1) The month of Rabi’ Al Awwal, and the anniversary of the Prophet’s birthday (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) and Hijrah (migration).
2) Allah honored and blessed mankind by sending His Prophet, (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam), and by preserving His Book.
3) Loving the Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) is a condition of I’eemaan.
4) How the Sahabah (companions) loved the Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam).
5) Follow the Sunnah of the Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) and obey his commands is proof of loving him.
All praise be to Allah. I testify that there is no deity worthy of worship but Allah and that Muhammad (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) is His slave and Messenger. O you who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared. O Allah, bestow mercy and grant peace on Your slave Muhammad (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam), his family and his companions who followed his path.
What a great light that overwhelms the universe when hearts are engulfed in faith and virtue! When darkness fades away and vanishes from people's souls once they repent to Allah, understand His commands and teachings and respond to the call that guides them to the straightforward path!
These words coincide with a heavenly occasion that overshadows our lives and penetrates our souls that are almost controlled by disobedience and ingratitude. This occasion is the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam). His birth was clearly a great blessing and an unparalleled favor upon the whole world. This occasion also reminds us of the Prophet's (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) mission that was the glimpse of hope for the whole universe after a long dark night. It also reminds us of his emigration to Madinah which conveyed the "D`awah" from the stage of just calling people to embrace Islam to the actual application of the religion. The Muslim State was established in Madinah after the Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) had spent thirteen years in Makka, a period unprecedented in the history of humanity. It was a clear example of adhering to faith and belief and sticking to patience once a person is exposed to trials and tribulations which only served to increase his faith and submission to his Lord just as gold becomes brighter and softer when it is exposed to fire. Once the Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) reached Madinah, he started to build the model Muslim society with the help of the believers.
From this perspective, we remember the fragrant biography of the Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) which is a story of guidance and Jihad (struggle). It has been a model to be followed and evidence for shouldering the responsibility and bearing the consequences. His (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) life is a methodology of guidance from which only the foolhardy would deviate. It is a convincing proof that Islam is a mission of truth, straightforwardness and veracity of which the human being is made aware after having been lost in the midst of aimlessness. The Islamic mission directs the human being towards his natural disposition where he feels complete balance between his instincts, mentality, passions, yearnings of the heart, inclinations, wants and desires. It is enough for any mission to do so. Yet, Islam does more. It never tears apart a human being's natural disposition nor does it put extra weight on one aspect at the expense of another. Even more, Islam is keen to preserve dignity, honor and whatever leads to attaining true human character. Islam prepares its followers to shape history with confidence and self-assurance. It makes them realize their true position and status in the universe. It causes them to relate to Allah, the Almighty, to other people and to the whole universe on a basis of values and principles that provide for their happiness in this worldly life as well as the Hereafter.
Dear believers! Allah bestowed His grace on us twice. Firstly by revealing the Islamic mission to His selected Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) and making his biography a model to be followed and an expression of this mission. Secondly by preserving His Book (the Holy Qur'an) as it has been revealed without the least distortion. Allah also made it easy for some of His pious worshippers to preserve the Sunnah and biography of the Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam).
As Allah preserved His Holy Book and His righteous worshippers maintained its interpretation as established in the Prophet's Sunnah and biography, I seek refuge with Allah, for you as well as for myself, that our talk in the month of Rabi` Al-Awwal would not be just a source of enjoyment and entertainment, and not turn into an incidental talk immediately forgotten after the end of the Friday sermon or the end of the month. I seek refuge with Allah, for you as well as for myself, that this occasion would not be just like a flash in the pan or a warm passion that leads to innovation in religion as done by some ignorant people whose actions express their deviation and misunderstanding of the biography of the Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam). Such acts and misunderstanding are not in conformity with the deeds and characteristics of our Salaf (righteous ancestors).
When we think about Allah's revelation and the Sunnah of the Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam), our law and guide, we find that loving and believing in the Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) is part and parcel of faith.
Allah says which translates as: "But no, by thy Lord, they can have no (real) Faith, until they make thee judge in all disputes between them." (An-Nisa’: 65). The Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said: "None of you will be a believer until his inclinations and disposition are subservient to the Holy Qur'an and to what I have said”. He also said: "None of you will be a believer until I am to him more beloved than his family, money, children, and his soul."
We found no one more loving to the Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) than his Companions who are the best generation as Allah said about them which translates as: "You are the best of Peoples, evolved for mankind." (Aal-‘Imraan: 110).
The Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said: "The best generation is mine, and then those and that followed them and then those that followed them." We have good evidence of this in what Khubaib bin `Adi said when the polytheists took him for crucification after they had been treacherous to him.
The Companions' belief and love for the Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) was not shown in the form of a birthday celebration or a day held in memory of him, or a few days and nights spent in rembrance of him, his life history (Seerah) and traditions (Sunnah). No, the proof of their true love and belief in the Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) was in following his Sunnah as Allah says which translates as: "You have indeed in the Messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern (of conduct)." (Al-Ahzaab: 21).
He, the Almighty, also says which translates as: "Say thou: "This is my Way: I do invite unto Allah - on evidence clear as the seeing with one's eyes - I and whoever follows me. Glory to Allah! and never will I join gods with Allah!" (Aal-‘Imraan: 31).
O Believers, Allah, the Almighty, who sent Prophet Muhammad (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) and decreed that belief in His Oneness is parallel to the belief in Muhammad's mission. It is also Allah Who made Muhammad (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) the good example to be followed as set out clearly in the Holy Qur'an. How is this? The Prophet's life (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam), sayings, deeds, and dealings with life's daily affairs in the light of the Book revealed to him are all true expressions and practical examples of the divine mission.
It is a gross misunderstanding to restrict following the Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) to some acts of devotion and certain moral aspects, while following the example of other people in other aspects of life. It is a manifestation of a lack of gratitude for the Prophet's mission and the history of his (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) life to believe in some rulings and reject others. There is no separation between the Prophet's mission and the Prophet of Islam (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) himself who settled all affairs of this life as they should be and he (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) has even set a practical example for each Qur'anic verse.
Therefore, true celebration of the birthday of the Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) means that we should follow the very same path upon which he (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) trod calling people to believe in Allah. He (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) dedicated all his life to save humanity in its entirety.
Undoubtedly, the most distinguished period in our history was known for its enthusiasm for calling people to embrace Islam and following the methodology of Da`wah as revealed by Allah to His Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) .
Allah says which translates as: "Say ( O Muhammad Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) : this is my way: I do invite unto Allah, on evidence clear as the seeing with one's eyes, I and whoever follows me. Glory to Allah and never will I join gods with Allah." (Yusuf: 108).
O Allah, we reject this ingratitude shown towards the biography of our Prophet (Salla Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam). This biography is a responsibility appointed to this nation, especially to the rulers and intellectuals. Hereby I end my sermon and I ask forgiveness for you, all Muslims and for myself.
What a grace obtained by those who ask for forgiveness! Ask Allah for forgiveness, for He is All Forgiving and All Merciful.