The Islamic month of Rabi al-Awwal is the third month according to the lunar calendar and comes right after the month of Safar. This year, the month officially commenced on Tuesday 27th September 2022. Whilst all Islamic months have their very own significance, this month has its very own speciality as it was in this month that the Prophet ﷺ was born. Recorded as one of the most remarkable events in the history of mankind, Rabi al-Awwal is a month to be celebrated.
Scholars, poets and Sufis of the past have encouraged Muslims to reconnect with the Prophet ﷺ throughout this month. Rabi al-Awwal is the perfect time to reflect on the birth of the Prophet PBUH and how this was a cause of great mercy for his followers. By reconnecting with his saga, we afford ourselves the opportunity to reconnect with Allah. This is particularly relevant because of the following verse: “Say, ˹O Prophet,˺ “If you ˹sincerely˺ love Allah, then follow me; Allah will love you and forgive your sins. For Allah is All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Quran 3:31]
As we are not able to physically see or be around the Prophet ﷺ, we can only cling to the resources within our reach. By reconnecting with his characteristics, attributes, life events and prophetic traditions, we make it easier to connect with the Sunnah that he ﷺ left behind.
Reflecting on The Shamail
The shamail of the Prophet ﷺ is an excellent place to start. With hundreds of hadith discussing the description of the Prophet ﷺ – from how he looked to the clothes he wore – we are better able to visualise his physical appearance. The shamail is truly a spectacular collection and something which other religions lack. We have no reliable resources about the physical description of the Prophet Musa AS or Prophet Isa AS. However, with the Prophet PBUH, we have an entire book dedicated to only that.
Revisiting the Sirah Books
The month of Rabi al-Awwal is also a suitable time to reconnect with the Prophet’s ﷺ sirah (prophetic biography). With details of his entire life recorded, the sirah allows us to better connect with his context and immerses us in a world of prophethood. By revising the sirah, the intention should be one of rectification and reformation. As one makes their way through his life events, we should be focused on how we can emulate the best of examples and make available all the ordeals that he encountered. Get family and friends involved by organising reading sessions. Involve the young and the old and create an atmosphere of light as you revive the stories of the sirah.
What Else Can We Do in The Month of Rabi al-Awwal?
- Fast on Mondays and Thursdays to express your gratitude for the Prophet ﷺ
- Increase your salutations upon the Prophet ﷺ
- Educate and raise awareness about the sirah and shamail to create an atmosphere of love for the Prophet ﷺ