Rabi-ul-Awwal is the 3rd month in the Islamic calendar. This month holds great prominence due to its blessings because the reason for the creation of the universe, the mercy to all creation, the chosen one, the Beloved Prophet of all mankind, Muhammad Mustafa صلّی اللہ تعالٰی علیہ واٰلہ وسلّم graced the world with his presence in this month. The Holy Prophet صلّی اللہ تعالٰی علیہ واٰلہ وسلّم was born on 12th Rabi-ul-Awwal, Monday at the time of dawn in the Holy land of Makkah. Islamic scholars have asserted that the night of the birth of the Holy Prophet صلّی اللہ تعالٰی علیہ واٰلہ وسلّم is superior to even Layla-tul-Qadr (The Night of Power) because angels descend from the skies on Layla-tul-Qadr but on the 12th night of Rabi -ul- Awwal, the mercy to all creation himself came into this world. Moreover, only Muslims reap the blessings and favors bestowed by Allah عزّوجلّ on Layla-tul-Qadr while on the night of the advent of the Holy Prophet صلّی اللہ تعالٰی علیہ واٰلہ وسلّم , Almighty Allah عزّوجلّ showered His mercy and blessings on all creation as stated in the Holy Quran:
وَ مَاۤ اَرْسَلْنٰكَ اِلَّا رَحْمَةً لِّلْعٰلَمِیْنَ
“And We did not send you (O dear Prophet Muhammad) except as a mercy for the entire world.”
Without a doubt, the Holy Prophet صلّی اللہ تعالٰی علیہ واٰلہ وسلّم was sent as a mercy and indeed, the day when Allah’s mercy descends is a day of rejoicing. Almighty Allah عزّوجلّ has declared in the Holy Quran, part 11, Sura Younus, Verse 58:
قُلْ بِفَضْلِ اللّٰهِ وَ بِرَحْمَتِهٖ فَبِذٰلِكَ فَلْیَفْرَحُوْاؕ-هُوَ خَیْرٌ مِّمَّا یَجْمَعُوْنَ
“Say, ‘Upon Allah’s munificence and upon His mercy – upon these should the people rejoice”; that is better than all their wealth and possessions.”
The Holy Quran itself orders us to rejoice over Allah’s mercy and Allah’s greatest mercy is embodied in the Holy Prophet صلّی اللہ تعالٰی علیہ واٰلہ وسلّم .
Abu Lahab was the paternal uncle of the Holy Prophet صلّی اللہ تعالٰی علیہ واٰلہ وسلّم who had a slave girl named Suwaybah. He was one of the worst unbelievers and a fierce opponent of the Holy Prophet صلّی اللہ تعالٰی علیہ واٰلہ وسلّم after he announced his Prophethood. However, when Rasoolullah صلّی اللہ تعالٰی علیہ واٰلہ وسلّم was born, his slave girl Suwaybah gave the news of the birth of his nephew to Abu Lahab and upon receiving this news, Abu Lahab freed her as a reward for bearing the news of his nephew’s birth. After the death of Abu Lahab, one of his family members saw him in pain in a dream. He was asked how he was treated after his death. He replied, “I did not receive any goodness after leaving you.” Then pointing towards a hole at the underside of his thumb, he said, “Except this, as I am fed with water from this because I freed my slave girl, Suwaybah.”
(Musannaf Abdul Razzaq)
Shaikh Allama Badr-ud-Din Ayniرحمۃ اللہ تعالٰی علیہhas stated, “That indication means that he is given some water.”
Commenting on the above mentioned narration, Sayyiduna Shaikh Abdul Haq Muhaddis Dehelwiرحمۃ اللہ تعالٰی علیہhas stated, “In this incident, there is credible evidence for those who celebrate the birth of the Noble Prophet صلّی اللہ تعالٰی علیہ واٰلہ وسلّم and spend their wealth on this auspicious occasion. Abu Lahab, who was a staunch unbeliever, was benefitted due to rejoicing and freeing his slave girl, Suwaybah, upon hearing the news of the blessed birth of the Holy Prophet صلّی اللہ تعالٰی علیہ واٰلہ وسلّم . Now imagine how great the reward will be for the Muslim spending his wealth whole-heartedly on this occasion. However, it is necessary to avoid songs and music in Meelad gathering.”
