Rafed English

Muhammad The Messenger of Allah

Muhammad The Messenger of Allah

In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.

... and giving good tidings of a Messenger who will come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad;...

Holy Qur'an (61:6)

And from among you there should be a group inviting to good and bidding what is right and forbidding what is wrong,...

Holy Qur'an (3:104)

PUBLISHER'S WORD

Praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds, and peace and blessings of Allah on Muhammad, his infallible household and on the pious ones among his companions.

Al-Balagh Foundation has, since its establishment, tried to shoulder the heavy responsibility of disseminating Islamic knowledge among the world people irrespective of race, religion, language or colour, by relying on Allah, the Most High and Great.

In order to convey Islam's ideas to as many people as possible, our foundation has chosen to put before them Islamic concepts in an easy-to-read and simplified way through various series of books.

The study of the life of Muhammad (s.a.w.) and the Imams of his Household is an advanced means of Islam to introduce its objectives and great concepts.

How truthful are the words of Allah:

Certainly you have in the Messenger of Allah an excellent exmplar...

Holy Qur'an (33:21)

...Allah only wishes to keep away uncleanness from you, O people of the House and purify you (with) a thorough purification.

Holy Qur'an (33:33)

In view of this, Al-Balagh Foundation has decided to publish a new series of book on the life and teachings of Prophet Muhammad, his daughter Fatimah, and twelve Imams who succeeded him beginning from Imam Ali to the last luminary Imam Al-Mahdi (a.s.) -may Allah hasten his reappearance. The lives of these 14 infallibles and the lofty principles they uphold, provide model par excellence for all time. They were torchbearers of guidance, the spring of flowing wisdom, the paragons of perfection and the live paradigms of the divine message.

May Allah guide mankind on the right path, and help the ummah to sincerely tread the footsteps of His last Messenger (s.a.w.) and his blessed progeny.

He is the All-hearing and All-answering.

Praise be to Allah, Lord of the worlds.

Al-Balagh Foundation

Abridging the life of the Messenger of Allah Muhammad bin Abdullah (s.a.w.) in a small book is by no means an easy task, for his life is, actually spread over thick volumes than can never be condensed to a few pages. The life of the chosen Prophet of Allah (s.a.w.) is great, dazzling and matchless. In it converges the manifestations of victory and strength, submission and piety, ups and downs, heroism and pains.

Concisely, in part one of this book, the reader will be acquainted with the life of the great Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) at Mecca, both before being chosen to prophethood and after. In part two we will shed light on the Prophet's life at Medinah where he managed the Muslims' political and social affairs and laid the foundations of the first Islamic state. There his life took a new turn as he and his followers had to engage in military struggle with the idolators. In part three we will study the glorious personality of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.), his social life, his traditions, his life among the members of his family and the ummah as well as the legacy of his dynamic thought.

In addition, we will also throw light on the principles of Islamic state as established by the Prophet (s.a.w.), the outlining of its dimensions in the Holy Qur'an, the community its characteristics and its objectives. How did the Prophet of Allah treat the foes of the divine Message? How did he wage his wars? When did he make truce with his enemies? All the answers will be presented in this book. We have attempted only to review the main points in his blessed life in plain words.

Our goal is to show the life of the Prophet (s.a.w.) especially to the youth, so as to acquaint them with the character of the Prophet (s.a.w.), his activities and attitudes before the call to prophethood and afterwards. The reader will get insight into his life, his call towards Allah and the state which he set up.

Al-Balagh Foundation by presenting this study on the life of Holy Prophet hopes to serve the interests of our dear readers.

To Allah we look for success and help.

THE BLESSED BIRTH

Amidst that tumultuous environment of pre-Islamic Arabia, filled with all manifestations of misguidance, perversion and oppression, Muhammad bin Abdullah bin Abdul-Muttalib (s.a.w.) was born.

For some divine purpose, he did not see his father who had passed away while returning from Syria with a caravan. Muhammad (s.a.w.) was, at that time, only an embryo in the womb of his mother Aminah daughter of Wahab, may Allah be pleased with her. 1

His blessed birth took place in the month of Rabi'ul-Awwal 2 one month or more after the annihiation of the army headed by the elephants which went out to attack the Holy Ka'ba 3. The story is recorded in one whole surah (chapter) in the Qur'an called al-Fil. Thuwaibah, the woman servant of Abu Lahab, suckled him for a few days with her baby Masrooh before the arrival of the wet-nurses from the deserts. It was a long- established habit for the people of Mecca to leave their babies in the care of the desert's wet-nurses so that they were brought up brave eloquent and in touch with the realities of desert life. As was expected, 10 wet-nurses from the tribe of Sa'd bin Bakr, arrived at Mecca and everyone of them found a baby to take care of except Halimah, daughter of Abu Dhu'aib Abdullah. Muhammad (s.a.w.) was offered to her, but due to his being an orphan, which meant little profit for her, she was reluctant to take him.

Being uncertain about what to do, she consulted her husband, who was with her. I hate to return empty-handed, she told him, But there is no baby left to me except this orphan. Her husband advised her to take him, for Allah may bless him. No sooner did she place the nipple of her breast into the baby's mouth, her milk began to flow abundantly. Before that her own baby was always half-hungry because of the scarcity of his mother's milk.

The blessedness of the Prophet began to spread all over the neighborhood. The verdure of the meadows greatly increased, as before the area was waterless and barren.

Two years later, Halimah had weaned the baby and brought him back to Mecca to visit his mother and relatives. She told them bow the baby was blessed, and how her life was changed after taking him. Then she returned, accompanied by the baby, to the neighborhood.

DIVINE FOSTERAGE OF THE PROPHET

The interesting point in the early years life of the Prophet (s.a.w) for whoever wants to study his life, is the fact that Allah adopted him, not only in maintaining his health, preparing him for the great role he was to have later.

The books written about the life of the Prophet (s.a.w.) are filled with events that corroborate the fact that he was under the direct care of Allah and this enabled him to shoulder the future responsibility of prophethood.

Imam Ali bin Abi-Talib (a.s.) refers to this point in one of his sermons in Nahj al-Balaghah:

From the time of his birth, Allah had appointed the archangel among all the angels, to always be with him. And this archangel was leading him towards exemplary qualities and high moral values by night and day... 4

Referring to this fact, Imam Muhammad bin Ali al-Baqir was related to have said:

Allah had appointed the archangel to be with Muhammad, since he was weaned, leading him to the way of graces, the best of morals, and leading him away from evil and vices. 5

One major trace of the divine care for the Prophet (s.a.w.) was that he was, from early age, a monotheist. He used to unequivocally proclaim his hostility to the idols 6. He used to perform hajj without eating the meat which was slaughtered at the feet of the idols. He would to mention the name of Allah before having his food' 7 and praise Allah when he finished. Muhammad, He was widely known among Arabs to be upright and virtuous. He would keep his word, and for that he was known as the truthful and the faithful.

