From Darkness to Light
Rabi Ul Awal is the 3rd month of Islamic calendar. During the month, majority of the Muslims
celebrate birth of Prophet. The birthday of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, if the exact date is unknown Sunni Muslims believe the date of birth of Muhammad to have been on the 12 Rabi Ul Awal, whereas Shi’a Muslims believe him to have been born on the dawn of the 17 Rabi Ul Awal. The name Rabi Ul Awal means the first or starting of spring, referring to its position in the pre-Islamic Arabian calendar. Hence this is considered to be a very blessed month.
Rabi Ul Awal is the most important month in the Islamic history, because human beings has been blessed in this month by the birth of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, (Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam). Before the birth of the Holy Prophet, (Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam), not only the Arabian peninsula, but also the so-called civilized nations of Rome and Persia were drowned in the darkness of ignorance, superstitions, oppression and unrest. The Holy Prophet, (Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam), came with the eternal truth of Tawhid (Oneness of Allah), the only faith which provides a firm basis for the real concepts of knowledge, equity and peace. It was this faith which delivered humanity from ignorance and superstitions and spread the light of true knowledge all over the world.
Thus the birth of the Holy Prophet, (Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam), was the most important and the most remarkable event in human history. Had there been room in Islamic teachings for the celebration of anniversaries, the birthday of the Holy Prophet, (Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam), would have undoubtedly deserved it more than the birthday of any other person. But that is against the nature of Islamic teachings. That is why, unlike Judaism, Christianity, and Hinduism, there are very few festivals in Islam, which provides for only two Eids (Eidul-fitr and Eidul-Adha) during the whole year. The dates of these two Eids do not correspond to the birthday of any of the outstanding persons of Islamic history, nor can their origin be attributed to any particular event of history that had happened in these dates.
Both of these two Eids have been prescribed for paying gratitude to Allah on some happy events that take place every year. The first event is the completion of the fasts of Ramadan and the second event is the completion of Hajj, another form of worship regarded as one of the five pillars of Islam.
The manner prescribed for the celebration of these two Eids (festivals) is also different from non-Islamic festivals. There are no formal processions, illumination or other activities showing formal happiness. On the contrary, there are congregational prayers and informal mutual visits to each other, which can give real happiness instead of its symbols only.