Rabi’ Al-Awwal is the third month of the Islamic calendar (Hijri calendar) and is one of the most significant times for Muslims across the globe. This is especially true for the 12th day of the month as it marks the birth of one of the most important figures within the Islamic faith. In 2023, the 12th Rabi’ Al-Awwal is set to fall on either September 27th or 28th; which is subject to the sighting of the moon. This is because the Hijri calendar follows the lunar year, meaning every new month commences and closes by way of the new moon.
Read on to discover more about the Rabi’ Al-Awwal history.
What Happened on the 12th Rabi’ Al-Awwal?
Many Muslims regard the 12th Rabi’ Al-Awwal as the most notable day in the history of mankind, as this is the day that the birth of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is celebrated. This blessed day was long-awaited, as his birth had been foreshadowed in earlier divine books, and his influence only prevailed as he grew. Therefore, the 12th Rabi’ Al-Awwal is remembered by Muslims as the day that humanity was blessed with the one who led humanity from darkness to light.
The Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) Birthday
The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was born in Mecca in the Gregorian year of 570 AD and, although the exact date of his birth is unclear, it’s celebrated on the 12th day of Rabi’ Al-Awwal. The observance is sometimes referred to as Mawlid or Milad, which is derived from the Arabic word that means “to give birth” and has since evolved to become synonymous with the Prophet’s (PBUH) birth.
Mawlid is a public holiday in the majority of Islamic countries, excluding Qatar and Saudi Arabia. On this day, homes and mosques are often decorated, while street processions take place and stories are told about the Prophet (PBUH) via songs and poems.
The History of Mawlid
Though Mawlid is now considered a public holiday, this wasn’t always the case and used to be something that was solely observed privately in people’s homes. These observations often involved torchlit processions, feasts, sermons, and animal sacrifices, some of which are still performed today in honour of the 12th Rabi’ Al-Awwal.
How is the 12th Rabi’ Al-Awwal Celebrated Today?
As previously mentioned, some Muslims take this day as an opportunity to decorate their homes, rejoice in street parties, and tell tales of the Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) life. Despite this, this isn’t the only way that people choose to honour the birth of the Prophet (PBUH). For instance, some individuals may choose not to celebrate, but rather perform deeds that allow them to improve upon themselves as devout Muslims. These deeds include donating food and other goods to charity or dedicating more time to reading the Qur’an on this day. Additionally, since the Prophet (PBUH) was born on a Monday, some Muslims will fast during the daylight hours of Monday in order to honour his blessed birth.
Why the 12th Rabi’ Al-Awwal is Important
The first reason why the 12th Rabi’ Al-Awwal is so important is that it honours the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) who was a crucial figure in the forming of the Muslim religion. In the absence of the Prophet (PBUH), Islam wouldn’t be how we know it today; he was the one who received Allah’s (SWT) revelations and spread his teachings to the wider community. As a result, the 12th Rabi’ Al-Awwal allows Muslims to commemorate the Prophet (PBUH) and his contributions to Islam.
In addition to the remembrance of the Prophet (PBUH), the 12th Rabi’ Al-Awwal also brings the Ummah together. Communal meals, parades, and prayer meetings that take place on this day present the perfect opportunity to connect with our brothers and sisters in a spiritual capacity.
Last but not least, the 12th of Rabi’ Al-Awwal also reiterates the significance of the Prophet’s (PBUH) teachings. Ultimately, this day isn’t about glorifying an individual, but rather emphasising the meaning of the Qur’an’s teachings and completing good deeds that make us better Muslims.
Virtues of the 12th Rabi’ Al-Awwal
The deep significance of this holy day means that many Muslims will take it as an opportunity to inherit virtues from the life and teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). For example, some Muslims will use this day to reflect upon the legacy of the Prophet (PBUH), read his Seerah (life story), or reflect upon his Sunnah.
The birth of the Prophet (PBUH) completely changed the course of history, as Allah (SWT) used him to guide people from darkness to light. His Seerah is incredibly valuable, as his momentous journey through life is something that everyone can learn from. Finally, so many of his insightful Sunnah can be incorporated into our everyday lives to bring ourselves closer to righteousness.
Look After Orphans with Orphans in Need
The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was born parentless and one of his Sunnah states that we should look after orphaned children. Follow the Sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH) this 12th Rabi’ Al-Awwal and sponsor an orphan with Orphans in Need.