UNDER THE GUARDIANSHIP OF HIS GRANDFATHER

The Prophet was five years old when Halimah al-Sa'diyyah brought him back to his family in Mecca. Abdul-Muttalib, his grandfather, showered him with care and fatherly love. He ate with him, spoke with him kindly, sat on his bed, and provided him with special attention and warmth.

It was not out of sentiment that Abdul-Muttalib cared so much for Muhammad (s.a.w) as the son of his deceased son Abdullah, but because he felt deeply that he would be a prominently great man in the future. It was for this reason that he would ask his son Abu-Talib, and Umm-Ayman to look after him and provide him with whatever he needed.

At the age of six, his mother Aminah, took him with her, accompanied by Umm-Ayman, to visit his uncles from the tribe of Uday bin al-Najjar in Madinah. After one month they decided to return to Mecca. But, en route to Mecca, his mother, Aminah, passed away. She was laid to rest at al-Abwa', a village halfway between Mecca and Madinah. Umm-Ayman resumed the journey alone, and in Mecca she was devoted to him as his mother was, while his grandfather looked after him as if he were his son. But, it was not long before Abdul-Muttalib died. The Prophet was, at the time, eight years old.

UNDER THE CARE OF ABU TALIB

Abu Talib, 8 his uncle, took him and treated him very kindly. He even gave him precedence over his sons. Muhammad (s.a.w.) would sleep in the bed of his uncle, sit next to him, eat with him, and go out with him.

ADULTHOOD

As soon as he came of age, Muhammad (s.a.w.) began to work to earn his living. First, he became a shepherd. Jabir bin Abdullah, may Allah be pleased with him, related that he was with the Prophet (s.a.w.) with other Muslims, picking al- Kabath (a kind of fruit). The Prophet (s.a.w.) said:

Pluck the black ones. They are sweetest. I used to gather it while pasturing my sheep.

You were pasturing the sheep, O Messenger of Allah?, we asked him.

Yes, he replied, every prophet was at sometime a shepherd. 9

Allah, the Most High, was able to spare His Prophet (s.a.w.) the tiresome task of working. He willed to set the Prophet (s.a.w.) as an example for the people so that nobody would rely on anybody else for earning his living.

Islam stressed the importance of work. The Prophet (s.a.w.) is reported to have said:

Cursed be who throws his burdens on other people. 10

Worship is of seventy kinds, the best of which is earning one's living righteously.

An excellent help to guard against evil is wealth. 11

MARRIAGE

At the age of twenty-five he went to Syria on a mercantile mission on behalf of Khadij ah the daughter of Khuwailid, may Allah be pleased with her. Khadijah was the best among the women of Quraish. She was the richest, the noblest and the most beautiful among them. She was called the chaste, and the mistress of Quraish. She would hire men to work in trade for her in return for a fixed percentage of the profit.

When the Prophet (s.a.w.) became to be widely known for his faithfulness and the smoothness of his manners, she offered him money to go to Syria and promised him a good share in the profits, more than any share given to any man before him.

He set out for Syria, leading a big caravan. Maisarah, her slave, went with him. They sold articles and bought merchandise and returned with profuse sums of money. Fascinated by the Prophet, Maisarah began to tell Khadijah of his attributes. She was attracted to him, for his high-mindedness, righteousness, faithfulness and kindness and decided that he would be her husband. She preferred him to the rich dignitaries of the Quraish who promised her immeasurably great riches. For that purpose, she sent Nafisah the daughter of Munabbih to talk to him about it.

What makes you refrain from getting married?, Nafisah asked him. I have no money, he replied.

If you were given that, and were asked to marry a beautiful, rich, honest and noble woman, would you accept the offer?

What is the name of the woman? Khadijah!. How could I manage it?

Leave everything to me, she promised him.

The Prophet (s.a.w.) then sent his uncle Abu Talib 12, to ask Khadijah's hand to marriage. As her father was dead by then, Abu Talib broached the subject to her uncle. Both parties agreed, and so the marriage took place. The Prophet (s.a.w.) was twenty-five years old, at the time. As for Khadijah, historians have disagreed about ,her age. But they agreed that they got married 13 after the Prophet's (s.a.w.) return from Syria.

The newlyweds moved to the house of Khadijah, and achieved the most perfect union, perfumed with love, loyalty and mercy. Amid hardships and troubles, she helped him, encouraged him and alleviated his worries.

Apart from her love for him, she was a chaste women with deep insight, she managed their affairs patiently and skillfully.

She was, furthermore, the first ever to believe in his message. 14 For the sake of his call, she spent all her riches. He loved her as she loved him. He did not marry any other women until after she died.

Whenever he remembered her, he praised her and mentioned her good deeds to his wives, so much so that 'A'ishah' said: I never felt envious of any of the Prophet's wives, except of Khadijah, whom I did not see.

She, further, added: Whenever the Messenger of Allah slaughtered a sheep, he ordered his attendants to distribute the meat among the friends of Khadijah. One day I made him angry by saying mockingly 'Khadijah!', he said to me: 'I was given her love by Allah' 15

A'ishah also reported: The Messenger of Allah would hardly leave the house without mentioning Khadijah in good words. One day he mentioning her and so I felt deeply envious and blurted out; she was nothing but an old woman. Allah has replaced her with better than her.'

No by Allah, he said indignantly; Allah did not replace her with those who better than her, she had faith in me when the people rejected my call. She believed me when the people charged me with falsehood. She consoled me with her wealth when the people deprived me theirs, and Allah gave me, by her sons and daughters. 16

Diligence and toil were characteristics of his life from an early age. His marriage with Khadijah, may Allah be pleased with her, gave his life some rest and comfort. The kindness and true love Khadijah showered on the Prophet (s.a.w.) compensated him for the fatherly love and motherly kindness which he was deprived of, during childhood.

During that phase of his blessed life, the first signs of prophethood began to surface. It was for this reason that he was preparing himself by restoring to the cave of Hira during certain days. He would remain there, worshipping and mediating for a whole month every year. He would remain there far away from the pre-Islamic perversions and the corrupt city atmosphere. Muhammad was on the threshold of bearing the divine message.

He went on with his meditations and worship till he became 40 years old. Then, the holy revelation shone on his soul and heart delivering the first statement of the seal of divine messages:

Read in the name of your Lord Who created...

Holy Qur'an (96:1)

It is worth mentioning here that the divine books announced the good news of the advent of the message of Allah (s.a.w.). The Jewish Christian scholars were aware of this fact, but they were swept with the fanaticism of jealousy and prejudice when the truth arrived, but no one could have any doubts about this new reality.

