When Allah (SWT) created the heavens and the Earth, he divided the year into 12 months. In Surah At-Tawbah (The Repentance), Chapter 9, verse 36, Allah (SWT) says:
“Indeed, the number of months with Allah is twelve [lunar] months in the register of Allah [from] the day He created the heavens and the earth; of these, four are sacred. That is the correct religion, so do not wrong yourselves during them.”
What a miracle it is that the years have been divided as such since the beginning of creation, and shall remain so until the end of time. The Islamic lunar calendar has 4 sacred months. Allah (SWT) did not specify these months in the Quran, but related them to His Messenger, the Prophet Muhammad (SAW).
When the Prophet (SAW) arrived with his companions at Mina during the Farewell Pilgrimage (Hajjat Al-Wada’), he said, “…thus the time has turned in the way it was the day Allah (SWT) created the heavens and the Earth. The year is 12 months of which 4 are sacred, 3 are consecutive: Dhul-Qi’dah, Dhul-Hijjah and Muharram; and Rajab (mudra) is the one between Jumada II and Sha’ban.” These months are so special that Allah (SWT) said, “…so do not wrong yourselves during them.” It is for such reasons that one should pay special attention to these particular Islamic calendar months. Generally, Muslims are aware of the significance of months like Ramadan, Shawwal, Dhul Hijjah and, to some extent, Muharram. It is just as important to learn about the significance of all the Islamic months.
We are now in the month of Rabi II (Rabi the Second), or sometimes referred to as Rabi Al-Akhir, meaning “the Last Spring.” One major event that took place during this month, in the 8th year after Hijra, is the famous Battle of Hunayn. This battle is so significant because the Prophet (SAW) had “an unmatched army” of 12,000 soldiers under his command. In those days, it was unusual to have an army of such size, but their numerical strength eventually caused their defeat. The army prided themselves on the large number of their soldiers and ignored critical military tactics, the principles of war, and above all, the fact that victory comes only from Allah (SWT). They did not pay attention to these realities and assumed that only size mattered. In fact, numerical superiority proved to be of little importance. The Holy Quran itself notes this fact in Surah At-Tawbah (The Repentance) Chapter 9, verse 25 when Allah (SWT) says,
“Allah has already given you victory in many regions and [even] on the day of Hunayn, when your great number pleased you, but it did not avail you at all, and the earth was confining for you with its vastness; then you turned back, fleeing.”
In addition to the battle of Hunayn, it is also important to note that two other extremely influential and learned men passed away during this month: Shaykh Abdul Qadir Al-Jilani and Imam Qurtubi.
Our dear brother Shaykh Mohammad Zahid, one of the pioneers of the Muslim community in Canada, has a well-researched series about the important events in every Islamic lunar calendar month. In his piece on Rabi II, he narrated the story of the famous Sunni and Hanbali Shaykh, Abdul Qadir Al-Jilani, may Allah (SWT) be pleased with him. Many Muslims around the world relate and follow Shaykh al-Jilani’s tariqa (order). In almost every city, town, or village in my own country, the Sudan, and throughout Africa, he commands a great following. What people do not know about Shaykh Al-Jilani is that he is a descendant of Al-Hasan ibn Ali (the grandson of the Prophet SAW) and a well-established scholar of the Hanbali school of thought.
Rabi II also marked the death of Imam Qurtubi, the well-known Mufassir of the Quran and scholar of hadith who is very famous for his in-depth tafseer of the Holy Book.
Such events are very significant for us to remember and reflect upon, especially those which are recorded in the Quran. It is equally as important to study and research all the Islamic months and the numerous significant events that have taken place in them.