The Marriage of Muhammad (SA)
- :S.M.R. Shabbar
Adopted from the book : "Story of the Holy Ka’aba And its People" by : "S.M.R. Shabbar"
One of the leading trading families in those days was the family of Khadija a widow who was looking for an honest young man to look after her business affairs. Muhammad (SA) took Khadija's caravan party to Syria and various other places and was a great success. Khadija was impressed and asked him for marriage. Although being much older then Muhammad (SA), (she was 40 years old), the marriage was agreed upon by both families and Muhammad’s uncle Abu Talib read the Khutba of marriage and performed the marriage ceremony according to the Ibrahimic traditions. The words of the Khutba as described in Sirat-e-Rasullallah by Ibne Hisham were:
“Praises be for Allah who was the God of Ibrahim who worshipped one God and a muslim. I am the descendent of Ibrahim and have remained on the same religion of One God. May Allah keep this purity among the descendents of Ibrahim for ever”. After this Khutba Abu Talib completed the marriage ceremony between Muhammad (SA) and Khadija. Muhammad (SA) moved to her house and the partnership from trading to partnership in life began in earnest. A baby daughter was born to Khadija within a few years after the marriage. She was named Fatima (SA). Khadija had two daughters from her earlier marriage which ended in widowhood. So the three daughters, two from Khadija’s earlier marriages and one from Muhammad (SA) grew up together in the same house. History mentions another boy growing up in Muhammad’s house. He was Ali (AS), Abu Talib’s son. Ali (AS) was born in the year 30 Amulfeel when Muhammad was 30 years old. Fatima’s birth was recorded some five year’s later. So the difference of ages between Fatima and Ali was about 5 years. Ali was treated by Muhammad (SA) like a son and Muhammad (SA) took him every where he went. Ibne Hisham in his Sirat mentions that Muhammad (SA) began to meditate more and more. He would leave the town of Makka to the nearby hill called Jabal el Noor. There was a cave at the top of the hill and Muhammad (SA) would climb the mountain and sit in the cave to meditate. Sometimes he would stay there for days. Many times Ali accompanied him.
One such story tells us that on one occasion Muhammad (SA) did not return for 3 or 4 days and Abu Talib was concerned. His son Ali was also with him. They had taken some food with them. So the searching party from Makka went to the mountain looking for the two. When they reached the top and entered the cave they found Muhammad (SA) and Ali (AS) meditating together, safe and sound. Abu Talib asked Muhammad what did he do there. Muhammad told his uncle that he and Ali were engaged in meditating about the creator of the universe, the God of Ibrahim and Ismael
This meditation continued until one day a voice was heard inside the cave. It said, “Read”.
Muhammad (SA) replied what shall I read. The voice said, “Read in the name of thy Lord”. He was Angel Gabril who told Muhammad (SA) that he was ordained by Allah to be the Messenger of Allah and to preach this “Deen” to the people.
This was the first revelation that came over Muhammad (SA) when he was told to begin his preaching of the Qur’an to Makkans. Muhammad (SA) came home and told Khadija about this who immediately accepted him as the Messenger of God. She also said that her uncle Warqa had told her that Muhammad (SA) had the signs of a great Messenger. When the news of this first revelation of Verse from the Qur’an had reached Warqa through Khadija he told her, “Didn’t I tell you that this husband of yours was the Messenger of God”. Ali (AS) was living with Muhammad (SA) and had also accompanied him to the Mountain of Hira, and had also experienced the revelation with Muhammad (SA). He had no doubts who Muhammad (SA) was and was the first to acknowledge him as the Messenger of Allah. Khadija among the women, their daughter Fatima (SA) and the two daughters from Khadija’s earlier marriage. All acknowledged Muhammad (SA) as the Messenger of Allah. Muhammad (SA) used to enter the Ka’aba and pray there with Khadija and Ali (SA). The story was mentioned by Ibne Hisham in his Sirat as follows: 'One day these three were praying while Abbas Ibne Abdul Muttalib, Muhammad’s uncle was sitting on the nearby hill and watching. A trader from Yemen was sitting with Abbas. He asked Abbas who were these three people praying in a strange man.
The woman was Muhammad’s wife Khadija and the boy was Abu Talib’s son Ali. “they follow some strange ‘deen’ which we are not familiar with yet,” was Abbas’s reply.
