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THE JOURNEY OF A LIFETIME WITH

PROPHET MUHAMMAD , THE PROPHET OF ALLAH

or

The Millennium Biography of Prophet Muhammad

by

Khadeijah A. Stephens (Khadeijah Abdullah Darwish)

Khadeijah Abdullah Darwish

Siti Nadriyah (Indonesian)

Mardiyah (Javanese)

 

Copyright © 1984-2014 Allah.com Muhammad.com. All rights reserved.

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How lost am I, much less most Muslims in the west, who have no access to such knowledge. Rather they have only paltry ideas most of which were invented by others and devoid of all pertinence and often designed to mislead. Please enjoy this straightforward Bio (seerah) from the beginning.

Ryan O’Maellie

Denver, Colorado, USA

 

Indeed, I enjoyed reading this great breath taking research on the Prophet by the Darwish family, which is by far more fascinating and greater work than that of Muhammad Husayn Haykal and Martin Lings. I think it is quit fair to say that the "Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources" by Martin Lings lost its status being acclaimed worldwide as the definitive biography of the prophet in the English language to the work of Anne and Ahmed.

Prof. Hasan Alfatih Qaribullah

President, Umm Durman Islamic University

Sudan

 

Allah is the Arabic word for the Creator

Islam is the Arabic word for submission to Allah

Arabic means "Allah praises and gives peace upon the Prophet"

and said as (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam)

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

Preface Heraclius and you

Introduction Principals of Islam

Chapter 1 Prophet Abraham and the First House of Allah on Earth

Chapter 2 The New Governors of Mecca

Chapter 3 Hashim

Chapter 4 Abd Al Muttalib

Chapter 5 The Vow

Chapter 6 The Marriage of Abdullah to Aminah, the Parents of Prophet Muhammad

Chapter 7 The Memorable Year of the Elephant

Chapter 8 The Birth of the Last Prophet of Allah, the Sealing of the Prophethood

Chapter 9 Life in the Desert

Chapter 10 A New Life in Mecca

Chapter 11 The Early Years

Chapter 12 Marriage

Chapter 13 Zayd

Chapter 14 Ka’bah

Chapter 15 Ali, son of Abu Talib

Chapter 16 The Prophethood

Chapter 17 The Revelation, Rank of the Prophets, Messengers and the Arch Angel Gabriel

Chapter 18 The Miraculous Koran

Chapter 19 The Early Revelations

Chapter 20 The First to Believe

Chapter 21 The Characteristics of the Early Muslims

Chapter 22 The Hierarchy of the Koraysh

Chapter 23 The Command to Preach

Chapter 24 The Koraysh and Abu Talib

Chapter 25 Tufayl from Yemen

Chapter 26 Pre-Islamic Conditions in Yathrib

Chapter 27 Unrest in Mecca

Chapter 28 An Attempt to Bribe

Chapter 29 An-Nadr, the son of Al Harith

Chapter 30 Persecution

Chapter 31 The Eavesdroppers

Chapter 32 Waleed, Chief of the Makhzum

Chapter 33 The Splitting of the Moon

Chapter 34 Idolatry Through Lack of Divine Guidance – the Conversion of Omar, son of Khattab

Chapter 35 The Companions Migrate to Abyssinia

Chapter 36 The Delegation from Abyssinia

Chapter 37 The Boycott

Chapter 38 The Cessation of the Boycott

Chapter 39 The Year of Sorrow

Chapter 40 The Successor to the tribe of Hashim

Chapter 41 The Journey to Ta’if

Chapter 42 Abu Bakr and Talha

Chapter 43 The Companions Approach to their Persecution

Chapter 44 The Vision

Chapter 45 The Message and the Tribes

Chapter 46 The Night Journey and the Ascent

Chapter 47 The Six Men from the Tribes of Khazraj and Aws of Yathrib

Chapter 48 Madinat Al Nabi, the City of the Prophet

Chapter 49 Satan the Visitor from Najd

Chapter 50 The Koraysh Attempt to Kill the Prophet

Chapter 51 The Migration

Chapter 52 A Time for Readjustment

Chapter 53 The Code of Islamic Brotherhood

Chapter 54 The Jews of Medina

Chapter 55 The Death of Two Companions and Two Adversaries and the First born in Medina

Chapter 56 A Threat from Mecca

Chapter 57 The Second Year after the Migration

Chapter 58 Prelude to the Encounter at Badr

Chapter 59 The Encounter at Badr

Chapter 60 The Revenge of Bilal and the Persecuted

Chapter 61 The Spoils of War

Chapter 62 The Death of Lady Rukiyah

Chapter 63 The Arrival of the Prisoners

Chapter 64 The Return of the Koraysh

Chapter 65 The Three Resolutions

Chapter 66 The Engagement and Marriage of Lady Fatima

Chapter 67 "When you are touched with good fortune, they grieve."

Chapter 68 The Market Place of the Tribe of Kaynuka

Chapter 69 The Oath of Abu Sufyan and the Incident of Sawiq

Chapter 70 Lady Hafsah, daughter of Omar

Chapter 71 The Request of Lady Fatima

Chapter 72 The Caravan en-route to Iraq

Chapter 73 The Prelude to the Encounter at Uhud

Chapter 74 The Letter

Chapter 75 The Encounter at Uhud

Chapter 76 The Prophet’s Return to Medina

Chapter 77 The Day After Uhud

Chapter 78 Revelations Concerning Uhud

Chapter 79 Lady Zaynab, daughter of Khuzaimah

Chapter 80 A Plot to Murder the Prophet

Chapter 81 The Tribe of An-Nadir Declare War

Chapter 82 The Death of Lady Zaynab

Chapter 83 The Tribe of Asad, Khuzaimah’s son

Chapter 84 Abdullah, Chief of Lehyan

Chapter 85 The Second Meeting at Badr

Chapter 86 The Fifth Year

Chapter 87 Salman of Persia

Chapter 88 A Pattern of Life Emerges

Chapter 89 Lady Zaynab, Daughter of Jahsh

Chapter 90 The Revenge of the Tribe of An-Nadir

Chapter 91 The Koraysh Prepare for the Attack

Chapter 92 The Encounter at the Trench

Chapter 93 The Aftermath

Chapter 94 The Death of Sa’ad Mu’adhs son

Chapter 95 The Koraysh Caravan

Chapter 96 The Tribe of Mustalik

Chapter 97 The Necklace of Lady Ayesha

Chapter 98 The Vicious Lie

Chapter 99 The Mustalik Spoils of War

Chapter 100 The Prelude to the Opening of Mecca

Chapter 101 The Treaty of Hudaybiyah

Chapter 102 The Escapees from Mecca

Chapter 103 The Waiving of the Clause

Chapter 104 The Blowers upon Knots

Chapter 105 A Time for Sadness, A Time for Rejoicing

Chapter 106 The Marriage between the Prophet and Lady Umm Habibah

Chapter 107 The Jews of Khaybar

Chapter 108 The March to Khaybar

Chapter 109 The Events of Khaybar

Chapter 110 Lady Safiya, Daughter of Huyay

Chapter 111 The Victorious Arrival

Chapter 112 The Prophet’s Letters to the Rulers

Chapter 113 The Tribes of Hawazin and Ghatfan

Chapter 114 The Trial of Wealth

Chapter 115 The Arrival of the Gifts from the Muqawqas, Primate of the Christian, Coptic Church in Egypt

Chapter 116 Umrah – The Lesser Pilgrimage

Chapter 117 The Dispute that Arose from Loving Care

Chapter 118 The Turner of Hearts

Chapter 119 The Eighth Year

Chapter 120 The Syrian Border Tribes

Chapter 121 The Tribes of Bakr and Khuzah

Chapter 122 The Road to Mecca

Chapter 123 The Peaceful Opening of Mecca

Chapter 124 The Encounter at Hunain

Chapter 125 The Spoils of War

Chapter 126 The Return Journey to Medina

Chapter 127 The Birth of the Prophet’s son

Chapter 128 The Aftermath of Hunain

Chapter 129 Tabuk, Rajah 9H

Chapter 130 The Return from Tabuk

Chapter 131 The Delegation from Ta’if

Chapter 132 The Year of Deputations

Chapter 133 The First Pilgrimage after the Opening of Mecca

Chapter 134 Life in Medina

Chapter 135 The Death of Abraham, son of the Prophet

Chapter 136 The Protection of the Koran

Chapter 137 The Farewell Pilgrimage

Chapter 138 The Return from Yemen

Chapter 139 The Death of the Prophet

 

 

APPENDIX

Notes of the prophetic Homestead – his Genealogy and description

"The Poem of the Cloak" by Imam Busairi

Poem "Visitation to the Prophet's Tomb".

 

@PREFACE

YOU, DEAR READER AND HERACLIUS, EMPEROR OF ROME

HAVE SOMETHING IN COMMON

 

The authors were unable to find a more eloquent preface to this biography than a letter sent by the Prophet to his contemporary the Emperor of Rome, Heraclius. In reply, Heraclius commenced an imperial investigative effort to cross examine the current claim of prophethood.

 

In the year Prophet Muhammad was born and sixty years after his birth four significant regional events occurred in which Mecca and Jerusalem were their center point.

 

The first event to occur was the failed attempt by the Christians of Yemen and Abyssinia (now Ethiopia) to destroy the Ka’bah with elephants. This event occurred five years before Heraclius’ birth.

 

The second event that occurred before Heraclius was proclaimed Emperor of Rome was that the fire-worshiping Persians amassed a large army and destroyed Jerusalem.

 

The third event occurred when Heraclius revenged the destruction of Jerusalem by engaging the Persian army, thereby preventing the might of Persia striking against Mecca. This event is recorded in the Koran. When Abu Bakr was confronted by the idol worshipers of Mecca he described Heraclius and his army as "our brethren in faith."

 

The fourth event was that Heraclius was personally inspired by Prophet Muhammad, praise and peace be upon him. He believed in the Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, and all the signs that led to his prophethood. Heraclius’ strategy was two fold; he prevented the Roman Empire from striking against Mecca and by doing so guaranteed the followers of the Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, could take his empire later on without raising a single sword against either the Prophet, praise and peace be upon him, or Abu Bakr.

 

It is noticeable that western historians shie away from documenting the last ten years of Heraclius' life because it would lead people to believing in the prophethood of Muhammad. These historical facts are well documented in Islamic archiving, but not western archives.

 

In the year 610 CE, Heraclius succeeded Phocas as Emperor of Rome. Heraclius’ empire flourished and extended as far west as the river Danube in Europe, and included all the countries on the Mediterranean coast. It also included many of the Arab countries surrounding Arabia as well as the Balkans of which Turkey with its famed city Constantinople (named after the Roman Emperor Constantine) was a jewel in the crown of the Roman Empire.

 

In 616 CE Prophet Muhammad, (salla Allahu alihi was sallam), sent his messenger, Dihyah Al Kalbi, with a letter to Heraclius inviting him to Islam.

 

Before Dihyah arrived with the invitation from the Prophet, (salla Allahu alihi was sallam), Heraclius had a very clear dream, a vision that he could not dismiss. In the vision he was told that a prophet had appeared among those who were circumcised. Heraclius was pious and aware of Jesus' prophecy that a new prophet would be sent, "And when Jesus, the son of Mary said, 'Children of Israel, I am sent to you by Allah to affirm the Torah that was before me, and to give news of a Messenger (Prophet Muhammad) who will come after me’" (Koran 61:6). Heraclius asked those close to him if they knew of any who practiced circumcision but they replied the only ones they knew were the Jews.

 

Now that he had received the letter from the Prophet, (salla Allahu alihi was sallam), Heraclius was indeed anxious to read it:

 

@PROPHET MUHAMMAD’S LETTER TO HERACLIUS

In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Most Merciful.

From: The Messenger of Allah

To: Heraclius, the greatest of Romans

"Peace be upon those who follow Divine Guidance.

I therefore, invite you to embrace Islam. Surrender to Allah and live in peace.

Allah will doubly reward you, but if you turn away, the sin of the 'Arisiyin

(those under Heraclius' domain) will rest upon you." Then he quoted the Koran:

 

'Say: People of the Book! (Jews, Nazarenes and Christians)

Let us come to a common word between us and you,

that we will worship none except Allah, that we will associate none with Him,

and that none of us take others for lords beside Allah.’

If they turn away, say, ‘Bear witness that we are Muslims.’ Koran 3:64

 

Having read the letter, Heraclius inquired of Dihyah whether it was customary for the Prophet, (salla Allahu alihi was sallam), and the Muslims to practice circumcision, whereupon he replied in the affirmative and Heraclius confided that he believed. Before Dihyah set out upon his return journey Dihyah received a handsome personal gift from Heraclius as a token of his gratitude and appreciation.

 

The vision and now the letter had such a great impact on Heraclius that he dispatched a letter to his friend who was also knowledgeable of the scriptures telling him the news. His friend replied saying he was in agreement with Heraclius' conclusion that a prophet had indeed been sent.

 

@THE IMPERIAL, INVESTIGATIVE CROSS EXAMINATION OF THE PROPHETHOOD

A peace treaty was in effect between the Prophet, (salla Allahu alihi was sallam), and the hostile tribe of Koraysh. Abu Sufyan, its chieftain who was also one of the most bitter enemies of Islam at that time, knew that on account of the peace treaty he could rely upon the safe passage of his caravan to trade in far away Syria (Ash-Sham) which was part of the Roman Empire so he and his companions set out upon their trading mission.

 

When Heraclius learned that a Koraysh caravan from Mecca was now in the vicinity, he sent a rider with a message to the caravaners saying he wished them to accompany his rider back to his fortress so that he may speak with them.

 

As Abu Sufyan and his caravan journeyed to Heraclius' fortress, he wondered why the Emperor of Rome had sent for him but he didn't have to wait long. As soon as they reached the fortress Abu Sufyan and his companions were presented to Heraclius who was in his upper gallery above the courtyard out of earshot of the patriarchs of the church and his generals.

 

Heraclius asked Abu Sufyan and his companions who amongst them was closest to the Prophet, (salla Allahu alihi was sallam), in kinship. Abu Sufyan replied that it was he and informed him that the Prophet, (salla Allahu alihi was sallam), hailed from a noble lineage. Then, Heraclius turned to his companions and said, "If he says something you know to be contradictory, you must speak."

 

Heraclius' questions were direct. He asked Abu Sufyan if any of his tribe had ever before claimed to be a prophet whereupon Abu Sufyan replied that none had. Then he asked if any of his ancestors had been a king and Abu Sufyan replied that they had not. Heraclius was interested to know what kind of people followed the Prophet, (salla Allahu alihi was sallam), and if their numbers were increasing or decreasing. Abu Sufyan replied that they were poor people and their numbers were increasing. Then, Heraclius asked if he knew of anyone of his followers had reverted to their old religion, and Abu Sufyan replied that he knew of none.

 

Referring to the Prophet's character, Heraclius asked Abu Sufyan if he had ever known the Prophet, (salla Allahu alihi was sallam), to lie, or if he had ever betrayed or broken his word, whereupon Abu Sufyan replied no to all counts. Then, referring to the latter, Abu Sufyan commented in a tone of resentment, "We have a treaty with him, but we do not know what he will do."

 

Heraclius next asked if they had ever fought against the Prophet, (salla Allahu alihi was sallam), and if so to tell him about the outcome. Abu Sufyan replied that they had fought; sometimes they had been victorious and upon other occasions victory belonged to the Prophet, (salla Allahu alihi was sallam).

 

Then Heraclius inquired about his teachings whereupon Abu Sufyan told him that the Prophet, (salla Allahu alihi was sallam), ordered his followers to worship Allah alone and not to associate anything or anyone with Him, and to renounce the idols their forefathers had worshipped. Abu Sufyan continued to tell him that the Prophet, (salla Allahu alihi was sallam), also ordered them to pray, not to lie, to be chaste, and to foster kindred relationships.

 

@THE WITNESSING TO THE AUTHENTICITY OF PROPHET MUHAMMAD, (SALLA ALLAHU ALIHI WAS SALLAM)

From these answers Heraclius confirmed his opinion of the Prophet, (salla Allahu alihi was sallam), saying, "All the prophets came from noble families, I asked you if anyone before him from your tribe claimed to be a prophet and your reply was no. If your reply had affirmed it then I would have deduced he was mimicking that man. I asked if any of your ancestors had been a king, you replied they had not. If your answer had been otherwise I would have assumed he wanted to reclaim his ancestral kingdom. When I asked if he lied, you replied he did not, so I wondered how a person who does not lie could ever tell a lie about Allah.

 

I also asked you about his followers, whether they were rich or poor and you replied they were poor -- the followers of all the prophets were poor. When I asked if his followers were increasing or decreasing, you replied increasing; this is the course of true belief. Then, I asked if there was anyone who, after embracing Islam recanted. You replied that you knew of none; this is another sign of belief as it enters the heart.

 

When I asked you if he had ever been known to betray, you replied that he had not; this is the way of all prophets. Then I asked you what he ordered his followers to do, and you told me that he orders that Allah alone is to be worshipped, and forbade the worship of idols. Then you told me that he orders you to pray, speak the truth, and to be chaste. If what you say is true, he will, soon own the place of these two feet of mine." Then Heraclius told Abu Sufyan, "I knew he was about to appear, but did not know he would be from you. If I were able to reach him, I would not mind the hardship (of travel) so that I could meet him, and if I were by him, I would wash his feet" (Bukhari) - this was the way in which Prophet Jesus was honored by his disciples.

 

@HERACLIUS ORDERS THE LETTER TO BE READ TO HIS GENERALS AND THE PATRIARCHS OF THE CHURCH

From the safety of his upper gallery, Heraclius gave instructions for Prophet Muhammad’s letter to be read out aloud to the patriarchs of the church and his generals assembled in the courtyard below. There was an immediate outcry from the floor as they all rushed towards the gates of the fortress to get out. However, Heraclius had anticipated the possibility of a negative response and had previously given the order that all the gates of the fortress be locked, so when the angry generals and patriarchs tried to leave they could not. Heraclius, having rightly assessed their opposition to the Prophet, (salla Allahu alihi was sallam), now called them back and convinced them saying, "What I just said to you was said to test your conviction, and I have seen it." The assembly was overcome with relief and expressed themselves vigorously, shouting out Heraclius’ praise that rang throughout the fortress – they had accepted Heraclius statement, their fear allayed and calm was restored. Thereafter, Abu Sufyan and his companions were hastily escorted out of the fortress.

 

As soon as they were able to pull themselves together Abu Sufyan told his companions, "Muhammad has become so prominent that even the king of the light-skinned Byzantine people is afraid of him!" and Abu Sufyan knew in his heart it would not be long until the Prophet, (salla Allahu alihi was sallam), would be widely accepted and believed.

 

Abu Sufyan was a proud man and his reputation mattered greatly to him. He was heard to say in the years to come, "By Allah, if it were not for the fact that I would have been ashamed that my companions would label me as a liar, I would not have told the truth."

 

In the years that followed after Abu Sufyan’ conversion, his son became the first Muslim Governor of Syria.

 

@HERACLIUS’ INNER FEELINGS

After Heraclius had interviewed Abu Sufyan and expressed his analyses, it becomes evident that Heraclius expected and had awaited the coming of a new prophet. It is also evident that it was not Heraclius who was averse to Prophet Muhammad, (salla Allahu alihi was sallam), rather it was the patriarchs of the church and his generals who opposed the Prophet, (salla Allahu alihi was sallam). Heraclius was wise, he knew that if he revealed his inner feelings he would be overthrown, and his successor would be someone who would rise up in opposition to the Muslims.

 

Despite the fact the Roman legions were extremely powerful Heraclius never took up arms against the Prophet, (salla Allahu alihi was sallam). Rather, Heraclius concentrated upon engaging the Persians and in doing so deflected the pagan Persian army - who might well have posed a threat to the Muslims - as they had already destroyed Jerusalem, the Holy Land of Prophets Abraham and Jesus.

 

In addition, Abyssinia was at that time a Christian country under the protectorate of Rome, and when its Negus embraced Islam and declined to send the tax due to the Rome Empire, Heraclius neither took action nor opposed him, which is not the disposition of a powerful person opposed to the Prophet, (salla Allahu alihi was sallam).

 

@HERACLIUS ISSUES ORDERS NOT TO FIGHT THE PROPHET, (SALLA ALLAHU ALIHI WAS SALLAM)

When the Prophet, (salla Allahu alihi was sallam), sent an invitation to Islam to Harith, the Arab King of Ghassan, whose family had governed Syria for many centuries under the protectorate of the Roman Empire, Harith was infuriated and refused the invitation.

 

Harith was so incensed by the letter he wanted to take up arms against the Prophet, (salla Allahu alihi was sallam), and march upon him in Medina. Harith sent his messenger to Heraclius asking him to join with him and wage of war against the Messenger of Allah, (salla Allahu alihi was sallam). Heraclius declined, and ordered Harith not to take up arms and Harith did not proceed any further.

 

@A COMMON MISCONCEPTION

It is a common misconception that all Romans referred to in Islamic literature were actually Romans. Some citizens classified as Romans were Arabs, others Byzantine and so on. These nationalities were in fact a protectorate of the Rome Empire in which they came under the wing of Rome but left to govern themself, although subject to Roman taxation.

 

Among the conditions between the Roman Empire and their protectorates was that they owed allegiance to Rome, but this did not make them Romans. The protectorates continued to maintain their own identity, although from an on-lookers point of view because they were under the protectorate of Rome they were mistakenly classified as being Romans.

 

When it came to the Arab role in the protectorate, it was for the most part, to suppress Bedouin uprisings such as those of the Najd, which had throughout the history of the Arabs, been the hub of lawlessness.

 

The Arab role was also to support the Romans against the Persians when called upon. When, for some tribalistic reason, the Arabs proposed to initiate a war against their personal enemy they would often use scare tactics claiming the Roman legions would lend them their support and fight alongside with them. However, this was not always the case. If there wasn’t a threat to the Roman Empire, the Romans would not respond, but on the other hand, if the Arabs wished to continue upon their warpath, the Roman Empire did not interfere. With this understanding, it becomes apparent that when Khalid went to fight against the two-thousand warriors they were not Romans but Arab tribes under the protectorate of the Rome Empire. One should also realize that Heraclius was at that time in the same vicinity as Khalid with his two hundred thousand victorious warriors, and could easily have attacked Khalid, but it was Heraclius’ policy to leave the Arabs to deal with themselves.

 

@A COMMON MISCONCEPTION ABOUT AL-SHAM

Islamic literature often refers to the country "Al Sham" which has often been thought of as being Syria, in which the modern day-borders of Syria are triggered in one’s mind. However, in the time of the Prophet, (salla Allahu alihi was sallam), it must be understood that Al Sham was a conglomerate of several countries known to us today as Syria, Jordan, Palestine and Iraq under the protectorate of Rome, and extended far beyond the Syria we know today.

 

The first generation of Arabs to settle in Syria came from various tribes several centuries before the advent of Prophet Jesus. The most powerful and influential tribe was that of the children of Dajam who took the leadership and appointed among themselves a monarchy within the protectorate of the Roman Empire. This era of monarchy lasted until the first century after Jesus. It was during that time Al Ghassan arrived and succeeded to overthrow the existing monarchy and claimed the monarchy for himself. It was the practice of the Romans that when an Arab tribe was victorious over another Arab tribe appointed by the Romans, Rome would acknowledge the victor with the appointment of leadership because they needed their partner to be strong.

 

Al Ghassan became king under the Roman protectorate and established his capital city in Basra. These circumstances and policies remained intact until thirteen years after the migration of the Prophet, (salla Allahu alihi was sallam), when, in the caliphate of Omar, Jabalah, the last of the Ghassanite kings converted to Islam.

 

@HISTORICAL DATA

AC:

The Christian calendar commenced from the year in which Allah protected Jesus from being crucified and took him to the second heaven and is a solar orientated year and referred to as AC (After Christ).

 

H:

The Muslim calendar commenced at the period referred to as H (Hijri, migration) which is the lunar year in which the Prophet migrated from Mecca to Medina. 1H corresponds to 624AC.

 

571 AC – 634 AC, 11H

Prophet Muhammad, (salla Allahu alihi was sallam), the last of the Prophets and Messengers was born in the year 571 AC and died 11H - 634 AC.

 

575 AC – 641 AC:

Heraclius, Emperor of Rome was born 575 AC and died 641AC.

Heraclius was born 5 years after the birth of Prophet Muhammad and died 7 years after him.

 

610 AC:

It was in 610 AC - which was 13 years before Hijri – Allah sent Gabriel to Muhammad, who became the last Messenger of Allah, (salla Allahu alihi was sallam), for all peoples of the world. It was also the same year in which Heraclius became Emperor of Rome.

 

Heraclius was well educated in both secular and religious affairs and a man of high moral standing. He brought about reforms that removed corruption, made alliances with neighboring nations, and improved the welfare of his people.

 

629 AC (6H):

In 629 AC (6H) Prophet Muhammad, (salla Allahu alihi was sallam), sent a letter to Heraclius inviting him to Islam, and addressed him with the title, "The Greatest of Romans." It is well documented in Islamic literature that Heraclius privately welcomed the letter of the Prophet, (salla Allahu alihi was sallam), and also bore witness that Muhammad was indeed a prophet and that he said, "If I were to meet him, I will wash his feet with water." This is the exactly the practice of the disciples of Jesus; it was an outward sign of submission to their prophet.

 

630 AC (7H and 8H):

During these years, Heraclius fought against the pagan Persians and the Koranic revelation was fulfilled. This victory was the flagship of Heraclius' reign. In order to defeat the Persians Heraclius had worked diligently architecting a great, successful strategy against the ruthless pagans. Heraclius had a deep conviction that good ethics and faith in the heaven would bring about a successful conclusion to his undertakings. Early on in his reign, Heraclius had eliminated corruption, then established peaceful, social contracts among people, and later skillfully allied his Empire to the various nationalities bordering Persia, amongst whom were Arabs. To finance the long-term war against the Persians he had also issued bonds.

 

631 AC (8H):

In 631 AC, (8H) the Prophet, (salla Allahu alihi was sallam), opened Mecca, which was three years before his death.

 

632 AC (9H):

When the Arab governor of Tabuk who was an ally of the Romans, proclaimed his intent to fight against the Muslims, he called upon Heraclius to help him achieve his aim. His request was denied. Consequently, when the Prophet, (salla Allahu alihi was sallam), reached Tabuk there was no engagement whereupon he returned to Medina.

 

634 AC – (11H):

Prophet Muhammad, (salla Allahu alihi was sallam), passed away.

 

Heraclius never raised a sword against the Muslims, and kept his sons and the elite Roman legions close to him. The Roman protectorate of Syria fell to the Muslims. Heraclius went to Jerusalem and took away from the city what was considered by the Christians to be the "true cross".

 

It was only shortly before Heraclius' death, when he was ill, that his youngest son became involved in a skirmish in Northern Syria and was subsequently crushed.

 

The Roman army was comprised of several disintegrating legions, each representative of their own country of origin, for example that of the Byzantines in Northern Syria.

 

From a historical viewpoint, there were conflicts between Muslims and unbelieving Arabs, and the Byzantines in Syria and the Copts in Egypt. However, historians fell into the error of recording and classifying all the legions as being Romans, whereas it was not the actual Romans themselves who were the participants they were countries under the Roman protectorate.

 

As we mentioned before, Heraclius did not take up arms against the Prophet, (salla Allahu alihi was sallam).

 

634 – 636 AC:

Caliphate of Abu Bakr

 

636 AC:

Abu Bakr died

 

Heraclius was an extremely powerful Emperor and might easily caused hardship to the rising Muslim army. It is noticeable that during the very sensitive time after the death of the Prophet, (salla Allahu alihi was sallam), Heraclius did not raise a sword against the Muslims who were conquering many of the lands governed by Rome, even though Heraclius had the capability after just having emerged from a large scale victory over the Persians with his army intact.

 

To demonstrate this fact, Syria had been lost and the Roman elite army never participated in its defense. The Byzantine rebel, Baanes, recognized Heraclius' strategy and it was this that encouraged him to rebel against Heraclius. However, Heraclius suppressed Baanes.

 

641 AC:

Heraclius died.

 

When Heraclius passed away, only the port of Alexandra remained under Roman control as it was a symbolic Christian foothold. In the coming years when the Muslims took Egypt they left Alexandria alone and did not take it, as an act of good neighborliness.

 

Had Heraclius announced his belief in Islam, he could not have done better than he did. He had preoccupied the Roman legions by fighting the pagan Persians, and remember, both armies were powerful enough to fight the Muslims but instead they had fought against one another and the Muslims were left alone. One should remember the Persians had already demonstrated their willingness and ability to destroy Jerusalem, the Holy Land of Jesus and Abraham.

 

Upon reflection one is able to recognize a similar pattern that emerged between Heraclius and the Prophet, (salla Allahu alihi was sallam), to that of Abu Talib's supportive relationship to the Prophet, (salla Allahu alihi was sallam).

 

@HISTORICAL NOTES:

Even in those early years of history, there was an effective communication relay system in place. Communication of events were carried to not only distant parts of Arabia but beyond to the extensive Roman Empire with its protectorates as well as Persia, Abyssinia, Yemen and other places by traders and agents. For example, traders of Mecca and Medina, such as Abu Sufyan, had been as traveling as far away as Jerusalem and to other destinations in the Roman Empire.

 

With this communication system in place, it is not surprising to learn that as a young boy Heraclius had heard the story of Abraha’s attempt to destroy the Ka’bah with the elephant’s might. Then, in later years after Heraclius became Emperor of Rome, that the news had reached him of an Arab in Mecca named Muhammad laid claim to the prophethood.

 

During the early years of Heraclius' reign as emperor, a war erupted between the Romans and the pagan fire worshiping Persians. The war did not go in favor of the Romans and the Persians were the victors.

 

When the news reached Mecca, the unbelievers of Mecca celebrated the Persian's victory as they had something in common with them - they were both pagan united in their hatred of Muslims. The sentiment of the Muslims of Mecca was opposite to that of the Meccan unbelievers. They were saddened by the news of the defeat of their Christian brethren since Islam is the completion of Christianity and both religions originated from a heavenly source.

 

It is of little surprise that when the Prophet, (salla Allahu alihi was sallam), received the Revelation that spoke of the future victory of the Romans over the idol worshiping Persians that Heraclius soon learned of it:

 

"The Romans have been defeated (by the Persians) in a land close by.

But, in a few years after their defeat they shall become the victors." Koran 3O:2-3.

 

Referring to the Romans, Abu Bakr was heard to say to the unbelievers of Mecca as they celebrated the defeat of the Romans, "Our brothers in faith will win." Then Abu

Bakr made a stake with the unbelievers that the event would occur before the passing of 9 years. (Reported by Jarir's son who was the leading authority of the interpreters of the Koran, via Ikrimah).

 

The verses relating to the Roman victory were recited in 622AC (before the migration) after the Prophet's miraculous ascent through the heavens.

 

Another example of the effectiveness of the continuous observation via agents is found in the story of Ka’b, Malik’s son who had disobeyed an order of the Prophet, (salla Allahu alihi was sallam). The news of Ka’bs situation reached the Arab Ghassanite king of Syria, and while Ka’b remained in Medina hoping for the news that Allah had accepted his repentance, the Ghassanite king sent his messenger to Ka’b with a letter that praised him and invited him to leave Medina and live with him in his country. The time scale between the king learning of Ka’bs predicament, sending his messenger to Ka’b, the letter reaching Ka’b in Medina was approximately forty to forty-five days because it was on the fiftieth day Allah sent down the Revelation that the repentance of Ka’b had been accepted.

 

However, communication did not always reach the ears of Heraclius before it was too late for him to take action. Shortly after the Battle of Mu’tah, Farwah who was an Arab and the commander of the Byzantine army converted to Islam. Because Farwah refused to abandon his new belief he was seized and crucified in Jerusalem by his Byzantine army peers. Heraclius was unable to prevent this brutal act because the news did not reach him until after Farwah’s crucifixion.

 

@INTRODUCTION

ARCH ANGEL GABRIEL’S DESCRIPTION OF THE PRINCIPALS OF ISLAM:

 

Omar, the son of Khattab narrated, "We were sitting with the Holy Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) one day, when an unknown inquirer appeared to us. His clothes were brilliantly white; his hair jet-black but there was no sign of traveling upon him.

 

1. SUBMISSION TO ALLAH (ISLAM)

He sat down in front of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and their knees touched. Placing his hands on his thighs he said, ‘Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) tell me about Islam.’ The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) replied, ‘Islam is that you bear witness that there is no god except Allah, and that Muhammad is His Messenger, and that you establish the prayer, pay the obligatory charity, fast the month of Ramadan, and make the Pilgrimage to the House (Ka’ba) if you can afford it.’ Then to our surprise the inquirer confirmed the correctness of the answer saying, ‘That is right.’

 

2. FAITH AND BELIEF (IMAN)

Then the inquirer said, ‘Tell me about faith.’ To this the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) replied, ‘ It is that you believe in Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, the Last Day and that you believe in predestination.’

 

3. SPIRITUAL PERFECTION (IHSAN, ISLAMIC SUFISM)

Again the inquirer said, ‘That is right, now tell me about perfection.’

 

The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) replied, ‘It is that you worship Allah as if you are seeing Him, and if you do not see Him, know that He is watching you.’

 

The inquirer asked again, ‘Tell me about the Hour of Judgement.’ The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) replied, ‘He who is being asked knows no more about it than the one who asks.’ So the inquirer asked, ‘Tell me about some of the signs of its approach.’ To this the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) replied, ‘The female slave will give birth to her master, and the bare-footed, naked, penniless goat-herders will live arrogantly in high mansions.’

 

The inquirer departed, and I remained for a while. The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) asked me, ‘Omar, do you know who the inquirer was?’ I replied, ‘Allah and His Messenger know best.’ So he told me, ‘It was Gabriel who came to teach you your religion."

 

IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE MERCIFUL,

THE MOST MERCIFUL

 

THE JOURNEY OF A LIFETIME WITH

PROPHET MUHAMMAD , THE PROPHET OF ALLAH

 

$CHAPTER 1 PROPHET ABRAHAM AND THE FIRST HOUSE OF ALLAH ON EARTH

 

Prophet Abraham was born to honorable parents descended from Prophet Noah. He was born in the city of Hara, Iraq during the reign of King Nimrod and is often referred to as "The Friend of Allah" and "The Father of the Prophets".

 

There had been a void in guidance since the death of Prophet Noah and the people of Hara reverted to idolatry. Hara was renowned for its ornate, pagan temples and its citizens took great pride in the idols housed within them. Offerings were sacrificed to the idols and ritual ceremonies wishfully invoking their favors performed before them.

 

A lucrative commerce had grown around the activities of the temples. Carved replicas of the idols were a much sought after possession and it was to this profession that Azar, Abraham’s father directed his talents.

 

@WHO IS MY LORD

Abraham was unlike his contemporaries, he grew to be an upright, caring young man repulsed by idol worship and sought the answer to a question that had consumed him for many years -- who was his Lord?

 

In the process of his guidance, Allah in His Mercy caused Abraham to contemplate upon the kingdoms of the heavens and earth. One evening, as he gazed up into the night sky, he saw a planet shinning more brightly than the others and exclaimed, "This is surely my Lord!" But, as the morning light came and the planet set, he rejected his thought saying, "I do not like the setting ones!" On another occasion as he saw the moon rise he said once again, "This is my Lord!" But like the planet, as the light of the morning broke it disappeared, whereupon he said, "If my Lord does not guide me, I shall be amongst the astray nation!" Then, when he saw the sun rise upon the horizon he said, "This must be my Lord, it is larger!" But as it set he turned to his people saying, "O nation, I am quit of what you associate (with Allah, the Creator) I have turned my face to He who created the heavens and the earth, uprightly, and I am not among the idolaters!" Koran, Chapter 6 verses 76-79

 

@ABRAHAM IS CHOSEN BY ALLAH AND BECOMES A PROPHET

Some time later Allah sent the Arch Angel Gabriel to inform Abraham that He had chosen him to be His Messenger. Abraham was deeply humbled by the news. Over a period of forty-two visits Gabriel brought him ten Holy Scrolls. Prophet Muhammad (praise and peace be upon him) informed his Companions later on that the contents of the Scrolls were examples.

 

Abraham's open rejection of idolatry caused a commotion, no one had ever challenged the deity of the idols of Hara; to his fellow citizens the notion was deemed blasphemous. However, Abraham was resolved; he had no doubt that Allah was the only One to be worshipped because he was convinced that it was He alone who had created everything.

 

@THE LOGIC OF ABRAHAM

Abraham tried reasoning with those around him in the best manner, but they refused to accept his logic even after he had drawn their attention to the obvious fact their idols had either been hewn from stone or carved from wood by people such as themselves.

 

Abraham never stopped challenging his people and asked if their idols could do anything else other than just stand motionless, year after year, in the same place -- the place in which they themselves had been positioned many years before! He reminded his people the idols neither ate nor drank from the offerings placed before them nor could they harm or benefit anyone. But still the people refused to abandon their idolatry.

 

Over the course of time, the idolaters became outraged and told Abraham it was he who was wrong and that he must fear their gods. Abraham shook his head and asked, "And how should I fear what you have associated when you yourselves are not afraid that you have associated with Allah that which He did not send down for it upon you an authority." Koran, Chapter 6 verse 81

 

@ABRAHAM AND KING NIMROD

The news of Abraham's preaching reached King Nimrod who considered himself to be a deity. Abraham feared no one except Allah, so when he was presented to the king he challenged him saying, "My Lord is He who revives and causes to die." But the artful king scoffed at Abraham and told him, "I revive and cause to die."

 

The king knew exactly what Abraham meant, but tired to outwit him with his reply by referring to the power he had as king to either spare the life of a guilty criminal, or put to death an innocent person -- whichever suited his whim. Abraham challenged him yet again saying, "Allah brings up the sun from the east, so you bring it from the west." Koran Chapter 2 verse 258. This time the king knew he had been revealed and the color drained from his face, and Abraham waited to see if he would surrender to Allah but he did not and so Abraham returned home.

 

@ABRAHAM AND THE MIRACLE OF THE FOUR BIRDS

One day, Abraham asked Allah to show him how He revived the dead. Allah asked Abraham, "Haven't you believed?" Abraham told Him that it was not that rather it was just to satisfy his heart. So Allah told him to take four birds, sacrifice them, then cut them into pieces then mix their bits and pieces together, and go to the neighboring hills and place some of the mixed pieces on each of them. After he had done this, Allah told Abraham to call the birds and their severed parts would reassemble and fly to him.

 

Abraham did exactly as he was told: he sacrificed a peacock, an eagle, a crow, and a rooster. Then, after he had mixed their body parts together, he placed them upon the neighboring hills, keeping only their heads with him. Once this had been done he called to them whereupon their mixed parts were brought back to life, reassembled, and flew to join themselves to their respective heads which Abraham still held in his hand. (Koran Chapter 2 verse 260 and explained by Sawi.)

 

@ABRAHAM AND AZAR PART COMPANY

At the time of Abraham’s birth both his father and mother were faithful but as time progressed his father was deceived by the idolaters and now Azar was among those who refused to accept Allah as his Lord and Abraham as His Prophet. Abraham asked him why he was so devoted to the idols but Azar could offer no better reply than to say that many people before him had worshipped them, and what was good enough for them was good enough for him also. Azar became upset and embarrassed by Abraham’s preaching and threatened to stone him if he persisted.

 

Such was Abraham’s conviction that he did not stop preaching and after a while, Azar realized his threats were of no use so he told Abraham he did not wish to see him again for sometime. As they parted company, tenderhearted Abraham told Azar he would ask Allah to forgive him, and that perhaps his Lord would accept his prayer.

 

Abraham continued to preach against the idols but the people continued to spurn what he had to say. After each refusal, he would ask them the same question he had asked Azar – "What made them so devoted to their idols?" -- but they replied in the same way, which was simply because their fathers and ancestors had worshipped them. Some even accused Abraham of jesting with them, but he swore this was not so, and that without a doubt their Lord, is the Creator of all that is in the heavens and earth, and that they must abandon their useless idols.

 

@ABRAHAM OUTWITS THE IDOLS

No matter how hard Abraham tried, they would not accept the truth, so he told them, "By Allah, I shall outwit your idols as soon as you have turned your backs and gone." No one took Abraham seriously so they left and went about their business.

 

Some time later, Abraham, unseen with ax in hand, entered the temple in which the most revered idols were housed, and smashed all except the largest into pieces and then hung his ax upon its shoulder and left unseen.

 

It wasn't long before the idolaters returned to the temple and saw their gods lying broken into pieces on the floor. There was an outcry of horror and those who had heard Abraham's challenge immediately suspected him, and so he was summoned before them. "Abraham," they asked, "was it you who did this to our gods?" Abraham replied, "It was their great one who did it. Ask them if they can speak." The idolaters huddled together in a corner knowing well in their hearts the truth of the matter and that Abraham had at last succeeded in exposing the worthlessness of their idols. Begrudgingly, they admitted, "You know they do not speak." Thereupon Abraham challenged them saying:

 

 "Would you then worship

that which can neither benefit nor harm you, instead of Allah?

Shame on you and that you worship, other than Allah!

Have you no understanding?" Koran, Chapter 21:68

 

@THE BONFIRE

It was more than the idolaters could bear their idols lay broken in pieces unable to do anything for themselves. Outraged by the whole situation they cried out, "Burn him and help your gods!"

 

The idolaters hastened to build a huge bonfire with the intent of burning Abraham to death. However, Abraham remained calm having complete trust in his Lord and did not flinch. There was nothing that would tear him away from his belief in the Oneness of Allah.

 

Abraham was led to the bonfire, placed in its center, and the kindling wood lit. It wasn't long until the flames leapt high into the air -- but not even a single hair of Abraham's head was singed. That was because Allah had caused a miracle to occur. He commanded the flames to be cool and safe for Abraham and eventually, when the fire had consumed itself, Abraham walked away unharmed praising and thanking Allah for His Mercy.

 

Allah tells us:

They said, 'Burn him and help your gods, if you are going to do anything!'

'O Fire,' We said, 'be coolness and safety for Abraham.'

They sought to outwit him, but We made them the worst of losers. Koran 21:68-70

 

Even though the idolaters had witnessed this great miracle, they continued in their arrogance and refused to abandon their idols. In their hearts, they knew nothing they would ever do would harm Abraham because he was protected by Allah, so in desperation they banished him and his wife, Lady Sarah, from their homeland.

 

@ABRAHAM AND SARAH IN EGYPT

After a long, tiring but blessed journey to Egypt, as Prophet Abraham and Lady Sarah were about to enter a township, news reached its tyrannical pharaoh that Abraham was accompanied by a beautiful lady.

 

The Pharaoh summoned Abraham to his presence and asked whom the lady was accompanying him. Abraham not wishing to lie, but fearing for the safety of Sarah, told him she was his sister, but meaning his sister in religion, but this did nothing to deter the tyrant from his evil intention and he ordered that she be sent to him.

 

Abraham had sensed the ruler was evil and returned to Sarah and told her not to say other than he had told the tyrant, and swore by Allah there were no other believers in the truth in that area. As Sarah entered the tyrant's presence, she too realized his evil intent and immediately supplicated to Allah saying, "O Allah, I have believed in You and Your messenger, and have safeguard my private parts from everyone except my husband, please, do not let this unbeliever overpower me." Allah accepted her supplication and the tyrant fell down in a state of unconsciousness whilst his legs twitched. Sarah took fright at his condition and supplicated again saying, "O Allah, if he should die then the people will say I have killed him." Thereupon the tyrant regained consciousness but continued to make advances towards her. Sarah supplicated once more, and yet again, the tyrant fell down in a state of unconsciousness. When the tyrant regained consciousness he realized that Sarah had been protected from him.

 

Hagar was the daughter of the King of Ain Shams, which is a city near Cairo, Egypt. It had been upon the death of her father that Hagar had come to live with Pharaoh’s wife in her own right as her companion. Princess Hagar had never married and was known to be an honorable, kind, upright young lady. Pharaoh realized that Princess Hagar would be good company for Sarah and it was agreed that she leave the household of Pharaoh’s wife and go to live with Sarah.

 

And so it was that Princess Hagar came to live in Abraham's household. Hagar was a sweet natured lady, she loved Lady Sarah dearly and a very special friendship bonded them together.

 

Idolatry was also commonplace in Egypt, especially in the court of Pharaoh, but when Hagar heard Abraham speak about Allah she was quick to recognize the truth and accepted it.

 

In those days it was commonplace for a man to have more than one wife and Prophet Abraham and Lady Sarah, who were now elderly, remained childless. Lady Sarah had given up hope of ever bearing a child so she suggested to Abraham he might take Hagar to be her co-wife. Both Abraham and Hagar accepted her suggestion and shortly after Hagar became his lawful wife.

 

The family's wish was fulfilled when Lady Hagar conceived and gave birth to a fine son whom they named Ishmael. Lady Sarah was delighted and happy Abraham had at long last been blessed with a son -- little did she know at that time that she too would be blessed in later years for her patience with a son of her own, Isaac.

 

@DECEIT

Throughout the centuries nationalistic Jews and Orientalists have sought to distort the truth about Prophet Abraham’s legal marriage to Lady Hagar and the very close relationship between Ladies Sarah and Hagar. Their object has been, and still is, to undermine the great event which had been promised and recorded in the original, unadulterated Holy Scriptures announcing the coming of Islam with its protected revelation, the Holy Koran, and the seal of all the prophets, Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam).

 

@PROPHETS OF ALLAH

Both the sons of Abraham were legitimate and destined to become prophets of Allah. Ishmael, Lady Hagar’s son was sent as a prophet to the Arabs whereas Isaac, the son of Lady Sarah was sent as a prophet to the Hebrews, later on to be called the children of Israel and then Jews, peace be upon all the prophets.

 

It is from the descendants of Ishmael and Isaac that two great nations evolved each having Prophet Abraham as their common ancestor. However, neither Jew nor Christian can claim he was a follower of their religion as both prophets Moses and Jesus were sent many centuries after the death of Prophet Abraham.

 

@ABRAHAM AND HAGAR IN BECCA, ARABIA

Before Ishmael completed his weaning, Prophet Abraham saw a vision in which he was instructed to take Lady Hagar and their son to a place called Becca, nowadays called Mecca in the peninsula of Arabia, and leave them there. This vision was in preparation for the years to come when Abraham and Ishmael would establish the House of Allah in Mecca.

 

Mecca lies in a valley surrounded by mountains and hills and had at that time three passes. One to the north, another to the south, and the other to the west. The valley had long been one of the most traveled caravan routes in Arabia, however, it remained uninhabited largely because it lacked water.

 

Upon reaching Becca, Prophet Abraham settled Lady Hagar and Ishmael under the shade of a large tree and gave his wife a large bag of dates and a water-skin full of water, then turned away and started to leave them. Lady Hagar followed after him and asked, "Abraham, where are you going, are you leaving us in an uninhabited provisionless wilderness?" She asked the same question several times, but Abraham did not reply. Then, searching for a reason and knowing her husband would never do anything to earn the displeasure of Allah she inquired, "Has Allah commanded you to do this?" whereupon he replied, "Yes". So she comforted them both saying, "Then He will not let us perish," and returned to her infant.

 

@ABRAHAM SUPPLICATES FOR LADY HAGAR, ISHMAEL & FUTURE GENERATIONS OF MUSLIMS

At a place called Thania, Abraham stopped and turned his face in the direction of the ruins of Ka’bah -- the first House of Allah to be built on earth -- which lay buried under the sand. He raised his hands and supplicated,

"Our Lord,

I have settled some of my offspring

in a barren valley

near Your Holy House;

our Lord, in order that they establish the prayer.

Make the hearts of people yearn towards them,

and provide them with fruits,

in order that they are thankful."

Koran, Chapter 14 verse 37.

 

Allah had promised Abraham that from his offspring would arise great nations, that is why Abraham referred to having settled "some of his offspring" near Ka'bah. This promised was fulfilled, as it was from the descendants of Prophet Ishmael that Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon all the prophets, was born.

 

Lady Hagar suckled her infant son and gave him water from the skin until none remained. It wasn't long until both became very thirsty and she become very concerned for Ishmael. Lady Hagar could not bear to have her son go without water so she searched frantically for some but found none. In desperation she climbed a nearby hill, the hill of Safa, stood at its top, and looked around in all directions to see if there was anyone in sight to help her -- but there was no one. She ran back down the hill and in her anxiety ran across the valley and climbed to the top of the neighboring hill of Marwah, but again to no avail. She ran between the two hills seven times, but found neither caravaners nor water.

 

@ALLAH HEARS THE CRY OF LADY HAGAR

Upon the seventh time she reached the hill of Marwah Hagar heard a voice. She calmed herself and listened attentively. And there, standing near the place we know today as Zamzam stood Angel Gabriel. Gabriel struck the ground with either his heel or wings, and water gushed forth. Hastily, she dug a hole in the ground into which the water flowed and filled her water-skin to the top as the water gushed forth with still greater force. Quickly, she drank a handful of water and raced back to her son to give him some.

 

@THE RUINS OF KA'BAH

In those days, the ruins of Ka’bah were elevated on a piece of land covered by sand in the shape of a mound, and when rain eventually fell it would run on either side.

 

@THE CARAVANERS

Ishmael and his mother continued to live in Becca by themselves until one day caravaners from the tribe of Jurhum returning from Kada'a, struck camp a little distance from the place where Lady Hagar had made her home. As the caravaners were unloading their camels they observed birds circling in the sky not far away. Their experience had taught them that birds circling in this manner might well indicate water. Ever hopeful of finding a fresh supply of water in that desolate region, they thought it was worth investigating, although from their past experience they had never found water anywhere in that area.

 

Several tribesmen were sent to investigate. When they reached the place over which the birds circled, to their great surprise and joy they found the spring of Zamzam and returned quickly to tell their fellow travelers. Upon hearing the good news the caravaners stopped what they were doing and rushed to both see and drink the fresh water.

 

@LADY HAGAR MEETS THE JURHUM CARAVANERS

When they reached Zamzam, the caravaners found Lady Hagar standing nearby and asked her permission to strike camp near her. Lady Hagar agreed on condition that she retained the water rights and that her son would be the prince. The Jurhumites agreed and settled themselves in Becca whilst sending word to their families to come and join them there.

 

@ANGELS DO NOT EAT

Meanwhile, one day when Prophet Abraham was at home with Lady Sarah they were visited by strangers.

 

It was not uncommon to find strangers visiting their home as each day Abraham would light a large bonfire on the top of a nearby mountain to attract and welcome travelers.

 

Abraham’s generous hospitality was well known, no one was ever turned away and as such he hardly ever ate alone. His guests were always well fed and during the course of a much welcomed meal Abraham would take the opportunity to tell to his guests about Allah.

 

One day, strangers arrived at his home and as was his custom, he arranged for a fine meal of a roasted calf to be prepared for his guests. The meal was set before them but his guests declined to either eat or drink. Abraham was deeply troubled by this strange situation -- travelers were always hungry, or at least thirsty. Abraham's guests perceived his anxiety and told him not to be afraid because although they had taken the form of humans, they were not humans as he supposed, but rather they were angels on their way to the city of his cousin, Prophet Lot.

 

Prophet Abraham felt at ease once more as he knew angels, who are neither male nor female and created from light, only worship Allah and do whatsoever they are ordered to do by Him.

 

The angels proceeded to inform Abraham that the city of Prophet Lot had become disobedient to Allah and were sexual perverts. The angels continued, telling him it was because of this that Allah had ordered them to punish its people by utterly destroying both them and their city but to save Lot.

 

@LADY SARAH BECOMES PREGNANT

As Lady Sarah entered the room, the angels told her she would give birth to a son. She was overwhelmed by the news and clasped her hands to her cheeks in delight and wonder. She had been so happy when Lady Hagar gave birth to Ishmael several years before and now she too was to be blessed with a son of her own despite her advanced age.

 

Allah says:

(Sarah) his wife came with an exclamation and clasped her face,

and said, 'Surely, I am a barren old woman!'

'Such, says your Lord, ' they replied, 'He is the Wise, the Knower.'

Koran 51:29

 

@THE SEEDS OF ISHMAEL’S FORTHCOMING PROPHETHOOD

In His Wisdom, Allah had protected Ishmael in the harsh environment of the Holy Land in which he had matured in nobility. He had learned to speak Arabic in its purest, most eloquent form from the Jurhumites together with the art of horsemanship and had also become a highly skilled archer. The Jurhumites loved him, for his character was not only truthful and honorable but he was trustworthy and cared for their welfare; later on he was to marry from their tribe.

 

@ISHMAEL, THE FIRST SACRIFICE

Despite his advanced years, Prophet Abraham would often journey to Mecca to visit Lady Hagar, and his dearly beloved eldest son, Ishmael who was now a young man. There were occasions when Prophet Abraham was miraculously transported to Mecca on Burak, the heavenly white winged mount, which was in the centuries to come commissioned to carry Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) to Jerusalem.

 

On one such visit Prophet Abraham saw a vision in which he was told to sacrifice his son for Allah. Soon after the vision satan came to Abraham and whispered, "How could you kill your beloved son?" Abraham instantly rejected and cursed satan, and in obedience to Allah went to Ishmael and said, "My son, I saw while sleeping that I shall sacrifice you, tell me what you think." It was time for satan’s second attempt to prevent the fulfillment of the vision and he whispered to Ishmael in a similar manner. Ishmael immediately rejected and cursed satan. Like his father, Ishmael’s love of Allah and obedience to Him was unquestionable and he replied, "Father, do as you are ordered (by Allah), Allah willing, you shall find me one of those who are steadfast." Koran, Chapter 37:102.

 

Satan had failed twice, in his final attempt to prevent the fulfillment of the vision he went to Lady Hagar and whispered, "How could you let Abraham kill your only son?" But like her husband and son, she too loved Allah and was obedient to Him, so without hesitation she cursed and rejected satan.

 

@THE THOUGHTFULNESS OF ISHMAEL

Prophet Abraham took Ishmael to a quiet place far from the people. As Abraham prepared himself to sacrifice his beloved son for Allah, Ishmael, being a loving and caring young man without thought for himself, asked his father for three things. He requested that he might be permitted to face the ground so that his father would not see his eyes and then be overcome with mercy towards him, and disobey the command of Allah. Ishmael also feared for the safety of his father so he requested him to sit upon his shoulders so that if he struggled when the knife struck him he would not injure him. He knew his mother would be sad so his final request was to ask his father to give her his shirt to console her.

 

It was time. Prophet Abraham tried to slit the back of his son's neck three times, but on each occasion the blade was prevented from penetration. After the third attempt, Allah called out to Abraham saying, "O Abraham, you have confirmed your vision.’ As such We recompense the good-doers. That was indeed a clear trial. So, we ransomed him with a mighty sacrifice." Koran, Chapter 37 verse 104-107

 

Later on, Prophet Muhammad, (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) said referring to Prophet Ishmael and his own father Abdullah, whose life was ransomed by the slaying of a hundred camels: "I am the son of the two sacrifices."

 

When Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) revived the pilgrimage many centuries later, three stone pillars were erected outside Mecca en-route to Arafat as a reminder of the three whisperings of satan to Prophets Abraham, Ishmael, and Lady Hagar. These three pillars are stoned and satan is cursed by all those who make the pilgrimage.

 

@THE UNGRATEFUL SPOUSE

Lady Hagar had passed away before Prophet Abraham's next visit to Becca. When he reached the valley he made his way to Ishmael's home but found he was not at home, so he started to look for an object he left behind on a previous visit. Soon after, Ishmael's wife returned and showed him no respect. She neither welcomed, nor was she hospitable to her elderly visitor. Abraham asked her where her husband was, whereupon she told him he was away hunting. He then inquired about their life and circumstances and rather than being grateful, she told him things were difficult then proceeded to complain about everything in their life.

 

Ishmael's hunting expedition took longer than expected, and so Abraham, who had been made unwelcome, decided it was time to leave. Before he left he asked Ishmael’s wife to give her husband a message saying, "When your husband returns, convey my greetings of peace to him and tell him that he should change the threshold of his door."

 

Awhile after Abraham's departure, Ishmael returned and sensed something unusual had happened during his absence, so he asked his wife if there had been any visitors. She told him of the elderly man that had stopped by, and how he had asked about his whereabouts and their welfare. Ishmael asked if the visitor had left a message whereupon she told him that he had sent him greetings of peace and told him to change the threshold of his door. Upon hearing this Ishmael told his wife that the elderly gentleman was none other than his father, and that he had directed him to divorce her. So Ishmael divorced his wife and, as was his nature, treated her fairly and caused her no harm, and so she returned to her people.

 

Ishmael was loved by the Jurhumites and when he decided to remarry from their tribe they were delighted.

 

@THE GRATEFUL SPOUSE

After a period of time Prophet Abraham returned to visit his son but once again he did not find Ishmael at home. He asked his new wife where he was and she told him that he had gone out to search for provisions and prepared a meal her visitor. As before, he asked Ishmael's wife about their circumstances but unlike the previous wife she praised Allah and told him they were comfortable. Abraham then inquired about their food whereupon she told him that they ate meat and drank water. Then, Prophet Abraham supplicated, "O Allah, bless their meat and water." Before leaving, Abraham asked her to convey the greetings of peace to Ishmael but this time he left instructions to strengthen the threshold.

 

Soon after Ishmael returned and once again sensed something unusual so he inquired if there had been any visitors during his absence. His wife told him of the elderly gentleman and spoke kindly about him. Ishmael asked if he had said anything to her, she told him that he had inquired about their well-being and she had replied everything was well. She also told Ishmael that the elderly gentleman had asked her to convey his greetings of peace to him and said that he was to strengthen the threshold of his house.

 

Ishmael smiled, and told his wife that the elderly gentleman was none other than his father, Abraham and that she was the "threshold" he had ordered him to keep.

 

In the years that followed, Ishmael had twelve children, and it is from his son Kidar that many Arabs are descended.

 

@RAISING THE HOUSE OF ALLAH

Time passed and the next time Prophet Abraham came to visit Ishmael, he found him sitting under a large tree near the spring of Zamzam repairing his arrows. As soon as he saw his father he stood up and they greeted each other affectionately with peace. After the greetings, Abraham told his son that Allah had given him another command -- the command to rebuild Ka'bah, the Holy Mosque of Allah. When Abraham asked Ishmael if he would help him fulfill his task he felt highly honored and accepted. Thereupon Abraham pointed to a mound of large stones and to its surrounding area and told him that it was the place where Allah had commanded him to raise the foundations of the Holy Mosque.

 

Soon the rebuilding of Ka’bah was underway. Prophet Ishmael picked up the large stones then handed them to Prophet Abraham and he placed the Black Stone at its eastern corner. The Ka’bah was a roofless cubic house with its corners pointing to the north, south, east, and west.

 

Once Ka’bah had been rebuilt, Abraham and Ishmael supplicated,

"O our Lord, accept this from us.

You are the Hearer, the Knower.

Our Lord, make us both submissive (Muslims) to You,

and of our descendants

a submissive nation to You.

Show us our (pilgrimage) rites,

and accept (repentance from) us.

You are the Receiver (of repentance), the Merciful.

Our Lord, send among them

(the inhabitants of this House)

a Messenger from them

(Allah answered the supplication by sending Prophet Muhammad)

who shall recite to them Your verses

and teach them the Book (Al Koran)

and wisdom (Prophetic sayings),

and purify them.

You are the Mighty, the Wise."

Koran Chapter 2 verses 127 -129 with the explanation of Sawi.

 

@PILGRIMAGE TO KA’BAH IS ESTABLISHED

Following the supplication Allah took a covenant from Abraham and Ishmael to purify His House for those who would pilgrimage to it and worship Him there.

