The advent of the lunar month of Rabi al-Awwal brings to Muslims worldwide the joyful memory of Prophet Muhammad's birth (peace and blessings be upon him). The name of the month itself carries within its meaning the spirit of prosperity and renewal. The Arabic term "rabi'" means "spring", which is the season of the year between winter and summer which is a time of renewal, a time when new life begins and the face of the earth is covered anew with vibrant living colors.
The birth of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was the spring that took the entire world out of the darkness of ignorance into the light of knowledge. His birth was a portal of divine mercy in the history of entire humanity. The time that preceded the birth of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was known as the jahiliya (the era of ignorance) when social traditions and tribalism trounced human rights both inside and outside the Arabian Peninsula.
Therefore, the Quran describes the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) as a "mercy to creation". This mercy is unlimited for it includes teaching and guiding man to the straight path as well as promoting both his material and spiritual wellbeing. As such, this mercy is not limited to those who lived in the Prophet’s time but will continue to extend until the end of time. This is attested to by the Quran which, describing the Prophet’s mercy, states, “And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds” (Quran 21: 107)
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