The special month of Rabi al-Awwal is almost here! It will potentially begin on 18th or 19th October 2020, depending on the moon sighting. So now is the time to start preparing for its blessed days.
This year, we bring you Springs of Mercy - a handy tool for automating your Zakat and Sadaqah over the first 12 days of Rabi al-Awwal!
Before we get into how it works, we'd like to tell you a bit about why Rabi al-Awwal is such a special month, the particular significance of 12th Rabi al-Awwal, and why giving charity is an excellent way to mark this month.
Why is Rabi al-Awwal a special month?
Unlike, for example, the months of Ramadan or Dhul Hijjah, there are no special recommendations to fast, pray or make du’a during Rabi al-Awwal. However, Allah (swt) did select this month for many significant events, so we should pay attention to it:
Rabi al-Awwal is when Allah sent His Prophet (saw), the best of creation and a mercy to mankind. In Rabi al-Awwal, the Prophet (saw) also arrived in Yathrib after the Hijrah, renaming it al-Madinah al-Munawwarah, the Illuminated City, and creating a community bonded by Islam and devoted to Allah. Finally, Allah took the Prophet (saw) back to Him in Rabi al-Awwal, and the Qur'an ceased to come down to us.
Out of the twelve months in the lunar calendar, Allah chose to bless only Rabi al-Awwal with these significant events. Therefore, it is of course a special month and deserves our attention and respect.
What is the significance of 12th Rabi al-Awwal?
With Springs of Mercy, you can choose to double your automated donations on 12th Rabi al-Awwal, or even give the full amount on this blessed day. So why have we given so much weight to this day?
Amazingly, the Prophet's (saw) birth, Hijrah and passing away might ALL have taken place on 12th Rabi al-Awwal!
According to the historian Ibn Ishaq, the Prophet (saw) arrived in Quba, near Yathrib, on 12th Rabi al-Awwal after the Hijrah.
The Prophet (saw) and Abu Bakr (ra) stayed in Quba for three days, during which he (saw) also laid the foundations of the first masjid.
The Prophet Muhammad (saw) also passed away on Monday 12th Rabi al-Awwal, 11 AH. Before his death, he had gone into the Masjid and told the people from the pulpit, ‘There is a slave amongst the slaves of God to whom God has offered the choice between this world and that which is with Him, and the slave has chosen that which is with God’. He had been ill for a few days, and his family and closest friends knew that it would soon be time for him to go back to Allah.
According to most scholars, the Prophet (saw) was also born on Monday 12th Rabi al-Awwal, in the Year of the Elephant (571 CE).
All scholars agree that he was born on a Monday, based on the hadith:
The Messenger of Allah (saw) was asked about fasting on Monday, whereupon he said, 'It is (the day) when I was born and revelation was sent down to me'. [Muslim]
However, the exact date of his birth has been disputed, with scholars mentioning various dates between 1st and 17th Rabi al-Awwal. But the historians Ibn Ishaq and Ibn Katheer both state that it was the 12th Rabi al-Awwal. And Allah knows best.
Moreover, the number 12 is significant in Islam for many other reasons:
- Allah has created a lunar year divided into twelve months: 'Indeed, the number of months with Allah is twelve [lunar] months in the register of Allah [from] the day He created the heavens and the earth; of these, four are sacred. That is the correct religion, so do not wrong yourselves during them'. [Qur'an, 9:36]
- There are twelve letters in the Shahadah: لاَ إِلَـٰهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ
- There were twelve tribes of Bani Isra'eel (from the twelve sons of Yaqub (as)) who were given twelve springs of water by Allah:
Thus, Springs of Mercy will automate your charity over the first twelve days of Rabi al-Awwal, culminating on 12th Rabi al-Awwal, the day divinely selected for the Prophet's (saw) arrival in Quba after Hijrah, his final return to Allah, and potentially his blessed birth.
Why have we launched Springs of Mercy?
As mentioned before, there are no specific actions for Rabi al-Awwal recommended in the Sunnah. For example, there is no specific encouragement to give more charity, as there is with Ramadan and Dhul Hijjah.
However, the Prophet (saw) said, ‘Surely your Lord has Nafahaat (winds of mercy) in the days of your time, so expose yourself to them. For perhaps you will attain a breeze from them and thereafter you will never be unhappy’. [Tabarani]
Allah (swt) chose Rabi al-Awwal to send His Final Messenger (saw) to us, as 'a mercy to the worlds' [Qur'an, 21:107]. Thus, this month is a time in which we are reminded of Allah's immense Favour to us, since He guided us to His Light and made us a part of the best Ummah.
And what better way to show our gratitude for this blessing than by increasing our good deeds?
According to scholars, on the days when it is Sunnah to fast, it is recommended to increase other good deeds. This is part of showing our gratitude to Allah and appreciating His elite days. And one of the best ways to show our gratitude to Allah is to spend the wealth He has given us in charity.
Springs of Mercy is thus the perfect way to increase your good deeds in Rabi al-Awwal. It allows you to automate your donations over the first twelve days of Rabi al-Awwal, so you won't miss out on giving charity and expressing your gratitude to Allah.
How does Springs of Mercy work?
You can automate your donations to up to five causes: Yemen Emergency, Syria Crisis, Where Most Needed, Orphans Fund and Water Fund.
We'd like to leave you with a final, powerful hadith to reflect upon:
Urwah (ra) narrated, ‘Thuwaibah (ra) was the freed slave girl of Abu Lahab whom he had freed, and then she suckled the Prophet (saw). When Abu Lahab died, one of his relatives [his brother al-’Abbas (ra)] saw him in a dream in a very bad state and asked him, “What have you encountered?” Abu Lahb said, “I have not found any rest since I left you, except that I have been given water to drink in this (the space between his thumb and other fingers) and that is because of my freeing Thuwaibah (ra) (out of joy as she informed him of the birth of the Prophet (saw))"'. [Bukhari]
When the Prophet (saw) was born, Abu Lahab's slave girl Thuwaibah came and informed him of the birth. Out of joy at the news, he freed her, and she later suckled the Prophet (saw) and even became Muslim.
Because of this, even Abu Lahab, the arch-enemy of Islam, receives water to drink whilst in the Hellfire every Monday in the hand he gestured with to free Thuwaibah (ra).
Thus, what would the reward be for believers when we show our gratitude for Allah sending us the Prophet (saw) by spending our wealth for His sake?
Don't miss out: automate your donations on Springs of Mercy now.