Migration to Medina and Brotherhood in Islam

Migration to Medina and Brotherhood in Islam

By Editorial Staff

When the Prophet (peace be upon him) commenced his mission in Makkah as a Prophet, both he and those who answered his call have been subject to great persecution and torture at the hands of the polytheists of Makkah.

Thus, those Muslims had to flee their home city to other places where they can get a space of freedom to practice the rituals of their religion without obstruction. They migrated to Yathrib (later it was named Madinah where its people offered to host the Prophet and his followers at their lands.

It was a turning point in history and later it represented the cornerstone of the Muslim state to come.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) laid down significant bases for the Muslim community to manage its life. Among the social rules set by Prophet Muhammad was the brotherhood between the Muslim migrants of Makkah and the Muslims of Maddina. It was about an unprecedented connection which people did not know before.

Regarding this new concept, Sheikh Assim Al-Hakeem, talks about its meaning and application following the migration of Prophet Muhammad and Muslims to Medina. The Sheikh explains to us the greatest sacrifices and generosity on behalf of the Muslims of Madinah towards their Muslim brothers from Makkah.

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Source: Way to Jennah channel on Youtube

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Hijrah: Perfect Planning and Reliance on Allah

Hijrah: Perfect Planning and Reliance on Allah

By Dr. Ali Al-Halawani
Hijrah Perfect Planning and Reliance on Allah

The Hijrah witnessed a number of extraordinary incidents that show Allah’s perfect care for His Prophet.

If greatness of historical events is measured by their constructive influences and decisive resultant effects on the motion of life as well as the march of human beings on earth, the value of such events is – besides this – known through the elevated morals, noble principles and ethical demeanors that co-occur with these events.

Hence, the Hijrah event was by all measures an outstanding milestone. It yielded great fruits, displayed lofty principles and values in action, and expounded Prophet Muhammad’s (peace and blessings be upon him) prominent skill in planning as well as putting his whole trust in Allah the Almighty.

This can be seen in so many situations and incidents that took place throughout the course of Hijrah. Some of these will be cited here to help Muslims emulate them and put them into action in due, similar contexts. Two of the many perfect aspects of the Prophet’s personality that appeared during the Hijrah event will be highlighted here: the Prophet’s paramount ability to plan, and putting his full trust in Allah following observing all the possible material means.

Perfect planning

No doubt the Hijrah witnessed a number of extraordinary incidents that show Allah’s perfect care for His Prophet and his personal safety. Foremost among these is the fact that Allah provided him with unseen aides besides showering mercy and tranquility upon him. The Qur’an states this as saying: “And Allah sent down His tranquility upon him and supported him with soldiers [i.e., angels] you did not see.” (At-Tawbah 9:40)

However, the flow of incidents was guided by the natural laws set by Allah to manage this present life and govern all that takes place therein. This can be seen in what follows.

