Salaam and Greetings of Peace:
“You have indeed in the Messenger of God a beautiful pattern of conduct for anyone whose hope is God and the Final Day.” (Al-Ahzab 33:21).
Alhamdulillah! This is Rabi a-Awwal, by the Lunar calendar the month of the blessed birthday (Milad Un-Nabi) of the Prophet Muhammad (the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him).
According to Sunni scholars, the Prophet’s birthday is observed on 12th Rabi al-Awwal, which falls this year on February 15, 2011, and 17th Rabi al-Awwal (February 20th this year) according to Shia scholars.
There is a difference of opinion about whether the Milad Un-Nabi should be a time of celebration. There is evidence that the Prophet (pbuh), his Companions, and the early followers after them did not celebrate or otherwise observe his birthday. On the contrary, he was careful to warn his people not to imitate other faiths, whose followers elevated their prophets and added to the religion what was not in the original teachings.
Those who disagree see it as a time to read the Qur’an, fast, pray, and remember the life, teachings, and example of the Prophet (pbuh).
When praising the Prophet (pbuh), we are also warned not to exaggerate in his praise. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Do not overpraise me as Christians overpraised Jesus, son of Mary. Say [when referring to me], ‘Servant of Allah and His messenger.’”
Servant of Allah and His messenger!
Surely that is a title that needs no embellishment. And so, what will you do to celebrate the Prophet’s (pbuh) birthday? Will you fast and pray? Have a celebration and give gifts to family and friends? Give to charity, visit the sick, go to the mosque, help a neighbor?
“Remember Me and I will remember you!” (Qur’an, 2:152)
May Allah bless you all, gentle readers, and guide you on the straight path of love, compassion, mercy, generosity and kindness. Amin.
Note: For inspiration, see also the post on The Names of the Prophet (pbuh).