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Newsletter for December 2016
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Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)
By Syed Muhammad Hussain Shamsi
Translated by Syed Haider Hussain Shamsi
The Last Prophet of Allah
Allah proclaimed Muhammad as the last prophet. In the Qur'an, he is called "Rahmatun-lil-aalameen, " the blessing for the universe.
Names of Muhammad
The Prophet of Islam has many popular names. He was named Muhammad at birth. Other names include Ahmad, Taha, Yaseen, Muzammil, Mustafa, Rahmatun-lilaalameen, Khairul Mursaleen and Khatainun Nabiyyeen. His Kunniyya include Abul Qasim and Abu Ibrahim.
The Genealogy of Muhammad
The genealogy of Muhammad can be traced eighteen generations back to Abul Aarab Ismail, son of Ibrahim. His father Abdullah was one of the ten sons of Abd al-Muttaleb bin Hashim, the highly respected chief in the clan of Quraysh. His mother Amenah, daughter of Wahb, belonged to the respected clan of Banu Zuhra in the clan of Quraysh.
The Birth and early life of Muhammad
According to the popular tradition, Muhammad was bom in Makkah (Mecca) on Friday, 17 Rabi-ul Awwal in the year of the Elephant (Am al Feel), or August 29, 570 AD. Muhammad's father had died a few months before his birth. His grand-father, Abd al-Muttaleb took him under his own foster care.
According to the custom of Quraysh, the women from modest tribes living in the desert around Makkah were engaged for wages to suckle the new bum babies. These were sought for the infant Muhammad. After trying no less than eight prospective nurses, the grand son of Abd alMuttaleb felt comfortable in the lap of Haleemah, a magnificent lady from the tribe of Banu S'ad. He stayed with Haleemah in the desert up to the age of about four (or six) years.
When he was returned to the full care of his own mother, she took him to her ancestral city, Yathreb (later renamed Madinah), to introduce him to the people of his martial clan. On their way, she died in the village of Abwa', between Madinah and Makkah, and she was buried there. Muhammad was brought back to the care of his grand father.
Muhammad was only eight years old when his grand father, Abd al-Muttaleb also died. At this time, his uncle Abu Talib (father of Ali) took his orphan nephew in his personal care. He grew up under the most affectionate guardianship of Abu Talib and his wife Fatirnah binte Asad. They always treated him like one of their own sons.
Observations on the early life of Muhammad
Muhammad grew to his youth in the house of Abu Talib, who adored his nephew for his good nature and style. He loved him more than his own children. Abu Talib made many observations on the habits of Muhammad. Some of these are quoted below:
Whenever Muhammad had a meal, he always started by saying "Bismillah .... i.e. I begin with the name of Allah, and finished by saying Alhamdu lillah .... i. e. all praise to Allah. " He said that they were so touched by this fine habit of Muhammad that the whole family adopted his manner.
Abu Talib noted Muhammad saying his prayers in a way not known to him before. He asked his nephew to explain to him the method of his worship. When he heard the reasons for the rituals, he was so pleased that he urged his sons to join Muhammad in his ritual worship.
It is quoted from Abu Talib that Muhammad never told lies nor fabricated events. He did not waste his time nor indulged in unproductive activities. He liked solitude, and devoted some of his time for meditation. He spoke to others with courtesy and respect. He was so honest in his dealings that he became known as "Al Ameen" (the most honest and trustworthy person).
Trips to Syria with Abu Talib
Muhammad accompanied his uncle twice on trading trips to the city of Damascus, in the then Roman province of Syria.
Many traditions are quoted by several authors regarding these trips. On the first trip he was only thirteen years of age. A Christian monk named Bahera
observed Muhammad closely and cautiond Abu Talib to take particular care of the youth, for he saw signs of greatness in him. On the second trip, now fully grown to manhood, he met the same monk again. This time Bahera told Abu Talib that he saw signs of prophethood in his nephew and that he should protect him from harm.
Trips to Syria in the employment of Khadija
Khadija was a wealthy busineswoman who used to send out reputable traders to Syria to conduct trading business on her behalf. She was a very kind hearted lady who spent a lot of her wealth on social services amongst her tribe. One of her widowed cousins named Hala lived in her household with her three daughters, and she brought up these girls after her death.
