Reflections on the Grand Day of Mab’ath
Heartiest felicitations to you all on one of the greatest days in the history of mankind. Today, the 27th of the month of Rajab is that glorious day in the pre-dawn hours of which the One and Only Creator of the entire universe formally entrusted the universal mission for the guidance and salvation of all humanity to His Last and Greatest Messenger, Prophet Mohammad (Blessings of God upon him and his progeny).
It is the day which is called as Ma’bath or resurgence of monotheism. It is the day which all the Prophets of the past had foretold. It is the day of the advent of Islam, which means peace, submission to none other than God and healthy way of life, which was the theme of the messages of prophets of yore around the world since creation, became the formal name of the universal mission of Prophet Mohammad (Blessings of God upon him and his progeny).
Before we present you a special programme on this auspicious day, here is ayah 157 of Surah al-A’raaf:
“Those who follow the Messenger-Prophet, the Ummi (not taught by any human), whose mention they find written with them in the Torah and the Evangel, who bids them to do what is right and forbids them from what is wrong, makes lawful to them all the good things and forbids them from all vicious things, and relieves them of their burdens and the shackles that were upon them —those who believe in him, honour him, and help him and follow the light that has been sent down with him, they are the felicitous.”
We are on the eve of the anniversary of one of the greatest days in the history of mankind. It is the day of the formal entrustment of the universal message of Islam by God Almighty to His Last and Greatest Messenger to mankind.
It is the day called Mab’ath, which literally means resurgence. It happened on Mount Noor at the Cave of Hera, outside Mecca on the 27th of Rajab, when Archangel Gabriel descended with the first rays of divine revelation to the 40-year old Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny):
Here are ayahs 1 to 7 of Surah Alaq, which set in motion the revelation of the entire Qur’an over the next 23 years as the final and most comprehensive heavenly scripture for the guidance and salvation of all human beings:
“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.”
The formal ordainment of the Prophet of Islam, occurred in the full limelight of recorded history, unlike the ordainment of the Prophets of the past, such as Jesus, Moses, Abraham, Noah, and the countless others whom the One and Only Creator had raised in different eras and different parts of the globe, with emphasis on preaching monotheism, virtue, social justice, and all humanitarian values, by desisting from idolatry, atheism, oppression, vices and indulgence in sins.
It was foretold in the Evangel, the Torah, and the previously revealed heavenly scriptures, as well as in the religious texts of the Zoroastrians, the Hindus, and others – parts of these prophecies are still preserved in spite of the tampering by interlopers that these books have gone through.
For instance, in Deuteronomy (chapter 18, verse15) we read the prophecy to 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 shew 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 instance, 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.”
In ayah 21 of Surah Ahzaab, God Almighty says:
“In the Prophet of Allah, certainly there is 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) was thus the finest example of a perfect man in every sense of the term. He was a paragon of virtue and the most Excellent Exemplar for the human race. The Almighty distinguished him from all others by instilling in his sublime personality such fine qualities as modesty, truthfulness, kindness, patience, loyalty, honesty, courage, bravery, generosity, magnanimity, wisdom and the like. By studying his lofty characteristics and the amazingly simple life that he led with his household, companions, wives and others, we are able to learn valuable lessons from his conduct and accordingly mould our own lifestyle.
Our society could never be an Islamic one unless we sincerely tread the footsteps of Allah's final Messenger to mankind, heed his sayings, and emulate his practice and behaviour (Sunnah & Seerah), as the faithful among his companions did.
This means to desist from whatever he has forbidden, and obey whatever he has bequeathed to us.
The most important point to note is that the event of Mab’ath took place in the presence of a witness, who has related it precisely in the most perfect manner in one of his flawlessly eloquent sermons which also inform us of the loud moan of Satan who became dismayed forever about the success of his deceit.
The witness was none other than the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS), who as a 10-year boy used to take food and clothing to his 40-year cousin on Mount Noor during the days of solitude the latter would spend at the Cave of Hera.
The person whom the Prophet, by the express commandment of God, formally proclaimed as Vicegerent on the plain of Ghadeer-Khom on 18th Zilhijja in 10 AH, 23 years after Mab’ath, says in sermon 191 of Nahj al-Balagha:
“When I was only a child he took charge of me… I used to follow him like a young camel following in the footprints of its mother. Every day he would show me some of his high traits and commanded me to follow it. Every year he used to go into seclusion to the Mount of Hera, where I saw him but no one else used to see him... I used to see and watch the effulgence of divine revelation and message, and breathe the scent of Prophethood.
“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…”
Now we know that adherence to the path of the Seal of Messengers is not complete unless the believers follow the footsteps of his divinely-decreed Heir, Imam Ali (AS), and the Eleven other Infallible Imams of his progeny – the Last of whom is in occultation by the Will of God, and will reappear in the end times as Mahdi al-Qa’em to establish the global government of peace, prosperity and justice by ridding the planet of all vestiges of corruption and oppression.
That is the reason we have been advised to perform the special Ziyarah of Imam Ali (AS) in Najaf on the Grand Day of Mab’ath, and if travel is not possible, to recite it by turning towards the direction of Najaf, from wherever we happen to be.