Rabi al-Awwal, as most of us know, is the third month in the Islamic calendar. It is considered significant for a few reasons, some of them being our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was born during this month, as well as died during this month. During the month of Rabi al-Awwal was also when the Hijrah of the Prophet (SAW) occurred. While unlike other important months in Islam, there are no certain recommendations to pray or fast; but none the less this month is considered incredibly blessed.
One way to indulge ourselves in the blessings of this month is to take time to remind ourselves of the importance of loving the Prophet Muhammad (SAW). If there was ever a time to sit down and reflect on the Prophet's (SAW) place in our lives, this month is truly the best time. The best way to achieve this is to learn more about not only his life but also his character. As Muslims, our Prophet (SAW) is the best example for us to follow, and the best example of how we as Muslims should act in our personal life as well as when we interact with other people. Below I have highlighted some sunnah’s that are simple for us to begin to incorporate into our daily lives, myself included, as a starting point.
Smiling; it has been reported that the Prophet (SAW) was almost always seen smiling, Ibn Jaz reports: “I have not seen anyone who smiled more than the Messenger of Allah (SWT).” Much like most other things in Islam that are similar to proven scientific facts, smiling has been shown to increase the natural antidepressant hormone, serotonin causing one to be happier, so naturally while fulfilling the sunnah you are also consistently putting yourself in a positive mindset and attitude towards life as a whole. Smiling and positivity are also severely contagious so you will also be gaining endless amounts of blessing.
Maintaining the 1/3rd rule in eating: it is reported that the Prophet (SAW) said “A human being fills no worse vessel than his stomach. It is sufficient for a human being to eat a few mouthfuls to keep his spine straight. But if he must (fill it), then one-third of food, one third for drink and one third for air.” Essentially the hadith is pointing to the importance of eating a healthy amount without overstuffing oneself. As we are all aware, food has a significant effect on our body as well as our brain, and just as eating healthier foods is good for you, so is eating the right amount without overeating or even undereating.
Speaking good or keeping silent: it has been reported that the Prophet (SAW) said “He who believes in Allah and the Hereafter if he witnesses any matter he should talk in good terms about it or keep quiet.” In my mind, this hadith can be applied when you are sitting with friends chatting or if you find yourself in a situation with another individual, such as an argument. In both instances, it is important to be mindful of our tongue and remind ourselves that speaking ill of someone or towards someone is only hurting us. This hadith combined with another hadith “When the son of Adam wakes up, all of his body parts defer to the tongue and say: fear Allah concerning us, we are only part of you; if you are upright, then we are upright; but if you are crooked, then we are crooked.” goes to show that all parts of our body are connected to the tongue, therefore if only good comes out of it then good will come out of the rest of our body parts, and likewise with if negative things come out of our tongue than our body parts will follow.
Sitting when eating/drinking: it is narrated by Anas: “The Prophet (SAW) prohibited that a man should drink while standing.” (Qatadah said) So it was said: “And eating?” He (Anas) said: “That is worse.” This along with smiling, are two of the easiest sunnah to push ourselves to start following this Rabi al- Awwal. It is easy for us, myself included, to just stand and drink a quick couple of sips of water or even eat a quick snack. If we consciously remind ourselves to sit while doing either of these tasks, it will undoubtedly become a habit.
While this article may reach you near the end of Rabbi al-Awwal or even after it has passed, there is no specific time or month that we can only learn and practice e the sunnah of the Prophet (SAW). His practices and teachings can be learned at any time of year at any time. The most important part of learning more about the Prophet (SAW) and his teaching, is learning the proper way of treating not only others but also ourselves. While the Quran is a guideline for us to follow Islam, the hadiths are not only a guideline to be good Muslims but also just to be good people overall. Being kind to ourselves is just as important as being kind to others.
I am not a scholar or teacher by any means; this article is one I have written from my own point of view. If anything is incorrect I ask Allah for forgiveness.