Abu Talib wanted to introduce his favourite nephew Muhammad into an independent trade. At the same time, Khadija had heard about the honesty of Abu Talib's nephew. On the recommendation of Abu Talib, she gave an appointment to Muhammd to lead her trade caravan to Syria. During this trip, he was accompanied by Khadija's personal servant, Maisarah.
On this trip, they came across another monk called Nestorah who also affinned the previous predictions of Baherah. The trading went exceptionally well and they made unusual profit in their transactions. They returned home laiden with exchanged merchandise. Khadija was very pleased at the great success of her trading mission under Muhammad and wondered over the stories her servant had told her about him.
Marriage to Khadija and their progeny
Muhammad had reach ' ed marriageable age of twenty five years. Khadija was forty. The proposal of marriage for the two, originating from Khadija, was gladly accepted by Muhammad, after consultation with his uncle, and they were married. The nikah was recited by Abu Talib. They had three sons and one daughter from this marriage, but only the daughter Fatima survived. Her brothers Qasim, Abdullah and Taher (Tayyeb) all died in infancy.
The Cave of Hira and the beginnings of Divine Revelations
Muhammad regularly visited a cave known as Hira, high in one of the mountains surrounding Makkah. He meditated and pondered over the complications and intricacies of the creation. During one of these days when he was deep in thought, the archangel Jibril of Allah appeared in front of him and asked him to read. Muhammad asked him what was he to read, for he had not received any formal education. Jibril told him again " Read in the name of Allah who created man from but a mere clot. It is only He whom you must trust. It is He who teaches every thing. He is who teaches all that can be inscribed, and it is He who taught man what he knew not."
After this extra-ordinary experience in the cave, Muhammad returned home and narrated this to his wife Khadija. She at once remembered the predictions that had been made about the prophethood of her husband. She comforted him and he laid down under the cover of a light blanket.
Jibril came down to him again with the message of Allah, "O, you who is lying under cover of the blanket, this is no time to rest! Get up and spread the message with energy and diligence!" This was a formal mandate to him to proclaim his prophethood.
According to some reports, his daughter, Fatima was bom in the same year.
The Methods of Spreading the Message
The task was tough. The people were totally immersed in idolatory. Many of them were rich and arrogant. He wondered how would he approach them and commence his task. Allah sent Jibril again and advised him not to despair for He would provide him with guidance and systematic instructions on how to begin the mission of spreading His message:
i Start with your closest relatives
ii For those who accept your teachings, show kindness and forbearance and encourage them towards compliance
iii For those who defy you, just tell them that you had delivered the message of the Creator, and that from then on you exonerate yourself from their deeds
iv Do not despair. Trust in Allah. He will help you in your task. Be confident that your sustenance and support for this mission comes only from your Provider, Allah.
The First Muslims
Encouraged by these clear instructions from Allah the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad started his mission by calling his relatives to a banquet on two separate occasions. He announced his prophethood as ordained by Allah. They ridiculed him and did not accept his message. His beloved wife Khadiia gave him support and consolation at these frustrating moments and became the first one to accept him as the messenger of Allah. She laid down her entire wealth and personal resources in the service of Islam.
His nephew Ali, whom he had nurtured from infancy, was the first youth of Makkah to accept the prophethood of Muhammad. In fact he stood up at each of the banquets boldly and confirmed the prophethood of Muhammad.
Zaid bin Harith, a youth fostered by Muhammad, known in some traditions as his adopted son was also one of the first to accept Islam.
Abu Bakar was the first amongst the elders to join the small group of the early muslims.
General Call to join the Truth
Undaunted by the hostile response from his clansmen and other Makkans, the Prophet went to the holy precinct of the Ka'ba to make his announcement. He called upon the people to abandon worship of false gods and idols and return to the Creator, the All Powerfull Allah. He said that if they would join him in his call, Allah would make them a very respected community and grant them power and control over vast lands beyond their own. People initially laughed at such prospect. Their hearts were hardened. They did not want to give up the worship of their popular gods that had been handed down to them for generations. Later, they became more hostile to Muhammad and his followers.
