The First Night of Rabi al-Awwal
At the first night of Rabe al-Awwal, twelve years after the outset of his Divine Mission, the Holy Prophet migrated from Mecca to Medina. At this night, he hid in Cave Thawr. Imam Ali (A.S) sacrificed himself for the Holy Prophet (PBUH) at this night; when he spent the night in the place of the Holy Prophet so as to give the latter enough time to leave Mecca safely and to arrive at his destination. Imam Ali (A.S) challenged the polytheists who had plotted to assassinate the Holy Prophet (PBUH) by attacking him in his bed collectively. Thus, everybody confessed of Imam Ali's bravery and courage, as well as his love for and fraternity with the Holy Prophet (PBUH). Immortalizing this event, Almighty Allah revealed the following holy verse:
â€œAnd among men is he who sells himself to seek the pleasure of Allah; and Allah is Affectionate to the servants. (2/207)
The First Day of Rabi al-Awwal
Scholars maintain that it is recommended to observe fasting on this day to express gratitude to Almighty Allah for His marvelous favor of having saved the Holy Prophet and Imam Ali peace be upon them and their Household. It is also appropriate to visit their holy tombs on this day. In Iqbal al-Amail, Seyyed Ibn Tawos has mentioned a supplicatory prayer to be said on this day.
The Eighth of Rabi al-Awwal
On the eighth of Rabi al-Awwal AH 260, Imam Hassan Askari (A.S) departed life; and his son, the Patron of the Age, was appointed as the twelfth Imam. It is thus appropriate to recite the ziyarat of Imam Hassan Askari (A.S) on this day.
The Ninth of Rabi al-Awwal
The ninth of Rabi al-Awwal is a feast day, which is called Al-Baqr (Feast of Stabbing). The details are so lengthy; therefore, we will omit them, and they may be investigated in other books.
It has been narrated that to give alms on this day brings about forgiveness of sins. It has been also said that it is recommended, on this day, to offer food, give pleasure to one's brethren-in-faith, confer upon one's family members with gifts, new clothes, and all that they need, praise and thank Almighty Allah, and practice acts of worship to Him. This day, which is also a holy day, is thus the day of removing grievances and sorrows. As the past day was the day of Imam Hassan Askari's martyrdom, the ninth of Rabi al-Awwal is thus the first day in the Imamate of Imam Mahdi (A.S), may Allah hasten his advent. This is an additional point of happiness on this day.
The Twelfth of Rabi al-Awwal
According to the opinion of al-Kulayni and al-Masoudi, the Holy Prophet (PBUH) was born on the twelfth of Rabi` al-Awwal. This is also the unanimous opinion of the other Muslim sects. It is thus recommended to offer a two unit prayer with Surah al-Fatihah once and Surah al-Kafiron (No. 109) three times at the first unit, and Surah al- Fatihah once and Surah al-Tawhid three times at the second.
On this day too, the Holy Prophet (PBUH) entered the holy city of Medina after he had left Mecca.
Shaykh al Ghomi adds that on this day in AH 132, the Marwanid Dynasty perished.
The fourteenth of Rabi al-Awwal
On the fourteenth of Rabial-Awwal AH 64, Yazid ibn Muawiyah, the Umayyad tyrant, perished and, thus, hurried to join the lowest stage of Hellfire. According to the book of Akhbar al-Duwal, Yazid was infected by pleurisy. His dead body was thus moved to Damascus where he was buried in al-Bab al-Saghir. His grave is now a dunghill. He lived thirty-seven years and ruled for three years and nine months.
The Seventeenth Night of Rabi al-Awwal
The seventeenth night of Rabi al-Awwal is the night of blessing as (according to authoritative reports) it is the birth night of Khatem-ul-Mursaleen (seal of Prophets), father of Syeda-Tun-Nisa- ilaalameen (mistress of ladies of the worlds) Hazrat Fatima (A.S) and the grandfather of Shabab-e-Ahlil Jannah (Masters of the youths of heaven) Hazrat Imam Hassan and Hazrat Imam Hussein (A.S).
This is, as quoted Syed, also the night of Holy Prophet's accession(Shab-e-Meraj) about which Holy Quran said:
"Glory be to Him who made His Abd go by night from the sacred mosque (Masjid-al-Haram) to the Farthest Mosque (Masjid-al-Aqsa) whose precincts we have blessed ( surah bani Israel).
The Seventeenth Day of Rabi al-Awwal
The seventeenth day of Rabi al-Awwal is the birthday of the Holy Prophet,Muhammad ibn Abdullah may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and his Household. This is the famous opinion adopted by the Imamiyyah scholars. It is well-known that the Holy Prophet (PBUH) was born in Mecca, in his house, at the break of the morning of Friday in the year known as The Elephant Year during the reign of the Anushirwan, the fair king of Persia (also called Khosrow the Just). Also, on the seventeenth of Rabi al-Awwal, 83 A.H., Imam Jafar ibn Muhammad Sadiq (A.S) was born. This event has added further honour to this day.
Ritual (Amal) of the Seventeenth Day of Rabi al-Awwal
First: it is recommended to bathe oneself perform Ghusl on this day.
Second:: It is recommended to observe fasting on this day as it brings sawab of fasting for whole year and brings many rewards.
Third: It is recommended to visit the tomb of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) from near or remote distance.
Fourth: It is recommended to visit the tomb of Imam Ali Amir al-Muminin (A.S) .Recite the form of Ziyarat that Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S) taught to Muhammad ibn Muslim.
Fifth: It is recommended to offer, in the forenoon, a two unit prayer and to recite at each of which Surah al-Fatihah once and repeat Surah al-Qadr ten times and Surah al-Tawhid ten times.
After accomplished, it is recommended to sit in ones place of prayer and say the prayer that begins with the following statement: O Allah, verily You are Ever-living and You never die....(This lengthy prayer does not seem to be reported from any of the Holy Infallibles (A.S), yet, it is found in the book of Zad al-Maad.)
Sixth: Muslims are advised to honour this day; they may give alms, do righteous deeds, give pleasure to the brethren-in-faith, and visit the holy mausoleums. In Iqbal al-Amal, Sayyid Ibn Tawus has expatiated upon the necessity of honouring this day, saying, I noticed that Christians and some Muslims honour the birthday of Prophet Jesus (A.S) in a matchless, remarkable way. I thus wonder how those Muslims accept to honour the birthday of their Prophet (PBUH) in a way less than their honouring another Prophet!