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Home > Article > Mawlid al-Nabi, the Birthday of the Prophet Muhammad
 
Mawlid al-Nabi, the Birthday of the Prophet Muhammad
 
 
Muslims all over the world commemorate the birthday of Prophet Muhammad SAW. Prophet Muhammad is the fortieth descend of Isma'il, the first son of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham). He was born on 12 Rabiul-Awal around 570 AD in Mecca, Arabia, to Quraish tribe.

Muhammad’s father, Abdullah, passed away before his birth. Right after his birth, his grand-father, Abdul Muttalib, took him to Ka’bah and named him ‘Muhammad’, an uncommon name but familiar to Arab people.

When Muhammad was five years old, his mother Aminah passed away. He then was raised by his grandfather, Abdul Muttalib, who took most tender care of him. But Abdul Muttalib passed away two years afterwards and he then was raised by his uncle, Abu Thalib, according to Abdul Muttalib’s will.

When Muhammad was twelve years old, he accompanied his uncle Abu Thalib on a merchant journey to Syria and Busra. It was at Busra that the Christian priest Bahira met Muhammad. Bahira asked Abu Talib to guard Muhammad against the hatred of the Jews, for a great career awaits Muhammad.

Since he was child, Muhammad was well-known for his correctness of manners and purity of morals as were rare among the people of Mecca. His good character and the honorable attitude made him received the title of ‘Al Ameen’ (The Faithful).

Muhammad had an almost solitary life from youth to manhood. The lawlessness common among the Meccans and the immorality of the Quraish caused feelings of pity and sorrow in his heart.

When Muhammad was twenty five years old, he traveled once more to Syria as a merchant of a noble and rich Quraish widow named Khadijah. Having proved himself faithful in the trade interests of Khadijah, that led to their marriage. Khadijah was much older than Muhammad. This marriage gave him the loving heart of a woman who was ever ready to comfort him in his despair and to keep alive within him when no man believed in him.

Muhammad reached thirty-five years old when Mecca’s people rebuilt the Ka'bah in 605 AD, the question arose as to who should have the honor of raising the holy black stone into its proper place. Each tribe claimed that honor. The senior person suggested the disputants to accept for their mediator the first man to enter from a certain gate. The suggestion was agreed upon, and the first man who entered the gate was Muhammad ‘Al-Ameen’. Muhammad’s advice satisfied all the tribes. He ordered the stone to be placed on a piece of cloth and each tribe to share the honor of lifting it up by taking hold of a part of the cloth. The stone was thus put in its place, and the rebuilding of the Ka'bah was completed.

Khadijah gave birth to three sons and four daughters. But all his sons died in childhood. As for Muhammad’s private life, he is described to have been ever helpful to the needy and the helpless. Muhammad set a good example of kindness, which created a salutary effect upon his people.

For years after his marriage, Muhammad had been accustomed to secluding himself in a cave in Mount Hira, a few miles from Mecca. To this cave he used to go for prayer and often spent the whole nights in deep thought. It was during one of those seclusions on the 17th day of Ramadhan that Muhammad received his first revelation of The Holy Qur'an. Angel Jibreel (Gabriel) came to tell Muhammad that Allah had appointed him as His last Messenger and Prophet. Muhammad was trembling as Angel Djibreel asked him to read the verses of Qur’an (Surah Al-Alaq 1-4).

Muhammad returned to Mecca and told Khadijah what he had seen and what had happened. Khadijah calmed and cheered him up. She then went to her cousin Waraqa Ibn Naufal, who was old and blind and knew the Scriptures of the Jews and Christians. When Khadijah told him of what she had heard, he cried out: "Holy! Holy! Verily, this is the Namus (The Holy Spirit) who came to Moses. He will be the prophet of his people. Tell him this and bid him to be brave at heart."

When Waraqa and Muhammad met in the street afterward, Waraqa spoke of his faith and trust: "I swear, Allah has chosen you to be the prophet of this people. They will call you a liar, they will persecute you, they will banish you, and they will fight against you. Oh, that I could live to those days. I would fight for these." And Waraqa kissed Muhammad on the forehead.