 

Allah accepted the supplication of Prophets Abraham and Ishmael and soon pilgrims from all over Arabia and beyond made their way to Mecca where they learned about Allah, worshipped Him alone, and received instructions how to offer their pilgrimage.

 

It was not always possible for pilgrims to offer their pilgrimage during its special season. Those unable to offer what became known as the "Greater Pilgrimage" would come when they could during other times of the year and offer a lesser pilgrimage. And so it was that Mecca became the center of worship in Arabia and a hub of activity on account of both its pilgrims and caravaners.

 

$CHAPTER 2 THE NEW GOVERNORS OF MECCA

 

@REVERSION TO IDOLATRY

Prophet's Abraham, Ishmael and Isaac had passed away, and over the centuries the worship of Allah, the Creator, became corrupted. However, the pilgrimage to Ka’bah continued with great treasures being brought by pilgrims which were then stored within the Ka'bah.

 

Prophet Ishmael’s descendants and the tribe of Jurhumites had increased greatly in number to the extent that many decided to leave Mecca and settle elsewhere. With the new settlements there also came new pagan neighbors who influenced some of the migrants. The idols their pagan neighbors worshipped were those that had been worshipped during the prophethood of Noah before the Flood and had been unearthed in Jeddah by Amr, Luhai’s son who re-established their worship. These idols were now brought to Mecca and placed around Ka’bah and worshipped, with the idolaters claim that their idols had powers to intercede between Allah and mankind. To the idolaters, Allah had become remote and some ceased to believe in the Everlasting Life.

 

@THE GOVERNORS OF MECCA

After the death of Prophet Ishmael, his eldest son, Nabit, became the custodian of Ka'bah, and after his death the custodianship had been entrusted to his maternal grand-father, Madad, and so it was in this way the custodianship passed from the direct descendants of Ishmael to the tribe of Jurhum.

 

The Jurhumites governed Mecca for many, many years but throughout that period terrible wars ignited and finally they were driven out of the city.

 

@THE BURYING OF ZAMZAM

Before the Jurhumites left Mecca, they buried the well of Zamzam and hid many of the treasures stored within the Ka’bah inside the well amongst which were two statues of deer crafted from gold, jewelry and swords.

 

The new governors of Mecca were distant descendants of Prophet Ishmael from the tribe of Khuza'ah in Yemen. However, they failed to find the blessed well that had been given to Lady Hagar and Prophet Ishmael; although its miraculous story was still told and continued to be handed down from one generation to the next.

 

@THE KHUZA'AH, NEW GOVERNORS OF MECCA

The coming of the new governors did not mean the idols were to be barred from Ka'bah, on the contrary, some of the Khuza'ah inclined to idolatry.

 

Once, when Amr, Luhai’s son, who was one of their chieftains, was returning from an expedition that had taken him through the region we know to day as Syria, he came across the idol worshipping Moabites. Their idols made a great impression upon him so he asked if he might have an idol named Hubal to take back with him to Mecca. The Moabites agreed and upon his return he placed it inside the Ka’bah itself and for many centuries after, up until the opening of Mecca, Hubal became the chief idol of Mecca.

 

Prophet Muhammad told his Companions that he had a vision in which he had seen Amr, Luhai’s son walking about in Hell clutching his intestines.

 

@THE RELIGIONS OF ARABIA

Living in Mecca at that time were a group of people called "Ahnaf". To them idol worship was repugnant. They tried their best to follow the way of their great ancestor, Prophet Abraham, but apart from their belief that God is One, there was little else left of the religion of Abraham to guide them.

 

Idolatry was commonplace in Arabia, as it was now claimed that Allah had become too remote for them to worship alone. Pagan temples had been erected in many locations and at a distant second to Ka'bah, the most visited temples were those in the Hijaz dedicated to the idols of Al Lat, Al Uzza, and Manat whom their worshipers claimed were a trinity of daughters of Allah, capable of interceding with Him on their behalf!

 

To the people of Yathrib, the most prestigious temple of Manat was in Kdayd by the Red Sea. As for the Koraysh of Mecca, their second choice was the main temple of Al Uzza, a short journey south of Mecca in the valley called the "Tree" (Nakhlah).

 

It was in the fertile land of Ta'if that lay some distance outside Mecca, where the Thakif, a branch of the tribe of Hawazin who were descended from Prophet Ishmael, erected a highly revered temple dedicated to Al Lat. The Thakif took great pride in their temple and adorned it with riches, but despite its lavish adornments and pleasant location they knew it could never reach the rank of Ka'bah. The importance of Ka’bah was acknowledged throughout Arabia, and it was to the Ka’bah and not to the other temples that pilgrims flocked in great numbers each year.

 

In Arabia there were also minority groups of Jews, Nazarenes, and Christians, some of whom were knowledgeable of their scriptures and believed in the Oneness of the Creator. Their ancestors had chosen to settle in that barren region after their persecution on account of a prophecy described in their ancient Holy Books that heralded the arrival of a new prophet to be born there. Each family hoped that the prophet would arise from their own family or tribe.

 

@THE TRIBE OF KORAYSH

Among the descendants of Prophet Ishmael arose the powerful yet chivalrous, honorable, and noble tribe of Koraysh. Their hospitality and generosity, especially to pilgrims, was well recognized and it was from this honored lineage that Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) was destined to be born.

 

Approximately four hundred years after Prophet Jesus’ ascent, a man from Koraysh called Ksay, married Hubba the daughter of Hulayl, chief of the Khuza'ah. Ksay was a prominent Arab and Hulayl preferred him to his own sons.

 

Hulayl died during a skirmish which was later resolved through arbitration. Each party agreed that Ksay should become the new governor of Mecca and receive the much-coveted custodianship of Ka’bah. Ksay accepted the appointment and sent for the rest of his family, then settled them near the Ka'bah.

 

Amongst the members of Ksay's family was a brother named Zuhra, an uncle named Taym, a cousin named Makhzum, and several other cousins who were not as close to him as other members of his family. They, together with their families, became known as the Koraysh of the Valley whereas distant members of his family settled themselves outside Mecca in the surrounding hills and became known as the Koraysh of the Outskirts.

 

@THE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY

Ksay governed Mecca with fairness and was loved by everyone. He was also its undisputed, powerful leader. He took the matter of being the custodian of the Sacred House very seriously and raised the standard of living of those who tended its upkeep by replacing their tents with permanent dwellings.

 

It was during this time Ksay built a spacious house for himself in which he conducted tribal meetings. The house was also used for other important gatherings such as weddings and as a point of departure for caravans, and so it was that Ksay's house became known as "The House of Assembly".

 

@PROVISION FOR THE PILGRIMS

Pilgrims flocked to Mecca each year to offer their pilgrimage, and among them were many needy pilgrims. As custodian of the Ka’bah it was Ksay's responsibility to ensure the needs of the pilgrims were met, and that they should neither suffer nor thirst.

 

His own wealth was insufficient to cope with the needs of the ever-increasing number of pilgrims, so he called for a meeting to raise funds in which he asked the people of Mecca to pledge a modest annual contribution on their flocks. The Meccans were agreeable and by the time the pilgrims arrived for the Greater Pilgrimage there was sufficient food and water to accommodate their needs.

 

Ksay, anxious to do the best he could for the pilgrims also commissioned an additional leather trough of water to those already provided in Mecca at Mina. Mina lies several miles away en-route to Mecca across the arid and pebbled desert, so the trough provided much welcomed relief not only for the pilgrims but for travelers.

 

The income raised through the pledge was more than enough to meet the pilgrim’s needs and so it was through this excess that the first covering was made for the Ka’bah from cloth woven in Yemen.

 

@A MATTER OF SUCCESSION

Abdu Manaf was one of Ksay's four sons and had shown great signs of leadership beyond those of his brothers, who were themselves, very capable. However, when the matter of succession arose, Ksay's eldest son, Abd Ad-Dharr was Ksay's choice.

 

Just before Ksay died he called for Abd Ad-Dharr and gave him the House of Assembly. He told him that he was going to equalize the matter of rank by decreeing, amongst other matters, that none should be allowed to enter Ka’bah unless he, Abd Ad-Dharr, opened it for them; that no pilgrim be allowed to draw water in Mecca unless he permitted them to do so and that pilgrims were not to eat unless he provided for them.

 

@OBEDIENCE OF ABDU MANAF

When death came to Ksay, his son Abdu Manaf, complied with his father's wishes and accepted Abd Ad-Dharr, his brother, as the new governor so matters ran smoothly.

 

@DISCORD AMONG THE FAMILY

It was however, the next generation of Koraysh -- including the descendants of Ksay's brother Zuhra and his Uncle Taym -- that dissatisfaction was expressed regarding the way in which matters were being administered. They felt Hashim, a son of Abdu Manaf, who had already succeeded in distinguishing himself in many honorable ways, was more capable and should have the rights transferred to him. Soon there was a division among the Koraysh that left only the Makhzum and some distant relatives, as well as Abd Ad-Dharr's near relatives in support of Abd Ad-Dharr.

 

@THE ALLIANCE OF THE PERFUMED ONES

Hashim and his supporters met together in the precincts of Ka’bah where the daughters of Abdu Manaf prepared a bowl of expensive perfume and placed it before Ka’bah. Each of Hashim's supporters dipped their hands into the bowl and as they did took a solemn oath never to abandon one another.

 

To seal their solemn pact, each supporter rubbed his perfumed hands over the stones of Ka’bah and from that time onward they were referred to as the "Perfumed Ones".

 

@THE ALLIANCE OF THE CONFEDERATES

Those who supported Abd Ad-Dharr likewise swore an oath of allegiance and became known as the "Confederates".

 

@THE SANCTITY OF KA’BAH AND ITS PRECINCTS

Soon, there was an ice-cold atmosphere between the two parties. Matters deteriorated to the extent that the two factions reached the brink of fighting to the death to resolve the matter. However, Ka’bah and its surrounding area -- the perimeters of which extend for several miles -- had always been held sacred and fighting within this area had been strictly forbidden since the time of Prophets Abraham and Ishmael.

 

However, before things reached the point of no return a compromise was proposed which proved acceptable to both parties. The compromise was that Abd Ad-Dharr should retain the keys to Ka’bah together with its rights and also keep his home -- the House of Assembly. On the other hand, Hashim should, from now onward receive the right to collect the pledged contributions for welfare of the pilgrims.

 

$CHAPTER 3 HASHIM

 

@HASHIM AND THE PILGRIMS

Before the pilgrimage each year, Hashim would invite the leaders of the tribes to attend a meeting in the House of Assembly to discuss the preparations for the pilgrimage. He would remind them they had been blessed by being the neighbors of the House of Allah, and that the pilgrims were visitors to His House. He told them because the pilgrims were the guests of Allah they had more rights upon their generosity than ordinary guests and after having drawn their attention to this right, he would ask them to give their pledged contribution. Like his grandfather, he told them if his own wealth had been sufficient, he would have accommodated the expense himself and not asked them for their contribution to the fund. All complied with Hashim's request and the contribution pledge was collected.

 

@HASHIM ESTABLISHES CARAVAN ROUTES

The life of a caravaner was perilous, but for many it brought prosperity. A caravaner could expect to face many hazards other than the extreme heat of the desert followed by the intense cold of the night during certain times of the year. Perhaps the greatest hazard of all was the fear of being attacked by marauding tribes. All too often caravans were attacked resulting in the loss of both life and merchandise. Hashim knew well the burden of the caravaner so he decided to visit with the tribal chieftains along the trade routes traveled by the Koraysh and use his powers of friendly persuasion and fairness to secure a safe passage. One by one the tribes agreed and soon the trade routes became less hazardous.

 

Hashim's sense of fairness and compassion toward his fellow beings was demonstrated yet again during a year in which there was extreme drought followed by famine. Upon hearing of a neighboring tribe's suffering he arranged for a supply of food and water to be distributed among the stricken tribe. This upright act and other acts like it led to the strengthening of bonds between the Koraysh and other tribes.

 

Hashim's just character and ability to organize were known not only by his fellow Arabs but to the great powers of the day, namely the Emperor of Rome and the King of Abyssinia, ruler of Yemen.

 

It was through their admiration of Hashim that he succeeded to negotiate peaceful, lasting treaties, which in turn exempted the Koraysh from the payment of previously enforced trading taxes. Hashim's popularity was such that whenever Koraysh traders reached Angoria -- now Ankara in Turkey - the Emperor himself would go out to welcome them, show them great hospitality, and inquire about Hashim.

 

The two great trade routes were now secure, so during the winter when the heat of the desert had died down, caravans would set off on their journey to Yemen. Then, as summer advanced caravans would set off in the opposite direction on their long trail to the north-west reaching as far away as Palestine or Syria, which was at that time part of the Roman Empire.

 

@HASHIM MEETS SALMA, DAUGHTER OF AMR

On the route northwards, caravans would make their way to a desert oasis called Yathrib – today called Medina -- to trade and replenish supplies before setting off again on their long trip.

 

The inhabitants of Yathrib were both Arab and Jew. At first, the Arabs were known as the children of Kahlan but as time passed they had divided into two tribes, the tribes of Aws and the tribe of Khazraj, both of whom were the sons of Tha’abah.

 

In those days it was common for a man to have many wives, some as many as forty. Hashim was already married when in Yathrib he met a noble, influential lady named Salma the daughter of Amr from the tribe of Najjar, a branch of Khazraj. Hashim proposed to her and she accepted on condition that she remain in control of her own affairs and that when she gave birth to a son, the boy would remain with her in Yathrib until he reached the age of puberty. Hashim accepted her conditions and the two were married.

 

It was a happy, successful arrangement and Hashim made frequent trips to Yathrib to stay with Salma. On several occasions Hashim continued on from Yathrib to Syria, however, on one such journey in the year 497 AC he was taken ill in the city of Gaza, Palestine. His illness proved to be serious and he did not recover. Salma was pregnant and later gave birth to a son whom she named Shayba. As Shayba grew up he loved to listen to the heart-warming stories about his generous father, and it was through the example of his father’s noble sense of fairness and peaceful character that Shayba modeled his own life.

 

@THE BROTHERS OF HASHIM

Hashim had two blood brothers named Abdu Shams and Muttalib, and a half-brother named Nawfal. Both Abdu Shams and Nawfal were traders, Abdu Shams' trade route lay between Mecca, Yemen, and Syria, whereas, for the most part, Nawfal's trade route him to distant Iraq.

 

On account of their commerce the brothers were away from Mecca for long periods of time with the result Muttalib, their younger brother assumed the responsibility of the rights to collect the pilgrimage contribution pledge.

 

@MUTTALIB'S SUCCESSOR

As time passed, Muttalib pondered over who should be his successor. His deceased elder brother Hashim had married four wives and from them had three sons.

 

Shayba the son of Salma, although younger than his half-brothers, displayed signs of leadership at an early age. Traders passing through Yathrib would relate reports about him to Muttalib, and the more he heard about his nephew the more impressed he became as his character appeared to be developing to be much like that of his father.

 

Wishing to know more about Shayba he decided to go to Yathrib to see for himself and visit with his extended family. Muttalib was not disappointed. The reports he received were correct, so he asked his mother to entrust Shayba to his guardianship. At first Salma was reluctant to let her son go with him, and Shayba, out of love and respect for his mother, refused to leave without her consent.

 

Muttalib explained to Salma that Mecca had more to offer her son than Yathrib. He reminded her of the nobility of the Koraysh tribe and that it was they who had been entrusted with the prestigious custodianship of the House of Allah. He told her that he was of the opinion that her son stood an excellent chance of receiving the office his father had once held and thereby become one of the chieftains of the Koraysh tribe. Muttalib stressed the point however, that in order for her son to be considered a candidate for such honors it was imperative for the people of Mecca to know him in person, otherwise he would simply be overlooked.

 

Salma was convinced by Muttalib's reasoning and knew the proposal was in her son's best interest, so she agreed to let his uncle take him to Mecca. She consoled herself with the knowledge she could visit him fairly regularly as the journey to Mecca was relatively short, taking ten to eleven days of travel.

 

@THE ARRIVAL OF SHAYBA IN MECCA

Muttalib, with Shayba riding behind him on his camel set out for Mecca. As they entered the City, the people saw Muttalib and thought the youth riding behind him was his new servant and commented, "Look, the servant of Muttalib -- Abd Al Muttalib!" Muttalib was amused and replied, "Be off with you, he is the son of my brother Hashim!" The mistake was a source of amusement and news of his arrival spread throughout Mecca but the name stuck, so Shayba became affectionately known as Abd al Muttalib.

 

@NAWFAL DISPUTES SHAYBA'S INHERITANCE

It wasn't long after Shayba's arrival when Nawfal disputed the young man's right over his father's estate. Muttalib stood by his nephew and pressure was also brought to bear from Yathrib so Shayba, now known as Abd Al Muttalib, received his rights.

 

@THE DEATH OF MUTTALIB

As time passed, Abd Al Muttalib's character continued to grow in both integrity and honor; the people of Mecca loved him and without doubt he lived up to and surpassed the expectations of his uncle. From an early age he had displayed strong capabilities of just leadership. His uncle had taught him the importance of administering the rights of pilgrims and he diligently assisted his uncle in its preparation.

 

Several years after his arrival in Mecca, Abd Al Muttalib's uncle passed away. No one in Mecca disputed his nephew's qualifications to succeed him. In fact many Meccans were of the opinion that Abd Al Muttalib surpassed both his father and uncle in fulfilling the duties of Custodian of the House of Allah with all its weighty responsibilities.

 

$CHAPTER 4 ABD AL MUTTALIB

 

@THE VISION OF ABD AL MUTTALIB

Abd Al Muttalib was not an idolater, he directed his prayer to Allah alone and loved to be near the Ka’bah. It was because of this love that he would often have his mattress spread out in a place known as 'Hijr Ishmael' -- which is the place where Prophet Ishmael and his mother Lady Hagar lie buried and also where Prophet Ishmael used to pen his sheep -- and sleep there.

 

It was on one such night that he had a vision in which it was said to him, "Dig the sweet one." He asked, "What is the sweet one?" but there was no reply. The next morning he awoke with an overwhelming feeling of happiness and peace, the like of which he had never experience before, so he decided to spend the following night near Hijr Ishmael.

 

That night he had another vision in which the same voice told him, "Dig for mercy". He asked the meaning of it, but again there was no answer. When he returned to sleep there on the third night the vision came yet again but this time he was told, "Dig for the treasure." When Abd Al Muttalib asked what was meant by the treasure the vision vanished as before.

 

The vision came again on the fourth night, however this time the voice was more specific and told him to dig for Zamzam. Abd Al Muttalib asked about Zamzam, but unlike the previous occasions the voice answered saying, "Dig for it, you will have no regrets, it is your inheritance from your greatest ancestor." The voice told Abd Al Muttalib that Zamzam lay buried nearby and to supplicate to Allah for the continuous flow of pure water that would suffice all pilgrims. So he supplicated to Allah in the manner he was taught and at dawn he returned to his home to get a spade. His son Harith was there so he told him to fetch another spade and to come with him to dig for the well of Zamzam.

 

@THE DISCOVERY OF ZAMZAM

The sun had risen as they set to work digging. As the people started to rise and go about their daily chores and business they noticed Abd Al Muttalib and Harith digging away in the Sacred area and not long after a crowd started to gather to see what they were doing.

 

As much as the Meccans respected Abd Al Muttalib they felt he was going too far and told him he must stop desecrating the ground with his digging. Abd Al Muttalib refused and told his son to stand on guard to prevent anyone interfering with his digging. The digging progressed without an incident and the people began to tire of standing around and had started to disperse when to Abd Al Muttalib's great joy he struck the stone cover of the well of Zamzam. Immediately, he thanked Allah and the excited crowd regrouped around him.

 

News of his find spread quickly throughout Mecca and it wasn't long until a very large, joyous crowd had gathered to celebrate this great discovery.

 

@THE TREASURE OF ZAMZAM

Abd Al Muttalib and Harith removed the large stone cover from the forsaken well of Zamzam and as they did to the amazement of everyone, their eyes fell upon the treasure that had been taken from Ka’bah many centuries before when the Jurhumites had been driven from Mecca. There was great excitement and everyone laid claim to a share of the treasure.

 

In those days it was the practice of Meccans to use divining arrows and cast lots to settle major issues, with the ceremony taking place within the confines of Ka’bah before their chief idol Hubal. There were three stakes: one that the treasure should be returned to Ka'bah, another that it should be retained by Abd Al Muttalib, and the third that the treasure be divided between the tribes.

 

When the time came for the settlement everyone gathered anxiously by the Ka’bah and the diviner cast the arrows. As the arrows fell they fell in favor of some of the treasure being restored to the Ka’bah and the remainder being retained by Abd Al Muttalib; none fell in favor of the Koraysh. After the division had been settled it was also decided the tribe of Hashim should take charge of the Well of Zamzam as it was their responsibility to provide water for the pilgrims.

 

$CHAPTER 5 THE VOW

 

@ABD AL MUTTALIB TAKES A VOW

To many it would have appeared that Abd Al Muttalib had everything he could desire. He was the Custodian of Ka'bah, handsome, wealthy, generous, and of noble character that had won him the respect of the people of Mecca. However, he only had one son, Harith, whereas his cousins Umayyah, chief of the tribe of Abdu Shams and Mughirah, chief of the tribe of Makhzum had many.

 

The fact he had just one son had not concerned Abd Al Muttalib greatly until he met with resistance from his fellow Meccans during the excavation of Zamzam. At that time he felt weaker than at any other and wished he had more sons to support him.

 

He felt humble to be chosen as the one to be honored to restore the well and was grateful to Allah for His blessings to him, but his heart prompted him to supplicate to Him for ten sons. As he supplicated in earnest, he promised Allah if He would favor him with ten sons who reached the age of manhood, he would sacrifice one of them at the Ka’bah. Allah accepted his supplication and as the years passed he had to his great pleasure, nine more sons. He never forgot the promise he made to Allah and as his sons reached manhood the matter pressed hard upon his mind, especially as the youngest of his sons, Abdullah had now reached maturity.

 

Abdullah had grown into a handsome, fine, upstanding young man like his father and although Abd Al Muttalib loved his other sons, Abdullah had become his favorite.

 

Abd Al Muttalib knew the time had come to fulfill his vow. He was a man of his word and had no intention of turning away from his oath. Until this time, Abd Al Muttalib had kept the matter between Allah and himself secret, so no one in his family knew of the oath he had taken many years before.

 

@THE SACRIFICE

Abd Al Muttalib had raised his sons to be true men and all were obedient to him. One day he called his ten sons together and told them of the oath he had taken. They all accepted; their father's vow was their vow and bravely asked him how the matter would be decided. Abd Al Muttalib told them the matter would be determined by arrow divining and that they must each take an arrow and make their mark on it.

 

After their marks had been made, Abd Al Muttalib sent a message to the arrow-diviner of the Koraysh tribe to meet him in the Ka’bah. Then he took his ten sons into the Sanctuary and led them inside the Ka'bah. When the arrow-diviner arrived he told him of his oath. Each son presented his arrow and Abd Al Muttalib stood ready with his knife drawn. The arrows were cast, and the lot fell against Abdullah. Without hesitation, Abd Al Muttalib took his son's hand and led him to the door intending to make straight for the place of sacrifice.

 

@ABDULLAH'S FEMALE RELATIVES

Abd Al Muttalib had not considered the fact that he might have to deal with his wives as he did not know they had learned of his intention. Fatima, the mother of Zubair, Abu Talib, and Abdullah who were all candidates for the sacrifice, was on her mother's side descended from Abd, one of the sons of Ksay and belonged to the very influential tribe of Makhzum. When Fatima learned of the vow, she immediately rallied her co-wives, who were from less influential tribes, and together with her own powerful tribe they had marched in force to the Ka’bah to prevent the sacrifice.

 

As Abd Al Muttalib opened the door of Ka’bah his eyes fell upon the large crowd assembled in the courtyard. Everyone noticed the expression on Abd Al Muttalib and Abdullah's faces had changed. Fatima and her kinsmen were quick to realize that it was Abdullah who had been chosen as the sacrifice. Just then, someone in the crowd called out, "For whom is the knife!" and others took up the cry although it was evident for whom the knife was intended.

 

Abd Al Muttalib tried to tell them of his vow, but was interrupted by Mughirah, the chief of Makhzum who told him that they would not permit him to make the sacrifice. He told him they were prepared to offer a sacrifice in his stead, even to the extent of ransoming Abdullah with all the property of the sons of Makhzum. They were adamant and prepared to take whatever steps necessary in order to spare the life of Abdullah.

 

By this time Abdullah's brothers had come out of Ka’bah. Until then, none had spoken but they too now turned to their father imploring him to spare the life of their brother and to offer some other kind of sacrifice in his stead. There was no one present who did not urge him not to do so.

 

Being an upright man, Abd Al Muttalib did not want to break the vow he had taken, but the pressure upon him was great. Reluctantly, he agreed to consult with a wise Jewess living in Yathrib who was familiar with matters such as this and who could tell him whether a substitution was in fact permissible in this case and if it was what form of ransom would be required.

 

@THE WISE WOMAN OF YATHRIB

Abd Al Muttalib set off with Abdullah and several of his brothers for Yathrib -- Abd Al Muttalib's birth-place. When they reached Yathrib they sought the whereabouts of the wise woman and were told she no longer lived there but in Khaybar, many miles away north of Yathrib.

 

So they continued their journey through the hot desert until they reached Khaybar where they found the wise woman. Abd Al Muttalib told her of the oath he had taken and inquired whether it was possible to offer a ransom instead. She listened intently and told them to return the following day after she had time to consider the matter and she would give them an answer.

 

Abd Al Muttalib prayed fervently to Allah and the next morning he and his sons returned for the verdict. The wise woman greeted them and asked what the usual compensation was offered amongst their tribe, whereupon they told her it was common place to offer ten camels. Upon hearing this she told them to return home and as soon as they arrived to put Abdullah and ten camels side-by-side and cast lots between them. She told them that in the event the arrow should fall against Abdullah they were to increase the number of camels by ten, and cast lots yet again until Allah accepted them by the arrow falling against the camels. She also told them once the number of camels had been determined all were to be sacrificed immediately in order that Abdullah might live.

 

@THE SACRIFICE OF 100 CAMELS

After having thanked the wise woman, Abd Al Muttalib and his sons set out for home straight away and upon reaching Mecca Abdullah and ten camels were taken into the courtyard of Ka’bah. Abd Al Muttalib went inside the Ka’bah and supplicated to Allah asking Him to accept what they were about to do. Upon the conclusion of his supplication he came out of the Ka’bah and the lots began to be cast. The first arrow fell against Abdullah, so ten more camels were added. The lot was cast again, but once more the arrow fell against Abdullah, and ten more camels were added and so it continued. It was only when the number of camels reached one hundred that the arrow finally fell against the camels.

 

@THE RANSOM IS ACCEPTED

Everyone was overjoyed including Abd Al Muttalib. However, he wanted to make quite sure that this was, without any shadow of a doubt the ransom required by Allah to decide the issue, so he insisted that the lots be cast twice more. Anxiously, everyone looked on as the lots were cast, but to everyone's relief on each occasion, the arrow fell against the camels. There was no doubt left in Abd Al Muttalib's mind that Allah had accepted his expiation and so the camels were sacrificed immediately and the abundant supply of meat was distributed amongst the poor, the needy, and the orphans. There was so much meat left over that every sector of the community ate from it and joined in the great celebration.

 

$CHAPTER 6 THE MARRIAGE OF ABDULLAH TO AMINAH, PARENTS OF PROPHET MUHAMMAD

 

There was great happiness amongst Abd al Muttalib's family, not to mention his tribe, and day-to-day life resumed once more. Shortly after this significant event, Abd Al Muttalib started to make plans for Abdullah's future.

 

Abdullah was now eighteen years of age, and his father thought it was time for him to marry, so he started to search for a suitable match. After much consideration he came to the conclusion that Aminah, the daughter of Wahb, son of Abdu Manaf, son of Zuhra, chieftain of the tribe of Zuhra, a branch of the Koraysh, would be the most compatible bride for his son and so he went to visit Wahb to make the proposal. Wahb was delighted and thought it would be an excellent match and so the proposal was accepted.

 

Aminah was of noble birth and lineage and had many fine qualities. She was known for her upright, endearing character and to compliment these characteristics she was very intelligent. Years later, Prophet Muhammad, (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) confirmed her status when he told his Companions, "I have been chosen from the most choice."

 

Upon his return, Abd Al Muttalib told Abdullah that he had found the perfect match for him. Abdullah was overjoyed when he heard all the wonderful things his father had to say about Aminah and so in the days to come Abdullah and Aminah were married.

 

Aminah conceived shortly after their marriage and at the moment of conception she saw a light emitting from her that lit the palaces of Syria. The young couple were very happy together. Everything his father had told him proved to be true and Abdullah was as delighted with Aminah as she was with him.

 

Two months after their marriage Abdullah joined a trading caravan destined for Al Sham. Today, Al Sham is a conglomerate of several countries known to us as Syria, Jordan and Palestine. On the return journey, Abdullah was taken seriously ill in Yathrib. Abdullah had many relatives in Yathrib and so the caravan left him in their care and continued on to Mecca without him.

 

@THE DEATH OF ABDULLAH

A messenger bearing news of Abdullah's illness was sent on in advance of the caravan and as soon as Abd Al Muttalib heard the disturbing news he sent his eldest son, Harith to Yathrib to bring Abdullah home. Harith was not destined to see his brother again as Abdullah died before he reached Yathrib and was buried near his cousins, the children of Adiyy, the son of Najjar in Yathrib in the house belonging to An-Nabigha Al-Ju'di.

 

Harith returned to Mecca and conveyed the saddening news to his father and Aminah whereupon great sorrow fell upon the entire family.

 

@LADY AMINAH'S PREGNANCY

Allah, the Most High, made Lady Aminah's pregnancy easy for her in fact she commented that she didn't feel any different from her usual self. However, as her pregnancy progressed, Lady Aminah had many visions concerning her unborn baby.

 

$CHAPTER 7 THE MEMORABLE YEAR OF THE ELEPHANT

 

Fifty days before Muhammad was born, an event occurred which every person in Mecca would remember for the rest of his or her life. It was an attempt by Abraha As-Sabah Al Habashi, the Abyssinian, who was the governor of Yemen, to destroy the Sacred Ka’bah with an elephant's might.

 

Before that time the Arabs paid little attention to the passage of years, although each month was recognized by the new moon. From that year onwards the Arabs would refer to events as being either before the year of the elephant or after it.

 

At that time, Yemen was under the rule of Abyssinia. As-hamah son of Al-Abjar, the Negus (king) of Abyssinia had appointed a governor named Abraha to govern Yemen in his absence. The Negus was a Nazarene who followed the true teachings of Prophet Jesus and not the Trinitarian teachings of Paul, and Abraha, anxious to promote himself still further in the eyes of his king, decided he would build a magnificent church with the intent of luring pilgrims from Ka’bah to it.

 

The church was built in Sanna with marble pillaged from the ruined palaces of Sheba, while its interior was embellished with gold and silver and its pulpit carved from ivory and ebony.

 

Upon completion, Abraha sent word to the Negus that he had built a magnificent church in his honor and mentioned his underlying intention. Abraha bragged so much of his intention to lure pilgrims away from the Ka’bah that word spread like the fury of a violent sandstorm throughout Arabia.

 

As could be expected, the Arabs were enraged by the whole affair to the extent that a man from the tribe of Kinanah, a branch of the Koraysh, became so incensed by the audacity of Abraha that he set out for Sanna determined to defile the church. When he reached Sanna night had fallen, so he crept unseen into the church and defiled it with trash and filth. Having accomplished his mission he left undetected.

 

When news of the defilement reached Abraha his anger was so great that he swore to take revenge and to lead an army that would destroy Ka’bah once and for all. Immediately, orders were issued to his army and they prepared themselves for the long march across the hot and inhospitable desert to Mecca. He also gave orders that an elephant should lead them as a sign of his might. As soon as the preparations were complete, Abraha gave the order for his army of six thousand to march with the canopied elephant leading the way.

 

Not far out of Sanna the army encountered resistance from a small band of Arabs, but they were greatly out numbered and fled. Their leader, Nufayl from the tribe of Khathan, was captured and in fear for his life offered to guide Abraha and his soldiers on to Ka'bah.

 

It was January in the year 571CE and the news of Abraha's march to destroy Ka’bah reached Ta'if ahead of their arrival, so a delegation from the Thakif, fearing Abraha might mistake their temple of Al Lat for Ka'bah, rode out to meet him and offered to be Nufayl's co-guides, which Abraha accepted.

 

At a place called Al Magmas, a few miles outside Mecca, Abraha decided to strike camp and it was there that Nufayl died.

 

Meanwhile, Abraha sent his spies on in advance to the outskirts of Mecca. On their way they came across a herd of camels belonging to Abd Al Muttalib together with some other animals, so they seized them together with anything else they could lay their hands on and sent their plunder back to Abraha.

 

In the meantime, Abd Al Muttalib together with other Korayshi chieftains and chiefs from neighboring tribes met together to discuss how they might best defend their beloved Ka’bah. After much deliberation, all concluded that Abraha's army was so great in number that they did not stand a chance against him, so Abd Al Muttalib decided it was best for the people of Mecca to seek refuge on the slopes of Mount Thabir, so he told them, "O people of Koraysh, you will be protected." Then he assured them that Ka’bah would be unharmed saying, "Abraha and his army will not reach the Holy Ka’bah because it has a Protecting Lord."

 

As the people of Mecca made their way to the mountain, Abd Al Muttalib supplicated saying, "O Allah, it is customary for one to protect his possessions, so please, protect Yours."

 

Abraha had now camped in the valley of Muhassar not far from Mina. Soon after, Abraha sent his envoy into Mecca inviting their leader to visit him in his camp and so Abd Al Muttalib, together with one of his sons accompanied Abraha's envoy back to the camp.

 

As Abd Al Muttalib approached, Abraha was greatly impressed by his noble composure and rose to greet him. Abraha then told Abd Al Muttalib of his intent to destroy the Ka’bah and asked him if there was any favor he might grant him. Abraha was extremely surprised by Abd Al Muttalib's reply, he expected him to plead with him to spare Ka’bah but instead Abd Al Muttalib asked for the return of his herd of camels. Abraha scoffed at his request but the wise, trusting Abd Al Muttalib replied, "I am the lord of my herd of camels, so I must protect them. The Lord of Ka’bah will protect His House." After this totally unexpected reply, Abd Al Muttalib and his son returned to Mecca.

 

Soon after this Abraha gave the order to advance on Ka’bah and the soldiers took their marching positions behind the elephant. Now that all was ready, the elephant was given the command to rise and march, but it refused and sat still. Its handlers tried to tempt it but when that failed they beat it, driving iron hooks deep into its flesh but still the elephant refused to march on Ka'bah.

 

Then, one of its handlers had an idea to trick the poor elephant by turning it around to face the direction of Yemen, then as soon as it started to walk, to turn it around to march on Ka’bah. This deception worked for a while and they succeeded to get the elephant to stand and even take a few steps in the direction of Yemen, but when he tried to turn it around to march on Ka’bah the elephant, with all its might, refused and sat down despite the renewed extreme cruelty it endured.

 

Suddenly, the sky became blackened with flocks of birds called "Ababil". Each bird carried three stones, one in each claw and another in its beak. When the birds reached Abraha's army they pelted the soldiers with them. As soon as a soldier was struck by a stone he died and not one single stone missed its mark. As for Abraha, he did not die instantly -- the stones that hit him brought about a painfully slow death that caused his bones to crumble thereby bringing about the agonizing collapse of his ribs.

 

These miraculous affairs were witnessed by all the citizens present in Mecca and as a result the year became known as the "Year of the Elephant" and it was also in that same year that our beloved Prophet was born.

 

Abu Kuhafah, the father of Abu Bakr as well as many of the fathers of the Prophet’s Companions witnessed this miraculous event and the story was passed on to their children. The news of this miracle spread far and wide and it is not surprising that Heraclius, who in later years was to become the Emperor of Rome, heard the story as he was growing up as Abraha was from Yemen, and Yemen was at that time under the protectorate of the Rome Empire.

 

The veracity of this miracle is indisputable. Even the unbelievers who never ceased to seize upon anything they thought might discredit the Prophet or the Revelation never raised any objection to the verses that refer to the actual pelting of Abraha’s army with the stones carried by the birds. However, there are unfortunately, some misguided people who promote the theory that the stones carried by the birds were not in fact stones but rather microbes or germs. Their knowledge of the Words of Allah is indeed pitiful, because their theory is in direct contradiction to the unchangeable word Allah Himself uses in the Koran to describe the event. The word Allah uses is "Hijaratin" which means "stones" -- and the knowledge of Allah is the truth.

 

As for the grave of Nufayl, the guide who had led Abraha to Ka'bah, the Koraysh took to stoning it.

 

Allah sent down the following chapter confirming the event:

 

In the Name of Allah,

the Merciful, the Most Merciful.

Have you not seen how Allah dealt with the companions of the Elephant?

Did He not cause their schemes to go astray?

And He sent against them flights of birds

pelting them with stones of baked clay,

so that He made them like straw eaten (by cattle).

Chapter 105, The Elephant

 

$CHAPTER 8 THE BIRTH OF THE LAST PROPHET OF ALLAH; THE SEALING OF THE PROPHETHOOD

 

@THE PROPHECY IS FULFILLED

On Monday, 12th of Rabi-al-Awwal (21st April) -- 571 years after Jesus ascended into heaven to

await his return before the end of the world, Lady Aminah gave birth to her blessed son in the house of Abu Talib and As-Shaffa, mother of Abd Al Rahman attended his birth. As Lady Aminah gave birth, a blessed light came from her that enabled her to miraculously see the far distant palaces of Syria.

 

The beautiful baby was born without a trace of dirt upon him, and a sweet aroma caressed his perfect little body. Lady Aminah remembered the instruction she had been given in her vision and supplicated to Allah with it for her little son, then gave him to Ash-Shaffa, the mother of Abd Al Rahman to hold.

 

News that Lady Aminah had given birth to a son was sent straight away to Abd Al Muttalib. As soon as he heard the good news he rushed to see his new grandson. When he reached the house his heart was filled with joy and tender, loving care. He cradled the sweet baby wrapped in a white cloth in his arms and then took him to the Ka’bah where he offered a prayer of thanksgiving to Allah for the safe delivery of his grandson.

 

Before returning his new grandson to Lady Aminah he went home to show him to his own family. Standing at the door waiting for his father's return was his three-year-old son Al-Abbas. Lovingly, Abd Al Muttalib told his son, "Al-Abbas, this is your brother, give him a kiss," so Al-Abbas, who was in reality his uncle, bent over and kissed his new baby brother.

 

After everyone had admired the baby, Abd Al Muttalib returned to Lady Aminah and in accordance with her vision and a vision Abd Al Muttalib had seen, the sweet baby was named Muhammad. When people asked why they had named him Muhammad they replied, "To be praised in the heavens and earth". Seven days after his birth he was circumcised and as was the custom, his parents and relatives gathered together to mark the occasion. Lady Aminah suckled her blessed son for a week and thereafter Thuyebah, the servant of Abu Lahab assisted in his suckling.

 

Abu Talib's house, the house in which the Holy Prophet, (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam), was born, exists today not far from the hill of Marwa and is used to house an Islamic library. It is hoped it will not be demolished in the same way that other blessed Islamic places have fallen victim to New York style modernization. However, there is hope that it will be restored and preserved as the current King Abdullah has already taken steps to restore the tomb of Lady Aminah that was desecrated by some followers of Muhammad ibn Abd Al-Wahab and Ibn Taymia. It is a great shame that women are prevented from entering this blessed birthplace!

 

THE RANK OF LADY AMINAH, MOTHER OF THE PROPHET

When the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi was sallam) was called to the prophethood he told his Companions, "Indeed, I am the worshipper of Allah, and the Seal of the prophets since Adam was set in clay. I will inform you about this. I am the supplication of my father Abraham, the glad tidings of Jesus, and the vision of my mother and as such, the mothers of the prophets see – and know that the mother of the Messenger of Allah (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) saw as she gave birth to me, a light emitting from her that lit the palaces of Syria, till she saw them." It is also reported in Hafiz ibn Kathir's reference of authentic prophetic sayings that when Lady Aminah conceived the Prophet she saw a light in the same way as when she gave birth to him. (Muhaddith Al Bani adhered to this and reprinted ibn Kathir's book).

 

This is a very important hadith as it draws our attention to the overlooked, very high rank of Lady Aminah, may Allah be pleased with her, by placing her in the elite company of Prophets Abraham and Jesus thereby negating the opinion of those who consider her to be just among the people of an upright nature before Islam. This prophetic quotation is proof that she is the first among the close friends of Allah (awlia) in Islam, and that she is the honorable mother of the family of the Prophet's house, since she saw with the eye of the close friends of Allah (awlia). This degree of ranking is referenced to in the Divine hadith, where Allah says, "I will be his sight with which he sees". This means that she saw the palaces not with her regular eyesight, which would be impossible, but with her son's light. Therefore, she endowed him with her best honor and milk, and he lit her before lighting the world.

 

In this hadith of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi was sallam) he referred to himself as the second person with his mother and bore witness that she saw the whole light, whereas others only heard about it but did not see it. The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi was sallam) honored her and called her "Mother of the Messenger of Allah". Not only Lady Aminah's light, honor but her happiness and blessing were inherited by Lady Khadijah then her daughter Lady Fatima, may Allah be pleased with them.

 

This is, in brief, the blessing of Allah to us of the understanding of this hadith. It is the undisputable authentic reference to the light of the Prophethood and no one should consider the false hadith that says, "O Jabir, the first creation by Allah is the light of your Prophet" which its fabricator claimed to be reported in the Musannaf of Abdul Razzaq, and is not.

 

@THE PURITY OF HIS LINEAGE

In the years to come, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi was sallam) spoke of his lineage saying, "Allah brought me down to earth in the loins of Adam and then He placed me in the loins of Noah and thereafter cast me into the loins of Abraham. Allah proceeded to move me from one noble loin and pure womb to another until He brought me out of my parents. None of them were ever joined together in fornication."

 

@THE DECISION OF LADY AMINAH AND ABD AL MUTTALIB

Abdullah was a young man when he died and therefore had very little to leave his wife and unborn baby. All he was able to leave them was an Abyssinian maid named Barakah, which means 'blessing', a few camels, and some goats. Barakah was also known by the name Umm Ayman.

 

In those days it was the practice of noble and well-to-do families to entrust their newly born infants to the care of good families living far from Mecca where the infant would be less likely to contract the many diseases that all too often accompanied the pilgrims.

 

Among the many advantages of sending a newly born to be raised in the desert was that it was there that Arabic in its purest form was spoken, and the accomplishment of speaking pure Arabic was a most sought after quality. Youngsters also learned the essential art of survival through the mutual love and care of one another that in turn lead to excellent manners and a chivalrous nature.

 

With this in mind Lady Aminah and Abd Al Muttalib decided to send Muhammad to be raised in the desert.

 

@HALIMA, DAUGHTER OF ABI DHUAIB

Soon after his birth, several Bedouin families made their twice-yearly journey to Mecca in search of a child to foster. No fee was requested by the foster parents as one might suppose, rather the intent was to strengthen ties between noble, well-to-do families and perhaps receive a favor from its parents or relatives.

 

Amongst the prospective foster mothers was a lady called Halima, the daughter of Abi Dhuaib from the tribe of Bani Sa'ad and her husband Al-Harith, son of Abdul Uzza - better known as Abi Kabshah. Halima's family had always been poor and that year in particular had been harsh for them on account of the drought that had devastated the area.

 

Halima had a young baby of her own, so together with her husband, Abi Kabshah and baby they traveled in the company of other families from their tribe to Mecca. Halima carried her son as she rode upon their donkey whilst her husband walked by her side and their sheep ran along beside them. When they set out, the sheep's milk had been a constant source of nourishment for them, but the strain of the journey took its toll and its milk dried up. Halima's own milk was insufficient to satisfy her baby, and many a time her baby cried itself to sleep out of hunger.

 

Before reaching Mecca there was another setback as Halima's donkey started to show signs of lameness. So they proceeded slowly at their own pace whilst the others went on ahead. Because of the delay, Halima and her family were the last of the prospective foster parents to reach Mecca.

 

By the time Halima arrived each of the other prospective foster mothers had visited the homes of parents wishing to send their newly born to the safety of the desert, and chosen a baby. The only baby that remained was the Prophet, (salla Allahu alihi was sallam), and that was because Allah had chosen Halima to be his suckling mother.

 

As Halima entered Lady Aminah's house she found the lovely little baby sleeping upon his back wrapped in a white woolen shawl under which a green piece of silk had been placed. Instantaneously, with just one glance, in the same way that the wife of Pharaoh’s heart had been filled with love for the baby Moses, Allah filled Halima’s heart with overflowing love for the baby Muhammad. Allah had chosen Halima to be his suckling mother.

 

Halima was overcome by his beauty and as she bent down to pick him up she smelt the delicate fragrance of musk. Fearing she might disturb him, she placed her hand over his chest and as she did, he smiled then opened his eyes and from his eyes beamed a radiant light. Gently and lovingly, she kissed him between his eyes and offered him her right breast and immediately felt a surge of milk, he accepted her breast and suckled away contentedly. After a little while she offered him her left breast, but even at this very tender age fairness was inherent in his nature and he declined, leaving it for his new suckling brother.

 

Later on that day, Halima returned to her husband and told him that there was no doubt in her mind she wanted to foster Lady Aminah's baby -- it was of no consequence to her that the baby was an orphan or that future favors may not be possible -- the baby had completely captivated her heart.

 

@THE PEACEFUL NIGHT

Whilst Halima was nursing Lady Aminah's baby, her husband, Abi Kabshah went to tend his sheep and was very surprised to find its udder full of milk. When he milked it there was so much milk that there was more than enough to satisfy the entire family, that night they drank their fill and slept peacefully. When they awoke, Abi Kabshah exclaimed, "Halima, by Allah, I see you have chosen a blessed spirit, did you notice how we spent such a blessed night and are enjoying its benefits?"

 

@THE BONDING

It is through the nourishing milk a foster mother gives to her charge that a baby gains an extended family into which marriage to its siblings is not permitted. And so it was that Halima's foster child would refer to her in later years as his "mother" and to her children as his "brothers and sisters".

 

Right from the very beginning, the bonding between Halima and her foster child proved to be a very great blessing, for not only her family but the entire tribe. And it was because of this very close relationship that her people were, in the years that followed, protected and led to Paradise.

 

$CHAPTER 9 LIFE IN THE DESERT

 

The time soon came for the foster parents to set off for their desert home with their charges, so Halima made her farewells to Lady Aminah who handed her beloved son up to her as she sat upon her donkey.

 

Halima and her husband were quick to notice the multiple blessings that constantly came their way. Their donkey had always been the slowest ride because it was frail, and more recently showed signs of progressive lameness, but now it out-ran the others whilst the rest of the party looked on in amazement asking Halima if the donkey was the same one she came with.

 

@THE LAND OF BANI SA’AD

Before they reached the land of Bani Sa’ad, the vegetation had already become scant and upon reaching it there was no vegetation in sight, the land was barren, the signs of drought were everywhere. However, Halima's sheep would wander off yet always return full. It was so noticeable that the others in her party told their shepherds to take their sheep and follow Halima's, however hers always returned full and continued to yield abundant milk, whereas theirs did not.

 

The blessings never ceased to escape the attention of Halima's family and when they reached home their land became replenished once more and the palm trees bore an abundance of dates.

 

@AL SHAYMA

Halima had an older daughter named Hudhafa, also known as Al Shayma. Al Shayma loved her new brother dearly and never had to wait to be asked to look after him. It was a very happy time for the entire family and Halima's foster child grew rapidly in strength and outgrew other children of similar age.

 

Halima's tribe in particular was famous for speaking pure Arabic and many of its tribesmen had become famous on account of their eloquent speech and poetry; it was in such an environment that the young Muhammad learned the art of the precise diction of pure Arabic; however he did not learn how to read or write.

 

@THE RETURN TO MECCA

Halima never ceased to wonder at the growth and strength of her foster son and as he was now two years old and had completed his weaning she thought it was time for him to visit his mother in Mecca, so preparations were made for the journey.

 

When they reached Mecca Lady Aminah was delighted to see and hold her son once more, but an epidemic had broken out and she feared for his safety so it was agreed that Halima should take him back with her to their desert home.

 

@THE FIRST OPENING OF THE YOUNG MUHAMMAD'S CHEST

Little Muhammad loved to play with his brothers but also enjoyed sitting alone by himself. Several months had passed since his return from Mecca when one day as his brothers were playing not far away among the sheep and he sat alone Gabriel came to him and took him then laid him down on the ground and proceeded to open his chest and remove his heart. From his heart he removed a black particle and said, 'This is the portion of satan in you.' Then from a golden vessel he washed his heart with the water of Zamzam, restored it to its place and resealed his chest.

 

The children ran to his suckling mother saying, 'Muhammad has been killed!' Shortly afterwards Muhammad returned to them looking somewhat pale and Halima held him gently in her arms and asked what had happened. He told her that his chest had been opened. The only difference she could notice was that he appeared a little paler than usual.

 

Anas said, "I would see the marks of the stitching on his chest."

 

@THE SECOND OPENING OF THE YOUNG MUHAMMAD’S CHEST

The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi was sallam) tells us of the time he was herding some animals, he said, "I was herding some animals with my foster-brothers behind our tents when two men wearing white robes came to me. They held me tightly and split open my chest, from my throat down to my belly. Then they removed my heart and split it open. Then they washed my heart and chest with snow until they had cleansed it." One of the angels said to the other, "Weigh him with ten people of his nation," but I outweighed them. So he said, "Weigh him with one hundred of his nation," but I still outweighed them. Then he said, "Weigh him with one thousand of his nation," but once again I outweighed them. Whereupon the angel said, "If you were to weigh him with his entire nation he would still outweigh them all!" He told his Companions that the two men were angels and that each son of Adam, except Mary and her son is touched by satan at birth.

 

@Fearing for his safety, it was decided to return the young Muhammad to Lady Aminah, so once again Halima set off with Muhammad to Mecca.

 

@HALIMA'S DECISION

Halima decided not to tell Lady Aminah the real reason for his early return but Lady Aminah was quick to realize she was concealing something. At last Lady Aminah persuaded Halima to tell her the real reason for her son's return.

 

Lady Aminah listened intently to the account of the opening of his chest and of Halima's fear that some bad jinn may be trying to harm him. Lady Aminah comforted her and told her that no harm would come to him because she had been told that he was destined for an important role. She also told Halima about her blessed pregnancy and of the light that had shone from her womb. After hearing this, Halima's heart was at peace once more and greatly relieved to know her fears for her beloved foster child were unfounded.

 

Lady Aminah thanked Halima for the loving care she gave her son and so it was at the age of six he returned to live with his mother in Mecca.

 

$CHAPTER 10 A NEW LIFE IN MECCA

 

It wasn't long before the young Muhammad had settled down very happily to his new lifestyle in the City of Mecca and found he had lots of cousins, an affectionate grandfather named Abd Al Muttalib, as well as many uncles and aunts.

 

Amongst the children Muhammad loved most were Hamza and his young sister Safiah, the children of his grandfather, Abd Al Muttalib. Muhammad and Hamza were practically the same age, however, Muhammad was the elder, although technically speaking, Hamza was his uncle and Safiah his aunt.

 

@THE JOURNEY TO YATHRIB

One day, Lady Aminah learned that a caravan would soon be leaving Mecca and passing through Yathrib (Medina) on its way north and she very much wanted to take her young son to visit the tomb of his father Abdullah. It was also a wonderful opportunity for Muhammad, who was now six, to meet the rest of his cousins and relatives who lived there.

 

Barakah, Lady Aminah's maid, made the necessary preparations for the eleven day journey and they in the company of Abdul Muttalib set out on their long journey together with the young Muhammad.

 

The Holy Family stayed in Yathrib for a month and the young Muhammad met more of his cousins, the children of Adiyy. He enjoyed being with them and went kite flying and sometimes they would take him to their large well where he learned to swim. It was a happy time but the month soon passed and the caravan destined for Mecca was ready to leave, so they made their farewells and departed.

 

@THE DEATH OF LADY AMINAH

As the caravan journeyed to Mecca, Lady Aminah was taken seriously ill and never recovered. The angels took away her soul at a village called Al Abwa and it is there that she lies buried.

 

Many years later at the Battle of Uhud, on the march to Uhud, Hind wife of Abu Sufyan called upon the hierarchy of the Koraysh to ravage the tomb of his mother Lady Aminah. Even though their hatred of the Prophet was great, they thought that such an act would be a despicable thing to do and that the tribes of Arabia would be repulsed by their action, the stain of which would never be wiped out, and also it was be a door they did not want to open. (In recent years, the followers of Abd Al-Wahab and ibn Taymia fell short of the ethics of unbelievers of Mecca. They desecrated tombs of the Prophet’s mother Lady Aminah, Lady Khadijah and many of the household of the Prophet and Companions in the Baqia by leveling them and rendering them unrecognizable. The graves are now unknown and unmarked. The followers of Abd Al-Wahab andibn Taymia are also responsible for laying waste many significant Islamic landmarks and neighborhoods such as Hudabayiah and replacing them with secular names. Modern structures in Mecca and Medina mirror those of New York and the only original structure to remain in Mecca is Ka’bah).

 

Barakah and Abd Al Muttalib did their best to comfort the saddened young Muhammad whose heart became vacant at the loss of his mother and together they made the heartbreaking journey to the house of his grandfather in Mecca. Abd Al Muttalib took his grandson into his own household and a very special love bonded them even closer together.

 

@THE LOVE OF ABD AL MUTTALIB

For many years Abd Al Muttalib had taken to sleeping near the Ka’bah at Hijr Ishmael, the place where he had been told in a vision to dig for the well of Zamzam many years before Abdullah, Muhammad's father was born. At Hijr Ishmael his couch would be spread out for him and more often than not it was there that one would find him.

 

There was an unwritten rule that no one sat on Abd Al Muttalib’s couch, not even his young son Hamza, however such was the love he had for his grandson Muhammad that he alone was welcome to join him there. One day some of Muhammad's uncles found him sitting on the couch and suggested he should not do so. Immediately, his grandfather told them, "Let my son stay, by Allah, he has a great future." The young Muhammad was a constant source of pleasure to his grandfather and both enjoyed the company of each other. Such was his endearing personality that anyone who met Muhammad loved him.

 

It was noticeable that even at such a tender age, Muhammad showed signs of wisdom far beyond his years and when Abd Al Muttalib attended important tribal meetings in the House of Assembly with other elders of the tribe, he would take his grandson with him. Muhammad's opinion was often sought in earnest despite his age, whereupon, Abd Al Muttalib would proudly comment, "There is a great future ahead for my son!" Abd Al Muttalib always referred with pride to his grandson as being his "son".

 

Even in these early years Abd Al-Muttalib instinctively knew the future role of his grandson and said, "Muhammad is the prophet of this nation." Later, the Prophet, without pride confirmed Abd Al-Muttalib’s saying and said, "I am the Prophet of this nation, and this is no lie. I am the son of Abd Al-Muttalib."

 

@THE DEATH OF ABD AL MUTTALIB

Abd Al Muttalib was now eighty-two years of age and a few months after his grandson's eighth birthday he was taken ill and passed away. Before Abd Al Muttalib died he entrusted the care of his grandson to his son Abu Talib, the blood brother of Muhammad's father Abdullah, so without hesitation Abu Talib gladly became Muhammad's guardian and took him into his own household.

 

As Abd Al Muttalib's bier was carried to a place known as Al Hujun for burial, many walked in his funeral procession and his young grandson shed many tears as he walked with them to the graveside. It was a time of great sorrow.

 

Like his father before him, Abu Talib became a loving guardian to his nephew and his wife, Fatima, daughter of Asad, Hashim's son, and half brother of Abd Al Muttalib, did all she could to compensate for the mother he had lost. Indeed, such was the degree of her care that in later years after her beloved trust had attained prophethood, he told those around him that rather than let him go hungry, Fatima would have preferred to let her own children go without. However the young Muhammad was never greedy and would share whatever he was given.

 

Upon the death of Abd Al Muttalib the ascendancy to the house of Hashim had weakened for his family. All but one of the honorable offices he had held for so long now passed to Harb, the son of Umayyah. The only position left for his household was that of providing for the pilgrims.

 

@THE GUARDIANSHIP OF ABU TALIB

When Abd Al Muttalib passed away there was very little left for his heirs to inherit and Abu Talib, although his circumstances were restricted, was rich in heritage, honor, and nobility. Like his father, he loved his nephew dearly and there wasn't anything he would not do for him. Many a night the young Muhammad would be found snuggled up to his uncle in bed, sleeping peacefully until the light of the morning.

 

During the day, Muhammad would go with him wherever Abu Talib might go and when he was old enough Abu Talib taught him the tender care and skill of how to be a master shepherd. Abu Talib's flock was a vital source of food and income to his family. It was a position of trust and one will no doubt recall that most prophets, peace be upon them, were shepherds at one time or another during their lives.

 

@THE DROUGHT

Drought had stricken Mecca and its neighboring settlements in the valley yet again. It was a hard time for everyone both old and young alike. Abu Talib was highly respected in his tribe and in times of need such as this, they would often turn to him for help and advice.

 

The situation continued to worsen, so in desperation several of the Koraysh went to Abu Talib to ask him to pray for rain. Muhammad was with him and heard their request so together, they made their way to the Ka’bah to supplicate for relief.

 

As they entered the precincts of Ka’bah, the sky was blue and the heat of the sun beat down just as it had done so for many weeks. Abu Talib and the young boy stood by the wall of the Ka’bah and supplicated for rain. Within moments, clouds gathered from all directions and rain started to fall -- the drought was over. Like Halima, Abu Talib was quick to recognize the multiple blessings he and others shared on account of his nephew.

 

$CHAPER 11

@THE EARLY YEARS

 

It was time for the annual trip to Syria. Even though Hashim had secured pacts with tribes along the caravan route many years before, the journey was arduous and not without danger. With this in mind Abu Talib decided to leave his nephew behind thinking it was better for him to remain at home with Fatima and his other children.

 

When the time came for the caravan to depart, Muhammad, who was now twelve years old, rushed up to him and threw his arms around him. Abu Talib never had the heart to refuse his nephew anything at all and so it was agreed that he would join him on the long trip north to Syria.

 

@BAHIRA, THE MONK

After many weeks of arduous travel the caravan reached the vicinity of Howran - which was at that time under the control of the Roman Empire – on the outskirts of Basra and it was there that a hermit monk lived whose given name was George but better known as Bahira.

 

Bahira had lived there for many years and inherited the hermitage from a succession of hermit monks. Over the centuries, important religious documents had been brought to the hermitage and left by his predecessors so Bahira had made it his life's work to study them well and had become very knowledgeable. In the documents were prophecies that told of another prophet to come after Jesus, peace be upon him. The prophecies described in detail the time in which he would be born, his appearance, character, and background and it was Bahira's dearest wish to be blessed to live long enough to see him.

 

One day as Bahira was meditating outside his hermitage he noticed a caravan coming from the direction of Aqabah making its way towards the city. It was a common sight to see caravans making their way there, but as he gazed towards it he noticed that there was something very different about this one. As the caravan passed by the rocks and trees they bowed down and Bahira knew from his learning that this only happened for a prophet.

