The Month of Rabi Al-Awwal
Rabi Al-Awwal is the third month in the Islamic calendar. The Islamic calendar consists of 12 months, and Rabi Al-Awwal is one of the most important months in the Islamic year due to the events that have taken place during it. The name of this month translates to ‘the first spring’, in which new life sprouts from the ground.
This year, the month of Rabi Al-Awwal will begin on 17th September, and end on 15 October.
The Birth of the Beloved
It was in this month that the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was born in Makkah, which many Muslims celebrate. However, some Muslims believe he was born on the 12th of Rabi Al-Awwal, while others believe it was on the 17th. This month also marks the Hijrah (migration) from Makkah to Madina, as well as the death of the Prophet (PBUH).
There were a number of miracles surrounding the birth of the Prophet (PBUH), including that Aaminah, his mother, saw light within her when she was pregnant with him. Another miracle was that the Prophet’s (PBUH) wet nurse, Halima Sa’diyah cared for and nursed him and was blessed for many years after. Halima Sa’diyah’s weak donkey had become faster and stronger than the rest, and her goat produced more milk than usual, which was enough to feed her and her family.
The Prophet’s (PBUH) birth was about 50 days after the event of the Abyssinian ruler, Abraha, attempting to destroy the Kaaba by storming through the land with 13 elephants. His elephant, named Mahmud, refused to move toward the city of Makkah, despite being beaten and pushed. Allah (SWT) then sent an army of birds that dropped stones on Abraha’s men, who were all killed or severely injured, and Abraha himself was injured and made his way back to Yemen. In doing this, Allah (SWT) ruined their plans and prevented the Kaaba from being destroyed.
His birth makes this month sacred and special to Muslims all over the world and encourages us to learn more about the Prophet’s (PBUH) life and character through studying the Seerah of the Prophet (PBUH). In addition to learning about his character, we should try to replicate it to better ourselves.
The Hijrah (migration) took place during the month of Rabi Al-Awwal. The migration was from Makkah to Yathrib and was essential in spreading the message of Islam and for the religion to grow. This brought the Muslims together, and the city became known as Madina al-Munawarah, meaning ‘The Illuminated City’, more commonly known as the city of Madina.
We use the Hijrah to work out the current Islamic year. ‘AH’ is used to refer to the years ‘after Hijrah’, and we are currently in the Islamic year 1444. 1445 AH will begin on 19th July, the 1st of Muharram.
The First Masjid
The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and Abu Bakr (RA) built the first masjid in a town called Quba, near the city of Yathrib during the month of Rabi Al-Awwal. They stayed here for three days to build it and then moved on to Yathrib, Madina, to build the Masjid An-Nabi. This event adds to the importance of Rabi Al-Awwal for Muslims.
The Prophet’s (PBUH) Death
The death of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) also occurred in the month of Rabi Al-Awwal, in the 11th year of Islam. He was ill for several days before his death, but the passing of the Prophet (PBUH) still shocked the Muslims. Umar (RA) was particularly distraught, to the point where he denied that the Prophet (PBUH) had died.
Abu Bakr (RA) spoke to the Muslims and gave words of comfort: ‘O people! If it was Muhammad whom you worshipped, then know that he is dead. But if it is Allah (SWT) whom you worshipped, then know that He does not die’.
These words of solace from Abu Bakr reminded the Muslims that the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was just a Messenger and that we should worship Allah (SWT) by following the practices of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
What to do in Rabi Al-Awwal
During the month of Rabi Al-Awwal, many Muslims celebrate the birth of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) with the Mawlid Al-Nabi, which is celebrated with feasts, family gatherings, and coloured lights. We should strive to follow the teachings and practices of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), as well as learn about his life and character.
This month, you can give charity to follow the practices of the Prophet (PBUH) by donating to Orphans in Need. ‘The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “the one who cares for an orphan and myself will be together in paradise like this” and he held his two fingers together to illustrate’. (Bukhari)
Sponsor an orphan today through Orphans in Need.