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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Messenger

The prophet Muhammad Sallallahu alaihi wasallam  was born in 570 CE in Makkah. His father Abdullah died before his birth. His mother Amina died while on the return of journey from Madina at a place called Abawa’ when he was seven. Then his patronage moved to his parental grand father Abdul Muthalib until the age of eight, and after his grand father’s death to Abu Twalib, his paternal uncle.

In boyhood days itself, Muhammad Sallallahu alaihi wasallam was noticed because of his good character. He was very calm, honest and kind. He was popularly known as Al- Ameen, which means, honest due to his unique behavior. He did not indulge in drinking, gambling or illicit relationships and in unwanted quarrellings. In those days people of Makkah had plunged in all vices. They had all of the bad habits. Superstitions and unreasonable rituals were in the zenith. Their holy sanctuary Ka’bah was filled with three hundred and sixty idols. They used to worship idols and to give offerings to numerous ‘gods’. Men and woman together would circumambulate the Ka’bah nakedly without any shame. And it was considered as a sacred custom. Muhammad Sallallahu alaihi wasallam did not involve in any of such deeds. He spent his time herding the sheep and assisting the needy people.

He had visited Syria accompanying a merchant caravan led by Abu Twalib. Since Abu Twalib gave up the trade, he could not travel more. Khadeeja (Radhiyallahu anha) was a rich woman and reputed merchant in Makkah .Hearing Muhammad’s impressive credentials Khadeeja (Radhiyallahu anha) invited him to join her merchant caravan. She asked Muhammad Sallallahu alaihi wasallam to take some merchandise for trade to Syria. She has sufficient faith in him to entrust with him all of her business affairs. Khadeeja (Radhiyallahu anha) was then twice widowed and forty years old. She was attracted by the stemming behavior of Muhammad Sallallahu alaihi wasallam and proposed marriage with him. They married when Muhammad Sallallahu alaihi wasallam was twenty five while Khadeeja Radhiyallahu anha was forty years old. Their marital life was full of compromise and love. No crack did take place in their satisfied family life. They gave birth to six children; four daughters and two sons. His first son Qasim died at the age of two. He was nicknamed ‘Abul Qasim’ meaning the father of Qasim. Second son Abdullah died in infancy. The four daughters were Zainab, Ruqiyya, Ummu Kulthoom and Fatima Radhiyallahu anhunna.

Gets The prophethood

Till the age of forty he spent a variety life without engaging in any vice. When he reached forty he spent more of his time in deep meditations. He withdrew into the mountains to meditate and pray. Often he went to the mount Hira and meditated lonely there. He took food with him and Khadeeja Radhiyallahu anha was well co-operating with him. And Khadeeja Radhiyallahu anha was well co – operating with him. One day it happened. It was a rare incident that changed his personal life and changed the world history.

One day a total stranger appeared before him. He said to him ‘Iqra’ meaning read or recite. Muhammad Sallallahu alaihi wasallam replied: ‘I am not a reader’ as he had not received any formal education and did not know how to read or write. Then stranger embraced him until he reached the limit of his endurance and after releasing said: ‘Iqra’. Muhammad Sallallahu alaihi wasallam‘s answer was the same as before. The stranger repeated the embrace for the third time and asked him to repeat and said;

‘Recite in the name of your lord who created man from that which clings.

Recite; thy lord is most Beautiful, he who has taught by the pen,

Taught man what he knew not’

Muhammad Sallallahu alaihi wasallam was terrified by the whole experience and suddenly fled out of the cave. When he reached his home tired and frightened, asked his wife ‘cover me, cover me in a blanket. After his fear became less his lovely wife asked him about the reason of his great anxiety and fear. Muhammad Sallallahu alaihi wasallam explained what happened. Hearing the whole story Khadeeja Radhiyallahu anha consoled him, saying. ‘Allah will not let you down because you are kind to relatives, you speak only truth you help poor, the orphan and the needy and you are an honest man’.

An old hermit who knows previous scriptures well was there. His name was Waraqat-bin- Naufal and was a relative of Khadeeja Radhiyallahu anha. Khadeeja Radhiyallahu anha consulted with him and explained what happened to his husband. Waraqat confirmed to her that the visitor was none other than the Angel Jibreel Alaihissalam who had come to Moosa Alaihissalam. He added that Muhammad Sallallahu alaihi wasallam is the messenger of Allah. Then he said worriedly. ‘Your society will drop you out, if I were alive then, I would be with you’. With great surprise Muhammad Sallallahu alaihi wasallam asked the priest. ‘Will they drop me out?’
Few days passed silently. One day holy message was revealed again.