The Qur'an mentions what they would tell the tribes of al-Aws and al-Khazraj in this respect:

And when there came to them a Book, confirming what was with them, and aforetimes they used to pray for victory against those who disbelieved, but when there came to them (Prophet) that which they did not recognize, they disbelieved in him; so Allah's curse is on the unbelievers.

Holy Qur'an (2:89)

And so good news of the coming of the Prophet (s.a.w.) became widespread. The main topic of popular discussion was this. The Christian monks and Jewish rabbis were already reading in their divine books of the coming of a new Prophet who would fill the world with light, guidance and bless.

SOCIAL STATUS

Prior to his rise to prophethood, during the previous 1520 years, his social status was high. He was known to be well-mannered, high-minded, truthful and trustworthy.

The power was clearly mainfested during the rebuilding of the Holy Ka'ba. After it caught fire, the Ka'ba was flooded with sweeping torrents. Great damage was done and the tribe of Quraish made their minds to rebuild it, al-Walid bin al-Mughirah, accompanied by a number of the Quraishis, went to Jidda and bought the timber of a ship that had wrecked on its shore. The wood was bought to make the roof of the Ka'ba. A carpenter, Baqum by name and a slave of Sa'id bin al-Aws, was charged with rebuilding the Ka'ba.

All the clans of the Quraish took part in the process. But, finally, when the time came to put the black stone in its place a difference arose among them over who should win the honour of putting it in its place. Every clan of the Quraish eagerly wanted to do that.

The difference grew to a .quarrel and had not Abu Umayyah bin al- Mughirah, the eldest among them, suggested the first one to enter the Ka'ba from the door of Bani Shaibah arbitute on the matter the situation would have gotten out of hands.

They imptiently awaited the man. Before long Muhammad (s.a.w.) came into the Ka'ba. Upon seeing him, they unanimously agreed, This is the trustworthy. We accept him as the arbitrator. This is Muhammad. When they told him of the problem he ordered them to bring him a piece of cloth. He spread it on their ground, then placed the Black stone on it. Let every group hold the cloth then carry it up, lie told them. He, then, carried it, with his blessed, and restored the stone to its place.

PACT OF AL-FUDUL

Shortly after the tragical war of al-Fujjar a pact was signed between the warring Arab tribes. 17 The agreement did achieve a victory for the wronged parties. All the sides agreed on the principle of warding off wrongs, and cooperating to back what was right and defend the oppressed The Prophet (s.a.w.) praised the pact in these words:

If I were given red camels, I would not have been more pleased than to be a participant in their pact at the house of ibn Jada'an. 18 The tribes of Hushim, Zahrah and Taym agreed forever to be on the side of the oppressed. If I were invited now, I would respond affirmatively. It was the pact of al-Fudul. 19

Never was the Prophet (s.a.w) surprised when Jibril (the angel Gabriel) revealed to him the first divine statement. His life went through many stages so that he would be prepared to bear the divine message. From the early part of his life, His Lord nurtured him kindly and closely as he was the future Prophet. To this fact, Imam Ali (a.s.) referred him his sermon named al-Qasi'a. as well as Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) in a statement reported from him.

The Prophet (s.a.w.) began to spend more time in the cave of Hira' for worship and meditation. Those devotions in the cave of Hira', located at the top of Mt. Hira' northeast of Makka, was a manifestation of preparing him for the heavy task awaiting him. The longest period he would remain in the cave was a whole month, and that would be the month of Ramadhan.

During other months, he would spend whole nights there. He began to hear the voice, and see the light, and have dreams that were to come to pass exactly as he saw them in the world of dreams. 20

THE PROPHET AND MESSENGER

At the age of forty, Jibril (a.s.) descended to reveal to him the seal of messages beginning with the first divine verses:

Read in the name of your Lord Who created. He created man from a clot. Read and your Lord is Most Honourable, Who taught (to write) with the pen, Taught man what he knew not...

Holy Qur'an (96:1-5)

It was so great, so majestic and so glorious an experience to receive the revelation, that he felt a little tired, and so he lay down on his bed to have some rest. During these critical moments Jibril appeared to him for the second time:

O you who are clothed! Arise and warn, And your Lord garments do purify, And uncleanness do shun,...

Holy Qur'an (73:1-5)

Thus, Allah ordered His Prophet to carry His message to all people.

KINDS OF REVELATION

It is interesting to note how the message was revealed to the Prophet (s.a.w.).

Allah mentions the manifestations of the holy revelation in the following verses:

And it is not for any mortal that Allah should speak to him except by revelation or from behind a veil, or by sending a messenger and revealing by His permission what He pleases; Surely He is High, Wise. And thus did We reveal to you an inspired book by Our command. You did not know what the Book was, nor (what) the faith (was), but We made it a light, guiding thereby whom We please of Our servants; and most surely you show the way to the right path.

Holy Qur'an (42:51-52)9

In this respect, we understand from the Qur'anic texts and the holy sunna that Allah revealed to the Prophet (s.a.w.) His message in many ways.

One way was that Allah, the Most Exalted and High, would reveal to him, directly and without any other means, the truth. It is said that this kind of revelation was the most majestic and so moving that his mule would sink to the ground 21, and that his forehead would break into sweast even if it is . was bitterly cold. 22

Another way was that Allah would send a messenger to His Prophet. He would appear in his angelic shape, or in the shap of a human being.

Another method was the true vision, for the Prophets never saw false dreams. Whatever they saw in their dreams they saw in reality, because of the immense spiritual powers they had, through which they perceived the truth during sleep and wakefulness. That was in addition to the divine inspiration and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

The Prophet, first of all, chose Ali (a.s.) to come to Islam 23. Ali was, at the time, a pure boy, unsullied by the practices of the pre-Islamic era. He was under the care of the Prophet (s.a.w.) who showed him with love and affection. Ali (a.s.) responded enthusiastically and his soul method in the new faith. The Prophet called his wife to Islam and she accepted it. This done, the first nucleus of the faithful community on earth took shape.

He proceeded with his call to Islam and his companions grew in number. They were 40 men, the majority of whom were young. These people were from different walks of society. Among them were the poor, the rich, the socially powerful and the downtrodden. First of all they would learn the Qur'an and the principles of the new faith. In the defiles, far away from the eyes of Quraish, they used to offer their prayers. The new convert, with the assistance of one of the old converts appointed by the Prophet (s.a.w.). would continue studying and comprehending the teachings of Islam.

THE HOUSE OF AL-ARQAM

As they grew in number, the Muslims feared lest their affair might be disclosed. As a precautionary measure, they made the house of al-Arqam al-Makhzumi a school and a meeting-place where they used gather to know more about Islam. There, they sat together learning the Qur'an, offering their prayers, contemplating the ayas and signs of Allah, examining the creation, gathering patience and fortitude and sublimating their wills to Allah and His Messenger.

