Rabi ul-Awwal is the third month in the Islamic Calendar. It follows the month of Muharram and Safar. The word ‘Rabi’ means spring, and ‘ul-Awwal’ means the first in Arabic. The literal meaning of Rabi ul-Awwal is ‘the first spring’. Figuratively, it refers to happiness.
As in any other month of Islam, there are no special rituals or recommendations of fasting that are to be followed during Rabi ul-Awwal. It is the events that happened during the month which make it blissful. However, Muslims all over the world should perform some acts to make the most out of this month. Muslims should perform more salutations upon Allah to seek his blessings. Muslims can perform acts of Sunnah and involve them in their daily life to learn more about the Prophet’s life and his deeds.
Importance of Rabi ul-Awwal
Many important events in the life of the Prophet took place in this month. The month of Rabi ul-Awwal gives an opportunity to renew your belief and your love for Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). The facts about Rabi ul-Awwal that make the month significant are highlighted below:
1) The birth of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)
There are differences in the historians and scholars thought on the exact date of birth of Prophet Muhammad. The birth of the Prophet is celebrated by some Muslims on the 12th or 17th of Rabi’ ul-Awwal. The third month of the calendar has great value as it marks the Prophet’s birth. Irrespective of the difference in the date of birth, the day of birth was Monday, during the month of Rabi ul-Awwal in Makkah.
2) Hijrah of the Prophet
In the month of Rabi’ ul-Awwal, the Prophet moved from Makkah to Yathrib along with his companion Abu Bakr and followers. He united the Yathrib tribe and guided them to follow the path of wisdom and Mercy. The city of Yathrib thus became Madinah al Munawarah, Madinah as it is known today. This event marks a new chapter in the history of Islam and is known as Hijrah.
3) The death of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)
On the 12th day of Rabi’ ul-Awwal, the Prophet left the earth, which devastated his followers. They drowned themselves in grief and refused to believe that the Prophet had passed away. Abu Bakr guided people and reminded them that the Prophet was just a messenger of God; he was not immortal and had to leave them one day. They should believe in the God Almighty, i.e. Allah who doesn’t die and is with them, making people realise their mistakes.
How is Rabi ul-Awwal celebrated?
Although there are different thoughts regarding celebrating the Prophet’s birthday, some people believe that neither the Prophet nor his companion was involved in any celebrations. Hence there is no religious obligation of such celebration upon them in Islam. Others celebrate it with pomp and show by putting on bright and coloured lights on streets, exchanging sweets with loved ones and doing charity.
To a great extent, the Monday of Rabi’ ul-Awwal is the chosen month of the Almighty Allah. The month when God decided to send his beloved messenger Prophet Muhammad to earth to preach his teachings. Thus, it is a blessed month. We should indulge in acts to celebrate and emulate the good deeds of the Prophet in our lives.
As the Prophet was involved in doing charity and leading on a path provided by Allah, people performing the same in this month are rewarded greatly. People should offer Zakat along with clothes, food, and love to the needy. They can also recite the holy Quran and stories from the Prophet’s life. People performing Tawbah will be forgiven by Allah for their sins.
The month carries immense significance in Islam as Prohpet Muhammad was born in the month of Rabi ul-Awwal. Therefore, Muslims all around the world celebrate the month as per their understanding. Many offer charity, recite the holy Quran, or spend time with family. The month is sacred; hence, prayers offered during Rabi ul-Awwal are answered by the almighty Allah.