Significance of Maolud Nabiyyi (II)

IN the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

The Holy Qur’an, Ahzab, 33:40, says: “Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but (he is) the apostle of God, and the Seal of the Prophets. And God has full knowledge of all things.”

Born as an orphan, his mother died when he was six. Yet he survived all odds. He served as an apprentice under a wealthy woman called Khadijah that had married two husbands that died. Muhammad, at 25, accepted the love advances of his boss, 40, for marriage, which was because of his good character, honesty, integrity, intelligence, truthfulness and hard work. And his seven children came only from the submissive, humble and wealthy Khadijah. Whereas he practised polygamy after the death of Khadijah without problems, no child came from the young women as Allah wanted.

Almighty Allah confirms in Holy Qur’an, Dhuha, 93:1-11: “By the glorious morning light, and by the night when it is still, thy Guardian-Lord hath not forsaken thee, nor is He displeased. And verily the hereafter will be better for thee than the present. And soon will thy Guardian-Lord give thee (that wherewith) thou shalt be well-pleased. Did He not find thee an orphan and give thee shelter (and care)? And He found thee wandering, and He gave thee guidance. And He found thee in need, and made thee independent. Therefore, treat not the orphan with harshness, nor repulse the petitioner (unheard). But the bounty of thy Lord rehearse and proclaim!”

Muhammad (SAW) was called into prophethood at the age of 40. The 23 years of the revelation of the Holy Qur’an, the mother of all scriptures, were practicalities of how Islam should be practised. He emigrated from his birthplace in Makkah to Madinah because of persecution and humiliation and near-killing, yet he persevered and endured so that Islam might remain. So, two years to his death in 632 A.D. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) triumphantly entered Makkah and Islam became accepted worldwide. And today, apart from being the fastest growing religion in the world, Islam, the new and last religion, has the largest adherents of over two billion across the globe out of 7.9 billion population globally and it has been projected that Muslims will outnumber Christians by 2050 (UNFPA, 2021).

The birthday of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) annually provides opportunity for us to further preach his mission and his message to the world, especially on the worship of only one true Allah, to suppress and ward off idolatry (Qur’an 7:158; 48:8-9). The Holy Qur’an, A’raf, 7:158, says: “Say: ‘O men! I am sent unto you all as the apostle of God to Whom belongeth the dominion of the heavens and the earth. There is no god but He. It is He that giveth both life and death. So, believe in God and His apostle, the unlettered Prophet who believed in God and His words. Follow him that (so) ye may be guided.’”

In this era of the sophist tag of terrorism to the religion of peace, Islam and Muslims in the world, the annual celebration of the birthday of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) provides the opportunity to preach, depict and engage in dialogue and discussion with wisdom to portray peace which Islam and Muslims represent.

More so, Islam has spread to all parts of the world in peace time, not in war situation. After all, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) left Makkah, his birthplace on holy flight (Hijrah) in the face of humiliation, assault and banditry of the idolaters against him for Madinah in 622 A.D. And all the wars fought by Prophet Muhammad (SAW) were defensive wars with the idolaters on the offensive against the Muslims in caravan raids prior to Battle of Badr; Battle of Uhud; Expulsion of the Banu Qaynuqa’; Expulsion of the Banu Nadir; Invasion of the Banu Qurayza; Siege of Khaybar et al.

Whereas Islam is being projected today as a terrorist religion by the media, historical accounts show that the religion spreads more across the globe in peace time, to demonstrate the true meaning of its name (peace), and Islam didn’t cause the First World War (July 28, 1914 – November 11, 1918) where more than 130 million military personnel fought in Europe, leading to the death of over nine million combatants and seven million civilians (Winter 2014; Reynolds 2011).

In the estimation of Pope Francis (2016) in his speech to the congregation in the Vatican City in Italy, the global Catholic leader insists that “terrorism is not fueled by the religion of Islam itself; terrorism is fueled in large part by a lack of work and opportunity for people.” This attests to the fact that Islam didn’t lead to the Second World War (September 1, 1939 – September 2, 1945) involving more than 100 million people from 30 countries, in Western and Eastern Europe, and described as the deadliest conflict in human history with the death of over 85 million people, including massacres, genocide, holocaust, starvation, disease, strategic bombing, and the first use of nuclear weapons (Gordon 2012; Tyner 2009, 49; Somerville 2008).

