by Abu Dharr (Opinion, Crescent International Vol. 48, No. 9, Rabi' al-Awwal, 1441)
Rabi‘ al-Awwal — the third month of the lunar Islamic calendar — is the month in which Allah’s perfect Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was born. The Prophet’s ancestry goes back to Prophet Ibrahim and his son Prophet Isma‘il (a) on both his father and mother’s side. He is known as Ibn al-Dhabihayn (the son of the two, would-be, sacrifices). This is in reference to his father ‘Abdullah and his great, great… grandfather Isma‘il, both of whom were pledged as sacrifices, but both of whom were saved by Allah’s timely and thankful check-and-restraint. He (pbuh) said,
Allah has picked and preferred from the descendants of Ibrahim [his son] Isma‘il. And He picked and preferred from [the descendants of] Isma‘il [the bloodline] of Kinanah. And He picked and preferred from Kinanah [the posterity of] Quraysh. And He picked and preferred from Quraysh [the offspring of] Banu Hashim, and He picked and preferred me [Muhammad] from [the descendants of] Banu Hashim. Therefore, I am the noblest of the worthiest of the select few.
The birth of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) may be regarded as Allah’s answer to Prophet Ibrahim (a) when he said, “O our Sustainer! Raise up from the midst of our offspring an apostle from among themselves, who shall convey to them your [power] manifestations…” (2:129). His birth may also be deemed a divine response to Prophet ‘Isa (a) when he said, “O Children of Israel! Behold, I am an apostle of Allah unto you, [sent] to confirm the truth of whatever there still remains of the Torah, and to give [you] the glad tiding of an apostle who shall come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad…” (61:6).
The Prophet’s father died when he (Muhammad) was two years old, according to some references, while other references tell us that his father died before the Prophet (pbuh) was born. In any case, he was an orphan. His mother was a widow. Both his father and mother are buried in a place called al-Abwa’.
Let us consider for a moment these two facts: the Prophet (pbuh) was an orphan and his parents are buried in al-Abwa’, a place between Makkah and Madinah. If we Muslims love our Prophet and understand our Qur’an we would express our feeling and fondness toward orphans. We would, as a gesture of affection and tenderness, offer them opportunities in our civil societies.
We may allocate for them some of our “national budgets” to help them complete their education or acquire a skill. In other words, our love for our Prophet’s orphanhood would live on in our preferential treatment of our orphans today — not to mention the many ayat in the Qur’an that encourage us to take care of orphans.
The same applies to widows. If we Muslims cared about the Prophet’s widow-mother, we would care for the widows of our time. But when our love for the Prophet (pbuh) is superficial and our understanding of the Qur’an is shallow we show no public care for orphans or widows.
To add insult to injury, the Wahhabi hegemony of Arabia does not encourage anyone to visit the gravesite of the Prophet’s father and mother — provided anyone can locate where they are actually buried. The Wahhabi-Saudi religio-political establishment goes further in their disregard and disrespect for the Prophet (pbuh) and tells their followers that the Prophet’s parents were kafirs!! That tells us that with all their religious shemozzle the scholars for Saudi dollars don’t know the elementary definition of the word “kafir,” besides their intricate ignorance of who Prophet Muhammad’s father and mother were.
Both the Prophet’s father and mother were never married to anyone else before or after their marriage to each other. The only child from their providential marriage was their only son Muhammad.
Some of the chapters that have been deleted from school textbooks provided by the Saudi-salafi setup of Islamic educational curricula throughout the world pertain to the Prophet’s uncle Abu Talib’s guardianship of Muhammad (pbuh). Average Muslims who because of poverty are enticed to become students in such educational institutions are not taught that Abu Talib loved his nephew Muhammad (pbuh) deeply and with extraordinary tenderness. He would not go to sleep unless the child Muhammad was next to him.
There is an Umayyad innovation-cum-tradition that still lives on among many Muslims due to Saudi finances and influence — and that is a religious argument against appreciating the Prophet (pbuh) by valuing his birth and welcoming his nativity. This Umayyad-to-Saudi religious custom is expressed with the phraseologies of “bid‘ah” and the enunciations of “dalalah,” both of which roughly translate into “blasphemous fabrication.” How does respect and love for our dearest Prophet on his day of birth transmute into blasphemous fabrication, contradicting the love of Allah (swt) for His Prophet, stated very clearly in many ayat of the Qur’an, and the anticipated love of the Prophet by the committed Muslims, also stated in many ayat?!
We definitely don’t agree with King Mu‘awiyah and the Umayyads who were megalomaniacs disposed to doing anything to rule over the Muslims even if that meant sidelining the Prophet (pbuh) and waging war against his son-in-law and cousin, and poisoning one of his grandsons, while slaying his other grandson. We can, however, figure out their evil machinations.
But do the Saudi Arabian rulers still fear the Prophet and his family members that they carry on with the Umayyad plot against the Prophet (pbuh) and his family members? And for those unknowing Muslims who toe inadvertently the Umayyad-Saudi line and think that Mu‘awiyah was a “sahabi,” we say to them: get your history straight; he was not a sahabi, he was a taliq. He opposed and battled against the Prophet and the committed Muslims (the real sahabah) for over 22 years to eventually be amnestied by the Prophet during the Fath (Liberation) of Makkah.
Let it be known, therefore, in honorable memory of our beloved Prophet (pbuh) that he himself offered a retrospective ‘aqiqah (a sacrificial lamb or goat) to remember and honor his own birth. This is on the authority of Anas ibn Malik as narrated by al-Bayhaqi, even though there is information in the books of history that the Prophet’s grandfather ‘Abd al-Muttalib on the 7th day of the Prophet’s birth offered an ‘aqiqah to welcome and honor the Prophet’s birth. While the Prophet was aware of his grandfather’s ‘aqiqah he still went ahead during the time of his prophethood and tendered his own ‘aqiqah.
The admiration and adoration of our beloved Prophet (pbuh) are an expression of our gratitude and thankfulness for his lifelong struggle to offer us Allah’s guidance and assistance. This is not to be confused with the Saudi-Wahhabi lack of concern and lack of sympathy for our dearly be-loved Prophet that say our consciousness and observance of his birth is tantamount to veneration and exaltation of Rasul-Allah. The Arabians of Arabia after 14 centuries still can’t express their tender love for Allah’s dear Prophet (pbuh).
Allah (swt) has honored some of His prophets in different ways. He honored Adam (a) by having the angels respect (and prostrate themselves to) him. He honored Nuh (a) by answering his du‘a’ to not leave a living kafir on earth. He honored Musa (a) by directly conversing with him. He honored Ibrahim (a) by having him be His intimate “soulmate.” And He honored our Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) by having us invoke Allah’s unrestrained consents and consecrations upon him,
Surely, Allah and His angels bless the Prophet: [therefore] O you who are committed [to Allah], give enthusiastic approval to [and applaud] the Prophet and [and in doing so] incontestably surrender [yourselves] (33:56).