CALLING THE RELATIVES

Three years passed before Allah ordered His Prophet (s.a.w.) to take advantage of the prevailing tribal atmosphere and call his relatives to Islam.

And warn your nearest relations, And be kind to him who follows you of the believers, But if they disobey you, then say: Surely I am clear of what you do..

Holy Qur'an (26:214-216)

The Prophet (s.a.w.) invited his relatives, numbering 40, to a feast. Before the Prophet could broach the subject to them, his uncle Abdul-Uzzah bin Abdul-Muttalib, also Abu-Lahab warned the Prophet (s.a.w.) from going on with the task of spreading the new faith. The invitation was a failure and the guests hastened to leave, and so the chance slipped out of the Prophet's hands.

Once again, after the passage of many days, the Prophet (s.a.w.) invited his relatives to a feast. His guests being satisfied, he addressed them:

O sons of Abdul-Muttalib, Allah has sent me, as His Messenger, to all people and particularly to you. He ordered me: 'And warn your nearest relations'. I invite you to accept two short sentences. They are easy on the tongue, but in the balance of action they are heavy and difficult. By them you will be the masters of the Arabs and non-Arabs. Nations will yield to you. Enter paradise and be saved from hell. They are the testimony of: There is no god but Allah and that I am the Messenger of Allah. Whoever answers me and helps me in this affair and in carrying it on will be my brother, trustee helper, inheritor and the successor after me.

Murmuring rose from among the people. Abu-Lahab condemned and warned the Prophet (s.a.w.) from carrying out his mission. Abu Talib expressed his full support to the Prophet (s.a.w.) and said to him:

Proceed with your task you are charged with. By Allah, I will protect you and prevent others from harming you. 24

Ali, the youngest of all, come to his feet and said in a resonant voice:

O Messenger of Allah, I will help you in this affair.

But the Prophet (s.a.w.) ordered him to sit down.

The Prophet (s.a.w.) repeated, once again, his proposal, and no one except Ali responded. The third time when Ali answered the Prophet (s.a.w.), he said to him:

Sit down. You are my brother, trustee, helper, inheritor, and the successor after me. 25

The people stood up and, upon leaving they said to Abu Talib mockingly:

Today, be happy at entering your nephew's religion. He made your son a commander over you! 26

PUBLIC CALL TO ISLAM

The Prophet (s.a.w.) called all of the Qurayash to Islam, in obedience to Allah' s order:

Therefore declare openly what you are bidden and turn aside from the polytheists...

Holy Qur'an(15:94)

He ascended the mountain of al-Safa and called out It is daybreak! it is daybreak! That was the custom of the Arabs when there was something critical to discuss together. The Quraysh gathered around him asking in wonder, What is it? If I were to tell you, the Prophet (s.a.w.) asked them, that horsemen were descending from the mountains to attack you, in the morning or in the evening, would you not believe me?

We do, they replied.

Then, he said to them, I should warn you of the terrible punishment that lies in wait for you. O son of Abdul-Muttalib, O son of Abd-Manaf, O son of Zahrah...Deliver yourselves from the fire of hell. I can do nothing for you if you disobey to attack his home and people, so he hasten towards warning them.

Shame on you!, Abu-Lahab interrupted him, Was it for this you invited us?

And so Allah, the Most Blessed and High, revealed to His Prophet the following chapter (surah):

Perdition overtake both hands of the Abu Lahab, and he will perish. His health and what he earns will no avail him. He shall soon burn in fire that flames, And his wife, the bearer of fuel, Upon her neck a halter of strongly twisted rope.

Holy Qur'an (111:1-5)

This attempt was not in vain, for a number of the Quraishis entered Islam under the banner of There is no god but Allah. Furthermore, the news of the faith forced itself into every house. This statement made by the Prophet (s.a.w.) was, indeed, to usher in a new era of bitter struggle between the new faith and the wounded pride of the pre-Islamic Arabs.

The reaction of the pre-Islamic Arabs towards the call of the Prophet (s.a.w.) took many forms:

ATTACKING THE PROPHET (S.A.W.) IN PERSON

At the beginning of the Prophet's divine mission, the Quraish looked at him as a monk or a sage, whose influence would soon wane, and the people, accordingly, would return to the religion of their fathers and ancestors. But, contrarily, the new faith swept through the community, scoring victories on the social level. The Qur'anic verses condemned the idols and idolatry, calling for the worship of the only God and- warning the infidels of a terribly severe punishment in the hereafter. At that point the Quraish felt the dangerous reverberations of this call, and so they publicly proclaimed their hostility towards it. Their animosity, was, however, peaceful at first. It was expressed in degrading the Prophet and slandering him. They challenged him to perform miracles. Could he change the hills of al-Safa and al-Marwa into gold? Could he make a spring to flow in the earth more limped than the well of Zamzam? Could he move the mountains from their places or return the dead to life?

Seeing that this method was fruitless and could not dissuade him from carrying on his divine call, they resorted to wildly slanderous propaganda and spreading of rumours. They accused him of being a liar, then a poet, and another time, a sorcerer. They left no stone unturned to distort his image, seizing every chance to do so. Even in Yathrib (Medinah) and Abyssinia (Ethiopia), their lies were intense spread.

One day, they gathered at the house of al-Walid bin al-Mughirah, one of the widely known and shrewd men of among the Arabs and one who used to bitterly mock the Prophet (s.a.w.) and Islam.

O Abu Abd-Shams.?, they asked him. What is Muhammad saying? Is it poetry, soothsaying or sermonizing?

Let me, he suggested, hear his talks.

He came near the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.), who was near the Black Stone reciting verses from the Qur'an.

He asked the Prophet (s.a.w.), O Muhammad, recite some of your poetry to me! It is not poetry, the Prophet (s.a.w.) replied, It is the discourse of Allah, which He has conveyed to his angels, prophets and messengers.

Recite something of it to me, persisted al-Walid.

The Prophet (s.a.w.) recited the chapter (surah) of Ha' Mim al-Sajdah. When he read

But if they turn aside, then say. I have warned you of a Scourge like the scourge of Ad and Thamood.

Al-Walid shivered, and a shudder seized hold of him. He ran away and did not return to his companions who were waiting for him.

The Quraishis reported that Abu-Jahl, saying: O Abu al-Hakam! Abu-Shams inclined to the religion of Muhammad. Did you not see that he did not return to us? Abu-Jahl hastened to meet al-Walid and said to him: O uncle! You have lowered our heads and disgraced us, You made our enemy rejoice at our affliction by inclining to the religion of Muhammad.

I did not incline to his religion, al-Walid explained, but I have heard hard words that made my skin creep.

Was it a sermon? Abu-Jahl inquired.

