Mab’ath, the greatest ever day
Heartiest felicitations to you all on one of the greatest days in the history of mankind. Today is the 27th of the sacred month of Rajab, the day on which darkness was dispelled and enlightenment took birth as the prime and pristine call of monotheism that had started with Adam the Father of the human race, once again started to reverberate in a world that had sunk into disbelief, polytheism, atheism, fire-worship, ancestor-worship, oppression, and all other forms of deviations.
To be more precise, today is the day of Mab’ath, which means resurgence, since it is the day on which God Almighty entrusted the universal mission of Islam to His last and Greatest Messenger, Prophet Mohammad (SAWA).
Now we have a special feature in this regard.
“We have not sent you but as Mercy unto the creation.”
This is how in ayah 107 of Surah Anbiya, God Almighty introduces to humanity the start of the universal mission of Islam entrusted to Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) at a time when mankind had plunged into the depths of darkness, with ignorance all around. The blessed place on which the first rays of divine revelation descended upon the 40-year son of Abdullah of the monotheist Bani Hashem Clan descended from the Prophets Ishmael and Abraham, was Cave Hera on Mount Noor outside Mecca in Arabia.
Is this all the significance of Mab’ath that we religiously celebrate each year on Rajab 27?
Is the day a mere commemoration of the descent of Archangel Gabriel with the first few verses of the Holy Qur’an, asking the apparently unschooled 40-year old Muhammad ibn Abdullah (SAWA):
“In the Name of Allah, the All-Beneficent, the All-Merciful.
“Read in the Name of your Lord Who created;
“Created man from a clinging mass;
“Read, and your Lord is the Most Generous, Who taught by the pen;
“Taught man what he did not know.”
Does all this mean a random or spontaneous decision by the Creator of the universe to confer the Divine Trust on some obscure person in a remote place?
Such thoughts are nothing but outright blasphemy regarding the All-Wise God, especially when we read in the holy Qur'an in Surah al-Maryam, of
Jesus' announcement of Prophethood, while still a mere infant in the cradle.
Moreover, a famous statement from Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) reads: “I was the Prophet when Adam was still in the (uncreated) state between water and clay?”
It is also blasphemous to doubt the words of the person whose truthfulness the Almighty verifies in the opening ayahs of Surah Najm by saying: "neither he errs nor speaks out of desire, but it is revelation which is revealed."
Muslims ought to properly ponder on the words of the holy Qur’an in order to understand the significance of Mab’ath.
As a matter of fact, Mab’ath, which signifies resurgence, is the most important day on which the sun has ever shone. It is the resurgence of not just humanitarian values but the basic purpose of life and the goal towards which mankind is moving. Hence it is more significant than the creation of Adam and the start of the human race. It is more important than the parting of the seawaters for Prophet Moses (AS) to allow him safe passage from the oppression of the Pharaoh. It is more precious than the miraculous virgin birth of Prophet Jesus (AS) without the association of any male for his mother, the Virtuous Mary (SA).
In other words, Mab’ath is not a spontaneous occurrence in the barren landscape of the Arabian Peninsula. On the contrary it is the highest water mark in history that separates good from evil and sifts right from wrong; for which mankind was being prepared through a long and unbroken chain of divine messengers spanning different eras and various geographical regions in order to build the mindset for the single universal message, Islam.
A glance at the state of humanity before and after the proclamation of his mission by Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) confirms this point. That is why the pre-Islamic society, not just of Arabia but also of the supposedly civilized worlds of the Romans, the Persian, the Chinese, the Indians etc, is called Jahiliyya or the Age of Ignorance.
Even a cursory glance at the civilizations mentioned, reveals that despite their pretensions to power and material achievements, they sorely lacked basic humanitarian fundamentals.
