On the occasion of Islamic Unity Week that bridges the two dates of the month of Rabi al-Awwal believed to be the birthday of the Messenger of Mercy, Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny), we have prepared a series of special programs for you.
Rabi al-Awwal 12 is considered to be that blessed date by Sunni Muslims on the basis of the narrations of the Prophet’s companions, who had no acquaintance with him before his formal declaration of his universal mission of Islam at the age of 40. Shi’a Muslims, however, attach more importance to accounts of the Prophet’s birth from the Prophet’s family and regard 17th Rabi al-Awwal as the date of birth of the Almighty’s Last and Greatest Messenger.
In 1979, following victory of the Iranian people’s grassroots movement, the Father of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini (RA), initiated the Islamic Unity Week to bridge the short gap between these two dates in order to foster solidarity among Muslims of all denominations.
Yesterday we presented to you the first episode titled “Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) in the Mirror of the Holy Qur’an”; please stay with us for our special feature titled: “Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), Role Model for Islamic Unity.”
Today, while Muslims worldwide are making sincere efforts to foster Islamic Unity, the enemies of the Ummah, such as the US and the Zionist entity, have not stayed silent and are busy trying to sow seeds of disunity, as is evident by their hold over the Arab reactionary regimes for use of their oil wealth to create divisions. We are, however, confident they will not succeed in their nefarious efforts, and Islamic unity will prevail all over the world, thanks to the foresight of Imam Khomeini in focusing on the significance of the birth anniversary of the Prophet of Islam, since the Seal of Messengers through his personal conduct set the lasting precedent for Muslims to mold their life upon. As God Almighty says in ayah 21 of Surah Ahzaab:
“In the Prophet of Allah there is certainly for you a good exemplar, for those who look forward to Allah and the Last Day, and remember Allah greatly.”
Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny) practiced whatever he preached on the commandment of God, thereby showing the practicability of Islam and its dynamic laws. His impeccable characteristics, since childhood, had earned him the epithets of Sadeq or Truthful and Amin the Trustworthy. On formal announcement of his mission at the age of 40 in Mecca, he endured sufferings at the hands of the ignorant, arrogant and idolatrous Arab tribes, but continued to win adherents because of his patient and pious efforts to educate the underprivileged and removed darkness of disbelief from their life. Thirteen years later he migrated to Medina, where he convinced the Ows and Khazraj tribes which had been warring for over 120 years, to bury the hatchet and unite under the banner of Islam. During the years the Prophet was in Medina till the end of his life, he assumed the leadership of the Ummah molded Muslims into a formidable monolithic force, based on faith and high morals.
The Prophet’s cousin, Ja’far ibn Abi Taleb, who because of the persecution of Muslims by the pagan Arabs of Mecca, had sought refuge in Abyssinia or present day Ethiopia, explained to King Negus, the ruler of that land, the reasons for migration, the fundamentals of Islam, and the status of the Islamic community. The Arabs were people who worshiped idols, did ugly things, mistreated neighbours, and oppressed the weak, until God raised from among them the Prophet possessing the most excellent characteristics and instilling in the Arabs belief in the One and Only Creator of the universe. In other words, the Prophet created a model of unity and solidarity in Medina, centered on faith in monotheism, divine justice, and resurrection.
The holy Qur’an says in ayah 103 of Surah Aal-e Imran:
“Hold fast, all together, to Allah’s cord, and do not be divided [into sects]. And remember Allah’s blessing upon you when you were enemies, then He brought your hearts together, so you became brothers with His blessing.”
The message of Islam overcame all threats and divisions, enabling the Prophet to foster solidarity among what were fratricidal Arab tribes. God Almighty in the holy Qur’an set the criterion for superiority of any individual on piety and correct cognitions of the divine message, while the Prophet removed all racial prejudices and ethnic differences by making the Mohajer of the migrants from Mecca brothers with the Ansar or helpers of Medina. His companions included Belal the black Abyssinian, who was his Mo’azzen or the official caller to the daily ritual prayers, Sohayb the Roman, and Salman the Persian – from Iran who was hailed by the Prophet as “from us the Ahl al-Bayt” – prestige that no blue-blooded Qurayshite Arab was granted.
The Prophet of Islam, emancipated slaves and removed social barriers by mixing with all Muslims irrespective of their social status. Once, when he saw in the assembly a wealthy Arab folding up his cloak of fine cloth on seeing a poor man enter and sit near to him, the Prophet admonished him, saying: Do you think that you will lose your wealth because of proximity to the poor. The wealthy Arab felt embarrassed and decided to give half his wealth to the poor person, but the poor person politely refused. When asked the reason, he said he fears that richness will make him arrogant as well.
He was the finest embodiment of modesty, and deeply abhorred arrogance and haughtines