The Life and Times of Muhammad (P) 1

The Life and Times of Muham­mad (P)

Edward Gib­bon describes the Arabs before Islam in his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire as “…the human brute with­out sense is poor­ly dis­tin­guished from the rest of the ani­mal”. From this abject bar­barism, an unlet­tered per­son ele­vat­ed them, as in the words of Thomas Carlyle :

…into Torch-bear­ers of Light And Learn­ing. To the Arab nation it was a birth from dark­ness into light. Ara­bia first became alive by means of it. A poor shep­herd peo­ple, roam­ing unno­ticed in its deserts since the cre­ation of the world. See, the unno­ticed becomes world notable, the small has grown world-great. With­in one cen­tu­ry after­wards Ara­bia was at Grana­da on one hand and at Del­hi on the oth­er. Glanc­ing in val­our and splen­dour, and the light of genius, Ara­bia shines over a great sec­tion of the world…” 

So, who was this Unlet­tered Per­son who sin­gle-hand­ed­ly trans­formed bar­bar­ians and sav­ages, who wor­shipped 360 Idols around the Ka’abah, into civil­lized peo­ple who wor­ship the only One True God ?

The Birth of Muhammad

Prophet Muham­mad (peace and bless­ings of Allah be upon him) was born in Makkah on Mon­day the 12th of the month of Rabi-ul-Aww­al”, The Year of the Ele­phant” (“A’am al-Feel” in Ara­bic) which cor­re­sponds rough­ly to April 20, 571 A.D. The rea­son it was giv­en this name was because it was the year when Abra­ha Al-Ashram, the local gov­er­nor of the Ethiopi­an pro­tec­torate of al-Yemen, mount­ed his ele­phant and lead his army in an attempt to storm Makkah and destroy the Kaabah.

Muham­mad’s father’s name was Abdul­lah and his moth­er’s name was Ami­na, the daugh­ter of Wahab. His full name was Muham­mad the son of Abdul­lah the son of Abd al-Mut­tal­ib the son of Hashim the son of Abdul Man­af the son of Qushai the son of Kilab the son of Mur­rah the son of Kaab the son of Luai the son of Ghal­ib the son of Fihir the son of Malik the son of Al-Nad­har the son of Knana the son of Khuza­ima the son of Mdra­ka the son of Ilias the son of Mudir the son of Nizar the son of Ma’ad the son of Adnan. The ances­try of Adnan goes back to Kedar the son of Ish­mael, the son of Prophet Abra­ham(P). Muham­mad’s grand­fa­ther, Abdul Mut­tal­ib, was the leader of the tribe of Quraish, the noblest of the tribes of the region and his moth­er was a woman of promi­nent nobil­i­ty and ances­try in the same tribe.

His father, Abdul­lah, died sev­er­al weeks before his birth in Yathrib (Med­i­nah) where he went to vis­it his father’s mater­nal rel­a­tives. His moth­er died while on the return jour­ney from Med­i­nah at a place called Abwa when he was six years old. He was raised by his pater­nal grand­fa­ther Abd al-Mut­tal­ib (Shay­bah) until the age of eight, and after his grand­fa­ther’s death by Abu Tal­ib, his pater­nal uncle. Abd al Mut­tal­ib’s moth­er, Salma, was a native of Med­i­nah and he was born and raised as a young boy in Med­i­nah before his uncle Mut­tal­ib brought him to Makkah to suc­ceed him. Many years before Muham­mad’s birth, Abd al Mut­tal­ib had estab­lished him­self as an influ­en­tial leader of the Arab tribe Quraish” in Makkah and took care of the Holy sanc­tu­ary Ka’abah”. Makkah was a city-state well con­nect­ed to the car­a­van routes to Syr­ia and Egypt in the north and north­west and Yemen in the south. Muham­mad was a descen­dant of Prophet Ismail through the lin­eage of his sec­ond son Kedar.

