Milad-un-Nabi: Marking Prophet Muhammad’s birth anniversary

Milad-un-Nabi is an annual celebration to mark the birth anniversary of the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad.

There is a five-day gap between the two dates believed to be the birth anniversary of Prophet Muhammad.

In order to bridge this difference and use it as an opportunity to unite the ranks of Muslims, the founder of the Islamic Revolution of Iran, Imam Khomeini designated the period of Milad-un-Nabi celebrations from 12th to the 17th of Rabi al-Awwal as the Islamic Unity Week.

Therefore, the annual unity week celebrations play a crucial role in bringing various Islamic schools of thought and the rest of humanity on a single platform.

This confirms the message in the Holy Qur’an Chapter 21 verse 107 that describes the Prophet, “And we have not sent you (O Muhammad) but as a Mercy for all creation”.

It is through this verse that the qualities of the Prophet Muhammad are conveyed, where he advocated for human dignity and unity.

His efforts in mercy and kindness extended beyond humans as he also encouraged the treatment of animals and the environment with respect.

This resonates with the contemporary world development agenda espoused in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) envisaging just communities.

The Prophet’s mission was to establish unity among humankind. However, the Prophet did not achieve this high goal by rituals and dogmas alone.

Neither, did he accomplish it by supernatural means. Rather, he persevered and struggled to create social and political change through Qur’anic education and training.

He challenged the secular, tribal, and temporal forces of exploitation and corruption.

This struggle by the Prophet gave unimagined freedom to oppressed human beings.

For example, his early companions constituted the poor, outcasts and the marginalised individuals such as Bilal the Abysinian (Africa), Sohaib the Roman (Europe) and Salman from Persia (Asia).

As a mercy to this world, Prophet Muhammad reminded humankind of their forgotten status by teaching those values that were ignored for a long time.

He often taught that our physical structure in general comprises various parts such as a head, eyes, face, ears, mouth, arms, hands, legs and feet. The size, shape and colour of each part are not the same. The shape and size of hands and arms are different from that of feet and legs.

Likewise, the colour of hair and eyes is different from that of the skin and teeth.

In spite of these differences, there is unity between these parts in that they are organs of the same body.

As a result, they all have been loved and taken care of; there is no discrimination between them; every part gets what it deserves and needs.

The colour of hair and eyes does not cause hatred against colour of teeth and skin, the highness of the head does not cause discrimination against the lowness of the feet, and the largeness of the arms does not create hard feelings against the shortness of the fingers.

They are all united that each one’s comfort is comfort for the whole body, and each one’s pain is pain for the whole body.

As each person has an individual body, he also has a collective body, and all human beings are parts of that body which is humanity.

Despite the variety that exists within the different parts of the human body, they all exist as a single entity.

Likewise, all human beings are connected to each other by the string of unity through their collective body of humanity.

Therefore, it is incumbent on every person to consider the pain and harm of the other parts of this collective body as his own pain and harm, and their happiness and benefit as his own happiness and benefit.

He should respect and protect other human beings as he respects and protects his own self.

And as he considers the disaster or security of any part of his individual body as a disaster or security for his whole, likewise he should consider the disaster or security of any part of his collective body as a disaster or security for this whole body.

Muhammad the Messenger of God has reminded humankind about this lesson of human unity through conveying the following beautiful divine revelation:” O humankind, We have created you from a male (Adam) and a female (Eve), and have made you tribes and sub-tribes so that you may recognise one another: Surely, the most honoured of you with Allah is the one who is most pious among you.” (Qur’an 49:13).

Congratulations to all humankind on the birth anniversary of the Mercy to the world.

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