The Day of Mab'ath, the Day of Destiny
By: Seyyed Ali Shahbaz
“I was the Prophet when Adam was still (in the uncreated state) between water and clay.” (Prophet Muhammad – SAWA)
To doubt the words of the person, whose truthfulness the Almighty verifies in the opening ayahs of Surah Najm by saying: "neither he errs, nor speaks out of desire, but it is revelation which is revealed," is outright blasphemy.
Then what is the significance of Rajab 27, the day we celebrate every year as Mab'ath or God's formal appointment of the 40-year Muhammad ibn Abdullah (SAWA) as the Last and Greatest Prophet to mankind? Does it mean a random or spontaneous decision by the Creator of the universe to confer the Divine Trust on some obscure person in a remote place like Mecca?
Such a thought is nothing but outright blasphemy regarding the All-Wise God, especially when we read in the holy Qur'an in Surah al-Maryam, Jesus' announcement of Prophethood, while still a mere infant in the cradle.
In other words, the Almighty Who created Adam and Eve out of clay and Who brought forth Jesus from the chaste womb of the Virgin Mary without the association of a male, had, before the creation of anything else, decided to make manifest His hidden power by fashioning the most-perfect ever form of creation that would be sent to guide humanity in the full limelight of history, rather than in an obscure time when humanity in view of its primitive nature needed messengers of less exalted station.
Thus Rajab 27 is indeed the formal appointment as the Last and Greatest Divine Messenger of the person whose light God had created as the first ever creation eons ago when nothing had yet come into existence.
The day of Mab'ath or resurgence of monotheism and moral values on Planet Earth is therefore food for thought, regarding the prime position in the hierarchy of creation of Prophet Muhammad (SAWA), whose light had passed through pure loins and equally chaste wombs.
A detailed account of the noble ancestors of Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) is outside the scope of this newspaper column. To be brief, his great grandfather Hazrat Hashem (AS) was considered the noblest figure of the Quraysh tribe – the chief subdivision of the Ishmaelite Arabs – for his outstanding characteristics. His generosity was proverbial to the extent that his table was always spread out, especially for the travellers, whether in times of abundance or in times of scarcity. The prime position of the Bani Hashem clan among all other Arabs is evident from the following hadith related by ‘Ayesha – one of the wives the Prophet married from a different clan, out of social necessity, during the last ten years of his life in Medina:
" The Messenger of Allah says: [Archangel] Gabriel told me: I turned over the easts and the wests of the earth but did not find anyone superior to Muhammad, then [again] I turned over the easts and the wests of the earth but did not find any clan superior to the Bani Hashem."
Twenty-three years after his formal appointment, while the holy Qur’an was gradually revealed as the last and most comprehensive code of behaviour for the entire human race, the Seal of Prophet left the mortal world for his heavenly abode, but not before ensuring the continuity of divine guidance by proclaiming on God’s command his equally immaculate cousin and son-in-law, Imam Ali (AS), as vicegerent at the historic halt at Ghadeer-Khum (18th Zilhijja), while returning to Medina from the farewell Hajj pilgrimage.
No wonder, the Prophet used to say; "I and Ali (AS) are (created) of the same light."
No wonder, on the day of Mab'ath there is a special ziyarah or standard form of salutation prescribed for Imam Ali (AS), who was present on Mount Noor on the 27th of Rajab, when God Almighty formally commanded the first ever creation to declare his mission as the Last and Greatest Prophet, with the universal message of Islam.