No, al-Walid. A sermon is composed of uninterrupted sentences. This is prose, parts of which are unlike the others.

Did you see him shudder at it? asked Abu-Jahl.

No, al-Walid replied. I heard Arabic poetry of all rhythms: The basit, madid, ramal and rajz. It is not poetry 'Then, Abu-Jahl wanted to know, what is it?

Let me think, said al-Walid.

The next day, the Quraishis asked al-Walid, O Abu Abd-Shams! What should we call it?' Say, he advised them, it is sorcery, for it attracts the hearts of the people.

About that, Allah, the Exalted, revealed to His Messenger (s.a.w.) the following verses:

Leave Me and him whom I created alone, And gave him vast riches, And sons dwelling in his presence, And I adjusted affairs for him adjustably; And yet he desires that I should add more! By no means! surely he offers opposition to Our signs. I will make a distressing punishment overtake him. Surely he reflected and guessed, But may he be cursed how he plotted; Again, may he be cursed how he plotted; Then he looked, Then he frowned and scowled, Then turned back and was big with pride, Then he said: This is naught but enchantment, narrated (from others); This is naught but the word of mortal. I will cast him into hell. And what will make you realize what hell is? It leaves naught nor does it spare aught.

Holy Qur'an (73:21-28)

Apart from this widespread slanderous propaganda, they moved to make bargains with him in a bid to lure him away from his message. With this in mind, they sent, one day, Utba bin Rabi'a, one of their prominent leaders, to the Prophet (s.a.w.) to strike a deal with him. He said to him:

...O my nephew! if you desire money and wealth, by preaching what you are preaching, we will collect enough for you from our own. We will make you the wealthiest of all of us. If it is chieftainship that you desire we are ready to make you our paramount chief, so that we will never decide on matter without you. If you desire rulership, we will make you our ruler. And if this condition that you call revelation is a jinn that you cannot escape from his grip, we are ready to call the most distinguished physicians of out time to examine you, and spend generously, till you are completely cured. For, sometimes, the jinn seizes hold of victim totally till the latter is exorcised.

Is that all, O Abu al-Walid?, the Prophet asked.

Yes , he replied.

Then, listen to me, the Prophet said to him.

I will, agreed Utba.

The Prophet (s.a.w.) recited the chapter (surah) of Fussilat:

Ha Mim! A revelation from the Beneficent, the Merciful God. A Book of which the verses are made plain, an Arabic Qur'an for a people who know: A herald of good news and a warner, but most of them turn aside so they hear not. And they say: Our hearts are made under coverings from that to which you call us, and there is a heaviness in our ears, and a veil hangs between us and you, so work, we too are working. Say: I am only a mortal like you; it is revealed to me that your God is one God, therefore follow the right way to Him and ask His forgiveness; and woe to the polytheists. (To) those who do not give poor-rates and they are unbelievers in the hereafter. (As for) those who believe and do good, they shall surely have a reward never to be cut off...,

Holy Qur'an (41:1-8)

Till he recited the verse where prostration is obligatory on whoever recites or hears it, and the Prophet (s.a.w.) prostrated himself while Utba was still listening to him. Then he said to Utba, O Abu al-Walid! You have heard what I have just recited. You can now decide.

Utba got to his feet. He was bewildered so much so that his companions said, We swear by Allah that Abu al-Walid has returned in a different mood. He had hardly took his place among them when he said to them, By Allah, I have heard something I have never heard before. By Allah, it is neither poetry, sorcery nor soothsaying.

O son of the Quraish! Listen me and leave it me. Leave the man to himself. Boycott him. By Allah, he will be widely known. Should Arabs kill him then you are spared the task of checking him. And if he reigns over them, his rulership is yours and his power is yours. You will be the happiest people with him.

Abu al-Walid, they protested, he has by Allah, cast a spell on you with his tongue!

That is what I think of him. He told them. You are free to do what you think suitable ... 27

Once again, they sent another delegation to the Prophet. They brought forward the same previous proposal, and he said to them:

... I have not brought to you what I have brought for the sake of your wealth. Nor was it to seek honour or rulership over you. Allah has sent me to you a Messenger and revealed a book to me. He ordered me to give you the good news of Paradise and to warn you of the fire of hell. I have conveyed to you the message of my lord and advised you. If you accept what I have brought you, then, it is your lot in this life and the hereafter. Should you refuse it, then I resign myself to Allah's will, till Allah judges between me and you ... 28

Then the Quraishis attempted to make the Prophet (s.a.w.) turn aside from his message by contacting his family. They went to his uncle Abu-Talib and complained to him about Muhammad (s.a.w.). They told him that his nephew had cursed the idols, spoken evil of their gods and, created tensions among them. So he had either to stop preaching his message or face the whole of the Quraish, if Abu-Talib was to leave him unprotected. Abu-Talib could mitigate their worries and put the question aside.

Once again they called on Abu-Talib. They repeated their previous proposals. But they added something new. They asked Abu-Talib to hand Muhammad (s.a.w.) over to them in return for Umara bin al-Walid bin al-Mughirah, whom they would give to him. They said to him: We offer you the well-known young ma-n of the Quraish who is matchless in his beauty, lineage, freighting ability and in reciting poetry.

By Allah, Abu-Talib told them, You are very unfair. You give me your son to take care of, whereas I give you mine so that you kill him! Do you not know that the she-camel that loses its baby will not yearn for another one? … 29

For the third time they returned to talk with Abu-Talib. But, this time, they were enraged beyond endurance. They said to Abu-Talib:

By Allah, we can no longer be patient while Muhammad insults our fathers, speaks evil of our gods and finds wrong with our gods. You should either stop his activities or be ready, both of you to fight us, till one of the parties perishes. 30

Abu-Talib was very distressed at that. He took the Prophet (s.a.w.) aside and told him all that the Quraish had said. He made it clear to him that he could not, due to a lack of means, resist and fight them. Nor could he withdraw his protection from him. The Prophet (s.a.w.) fell into deep thought, then said:

O My dear uncle. By Allah, even if they were to place the sun in my right hand and the moon in my left hand so that I abandon this mission, I will never do that till Allah makes it prevail or I perish in carrying it out...

Saddened at what he had heard, the Prophet (s.a.w.) left his uncle. But Abu Talib called him and said to him bravely: Go, my nephew. Say what you want to. By Allah, I will never abandon you. Then he recited these lines of verses:

By Allah , never can they treat you as they wish,

Not until I am laid to rest in my grave.

Proceed with your mission unblamed,

Of that I give you the good news. Be assured of that.

You have invited me. Surely, I know you are advising me,

You are still the trustworthy even if you carry out this mission.

I know, for sure, that the religion of Muhammad,

Is the best one revealed to mankind. 31

The clan of Bani Hashim sided with the Messenger (s.a.w.) and unanimously decided to protect him. 32 But Abu-Lahab was a prey to the grudge burning inside him, as he saw the Messenger of Allah enjoying so much support from his clan.