Ka’abah is the first house of wor­ship built on earth for the wor­ship of Allah, the One True God. It was re-built (raised from the exist­ing foun­da­tion) by the Prophets Ibrahim (Abra­ham) and Isma’il (Ish­mael), peace be upon them. Allah is the prop­er name of the One True God, cre­ator and sus­tain­er of the uni­verse, who does not have a part­ner or asso­ciate, and He did not beget nor was He begot­ten. Unlike the word god”, the word Allah does not have a plur­al or gender.

Muham­mad’s(P) moth­er Ami­na died when he was six years old and was fol­lowed short­ly there­after by his grand­fa­ther Abdul Mut­tal­ib when he was eight years old. At this point, he went to live with his uncle Abu Tal­ib and his three cousins Ali, Jaa­far, and Akeel. Under the guardian­ship of Abu Tal­ib, Muham­mad began to earn a liv­ing as a busi­ness­man and a trad­er. As he grew up he earned a rep­u­ta­tion for hon­esty, fair­ness, hum­ble­ness, and integri­ty. At the age of twelve, he accom­pa­nied Abu Tal­ib with a mer­chant car­a­van as far as Bostra in Syr­ia. Muham­mad was pop­u­lar­ly known as al-Ameen’ for his unim­peach­able char­ac­ter by the Makkans and vis­i­tors alike. The title al-Ameen means the Hon­est, the Reli­able and the Trust­wor­thy, and it sig­ni­fied the high­est stan­dard of moral and pub­lic life.

Upon hear­ing of Muham­mad’s impres­sive cre­den­tials, Khadi­jah, a rich mer­chant wid­ow, asked Muham­mad to take some mer­chan­dise for trade to Syr­ia. Soon after this trip when he was twen­ty-five, Khadi­jah pro­posed mar­riage to Muham­mad through a rel­a­tive. Muham­mad accept­ed the pro­pos­al. At that time, Khadi­jah was twice wid­owed and forty years old. Khadi­jah r.a and Muham­mad were the par­ents of 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. His sec­ond son Abdul­lah died in infan­cy. Abdul­lah was also called affec­tion­ate­ly as Tayyab” and Tahir” because he was born after Muham­mad’s prophet­hood. The four daugh­ters were : Zainab, Ruqayyah, Umm Kulthum, and Fatimah.

The Holy Sanc­tu­ary Ka’abah was now filled with three hun­dred six­ty idols. The orig­i­nal, pris­tine mes­sage of Prophet Ibrahim(P) was lost, and it was mixed with super­sti­tions and tra­di­tions of pil­grims and vis­i­tors from dis­tant places, who were used to idol wor­ship and myths. In every gen­er­a­tion, a small group of men and women detest­ed the pol­lu­tion of Ka’abah and kept pure their prac­tice of the reli­gion taught by Prophets Ibrahim and Ismail. They used to spend some of their time away from this pol­lut­ed envi­ron­ment in retreats to near­by hills. The ascetic han­i­fs were known to retreat there for soli­tary reflec­tion and med­i­ta­tion. Muham­mad prac­ticed this for some time­by retreat­ing to Mt. Hira,which is extreme­ly rocky with almost inac­ces­si­ble slopes.; how­ev­er, on one of these occa­sions he would be changed forever.

The Call to Prophethood

Muham­mad was forty when, dur­ing his one of many retreats to Mount Hira for med­i­ta­tion dur­ing the month of Ramadan, he received the first rev­e­la­tion from the Archangel Jib­ril (Gabriel). On the night of 17 Ramad­han, cor­re­spond­ing with 6 August 610 CE, Gabriel vis­it­ed him at one of his med­i­ta­tions at Hira’. On this first appear­ance, Gabriel said to Muham­mad : Iqraa”, mean­ing Read or Recite. Muham­mad replied, I can­not read,” as he had not received any for­mal edu­ca­tion and did not know how to read or write. The Angel Gabriel then embraced him until he reached the lim­it of his endurance and after releas­ing said : Iqraa.” Muham­mad’s answer was the same as before. Gabriel repeat­ed the embrace for the third time, asked him to repeat after him and said :

Recite in the name of your Lord who cre­at­ed ! He cre­at­ed man from that which clings. Recite ; and thy Lord is most Boun­ti­ful, He who has taught by the pen, taught man what he knew not.” 