 

When the caravan reached his village Bahira went out to meet it and invited the caravaners for a meal. As soon as he saw the young twelve-year old boy Muhammad, his heart beat faster as he said, "Young man, by Al-Lat and Al-Uzza, I want to ask you some questions." The young Muhammad replied, "Do not ask me by Al-Lat and Al-Uzza, by Allah, there is nothing more hateful to me than them." Then the young Muhammad said politely to Bahira, "Ask me whatever you like." Whereupon Bahira questioned him about various matters, even his sleep. Then Bahira looked at his eyes and then for the seal between his shoulders. Each of the replies the young Muhammad had given and his physique complied with the description of the last Messenger of Allah, (salla Allahu alihi was sallam), in the Scriptures he had spent his life studying

 

Then Bahira asked Abu Talib about his relationship to the young boy. Abu Talib replied as was common practice for an uncle to refer to his nephew, "He is my son". Whereupon Bahira said, "He cannot be your son his father, should not be alive", and Abu Talib told him that he was correct and that Muhammad was not his own son but rather the son of his deceased brother Abdullah.

 

Bahira knew without doubt that this was the young boy destined to become the last Prophet of Allah and took hold of his hand and declared, "This is the master of the worlds. Allah will send him as a mercy to the worlds."

 

The Korayshi merchants were astounded and asked why he had made such a statement. Bahira told them that as they traveled toward the village he had seen a cloud floating above the caravan, following it, and when the caravan changed direction, the cloud also changed direction casting its protective shadow over it. Bahira also reminded them that when they arrived they had all take shelter from the sun under the shade of the tree but when the young boy arrived there was no place for him to sit except in the sun. He drew their attention telling them that as the young boy sat down in the sun, the branches of the tree moved and cast their shade over him and such occurrences only happened to a prophet.

 

Bahira knew for certain his dearest wish had been fulfilled and that he had been blessed to live long enough to meet the boy destined to be the last Prophet of Allah. However, when Bahira learned of the caravan’s destination he became deeply troubled. He advised Abu Talib not to go any further because they would pass through a Jewish settlement and the Jews would be sure to recognize the signs and attempt to kill him, as they had killed many prophets before, and so Abu Talib and the young boy returned to Mecca.

 

@EARLY CHARACTER

Muhammad had grown into a quiet, thoughtful youth preferring to look after his uncle's sheep rather than playing with the other children of Mecca. He loved the peace and tranquility of the valleys and mountainside. While tending his uncle’s flock he would pass his time observing and marveling at the wonders of the creation of Allah.

 

Like all boys of the Koraysh tribe he was taught the art of manhood and how best to defend himself. Muhammad had very keen eyesight and so it wasn't surprising that he became an excellent archer like his ancestor Prophet Ishmael.

 

All who knew him recognized his reputation for being honest, trustworthy and among other fine qualities, his intelligence.

 

He always went out of his way to oblige his companions. He was the most kindhearted of people, chaste and hospitable. When he made a promise, he always kept it and called by those who knew him Al-Ameen meaning trustworthy.

 

@THE REPAIRING OF THE KA’BAH

The modesty of the Prophet was protected by Allah, and the story has reached us regarding this protection during repair work on the Ka'bah.

 

It was customary for the Koraysh when building to carry the stones in their robes and more often their body became exposed. Muhammad, was about raise his robe like the others, but he was prevent by the heaven from doing so, and fell to the ground and did not continue with the raising of his robe.

 

@THE WEDDING

There was to be a wedding in the city, so elaborate preparations had already been made and a fine table prepared. When Muhammad's friends learned of the festivities, they were anxious to join in all the fun and rushed to find Muhammad to ask him to go with them. Festivities such as these did not attract him very much but his friends wanted him to go with him and he was not a person to disappoint anyone, so he agreed to accompany them and asked the boy who was herding the sheep with him if he would tend to the sheep in his absence.

 

As they neared the bride's house the sound of music grew louder and louder. Suddenly, Muhammad was overcome by extreme tiredness so he told his friends to go on without him, and shortly thereafter he fell sound asleep and didn't wake up until the following day when the festivities were over.

 

@THE AGE OF IGNORANCE

The situation in Arabia had deteriorated to such an extent that murder, lewdness, profanity, gambling, and drunkenness in conjunction with other depravities had become common. The poor and weak were treated very badly and the position of women was quite deplorable. Many women were deprived of all their rights, they could be bought and sold at whim and if they happened to inherit, their wealth was more likely than not, seized by their spouse.

 

To many, the greatest shame for a woman was to give birth to a daughter. She alone was blamed and disgrace fell upon the family. All too often innocent baby girls were buried alive or even strangled at birth. However, this was not the case in the majority of Arab tribles as many respected their wives and abhorred the practice of infanticide.

 

Most tribes knew little or no form of government and each tribe was independent from the other except for the occasional alliance; as a result, rivalries and deep rooted jealously often prevailed. Tribal feuds were common and all too often the origin for the feud had faded from memory but that was of no consequence, a feud was a feud, and therefore it was perpetuated without regard, from one generation to the next resulting in the shedding of much blood.

 

As for the Ka'bah, it now housed over 360 idols and fortune-tellers were consulted for both major and trivial decisions. Superstition was now a way of life -- it was a dark age -- an age of ignorance.

 

@THE BATTLE OF FIJAR

Muhammad was fifteen years of age when a clash between the tribes of Koraysh and the Banu Kinanah under the command of Harb, Umayyah's son erupted between them and the tribe of Kais Ailan.

 

Since the time of Prophets Abraham and Ishmael, certain months of the year had been held sacred. During these months physical hostilities between the tribes had become strictly forbidden. However, the rule was broken when Al Barrad, Kais Al Kinani's son, killed Urwah Al Rahal, Utbah Al Huwazini's son.

 

The battle that ensued became known as the "Battle of Fijar" because it took place during the forbidden months. Abu Talib took part in the fighting which was destined to erupt spasmodically over a period of four years, however Muhammad did not take part, rather he gathered stray arrows for his uncle.

 

@THE TREATY OF FUDUL

The clashes abated and peace was finally restored. However, the people felt the need to form an alliance which suppressed violence and injustice, and protected the rights of the weak and destitute. As a result a meeting was called for in the house of Abdullah, Judan’s son which resulted in what was to be known as the Treaty of Fudul.

 

Those who took part were from the descendants of Hashim, Muttalib, Asad, Zuhra and Tamin together with the young Muhammad and his uncles. Abu Bakr, who in later years was to become the most sincere brothers in Islam of the Prophet and Abu Bakr’s father Abu Kuhafah of Taym were also participants. The spirit of this departure from pre-Islamic tribal pride was indeed a landmark of great significance as injustice was rampant.

 

One of the contributing factors to the treaty of Fudul occurred when a visiting merchant by the name of Zubaib came to Mecca to sell his merchandise and Al-As Wail As-Sahmy’s son agreed to purchase the consignment. The deal was struck, and Al-As, Wail’s son received his goods, but then refused to pay the agreed price.

 

Although the merchant was far from home and had no fellow tribesmen to support him, he had not been daunted by the weakness of his position. He had climbed to the top of a mountain, and appealed to those present about the unjust transaction but the Koraysh had paid no attention.

 

When the Koraysh chieftains learned of the injustice, they called for a meeting in Abdullah Judan’s son house, and Al-As, Wail’s son was ordered to pay his debt to Zubaid.

 

Such was the importance of this treaty that the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) later told his Companions, "Indeed, I witnessed with my uncles, in the house of Abdullah Judan's son, a treaty which is more beloved to me than a herd of cattle. Now in Islam, if I were to be asked to partake in something similar, I would accept."

 

@TRADE

By now, Muhammad was a young man. The caravan journeys he had made with his uncle had taught him many things, so it was natural that he too should take to trading as a livelihood.

 

There were those in Mecca who gained much wealth through trading. Some of them, for one reason or another, choose not to accompany the caravans on their missions, preferring to entrust their goods and money to a caravaner who would in return be given a share of the profit. However, reliable and trustworthy people had become increasingly difficult to find.

 

Muhammad's word was his bond and his reputation for fairness, honesty, and trustworthiness were known by all in Mecca, so when he started to trade on behalf of others, Meccan businessmen welcomed him as their profit-sharing partner.

 

It was not only with their trade that the Meccans trusted him. They trusted him completely in the knowledge that anything placed in his safekeeping would be returned without decrease. One might have expected that he would have been paid a fee for such service, however he never requested, desired, nor accepted a fee. His inherent sense of fairness dictated that receiving a fee would ultimately detract from the value of the person’s wealth.

 

Such was his impeccable reputation that both businessmen and tribesmen would refer to him as "Al Amin", the trustworthy.

 

It was through Muhammad’s example of fair-trading that in later years, his Companions emulated his practice and became very successful in all aspects of commerce. Those who traded with them, be they Muslim or non-Muslim in Arabia or in other countries, knew that they could rely upon their trading partner and would never be cheated.

 

 

$CHAPTER 12 MARRIAGE

 

@KHADIJAH, DAUGHTER OF KHOULID

Among the traders of Mecca was a well-respected, honorable, refined, wealthy forty-year old widowed lady named Khadijah. She was very beautiful and had many suitors, however, she declined their offers of marriage.

 

Abu Talib suggested to his nephew, who was now twenty-five, that he might wish to contact Khadijah to ask whether she might like him to trade on her behalf. Muhammad, having dealt only with male traders, was somewhat respectfully shy to ask her, so he told his uncle that perhaps she would send someone to contact him if she needed his services.

 

When news of the conversation reached Khadijah, she told those close to her that if she had only known he was willing to trade with her wealth she would have offered him the opportunity long before, and so a messenger was sent to invite him to come to her house and discuss arrangements.

 

When Khadijah met Muhammad she respectfully asked if he would take it upon himself to act on her behalf with her merchandise. She told him that she had already learned of his reputation for honesty and truthfulness and knew of his high morality. Muhammad agreed and as a mark of appreciation she told him she would gift him with twice the usual amount. Muhammad accepted, thanked Khadijah for her generosity, and returned to his uncle to tell him the good news. His uncle was delighted and told him Allah had sent him this blessing.

 

Just before the end of the month of Dhul Hijjah, Muhammad, in the company of Khadijah's devoted servant Maysarah, set out for Syria on his first trip. Upon reaching a place called Tayma, Muhammad and Maysarah sat down to rest under the shade of a tree not far from the hermitage of a monk named Nastura, who surprisingly rushed out to greet him.

 

After the exchange of greetings, Nastura kissed Muhammad's head and feet then said, "I believe you, and bear witness that you are the one Allah mentioned in the Torah." When Nastura saw the mark between his shoulders, he kissed him yet again and bore witness that Muhammad was to become none other than the Messenger of Allah, the illiterate prophet of whom Prophet Jesus, peace be upon him, had prophesied would come. Then, he turned to Maysarah and told him, "He is the last Prophet, I wish I could be with him when he is called!" Maysarah was taken aback by Nastura's statement, it was indeed something to tell his mistress.

 

After taking their farewells Muhammad and Maysarah continued on their way to Basra and as the heat of the mid-day sun blazed down, Maysarah noticed clouds casting their continuous, protective shade over his companion.

 

When they reached their destination Muhammad concluded his commerce and wasted no time setting off back to Mecca. Many days passed before they reached the familiar outskirts of Mecca then at long last, they finally reached Khadijah's house around mid-day.

 

Just before their arrival Khadijah who had been resting in an upper room, happened to glance out of her window and saw them returning, riding on their camels. Then to her amazement, as she looked up into the sky she saw the clouds drifting above Muhammad, shading him from the intense heat of the sun.

 

After the camels had been attended, Muhammad went to greet Khadijah and tell her of the trades he had made; to her surprise she found her commerce had doubled. Khadijah, true to her word kept her promise and gave Muhammad his handsome gift. Later, Khadijah spoke to Maysarah about the matter of the clouds and he too confirmed he had seen the same thing throughout the journey. He also related the bewildering conversation and witnessing of the hermit monk, Nastura, and told of the many blessings they encountered upon their journey.

 

@THE MARRIAGE BETWEEN MUHAMMAD AND KHADIJAH

Khadijah had been deeply moved and impressed by the things Maysarah told her. Her cousin, Warakah, who was well versed in the scriptures, also spoke highly of him and so she sent her friend, Nufaysah daughter Maniya, to discreetly inquire why he had not married.

 

His reply was simple, it was because he had very little money to support a wife and family. Nufaysah asked him if he would consider marrying a rich, beautiful lady of noble birth, whereupon Muhammad inquired whom the lady might be and was told it was Khadijah. Muhammad was very happy. He respected Khadijah, as she was known among the ladies of the Koraysh as the "Mistress of the Koraysh" and "Al Tahirah" - the pure.

 

Muhammad went to Abu Talib to tell of the proposal and they, together with Hamza went to ask Khadijah's father Khoulid, son of Asad to ask his permission to marry her and the day of the wedding was set.

 

Those attending the marriage ceremony of Muhammad and Khadijah were Abu Talib and the chieftains of Mudar. Abu Talib delivered a remarkable speech filled with the faith of their great forefather Ishmael.

 

Abu Talib said, "Praise be to Allah who chose us from children of Abraham and the seeds of Ishmael, and the light of M’ad and the principals of Mudar. He made us the custodians of His House and the political power of His Holy Land. He made for us a House to which people pilgrimage and a forbidden land full of safety, and He made us the ruler over people.

 

My nephew, Muhammad son of Abdullah, will outweigh any man even though he may not have a substantial amount of money. Wealth is a shade which sooner or later goes away. Muhammad, as you know his household is reputable, and seeks marriage with Khadijah daughter of Khoulid and offers her a dowry from my wealth part of which is in advance and the remainder delayed from my wealth. Such-and-such. By Allah, for him there is great news and a great future."

 

Thereupon, Khoulid gave Khadijah to him in marriage, and her dowry was twelve and half ounces of gold and forty dirhams.

 

On the day of their marriage, Muhammad released Barakah, his maid, from service. Shortly after, Barakah married a man from Yathrib and later gave birth to a son named Ayman. However, in the years to come Barakah was to return to the Prophet's household.

 

$CHAPTER 13 ZAYD

 

As part of his wedding gift, Khadijah gave her husband the services of a youth named Zayd from the tribe of Kalb in Syria.

 

Several years before, Zayd's mother had taken her son to visit her family in the tribe of Tayy. During their visit the village had been raided by a marauding tribe and amongst their plunder they seized Zayd then sold him in Mecca. Zayd's father, Haritha, had led a search party to find his son, but the search proved unsuccessful -- there was no trace whatsoever of him and he feared the worst.

 

Khadijah and Muhammad had been married for only a few months when the pilgrimage season began and soon pilgrims from all over Arabia and beyond came to Mecca. It was in that year that tribesmen from Kalb decided to partake in the pilgrimage and by chance Zayd happened to see and recognize some of them.

 

Zayd knew his parents would have grieved over his loss. At first, he too had been devastated at being torn from his parents, but nowadays his circumstances had changed and he was very happy living in the household of Muhammad. However, now that the opportunity presented itself he was able to send his parents a comforting message via the pilgrims.

 

Members of Zayd's family were recognized as master poets so he composed a verse conveying the news that he was alive, happy, and well. The verse told them not to grieve for him any longer because he lived near the Holy Ka’bah with a blessed and noble family.

 

As soon as the pilgrims reached home they went straight to Haritha and delivered the poem. Haritha was overjoyed to receive news that his son was alive and immediately ordered mounts to be made ready for himself and his brother to ride to Mecca to ransom his son.

 

Upon reaching Mecca they inquired the way to the house of Muhammad and when they reached it, earnestly begged him to allow them to ransom Zayd. Haritha was prepared to offer any amount of money to free his son, however they were surprised when Muhammad told them that if Zayd wished to return with them he was free to do so and the payment of a ransom was unnecessary.

 

Zayd was sent for and asked if he recognized the two men standing before him. Zayd was overjoyed to see his father and uncle again and confirmed that they were indeed his family. Then, Muhammad asked if he wished to return with them or remain with him in his household. The reply Zayd's father and uncle were about to hear astounded them, Zayd replied that he wished to remain as he was happy where he was. Zayd's father could not comprehend how anyone, let alone his own son, could choose the life of a servant to that of a freeman, but Zayd respectfully told them that he did not wish it otherwise.

 

Upon hearing these touching words, Muhammad took Zayd by the hand and went to the Ka’bah. There he announced Zayd's freedom saying, "All those who are present, bear witness that Zayd is as my son, he is my heir and I am his."

 

Haritha and his brother returned home and told their fellow tribesmen of Zayd's decision. They recounted the circumstances and the great bond they had witnessed between Muhammad and Zayd, and told them that Zayd was a freeman.

 

The Koran highly recommends the freeing of slaves, however, in the years that followed Allah made it known that adoption is not permissible but nevertheless encourages and honors the fostering of a child. When a child is adopted it automatically deprives that child from his own lineage whereas a foster child retains his own personal identification.

 

Allah says:

"Muhammad is not the father of any of your men.

He is the Messenger of Allah and the Seal of the Prophets." 33:40

 

@THE DAILY LIFE OF MUHAMMAD AND KHADIJAH

Muhammad’s marriage with Khadijah was very happy and blissful. He continued to manage Khadijah's affairs with great skill and her business flourished bringing further wealth to the household. Despite the abundance of wealth, Muhammad choose to live a simple life giving most of his wealth away to those in need.

 

Muhammad’s aunt, Safiah, Abd Muttalib's daughter, and sister of Hamza, married a relative of Khadijah and visited with them, often taking her son Zubair, whom she had named after her elder brother, with her.

 

When Khadijah became pregnant, Safiah offered the services of her own maid Salma, to assist with the birth. Khadijah gratefully accepted and so Salma became the midwife to all of the children born to them. The names of Muhammad and Khadijah’s sons were Kasim and Abdullah -- who was also known as Al Tahir or Al Tayyib -- and their daughters were named Zaynab, Rukiyah, Umm Kulthum and Fatima who was born one year before her father became the Prophet of Allah. However, their sons were not destined to live long. Kasim died shortly before his second birthday, and Abdullah died during infancy shortly after his father became the Seal of the Prophets of Allah, (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam).

 

$CHAPTER 14 KA'BAH

 

@THE RECONSTRUCTION OF KA'BAH

Muhammad was thirty-five when it was decided that the Ka’bah should be reconstructed as over the years its walls had become weakened and showed signs of cracking, and more recently Mecca had been flooded and this had affected and weakened the Ka’bah still further.

 

The Ka’bah had been built by Prophet’s Abraham and Ishmael many centuries before. It was a low building constructed from white stones and approximately six meters high. Also, it had remained throughout the centuries roofless and thieves had easy access to the treasures housed within it.

 

The Koraysh were deeply concerned about its condition and felt it necessary to completely demolish the Ka’bah then rebuild it using the same stones. They also proposed to make it larger and to add a roof. All agreed that its reconstruction must be funded by pure money. Money gained unlawfully such as that earned by interest, prostitution, and the like was automatically rejected.

 

Such was the deep-rooted reverence for the Ka’bah that the Koraysh feared their actions might be deemed sacrilegious. Although their intentions were honorable, they remembered what had happened to Abraha when he tried to raze it to the ground some thirty-five years before.

 

The Koraysh were about to start upon its reconstruction when news came that a ship had been wrecked off the coast near Jeddah, whereupon one of their tribesmen named Waleed, Mughirah's son, hastened to Jeddah to purchase its salvageable timber. One of the ship's survivors was a Roman mason named Bakum, so Waleed procured his services and together they journeyed back to Mecca with the timber for Ka'bah.

 

The first person to start removing the stones was Abu Wahb, brother of Fatima, after a lot of effort they reached the foundations Prophet Abraham laid so many centuries before and came across large, round, greenish colored stones. When it was time to begin rebuilding its walls, it was decided to divide the work among the tribes so that each tribe was responsible for rebuilding a specific part. The original stones were collected and soon work was underway. Near the door of Ka’bah lay and still lies, a small rock. Miraculously imprinted in the rock is the footprint of Prophet Abraham. During the reconstruction of Ka’bah an inscription was found beneath the rock that read: 'Ka'bah, the Holy House of Allah. Her sustenance comes to her from three directions. Do not let her people be the first to profane her.'

 

As the rebuilding progressed, new stones were added to the original stones to make the Ka’bah higher. Work on the reconstruction continued to go well until it was time for the repositioning of the Black Stone. Each tribal chieftain was anxious to receive the honor of its placing and so inevitably, a heated dispute arose between them. The dispute continued for four days and nights without a decision being reached and tempers neared breaking point.

 

It was obvious that none of the chieftains would relinquish their right to place the stone. After much deliberation the most senior of all the chieftains, Abu Umayyah, son of Mughirah Al Makhzumi made a proposal that proved acceptable to all the tribal chieftains. The proposal was that they would let the first person to enter the precincts of Ka’bah place the stone.

 

The first person to enter was Muhammad and everyone was delighted. His character was impeccable and no one raised the slightest objection, so they went and informed him of his most honorable role.

 

Muhammad was guided by blessed wisdom that was to satisfy everyone. He asked for a piece of cloth to be spread out on the ground, then placed the Black Stone in the middle and asked the chief of each tribe to take hold of the cloth, raise and carry it to the corner of the eastern wall of Ka’bah. Each took hold of the cloth and carried it, then, when they reached the corner, Muhammad picked it up and positioned it, just as his blessed ancestor, Prophet Abraham, had done so many centuries before. The honor of each tribe was secured and everyone was happy with the solution.

 

The Koraysh ran out of untainted (halal) money and so they were unable to continue rebuilding the Ka’bah to its original dimensions and so they reduced its size on the northern side of Ka’bah called Al-Hijr or Al-Hateem. As for its door it was raised from ground and the Ka’bah was supported inside by six pillars over which they laid the roof.

 

It was around that time that Muhammad started to receive visions, all of which were to materialize shortly thereafter.

 

 

$CHAPTER 15 ALI, SON OF ABU TALIB

 

There was one year in particular when many areas including Mecca, were stricken by drought followed by inevitable famine. Abu Talib, Muhammad’s uncle had a large family, but by now some of his children had married and left home. However, the drought had made it all but impossible for him to provide adequately for those still remaining at home. Muhammad realized the hardship his uncle and family faced so he went to Al-Abbas and suggested that they should each take one of Abu Talib's sons into their own household until matters improved.

 

Without hesitation, Al-Abbas and his wife, Umm Al Fadl agreed so they went to Abu Talib to ask his permission. Their proposal was gratefully accepted and it was agreed that Al-Abbas should take Jafar and that Muhammad should take Ali into their homes.

 

Ali was around the same age as Muhammad’s daughters, and so they played happily together under the supervision of Zayd.

 

@THE GIFT OF KHADIJAH

The land of the Bani Sa’ad, in the vicinity where Muhammad had been raised, suffered greatly on account of the drought.

 

Whenever Halima visited Mecca she would make a point of visiting with Muhammad and his family. Khadijah always welcomed her and her visits caused great joy among the family, but this time it was obvious something was troubling Halima. The drought had caused her to loose almost all her livestock. When Khadijah learned of her plight she, without a moment’s hesitation gave her forty sheep as well as a healthy, strong camel to ease her situation.

 

@THE MARRIAGE OF THREE DAUGHTERS

Muhammad’s uncle, Abdul Uzza son of Abdul Muttalib who was to become known as Abu Lahab was a prominent figure amongst the Koraysh. However, even at this early stage he was not as close to Muhammad as the rest of his uncles.

 

Nevertheless, Abu Lahab recognized the high regard people had for his nephew and proposed the marriage of his two sons Utbah and Utbayah to Muhammad’s daughters Rukiyah and Umm Kulthum. The proposals were accepted, Utbah married Rukiyah and Utbayah married Umm Kulthum, however the marriages remained unconsummated.

 

Lady Khadijah thought the match between their daughter Zaynab and her nephew Al-As, Rabi's son would be a happy union and so she discussed the matter with her husband. Muhammad was agreeable for he never opposed Khadijah's wishes and so the young couple were married.

 

$CHAPTER 16 THE PROPHETHOOD

 

Just outside Mecca lies a mountain called Mount Hira and it was there that Muhammad would often retreat to one of its caves to contemplate and worship Allah alone through the means of meditation. The formal way in which his ancestors, Prophets Abraham and Ishmael, had worshipped was long forgotten and he knew no other way of worship.

 

During the month of Ramadan, it had become Muhammad’s custom to make a special retreat to the cave taking with him some water and dates for his provision. When Khadijah thought his provisions might be getting low, she would, despite the fact she was no longer young and the slopes leading to the cave were steep, go there to bring him fresh supplies.

 

The affairs Muhammad observed in Mecca troubled him deeply, but most of all he abhorred the increased worship of the idols placed in and around Ka'bah, for he had never been an idolater. He directed his worship to the One and only God, Allah, who created and creates all things.

 

Muhammad was just over forty, and the month of Ramadan had come around again, so he made his way once again up to the cave. It was there during his retreat, on the night of Monday 21st Ramadan, (10th August, 610 CE) that Allah sent the Arch Angel Gabriel to him.

 

Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) was completely overwhelmed when Gabriel appeared, and tried to look away, but no matter which direction he turned his face, the angel filled the horizon. Then the angel spoke, commanding him to read.

 

Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) had never learned to read and respectfully replied, "I cannot read" whereupon Gabriel took him, pressed him firmly to himself, and commanded him again to read. Once again the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) respectfully replied saying, "I cannot read." Gabriel took the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) yet again and pressed him firmly to himself but this time when he released him, he commanded him saying,

 

"Read in the Name of your Lord who created,

created the human from a (blood) clot.

Read! Your Lord is the Most Generous,

who taught by the pen,

taught the human what he did not know."

Koran Chapter 96 verses 1-5

 

and so the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) recited the words exactly as the angel had taught him. The verses he had been given were indelibly written deep into his very being and Gabriel departed.

 

From this verse our attention is drawn to the way in which Allah introduced Himself to His Prophet and His creation of the human being and also His attribute of generosity. Thereafter the verse refers to knowledge and the way in which to preserve it. In reflection one remembers that the first prophet of Allah, Prophet Adam, was taught the names of everything in creation whereas Prophet Muhammad, the last of all the prophet’s was introduced to the Name of Allah.

 

The event was of tremendous proportion and consumed his thoughts but at the same time he was anxious about the bearing the responsibility and his role.

 

In haste, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam), left the cave and made his way with his heart beating faster down the mountainside to his home. As soon as he saw Lady Khadijah, may Allah be pleased with her, he exclaimed with respect in plurality, "Zammiluni, Zammiluni " meaning "You all, cover me, cover me!" Lady Khadijah had never seen him like this before and he told her of his experience in the cave and then of his thoughts. Lady Khadijah tried her best to comfort, and reassure him, and told him that Allah would never disappoint him because he was not only good to his family, but to those in need. She reminded him that he always spoke the truth and whenever asked he would comfort and help people solve their problems and then furthermore, that he was always hospitable.

 

Lady Khadijah had an elderly cousin by the name of Warakah, Nawfal's son who was knowledgeable of the Scriptures. He had studied both the Torah and the Gospel and became a Nazarene many years before, but now his sight had failed and blindness overtook him. So she suggested that they should go to him, tell him exactly what had happened, and ask his authoritative opinion.

 

Warakah, like a handful of other people knowledgeable of the Scriptures, felt sure from their learning that the time was imminent for the coming of the last Prophet of Allah. He remembered the prophecy of Jesus, peace be upon him, to his disciples:

 

"But now I go my way to God who sent me,

and none of you asketh me, "Whither goest thou?'

But because I have said these things unto you,

sorrow hath filled your heart.

Nevertheless I tell you the truth;

It is expedient for you that I go away;

for if I go not away, the Comforter (Prophet Muhammad)

will not come unto you; but if I depart, he will be sent unto you.

And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin,

and of its lack of righteousness, and judgment.

Nevertheless when he, the Spirit of Truth (Gabriel) is come,

he will guide you into all truth: for he (Prophet Muhammad)

shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear,

that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come."

Bible, New Testament John 58:80-82

 

and so Warakah listened intently to the events the Holy Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) described.

 

Warakah had no doubt whatsoever in his mind that Muhammad had been chosen to be the last Prophet of Allah (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and informed him that the angel who appeared to him was the same one who had visited Prophet Moses and that it was none other than the Arch Angel Gabriel.

 

Warakah told the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) how much he wished he could have been a youth when the order came from Allah for him to preach His Message, and warned that he would have to migrate from Mecca. The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) was surprised by Warakah's comment and asked, "Will I have to migrate?" Warakah confirmed what he had said saying, "Yes, there has never been a man who brought what you are going to come with that has not been the target of his enemies, but if I am alive when your time comes, I will be your strong supporter." A few weeks later Warakah passed away.

 

$CHAPTER 17 THE REVELATION, RANK OF THE PROPHETS, MESSENGERS AND THE ARCH ANGEL GABRIEL

 

The night before Prophet Muhammad, (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) received the first revelation in the cave, Allah sent the Holy Koran from the protected tablet "Al Lawh Al Muhfuz" to be lodged in the lower heavens in the House of Honor. It was there that it remained until Allah commanded its verses and chapters to be sent down at their predetermined time.

 

The Revelation of the Holy Koran took place over a period of twenty-three years, sometimes with long intervals between their sending.

 

Allah refers to this great event in Chapter 97 of the Koran:

 

"We sent this (the Holy Koran) down on the Night of Honor.

What could let you know what the Night of Honor is!

The Night of Honor is better than a thousand months,

in that the angels and the Spirit (Gabriel) descend

by the permission of their Lord upon every command.

Peace it is, till the break of dawn."

 

A thousand months is equal to 83 years which is the span of a life time. What is meant is that if one spends the Night of Honor praying and asking Allah for forgiveness he/she is receiving a reward equal to his own life span.

 

Allah refers to the event again in the Koran, Chapter 2 verse 185

 

"The month of Ramadan is the month in which the Koran

was sent down, a guidance for people,

and clear verses of guidance and the criterion ..."

 

Until the advent of Prophet Muhammad, (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) each prophet had been sent for their own specific nation -- they were not sent to save the whole of humanity. In one of his sermons Prophet Jesus, peace be upon him, spoke of his own particular mission which is recorded in the New Testament, "He answered, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the House of Israel." (Bible, New Testament, Matthew 24 40:15), in other words, the sincere Jews who were trying to follow the true teachings of Moses but found it difficult to do so on account of the corrupt teachings of erring rabbis who better served and feared their secular masters rather than their Creator.

 

The mission of Prophet Muhammad, (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) was not to be restricted to the Arab nation but instead it was for all nations of the world. He was sent with a Book, -- Al Koran -- that Allah, in His Mercy has promised to protect from any form of corruption.

 

"It is We who sent down the Koran,

and We watch over (protect) it."

Koran Chapter 15 verse 9

 

Before the prophets were sent to their respective nations, each took a covenant with Allah:

 

"'And when Allah took the covenant of the Prophets:

‘That I have given you of the Book and Wisdom.

Then there shall come to you a Messenger (Muhammad)

confirming what is with you, you shall believe in him,

and you shall support him, to be victorious,

do you agree and take My load on this?'

They answered: 'We do agree.'

Allah said: 'Then bear witness,

and I will be with you among the witnesses.'"

Koran Chapter 3 verse 81

 

The rank of the Arch Angel Gabriel is that of the highest of all angels. It is he who received the honor of delivering the Scriptures to all the Prophets and Messengers of Allah, from the time of Adam up until Prophet Muhammad, the Seal of the Prophets. He also visited Mary, the mother of Prophet Jesus, to bring her the news of her miraculous conception. Peace be upon all the prophets and their righteous families.

 

Adel’s son reported that Gabriel visited Prophet Adam twelve times, Prophet Idris four times, Prophet Noah fifty times, Prophet Job three times, Prophet Moses four hundred times, Prophet Jesus ten times - thrice when he was young and seven times after he reached the age of maturity - and that he visited Prophet Muhammad on twenty-four thousand occasions during which time he delivered the Divine Revelation, the Koran that contains 6236 verses as well as many prophetic quotations.

 

We also know that he visited Lady Hagar and her son Prophet Ishmael at least once when Gabriel struck his feet on the ground and the waters of Zamzam started to flow, and at least once to Prophet Joseph when he was thrown into the well by his brothers. Peace be upon all the prophets.

 

$CHAPTER 18 THE MIRACULOUS KORAN

 

When Allah intended His special miracles to be demonstrated by His Prophets, He created something similar, yet clearly superior to the highly acclaimed skills of that day. To all but the proud, the miracles He sent were clearly recognizable and accepted as such by practitioner and layman alike.

 

For example, during the time of Moses and Pharaoh, sorcery and magic had reached its highest peak. To prove to Pharaoh and his nation that Prophet Moses had been sent with the truth, Allah caused the staff of Moses, to turn into a serpent and devour the magical snakes of the sorcerers. When the sorcerers saw the miracle they surrendered immediately to the truth, knowing well that the miracle was a reality whereas their skills were nothing other than skilled trickery.

 

Another example is that of the miracles given to Jesus. Prophet Jesus was sent at a time when the art of healing had reached an extremely high level. Among the healing miracles Allah permitted him was that he might raise the dead and heal the sick from incurable diseases. Physician and layman alike witnessed these miracles and knew that they were not the skills of a skillful physician, rather they were divine, holy miracles given to him by his Creator.

 

Earlier, we spoke of the pride Arabs took in their language and of the prestigious rank of a poet within their tribe. At no time in the history of Arabia had the science of language been greater or more eloquent. Annual poetry competitions were held in Mecca and elsewhere in Arabia to which people flocked just to listen to the beauty of the language and perhaps partake.

 

Although Prophet Muhammad, (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) was given many great miracles, the greatest miracle given to him was the Holy Koran, for its composition, grammar, eloquence, and finery surpasses the work of any author or poet. One might well bear in mind that whereas the miracles given to previous prophets during their time appeared they no longer remain today, whereas, the Arabic Koran remains for all time and is protected by Allah from any alteration.

 

Allah issues a challenge in the Koran for anyone to compose a chapter, or even just a verse of the same quality and beauty to those in His Koran and at the same time warns that no one will ever be able to do so. In His Mercy, Allah has promised to keep the Arabic Koran free from alteration or corruption. The miracle of the Koran was and still is apparent to all whose ego does not resist.

 

"If you are in doubt of what We have sent down

to Our worshipper (Prophet Muhammad),

produce a chapter comparable to it.

Call upon your helpers, other than Allah,

to assist you, if you are true.

But if you fail, as you are sure to fail,

then guard yourselves against the Fire

whose fuel is of people and stones prepared for the unbelievers."

Koran Chapter 2 verses 23:24

 

Prophet Muhammad, (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) was also given miracles both similar and superior to those of Prophets Jesus and Moses, peace be upon them.

 

$CHAPTER 19 THE EARLY REVELATIONS AND ALLAH MAKES KNOWN THE GREATNESS OF PROPHET MUHAMMAD (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam)

 

Not long after the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) received the first verses of the Revelation when he became a Prophet, he received another. This time it was a single letter with a mystical meaning. Later on during the Revelations the Prophet received other mystical letters.

 

The next time Prophet Muhammad, (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) received verses they included a Divine Oath of reassurance, these verses were also preceded by one of those mystical letters, the letter "nuun".

 

"Nuun.

By the Pen and that (the angels) write,

you are not, because of the favor of your Lord, mad.

Indeed, there is an unfailing wage for you.

Surely, you (Prophet Muhammad) are of a great morality ..."

Koran Chapter 68 verses 1 - 4

 

There was to be an interval of approximately ten days between these last verses and the sending down of the next, whereupon the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) became concerned. Lady Khadijah tried her best to console and reassure him, but now that Warakah had passed away there was no one else except her to turn to. Then, the much awaited Revelation resumed once more and again it contained a Divine Oath that laid to rest his concern and comforted both his heart and soul.

 

It was in this Revelation that he received the order to preach and to tell of the favors of his Lord.

 

"By the mid-morning, and by the night when it covers,

your Lord has not forsaken you (Prophet Muhammad),

nor does He hate you.

The Last shall be better for you than the First.

Your Lord will give you, and you will be satisfied.

Did He not find you an orphan and give you shelter?

Did He not find you a wanderer so He guided you?

Did He not find you poor and suffice you?

Do not oppress the orphan, nor drive away the one who asks.

But tell of the favors of your Lord!"

Koran, Chapter 93

 

This verse demonstrates the absolute assurance of the honor in which Allah appraises His beloved Prophet, (salla Allahu alihi was sallam), together with His praising and the care He has for him which is made evident in several ways.

 

First of all, the opening verses of this chapter, "By the mid-morning, and by the night when it covers," is amongst one of the highest forms of esteem Allah gave His Prophet, (salla Allahu alihi was sallam).

 

Secondly, Allah clarifies his situation and allays Prophet Muhammad’s fear saying, "your Lord has not forsaken you (Prophet Muhammad), nor does He hate you." In other words, Allah had not abandoned him, and He makes it very clear that He does not neglect him.

 

Thirdly, from the verse, "your Lord will give you, and you will be satisfied" we learn not only of his honor in this world and in the Everlasting Life but the happiness and blessings in both. Referring to this verse, a member of the Prophet's family (Lady Ayesha) said, "The Koran contains no other verse that has more hope than this one and we know that the Messenger of Allah, (salla Allahu alihi was sallam), will not be satisfied if any of his nation enters the Fire."

 

Fourthly, in the verses, "Did He not find you an orphan and give you shelter? Did He not find you a wanderer so He guided you? Did He not find you poor and suffice you?" our attention is drawn to the blessings bestowed upon Prophet Muhammad by Allah together with His favors, which include, the guidance of people through him, or his guidance. He had no property, yet Allah enriched him. It has been said that, it refers to the contentment and wealth He placed in his heart. He was an orphan but his uncle took care of him and it was with him that he found shelter. It has also been explained as meaning that he found shelter with Allah and that the meaning of "orphan" is that there was no other like him and Allah sheltered him. As for the verses "Did He not find you a wanderer so He guided you? Did He not find you poor and suffice you? Do not oppress the orphan," Allah reminds His Prophet, (salla Allahu alihi was sallam), of these blessings and that even before Allah called him to the Prophethood, He never neglected him either when he was a young orphan or when he was poor. Rather, He called him to the Prophethood and had neither abandoned him nor disliked him. How could He do so after He had chosen him!

 

Fifthly, in this verse Allah tells Prophet Muhammad, (salla Allahu alihi was sallam), "But tell of the favors of your Lord!" to announce the blessings given to him by Allah and to be thankful for the honor He bestowed upon him. This verse is also applicable to his nation in that they tell of the favors and this is both special to the Prophet and general to them.

 

$CHAPTER 20 THE FIRST TO BELIEVE

 

Now that Prophet Muhammad, (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) had received the instruction to tell of the favors of his Lord, he spoke to Lady Khadijah in depth about Allah. Lady Khadijah recognized the truth and became the first to embrace Islam and thereafter Zayd who had lived in their household for many years. In those early days of Islam, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) confined his preaching to his immediate family.

 

At the time Lady Khadijah embraced Islam, Prophet Muhammad, (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) had not received instructions as to the manner in which he should offer his prayers. Then, one day on the outskirts of Mecca, Angel Gabriel came to him and struck the ground with his heels. From the indentation, a spring of water began to flow and the Angel showed the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) the ritual cleansing procedure he should make before offering his prayer.

 

Now that the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) had learned how to perform the ritual ablution, Angel Gabriel taught him how to offer his prayers with its postures of standing, bowing, prostrating, and sitting which was the same way in which his great ancestors, Prophets Abraham and Ishmael had offered their prayers so many centuries before. Gabriel informed him that he should commence the prayer with the words "Allahu Akbar" -- Allah is the Greatest --, and to conclude the prayer by turning the head first to the right then saying "As-Sallamu alaykum" -- peace be upon you -- and then to repeat the same to the left. Thereafter, Gabriel departed and the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) returned home to teach Lady Khadijah and together they offered their prayer in unison. In the early days of Islam the daily prayers consisted on two units of prayer before dawn and two units of prayer after sunset.

 

@ALI AND ABU BAKR, AND THE EARLY CONVERTS

One day, Ali, Abu Talib's son, who had lived with them since the time of the famine, entered the room and found the Prophet and Lady Khadijah praying together. As soon as they concluded their prayer Ali asked what they were doing whereupon he was told that they were praising and giving thanks to Allah, then the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) spoke to him about Islam.

 

Ali was struck by the things he learned. He thought deeply about them and was unable to sleep that night. The following morning Ali went to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) to tell him that he believed and wanted to follow him. And so Ali, who was only ten years old yet had the maturity of a person twice his age, became the second male to embrace Islam.

 

Abu Bakr, who had been a friend of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) for many years, was next. He was a very amiable, tender-hearted man from the tribe of Taym, respected not only by his own tribe but by others. He had gained a reputation for offering sound advice and interpreting visions, therefore it was not uncommon for tribesmen to consult and confide in him.

 

Whenever circumstances presented themselves, Abu Bakr would speak to those whom he trusted about the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and his message. Amongst those who were receptive were Abdu Amr and Abu Ubaydah both of whom embraced Islam and changed their names to Abd Ar Rahman -- worshiper of the Merciful, Othman Affan Al-Umawi son, Az-Zubair son of Awwam Al-Asadi, Abdur Rahman son of Awf, Sa'ad son of Abi Waqqas, Az-Zuhri and Talha sons of Ubaydah At-Tamimy.

 

Among the early converts were Bilal son of Rabah from Abyssinian, Abu Ubaydah son of Al-Jarrah from the tribe of Bani Harith son of Fahr who gained the reputation as being the most trusted of the Muslim nation, Abu Salamah son of Abd Al-Asad, Al-Arqam son of Abi Al-Arqam from the tribe of Makhzum, Othman son of Maz'oun and his two brothers Qudama and Abdullah, Ubaydah son of Al-Harith son of Al-Muttalib son of Abd Munaf, Sa'id son of Zayd Al-Adawi and his wife Fatima the daughter of Al-Khattab who was the sister of Omar, Khabbab son of Al-Aratt, Abdullah son of Masood Al-Hadhali.

 

@THE VISION OF KHALID, SON OF SA'ID

One day, Abu Bakr received an unexpected visit from Khalid, Sa'ids son. It was obvious from Khalid's face that something was worrying him. Khalid took Abu Bakr to one side and told him that as he slept he had seen a very disturbing vision, and knew it should not be dismissed.

 

Khalid told Abu Bakr that in his vision he had seen his father trying to push him into a very deep, raging pit of fire and of a violent struggle he had with him. He was about to fall when suddenly, he felt a strong pair of hands grip him tightly around his waist and he was sure that if it had not been for those hands he would have undoubtedly been pushed into the fire. Khalid told Abu Bakr that when he looked round to see who had saved him, he saw the hands were none other than those of Muhammad, and then the vision vanished.

 

Abu Bakr's face lit up as he told Khalid that Muhammad had become the Prophet of Allah, (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and that if he followed him he would indeed be protected from the burning fires of Hell.

 

Khalid was awe struck and made straight for the house of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) to ask him about the message he had been given. He became engrossed by the Message and embraced Islam. However, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) told him that for the time being he should keep the matter a secret from the rest of his family.

 

@ABDULLAH, MASOOD'S SON EMBRACES ISLAM

Abdullah, Masood's son was a shepherd who tended a flock of sheep belonging to Uqbah, Abd Muayt's son. One day when the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and Abu Bakr were passing they stopped and asked him for a cup of milk. Abdullah told them that unfortunately the sheep did not belong to him and that he did not have any of his own to be able to offer them a cup of milk.

 

The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) asked Abdullah if there happened to be a lamb that had not yet been mated in the flock. Abdullah told him that there was and went to fetch it. The lamb was set down in front of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) whereupon he massaged its udder as he supplicated to Allah. Miraculously, the udder filled with milk and they all drank. After thanking Allah they continued on their way. A few days later Abdullah went to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and embraced Islam.

 

Later on, Allah in His Mercy, blessed Abdullah in such a way that he was able to recite by heart no less than seventy chapters of Koran with its precise diction.

 

@OTHMAN AND TALHA EMBRACE ISLAM

Othman, Ahllan's son, was a trader and was upon his return journey from Syria, when one night as he and his fellow caravaners slept, he heard a voice saying, "O you who sleep, wake up, indeed Ahmad has come forth!" The voice with its message penetrated deep inside him and consumed his thoughts for many days. He did not know what to make of the message, and who "Ahmad" was -- which means the "praised one" and is one of the Prophet’s names mentioned in the previous Holy Books in particular the Gospel given to Jesus which no longer exists.

 

As he drew near to Mecca, Talha, a cousin of Abu Bakr caught up with the caravan and rode along with Othman. Talha had an experience similar to that of Othman. He had been on a journey that had taken him through Bostra when, much to his surprise a monk approached him asked if "Ahmad" from the people of the Holy House had come forth.

 

Talha was taken aback and asked the monk who "Ahmad" might be, the monk answered that his grandfather was Abd Al Muttalib and that his father was Abdullah, then he told him that it would be during that month he would appear. Talha did not know what to make of the monk's inquiry and like Othman the matter had consumed his thoughts.

 

Talha and Othman shared their experiences with one another; both were completely bewildered and agreed that the only way to understand the meaning of these events would be to go straight to Abu Bakr upon reaching Mecca and ask him.

 

As soon as they reached Mecca they went to Abu Bakr to tell of their experiences and he in turn took them to see the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and asked them to relate their accounts. The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam), listened then told them about Allah and that he had been called to prophethood. Without hesitation both Othman and Talha embraced Islam.

 

@ABU DHARR EMBRACES ISLAM

Abu Dharr belonged to the tribe of Bani Ghifar was amongst the first to convert to Islam. He had heard that a man from Mecca laid claim to be a prophet, so he asked his brother Anies to go to Mecca and bring back news of him, and dutifully, his brother left for Mecca.

 

Upon Anies’ return, Abu Dharr asked him what the man who laid claim to the prophethood said, whereupon his brother told him that he had heard him advocating goodness and forbidding evil.

Anies told him, "They say he is a poet, a soothsayer and a sorcerer, but I have heard soothsayers speak, and his words are unlike them. I compared him with the reciters of poetry and he is not like them. After what I have said no one should fall into error and refer to him as a poet. He is truthful and they are the liars." Upon hearing this news Abu Dharr gathered his water-skin and stick and set off to Mecca hear for himself.

 

When he reached Mecca he did not like to ask anyone straight away about him so he settled himself in the precincts of the Mosque and waited. As he waited, Ali happened to pass by and realizing he was a stranger offered him a place to stay. Abu Dharr accepted and followed Ali back to his house, but did not disclose the reason for his visit.

 

The following morning Abu Dharr went to Ka’bah again to wait, but this time he asked about the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) but no one was forthcoming. Ali happened to see him there again so he went across to him and asked why he had come to Mecca. Abu Dharr told him, in confidence, that he had heard a Prophet had appeared in Mecca and that he had sent his brother a while before to find out more about him. He told Ali, his brother had returned with an answer that had aroused his curiosity, so he decided to journey to Mecca himself to hear more. Ali told him he had found what he had come for and to follow him at an undetectable distance to avoid any possible harassment. He also told him that if he saw someone whom he thought might bother him, he would pretend to adjust his shoe and this would be warning for him to go away. However, there was no need for concern, and Abu Dharr followed him and was at last brought to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam).

 

That same day, Abu Dharr embraced Islam and the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) advised him to return to his village but keep his conversion secret until he learned of their victory. But Abu Dharr was so enthused that he declared, "By Him, who has sent you with the truth, I will announce my conversion to Islam publicly!" Then, he went directly to the Ka’bah where he proclaimed for all to hear. "I bear witness that there is no god except Allah, and Muhammad is His Messenger." The Koraysh tribesmen were infuriated and almost beat Abu Dharr to death and if it had not been for Al-Abbas who threw himself between him and his assailants he would have been severely injured. Al-Abbas rebuked the angry crowd saying, "Woe to you, do you want to kill a man from the tribe of Ghifar, when your caravans pass through their territory!!"

 

Abu Dharr was not to be put off and the next day he went to Ka’bah and declared his witnessing again. The same thing happened all over again and Al-Abbas intervened once more, then

Abu Dharr returned home to his tribe.

 

Later on, when the ever-increasing number of Muslims met with extreme hostility and persecution from the Koraysh, Abu Dharr took to the roads. There he would lie in wait, ambush the Koraysh caravans and retrieve the stolen belongings and restore them to their rightful Muslim owners.

 

TUFAYL FROM YEMEN

 

Tufayl was the son of Amr Ad-Dausi who resided a little outside Yemen in southern Arabia; he was a poet of high renown and as such had earned great respect from not only his own tribe, but also that of others.

 

It became necessary for Tufayl to journey to Mecca, so he set out on his journey to the City. As he neared Mecca he was stopped by a party of the Koraysh blocking the road. The Koraysh warned Tufayl about the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam), whom they now described as being, amongst other things, a sorcerer.

 

However, there was among those who formed the blockade a young boy by the name of Amr, Salama's son whose heart had been touched by the verses he heard from returning caravans from Mecca and so he committed those verses to heart, but fearing the reaction of his elders he kept his inclination to himself.

 

The frightening things the Koraysh said disturbed Tufayl to the extent that upon reaching Mecca he plugged his ears tightly with cotton to protect and prevent him from hearing anything.

 

When he reached Mecca, the familiar sounds of passersby and the market place were now silenced on account of the cotton placed firmly in his ears and he felt at ease. For many years it had been Tufayl's custom to visit the Ka’bah and circumambulate it before attending to business. As he entered the precincts of Ka’bah he noticed a lone figure standing near the Black Stone offering his prayer. It was never the practice of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) to offer his prayer in a loud manner, and this prayer was no exception, yet Allah allowed his quiet recitation to penetrate the cotton with which Tufayl had plugged his ears.

 

Tufayal knew well the intricacies of the Arabic language and was captivated by the compelling beauty and rhythm of the verses. He had heard many poets recite most excellent poetry, but the composition and arrangement of these words with their message was quite the most beautiful and certainly unique. He had never heard anything that could be remotely compared to the verses he now heard. Suddenly, he remembered the warning, but Allah caused his reason to prevail. Tufayl knew he was able to distinguish between right and wrong and realized that what he had just heard was anything but evil.

 

After the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) finished offering his prayer, Tufayl followed him to his home and entered. He told the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) how the Koraysh warned against him and how he had plugged his ears tightly with cotton so that he would be unable to hear him, yet he had heard his beautiful recitation.

 

Tufayl asked the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) to tell him more about his message, whereupon the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) told him that the verses he recited were not his own composition, rather they were from the Holy Koran sent to him from Allah, via the Angel Gabriel. The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) to the great pleasure of Tufayl, proceeded to recite several more verses and concluded his recitation with the short chapter "The Oneness"

 

"Say, 'He is Allah, the One, the called upon.

who does not beget, and was not begotten,

And there is none equal to Him."

Koran, Chapter 112

 

This short chapter penetrated the depths of Tufayl's heart. As soon as the recitation had finished Tufayl could no longer restrain himself and converted to Islam, then returned home with the instruction to tell others in his tribe about Islam.

 

Upon his return, Tufayl recited verses from the Koran and spoke about Islam to his family and tribesmen, but only his mother, father, wife and Abu Hurairah came into its fold. Tufayl was both very disappointed and angry that so few had accepted the invitation so he returned to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) in Mecca feeling very sad that so few had embraced Islam. The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) spoke kindly to Tufayl and supplicated to Allah for their guidance and told him to return home, continue preaching, and to be patient with their shortcomings. Tufayl obeyed the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and in the years to come many families in his tribe accepted Islam under his patient guidance and after the Battle of the Trench, he and his tribesmen migrated to Medina where he and they took part in many encounters. Tufayl was finally martyred in the hostilities of Al Yamamah.

 

@SWAID, SAMIT’S SON EMBRACES ISLAM

Another of the early believers was Swaid, Samit’s son. Swaid was a poet of some standing from Yathrib so when he met the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) he quoted to him some of the words of Luqman. The Prophet affirmed the veracity of his narration but told the young man that he had something far better and proceeded to recite some verses of the Koran. Swaid listened carefully to its words which touched his heart and he embraced Islam without a second thought. Swaid was killed during the Battle of Bu’ath in the eleventh year of the prophethood.

 

$CHAPTER 21 THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE EARLY MUSLIMS

 

Those who embraced Islam in its early years were seekers of the truth and by nature, upright and truthful.

 

Living in Mecca at that time were a group of people called "Ahnaf". To them idol worship was repugnant. They tried their best to follow the way of their great ancestor, Prophet Abraham, but apart from their belief that God is One, there was little else left of the religion of Abraham to guide them and it was in this group of people that Sa'id, Zayd's son belonged.

 

Othman, Maz'un's son had abstained from alcohol long before the advent of Islam. After embracing Islam he wished to live the life of a recluse, however Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) persuaded him otherwise.

 

Another characteristic of the early Muslims was that none of them were from the Koraysh hierarchy, which prompted the scorn of the unbelievers. Allah quotes their mockery in the Koran when they said to the believers:

 

"Are those whom Allah favors amongst us?"

Koran Chapter 6 verse 53

 

Upon reflection, one remembers that the followers of previous prophets were, for the most part, those considered by some to be on the lower and unimportant edge of society. The Holy Koran reminds how Prophet Noah’s council said to Noah:

 

" We see your followers are none but the lowliest amongst us,

and their opinion is not to be considered.

We do not see you superior to us, rather, we consider you liars."

Koran Chapter 11 verse 27

 

The early followers of Prophet Jesus were also of the same upright nature and similar in status and his leading disciple, James was known as "James the Just".

 

$CHAPTER 22 THE HIERARCHY OF THE KORAYSH

 

To gain a better understanding of the leaders and their position within the tribe of Koraysh during these early years of Islam, one should know the roles of these prominent people, because each one was destined to play an important role in one way or another in the years that followed:

 

The custodianship of the Ka’bah and keeper of its keys was Othman, Talha's son, whilst the family entrusted to look after the welfare of the pilgrims was Nuwfal, under the direction of Harith, Aamir's son, whereas it was the responsibility of Al-Abbas to provide them with water.

 

The advisor to the Koraysh was Yazid, Rabi'a Al-Aswad's son from the tribe of Asad. However, when the need came for an arbitrator, Abu Bakr was called upon.

 

The chief of the tribe of Umayyah was Abu Sufyan, who was also its standard bearer.

 

During times of hostilities, Waleed, Mughirah's son from the tribe of Makhzum was responsible for organizing camp affairs. He also commanded the cavalry, however when Harb, Umayyah's son died, Abu Sufyan was thought not be sufficiently proficient to assume the command, so the position was given to Waleed.

 

Amr, Hisham's son, was an influential, power-seeking young man of the Makhzum tribe. He was the grandson of Mughirah and nephew of Waleed, the now elderly chieftain of his tribe.

 

Omar from the Koraysh tribe of Adi was the liaison officer. He would also decided upon important issues such as lineage.

 

Superstition was rampant, and the chief interpreter of omens was Safwan, another son of Umayyah.

 

The office of treasurer was administered by Harith, Kais' son from the tribe of Sahm.

 

The chieftain of the tribe of Hashim was Abu Talib, later to be succeeded by the infamous Abu Lahab.

 

It is important to remember that the tribes of Hashim and Umayyah were equally prominent. For many years they had been jealous of one another and acute rivalry existed between them.

 

$CHAPTER 23 THE COMMAND TO PREACH

 

Three years after the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) received the first Revelation, Allah commanded him to extend his preaching publicly saying:

 

"Proclaim then, what you are commanded

and turn away from the unbelievers.

We suffice you against those who mock,

and those who set up other gods with Allah,

indeed, they will soon know.

Indeed, We know your chest is straitened by that they say."

Koran Chapter 15 verse 94-97

 

The number of converts had risen steadily, many of whom were relatives of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam). However, there were some who chose to conceal their belief for the time being. For example Al-Abbas, who on several future occasions played a vital role in the protection of Muslims. Al-Abbas only publicly announced his conversion shortly before the opening of Mecca. Also, we recall that Al-Abbas’ wife Umm Fadl was the second lady to embrace Islam and he raised no objection to her conversion.

 

When the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) received another revelation telling him:

 

"Warn your tribe and your near kinsmen,

and lower your wing to the believers who follow you."

Koran Chapter 26 verse 214-215

 

he thought of ways in which he could best fulfill this command. He knew he could expect resistance from some members of his family and tribe so he concluded the best way to present the Oneness of Allah to them would be to invite them all together and then speak to them. And so, forty-five invitations were delivered to the tribes of Hashim and Al Muttalib, son of Abd Munaf.

 

The uncles of the Prophet, Abu Talib, Hamza, Al-Abbas and Abu Lahab arrived with the other guests and the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) spoke to them about Islam. Then Abu Lahab addressed the gathering saying, "These are your uncles and cousins, you should know that your kinsmen are not in a position to withstand all the Arabs. Also, you must remember that your relatives are sufficient for you and if you follow their tradition it will be easier for them to face the other Koraysh tribes supported by other Arabs. Indeed, I have never heard of anyone who has brought more harm to his kinsmen than you." The Messenger of Allah (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) remained silent. Thereafter Abu Lahab arose exclaiming, "Your host has bewitched you!" Whereupon the Prophet’s guests got up and left.

 

On another occasion, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) invited his kinsmen together for a meal. No sooner had they finished eating, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) wasted no time to address them saying, "O sons of Abd Al Muttalib, I know of no Arab who has come to his people with a nobler message. I have brought you the best of this world and the next. Allah has ordered me to invite you to Him. So who will help me in this matter, my brother, my executor, and successor being among you?"

 

Silence fell heavily over the gathering and no one stirred, then, the young Ali got up and went to the Prophet's side and said, "Prophet of Allah, I will be your helper in this matter." Whereupon the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) put his hand on the back of Ali's neck and said, "This is my brother, my executor, and my successor among you. Listen to him and obey him." There was an outburst of laughter from his guests who now turned to Abu Talib and said mockingly, "He has ordered you to listen to your son and obey him!"

 

The Prophet continued, "O Koraysh, rescue yourselves from the Fire; O people of the tribe of Bani Ka'b, rescue yourselves from Fire; O Fatima, daughter of Muhammad, rescue yourself from the Fire, for I have no power to protect you from Allah in anything."

 

Abu Talib then said, "We love to help you, accept your advice and believe in your words. These are your kinsmen whom you have gathered together and I am one of them but I am the fastest to do what you like. Do what you have been ordered. I shall protect and defend you, but I can't quit the religion of 'Abdul-Muttalib." Abu Lahab turned to Abu Talib and said, "I swear by Allah that this is a bad thing. You must stop him before the others do." Abu Talib replied, "I swear by Allah to protect him as long as I live!"

 

The love and loyalty of Abu Talib, Hamza, and Al-Abbas to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) remained unquestionable, so it was not surprising that Abu Talib did not object to the conversion of his children, Ali, Jafar, and Safiah. Safiah had five other sisters, but they were not as yet prepared to make a commitment however Al-Abbas' wife, Umm Al Fadl had embraced Islam shortly after Lady Khadijah.

 

@THE INVITATION TO THE KORAYSH

The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi was sallam) bore in mind the recent revelation which ordered him to warn his tribe and kinsmen so he climbed to the top of Safa -- the hill which Lady Hagar had once climbed centuries before in search of water -- and called the Koraysh to come and listen to the message he brought, and amongst those who came to listen was none other than his uncle Abu Lahab.

 

Silence fell upon the crowd as the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) asked, "If I were to tell you that behind this hill there was a great army, would you believe me?" Without any hesitation they replied, "Yes, you have never been known to lie!" The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) continued, "Then I urge you to surrender to Allah because if you do not a harsh punishment will befall you." The crowd that had just testified to the truthfulness of the Prophet lost their senses, became deeply offended and left. Abu Lahab exclaimed, "May you perish! Have you called us together for such a thing!" Whereupon the verse was sent down:

‘Perish the hands of Abi Lahab, and perish he! (111:1).