Muhammad (SA) said that “Lailaha Illallah” means that there is no god, only Allah that Muhammad (SA) is His messenger, and that all men are born equal. He taught against idolatry, and against social injustices of the time. In the beginning this preaching of One God went on secretly. Zaid and Abubakr were the other two who accepted Islam. The slave community of Makka began to accept this because they liked the tone of equality of all human beings. But once they accepted the faith they became steadfast never to go back to their adulatory even after suffering torture by their masters.
Muhammad (SA) preached Islam secretly for 3 years but only a few people were converted to Islam. At the end of the 3rd year Allah told Muhammad to “invite your own family and clan and announce to them that you are preaching Islam.” Muhammad (SA) asked Ali to prepare some food. Some bread, meat and milk was brought in. Over 40 heads of the Tribes of Qoraish were invited. They came, ate food then before Muhammad (SA) was able to say anything they all dispersed. So the next day Muhammad (SA) Invited them again and immediately after food Muhammad (SA) announced, “I am the Messenger of Allah and my message is of peace and surrender to One God, any one who helps me in this work will be my Deputy and will be my successor after me.” Ali who was only 13 years old stood up and told Muhammad (SA) he will help him in his work. Muhammad (SA) asked Ali to sit down and repeated the same announcement three times and all three times Ali stood alone. In the end Muhammad (SA) announced that Ali will be his deputy and successor after him. One head of the tribesmen laughed at this and one even told Abu Talib, father of Ali that “now you should obey your son.” Now that this religion came out in the open the Qoraish of Makka became openly hostile. In the beginning they thought that the whole thing was a joke, but gradually when it became serious, they were angry and became openly hostile. For the people of Makka and towns like Taif, this was a very strange religion. They disliked it so much that first they persecuted the muslims, then organised a boycott of Muhammad and his whole family of Banu Hashim. They banished him from Makka and the whole family lived in the Hills and mountains around Makka. The place became known as Sho’be Abu Talib, As Abu Talib as Head of the Clan of Banu Hashim protected the family while they were in exile. For three years the family suffered hunger and great poverty. The Leaders of Quraish had written down on a peace of goat skin that Banu Hashim shall never return to the city until Muhammad (SA) denounces his single god religion. At the end of three years Muhammad told his uncle Abu Talib to go to Makka and tell the Makkans that the peace of skin on which the agreement was written was no more. As it was sealed and was kept inside the Kaaba and no one was allowed to enter the place, they were surprised. The leaders said that if Muhammad (SA) was right and the agrwas no more, then they will lift the siege of Banu Hashim and let them return to the city. The Kaaba was opened, the sealed box was opened and the peace of parchment on which the agreement was written was found to be consumed by insects. When they saw this they agreed to liftthe siege and allowed the family of Banu Hashim to return to the City. Little had they realised that the news of this miraculous knowledge of Muhammad (SA) about the disappearance of the parchment, had a great effect on the people of Makka and they began to accept Islam. After this event many more Makkans were accepting Islam readily, especially the poor class of Makka who accepted Islam in earnest. But with this conversion, the feudal lords of Makka had increased their hostility towards new converts, punishing them and torturing them so much so that in the end Muhammad (SA) told them to migrate to another land. Habasha (Abysiniya) was the nearest country across the seas where they could hope to be safe. So the first migration began and about 83 new muslims under the leadership of Ali’s elder brother Jaafer Ibne Abi Talib, migrated to Habasha. Until that time Jaafer was the main writer of the revelation (Wahii) with 2 other companions named Abdullah Ibne Masood and Obai Ibne Ka’aba. Mas’ab Ibne Omair was also an early convert to Islam and a writer of the Revelation. He was sent to Yathrib to teach Qur’an to the people early there who had shown a great interest in this new creed.
Ali Ibne Talib, after his elder brother Jaafer’s departure to Habasha became the head among the writers of the Revelation. Ali continued with the writing of the Revelation up to the last Verse of the Holy Qur’an. This was revealed after the Khutba of the Holy Prophet at Ghadeere Khum on 18th of Zilhijja 10th Hijri. This Verse is in Sura 5 (Maeda) V.3 which says that “This day I have perfected your Deen for you, and I have completed my blessings on you, and I have approved Islam for your Deen.” Seventy days after the event, the Holy Prophet passed away.
Islam was spreading rapidly, Muhammad’s uncle Hamza entered the fold of Islam which gave great strength to the new creed. It was at this time that Omar Ibne Khattab also came to accept Islam.
