The Prophet’s Birthday…A Day to Rej...

Egypt's Dar Al-Ifta

The Prophet’s Birthday…A Day to Rejoice

The Prophet’s Birthday…A Day to Rejoice

Prophet Muhammad was born in the Hijri month of Rabi’ al Awwal and Muslims called this month “Rabi’ al Anwar” or the enlightened Rabi’. The famous Egyptian poet, Ahmad Shawqi, said:

The source of guidance is born….so the whole creation is illuminated
and the Time of his noble birth…. rejoiced in happiness

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) used to fast on Mondays and say “This was a day in which I was born and in which I received the divine revelation” (Muslim) and God says in the Quran "And remind them of the days of God". (14: 5) Indeed the birthday of the Prophet was one of the blessed days which was bestowed upon us by God and deserved to be widely celebrated by Muslims across the globe especially at a time when people invented all kinds of celebrations, it was incumbent upon us to place all events that are pertinent to the Prophet in high regards in order not to lose our identity amid the roaring voices of our time.

Therefore, Muslims along centuries have celebrated the events of the New Hijri Year, the Birthday of the Prophet, and the 15th of Sha’ban Hijri month along with other blessed times and days in which prayers are answered such as the Night of Power, the first 10 days of the Hijri month of Dhul Hijah and the Night Journey along with other blessed occasions.

A lot of Muslims would actually celebrate not only the day of the Prophet’s birth but they rejoice in happiness the whole month of Rabi’ al Awwal because the point of celebration is to remind ourselves with the Prophet’s noble biography and to study it closely in order to benefit from its valuable lessons. When we engage in studying the Prophet’s biography, we would realize that it is an endless treasure because the Prophet was a walking Quran and his eminent character was praised by God in the Quran when He says, “And most surely you conform (yourself) to sublime morality.” (68:4)
and it was reported that lady ‘Aisha said, “the Prophet’s ethic was the Quran”.

If Prophet Muhammad’s ethical conduct is that of the Quran, this description makes us ponder about the very first verse of the Quran which starts with “In the name of God Most Compassionate Most Merciful”. In this verse, the words merciful and compassionate were combined in a hyperbole form and they both stem from the linguistic root of mercy (rahma) which is the core essence of love. To make a further emphasis on this point, God described Prophet Muhammad in the Quran saying, “Indeed We have not sent you {Muhammad} except as a mercy for all worlds” (21: 107).

God also reiterated His divine mercy in one of the Prophetic traditions which has the ultimate precedence among others and hadith scholars teach it to their students in their first day of classes. The Hadith says “Those who are merciful are subjected to the mercy of the All Merciful so have mercy on those on earth and the One in heaven will have mercy on you” (al- Baihaqi). The precedence of this hadith comes from the fact that it is the accurate key in interpreting textual doctrine and the gateway to dealing with our world reality along with mastering the art of building healthy relationship among people, between people and God and between God and one’s self.

Turning a blind eye on the concept of mercy in interpreting legal texts or in reading the prophetic biography or in our vision of the universe around us or in dealing with one’s self and others will ultimately lead to an extremist outlook which existed through history and always had the trend of walking in darkness and challenge both the serenity of the self and security of the community. This kind of extremist approach rapidly falls a part after reaching its peak of zealotry and does not last for long. Prophet Muhammad said “This religion is about ease and no one would try to go extreme about it without being defeated by it” (al- Bayhaqi) and the Prophet reiterated the same meaning when he said “the one who keeps traveling day and night, neither reached his ultimate destination nor kept the animal he used for transportation alive” (al-Suyuti).

In other words, the one who entertains this extreme approach believes that his actions are good but in reality he harms himself and tarnishes the reputation of religion so in turn he leads people astray from Islam and harms others as well. The Prophet said “Leniency was not included in anything but added to its benefit and was not extracted from anything but retracted from its beauty” (al- Tabarani).

God Al Mighty warned us against adopting the approach of the extremists who think good of themselves and think ill of others and refrain from finding excuses for others and accuse them with negligence in worship and sinfulness in actions. These are the characteristics of the egoistic and the conceited who look at the speck in people’s eyes and leave the log in theirs and for this reason they convince themselves that others deserve to die and to be burned alive. God warned us in the Quran against this type when He says “Say: Shall We inform you of the greatest losers in (their) deeds? (These are) they whose labor is lost in this world’s life and they think that they are well versed in skill of the work of hands. (18: 103-104)

And God also said “And among men is he whose speech about the life of this world causes you to wonder, and he calls on Allah to witness as to what is in his heart, yet he is the most violent of adversaries. And when he turns back, he runs along in the land that he may cause mischief in it and destroy the tilth and the stock, and Allah does not love mischief-making.” (2:204-205)
So in this verse God equated between destruction of harvest and stock whether by words or deeds and by simply being satisfied with witnessing such heinous acts while standing still. God says in this regard “Laboring, toiling, Entering into burning fire” (88: 3-4) So they work and act but their actions are not accepted in the sight of God. Therefore those who adopt this extreme approach have to reconsider their position and ponder upon these meanings.

God also taught us in the Quran not to pay attention to sarcasm, mockery and conceit and instead to walk in our way of spreading goodness tracing the footsteps of the Prophet (peace be upon him) as God said to the Prophet, “The duty of the messenger is only to convey (the message)…” (5:99) and also said “so God will suffice you against them, and He is the Hearing, the Knowing.” (2:137) This fine and moderate methodology is accompanied with other essential characteristics such as pardoning others and dedicating one’s time and efforts towards issues that are to the benefit of the people. God encourages us to follow this path by saying “And be patient and your patience is not but by (the assistance of) God” (16: 127)

This kind of moral standards and ethical conduct encourages us to reevaluate the position of some people towards the issue of belittling people’s principles and desecrating their religious beliefs. These kinds of acts is a sheer aberration of the conduct of the master of creation (peace be upon him) both in letter and spirit.

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