Month of Rabi-ul-Awwal

Rabi-ul-Awwal is the most significant month in the Islamic history, because humanity has been blessed in this month by the birth of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh). Before the birth of the Holy Prophet, not only the Arabian peninsula, but also the so-called civilised nations of Rome and Persia were drowned in the darkness of ignorance, superstitions, oppression and unrest. 

The Holy Prophet came with the eternal truth of Tawhid (Oneness of Allah), the only faith which provides a firm basis for the real concepts of knowledge, equity and peace. It was this faith which delivered humanity from ignorance and superstitions and spread the light of true knowledge all over the world.

Thus the birth of the Holy Prophet was the most significant and the most remarkable event in human history. Had there been room in Islamic teachings for the celebration of birthdays or anniversaries, the birthday of the Holy Prophet, would have undoubtedly deserved it more than the birthday of any other person. But that is against the nature of Islamic teachings.

On the other hand, Islam has not prescribed any festival for the birthday of any person, however great or significant he may be. The prophets of Allah are the persons of the highest status amongst all human beings. But the Holy Prophet, or his noble companions never observed the birthday or anniversary of any of them. Even the birthday of the Holy Prophet, which was the most happy day for the whole mankind was never celebrated by the Holy Prophet, himself, nor by his blessed Companions.


The Companions of the Holy Prophet, remained alive after him for about a century, but despite their unparalleled and profound love towards the Holy Prophet, they never celebrated the birthday or the death anniversary of the Holy Prophet. Instead, they devoted their lives for promoting the cause of Islam, for bringing his teachings into practice, for conveying his message to the four corners of the world and for establishing the Islamic order in every place.


The Holy Qur’an has clearly pronounced on the occasion of the last Hajj of the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him): “Today, I have completed the teachings of your religion.” [Al-Maida 5:3]


It means that all the teachings of Islam were communicated to the Muslims through the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet. No one is allowed after it to add any thing to them as a part of religion. What was not a part of religion during the lifetime of the Holy Prophet, can never become part of it. Such additions are termed by the Holy Prophet, as Bid’ah or innovation.


Thus, the observance of the 12th of Rabi’ul-Awwal as a religious feast is not warranted by any verse of the Holy Qur’an or by any teaching of the Holy Prophet.


The observance of the 12th of this month as the birthday of the Holy Prophet, (Pbuh) is not only an innovation having no basis in the Islamic teachings, but the accuracy of this date as the real birthday of the Holy Prophet, is also very much doubted. There are different dates suggested in different traditions, and the majority of the authentic scholars are inclined to hold that the Holy Prophet, (Pbuh), was born on the 9th of Rabi’ul-Awwal. This difference of opinion is another evidence to prove that the observance of the birthday is not a part of the religion, otherwise its exact date would have been preserved with accuracy.


The life of the Holy Prophet is, no doubt, the most important source of guidance for all the Muslims, and every Muslim is under an obligation to learn and study the events of his life, and to follow the practical example set by him in every sphere of life. The narration of his pious biography (the Seerah) in itself is a pious act, which invites the divine blessings, but the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah have not prescribed a particular time or method for it. This pious act should be performed in all the months and at all the times. 


The month of Rabi’ul-Awwal has not been designated by the Shariah as a special season for holding such congregations to commemorate the birth or life of the Holy Prophet, (Pbuh). It is thus an innovation (Bid’ah) to restrict the Seerah meetings to the month of Rabi’ul Awwal only, or to believe that the meetings held in this month are worthy of more reward than the meetings held on any other date during the year. In fact, the Companions of the Holy Prophet, used to commemorate the life of the Holy Prophet, throughout the year, not only by studying and conveying his message to others, but also by following his way of life and acting upon his teachings in each and every branch of their activities, and this is exactly what a Muslim is required and supposed to do.

By this we do not mean that the Seerah meetings should not be held in the month of Rabi-ul-Awwal. The point is only that they should not be restricted to it, nor should it be believed that the Shariah has laid any kind of emphasis on holding such meetings in this particular month.

All other activities, often practiced on the twelfth of Rabi-ul-Awwal, like holding processions, constructing the mock tombs of the Holy Prophet, and illumination of the buildings and the roads are not warranted by any rule of the Shariah. Rather they are based on conscious or unconscious imitation of certain other religions. No example of such activities can be traced out from the earlier Islamic history.

What is really important with regard to the Holy Prophet, is first, to follow his teachings, and second to make his pious Seerah available to every Muslim, to preserve it in the hearts of the Muslims from the very childhood, to educate the family members to run their lives according to it and to hold it as the most glorious example of the human conduct the universe has ever witnessed — and all this with utmost love and reverence, not manifested by some formal activities only, but also through actual behavior of following the Sunnah. This cannot be done by merely holding processions and illuminating the walls. This requires constant and consistent efforts and a meaningful program of education and training.

