The month of Rabi al-Awwal which is the third Islamic month according to the lunar calendar is finally upon us! This year, the 1st of Rabi al-Awwal commenced on 16th September 2023.
Whilst all Islamic months have their very own significance and value, Rabi al-Awwal has its very own exclusive 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 remembered, celebrated and commemorated.
This practice is not new. Presently and historically, scholars, poets and Sufis have encouraged Muslims to reconnect with the Prophet ﷺ throughout this month as well as use this as an opportunity to renew their faith.
Rabi al-Awwal is the perfect time to reflect on not only the beautiful moment when the Prophet ﷺ was born but also how this fast became a cause of great mercy for his followers. By reconnecting with his saga, legacy and Sunnah, 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 our Prophet ﷺ, there’s only one thing we can do which counts as an ideal alternative; 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 This Month
The shamail of the Prophet ﷺ is an excellent place to start. With hundreds of prophetic traditions discussing the description of the Prophet ﷺ – from how he slept to how he behaved around people – we are better able to visualise his physical appearance, his lifestyle as well as his companions. 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 ﷺ, we have an entire book dedicated to just that.
Revisiting the Sirah Books This Month
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 cleansing 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 holding 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
Juber Ahmed is our Digital Editor and travel enthusiast with a keen interest in Islamic history and heritage. He travels with his wife to various places around the world and writes about his experiences.
Juber's favourite Quote...
"The World Is a Book and Those Who Do Not Travel Read Only One Page" [Saint Augustine]