With the peaceful negotiations failing, the Quraish resorted to physical persecution of the Prophet (s.a.w). That took many forms:

They hurled stones at his house.

They threw the carcass of a newly slaughtered ewe at him.

They threw filth in front of his house.

They scattered thorns in his way.

They poured dust on his head.

They placed the wombs of a slaughtered lamb on his head, while he was prostrating himself in prayer.

Aqaba bin Abi-Mu'it, accompanied by some men from the Quraish, pressed the Prophet's neck so hard that he was at the point of death 33

They urged the children to stone him, and similar annoying things to him. Without complaining, he used to receive all that bad treatments patiently and imperturbably, he expressed that fact in the following words:

Never before me was a Prophet harmed as was I.

PROSECUTION OF THE EARLY CONVERTS

If the idolaters negotiated with the Prophet (s.a.w.), and complained about him to his uncle, trying to settle a bargain with him before oppressing him, they did not show much patience in respect to the first-converts to Islam. From the very beginning they were subjected to terror, persecution, harassment and pressures to make them leave their houses.

No sooner had the followers of the Prophet (s.a.w.) become known, then they were severely and cruelly punished. Bilal al-Habashi, may Allah have mercy on him, was tortured at the hands of Ummaiyah bin Khalafal-Jumahi.He would take him, at noon, to the desert and fling him to the ground face downwards or on his back. Then he would threaten him: No, by Allah. You will remain as you are till perish, or renounce Muhammad, and worship al-Lat and al-Uzzah. Bilal would only cry out in pain: Only one God, only one God...

The Banu-Makhzum tortured a side along with his son Ammar and Summayyah, his wife. They would take them to the Abta, a wide area covered with pebbles, and torture them there when the place became unbearably hot. After being subjected to this kind of savage treatment, Yasir was martyred. Abu-Jahl stabbed Summayyah with a lance he was carrying, and so she attained martyrdom.

Ammar, though severely tortured, was steadfast and firm in his faith.

It is related that the Messenger of Allah, one day, passed before the family of Yasir while they were being tortured, and he gave them the good news of Paradise:

Be patient, o family of Yasir, for your meeting will be in Paradise...

Khabbab bin al-Arat would be stripped of his clothes and flung him on the ground, on the burning sand. They would, often heat stones for him and place them on his bare body. They even twisted his neck, but he never turned away from his faith.

Other than these young converts, there were many who suffered much at the hands of their tormentors.

Torture and persecution were not confined to the weak among the faithful, but even those who enjoyed prominent social and economic status, who had influence and wealth, could not escape the harassment of the Quraish, Ibn Abbas described the severity and cruelty of the torture in these words:

...By Allah, they would beat the faithful and keep them hungry and thirsty, so much so that one could not sit because of the cruelty of the punishment he suffered. 34

To allay the faithfuls’ sufferings, the Messenger of Allah, exhorted them to have patience and fortitude. He encouraged them to be steadfast till Allah gave them victory over the idolaters.

Al-Khabbah related: One day, I went to the Prophet (s.a.w.), who was wrapped in his cloak and was seated in the shade of Ka'ba. We being were unendurably assailed.

I said to him, Won't you pray for us?

He said:

Those who were before you did not turn aside from their faith even though their bodies were combed with iron, so that their flesh and tendons would be separated from the bones. They would never turn aside from their faith even though saws were placed on the middle of their heads which were cut into two. Allah will certainly make His faith prevail so that a rider will travel from San'a to Hadramout and will fear nobody but Allah the Mighty and High, and the wolves lest they eat his sheep. But, certainly, you have no patience. 35

IMMIGRATION TO ABYSSINIA

When things in Mecca were brought to a head, the Prophet (s.a.w.) allowed some of his followers to immigrate to Abyssinia, where they could find a refuge and safe haven.

The number of the first batch of immigrants was 11 men and four women. They stole out of Mecca secretly. When they reached the coast of the sea, they found ships owned by merchants. They chartered them and sailed to Abyssinia.

The Quraish got word that some of the Muslims had set out for the sea. They sent a group of men to pursue them, but they found that the Muslims had already sailed to Abyssinia.

The new converts arrived in Abyssinia. For three months they remained there, but soon they returned to Mecca after they heard that the whole of the Quraish had entered Islam. But, to their disappointment, that was only a rumour. The Quraish did not cease torturing and persecuting them.

Once again, the Prophet (s.a.w.) ordered them to immigrate t o Abyssinia. They were 80 men and 18 women. At the head of them were Ja'far bin Abi-Talib and Asma' his wife. The negus, the ruler of Abyssinia, received them with hospitality. They felt comfortable and secure there after the long period of harassment in Mecca.

The Quraish felt the danger of the migration of the Muslims. The consequences might be grave for the idolaters. As a measure to preempt the Muslims' future plans, the Quraish sent Amru bin al-Aas and 'Imara bin al-Walid, loaded with precious gifts to the Negus and his courtiers. This was a bid to persuade him to withdraw his protection from the converts and return them to Mecca.

When the two envoys arrived at the Negus's court they said to him,

These are among our ignorant people who have parted with the faith of their people and did not enter your faith.. They brought forth a newly created faith, neither we know it nor you. The honourable chiefs of their people have sent us to return them.

A true Christian at heart, and a just and noble man, the Negus thought it was unjust to listen to one party only. He sent for the immigrants to examine the matter closely.

When the immigrants were admitted into the court, Ja'far bin Abi-Talib talked on behalf of them:

O King! For centuries we were living in blind ignorance. We worshipped idols, ate carrion, did the most vicious of deeds, broke off relations with our relatives, troubled our neighbours and the strong among us ruled over the weak...until one day, Allah sent us a Prophet from among us, whose lineage, truthfulness, trustworthiness and chastity we know. He called us to acknowledge the unity of Allah and not to set any god parallel to Him and to renounce what we used to worship of stones and idols. He enjoined us to pray, pay the poor-rate and fast. He exhorted us to be truthful, return the things trusts entrusted to us by other people, keep our relations warm with our relatives, be kind with our neighbours, refrain from doing what is forbidden by Allah, and from shedding blood. He forbade us to do evil and, speak falsehoods, to swallow the property of the orphans and kept us from charging chaste women of committing adultery. We believed in him and in his message. Our people, as a result, turned against us to force us to the worship of idols and the doing of evils. When they harassed us and wronged us, we set out for your country. We chose you, from among the others, hoping that we will not be wronged under your rule.

Do you remember, said the Negus, any of the sayings your Prophet brought? Will you recite some of them?