These rev­e­la­tions are the first five vers­es of Sura’ (Chap­ter) 96 of the Qur’an. Thus it was in the year 610 CE the rev­e­la­tion began. This hadith narrates :

There came to him the angel and said : Recite, to which he replied : I am not let­tered. He took hold of me (the Apos­tle said) and pressed me, till I was hard pressed ; there­after he let me off and said : Recite. I said, I am not let­tered. He then again took hold of me and pressed me for the sec­ond time till I was hard pressed and then let me off and said : Recite, to which I replied : I am not let­tered. He took hold of me and pressed me for a third time, till I was hard pressed and then let me go and said : Recite in the name of your Lord Who cre­at­ed, cre­at­ed man from a clot of blood. Recite. And your most boun­ti­ful Lord is He Who taught the use of the pen, taught man what he knew not.“1

The event dis­turbed Muham­mad deeply. He was ter­ri­fied by the whole expe­ri­ence of the rev­e­la­tion and fled the cave of Mt. Hira [Qur’an 81:19 – 29]. When he reached his home, tired and fright­ened, he asked his wife : cov­er me, cov­er me”, in a blan­ket. After his awe had some­what abat­ed, his wife Khadi­jah asked him about the rea­son of his great anx­i­ety and fear. She then assured him by say­ing : Allah (The One God) will not let you down because you are kind to rel­a­tives, you speak only the truth, you help the poor, the orphan and the needy, and you are an hon­est man.”

In anoth­er hadith :

Allah’s Apos­tle said, I was in seclu­sion in the cave of Hira, and after I com­plet­ed the lim­it­ed peri­od of my seclu­sion, I cam down and heard a voice me. I looked to my right, but saw noth­ing. Then I looked up and saw some­thing. So I went to Khadi­ja and told her to wrap me up and pour cold water on me. So they wrapped me up and poured could water on me.“2

Khadi­jah then con­sult­ed with her cousin War­raqa, a Chris­t­ian, who was an old, saint­ly man pos­sess­ing knowl­edge of pre­vi­ous rev­e­la­tions and scrip­tures. When Waraqqa heard what had hap­pened he shout­ed with excite­ment : Qud­dusun ! Qud­dusun ! (Holy ! Holy!) and by Him, in whose hands is the life of Waraqa, if you have told me the truth, O Khadi­jah, he (Muham­mad) have been vis­it­ed by al-Namus al-Akbar (the Archangel Gabriel) who used to vis­it Moses. Say to him : be brave and res­olute”. Khadi­jah hur­ried back with the reas­sur­ing mes­sage and the glad tid­ings of Waraqa which Muham­mad received with great relief and sat­is­fac­tion. The Prophet then gave him­self up to a long and rest­ful sleep. When he woke up, Khadi­jah told him more about her vis­it to Waraqa. Even­tu­al­ly Muham­mad went to meet him. Waraqqa told him : By Him in whose hands my soul rests, you are the prophet of this nation, and the one who vis­it­ed you is none oth­er than the namus who vis­it­ed Moses. Ver­i­ly, your peo­ple shall call you a liar, abuse you, expel you, and wage war against you.”

When Muham­mad(P) heard these words he was bewil­dered, for he knew of his noble stand­ing with his peo­ple, their great respect and admi­ra­tion for him, and how they called him The Truth­ful, the Trust­wor­thy,” so he asked War­raqa : Will they expel me?” War­raqa replied Yes ! Nev­er has there come a man before you with sim­i­lar to that which you have come with except his peo­ple fought him and waged war against him. If I were to live to that day, I shall stand by you and assist you might­i­ly.” How­ev­er, War­raqa died short­ly thereafter.