‘O thou wrapped up

Arise and deliver warning

And thy Lord do thou magnify’

Thus Muhammad Sallallahu alaihi wasallam was appointed as the Messenger of Allah. In the beginning his propagation was secret. Later he determined to announce his message publicly. One day climbing on mountain Safa, he called the Quash naming their races and tribes separately. They gathered suddenly answering his call, because they knew that ‘Al – Ameen’ would not call then without a reasonable cause, After all the people gathered, he threw a question to them ‘Do you believe if I say that a well setup army of the enemy comes towards you from behind of this mountain?’. The gathered mob suddenly replied without the lapse of a second for thought: "Certainly we shall, because you did not tell us a lie yet". After their unanimous answer Muhammad Sallallahu alaihi wasallam said: "I warn you about a great punishment that is life after death. Do worship only one god Allah. He only deserves worship. You do avoid the polytheism”. Hearing this, mob became unruly. Abu Lahab, his uncle, rebuked him saying ‘Woe on you!!! For this you called us? He started the criticism against the The prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam. Abu Lahab's two sons Utaba and Utaib married the The prophet’s two daughters Ruqiyya and Ummu Kulthoom. They divorced them because of these events.

Most of the people hated Muhammad Sallallahu alaihi wasallam and they misbehaved with him, only because of revealing the ultimate truth. Now they renamed him as madman and sorcerer.

After getting the prophethood, Muhammad Sallallahu alaihi wasallam spent thirteen years in Makkah, enduring the attacks of the inhabitants. Enemies used all types of worries against the believers. They sneered, boycotted and tried even to assassinate believers. They began to persecute Muslims by beating and torturing. Those who were weak, poor slaves were publicly tortured. The first person to die by these means was a Muslim woman by the name Ummu Ammar (the mother of Ammar bin yasir). The Muslims from well- to-do families were physically restrained in their homes with the condition that if thy resign from the new religion they will be allowed freedom of movement.

The prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam was publicly ridiculed and humiliated, including frequent throwing of filth on him in the street and while he prayed in Ka'bah. In spite of great hardships and no apparent support, the message of Islam kept all Muslims firm in their belief. The prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam was asked by god to be patient and to preach the message of Islam. He advised Muslims to remain patient. He sent some people to Abyssinia (Now Ethiopia) as refugees, when the persecution became unbearable. It was in the fifth year of his mission. A rajah (Negus) was the then ruler of Abyssinia. He gave proper shelter and promised safety to all Muslims. No sooner had the Muslims left Makkah than the leaders of the Quraish discovered their flight. They decided to not leave the Muslims in peace and immediately sent two of their envoys to Negus to bring all of them back. But their plot collapsed because of the firm stand of Negus. He questioned the envoy and enquired about the new religion and the holy prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam. Finally Negus allowed Muslims to stay under his protection. Thus the emigrants were allowed freedom of worship in Abyssinia. Understanding the The prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam’s proceeding with his mission, Enemies decided to plan a variety of trick. They approached Abu Twalib. Abu Twalib was a respected person in the society for he was the custodian of the Ka’bah. He had not accepted Muhammad Sallallahu alaihi wasallam’s preaching but he protected him from the enemies. They presented a minimum package before Abu Twalib, containing attractive offers.

“If Muhammad wants to be a king we are ready to make him our king. If he wants to be the richest man of the Makkah we will made him so. Or if he wants to marry a beautiful girl we are ready to give him the most
beautiful girl of Makkah. But our only request is that he should stop the protest against our gods”

Had his intention a materialistic one that was a golden opportunity. But when Abu Twalib exchanged these words to the prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam he replied rather strong than he proclaimed before.

‘O uncle, if they were to put the sun in my right hand and the moon in my left hand to stop, I would keep preaching until Allah would make Islam prevail or I die’

Hearing these firm and innocent words Abu Twalib said; ‘say what perceived to you. I will not spare you to them as far as I alive’ He kept his promise and became a shadow and support to the prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam till he dies.

