The Prophet's Adulthood
Muhammad grew up to become a fine young man. He became known for his excellent manners, and because of the honesty in his conduct and dealings he was referred to as al- Saadiq (The Truthful One) and al-Amin (The Trustworthy One).
As a youngster Muhammad used to accompany his uncle on his business trips to Syria. When the Messenger of Allah reached the age of twelve he journeyed with his uncle Abu Talib as far as Busra. There he was seen by a Christian monk named Georges who recognised him by his description. He took his hand and said: 'This is the chief of the Worlds, God will send him as a mercy to the Worlds.' Abu Talib said:
'How do you know this?' He said: 'We find mention of him in our books.' He asked Abu Talib to take him back fearing for his safety.
As an adult, Muhammad worked as a trader between the cities of Mecca and Damascus, and earned a great reputation in the process. Having heard of the reputation of Muhammad, Lady Khadijah, one of the noblest of the Quraysh, on one occasion commissioned him to take charge of some of her trading business between the two cities. Lady Khadijah sent one of her servants, Maysarah, along with him to keep an eye on him and report back to her. Having seen his performance in the business, and the returns he had produced as well as his honesty, Lady Khadijah put Muhammad in charge of her business. Although she had many proposals of marriage from various dignitaries of the Quraysh, Lady Khadijah declined them all. It is reported that it was Lady Khadijah who, albeit indirectly and discreetly, made the marriage proposal to Muhammad. Some historians have reported that when they married in 595CE they were both 25.
Lady Khadijah gave birth to three children. All of the Prophet's children were from Khadijah except Ibrahim who was from Mary the Copt, who was born in Medina and lived for a year and ten months. The male children who were all born in Mecca were; al-Qasim which is where Muhammad's epithet (Abul-Qasim; meaning Qasim's father) comes from, and Abdullah. The boys all died young during the lifetime of the Prophet. His only daughter was Fatimah, who married Imam Ali son of Abu Talib, and bore him Imam Hasan and Imam Husayn, Zaynab and Omm Kolthuom, and another son who was named Mohassen by the Prophet before his birth. Fatimah was the only one of the siblings to survive the Messenger of Allah. The Prophet Muhammad used to say Hasan and Husayn are two Imams (leaders) whether they rise up (against tyranny) or not.
Ali was born to Abu Talib and his wife Fatimah bint Assad in 600CE. Ali's birth was associated with a particularly significant phenomenon. When Fatimah bint Assad was in labour she came to the Ka'bah pleading to God for help with her labour.
It is reported by various narrators and recorded by many chroniclers that as she was engaged in her prayers by the southern wall of the Ka'bah, the wall split open and she entered the House, whereby the wall returned to its normal state. Having observed this extraordinary phenomenon, people who were present tried to follow her into the House through the opening but did not succeed. They then tried to go inside the House through its door but could not unlock the door. Reports indicate that she was inside the House for three days, and when she left the House with her newborn she did so in the same manner as she entered the House.
The Prophet Muhammad took particular interest in baby Ali, and he played a major role in Ali's upbringing and education.
Ali would be the most ardent supporter of the Prophet throughout the difficult years of the Prophet Muhammad's mission to convey the divine message and the teachings of Islam to the masses.
Adopted from the book : "The Prophet Muhammad; a Mercy to the World" by : "Ayatullah Muhammad Sadiq al-Shirazi"
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