 

@EARLY PHYSICAL HOSTILITY TOWARDS MUSLIMS

In order to avoid the taunts of the unbelievers, the Companions would often offer their prayers in the peaceful valleys that lay just outside Mecca. It was upon one such occasion when Sa’ad, Abu Waqqas' son, in the company of several other friends, were in the midst of saying their prayers that some passersby from Mecca came across them. The passersby could not resist the temptation to make fun, so they started to jeer and insult them.

 

The provocation worsened to the extent that it became difficult for the Companions to continue with their prayer. Understandably, the believers were very upset by this unwarranted intrusion, so they asked why they weren't content to leave them alone to offer their prayer in peace. The Meccans had hoped their provocation would prove fruitful and soon the situation got out of hand whereupon there was an exchange of blows.

 

During the disturbance, Sa’ad happened to glance upon the ground and saw the jawbone of a camel laying there. He seized it, struck, and wounded one of the Meccans; this was the first time blood had been spilled by a Muslim.

 

Later, when the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) learned of the encounter, he told his followers that it was better to be patient with the unbelievers until Allah commanded otherwise.

 

Not long after, in the fifth year after the prophethood, the Companions were to be blessed with the offer of the use of Arkam's, house located near the hill of Safa. At last they had a place large enough in which to gather and offer their prayers in peace and safety, far from the unwarranted hostile taunts of the Koraysh.

 

$CHAPTER 24 THE KORAYSH AND ABU TALIB

 

Prophet Muhammad, (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) was not to be deterred by the ever growing resistance to the Message he brought, and continued his preaching, inviting all who would listen to Islam. However, he was deeply saddened, and concerned that many appeared to disbelieve him when he told them that what he brought was from Allah. Thereafter, Allah sent down the following verse that told the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) that it was not he they disbelieved, rather it was the verses of Allah:

 

"We know what they say saddens you.

It is not you that they belie;

but the harmdoers belie the verses of Allah."

Koran, Chapter 6 verse 33

 

Such was the anger of the Koraysh that a state of open hostilities began to emerge. Road blocks were set up along the routes leading into Mecca to warn pilgrims and traders not to listen to a man named Muhammad who claimed to be the Prophet of Allah and preached against their idols. However, the Koraysh miscalculated and the warnings served to arouse the curiosity of many travelers and actually helped spread the news of the Prophet’s arrival. There wasn't a visitor to Mecca who had not heard of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and when they returned to their homes in distant parts of Arabia and beyond they took with them the news the Koraysh had attempted to suppress, the Prophet’s name was about to become a household word; a topic of conversation.

 

The Koraysh were angered by the Prophet's preaching on several counts. They hated the fact he preached against their idols because the idols housed in and around Ka’bah attracted pilgrims by the thousands each year. Lucrative trades such as idol carving, fortune telling, and their like played an important role in the economy of Mecca and they didn't want the situation to change.

 

However, the Sacred House together with its City had been created for the worship of the Creator, even before the creation of Adam and humanity. First the angels had built it, then it was rebuilt later on by the jinn and restored by Prophet Abraham.

 

There were also those steeped in the folklore of their idolatrous traditions who, on account of pride, refused to acknowledge its value. To this sector, the fact that their forefathers had seen fit to practice and uphold the folklore was sufficient reason for them to continue in the same way. As such they were not prepared to question the authenticity of their heritage, rather they chose to blindly defend the tradition their forefathers invented.

 

Allah speaks of such people saying:

 

"When it is said to them:

'Come to that which Allah has sent down, and to the Messenger,'

they reply, 'Sufficient for us is what we found our fathers upon,'

even though their fathers knew nothing and were not guided."

Koran Chapter 5 verse 104

 

@THE SUPPORT OF ABU TALIB

Abu Talib unconditionally offered his support and his love for his nephew remained unfaltering. Abu Talib would not entertain a word against him and was always his strong supporter whenever the need arose.

 

One day, in desperation, a group of influential Koraysh approached Abu Talib to ask him to persuade his nephew to stop preaching against their idols. However, Abu Talib avoided giving a direct answer and did nothing.

 

After a while the Koraysh realized their visit to Abu Talib had been unfruitful so they visited him yet again, but this time their visit was more forceful. This time they spoke harshly to him reminding him of his rank and honor saying, "Abu Talib! We have asked you to speak with your nephew yet you have not done so. We swear that we will neither allow our forefathers to be insulted, our ways rebuked, or our gods reviled. You must stop him or else we will fight both of you!" Having delivered their ultimatum they left in the same manner in which they came.

 

Abu Talib went straight away to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) to report the alarming conversation and said, "O son of my brother, spare me, and yourself, do not burden me with more than I can bear." Caringly, yet saddened by the request, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) answered, "I swear by Allah, if they were able to give me the sun in my right hand and the moon in my left in exchange for my abandonment of this way before He has made it victorious, or I have died on account of it, I will never do so."

 

Abu Talib could see the deep upset of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and how certain he was of his prophetic mission that he replied, "O son of my brother, go, say what you will, because by Allah I will never abandon you on any account." From this statement it is understood that as a matter of expediency Abu Talib was among the Muslims who concealed their belief. Abu Talib was not swearing by the idol stone gods of the Koraysh, he swore by Allah, and swore to support the Prophet in his mission – so what better believing statement is there than this. It is also in endorses the statement of embracing Islam which is, "There is no god except Allah, Muhammad is His Messenger."

 

@THE KORAYSH PERSIST IN TRYING TO WIN THE SUPPORT OF ABU TALIB

The Koraysh were persistent in their effort to win Abu Talib’s support. In their attempt they went to Abu Talib taking along with them a young, intelligent boy by the name of Amara, Al Waleed’s son who was the son of Mughirah. They told Abu Talib that they had brought him an intelligent, strong youth who he could take for a substitute son and asked in exchange to be given his nephew, Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) who stood against their religion and had brought about social discord, and was critical of their lifestyle. They told Abu Talib that if he agreed, they would take Muhammad and kill him and put an end to his predicament. Abu Talib was outraged and said, "What kind of bargain is this? You would give me your son to raise and I am to give you my son so that you can kill him! By Allah your proposal is something truly incredible!" At that moment Al Mut’im, son of Adi interjected claiming that the Koraysh had been fair in their proposal because their intention was only to rid him of constant trouble – but he like the others realized that Abu Talib was determined to refuse their proposals.

 

$CHAPTER 26 PRE-ISLAMIC CONDITIONS IN YATHRIB

 

The Jews had migrated to Al-Hijaz from Syria to escape the persecution of the Byzantines and Assyrians many years before the advent of Islam. From their scriptures they were also well aware that it was in the region of the Hijaz that the expect prophet would come and each tribe hoped he would arise from their own, but time had passed and now they had, for the most part, become secular, although pride in their ethnic background was still greatly valued. However, some had intermarried with the Arabs but they continued to look down on their Arab neighbors perceiving them to be illiterate and backward idolaters. However, over the passage of time, the Jewish tribes dispersed and their numbers dwindled, leaving behind them a fragment of people.

Secularism was common among those who remained although a religious minority still existed. The Jews were also well known for their skilful business transactions through which they had amassed great wealth.

 

After the devastating flood in Yemen when the dam of Al Arim burst, the Arab Yemeni tribe of Bani Kahlan left their homeland to settle in Yathrib. The Bani Kahlan divided themselves into two tribes named after two brothers -- Aws and Khazraj both of whom were the sons of Tha’labah -- and over time their population grew and surpassed both that of the Jews and other Arabs. However, there was friction between the two tribes and disputes arose followed by blood feuds.

 

All was not well within the Jewish community as corruption was rampant. There had been a sharp decline in morals most notably in one of their chieftains named Fityun. Fityun usurped his power in such a disgraceful manner that in their hey-day when they had governed Yathrib Arab brides-to-be were forced to sleep with him the night before their wedding whilst other Jewish leaders did nothing to prevent him from satisfying his lust, but that was soon to end.

 

When the time came for the sister of Malik, Ajlan's son to be married, Malik felt ashamed of what was about to befall her. So, on the day before her wedding, his sister, dressed in her bridal gown, made her way to Fityun's house accompanied by her brother disguised as a female attendant. Before Fityun could take advantage of Malik's sister, Malik took him by surprise, killed him, and then fled to the safety of the tribe of Ghassan in Syria whose chieftain was Abu Jabillah. When Abu Jabillah heard of the corrupt ways of the Jews he and his warriors were utterly outraged and set off with Malik back to Yathrib with the intent of putting matters right.

 

Upon reaching Yathrib, Abu Jabillah honored the Arab chieftains with fine gifts and invited the Jewish leaders to join them in a feast. During the feast Abu Jabillah and his warriors overcame the Jewish leaders and all were slain. So it was from that time onward that the Jews lost the control of Yathrib and the tribes of Aws and Khazraj became its governors.

 

Time passed and the Jews, in their weakened position, deemed it more prudent to ally themselves with the now stronger pagan Arab tribes of Aws and Khazraj. However, the Jews, considering themselves to be the chosen people of Allah, resented the fact that they were now beholden to pagan Arabs and all too often sharp words were exchanged. Many were the times they would taunt the Arabs with the news that a prophet was about to come and that Allah would slay them on account of their idolatry just as He had done to the people of Aad and Thamood.

 

There were also other times when the religious Jews would speak to their allies about their religion; they told of their belief in One God and in the life after death. Their allies found the matter of being raised from the dead difficult to believe so the Jews told them that when the prophet came he would confirm the truth of the matter. The idea of the coming of a prophet aroused both the curiosity and also the apprehension of the Arabs of Yathrib, so they inquired where he would appear and were told in the direction of their ancestral homeland, Yemen, which also lies in the same direction of Mecca.

 

@THE FEUD

For many years there had been a feud between a certain Awsite and Khazrajite tribe, and as time passed more tribes, including the Jews of Yathrib, were drawn into the feud. Three battles had already been waged with losses on both sides and now a fourth was imminent. In an effort to strengthen their position, the tribe of Aws sent a delegation to Mecca to ask the Koraysh to side with them against the Khazraj.

 

While they were waiting for the decision, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) went to the delegation and asked if they would like to hear something better than that which they were seeking. The delegation asked what he had in mind whereupon the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) told them about Islam and of his mission, then recited some verses of the Koran.

 

After he had finished the recitation, a young man named Iyas, Mu'adh's son, remembered the taunt of the Jews and got up and said, "By Allah, this is better than that which we were seeking!" Iyas' spontaneous outburst annoyed the leader of the delegation who picked up a handful of sand and threw it in his face saying, "That's enough! By my life, we came here seeking something other than this!" The young man became quiet and the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) left.

 

Meanwhile, the Koraysh reached the decision that it was not in their best interest to take sides in the feud and so the delegation returned to Yathrib without their help and the battle of Bu'ath ensued.

 

Not long after their return Iyas died, but as he lay on his deathbed those around him confirmed that his last words were spent in praise and exaltation of Allah, testifying to His Oneness. And so it was that, Iyas became the first person to die in Yathrib as a Muslim.

 

It wasn't long after that traders and pilgrims returning from Mecca brought more news of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) to Yathrib, the word spread quickly and soon the entire City was talking about him. The Jews listened intently to the reports and recognized the truth in the Prophet's preaching, but for the most part, they could not bring themselves to entertain the fact that he was the long awaited Prophet because he was not a Jew.

 

 

$CHAPTER 27 UNREST IN MECCA

 

@THE FAILURE OF MECCANS TO RECOGNIZE THE VALUE OF THE PROPHET

 

In these early days of Islam, those who opposed the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and his message were blinded by their own arrogant, useless idolatrous traditions and pride. Yet strange as it may seem, when it came to taking solemn oaths or when they wished people to take them seriously, the Arabs preferred to swear by Allah rather than their pagan gods

 

For many years the pagan, materialistic society suffered on every account. They received no benefit for their dedication to the idols and corruption abounded in every form. Women were treated as worthless human beings and seldom afforded their rights. Injustice, murder, and theft, amongst other depravities, were rampant. Yet even as these sad, intolerable state of affairs persisted, those who opposed the Prophet, (Salla Allahu alihi wa sallam), failed to recognize or admit that what the Prophet, (Salla Allahu alihi wa sallam), whom they had until recently attested to having an honest and upright character, brought and practiced a much better, higher standard of life for all; a standard where justice and happiness prevailed. But more importantly, they rejected the news that there was life after death where they would be held accountable for their disbelief in the Oneness of their Creator and for which there is either eternal punishment or the unfailing eternal rewards of Paradise with its continuous peace and happiness.

 

The fact of the matter was that they failed to recognize the true value of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) both spiritually and materialistically.

 

@ANGER AND RESTMENT

Anger and resentment toward the message Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) brought continued to intensify in Mecca as the number of his followers began to increase. One day, as the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi was sallam) entered the precincts of Ka’bah at the Hijr Ishmael, a group of unbelievers gathered and indulged in slanderous remarks about him. However, he paid no attention and continued to make his way across to the Ka’bah where he kissed the Black Stone then proceeded to circumambulate the Ka'bah.

 

The first time he passed by the Hijr Ishmael, the unbelievers shouted at him in a very disrespectful, degrading manner. The same occurred on his second and third round, but on the third round as they jeered and shouted their slanderous remarks he stopped and said: "O Koraysh, will you listen to me? Indeed, by Him who holds my soul in His Hand, I bring you slaughter." The unbelievers were silenced by this unexpected statement, and silence hovered like a heavy weight above the gathering.

 

After a while the silence was broken by the one who had been the most venomous with his slander, and in a surprisingly gently tone he addressed Prophet Muhammad, (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) saying, "Go on you way, father of Kasim, for by Allah you are not an ignorant fool." Soon the unbelievers began to regret their momentary weakness and vowed they would never allow a situation like that to be repeated.

 

On another occasion Utaiba, Abi Lahab’s son approached the Prophet, salla Allahu alihi wa sallam, in a most defiant manner and shouted, "I disbelieve in what you have brought!" Then he became violent, ripped the shirt of the Prophet and spat at his face, but his spittle did not reach the face of the Prophet. Whereupon, the Prophet, salla Allahu alihi wa sallam, invoked the anger of Allah upon Utaiba as he supplicated, "O Allah, set one of Your dogs on him."

 

Sometime after Utaiba and his Koraysh Companions set out for Syria and stopped to rest in a place called Az-Zarqa when suddenly a lion approached the travelers and Utaiba cried out in great fear, "Woe to me, this lion will surely devour me just as Muhammad supplicated. He has killed me in Syria while he is in Mecca! " And the lion rushed forward and crushed Utaibah’s head but let his companions alone.

 

@THE VILEST ARABS IN MOCKERY AND HATRED OF THE PROPHET

There were eighteen Arabs vilest in their mockery and hatred of the Prophet, namely:

Abdul Uzza son of Abdul Muttalib (father of Utbah) better known as Abu Lahab;

Utaibah the son of Abu Lahab;

Al Awra Arwa daughter of Harb Umayyah’s son and sister of Abu Sufyan, who was the wife of Abu Lahab, better known as Umm Jameel;

Amru, son of Hisham, son of Al Mughirah Al Makhzumi better known as Abu Jahl (father of Al Hakam);

Utba son of Rabi’a;

Shu’bah son of Rabi’a;

Al Waleed son of Utbah;

Umayyah son of Khalaf;

Uqba son of Abi Mu’ait;

Ubayy son of Khalaf;

Al Akhnas son of Shareeq Al Thakifi;

Abdul Uzza son of Khatl;

Abdullah son of Sa’ad, son of Abi Sarh;

Al Harith son of Thaqil, son of Wahb;

Maqis son of Sababah;

Al Harith son of Talatil;

The freed woman of Hati’s son

 

Concerning those that mocked, Allah sent down the verses:

 

"Proclaim then, what you are commanded and turn away from the unbelievers.

We suffice you against those who mock,

and those who set up other gods with Allah,

indeed, they will soon know.

Indeed, We know your chest is straitened by that they say."

Koran 15:94-97

 

@ABU JAHL - THE FATHER OF IGNORANCE

Amr, Hisham's son, was an influential, power-seeking young man of the Makhzum tribe. He was the grandson of Mughirah and nephew of Waleed, the now elderly chieftain of his tribe.

 

Amr had amassed considerable wealth and was, to those who had not earned his anger, hospitable and had high hopes of becoming the next chief of the tribe so he erroneously viewed the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) as a possible threat to his future.

 

Amr was also a man to be feared for he was known for his ruthlessness toward those who dared to cross his path, and that now included Prophet Muhammad, (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) as well as his followers. Such was his hatred of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and his Message, and disregard for the next life, that he had been among those responsible for setting up the road-blocks into Mecca.

 

When members of Amr's own tribe embraced Islam his outrage became so bitter that he persecuted them without mercy; it was because of this that Amr became known to the Companions as "Abu Jahl" – "The Father of Ignorance" and his supportive wife "The Mother of all Ignorance".

 

One day in the sixth year after the prophethood, as the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) sat by himself at the foot of the hill of Safa, Abu Jahl caught sight of him and seized upon the opportunity to display his foul behavior. He went across to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and in an extremely abusive manner, insulted him in a very base manner. Then, he took hold of a stone and struck the Prophet on his head causing it to bleed, however the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) was patient, he did not allow himself to be provoked, and went home. Arrogantly, Abu Jahl felt he had made a good impression on a party of Koraysh gathered near the Hijr Ishmael and returned to them gloating in what he perceived to be triumph.

 

Hamza, the young uncle of the Prophet, known for his gentle disposition despite the fact he had grown into a very strong man, had been away on a hunting expedition and had just returned to Mecca. As he entered the City, Hamza was met by an elderly lady who had once served the now deceased Abdullah, Judan's son and told him of Abu Jahl's disgusting outburst.

 

When Hamza learned of the abuse, raging anger swelled deep within his gentle being and he thundered towards the still gloating Abu Jahl and his gleeful comrades who were still gathered around the Hijr Ishmael. Upon seeing Abu Jahl, Hamza raised his hunting bow above Abu Jahl's head and struck him forcefully across his back saying, "How dare you. Would you insult him! Know that I am of his religion and swear what he swears. Strike me now if you can!" Those who had been seated rose up to join the others in support of Abu Jahl, but Abu Jahl chose not retaliate saying, "Let him alone, for by Allah, I reviled Muhammad in a crude manner."

 

Such was Abu Jahl’s hatred for the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and his message, that he was to die in disbelief. However, when the news of the Prophet’s birth reached him over forty years before, he had been so elated that he freed a female slave, and for this noble act, each Monday – the day on which the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) was born - Allah in His Mercy reduces his punishment in Hell.

 

That same day Hamza in the month of Dhul Hijja six years after the prophethood, went to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and formally embraced Islam after having kept his belief hidden from the Koraysh for many years. Now that Hamza had announced he had embraced Islam, the Koraysh were hesitant to continue with their vile behavior. They realized from now onward they would have to answer to him for their actions, so they revised their tactics, for no one wanted to cross Hamza’s path.

 

@THE CRUELTY OF ABU LAHAB AND HIS WIFE

Abu Lahab and his wife, Umm Jameel, reveled in the effort they took to try to demean or harm the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam). Umm Jameel took great pleasure in gathering sharp thorns and strewing them at night along the paths most frequented by the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) in hope of injuring him. However, Allah caused the thorns to become as soft as sand and blessed him with such keen eye sight that he could see as well during the darkness of night as he could during the day.

 

Such was their unwarranted hatred of Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) that Abu Lahab ordered his sons Utbah and Utbayah to divorce Ladies Rukiyah and Umm Kulthum, the daughters of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) before their marriages had been consummated, then pressed upon Lady Zaynab's father-in-law to make his son do the same. However, Lady Zaynab's husband, Al-As loved her and refused, saying he had no wish to marry another.

 

It was during these times of hardship that Allah sent down a short chapter that spoke of the punishment in the Everlasting life of Abu Lahab and his wife.

 

"Perish the hands of Abi-Lahab, and perish he!

His wealth will not suffice him neither what he has gained;

he shall roast at a Flaming Fire,

and his wife, laden with firewood shall have a rope of palm-fiber round her neck!"

Koran Chapter 111

 

@THE REACTION OF UMM JAMEEL

When Umm Jameel heard the Revelation, the hatred she harbored towards the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) reached a new height. In a violent rage she fetched her stone pestle and headed straight to the Ka’bah where she expected to find the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam).

 

As she entered its confines she caught sight of Abu Bakr and went up to him demanding, "Where is your companion!" Abu Bakr was taken by surprise, he knew well to whom she referred, yet she had not seen the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) who was sitting close to him.

 

Umm Jameel continued her ranting, "I have heard he has satirized me, by Allah, if I had found him here I would have destroyed his mouth with this pestle. Indeed, I am no lesser poet than he!" Then she recited a short, degrading rhyme she had written about him, then left.

 

Abu Bakr turned to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and asked whether or not he thought she had seen him. The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) informed Abu Bakr that she had not because Allah in His Mercy to him had concealed his person from her sight. Then the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) commented upon her rhyme drawing his companion's attention to the use of the word "mudhammam" which she had chosen to use, meaning reprobate, which is the opposite to "Muhammad" which means praised. He then commented, "Isn't it surprising that the injuries the Koraysh try to inflict are deflected away from me? They curse and satirize Mudhammam, whereas I am Muhammad."

 

$CHAPTER 28 AN ATTEMPT TO BRIBE

 

Utbah, Rabia's son, belonged to the tribe of Shams, Abdu Shams was a brother of Hashim and it was he who, together with notables of the Koraysh tribe, now met to discuss how they might best deal with the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam). During the course of the meeting Utbah suggested that perhaps the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) might incline to accept certain gifts and privileges in exchange for his silence. But had they searched in the depths of their hearts, all would have known he was not like them and would never accept a bribe, no matter how it was presented. However, all were of the opinion that every man had his price, so they placed high hopes on Utbah’s suggestion, saying that they would be prepared to offer him absolutely anything he might desire as recompense in exchange for his silence.

 

They had just reached their agreement when a late comer joined the meeting and told the gathering that he had just seen the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) sitting alone beside the Ka’bah. They agreed that now was a good time to approach him with their proposal and as Utbah was related to him, they chose him to be their representative.

 

Utbah made his way toward to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) whereupon the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) expressed his pleasure upon seeing him, welcomed and invited him to sit down and talk. When Utbah sat down the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) hoped he might have come to learn about Islam but Utbah proceeded to say, "My nephew, you are one of us, from a noble tribe, a descendant of the finest ancestors. You have come to our tribes with an important matter that is dividing us. You have denounced our customs, insulted our gods and our religions, so listen to me because I have come to you with several proposals, perhaps you may accept one of them."

 

The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) was very saddened but listened out of politeness as he never turned anyone away, as Utbah proceeded to describe the bribes. "If it is money you want, we are prepared to combine our properties and make you the richest one among us. If it is honor you wish, we will make you our chief with complete and absolute power. If it is leadership, we will make you our leader and if the Spirit you see comes to you and you cannot rid yourself of it, then we will find a physician to cure you."

 

After Utbah finished presenting his bribe, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) received a new Revelation from Allah:

 

"In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Most Merciful.

Ha Meem.

A sending down from the Merciful, the Most Merciful.

A Book, the verses of which are distinguished,

an Arabic Koran for a nation who know.

It bears glad tidings and a warning,

yet most of them turn away and do not listen.

They say, 'Our hearts are veiled from that to which you call us,

and in our ears there is heaviness. And between us and you is a veil.

So work (as you will) and we are working.’"

Koran 41:1-5

 

The compelling beauty of the Koranic recitation held Utbah's attention in wonderment as he sat leaning on his hands behind his back. As he listened further he heard of the creation of the heavens and the earth. Then he heard of the prophets sent to the arrogant people of Aad, and of the proud people of Thamood. He learned that all but a few of their citizens refused to listen to the Message Allah had given to their prophets, so with the exception of those who believed, they were subjected to punishments of the severest kind in this world and then even greater punishment in the Everlasting Life.

 

The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) continued his recitation with verses that drew attention to the multiple signs surrounding us and concluded with:

 

"Among His signs are the night and the day, and the sun and the moon.

But do not prostrate yourselves before the sun or the moon

rather prostrate before Allah,

who created them both,

if it is He whom you worship."

Koran 41:37

 

As soon as the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) finished the recitation, he prostrated his head upon the ground in exaltation and thanksgiving. Then arose saying, "O (Utbah) father of Waleed, you have heard what you have heard, it is now up to you to decide." It is also reported that upon hearing the preceding verse Utbah could not bear it and put his hands over the Prophet’s mouth.

 

The sun had started to set and Utbah's companions had waited patiently for his return. No doubt their hopes were high as he had been with the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) for a considerable length of time. However, when he returned they were struck by the changed expression upon his face and asked what had happened. Utbah told them that he had heard a recitation that was uniquely beautiful yet it was neither poetry, nor was it the words of a soothsayer, nor yet sorcery. He advised his companions to do as he intended, which was not to come between the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and his affair. Then he swore by Allah that the words he had just heard would be received by many as great tidings.

 

Utbah thought it more prudent that his blood should not be on their hands and commented if other Arabs were to kill him, then the responsibility would rest upon them. However, if his nephew were to become successful, he would govern them and his power would also be their power, so they would benefit.

 

Utbah's companions mocked him harshly and told him that he had been bewitched, but all Utbah said was, "I have given you my opinion, do whatever you please." The Koraysh were angered by his advice, so they decided to speak to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) themselves so that no blame for their future actions could be attached to them, so they sent for him.

 

The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam), ever hopeful of guiding his tribe to Allah, went to them in haste. Soon he realized they had not called for him because their hearts had turned to Allah, rather the opposite was the case. The Koraysh rebuked him saying that never before had an Arab treated them in such a manner, reviling their gods, their customs, and their traditions. Once again, an effort to silence him was made as they endorsed the offer made earlier by Utbah.

 

As soon as the Koraysh finished offering their bribe, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) turned to them in his usual gentle manner saying, "I am neither possessed, nor do I seek honor among you, nor the leadership. Allah has sent me as a Messenger to you and has sent down to me a Book with the command that I should give you good tidings but also a warning. I convey to you the Message of my Lord and counsel you. If you accept what I have brought you, you will receive blessings in this world and in the Everlasting life, but if you reject what I have brought, then I will wait patiently for Allah to judge between us."

 

The Koraysh, deeply disappointed by the Prophet's reply told him to leave. But before he left, they contemptuously told him that if he was really the Messenger of Allah he would have to prove it to them with something which would make their life easier.

 

Their first demand was that he should ask Allah to remove the mountains that surround Mecca and to level the land so that rivers would flow through it just as they did in Syria and Iraq. Their demands continued when next they demanded that Ksay be raised from the dead along with several of their ancestors, saying they would ask Ksay if what the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) said was true or false, yet they knew he never lied. They continued saying that if he was able to bring about their demands then, and only then, might they convinced he was who he said he was, and near to Allah.

 

With respect, the Prophet, salla Allahu alihi wa sallam, replied that it was not on this account he been sent. He told them that he had been sent to convey the Message of Allah and that they were free to either accept the Message or if they were adamant, reject it and await the Judgement of Allah.

 

On hearing his reply, the Koraysh changed their tactics saying that if he would not ask for these things, then why not ask for something for himself. They told him to ask Allah to send an angel to him who would confirm the truth of his preaching, and for gardens and castles with treasures of gold and silver for himself. But the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) repeated his reply.

 

The Koraysh continued to deride the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) asking if his Lord knew that he would be sitting amongst them and that they would ask him these questions. Their mockery continued as they asked why, if Allah had known these questions were going to be asked, hadn't He instructed him how to answer and tell him what He was going to do with them if they refused the Message he brought.

 

@RAHMAN

The word "Rahman" means "the Merciful", and is one of the many attributes of Allah. The Koraysh noticed "Rahman" occurred at the beginning of each chapter of the Koran so in an effort to discredit the Revelation rumors were spread that the Prophet, salla Allahu alihi wa sallam, received tutorship in the art of poetry by a man from Yamamah called Rahman.

 

When next they met with the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) they seized upon the opportunity to chide him still further saying, "We have heard your recitation is taught to you by a man from Yamamah called Rahman -- we will never believe in Rahman! We have made our position clear to you Muhammad, and swear by Allah that we will neither leave you in peace nor desist in our treatment of you until we have either destroyed you or you have destroyed us!"

 

The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) was about to leave when Abdullah, Umayyah's son from the tribe of Makhzum disrespectfully shouted, "O Muhammad, your people have offered you several propositions -- you have rejected all! First, they asked for themselves, then they asked you to ask for yourself! They have even asked you to hasten some of the punishment you have spoken about upon them. By Allah, I will never believe you until I see you take a ladder, climb it, and reach the heavens, then bring four angels to bear witness that you are what you claim, and even then I doubt whether I will believe you!"

 

Upon hearing this last remark the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) was deeply saddened because it had been made by Abdullah, the son of his aunt Atikah who had named her son after her beloved brother, the Prophet's father, which means "Worshiper of Allah".

 

Allah sent the Prophet verses that would forever record the contempt and rejection of the Koraysh leaders:

 

"As such, We have sent you forth to a nation before whom others have passed away

in order that you recite to them what We have revealed to you.

Yet they disbelieve the Merciful (Rahman).

Say: 'He is my Lord. There is not god except He.

In Him I have put my trust, and to Him I turn.'

If only a Koran whereby the mountains were set in motion,

or the earth cleaved asunder, or the dead spoken to.

No, but to Allah is the affair altogether.

Do those who believe know that had Allah willed He could have guided all people?

As for those who disbelieve, because of what they do,

disaster will not cease to afflict them,

or it alights near their home

until the promise of Allah comes.

Allah will not break His promise."

Koran 13:30-31

 

"They also say,

'How is it that this Messenger eats and walks about the markets?

Why has no angel been sent down with him to warn us?

Or, why has no treasure been thrown to him,

or a garden for him to eat from?'

And the harmdoers say,

'The man you follow is surely bewitched.'"

Koran 25:7-8

 

"They say, 'We will not believe in you until

you make a spring gush from the earth for us,

or, until you own a garden of palms and vines

and cause rivers to gush forth with abundant water in them;

or, until you cause the sky to fall upon us in pieces, as you have claimed,

or, as a surety bring Allah with the angels in front;

or, until you possess an ornate house of gold,

or, ascend into the heavens;

and we will not believe in your ascension until

you have brought down for us a book which we can read.'

Say: 'Exaltations to my Lord! Am I anything except a human Messenger?'"

Koran 17:90-93

 

@ABU JAHL AND THE STONE

Abu Jahl continued to deride the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) after he had left and took an oath saying, "Tomorrow, I will lie in wait for him with a heavy stone, and when he prostrates I will split his skull with it. Betray me or defend me -- let the children of Abdu Manaf do what they like after that!"

 

The next morning, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) arose before dawn and made his customary way to offer his prayer near the Black Stone in the wall of Ka’bah. The Koraysh had already gathered and Abu Jahl, carrying a very heavy stone staggered as he approached the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) who was now humbly absorbed in his prayer, with the intent of fulfilling his oath.

 

Before Abu Jahl was able to get close enough to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) he turned back in deathly fright. His hand had started to wither on the stone whereupon he dropped it and ran as fast as he could. The Koraysh rushed toward him and asked what had come over him whereupon he told them he had seen a terrifying camel, with a tremendously large head, enormous shoulders and a fearsome set of teeth that looked as if it was about to devour him if he continued.

 

Later on, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) told his companions that the camel was none other than Gabriel, and if Abu Jahl had persisted he would indeed have seized him.

 

@THE CONTEMPT OF ABU JAHL

Even though Abu Jahl had witnessed and been given, first hand, many signs he still persisted in his egotistical obsession. He now bragged before the Koraysh that he would stamp on the back of the Prophet’s neck the next time he saw him praying.

 

When the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) arrived at the Ka’bah to pray the Koraysh drew Abu Jahl’s attention to the opportunity. However, as before when Abu Jahl approached the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) with his evil intent, he ran away in fright, trying to protect himself with his hands. His fellow tribesmen asked what had happened whereupon he admitted, "As I came near to him, I looked down and saw a ditch full of fire and I almost fell into it. I saw a terrifying sight and heard enough fluttering of wings that would fill the earth!" Later, when Abu Jahl’s words were reported to him the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) told his Companions that the fluttering of wings where those of the angels and that if he had come any nearer to him they would have torn him limb by limb. Soon after the following verse was sent down,

 

"Indeed, surely the human is very insolent." Koran 96:6

 

$CHAPTER 29 AN-NADR, THE SON OF AL HARTIH

 

The Koraysh admitted the situation was now beyond their ability to remedy and although An-Nadr, Harith's son, whose grandfather had been the illustrious Ksay, had become notorious for his slander of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam), he reminded the Koraysh that the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) had grown up amongst them as a likable person known for his excellent standing in society.

 

Nadar now warned the Koraysh to be careful of their accusations for he was sure that they too knew he was neither a poet nor yet a sorcerer. He reminded them that they also knew the ways of a sorcerer and by no means could he be described as such. He continued to advise them saying that they should be careful of what they said, as he felt a serious matter had befallen them, which called for a change in their tactics, and so the slanderous remarks subsided for the time being.

 

@AN-NADR’S ATTEMPT TO COMPETE WITH THE PROPHET,

salla Allahu alihi wa sallam

An-Nadr was a trader and had traveled the caravan routes not only in Arabia but to distant countries. Whenever he reached his destination it was his habit to seek out the storytellers in the market place and listen to their tales. On one particular trip he heard a tale about the kings of Persia, which over the passage of time had been embellished by one storyteller after another, and so the tale made a great impression upon him.

 

One day as the Prophet , salla Allahu alihi wa sallam, spoke to a group of people he told them stories the like of which they had never heard before, of bygone generations and the consequences that befell them on account of their refusal to listen to their prophet.

 

Nadr and Utbah were among the gathering and no sooner had the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) finished his narration, Nadr jumped up and told them that he could tell them better stories than these then began to tell his captive audience about the kings of Persia, Rustum and Isbandiyar. After he finished the story he asked, "Who then is better at story-telling, Muhammad or I?" Of such people Allah said,

 

‘There are some people who would purchase distracting talk,

to lead astray from the Path of Allah without knowledge,

and take it in mockery;

for those is a humiliating punishment.’ 31:6

 

Someone in the gathering suggested that An-Nadr and Utbah visit the rabbis in Yathrib and ask them about the stories the Prophet had just told them. It was a challenge, so Nadr and Utbah decided to journey to Yathrib (Medina) to confront the rabbis.

 

@THE THREE QUESTIONS

When An-Nadr and Utbah arrived in Yathrib they asked where they might find the rabbis and were taken to them. They asked, "You are the people of the Torah, we have come to you to ask how we should deal with one of our tribesmen," and proceeded to describe the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and speak of his teachings. The rabbis remained silent until they had finished, then one spoke saying, "You should ask him these three questions, if he answers you correctly then he is a prophet, however if he is unable, then he is not and from this you can form your own opinion."

 

The rabbis asked their visitors to question the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) about the young men who disappeared from their people in ancient days and then to question him about the great traveler who journeyed to the east and to the west. The final question they were to ask was about the Spirit.

 

@THE PROPHET IS QUESTIONED, salla Allahu alihi wa sallam

An-Nadr and Utbah returned to Mecca and announced to their fellow tribesmen that the rabbis of Yathrib had given them three questions which would determine whether or not Muhammad was indeed the Prophet of Allah.

 

When they reached the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) he listened to the questions in silence and told them he would give them a reply the next day, for he never spoke on religious matters without receiving its knowledge via the Angel Gabriel. However, when he told them he would give them a reply the following day, he did not say "Insha-Allah" which means – "Allah willing." The next day came and passed, however Gabriel had not visited him with the answers.

 

@ANGEL GABRIEL BRINGS THE ANSWERS

Several days elapsed and the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) patiently awaited the answers to the questions as rumors began to abound in every sector. Then on the fifteenth day, the Angel Gabriel came to him and he inquired why he had not come before. Gabriel responded with a new verse from the Koran that said:

 

"(Gabriel said:) ‘We do not descend except at the command of your Lord.

To Him belongs all that is before us and all that is behind us,

and all that lies between, your Lord does not forget.’"

Koran 19:64

 

@THE STORY OF THE BELIEVING YOUNG MEN IN THE CAVE

In reply to the question about the young men in the cave, Gabriel recited to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) verses detailing their circumstances so later on when An-Nadr, Utbah, and their companions came to him he was able to recite the story to them.

 

The verses told of some young men who lived in a city of idolaters. The young men, however, were not idolaters and told their fellow tribesmen:

 

"Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth.

We call on no other god except Him;

(for if we did), we would have spoken outrageously (in disbelief)."

Koran 18:14

 

Then the young men challenged the idolaters to bring them some proof of their authority to worship more than One God asking:

 

"Who does greater evil than he who forges a lie against Allah?"

Koran, 18:15

 

The idolaters turned against the young men and it was then that Allah prompted their hearts with the notion to seek refuge in a cave, where they would be safe. Taking their dog along with them, the young men set off for the cave and upon reaching it Allah caused them to fall into a deep sleep.

 

"You might have seen the rising sun incline towards the right of their Cave,

and, as it set go past them on the left,

while they stayed within an open space in the Cave.

That was one of the signs of Allah ....

You might have thought them awake, though they were sleeping.

We turned them about to the right and to the left,

while their dog stretched its paws at the entrance.

Had you seen them you would surely have become filled with terror

and turned your back on them in flight.

As such We revived them so that they might question one another.

'How long have you stayed here?' asked one of them.

'We have been here a day, or part of it,' they replied.

They said: 'Your Lord knows best how long we have stayed here.

Let one of you go to the city with this silver (coin)

and let him search for one who has the purest food and bring provision from it.

Let him be courteous, but let no one sense it is you.

For, if they appear in front of you, they will stone you to death

or restore you to their religion.

Then you will never prosper.'

And so We made them (the unbelievers) stumble upon them,

so that they might know that the promise of Allah is true

and that there is no doubt about the Hour.

They argued among themselves over the affair,

then (the unbelievers) said, ‘Build a building over them (their remains).

Their Lord knows best who they were.'

But those who prevailed over the matter said, 'We will build around them a Mosque.'"

Koran 18:17-22

 

Regarding their number, the Revelation warned that there was a difference of opinion among those who had heard the story and that:

 

"Some will say, 'They were three; their dog was the fourth.'

Others, guessing at the Unseen, will say:

'They were five and their dog was the sixth.'

And yet others: 'Seven, their dog was the eighth,'

Say: 'My Lord knows best their number.

Except for a few none know their number.'

Therefore, do not dispute with them except in outward disputation,

and do not ask any of them concerning them."

Koran 18:22

 

@THE STORY OF THUL-KARNAIN

The answer to the second question was sent down to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) in the following verses concerning the great traveler Thul Karnain. Thul Karnain was a believing king of Persia and known to his subjects as King Cyrus. He was not, as mistakenly believed to be, Alexander the Great who was an idolater. King Cyrus was an upright person with a reputation for doing good deeds. In the Bible he is mentioned as Koresh.

 

"They will ask you about Thul-Karnain

Say: 'I will recite to you something of this story.

We established him in the land and gave him means to all things.

He journeyed on a way until when he reached the setting of the sun,

he found it setting in a muddy spring, and nearby he found a nation.

'Thul-Karnain,' We said, 'you must either punish them or show them kindness.'

He replied, 'The evil-doer we shall punish.

Then he shall return to his Lord and He will punish him with a stern punishment.

As for he who believes and does good works

he shall receive a fine reward in recompense

and we shall bestow on them a rich reward

and shall speak to him with a mild command.'

Then he followed the road until he reached the rising of the sun,

he found it rising upon a nation for whom We provided no veil against it to shade them.

So, We encompassed in knowledge what was with him.

Then he followed the road, when he reached between the two barriers

he found on one side of them, a nation who could barely understand speech.

'Thul-Karnain,' they said, 'Look, Gog and Magog are corrupting the earth.

Build us a barrier between us and them, and we will pay you tribute.'

He replied, 'That which my Lord has given me is better,

therefore help me with all your power, and I will build a barrier between you and them.

Bring me ingots of iron.' After he had leveled between the two cliffs, he said, 'Blow.'

And when he made it a fire, he said, 'Bring me molten copper

so that I may pour over it.’

Thereafter they could neither scale it, nor could they pierce it.

He said: 'This is a mercy from my Lord.

But when my Lord's promise is come, He will make it dust.

The promise of my Lord is true.'

On that day, We will let them surge on one another, and the Horn shall be blown,

and We will gather them all together.

On that Day We shall present Gehenna to the unbelievers

whose eyes were blinded to My remembrance and they were not able to hear."

Koran 18:83-101

 

@CONCERNING THE SPIRIT

Concerning the answer relating to the Spirit it was revealed:

 

"They question you about the spirit.

Say, 'The spirit is from the command of my Lord.

Except for a little knowledge all of you have been given nothing.'"

Koran 17:85

 

The Revelation also bore the reminder:

 

"'Do not say of anything: 'I will do it tomorrow unless (you add) if Allah wills.'

And remember your Lord when you forget and say,

‘It may be that my Lord will guide me to something nearer to rectitude than this.'"

Koran 18:23-24

 

The Prophet's life was full of guidance and examples. There was once an occasion later on in his prophethood where he offered three units of prayer when there should have been four. Had he not made this omission, we would never have known how to correct our errors when we do the same. His omission to say "InshaAllah" was also another exemplary reminder to us, through which we are guided.

 

@AN-NADR AND UTBAH RETURN WITH THE ANSWERS TO THE RABBIS

No one in Mecca had ever heard the story of the young men in the cave and the new Revelation attracted more people to Islam. As for the rabbis of Yathrib, they anxiously waited for the news to arrive, and when it did, they acknowledged the truthfulness of the answers, however they still wished to question the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) further upon the matter of the Spirit.

 

Even though the questions An-Nadr and Utbah had challenged the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) with had been answered and acknowledged to be correct, their hearts remained hardened.

 

Later, after his migration to Yathrib, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) was questioned again by the rabbis concerning the spirit. They asked: "who ‘Little indeed is the knowledge all of you have been given’ referred too -- was it to them?"

 

Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) told them that it referred to them, whereupon the rabbis objected saying that they had been given its knowledge in the Torah. The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) replied that indeed they had been given sufficient knowledge to satisfy their needs if only they would practice it, but in comparison with the Knowledge of Allah, their knowledge was indeed little. It was during this discourse that the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) received another Revelation that informed:

 

"till Gog and Magog are let loose and slide down out of every slope."

Koran 21:96

 

Later in his prophethood, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) told his Companions that near the end of the world, Gog, Magog, and their followers would advance upon the Lake of Tabariah in Palestine. He continued to tell them that that they will consume all of its water and thereafter Prophet Jesus - who will have descended from the heavens - together with his Al Mahdi will be besieged and suffer dreadfully from the stress of starvation. He continued to tell that when the siege reaches its height, Prophet Jesus and Al Mahdi will supplicate to Allah who will create worms in the back of the necks of Gog, Magog and their followers that will cause their death the next morning. Then, Allah will send a flock of birds with necks as large as those of camels to carry away their foul smelling corpses.

 

Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam), conveyed good news to his Companions that after that trial, Allah will send down rain from the heavens which will cleanse the earth and the earth will provide an abundance of fruit for everyone to enjoy.

 

Then, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) told his Companions that it is while the Muslims are enjoying such blessings that Allah will send a sweet, gentle breeze to take away the soul of each and every one of them, thereby leaving only those who disbelieve behind on the earth.

 

The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) concluded his prophecy by telling his Companions that after the death of the believers, only the most vile people will remain on the earth who will copulate in public just like donkeys for all to see and that it will be during this time that the final hour will commence.

 

 

$CHAPTER 30 PERSECUTION

 

Meanwhile, the Koraysh chieftains continued their relentless hostility in varying degrees toward the Muslims. If a convert happened to be among the hierarchy of a tribe, Abu Jahl would reprimand him then ridicule the convert before his fellow tribesmen to the extent that he lost their respect.

 

The uncle of Othman son of Affan persecuted his nephew severely. He took to binding him in a mat of palm leaves and lighting a fire under him.

 

When Umm Mus'ab heard of her son's conversion, she subjected him to starvation and threw him out of her house after which he was tortured extensively so much so that he became disfigured.

 

Traders also suffered. When Abu Jahl discovered a trader had converted he gave orders that no one should deal with him. As a result, the convert trader was unable to sell his wares and his circumstances were soon reduced to that of an impoverished person.

 

The freemen who suffered most were poor converts who, in the eyes of Abu Jahl, were the least important on the social scale. When one of them converted he would beat them without mercy and urge others to follow his example.

 

As for convert slaves belonging to the unbelieving Koraysh, they received the worst and harshest punishment for their standing was by far the weakest. Punishment such as brutal beatings followed by depravation of food and water were common, but perhaps the most severe punishment was that of being pinned down upon the scorching hot sands of Mecca and leaving the slave to endure the blistering heat of the sun without the relief of even a sip of water.

 

Some of the physically weaker converts were unable to endure their prolonged punishment and forced to recant. However, their reversion was not from their heart, but just noises made by their tongues. Those who remained undetected would offer their prayers in secret, but there were many who did not have the privilege of privacy and their grief at not being able to offer their prayers was considerable.

 

@BILAL, THE SON OF RIBAH

Amongst those who suffered the torture of the burning sands was Bilal, Hamamma and Ribah's son, who had never known what it was like to be a freeman as he had been born into slavery.

 

Bilal was a slave of African descent and owned by the children of Jumah. When news of Bilal's conversion caught the attention of the children of Jumah, Umayyah, Khalaf's son subjected him to the most severe kinds of punishment. The harshest torture Umayyah devised was to take him out into the desert during the hottest part of the day, throw him down upon his back so that it lay flat upon the already scorching sand, then place heavy rocks on top of Bilal's chest to prevent him from moving. With a voice full of hatred he would yell at him, "You will stay here until you either die or renounce Muhammad and worship Al-Lat and Al Uzza!"

 

The strength of Bilal's faith was truly great, he never gave into the demands of Umayyah, and as he suffered in the unbearable heat, his weak, parched, strained voice would be heard faintly saying, "One, One!"

 

At other times Bilal would suffer the same torture as Abu Fakeeh Aflah, a freed slave and a rope would be put around his neck and the youth of Mecca would drag him through the streets and hills of Mecca.

 

@ABU BAKR FREES BILAL

Abu Bakr had already bought and freed six believing slaves when one day he came across Bilal whilst he was being tortured yet again. Shocked and greatly distressed at seeing him in such an appalling condition, he went straight to Umayyah demanding, "Have you no fear of Allah that you treat this poor man in such a way -- how long do you intend continuing like this!" With a sneer, Umayyah replied, "It is you who have corrupted him -- save him from it!"

 

Without hesitation Abu Bakr made him an offer. Bilal was no longer of any use to Umayyah, so the offer was accepted and Abu Bakr took Bilal home with him where he was cared for, nursed back to health, and given his freedom.

 

@THE FAMILY OF YASIR

Yasir had migrated to Mecca from Yemen, and there he met and married a slave-girl by the name of Sumayyah. From their union was born a son whom they named Ammar.

 

Ammar had been among the early converts to Islam and succeeded to bring his parents into its fold. All three were subjected to the same kind of torture as Bilal, but Yasir and Sumayyah were to become martyrs. Sumayyah's martyrdom finally came when Abu Jahl brutally thrust his lance into her and killed her.

 

As for Ammar his torture continued and more threats were made against him because he refused to say abusive things about the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and return to the worship of Al Lat and Al Uzza. Ammar endured many forms of punishment, and his body was weak and in a moment of weakness he said with his tongue what was not in his heart to his persecutors. He was deeply saddened by what he had said and went to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) to tell him what had happened. The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) consoled him and shortly after a verse was sent down which reads:

 

"Whosoever disbelieves in Allah after believing

except he who is forced while his heart remains in his belief

but he who opens his chest for disbelief,

shall receive the Anger of Allah

and for such awaits a mighty punishment." 16:106

 

@KHABBAB, THE SLAVE OF UMM AMMAR

Khabbab was the slave of Umm Ammar. When he converted the Koraysh took to subjecting him to many forms of torture. On one such occasion they lit a fire, then spread its burning coals over the ground and forced him to lie down upon his back. To add to this, one of his torturers placed his foot firmly upon Khabbab's chest so that he could not move until the coals had burned themselves to ashes, however, by the blessing of Allah Khabbab survived.

 

In the years that followed, Khabbab spoke to Omar about his torture and showed him his dreadfully scared back which was now white and pitted like that of a leper.

 

@LUBAINA AND ZINNIRA, NADIA AND UMM UMAIS

Lubaina was the slave of Omar. Before Omar's conversion his harsh treatment of his convert slaves was well known.

 

Omar was extremely strong, and when he discovered that Lubaina had converted he beat her until he was exhausted and then said, "I have not stopped out of pity, but because I am tired!" Lubaina held on strongly to her belief and said after her severe beating, "If this does not persuade you, Allah shall take revenge for me!"

 

Zinnira was yet another slave owned by Omar. One day when Abu Jahl was visiting Omar, he took it upon himself to beat her. Zinnira was beaten so harshly that she lost her eyesight.

 

Nadia and Umm Umais were yet two more slaves who were among those tortured but refused to recant.

 

The ladies just mentioned were among those blessed by Abu Bakr’s compassionate generosity and were rescued by him.

 

@THE REQUEST OF SOME OF THE COMPANIONS

Khabbab, Al Aratt's son, and some of the companions went to visit Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam), to complain against their increased persecution and ask him to supplicate for victory over their aggressors.

 

The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) listened with heartfelt sympathy and comforted them with the story of a man who, centuries before, had been taken captive by his enemy and told to renounce his belief. The man refused to give up his belief and so he was flung into a pit and left there.

 

Later, after his captors thought his spirit would have weakened, he was dragged up out of the pit and ordered to recant, but still the man refused whereupon his flesh was torn from his bones by rakes, but he still would not give up his belief. Finally, a saw was sent for and placed on top of his head and he was martyred as he was sawn in half. There was absolutely nothing that would tear him away from his faith.

 

The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) consoled his Companions saying, "Allah will surely bring this matter to an end, when a rider will be able to leave Sanna for Hadramet fearing nothing except Allah and the danger of a wolf attacking his sheep."

 

@KHABBAB, THE SWORD MAKER AND AL AS

Amongst the Companions of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) was a sword-smith by the name of Khabbab, Aratt's son. Al-As, Wa'il's son had asked Khabbab to sell him some of his swords, the price was agreed but he had no intention of paying him. Khabbab waited and waited then finally went to him and asked for his money.

 

With contempt Al-As asked, "Doesn't your companion Muhammad, whose religion you follow, say that in Paradise there is as much gold, silver, clothes, and servants that his people could ever wish for?" "Yes, indeed," replied Khabbab. "Then," said Al-As, "give me until the Day of Repayment when I return to that House and I pay my debt to you there. By Allah, you and your companion will be no more influential with Allah than I, nor will you have a great share in it!"

 

Not long after Al-As had spoken these words, Allah sent down to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam):

 

"Have you seen he who disbelieves Our verses and yet says,

'I shall surely be given wealth and children!'

Has he gained knowledge of the Unseen?

Or taken a covenant with the Merciful?

On the contrary, We will write down what he says

and prolong the length of his punishment.

We shall inherit that of which he speaks and he will come before Us alone."

Koran 19:77-80.

 

@THE CAMEL TRADER FROM IRASH

A camel trader from Irash had driven his camels to Mecca where he hoped to sell them for a fair price. When Abu Jahl whose given name was Amr, Hisham's son, saw the camels he decided to buy them and the price was agreed, however he took the camels and then refused to pay for them. The trader was very distressed by Abu Jahl's unjust behavior and went to the Ka’bah where he found a group of Koraysh and told him of his plight, saying, "Who will help me to receive what is rightfully mine from Abu Hakam, Hisham's son. I am a traveler, a stranger, and he will not pay his debt!"

 

The tribesmen paid no heed to his plight and out of contempt, the Koraysh directed the trader to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam), who was sitting near the Ka’bah. They knew he would never turn away anyone in distress and hoped the situation would provoke a hostile encounter with Abu Jahl. In mockery they told the trader, "Go to him, he will help you receive your rights!" So the trader made his way to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) to entreat his help. Respectfully, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) invited him to sit down and listened to the trader’s complaint. It was of no consequence whether or not an injured party was a Muslim or not, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) always advocated justice for all and it was clear that an injustice had been done to the trader. So together they made their way to Abu Jahl's house to attend to the matter.

 

When the Koraysh saw Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and the trader leaving together, they sent one of their companions after them with the instruction to follow and report back about the happenings. When the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and the trader reached Abu Jahl's house, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) knocked at the door and Abu Jahl asked from behind closed doors who was there. The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) replied that it was he and asked him to come out.

 

As Abu Jahl came out of his house it was noticeable how pale his face had become and that he was very agitated. The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) asked him to settle his debt with the trader whereupon Abu Jahl raised no objections and went inside to fetch the agreed sum of money.

 

The money was given to the trader who thanked the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and they parted company. The trader returned to the Koraysh saying, "May Allah reward him, I have received my rights because of him!"

 

When the companion of the Koraysh returned he confirmed what occurred. Just then, Abu Jahl joined them and they asked what had happened, adding that they had neither expected nor had they ever seen him do anything like that before. Abu Jahl swore by Allah that when the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) knocked at the door he had become filled with terror, so he had opened it. As he did he saw, towering above his head, the same rogue camel with a massive head, sharp teeth and broad shoulders he had seen once before at the Ka’bah. He told them that there was no doubt in his mind that if he had refused to pay the trader the camel would have set upon him and devoured him.

 

$CHAPTER 31 THE EAVESDROPPERS

 

Abu Jahl, Al Akhnas son of Sharik, and Abu Sufyan were curious to learn why so many people were attracted to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) so they decided to spy upon one of his gatherings. One night after the believers had gathered in the Prophet's house, they met together and then hid among the shadows so as not to be detected, and waited for him to begin.

 

The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and his followers spent the night in prayer and also listened to the Prophet’s captivating recitation of the Koran. After its recitation, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) much to the delight of his followers, lovingly expanded upon its meaning and stories from the knowledge he had been given by Gabriel. He never spoke on religious matters without having first been given knowledge from Gabriel, who was entrusted by Allah to deliver the Koran and its explanation.

 

(This treasured methodology of recording the Revelation of the Koran and prophetic knowledge conveyed to the Prophet, salla Allahu alihi wa sallam, by Gabriel was recorded by the Companions and subsequently their children who constituted the 2nd generation. In the 1st century the Caliph Omar Abdul Aziz spearheaded the archiving of all this knowledge and Imam Shafi’i, the champion jurist of the sunnah, recorded over 5200 prophetic quotations and the witnessing of the Companions in his reference "Al Umm".

 

It should also be borne in mind that the Caliph Omar Abdul Aziz was the mujadid of the first century, while Imam Shafi’i was the mujadid of the second century. Abu Dawood reported in his reference that the Prophet said, "At the beginning of each century Allah sends someone who renews the religious affairs of the nation.")

 

The hours slipped by and it was only just before dawn that the three returned home in fear that if they stayed any longer someone might see them and then misinterpret the reason for their presence. As they made their way home, they warned each other that they must never do such a thing again. However, they were to return yet again on the second and third night then leave as they had done before dawn, but as they parted company on the third night each took a binding oath never, ever, to return again.

 

Later on that day Al Akhnas, with stick in hand, went to the home of Abu Sufyan to ask his opinion of the past three nights. Abu Sufyan told him that he had heard things he knew and already knew what was meant by them, and that he had also heard things he had not heard before and had not known their meaning. Al Akhnas concurred with Abu Sufyan and then went to Abu Jahl's home to ask his opinion.

 

Al Akhnas found that Abu Jahl's position had not softened in the slightest, in fact he understood that Abu Jahl now saw the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) as an even greater threat and had become more opposed than ever. Abu Jahl reminded his visitor that he and his tribesmen competed with the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and his followers for honor saying, "They have fed the poor, so have we; they have been generous, so have we; we are like two horses running neck-to-neck in a race. But they say we have a Prophet to whom a Revelation is sent down from heaven -- when will we ever attain anything like that!"

 

It was now more evident than ever that Abu Jahl feared he would lose his chance to be the chieftain of this very powerful tribe when his uncle died. Although, if he had put his pride to one side and listened without bias he would have realized his fear was completely unfounded as the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) was honorable and respectful, and never took away the authority of tribal chieftains or claimed such rank for himself. Now, in a fit of arrogant rage, Abu Jahl swore never to believe in the message the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) brought.

 

The unbelievers persisted in their mockery of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) saying, "There is a veil over our hearts, we do not understand what you say. There is heaviness in our ears so we are unable to hear you, and a curtain that divides us from you. You follow your path and we will follow ours. We do not understand anything you say!" It was then that Allah sent down the verses:

 

"When you recite the Koran, We place between you

and those who do not believe in the Everlasting Life an obstructing barrier.

We lay veils upon their hearts and heaviness in their ears, lest they understand it.

When you (Prophet Muhammad) mention your Lord alone in the Koran,

they turn their backs in aversion.

When they listen to you, We know very well how they listen.

When they conspire, when the evildoers declare,

'You are only following a man who is bewitched.'

See what they compare you to.

They have surely gone astray and cannot find the Path.

'What!' they say, 'When we are (turned to) bones and broken bits,

shall we be raised again in a new creation?'

Say, 'Let you be stones or iron, or any other creation

yet more monstrous in your minds.'

They will ask, 'Who will restore us?'

Say, 'He who originated you at first.'

They will shake their heads and ask, 'When will this be?'

Say, 'Maybe it is near, on that Day, He will summon you,

and you shall answer Him with praise

and you shall think you have stayed but for a little.'"

Koran 17:45-52

 

$CHAPTER 32 WALEED, CHIEF OF THE MAKHZUM

 

The status of Waleed, the elderly chieftain of the Makhzum and uncle of Abu Jahl, within the Koraysh tribes was that of great standing and influence.

 

Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam), was ever hopeful that the Message he brought would touch the hearts of tribal leaders, which would not only turn them into believers and the rest of their tribes, but make for strong allies and bring about the cessation of the relentless persecution of his Companions. So now he sought the opportunity to approach Waleed.

 

The opportunity was soon to present itself when one day they unexpectedly met together. Waleed did not brush the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) away and soon the two became engrossed in their discussion.

 

During the course of their conversation, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) was overheard by a blind passerby, who had recently converted to Islam. The blind man interrupted the conversation at an inopportune moment and asked the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) to recite to him some verses whereupon Waleed frowned and turned away. The conversation ended shortly after the interruption and Waleed left without being persuaded.

 

Not long after the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) had spoken with Waleed, he received a new, short chapter that refers, in part to the blind man and Waleed:

 

"He frowned and turned away when the blind man came to him.

And what could let you know? Perhaps he (comes to hear you) to be purified.

(He might) remember, and the Reminder might profit him.

As for he who is sufficed, you attended to him,

although it is not for your to be concerned if he remained unpurified.

And to him who came to you eagerly and fearfully, of him you were unmindful.

No indeed, this is a Reminder; and whosoever wills shall remember it."

Koran 80:1 - 12

 

Waleed, Mughirah’s son, was very knowledgeable of the finer points of Arabic poetry. He had heard the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi was sallam) speak upon several occasions, and was familiar with his rhetoric, but he had heard the recitation of the Koran by the Prophet and was convinced that these were not, and could not be the words of a human being. Abu Jahl, who was the foremost enemy of the Prophet, went to Waleed and started to belie Prophet (salla Allahu alihi was sallam) whereupon Waleed said, "By Allah! None of you have a greater knowledgeable of poetry than I, his (usual) speech cannot be compared to that of the Koran!"