Umar Radhiyallahu anhu comes

Umar and Hamza’s embrace of Islam strengthened the prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam and his companions. Both were very brave and strong youths of Makkah. Umar Radhiyallahu anhu had come to cut the head of the prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam. But in the way he is said that his sister herself and her husband were embraced Islam. Burning with fury he ran to them with unsheathed sword. Reaching there he asked about the holy verses of Quran and he attacked his sister and her husband but eventually he became calm and quiet hearing the enchanted word of Quran. A great change took place in his mind and he ran to the prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam, not to take his head but to accept the holy message of Islam. Umer’s coming to Islam was an important turning point in the history of Islam .Till then Muslim used to pray very secretly and after his entry they publicly prayed in the Kaaba .Many people who were afraid of accepting Islam embraced Islam.

Enemies became in total confusion. They decided to double hostility against Muslims. They mercilessly tortured Muslims. Bilal Radhiyallahu anhu, a Negro Muslim slave, was tortured brutally by his master. He put Bilal Radhiyallahu anhu on the hot sand of the desert, nakedly. His hands were tied with chains. They put heavy rocks upon his stomach. But he tolerated it without any fear and shouted “Allah is one, Allah is one”. His miseries lasted till Aboobakker Radhiyallahu anhu bought him with a huge amount and released.

Social boycott

Leaders of enemies called a meeting at Kaaba to discuss the matters pertaining to Muhammad Sallallahu alaihi wasallam and his followers. They decided to cut off all the connections with Abu Twalib family .They displayed a notice on Ka'bah calling that any Makkah inhabitants should not co-operate with the Abu Thalib‘s family economically and socially. Chief brain behind this plot was Abu Lahab.

Abu Twalib was not ready to surrender before this severe boycott. They transferred their stay into a valley owned by Abu Twalib. The ban was lifted. They found their secret document on the terms of ban, which they had stored in Ka'bah, was eaten by worms and all that was left were the opening words in the name of Allah

Just after social ban was lifted, the prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam faced personal grief. He himself named that year as ‘the year of sorrow’. It was the death of Khadeeja Radhiyallahu anha, his beloved wife, and Abu Thalib, his uncle. Khadeeja Radhiyallahu anha was the prime assistant to his noble duty. She dedicated her health and wealth for the sake of Islam. Her memory remained in the prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam’s mind, till his departure from this world. Abu Thalib’s death occurred before his recovering from the shock of Khadeeja Radhiyallahu anha’s death. Abu Twalib was very considerate of him and he sincerely loved the prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam. He became happy in the raise of Muhammad Sallallahu alaihi wasallam and released from his entire crisis.

A miracle journey

Allah cooled the prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam with his strange experiences. He experienced two miracle journeys i.e., Isra’u and Mi’uraj. In the Isra’u Jibreel Alaihissalam took the prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam from the sacred mosque near Kaaba to the farthest mosque (Al aqsa) in Jerusalem in a very short time in a latter part of the night .Here the prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam met with previous prophets (Ibrahim Alaihissalam , Moosa Alaihissalam , Eesa Alaihissalam and others) and he led them in prayer . After this in the mire the prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam was taken up to heaven and skies to show the signs of Allah. In this miracle journey he was presented five daily prayers. He was then taken back to Makkah, the whole experience lasting a few hours of night.

Next day the prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam announced what he experienced. Upon hearing this , the people of Makkah mocked at him .However , when his specific description of Jerusalem (they know that he did not visit Jerusalem earlier ) other things on the way , and the caravan that he saw on this journey including its expected arrival at Makkah turned out to be true, the ridicule of the non-believers stopped. When Aboo Bakar Radhiyallahu anhu, the favorite companion of the prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam heard the event from a person he replied without a second thought “if the prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam said this, it would be of course true”. After this event the prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam named him as sideeque (very truthful).

Migration (Hijra)

Enemies continued their attacks and assaults. Abu Thalib's death and his non –belief in Islam stimulated the enemies. When their attacks reached at the apex stage the prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam decided to go to Thaif, where he had many relatives. But unfortunately, they flatly refused him, mocked at him and severely injured him by inciting their children to throw stones at him. But even then he tolerated. Jibreel Alaihissalam visited the prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam suggesting that the angels were ready to destroy the town if he would permit. The prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam rejected the offer and prayed for their goodness. It was the unmatched event in the world history.