They were devoid of monotheism or faith in the One and Only Creator. They also lacked the concept of equality of all human beings without any distinction of colour, race, language, and class. It means, social justice as the privilege of each and every individual including those adhering to other beliefs was absent, and so was the right of women to own property, marry according to their will, safeguard their honour and individuality through observing of modesty and hejab that none is entitled to violate. Other humanitarian aspects not present were compassion, forgiveness, generosity, truthful speech, that are so instrumental in promoting peace and fraternity; refusal to bow to oppression; and last but not the least rationality that not only negates superstitions but grants the freedom of education to all, thereby ruling out manipulation of science and knowledge by vested interests.
In view of these undeniable facts, the marking of Mab’ath means the renewal of allegiance to all egalitarian principles that make a true Muslim and lead to the building of the real monolithic Islamic ummah, which Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) preached through practical demonstration and which the present Muslim world has unfortunately largely neglected to its own detriment.
No wonder, the mission of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) was foretold in all heavenly scriptures,
For instance, in Deuteronomy (chapter 18, verse15) we read God Almighty’s prophecy to Prophet Moses:
“I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren (Ishmaelite Arabs), like unto thee, and will put My Words into his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto My Words which he shall speak in My Name.”
In the Gospel of St. John (Chapter 18, verses 7-to-14) we find the following prophecy of Jesus:
“I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. How be it when he, the Spirit of truth (the Comforter), is come, he will guide into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. He shall glorify me; for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you.”
These prophecies about the Prophet of Islam are not limited to Abrahamic religions, but are found in the holy books of other religions as well. For example, in the Dasatir and Zend Avesta of the Zoroastrians, it is written:
“When they will commit such deeds, a man will appear from among the Arabs before whose followers crown, throne, kingdom and religion shall be overthrown, and arrogant people will be subjugated. Instead of the house of idols and the temple of fire, they will look at the House of worship of Abraham without any idols in it and will make it their focal point of worship (Qibla).”
It is also interesting to note that in the books of Hindus, such as Kalki Purana and Kalki Avatar, it is mentioned about the Prophet of Islam:
“His name will be 'Mahamat'. People will be astonished to see his style… … And he will not worship as the people of his tribe will be worshipping and he will tell the people that “I have been told by that Almighty and Only One (God) not to indulge in such senseless worship; and I am not turning but to the Lord Most High therefore, you should follow me.”
All these means that the 27th Rajab was the day of formal Divine appointment of the Mercy to the Creation, who as we said earlier in this programme, says in one of his famous hadith: “I was the Prophet when Adam was still in the (uncreated) state between water and clay.”
Here the question may arise: Who was the first and foremost to bear testimony to the mission of the man who pronounced that article of monotheistic faith: “Ash-hado an la ilaha il-Allah (I testify there is no god but Allah)?”
The answer is obvious. It was his cousin and ward, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS), who witnessed the glorious event of Rajab 27 on Mount Noor and which he so admirably relates in sermon 191of the famous book “Nahj al-Balagha”:
“When the revelation descended on the Prophet of Allah, I heard the moan of Satan. I asked: O Prophet of Allah, what is this moan? He replied: This is Satan who has lost all hope of being worshipped. O Ali! You see all that I see and you hear all that I hear, except that you are not a Prophet, but you are a Vicegerent…”
Moreover, it was the then 10-year old Imam Ali’s testimony of the mission of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) which completed the kalema that every Muslim recites till this day: “Ash hado anna Muhammadan Rasoul-Allah (I testify Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah).”
No doubt, as mentioned in all authentic books of Hadith, including those of our Sunni brethren, the Prophet, at the gathering of Dhu’l-Ashira that followed Mab’ath for inviting Arabs to Islam, hailed his young cousin with the immortal words: “O Ali, you are my testamentary legatee, and my caliph.”
It is thus clear from all historical accounts as well as books of hadith, as well as study of human civilization that Islam is the culmination of all monotheistic messages revealed by God through different Prophets in various parts of the world. This means that after the passing away of the Prophet the universality of Islam will remain, and it is only the Ahl al-Bayt as the divinely-designated leaders, who are capable of guiding humanity by keeping alive the legacy of the past prophets as well, such as Moses, Jesus, etc.