 

Later, Waleed was heard to arrogantly exclaim to his fellow tribesmen, "Are Revelations sent to Muhammad and not to me! I am the most important among the Koraysh and I am their lord! Why are they not sent to Abu Masood the chieftain of Thakif or myself -- we are the two great men of the two great towns!" The towns referred to were those of Mecca and Ta'if:

 

Allah records their words saying:

'Why was this Koran not sent down to a great man from the two villages?' 43:31

 

$CHAPTER 33 THE SPLITTING OF THE MOON

 

It was the night of a full moon and as it rose over Mount Hira its silvery light lit the City of Mecca below. Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam), happened to be out walking with Ali and some of his Companions when a group of unbelievers passed by. As might be expected, the unbelievers started hurling their usual mockery, then one of them issued a challenge to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) saying, "If you really are the Messenger of Allah, then split the moon into half!"

 

The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) supplicated and to the absolute amazement of the unbelievers, Allah, the Most Able, caused the moon to split and draw away from its other half so that one half shone at the top of Mount Hira and the other on the other at its base. The small crowd looked on in wonderment, then the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) turned to the unbelievers and in his customary, innate, gentle manner asked them to bear witness, for his only desire was to bring them to Allah and save them from the Fire.

 

Some converted immediately. Others were not ready to commit themselves, but those whose hearts were hardened refused to believe. They claimed that the miracle was nothing other than magic even after others from remote areas had been questioned and bore witness that they too had seen the division of the moon, they maintained that the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) had cast a spell over their eyes. An unbeliever exclaimed referring to the husband of the Prophet’s suckling mother Halima, "The son of Abu Kabshah has bewitched you." (Abu Kabshah was the husband of the Prophet's foster mother Halima).

 

Allah refers to this miraculous event and the lies of the unbelievers saying:

 

"The Hour is drawing near, and the moon is split (in two).

Yet if they see a sign (the unbelievers) turn their backs and say,

‘This is but a continuation of sorcery!’

They have belied, and follow their own fancies.

But every issue will be settled!"

Koran 54:1–4

 

@THE WITNESSING OF THE SPLITTING OF THE MOON IN FAR AWAY INDIA

It is recorded that one night as King Cheraman Perumal of Kerala, India, and his wife were strolling outside their palace they witnessed the splitting of the moon in half.

 

When Arab traders reached Kerala the King told them of the strange occurrence whereupon the traders told the king that the moon had split in Mecca in answer to the supplication of a new prophet who had been sent. The king set sail to visit Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alihi was sallam) and embraced Islam under his hand and took the name Tajuddin meaning, "The Crown of the Religion."

 

This story has been well documented in the archives of Kerala. The population of Kerala is 90% Muslim.

 

$CHAPTER 34 IDOLATORY THROUGH LACK OF DIVINE GUIDANCE - THE CONVERSION OF OMAR, SON OF KHATTAB

 

It was now the sixth year of the prophethood and although Omar disliked the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and his Companions, his reasons were different from those of his uncle Abu Jahl. Omar came from a family steeped in conservatism and tradition, and as such was taught to respect, but not question through lack of Divine Guidance, the age-old custom of reverence for the idols and Ka’bah. The very idea of even challenging the validity of worshipping its idols was to Omar something that was simply not open for discussion. Traditions and heritage went hand in hand, and were to him, something to be preserved at all costs, even though there was nothing to support the worship of idols. As for the Ka’bah itself, only fragments of its real reason for reverence remained. Omar, as well as most of the people of Mecca, was content with the age-old illogical excuse that his fathers and ancestors had worshipped them and what had been good enough for them, was still good enough for his generation.

 

When Omar heard the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) calling upon people to renounce the idols and worship just One God, Allah, it was more than he could bear. To Omar's way of thinking, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and his Message had become a threat to the very fabric of his society's heritage, unity, and ultimately its existence so he had come to the conclusion that the only way to stop the escalation would be the elimination of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam). With this in mind Omar left his house, and headed for the Ka’bah where he concealed himself and heard the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) reciting the chapter "The Resurrection Verifier" as he prayed:

 

"The Resurrection Verifier; and what is the Resurrection Verifier?

What makes you to know what the Resurrection Verifier is?

Thamood and Aad belied the Clatterer.

Thamood, they were destroyed by the violent shout (of Gabriel),

as for Aad, they were destroyed by a howling, violent wind

that He subjected upon them for seven nights and eight days consecutively

and you might have seen them struck down

as if they were the stumps of palm trees that had fallen down.

Can you see any remnant of them now?"

Koran 69:1-8

 

As the Prophet continued his recitation Omar heard:

 

"That this is the speech of a noble Messenger.

It is not the speech of a poet, little do you believe

nor is it the speech of a soothsayer, little do you remember.

(It is) a sending down from the Lord of all the Worlds.’ 69:40-43.

 

The Words of Allah had an impact upon him, however Omar was not swayed as his conservatism, heritage and traditional way of thinking was to him a matter not to be abandoned.

 

@NU'AYM DIVERTS OMAR

Omar could bear it no longer. The matter had, in his opinion, to be resolved once and for all, so he fastened his sword to his belt and stormed out of the house.

 

He had not gone far when Omar was met by a fellow tribesman by the name of Nu'aym, Abdullah's son. Nu'aym had embraced Islam, however very few people knew of his conversion and without a doubt Omar was completely unaware.

 

Upon seeing the determined look upon Omar's face and then the sword fastened to his belt, Nu'aym suspected trouble and asked casually, so as not to arouse suspicion, where he was going. Omar replied, "I am going to kill Muhammad; he has divided us!"

 

Nu'aym, trying to conceal his fear for the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) tried to dissuade Omar by telling him that even if he succeeded, the children of Abdu Manaf would never rest until they had taken their revenge and killed him.

 

Nu'aym was quick to realize that Omar was not to be put off by his advice so desperately, in an effort to buy time in which he could alert the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and his Companions, he said, "Omar, you should put things right in your own house first!"

 

Omar was startled and asked what he meant by such a statement. Nu'aym replied, "Your sister, Fatima and her husband, Sa'id, are followers of Muhammad and his religion." Without so much as a word, Omar stormed off to his sister's house. Nu'aym felt badly at having exposed Fatima and Sa'id to Omar's wrath, but he knew they would understand his intention as they, like every convert, loved and would do anything to shield their beloved Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) from the prospect of harm.

 

@THE RECITATION OF KHABBAB

Now among the literate people of the tribe of Zuhra was a convert called Khabbab, Aratt’s son. Khabbab had a very sweet voice and had learned the recitation of the Koran. Fatima and Sa'id loved to both recite and listen to its recitation and so Khabbab had become a most welcome visitor to their home.

 

On the day Omar discovered his sister and her husband had become Muslims, Khabbab happened to be visiting them. It was as they were sitting together reciting the new chapter "Ta Ha" which had recently been sent down, and then written upon a piece of parchment, that Omar arrived at her house and made his presence known by calling out his sister's name in a thunderous voice.

 

Khabbab was stricken with fear, for he was among those who were poor and of little standing, so he hid himself in Fatima's house hoping that Omar would not discover his presence. But before hiding, Fatima took the parchment from him and hid it under her gown.

 

Omar burst into Fatima's house and demanded, "What was that mumbling I heard?" Fatima and Sa'id told him that he heard no mumbling. Angrily, Omar replied, "Indeed, I heard you and I have been told that you have both become followers of Muhammad!" Omar restrained himself no longer and started beating his brother-in-law without mercy. Fatima tried to intervene but a blow intended for Sa'id struck her and she began to bleed profusely, whereupon she cried out to her brother to do whatever he wanted and told him that, yes, he was right, they had indeed become Muslims.

 

When Omar realized what he had done to his sister he was overcome with remorse and his attitude changed. In a soften tone he asked, "Give me what I just heard you reading from so that I might see what Muhammad has brought."

 

Fatima, fearful of her brother's intention replied, "I am afraid to trust you with it" whereupon Omar laid down his sword and said, "Do not fear, by Allah, I will give it back to you." Fatima knew her brother to be a man of his word and hoped with all her heart he would embrace Islam and spoke to him gently saying, "O my brother, because of your idolatry you are unclean and only the cleansed may touch it." Omar heeded his sister's words and went to wash himself. When Omar returned Fatima gave him the parchment and Allah, in His Mercy caused the light of faith to enter his heart as he began to read:

 

‘Indeed, I am Allah.

There is no god except Me.

Worship Me, and establish the prayer of My remembrance.’ 20:14.

 

Omar was so taken with the beauty and composition of the verses that he said in a humble tone, "How excellent it is, and how graceful, please, take me to Muhammad."

 

@THE SUPPLICATION OF THE PROPHET (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam)

After Omar had finished reading, Khabbab came out from his hiding place and said, "Omar, I hope that through the prayer of our Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) Allah has chosen you, because yesterday I heard him supplicate, 'O Allah, strengthen Islam with either Abdul Hakam, Hisham's son or with Omar, Khattab's son."

 

These encompassing words of Khabbab touched Omar in such a way that he asked where he might find the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) so that he might go to him and embrace Islam. Khabbab no longer feared for the Prophet's safety under the hand of Omar and told him that he would find him together with his Companions in the house of Akram, near the Hill of Safa.

 

@OMAR'S ARRIVAL AT THE HOUSE OF ARKAM

It was in the month of Dhul Hijja just three days after Hamza had embraced Islam that Omar fastened his sword and made ready to leave for the house of Arkam. When he reached the house he knocked at the door and announced himself.

 

In the meantime, Nu'aym had been able to warn the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and his Companions of Omar's original intent, so they were taken by surprise when they heard the gentle tone of his voice. One of the Companions got up and went to look through a small crack in the door and returned to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) to confirm that it was indeed Omar and that he was wearing his sword.

 

The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) was not afraid for he trusted Allah and knew He had answered his supplication, so the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) gave permission to let Omar enter. However, Hamza told his companion to open the door saying, "If he comes with good intent, he will receive much good, but on the other hand, if his intention is evil then I will kill him with his own sword."

 

@OMAR EMBRACES ISLAM

As Omar entered, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) caught hold of his belt by surprise and led him into the middle of the room, then asked in his usual gentle manner, "What brings you here, son of Khattab." Meekly, Omar replied, "O Messenger of Allah (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) I have come to you so that I may proclaim my belief in Allah and in His Messenger, and in that which He has sent down to you."

 

In gratitude and humility, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) exalted Allah saying, "Allah is the Greatest!" Those present felt an overwhelming sense of relief and followed the Prophet’s example and exalted Allah as they realized Omar was no longer their enemy, but one of them, a Muslim.

 

@ABU JAHL LEARNS OF OMAR'S CONVERSION

The next morning, Omar went to the house of Abu Jahl and knocked at his door. Abu Jahl was happy to see his favorite nephew and came out to welcome him asking what had brought him there. Omar told him that he had come to tell him that he believed in Allah and bore witness that Muhammad is His Messenger and to the truth which is sent down to him. Abu Jahl's face blackened and as he cursed his nephew, he slammed the door in his face.

 

@THE KORAYSH LEARN OF OMAR'S CONVERSION

Omar had no intention of keeping his conversion secret, so he went to Jamil, Mamar Al Jumahi's son, the Koraysh gossip, knowing well he would spread the news quickest and told him of his conversion.

 

Omar's assumption was correct, Jamil jumped up, and made straight for the Ka’bah with Omar following a few steps behind.

 

At the door of Ka'bah, Jamil proclaimed loudly for all to hear, "Omar has apostatized!" Then Omar shouted! "He is a liar, I have become a Muslim and bear witness that there is no god except Allah, and Muhammad is His Prophet and His Messenger!" Several unbelievers, standing near Ka’bah witnessed Omar's proclamation and started to fight him. The fighting continued until the heat of the mid-day when Omar took a rest saying, "Do as you will, I swear by Allah that if you were three hundred men I would have fought it out on equal terms!"

 

Just then, a Koraysh chieftain robed in a Yemeni cloak intervened and asked what was going on. When he was told that Omar had embraced Islam, he turned to them and asked, "Why shouldn't a man choose a religion for himself -- what are you trying to do? Do you think that the children of Adiyy will surrender their companion to you? Let the man alone!" And so Omar was left in peace.

 

Now that Omar had proclaimed his acceptance of Islam, the Companions felt more secure to worship Allah at the Ka’bah as the unbelievers now feared a formidable encounter with Omar and Hamza however their persecution did not stop.

 

$CHAPTER 35 THE COMPANIONS MIGRATE TO ABYSINNIA

 

It was in the middle of the fifth year that the Companions were subjected to increased persecution, be they well connected or not, that the Prophet, salla Allahu alihi wa sallam, who was always concerned for their welfare and security approved the migration to Abyssinia of all those wishing to leave.

 

The reputation for justice and tolerance of the Nazarene ruler of Abyssinia, As-hamah son of Al-Abjar, the Negus who followed the true teachings of Prophet Jesus of Nazareth, rather than that of Paul, was well known, so in secrecy during the month of Rajab, twelve Companions and their wives set out for Abyssinia (today called Ethiopia).

 

Amongst the migrants were Lady Rukiyah, the Prophet's daughter who was married to Othman, Affan's son, of whom the Prophet, salla Allahu alihi was sallam, said, "They are the first people to migrate in the cause of Allah after the time of Abraham and Lot." Jafar and Amr, two of the sons of Abu Talib. Abu Hudhayfah, whose father Utbah was now one of the principal persecutors of the Prophet, salla Allahu alihi wa sallam, Abu Sabra, Ruhm's son, a cousin of the Prophet, salla Allahu alihi was sallam, through his aunt Bara. Abu Salamah Al Makhzumi and his wife Umm Salamah whose given name was Hind daughter of Abi Umayyah, who, upon the death of her husband was destined to marry the Prophet, salla Allahu alihi wa sallam. Othman, the son of Makhzum Humahi, a close Companion of the Prophet, salla Allahu alihi wa sallam. Aamir the son of Rabia and his wife Leila – Aamir had been one of the early converts. Zubair, Al Awwam's son, cousin of the Prophet, salla Allahu alihi wa sallam, and his close Companion who later married Asma, the daughter of Abu Bakr; Musab the son of Umair, grandson of Hashim; Abd Al Rahman, the son of Auf from the tribe of Zuhra, another relative and close Companion of the Prophet, salla Allahu alihi wa sallam, who was informed by the Prophet, salla Allahu alihi wa sallam, that Paradise was assured for him; Abu Hatib, Amr's son, Suhayl, Baida's son; and Abdullah, Masood’s son, who was yet another of the close Companions of the Prophet, salla Allahu alihi wa sallam.

 

When the migrants reached the coast they found two half-empty ships bound for Abyssinia and the captains agreed to carry them for the sum of five dirhams per passenger.

 

The language spoken in Abyssinia at that time was very much akin to Arabic and so it wasn't long until the Companions settled down and made friends with their welcoming new neighbors. Allah says referring to those who migrate in His cause,

 

"And those who after they have been wronged emigrated for the Cause of Allah,

We will lodge them with a good (life) in this world,

but greater still is the wage of the Everlasting Life, if they but knew." 16:41

 

@THE KORAYSH LEARN OF THE MIGRATION

So subtle had been the migration of the Companions that the Koraysh remained unaware of their departure until long after they had reached the safety of Abyssinia.

 

When it suddenly dawned upon the Koraysh that they had not seen several Muslim families for some time they realized something was amiss and became greatly angered as they discovered that not only they, but other families; had migrated to Abyssinia without their knowledge.

 

Although the Koraysh had made it very clear that the Muslims were unwelcome to practice their religion in Mecca, they now wished they had contained them in the City because they began to fear they would become successful in converting others and so gain strength.

 

@THE ATTEMPT TO BRING THE MIGRANTS BACK

In an attempt to regain control over the migrant Muslims, the Koraysh called for an urgent meeting to discuss what they should do to remedy the situation. The meeting was concluded when the decision was reached to send two of their trusted tribesmen, Abdullah, Abu Rabia's son and Amr, Al-As' son, to As-hamah, the Negus of Abyssinia bearing gifts of the finest leather, which they knew were highly prized by Abyssinians, with the request that the migrants be returned to Mecca. It was also agreed that Abdullah and Amr should approach the Negus' high-ranking generals behind his back and bribe them individually with a fine hide in return for their support in securing their aim.

 

Before Abdullah and Amr departed, Abu Talib, whose sons Jafar and Amr were among the migrants, sent a short poem he had composed to the Negus asking him to protect his sons.

 

The poetic message was subtle. It asked the Negus if his sons remained under his protection, or if they had been delivered into the hands of mischief makers. He told of the happiness the refugees must be enjoying by being permitted to stay in his county. He closed the poem with tender words in praise of the Negus for his hospitality to both friend and stranger alike.

 

@THE GENERALS

Upon reaching the Negus' palace, Abdullah and Amr first visited and succeeded to bribe the generals saying, "Some foolish people of ours have taken refuge in your country. They have abandoned their religion, yet they have not converted to yours because they have devised one of their own, the like of which is unknown to us and to you. Our noble leaders have sent us to ask the Negus to let them return with us and it is our desire that you advise him so that they might return."

 

Abdullah and Amr were quick to add that they thought it preferable that the migrants should not be permitted to speak with the Negus. Like the Koraysh chieftains, Abdullah and Amr were afraid that if the Muslims were given the opportunity to speak to the Negus, he would listen kindly and incline to what they had to say. With this in mind they told the generals that they knew well their people's ways and faults and it was not only their desire that they should return home but those of their close relatives.

 

@THE AUDIENCE WITH THE NEGUS

As-hamah, the Negus received his visitors courteously, and the envoys presented their gifts then asked for the return of their fellow tribesmen. As one might expect the generals were strongly supportive of the request and tried to persuade the Negus to agree.

 

The Negus, being both wise and fair became outraged at the suggestion that these people who sought refuge in his country should be sent back without a hearing and replied, "No, by Allah, I will not surrender them! On no account will anyone who, having sought my protection, settled in my country, and chosen me rather than their own be betrayed. I will question them about the matter these two men allege, then, if they are as they say, I will send them back with their people. On the other hand, if what has been said is false, I will respect them and they will receive both my hospitality and protection."

 

@THE NEGUS AND THE MIGRANTS

The Negus sent for the migrants to come to the palace and at the same time called upon his bishops to attend the meeting and asked them to bring their scriptures with them. When all were assembled, the Negus asked the Companions several direct questions relating to their reasons for leaving their people. Among the questions were: why had they chosen not to adopt his religion, this was then followed by an inquiry about their belief.

 

Jafar, Abu Talib's son, acted as spokesman for the Muslims. He told the Negus that before Islam they had been ignorant people, worshipping idols, committing the most regrettable things, and showing little or no mercy to those weaker than themselves. Then he told him about Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) who had been sent to them, detailed his lineage and spoke of his reputation for being upright, truthful, and trustworthy.

 

Jafar continued to tell As-hamah, the Negus that the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) called them to the Oneness of Allah and to worship Him alone. He told them how he had said they must renounce their idols and the false concepts their fathers and ancestors had followed.

 

Then Jafar told the Negus the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) instructed them to speak truthfully, fulfill their promises, and care for their relatives and neighbors. He said that they must neither kill, nor consume the wealth of orphans, nor should they falsely accuse good women. Jafar also explained how they had been taught to pray each day, to be charitable and to fast.

 

Nearing the end of the audience, Jafar told the Negus that it was on account of these matters that their people had turned against and persecuted them in an effort to force them revert to their old religion. He also told the Negus that the reason for their migration to his country was because they knew they would be secure under his protection.

 

The Negus was impressed by Jafar's honorable reply and asked if he was able to recite some of the Revelation to him, so Jafar recited verses from the Chapter Mary:

 

"And mention in the Book, Mary,

how she withdrew from her people to an eastern place

and she took a veil apart from them;

We sent to her Our Spirit (Gabriel) in the resemblance of a perfect human.

(And when she saw him) she said,

'I take refuge in the Merciful from you if you are fearful.'

'I am the Messenger of your Lord,' he replied, 'and have come to give you a pure boy.'

'How shall I bear a son,' she answered,

'when I am not touched by a human and not unchaste?'

‘Even so’ he replied, ‘as such your Lord has said, 'Easy it is for Me.

And We shall make him a sign to mankind and a mercy from Us.

It is a matter decreed.'"

Koran 19:16-21

 

When the Negus and his bishops heard these words they wept and declared that the religion the Companions followed was from the same source as their own. Then the Negus swore an oath that he would never betray the migrants, and asked Abdullah and Amr to leave.

 

@THE PLOT OF AMR AND ABDULLAH

Angrily, Amr and Abdullah left the palace and as they did Amr said, "Tomorrow, I will go to the Negus and tell him something I know will destroy their newly found prosperity and its roots! I will tell him that they believe Jesus, the son of Mary, is just the worshiper of Allah!"

 

The following morning, Amr went to the Negus saying, "Your majesty, you must also be informed that they adhere to an enormous lie about Jesus, the son of Mary, send for them and ask what they say about him!"

 

The Negus sent for the Companions and asked what they believed about Jesus. Once again Jafar acted as their spokesman and told him, "We say what has been sent down to our Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam):

 

‘Indeed, the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary,

is only a Messenger (and Prophet) of Allah.

And His Word (Be) which He gave to Mary,

and a (created) spirit by Him.’" Koran, Ch.19:171

 

The Negus bent down, picked up a stick and said, "Jesus, the son of Mary does not exceed that which you have said by the length of this stick." Upon hearing this, his generals and bishops started to mutter among themselves. Then he turned to Jafar and his companions telling them that they might go wherever they pleased and to know they would never be harmed, not even if he were to be offered a mountain of gold in exchange.

 

The Negus instructed the gifts Abdullah and Amr had brought to be returned to them and so Abdullah and Amr left rebuked without achieving their aim.

 

@REACTION

News of the Negus' statement about Jesus spread rapidly; many were troubled and demanded an explanation, accusing him of abandoning their religion.

 

The Negus now feared for the safety of Jafar and his companions so he gave him enough ships to carry them to safety in the event of him being overthrown. Now that the Negus had made provisions for their safety, he sat down and wrote on a piece of parchment, "I bear witness that there is no god except Allah, and that Muhammad is His worshiper and His Messenger." Then, he tucked it under his cloak near his right shoulder and went out to face his people.

 

He addressed them saying, "My people, do I not have the best claim among you?" The crowd agreed he did. Next he asked, "Then, what is your opinion of the way in which I deal with you?" "Excellent!" came the reply. Then he asked, "What troubles you?" The crowd replied, "You have left our religion, and now say that Jesus is the worshiper of Allah." "What do you say of Jesus?" asked the Negus. "We say that he is the son of Allah," they answered. Then the Negus, putting his hand over the place in his cloak under which he concealed his testimony said, "This!"

 

The crowd were satisfied and thought he had reaffirmed their belief and dispersed. Now that the crisis had been averted the Negus sent word to Jafar that all was well and they could return to their new homes where they could live in peace and harmony for as long as they wished.

 

@THE MIGRANTS RETURN FROM ABYSINNIA

A false report reached Abyssinia that the Koraysh had accepted Islam. There was great happiness amongst the migrants and some, including Lady Rukiyah, daughter of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) together with her cousins, could not wait to be with the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) once again, for they loved him dearer than anyone else in the world and their separation from him had been a great hardship. However, Jafar and Ubayd remained in their adopted country to preach.

 

It was a long journey but a happy one until they were but a few miles outside Mecca when they learned to their great dismay, that the report was far from accurate. They knew it would be dangerous to enter Mecca altogether, so it was decided that each family should make their way secretly into its Muslim sector and pray they would not be detected.

 

Upon the migrants return to Mecca they told their fellow Muslims of the very hospitable and kind treatment they had received from the Negus and many of the Muslims who had not migrated with them and endured the continued persecution sought the permission of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) to migrate. The Koraysh did everything to try and prevent the would-be migrants from migrating, but by the blessing of Allah, the migration of eighty-three men and eighteen ladies was accomplished.

 

$CHAPTER 36 THE DELEGATION FROM ABYSINNIA

 

During their stay in Abyssinia, the Companions spoke of Islam, its principals and of their beloved Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) to their new Nazarene and Christian neighbors. Many of the Koranic narratives were very similar to those the Nazarenes and Christians already knew, however other narratives were new and this, together with the tender, loving accounts they had heard about the Prophet’s character kindled an earnest desire to know more about Islam and its Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam), for some knew from their Books that another prophet would come and wondered if this might be he.

 

With these matters pressing upon their minds, the Abyssinians decided to send a delegation to Mecca to hear the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) speak first hand and then return home to report the news to those unable to accompany them.

 

@THE ARRIVAL IN MECCA

Upon reaching Mecca, the delegation went to the Ka’bah where they found Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam). As they made their way across its courtyard they passed by Abu Jahl and a group of hostile Koraysh busy in a meeting, however the Abyssinians’ presence did not go unnoticed.

 

The delegation approached the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and happiness radiated from his face as he greeted and welcomed them to sit down and join him. There were so many questions they wanted to ask about Islam and the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) in his endearing, knowledgeable manner answered all in a way that satisfied their hearts. Then, he recited portions of the Koran and their eyes filled, overflowing with tears. They knew without a shadow of doubt that the man before them was indeed the Prophet of Allah, the one whose coming Jesus, the son of Mary had prophesied and that they had been blessed to meet him. When the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) invited them to embrace Islam they accepted without the slightest reservation.

 

Allah tells us:

"You will find the most people in enmity to the believers

are the Jews and idolaters,

and that the nearest in affection to the believers

are those who say, ‘We are Nazarenes.’

That is because amongst them there are priests and monks;

and because they are not proud.

When they listen to that which was sent down to the Messenger,

you will see their eyes fill with tears as they recognize its truth.

They say: ‘Lord, we believe. Write us among the witnesses.

Why should we not believe in Allah and in the truth that has come down to us?

Why should we not hope for admission among the righteous?’

For their words Allah has rewarded them with Gardens

underneath which rivers flow where they shall live for ever.

Such is the recompense of the righteous.

But those who disbelieve and belie Our verses shall be the companions of Hell."

Koran 5:82-86

 

From afar, Abu Jahl and his companions monitored the meeting and when the joyous Abyssinians passed them as they left the courtyard of Ka'bah, Abu Jahl and his companions stopped them saying, "Indeed, you are a feeble group. Your people sent you here to bring them news about that man, then, after you had sat with him for a short while you renounced your religion and now believe what he says. You are very foolish!" But his words fell upon deaf ears as the happiness of certain belief engulfed their hearts and they returned to Abyssinia to tell their families and friends the good news.

 

$CHAPTER 37 THE BOYCOTT

 

Now that Hamza and Omar had converted to Islam, the Koraysh viewed the Prophet, salla Allahu alihi wa sallam, in a different light. Their persecution had failed to halt the ever increasing number of their fellow tribesmen from following him, so they decided to call for a meeting of all the Koraysh chieftains to devise an alternate plan which would cause the Muslims hardship in as many aspects of their lives as possible.

 

No less than forty chieftains from the Koraysh with its branches gathered together in Wadi Al-Muhassab, an area belonging to the tribe of Kinanah to discuss how best to resolve the matter. The plan which proved acceptable to the majority was that from now onward, they would boycott the tribes of the children of Hashim and Muttalib with the exception of Abu Lahab, who was their staunch ally. No longer would their children be permitted to marry members of these tribes but trading between them was now strictly forbidden. They were adamant that the boycott should remain in effect until the Muslims surrendered the Prophet, salla Allahu alihi wa sallam, to them to be killed.

 

@THE WITHERED FINGERS

To ensure that none would be tempted to break the boycott, Mansoor, Ikrimah's son, wrote down the pact details and fastened it onto a wall inside the Ka’bah as a reminder to anyone who might be tempted to break it. Some of the Koraysh tribes did not agree wholeheartedly to the harshness of the sanctions. However, when the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) heard of Mansoor's action, he supplicated to Allah against him, whereupon several of Mansoor's fingers withered away. In addition to this, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) prophesized to the Koraysh that the pact would be eaten by termites and only the inscribed the Name of Allah would remain written on the pact.

 

@THE RELOCATION OF THE PROPHET AND HIS COMPANIONS

As a matter of safety, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) who was always concerned for the welfare of his Companions, decided it would be better for the Muslims to live close to one another. With this in mind, it was decided that they would settle near the home of Abu Talib.

 

It was now Muharram, in the seventh year after the prophethood when the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and Lady Khadijah arrived in their new home while Abu Lahab and his household who lived nearby packed their belongings and moved away.

 

Now that the boycott was in place, Abu Jahl, obsessed in his hatred, occupied his time ensuring that the boycott was strictly observed.

 

@FLOUR FOR LADY KHADIJAH

Lady Khadijah had a nephew called Hakim who belonged to one of the tribes participating in the boycott. One day, Hakim and his servant were seen by Abu Jahl taking a bag of flour into the predominately Muslim sector. Abu Jahl accused Hakim of breaking the boycott and a heated argument ensued in which Abu Jahl threatened to expose Hakim to the others.

 

During the argument Abi Bakhtari son of Hashim, from the tribe of Asad, overheard the two arguing and asked what all the fuss was about. When it was explained to him, he sided with Hakim arguing that he could see no harm in what Hakim was doing as he was just returning a bag of flour belonging to his aunt. Abu Bakhtari told Abu Jahl that there was no need to make such a big issue of the matter and to let Hakim go on his way,

 

Now that Abu Bakhtari had taken sides in the argument, tension increased and a scuffle broke out. In self defense, Abu Bakhtari picked up the jaw-bone of a camel and struck Abu Jahl with such forced upon his head that he fell concussed to the ground.

 

@THE COURAGE OF THE PROPHET

Despite the constant threats of the Koraysh, the Prophet, persisted in his mission to preach to all who would listen, his courage never faltered or weakened. He continued to go to Al-Ka’bah and pray in public and whenever an opportunity presented itself he would preach to visitors to Mecca who came during the sacred months or for special occasions to trade, or for pilgrimage.

 

@HISHAM, THE SON OF AMR

Among the tribes whose chieftains had signed the pact were tribesmen -- especially those closely related through marriage to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) -- who felt compassion towards the Muslims. One such person was Hisham, Amr' son. When night fell and no one was about, Hisham would often load his camel with food, clothing, and gifts, lead it towards the Muslim houses then strike the camel on its rump so that it ran down into the streets of the boycotted area. The food and gifts were immediately shared amongst the Muslims and they were grateful for Hisham’s courage and generosity.

 

A little over two years had now passed. The boycott remained in force and the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and his Companions faced the severe hardship of poverty and deprivation with patience, knowing that Allah would bless them. Even Abu Bakr, who had once been among the wealthiest of Meccans was now reduced to a poor man. With the shortage of food, times were difficult but the light of sharing faith and the much loved companionship of their ever caring Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) made the hardship easier to endure.

 

@THE SACRED MONTHS

It was only during the Sacred months that the Muslims felt safe enough to leave their homes to pray at their beloved Ka’bah. However, although they suffered no physical harm during these months, the unbelievers did not withhold their verbal abuse.

 

Amongst those whose verbal abuse was the most offensive was Umayyah, Khalaf's son. Whenever he saw the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) he seized the opportunity to hurl slanderous, backbiting statements at him. It was during this time that Allah sent down verses that warned of the punishment of backbiters and slanderers:

 

"Woe to every backbiter, slanderer who amasses wealth and counts it,

thinking his wealth will render him immortal!

On the contrary! He shall be flung to the Crusher.

What shall let you know what the Crusher is?

(It is) the kindled Fire of Allah, which shall oversee the hearts,

closed around them in extended columns."

Koran Chapter 104

 

$CHAPTER 38 THE CESSATION OF THE BOYCOTT

 

Among the Koraysh were those having close ties to the tribes of Hashim and Muttalib who felt the duration of the boycott was excessive. The first person to take action was Hisham Amr's son, who had for sometime been sending camels laden with food and clothing into the Muslim sector at night.

 

He was aware that any effort he might take by himself would be wasted, so he went to Zuhair son of Abi Umayyah, one of the two sons of Atika, the Prophet's aunt and asked, "Are you content to eat well, clothe yourself, and marry when you know the circumstances of your relatives. They can neither buy nor sell, marry nor yet give in marriage. I swear, if they had been the relatives of Abu Jahl, he would never have done this!" "What can I do, I am just one person, if there was another then I would do something to end it!" replied Zuhair. "There is another," replied Hisham. "Who is it?" asked Zuhair. "Myself," replied Hisham, "so let us get a third!" replied Zuhair.

 

Hisham went to Mut’im, Adi's son, who was an influential member of the tribe of Nawfal and also the grandson of the brother of both Hashim and Muttalib. Mut’im agreed, and asked for a fourth to join them as he warned that the Koraysh would most likely turn against them.

 

Hisham approached Abu Bakhtari from the tribe of Asad, who had sided with Hakim when he was caught by Abu Jahl returning flour to his aunt, Lady Khadijah. Abu Bakhtari agreed and asked for another to join them, as there was strength in numbers, so Hisham approached Zam’ah Al-Aswad's son, who was also from the tribe of Asad. Zam’ah agreed but thought it unnecessary for a sixth person to join them.

 

That night in the month of Muharram, three years after the commencement of the boycott, the five met together at Hujon, which is a place situated on the outskirts of Mecca. There they agreed that none of them would rest until the pact fastened to the inside of the Ka’bah had been revoked. It was agreed that Zuhair would act as their spokesman and speak first to the Koraysh on account of his kinship to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam).

 

@THE CONFRONTATION

The next day, when many of the Koraysh gathered near the Ka'bah, Zuhair and his companions entered its courtyard. Zuhair circumambulated Ka’bah seven times, then turned to the gathering and said, "O people of Mecca, should we eat and wear clothes while the sons of Hashim suffer on account of their being unable to trade? By Allah, I will not sit until this terrible pact is torn up!"

 

Abu Jahl was quick to rise up in protest saying, "It will not be torn up, you are a liar!" Zam’ah now spoke up, "It is you who are the liar. We were not in favor of it even when it was written." At that point Abu Bakhtari interjected, "We are not in favor of its contents, and neither do we hold with it!" Both Mut’im and Hisham supported their companions whereupon Abu Jahl accused them all of conspiracy.

 

Abu Talib who had been sitting nearby reminded them that the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) had said regarding the document that had been hung inside the Ka’bah, that nothing of it would remain except the Name of Allah, it would be destroyed by termites. Mut’im went into the Ka’bah to fetch the document and as the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) had said, all but a short phrase at the beginning of the document remained which read "In Your Name, O Allah", thereupon, Mut’im brought the remaining portion out and showed to the gathering.

 

Many of the Koraysh had already softened to the words of Zuhair and his companions, but when they saw the remnant of the document they took it to be a good omen and so it was that the boycott finally came to an end. Abu Jahl knew it was pointless to go against the wishes of the crowd so it was with great reluctance he accepted its termination.

 

News that the boycott had been revoked was delivered to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and his followers and there was great rejoicing of thanksgiving to Allah for its lifting.

 

Despite the harsh circumstances the Muslims faced throughout the boycott it had bonded them closer together rather than making them selfish. They had supported one another and unsparingly shared their meager possessions, all for the love of Allah and His Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam). For their patience Allah rewarded them and there was nothing that could take away from them the sweetness of their belief.

 

Abu Bakr and Talha

Abu Bakr had, until shortly after his conversion, been a wealthy, influential, and well respected citizen of Mecca, but now, on account of the boycott, he was no longer wealthy and his influence had dwindled amongst the unbelievers. There had been a time when all would turn to him with their troubles when he would either help financially or give sound advice, but now many of those whom he had helped turned away and shunned him.

 

One day, when Abu Bakr and his cousin Talha were taking a stroll, Nawfal -- whose son, Aswad had embraced Islam under the hand of Abu Bakr – and a company of others attacked the pair, tied their hands and feet together and left them lying on the road for passersby to see and mock.

 

In those days it was customary for the tribe of the injured party to revenge themselves against the offender, but the leaders of the tribe of Taym, to which Abu Bakr belonged, chose to ignore the incident which was a clear indication that they now considered him to be of little or no standing.

 

Abu Bakr and Ad-Dughunnah’s Son

Now that it was known that no action would be taken by the Taym tribe if Abu Bakr were to be harmed he became the object of persistent abuse so he went to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) to ask his permission to join those that remained behind in Abyssinia, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) always had the welfare and safety of his Companions at heart agreed so with a sorrowful heart Abu Bakr set out for Abyssinia.

 

As he neared the Red Sea, he met an old friend by the name of ibn Ad-Dughunnah, the chieftain of a small tribe that had settled not far from Mecca and were allied to the Koraysh. Ibn Ad-Dughunnah hardly recognized Abu Bakr and was both shocked and distressed to see him in such an impoverished condition and inquired what had brought about such a dramatic change in his affairs. Abu Bakr related several of the unwarranted hostilities he had faced in Mecca on account of his conversion then told him that now all he wanted was to be able to worship Allah in peace and to preach during his travels.

 

Ibn Ad-Dughunnah reflected upon former times in wonderment of how people could turn to be so fickle and said, "How could they have done such things? You were without doubt the gem amongst your tribe, in times of trouble you were always there to call upon, your deeds are good, and you always helped others in times of need! Go back, I will support you."

 

Abu Bakr accepted ibn Ad-Dughannah's support and they returned together. Upon reaching Mecca, ibn Ad-Dughunnah declared for all to hear, "People of Koraysh, the son of Abu Kuhafah has my support -- let no one treat him badly!"

 

The Koraysh accepted the ultimatum, however a fellow from the tribe of Jummah -- the tribe from whom Abu Bakr had rescued Bilal demanded, "Tell him to worship his Lord behind closed doors, and to let his prayers and recitation be confined therein so that he can neither be seen nor heard. We fear that if our sons or women see him they will be seduced by his ways!" Ibn Ad-Dughunnah turned to Abu Bakr and asked him to comply, and he agreed.

 

Abu Bakr neither prayed in public nor did he recite the Koran outside his house, however one day he decided to build a small mosque in front of his house, and thereafter offered his prayer in it and recited the Koran. The women and children of the unbelievers began to gather around him in great numbers. They used to wonder and look at him. Abu Bakr was a man given to much weeping when he recited the Koran, and could not restrain himself.

 

The hierarchy of the unbelieving Koraysh became fearful so they sent for Ad-Dughannah's son. When he arrived they said, "We accepted your protection of Abu Bakr on condition that he restrict his worship of his Lord to inside his house, but he has violated the conditions and built a mosque in front of his house where he prays, and recites the Koran in public. We are fearful he may influence our women and children, therefore stop him from doing this. If he wishes to confine his worship of his Lord to his house he may do so, but if he insists on doing so openly then ask him to release you from your obligation to protect him, because we would dislike breaking our agreement with you, but we deny Abu Bakr the right to act openly.

 

Ad-Dughannah's son went to Abu Bakr and said, "You are aware of the contract I made on your behalf, please either abide by it or release me from my obligation to protect you because I do not want the Arabs to hear that my tribe dishonored a contract I made on behalf of another man." Abu Bakr replied, "I release you from your agreement to protect me and am content with the protection of Allah."

 

The Companions Approach to their Persecution

These early band of Companions were blessed with tremendous conviction, constancy and perseverance throughout their persecution. Their belief in Allah was unshakable and having reached that condition their circumstances were perceived by them as being scarcely significant. Allah says,

 

"As for the scum it is cast away as jetsam,

but, that which profits people remains on the earth." 13:17.

 

The love the Companions had for the Prophet, and the Message he brought was deep and sincere. He was their role model, a person with admirable, noble characteristics which surpassed all other humans and of which even his enemies were never heard to deny. The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) was someone who the Companions tried their best to emulate and for whom they were prepared to sacrifice. The Companion’s love of him was embedded deep in their hearts and they were always ready to defend him even if it meant risking their lives. Such was the spirit of selflessness that strengthened them to endure their difficulties. They knew that which they endured was only temporal, a trial, and that within a few years they would return to their Lord and longed for the life in the Hereafter.

 

Allah says:

"Do people think that they are left alone by saying,

'We are believers,' and will not be tried?

We tried those who have gone before them.

Allah knows those who are truthful and those who lie." 23:2-3

 

 

@THE KORAYSH APPROACH THE AILING ABU TALIB

Abu Talib was now elderly and in poor health and the Koraysh, fearing a stain on their reputation if they took action after his passing, took the decision to send their representatives to ask him to intervene on their behalf with the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam).

 

Twenty-five notables from the Koraysh including Utbah and Shayba sons of Rabi’a, Abu Jahl son of Hisham, Umayyah son of Khalaf, and Abu Sufyan son of Harb went to visit Abu Talib. They greeted, praised him and said how highly they respected and honored him. Having done this they proceeded with their mission which was that they were prepared not to interfere with the Prophet’s religion if he did not interfere in theirs and their way of life.

 

Abu Talib called for his nephew and told him of the Koraysh proposal. The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) listened to his uncle then said, "Then give me a word, a word by which they shall rule over both the Arabs and Persians." Excitedly, Abu Jahl replied, "Indeed, by your father, for that we will give you not only one word, but ten more!" The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) replied, "Then you must say, 'There is no god except Allah' and renounce all that you worship except Him." In exasperation the Koraysh threw up their hands saying, "Muhammad, would you make our gods one God, what you say is indeed strange!"

 

The leaders realized their mission had been in vain and turned to each other saying, "This man will give us nothing we ask for, we will go our own way and uphold our religion which is the religion of our fathers until Allah judges between us and him!"

 

It was then that Allah sent down the chapter Saad:

"Saad, by the Holy Reading (Koran) of the Remembrance.

No, the unbelievers exalt in their division.

How many generations have We destroyed before them.

They called, 'The time is neither of escape, nor safety.'

They marvel now that, from among themselves,

a warner has come to them.

The unbelievers say, 'This is a lying sorcerer.

What, has he made the gods One God?

This is indeed a wondrous thing.'

Their assembly left (saying),

'Go, and be patient to your gods, this is something to be desired.

We never heard of this in the former religion.

It is nothing but an invention.‘" Koran 38:1-7

 

$CHAPTER 39 THE YEAR OF SORROW

 

The year was 619 after Jesus, and ten years after Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam), received the first Revelation. It was a time for happiness but also of great sorrow for it was on approximately 20th of Rajab of that year that the 87 year old Abu Talib weakened by terminal illness passed away.

 

@AN INSIGHT INTO ABU TALIB’S BELIEF

As Abu Talib neared death he called the Koraysh dignitaries to come to him and gave them a sound recommendation, Abu Talib said as reported by Hisham son of Saie via his father:

 

"O people of Koraysh you are the chosen of Allah among His creation ….. Then he added, I recommend that you be good to Muhammad. He is the honest person of the Koraysh, the friend of Arabs and the gatherer of every good attributes I recommend for you. Indeed, he has come with the matter of religion which the heart has accepted (and this is the definition of belief) while the tongue has denied it (and this was the undisclosed plan that the Koraysh should not show he was a Muslim, so that he an others like him were able to protect the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam), and support the preaching of Islam) as they feared the hatred of the unbelievers).

 

By Allah, it is as I see, that the common Arabs, those amongst the shepherds, those who live in remote areas and the weaklings among people will accept the invitation to Islam, believe and confirm his words (there is no god except Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger). They will respect his ordinance and he will lead them in battles bearing death. And the chieftain and the frontier of Koraysh will become impotent. Their homes became as if ghosts and the weak amongst them will become landlords. The most great among the Koraysh are those most in need of him while the one who is on the lower side of society is the most fortunate with him. And that the Arabs will give Muhammad their love with a pure heart and give him their leadership.

 

O Koraysh, support, and protect his party. By Allah, nobody walks in Muhammad’s path that is not righteous, and there is no one who follows Muhammad’s guidance who is not happy and fortunate. Had I more time and my age extended, I would indeed protect him and repel the overwhelming affairs." Shortly thereafter he passed away.

 

Several years later during the Battle of Badr Ubaydah, son of Harith engaged Utbah in single combat. Ubaydah’s leg had been severed and he had lost a lot of blood. Hamza and Ali carried him to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam), and in a weakened voice Ubaydah asked, "O Messenger of Allah, am I to be a martyr?" "Indeed you are" replied the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam), in a soft tone and Ubaydah was happy. As he lay in his weakened state he said, "If Abu Talib was alive today he would know that his words: 'We will not give him up until we lie dead around him, forgetting our women and children,' have been fulfilled in me."

 

Abu Talib can be said to be identical to the believer in the time of Moses who warned him that Pharaoh’s people were plotting to kill him.

 

"Then a man came running from the furthest part of the city,

'Moses,' he said, 'the Assembly are plotting to kill you.

Leave, for I am one of your sincere advisers.' Koran 28:20

 

@THE DEATH OF LADY KHADIJAH

Lady Khadijah passed away on approximately 10th Ramadan, ten years after the prophethood, close to two months after Abu Talib at the age of sixty-five. Out of all the ladies of the world, Allah selected Lady Khadijah to be the wife of His beloved Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam). She was indeed, the best wife for the best husband and they had been blissfully married for twenty-five years. Her love and devotion to the calling and to him were unquestionable. A cross word was never exchanged between them, they were the perfect couple and loved being in each other’s company.

 

Lady Khadijah had been the first to accept Islam and her faith was like the brilliance of the brightest planet that causes all the planets and stars to appear dim in the darkest hour of the night.

 

Although Lady Khadijah had known excesses of wealth and luxury she never uttered a single word of complaint when the Holy family’s circumstances had been reduced to the poverty of this materialistic world. Rather, she was ever thankful to Allah for whatever came her way. She was charitable and considerate, never looked down on anyone, and lovingly treated members of her household in the same way as she did her family. Such was the love and care she gave them that none wished to leave her service even when the Holy family’s circumstances were reduced.

 

Whenever she had noticed or heard of someone in a distressed state she had always been there to lend a helping hand and like her beloved husband, never turned anyone away. She always looked for the good in people and brushed away anything that might to others have appeared negative. She was pure in heart, mind, body, and soul and was known as the Mother of Believers.

 

Lady Khadijah had been an exemplary mother who dearly loved her children and raised them to be the best, most loving, obedient children of their time. Many were the days when she would be found fondly playing with them or, much to their delight, telling them the stories of other prophets that her beloved husband had narrated to her. When her two sons returned to Allah, she had been naturally saddened but she trusted in Allah and never complained, and gently comforted her grieving daughters who missed their little brothers.

 

Lady Khadijah had been not only the most perfect wife, mother, friend, but neighbor. Those ladies fortunate to know her wished they had her qualities for she set the standard on earth for every woman who longed for Paradise in the life Hereafter.

 

The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and his four daughters, ladies Zaynab, Rukiyah, Umm Kulthum and Fatima were deeply sorrowed by their loss. However, peace and comfort descended upon them when the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) gently and lovingly told his daughters that many years before, when he had been in retreat in the Cave of Mount Hira, the Angel Gabriel had visited him and that Gabriel had said, "O Messenger of Allah (salla Allahu alihi was salaam). This is Khadijah coming to you with some food and drink. When she reaches you greet her on behalf of her Lord, and on my behalf, and give her glad tidings of a palace made from Qasab (tubes of gold, and precious stones) in Paradise wherein there will be neither noise nor toil."

 

The news of Gabriel's message comforted the Prophet’s daughters greatly and they were content in the knowledge that Allah had called her home and removed her far from the enemies of her Lord.

 

$CHAPTER 40 THE SUCCESSOR TO THE TRIBE OF HASHIM

Now that Abu Talib was dead, the leadership of the tribe of Hashim fell to Abu Lahab whose hatred of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) was well established. As could be expected, Abu Lahab was not prepared to offer him any support and so the persecution accelerated to a new height.

 

@DESPICABLE ACTIONS

One day as the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) offered his prayer at the Ka’bah, Abu Jahl, in his hateful way, said to his companions Utbah son of Rabi'a, Shaibah son of Rabi'a, Al-Waleed son of Utbah, Umayyah son of Khalaf and Uqbah son of Mu'ait, "I wish someone would bring the bowels of a camel with all its dirt and throw it over Muhammad!" Without hesitation, Uqbah, Mu’ait's son brought the filth and as the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) prostrated emptied it over the Prophet's neck. The Koraysh looked on making fun of (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam), delighting in their attempt to degrade him, but he remained calm and grieved for their disbelief.

 

Meanwhile, someone told Lady Fatima, the youngest daughter of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) who was five or six years old, of the disgusting act and so she ran as quickly as her little legs would carry her to him and removed the filth from her beloved father and cried as she rebuked and cursed Uqbah for his foul deed.

 

Uqbah was not of a mind to stop his foul behavior and in fact he was encouraged. On another occasion as the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) was humbly absorbed in his prayer near the Ka’bah, Uqbah approached him with a piece of cloth in his hand, threw it around his neck, pulled it tight and dragged him down until he fell upon his knees. At that moment Abu Bakr entered and saw what Uqbah had done and released the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam), and in doing so turned to Uqbah saying, "Would you kill a man just because he says that Allah is his Lord!"

 

There were many such disgraceful, unprovoked acts that the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) patiently endured which caused his young daughter to weep, as she could not bear to see her beloved father treated so badly. On each occasion the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) would comfort her with words of tenderness and reassure her saying, "Do not cry little daughter, Allah will protect your father," and kissed her as he dried away the tears from her darling little face.

 

Amongst other despicable acts was the time when Uqbah son of Al-Mu'ait attended a gathering of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and listened to him preaching Islam. A close friend of his, Ubayy Khalaf’s son heard of this and reproached him severely, ordering him to spit in the face of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam), which he did. Ubayy seized every opportunity to try to degrade the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) he went as far as grinding decomposed bones and blowing its power upon the Prophet. Of this Allah said:

 

 "And do not obey every mean swearer,

the backbiter who goes about slandering,

those who hinder good,

the guilty aggressor,

because he has wealth and sons.

When Our verses are recited to him, he says,

'They are but fairytales of the ancients!'

We shall mark him upon his nose!" Koran 68:10-16

 

In the years that followed, during the first major hostility in Islam, the Encounter of Badr, all those who took part in throwing the camel's filth over the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) were reported by Masood's son to have been killed by the angels of Allah.

 

$CHAPTER 41 THE JOURNEY TO TA’IF

The people of Mecca knew that Abu Lahab, the new chief of the tribe of Hashim was not inclined to take action against those who perpetrated the bounds of decency against the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam). Now the road was clear for all and sundry to abuse Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and his Companions, and so their persecution continued.

 

It was now the month of Shawwal (June 619) ten years after the Prophethood. In hope of spreading the message of Islam and gaining the support of the influential tribe of Thakif, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) accompanied by Zayd, Haritha’s son journeyed to Ta'if. Upon reaching the city he went directly to the house of Umair, who was considered to be the most noble of chieftains, but his invitation to Islam and request for support fell on deaf ears and Umair and his household rejected and mocked the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam).

 

Three brothers from the chieftains of Thakif - Abd Yalil, Masood and Habib - sons of Amr son of Umair Ath-Thaqafy met the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam), and he invited them to Islam, and then sought their alliance. The hearts of the brothers were hard and unreceptive. One of them swore he would tear down the covering of Ka’bah if Allah had sent Muhammad as His Messenger. Another mocked the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) saying, "Couldn't Allah have found someone better than you to send!" As for the third brother he said, "By Allah, don't let me speak to you ever again. If you are as you claim, the Messenger of Allah, then you are far too important to speak with me; on the other hand, if you are lying, it is not befitting for me to speak with you!"

 

The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) endured these harsh remarks with patience and as he was leaving the brothers, called their household and slaves together and encouraged them to hurl abusive statements at the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam). The commotion attracted other members of the tribe who joined them, throwing stones and injuring the Prophet’s leg. Zayd, while trying to shield the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) also sustained an injury to his head which bled profusely and so the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) sought the peace and quiet of an orchard several miles away from the town belonging to Rabi’as sons. The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) tethered his camel to a palm tree then sat down under its shade being confident of the support of his Lord started to supplicate to Him saying:

 

"O Allah! To You alone I make complaint of my helplessness, the paucity of my resources and my insignificance before mankind. You are the Most Merciful of the merciful. You are the Lord of the helpless and the weak, O Lord of mine! Into whose hands would You abandon me, the hands of an unsympathetic distant relative who would sullenly frown at me, or to the enemy who has been given control over my affairs? But if Your wrath does not fall on me, there is nothing for me to worry about. I seek protection in the light of Your Countenance, which illuminates the heavens and dispels darkness, and which controls all affairs in this world as well as in the Hereafter. May it never be that I should incur Your wrath, or that You should be wrathful to me. And there is no power nor resource, but Yours alone."

 

@THE NAZARENE SLAVE FROM NINEVEH

Now the two sons of Rabi’a knew what had happened to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and their hearts softened a little toward him so they sent a young Nazarene slave by the name of Addas who was a follower of Prophet Jesus rather than an adherent to the Christian doctrine of Paul with a dish of grapes to him.

 

As Addas gave the dish to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) he looked up smiled and thanked him then took some grapes and before eating them said, "Bismillah". The pronouncement astonished Addas who said, "By Allah, this is not the way the people of this country speak." The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) looked up at him and inquired, "Which country do you come from, and what is your religion?" Addas replied that he was a Nazarene, a follower of Prophet Jesus, peace be upon him, from far away Nineveh (Ninawah).

 

The Prophet’s heart filled with joy and commented, "From the town of the righteous man Jonah, the son of Mattal." Addas was even more surprised and asked the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) how he knew about Jonah to which he replied, "He is my brother, he was a Prophet and I am a Prophet." Addas' heart rejoiced and he bent over and kissed his head, then his hands and feet.

 

Meanwhile, the brothers had been observing the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) from a distance and were disturbed when they saw Addas respecting the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) by kissing him and said to each other, "Look, he is already corrupting our slave!" When Addas returned to them they asked why he had acted as he did. Addas answered, "He is the finest man in this country and has told me things that only a prophet would know." To this the brothers exclaimed, "Do not let him seduce you from your religion - your religion is better than his!"

 

The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) realized he could expect no help whatsoever from the people of Thakif, so he and Zayd mounted his camel and set off back to Mecca.

 

In the years to come Lady Ayesha, wife of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) asked him if he had ever experienced a day harsher than Uhud. He told her that the most painful day for him was on the day of Aqabah when he sought the support of the son of Abd Yalil, the son of Kalal but had met with his rejection. He told her that after this bitter rejection he set out for Mecca and was oblivious of his surroundings until he reached Qarn Al-Manazil. He told her as he looked up he saw a cloud shading him then Gabriel spoke saying, "Allah has heard your people's words and sent you the angel of mountains to your assistance." Then the angel of the mountain greeted him and asked his permission to bury Mecca between Al-Akhshabain, its two mountains. However, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) told the angel rather than doing that he hoped that in the future their children would worship Allah alone. He and his Companions had suffered greatly under their hands yet none of their actions tarnished his ever caring, merciful disposition and concern for their welfare in this life and in the Hereafter.

 

@THE VALLEY OF NAKHLAH

The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi was sallam) and Zayd reached the valley of Nakhlah and stayed there for two days. As they offered the Fajr prayer a party of jinn came across them and they stopped to listen and were captivated by the beauty of the recitation of the Koran with its message and realized what they were hearing was not man made rather it was of a Divine nature. They returned to their folk and told them of their experience and what they had heard. Thereafter Allah revealed to Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alihi was sallam):

 

"Say: 'It is revealed to me that a party of jinn listened and then said:

'We have indeed heard a wonderful Koran,

that guides to the Right Path.

We believe in it and we will not associate anyone with our Lord.

He - exalted be the Majesty of our Lord

who has neither taken to Himself a wife, nor a son!

The ignorant fool among us has spoken outrageously against Allah,

we never thought that either human or jinn would ever tell a lie against Allah!'"

Koran 72:1-5

 

When the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi was sallam) was asked who drew his attention to the presence of the jinn in the valley of Nakhlah, he told his inquirer that it was a tree that had told him.

 

The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) had received several Revelations that spoke not only of mankind but also jinn, in which both were given good news of Paradise and warned of the punishment of Hell.

 

The jinn were created before humans and unlike the human, who was created from clay and whose father is Adam, the jinn were created from smokeless fire and their father is satan, the stoned and cursed. However, despite the fact that satan is the father of the jinn, there are among them believers.

 

THE ROAD TO MECCA

As the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) set off on the final stage of his homeward journey, the matter of the people of the Thakif’s refusal to accept the mercy of Allah weighed heavily upon the Prophet’s mind.

 

When the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi was sallam) reached the Cave of Hira he rested and sent

a Meccan from the tribe of Khuza’ah to Al-Akhnas Shuraiq’s son to seek his support. However Al-Akhnas was unprepared to make such a commitment as he was allied to the Koraysh and was not prepared to ally his tribe to Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam).

 

When the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) learned of Al Akhnas' refusal, his thoughts turned to Suhayl, Amr's son, so he asked the Meccan to return again to Mecca and approach Suhayl, but Suhayl also declined.

 

The messenger returned to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi was sallam) with the disappointing news and this time he asked the Meccan to approach Al Mut’im, Adiyy's son, who, some time ago had retrieved what remained of the boycott document posted in the Ka'bah.

 

Mut’im was agreeable, so the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) entered Mecca with his support where, fully armed, Mut’im stood near the Ka’bah with his sons and nephews and announced while the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) offered two units of prayer at the Ka’bah that he had allied himself to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) thereafter he escorted the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) to his home. Abu Jahl was among those present that day and asked, "Are you giving him your support, or are you following him!" "Support of course!" replied Al Mut’im.

@THE ANGER OF UTBAH

One day, Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam), Abu Jahl and some of the leaders of the Koraysh happened to be near the Ka’bah at the same time. In his usual way, Abu Jahl turned to some members of the tribe of Abdu Manaf and said in a tone that mocked, "Is this your Prophet, children of Abdu Manaf?" Utbah, Rabia's son replied in an angered tone saying, "What is wrong if we have a Prophet or a king!" The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) overheard his reply and spoke to Utbah in a kindly way saying, "O Utbah, your anger was not for the sake of Allah, but on your own account." Then he turned to Abu Jahl and warned, "As for you Abu Jahl, a great affair will befall you. It will cause you to laugh a little, but weep a lot." Then he spoke to the leaders of the Koraysh saying, "A great affair will come upon you which you will indeed hate."

 

Despite Mut’im's inclination toward the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) he did not embrace Islam and died shortly before the encounter of Badr. The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) was heard to say that if he had been alive and come to ask him for the return of captives from his tribe he would have granted it.

 

$CHAPTER 44 THE VISION

 

In Shawwal of the tenth year of the prophethood an angel appeared to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) in a vision bringing with him a figure wrapped in silk. The angel spoke to him saying, "This is your wife, uncover her face." The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) gently removed the silk from her face and saw it was Ayesha, the daughter of Abu Bakr.

 

The vision occurred again on the following night and again on the third and each time he was told the same. However, Ayesha was still a young girl similar in age to Lady Fatima and Abu Bakr had already promised her in marriage Jubair, Mut’im's son. The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam), who never disobeyed Allah in anything, did not question the visions and thought to himself, "If this is what Allah intends, then it will be."

 

The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) had not mentioned his visions to anyone, not even Abu Bakr, when Khawlah, who had attended to his household affairs since the death of Lady Khadijah suggested he should remarry. Politely, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) asked if she had anyone in mind to which she replied, "Perhaps Ayesha, Abu Bakr's daughter, or Sawdah daughter of Zam’ah," who was about thirty years old and had lost her husband Sakran shortly after their return from Abyssinia.around the time that Lady Khadijah had passed away.