Khadi­jah(R) accept­ed the rev­e­la­tion as truth and was the first per­son to accept Islam. She sup­port­ed her hus­band in every hard­ship, most notably dur­ing the three-year boy­cott” of the Prophet’s clan by the pagan Quraishy. Khadi­jah owns virtues uncom­mon among the women of the pagan Arabs, for this rea­son she was called At-Tahi­rah. She has a sharp mind, ambi­tious and likes to help those in need.

Among all the wives of the Prophet(P), her ances­try is the clos­est to that of the Prophet(P) himself :

    Muham­mad bin Abdul­lah bin Abd al-Muthal­ib bin Hasy­im bin Abdul Man­af bin Qushai

    Khadi­jah bin­ti Khuwailid bin Asad bin Abdul Uzza bin Qushai 

She died at the age of six­ty-five in the month of Ramadan soon after the lift­ing of the boy­cott in 620 A.D.

The Angel Gabriel vis­it­ed the Prophet as com­mand­ed by Allah reveal­ing Ayat (mean­ing signs, loose­ly referred to as vers­es) in Ara­bic over a peri­od of twen­ty-three years. The rev­e­la­tions that he received were some­times a few vers­es, a part of a chap­ter or the whole chap­ter. Some rev­e­la­tions came down in response to an inquiry by the non-believ­ers. The revealed vers­es were record­ed on a vari­ety of avail­able mate­ri­als (leather, palm leaves, bark, shoul­der bones of ani­mals), mem­o­rized as soon as they were revealed, and were recit­ed in dai­ly prayers by Mus­lims (Qur’an, 80:13 – 16). Angel Gabriel taught the order and arrange­ment of vers­es, and the Prophet instruct­ed his sev­er­al scribes to record vers­es in that order (Qur’an, 75:16 – 19 and 41:41 – 42). 

Once a year, the Prophet used to recite all the vers­es revealed to him up to that time to Gabriel to authen­ti­cate the accu­ra­cy of recita­tion and the order of vers­es (Qur’an, 175:106). All the revealed vers­es (over a peri­od of 23 years and end­ing in 632 CE) were com­piled in the book known as Qur’an. The name Qur’an appears in the revealed vers­es. The Qur’an does not con­tain even a word from the Prophet. The Qur’an speaks in the first per­son, i.e., Allah’s com­mand­ments to His cre­ation. Gabriel also vis­it­ed the Prophet through­out his mis­sion inform­ing and teach­ing him of events and strat­e­gy as need­ed to help in the com­ple­tion of the prophet­ic mis­sion. The Prophet’s say­ings, actions, and approvals are record­ed sep­a­rate­ly in col­lec­tions known as Ahadith.

The mis­sion of Prophet Muham­mad(P) was to restore the wor­ship of the One True God, the cre­ator and sus­tain­er of the uni­verse, as taught by Prophet Abra­ham and all Prophets of God, and to demon­strate and com­plete the laws of moral, eth­i­cal, legal, and social con­duct and all oth­er mat­ters of sig­nif­i­cance for the human­i­ty at large.

The first few peo­ple who fol­lowed this mes­sage were : his cousin Ali, his ser­vant Zayd ibn Harithah, his friend Abu Bakr and his wife and daugh­ters. They accept­ed Islam by tes­ti­fy­ing that :

There is no Deity (wor­thy of wor­ship) except Allah (The One True God) and Muham­mad is the Mes­sen­ger of Allah.”

