One of Prophet Muhammad’s companions asked him: When is the Day of Judgment? The prophet (SAAW) replied: What have you prepared for it? The man answered: Nothing, except that I love Allah and His messenger. The prophet (SAAW) said: The person shall be joined with whom he loves at the Day of Judgment. Anas, the narrator of the Hadith, said: Never did we celebrate a Hadith the way we celebrated this one, for we love the prophet, Abu Bakr and Omar, and we know we cannot match their deeds, but we hope we can join them in the akhirah because of our love for them.

Love is the key for celebrating the birth of the prophet (SAAW).

A’esha (RAA) narrated that a man came to the prophet (SAAW) and said: O messenger of Allah, you are more beloved to me than myself and my family. If I am home, I remember you and I can’t wait to see you, and then I remember my death and yours and I reflect on my place in heaven and yours, and I fear that I will not see you for you will be high up with other prophets! The prophet (SAAW) did not respond to him, but angel Jibril came down and revealed these verses: {And whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger – those will be with the ones upon whom Allah has bestowed favor of the prophets, the steadfast affirmers of truth, the martyrs and the righteous. And excellent are those as companions.} 4:69. We can easily read that people of love can be joined with more honorable people at the Day of Judgment because of such feelings.

Allah (SW) said: {Say, In the bounty of Allah and in His mercy – in that let them rejoice; it is better than what they accumulate.} 10:58. What could be a form of the Mercy of Allah clearer than the moment His prophet (SAAW) was brought into this world? Allah (SW) described His prophet (SAAW) as {mercy sent to mankind} and for that, Muslims have all the right to celebrate his birth (SAAW). Expressing joyfulness in any form that does not contradict the spirit of Islam is a personal or community matter that should not be shunned or listed under forms of innovations.

The 12th of Rabi Al-Awwal (which falls on November 9th this year) is the day that the prophet (SAAW) was born, and as a form of celebrating that blessing he was asked about whether one could fast on that day, to which he (SAAW) replied: I was born on that day and revelation came down on me (too).  This is a clear reference that his birth and every moment of his life (SAAW) should be celebrated.

The 12th of Rabi Al-Awwal was the date chosen among scholars as the most likely birth date of the prophet (SAAW), as there were different days mentioned. And if Sahabah did not celebrate his birthday in a joyful inherited practice, it is not a proof that doing the opposite is rejected! We are living at a time and place that our kids and even adults know so much about movie and tv celebrities, sports celebrities and music celebrities, while they know nothing about their own prophet (SAAW). It is the duty of parents and community leaders to establish platforms in which his Seerah is to be studied, expressions of joy and love like Nasheed and giving Sadaqah to the poor are not only allowed but encouraged.

I wish our community a joyful month of Rabi Al-Awwal in which we learn from our beloved prophet and role model (SAAW) the best of practices, insha Allah.

By Sh Kifah Mustapha