Muhammad arose and engaged himself in the work to which he was called. Khadijah was the first to accept his mission. She was to believe in the revelations, to abandon the idolatry of her people and to join him in purity of heart and in offering up prayers to Allah the Almighty.

The first vision was followed during which Muhammad suffered much mental depression. The Angel Djibreel spoke to the grieved heart of hope and trust. Muhammad arose and began to preach. Khadijah was the first one to accept his mission. She was to believe in the revelations, to abandon the idolatry and to join Muhammad in offering up prayers to Allah the Almighty.

After Khadijah, his young cousin, Ali Ibn Abu Thalib, was the next one to accept his mission. The Prophet Muhammad used often to go into the desert around Mecca with Khadijah and Ali. After Ali, the Prophet Muhammad's adopted son Zaid Ibn Haritha became a convert to the new faith who was followed by Abu Bakr, a leading member of the Quraish tribe. Abu Bakr was an honest, wealthy merchant, and was two years younger than the Prophet. His acceptance of the new faith caused great moral effect. Soon after, five notables declared themselves to accept Islam. Several converts also came from lower classes of the Arabs to embrace Islam.

For three years, the Prophet preached very quietly to set free his people from the worship of idols. After three years of constant but quiet struggle, only thirty people converted. Previously, the Prophet preached quietly and discreetly. The Prophet now decided to appeal publicly to the Mecca’s people, requesting them to abandon their idolatry.

Now the Prophet and his followers became subject to some persecution and humiliation. The Quraish prevented the Prophet from offering his prayers at the Sacred Ka'bah. They pursued him wherever he went and threw him and his folowers with dirt. All these attempts didn’t weaken the Prophet. The Prophet was full of confidence in his mission, even when on several occasions he was put in imminent danger of losing his life.

At this time, Hamza, the youngest son of Abdul Muttalib, adopted Islam. Hamza was a man of great bravery, a fearless warrior, generous and true, and became a devoted Muslim. The Prophet continued preaching to the Arabs in a most gentle and reasonable manner. He called the people to abandon their abominations. His mission was opposed by Quraish tribe. During this time, all other converts were subjected to different sorts of torture. Some of them were thrown into prison, starved, and then flogged. The hill of Ramada and the place called Bata thus became scenes of cruel torture.

Persecution by the Quraish grew fiercer every day and the sufferings of the Prophet's followers became unbearable. He had heard of the righteousness, tolerance, and hospitality of the neighboring Christian king of Abyssinia. He recommended such of his followers to seek refuge in the kingdom of Al Najashi (Negus). Some of followers of Islam sailed to Abyssinia where they received a very kind reception from the Negus. This is called the first hijrah (migration) in the history of Islam. These emigrants were soon followed by many of their fellow sufferers.

While the followers of the Prophet sought safety in foreign lands against the persecution of their people, the Prophet continued his warnings to the Quraish more strenuously than ever. On the other hand, the Mecca’s people were more than ever furious at the Prophet's increasing preaching against their religion. They asked his uncle Abu Talib to stop him and warned Abu Talib that if he would not do that, he would be excluded from the communion of his people.

Abu Talib neither wished to separate himself from his people, nor forsake his nephew. He spoke to the Prophet very softly and begged him to abandon his mission. The Prophet firmly replied: "O my uncle, if they placed the sun in my right hand and the moon in my left hand to cause me to give up my task, verily I would not stop.” After hearing what the Prophet had said, Abu Thalib then declared his intention to protect the Prophet against any menace or violence.

During this period, Umar Al-Khattab adopted Islam. Previously, he had been a violent enemy of the Prophet and Islam. He converted to Islam after hearing his sister reciting Qur’an in her house, where he had gone with the intention of killing her for adopting Islam.

Several years later, Abu Talib and Khadijah passed away. The Prophet weighed down by the loss of Abu Talib, his guardian who had protected him against his enemies, and his beloved wife Khadijah, his most encouraging companion.

In the twelfth year of his mission, the Prophet made his night journey from Mecca to Jerusalem, and to heaven. His journey was known in history as Isra’ Mi’raj (Ascension). It was at this time that Allah ordered the Muslims to pray the five daily prayers.

 
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