he lifted the black stone of the Kaaba and put it back on its position on a Monday.

SIGNIFICANCE OF MAULID

IBN TAIMIYA ON MAULID

Ibn Taimiya said, ‘dignifying maulid by celebrating it, and taking it as a way of preaching as most of the people do on that day has enormous reward for that intention and it is meant to uplift the image of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW). Ibn Taimiya was asked “what about the people who congregate in the mosque to remember the name of Allah in Zikr and reading the Holy Quran and they pray to each other and seek the nearness to Allah by celebrating the birthday with good intention, is that considered lawful in Islam?” Ibn Taimiya replied “All praises be to Allah, the congregation of Muslims to read the Quran and to Zikr and pray for each other on the occasion of the birthday of the Prophet is a good deed and highly recommended, if they do not do anything unlawful there with any innovation and un-Islamic deeds”. (Iqtidha’a al-Siraten al-Mustakeem, page 297 and also Magmuatu al-Fatawi vol. 22 page 523 all written by ibn Taimiya).

Since scholars like Bernard Shaw and Michael Harts who were non-Muslims appreciated the Holy Prophet of Islam and the manner in which they did, I think we the Muslims, the believers in Allah and the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) have a bigger obligation to dignify and keep his name high for the rest of the world to know and appreciate him.

I wish all Muslims a successful Maulid, may Allah bless us all.

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