In the first three years of his mis­sion forty peo­ple (men and women) accept­ed Islam. This small group com­prised of youth as well as old­er peo­ple from a wide range of eco­nom­ic and social back­ground. The first peo­ple to believe in Muhammad(P) were his clos­est of kin and some of his close friends. Among them were his wife Khadi­jah, his cousin Ali ibn Abi-Talib(K), his close friend Abu Bakr As-Siddiq(R), and his adopt­ed son Zaid ibn Haritha, as well as many of the poor and weak such as Bilal the Ethiopi­an, and Abdul­lah ibn Masood, among oth­ers. Some of those who accept­ed Muham­mad’s call were nobles and lead­ers in the tribe of Quraish, such as Uth­man ibn Affan, Abdul­rah­man ibn Auf, Saad ibn Abi-Waqqash, and Tal­ha ibn Ubaidal­lah and many oth­ers. They were called As Saabiqu­u­nal awwalu­un”, which means Those who were the first who revert to Islam”.

Sir William Muir, the author of The Life of Mahomet” writes that :

It is strong­ly cor­rob­o­ra­tive of Mahome­t’s sin­cer­i­ty that the ear­li­est con­verts to Islam were not only of upright char­ac­ter, but his own bossom friends and peo­ple of his house­hold who, inti­mate­ly acquaint­ed with his pri­vate life, could not fail oth­er­wise to have detect­ed those dis­crepen­cies which ever more or less exist between the pro­fes­sions of the hyp­o­crit­i­cal deceiv­er abroad and his actions at home.” 

Dec­la­ra­tion of Prophet­hood in Public

Muham­mad’s call to Islam con­tin­ued in secret for a peri­od of three years at which point the fol­low­ing verse was revealed to him :

There­fore expound open­ly that which you are com­mand­ed, and be heed­less of those who asso­ciate part­ners with God.” (Qur’an, 15:94)

Upon receiv­ing this com­mand, Muham­mad(P) climbed to the top of the hill of Al-Safa and shout­ed at the top of his lungs : Ya saba­ha!” This call was well known to be a call of dire dis­tress and impend­ing per­il. It was usu­al­ly reserved to warn of a siege by a hos­tile army. Imme­di­ate­ly the cit­i­zens clam­ored around him to learn what alarm­ing news he had to reveal to them. When they had assem­bled around him he proclaimed :

O chil­dren of Abdul-Mut­tal­ib, O chil­dren of Fihr, O chil­dren of Kaab, if I were to warn you that at the bot­tom of this hill are hors­es [of war] about to attack you, would you believe me?” 

The peo­ple replied : Yes!”

Then Muham­mad said : Then [be noti­fied that] I am a warn­er, before me is a ter­ri­ble punishment.” 

Every­one fell silent and did not know what to say until one of the nobles, Muham­mad’s uncle Abu Lahab, blurt­ed out : Damn you the rest of the day ! Is this why you assem­bled us?”

From that day for­ward, Muham­mad(P) called to Islam open­ly and with­out fear. With time, more and more peo­ple began to accept this call and became Mus­lims. Most of them, how­ev­er, were of the poor, the weak, and the des­ti­tute of Quraish. In the begin­ning, the nobles did not pay him much heed until they learned that he was derid­ing their idols. This is when their ani­mos­i­ty and their cam­paign of ret­ri­bu­tion began.

At first, the nobles tried to con­vince Muham­mad’s fol­low­ers that he was a lunatic or a magi­cian. How­ev­er, when this method did not suc­ceed, the Quraish began to per­se­cute Mus­lims by beat­ing, tor­ture and boy­cott of their busi­ness­es. Those who were weak, poor or slaves were pub­licly tor­tured. Those of them who had no clan to pro­tect them were sub­ject­ed to the worst of this tor­ture. Many were whipped, stoned, beat­en, starved and burned. The nobles took great pains to come up with new and inno­v­a­tive ways to tor­ture them. Among these was the method employed by Umayya against his slave Bilal the Ethiopi­an. He would take him out to the desert at the hottest time of day, lay him on his back under the scorch­ing sun, then order that a large boul­der be rolled onto his stom­ach. All the while Bilal remained res­olute, repeat­ing : “[God is] one, [God is] one.”