Hostilities of the Kuffar against the Muslims
The arrogant and rich elite of Makkah subjected the early musihns to painful torture which killed some of them and maimed others. The steadfast believers did not waver in their belief.
Having failed to achieve their ends through the use of force, the pagan Arabs sent a delegation to Abu Talib to protest agais'L- Muhammad and his teachings. They told him that they were prepared to pay Muhammad any amount of money he wanted, or he could marry any beautiful woman he chose, and they would even accept him as the Chief of Makkah if he stopped talking against their idols. Muhammad refused their offers and said that the mission on which he had embarked, could not be bought or bribed with any amount of worldly riches.
They turned to Abu Talib and offered Ghamaza bin Walid in exchange for Muhammad, but he refused the absurd exchange. He said that he would never surrender his nephew to them for any reason. He asked Muhammad to continue doing what he must, and that he would always support him.
First Hijra to Abyssenia
Muhammad was into his fifth year of teaching while his followers continued to suffer untold tortures at the hands of kuffar. He ordered his followers to leave the hostilities of the kuffar and take refuge in the Christian kingdom of Abyssenia under king Negus. There were only eleven men and four women among the first migrants to Abyssenia. Utlunan and his wife Ruqayya were also amongst this group of believers.
Second Hijra to Abyssenia
Only a short while later, a second group of eighty two muslims were instructed to migrate to Abyssenia. The group was led by Ja'far bin Abu Talib. The kuffar were enraged at the escape of their fugitives to the neigboring kingdom across the Red Sea. They sent their representation to King Negus, along with presents and gifts, and asked the extradition of their fugitives.
The Address by Jalffar bin Abu Talib and the recitation of al Qur'an in the court of King Negus
The kuffar alleged that the fugitives rebuked their gods and idols, and were disrupting the practice of their old religion. King Negus was a Christian and did not believe in idolatory. So he was not prepared to release the fugitives on that ground. The kuffar then lied that the Muslims said unkind words about Isa and his mother Maryam. At this allegation, the king asked the leader of the fugitives to come forward and answer the allegations. Ja'ffar bin Abu Talib got up and addressed the king and his court thus: " 0 king, we were a people sunken deep in ignorance. We had abandoned the teachings of our fore fathers Ibahim and Ismail. We worshiped idols and false gods, indulged in base activities without shame or remorse. We had lost affection for the very young and showed no compassion for the aged or infinn, and killed our female infants. Allah has sent us a prophet whose truthfulness is acknowledged even by his foes. He comes from a pure family and teaches us things that make us respect life and the bounties of the Creator. He tells us to believe in one God only, and not split Him or attribute partners with Him. He tells us to deal with others with honesty, not usurp others' rights, love children and respect elders. He has taught us to handle our women with love and respect, and give them the rights that they deserve as mothers, wives, daughters or sisters. He forbade us to kill our daughters as their provision comes from the Divine Sustainer of all creation.
"We decided to follow him in what he has taught us. We have stolen nothing, nor are we fugitives of war. He told us to flee from oppression into your protection.
"As for the allegations regarding Isa, the Qur'an has a chapter regarding the events of his birth and prophethood. "
He then recited a few ayat (verses) from Sura Maryam. The style and melody of his recitation, and the truth and the contents of the ayat had a profound effect on the king and his courtiers. Their hearts moved and their eyes were moistened with tears.
The king announced that the immigrants were not to be treated as fugitives in his country but as their respected guests. They could live as they pleased and trade in peace under his protection. He told the pursuers to leave his country and never come again seeking extradition of the Muslims.
The Declaration of Faith by Hamza and Umar
The unsuccessful return of the envoy from Abyssenia further fueled hostilities against Muhammad and his followers. One day Hamza bin Abd al-Muttaleb came to know that the kuffar had stoned the Prophet and had thrown garbage over him during his prayer. He came storming to the scene, beat up the infidel crowd until they ran for their lives. Hamza recited the kalima in public and joined the roup of the believers.
Umar bin Khattab was short tempered by nature. One day he heard his sister reciting from al Qur'an. He admonished her, and in a rage, rushed to the place where the Prophet was addressing the Muslims. On hearing the Prophet recite the ayas of Qur'an, his anger melted away, and he accepted Islam by reciting the kalima.
