Salaam everybody, and heartiest congratulations to you all on the advent of the occasion that changed the destiny of the world.
Today is that joyous day when over a millennium and four centuries ago, the Archangel, Gabriel, descended by God’s command on Mount Noor on the outskirts of the then obscure town of Mecca in the Arabian Peninsula with the following divine message to the 40-year old person popularly known as as-Sadeq or the Truthful, and al-Amin or the Trustworthy:“Read in the Name of your Lord Who Created; Created man from a clot; Read and your Lord is Most Honourable; Who taught (to write) with the pen; Taught man what he knew not?”
The moment Archangel Gabriel brought these ayahs to the person whose light was the first thing created by God Almighty, Prophet Muhammad (SAWA), as calm and confident as ever, recited them as if he knew it more perfectly than the conveyor of the message.What transpired on the 27th of Rajab at Cave Hera, exactly 1447 lunar years ago, was that glorious moment which would change the destiny of the world.This was the start of the gradual revelation for the next 23 years of the holy Qur’an, which remains till this day as the Immortal Miracle of Islam.
It was indeed the dawn of the universal message of Islam. The message of monotheism that was conveyed to the various nations of the world in bits and parts by the previous prophets whose missions were time-bound and confined to particular geographical areas, was now being entrusted to the one who is undoubtedly the best of creation. It was now the duty of the 40-year-old Messenger of Mercy to not just expound it to the humanity of his era, but to entrust it to a line of trustees that never veer for a moment from the straight and unwavering path of God.No doubt, the Prophet had said in explicit terms: “I was the Prophet when Adam was still in the (uncreated) state between water and clay.”
To doubt the words of the person, whose truthfulness the Almighty verifies in the opening ayahs of Surah Najm by saying: "he neither errs, nor speaks out of desire, but it is revelation which is revealed," is outright blasphemy.
Doesn’t God also say in ayah 107 of Surah Anbiyain the holy Qur’an: "We have not sent him but as a Mercy to the creation?"
This is indeed food for thought, especially since Mab’athmeans resurgence. 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 Muhammad (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 Jahiliyyaor the Age of Ignorance.
Even a cursory glance at the civilizations we have mentioned, reveals that despite their pretensions to power and material progress, they sorely lacked such basic humanitarian fundamentals as monotheism or faith in the One and Only Creator; equality of all human beings without any distinction of colour, race, language, and class; social justice as the privilege of each and every individual including those adhering to other beliefs; women’s right 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; 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. Thus, when we mark Mab’ath every year we renew our allegiance to all such egalitarian principles that make a true Muslim and lead to the building of the real monolithic Islamic ummah, which Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) preached through practical demonstration and which the present Muslim world has largely neglected to its own detriment.
But was there any witness to the occurrence of Mab’ath, especially when we see the pagan Arabs trying to deny the mission of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), a denial that made God Almighty reveal ayah 43 of Surah Ra’d in the holy Qur’an:
“And those who disbelieve say: You have not been sent as Prophet. Say (O Mohammad): Allah is sufficient as a witness between me and you and he who has knowledge of the Book.”
This ayah is indicative of the fact that Divine Providence had made arrangement of the presence of a human being other than the Prophet during such a crucial occurrence. It is clear that God is not referring to an angel. We find the answer and discover the identity of the witness, when we read Sermon 191 of the Nahj al-Balagha where the cousin, ward, son-in-law and divinely-decreed vicegerent of the Prophet, who on the day of Dhu’l-Ashira had said: “Ash hadoannaMuhammadanRasoul-Allah (which means: I testify Mohammad is the Messenger of Allah),” informing us in clear words:
“When the revelation descended on the Prophet of Allah (SAWA), 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…”
That is the reason it is highly recommended to perform the ziyarah of the Gateway of the City of Knowledge on the Day of Mab’ath.