Rabi’ al-awwal is the third month in the Islamic calendar. During this month, Muslims celebrate Mawlid – the birthday of our Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). The name Rabī‘ al-awwal means the first [month] or beginning of spring, referring to its position in the pre-Islamic Arabian calendar. Hence this is considered to be a very blessed month.
The righteous predecessors used to read the Shifa of Qadi Iyad in this month. Kitab Ash-Shifa bi ta’rif huquq al-Mustafa, (Healing by the recognition of the Rights of the Chosen One), of Qadi ‘Iyad is perhaps the most frequently used and commented upon handbook in which the Prophet’s (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) life, his qualities and his miracles are described in every detail. Generally known by its short title, Ash-Shifa, this work was so highly admired throughout the Muslim world that it soon acquired a sanctity of its own for it is said: “If Ash-Shifa is found in a house, this house will not suffer any harm… when a sick person reads it or it is recited to him, Allah will restore his health“.