THE BLESSED BIRTH OF RASŪLULLAH صلى الله عليه و سلم
The loftiest human being, the leader of the children of Adam (Alaihiss Salaam), Muḥammad Mustafā Aḥmad Mujtabāh صلى الله عليه و سلم blessed the world with his appearance fifty or fifty five days after the incident of the elephants at dawn on Monday the 8th of Rabi’ al-Awwal corresponding to April 570 A.D. in Makkah Mukarramah in the household of Abu Ṭālib. According to most Muhadithīn (scholars of Hadīth) and historians the most accurate and preferred view is that Rasūlullah صلى الله عليه و سلم was born on the 8th of Rabi’ al-Awwal and not the twelfth.
The mother of Uthmān Ibn Abu al-Ās رضي الله عنها , Fatimah Bint Abdullah narrates: ‘During the blessed birth of Rasūlullah, صلى الله عليه و سلم I clearly noticed that the whole house was radiating with Nūr (divine light) and I also saw the stars stooping so low that I thought that they would come crashing down unto me.’ The lowering of the stars towards earth was an indication that soon the darkness of disbelief and polytheism will be eradicated to be replaced by the light of spiritual guidance.
On the same night an earthquake struck the palace of the Persian emperor causing all fourteen towers (which represented the fourteen kingdoms of the Persian Empire) to crumble. Furthermore, the fire which had been ablaze for over a thousand years in the Persian fire-temple abruptly extinguished itself and unexpectedly Lake Sāwah dried up. Within four years, ten out of these fourteen kingdoms had ceased to exist and by the time Hadhrat Uthmān d had donned the mantle of Khilafah the remaining four kingdoms had come to an end. Hadhrat Abbās رضي الله عنه narrates that Rasūlullah صلى الله عليه و سلم was born circumcised and his navel was neatly cut, when Abdul Mutallib saw this he remarked that this son of his will become a man of lofty status. Furthermore, when Rasūlullah صلى الله عليه و سلم was born he was exceptionally clean and had no afterbirth-fluid on his blessed body.
On the seventh day of the blessed birth of Rasūlullah صلى الله عليه و سلم , his grandfather Abdul Mutallib performed the Aqīqah and invited the entire Quraishite tribe to partake of the Aqīqah. He then proposed to name the child Muhammad (the praised one) as he had seen a dream which inspired him to name the child with this blessed name. He dreamt that an iron chain was being extracted from his back, one end of the chain reached the sky and the other end towards the earth, a little while later the chain transformed into a huge tree. Every leaf of the tree was shining with radiance that is seventy times more intense than the brilliance of the sun. People from the east, the west and some of the Quraish are clinging onto its branches whilst many from the Quraish were trying to chop the tree down.
Whenever, they tried to do so a handsome young man would stop them by pushing them away. In the interpretation of this dream, Abdul Mutallib was informed that from amongst his descendants, a boy will be born whom people of the east and west will follow and the beings of the heavens and the earth as well will sing his praises. In another narration the mother of Rasūlullah صلى الله عليه و سلم was instructed to name the child Ahmad. In the commentary of Sahīh al-Muslim, Imam Nawawī رحمه الله has related that Allah Ta’ala divinely inspired the family of our beloved Rasūl صلى الله عليه و سلم to name him Muhammad, which means:
That being in whom unimpeachable character and commendable attributes are found on a perfectly flawless level.
For about three to four days after he was born, Rasūlullah صلى الله عليه و سلم was breastfed by his mother. Thereafter, his Uncle Abu Lahab’s slave girl, Thuwaybah رضي الله عنها suckled him. Rasūlullah صلى الله عليه و سلم was exceptionally respectful towards Thuwaybah رضي الله عنها throughout her life. After his marriage to Khadijah رضي الله عنها , Thuwaybah رضي الله عنها habitually visited Rasūlullah صلى الله عليه و سلم . After the Hijrāh, Rasūlullah صلى الله عليه و سلم regularly sent gifts to her. Once, Hadhrat Abbas d saw Abu Lahab in a dream undergoing extreme hardship in hell. Abu Lahab was saying: “I haven’t seen a moment of comfort since I left this mundane world but my punishment is slightly reduced every Monday. (As he had freed Thuwaybah رضي الله عنها on a Monday)
After Thuwaybah, Rasulullah صلى الله عليه و سلم was breastfed by Halīmah Sā’diyyah رضي الله عنها of the tribe of Banu Sā’d. It was customary of the noble Arabs of those days to send their suckling infants to rural villages to grow up healthy in the uncontaminated air of the countryside. The aim was also to expose the child to the eloquence and purity of the Arabic language and to become accustom with authentic Arab cultures and traditions.
Halīmah رضي الله عنها recalls: “A few women from the Banu Sā’d and I set out for Makkah in search of suckling infants. Accompanying me on this journey was my husband and my infant son (Masrūh) who was still breastfeeding. We had a very skinny donkey and a camel that could not provide one single drop of milk, as our conveyances. We did not sleep at night as our child whimpered and cried throughout the night due to the pangs of hunger. I did not have sufficient breast-milk to satiate the hunger and anguish of my child. When the other women realized that Rasūlullah صلى الله عليه و سلم was an orphan, they refused to suckle him as they feared the lack of remuneration from someone whose father had passed away.
But who knew that this child is not a Yatīm (orphan) but he is a true Durrul Yatīm (a rare pearl). Who knew that the keys to the treasures of the Khosroe and Caesar would be at the feet of this blessed child? Who knew that the remuneration of this child was to be awarded by Allah Ta’ala in whose hands lies the incalculable treasures of the earth and the heavens.
All the women obtained at least one infant to return home with. Only Halīmah was left empty-handed. As the time of departure drew closer, a sudden passionate urge divinely developed in her heart to take Rasūlullah صلى الله عليه و سلم in her custody. She remarked to her husband: “By Allah! I will go to this orphan and irrespective of the odds I will take him.” The husband replied: this shall not be a problem. Perhaps Allah Ta’ala will make this child a source of immense blessings (Barakah) for us.”
In conformity to their expectations, Allah Ta’ala opened the doors of his mercy and Barakah for them. The other women of the Banu Sā’d had placed their hopes upon the creation whilst Halīmah placed her hopes and expectations on Almighty Allah only. Halīmah رضي الله عنها recounts:
“I had just grasped the blessed child to my dried-out bosom when they started filling up with milk. Both the blessed child and his milk-brother were able to drink to their fill. As we tried to milk our skinny camel, we found its udders full of milk. My husband and I both satiated ourselves and we spent the night in great comfort.
When the time to depart had arrived, all the other travellers mounted their conveyances and departed. Halīmah also mounted her camel with the blessed child close to her bosom. Her camel which previously did not want to move was now ahead of everyone else’s camels at full speed. The other women of the caravan remarked: “Halīmah! Is this the same camel you came with?”
Halīmah رضي الله عنها has narrated that at the time the Banu Sā’d was affected by severe drought, but my goats would return in the evening with their udders swollen with milk whilst the other goats would return hungry without a drop of milk. On witnessing this spectacle, the people urged their shepherds to graze their goats where Halīmah goats grazed, but all the same their goats returned hungry. Halīmah رضي الله عنها says:
“Allah Ta’āla continued exhibiting His khair and Barakah (divine blessings and celestial favours) in this manner whilst we continued witnessing this khair and Barakah before our eyes.”
By just carrying the blessed body of Rasūlullah صلى الله عليه و سلم, Sayyidāh Halīmah رضي الله عنها became the recipient of numerous blessings. Just imagine how much blessings and goodness we will receive, just by practicing upon the teachings and Sunnah of our beloved Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم