This is an article from our monthly newsletter. Sign up to the mailing list.
Monday the 12th of Rabi Al Awwal is known as the birthdate of Prophet ﷺ, but there are a number of other significant events that took place on the 12th of Rabi Al Awwal:
1. It was on Monday the 12th of Rabi Al Awwal that Allah gave the Prophet ﷺ the task of serving as a Prophet
2. It was on Monday the 12th of Rabi Al Awwal that he ﷺ entered Medina after the hijrah
3. Finally, again it was on Monday the 12th of Rabi Al Awwal, he ﷺ moved on to the hereafter
The significance of these events is a confirmation of the holiness of this month, the month of Rabi Al Awwal.
The Prophet ﷺ came into this world on Monday, the 12th of Rabi Al Awwal, which corresponds to the 20th April of 571 CE. He was born just before sunrise. With his birth, divine mercy flooded into this world.
Abu Qatada narrates: The Prophet ﷺ was asked about fasting on Mondays. He ﷺ replied:
"This is the day on which I was born and on which I was sent as a Prophet."
The lady Suwayba, who was Abu Lahab's slave-girl, was the first to give the glad tidings of the Prophet's ﷺ birth to Abu Lahab. Abu Lahab set her free as a consequence of delivering this good news. The happiness of Abu Lahab for the birth of Muhammad ﷺ, even though it was mixed with feelings of tribal solidarity, will cause the punishment of that disbeliever in the Hellfire to decrease on Mondays.
After his death, some saw Abu Lahab in a dream where they were able to ask him about his life in the Hereafter: “Abu Lahab! How are you?” He replied, “I am being punished in the Hellfire! Yet my punishment lessens on Monday nights. I suck water between my fingers on that night. I feel cooler by drinking it. This is because on that day I set Suwayba free as she ran to me and gave me the glad tidings about the birth of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ. In return, Allah rewarded me by decreasing my punishment on Monday nights.”
Ibn al-Jazari said: “A disbeliever like Abu Lahab benefited from his display of happiness on the occasion of the birth of the Prophet ﷺ even though it was mixed with tribal feelings. Comparatively, imagine the kind of divine gifts and blessings a true believer acquires if they, out of respect for that night, open their heart to the Eternal Pride of the World ﷺ and their table to guests...”
Sources: The Prophet of Mercy, Osman Nuri Topbaş