Finally they decided to move from Makkah for the freedom of worship and safety of belief. He contacted with the leaders of Yathrib (Madina). They admitted to give refuge for the prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam and his followers. Just after getting the order from Allah, he gave permission to his followers for migration to Madina. Believers migrated to Yathrib in small groups, leaving behind their properties and homes.

The leaders of Quraish planned to kill the prophet Sallallahu alaihi Wasallam. They understood that this was the appropriate time to do it because almost all of his followers had left Makkah. They developed and idea in which one man was chosen from each of the Quraish tribes and they were to attack the prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam simultaneously. Jibreel Alaihissalam informed the prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam of the plan and instincted him to leave Makkah immediately, the prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam surprisingly escaped from Makkah along with Aboobacker Radhiyallahu anhu in the night he was to be assassinated. They went to the cave Thour. Upon discovery of his escape, the leaders of Quraish put up a reward of one hundred camels on him dead or alive. In spite of their vigilant search Allah protected him and got arrived safely at Yathrib.

This event is known as the Hijra (migration) and the Islamic calendar begins with this event. The people of Yathrib were prosperous masses. They heartily welcomed him. They offered all helps from their part towards the prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam and his followers. By renaming Yathrib as ‘Madeenathurasulaullah’ (city of messenger of Allah) they dedicated their selves to the prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam. Later the name ‘Madina’ became popular. The prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam appreciated them by calling them ‘Ansar’ (assistants). Those who came from Makkah were known as Muhajirs (migrants)

Second phase of the propagation

Second phase of the propagation began at Madina. Now they got sufficient freedom of worship. Besides, inhabitants of Madina more or less completely, embraced Islam. A great revolution took place in their minds. The war between Gouse and Khazraj, two famous tribes in Madina, which started hundred years ago and still continuing , stopped because the intervention of the prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam . He taught them that all are brothers and sisters. There occurred communal harmony and mutual brotherhood.

To ensure peace and tranquility the prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam proposed some treaties defining terms of conduct for all Muslims and non Muslims and Arabs and Jews.

After his migration to Madina, the enemies of Islam increased their assault from all sides. They tried their best to uproot the new religion. Many conspiracies and plots occurred. They tried to influence Jews who were contracted to the prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam

After the order of war from Allah they fought the battles of Badr, Uhud and many other wars to defend the attack of the enemies. From them Badr was very important. It was the first war which fought against the enemy. Muslims who consisted of three hundred thirteen men fought against one thousand enemies who were well set up and armed completely. On the Muslim part major positions were unarmed. Just before starting the war The prophet was seen prostrated and prayed to Allah ‘O Allah , if this tiny group of believers fails today , there will have none on earth who offers worship to you , help us for the existence of this religion’.

The prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam was very active in Madina. He dealt all the matters at best.

Marriages and family life

After khadeeja’s death, the prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam married a widowed woman whose husband was died and she was left completely desolate. Later he married Aisha Radhiyallahu anha, the daughter of Aboobacker Radhiyallahu anhu. Aysha Radhiyallahu anha was an extraordinary wise woman .Many teaching and sayings from the prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam were got to the world from her experiences.

The prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam married, totally, nine women. All of the ladies, he took as his wives, were either widowed or divorced except Aysha Radhiyallahu anha. The prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam ‘s marriages provided security to woman who would have other wise remained unmarried , unprotected or felt humiliated .His marriages were also a means of transmitting important teachings of Islam. The prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam‘s wives were called ‘the mothers of believers’ .Nobody can marry them after his death. This condition put to sustain their glory till the last day. The prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam did justice to all of his wives. He distributed his total days among his wives. Some old wives donated their turn to Aysha Radhiyallahu anha. No considerable disputes took place among the wives .It was a satisfied family life. One day all wives together applied a memorandum before the prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam, demanding more facilities to them. The prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam replied ‘I cannot give you sufficient livelihood. If you prefer materialistic pleasures let me spare you. Or if you prefer Allah, his messenger and the life after death, be patient’. Hearing these noble words their mind danged and they said unanimously ‘we prefer Allah and His messenger’.

The prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam lived almost simple and modest life. Many days had passed in his house, without any smoke in the oven. He and his family used to go without cooked meal several days at a time, relying on dates, dried bread and water. It is rare in his life the day in which he filled his belly.

