By Zeeshan Rasool Khan
01 December 2017
WE are in blessed month of Rabi-ul-Awwal, a month in which the Holy Prophet (PBUH) was born. The last messenger of Allah and ideal for humans in general, the teacher and preacher of love, peace and harmony, torchbearer of human and even animal rights and the person whose comparison is impossible to be made. Even non-Muslims acknowledge the Holy Prophet (PBUH) as matchless personality. Michael H Hart’s in his masterpiece ‘The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History’, described the Holy Prophet (PBUH) as the most influential person in history. Hart asserted that Muhammad was “supremely successful” in both the religious and secular realms.
In this month, Muslims round the globe express their love towards the Holy Prophet (PBUH), processions are taken with hymns on lips and Conferences are organized to highlight his magnificence. However, right to have different opinion is the one that constitute a form of blessings when it is between Ummah. Some religious ideologues don’t celebrate the advent of Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) and have their own point of view. Genuinely, whether to celebrate the birthday of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) or not is not the question but what importance it holds and what message it conveys that we willingly follow must be concern for all of us.
Month of Rabi-ul-Awwal comes to remind the Muslims all those principles that the Holy Prophet (PBUH) taught. It is reminder of what the Holy Prophet (PBUH) propagated and stressed upon. It asks a Muslim if he is on the track shown by the Holy Prophet (PBUH). It comes to caution a Muslim to hold on to his roots and become the practical form of what Quran and beloved the Holy Prophet (PBUH) imparted. It refreshes memories of post-Islamic era, when humans had no idea about their purpose of birth, humanity and social life. All of which were taught by Allah’s Apostle. We have lost the track; there is no denial to this fact. We again and again escape from the truth that we ought to adopt. Materialism has occupied us and moral bankruptcy is on rise. No one has the prerogative to declare other as infidel. However, at the same time we cannot turn blind eye to the major challenges and evils that have become fashion in the society, contradictory to essence of Prophet’s message. There are many such issues however; the one which anguishes most is dehumanised approach towards female gender.
Today almost every nation claims to be standard-bearer of female rights but history is testimony the Holy Prophet (PBUH) is first in defending rights of women. In pre- Islamic era the women was not more than a serf and experienced every sort of discrimination. Taking them as mark of contempt people even practiced female infanticide by burying them alive. After advent of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), prohibition was enforced on this despicable practice. the Holy Prophet (PBUH) denounced the practice of female infanticide, safeguarding the repute and rights of women. The teacher of humankind preached Holy Qur’an: which condemns it like any other murder. It says in Surah al-Takweer (81:8-9): ‘When the female (infant) buried alive is questioned for what crime she was killed?” Indicating that the parents, who buried their daughters alive, would be so contemptible that they would not be asked: Why did you kill the innocent infant? But disregarding them the innocent girl will be asked: For what crime were you slain?
In order to wipe-out all traces of female infanticide in Muslim community the Holy Prophet (PBUH) said: ‘He, who brought up two girls properly till they grow up, he and I would come (together) (very closely) on the Day of Resurrection, and he interlaced his fingers (for explaining the point of nearness between him and that person)’ (Sahih Muslim). The status of women was raised to the position where even “paradise lies under her feet” (Ibn-e-Majah and Nissaie). Furthermore, Prophetic message is not meant for Muslims only but all the people irrespective of religion, caste and creed, for the Prophet is blessing for entire universe.
Many countries have been engulfed by the barbaric practice called female foeticide. All around the globe this insensate practice is on rise. United Nation Population Fund (UNFPA) claims at least 117 million girls around the world demographically go missing due to sex selective abortions with India witnessing highest female infanticide. The female child population in age group of 0-6years declined from 78.83 million in 2001 to 75.84 million in 2011. It has been found that during period of 1991-2011 the child sex ratio (0-6yrs) declined from 945-914. Muslims need to take lead as Ummah of defender of women rights, in refraining from practicing it and must serve as beacon light for all. By this we can present real face of Islam that is being portrayed as threatening to mankind and this will be best tribute to the Prophet (PBUH) and in true senses actual celebration of his birthday. So, let’s pledge to be faithful to the Prophet (PBUH) and act upon his teachings in life .If we do so individually, its impact would extend to our family, in neighbourhood its effect can be visible then in community and finally entire society will certainly observe a change.
Zeeshan Rasool Khan is freelance columnist based in Islamabad.