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The birth of the ‘Praised One’

In the distant land of Hijaz – Year 570CE

Amina, lying in her humble cottage, felt the pains for which she had waited so long. As she raised herself on her bed, she saw the stars raining down upon her roof, stars of blue with gold and purple trains – but God alone knows the truth!
The whirling medley of colours hypnotised her and brought her to a state of ecstasy.  It seemed to her that celestial women were gathered round her couch. At first, she believed them to be the women of the tribe of Quraish, although she could not understand how they could have known of the child’s birth. Then she heard voices coming from them like the murmuring of angels and the twittering of souls.  “I am Asya the wife of Pharaoh.”  “I am Mariam the daughter of Imran.”
Looking around at her son, Amina saw three angels, one carrying a silver ewer, one an emerald basin, and one a white silk towel – but God alone knows the truth! Seven times they washed the child; then they marked him between the shoulders, wrapped him in the silk, and bore him away on their wings out of her sight. Amina cried aloud.  Umm Uthman, sleeping in the next room, sprang from her bed and ran into Amina. She found the celestial child sleeping peacefully in his mother’s arms.

This was the night when, according to the Persian fabulists, a courier came galloping into Ctesiphon, bringing the news to Anushirvan that the eternal fire of the altar of Azar Goshasb, which had burned for a thousand years, was cold and dead.  And this was the night when a Jew of Yathrib cried from the top of the castle, “Behold the Star of Ahmad, the Star of the new Prophet!” … And this was the night when an Arab of  the desert, tall and white-bearded, strode  into Makka leading his camel by the halter and chanting these wild verses:  “Last night Makka was asleep, she did  not see how the lights flashed in the sky above her, and how the stars rained down! One could have believed that the stars had been torn from their places in the heavens. The people of this city did not see how the moon came down from its lofty height, how the distant stars descended even into the houses of Makka.”
It was still dark when Umm Uthman ran to Abdul-Muttalib’s house and told all the neighbours of the birth of this celestial child.

On the seventh day after the birth of Amina’s son, Abdul-Muttalib invited all the elders of Quraish to a great feast. Roast meat, honey and buttermilk were set before them, and three camels were slaughtered for the poor…
The people gathered round the house to receive their share, waiting to be called in… Inside, the elders of the Quraish and the nobles of Mekka, seated around  the dining table, stroked their beards  and praised the munificence of Abdul- Muttalib.  “What will the boy’s name be?” enquired an aged greybeard. “Muhammad (the praised one),” replied Abdul-Muttalib, almost without thinking. There was a murmur of surprise.  “Why have you chosen a name that is without precedent among the Arabs?”  “Because he too will be without precedent among men and because he will be praised and glorified in heaven and on earth!

[The birth of Prophet Muhammad(s) based on Islamic tradition]
Extracted from: Rahnema, Z. (1982) Payambar: The Messenger. Zahra Publications,U.S]

The Islamic lunar month of Rabi ul-awwal is known in the Muslim world as Shahr al-Mawlid, the month of birth of the Prophet Muhammad(s). Not all Muslim historians appear to agree on the exact day of the Prophet’s birth. The majority of the Sunni Muslims accept narrations indicating that Prophet Muhammad(s) was born on the 12th of Rabi ul-awwal in the Year of the Elephant. On the other hand relying upon narrations from the Ahl ul Bayt(a) (the people of the Prophet’s house), Shi‘a Muslims have fixed the  auspicious birthday of the Holy Prophet(s)  on the 17th of Rabi-ul-awwal of the same year. Ayatollah Ruhullah Musawi al-Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Revolution, in an attempt to ensure that this difference does not create divisions among Muslims, declared the week spanning the 12th to the 17th of Rabi ul-awwalUnity Week’, amongst Muslims. Muslims all over the world are urged to get together and celebrate (Eid-ul -Milad un Nabi) the birth of the Prophet Muhammad(s) for the whole week.

“Sunnis and Shias are two arms of Islam”, stated Ayatollah Khomeini.

Unity Week, the novel idea of the Father of the Islamic Revolution has become a regular fixture, not only in Iran, but throughout the world, and has played an important role in bringing together the various denominations of Islam on a single platform.

In view of these and other remarkable factors of unity, it is but natural for Muslims following the different schools of jurisprudence to close ranks in solidarity, especially in view of the divine commandment in the Holy Qur’an: And hold fast by the covenant of God altogether and be not disunited.” (3:103)

There is indeed unity in diversity and the idea of the Unity Week is a perfect means of coming together. Muslims ought to follow the Prophet’s perfect path of establishing unity and solidarity, and thereby become immune from the onslaughts of their common opponents.
Solidarity can neither be superficial by mere expressing of words of sympathy nor can it be imposed. This is possible only by heeding what God Almighty commands in the Holy Qur’an and what was practically demonstrated by the Prophet(s).

 

https://issuu.com/islamtoday/docs/islam_today_issue_42_december_2016/4

 

 

 

 

 

 

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