  • As soon as the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was commanded to emigrate to Madinah he entrusted Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (may Allah be pleased with him), his closest friend and companion, with the information. Two she-camels were purchased and prepared for the journey by the latter. The Prophet agreed to take one of them for himself, known as Al-Qaswaa’ afterwards, provided that he would pay its price.
  • In order to deceive the Quraishites, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) told `Ali ibn Abi Talib (may Allah be pleased with him), his cousin and companion, to sleep in his bed and cover himself with his green mantle and assured him full security under Allah’s protection and told him that no harm would come to him. It is remarkable that `Ali was then less than twenty years old!
  • The Prophet (peace be upon him) hired a guide who knew the desert’s pathways very well to guide them throughout the way to Madinah to ward off any possibility of getting lost. It is also remarkable that the guide who is known by the name `Abdullah ibn Urayqit was then still a disbeliever. However, the divinely-guided Prophet hired him on the basis of having two basic qualities: professional experience as a guide and his well-known honesty.
  • When the Prophet (peace be upon him) and Abu Bakr set out for Madinah they went out from the latter’s house through a skylight or a wicket in order to evade the Quraishites who were resolved on capturing them.
  • In order to further camouflage their escape, the Prophet and Abu Bakr took an unusual route to Madinah. Instead of taking the road to Madinah in north side of Makkah as the polytheists would expect, they walked along a least expected road south of Makkah leading to Yemen. They reached the cave known by the name Thawr where they stayed for three days until the search for them lessened.
  • `Abdullah ibn Abi Bakr used to mix with the Quraishites in their gatherings in order to collect information and then visit the Prophet and his father at the cave to apprise them of the latest situation in Makkah. His sister, Asmaa’ bint Abi Bakr (may Allah be pleased with her) used to carry food provisions to the Prophet and her father twice a day. In addition, `Amir ibn Fuhairah who was tending his master Abu Bakr’s flock, used to follow both `Abdullah and Asmaa’ to erase their footprints. This is due to the fact that the Arabs were famous for tracking and through these footprints they could have figured out which road the Prophet and his companion have taken and the whole plan would have failed.
  • The great caution exercised by the Prophet and Abu Bakr in all their actions throughout the journey; whoever asked Abu Bakr about the identity of his honorable companion (i.e., the Prophet), he would reply that he was a man who guided him on his way. The questioner would think that Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) was a guide, in terms of roads, whereas Abu Bakr used to mean guide to the way of righteousness. (Al-Bukhari)
  • Thus, using his wit, Abu Bakr answered the questioner without revealing the Prophet’s identity or resorting to telling lies.
  • Choosing Madinah as the final destination was not a passing thought or a mere chance. Rather, it was a well-studied decision and a predetermined fate. This is due to the strategic geographic location Madinah then enjoyed that would give the forthcoming Muslim state a great influence on stirring events and happenings all over the Arabian Peninsula. Added to this the unique demographical structure as it encompassed the three Jewish tribes: BanuQainuqa`, BanuQuraizah and Banu An-Nadir side by side with the Arabs who belonged to the Aws and Al-Khazraj tribes. Besides, the people of Madinah had amicable relations with Da`wah as they met with the Prophet (peace be upon him) twice in `Aqabah where they swore allegiance to him. Thus, they were prepared for receiving Muslims as well as the Prophet as a first step towards establishing the first Muslim state.

Reliance on Allah

In this pattern that is characterized by putting the Prophet’s full trust in Allah as well as cherishing the material means or natural laws set by Him in the universe, the Hijrah incidents succeeded in a row. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was so protected and supported by Allah Almighty that all the Quraishites’ malicious schemes were defeated. It was Allah’s Will that the plans of Prophet Muhammad succeed and those of the disbelievers fail. He says in the Ever-Glorious Qur’an: “Allah has already set for everything a [decreed] extent.“ (At-Talaq 65:3) And, regarding DhulQarnain, Allah says: “Indeed, We established him upon the earth, and We gave him to everything a way [i.e., means]. So he followed a way.“ (Al-Kahf 18:84-85)

In a narration by Imam Ahmad on the authority of Asmaa bint Abi Bakr that she said: “We prepared food provision for them… they set out going around the mountains of Makkah until they found the mountain which they chose as their [temporary] resort. Upon seeing a man in front of the cave, Abu Bakr said, “O Prophet of Allah! He could see us!” The Prophet replied, “No! There are angels that cover us with their wings”. The man sat to relieve himself facing [the mouth of] the cave. Thereupon the Prophet said, “If he could see us, he would not do that.” (Musnad Ahmad)

Despite all the efforts the Prophet has exerted to camouflage the Hijrah event and maintain its secrecy, the Quraishites reached the mouth of the cave where he and Abu Bakr were hiding. This means that when the required human effort is exhausted, comes the aid from Allah Who never lets down or abandons His Prophet and/or his worshippers in a way that may deliver them to His and their adversaries.