Pope Francis (2018) also maintains that “I think that in almost all religions, there is always a small fundamentalist group…including Christianity, Islam, Judaism and others…” At least, Islam didn’t cause the frontier wars and indeed genocide of millions of aborigines in Tasmania and other indigenous people of Australia between 1788 and 1920’s at the start of the British colonisation leading to the killing of the millions of the natives at the 150 massacre sites identified so far (Newcastle 2017; Turbet 2011; Smith and Akagawa 2009).

This is just as Pope Francis (2016) asserts that “I don’t think it’s fair to identify Islam with violence. This is not fair and it’s not true…” After all, Islam didn’t cause the troubles between the Protestants and Catholic Christians in Ireland between 1968 and 1998, killing millions of people and spilling to Great Britain, the Republic of Ireland and the Gibraltar (English 1998, 96; Bryan 2000, 94).

Yet, today, different terrorist acts in different parts of the world are being associated with the radicalisation of Islam, especially by the ISIS, Boko Haram, Al-Qaeda, among others. But are the Muslims or Islam responsible for the spate of killings in the United States of America and around the world? The Holy Qur’an affirms Islam as peaceful religion in Qur’an 2:256: “Let there be no compulsion in religion. Truth stands out clear from error. Whoever rejects evil and believes in God hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold that never breaks. And God heareth and knoweth all things.”

Qur’an 16:125 specifies the manner of propagation in Islam: “Invite (all) to the way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching. And argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious for thy Lord knoweth best, who have strayed from His path and who receive guidance.”


Furthermore, the period of the birthday of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) provides the opportunity to preach the oneness of God Almighty, which forms the basis of Islam. The unity of God (taoheed) was in fact preached for 13 years in Makkah before Hijrah in 622 A.D. The Holy Qur’an, An’am, 6:151, says: “Say: ‘Come I will rehearse what God hath (really) prohibited you from: join not anything as equal with Him; be good to your parents; kill not your children on a plea of want’; We provide sustenance for you and for them; come not nigh to shameful deeds whether open or secret; take not life which God hath made sacred except by way of justice and law: thus, doth He command you that ye may learn wisdom.’” The unity of God is emphasised mostly in the Qur’an as in 112:1-4, “Say: He is God, the one and only; God the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not nor is He begotten and there is none like unto Him.”

The period of the birthday of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is a period for the Muslim Ummah to close ties and be one rather than creating divisions, enmity, and separatism through credo, dogma, doctrine, belief, creed (aqedah), among others. The teachings of Islam are firm on the five pillars of faith, salat, zakat, fasting (sawm) and hajj which unites Muslims globally under the banner of Islam with one true Allah, with one kiblah.

 

 

The Holy Qur’an, Hujurat, 49:11-16, says, “O ye who believe! Let not some men among you laugh at others. It may be that the (latter) are better than the (former). Nor let some women laugh at others. It may be that the (latter) are better than the (former). Nor defame nor be sarcastic to each other, nor call each other by (offensive) nicknames: Ill-seeming is a name connoting wickedness (to be used of one) after he has believed. And those who do not desist are (indeed) doing wrong. O ye who believe! Avoid suspicion as much (as possible) for suspicion in some cases is a sin. And spy not on each other, nor speak ill of each other behind their backs. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? Nay, ye would abhor it. But fear God for God is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful. O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of God is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And God has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things). The desert Arabs say, ‘We believe’. Say, ‘Ye have no faith; but ye (only) say, ‘We have submitted our wills to God’ for not yet has faith entered your hearts. But if ye obey God and His apostle, He will not belittle aught of your deeds for God is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. Only those are believers who have believed in God and His apostle, and have never since doubted, but have striven with their belongings and their persons in the cause of God. Such are the sincere ones. Say: ‘What! Will ye instruct God about your religion? But God knows all that is in the heavens and on earth. He has Full knowledge of all things.”

Thus, as a religionist, a prophet of God, a peacemaker, a war general, a head of state, an imam, a family man, a worshiper, a submissive, and obedient servant of Allah, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) came, saw and conquered the world.

Let us all reflect on his comprehensive, irrepressible life that is full of ups and downs and wisdom in this auspicious period of Rabiul-Awwal.

 


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