By Adil Rashid Bhatt
The Islamic Holy month of Rabi Al Awwal has set in with usual grace and enchantment; all Muslims can be seen engrossed in ecstatic spirituality; showering due praises on Prophet Muhammed(SAW) and showing their affection for him by organizing “Naat” competitions and “Seerat un Nabi” conferences village after village, town after town ,and city after city. The month of Rabi Al Awwal, the third month of Islamic Hijrah calendar, is bejewelled with conferment of the award of birthday of the last messenger of Allah(SAW), that is, on the 12th .
The caravan of humanity was seeking its Creator , as it had then plunged into depths of darkness, when the haunting lull in the wild deserts of Arabia was broken by a sweet voice. Holding the banner of Islamic Monotheism (tawheed) in high esteem and in adherence to divine commands the conveyor of this life inspiring message was none other than Muhammed ibn Abdullah (SAW). His love for Allah was ultimate and in return he was Allah’s most beloved among the prophets, who said about him,” Verily you have in the prophet of Allah an excellent model.”(33:22).
The moral ground of Prophet Muhammed(SAW) was very high, and an explicit reflection of the attributes of Allah, and it is for this reason attributes of loving, compassionate or merciful have been used for him in the Holy Quran; the following verse elucidates it: “ He is ardently desirous of your welfare; and, to the believers he is compassionate and merciful.”(9:128) On other occasions, Allah used his attribute of ‘Nur’(light) for his beloved Prophet(SAW),”There has come to you indeed from Allah a light and a clear book.”(5:16). This manifests Prophet Muhammed’s(SAW) relationship with Allah. The truth is attributes of Allah are in the very soul of Quran.
“Verily, we offered the Trust to the heavens and the earth and the mountains, but they refused to bear it and were afraid of it. But the Man(Prophet Muhammed) bore it.”(33:73). This perfect and honourable man Prophet Muhammed (pbuh). For bearing this trust he is also known as Rasul e amin, faithful to his trust.”(81:22).
The birth of the Prophet(SAW) has many stories associated with it and one such story goes like this: “It is said that one day an Arab tribe was travelling north in the desert when they met a sagacious hermit. As, traditionally hermits were known to be well-wishers of people, being wise among all, they exchanged pleasantries; after coming to know that the group had come from Mecca; the hermit informed them about the arrival of the prophet who would be from their people; on being asked about his name, the hermit announced the name “Muhammed” explicitly, and informed them that he would guide them to a new way of life.”
In Mecca however Hazrat Aamina(RA) , although mired in gloom due to death of her husband, was showing strength and was eagerly waiting the birth of her baby. She dreamt of many things during this period of time. On one occasion she saw a beautiful light was dazzling out of her. On other occasion , she could hear a voice apprising her about the arrival of a baby boy ,and that his name would be Muhammed. The mother of Prophet Muhammed (SAW) ,Hazrat Aamina, sent news of the birth to her father-in-law ,Abd al Muttalib, who was sitting near the Kaba at that time. He took six days to name the Prophet (SAW) ,and on the seventh day he finally named him “Muhammed”(SAW).
When asked by the Quraish leaders, about this unusual name, Abd al Muttalib replied that he wanted Muhammad(SAW) to be praised by Allah in the heavens and praised by men on earth.
Prophet Muhammed (SAW) was unparalleled in every respect- in truth and uprightness, beauty and grandeur. His persona was a perfect manifestation of prophethood. At a time, when slavery and girl child genocide was rampant in Arabia , the Prophet(SAW) uplifted the unprivileged men and women, and put them at par with the elite; girl child killings were put to an end by his highness. It were these qualities of truthfulness and high moral ground that a wealthy woman of Mecca from the Quraish ,Um ul Momineen Hazrat Khadijat ul Kubra(RA), proposed the Prophet(SAW) marriage, after hearing stories of the Prophet’s(SAW) behavior, piety, truthfulness from her servant Maysarah whom she had sent with the Prophet(SAW) on a trade sojourn to Syria.
Prophet Muhammed (SAW) was not an ordinary child. He was an extraordinary one, and had an extraordinary upbringing as a child. An orphan by birth, he was taken, for nursing, by Halima (RA), a caretaker, according to the custom of the Meccans. He grew in the lap of Hazrat Halima (RA) who was initially hesitant to take an orphan, but as destiny would have it , the fate of Halima(RAW) changed altogether for good, soon after she started nursing the Prophet(SAW). When the Prophet (SAW) became three years old, he started to live with his mother. After three years Hazrat Aamina (RAW) took Prophet Muhammed(SAW) to Yathrib, that would be later called as Medina, to visit his uncles. They stayed put there for a month which the Prophet (SAW) enjoyed enthusiastically, and learnt to swim. On the return journey, the Prophet’s (SAW) mother fell ill and died. She was buried in a village at Al Abwa village, near Yathrib (Medina). The responsibility of upbringing fell upon the drooling shoulders of old Abd al Muttalib, the Prophet’s(SAW) grandfather.
After al Muttalib died , when the Prophet(SSAW) was nine, he was adopted by his Uncle Abu Talib. On a trade sojourn to Syria with his uncle, as a boy, a well known monk, Bahira, of the Syrian town predicted Hazrat Muhammad’s (SAW) Prophetic credentials, and invited his for a banquet. When all joined leaving the Prophet (SAW) beside camels to look after them, Bahira-the monk insisted for his participation. The monk asked about idol worship in Kaba which the Prophet detested (SAW); thus Bahira, the monk confirmed him to be the successor Prophet, as was and is prophesized in Bible.
As the years passed by , the Prophet(SAW) being the pinnacle of sagacity, intensified his quest for truth, which ultimately conferred him with the title of the final Prophethood in the cave of Hira at Mecca in last part of the month of Ramadan. Prior to this mega event of great import, the Meccans were steeped deep into depths of polytheistic culture worshipping three hundred sixty idols who were installed into Kaba.
The ascension of the Prophet (SAW) changed this narrative and brought in a paradigm shift-revolution-into the religious, political and social landscape of not only Mecca and Medina but whole of the Arabian Peninsula in his life time. Apart from being a supreme religious leader, he was a perfect family man ,a warrior, an economist, traveler, best orator, a statesman and what not; Allah had only sent him to accomplish the supreme mission of earlier prophets, that is, the to call mankind towards one true God. At a time when humanity was embroiled in racism and ego, the Prophet(SAW) broke the shackles of colour , race caste by the Universal Declaration in his only and last hajj:
“ All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over a black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action.” He was and continues to be the best of mankind!
The author, from Laram, Islamabad (Anantnag), can be reached at:firstname.lastname@example.org