The Almighty reaffirms this meaning in the Qur’an that He will protect His Prophet when he is forsaken and/or unattended by all other supporters. The companions were scattered at that time as many of them have emigrated to Madinah earlier, while some remained in Makkah. Thus, the Prophet (peace be upon him) had no one else left beside him at that very time except Allah and Abu Bakr…  

If you do not aid him [i.e., the Prophet] – Allah has already aided him when those who disbelieved had driven him out [of Makkah] as one of two, when they were in the cave and he [Muhammad] said to his companion, “Do not grieve; indeed Allah is with us.” And Allah sent down His tranquility upon him and supported him with soldiers [i.e., angels] you did not see and made the word of those who disbelieved the lowest, while the word of Allah – that is the highest. And Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise. (At-Tawbah 9:40)

Thus, following taking care of all material means in terms of planning and preparing for the action, the Prophet put his trust in Allah and declared his complete dependence on Him Alone and he earnestly directed his face along with his heart towards Allah seeking His mercy, guidance and assistance. In short, the Prophet (peace be upon him) put his trust in Allah without negligence of material means.

This is a great lesson that needs to be learnt by each and every Muslim who should have strict faith that Allah’s help will descend when one’s human means are exhausted and that s/he should be confident that victory is always from Allah who states: “And victory is not except from Allah, the Exalted in Might, the Wise.” (Aal `Imran 3:126)

To conclude, human effort in the world of observing material means cannot be neglected or made little of by Muslims especially those who shoulder the responsibility of inviting others to the way of Allah under the pretense of depending on Allah and leaving everything to Him.

If Prophet Muhammad – though was well protected by Allah – observed all possible human material means to make his plan work out, no doubt we would be more entitled to observe all possible means and use all our cunning and planning skills to make our designs succeed. We have to do all what we can then leave the results to Allah Who knows better than any of His creatures.

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Islam’s Take on Suicide

Islam’s Take on Suicide

By Editorial Staff
Islam's Take on Suicide

Suicide is a major sin in Islam.

Muslim scholars agreed on five main objectives of the Shari`ah (Islamic law). These objectives are as follows: the preservation of the self; the preservation of the reason; the preservation of the religion; the preservation of the property/monetary; and the preservation of lineage.

Therefore, suicide is considered a major sin in Islam as it violates the objectives of preserving the human soul. Killing or harming others is forbidden in Islam.

There is a warning against suicide in the Quran. We read what means:

And do not kill yourselves [or one another]. Indeed, Allah is to you ever Merciful. (An-Nisaa’ 4:29)

…And do not throw [yourselves] with your [own] hands into destruction. (Al-Baqarah 2:195)

Taking the human soul is not justified under any circumstances in Islam.

We read in the Quran what means:

And never is it for a believer to kill a believer except by mistake. And whoever kills a believer by mistake – then the freeing of a believing slave and a compensation payment presented to the deceased’s family [is required] unless they give [up their right as] charity. But if the deceased was from a people at war with you and he was a believer – then [only] the freeing of a believing slave; and if he was from a people with whom you have a treaty – then a compensation payment presented to his family and the freeing of a believing slave. And whoever does not find [one or cannot afford to buy one] – then [instead], a fast for two months consecutively, [seeking] acceptance of repentance from Allah . And Allah is ever Knowing and Wise.

But whoever kills a believer intentionally – his recompense is Hell, wherein he will abide eternally, and Allah has become angry with him and has cursed him and has prepared for him a great punishment. (An-Nisaa’ 4:92-93)

We also read what means:

O you who have believed, prescribed for you is legal retribution for those murdered – the free for the free, the slave for the slave, and the female for the female. But whoever overlooks from his brother anything, then there should be a suitable follow-up and payment to him with good conduct. This is an alleviation from your Lord and a mercy. But whoever transgresses after that will have a painful punishment. (Al-Baqarah 2:178)

Suicide is a major sin. The Prophet said:

“He who commits suicide by throttling shall keep on throttling himself in the Hell Fire (forever) and he who commits suicide by stabbing himself shall keep on stabbing himself in the Hell-Fire.” (Al-Bukhari)