Courtesy: This article by Mufti Taqi Usmani is taken from here

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About MuQeet

This is MuQeet. Author. Educator. Soft Skill Trainer. Freelancer. Editor. YasSarNalQuR'aN is my primary blog. There are two other amazing blogs: www.Muqith.wordpress.com and www.IslamCalling.wordpress.com Subscribe if you wish to stay connected, InshaaAllah. Thank you.
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2 Responses to Month of Rabi-ul-Awwal

  1. ABUBAKAR DALHATU says:

    salaaam
    The fact that the prophet and his companions did not celebrate maulud does not make us not to celebrate. I feel the point you should be more concerned is IF AND ONLY THE PROPHET HAS WARNED DONT DO SUCH AND SUCH THINGS.Take a look @ the following
    1. Why was the quran not written down and compiled during the lifetime of the prophet
    2.why was the hadith not compiled during his lifetime???
    Most people that opposed maulud and the likes confuses KULLU BID ATUN DALALA WA KULLU DALALATUN FIN NAAR
    The kullu above is not kullu kulliyya its kulli jiz iyya. Its not all encompassing its only some parts
    if the prophet asks Allah for forgiveness 100 or 70 according to hadith IS IT THEN BAD IF I ASK ALLAH FOR FORGIVENESS 1000 OR MORE TIMES DAILY???? MANY MORE AND MORE OF SUCH QUESTIONS THAT NEEDS BE ANSWERED

    • MuQeet says:

      Wa alaikumus salam.

      Thank you for your comment and the questions. Let us analyse things to learn and enrich our knowledge and not just to argue to justify a pre-defined claim.

      1) Alhamdulillah, You agree to “the fact that the Prophet and his companions did not celebrate maulud”. The answer is clear. They didnt celebrate, we are NOT SUPPOSE to celebrate! The birth of the Prophet is a glorious and happy occasion. We need to thank Allah that the Prophet who was destined to the change the course of human history was finally born in Makkah.

      2) You say IF AND ONLY THE PROPHET HAS WARNED DONT DO SUCH AND SUCH THINGS. This is against the spirit of the Qur’an and Sunnah. For eg. The Qur’an gives a short list of things made unlawful for Muslims to eat. It is NOT GIVING the full menu of what all must not be eaten. About the allowed things, Pure and clean things are allowed. Here also it is not giving the full list of all things allowed. Certain things are left to common sense. For eg. Poison is not made haram, yet we don’t do the mistake of having poison. We know that if we eat we will die!!

      3) Things that were not done by the Prophet in the matters of religion are haram for us to do. The religion has been completed by the Prophet. No addition or deletion is possible now. Celebration is a part of religion and therefore it is not right to indulge in that.

      4) Your question: Why was the quran not written down and compiled during the lifetime of the prophet?
      Who told you that the Quran was not written down during the time of the Prophet? The Prophet (peace be upon him) had many scribes – Kuttabul Wahy – among them most famous was Zaid ibn Thabit, who used to write down the revelation under the DIRECT INSTRUCTION of the Prophet.

      The question why the Quran was not compiled during the lifetime of the Prophet needs some explanation.
      The fact that the Prophet was alive itself meant that the revealation was expected to come. Compilation can happen only when the Qur’an gets completed.
      And Qur’an got completed only during the final days of the Prophet (sal-lal-laahu-alahi-wa-sallam)

      Secondly, the Quran was available in the memories of many companions of the Prophet. No one can deny this!

      During the last Ramadhan of the Prophet’s life, the Prophet received angel Jibreel, as usual, and both recited the Qur’an to each other in the order of surahs which we have today. After Jibreel left, the Prophet instructed his companions including the scribes about the final order of Surahs. And this was permanently etched in the memories of the companions.

      Your intention to cite this incident to prove your point of celebrating the Birthday doesn’t make any sense. You want to justify your point by quoting one single event by comparing it with a WHOLE PROCESS. Birthday is one day affair, thats it. And you yourself agree that the Prophet did not celebrate his birthday for the rest of his life! The Quran issue is not one day matter. It was evolved during a continuous period of almost 23 years!

      5) Your another is question: Why was hadith not compiled during the his lifetime?

      Here three things I have to tell:
      a) A few of the companions were permitted by the Prophet to write down the hadith. It is not true that the hadith was not written during the lifetime of the Prophet.
      b) The living personality of the Prophet basically did not necessitated the companions to note down the hadith as when a person is alive you dont feel the need to write about him or from him. The companions were so fortunate to ask questions to the Prophet directly and got their answers and doubts clarified. So the need to write about a person arises only when the person is no more!
      c) It was basically NOT ENCOURAGED by the Prophet himself. This was to PREVENT the mixing of Quran with the hadith.
      Those days people didn’t had information technology as we have today. Today you can keep safely everything in separate files.

      The answer is very clear. The Prophet’s companions did not celebrate the Prophet’s birthday because it is not a part of religion at all! They saw the Prophet in flesh and blood. They knew that the thing not done by Prophet must not be done by them as well.

      Your ‘fatwa’ type of interpretation of hadith ‘kullu bid atin dhalala’ is infectious and dangerous. Please refrain from such things as it would lead to confusion in matters of religion.
      Any innovation in the matters of religion is for sure ‘dhalala’, misguidance! Celebrating the birthday falls in the matters of religion. We have only two occasions to celebrate in Islam: Eid al Fitr and Eid al Adha.
      The matters of mundane affairs will not fall in this category as long it doesnt go against the spirit of shariah and aqeedah.
      For eg. We wear shirts and trousers. That was not the Prophet used to wear. But still it is permissible as it is not against the spirit of Islamic dressing.

      Your final question about asking forgiveness 100 or 70 or 1000 times is really funny.
      The Prophet’s one time seek forgiving of Allah had in its fold the depth of Allah’s fear and the spirit of Allah-consciousness that is more than a million times of we seeking forgiveness even once. We cannot simply do more than the Prophet!!

      May Allah give us the tawfeeq and hidayah to understand Islam through the lens of the Qur’an and Sunnah. May our minds imbibe the spirit of Islam. Aameen.

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