Allama Ibn-e-Jawziرحمۃ اللہ تعالٰی علیہsays: When an unbeliever, like Abu Lahab (who has been explicitly condemned in Sura-e-Lahab) was rewarded in this way, then what will be the reward of a Muslim who celebrates the birth of the Noble Prophet صلّی اللہ تعالٰی علیہ واٰلہ وسلّم . Indeed, Almighty Allah عزّوجلّ will reward him by entering him into the gardens of peace by his immense mercy.
Celebrating Meelad and having devotion for this day is a sign of Iman and celebrating this day has been proved from the Quran, Hadith and the statements of our pious predecessors. The gatherings of Meelad hold countless blessings. The primary concept of a Meelad congregation is that the devotees of the Holy Prophet gather at a venue, an Islamic scholar describes the events of the Holy Prophet’s blessed birth, his miracles, his blessed characteristics and his excellence and eminence in light of authentic narrations. Thereafter, Durood-o-Salam is presented in his holy court while reverently standing up. Sweets are distributed amongst the poor and needy and other fellow Muslims after offering Fatiha to present its reward to the Holy Prophet صلّی اللہ تعالٰی علیہ واٰلہ وسلّم . Then supplications are offered for the needs of Muslims in the world and the hereafter. All of the above mentioned acts have been proved from Quran, Sunnah and the sayings of Islamic scholars.
Almighty Allah عزّوجلّ Himself discusses the arrival of the Holy Prophet صلّی اللہ تعالٰی علیہ واٰلہ وسلّم in the Holy Quran in the following words:
لَقَدْ جَآءَكُمْ رَسُوْلٌ مِّنْ اَنْفُسِكُمْ عَزِیْزٌ عَلَیْهِ مَا عَنِتُّمْ حَرِیْصٌ عَلَیْكُمْ بِالْمُؤْمِنِیْنَ رَءُوْفٌ رَّحِیْمٌ
“Indeed there has come to you a Noble Messenger from among you – your falling into hardship aggrieves him, most concerned for your well being, for the Muslims most compassionate, most merciful.”
In the foregoing verse, Almighty Allah عزّوجلّ firstly said, “O Muslims! There has come to you a noble messenger”. Here, Almighty Allah عزّوجلّ describes the blessed birth of the Holy Prophetصلّی اللہ تعالٰی علیہ واٰلہ وسلّم . Secondly, He said, “That messenger is from among you.” Here, the blessed lineage of the Holy Prophet صلّی اللہ تعالٰی علیہ واٰلہ وسلّم has been described. Lastly, He said, “He is most concerned for your well-being. He is most compassionate for Muslims and most merciful.” Here, the blessed Naat (praise) of the Holy Prophet صلّی اللہ تعالٰی علیہ واٰلہ وسلّم has been stated. In the Meelad gatherings which are organized these days, the same 3 things are described and discussed.
Sayyiduna Qatadaرضی اللہ تعالٰی عنہsaid that the Holy Prophet صلّی اللہ تعالٰی علیہ واٰلہ وسلّم was asked why he fasted on every Monday. The Holy Prophet صلّی اللہ تعالٰی علیہ واٰلہ وسلّم replied, “I was born on this day and the revelation descended upon me on the same day.”
The commentator of Sahih Bukhari, Sayyiduna Imam Qastalaniرحمۃ اللہ تعالٰی علیہhas said, “One of the tried-and-true blessing of celebrating Meelad of the Holy Prophet صلّی اللہ تعالٰی علیہ واٰلہ وسلّمis that peace and tranquility prevails throughout the year and every wish is fulfilled sooner. May Almighty Allah عزّوجلّ have mercy on the one who marks the nights of the month of Meelad like Eid.”
May Almighty Allah عزّوجلّ enable us to celebrate the blessed birth of the Holy Prophet صلّی اللہ تعالٰی علیہ واٰلہ وسلّم as per the guidelines of Sharia, reward us by His grace and grant us the neighborhood of the Holy Prophet صلّی اللہ تعالٰی علیہ واٰلہ وسلّم in paradise by virtue of it!
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