What is Rabi’ Al-Awwal?
Rabi’ Al-Awwal is the third month in the Islamic calendar and a significant time for Muslims, as it is the birth month of the beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), who would change the course of humanity forever.
The Messenger of Allah (SAW) was born an orphan, in Makkah in 570 CE, and is described by Allah (SWT) as a mercy to the worlds:
“It was only as a mercy that We sent you (Prophet) to all people.” (Qur’an, 21:107)
It has been relayed that the Prophet (PBUH) was born on a Monday, but there remain differing opinions on the exact birth date of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW). Some suggest he (SAW) was born on the 12th day of Rabi’ Al-Awwal.
Whilst it is not obligatory to fast on Mondays, the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) recommended it as part of his Sunnah:
The Messenger of Allah (SAW) was asked about fasting on Mondays, whereupon he said: “On it, I was born and on it, revelation was sent down to me.” (Muslim)
Why is Rabi’ Al-Awwal important to Muslims?
Unlike some other sacred months in the Islamic calendar, such as Dhul Hijjah and Ramadan, Rabi’ Al-Awwal is important, but there are not any specific or required acts of worship for Muslims during this blessed month.
Instead, Rabi’ Al-Awwal is another opportunity to reflect on the importance of our Prophet (PBUH) and the role he has played for Muslims for the expanse of Islamic history.
It is also the month in which the beloved Prophet (PBUH) passed away.
When is Rabi’ Al-Awwal?
This year, the month of Rabi’ Al-Awwal begins on either Thursday 7th or Friday 8th October 2021 depending on the sighting of the moon.
The Islamic Hijri Calendar is based on the lunar calendar which consists of 12 lunar months. Each month begins when a new moon is sighted.
Rabi’ Al-Awwal is the third month in the Islamic calendar, after the sacred month of Muharram and Safar.
Image: Masjid an-Nabawi (Mosque of the Prophet PBUH), the second holiest mosque in Islam after the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca. It is resting place of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW).
Virtues of Rabi’ Al-Awwal
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.
Reflect on the legacy of the Prophet (PBUH)
The birth of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and the advent of Islam changed the course of history.
Allah (SWT) guided humanity through the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), the best of creation, to revolutionise the rights of women and oppressive structures within society. The impact he made during his lifetime created foundations of good for the rest of time.
Read the Seerah of the Prophet (PBUH)
The Seerah (life story) of the Prophet (PBUH) is incredibly valuable, and an opportunity to learn from how the Prophet (PBUH) navigated through both momentous challenges and blessings. Importantly, it also situates a lot of the revelation provided to the Prophet (PBUH) by Allah (SWT).
What better time to embark on learning from the life of the Prophet (PBUH) than the month of his birth?
Reflect on the Sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH)
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. Here are a few easily integrated Sunnahs to start building as successful habits this Rabi’ Al-Awwal:
- 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)