June 23, 2024
Prophet Muhammad's Date of Birth
Many Companions of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) have reported that he lived 63 years. Let's compute the Prophet Muhammad's Date of Birth.

How can we compute Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) date of birth with accuracy? It is well established that Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) death was in Rabiul Awwal 11 AH and he lived 63 years. Many Companions of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) have reported that he lived 63 years. Let’s compute the Prophet Muhammad’s Date of Birth.

Computing the Years

Narrated Abdullah Ibn Abbas (May Allah be pleased with both of them):

Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) stayed in Mecca for thirteen years (after receiving the first Divine Inspiration) and died at the age of sixty-three. [Sahih al-Bukhari: H#3906]

Narrated Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her):

Allah’s Apostle (ﷺ) died when he was sixty-three years of age.

[Sahih al-Bukhari: H#4466]

Anas bin Malik (May Allah be pleased with both of him) reported that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) died when he was sixty-three years old, and so was the case with Abu Bakr, and so was the case with Umar (May Allah be pleased with both of them) who was also sixty-three (when he died).

[Sahih Muslim: H#2348]

Narrated Jabir [bin ‘Abdullah] (May Allah be pleased with both of him):

that he heard Mu’awiyah bin Abi Sufyan (May Allah be pleased with both of him) giving a Khutbah, saying: “The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) died when he was sixty-three years old, and so did Abu Bakr and Umar (May Allah be pleased with both of them), and I am sixty-three years old.”

[Jami` at-Tirmidhi: H#3653]

Abdullah ibn Abbas (May Allah be pleased with both of him) said: ‘Revelation was sent down to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) when he was forty years old. He then stayed in Mecca for thirteen years and was in Medina for ten years. He passed away at the age of sixty-three.'”

[Musannaf ibn Abi Shaybah: H#36544]

Solar Eclipse in the Last Year of Prophet’s Life

The solar eclipse during the last year of Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) life is a notable event recorded in Islamic history. This eclipse coincided with the death of the Prophet’s son, Ibrahim, and it prompted significant observations and teachings from the Prophet (peace be upon him) regarding natural phenomena and religious beliefs.

Narrated Al-Mughira bin Shu`ba (May Allah be pleased with both of him):

“The sun eclipsed in the lifetime of Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) on the day when (his son) Ibrahim died. So the people said that the sun had been eclipsed because of the death of Ibrahim. Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “The sun and the moon do not eclipse because of the death or life (i.e. birth) of someone. When you see the eclipse pray and invoke Allah.”

[Sahih al-Bukhari:H# 1043]

This solar eclipse occurred a few months before Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) death. This annular solar eclipse that was observed in Madina occurred on 27th January 632 CE. The aforementioned hadith confirms that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was alive when this happened. Early Muslim historians recorded that the Prophet’s son Ibrahim died in the 10th year of Hijrah (migration).

[Al-Muntazam bu Imam ibn al-Jawzi]

Computing the Months

Urwah ibn Zubair ibn al-Awwam and Imam Muhammad ibn Muslim ibn Shehab al-Zuhri (May Allah have mercy on both of them) narrated that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) breathed his last in Rabiul Awwal.

[Al-Muntazam by Imam ibn al-Jawzi]

Prophet Muhammad’s death being in Rabiul Awwal has also been recorded by Imam Muhammad ibn Ishaq in Al-Seerat al-Nabawiyyah bu Abdul Malik ibn Hisham. This month is generally agreed upon among Muslim historians and biographers.

Computing on Apps

We can use computer apps to calculate and compute the year of Prophet Muhammad’s birth. We use the Accurate Times app for chronological computations. When we go back 63 lunar years, the Rabiul Awwal falls on April-May 570 CE.

Computing the Day and Date

There are four major narrations about the date/day of Prophet Muhammad’s birth:

  1. 2nd Rabiul Awwal
  2. 8th Rabiul Awwal
  3. 10th Rabiul Awwal
  4. 12th Rabiul Awwal

[Al-Bidayah wal-Nihayah]

Imam Ibn Abi Shaybah (May Allah have mercy on him) narrated in his al-Musannaf from Jabir and Ibn Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him), who said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) was born in the Year of the Elephant on a Monday, the 12th of the month of Rabi’ al-Awwal. On this day, he was also appointed as a prophet, ascended to the heavens, migrated (to Medina), and passed away.

After quoting this narration from Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, Imam Ibn Kathir mentions in al-Bdayah wal-Nihayah:

This is the widely accepted view among the majority of scholars.”

Imam Sayeed ibn al-Musayyeb (May Allah have mercy on him) reported that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) died on Monday and was buried on Tuesday.

[Musannaf ibn Abi Shaybah: H#37041]

However, most historians, including Ibn Ishaq and Ibn Hisham, agree that the 12th of Rabiul Awwal is the date of birth of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Surprisingly the 12th Rabiul Awwal exactly coincides with Monday, the agreed-upon day of the Prophet’s birth, as reported in several authentic hadiths. So 12th Rabiul Awwal Milad al-Rasool, crresp[onds to the 5th May, 570 CE.

Interestingly, it was the time when the heliacal (near dawn) rising of the constellation al-Thurayya (Pleiades) occurred on the horizon of Makkah. The term “heliacal” comes from the Greek word for the sun, “Helios.” A heliacal rising refers to the first visible appearance of a star or star cluster in the dawn sky, just before sunrise, after a period of disappearance.

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