Yes, replied Ja'far and he recited the chapter of Maryam (Mary), when he read out the part of the chapter dealing with Jesus (a.s.) the Prophet of Allah, the Negus and his courtiers were greatly moved and tears coursed down their cheeks.

'This, said the Negus, and what Jesus had brought emerge from one niche.

Seeing that the matter had slipped out of their hands, the envoys of the Quraish resorted to another scheme, trying to divide the Negus and the Muslims.

The next day Ibn al-Aas returned to the court of the Negus and told him that the Muslims had said something about Jesus slanderous and degrading.

The Negus sent for the Muslims and asked for an explanation.

Ja'far in reply said, We say about him what our Prophet says about him. He is the slave of Allah and His Messenger and Spirit, and the word He implanted in Maryam, the Virgin and the Chaste.

The Negus picked up a stick and drew a line on the ground. He looked up at Ja'far and said, Between our faith and yours, there is a difference no thicker than this line. 36

The Negus, then, dismissed the envoys of the Quraish and handed them back their gifts.

The plan of the Quraish was thus brought to naught. The immigrants remained in Abyssinia. They were secure and kindly treated as a result of the high-mindedness and the morality they showed to the Abyssinians.

HARD TIMES FOR MUSLIMS - THE SIEGE

As the chiefs of the Quraish had failed in their attempt to get back the immigrants, they malevolently poured their ill-will on the Muslims in Mecca. They arrived at a decision which was that thc Quraish would boycott the clan of Bani Hashim if Abu-Talib did not withdraw his protection from the Prophet.

At any cost, Abu-Talib would protect the Prophet (s.a.w.). He turned down the demands of the Quraish. Consequently, the chiefs of the Quraish drew up an agreement and hung it on the wall inside the Ka'ba. The clauses of the agreement announced a total boycott against the Bani Hashim regarding selling and buying social relations and marriage. It was signed by 40 of the Quraish chiefs. All of Bani Hashim, except Abu Lahab due to his great animosity to the message and Messenger of Allah, were besieged in the defile of Abu-Talib.

Abu-Talib fortified their surroundings. It was guarded by day and night. Bani Hashim could not, after that, leave the defile, except on some occasions, like that of Umrah ( the lesser pilgrimage) during the month of Rajab and the hajj (pilgrimage) during the month of Dhul-Hijjah due to the strained relations between them and the Quraish.

The Quraish cut off all provisions of food to their area. But secretly some sympathizers carried food to them, though it hardly satisfied them.

They were in great trouble and stress because of that, After the passage of three years of the boycott, Allah made a worm eat the agreement leaving only the words, In the name of Allah.

Allah revealed that to His Messenger, and he, in turn, informed his uncle Abu-Talib about it. Abu-Talib sought out the chiefs of the Quraish. He said to them,

...my nephew told me that Allah has sent a worm to your agreement and eaten it except the name of Allah, If he has said the truth you should change your ill intentions against him, but if he has lied, I will hand him over to you ... 37

It is a fair deal, they said.

When they went up to the agreement which was hung inside the Ka'ba, they found it as the Prophet had said.

Now division arose between the chiefs of the Quraish, but then they agreed on tearing the remains of the agreement into small bits. That meant the end of the boycott. Due to the failure of the Quraishi boycott of the faithful, new converts were won to Islam inside Mecca.

During the season of hajj every year the Prophet was busy offering the new faith to the tribes. In the eleventh year after his rise to prophethood he met a group of the tribe of al-Khazraj. He asked them to allow him to have a talk with them. They accepted that and he talked to them about Islam. He called them to believe in Allah, and recited verses from the Qur'an. Upon hearing that they murmured one to another:

... By Allah, he is the Prophet the Jews have promised. See to it that no one should follow him before you ... 42

They responded positively and entered Islam. After returning back to Yathrib, they began to propagate Islam till a great number of their people embraced it.

In the following year, twelve people from Madina came to a place called al-Aqaba, and there, they pledged their allegiance to the Prophet (s.a.w.) and swore that they would not set up a partner with Allah, or commit adultery, or kill their children, that they should never cast calumnies against others nor should they disobey him (the Prophet) when he orders them to do good. Should they be true to their word their reward would be Paradise, but if they, however, went back on their word, Allah will be the Arbitrator. It is upto Him to punish them or to forgive them..

So the converts of Madinah could become acquainted with Islam's teachings, the Prophet (s.a.w.) sent Mus'ab bin Umayr with them. Mus'ab was still young. Helped by those who embraced Islam among the people of Madinah he toured Madinah calling the people to Allah and the Divine message. Two of the prominent figures of the city, Sa'd bin Ma'adh and Usaid bin Hudair converted to Islam. By their entering Islam, the doors were wide open for the people of Madinah to open their hearts to Islam.

ALLEGIANCE OF AL-AQABAH

Mus'ab stayed in Madinah one year, during which he called the Madinites to Islam, instructed them in its teachings and recited to them the Qur'an. During the next season of hajj, thirteen years after the Prophet's rise to prophethood, Mus'ab came at the head of a delegation consisting of 70 men and two women.

They promised the Prophet (s.a.w.) to meet him secretly at al-Aqabah. The first third of the night passed and the pilgrims retired to their beds. These men and women made their way to the meeting-place. The Prophet (s.a.w.) came there escorted by his uncle al-Abbas bin Abdul-Muttalib, al-Abbas was the first to speak:

..Muhammad's place among us is well-known to you. We protect him from our people. He enjoys a high status among his people and he is secure in his city. But he has insisted on joining you. Now, if you think that you will fulfil your promise to him and defend him against his opponents then you should do your best. But if you think of handing him over to his enemies and failing him, then from this point leave him enjoying the power and protection of his people. 43

We have heard what you said, they said in unison. O Messenger of Allah, speak out, and state what obligations you and Your Lord want from us.

The Prophet (s.a.w.) then recited verses from the Qur'an and invited them to Islam and said,

Pledge your allegiance to me. Listen to me and obey me during the periods of activity and lethargy, Spend of your money during ease and difficulty, enjoin the good and forbid the evil, convey the words of Allah fearing no blame from anyone, help me and give me, should I resort to you, the same protection you give to yourselves and your own wives and offspring. Your reward will certainly be Paradise ... 44

They agreed to these conditions and pledged their allegiance to him one after the other.

Compared to the first allegiance of al-Aqabah, this one, the second allegiance of al-Aqabah, bad tremendous effects on the souls of the faithful. On the horizon they saw the harbingers of an imminent victory. After a prolonged period of oppression, suppression and terror, ever in the span of thirteen years in Mecca, now the doors of hope were flung wide open before them.