 

The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) modestly asked Khawlah to propose both marriages, so she went to Sawdah who was honored by the proposal and sent word back saying, "Obedient to you, O Messenger of Allah." Upon receiving her acceptance, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) respectfully requested her to choose one of her tribesmen to give her in marriage. Lady Sawdah chose her brother-in-law Hatib who had recently returned from Abyssinia and shortly after the marriage took place on 10th Shawwal, ten years after the prophethood. In the years to come Lady Sawdah gave her night to Lady Ayesha.

 

Meanwhile, Abu Bakr went to Mut’im and asked him to release Ayesha from the agreement with his son Jubair. Mut’im agreed and a contract of marriage was drawn up in the same month the Prophet married Lady Sawdah, however his marriage to Lady Ayesha was not consummated until later after she had matured during the second year after the migration.

 

$CHAPTER 45 THE MESSAGE AND THE TRIBES

 

It was the time of the pilgrimage and many pilgrims camped outside Mecca before visiting their idols at Ka’bah. It was also the season of many fairs such as the one at Ukaz, to which many eloquent poets would gather and compete against one another.

 

However, many of the unbelievers, including Waleed Mughirah's son who was a fine poet himself and well versed in its finer points were concerned about the effect the recitation of the Koran would have on its attendees.

 

With this common concern the unbelievers grouped together to agree upon a common saying between them which would not contradict the other and then sit at the roadside to warn those who came to listen. Suggestions were put forward and one of the unbelievers suggested that they say "He is a soothsayer," whereupon Waleed said, "By Allah, he is not a soothsayer! He neither mutters nor speaks in rhymed prose. Another suggested that they say, "He is mad, and possessed by jinn." Waleed retorted saying, "He is neither mad nor is he possessed by jinn, there is neither choking nor yet whispering in his voice." Then they suggested, "He is a poet" to which Waleed replied, "This is not so, we know poetry in all its forms and fineries, he is not a poet." Then they proposed saying, "He is a sorcerer" once again Waleed retorted, "He is not a sorcerer, there is neither blowing nor knots." Frustrated they exclaimed, "What then shall we say!" Waleed told them, "All what you have put forward is false. The closest statement you made is that he is a sorcerer, because magic is something that can come between a man and his son, between brothers, between a man and his wife and a man and his tribe." Undecided on what to say they parted company and sat by the roadside to warn people. Thereafter Allah revealed about Waleed:

 

"Leave Me alone with he whom I created" Chapter 74:11

 

The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) decided to visit the camps of the tribes of Kinda, Kalb, Aamir, Muharib, Fazara, Ghassan, Murra, Saleem, Abs, Nasr, Al Buka, Ka’b, Udhruh, Hanifa, and the people or Hadrmout to recite portions of the Koran to them and then ask if they would like to ally themselves, but it was not to be, and the beauty of his recitation as well as his invitation to ally themselves with him fell on deaf ears.

 

The bitterest response to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) came from the tribe of Hanifa. Later, its chief, Musailamah falsely proclaimed that he himself was a prophet!

 

The fair was well underway when the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) approached Bayhara, Firas' son, from the tribe of Aamir the son of Sasaa. Bayhara listened to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) then exclaimed, "By Allah, given this man I could conquer all of Arabia." Then, a thought occurred to him and he asked, "If we give you our allegiance and Allah gives you victory over the enemies of Islam, shall we then be given leadership after you?" To this the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) replied, "The matter rests with Allah." Bayhara didn't like the reply and exclaimed, "Then I think you want us to lend you our support against the Arabs, and then, if Allah gives you victory someone else will reap the benefit – no, we do not accept!"

 

When the tribe of Aamir returned home they narrated what had happened at the fair to an elder tribesman who had stayed behind on account of his age. They told him, "A young man from the Koraysh, from the children of Abdul Muttalib is claiming he is a prophet and asked us for his support and invited us to embrace his religion." The elderly tribesman was struck by their news and swore, "He is a real Ishmaelite. He is a true Prophet, what caused you to misjudge his words?"

 

Abu Bakr had accompanied the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) when he visited the tribe of Dhul, Shaiban's son - the chiefs of this tribe were Mafruk, Muthanna and Hani, Kabisa's son. When Abu Bakr met Mafruk, Mafruk asked if he had heard about the coming of a Prophet, whereupon Abu Bakr turned towards the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and introduced him saying, "This is he." Mafruk asked the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) to tell him about the message entrusted to him, to which the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) replied, "There is no god except Allah, and I am His Messenger." Then the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) with the sweetness of his voice proceeded to recite the following verse from the Koran:

 

"Say: 'Come, I will recite to you what your Lord forbids you;

that you shall associate anything with Him;

(He orders you) that you shall be good to your parents

that you shall not kill your children because of poverty,

We provide for you and for them,

that you shall not commit foul deeds whether openly or in secret;

and that you shall not kill the soul that Allah has forbidden except by right.

With such Allah charges you, in order that you understand."

Koran 6:151

 

The three leaders listened to the recitation and all expressed their liking of the verse, however, they told the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) they were reluctant to abandon the religion of their ancestors because they would loose their authority with their fellow tribesmen. They also pointed out that they had already pledged their allegiance to the King of Persia and as such were already bound.

 

The Prophet diligently (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) continued to invite all who would listen to Islam and asked their leaders to ally themselves to him. Like Abu Jahl, Abu Lahab viewed Islam as a threat and whenever he heard the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) preaching, he would make it his business to try and break-up the gatherings by crying out, "This man is an apostate, he lies. He is trying to mislead you and wants you to abandon Al Lat and Al Uzza as well as your allies, the jinn from the tribe of Malik!"

 

Although no allies were gained, many had listened to the verses of the Koran and were aware of the message the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) preached.

 

$CHAPTER 46 THE NIGHT JOURNEY AND THE ASCENT

 

It was during these early years of the Messenger of Allah’s prophethood in Mecca, approximately sixteen months before his migration to Medina that one of the greatest miracles of all time occurred.

 

The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) happened to be visiting the house of Hubayrah, the husband of Hind, better known as Umm Hani, the daughter of Fatima and Abu Talib when night fell so they invited him to stay overnight.

 

Although Hubayrah had not converted to Islam whereas his wife, and mother-in-law had, and so they were blessed to join the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) in offering the night prayer.

 

As the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) slept, the roof the house was suddenly split open and Gabriel came to him and opened his chest and washed his heart with the water of Zamzam and filled the Prophet’s heart and chest with faith. Thereafter, he took him from the house of Umm Hani to the Ka’bah where he rested as he emerged from the state between sleep and waking then Gabriel took him to the door of the Ka’bah. Standing before the door of the Mosque was Burak, a winged white animal from Paradise, greater in size than a donkey but lesser than a mule, with wings on its hind legs. Burak was surrounded by angels on either side but as the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) tried to mount, it became frisky, whereupon Gabriel said, "O Burak, are you not ashamed to behave in such a manner? By Allah, no one that has ridden you before this is more honorable before Allah," whereupon, Burak broke out in a sweat and stood still for the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) to mount.

 

Allah says, "Exalted is He who carried His worshiper (Prophet Muhammad) to travel in the night from the Sacred Mosque (Mecca) to the Furthest Mosque (Jerusalem) which We have blessed around it so that We might show him some of Our signs. He is the Hearer, the Seer." 17:1 This verse draws our attention to the great honoring Allah bestowed upon the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) so that He might show him some of His signs.

 

As soon as the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) was seated, the Angels Gabriel and Michael also mounted. Gabriel sat in front of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) holding Burak's saddle and Michael sat behind the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) holding its rein.

 

As Gabriel pointed the way Burak set forth. Each strike it took reached the end of his vision, miraculously breaking the barrier of light, and as they passed over the mountains Burak raised his legs higher so that they passed over them in comfort.

 

The breaking of the barrier of light is a very clear miracle from Allah. NASA, the American Space Agency with all its technical advances has been unable to achieve and will never be able to achieve the breaking of this barrier because at such speed the physique is consumed.

 

When Burak reached the Mosque of Jerusalem, he stopped and raised his front leg so that the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) might dismount. The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) tied Burak to the tethering ring the prophets had used in years long past. Thereafter he entered the mosque and prayed two units of prayer and was greeted by several prophets amongst whom were Abraham, Moses, and Jesus and it was there on the site of the ancient temple of Jerusalem that Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) led them in prayer.

 

After the conclusion of the prayer, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) was offered two goblets, one contained wine and the other milk. The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) chose the goblet of milk and drank from it whereupon Gabriel said, "You have been rightly guided and so will your nation" that is because wine is to be forbidden.

 

After this the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and Gabriel ascended to the nearest heaven in both body and spirit. Upon reaching the nearest heaven Gabriel asked for its gate to be opened whereupon its guardian inquired, "Who is there?" So Gabriel announced himself to the guard. Then Gabriel was asked, "Who is with you? Whereupon Gabriel replied, "Muhammad," The guardian inquired, 'Has he been sent?' Gabriel replied, 'Yes' and the gate was opened. The same questions and replies were to be asked and given at the gate of each heaven.

 

@THE FIRST, LOWER HEAVEN

As the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) entered the first heaven with Gabriel all but one of the angels expressed signs of happiness and smiled a welcoming smile. The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) turned to Gabriel and asked about that angel and was told, "He is Malik, the Guardian of Hell, he does not smile."

 

Whilst the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) was in the first heaven, he saw Prophet Adam observing the souls of the deceased. When a good soul passed by he was very happy and said, "A good soul for a good body," however when a bad soul passed by he would frown and say, "A bad soul for a bad body." Upon seeing Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) Prophet Adam welcomed and supplicated for him and asked Gabriel if the time had come when he had been sent for, and Gabriel confirm that it was so.

 

@THE SECOND HEAVEN

In the second heaven, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and Gabriel were met by Prophet Jesus, the son of Mary, and John, the son of Zachariah who also welcomed and supplicated for him and inquired if he had been sent for. Later the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) described Prophet Jesus as being a man of medium height, with straight hair and a reddish, freckled complexion.

 

@THE THIRD HEAVEN

In the third heaven the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) met Joseph, the son of Prophet Jacob, who was so handsome that the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) described him as being as beautiful as the full moon and that he had been given half of all the beauty. Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) as we are told was given all the beauty. He welcomed and supplicated for the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and also inquired if the Prophet had been sent for and was told that he had.

 

@THE FOURTH HEAVEN

In the fourth heaven they encountered Idris of whom the Koran speaks:

"And mention in the Book, Idris;

he too was of the truth and a Prophet,

We raised him to a high place."

Koran 19:56 - 57

 

Idris (Enoch) welcomed and supplicated for the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam)and inquired if he had been sent for and Gabriel affirmed that he had.

 

@THE FIFTH HEAVEN

In the fifth heaven the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) met a handsome man with white hair and a long beard, it was Prophet Aaron, the son of Imran. Like the prophets before him he too welcomed and supplicated for him and inquired if he had been sent.

 

@THE SIXTH HEAVEN

In the sixth heaven he met a man with a prominent nose, similar to those of the people of Shanu'a. The man was Prophet Moses, brother of Aaron and son of Imran, and as before he too welcomed and supplicated for him and inquired whether he had been sent.

 

When he was with Moses, Moses started to weep, whereupon the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) asked why he was weeping. Moses replied, "O Lord, this is a young man who was sent after me, and more of his nation will enter the Garden than those of my nation."

 

@THE SEVENTH HEAVEN

When Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and Gabriel entered the seventh heaven they saw a man sitting comfortably on his chair resting his back, at the entrance of an eternal, crowded mansion – Al Bayt al Mamor. The entrance of the eternal crowded mansion has been explained by scholars as being the entrance to Paradise. The man was Prophet Abraham of whom Prophet Muhammad observed, "I have never seen a man more like myself."

 

It was in the seventh heaven that the Prophet saw a beautiful, heavenly maiden -- a houri -- and asked to whom she would be espoused and was told Zayd, the son of Haritha.

 

Then he saw angels entering the gates of the mansion and was told that each day seventy thousand angels enter never to return again until the Day of Resurrection.

 

Then Gabriel took the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) to the Lote tree of the Furthest Limit. The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) described the tree as having leaves the size of elephant’s ears and fruit like earthenware vessels. When the command of Allah covers it, that which is covered undergoes a change, the beauty of which none in all creation is able to describe.

 

The Prophet, (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) was told, "This is the Lote Tree of the Ending. Each of your nation who travels your Path will reach it. It is the furthest Lote Tree. From its roots spring rivers of sweet water, rivers of unstaling milk, rivers of wine, a delight to its drinker, and rivers of pure honey. The tree is so huge that it would take a rider seventy years just to ride across its shadow. Just one of its leaves would shade all creation; light and angels cover it."

 

Thereafter Allah obligated fifty prayers to be offered during the day and night.

 

Before the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) left, Allah said to him, "Peace be unto you, O Prophet," and the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) replied, ‘Peace be unto us all, and the good worshipers."

 

@THE PROPHET’S RETURN JOURNEY THROUGH THE HEAVENS

On the Prophet's return through the heavens he met Moses once again, who asked how many daily prayers had become incumbent upon him and his followers. When Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) told him fifty, Moses replied, "Prayer is a weighty matter, and your nation will not be able to do so. I tested the Children of Israel and know from experience, return to our Lord and ask Him to reduce the number for you and your nation."

 

Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) returned to his Lord and asked for a reduction, and the number was reduced to forty. Once again the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) met Moses upon his return, who asked him the same question, and again Moses advised him to return to request a further reduction, whereupon he returned, and so it continued until the number of daily prayers became reduced to five.

 

When the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) met Moses upon his final return, Moses inquired as he had done before, but Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) told him that he felt ashamed to ask Allah to reduce the number yet again.

 

In later years the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) informed his Companions that when they offer each of the five obligatory daily prayers in faith and trust, they receive the reward of ten prayers for each obligated prayer which is equal to the originally prescribed fifty prayers. He reminded them that they should be grateful to Moses for the reduction in number.

 

The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) also told his Companions that he was told that for whosoever intends doing something good and does not do it, a meritous act is recorded for them, however, if he or she does it they are the recipients of the reward for ten meritous acts. When a person intends to do a wrong action nothing will be written against him, but if the wrong action is carried through then only one wrong action is recorded against them.

 

Peace be upon all the Prophets of Allah.

 

@THE RETURN JOURNEY

Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and Angel Gabriel now returned to Burak who waited on the Mount in readiness for the return journey to Mecca.

 

As they sped over the mountains and desert they overtook several southward bound caravans.

When the Prophet came parallel to one of the caravans the camels were startled and re-acted. One fell down and another bolted away, and was found by one of the traders. Unseen to the traders, the Prophet greeted them as he flew by whereupon one of the traders commented, "That is the voice of Muhammad." The camel leading the other camels was unusual, it had two humps, one of which was red and the other white.

 

As they drew nearer to Mecca the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) saw a caravan and stopped for brief moment. Not far from the sleeping traders was a covered jug of water, he removed its cover, drank from its water, replaced the cover and without disturbing anyone, left to continue on his way home to Mecca.

 

The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) arrived in Mecca before dawn and just before it broke, he awoke Umm Hani to pray. After the prayer he told her, "O Umm Hani, as you witnessed, I prayed here last night with you in this valley. After that I went to Jerusalem and prayed there. Now, as you have seen, I prayed the dawn prayer here with you." Umm Hani was concerned for the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and said, "O Prophet of Allah (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam), do not tell anyone about this because they will belie and insult you." As the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) made ready to leave for the Ka’bah he replied, "By Allah, I will certainly tell them," whereupon Umm Hani asked her servant to follow him to make sure no harm came to him and to report back to her.

 

@ABU BAKR'S SINCERE BELIEF

Upon reaching the Ka’bah, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) told those present, believer and unbeliever alike, about his miraculous journey. Immediately, the unbelievers laughed and mocked him. They did not believe in his miracles and on no account would they believe him now, as the return journey of such distance was known to take well over two months.

 

Gloating in what they deemed to be their triumph, a group of Koraysh made their way to Abu Bakr to tell him the news. When they reached him they said, "What do you think of your friend now! He tells us that last night he went to Jerusalem, prayed there and then returned to Mecca!" Abu Bakr's immediate reaction was, "If he said it, then it is indeed true! What makes you wonder, he tells me greater news that is sent down from the heavens to earth in any hour of the day or night, I know he speaks the truth!"

 

Then, Abu Bakr went to the Ka’bah and repeated his conviction. When the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) learned of Abu Bakr's forthrightness, he named him "As-Sideek" -- "The Sincere" -- the confirmer of the truth.

 

@THE RETURN OF THE CARAVANS

Among the Prophet's followers were those who needed additional reassurance. They had heard the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) tell of the caravans nearing Mecca and of the unusual camel with two humps, one of which was red and the other white, and of the camel that bolted as well as the jug of water, so they waited for the caravans to return to ask them.

 

When he was asked on what day the caravaner's return might be expected, he told them it would be on Wednesday. The days passed, Wednesday came and the Koraysh looked curiously for the caravan. It was nearing sunset when the caravans started to arrive, one of which was led by the unusual camel, and each caravan confirmed the incidents exactly as the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) had described.

 

Concerning the Night Ascent it was revealed:

 

"Indeed it is not except a Revelation which is revealed,

taught by One who is Stern in power.

Of might, he (Gabriel) stood firm while he was in the highest horizon;

then he drew near, and become close

he was but two bows' length or even nearer

so (Allah) revealed to His worshipper (Gabriel)

that which he revealed (to Prophet Muhammad).

His heart did not lie of what he saw.

What, will you dispute with him about what he sees!

Indeed, he saw him in another descent

at the Lote Tree (Sidrat tree) of the ending

close to the Garden of Refuge.

When there comes to the Lote Tree, that which comes his eyes did not swerve,

nor did they stray for indeed he saw one of the greatest signs of his Lord."

Koran 53:4-18

 

It is clear that Allah established on oath His guidance of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam), his truthfulness in the recitation of the Koran, which was sent down with the Archangel Gabriel, who is strong and powerful, to him directly from Allah, and that the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi was sallam) is rendered free from all self-desire.

 

In this verse Allah reiterates the excellence of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi was sallam) in the events of the Night Journey and tells of his reaching the Lote tree near the Garden of Refuge, and the certainty of his unswerving sight upon seeing one of the greatest signs of His Lord. Allah also refers to this great event in the opening verses of the chapter "The Night Journey."

 

Allah revealed to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi was sallam) His Mighty Unseen Kingdom where he saw the wonders of the angelic realm that can neither be expressed in words nor yet possible for human intellect to endure hearing, not even in its minutest atom.

 

The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) said that when the believer enters Paradise he will see Allah.

 

As for the Prophet, (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) he entered Paradise, and since he visited Paradise on Isra and Miraj he also saw Allah.

 

When Lady Ayesha was asked if the Prophet saw his Lord she refuted it and quoted the verse:

 

"No eye can see Him, though He sees all eyes.

He is the Subtle, the Aware" Chapter 6:103

 

Lady Ayesha wanted to negate the dimensioning of the sighting of Allah, and the place. Before Islam the people of Najd were accustomed to seeing their idols with their dimensions and in a place.

 

When Al-Abbas’ son was asked the same question he affirmed that the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) did see his Lord. It may appear that the two sound hadiths are in contradiction with one another however this is not the case because Lady Ayesha was addressing the fact that the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) did not see Allah like the idolaters see their statutes, whereas Al-Abbas’ son was addressing the fact that the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) saw Allah with the Eyes of Paradise.

 

@THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE PROPHET’S NIGHT JOURNEY

 

It might be asked why Allah chose Jerusalem to be the site of the Prophet’s ascent rather than Mecca. The choice of Allah is of the highest significance because it contains a message to the Jews for all time. The message being that they were permanently stripped from their religious leadership because of their disobedience, blatant tampering, distortion, and corruption of the text of the Torah and Mosaic Law and that now the leadership had been entrusted to a non-Jew, an Arab, Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam). It was to be the first of two very significant indications and the fulfillment of the warning of Prophet Jesus who had warned his fellow Jews that if they chose not to reform and return to the truth the covenant would be taken from them.

 

It was the fulfillment of the warning of Prophet Jesus to his fellow Jews that if they chose not to reform and return to the truth the covenant would be taken from them. Also of his saying to his disciples when he realized the Rabbis would not heed his advice:

 

"Nevertheless I tell you the truth;

it is expedient for you that I go away;

for if I go not away, the Comforter (Prophet Muhammad)

will not come unto you; but if I depart, he will be sent unto you.

And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin,

and of its lack of righteousness, and judgment."

The Bible, New Testament, chapter John 58:80

 

$CHAPTER 47 THE SIX MEN FROM THE TRIBES OF KHAZRAJ AND AWS OF YATHRIB

 

The time for the annual pilgrimage to Mecca had arrived once again and pilgrims set up camp at Mina before going on to Ka’bah. It had become customary for the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) to journey to Mina each year and speak to the pilgrims about Islam, but all too often he and his message met with rejection.

 

It was during this season, when the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) was at Aqabah, that he met six men from the Yathrib (Medina) tribes of Khazraj and Aws. Those from the tribe of Khazraj were Asad Zurarah’s son, Awf Harith’s son, Rafi' Malik’s son, Qutbah son of 'Aamir. Those from the tribe of Aws were Uqbah son of 'Aamir and Jabir Abdullah’s son.

 

The men were anxious to meet the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam). There had been many times when they had heard the Jews speak of the expected Prophet and knew his time must be near at hand as the Jews had expressed their opinion that the signs heralding his appearance had reached their fulfillment.

 

As they sat before him, Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) recited verses from the Koran and confirmed that he was the expected Prophet they had heard about. He spoke of the principals of Islam and as he did, the light of Islam was kindled in their hearts.

 

The Khazrajites asked the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) many questions and his replies satisfied their hearts. None doubted that the man sitting before them was indeed the one the Jews awaited and turned to one another saying, "This is indeed the Prophet the Jews warned us about, don't let them be the first to reach him!" They remembered how the Jews had told them that when he came they would be destroyed on account of their worshipping more than one god, just as the people of Aad and Thamood had been in centuries past, and so they embraced Islam.

 

Before they departed, the Khazrajites told the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam), "We left our people because there are no other tribes like them torn apart by enmity and evil, perhaps Allah will unite them through you. We will return and invite them to Islam just as we have heard it, and if Allah gathers them together on your account, then no man will be greater than you!"

 

@THE ALLEGIANCE OF AQABAH

The year after the six men from the Khazrajite and Awsite tribes embraced Islam, seven more men from Yathrib accompanied them and went to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and embraced Islam. From the tribe of Khazraj they were Mu’adh son of Al Harith who was the son of Afra, Dhakwan son of Abd Al Qays, Ubadah son of As-Samit, Yazeed son of Tha’laba, Al-Abbas Ubadah’s son, son of Nadalah. From the tribe of Aws they were Abdul Haitham At-Taihan’s son and Uwaim son of Sa’idah.

 

The men were anxious to learn more about Islam and asked the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) to send one of his Companions back with them to Yathrib to teach. The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) chose Musab, Umair's son, who was the grandson of Hashim. When Musab reached Yathrib they lodged him with respect in the home of a wealthy man of good standing by the name of Asad, Zurarah's son.

 

As the days passed more tribesmen came into the fold of Islam. One day chieftains of the two tribes, Sa’ad the son of Mu’adh and Usaid Hudair’s son heard that Musab was talking to some converts, so Usaid, somewhat indignant, approached the converts armed with his lance. Sa’ad however did not do so on the grounds that Asad was his maternal cousin. As Usaid approached the converts heard him curse and swear at Musab, accusing him of being weak minded, and ordered him to stop his preaching. Musab sat calmly and invited him to sit down with him saying, "If you are pleased with what we say, you can accept it, if on the other hand you hate it you are free to reject it."

 

Usaid decided to sit down and thrust his lance into the sand and listened to Musab speak about Islam and heard him recite some verses of the Koran. Happiness spread over Usaid’s face and he asked how he could embrace Islam. The converts showed him how to make ablution and told him to put on pure clothes and then to bear witness that there is no god except Allah and that Muhammad is His Messenger, this he did and the converts showed him how to make two units of prayer to Allah.

 

Usaid told Musab that if Sa’ad son of Mu’adh embraced Islam, his tribe would do likewise and that they should go and speak with him. When Sa’ad saw Usaid he noticed a remarkable change on his face and was puzzled by it. Sa’ad was receptive to the message Musab brought and he embraced Islam and then turned to his tribe and declared, "If you don’t believe in Allah and His Messenger, I will never speak to you again!" Day after day, people from his tribe embraced Islam until the only one person remained, and that was Al Usairim who delayed until the Day of Uhud when he sided with the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and fought against the unbelievers until he was martyred.

 

@THE SEVENTY-TWO MEN OF YATHRIB

When the time for the pilgrimage arrived in the following year - which was thirteen years after the prophethood - seventy-three men and two women whose names were Nusaiba daughter of Ka’b from the tribe of Najjar, and Asma the daughter of Amr from the tribe of the Bani Salamah, set forth in a caravan to Mecca. Unknown to the unbelievers of Yathrib in their caravan were the new converts who wanted to pledge their allegiance to the Prophet in person, who, when the time was right, slipped away unnoticed to meet the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam). It was arranged that they would meet the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) on a certain hill at Aqabah at night in middle of Tashreeq (11th, 12th and 13th of Dhul Hijja).

 

The happy band of pilgrims were accompanied by one of the hierarchy of Yathrib by the name of Abdullah Amr’s son who was the son of Haram. Abdullah had as yet to embrace Islam and as they journeyed together those who had already converted spoke to him about Islam and his heart was touched. Abdullah became one of those who took part with the pledging of allegiance at Aqabah.

 

When they reached Aqabah the new Muslims pitched their tents anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Prophet, (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam). Three nights later, they made their way to the appointed hill. When the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) accompanied by Al-Abbas arrived their was great happiness.

 

On account of the increased hostilities toward the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and his Companions in Mecca, the Prophet's thoughts turned to migrating with his Companions to Yathrib. However, his own migration was out of the question until Allah made it known to him.

 

When Al-Abbas, the uncle of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) realized the Prophet's inclination he became concerned for his safety and reminded him that at least in Mecca his family loved and honored him, and that they had always stood by him against his enemies.

 

On account of his concern, Al-Abbas turned to the party from Yathrib and asked, "If he inclines to live with you, will you support him with your life and body? If you cannot, tell me." Bara turned and said, "We have been born and raised as warriors". Just then Abu Al Haitham interjected saying, "O Prophet of Allah (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) we are on good terms with the Jews, after this pledge we shall have to break from them. Is it possible that you may leave us to return to your own City when your authority is realized?" The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) smiled reassuringly and said, "No, my blood is your blood. In life and death I will be with you and you with me, you are mine and I am yours."

 

Ka’b then spoke saying, "We have heard your words O Messenger of Allah (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and it is for you to speak and take from us any pledge you like regarding your Lord and yourself." Thereupon the Messenger of Allah (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) recited verses from the Koran and spoke to them about belief then told them their pledge would be to hear and obey him in all circumstances, to spend in the Name of Allah in times of plenty and when restricted. To enjoin good and forbid evil deeds. To be obedient to Allah and fear none other. To defend in times of need and to protect him in the same way that they protect their family. The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) then told them that if they adhered to this Paradise would be their reward.

 

As they were about to take their pledge, Abbas son of Ubadah who was the son of Nadlah, stood up and asked, "My tribesmen, do you understand what is meant by such a pledge, it is a declaration of conflict against Arab and non-Arab alike. If you undertake this heavy responsibility, I swear by Allah, that there is good in this world for you and in the Hereafter." His tribesmen replied that they had understood and pledged their allegiance.

 

Abbas, son of Ubadah’s statement is one of great significance and has regrettably been misunderstood and misinterpreted by some Muslims - especially in the recently emerged bellicose, followers of Muhammad ibn Abd Al-Wahab and Ibn Taymia - who fail to understand one of the basic, elementary duties of a Muslim to his neighbor. It is not a call for Jihad or for hostilities to be levied against those who have not embraced Islam. Rather, it is obligatory upon all Muslims, especially those who have migrated to a foreign land, to tell their neighbors about Islam and demonstrate its teachings by leading an exemplary life in accordance with the Koran and teachings of Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam).

 

From the gathering, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) chose twelve men to go out and preach. Nine belonged to the tribe of Khazraj and three from the tribe of Aws. They were:

 

Rifa’a, Abdul Mundhir’s son.

 

Al Aws Usaid son of Hudair.

 

Sa’ad, Khaithama's son, later to be martyred during the Encounter of Badr.

 

Asad, Zurarah's son, who would often lead the congregational prayer on Friday.

 

Sa'ad, Rabi's son, later to be martyred during the Encounter of Uhud.

 

Abdullah, Rawahah's son, a famous poet, martyred during the Encounter of Mu’tah.

 

Sa'ad, Ubadah's son, a close Companion of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam).

 

Mundhar, Umair's son, martyred at the Encounter of Bi'r Maunah.

 

Bara Marur's son, spokesman during the Allegiance of Aqabah. Bara died before the migration of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam).

 

Abdullah, son of Amr.

 

Ubadah, Al Samit's son, a close Companion of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam), transmitter of many prophetic sayings.

 

Rafi, Malik's son, martyred at the Encounter of Uhud.

 

@THE KORAYSH LEARN OF THE ALLEGIANCE AT AQABAH:

The following morning, the Koraysh received word of the pledge. When the new converts learned the Koraysh had discovered their rendezvous with the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) they were fearful of an attack whereupon Abbas son of Nadlah said to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) "By Allah, who has sent you with the Truth, we are powerful enough to fight the people of Mina (meaning the Koraysh) tomorrow!" Whereupon the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) replied, "We have not been commanded to follow that course, return to your camps now." So in obedience they returned to their tents and slept until morning.

 

The next day, a large delegation of Koraysh chieftains and the arch-enemies of Islam approached the Yathrib unbelieving caravaners protesting, "O people of the Khazraj we have heard that you have come here to conclude a treaty with Muhammad and take him out of Mecca. By Allah we do not want to fight against you."

 

The unbelievers told the Koraysh that what they heard must be just a rumor because if there was any truth in the matter they felt certain they would have knowledge of it. Abdullah, Ubayy’s son who was the son of Salul was adamant and declared that the Yathrib tribesmen would never initiate anything unless he gave them clear orders. Meanwhile, the believers of Yathrib who had completed their pilgrimage and returned to Mecca remained silent about the matter.

 

However, the Koraysh felt uneasy about the matter and started to scrutinize the affair and concluded that a pledge of allegiance had in fact taken place. However, by that time the new Muslims had left Mecca and were now well on their way back to Yathrib. The enraged Koraysh saddled their mounts and set off after them but the only one they caught up with was the elderly Sa’ad, Ubadah’s son whom they took hostage and subjected to severe torture. When Mut’im son of Adi and Harith, Harb’s son heard of Sa’ads plight they prevailed upon the Koraysh to release him stressing the importance of the trade relationship between them.

 

$CHAPTER 48 MADINAT AL NABI MUNWARA, THE ILLUMINED CITY OF THE PROPHET

salla Allahu alihi wa sallam

 

The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) was satisfied that Yathrib, which in the years to come was renamed "Madinat Al Nabi" -- the City of the Prophet, later to be abbreviated as Medina -- was a safe haven for his Companions and ordered all those who were able to, to migrate to Medina.

 

When the Koraysh learned of the impending migration they tried to prevent the Companions from migrating. However, they were unsuccessful and all but a few of the Companions migrated.

 

@THE FIRST IMMIGRANT TO YATHRIB

Abu Salamah's family originated from Yathrib, from the tribe of Asad, however some of his family had settled in Mecca under the protection and sponsorship of his uncle, the late Abu Talib.

 

Not long after Abu Talib's death, Abu Salamah and his wife Hind better known as Umm Salamah the daughter of Abi Umayyah, from the tribe of Mughirah, a branch of the Makhzum tribe, and first cousin to the infamous Abu Jahl decided to migrate. Abu Salamah and Hind had been among the early converts and now that permission had been given to migrate they made preparations to migrate to the safety of Yathrib with their young son Salamah.

 

When the time came to leave, Abu Salamah saddled his camel and seated his wife as she cradled her young son in her arms, and set off walking alongside the camel leading it by a rope. Almost immediately, men from Umm Salamah's tribe, the tribe of Mughirah, perceived their intent and rushed up to Abu Salamah, snatched the camel's rope from his hand saying, "You can do as you like! As for your wife, do you think we will allow her to go with you?"

 

@THE GRIEF OF UMM SALAMAH

Umm Salamah was broken hearted and each day she would make her way to a nearby valley where she would weep for the family she had lost. A year or more had passed when one of Umm Salamah's cousins came across her in the valley and as he saw her weeping took pity on her so he returned to his tribesmen rebuking them saying, "You have separated her from her husband and child, why don't you let the poor woman go!"

 

Umm Salamah's tribesmen relented and told her that she was free to go to her husband. Once again Umm Salamah's camel was saddled and she mounted then set off by herself for Yathrib. As she journeyed on to Tanim -- which lies approximately six miles outside Mecca – she was met by Othman, Talha's son who asked where she was going, and inquired if she was traveling alone. Umm Salamah told him that except for Allah she was traveling alone in hope of finding her husband and child.

 

Othman was perturbed by her plight and offered to accompany her to Yathrib. Umm Salamah accepted Othman's kind gesture and so she continued her journey under Othman's protection.

 

Later, Umm Salamah would say of Othman, "Othman is one of the most honorable Arabs I have ever met. When we stopped for a rest he would make my camel kneel for me so that I might dismount, and then withdraw, and tend to the camel for me. Then, he would distance himself from me and sleep. When evening came, Othman would bring my saddled camel to me, then, he would turn away so that I might settle myself. When I was ready he would take hold of the reins and lead us."

 

The days passed and eventually they drew near to the village of Quba, which lies on the outskirts of Yathrib near the ancient lava flows. Othman told Umm Salamah that she would find her husband in the village and to enter it with the blessing of Allah. Now that Othman had accomplished his mission, he wasted no time and returned to Mecca knowing that Umm Salamah would soon be safely reunited with her husband.

 

@THE SECOND FAMILY TO MIGRATE TO YATHRIB

The migration of the Companions was accomplished in phases over an extended passage of time. Following Abu Salamah's migration, the next to migrate was Aamir, Rabia's son, with his wife Leila, the daughter of Hathma.

 

@THE MIGRATION OF OMAR

Omar, Khattab's son, together with Ayyash, son of Abi Rab’ia, and Hisham, Al-As' son, decided to migrate together and agreed to meet each other by the thorn trees growing on land belonging to the Ghifar some six miles outside Mecca. It was a dangerous time, and so Omar told his companions that in the event of anyone's failure to reach the thorn trees by the following morning, whosoever was there must not wait, but go on as it would be understood that the missing party had been forced to stay behind.

 

Omar and Ayyash reached the thorn trees and waited for Hisham to arrive. There was still no sign of Hisham as the time approached, so reluctantly they left for Quba where they stayed with the children of Amr, Auf's son. As they suspected, Hisham had been detained, and forced to outwardly apostatize.

 

@ABU JAHL ARRIVES IN YATHRIB

Shortly after their arrival in Yathrib, Ayyash received two unexpected visitors who were Abu Jahl and Harith, both of whom were his relatives. Abu Jahl, knowing how much Ayyash loved his mother, concocted a story about her that troubled Ayyash deeply.

 

Abu Jahl told Ayyash his mother was greatly distressed by his leaving and had taken a vow that she would neither comb her hair, even if it became full of lice, nor would she sit in the shade of a tree but rather she would sit unprotected under the blazing heat of the sun until she saw her son again. The thought of his mother's suffering disturbed Ayyash greatly, so he went to Omar and told him of her vow.

 

Omar knew well the tricks of Abu Jahl and warned him that in his opinion it was nothing but an attempt to seduce him from his religion and that he must be very careful of Abu Jahl and Harith.

 

Ayyash could not be dissuaded and told Omar that he would return to release his mother from her vow and at the same time retrieve some of the money he had left behind.

 

In a final effort to prevent Ayyash from returning to Mecca with Abu Jahl and Harith, Omar, in the spirit of true brotherhood, told him that he was willing to give him half of his wealth, if only he would stay.

 

When Omar realized that Ayyash was not going to change his mind, he gave him his own camel telling him that it was well bred and easy to ride. Omar also advised Ayyash not to dismount and if he detected the slightest suspicion of treachery he could make good his escape on it.

 

Ayyash thanked Omar and gave him the farewell greetings, then set off towards Mecca with Abu Jahl and Harith. After they had traveled some distance, Abu Jahl said, "My nephew, my camel is proving hard to ride will you let me ride with you?" Ayyash agreed and they made their camels kneel. No sooner had the camels knelt, than Abu Jahl and Harith attacked him, bound him tightly and took him back to Mecca where they forced him to apostatize. As Abu Jahl and Harith entered Mecca they called out, "O people of Mecca, deal with your fools in the same way we have dealt with ours!"

 

The news of Ayyash's wretched condition reached Omar and he feared Allah would not accept the repentance of those who apostatized. Omar continued to be of the same opinion until the Messenger of Allah (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) arrived sometime later in Medina and the following verses were sent down:

 

"Say, 'O My worshipers, who have sinned excessively against themselves,

do not despair of the Mercy of Allah, surely, Allah forgives all sins.

He is the Forgiver, the Most Merciful.

Turn to your Lord and surrender yourselves to Him

before the punishment overtakes you,

for then you will not be helped.

Follow the best of what has been sent down from your Lord

before the punishment overtakes you suddenly, while you are unaware.'"

Koran 39:53-55

 

When Omar heard these verses he wrote them down and sent it to Hisham who was also confined in Mecca. Hisham had difficulty reading so in desperation he supplicated saying, "O Allah, make me understand it!" Allah heard his supplication and Hisham realized that the verses referred to Ayyash and himself whereupon he mounted his camel and set out to rejoin the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) who had by then, migrated to Yathrib.

 

$CHAPTER 49 SATAN, THE VISITOR FROM NAJD

 

The Koraysh chieftains began to fear, with half-hearted contempt, the warnings of the Koran and those of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam). The warning which bothered them most was that of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam): " ... as for you, leaders of Koraysh, a great affair will come upon you that you will indeed hate." So they decided it was time to call a meeting in the time honored house, the House of Assembly, to discuss how they might best rid themselves of Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam).

 

It was agreed by those present to invite other Korayshi chieftains as well as the chieftains of other tribes to the meeting and that the meeting should take place at night. Trusted messengers were then sent to the outlying tribes and upon the night of Thursday 26th Safar, fourteen years after the prophethood (12th September 622 CE) they and other chieftains met in secret in the House of Assembly.

 

The chieftains taking part were Abu Jahl son of Hisham from the tribe of Bani Makhzum; Jubair son of Mut'im, Tu’aimah son of Adi, and Al-Harith son of Aamir who represented the tribe of Bani Naufal son of Abd Munaf; Rabi'a's two sons Shaibah and 'Utbah; Abu Sufyan son of Harb from the tribe of Bani 'Abd Shams son of Abd Munaf; An-Nadr son of Al-Harith representing the tribe of Bani 'Abd Ad-Dharr; Abul Bakhtary son of Hisham, Zama'h son of Al-Aswad and Hakim son Hizam represented the tribe of Bani Asad bin 'Abd Al-'Uzza; Al-Hajjaj's two sons Nabih and Munbih from the tribe of Bani Sahm; and Umayyah son of Khalaf from the tribe of Bani Jumah.

 

The meeting proved to be less than harmonious as none could agree upon a solution and soon tempers became frayed as raised voices filled the air. All the shouting and arguing subsided when, suddenly, a very loud knock at the door was heard. Someone got up and opened it, and there before them stood a man, unknown to any of them. The newcomer's facial characteristics and clothing were those of the people of the Najd, and so when he told the gathering he was from that region he was not disbelieved -- later, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) told his Companions that the man was none other than satan in disguise.

 

The chieftains invited the newcomer to sit with them and satan inquired the reason for the meeting, then asked why there was so much discord between them. The situation was explained to him -- although he already knew it -- so satan asked each of the chieftains to tell him their proposal and listened to them but did not pass a comment, however, the situation changed when it came time for Abu Jahl to present his solution and their visitor listened enthusiastically.

 

Abu Jahl told him that in his opinion, the only way to rid themselves of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) would be to kill him. However, this was not an easy matter. Abu Jahl went on to say that in his opinion the safest manner would be for each branch of the tribe to select and arm their strongest, most powerful warrior, then, upon a given night, wait for the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) to come out from his house, then pounce upon him altogether at the same time and kill him.

 

Abu Jahl drew the attention of their visitor and those present, that by killing the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) in such a manner his blood would rest upon all their hands, and not just an individual branch of the Koraysh tribe which would, without a doubt, be singled out for the revenge of his killing if it were otherwise.

 

Abu Jahl also pointed out that it was reasonable to assume that the family of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and his Companions would be unlikely to take revenge on all the branches of the Koraysh because not only were they united in the matter, great in number, but much too strong to oppose.

 

Up until that moment, satan had remained silent, but now his eyes darted with delight as he said, "Abu Jahl is right, in my opinion this is the only way to do it!"

 

The chieftains accepted his advice, plans were drawn up and satan left them gloating in his wickedness.

 

$CHAPTER 50 THE KORAYSH ATTEMPT TO KILL THE PROPHET

 

On the night the Koraysh planned to kill Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam), Angel Gabriel visited him and told him he must not sleep in his bed that night. He also gave him the news that Allah had given him permission to migrate. When the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) told Ali Gabriel's news he was delighted and immediately volunteered to be a decoy and sacrifice himself for the sake of the Prophet’s migration by sleeping in the Prophet’s bed, whereupon the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) assured him that no harm would befall him.

 

On account of his honesty, several people had entrusted their valuables to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) for safekeeping. Now that permission to migrate had been given he could no longer take charge of them so he asked Ali to remain behind and return them to their rightful owners, then to come to Yathrib as soon as he had discharged his duty.

 

Later that night, Ali wrapped himself up in the Prophet's cloak and slept soundly on the Prophet's bed.

 

@THE PLAN IS HATCHED

It was on 27th Safar, the fourteenth year of the Prophethood, (12/13 September 622 C.E), in the still of the night warriors from each branch of the Koraysh concealed themselves around the Prophet's house and lay in wait for him to come out.

 

Those selected to take part in the assassination of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) were Abu Jahl, Hakam son of Abil Al-'As, Uqbah son of Abi Mu'ait, An-Nadr son of Harith, Umayyah son of Khalaf, Zam’ah son of Al-Aswad, Tu'aima son of 'Adi, Abu Lahab, Ubayy son of Khalaf, Nabih son of Al-Hajjaj and his brother Munbih.

 

As they lay in wait Abu Jahl would walk among the would-be assassins and mock the Prophet’s warning saying, "He claims that if you follow him he will appoint you to be rulers over the Arabs and non-Arabs, and in the Hereafter you will be rewarded with Gardens of Eden. But if you do not, he tells us that he will slaughter us, and that in the Hereafter we will be burned in the Fire."

 

Allah says:

"And when the unbelievers plotted against you (Prophet Muhammad).

They sought to either take you captive or have you killed, or expelled.

They plotted but Allah (in reply) also plotted.

Allah is the Best in plotting." 8:20

 

Some time later during the night the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) emerged from his house and as he did so, he stooped to pick up a handful of dust and as he recited the following verses from the Koran he cast it over the assassins,

 

"Ya Seen. By the Wise Koran, you (Prophet Muhammad) are truly

among the Messengers sent upon a Straight Path.

The sending down of the Mighty, the Most Merciful

so that you may warn a people whose fathers were not warned,

and so were heedless.

The Phrase has become obligatory upon most of them,

yet they do not believe.

We have bound their necks with fetters up to their chin,

so that their heads are raised and cannot be lowered.

We have set a barrier before them and a barrier behind them,

and, We have covered them so that they do not see."

Koran 36:1-9

 

Immediately, a deep sleep descended upon the warriors and the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) passed through their midst without anyone seeing him.

 

The warriors slept on outside the house of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) until someone came and woke them up, asking why they were still there. When they replied they were waiting for the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) to come out, the man rebuked them telling them that he had seen the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) elsewhere in the City, and told them of the dust in their hair.

 

The warriors refused to accept the possibility that the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) had escaped without their knowledge so they entered the house and found Ali, who they mistakenly took to be the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam), sleeping peacefully wrapped in the Prophet's green cloak. After having satisfied themselves that the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) was still in the house they continued to wait outside.

 

When Ali awoke they realized that the man had been correct and pandemonium reigned -- the Koraysh plan had been thwarted, they seized Ali and beat him, then dragged him to the Ka’bah and interrogated him for an hour, then released him and raised the alarm.

 

$CHAPTER 51 THE MIGRATION

 

With the exception of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and two of his close Companions, Ali and Abu Bakr and his family, only those Muslims stricken by illness or forcefully detained by the Koraysh remained in Mecca.

 

The reason the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) had remained behind was that he awaited the sending down of the permission of Allah to migrate, for he never did anything of significance without first receiving an instruction from Allah.

 

On several occasions Abu Bakr had asked the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) for permission to migrate with his family, but each time the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) would say, "Don't be in such a hurry, Abu Bakr, perhaps Allah will provide a traveling companion for you." So Abu Bakr waited obediently, and fed two camels well, ever hopeful that he would be permitted to migrate with the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) himself.

 

Although the Koraysh hated having Muslims in their midst, they became increasingly anxious over the matter of their migration to Yathrib, because they realized they would never migrate there unless they had the support of many of its citizens.

 

Upon the noon of that same day of the failed plot, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) made his way to the house of his dear companion, Abu Bakr. It was unusual for him to visit Abu Bakr at that time of day so instinctively he knew there must be an important reason for his visit. After the exchange of greetings the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) informed him that Allah had given him permission to migrate from Mecca. Abu Bakr asked whether they were to migrate together and when the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) told him they were, he was so overcome with joy that tears rolled down his cheeks.

 

Abu Bakr had hoped that Allah would permit him to accompany the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) so in anticipation he had purchased two sturdy camels and set aside some provisions for the journey.

 

It was now 27th of Safar, (12th September 622 CE) fourteen years after the Prophethood, that the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and Abu Bakr quietly left Abu Bakr’s house and made their way towards Mount Thawr which lies to the south of Mecca in the opposite direction to Yathrib. Abu Bakr asked his shepherd Aamir, Fuhayrah’ son, whom he freed from service sometime before, to follow behind them with a flock of sheep so that their tracks would be obliterated.

 

A little while after they had set out on their migration the Prophet looked back is sadness towards his beloved City and said, "Upon all the earth of Allah, you are the dearest place to me and the dearest to Allah. Had my people not driven me from you, I would not have left you."

 

@THE EXCRUCIATING STING

There were many caves in Mount Thawr and when they discovered one suitable, Abu Bakr had entered first on that eventful first day of the migration. However, as he entered he noticed there were several holes in both its walls and floor and feared they might be home to snakes or other poisonous insects, or even reptiles, so he looked around the cave and found some stones to plug them. He had almost finished plugging them when he ran out of stones. He searched for some more but there were none to be found so he tore pieces of cloth from his garment and pushed them deep down into the holes.

 

When the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) entered he lay down and rested his head upon Abu Bakr's lap and slept. Only one hole remained unplugged, as there had be insufficient cloth with which to plug it so Abu Bakr lodged his elbow in it to seal the hole. As the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) slept, an insect that had been hiding in that very hole stung Abu Bakr. The sting was extremely painful, yet Abu Bakr, whose manners where of such high quality, did not move, nor yet did he cry out in pain as he feared he might disturb the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) whilst he slept.

 

The pain increased as the flesh around the sting became red and very swollen as the poison took effect. At last a tear fell from Abu Bakr's eye onto the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) awoke. When he saw the very pained expression on his face he was troubled and asked what ailed him, whereupon Abu Bakr told him of the insect’s sting. Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) supplicated and treated the sting with his salvia and breath, and immediately both the pain and swelling left him -- Abu Bakr had been blessed with a miraculous cure.

 

@THE REACTION OF THE KORAYSH

The Koraysh were deeply angered that the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) had slipped through their fingers. They searched Mecca from beginning to end but there was no sign of him, nor could anyone throw light upon his whereabouts and set up road blocks leading in and out of Mecca.

 

Abu Bakr had left his daughters Ayesha, who was now seven years old, and her elder sister Asma with his wife Umm Ruman in Mecca. Eventually several members of the Koraysh, including Abu Jahl, suspected that Abu Bakr might have accompanied the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam), so they went to his house to demand his whereabouts.

 

Asma answered the door and when Abu Jahl asked her where her father was she swore by Allah she did not know where he was. Outraged, Abu Jahl struck her with such force that her earring flew off. Abu Jahl and his companions failed to extract the information they sought and so they left in the hope that they would be more successful elsewhere.

 

In the meantime, the Koraysh chieftains offered a substantial reward of no less than one hundred camels for the Prophet’s (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) capture. The lure of owning such a herd encouraged many parties to set off on the road to Yathrib in search of him.

 

Abdullah, Abu Bakr’s son visited the cave of Mount Thawr each night bringing fresh supplies and slipped away before dawn so as not be spotted, and Aamir, the shepherd would also slip away undetected to Mount Thawr taking with him two goats to supply the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and Abu Bakr with nourishing milk.

 

@A CHANGE OF DIRECTION

By now the search parties had exhausted the roads leading to Yathrib and they started to look in other directions, so it wasn't surprising that one such party decided to search the caves of Mount Thawr. As the Koraysh drew near to the cave the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and Abu Bakr saw their approach from a distance and soon the shouts and trampling of footsteps could be heard as they climbed the mountain and grew nearer and nearer.

 

Soon, footsteps could be heard on the ledge directly above the cave. Abu Bakr became alarmed at the thought of being discovered and whispered to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam), "If they look under their feet they will see us!" In his gentle, reassuring manner, Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) consoled him, saying, "What do you think of two people who have Allah with them as their third?" When Abu Bakr heard these words peace descended upon him and his fear vanished.

 

Allah says:

When the two were in the cave, he said to his companion,

'Do not sorrow, Allah is with us.'

Then Allah caused His tranquility (sechina) to descend upon him

and supported him with legions (of angels) you did not see,

and He made the word of the unbelievers the lowest,

and the Word of Allah is the highest. Allah is Mighty, Wise". Koran 9:40.

 

Shortly after, one of the search party noticed the cave underneath the ledge on which he was standing. He peered over to take a better look and as he did, he noticed a very large spider's web covering the entrance to the cave, and thought it would be a complete waste of time and effort to climb down to check the cave. After all, he thought, if there had been someone in the cave the cobweb would have been broken. The bounty hunters agreed and left not knowing how close they had been to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and his Companion.

 

Two days had now passed but this time when Abdullah returned to the cave he brought news of the reward that had been offered. Abu Bakr then told his son that the next time he came, he should bring Abdullah, Uraiquit’s son to guide them on to Yathrib and that they should also bring enough provisions for the journey and their camels. Although Abdullah, Uraiquit’s son had not yet embraced Islam, Abu Bakr knew him to be not only reliable, but trustworthy and was confident he would never betray them.

 

On the next visit, Abdullah and his sister Asma, who had prepared food for the journey to Yathrib tore her belt into two and tied the bundles of food together with it, from that time onward she was affectionately called Dhat-un-Nitaqain, meaning owner of the two belts!

 

Abdullah and Asma were accompanied by Uraqiquit’s son and Aamir, the shepherd, who this time came without his flock, and together they made their way with the camels to the cave where they were awaited.

 

When they reached the mountain, Abdullah and his companions waited for the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and Abu Bakr to descend its slope. And so the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam), Abu Bakr, Aamir the shepherd, and their guide prepared themselves to set out on the second stage of their migration to Yathrib, soon to be renamed Medina, whilst Abu Bakr’s children returned in safety to Mecca.

 

When Abdullah arrived with the camels Abu Bakr offered the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) the finest of the camels, however on account of the importance of the occasion he declined his generosity saying, "I shall only ride a camel that belongs to me," so the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) bought it from Abu Bakr.

 

In the past, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) had accepted several gifts from his good companion, but this occasion was different from that of the others. The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) named his camel "Kaswa" and of all the camels he was to own, Kaswa was his favorite.

 

@THE JOURNEY TO YATHRIB

It was now Rabi’ Al-Awwal (September 622 CE). Abdullah, Uraiquit's son, knew the trails of the desert well for he was a very experienced guide. It was decided it would be more prudent not to go straight on to Yathrib, but to take a seldom used, longer zigzagging route to Yathrib and so Abdullah led the holy party across the desert to the coastal route.

 

@SURAKA, MALIK'S SON

Suraka, Malik's son, who was the son of Ju'shum, from the tribe of Madlij was among the bounty hunters with high hopes of capturing the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and claiming the handsome reward of one hundred camels.

 

One day as Suraka attended a tribal meeting, a fellow tribesman approached and told him that only a short while ago he had observed silhouettes in the distance riding by the beach and wondered if it might possibly be that of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and his companion.

 

Suraka was quick to realize that the party was most probably that of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) however, he wanted to claim the reward for himself so he told the man he must be mistaken as he had seen a party from Mecca earlier on that day set off in the same direction.

 

Suraka waited for an hour or two to pass then armed himself with his bow and arrows, ordered his slave to bring his horse round to the back of the house and set off toward the sea shore.

 

When Suraka came within sight of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) Abu Bakr spotted him and cried out, "O Messenger of Allah (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam), we have been discovered!" Whereupon the Messenger of Allah (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) with calmness recited the verse "Do not sorrow, Allah is with us." 9:40 and supplicated to Allah for their safekeeping. Whereupon Suraka's horse stumbled and he fell from his horse.

 

The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi was sallam) said to Abu Bakr, "The bounty hunter has reached us" and Abu Bakr started to cry. The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi was sallam) asked him why was crying. He replied, "It is not for myself that I cry, rather, I cry (that harm will come) for you." Whereupon the Messenger of Allah (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam), supplicated, "O Allah suffice us as You wish from him" and the legs of Suraka's horse sank deep into a rock up to its belly. Suraka jumped off his horse and exclaimed, "O Muhammad, indeed, I know this is on account of you. Supplicate to Allah to save me from this status, by Allah, I will divert the bounty hunters and those who are behind me who seek you. Take this spear sheath of mine. You will pass by my camels and sheep in such-and-such a place. Take whatever you need from them." The Messenger of Allah (salla Allahu alihi was sallam) graciously declined his offer saying, "I have no need of it" and supplicated for Suraka who then prepared to ride off and return to his companions.

 

Then, quite unexpectedly the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) asked, "How would you like to wear the robes of Chosroes (the King of Persia)?" Suraka was astonished and knew that the word of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) would surely be fulfilled, so he requested the statement be written down for him as a sign, and so Abu Bakr wrote it down on a piece of leather, which Suraka then placed in his quiver for safekeeping and returned to Mecca.

 

Suraka kept his promised and told no one of their meeting. In the years that followed when the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) was returning from the Encounter of Hunain, Suraka met him again and embraced Islam.

 

Suraka's tribe opposed the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) for many years and in the years that followed when Khalid was sent to remedy the matter, Suraka interceded for his tribe and they were spared.

 

The promise made to Suraka was fulfilled during the caliphate of Omar, when the possessions of Chosroes came into the keeping of Omar. Omar was an upright caliph and had heard Suraka’s story, so in obedience to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and in the honorable spirit of justice in Islam, Omar sent for Suraka and placed the crown of Persia upon his head, then gave him the golden regalia of Chosroes.

 

@UMM MABAD

At a place called Kudayd the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and Abu Bakr met an elderly, hospitable lady named Umm Mabad Al-Khuza'iyah who would sit outside her tent and place a mat before her just in case a weary traveler would pass by and need some refreshment.

 

As the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) approached he asked if she would sell them some milk and meat. She told him that her flock was out to pasture and she only had the goat by her, which was, because of the drought very weak and yielded hardly any milk. The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) asked her if he may touch its udder and she was agreeable and as he did he mentioned the Name of Allah, massaged its udder, then miraculously the udder filled and an abundance of milk flowed from it. He offered the first cup to Umm Mabab, and it was only after those who had accompanied him had drunk from the milk that the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) took some. After they had enjoyed the milk, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) massaged its udder again and filled the jug to the brim with milk and gave it to Umm Mabad. He thanked her for her hospitality and then they continued on their journey.

 

Later, when Umm Mabab’s husband returned home with his emaciated herd of goats he was astonished to see his wife had a jug full of milk and asked her about it. She told him how a blessed man happened to pass by and related what had happened. Her husband asked her to describe the man whereupon she described not only his physical description, but also the way in which he spoke and his excellent manners. Abu Mabab exclaimed, "By Allah, this is the companion of the Koraysh, if I see him, I will follow him!"

 

From that time onward the goat never ceased to produce milk in the morning and night, and lived up until the caliphate of Omar, the son of Khattab.

 

Umm Mabad had no idea she had been in the company of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and had not been shy to observe his features; it is through her observations and another like her that we receive a detailed account of his physical description.

 

Later, one day as Asma, Abu Bakr’s daughter was walking through the streets of Medina she and many others heard the voice of an unseen person who they thought must be a man from the jinn reciting poetry. The poetry described the location of two travelers and Asma was quick to realize that the poem referred to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and Abu Bakr on their migration and that they were safe, and well on their way to Yathrib.

 

During their migration the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and his Companions came across a shepherd shepherding his master's flock. When they asked if they might buy some milk, the shepherd told them that none yielded milk and that the one that lambed the year before was now dry. Once again, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) gently took the sheep, milked it three times and the shepherd embraced Islam.

 

@THE MEETING WITH AZ-ZUBAIR

At sometime during their migration a small caravan was spotted traveling toward the holy party. However, there was no cause for alarm as it belonged to a party of Muslims under the leadership of Az-Zubair returning to Mecca with merchandise from Syria.

 

Az-Zubair had broken his journey in Yathrib and told Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) that the news of his migration had already reached there and that the Muslims anxiously awaited his arrival. Before they parted company, Az-Zubair gave the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and Abu Bakr some new white clothes which they gratefully accepted. As they parted company, Az-Zubair told them that as soon as he had sold his merchandise in Mecca it was his intention to join them in Yathrib.

 

@THE RECEPTION IN QUBA

Each morning at dawn after Fajr prayer, the believers of Quba, a suburb of Yathrib, would make their way to the lava mounds of Harra near the fertile oasis that marked the City limits and anxiously awaited the arrival of Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam). There, they would stay until no shade was left to protect them from the harsh, relentless rays of the sun.

 

It was now midday, Monday 8th Rabi'ul Awwal, (23rd September 622 CE) the sun had reached its height and the gathering had returned to the shelter of their homes when a Jew happened to observe the small party making its way to the lava mounds. The Jew had heard of the Prophet's expected arrival and called out loudly, "O children of Kayla, your luck has arrived!"

 

There was much rejoicing as the believers rushed from their homes and raced back toward the lava mounds where they found the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) resting with Abu Bakr under the shade of a palm tree. As they approached the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam), he smiled tenderly as the ladies and children burst into the song of welcoming they had composed in honor of the occasion:

 

"The full moon has appeared before us

from Thaniyyat, (the Place of Farewell).

Thanking is obligated upon us

whenever an inviter of Allah invites."

 

Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam), was greatly moved by their sincere welcome and exhorted his new Companions, saying, "O people, greet one another with peace, feed the hungry; honor the ties of kinship, pray when others sleep and you shall enter Paradise in peace."

 

This simple, yet beautiful song of sincerity in praise and love of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) was among the first to be composed and sung in his presence. It is important for all those who love Allah and His Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) to realize that the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) neither objected nor forbade such compositions and we would do well to remember the words of Allah that say:

 

"Allah, and His angels praise and venerate the Prophet.

Believers, praise and venerate him,

and pronounce peace upon him in abundance."

Koran 33:56

 

One of the most famous poets during the lifetime of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) was Hasan, Thabit’s son. His poetry extols and praises the virtues of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and is recited by the lovers of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) to this very day.