“Whoever swears by a religion other than Islam, is, as he says; and whoever commits suicide with something, will be punished with the same thing in the (Hell) Fire; and cursing a believer is like murdering him; and whoever accuses a believer of disbelief, then it is as if he had killed him.” (Al-Bukhari)

“Whoever intentionally swears falsely by a religion other than Islam, then he is what he has said, (e.g. if he says, ‘If such thing is not true then I am a Jew,’ he is really a Jew). And whoever commits suicide with piece of iron will be punished with the same piece of iron in the Hell Fire.” (Al-Bukhari)

Narrated Abu Hurairah: We witnessed (the battle of) Khaibar. Allah’s Messenger  said about one of those who were with him and who claimed to be a Muslim. “This (man) is from the dwellers of the Hell-Fire.” When the battle started, that fellow fought so violently and bravely that he received plenty of wounds. Some of the people were about to doubt (the Prophet’s statement), but the man, feeling the pain of his wounds, put his hand into his quiver and took out of it, some arrows with which he slaughtered himself (i.e. committed suicide). Then some men amongst the Muslims came hurriedly and said, “O Allah’s Messenger! Allah has made your statement true so-and-so has committed suicide. “The Prophet said, “O so-and-so! Get up and make an announcement that none but a believer will enter Paradise and that Allah may support the religion with an unchaste (evil) wicked man. (Al-Bukhari)

Suicide, out of despair and depression, is categorically prohibited in Islam. Life is a gift from God. We have to enjoy it and spend serving God and thanking Him for this great gift. This stems from the fact that the main purpose of our creation is to acknowledge the existence of God and worship Him alone.

Muslims believe that there is a solution for every problem. Muslims believe that whatever befalls them is a trial from God to test them and their patience.

The Prophet said: “Never a believer is stricken with a discomfort, an illness, an anxiety, a grief or mental worry or even the pricking of a thorn but Allah will expiate his sins on account of his patience.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Islam has taken all necessary measure to preserve the soul and laid down the foundations for the prevention of suicide.

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Creation of the Embryo between the Quran and Science

Creation of the Embryo between the Quran and Science

By Editorial Staff

creation-of-the-embryo-between-the-quran-and-scienceMany are the people who doubt the origin of the Quran, and ascribe it to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) although both the Qur’an and Muhammad have constantly disclaimed this allegation.

The Quran is not a trespass. It is as meritorious and invaluable as that anyone will be keen to have the honor of ascribing it to him/herself.

Yet, the incontrovertible facts and the matchless commandments mentioned in the Quran are enough for a person to claim the Quran for himself.

However, the Quran states that it is a word of God not of Muhammad or anyone else, and if its presumed that Muhammad claimed it for himself, the Quran says,

And if Muhammad had made up about Us some [false] sayings, We would have seized him by the right hand; Then We would have cut from him the aorta. And there is no one of you who could prevent [Us] from him. And indeed, the Quran is a reminder for the righteous. (Al-Haqqah 69:44-48)

The Quran is divine. This is the absolute undeniable truth.

The video at hand sheds light on one of the miracles mentioned in the Quran, first resisted by scientists but finally admitted by the most trusted ones among them based on the latest scientific discoveries.

The video discusses the early stages of the creation of a human and how the Quran accurately described this process in detail that stunned the physician and biologists.

It tells us that the sperm, which is the earliest stage of the creation of a human, turns into a clot, then a lump of flesh, then the bones is created and be covered with flesh and finally the embryo takes the normal human form. The Quran reads,

And certainly did We create man from an extract of clay. Then We placed him as a sperm-drop in a firm lodging. Then We made the sperm-drop into a clinging clot, and We made the clot into a lump [of flesh], and We made [from] the lump, bones, and We covered the bones with flesh; then We developed him into another creation. So blessed is Allah , the best of creators. (Al-Mu’minun 23:14)

Enjoy watching this video to know how the scientific theories confirmed the Quranic description of the creation of the embryo.

