The Holy Prophet Muhammad was born in the Hashemite branch of the tribe of Quraysh in the city of Mecca on the Twelfth day of Rabi ul –Awwal in the year 570 A.D. He passed away at the age of 63 years in Medina.
Prophet MohammAd’s early life
There are mixed beliefs on how one observes the Prophet’s birthday. Some people see the birthday as an event worthy of praise. Others view the celebrations of birthday as contrary to Islamic Law. Both sides cite the Hadiths (narrations originating from the words and deeds of the Holy Prophet) and events from the Prophet’s life to support their views. Meelad is celebrated with large street parades in some countries. Homes and mosques are also decorated. Some people donate food and other goods for charity on or around this day. Others listen to Quranic verses read by children and poems about events that occurred in Prophet Mohammad’s life.
However, many Muslims also do not participate in celebrations, instead they mark the occasion by spending time to read the Holy Quran. Some scholars said that the Prophet was born on a Monday and see fasting as another way to celebrate his birth.
Social system that prevailed during the time of Prophet’s birth
It was the worst of times. The base for a civilized society was shattered because of polytheism and idolatry – the worship of idols. Earlier civilizations in Greece, India, China and Egypt were on the verge of collapse. Rulers were despotic and acted as the representatives of God and sometimes posed as God himself. Worst of all, Capital punishment was imposed at the whims and fancies of the rulers. Rulers themselves were jurors and judges. Feudalism was the social system in which the vassal held land in exchange for allegiance and service to land owners.
Social revolution of Holy Prophet Muhammad
It was during such a dark age that the Unique One, Allah with benevolence and loving kindness to all the people sent Prophet Muhammad as his messenger to bring about a social revolution. In such a society the task before the Holy Prophet of Islam was arduous and was full of difficulties needing a lot of effort. However, the Prophet came forward again single handed. He was successful in his endeavour and his achievements were unique and marvellous. He played the pivotal role to bring about a social revival based on the teachings of the Unique One, Allah with benevolence and loving kindness to all the people in the society. He took the lead to find the truth under the teachings of Almighty Allah. He achieved this end through the door of freedom. His course was so powerful that the Roman Empire was shattered and emperor surrendered to him.
How writers saw the greatness of the Prophet’s achievements
A writer named Schimmel in his book titled “And Muhammad is His messenger” states “It seems that the tendency to celebrate the memory of Muhammad’s birthday on a larger and more festive scale emerged first in Egypt during the Famid Era. This is logical for Fatimids’ claim to be the prophet’s descendents through his daughter, Fatima. The Egyptian historian Magrizi basing his account on Famid sources stated “ It was apparently an occasion in which mainly scholars and religious institutions participated. They listened to sermons and sweets, particularly honey were distributed among the prophet’s favorites. The poor received them.