The Muslims seek shelter in Shelbe Abi Talib
Islam was making steady progress, to great frustration of the kuffar. Their opposition to the Prophet reached its peak. Abu Sufyan spearheaded the move to boycott Muhammad and his followers and forced them and their Hashimite supporters to take shelter in a fortress known as She'be Abi Talib. The blockade included total boycott of the Muslims and the Hashimites from all social and economic activities. The agreement was written and unanimously signed by all the chiefs of the kuffarclans of Makkah in 616 AD. The kuffar enforced a ban and excommunication against the ininates of She'be Abi Talib. Abu Sufyan also had personal motives to get the leadership of Makkah transferred from the house of Hashhn to his own. The kuffar demanded from Abu Taleb to either surrender unconditionally, or to hand over to them Muhammad and his followers. Abu Talib refused their demands and suffered the blockade along with the Muslims. He suffered a considerable financial and social set-back due to the blockade. The Muslims remained steadfast in their beliefs, and continued their practice of Islam under the protection of Abu Talib.
Abu Talib wrote a beautiful eulogy about his nephew, the Prophet of Islam. It is a written testimony of his love for the Prophet and his mission. The kuffar got tired of the three year long blockade and had no choice but to lift it completely. The Muslims returned to their homes once again and resumed their social interactions with the other towns people.
The Year of Grief
It was only two months after the lifting of the blockade, that Abu Talib passed away. He had fostered Muhammad as his own son, introduced him to trading, and got him married. He protected and defended him against the kuffar. He declared his faith in Islam before he died. He was a respected elder of the community and was able to serve Islam in its early days. He was a true ally of the small community of early Muslims. He provided them support and shelter in their hardship. His death was indeed a great loss to Muhammad and his friends.
To further grief of the Prophet, only three days after the death of his beloved uncle, his devoted wife Khadija also died. Khadija was not only the first of the believers but also a comforter of the Prophet in his difficult days. She was a great sustainer and benefactor of the early muslims. Her death was a painful loss for Muhammad as well as his followers.
This year was named by the prophet as Aamm-ulHuzn (the year of grief) because of these two deaths.
Visit to Taif
The Prophet had lost his two best supporters. The Makkan's enemosity reached its highest peak and they increased their atrocities against the Prophet and his followers.
The Prophet of Allah decided to take his mission to Taif, a town about seventy miles east of Makkah. He called upon the people to stop bowing to false gods and idols and return to the worship of Allah, the one and only Lord and Sustainer of the Universe. He was not received well in the town. The people threw stones at him. Bruised and bleeding, he left Taif.
Heart broken and disappointed at the response of the people of Taif, the Prophet returned to Makkah. He was received with ridicule and opposition, but he continued his mission in an undaunted and resolute manner.
By now, the news of the teachings of Muhammad had also reached the people of Yathreb (later renamed Madinah, or Medina)
Spreading the Message to Yathreb
Six men from the tribe of Khazraj (in Yathreb) were visiting Makkah. They met with the Prophet and accepted Islam. They returned to their homes with new enlightenment. The following year twelve more people from the Banu Khazraj visited the Prophet and joined the group of believers. Upon their return, the Prophet sent one of his companions to further the cause of Islam in Yathreb. The next year more people from Banu Khazraj as well as Banu Aws visited the Prophet and accepted Islam as their way of life. Upon their returning home, they extended invitation to the Prophet and his followers to emigrate to Yathreb so that other members of their tribes could benefit from his teachings.
Al-Isral- A Unique Miracle
Just before the Prophet had migrated to Yathreb, Allah took him on a miraculous ascention to the Heavens, known as al-Isra'(or al-Me'raj). One night while he was resting in the house of his cousin Unim-e-Hani, he was transported to the mosque, al-Aqsa (Bait-ul-Muqqadis) in Jerusalem. After he had offered his prayers, he was taken on a miraculous tour of the skies and worlds beyond. The divine vehicle used for his flight is known as Burraq which can be translated "as fast as burq(lightening)." This extaterrestrial experience was in body, not in soul. By al-Isra', Allah had intended for Muhammad to see the span and the vastness of His universe and secrets of the heavens. After all, unlike other prophets, his prophethood encompassed the whole universe. The Prophet returned to pursue his task with a renewed vigor.