 

Source: Talk Islam Youtube Channel

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Hijrah: Migration for Peace

Hijrah: Migration for Peace

masjid al madinah

In Medinah, they put the first bricks of the Islamic state, built upon justice and brotherhood.

By Editorial Staff

When the revelation came to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), he climbed As-Safa mount and called out people.

They gathered around him. Then, he addressed them, “What if I told you that there was a cavalry emerging from the foot of this mountain, would you believe me?” They said: “We have never known you to be a liar.”

He (peace be upon him) then said: “I am a warner to you of an imminent and severe punishment (warning them from the Hellfire).” Abu Lahab (the Prophet’s uncle) then said: “May you perish! Did you call us together only for this?” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

He started inviting them to Islam and persuading them that the worship of idols is a kind of absurdness, and it is only Allah, the Creator of the Universe, to be worshiped.

A number of people were convinced with his message and followed him. Yet, the masters and the rich among Meccans refused his new religion because of its equity and justice. They fought him and tortured his followers.

A lot of companions were subject to extreme and brutal torture at their hands. I will cite a few stories of torture that show how cruel and savage were those people with the followers of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

Umayyah and Bilal

Umayyah ibn Khalaf (a Meccan pagan) had a slave called Bilal ibn Rabah who entered Islam. Umayyah inflicted extreme torture upon Bilal. He would take him in the glare of the torrid sun of Mecca, stripe him off, put him on the blazing sand in summer and place a huge rock on his chest. Nevertheless, Bilal did not relinquish his religion one iota.

`Ammar’s Family and the Tribe of Makhzum

`Ammar ibn Yasir was from the tribe of Makhzum. He embraced Islam, and his father, mother (Sumayyah) and brother followed him. When their tribe knew about that they got crazy. They burnt the house of `Ammar and took him and his family to desert. They chained them and competed in torturing them. They would whip them, burn them and put big rocks on their bodies.

However, the believing family remained steadfast to Islam. The Prophet (peace be upon him) would pass by them while tortured consoling them saying, “Yasir’s family, be patient! Your reward will be Paradise!”

Banu Makhzum found that torment is of no use with those believers. They tried to seduce them to leave Islam and they will pardon them but this was fruitless as well. Abu Jahal shouted at Sumayyah, the mother of `Ammar, “Praise our gods (i.e. idols); disparage Muhammad!” Sumayyah spat in his face and said: “How bad you and your gods are!.” Abu Jahal became furious with her. He raised his spear high and threw it on Sumayyah’s belly. She passed away upon that, to be the first martyr in the history of Islam.

Abu Dharr Al-Ghifari

Abu Dharr Al­-Ghifari was from the tribe of Ghifar. He heard from travelers about a new Prophet called Muhammad (peace be upon him) who invited people to new religion.

So, he moved to Mecca to know about the matter. He remained in the Ka`bah watching people there. `Ali ibn Abu Talib saw him and noticed that he was a stranger. He invited him to his house and told him about Muhammad. Abu Dharr went to the Prophet and accepted Islam. However, he resolved to infuriate the people of Mecca. He went to Ka`bah and shouted: “There is no God but Allah; and Muhammad is his Messenger.”

They gathered around him and started beating him. He was rescued by Al-`Abbas ibn `Abdul Muttalib who told them that Abu Dharr belonged to the tribe of Ghifar who may revenge to Abu Dharr.

The Prophet Muhammad Himself

The torture was not limited to companions but it was inflicted as well upon the Prophet Muhammad himself. Ibn Mas`ud reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was praying at the Ka`bah, and Abu Jahl and his companions were sitting there. They said to one another, ‘Who will bring the intestines of the camel of so and so and put it on Muhammad’s back when he prostrates?’ So one of them went and brought it and waited until the Prophet (peace be upon him) prostrated, then he put it on his back, between his shoulders.