He was a great ruler of a vast kingdom. But his residence, rather his hut was built of unfurnaced bricks. His bed was made of the floor of the date palms. One day some of his comrades asked him ‘let us made a mat for you?!’ The prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam replied with a smile’ what relation between me and this world?! A traveler takes rest on a shadow of a tree in his way. After sometime he departs from there’. Had our modern luxurious rulers studied these lessons!

Triumphant victory of Makkah

A very systematic social setup was formed in Madina. Now it became the cradle of brotherhood and equality. It became the model to all universes. The prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam was well aware of the enemies’ return .He decided to march to Makkah before enemies come to him. He intended to liberate Ka'bah, the house which is built for the worship of some gods, from the idol worshippers and to purify it. The prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam moved to Makkah with one thousand people with him. He planned a tremendous revolution over Makkah but without shedding even one drop of blood. Before entering the city he sent word to citizens of Makkah that anyone who remained in his home, or in Abusufyan‘s home or in the Ka'bah would be safe. Observers of enemies reported to their leaders that the army was in big in size so they cannot fight them. The leader of the enemy surrendered before the prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam. The prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam ordered the army to enter to Makah. They shouted ‘Alllahu Akbar’ (Allah is the great) they got simple and easy victory over Makkah .It was totally a revolution without blood-shedding. In the history of the world it remains unmatched. The people of Makkah expected genocide in view of their persecution and torture of Muslims for the past twenty years. While standing by the Ka'bah The prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam promised clemency for the Makkah stating ‘O Quraish what do you think that I am about to do with you?’ they replied ‘good, you are a noble brother. Son of a noble brother. The prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam forgave them all saying ‘I will treat you as the prophet Yusuf Alaihissalam treated his brothers. There is no reproach against you. Go your homes and you are all free’. Incredible moments!! .They shed tears of joy. They repented from mistakes and embraced Islam

The prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam entered Ka'bah and pointed at each idol with a stick he got in his hand and said ‘Truth has arrived and falsehood perished, for falsehood is bound to perish’ and one by one idols fell down. The Ka’bah was then cleansed by the removal of all three hundred and sixty idols, and it was restored to its unspoiled status for the worship of one true God. Proclaiming the oneness of God Bilal Radhiyallahu anhu shouted from the top of Ka'bah 'Alllahu Akbar'. After one month the prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam returned to Madina. He proposed Khathab bin Asak Radhiyallahu anhu who was embraced Islam at the time of Makkah victory as the governor of it. This technique was well paid off. Many people who were in confusion accepted Islam seeing their unique equality and concern.

Pilgrimage of The prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam (Hajj)

The prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam reached Makkah again with one lakh followers at the tenth of Hijra. He performed his first and last complete Hajj. There he delivered a lecture to the lakhs of Muslims. This is known as his farewell speech. The lecture was a great emancipation proclamation. He touched all the important matters in his long speech. Here Islam became a complete religion and a code of life. Qur'an says ‘

The prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam‘s death

Two months after the pilgrimage, Muhammad Sallallahu alaihi wasallam fell ill and after several days he bid farewell from this world on Monday , twelfth of Rabeeul Awwal in the eleventh year after Hijra (June , 8, 632 /CE ) in Madina. Madina city became sadder; they could not even speak a single word. Even Umar Radhiyallahu anhu, the bravest man, became in perplexity. Hearing the news he shouted unconsciously, raising his sword ‘I will take the head of the person who says messenger of Allah died’. He ran to and fro without any control. All remained silently without knowing what to do. At this critical juncture Aboo Baker Sidheeque Radhiyallahu anhu came to the site .He displayed his maturity and rose according to the situation, controlling his grief. He stood before the prophet’s holy body with respect and kissed his forehead. Then he spoke to the mob that are in utter confusion. His words flowed out of his mouth "if anyone had worshipped Muhammad, he is dead. If any one worshipped Allah, he will remain forever!". These sharp words penetrated into Umar (R)’s heart .Unknowingly his sword fell down. Now he became calm and quite.

The prophet Sallallahu alaihi wasallam was the great model to all the world .He played many roles at the same time .He was the head of the state, chief justice, commander-in chief, arbitrator, instructor and family man. But in spite of these great roles he left nothing to be inherited except a white mule (A gift of Muqawqis), a few ammunition and a piece of land that he had made a gift during his lifetime. Among his last words is "we, the community of the prophets, are not inherited. What ever we leave is for charity"

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