Some people consider al-Me'raj as a spiritual, not bodily experience. They lose sight of the infinite powers of Allah and other reported miracles of the Prophets Ibrahim, ldris, Ilyas, Musa and Isa. There is nothing difficult for Allah. Al-Me'ra of the Prophet of Islam was truly a precursor of the modem day man's flight in space.
The Prophet and his followers had to suffer at the hands of kuffar of Makkah for fourteen years until he told his followers to start emigrating to Yathreb. The move was to be slow and casual so that the kuffar would not cause trouble or block it. In the meantime he remained in Makkah to continue his mission and supervise the slow emigration of his followers. The few people left in Makkah beside himself included his daughter Fatima, his cousin Ali, Ali's mother Fatima binte Asad and his friend Abu Bakar. The time for their migration had now come. He assigned Ali to stay back, and sleep in his bed. He asked him to distribute all the goods to the people who had deposited these with him for safe keeping. Accompanied by Abu Bakar, the Prophet left Makkah in the darkness of night.
In the meanwhile, the kuffar patrolled the streets around the house of Muhammad and looked over the low walls of his courtyard. They saw nothing and suspected no movement in the house through the night. As the day dawned, they broke into the house. They were enraged to see Ali on the bed instead of Muhammad. They angrily asked Ali regarding the whereabouts of Muhammad. Ali asked them if they had left him in his custody. They were embarrassed by this clever answer and left the house in search of the Prophet.
Ali carried out the instructions of the Prophet and hastened to join him at Quba, on the way to Yathreb.
The Cave of Thaur and the Miracles of Allah
The Prophet and his companion, Abu Bakar took refuge in the cave of Thaur, just outside the city of Makkah. The kuffar were not about to give up their search for the escapees. Their search brought them to this cave. Upon hearing the footsteps of the pursuers, Abu Bakar showed fear for their being discovered in the cave. The Prophet told him not to be scared because Allah was with them. Just then a spider spun a web at the entrance of the cave, and a dove laid eggs over a nest. Hence the kuffar did not suspect there was any body in the cave. They left to continue their search elsewhere.
The Prophet and his companion stayed in the cave for three days. When the danger had subsided, they made their way towards Yathreb.
Arrival at Yathreb
The Prophet approached the city of Yathreb on 12 Rabi ul-Awwal, according to 2 July, 622AD and made his first stop at Quba. Ali joined them at this location, and the caravan proceeded towards the city. A Mosque was subsequently built at Quba and exists to this day.
The people of Yathreb who had been receiving muslim refugees from Makkah were anxiously waiting for the arrival of the Prophet himself. Everybody wanted the Prophet to stay in his house. The Prophet took a unique precaution so that no body would feel left out. He freed the reins of his camel and said that the camel would stop wherever Allah wanted it. Finally the camel sat down in front of the house of Abu Ayyub Ansari. The Prophet stayed with this family until his own quarters were ready. The city of Yathreb became popularly known as Madina-tunNabi i.e. the city of the Prophet, and later as Madinah (or Medina).
Building of Masjid-un-Nabi
The Prophet bought an empty lot from the owner and built the Grand Mosque at that site. It was not grand because of the beautiful construction but because it was built by the Prophet for the first grand congregation of muslims. The Prophet and his family built their quarters around this mosque, as did some of his companions too.
Initiation of the Brotherhood of Islam
As a fairly large number of refugees had come to Madinah, mostly without their belongings, it was necessary to provide for their needs as well as integrate them with the host community. It was for this reason that the Prophet initiated at a simple ceremony, what is called the Akhuwwa or Brotherhood among his followers. According to this, each Medinite was named to be brother of a refugee from Makkah, and like real brothers, they now would equally own their businesses or properties. It was in the same year that Salman Farsi and Abdallah bin Salman, a Jew, visited the Prophet and accepted Islam.