They started laughing and leaning against one another (because of their laughter), and the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) was prostrating and did not raise his head until Fatimah came and removed it from his back. Then the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) raised his head. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Finally, Allah (Glory be to Him) commanded the Prophet and his followers to migrate from Mecca to Medinah, a safe place where they would be able to practice the rituals of their religion freely and lead an Islamic way of life without being maltreated or wronged.

Anyway, migration was another test to the faithful Companions. They were forced to leave their homelands, friends and families to another place where they will be strangers. Yet, the companions set another example in the sacrifice for their beliefs.

In Medinah, they put the first bricks of the Islamic state, upon justice and brotherhood. The first thing the Prophet (peace be upon him) did when he went to Medinah was the establishment of social peace inside the Muslim community. He made the Muslim migrants as brothers of the Muslims of Medinah. He also dealt with all the conflicts between the two big tribes of Medinah, Al-Aws and Al-Khazraj, and settled all the disputes between them.

As for non-Muslims, the Prophet (peace be upon him) chose the way of peace. He made a treaty with the Jews of Medinah that was based on mutual cooperation and common justice. He never breached any covenant with them. Yet, it was the Jews who breached the pact and violated their covenant with him.

Outside Medinah, the Prophet (peace be upon him) did not mobilize armies to attack the nearby tribes or towns to spread Islam or to occupy them. Instead, he sent letters to kings and rulers inviting them with cultured and kind words to Islam, the last religion.

It was a migration to the open and boundless peace of Islam. The wars that the Prophet (peace be upon him) participated in were generally to defend the Islamic country and religion.

Even during wars, the Prophet (peace be upon him) forbade his soldiers to kill women, children, the aged or farmers, burn plants or damage houses, unless they are used for war purposes.

All his life was peace and mercy for all mankind. Almighty Allah says,

 And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds. (Al-Anbiya’ 21:107)

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Who Is Muhammad? (Part 1) Early Life in Makkah

Who Is Muhammad? (Part 1) Early Life in Makkah

By Khurram Murad
Who Is Muhammad?

Muhammad was a direct descendant of the Prophet Abraham through the Prophet Ishmael.

It was in the year 570, after Jesus, that Muhammad was born in Makkah, in what is now Saudi Arabia. Arabia, by all accounts, is the cradle of the human race. All the oldest human remains so far found come from the area of its location.

Hemmed in by red, black and brown volcanic hills about 80 kilometres to the east of the Red Sea, stands the city of Makkah. It was then a small merchant town on the ancient ‘incense’ route through which passed the great trade caravans between the south and north.

However, Makkah was, and remains, important for an altogether different reason. For here lies the Kabah, the ‘first House’ ever set up for mankind to worship their only God.

More than 1,000 years before the Prophet Solomon built the temple in Jerusalem, his ancestor, the Prophet Abraham, aided by his elder son the Prophet Ishmael, raised its walls on very ancient foundations.

Close by the Kabah lies the well called Zam Zam. Its origin, too, goes back to the Prophet Abraham’s time. It was this well which sprang up miraculously to save the life of the infant Ishmael.

In the words of the Bible:

And God heard the voice of the boy; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said to her: ‘What ails you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. Arise, lift up the boy, and hold him in your hand; for I will make him a great nation. And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the boy a drink. And God was with the boy; and he grew and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer. (Genesis 21:17–20 )

Or, as the Psalmist sings:

As they pass through the dry Valley of Baca, it becomes a place of springs; the early rain fills it with pools. (Psalms 84: 6)

Makkah never had, nor does it have now, any worldly inducement to offer for settlement. It is a barren, desolate place, where even grass does not grow! There were springs and wells of abundant water nearby in Taif, and a short distance away in Madinah. But it was the first House of God, architecturally an unremarkable cube, but spiritually and civilizationally the most remarkable fountain and spring of life – which made it supremely important, a place of attraction for people from all over the world. Forever, therefore, Makkah has been a great centre of pilgrimage.