After Muhammads (SA) return from the Shu’be Abi Talib to the normal city life of Makka, Islam had start to spread rapidly under the protection of Muhammad’s uncle Abu Talib. But Allah had other plans. Abu Talib and Khadija both died within one year which was a sad blow to the family. The Hostility of the Qoraish had taken a dangerous trend especially after the death of Abu Talib. Abu Lahab and Abu Sofyan who were the leaders of the hostile group against Islam made plans to end Muhammad’s life. They thought of a scheme where if one person from each tribe of Qoraish surrounded Muhammad’s house, entered the house in the morning and killed him then the blame would be on all tribes and Banu Hashim would not be able to take revenge. Allah told the Prophet of this scheme and instructed him to leave the city of Makka and migrate to Yathrib. Muhammad asked Ali to sleep in his bed to deceive the enemy. Ali asked “ will this save your life,” Muhammad (SA) said yes, it will save my life. Ali replied “then I have no hesitation in sleeping in your bed disguised as you.” While Ali slept in Muhammad’s bed, Muhammad (SA) himself left the house undetected by the enemy who had surrounded his house with open swords. Abubakr was with the Prophet, when they left Makka from the southern exit and hid in a cave a few miles away. While they were inside the cave a spider weaved a web on the entrance to the cave to give an impression that no one had entered the cave. Meanwhile in Makka the enemy with open swords entered Muhammad’s house in order to kill him, but found Ali sleeping soundly. They asked Ali, where was Muhammad to which Ali replied, “have you entrusted him to me?” The enemy left disappointed, but realised that Muhammad (SA) must have gone to Yathrib. They tried to follow the tracks with the help of professional trackers and reached the cave of Thaur where these two were sitting inside. But the spider’s web deceived them and they all came back disappointed.
Muhammad (SA) reached Yathrib, the town some 400 kilometres north of Makka and the converts there named the city as ‘the city of the Prophet’ (Madinatun Nabi). Ever since then the town has been known as Madina. The date of this migration was 26th July 623 AD and under the new Islamic Calendar, the first year of the Hijra. Ali stayed in Makka to give back to the owners all the valuables which the people of Makka had deposited with Muhammad for safe keeping. After three days when this important task was completed Ali (AS) set out for Madina and arrived there a week later. Muhammad (SA) waited for him at the outskirts of the town and entered the town with the whole family.
The People of Madina helped Muhammad (SA) settle in this new place. Their help was appreciated so much so that they were called Ansars, the Helpers, while those who came from Makka were called Muhajiroon, the migrants. On orders from Allah, Muhammad (SA) brought Muhajirs and Ansars together by making each Ansar a brother to a Muhajir. This way they shared each others property like brothers. Muhammad (SA) took Ali (AS) as his brother in faith, although Ali was his cousin in relation to blood. (Sirat Ibne Hisham).
Muhammad’s daughter Fatima was about l 9 years old and there were many suitors, but whenever somebody asked Muhammad (SA) for Fatima’s hand in marriage he kept quiet. One day Ali (AS) came to the mosque and asked for Fatima’s hand in marriage. Muhammad replied "Yes, this has been ordained by Allah." He asked , "What property do you have," to which Ali replied, "not much." He had a sword, a horse and a protective shield. Muhammad said "sell the shield, because you will need the horse and the sword for the protection of Islam." Ali sold his shield for 200 Dirhams, brought the money to Muhammad (SA) who added another 200 Dirhams over it and asked his companions to buy household goods to set up home for the newly weds. He then read the Khutba and finalised the marriage of Ali (AS) and Fatima. This was in the First year of the Hijra. This was a simple Islamic marriage which should be copied by all muslims instead of spending lavish amounts of money and huge dowries to cripple the parents economically for ever.
As Islam was the religion of peace and surrender to the Will of God, aggression had been forbidden. In spite of various attacks on the newly converted muslim community in Madina, Muhammad (SA) had forbidden all retaliation. News came from Makka that all those who left Makka had lost their property. The Makkans had taken all they had left behind. Muhammad’s uncle Hamza asked Muhammad (SA) to fight with the Kuffars of Makka but he did not agree. In the end when news came that the Makkans were marching towards Madina to fight Muhammad (SA) and his newly converted muslim community, the Verses came down on Muhammad (SA) to stand up and defend your “Deen”, but do not exceed the limits. In other words you can only defend, aggression was totally forbidden. (Sura Baqra,Verses 173-174)
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