Muslims all over the world commemorate the birth of the beloved Prophet Muhammad s.a.w in the month of Rabiul Awwal (the third month of the Islamic calendar) every year.
The arrival of this month is a good “stop point” for us, Muslims, to pause and reflect on our faith in,
..وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّدَ رَّسُولُ الله
“…We bear witness that Muhammad is a Messenger of Allah”
With the hope that it will increase our strength and commitment to fulfil our responsibilities and duties to the Prophet s.a.w.
Here are some points of reflection on our duties and responsibilities to the Prophet s.a.w in conjunction with the month of Mawlid:
This can be done by actively involve ourselves in dakwah work (spreading the beautiful teachings of the Prophet), to get people to practice the teachings of Islam based on the Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet s.a.w.
Reading hadiths and the Prophet’s s.a.w history must be our life-long effort due to the tremendous size of resources on hadith and the history of the Prophet s.a.w.
A continuous reading of hadiths and the history of the Prophet s.a.w will also maintain and renew our love for him and reaffirm our commitment to dakwah work.
Reciting selawat is a sign of our love for him. It is also part of our daily zikr (remembrance) that will purify and strengthen us spiritually. Regular selawat must not be absent from the daily routine of a person who claims to love the Prophet because reciting the selawat is a very simple act. It can be done almost anywhere and at any time – whether a person is driving, in the MRT or taking a break from work at the office.
The virtue of offering selawat to the Prophet is clearly stipulated in a Quranic verse where Allah s.w.t. Himself offers it to His beloved Prophet s.a.w,
إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ وَمَلَـٰٓئِكَتَهُۥ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى ٱلنَّبِىِّ ۚ يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ صَلُّوا۟ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُوا۟ تَسْلِيمًا
“Indeed, Allah confers blessing upon the Prophet, and His angels [ask Him to do so]. O you who have believed, ask (Allah to confer) blessing upon him and ask (Allah to grant him) peace.”
(Surah Al-Ahzab, 33:56)
Adding to the above is the great reward promised to those who performed it in a hadith that says,
مَنْ صَلَّى عَلَيَّ وَاحِدَةً صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ عَشْرًا
“If anyone invokes blessing (selawat) on me once, God will bless him ten times.”
As if longing to meet him, shake and kiss his hand and embrace him like a lover who misses his beloved one after a long journey.
A good Muslim should feel sad, if such feeling to the Prophet s.a.w is absent from him while at the same time the thought of the beloved one – wife, children, parent, lover – lingers in his mind all the time.
Cultivating this feeling is important also because it will create a strong impetus to continue the Prophet’s s.a.w dakwah work because this longing will not heal until we meet the Prophet s.a.w in heaven and meeting him in heaven is not possible without following his Sunnah and continuing his dakwah work. Thus, Muslims will constantly pray, “O Allah! Please deliver our selawat to the beloved Prophet s.a.w. Instil in us a sense of longing for him all the time. Heal this longing in us with an immediate meeting with him.”
Muslims are commanded in Islam to love and be the Ansar (helpers) of the Prophet s.a.w throughout their life.
The former is expressed in a hadith that says,
لاَ يُؤْمِنُ أَحَدُكُمْ حَتَّى أَكُونَ أَحَبَّ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ وَلَدِهِ وَوَالِدِهِ وَالنَّاسِ أَجْمَعِينَ
“None of you (truly) have faith until I am more beloved to him than his children, his father, and all of the people.”
The latter is implied from a Quranic verse that says,
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ كُونُوٓا۟ أَنصَارَ ٱللَّهِ كَمَا قَالَ عِيسَى ٱبْنُ مَرْيَمَ لِلْحَوَارِيِّـۧنَ مَنْ أَنصَارِىٓ إِلَى ٱللَّهِ ۖ قَالَ ٱلْحَوَارِيُّونَ نَحْنُ أَنصَارُ ٱللَّهِ ۖ فَـَٔامَنَت طَّآئِفَةٌ مِّنۢ بَنِىٓ إِسْرَٰٓءِيلَ وَكَفَرَت طَّآئِفَةٌ ۖ فَأَيَّدْنَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ عَلَىٰ عَدُوِّهِمْ فَأَصْبَحُوا۟ ظَـٰهِرِينَ
“O you who have believed, be supporters of Allah, as when Jesus, the son of Mary, said to the disciples, "Who are my supporters for Allah?" The disciples said, "We are supporters of Allah." And a faction of the Children of Israel believed and a faction disbelieved. So We supported those who believed against their enemy, and they became dominant.”
(Surah Al-Saf, 61:14)
The verse calls upon Muslims to be to Prophet Muhammad s.a.w like the Hawariyun (disciples) who supported Prophet Isa a.s. in his dakwah work.
A question that is often asked; How can Muslims today show their love and support the Prophet who is not present among them anymore?
The above seven points are written to provide an answer to the question. May Allah s.w.t. give me and every reader strength to manifest every one of them in this life.