By Reyaz Ahmad Mir
It is indeed an emotional attachment with beloved prophet (SAW) being reflected through celebrations and processions but it must also serve as the passionate reminder of our responsibilities both at individual and collective levels to display the character as desired by the prophet of Islam.
The sacred life account of the prophet of Islam, Hazrat Mohammad (SAW) is indeed a collective account of a progressive and qualitative society which he had constructed in Medina and Makkah. Spending his life actively among people, he purified their souls and bodies and prepared them to be the best moral beings to establish spiritual links with Allah (SWT) by ensuring piety, justice, peace and security.
The society at obscure Makkah where Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was born and then preached Islam was rife with vices and oppression. It was as barren as the harsh Arabian landscape, with declining morals, rising perversion, ignorance and poverty. Like the rest of Arabia it was polytheist in nature, deeply engrossed in the worship of multitude of idols.
Politically, the Roman and Iranian civilizations with extreme imperialistic obsession were at frontiers because of the weak socio-political structure of the society. The Arab society was indeed in search of a wise and dynamic spiritual leadership with concrete and rational strategies to design and rebuild the civilization having far reaching impressions. Albeit, the people of Arab-living in one country, communicating in same language, having mutual racial relations, were still disintegrated and divided into a number of tribes and sub tribes with separate power structures. The concept of nationalism was absolutely absent among them.
In the backdrop of a socially distracted, morally bankrupt, economically exploitative and politically polarized society, the Prophet (SAW) was chosen among them with a mission to ensure socio-spiritual elevation and to build a new world with piety replacing its all evil marks.
His personality was embedded with the highest degree of God consciousness, movements, changes and reforms pathetically required at that epoch of time. This has gradually been achieved at various stages from cave ‘hira’ to cave ‘sour’, from Kaaba to the markets of Taayif, from his family affairs to the battlefields or to say from the era of Makkah to the period of Medina.
His companions were so impressed, influenced and imprinted by his divinity, positivity and spirituality that they ardently became like moving Quran and the brightening stars on the prophetic sky. The unknown Bilal (RA) of pre-Islamic period achieved the special status of being the ‘Mouzin’ of Masjid-e-Nabawi after entering the fold of Islam. Salman Farsi (RA), professionally barber, was always offered the place near to the Prophet (SAW) when he adorned himself with the faith of Islam. Thousands other, hither to unlettered and ordinary, became the part of Islamic history being read, deliberated upon and taught in the contemporary world educational and research Institutions. This couldn’t be the outcome of any aggressive behavior but of a reformative vision and social activism which the Prophet of Islam (SAW) possessed to its fullest sense.
The present Muslim community as a whole has certain tough challenges before it; ranging from illiteracy to ignorance, poverty to job crisis, individualism to extremism, from waywardness to malpractices and from personal to the familial crisis. We are watching the anomic situation in all social institutions. To fight all these, there is again need of a strong rational, scientific and reformative approach which unfortunately doesn’t prevail at all levels to ensure the societal transformation in accordance with the social philosophy of Islam, guaranteeing a simple but just system. Because, the priorities have been wrongly framed and determined. Over the years, we have been diverted by divisive interpretations, emotional sermons and slogans and unfortunately calling them an absolute Islam. Following this trend, Muslims at popular level are now showing the visible and free gestures of polarization and factionalism with pride. The difference of opinion is natural and at times beneficial too till it is confined to the scholars and institutions. Once it lands among masses, it assumes the character of divisibility and animosity. The trend kills the values of patience, tolerance and accommodation and hurts the quest of episteme, as well.
Now the situation seems out of hand in the free atmosphere and social media culture. Today, we observe intolerance, confrontation and aggression even among the so called scholars irrespective of their affiliations to different sects, communities and thoughts. In this backdrop, we are confused how to react to the inflictions given by some non Muslim biased authors and speakers through their words to the honor and regard of prophet (SAW), Quran and to the Islam as a monotheistic religion. We couldn’t set our own home right, how to bring others on line? Here, we need to be more rational than emotional and to present different beautiful dimensions of prophet’s life before such venomous people across the globe with more clarity and accuracy. That shall be a rational protest with broader purpose in background. While doing that, we also need to retrospect and to gauge up our behavior.
It is quite contrary to the universality of Islam that majority of the Muslims follow their sectarian faith orders as their Islam and also made the founders of these sects and factions like the Prophets. When these people consider the interpretations and jurisprudence of their thought and their founders the sole truth, genuine and final, leaving no scope for their little error as human, what would be the status of this sect or community and the attributes they extend to their founders they believe in? If they are considered the only true custodians of Islam, then what point the rest of ummah is standing at? Of course, there has been a tremendous contribution by some great jurists in the history of Islam. We must respect and value them equally and take full advantage of their interpretations and understanding of Islam even now. But, the status of being the real source of Islam is attributed to the prophet (SAW) only.
Unless we don’t learn to be tolerant of different viewpoints or the ways of argument to differ with and give some space to others, we would continue to reel under modern form of pre-Islamic Dark Age, the de-enlightenment. If reformation, not reconstruction at the moment, becomes the hall mark of preachers, writers and religious leaders, we would surely establish the Islamic society with all dimensions, if not the Islamic state per se. All needs to be taken abode and act as reformers if we want the practical translation of Islam, ordained in Quran by Allah (SWT) and demonstrated by the Prophet (SAW). Even a little movement towards realization of the concept of ummah in broader perspective will be the highest form of commemoration of Meelad of the Prophet (SAW) in Rabi ul Awwal.
It is indeed an emotional attachment with beloved prophet (SAW) being reflected through celebrations and processions but it must also serve as the passionate reminder of our responsibilities both at individual and collective levels to display the character as desired by the prophet of Islam. Let’s hope the adoration and lighting of Masjids, Madrasas, shrines and streets would illuminate our hearts and minds too. Let’s rediscover the Milad.
Mir, Reyaz Ahmad. (2021, October 19). Rediscovering Milad-un-Nabi (SAW). Retrieved from https://www.risingkashmir.com/-Rediscovering-Milad-un-Nabi–SAW–93763
The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and does not necessarily reflect Alfafaa’s editorial views