The Causes of Battles
The emigration of all muslims and the Prophet from Makkah angered the kuffar. They had wanted to kill Muhammad but Allah saved him from their sinister designs. They could not see the small community of musliins living in peace elsewhere. They ambushed them and robbed or killed the isolated travellers. They teamed up with other kuffar communities around Madinah to perpetuate their ill treatment of the muslims. They even had the local clans of Bani Israil join them in their hostile plans, and make mischief against the muslims in Madinah and in the Jewish habitations near the city. The Makkans were furious because Muhammad asked them to worship Allah the one and only God, and taught them respect for life in general, and mutual love and tolerance amongst humans. The Prophet however did not sit back passively to take the insult from the enemy. He collected his believers and trained them to defend themselves, their families and their property against aggression or oppression. Although initially small in numbers and limited in resources, the Muslims were well armed with faith and confidence.
The Rules for the Battles
The Prophet had an exceptionally kind and gentle personality. He had shown his talent in peaceful settlement of quarrels amongst warring clans even before the proclamation of prophethood. The Prophet laid down 'Rules of Warfare' to be followed when it appeared to him that war was unavoidable to protect the Muslims and their families against the enemy's offence. These rules are listed below:
-Call upon Allah for help when you mount for a battle in His name
-Try and negotiate settlements with peace
-If you have to draw arms in war, do not resort to devious means in your battles and avoid the tactics of ambush
-Do not disfigure or dismember the fallen
-Do not kill or hann the old, the sick or the infirm, women and children
-Leave the monks and ascetics alone
-Do not cut or bum fruit trees
-Do not destroy cultivations or other vegetation
-Do not harin those who seek your protection. If they agree to pay the tythe for their safe conduct, accept it
-Allow the besieged to come out for peace or safe conduct
These rules made a revolutionary change in the old, brutal and ruthless methods of war amongst the Arabs of that time, and in the future. There was to be humanity and compassion even when the two parties had to come out in arms. It is a pity that the modem states and nations totally overlook these moral restraints in their conduct of war.
The Battles of the Prophet
Wars with the opposing forces of evil started from the first year of emigration of the muslirns from Makkah. It would be difficult to describe each one of them in this booklet. The reader is referred to several other larger works that are available on the subject. Many of these battles were with the kuffar and Abu Sufyan bin Harb, the arch enemy of Islam. Others were with the mischievous Bani Israil in Madinah and at Khyber, in north east of Madinah. The major battles were Badr, Uhad, Khandaq, Hunayn and Khyber.
Treaty of Peace with the Kuffar
When the kuffar failed to weaken the Muslims in their faith, despite their tactics, they retracted into their stronghold in Makkah. By this time, the numbers of the Muslims had increased. They wanted to go for pilgrimage to the holy precinct of Ka'bah which is located in the heart of Makkah. When a large entourage of Muslims, accompanied by the Prophet approached Makkah, it made the kuffar nervous about the intentions of the Muslims. They intercepted and the Treaty of Hudaybiya was signed between the Muslims and the kuffar of Makkah. According to the terms of this treaty, Muslims would not enter the city that year. They performed their ritual sacrifices at their encampment, and returned to their homes. They were a little disappointed for not having been able to enter the holy precinct. The Prophet comforted them and said that they would all return to Makkah and perform their full rituals the following year.
The follwing year, the Muslims entered Makkah under the treaty. According to the agreement, the city was vacated by the kuffar who pitched their tents on the hills surrounding the holy precinct. They saw the muslims perform the rituals of Umra, all clad in white robes, quiet and sober in behaviour. There was no music or dancing or drinking or noise or screams. Their hearts were stirred by the discipline and organization of the Muslims.
The Conquest of Makkah
The mischief mongers among the kuffar caused breach in the peace treaty and killed some members of the Muslim alliance. Such conduct could not go unchallenged. The muslim community had to protect the rights of allies and their property. The leader of kuffar, the arch enemy of Islam, Abu Sufyan bin Harb went to Madinah to make repairs but he had to return to Makkah without forgiveness in this matter. Muhammad collected a large army of his faithfulls and marched on Makkah. The overwhelmed kuffar were unable to face this formidable force. When Abu Sufyan saw that he had no choice but to surrender, he accepted Islam and rushed home to tell others to do the same.
Muhammad declared total amnesty for all. The lives of all those who would gather under his banner, or keep inside their homes, or collect within the holy precinct of Ka'ba, or even those who would gather in the house of Abu Sufyan would be spared. They were to accept Allah as their supreme Lord, and Muhammad as His Messenger. This was a momentous day for the Muslims. They were back home to see their relatives and properties as free citizens. The mercy of the Prophet protected their former tormentors from revenge. The city of Makkah was declared as the city of Peace and sanctuary for all mankind.
