importance holy prophets s w birth
The importance of the Holy Prophet’s (s.w.a.) birth
The birth of the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) is important and very significant to Muslims for several reasons. The first reason is that the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) was born at a time when humanity – and not just a particular nation or the people of a particular country – enjoyed two major characteristics. One of the characteristics was that from scholarly and intellectual perspectives, the people of that era were far more advanced than the people who lived in previous eras. Philosophy had emerged and a number of scholars were living among them. There were great mathematicians, physicians and engineers among them. Civilizations had been built. Those civilizations could not have been built in the absence of knowledge. Academies in the west and in the east, the Chinese civilization, the Egyptian civilization and other great civilizations had already emerged in the world. That is to say, humanity had improved. This was one of the characteristics.
The second characteristic was that humanity had declined in terms of ethics, or we might say humanity was at the peak of decadence at that time. It is very strange that humanity had these two characteristics at the same time. Although the people of that era were knowledgeable, they were also suffering from extreme prejudice, superstitions, selfishness and oppression and from anti-human governments that used to kill their own people. This was the situation of the world. If you read history books, you will realize that the entire humanity had been enslaved at that time. As the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) says, “Through them Satan’s emblems were flown and his standard was raised in vices which trampled the people under their hoofs, and treaded upon them with their feet. The vices stood on their toes (in full stature) and the people immersed in them were strayed, perplexed, ignorant and seduced as though in a good house with bad neighbors. Instead of sleep they had wakefulness.” (1) The worst cases of fitna, pressure, tribulation and fratricide. Human beings were living in bitter conditions. “Instead of sleep they had wakefulness.” In this sermon, the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) says that the people could not even sleep well.
It is wrong to think that these problems were particular to the Arabian Peninsula. No, this is not the case. If you consider the case of the Roman Empire – namely, the cradle of civilization at that time – you will see that the same things existed there as well. Even in the Roman Empire – where it was claimed that there was democracy and the Senate – the people were suffering from certain forms of autocracy and corruption and if you read the history books which have been written about the conditions of the Roman Empire, you will feel ashamed in your heart. One feels ashamed that there was a time when humanity was suffering from that much decadence. The conditions of our ancient Iran were not better than Rome in this regard. The ancient Persians had power, swords, spears and brave warriors, but they were also suffering from extreme class distinctions, oppression, discrimination, corruption, bullying, ignorance and superstition. In such conditions, the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.), the Messenger of God, was born to save humanity.
It has been written in certain history books that the battlements of the Persian king’s castle collapsed and the icons of idolatry and polytheism were shaken in different corners of the world. If these historical sources are valid, it may be that they were signs of a show of divine power, a divine code that was used to announce the emergence of the power that would crush the foundations of oppression and corruption and would cleanse science of superstition and civilization of corruption and oppression. And this was what our honorable Prophet (s.w.a.) did. This was the world that the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) was faced with at the time of his be’that and through strenuous struggle, he liberated human beings from ignorance, from superstition, from corruption, from oppression, from destructive prejudices against one another, from bullying each other and from trying to dominate one another. Basically, he transformed the conditions of humanity. He created new conditions in the world. It is obvious that it was not the Holy Prophet’s (s.w.a.) responsibility to reform the world. No, his responsibility was to receive knowledge through divine revelations and to pass it on to human beings so that they use it in every moment of their lives. The discussion about who used this knowledge and who did not is a different issue. The important point is that the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) completed his mission before he passed away and joined the Creator.
1. Ibn Abi al-Hadid’s commentary on Nahjul Balaghah, Vol. 1, P. 136
Reference:Lessons from the Holy Prophet of Islam (s.w.a.) A selection of statements by Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei on the personality and be’that of the Holy Prophet of Islam (s.w.a.)