The birth of the Prophet (S) is the first thing that a Muslim remembers when he hears the Arabic month of Rabiul Awwal. But, biographers and historians are not unanimous about the exact date of his birth. Nonetheless, majority of scholars agree that the birth of the Prophet was on Monday, the 12th of Rabi Al Awwal. With regard to the date of his death, there is no difference of opinion that it occurred on 12th Rabi Al Awwal.
Prophet Mohammed was born in the Bani Hashim Family of Mecca in Saudi Arabia. His father, Abdulla, died before six months of his birth. His mother, Amina, also died when he was six and he was looked after by his grand father, Abdul Muthalib, who died when the Prophet was eight. Afterwards, his uncle, Abu Thalib took over under whom he lived for a long period.
People of Mecca treated the Prophet (S) as their “apple of eye”. At the age of 40, he was blessed with Prophethood. He was also chosen by his Lord as the Prophet of Mercy for all creatures. Quran says: “We sent thee not, but as a mercy for all creatures”.
In fact, the verse in question was a bona fide certificate to the Prophet from the Lord of the Worlds. His life from Alpha to Omega was a portrayal of the above verse. His heart was filled with intense love for all humankind in spite of caste, creed, or colour. Once he advised his companions to regard all people as their brothers and sisters. He added, “You are all Adam’s offspring and Adam was born of clay.”
According to a Hadith in Saheeh Muslim, “when the Prophet’s opponents greatly increased their persecution, his companions asked him to curse them. At this the Prophet replied, I have not been sent to lay a curse upon men but to be a blessing to them.”
His opponents continued to treat him cruelly and his companions unjustly and brutally, but the Prophet (S) always prayed for them. His mercy even reached his enemies who were taken as captives at the battle of Badr. The Prophet made sure they were given the best of treatment. Among them was Suhayl bin Amr who denounced the Prophet. On hearing his speech, Prophet’s closest companion, Umer suggested that two of his lower teeth be pulled out so that he might not be so vile in his speeches. The Prophet replied: “Were I to do his, Allah would disfigure me on the Day of Judgement, despite the fact that I am His Messenger.” (Hadith).
Another incident was on the Day of the Conquest of Mecca. He asked unbelievers as well as his enemies: “How do you expect me to treat you?” They answered collectively: “You are a noble one, the son of a noble one.” On hearing their words, a radiant smile appeared on the face of the Prophet and he declared his clemency: “This is the kindness day. Go, for you are free. Clemency is given when there is power to take revenge. No reproach this day shall be on you, May Allah forgive you.”
The Prophet (S) not only loved human beings, but also animals and plants. He said: “There is reward for serving everything with a moist liver” (i.e. every living thing). Regarding his care for trees, he said: “If a Muslim plants a tree or sows seeds, and then a bird, or a person or an animal eats from it, it is regarded as a charitable gift (Sadaqah) for him.” (Bukhari).
The Prophet was very cautious to see the environment untouched and hygienic. He said: “Beware of three acts that cause you to be cursed: (1) relieving yourselves in shaded places (that people utilise), on a walkway or in a watering place.”
Another saying of the Prophet (S) is about the protection of non-Muslims under the custody of Muslims. The Prophet (S) said: “He who kills a promisor (a non-Muslim living among Muslims where he is promised to have protection, and he promises not to help enemies against Muslims, hence, he is called a promisor), will not smell the fragrance of Paradise, though its fragrance is recognisable from a distance of 40 years.” ( Bukhari)
The Prophet (S) died at the age of 63 after having brought up an ever-living society in the hearts of believers until the end of the world.