 

Such was the of acceptance of Hasan, Thabit son’s poetry by the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) that he requested Hasan’s seat to be raised in the Mosque so that everyone in the congregation would be able to hear and enjoy his compositions. The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) also informed Hasan that the Arch Angel Gabriel would defend him continuously whilst he was defending Allah and His Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam).

 

Since that time and throughout the centuries, there have been many well-known Ihsan (Sufi) poets who continued in the same excellence. One such poet being Bosairi whose poetry touched the heart and soul of so many that it was printed in gold. Bosairi’s poem was commissioned to adorn the Rawdah of the Prophet’s Mosque during the time of the Turkish caliphate and remains there to this day on its walls extolling the virtues and nobility of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) despite the objection of the followers of Muhammad ibn Abd Al-Wahab and Ibn Taymia.

 

In more recent times, the late Yusuf Ishmael of Nabahan who was the Mufti of Beirut, Lebanon wrote the most endearing poetry in praise and love of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam). However, the Wahabi cult that emerged from the Najd in Saudi Arabia last century – one would do well to remember the historical fact reported earlier on in this book of how satan, disguised as a man from the Najd consulted with the unbelievers of Mecca as to the most effective way in which they should rid themselves of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam). Also, the authentic warning of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) that the horn of the devil would appear from the Najd – proclaimed that Mufti Yusuf Ishmael, on account of his poetry praising the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) as being a heretic and he like so many other innocent, true lovers of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) became either hunted or martyred by the fanatical followers of Muhammad ibn Abd Al-Wahab and Ibn Taymia.

 

Such has been the innovative influence of the followers of Muhammad ibn Abd Al-Wahab and Ibn Taymia that many innocent Muslims are now confused and fearful of reading these beautiful poems and have either overlooked or neglected the preceding verse.

 

@A MATTER OF LODGING

The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) accepted the invitation to stay in the home of Kulthum, Al-Hadm’s son, the hospitable chief of the tribe of Amr son of Awf and there he stayed for four days. Whereas Abu Bakr, stayed either with Khubaub, Isaf's son from the children of Harith or with Kharija, Zayd's son.

 

@ALI JOINS THE PROPHET (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) AT QUBA

A few days after the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) had set out on his migration, Ali was able to complete his task of returning all the valuables entrusted to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam). He was now able to journey to Yathrib and it was there at Quba that he finally caught up with him, and was lodged in the house of Kulthum.

 

@THE FINAL STAGE OF THE MIGRATION

Word reached the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) that the people of the City of Yathrib anxiously awaited his arrival so he sent for his kinsmen from the tribe of Najjar, to escort himself and Abu Bakr on to Yathrib. However, before his departure four days later, the foundations for the Mosque of Quba were laid after Kaswa, the Prophet’s camel, led by an angel, showed the Muslims where it was to be built.

 

In a valley belonging to the tribe of Salim, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) stopped and met other members of the Khazrajite tribe. Their combined numbers were approximately one hundred and it is there, in his new homeland, that the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) led his followers in the first Friday congregational prayer.

 

It was Friday 12th Rabi Al-Awwal (27th September 622 CE) that the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) reached Yathrib where he received many invitations to come and live with his followers. However, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) graciously declined their kind offer, saying that he would build a mosque and settle wherever his camel sat down to rest because Kaswa, his camel, had been ordered and was being led by an angel.

 

Kaswa wandered pass the homes of the children of Bayaa, and it was there that the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) was met by Ziyad, Labid's son and Farwa, Amr's son with more of their fellow tribesmen. They too offered the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) the same invitation but he declined graciously with the same reply.

 

Invitations abounded from everywhere amongst whom were those of Sa'ad, Ubadah's son and Al Mundir, Aamir's son, and Sa'ad, Rabi's son and Kharika, Zayd's son, and Abdullah, Rawaha's son from the tribe of Harith, Al Khazraj's son but once again the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) declined and replied in the same manner.

 

At last the camel came to a house the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) remembered well from his childhood days, it was the home of his maternal relatives, the children of Adiyy, Najjar's son. His maternal relatives invited him to stay with them, but he told them his camel was being led by an angel, and would take him to the place where he would stay.

 

Kaswa wandered on towards the houses belonging to the children of Malik, a branch of the Najjar tribe. Amongst their tribesmen were Asad and Awf, two of the six men who pledged their allegiance to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) during the first pledging at Aqabah the year before. When Kaswa reached the buildings she wandered into a walled courtyard in which there were a few date palms, a place used to dry dates, an ancient grave yard and a building that had fallen into a state of disrepair.

 

Asad had constructed a modest prayer area within the confines of the courtyard, and slowly Kaswa made her way to it, then knelt down. The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) let go of the reins but did not dismount, then after a moment Kaswa got up and walked away. Kaswa had not gone far when she turned around and walked back to the place where she had knelt, and once again knelt down, but this time Kaswa settled herself upon the ground and Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) dismounted saying, "If Allah wills, this is the place."

 

The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) then asked who owned the courtyard and Mu'adh, the brother of Awf told him that it belonged to Sahl and Suhayl, two orphaned boys fostered by Asad. The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) smiled as he asked for someone to bring the boys to him, but they were already in the gathering and stepped forward. He asked the boys whether they would sell the courtyard to him, but they refused saying, "No, we will give it to you, O Messenger of Allah (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam)!" The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) was touched by the generosity of the orphans but insisted that he should pay them for it and so with the help of Asad, a price was determined.

 

During this time Abu Ayyoub Khalid Ansari, who lived nearby, unloaded the Prophet's baggage from Kaswa and had taken it into his house. Once again, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) was besieged with invitations from his followers, but he declined, saying, "I must be where my baggage is." And so the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) stayed in the home of Abu Ayyoub Ansari who had been the first of his tribe to pledge allegiance during the second pledging at Aqabah.

 

The girls of the household and the neighboring households were so happy to have the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) staying there that they went to meet him beating their drums singing:

 

"We are the girls

from the children of Al Najjar,

Muhammad is the best neighbor!"

 

Once again, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) smiled and as he listened to the song he told them, "Allah is my witness, I love you!" He neither objected nor forbade the girls to sing or beat their drums. From this it is learned that neither songs nor poetry praising the Prophet are forbidden. If it had been otherwise he would have stopped the singing or recitations immediately, but he did not do so, rather he encouraged them and honored the poets such as Ka’b, Zuhayr’s son who recited his poem praising the Prophet after the offering of the Fajr prayer in the Rawda of the Prophet’s Mosque.

 

Abu Ayyoub's house had two storeys, so he and his wife moved upstairs leaving the ground floor for the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam). Each meal time they would take the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) his food and ate whatever remained, putting their fingers in the imprint of the Prophet's in anticipation of receiving a blessing.

 

@THE BUILDING OF THE PROPHET'S MOSQUE

Immediately after his arrival in Medina, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam), together with the elated band of followers started work on building the Mosque which was to be square shaped with three entrances. The graveyard was removed and the ground prepared; some brought stones whilst others made adobe mud bricks for its walls. The palm trees that once stood in the courtyard had been felled and prepared for use as support pillars and two beams were put on top to support the Mosque's roof, which was made from palm branches whilst the floor remained bare. As for the Qiblah, the direction faced during prayer, it was positioned to face Jerusalem.

 

It was a time for thanksgiving and throughout the Mosque’s building the happy band of Muslims would be heard supplicating to Allah asking Him for His Mercy and Help on both the Ansar and Muhajirin saying:

 

"O Allah, if it was not for You we would not have been guided

neither would we have fasted nor prayed.

Therefore send down upon us Your tranquility (Sechina)

and strengthen us when we meet in times of war."

 

At the end of the Mosque they erected another roofed area. It was to become the home of those who embraced Islam but had neither family nor a home of their own.

 

Upon the completion of the Mosque, the Prophet's home, consisting of two very simple rooms was built onto the side of the Mosque. One for Lady Sawdah and the other for Lady Ayesha.

 

Now that the Mosque and the Prophet's home were ready, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) sent Zayd and Abu Rafi with two camels and five hundred dirhams to Mecca to bring his daughters and Lady Sawdah to their new home in Medina. Abu Bakr also sent word to his son Abdullah that the time was right for them to migrate to Yathrib with his mother and sisters, Lady Ayesha and Asma.

 

However, two of the Prophet's daughters were unable to return with Zayd and Abu Rafi’. One was Lady Rukiyah whose husband, Othman, was still in Abyssinia, and the other was Lady Zaynab whose husband refused to permit her to migrate, and so Zayd and Abu Rafi' returned with Ladies Fatima, Umm Kulthum, and Sawdah.

 

$CHAPTER 52 A TIME FOR READJUSTMENT

 

Most migrants arrived in Medina with only a few possessions. Before their migration some had been in a position to re-establish their wealth, but as they had been forced to leave their homes in secrecy they were unable to take most of their possessions with them and everything they had left behind was now seized by the Koraysh.

 

@THE BONDING OF THE ANSAR AND MUHAJIRIN

Shortly after his arrival, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) called the Muslims together in the house of Anas, Malik’s son. He took one man from the Ansar and another from the Muhajirin then announced: "Each of you is a brother to the other," whereupon each Ansari household took a Muhajirin family into its own and shared all they possessed with them. The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) took Ali for his brother and made Hamza the brother of Zayd.

 

Allah honors the Prophet’s Companions by mentioning them together with their reward in the Koran saying:

 

"As for the first Outstrippers among the migrants and supporters

and those who followed them in doing good,

Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him.

He has prepared for them gardens underneath which rivers flow,

where they shall live for ever. That is the greatest winning."

Koran, 9:100

 

The Ansar gleaned their livelihood from farming the fertile land of the oasis, whereas the Muhajirin had been traders and knew little about cultivating the land, so it was decided that the Ansar should keep their orchards and groves and divide its produce with their Muhajirin brothers. Such was the extent of the brotherhood that when an Ansar died, his property was inherited not just by his family but by his extended Muhajirin family. Allah refers to this in the Koran saying:

 

"Those who believed and migrated from their homes and fought for the Way of Allah,

and those who sheltered them and helped them they are truly the believers.

Theirs shall be forgiveness and a generous provision."

Koran 8:74

 

The generosity of the Ansar was widespread and it wasn't long before the Muhajirin had settled themselves into their new life. The sense of brotherhood created a sincere feeling for one another and the spirit of selflessness became infused deep within their hearts. Abu Bakr set up business trading in cloth and Omar took to trading that took him as far away as Iran, whereas some of the others traded on a lesser scale. However, they remained poor.

 

@THE SUFFA

Amongst the Ansar and Muhajirin were those who lived on the raised flooring in the communal area adjoining the Mosque known as "As-hab al Suffa".

 

These Companions rarely took to trade or farming, and when they did it was only as a means to an end. Instead, they preferred to devote their lives to prayer and spiritual discipline under the guidance of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam). These people had neither wives nor children, however marriage was not forbidden to them like the monks of Christianity.

 

The Suffa, better known as Sufi, contented themselves with the bare necessities of life; as a means of support they would also be seen gathering bundles of firewood and selling it in order to feed themselves and their companions. They were extremely poor and none could afford two garments, instead they would wear a single piece of cloth fastened at the neck that reached a little above the knee. Whenever the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) received a charitable gift of food, he would divide it amongst them and encourage his followers to feed them, however the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) never accepted charity for himself, whereas he would accept gifts.

 

Many were the times that the Suffa did not eat on two successive days. On account of their lack of nourishment some would faint during prayers, which prompted the opponents of Islam to ridicule and denounced them saying they were either epileptic or else mad.

 

The Suffa as well as other Companions were blessed on many occasions and miraculously fed through the blessings of the supplication of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam). Among these occasions was the time when the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) called the Suffa together in relays to eat from a single plate of food over which he had supplicated. Each of the Suffa, and there were many, ate until they were completely satisfied and after all had left, the same amount of food that had first been served remained on the plate.

 

@ABU HURAIRAH, THE SUFI, THE GRAND MUHADITH

Abu Hurairah was a constant Companion of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi was sallam) and lived in the quarters adjoining the Mosque. He would listen intently to every word the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi was sallam) said, but one day he went to the Messenger of Allah (salla Allahu alihi was sallam) and said, "I have heard many of your sayings, but I don't remember them all." Whereupon the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi was sallam) told him to spread out his robe, and this he did and the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi was sallam) moved his hands over it as if he were filling it with something then told him to wrap his robe around him. From that time onward Abu Hurairah was blessed to have a most excellent memory and never forgot anything he heard the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi was sallam) say.

 

It is through Abu Hurairah that we are blessed to receive so many of the prophetic quotations known as Hadith.

 

When asked why he had not taken to trade or some other profession, Abu Hurairah informed his inquirer that he was too occupied listening to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and preferred to remain in his company.

 

Abu Hurairah reported 46 hadith alone and over 5,000 hadith were reported by him in combination with other Companions.

 

Unlike her son, Abu Hurayah’s mother had not embraced Islam and this was of great concern to him, so he went to her one day and tried yet again to persuade her, but she resisted and said something disagreeable about the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) that deeply upset Abu Hurairah.

 

When the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) saw Abu Hurairah weeping, he asked what was troubling him, whereupon he reluctantly told him what had happened and asked the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) to supplicate for his mother, whereupon he supplicated, "O Allah, guide the mother of Abu Hurairah to the Straight Path."

 

Later on that day, Abu Hurairah went to visit his mother and as he approached her home she recognized his footsteps and called out to him asking him to wait outside for a minute. As he waited he heard the sound of the splashing of water, and a few minutes later, after she had dressed, she opened the door and said, "I bear witness that there is no god except Allah, and Muhammad is His Prophet." She had taken the major bath of purification before embracing Islam.

 

Abu Hurairah means 'father of the kitten' and was given this endearing name on account of a kitten he befriended that would curl up and sleep in the sleeve of his shirt.

 

$CHAPTER 53 THE CODE OF ISLAMIC BROTHERHOOD

 

A new society was emerging, and the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi was sallam) wrote a document for the Muhajirin and Ansar which would guide them on the right path in their everyday affairs. He wrote:

 

In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

This is a document from Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah, concerning the Muhajirin and Ansar and those who follow and strive with them.

 

1. They are as one people.

 

2. The Muhajirin of the Koraysh are to manage their penalties between themselves and the Ansar are to do the same with their people. They are to ransom their captives with kindness and judge people with justice.

 

3. Believers must not refrain from being kind or paying a ransom, or paying the penalty of those who are overburdened by debt or impoverished by many children.

 

4. The believers are united against those who transgress among them or those who seek injustice, sin or corruption between believers.

 

4.1 If a young believing person goes astray, all believers must stand as one against the young person who has gone astray.

 

5. No believer shall be put to death as a ransom for an unbeliever.

 

6. No unbeliever shall be given support against a believer

 

7. The rights of Allah are to be upheld. When the least in standing among believers gives immunity to a person that immunity is to be honored.

 

8. Jews who ally themselves with us shall be supported and enjoy a good relationship. None are to be harmed, nor are we to side against them.

 

9. Believers are united in the protection of the blood of one another in the Cause of Allah.

 

10. No unbeliever will be allowed to take the wealth or soul of the Koraysh nor shall they be allowed to interfere between the believers and the Koraysh.

 

11. Any believer who kills another believer is to be handed over to the deceased’s guardian unless the guardian waives the penalty.

 

11.1 Believers are unified against the killer and it is unlawful for them to be otherwise.

 

12. It is unlawful for any believer to support or house anyone who changes the principals of Islam. Whosoever does this, may the curse and anger of Allah be upon him on the Day of Judgement in which no ransom will be accepted from him, nor any exchange.

 

13. Anything you differ upon is to be returned to Allah and the judgment of His Prophet.

 

Thereby the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi was sallam) established pillars for the new society and educated the Companions upon the principals of Islam. He taught them how they should use water to purify themselves before offering their prayer and how to cleanse themselves with water using the left hand after having relieved themselves. He also taught them to encourage one another to do good deeds and to foster praiseworthy manners. He taught them the virtues of obedience to Allah and His Messenger and told them of the great reward they would receive not only in this life but more so in the Hereafter.

 

Among the code of ethics he taught his Companions was that they should extend the greetings of peace to one another, even if they did not know each other. To provide food for the needy, uphold family ties, and pray at night while others sleep.

 

He told them that a Muslim is he from whose tongue and hand other Muslims are safe, and that none of them would be a true believer until he loves for his brother that which he loves for himself.

 

He told them that a Muslim is the brother of another Muslim and that he should neither oppress him nor let him down. He told them that for whosoever removes a worldly grief from another believer Allah will remove one of his on the Day of Judgement, and that on the Day of Judgement, Allah will protect a Muslim who protects another.

 

He warned that to abuse a Muslim is an outrage whereas fighting against him is disbelief. He encouraged giving charity and told of the many aspects of charity and that through charitable giving sins are wiped out just as water extinguishes fire. Regarding one of the aspects of charity he told his Companions that even removing something from a road that might harm a person is charity. He advised them to ward-off the Fire by giving charity, even if it was as little as half a date, and if that was not possible to say a kind word.

 

When it came to neighborly relations, he said that a Muslim is not a perfect believer who goes to bed knowing his neighbor is hungry. He also told them to show mercy to the people of the earth, Muslim and non-Muslim alike so that Allah will have mercy on them in Paradise.

 

He spoke of the impoverished and told his Companions that by giving a Muslim who did not have clothes they would receive one of the garments of Paradise. As for feeding a hungry Muslim he told them that on account of feeding him they would be given a reward in Paradise and that Allah will provide them with a special drink in Paradise when they provide a thirsty Muslim with water.

 

The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi was sallam) spoke to them about brotherhood saying that the bond of brotherhood between two Muslims is like a part of a wall, one part strengthens the other. He taught them to be neither malicious nor envious of one another and that in the event of disagreement between two Muslims they must not forsake each other for more than three days.

 

He spoke also of the merits and virtues of worshipping Allah with its reward and would quote verses from the Koran to support his teachings and informed them of their duties as well as their responsibility to convey the Message of Islam to non-Muslims.

 

These as well as other ethical qualities were to form the basis of a new society which proved without doubt to be the most admirable, honorable, obedient and devoted of societies to Allah and His Prophet (salla Allahu alihi was sallam) the world has ever known, no era that followed can hold a candle up to the light shed through the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) to his Companions, may Allah be pleased with them.

 

$CHAPTER 54 THE JEWS OF MEDINA

Many of the Jews had taken to fortunetelling, and sorcery. They excelled in the art of commerce and consequently succeeded to control the trading arena of cereals, dates, wine and clothing and exacted an unfair price from the Arabs. Usury was common practice. They lent money to the Arab hierarchy so that they might waste it on frivolous things and mercenary poets and as a surety they demanded that they pledged their fertile land which was very often taken because of the Arab’s failure to repay the loan.

 

It was in their interest that the two major Arab tribes Aws and Khazraj remained hostile to one another and so they sowed the seeds of discord between them fueling the tribes with loans which would be used to purchase weaponry. The result was the tribes were continually at each other’s throat with the Jewish tribe of Kaynuka allied to the tribe of Khazraj and the tribes of An-An-Nadir and Krayzah allied to the tribe of Aws.

 

However, now that the Messenger of Allah (salla Allahu alihi was sallam) had arrived and the tribes were amicable with one another through their Islamic bonding, the Jews had lost their control and this was a hateful turn of events to them and they harbored great enmity toward the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi was sallam) and Islam, although in the early days they managed to conceal their innermost feelings.

 

@PROPHET MUHAMMAD (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam), THE DIPLOMAT

Although the majority of Jews in Medina refused to accept Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) as a prophet, they knew although it was hateful to them, that it was in their best interest to ally themselves to him as he had become the most influential person in Medina. So they went to him, without coercion, and a written contract was drawn up to which both parties pledged they would abide.

 

The contract afforded fair benefits to both Muslim and Jew. Amongst the contractual articles was that they were not prevented to continue to profess their religion.

 

Their expenses were theirs, and Muslims were responsible for their own expenses.

 

It was also agreed that if the Muslims were attacked then they would come to their aid. If a Muslim or Jew were harmed, then the harmed party would receive the support of both Muslims and Jews alike.

 

It was also agreed that in the event of war they would fight as one party against the pagans, and that the expense would be shared proportionally. It was also agreed that neither Muslim nor Jew would enter into a separate peace treaty behind the back of the other.

 

It was agreed that trade with the Koraysh should from now on be boycotted and that the Jews would no longer lend them their support.

 

The Jews acknowledged the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) to be both fair and gentle, so they willingly agreed that if a dispute should arise between a Muslim and a Jew, the matter would be decided by him. One day, a Muslim thinking he would have the support of his fellow Muslims, took advantage of a Jew. The issue was taken to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and the Jew received his rights.

 

On the surface things appeared to be in harmony, but the underlying resentment of the Jews lay dormant for the time being. There were also members of the Arab tribes of Aws and Khazraj who said, when they were invited to believe, they believed. However they did not. To them it was simply a matter of politics; some doubted the Message whilst others were hypocrites. It was during this era that Allah sent down the second chapter of the Koran, the Cow chapter, in which the likeness of those who believe and those who disbelieve is made apparent.

 

In the following verses the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and the believers were made aware that things were not always as they seemed:

 

"That is the (Holy) Book where there is no doubt.

It is a guidance for the cautious (of evil and Hell).

Who believe in the unseen and establish the (daily) prayer;

who spend out of what We have provided them.

Who believe in that which has been sent down to you (Prophet Muhammad)

and what has been sent down before you (to Prophets Jesus and Moses),

and firmly believe in the Everlasting Life.

These are guided by their Lord; these surely are the prosperous.

 

Those who disbelieve, whether you forewarn them or not, they will not believe.

Allah has set a seal upon their hearts and ears; their sight is dimmed

and for them is a great punishment.

There are some people who say, 'We believe in Allah and the Last Day,'

yet they are not believers. They seek to deceive Allah and those who believe,

but they deceive none except themselves, though they do not sense it.

There is a sickness in their hearts which Allah has increased.

For them there is a painful punishment because they lie.

When it is said to them, 'Do not corrupt in the land '

they reply, 'We are only reformers.'

But it is they who are the evildoers, though they do not sense it.

When it is said to them, 'Believe as (other) people believe,'

they reply, 'Are we to believe as fools believe?'

It is they who are the fools, if only they knew!

When they meet those who believe they say,

'We, too believe.' But when they are alone with their devils,

they say to them, 'We follow none but you, we were only mocking.'

Allah will mock at them and prolong them in sin, blundering blindly."

Koran 2:2-15

 

Later on in the same chapter, Allah informed the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and his followers of the jealously the Jews harbored towards them:

 

"Many of the People of the Book (Jews) wish they might turn you back as unbelievers,

after you have believed, in envy of their souls,

after the truth has been clarified to them.

So pardon and forgive until Allah brings His command.

Allah is Powerful over everything."

Koran 2:109

 

@PROVOCATION

There were among those who did not believe, people who would seize any opportunity that came their way to cast doubt upon the prophethood of Muhammad (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam).

 

On one such occasion a camel belonging to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) happened to stray, whereupon an unbeliever seized the opportunity to jeer saying, "Muhammad claims that news comes to him from the heavens, yet he does not know where his camel is!" When the matter was reported to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) he was not angered and replied, "I only know what Allah permits me to know. Now He has made it known to me that her halter has become tangled in the branches of a tree in a valley which I will describe." Thereupon the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) described the valley, whereupon some of his Companions recognized the valley in which she was and went to retrieve the camel. When they reached the valley they found the camel's halter had indeed become tangled in the branches of a tree and brought it back to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam).

 

@THE TROUBLEMAKER

Among the Jewish tribe of Kaynuka was an elderly man named Shas, Kay’s son known for his ability to stir up trouble. Before the advent of Islam and the Prophet's arrival in Medina, the tribes of Aws and Khazraj had been continually at each other’s throat and consequently many conflicts were fought. The Jew felt uneasy about the newly established bond between the tribes and wished to see an end to it. With this object in mind he devised a plan to break up this newly established peace.

 

Before the Prophet’s migration to Yathrib there had been yet another conflict between the two tribes of Aws and Khazraj. In an effort to reinforce their numbers, the tribe of Aws had sent a delegation to Mecca to enlist the support of the Koraysh. However, the Aws were unsuccessful as the Koraysh deemed it more prudent to remain neutral in the matter and not long after, the conflict at Bu'ath had ensued.

 

Both the tribes of Aws and Khazraj had written impassioned poetry in tribute of their warriors expounding the merits and virtues of their tribe over the other. The Jew knew of a young man with a very fine, provocative voice who knew both these tribal poems and persuaded him to go and sit amongst the newly established friends and recite the poems to them. The result was exactly as the Jew planned, soon old passions were re-ignited, wounds reopened, memories revived, and a call to arms ensued.

 

As the tribes of Aws and Khazraj made their way to the lava mounds outside Quba to fight the matter out, news of the impending breach in the peace reached the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam). Together with the Muhajirin they made haste to the lava mounds; the conflict was about to erupt when the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) reached them and called to them passionately saying, "O Muslims!" He continued, "Allah, Allah -- would you do as you did in the Days of Ignorance even though I am with you? Allah has guided you to Islam, and honored you with it and rid you of your pagan ways saving you from disbelief, and has united your hearts!" Immediately, the two sides realized they had been easy victims of pride, so they laid down their arms and the Jew's scheme came to naught.

 

This fine example of the immediate response to the remembrance of Allah, obedience to His Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam), and the unifying brotherhood of Islam in extenuating circumstances is one that in many cases, in this day and age, has been unfortunately forgotten or overlooked, and the Words of Allah neglected or even disregarded. He says:

 

"Believers are indeed brothers,

therefore make things right among your two brothers

and fear Allah, so you will be subject to mercy."

Koran 49:10

 

The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) warned: "When two Muslims oppose each other with swords, both the killer and the murdered will be in Hell." A Companion asked, "O Messenger of Allah (salla Allahu alihi was sallam) surely, it is only the killer. What about the one who has been killed?" The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) answered, "The other was also eager to kill his companion."

 

@THE CHIEF RABBI OF THE YATHRIB TRIBE OF KAYNUKA

Ben Shalom was the Chief Rabbi of the tribe of Kaynuka and also the most knowledgeable Jew in Medina. He had already learned of the Prophet's teachings from traders returning from Mecca and was in no doubt that he was the one prophesied in the scriptures, for his message, description and circumstances exactly matched those he had learned by heart. However, he decided to conceal his conviction until he had a chance to meet him.

 

The time of year had come when the palm trees needed tending in his aunt's garden so he climbed to the top of one of them and set about his work. As he busied himself, a man from the children of Amr, the son of Auf, came bearing the news that the man the Arabs called the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) had reached Quba and was staying there.

 

Much to the surprise of his aunt Khalida, who was sitting below the tree, Ben Shalom was so excited that he exclaimed, "Allah is Great!" and climbed down the tree. His aunt was surprised by his exuberant outburst and said, "Indeed, you could not have made so much fuss if you had heard that Moses, the son of Imran had come!" Ben Shalom replied, "My aunt, he is the brother of Moses and upholds his religion, he has been sent with the same mission!" His aunt inquired if he really thought that this man could be the long expected Prophet, whereupon he told her that he had absolutely no doubt whatsoever that he was, for all the signs had been fulfilled in him.

 

Without further hesitation, Ben Shalom went to Quba to meet the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and embraced Islam taking the name Abdullah -- worshiper of Allah. Upon his return to Medina, he spoke to his family and encouraged them to embrace Islam. However, he concealed his conversion from his fellow Jews for a while longer, as he anticipated an adverse reaction.

 

Abdullah had always been an exemplary figure to his community and knew both their strengths and weaknesses. He had, on many occasions, spoken of the prophecy and told his congregation that his time was near at hand. However, he knew it would be hard for all but the humble to accept the fact that the prophethood had been taken away from the Jews, but hoped that through his example they would trust him and accept Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam). He also recognized the fact that once his conversion became known he would most likely be denounced by his former colleagues, who as a result, would no longer utter a good word about him. So, in the weeks that followed after the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) reached Medina, he visited him and requested him to call the other rabbis and leaders of his tribe together and ask them for their opinion of him, not as a matter of self-esteem but as a matter of exposition.

 

The invitations were delivered and the rabbis and tribal leaders accepted. When the time arrived, Abdullah Ben Shalom concealed himself in the Prophet's house and awaited their arrival. Upon their arrival, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) welcomed them in his usual hospitable, customary way and gave them food and drink, then during the course of the conversation, he asked their opinion of Ben Shalom. Without hesitation they spoke highly of him telling the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) that he was their chief rabbi, in fact he was the son of their former chief rabbi and without a doubt the most knowledgeable among them. Upon hearing their witnessing, Abdullah Ben Shalom stepped forward and said, "O Jews, fear Allah and accept what He has sent you, indeed you know that this man is the Messenger of Allah (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam)." Then, before his peers, he declared his acceptance of Islam. Immediately the rabbis and leaders no longer had a good word to say about him, rather they began to rebuke and spurn him, which was a complete reversal of their attestation just a few moments before.

 

Later Abdullah was heard to say, "I recognized him as soon as I saw him, in the same way that I know my son, rather my knowledge of him is even greater."

 

Allah endorses the fact that the rabbis were able to recognize Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) from his description in their Holy Books by saying:

 

"Those to whom We have given the Book,

know him (Prophet Muhammad) as they know their own sons.

But a party of them conceal the truth while they know."

Koran 2:146

 

@RABBI ZAYD, SON OF SA'NAH

After the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) migrated to Medina some of the sincere and knowledgeable Jews embraced Islam. Zayd, the son of Sanah was a knowledgeable Jew who awaited the coming of the lasts prophet. Zayd had studied the Scriptures well detailinng the time of the next prophet's appearance together with his characteristics.

 

When the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) arrived in Medina he was able to recognize all but two of the prophesied fine characteristic in the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and up until that moment remained unsure as to his prophethood. The signs were that his gentleness would overcome his anger and that the more foolish a person acted towards him, the more patient he would become.

 

One day when he was with the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) a Bedouin came to him in a distressed state telling him that his tribe had embraced Islam and that he had told them that if they became Muslims they would never again go hungry.

 

Now that drought had stricken his land and food was in very short supply he told the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) he feared they would leave Islam because of his promise and so he had come to ask him for his help. Rather than rebuking the man for giving such an unprecedented promise, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) turned to a Companion who informed him that there was no food left to give. Zayd had been listening closely to the conversation and told the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) that he knew of a date palm grove from which he could purchase unripe dates that could be harvested when ripe and that the Prophet could pay for it later. In the meantime, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) gave the Bedouin something to buy food for his tribe to tide them over until the date harvest, with the instruction to deal with it fairly.

 

The dates had been harvested and given to the Bedouin, and either two or three days before the payment for the dates were due Zayd went to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam). The Prophet had just returned from the funeral of one of his Companions and was sitting near a well when Zayd went up to him, tugged at the hem of his robe and chided him for not having repaid his debt and accused all of Abdul Muttalib's children as being poor payers.

 

Omar happened to be present and jumped to the Prophet's defense saying, "O enemy of Allah, what are you mumbling. I swear by Allah, that if I did not fear, I would have your head severed!" The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) looked up and smiled at Omar and told him, "Omar, this person and I are in need of something else. He should have told me to take care that I fulfill his rights, and should have advised in a better manner when presenting his claim. Go, take him and fulfill his rights, and because he was scolded give him, in compensation, twenty extra measurements of dates as his right.

 

Omar and Zayd went together and as Zayd received his rights he asked, "Why have you given an excess amount of dates?" Omar replied, "The Messenger of Allah (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) has commanded me to give it to you." Then Zayd asked Omar if he knew who he was and Omar replied that he did not, so he replied: "I am Zayd, the son of Sanah" whereupon Omar inquired, "The learned man of the Jews?" whereupon Zayd told him he was the very same. Then Omar asked him what had caused him to behave in such a bad manner towards the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam). He replied, "There were two signs from the signs of the prophethood were left which I was not able to examine. The first was the gentleness of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) which overrides his anger. The second was that the more foolishly a person acts towards him the more tolerant he becomes. Now I have examined both, therefore I make you a witness to my acceptance of Islam and give half my wealth to the nation of Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam).

 

Omar and Zayd returned to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and Zayd embraced Islam. Later on Zayd was to become a martyr.

 

$CHAPTER 55 THE DEATH OF TWO COMPANIONS AND TWO ADVERSARIES AND THE FIRST BORN IN MEDINA

 

During the first year after the Prophet's migration, Kulthum, Hidm's son, and Asad, Zurarah's son passed away. Both the Companions had been very close to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam). It was in Kulthum's house that the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) had stayed during part of his time in Quba; Kulthum had been especially kind to the migrants and given many of them a home.

 

Asad, Zurarah's son had been among the first men of Yathrib to pledge his allegiance at Aqabah and it was in his house that Mus'ab, Umair's son, the envoy of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) stayed in the very early days of Islam, in Medina. Later, Asad had become the Imam of his tribe, the tribe of Najjar.

 

Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) told his Companions that, "Allah, the Exalted says, 'I have no better reward than Paradise for My believing worshiper who is patient when I take away his loved one who is among the most cherished by him in the world.'"

 

There were those in Medina who chose to take these deaths as an argument against the prophethood, contending that if Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) had been a prophet, then these deaths would not have occurred. When the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) heard what was being said he was not angered but commented, "I have no power with Allah either for myself or for my Companions."

 

It was also during this first year that the infamous enemies of Islam, Waleed, Mughirah's son, father of Khalid and Al-As the son of Wa'il Sahmi, the father of Amr Al-As, who was later to become the famous Opener of Egypt, died.

 

Asma, the eldest daughter of Abu Bakr and her husband Zubair were blessed with a son whom they named Abdullah. Up until that time no child had been born to a Muslim family in Medina.

 

@THE CALL TO PRAYER

Up until that time, Muslims used their own judgment to determine the time of prayer by estimating the sun's passage through the heavens and as a result, they arrived at the Mosque to pray at varying times. This state of affairs concerned the Prophet, (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) who asked his Companions if they had any suggestions as to how best the prayer might be announced at its due time.

 

Several suggestions were made, amongst which was the hoisting of a flag, the rattling of a wooden clapper and the blowing of a horn. However, these suggestions were not acceptable.

 

Not long after, Abdullah Zayd's son had a vision. In his vision a man with a clapper in his hand, dressed in a green robe pass by. When Abdullah noticed the clapper he asked if he would sell it. The man inquired why he wanted it, whereupon Abdullah told him that he wanted it to call his fellow Muslims to prayer. The man told him he knew a better way than that and that the summoning to the prayer should be made by a caller in saying:

 

"Allah is the Greatest – Allah is the Greatest.

Allah is the Greatest – Allah is the Greatest.

I bear witness that there is no god except Allah

I bear witness that there is no god except Allah.

I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah

I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.

Come to prayer – come to prayer.

Come to success – come to success.

Allah is the Greatest – Allah is the Greatest

There is no god except Allah"

 

The following day Abdullah went to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and told him of his vision. Omar mentioned that he too had seen the same vision. Happiness spread over the face of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) as he told Abdullah and Omar that they had both seen a true vision and informed them that this was the method they would now use to call the people to prayer.

 

The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) then asked one of his Companions to look for Bilal and ask him to come to him. Bilal, the former slave who had been so badly tortured by the Koraysh for his belief had a very pleasant voice and was honored to be chosen as the caller to prayer, and from that time onward, before each prayer, he made his way to the roof-top of the highest house near the Mosque and the sweetness of his voice would ring out across the City, calling believers to the prayer.

 

Later on, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) told his Companions that when the call to prayer is made, satan, the stoned and cursed, turns his back and rushes away passing wind to prevent himself from hearing the words of the call.

 

The reason for his running away and passing wind is that all those who hear the call to prayer become a witness to it and satan does not want to be a witness. However, once the call has finished he returns until the second call to prayer is made, then he runs away again only to return after it has finished to distract the minds of worshippers with his whispering, "Remember this, remember that", putting in the mind of the believer irrelevant matters until he/she does not know how many units of prayer they have offered.

 

@THE PALM-TRUNK AND THE PULPIT

As the number of followers grew it was thought that a pulpit should be built on which the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi was sallam) might stand so that everyone could see him.

 

The Companions set about finding a suitable piece of wood and soon the sound of carpenters could be heard. The pulpit was finished and put in place and the palm-trunk on which the Prophet, (salla Allahu alihi was sallam), use to lean when giving his sermon was moved to another part of the Mosque.

 

Suddenly, as the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi was sallam) started to deliver his sermon there was a wailing sound that was so intense that everyone looked to see from where the sound came; it came from the old palm-trunk that had been replaced by the pulpit. The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi was sallam) went to the palm-trunk and comforted it, and it was consoled. Then, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi was sallam) told the congregation, "This tree trunk wailed on account of what it had lost."

 

@LADY SAWDAH AND LADY AYESHA

When Lady Sawdah arrived in Medina, she lived in her quarters built onto the outside of the Mosque together with the daughters of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam).

 

Lady Ayesha had known the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) from a very tender age. She loved to be in his company and after his marriage to her he would often play and run races with her. Although he was very capable of outrunning her, he always, out of the kindness of his heart, let her win until she was older.

 

Although she was married to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) her life had changed but a little; she still played with her girl friends from Mecca and also made new friends with the girls of Medina. However, the parents of her friends had taught their daughters that they must at all times respect the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and not to make a nuisance of themselves.

 

Fearing that he might disturb Lady Ayesha, Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) would often take great delight watching her play with her friends from behind a curtain. However, if her friends happened to realize he was there they would stop playing and try to slip away, whereupon the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) would reassure them that there was no need for them to go and to continue enjoying themselves. On many occasions he would sit down and join them in their games, just as he had done with his own daughters, for he loved children and never turned them away.

 

There was a time, when the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) returned home after a journey and found Lady Ayesha playing with a small wooden horse having a piece of cloth attached to its back. The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) was amused and inquired why she had tied the cloth to its back whereupon Lady Ayesha replied, "O Prophet of Allah (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam), don't you know, it is the winged horse of Solomon," and the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) smiled as happiness spread over his caring face.

 

@ILLNESS IN MEDINA

The native people of Medina were, for the most part, immune to the fevers that came during certain seasons of the year. However, for strangers who happened to be in the City during these seasons there was always the risk that they might contract them.

 

One day, Lady Ayesha went to visit her father, Abu Bakr and found that he, Bilal, and Aamir had been taken ill with the fever; although Bilal was nearing recovery he remained extremely weak. She spoke to her father, but he answered her in a rhyme that she did not fully understand, although she remembered his words.

 

Aamir and Bilal also spoke to her in rhyme and once again she remembered the words but did not fully comprehend. Seeing them in such a pitiful condition distressed Lady Ayesha greatly, so she returned home to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) to tell him of their circumstances.

 

The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) comforted her and gently asked what they had said, so she repeated their words, whereupon the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) supplicated saying, "O Allah, make Medina as dear to us as You have made Mecca, or yet even dearer. Bless its water and grain for us and remove the fever from it as far as Mahya'ah." Allah accepted the supplication and they recovered.

 

$CHAPTER 56 A THREAT FROM MECCA

 

@THE LETTER

It is obligatory upon Muslims to protect their soul, the honor of their womenfolk, and wealth, but also to show mercy. No matter how good the philosophy of turning the other cheek may be for an individual in insignificant day-to-day affairs, it spells suicide for a community when it is implemented as an absolute value.

 

One might have supposed that the Prophet's circumstances in Medina were easier than in Mecca, and in many respects that was indeed the case. However, in Mecca it had been easy to determine who had given themselves to Islam and who had not.

 

In Medina the situation was somewhat different. Many of its citizens had embraced Islam, however several had done so not out of conviction but because they feared the loss of their status within their tribe as more of their fellow tribesmen started to embrace Islam. These people posed an undetectable source of treachery that was a factor the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) did not have to contend with in Mecca.

 

Until this time, Medina had little or no influence on the affairs of Arabia, it had just been a place on the trade route where caravans would stop, replenish their supplies, sell their wares, then go on their way. As such it had been impervious to outside affairs, however now that the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) had settled there, the Koraysh viewed Medina in a different light.

 

It was not long after his arrival that the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) met with neighboring tribes outside Medina - his reputation had preceded him – and gladly they contracted alliances that closed the access to the northern trade routes of the Koraysh who had previously passed through Medina. This meant that from now on the Koraysh caravans would have to use the coastal road on their journeys and their paths would not cross.

 

However, shortly after the Prophet's arrival in Medina, the Koraysh sent a letter to Abdullah, Ubayy's son, who was a newly elected chieftain and was among those who had not embraced Islam out of conviction. The letter read: "You have sheltered one of our men. We tell you either to kill him or throw him out of Medina. If you do not, we swear by Allah we will attack, destroy you, and seize your women."

 

When the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) learned of the Koraysh letter, he went to Abdullah and asked if he intended to fight against his own kinsmen for many of them had embraced Islam and were now his supporters. Abdullah weighed the implications and decided to ignore the letter.

 

The Koraysh had not only persecuted Muslims for their belief and robbed them of most of their possessions before and after their migration, but now the threat of war loomed large on the horizon. It was obvious they had no intention of letting Islam and its followers live in peace; their intent was annihilation.

 

@THE FIRST ATTACK ON MEDINA

The first physical act of aggression by the Koraysh against the Muslims of Medina was perpetrated by Kerz, Jabir's son.

 

Kerz, together with a marauding party set off from Mecca with the intent of looting whatever property belonging to Muslims they could lay their hands on. Just outside Medina they came across and seized Sa'ad, Khaula's son and Utbah, Ghazwan's son and took them back to Mecca as prisoners together with a flock of sheep and a herd of camels.

 

This attack was soon followed by several other acts of aggression.

 

@PERMISSION TO FIGHT FOR DEFENSE OR REVENGE

Under the patient guidance of the Prophet, salla Allahu alihi wa sallam, the Muslims had never taken a physically aggressive stand against their adversaries, for permission to do so had not been received from Allah.

 

Even when they had been subjected to outrageous provocation, they had restrained themselves by reciting the Words of Allah to state their case. One must not suppose them to have been faint hearted in such matters, rather they controlled themselves and obeyed their Prophet, salla Allahu alihi wa sallam . They remembered the mercy of Allah to mankind in the Revelation of the verse:

 

"Whosoever obeys the Messenger,

Indeed he has obeyed Allah"

Koran 4:80.

 

The Companions knew they were incapable of pure obedience to Allah, and so it was that Allah in His Mercy honored His Messenger in this verse, by placing obedience to His Messenger before that of Himself. This is yet another indication to us all of the very honorable rank Allah bestowed upon His Prophet, salla Allahu alihi wa sallam, and His Mercy to us.

 

It was about this time that Allah sent down the following verse:

 

"Permission is given to those who fight because they were wronged.

Allah has power to grant them victory:

those who have been unjustly driven from their homes,

just because they said, 'Our Lord is Allah ....'"

Koran 22:39-40

 

But Allah also warned:

"Fight in the way of Allah those who fight against you,

but do not aggress.

Allah does not love the aggressors."

Koran 2:190

 

This last verse is a clear warning to all Muslims that they must not be the first to aggress.

 

It was not the Prophet, Salla Allahu alihi wa sallam, who instigated the state of war, persecuted, or pillaged, on the contrary, it was the Koraysh who were the open aggressors. Now, permission had come to the Muslims to assert themselves, stand up for their rights, and take back what had been stolen from them. Time necessitated that the Muslims should demonstrate that they were not a weak entity to be taken advantage or exterminated and now that Allah had given them permission to fight those who fought against them they prepared themselves to demonstrate their determination.

 

With the possible threat of war on the horizon and the command to fight because of the wrongs afforded to them, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) sent observation parties of migrants to monitor caravans.

 

From time to time they received news from their allies of caravan movements. However, more likely than not, by the time the news reached them, the Koraysh caravans were nowhere to be found. Nevertheless, the time was not wasted as successful treaties were negotiated with several Bedouin tribes along the coast of the Red Sea.

 

In Ramadan 1H, (March 623 CE) the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) sent out a detachment consisting of 30 Emigrants under the leadership of Hamza to intercept a Koraysh caravan. The Muslims intercepted the Koraysh at a place near the Red Sea called Saif Al-Bahr. It was a large caravan of three hundred people amongst whom was the infamous Abu Jahl. When the two parties encountered each other they prepared themselves to fight, however Majdi, Amr’s son who was on good terms with both parties, happened to be there and succeeded to prevent hostilities. It was on that occasion that the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) gave the Muslims their first banner which they were from now on to carry into combat. It was white in color and given to Kinaz, the son of Husain Al-Ghanawi who became the first standard bearer.

 

In the month Shawwal, 1H (April 623 CE) the Messenger of Allah (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) sent Ubaydah, Al Harith’s son out to lead sixty emigrants on horseback to a place called Batn Rabegh where they met Abu Sufyan heading a caravan of 200 men. Shots were exchanged but there was no actual combat, it was a demonstration that the Muslims were no longer going to be taken advantage of. It was at that time that Al-Miqdad, Amr Al-Bahrani’s son and Utbah, Ghazwan Al-Mazini’s son defected from the Koraysh caravan and joined Ubaydah. This time the white banner was carried by Mistah, Athatha’s son, the son of Al-Muttalib.

 

In the month of Dhul Qa’dah 1H (May 623 CE) the Prophet dispatched Sa’ad, Abu Waqqas’ son at the head of cavalry of twenty with the instruction not to go further than a place called Al-Kharrar. They reached Al-Kharrar five days later only to find that the Koraysh had left the day before. The white banner was carried by Al-Miqdad, Amr’s son

 

Eleven months had passed since the Prophet's migration when, in the autumn, news of a richly laden caravan escorted by a hundred armed men led by Umayyah, the chief of Jummah, was reported. Umayyah was one of Islam's greatest opponents and so the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) called upon the help of the Ansar to assist the Muhajirin in ridding themselves of their adversary and seizing the spoils of war as restitution. However, Umayyah and his caravan eluded them and there was no encounter.

 

$CHAPTER 57 THE SECOND YEAR AFTER THE MIGRATION

 

Two months into the second year after the migration, news of another caravan on its way to Syria led by Abu Sufyan arrived. The Companions set off in search of the caravan, but the news they received was old and when they reached Ushayrah, which lies in the valley of Yanbu near the Red Sea, their adversaries, as before, had long gone.

 

The cooler winter months were upon them and the number of caravans to the north dwindled. Since the time of their ancestor Hashim, caravans had taken advantaged of these cooler months to cross the inhospitable, desolate southern part of the desert to Yemen.

 

It was in the month of Safar 2H (623 CE) that the Messenger of Allah (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) set out together with seventy men who were for the most part from the Emigrants. Their intention was to intercept a caravan of camels belonging to the Koraysh. They reached Al-Abwas near Waddan which is between Mecca and Medina but found that the caravan was no longer there.

 

The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) appointed Sa’ad, the son of Ubaydah to attended to the affairs in Medina while he was away.

 

During this time the Prophet, (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) spent fifteen days with Amr, Makhshi Ad-Darami, the chief of the tribe of Damrah and succeeded to sign a non-aggression pact with him. It was agreed that the wealth, lives and security of tribe of Bani Damrah would be protected and that they could rely on the support of Muslims providing they did oppose the religion of Allah, in return it was agreed that they too would come to the aid of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) when called upon. The process took fifteen days and the white banner was carried by Hamza.

 

In Rabi’ Al-Awwal 2H (623 CE) the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) marched with two hundred Companions to Buwat to intercept a Koraysh caravan of one hundred men amongst whom was Umayyah, Khalaf’s son. When they reached Buwat, the caravan had left.

 

The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) appointed Sa’ad, the son of Mu’adh to attended to the affairs in Medina while he was away

 

When Karz, Jabir’s son and his small party of unbelievers raided the pastures of Medina in Rabi’ Al-Awwal 2H (623 CE) and looted some of their livestock, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) led seventy men out in pursuit of them. However, when he reached a place called Safwan, which is near Badr, he had been unable to catch up with them.

 

The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) appointed Zayd, Haritha’s son to attended to the affairs in Medina while he was away. This time the white banner was carried by Ali, Abi Talib’s son.

 

In either the month of Jumada Al-Ula or Jumada Al-Akhira on its first or second day 2H (November/December 623) the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) led a hundred and fifty or more, but no more than two hundred Muslim volunteers, out of Medina to intercept a camel caravan belonging to the Koraysh. When they reached Dhil ‘Ushaira they found the caravan of camels had left several days before. This caravan of camels was the same caravan the Muslims had originally ridden out to intercept as the Koraysh returned from Syria and was to contribute to the reason for the battle of Badr.

 

During this expedition the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) succeeded in making a non-aggression pact with the tribe of Bani Madlij and their allies Bani Dhumrah.

 

The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) appointed Abd Al-Asad Al Makhzumi to attended to the affairs in Medina in his absence. This time the white banner was carried by Hamza.

 

The month was Rajab 2H (January 624) which was one of the four sacred months in which fighting is impermissible, when the Messenger of Allah (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) dispatched Abdullah, Jahsh' son with twelve of the Muhajirin riding six camels on a reconnaissance assignment. Before leaving, Abdullah was given written instructions and told not to read them until after two days. After the passing of two days he opened the letter and read the instructions that told him to journey on to Nakhlah, which is between Mecca and Ta’if and observe the Koraysh then return with the news. There was no order to attack the caravan.

 

Upon reaching the valley of Nakhlah, the caravan was observed. The caravan included the prominent unbelievers Amr, Al Hadrami, Othman and Nawfal, the sons of Abdullah, Al-Mughirah and others, who were transporting consignments of raisons, and other foodstuffs. The Muslims faced the dilemma whether or not to attack because it was the month of Rajab.

 

Abdullah, Jahsh’s son was in a quandary not knowing what to do, he was unsure if the pre-Islamic rules not to fight during the Sacred Months still applied or not, and pondered deeply upon the verse, "Permission is given to those who fight because they were wronged." 22:39.

 

And so they concluded it was permissible to attack and arrows were fired, one of which struck Amr, Al-Hadrami’s son and he died. Othman and Al-Hakam were taken prisoner, however Nawfal escaped. Now, there was a blood feud with which to contend.

 

Abdullah and the Muhajirin returned to Medina with their prisoners, camels, and spoils. When they reached Medina they divided the spoils among themselves, leaving one-fifth for the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) to distribute as charity. When Abdullah and his companions took the spoils to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and presented them to him, he declined to accept it reminding them, "I did not order you to fight in the Sacred Months."

 

Abdullah and his companions were greatly distressed by the Prophet's refusal, and were rebuked by their fellow Muslims for their violation of the Sacred Month. The unbelievers of Medina took it upon themselves to make a great issue of the matter and accusations abounded. As for the Koraysh, they falsely accused the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) of being responsible for the violation of the Sacred Month of Rajab.

 

Abdullah and his companions were devastated; it had not been their intention to disobey the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and they had acted only after a great deal of heart-searching, but the fact remained they had not been given permission to fight. After a while, relief came to them when Angel Gabriel brought down the verse from Allah that said:

 

"They ask you about the Sacred Month and fighting in it.

Say: 'To fight in this month is a grave (offense);

but to bar others from the Path of Allah,

and disbelief in Him, and the Holy Mosque,

and to expel its inhabitants from it is great with Allah.

Dissension is greater than killing.

They will not cease to fight against you

until they force you to renounce your religion, if they are able.

But whosoever of you recants from his religion and dies an unbeliever,

their works shall be annulled in this world and in the Everlasting Life,

and those shall be the companions of Hell, and there they shall live forever."

Koran 2:217

 

Now that this verse had been revealed, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) knew that Abdullah and his men had been absolved and accepted a fifth of the spoils which were then distributed as charity.

 

Abdullah and his companions asked the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam), "May we hope that this will count as a raid for which we shall receive a reward as combatants?" For they were more anxious to receive the reward of Allah than the worldly spoils they had repossessed. The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) in his customary manner did not reply straight away and waited until the following verse was sent down from Allah:

 

"But those who believe and those who migrate and struggle in the Way of Allah,

those, have hope of the Mercy of Allah, Allah is Forgiving, Merciful."

Koran 2:218

 

Blood money was paid to the father of Amr and the captives released. Othman returned to Mecca where he died in disbelief. However, Hakam expressed his wish to embrace Islam and remained in Medina. Hakam later became a martyr at the encounter of Bi'r Ma'una.

 

@THE DIRECTION OF PRAYER

In Medina there were now three communities: Muslims, People of the Book and unbelievers. The Jews and a handful of Nazarenes (followers of Prophet Jesus) and Christians (followers of Paul), or the Koran refers to them 'People of the Book', offered their prayers in the common direction of Jerusalem, as it was there that many Prophets had preached. The unbelievers on the other hand would turn themselves toward their many idols housed within the confines of Ka’bah in Mecca.

 

It was now Sha’ban 2 H. (February 624 CE) and until that time the Prophet had offered his prayers in the direction of Jerusalem rather than the direction of Ka’bah. However, his heart was far from being settled about the matter. Instinctively, he wished to offer his prayer facing the direction of Ka’bah, the House his ancestors, Prophets Abraham and Ishmael rebuilt so many centuries before, but the fact that there were so many idols in and around it prevented him from doing so.

 

The matter weighed heavily upon his heart until Allah directed him in the following verses sent down at the time of the Asr afternoon prayer on a Tuesday, sometime in the middle of the month of Shaban.

 

"We have seen you turning your face towards the heaven.

We shall surely turn you to a direction that shall satisfy you.

So turn your face towards the Sacred Mosque (built by Abraham);

wherever you are, turn your faces to it.

Those to whom the Book was given know this to be the truth from their Lord.

Allah is not inattentive of what they do.

But even if you brought those to whom the Book had been given every proof,

they would not accept your direction, nor would you accept theirs;

nor would any of them accept the direction of the other.

If after all the knowledge you have been given you yield to their desires,

then you will surely be among the harmdoers."

Koran 2:144-145

 

and

 

"The truth comes from your Lord, so do not be among the doubters.

And for everyone is a direction for which he turns.

So race in goodness.

And wherever you are, Allah will bring you all together.

He has power over all things.

From wherever you emerge,

turn your face towards the Sacred Mosque.

This is surely the truth from your Lord.

Allah is never inattentive of what you do.

From wherever you emerge,

turn your face towards the Sacred Mosque,

and wherever you are, face towards it,

so that the people will have no argument against you,

except the harm-doers among them.

Do not fear of them, fear Me,

so that I will perfect My Favor to you and that you will be guided."

Koran 2:147-150

 

As the Companions who had offered their prayer behind the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi was sallam) were leaving the Mosque they passed by some of their fellow Muslims who were bowing facing the direction of Jerusalem. A Companion addressed them saying, "By Allah, I bear witness that I have just offered the prayer with the Messenger of Allah (salla Allahu alihi was sallam) facing the direction of Mecca." Upon hearing that, they changed their direction to face the Ka’bah and from that time onward the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and his followers offered their prayers facing the direction of the Ka’bah in Mecca.

 

The Mosque in which the verses were sent down was known from then onwards as "The Mosque of the Two Qiblahs" - Qiblah meaning direction of prayer.

 

You will recall the story of Isra and Mirage when Allah chose Jerusalem to be the site of the Prophet’s ascent through the heavens rather than Mecca as being a highly significant sign to the Jews that their religious authority had been stripped from them and entrusted to a Prophet from another race. The change in the direction of prayer was an endorsement of that highly significant sign.

 

Before the advent of the Nazarenes and Christians, the Jews directed their prayers towards Jerusalem and prided themselves that the Nazarenes and Christians, and up until now, the Muslims had done the same. In the eyes of the Jews they deemed it an acknowledgement of their own racial importance. Without a doubt, Islam acknowledges the significance of Jerusalem as a very Holy site but the changing of the direction of prayer was by no means to demean Jerusalem. But to the Jews, Jerusalem was not just a Holy place it had become an important status symbol which served to enhance their self proclaimed superiority.

 

When Allah changed the direction of prayer to Ka’bah, the Jews were very displeased. They perceived it to be an outright rejection of their social status and this brought about an even deeper resentment. The Muslims had not in fact rejected Jerusalem’s religious significance at all, but the Ka’bah, the House which Abraham had built, the first House of Allah on earth, had been the direction chosen by Allah for Muslims to face during prayer.

 

Soon after, the Jews dormant resentment of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and the Message given to him by Allah began to surface. False accusations that he pursued a policy of opposition against them were common, for many of the verses in the recently revealed sections of the Cow chapter exposed the concealed corruption of their ancestors and revealed their present day contempt.

 

Their pride prevented them from acknowledging that some of their ancestors had clearly wronged themselves and that they themselves would follow parts of the Torah acceptable to themselves whilst neglecting or rejecting other parts.

 

The Jews contention that they were the chosen ones of Allah was an indisputable fact to their way of thinking despite the fact that they had either defied, killed, or rejected many of their prophets including their last prophet, Jesus, the Messiah, the son of Mary, who warned them that if they did not reform, the covenant once given to them would be taken away from them.

 

Among the Muslims were some whose faith was yet to mature, they also questioned the changing of the Qiblah to the Ka’bah, forgetting that the order was not the decision of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) but that of Allah, who warned that the Jews and unbelievers would question the redirection and said of them:

 

"The fools among the people will say,

'What has made them turn away from the direction they were facing?'

Say: 'The east and the west belong to Allah.

He guides whom He will to a Straight Path.'"

Koran 2:142

 

"… We did not change the direction that you were facing

except that We might know who followed the Messenger

from him who turned on both his heels.

Though it was a hardship except for those whom Allah has guided.

Allah is Gentle with people, the Most Merciful."

Koran 2:143

 

"Righteousness is not whether you face towards the east or the west.

But righteousness is to believe in Allah,

and the Last Day,

in the angels and the Book,

and the Prophets,

and to give wealth however cherished,

to kinsmen, to the orphans, to the needy, to the destitute traveler,

and to the beggars, and to ransom the slave;

who establish their prayers,

and pay the obligatory charity…"

Koran 2:177

 

$CHAPTER 58 PRELUDE TO THE ENCOUNTER AT BADR

 

@THE CARAVAN OF ABU SUFYAN

There was unrest amongst the unbelievers, Jews, and hypocrites of Medina for each concealed either their own tribal or racial grudge.

 

News that Abu Sufyan and his caravan were now on their return journey from Syria laden with merchandise reached the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) who called the Muslims together and informed them of his intent to attack so that the Muslims might have at least some of their former wealth restored to them.

 

Shortly after that, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) sent Talha and Sa'id, Zayd's son to reconnoiter the area near the coastal village of Hawra which lies approximately one hundred miles from Medina. At Hawra, Talha and Sa'id were met by the chief of Juhaynah who took them under his protection and concealed them in his home until Abu Sufyan's caravan had passed by. As soon as it was safe to leave the two Companions hastened back to Medina to inform the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) of the wealth of the caravan which they estimated to be around fifty thousand gold dinars. They also informed him that the caravan was guard by forty men and that it would not be long before they passed relatively close to Medina.

 

@THE CONSPIRACY BETWEEN THE UNBELIEVERS AND JEWS

Despite their alliance, the unbelievers and Jews of Medina conspired against the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and sent word to Abu Sufyan informing him he could expect to be attacked. Abu Sufyan was alarmed and hired Damdam, Amr Al Ghifari's son to hasten on to Mecca to rally the Koraysh to come out and join him in defense of the caravan as he feared the attack to be imminent.

 

@NEWS REACHES MECCA

Damdam did not spare his camel as he sped onto Mecca at break-neck pace. When he reached the Ka’bah he mutilated his camel, cutting off its nose and ears, then he turned its saddle the opposite way, tore his shirt back and front and cried out at the top of his voice, "O Koraysh, your merchandize – it is with Abu Sufyan and his caravan is about to be attacked by Muhammad and his Companions – help him!"