The Quraish, on hearing the news of the allegiance of al-Aqabah, were startled, and filled with fear. Hurriedly they held a meeting at which a decision was arrived at: Track down the Madinites who met the Prophet (s.a.w.) at al-Aqabah. After much effort, they arrested al-Mundhir bin Amru but he broke away from them. Sa'd bin Ubada was also captured. They tied his hands to his neck and dragged him by his hair. Heavily beating him, they brought him to Mecca. But, luckily, Mut'im bin Uday and al-Harith bin Harb bin Umayyah saved him, due to business relation they had with him.

The new faith found new grounds to stand firmly an. Now the Prophet (s.a.w.) ordered his adherents to flee Mecca, for the purpose of preserving their faith, and to set out in the direction of Madinah.

Secretly, the groups of the migrants began to arrive in the city of faith. In the heart of the night, they moved towards Madinah, leaving behind them their property and houses for the sake of Allah. 45

Fearing the consequences of the immigration, the Quraish tried to prevent same of the faithful from going to Madinah. In that, they achieved same success.

Then came the day when Allah allowed His Prophet (s.a.w) to immigrate to the blessed land. That was a consequence of a meeting held by the chiefs of the Quraish at the hall of council to settle the matter of the Prophet (s.a.w.) once and far all. There, conflicting views were expressed. One said: Draw up new agreements against him. Another proposed killing him. A third one advised them to turn him out of Mecca.

A third proposal was brought forward which won the consensus of the participants in the meeting. The proposal was that a young men should be picked from every clan of the Quraish, including Bani Hashim. They would be charged with the task of killing the Prophet (s.a.w.) with their swords. They would strike their blow together. As no specific man could be identified as the murderer of the Prophet (s.a.w.), his blood would he shed, and so Bani Hashim would not seek vengeance.

Allah, the Mast High, revealed to His Messenger their plot:

And when those who disbelieved devised plans against you that they might confine you or slay you or drive you away; and they devised plans and Allah too had arranged a plan; and Allah is the best of planners.

Holy Qur'an (8:30)

The Quraish wanted to execute the plan at nightfall, but Abu-Lahab proposed the break of dawn as mast suitable. They posted guards around the house of the Prophet (s.a.w.) so that he would not slip out of their hands.

Ordering Ali (a.s.) to sleep in his bed and wrap him in his cloak, the Prophet (s.a.w.) made his way among them reciting the holy verse:

And We have made before them a barrier and a barrier behind them, then We have covered them over so that they do not see.

Holy Qur'an (36:9)

In a certain place, the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) met Abu Bakr bin Abi Quhafa 46, and, then, both of them went into hiding in a cave on Mt. Thawr.

In the early morning, the young men raided the house and swept into the Prophet's bedroom. Ali (a.s.) sprang to his feet and asked them angrily, What do you want?

Where is Muhammad? , they inquired.

Have you placed me as a watchman on him? Ali retorted.

Haven't you threatened to expel him from your city? He has left of his own will. 47

They angrily turned to Abu-Lahab and beat him, saying, You have been deceiving us all the night! They set out for the surrounding mountains in search of the Prophet (s.a.w.). Abu Karz, renowned for his skill in tracking footprints through the desert led them, following the tracks of the Prophet (s.a.w.), to the cave. He could never have gone farther. He must either have ascended to heaven or sunk into the earth!', 48

They examined the entrance to the cave. A spider had spun its web on the whole mouth of the cave. Muhammad could not have hidden here, they thought and they departed.

The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) remained in the cave three nights. When he was sure that the Quraish had given up their pursuit, he set out for Madinah, accompanied by a guide whom he had hired from Mecca.

After a few days they arrived at a place called Quba, outside Madinah. There, he was received by Kulthum bin al- Hadm, an old man from the clan of Amru bin Awf. 49

During his stay there, the Prophet (s.a.w.), built the mosque of Quba. He waited for Ali bin Abi-Talib, to whom he had written earlier asking him to hand back the articles that were entrusted to him to their owners and then join him.

Acting upon the Prophet's orders, Ali (a.s.) bought camels on which he carried Fatimah his mother, Fatimah the daughter of the Prophet (s.a.w.), Fatimah daughter of al-Zubair bin Abdul-Muttalib, and Fatimah the daughter of Hamzah. Before leaving, he ordered the weak among the faithful to immigrate to Madinah by night. 50

When Ali's caravan reached Quba, the Prophet (s.a.w.) embraced Ali (a.s.) and broke into tears in sympathy with him. Ali was worn-out at the end of the tiresome journey.

Only two days after Ali's arrival at Quba the Prophet (s.a.w.) mounted his camel on his way to Madinah. O Messenger of Allah, the clan of Amru bin Awf, gathering around him, said, Stay with us. We are diligent and filled with fortitude. We will take up arms and protect you..

Leave her, he pointed to his she-camel, go her own way. She will decide. 51 The helpers (Ansar) hurried towards him making a circle round the camel. The Prophet (s.a.w.) insisted on making way for his camel. At noon, of that day, a Friday, the Prophet (s.a.w.) arrived at the residences of the clan of Salim. They urged him to dismount there. The camel stopped and sank to the ground. He dismounted and went into their mosque, which they had built before the Prophet's arrival, and lead them in prayer. He delivered a sermon, the first one after his immigration. Then, once again, proceeded, flanked by the crowds of the faithful.

In expression of their overwhelming happiness, the women and children went up the roofs and cried loudly and repeatedly Allahu-Akbar. The Prophet had arrived in Madinah and the people hospitably and joyfully received him.

The Prophet could hardly pass a house without their people coming out and entreating him to stay with them, O Messenger of Allah, come to power, mightiness and wealth. In response, the Prophet (s.a.w.) thankfully smiled at them pointing to his she-camel: Leave her go her own way. She will decide. The camel moved on, but, then, at a certain place she sank. It was at the door of the house of Abu-Ayyub, Khalid bin Zaid al-Ansari that she stopped and that was the spot where the Prophet's mosque was then built.

The Prophet (s.a.w.) dismounted, and the wife of Abu Ayyub hurried to the saddle and took it from the back of the camel into her house. The Prophet (s.a.w.) was, by now, the guest of Abu-Ayyub, may Allah be pleased with him-. He remained there till the mosque was raised and a circle of houses was built around it.

As the Quraish stepped up their cruelties and torture against the fledgling community, the Muslims began to immigrate in groups or as individuals to Yathrib, where people were receptive to the message of Islam. Thus these people became known as Muhajirin (Immigrants). When the Muslim men and women began to emigrate from Mecca, their once bustling houses became deserted and dreary places, of which the lovers lament and the poets sing. The year as the divine message took a crucial turn, the Quraish increased their harassment, to seize the possessions and houses of the Muslims and detaining their women and children as captives. Some of the prominent houses including those of Banu Madh'un, Banu Jahash, Banu Bakr were closed down by the infidels.

Plundering the Houses

Share this article

Comments 0

Your comment

Comment description

Most Reviews