By the time Muhammad was born, the Kabah’s latest guardians, the tribe of Quraish, had more than 300 idols installed in and around the Kabah to be worshipped as lords, gods and intercessors besides the One God.

Muhammad was a direct descendant of the Prophet Abraham through the Prophet Ishmael. He belonged to the financially poor but politically strong and noble clan of Banu Hashim from the tribe of Quraysh.

As guardians of the Kabah, the House of God and the centre of pilgrimage for all Arabia, the Quraysh ranked higher in dignity and power than any other tribe. Hashim held the high office of levying taxes and providing the pilgrims with food and water.

Muhammad was born an orphan. His father, Abdullah, died before he was born. His mother,

Aminah, too, passed away when he was only six years old. Doubly an orphan, his grandfather, Abd al-Muttalib, took him into his care. Only two years later, however, the orphaned boy was bereaved of his grandfather as well, leaving him in the care of his uncle, Abu Talib.

After his birth, the infant child was sent to the desert to be suckled and weaned and to spend part of his childhood among one of the Bedouin tribes, Bani Sad ibn Bakr, who live in the southeast of Makkah. This was the usual custom of all the great families in Makkah.

As Muhammad grew up, to earn his livelihood he pastured sheep and goats, as have done most prophets. His uncle and guardian, Abu Talib, also took him along with him on his travels with the trade caravans to greater Syria. He, thus, gained experience in trading.

Because of his great honesty and diligence and the business acumen he showed in trading, he was soon being sought after to take charge of other people’s merchandise, i.e. for those who could not travel themselves, and to trade on their behalf.

At the age of 25, Muhammad married a lady named Khadijah. A widow, Khadijah was 15 years older than Muhammad. She was a rich merchant of Makkah, and Muhammad had managed some of her trade affairs. It was she who proposed marriage.

Khadijah remained Muhammad’s wife and his closest friend and companion all her life till

her death 25 years later. She bore him six children, of whom four daughters survived.

Until he was 40, Muhammad led a very uneventful life, showing no signs of the Prophet in the making that he was suddenly to be. What set him apart from his compatriots was his absolute truthfulness, trustworthiness and integrity, his sense of justice and compassion for the poor, oppressed and downtrodden, as well as his total refusal to worship any idol or do anything immoral.

He was popularly acclaimed for these qualities. Al-Amin, the Trustworthy, the Honest, al-Sadiq, the Truthful, were the titles on everybody’s lips for Muhammad, which itself means the Praised One.

At a very young age, Muhammad enthusiastically joined a pact of chivalry for the establishment of justice and the protection of the weak and the oppressed made by certain chiefs of the Quraysh.

He took part in the Oath when they all vowed ‘that henceforth they would stand together as one man on the side of the oppressed against the oppressor until justice was done, whether the oppressed were a man of the Quraysh or one who had come from abroad.’

In later years, at Madinah, Muhammad used to say: ‘I was present in the house of Abd Allah ibn Judan at so excellent a pact that I would not exchange my part in it for a herd of red camels, and if now, in Islam, I were summoned to a similar pact, I would gladly respond.’

A testimony to Muhammad’s character was given by his wife Khadijah as she comforted him at the time when the first Revelation came to him. He said later: ‘I fear for my life.’ She replied: ‘By no means! I swear by God that God will never lose you. You join ties of relationship, you speak the truth, you bear people’s burdens, you earn for the poor, you entertain guests, and you help against the vicissitudes which affect people’s rights.’

Muhammad’s wisdom was also acknowledged by all. Once, while repairing the Kabah, various clans of the Quraysh disputed violently as to who should have the honour of placing the Black Stone in its place. As they were about to unsheathe their swords

and go to war, they made the Prophet their arbitrator and he brought them peace. He placed the Black Stone on his cloak and asked all the clan chiefs to hold its edges and raise it, and then he placed the Black Stone in its appointed spot with his own hands.

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Source: Taken from the author’s Who Is Muhammad? Published by Islamic Foundation, London, 1998.

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