 

The alarm soon spread through every quarter of Mecca, for they knew the caravan was richly laden and also, each tribe had one of their own accompanying it.

 

Abu Jahl immediately called the Koraysh chieftains, its warriors, and in fact all men able to fight, to prepare themselves and met him in the precincts of Ka’bah. Utbah, Rabia's son was appointed their Commander-in-Chief and the combined Koraysh army looked formidable. There were no less than one thousand three hundred soldiers, one hundred of which were cavalry and six hundred had suits of armor. As for their food supply they had a large number of camels.

 

The tribe of Adi however, decided not to partake in the forthcoming hostilities and remained behind. Two other people also declined, they were Abu Lahab and Umayyah, Khalaf's son.

 

Abu Lahab told Al-As, Hisham's son, that if he were to go in his place he would release him from the substantial debt of the four thousand dirhams he owed him. Al-As accepted his offer as he had no other way in which to repay the debt.

 

As for Umayyah, he was elderly and somewhat corpulent, so he decided not to go. However, his honor was challenged by Uqbah, Abu Mu'ayt's son who sought him out near the Ka’bah with a vessel of burning scented wood and insulted him by saying, "Perfume yourself with this -- you belong with the women!" Outraged, Umayyah got up saying, "May Allah curse you and what you have brought!" and rode off to join the others who had already set out to engage the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam). Meanwhile Abu Sufyan force-marched his caravan by day and night along the coastal route.

 

As for the tribes closely related to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam), the tribes of Hashim and Muttalib, they too had reluctantly joined with the Koraysh. Talib took command of both tribes, whilst Al-Abbas and Hakim, Lady Khadijah's nephew from the tribe of Asad accompanied them.

 

Before leaving, Al-Abbas took his wife Umm Fadl to one-side and told her in confidence far from the ear-shot of others how he wished his wealth to be distributed in the event of his death and named Abdullah, Kutham, and Ubaydullah as his heirs. Only Umm Fadl and Al-Abbas were privy to this conversation.

 

@THE FIRST STAGE OF THE PROPHET'S MARCH

The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) set out from Medina on 12th Ramadan with a small army of 317 men in search of Abu Sufyan’s caravan. Eighty-six from the Muhajirin, and from the Ansar sixty-one came from the tribe of Aws and one hundred and seventy from the tribe of Khazraj. From the Muhajirin, the Prophet appointed Ali to be a standard bearer, and from the Ansar he appointed Sa’ad son of Mu’adh.

 

Not all the Muslims of Medina were able to take part in the forthcoming encounter, each had a valid reason for not attending. Among those who remained behind was Othman, the husband of the Prophet's daughter, Lady Rukiyah. Lady Rukiyah had been taken seriously ill, so the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) compassionately told Othman to remain at her side. In the Prophet’s absence he appointed Amru, Ummu Makhtum's son to act as their leader as the hypocrites and Jews could no longer be trusted to remain loyal.

 

The army was ill equipped and had provisions less than adequate due to their circumstances, but they trusted Allah and His Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) so their spirits were high. Between them they had but seventy-two mounts -- seventy camels and two horses belonging to Az-Zubair Al-Awwam’s son and Al Miqad Al-Aswad Al-Kindi’s son -- which they took turns to ride, sometimes they rode pillion two or three at a time.

 

@UMAIR, THE SON OF ABI WAQQAS

A mile or so outside Medina, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) called his army to a halt and discovered that in their anxiousness to support him, several youngsters had joined them. Out of kindness he told them they must return as it was no place for boys so young. Amongst them was a boy named Umair, Abi Waqqas's son who cried inconsolably when he was told to return, so the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) took pity on him and allowed him to accompany them. Umair stopped his crying and a great big smile spread over his face as his elder brother, Sa'ad hung a sword around his neck. The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) gave the order to proceed and so they continued their march southward and then turned towards Badr.

 

@THE SCOUTS

Just outside Badr lies a water-well at the foot of a hill. Upon reaching the hill, the Prophet’s scouts went down to replenish their water supply and let their camels drink. At the well two girls were talking as they drew water, one girl was overheard saying to the other, "The caravan will arrive either tomorrow or the next day. I will work for them so that I can repay the money I owe to you." It was the news the scouts had been hoping for, so they hastened back to the Prophet's camp to tell him.

 

@ABU SUFYAN AT THE WELL OF BADR

The quickest route to Mecca lay through Badr, so Abu Sufyan rode on in advance of the caravan to make sure it was safe for it to proceed in that direction. He reached the well only a short time after the scouts had left and came across a man from the village who had come to draw water. Abu Sufyan asked if he had seen any strangers recently whereupon the villager told him the only strangers he had seen were two men who had come over the hill and stopped to draw some water.

 

Abu Sufyan was always on the alert for any signs and furtively glanced around for some camel's dung. He retraced the camel's hoof prints up the hill and found what he was searching for and examined it quickly. As he broke the dung in half his heart started to pound as he saw some date stones and undigested date fiber then cried out: "By Allah, its the food of Yathrib!" His worst fear was confirmed. He knew the Prophet's army could not be far away, whereupon he returned with great haste to his caravan camped further up the coast.

 

@THE RETURN OF THE SCOUTS

By now the scouts had returned to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and told him that the caravan's arrival was imminent at Badr. It was good news, for they thought themselves to have the upper hand and would be able to overcome the Koraysh in a surprise attack.

 

@THE RESOLVE OF THE MUHAJIRIN AND ANSAR

Hopes were high when news arrived that a large army of Koraysh had set out from Mecca to support Abu Sufyan. The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) wasted no time and called the Muhajirin and Ansar together to tell them the news.

 

Abu Bakr and Omar represented the Muhajirin and Omar acted as their spokesman. Omar told the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) that they were of one voice -- they should advance. Then, one of the latest migrants, Mikdad from the tribe of Zuhra, got up and spoke saying, "O Messenger of Allah, do what Allah has directed. We will not be like the Children of Israel who said to Moses, ‘Go with your Lord and fight, we shall wait here.’ Rather, we say, 'Go with your Lord and fight, we will fight with you to the right and to the left, in front and behind!'" When the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) heard these faithful words, his face shone knowing well the strength of the Muhajirin's faith.

 

Then Sa'ad, Mu'adh's son, of the Ansar stood up and said, "O Messenger of Allah (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) we believe you and we believe what you have brought us. We bear witness that what you have brought is the truth. We have given you our oath to hear and obey. Do whatsoever you wish, we are with you. By Him who sent you with the truth, if you ask us to cross the sea and plunged yourself into it, we would do the same -- no man amongst us would not do so. We are not against meeting our enemy tomorrow, we have fought before and are to be relied upon. Allah willing, our courage will bring coolness to your eyes, so lead us with the blessing of Allah!"

 

There was great rejoicing, the Ansar and Muhajirin were united in their resolve, yet only a matter of a few years prior to this, such unification would have been absolutely unthinkable.

 

The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) was greatly pleased by their united response and told them to be of good heart, because Allah, the Most High had promised him success over one of the two Koraysh parties, and that even as he spoke it was as if he could see their enemy lying prostrate.

 

The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam), together with his small army of Companions marched on toward Badr. Less than a day's march away, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) called for a halt and he and Abu Bakr rode on for a while when they came across an elderly Bedouin. Abu Bakr asked the Bedouin if he had any news, but the Bedouin was cunning and asked to which party they belonged; that of Muhammad or that of the Koraysh. Abu Bakr told the man that if he told him the whereabouts of each party he would tell him where they were from. The old Bedouin knew well the paths of the desert and told him that in his opinion as Muhammad's party had left Yathrib on the 12th of Ramadan, they should by now have reached such and such a place -- his estimation was correct -- and that the Koraysh should be very near the place in which they were standing.

 

Then the man asked Abu Bakr where he and his companion were from, Abu Bakr could not afford to trust this wily old Bedouin, so he replied with a clever conundrum saying that they were from "Ma", which is Arabic for water, as man is created from water. The Bedouin was satisfied with his answer and supposed he referred to Iraq on account of its two rivers.

 

Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and Abu Bakr returned to their camp and when night fell, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) sent for Ali, Zubair, and Sa'ad together with their companions and told them to go to the well and see if anyone there had news of their enemies, or if they had drawn water from the well.

 

@THE FIRST PRISONERS

When they reached the well, they found two men from the Koraysh filling their containers with water and loading them onto the backs of their camels. One of the men was a slave belonging to the children of Al Hajjaj, the other was Arid Abu Yasar, from the children of Al-As.

 

Stealthily, Ali, Zubair, Sa'ad, and the others overcame them and took them back to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) as prisoners. When they reached the camp, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) was occupied in his prayer, so a crowd gathered around the prisoners and started questioning them. The prisoners told them that they were only Koraysh water-men, whereupon their inquisitors started to beat them hoping that they had lied and were from the caravan. It became clear to the water-men that their captors wanted to hear them say they were Abu Sufyan's men so the retracted their first claim and told the Muslims what they wanted to hear.

 

After the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) concluded his prayer, he came out and told his Companions that they should not have treated their prisoners in that way, and informed them that their prisoners were indeed from the Koraysh and not from Abu Sufyan.

 

When the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) asked them where the Koraysh were camped they told him without coercion, pointing to the hill of Ku’ayki’an, that their camp lay on its slopes on the other side. He asked the size of the army but the men were unable to estimate its number, but said there were many. Wisely, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) then asked how many camels were slaughtered each day to feed them and was told nine or maybe ten. From this the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) was able to deduce their numbers must be within the range of nine-hundred to a thousand.

 

Then he asked the prisoners for the names of their leaders and learned that the brothers Utbah and Shayba were amongst them together with Abu Jahl, Abu Bakhtari, Hakim, Nawfal, Al Harith son of Aamir, Tu'aymah, Al Nadr, Zama'h, Umayyah, Nabih, Munabbih, Suhayl, and Amr Abu Wudd's son. The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) then turned to his followers and said, "Mecca has thrown to you pieces of its liver!" And from this they understood that they would fight against the chief enemies of Islam.

 

@A SENSE OF SAFETY

After Abu Sufyan discovered date stones in the camel's dung, he decided to take the longer coastal route to Mecca feeling confident that he had escaped the attack. He now felt a sense of security and sent word to his fellow chieftains saying, "You came out to save your caravan, your tribesmen and your merchandise, but Allah has delivered us, therefore return."

 

When Abu Jahl heard these words he rallied his men, saying, "By Allah, we will not return until we have been to Badr! We will spend three days there feasting, slaughtering camels, drinking wine, and the girls will play for us. When the other Arab tribes hear of us they will once again hold us high in their esteem -- come on!"

 

@AL AKHNAS AND THE TRIBE OF ZUHRA

When Al Akhnas, Shariq's son, an ally of the tribe of Zuhra heard Abu Jahl's intent, he said to his allies, "Allah has saved you, your property and your tribesmen, Makhrama, Nawfal's son, your only reason for coming was to protect them; should you be charged with cowardice, blame it on me! There is no point going to war with this man without profit as Abu Jahl would have us do!" The tribe of Zuhra heeded Al Akhnas's words and together they returned to Mecca.

 

Talib, the son of Abu Talib, and uncle of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) had reluctantly ridden out with the Koraysh hating the thought of fighting against his nephew so he had supplicated, "O Allah, it is not my desire to join the Koraysh in their way, but if it should be, let me be plundered and not the plunderer, and be the conquered and not the conqueror." Some of the Koraysh realized what was in Talib's heart and informed him that they knew, so he and some others with similar feelings returned to Mecca.

 

@THE WELLS OF YALYAL

The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) ordered his followers to break camp and march on to the well near Badr before their enemy had chance to reach it. When they reached the sands of Yalyal they struck camp and slept. Allah speaks of this in the Koran saying:

 

"When you were overcome by sleep, as security from Him,

He sent down water from the sky to cleanse you

and to purify you of satan's filth,

to strengthen your hearts and to steady your footsteps. Chapter 8:11

 

When they awoke the soft sand had become firm and they gave thanks to Allah because He had made the sands firm and easy to cross and so the Muslims crossed the valley in comparative ease.

 

Whereas the rain helped the Muslims, it was a hindrance to the Koraysh army for they had to climb the hill of Ku’ayki’an that lay to the left of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and his Companions, on the opposite side of the valley of Badr.

 

When the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) reached one of the many wells, he called a halt. Hubab, Al Mundhir's son, an Ansar, approached and asked, "O Messenger of Allah (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam), is this the place Allah has made known to you from which we should neither advance nor retreat, or is it a matter of opinion; a strategy of war?" The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) replied that it was a matter of opinion, whereupon Hubab said that in his opinion it was not the best place to establish themselves. He advised the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) that it would be much better to march on to one of the larger wells, closer to the Koraysh, and that once they had situated themselves, to send groups out to locate the remaining wells and plug them so that the Koraysh would be deprived of water. He also advised that a reservoir should be dug to contain water from the well. The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) was grateful for his suggestion and approved the plan, and so when they reached a larger well no time was lost carrying out Hubbub's plan.

 

Sa’ad, Mu'adh's son was concerned for the Prophet's safety so he went to him saying, "O Messenger of Allah (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam), let us erect a shelter for you and keep your camels in readiness next to it. If Allah gives us strength when we meet the enemy we will be victorious, but if it is not written, you can ride and rejoin those we left behind. They love you as much as we do and would never have remained behind if they had known there was going to be an encounter. Allah will protect you, and they will give you good advice and fight at your side." The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) thanked him for his thoughtfulness, praised him and then supplicated for blessings upon him and so a shelter was built from palm branches.

 

@HOURS BEFORE THE ENCOUNTER

It was the night of Friday, 17th of Ramadan and as the three hundred and thirteen believers settled themselves for the night, Allah in His Mercy sent down upon them a blessed, peaceful sleep so that when they awoke to offer their prayer in the morning they felt totally refreshed and prepared for the conflict.

 

Meanwhile in the other camp, the Koraysh army with their large, well equipped army stirred and struggled as they made their way with their camels to the top of Ku’ayki’an. Added to that was their fear that the tribe of Banu Bakr with whom they had hostile relationships would attack them at their rear. It was then that satan appeared to them in the guise of Suraka, Malik’s son and told them, "I guarantee no harm will come to you from behind."

 

Allah says, "And when satan made their foul deeds seem fair to them.

He said, 'No one shall conquer you this day.

I shall be your savior.'" Chapter 8:48

 

By the time the Koraysh reached the top of the hill the sun had already risen and they were visible to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam). Upon seeing the army, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) supplicated saying, "O Allah, the Koraysh are here. In arrogance and pride they come, opposing You and belying your Messenger. O Lord, give to us Your help which You have promised. O Lord, destroy them this day."

 

Arrogantly, as the Koraysh advanced Abu Jahl supplicated for the Koraysh saying, "Our lord, one of the two parties is unkind to his relatives and has brought us what we do not know – destroy him this day!" The Koraysh were confident their superior number and experience would assure their victory and thereby restore them to their former prestige with other Arab tribes, but most importantly crush the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and his followers once and for all.

 

Not long after, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) chanced to see Utbah, Rabia's son, riding a red camel and said to his Companions, "If there is any good at all with any one of them, it will be with this man riding the red camel. If they obey him they will take the right path."

 

The Koraysh also had sight of the believers and were surprised to find they were so few and thought perhaps there may be another force concealed somewhere to the rear. When they reached the valley, the Koraysh made their camp and sent Umair the son of Wahab Al-Jumahi on horseback to estimate their numbers and see if there were in fact any concealed reinforcements. When Umair returned, he proclaimed, "O men of Koraysh, I have seen camels carrying death. These men have no defense or refuge, they have only their swords, but I do not think any man of them will be killed before he has first killed one of us. Even if each party were to kill the other in equal numbers what good will there be left in life after this, what will you do!"

 

Upon hearing Umair, Hakim from the tribe of Asad, the nephew of Lady Khadijah went straight to Utbah, the father of Waleed with the men of Abdu Shams. Utbah had consented to join the Koraysh against the believers on account of his dead kinsmen, the brother of Aamir Al Hadrami, killed at Nakhlah during the Sacred Month. When Hakim found Utbah he said. "You are the greatest man, the lord of the Koraysh, and one who is obeyed. Would you like men to remember you with praise for all time?" Utbah asked, "How could this be?" "Lead them back, the Koraysh demand nothing more than blood from Muhammad for the blood of Al Hadrami,' replied Hakim.

 

Hakim's words appealed to Utbah and he agreed whilst encouraging him also to speak with Abu Jahl, but Abu Jahl had for many years opposed the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and was the most anxious among them to wage war against him.

 

Utbah spoke to his people saying, "O men of Koraysh, there is nothing to gain fighting Muhammad and his Companions. If you defeat them each man among you will always look with despise at another who has killed either his uncle, a cousin, or kinsmen. Therefore, turn back and leave Muhammad to the rest of the Arabs. If they kill him, you have your desire, on the other hand, if they do not, you will have shown self-restraint toward him."

 

When Hakim found Abu Jahl he was oiling his coat of mail and conveyed the message to him. Abu Jahl was infuriated and addressed the army saying, "By Allah, we will not turn back until it is decided between us and Muhammad." Then he called Utbah a coward, afraid of death for himself and his son Abu Hudhayfah who was a Muslim.

 

To add fuel to the fire, Abu Jahl called upon Aamir, the brother of the deceased Amr and challenged him not to let this opportunity to revenge his brother's death slip from him. Emotions ran high and Aamir, in a state of traditional distress tore his clothes as he screamed at the top of his voice, "Woe for Amr, woe for Amr," which incited the army still further to fight.

 

Utbah's words had fallen on deaf ears, nothing would stop them now. When he heard that Abu Jahl had accused him of cowardice his pride was challenged, so he searched for a helmet to prove him wrong, but was unable to find one large enough, so he wound a piece of cloth around his head to protect him -- the final preparations for the conflict were now underway.

 

@ABDULLAH, SON OF UMAYYAH JOINS THE PROPHET

salla Allahu alihi wa sallam

Abdullah, Umayyah's son, was a Muslim, however his father, the chief of the tribe of Jummah and torturer of Bilal, had brought pressure to bear upon his son thereby preventing him from joining the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and his brothers-in-law, Abu Sabra and Abu Hudhayfah in Medina.

 

Umayyah had forced his son to join him the march, however the opportunity to escape to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) was soon to present itself as his father and other combatants were busy with their preparations for the hostilities. Unnoticed, Abdullah managed to slip away and made his way to the camp of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam). As soon as he reached it, he made straight for the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and as they greeted each other immense joy spread over both their faces.

 

Sometime later, several other Koraysh tribesmen dared to make their way to the reservoir the believers had made and drink from it. When the believers saw this they drew the matter to the attention of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) who told them to let them take their fill. With the exception of Hakim son of Hezam, Lady Khadijah's nephew, all who drank its water were killed in conflict that day.

 

$CHAPTER 59 THE ENCOUNTER AT BADR

 

As the Koraysh began to advance, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) called upon his Companions to form their ranks and spoke to them with words of encouragement, and they knew Allah was with them. Their lines were as straight as an arrow with one exception, an Ansar by the name of Sawad, stood slightly forward than the rest, so the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) went to him and gently prodded his midriff with an arrow. Sawad seized upon the opportunity and said, "O Messenger of Allah (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam), you have hurt me, Allah has sent you with truth and justice, so give me my rights." Upon this, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) uncovered his midriff and Sawad bent down and kissed it. The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) asked him what had prompted him to do this whereupon Sawad said, "O Messenger of Allah (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam), with matters as they are, and if it is written, it is my wish that my last moments should be spent with you -- that my skin has touched yours." Upon hearing these moving remarks, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) supplicated to Allah asking for blessings upon Sawad.

 

Not long after, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) withdrew to his tent with Abu Bakr and prayed to Allah for help. After his prayer, a short slumber overtook him and upon waking he said to Abu Bakr, "Be well pleased, Allah has sent His help to you. Gabriel is here and in his hand is the rein of a horse which he leads, and he is armed for the conflict!"

 

By now the Koraysh army had drawn nearer and Allah in His Mercy made their numbers appear to the believers to be considerably smaller than they; the unbelievers were now only a short distance from the reservoir.

 

Referring to their numbers and the prompts of satan, Allah says in the Koran:

 

"Indeed, there was a sign for you in the two armies which met on the battlefield.

One was fighting in the way of Allah, and another unbelieving.

They (the believers) saw with their eyes that they were twice their own number.

But Allah strengthens with His victory whom He will.

Surely, in that there was a lesson for those possessed of eyes."

Koran 3:13

 

"And when Allah made them appear to you in a vision as a small band,

had He showed them to you as many, your courage would have failed you

and you would have quarreled over the affair.

But Allah saved; He knows the innermost thoughts in the chests.

And when you met them, He showed them in your eyes as being few,

and decreased (your number) in their eyes

so that Allah might determine what was ordained.

To Allah all matters return.

Believers, when you meet an army stand firm and remember Allah abundantly,

in order that you are prosperous. Obey Allah and His Messenger

and do not dispute with one another

lest you should lose courage and your resolve weaken.

Have patience - Allah is with those who are patient.

Do not be like those who left their homes

elated with insolence and showing off to people, barring others from the Path of Allah -

but Allah encompasses what they do.

And when satan made their foul deeds seem fair to them, he said,

‘No man shall conquer you this day. I shall be your savior.’

But when the two armies came within sight of each other he took to his heels saying,

‘I reject you, for I can see what you cannot. I fear Allah, Allah is Stern in retribution.’"

Koran 8:43-48

 

Al-Aswad, Abdullah Asad's son from the tribe of Makhzum, known for his disagreeable personality, was the first to initiate hostilities as he cried out defiantly, "I will drink from their reservoir, destroy it or else die before reaching it." Hamza, Abdul Muttalib's son challenged him and as the two engaged in combat, Hamza struck him with such force that his foot and shin were severed and flew through the air. Al-Aswad was determined to fulfill his word and crawled towards the reservoir, however Hamza killed him and his body fell into it.

 

Utbah, Rabia's son, accompanied by his brother Shayba and his son, were the next to challenge and cried out for one-to-one combat. From the Ansar, three men stepped forward: they were the brothers Awf and Muawwidh, the sons of Afra and another, and Abdullah, the son of Rawaha. Utbah asked who they were, and they replied, "We are from the Ansar," whereupon Utbah replied, "Our affair is not with you, we know that you are equal to us in lineage but we wish to fight those of similar standing from our own tribe." At that moment, someone from the Koraysh called out: "Muhammad, send out against us our peers from our own tribe!"

 

The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) called upon Ubaydah, Harith's son, Hamza and Ali to go forth to meet their enemies and as they approached, the Koraysh asked them to identify themselves. After their identifications had been made known the Koraysh accepted to fight them.

 

Ubaydah son of Harith fought Utbah, Hamza fought Shayba, and Ali fought Al Waleed Shayba’s son. The fight between Ali and Al Waleed’s son, and Hamza and Shayba was over quickly -- both Ali and Hamza killed the enemies of Allah. Meanwhile Ubaydah and Utbah had struck each other twice and Ubaydah had fallen victim. When Hamza and Ali saw what had befallen their companion they turned upon Utbah and he did not live to see the evening.

 

Gently, Hamza and Ali carried Ubaydah to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam). His leg had been severed and he had lost a tremendous amount of blood. When he saw the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) he gazed up at him and asked, "O Messenger of Allah, am I to be a martyr?" "Indeed you are," replied the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) in a soft tone and Ubaydah was happy. Then Ubaydah said in his weakened voice, "If Abu Talib were alive today he would know that his words: 'We will not give him up until we lie dead around him, forgetting our women and children,' have been fulfilled in me." Ubaydah died four or five days later.

 

Three out of the four major enemies of Islam that lay dead on the battlefield were killed by Hamza and were related to a high-ranking woman named Hind, the wife of Abu Sufyan. Such was Hind's hatred of Hamza she swore to take her revenge as soon as the opportunity presented itself.

 

Before the armies advanced upon each other, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) ordered his Companions not to attack until he gave the word and told them that in the event they should find themselves surrounded by the enemy, they were to keep them at bay by showering their arrows above their heads.

 

He also told them that among the Koraysh were those who had been forced to take up arms against them and if they happened to encounter any of them, they must not kill them but take them captive. Those people were Al-Abbas, the Prophet's uncle, the children of Hashim and Abu Bakhtari who had supported the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) on several occasions, however Abu Bakhtari was killed.

 

Meanwhile, the adrenaline coursed quickly through the veins of the Koraysh and in their anxiousness to ignite the conflict two arrows were fired. The first struck Mihja, the freedman of Omar who became the next believer to be martyred, then the second arrow pierced the neck of Haritha, Suraka's son from the tribe of Najjar as he drank from the reservoir.

 

@THE ORDER TO FIGHT

The engagement was about to begin; the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) picked up a handful of small pebbles and said as he looked toward the Koraysh, "May their faces be defaced," then he threw the pebbles toward them and commanded his Companions saying, "Now, stand up and proceed towards Paradise. Its extent encompasses the heavens and the earth!"

 

When Umair, Hamam's son, who was but sixteen years old, heard this he inquired, "O Messenger of Allah (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) does Paradise encompass the heavens and the earth?" "Yes," he answered, Umair exclaimed, "Well, well," so the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) asked, "What prompted you to say this". Umair answered, "O Messenger of Allah (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) by Allah, I uttered these words to express the hope that I might become an inhabitant of Paradise." Whereupon the Messenger of Allah (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) smiled as he gave him the good news, "You are indeed one of its inhabitants."

 

With happiness in his heart he took some dates from his quiver and began to eat them, then paused saying, "If I were to survive until I finished eating these dates, that would indeed be a long interval." So he threw down the remaining dates, plunged into the conflict, and fought with great courage until he was martyred.

 

The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) heartened his Companions saying, "By Allah, in whose Hand is the soul of Muhammad, there is no man killed this day; fighting against them with unwavering courage, advancing and not retreating, that Allah will not cause to enter Paradise." The promise of Paradise was the best reward they could ever hope for and the intensity of the engagement accelerated.

 

@THE RECOMPENSE OF ABU JAHL

The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) had ordered his Companions to be on the look-out for Abu Jahl. The two youths Mu’adh, Amr’s son, the son of Al Jumuh and Mu’awwadh, son of Al Afra caught sight of Abu Jahl as he rode his horse. Abu Jahl was strong and no match for a young boy alone, so they decided to attack him together and leapt upon him from either side of his horse, severely injuring him, leaving him for dead as his horse ran off.

 

The two boys made haste to tell the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) the good news and told him they had killed Abu Jahl. The Prophet asked if they had wiped the blood from their swords and they told him they had not. The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) looked at the swords and told them that both had killed him.

 

However, Abu Jahl was not yet dead and had managed to crawl into the safety of some bushes where Abdullah, Masood’s son came across Abu Jahl in the throes of death and put his foot upon his neck and said, "Allah has put you to shame, you are the enemy of Allah!" Arrogant to the end, Abu Jahl replied, "How has He shamed me, am I anything other than a man you are about to kill? How did the fighting go?" whereupon Abdullah informed him that it had been in favor of Allah and His Messenger (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) then cut off his head saying, "This was the Pharaoh of this nation!"

 

@MIRACLES DURING THE ENCOUNTER

Throughout the hostilities, continuous winds had blown against the unbelievers. Allah had answered the supplication of His Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and his Companions were not left alone to fight the hostilities by themselves:

 

"And when you (Prophet Muhammad) prayed to your Lord for help,

He answered, 'I am sending to your aid a thousand angels in succession.'"

Koran 8:9

 

Directly after the hostilities the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) received another Revelation that informed:

 

"It was not you who killed them, but Allah slew them,

neither was it you who threw at them.

Allah threw at them in order that He confers on the believers a fair benefit.

Indeed, Allah is Hearing, Knowing."

Koran 8:17

 

Miraculous events occurred continuously throughout the encounter. Many were the times when the believers in pursuit of their enemy, found the heads of the unbelievers would fly off before they had chance to strike them.

 

After the hostilities were over, during the search for their martyred Companions, they noticed burn marks upon the necks of the dead unbelievers and drew the matter to the attention of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam). Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) told them that they were the marks left by the swords of the angels. Some of the Companions were blessed to witness the angels fighting alongside them and reported that the hooves of their horses never touched the ground.

 

Later, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) spoke of the winds saying that the first had been brought by the Angel Gabriel, together with a thousand angels. The second by the Angel Mikhail, with a thousand angels on his right flank. The third by the Angel Israfil with a thousand angels on his left flank, and that the angels fought alongside the believers wearing turbans with a piece of cloth hanging down at the back; as for their mounts, they were piebald horses.

 

Amongst the many healing miracles that day was that of Khubayb, Yasaf's son. Khubayb's neck had been all but sliced in half and his head hung limply. When he came before the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) the Prophet gently repositioned the injured part, puffed some of his saliva and his neck was miraculously restored.

 

Ukasha, son of Mihsan Al-Asdi fought so hard and bravely that his sword broke. He returned to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and asked him if there was a spare sword with which he could fight. The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) picked up a log and gave it to him and shook it whereupon the log was transformed into a long strong gleaming sword. Ukasha fought in many encounters after Badr with his miraculous sword and was finally martyred as he fought against the apostates.

 

@THE CLOUD OF ANGELS

A non-combatant from the tribe of Ghifar later told the son of Al-Abbas that during the encounter he and his cousin had positioned themselves at the top of a hill overlooking the battlefield with the intention of looting once the hostilities were over. While they were waiting, a white cloud approached the hill, and in it they heard the whinnying of horses and a voice that struck terror into them saying, "Onward, Hayzum!" The man's cousin was terrified, it was too much for him and his head burst open and he died. The narrator himself told ibn Al-Abbas that he too almost died from absolute terror.

 

@THE MARTYRS

Fourteen believers were martyred that day. Six were from the Muhajirin and eight from the Ansar. Among their ranks were Umair, the young brother of Sa’ad who had pleaded with the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) to let him accompany them.

 

When the time came to bury the martyrs the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) caringly informed his Companions that their bodies should not be washed, as on the Day of Judgement their wounds will exude with the fragrance of musk, and so it was that they were laid to rest.

 

@THE LOSSES OF THE UNBELIEVERS

As for the Koraysh, their loss was many times greater than the Muslims. Seventy unbelievers were killed many of whom were the chieftains of the Koraysh and a further seventy taken captive, for whom their tribesmen were to pay ransoms of between three or four thousand dirhams each. However, Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam), was always merciful and set the standard of excellence by freeing many captives whose families were unable to pay the ransom.

 

$CHAPTER 60 THE REVENGE OF BILAL AND THE PERSECUTED

 

Amongst those taken prisoner was Umayyah, the notorious persecutor of impoverished, underprivileged Muslims. Before Islam his captor, Abdu Amr, who had now taken the name Abdul Rahman, had been Umayyah's friend. However, Umayyah refused to recognize him by his new name and instead would call him Abdulillah, which was acceptable to Abdul Rahman.

 

After the encounter, as Abdul Rahman searched among the dead for coats of mail as spoils of war, he caught sight of Umayyah holding his son Ali's hand and heard him call out "Abdu Amr", but he ignored him until he addressed him as Abdulillah saying, "Won't you take me prisoner, I am more valuable than those coats of mail!" Abdul Rahman answered, "By Allah, I will!" as he threw down the coats of mail.

 

Abdul Rahman took them both by the hand and led them toward the camp. As they walked, Umayyah asked the name of the person that had worn an ostrich feather on his chest. Abdul Rahman told him that the man was Hamza, whereupon Umayyah commented that it was he who had harmed them most.

 

Bilal, who had been tortured unmercifully by Umayyah caught sight of Abdul Rahman leading his prisoners to the camp and cried out, "It is the great unbeliever, Umayyah, Khalaf's son, may I not live as long as he lives!" Abdul Rahman retorted, "They are my prisoners!" but Bilal continued to cry out, "O helpers of Allah, the great unbeliever Umayyah, Khalaf's son, may I not live as long as he lives!"

 

The believers soon began to gather around Abdul Rahman, Umayyah, and Ali, then one stepped forward and cut off Ali's foot and Umayyah screamed out in protest with all his might. Abdul Rahman told him that there was nothing he could do for him and the crowd set upon the two and killed them.

 

@THE DRIED-UP WELL

When it came time to bury the twenty-four unbelieving Koraysh chieftains, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) ordered their corpses to be cast into a disused, dried-up well. A few days after as the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) left Badr he passed by the well and addressed each of the corpses by their name saying, "Would it have pleased you if you had obeyed Allah and His Messenger? We have found what our Lord has promised to be true, have you found what your lord has promised you to be true?"

 

When Omar heard him speaking to the dead he asked, "O Messenger of Allah (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam), do you speak to bodies without souls?" Thereupon the Prophet, (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) informed him that they could indeed hear him better than Omar had heard him ask.

 

As for Umayyah, he was not buried with his comrades as his body had swollen to such an extent that when they tried to remove his armor it started to disintegrate, so they covered him with earth and stones, leaving him where he had fallen.

 

@THE BURIAL OF UTBAH

As the body of Utbah was about to be thrown into the pit along with the other unbelievers, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) caught sight of Abu Hudhayfah who was Utaba's son.

 

Compassionately, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) inquired about his feelings, whereupon he replied, "No, I have no misgivings about my father and his death, rather, I remember him for his wisdom, and better qualities. I had hoped that he would be guided to Islam and when I saw he had died in disbelief it saddened me." The Messenger of Allah (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) spoke kindly to him and then supplicated for Abu Hudhayfah.

 

@THE APOSTATES

Amongst those who had fought against the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) were Harith, Zama’hs son; Abu Qays, Fakih's son, Al Waleed's son; Ali Umayyah's son; and Al-As, Munabbih's son. All of these men had embraced Islam when the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) was in Mecca, however, when it was time for them to migrate their families had compelled them to stay behind and succeeded to seduce them once more into disbelief. Then more recently, when the Koraysh asked them to join against the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) they had done so without the least hesitation. Now a verse referring to them was sent down.

 

"And the angels who take those who wronged themselves,

will say: ‘In what condition were you?’

They will reply, 'We were oppressed in the land,'

They (the angels) will say,

'Was not the earth of Allah wide enough for you in order that you migrate in it?"

Those, their shelter will be Gehenna (Hell), an evil arrival."

Koran 4:97

 

$CHAPTER 61 THE SPOILS OF WAR

 

satan, the stoned and cursed, threw the seeds of discord among the Muslims who had but a few hours before fought as one against a common enemy -- now a dispute over the distribution of the spoils of war started to fester.

 

Some of the Muslims who had stood guard around the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) during the hostilities claimed that although they had not fought, they were entitled to a share of the prisoners, weapons, coats of mail, and rides. When the Messenger of Allah (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) heard the arguing he immediately ordered all the spoils to be brought before him and it was during this time that a new Revelation was sent down that called them back to the remembrance of Allah, whereupon they felt ashamed of their actions.

 

"They ask you about the spoils (of war),

Say, 'The spoils belong to Allah and the Messenger.

Therefore, have fear of Allah, and set things right between you.

Obey Allah and His Messenger, if you are believers.’

Indeed the believers are those whose hearts quake at the mention of Allah,

and when His verses are recited to them it increased them in faith.

They are those who put their trust in their Lord.

Those who pray steadfastly, and spend of that which We have provided them,

Those are, in truth, the believers.

They shall have degrees with their Lord and forgiveness,

and a generous provision."

Koran 8:1-4

 

After the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) received the new Revelation he appointed Abdullah, Ka'bs son to take charge of the spoils.

 

It was now time to set off on the return journey to Medina and so the Companions, together with their prisoners, made ready. But before they set off, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam), knowing that his followers who had remained behind in Medina would be anxious for news of them, sent Abdullah, Rawaha's son on ahead of them to Medina and Zayd to its suburbs to convey the news of their blessed victory.

 

@THE TREATMENT OF PRISONERS

Before Islam, when feuding Arabs were taken captive, they knew they could expect little or no mercy from their captors. When the unbelievers learned the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) had given instructions that they should be bound but treated well, they were surprised and heartened still further upon learning that they were not to go hungry but to share their captors’ food.

 

Amongst the prisoners were several members of the Prophet's own family including Suhayl, the chief of Aamir, cousin and former brother-in-law of Lady Sawdah, the Prophet's wife. Other family members were the Prophet's uncle Al-Abbas, whose belief remained hidden and kept secret. Then, there was Abd Al-As, husband of the Prophet's daughter Lady Zaynab, with two of his cousins, Nawfal and Akil, who were also nephews of Al-Abbas.

 

An Ansar, one of the Helpers, captured Al-Abbas and when the Ansar claimed Al-Abbas’ capture to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam), Al-Abbas said, "O Messenger of Allah (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam), by Allah it was not this man who captured me. I was captured by a person who was bald and had the most handsome of faces, riding a piebald horse, but I have not seen him among the others. The Ansar exclaimed, "O Messenger of Allah, it was I who captured him!" Gently the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) told the Ansar, "Allah, the Mighty strengthened you with the help of a noble angel."

 

That night as the Companions prepared themselves to sleep, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) was restless. He disliked the thought of his uncle being bound so he sent word for him to be untied.

 

Earlier on that day Musab discovered that his brother Abu Aziz had been taken captive by one of the Ansar. When he saw him, he turned to the Ansar saying, "Bind him well, his mother is rich and she might be prepared to pay handsomely for him!" When Abu Aziz heard his brother's remark he exclaimed, "Brother, is this how you speak of me to others?" Musab replied, "He is my brother in your stead." Musab proved to be right, his mother offered 4,000 dirhams for her son's release. However, Abu Aziz never forgot how well the Ansar treated him and would often speak of it in the years to come.

 

@NADR AND UKBA

Amongst their captives, the Companions succeeded in taking two of their most hostile enemies -- Nadr, from the tribe of Ad Dharr and Uqbah, from the tribe of Shams.

 

The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) contemplated on whether or not to let them live, for he knew that if they were to remain alive they would, no doubt continue to incite further hostilities against them. However, there was the chance that the events of the encounter had caused them to reflect and thereby convert to Islam. With this in mind, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) patiently decided to observe their attitude and actions before taking any further steps.

 

By the time they reached their first halt, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) had a chance to assess Nadr and Uqbah and found them both as resolute as they had always been. Nothing had changed, so he ordered Ali to put Nadr to death and an Ansar to put Uqbah to death.

 

Three days before reaching Medina, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) halted his army and divided the prisoners and spoils of war between them so that each Companion received an equal share.

 

@REACTION IN MEDINA

Abdullah Rawahah’s son and Zayd Haritha’s son were sent on in advance to Medina with the news of the victory Allah had given them. The news of the Prophet's victory spread like wildfire throughout the City, whereupon the Muslims rejoiced and gave thanks to Allah.

 

As for the hypocrites and Jewish tribes of An-Nadir, Krayzah, and Kaynuka, their hopes were dashed. All had hoped for the destruction of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and his followers so that their way of life might return to how it had been before his arrival in Medina.

 

@KA’B, THE SON OF ASHRAF

Such was the disregard for their faith that many Jews had taken to marrying pagan Arabs, even though Judaism forbade it. Ka’b, Ashraf's son had been born of a Jewish mother and an idol worshipping father from the tribe of Tayy but on account of his mother being a Jewess, the Jews accepted him as one of their own into her tribe of An-Nadir.

 

Ka’b was wealthy and known for his poetry, and over the years had become an influential An-Nadir tribesman. When he heard the news of the Koraysh defeat, with the demise of so many if its chieftains, he could not accept it and his tongue revealed his innermost thoughts as he exclaimed, "By Allah, if Muhammad has killed these, can the depths of the earth be better than its surface!" Ka’b could not accept the news to be true so he questioned those whom he knew to be reliable, but to his dismay all confirmed the same account.

 

Despondent yet angered, Ka’b rode off for Mecca with the intention of inciting the Koraysh to revenge themselves by riding against the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) again, but this time to fight him in Yathrib. To add fuel to the fire he composed an impassioned poem in honor of the lamented Koraysh chieftains and their fallen tribesmen, which he knew would kindle the emotions of everyone in Mecca.

 

$CHAPTER 62 THE DEATH OF LADY RUKIYAH, may Allah be pleased with her

 

Although it was a time for great elation in Medina, it was also a time for great sorrow. Shortly before the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) left for Badr, his daughter, Lady Rukiyah, had been taken seriously ill. Her illness had been of such great concern to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) that he had instructed her husband Othman to stay at her side and not to accompany them to Badr. Lady Rukiyah's illness proved terminal and on the very day Zayd and Abdullah brought news of the glorious victory, Othman and Osama buried her, may Allah be pleased with her.

 

One of the first things the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) did upon his return was to visit her grave. Lady Fatima, the youngest daughter of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) was very upset by the loss of her sister and so the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) took her to visit her grave. As they approached the grave Lady Fatima could not withhold her sorrow and many tears rolled down her cheek whereupon the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) comforted her and dried away her tears with his cloak.

 

There had been a misunderstanding over the Prophet's instruction regarding the extent of expressing one's bereavement. Omar had heard someone weeping for the martyred of Badr and then again for Lady Rukiyah and spoken harshly to them. When the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) learned of Omar's harsh words, he told him it was alright to let them weep, for what comes from the heart and from the eyes is from Allah and His Mercy. He explained that it was only the excess of the hand and tongue which was forbidden because these are the prompts of satan, the stone and cursed. By this he referred to the pagan custom where mourners would beat their chest, dig their nails into their cheeks, and scream in an uncontrollable manner.

 

$CHAPTER 63 THE ARRIVAL OF THE CAPTIVES

 

The Koraysh prisoners arrived in Medina the day after Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam). They had been well cared for and the attitude of the Muslims towards them gave the Koraysh a chance to experience Islam in action. Not only had they been treated unexpectedly well, but they could not help but observe the considerate Islamic behavior of Muslims toward one another that had succeeded in breaking down what would have appeared to other Arabs as impregnable tribal differences and barriers.

 

@THE DILEMMA OF WHAT TO DO WITH THE CAPTIVES

The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) now faced a situation that had never presented itself before which was what to do with the captives so the Prophet consulted with Abu Bakr and Omar. Abu Bakr suggested that the captives be offered for ransom saying, "We are related to all of them, and the ransom money would strengthen us against the unbelievers, and perhaps Allah will guide them to Islam." Omar on the other hand advised killing them saying, "They are the leaders of the unbelievers." After having heard from both, the Prophet inclined to Abu Bakr’s suggestion rather than putting them to death and a ransom, according to the prisoner’s wealth, of between 4,000 and 10,000 dirhams was asked.

 

It was also decided that those Meccans who were literate and could not afford to ransom themselves could do so if they taught ten Muslim children how to read and write. Once the children could read and write, the captive was free to go.

 

From this example our attention is drawn to the importance the Prophet, (salla Allahu alihi was sallam), placed on acquiring Islamic knowledge and recall the instruction of Allah to him when Gabriel brought the first part of the Revelation which instructs:

 

"Read (Prophet Muhammad) in the Name of your Lord who created,

created the human from a (blood) clot.

Read! Your Lord is the Most Generous,

who taught by the pen,

taught the human what he did not know." 96:1-5

 

As for those who were neither wealthy nor literate, the Prophet, (salla Allahu alihi was sallam), in his mercy released them.

 

@THE RANSOM OF SUHAYL

Suhayl, Lady Sawdah's cousin and former brother-in-law was confined in the house of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) as was Al-As, the husband of Lady Zaynab, the Prophet's daughter.

 

When Suhayl arrived, Lady Sawdah was not at home, she had been to visit Afra whose sons had been martyred, so upon her return she was taken by surprise to find him sitting in the corner of a room in her room with his hands bound.

 

When Suhayl's tribesmen learned of his capture they made haste to Medina to negotiate his release, as he was considered by many to be the most able to lead the tribe of Aamir.

 

Suhayl was Malik, the son of Al Dukhshum's captive, and so it was with him that the ransom was negotiated. The amount was agreed upon, however Suhayl's tribesmen had not brought the ransom with them, so he permitted Suhayl to return with them to raise the sum and left Mikraz, Haf's son behind as surety until their return.

 

@THE RANSOM OF AL-ABBAS

When Al-Abbas was brought before the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) he was asked, "You are a rich man, why don't you ransom yourself Al-Abbas, and your nephews, Akil and Nawfal as well as Utbah, Amr's son?" Al-Abbas replied, "My tribesmen coerced me into joining them." The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) answered, "Allah knows best. However, it would appear you have acted against us, therefore a ransom is due."

 

As part of the spoils of war Al-Abbas had been relieved of twenty pieces of gold, so he reminded the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) of them telling him to use that as his ransom. When the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) heard this he replied, "Allah has taken this away from you and given it to us." Al-Abbas insisted, "I have no money!" whereupon the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) asked, "Where then is the money you left with Umm Fadl, Harith's daughter when you left Mecca?"

 

Al-Abbas was completely taken aback and exclaimed, "None except Umm Fadl knew of this!" whereupon Al-Abbas ransomed himself, his nephews, and Utbah.

 

$CHAPTER 64 THE RETURN OF THE KORAYSH TO MECCA

 

The first people to reach Mecca with the news of the Koraysh defeat were Al Haysuman, son of Abdullah Al Khuzai, who bewailed the fact that so many of their chieftains had fallen on the battlefield of Badr.

 

In the large tent of Zamzam, the converts Abu Rafi, the former slave of Al-Abbas freed by the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and Al-Abbas' wife, Umm Fadl sat sharpening their arrows. They had both been overjoyed to hear the news of the Prophet's victory, however they felt it was more prudent to restrain their happiness.

 

As they sharpened the arrows, Abu Lahab, who had not taken part in the encounter but sent Al-As in his place, entered. His face looked as black as thunder as he sat himself down at the other end of the tent with his back toward Abu Rafi.

 

Not long after, Abu Lahab heard some others in the tent saying, "Abu Sufyan, Al Harith's son has returned," whereupon he looked up, saw his nephew and called him. A small crowd gathered around the two as Abu Sufyan told his uncle, "The facts are that the Koraysh met our enemy and turned their backs. The Muslims put us to flight taking prisoners as they pleased, I cannot blame our tribesmen because they faced not only them, but men wearing white robes riding piebald horses, who were between heaven and earth. They spared nothing and no one had a chance."

 

When Umm Fadl and Abu Rafi heard the news of the men in white riding between heaven and earth, they could no longer contain their happiness and Abu Rafi exclaimed for all to hear, "They were angels!"

 

@THE DEATH OF ABU LAHAB

Abu Rafi's outburst was more than Abu Lahab could bear, in a raging fury he forced Abu Rafi, who was frail, to the ground and struck him over and over again. Umm Fadl grabbed hold of a tent pole that lay nearby and with all her might hit her brother-in-law's head with it crying out. "Do you think that you can abuse him just because Al-Abbas is away!" She wounded him so severely that his head was split open and laid bare part of his skull. The wound was never to heal, it turned septic and its poison spread rapidly through his entire body erupting into open pustules that caused his death within the week.

 

When he died, his family, fearing they might be afflicted with disease -- for they feared the plague and his condition resembled it -- were hesitant to bury him and so they left his decaying body decomposing in his home for two or three nights.

 

It was only when someone rebuked them strongly saying, "It is disgraceful, you should be ashamed of yourselves to leave your father to rot in his house and not bury him from the sight of men!" that they did something. With great reluctance and from a safe distance, his sons threw water over his body, then removed his corpse and left it by a wall on a high piece of ground outside Mecca and threw stones over it until it was completely covered.

 

$CHAPTER 65 THREE RESOLUTIONS

 

As the fragmented Koraysh army returned home, the extent of their unexpected and devastating loss became apparent to the Koraysh. Each day, the Koraysh waited anxiously for their kinsmen to return or learn from others whether they knew if their kinsmen were alive, dead or taken captive.

 

It was feared, by the remaining Koraysh hierarchy, that the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) would soon learn that the people of Mecca were deeply affected by their defeat and grief-stricken, so a meeting was convened in the House of Assembly.

 

It was proposed that none should make an open issue of their grief and in an effort to make the matter appear light, the council of chieftains agreed that the Koraysh must delay sending the ransom money to free their kinsmen. As a matter of bravado in support of this resolution, Amr's father shouted out, "Must I lose twice! They have killed Hanzalah, now I must pay for the ransom of Amr! Let him stay with them, they can keep him as long as they wish!"

 

During the meeting it was also agreed that the profit from the sale of the caravan's merchandise would be spent on rebuilding their army. The consensus was that it should be larger, better equipped, and more powerful than ever before and from now on their women folk should accompany them into battle to encourage them. It was also agreed to send messages to all their allies throughout the length and breadth of Arabia, explaining why, in their opinion, they should unite with them against the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam).

 

@THE BREAKING OF THE RESOLUTION

For the majority of Koraysh tribesmen, the matter to delay sending the ransom for their loved ones proved too difficult, so they broke the resolution and sent fellow tribesmen to Medina to secure their release.

 

@JUBAIR, SON OF MUT’IM

Jubair, Mut’im's son had been sent to Medina to ransom his cousin and two tribal allies. Before and after meeting with the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam), Jubair had a chance to wander around Medina where he saw the small community of Muslims going about their daily business, sharing, loving and caring for each other in a way he had neither seen nor yet experienced before. There was an air of unity, a sense of tranquility, devotion to Allah, and great love for His Messenger everywhere he went.

 

When he met the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam), he told him why he had come to Medina, whereupon the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) spoke with soft words and told him that if his father had been alive and come to ransom them he would not have accepted it, rather he would have released them without ransom.

 

As the daylight faded and evening approached, Jubair watched the believers make their way to the Mosque to offer the Maghrib prayer. Jubair felt drawn to the Mosque but did not enter though listened to the prayers from outside.

 

That evening, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) recited the chapter "The Mount" which warns at it’s beginning of the Day of Judgement, its consequences, and the punishment of the Fires of Hell for those who belie it. The chapter then expounds the delights of Paradise with its serenity and rich, unending rewards. Jubair heard how Allah challenges mankind with His Ability to create and then draws attention to mankind's inability to do so:

 

"Or, were they created out of nothing?

Or, were they their own creators?

Or, did they create the heavens and the earth?

No their belief is not certain!

Or, are the treasures of your Lord in their keeping?

Or, are they the controllers?"

Koran 52:35-37

 

"So leave them till they encounter their Day in which they shall be thunderstruck.

The Day when their guile shall not relieve them a thing,

and they shall not be helped.

For the harmdoers there is indeed, a punishment before that,

but most of them do not know.

And be patient under the Judgement of your Lord,

surely, you are before Our Eyes.

And exalt with the praise of your Lord when you arise,

and exalt Him in the night

and at the declining of the stars."

Koran 52:45-49

 

When the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) reached the words:

"And be patient under the Judgement of your Lord,

surely, you are before Our Eyes.

And exalt with the praise of your Lord when you arise,

and exalt Him in the night

and at the declining of the stars."

 

Jubair said later that it was then that the light of belief was sown in his heart. However, he put it to one side for the time being, as the grief he felt for his beloved uncle Tu’aymah, killed by Hamza during Badr consumed him for there was, in his opinion, a matter of honor to be settled.

 

@THE RANSOM OF WALEED

Waleed, the chieftain of the Makhzum had been killed on the battlefield and his youngest son, also by the same name, had been taken captive and given to Abdullah, Jahsh's son and some of the other companions for ransom.

 

Waleed had two other brothers, one full blood and the other half, both of whom had made their journey to Medina to pay for his release. When his half brother, Khalid learned that Abdullah would accept no less than four thousand dirhams, he was unwilling to pay such a large amount. Hisham, his full blood brother rebuked him, saying, "Indeed, he is not your mother's son!" Thereupon, Khalid felt ashamed and agreed to pay the amount. However, before the final agreement was reached, Abdullah was advised that he should also ask for their deceased father's coat of armor and weapons. When Khalid learned of this, he expressed yet again his reluctance to part with his father's possessions, but Hisham persuaded him to part with them and so the armor and weapons were brought from Mecca so they could not longer be used against the Muslims.

 

The ransom was now paid in full and the three brothers left for Mecca. They had traveled for quite a while when they felt the need to rest. As the brothers took their rest, Waleed slipped away and returned to Medina where he went directly to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and embraced Islam. When his brothers awoke, they searched for Waleed, then decided to follow his tracks which led them back to Medina.

 

Upon reaching the City they searched for their brother and upon finding him, Khalid who was extremely angry, demanded to know why he had let them pay the ransom and surrender their father's armor when all the time he intended to convert to Islam and stay with the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) in Medina. Waleed's answer was direct, he told them that he had no wish for people to think that he had converted in order not to pay the ransom; it was a matter of honor.

 

Unwisely, Waleed decided to return to Mecca with his brothers in order to bring his belongings to Medina. As soon as he arrived home he was imprisoned and placed under heavy guard by Ikrimah, Abu Jahl's son, whose uncles Ayyah and Salamah had embraced Islam.

 

When the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) learned of Waleed's pitiful condition, he included him in his supplications along with the other Muslims who were unfortunate enough to be incarcerated in Mecca.

 

@UMAIR AND HIS SON

The hearts of Ubayy from the tribe of Jumah, his nephews Safwan and Umair, as well as many others, had not softened toward the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and his Message. Ubayy had lost his brother Umayyah as well as his close friend Uqbah during the hostilities. This grief, coupled with the humiliation of loosing the encounter in which their numbers far exceeded those of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) only accentuated their hatred and bitterness.

 

Umair felt further humiliated as he was already heavily in debt and now that his son had been taken captive he expected to have to pay a ransom. Umair's very being was consumed with resentment and bitterness to the extent that he was prepared to die attempting to kill the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam). However, the matter of his debt restrained him as he did not wish to leave his family destitute.

 

Safwan, the next in succession to the tribe of Jumah since the killing of his father, spoke in secrecy to Umair. He told him that, if as he had said, the only thing holding him back from riding out to kill the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) was the fact that he did not want to leave his family destitute, he would bear the debt for him, and in the event that anything should happen to him, he would look after his family. Umair was agreeable and both Safwan and Umair swore never to disclose their arrangement to anyone until after the event.

 

Umair returned home to prepare himself for the journey and as he sharpened his sword, he smeared its blade with poison and carefully placed it in its sheath then told his family he was going to Medina to ransom his son.

 

When he reached Medina, he found the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) sitting in the Mosque. Omar immediately suspected Umair's intentions when he saw him wearing his sword and told some of the Ansar, who were nearby, to go and sit close to the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and to be on their guard as he felt Umair was their enemy; a person not to be trusted.

 

Umair concealed his intention under the guise of politeness and greeted the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) in the way Arabs usually greeted one another. The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) responded saying, "Allah has given us a better greeting than this Umair, it is 'Peace' which is the greeting of the people of Paradise."

 

Then the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) inquired about the nature of his visit, so Umair told him that he had come on account of his son, whereupon the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) asked why he wore a sword. Unexpectedly, Umair cursed the sword, exclaiming, "Have they done us any good!" The Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) spoke gently to him, asking, "Tell me the truth Umair, why have you come?" Umair repeated his reason, then much to his astonishment, the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) informed him verbatim of the conversation he and Safwan exchanged in Mecca. Umair cried out, "Who has told you this, by Allah there were only two of us present -- no one else!" Whereupon the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) told him that Gabriel had informed him of their conversation.

 

Umair was in awe of the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) and said, "We called you a liar when you brought us news of Paradise, praise be to Allah who has guided me to Islam. I bear witness that there is no god except Allah and that Muhammad is His Messenger." It was a time for thanksgiving and the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) asked his Companions to teach their new brother in Islam how to pray and to free his son.

 

The light of guidance had certainly shed itself upon Umair. Sometime after, when he was more knowledgeable of Islam, he asked the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) for his permission to return to Mecca so that he might tell his family and friends. And so it was that Umair was blessed to guide many of his tribe to Islam. However, his one-time best friend, Safwan refused to have anything to do with him and viewed him as a traitor.

 

Such was the love of Umair for the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) that he could not bear to be away from him for long and so several months after his return to Mecca, he and his family migrated to Medina.

 

@THE NECKLACE OF LADY KHADIJAH

Lady Zaynab had married Al-As before the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) had been given the command to preach and as a wedding gift her mother, Lady Khadijah gave her daughter a most beautiful necklace, her favorite necklace, one which she wore often. Much to Lady Zaynab’s dismay Al-As had not been among the early converts to Islam and their relationship had not been as close as it had once been.

 

When the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) migrated to Medina, Al-As refused to allow her to migrate with her sisters and this had caused her to grieve. Then in more recent days, their relationship had become even more strained when Al-As sided with his fellow tribesmen to fight against her beloved father, and now Al-As found himself a captive in Medina.

 

When Lady Zaynab learned of her husband’s capture, she sent the necklance Lady Khadijah had given her as part of the ransom to secure Al-As’ release. However, when the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) caught sight of the necklace, he immediately recognized it as having once belonged to his dearly beloved wife Khadijah and tears of loving remembrance swelled up and flowed from his eyes, then gently ran down his noble face as he softly said to his Companions, "If you would like to let her have her captive husband and return the ransom you may do so." The Companions realized the significance of the necklace and remembered that Lady Khadijah was their mother and the first person to embrace Islam. They were so overcome with emotion, that the necklace, together with the ransom were returned to Al-As and he was free to return to Mecca.

 

When Al-As returned to Mecca, he told Lady Zaynab that she and their young daughter Umama were free to join her father. Lady Zaynab was delighted and started to make preparations for the journey. One day Hind, Utbah's daughter happened to see her packing and asked whether she was leaving for Medina. Lady Zaynab was unsure whether to trust Hind, so she replied with an evasive answer even though Hind offered to give her money as well as provisions for the journey.

 

A month had now passed since the encounter at Badr and so the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) asked Zayd, Haritha's son and a companion to journey to the valley of Yajaj, which lies eight miles out of Mecca, and wait for Lady Zaynab and her daughter there, then accompany them onto Medina.

 

The time to leave had arrived, and so Lady Zaynab’s brother-in-law, Kinanah brought her canopied camel for her and little Umama to ride and led the way out of Mecca with his bow in hand.

 

When the Koraysh learned of Lady Zaynab's departure, a party of them rode after her and finally caught up with them at a place called Dhu Tuwa. Habbar, Al-Aswad's son was the first to approach and threatened her menacingly with his lance as she rode the camel. Kinanah armed his bow and cried out, "By Allah, if any one of you comes near us I will put an arrow through him!" The Koraysh knew Kinanah was in earnest and withdrew. Shortly afterwards, Abu Sufyan arrived with several other Koraysh chieftains and asked him to disarm his bow so that they might talk things over, and Kinanah agreed.

 

Abu Sufyan rebuked Kinanah for taking Lady Zaynab out of Mecca in broad daylight for all to see and asked why he had done such a thing. "Didn't he know their predicament and might it not be taken as a further sign of humiliation and weakness on their part?" he asked him. Abu Sufyan told him they did not want to keep her, however she must return until things died down and then leave discreetly to join her father.

 

And so, Lady Zaynab and Kinanah returned to Mecca and waited until the time was right, then set off once again on their journey to Yajaj where arrangements had once more been made for Zayd and his companion to accompany the holy family on to Medina.

 

@THE ELDERLY ANSAR AND ABU SUFYAN

In an attempt not to lose face among the Koraysh, Abu Sufyan continued to refuse to send money for his son's ransom. However, during the pilgrimage season of the following year, Abu Sufyan seized and elderly Ansar on his return to Medina from his pilgrimage and sent word that he would not release him until Amr was released. It was not an honorable act to capture one so elderly and without hesitation the Prophet (salla Allahu alihi wa sallam) agreed to the exchange and both were reunited with their families.

 

@SEVEN DAYS AFTER BADR

It was now the month of Shawwal, when news arrived that the tribe of Saleem of the Ghatfan were planning an attack. The Prophet (salla Allahu