Cleansing of Kalba from idols
The Prophet entered the gate of Ka'ba and joined Ali to break the idols which had for so long desecrated the House of Allah. The debris was quickly removed from the yard while the Muslims prepared for the first congregational prayer in the holy precict of Ka'ba. The numbers of the Muslims had swelled with the addition of the new converts. Bilal, the African, called out the Azan (the call for prayers) in his melodious style which brought tears in the eyes of the people. The events of past few years went rapidly through their minds and they thanked Allah for His mercy and benevolence.
Whereas the Ka'ba had been cleansed, and the style of Hajj and Umra had been established by the Prophet himself, the kuffar from other districts were unaware of the recent changes. They would come to Makkah in the old style, singing and dancing, howling and screaming, exposing their bodies and carrying idols and pagan offerings, unbefitting the piety restored to the sanctuary and the city of peace. As the sacred season of the year 9AH was approaching, Allah sent sura Barat to be announced to the pilgrims. It was to forbid the entry of all idolater's in the sanctuary of Ka'ba. Abu Bakar was deputed to carry out this function. He was gone only a short distance when the Prophet received a Command from Allah and in compliance with it, he instructed Ali to overtake Abu Bakar, take back the verses and himself announce these to the pilgrims at Makkah, on behalf of the Prophet. Abu Baker returned to Madinah with his entourage.
Mubahila with the Christians of Najran
In the same year, the message of Islam was conveyed to the Christians of Najran. They were invited to believe in the Oneness of Allah, give up the false belief in Trinity and the distorted notion that Jesus (Isa) was the Son of God. This was followed by long discussions and debates in Madinah, but the Christian bishops held fast to their beliefs. While this argument was in progress, the Prophet received a revelation : "...And he who disputes with thee concerning him after the truth had come to thee, say thou, come, let us call together our sons, and your sons, our women and your women, and our selves and your selves, then let us invoke and lay the curse of Allah on the liars. " The Christian were informed and they accepted to meet the Prophet at an open place. On the appointed day and time, the Prophet took with him his daughter Fatima, her two sons Hassan and Hussain, and his cousin and son-in-law Ali.
When the Christian priests saw this small group marching towards the arena, they saw in them the signs of extra-ordinary nature. Filled with an awe, they agreed to pay tax and withdrew from the contest.
Missionaries of Muhammad
The people of Yatnan requested the Prophet to send them some one who would teach them Islam. The Prophet initially sent Khalid bin Walid, who quickly became unpopular due to his hostile manners. The Prophet recalled him and sent Ali to Yaman. The people of Yaman became very fond of Ali as a teacher. They had also known him as the champion of Islam in many important battles. Ali demonstrated his compassion for the people, and his depth of knowledge of the Qur'an.
The Last Hajj
By the tenth year of al-Hijra Islam had reached throughout the Arabian peninsula, and Ka'ba had been cleansed of all vestiges of paganism. The strict orders of conduct for Haj and Umra had already been laid by Allah through His revelation of Sura Barat. The Prophet decided to perform the ritual of Hajj along with his friends and followers. Ali who was in the south, hastened to join the Prophet on this auspicious occasion, to perform the first complete ritual of Hajj, led personally by the Prophet.
The faithful came, drones upon drones, from all directions to join the Prophet on this blessed occasion. The Prophet conducted the Hajj complete in ceremonies and delivered his famous sermon at Jabal-an-Noor.
The Last Revelations from Allah
It was at Khum-e-Ghadir, about half way to Madinah when Jibril brought the last revelation from Allah: "...O though, Apostle, proclaim what has been sent down to thee from thy Lord; and if though did not, it was as if though had not completed thy mission at all (and fear not), Allah will defend thee against men; verily Allah guideth not the unbelieving people.
The Prophet, on receiving the above Commandment immediately stopped the caravan and recalled the Muslims who had already departed in different directions. Standing on top of a raised platform, made in a make-shift manner, with the camel seats, the Prophet then announced to the people that he was to leave them soon, and they should follow the two things he was leaving behind, Allah's Book (al-Qur'an) and his Ahle Bait. Then he took Ali's hand in his hand and raised him, proclaiming, "Whomsoever I am the guardian, Ali too will be his guardian." Muslims gave their greetings and assurance to Ali. When this was happening, the Prophet received his last revelation and after that there was not to be any revelation: "...This day, we have perfected your religion and perfected you in my grace.
Death of the Prophet
Soon after his return from the last Hajj, the Prophet passed away after a short illness. His death was deeply felt by his family, friends and thousands of his followers. He was the last prophet of Allah, who left a legacy of his complete and superb personality, his excellent conduct, the Qur'an, his family, his companions and a rich body of traditions to guide mankind for all times.
The Achievements of Muhammed
In a short period of ten years after his emigration from Makkah, the power of arrogance and ignorance had been completely routed, idolatory had been totally wiped out, and the Message of Allah had spread throughout the Arabian peninsula. The Prophet himself had already sent letters to the rulers of the neigboring lands to quit paganism and called them to accept Islam and true monotheism. The teachings of Islam had started to spill over to lands beyond Arabia. The glory of the House of Allah, the sanctuary for mankind, had been re-established. The ritual of Hajj became sanctified and the rules for its proper conduct were established. The Arabs, who were divided into splintered group of clans and tribes were wrought into a nation, charged with spirit and purpose. Within only fifty years after the death of the Prophet, the Muslim rulers had conquered vast lands and peoples from east to west. Conquests of hearts and minds with Islamic idealogy followed these conquests. Today over one billion Muslims harken to the Message of Islam in many ethnic communities throughout the world.
The rights of the individual were secured and the rights of others in society were established. Women were given the dignity and respect as wives, daughters, mothers or sisters. Their rightful place in society was recognized and their right of inheritance was established. The Prophet had given his followers a code of conduct which was to govern the lives of all generations of Muslims in the future. They were true then and are true today. Muhammad was truly the greatest of all messengers of Allah who had completed His mission on earth, and had sealed prophesy for all times to come.
Observations on life and character of Prophet Muhannnad
- When someone approached him, the Prophet always paid him his full attention
- He spoke softly, briefly but precisely and clearly. He avoided purposeless speech or discussion
- While being addressed, he did not interrupt the speaker
- He pointed with hands not with eyes
- He smiled on happy occasions and never reacted with laughter
- He was always the first to offer greetings
- While shaking hands, he avoided pulling his hand
- He walked on earth with humility, and with a down ward gaze
- He greeted children with affection and always spoke to them with kindness
- He treated the elderly with compassion and respect
- He kept the good people around him and preached to the misguided with kindness
- In a meeting, he had no reserved place, and sat at the available place
- While seated on the floor, he did not stretch his legs
- While seated with visitors, he was not the first to leave. He waited until the visitors left
- His company was always pleasant and informative
- The tone of speech and discussions were always low in his company
- He helped any one and every one with whatever he had at the time
- If, for any reason he was unable to fulfill the needs of one seeking assistance, he spoke to him kindly and begged for his/her forgiveness for not being able to provide the service at that time
- When some one spoke to him with rudeness, he remained quiet
- He was not seen to speak or deal with any one with anger
- His sayings and deeds were always in concordance with the Qur'an and the Will of Allah
- He sat at the same level with others and ate the same food as those who served him
- He did most of his own house-hold or other personal chores
- He mended his own attire, including his shoes
- He encouraged the owners not to cordon their fruit groves so that less fortunate may also enjoy the bounty of Allah
- He usually accepted invitation to have meals with friends and believers but told them that sadaqah, khayrat and zakat were haram for him
- He avoided colorful and decorative attire
- He treated his servants with kindness and never rebuked or punished them for error or mistake
- If a servant wanted his attention, Muhammad would get up and go to him before the servant could get to him
- He did not travel mounted while a companion was a foot
- He always kept his promise
- He slept little, and spent his time either in worship or serving others
- He had immense knowledge about all kinds of things and subjects although he never attended any formal school or other tutorship- The Qur'an is the greatest miracle Allah bestowed on Muhammed for eternal benefit of all mankind.
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