At the same time, the tribe of Makhzoom would take the fam­i­ly of Yasir, the father the moth­er and the son, out to the desert dur­ing the mid­day heat and tor­ture them severe­ly. While this was going on, Muham­mad(P) would pass by them and say : Have patience fam­i­ly of Yasir. Your appoint­ment is with heav­en.” Khab­bab ibn Al-Art nar­rat­ed that : They used to take me out, light a fire, and then roast me over it. A man then came and placed his foot on my chest extin­guish­ing the fire with my back.”

It was well known in the Ara­bi­an penin­su­la that one does not attack or abuse mem­bers of a strong clan or tribe for fear that that tribe might seek ret­ri­bu­tion. Those who did not belong to such a tribe would enter into a pact of pro­tec­tion with a noble of a strong clan or tribe. In such a man­ner peo­ple would pro­tect their fam­i­lies and wealth from the aggres­sion of their neigh­bors. When Quraish first began its cam­paign of per­se­cu­tion of Muham­mad(P) and his com­pan­ions many of them sought pro­tec­tion by ally­ing them­selves with non-Mus­lims in this man­ner. For exam­ple, Abu Bakr al-Sid­diq had allied him­self with ibn Al-Dagh­nah, and Uth­man ibn Mad­h­goon allied him­self with Al-Waleed ibn al-Mugeer­ah. Muhammad(P) him­self was under the pro­tec­tion of his uncle Abu Tal­ib. This pro­tec­tion by no means pro­tect­ed them from all abuse, how­ev­er, it did afford them a mea­sure of pro­tec­tion against the sever­est tor­ture or mur­der. It is worth men­tion­ing though that both Abu Bakr(R) and Uth­man(R) both felt such pro­tec­tion by non-Mus­lims inap­pro­pri­ate and lat­er renounced that pro­tec­tion in favour of the pro­tec­tion of Allah Almighty. The Prophet Muham­mad(P) even met per­se­cu­tion with­in the sub-tribe of his fam­i­ly, the Bani Hashim. The main oppo­nents of Muham­mad among the Bani Hisham were his uncles Abu Jahl and Abu Lahab. Ibn Ishaq tells of Abu Jahl’s harsh persection :

It was that evil man Abu Jahl who stirred up the Mec­ca­ns against them [the Mus­lims]. When he heard that a man had become a Mus­lim, if he was a man of social impor­tance and had rela­tions to defend him, he rep­ri­mand­ed him and poured scorn on him, say­ing, You have for­sak­en the reli­gion of your father who was bet­ter than you. We will declare you a block­head and brand you as a fool, and destroy your rep­u­ta­tion.” If he was a mer­chant he said, We will boy­cott your goods and reduce you to beg­gary.” If he was a per­son of no social impor­tance, he beat him and incit­ed peo­ple against him.“3

Because of the con­tin­u­ous and unre­lent­ing per­se­cu­tion of Quraish towards the Mus­lims, it was next to impos­si­ble for any among them to pub­licly declare his accep­tance of the faith much less call oth­ers to Islam.

One day the Com­pan­ions of Muham­mad(P) gath­ered togeth­er and said to one anoth­er By Allah, Quraish has yet to hear this Qur’an recit­ed to them out loud, so who among you shall recite it to them?” Abdul­lah the son of Masood vol­un­teered : I shall do it.” They object­ed : We are afraid that they might attack you, we want some­one who has a strong tribe or clan to pro­tect him if they decide to harm him.” Abdul­lah replied : Let me be the one, God shall pro­tect me.” 

At day break, Abdul­lah set out to their gath­er­ing place next to the Kaa­ba and in a loud voice he began to recite the Qur’an. He read :

In the name of Allah, Most Com­pas­sion­ate, Most Mer­ci­ful. The Most Com­pas­sion­ate ! [He] has taught the Qur’an. He cre­at­ed man. He taught him elo­quent speech …” (Qur’an, 55:1 – 4

As Abdul­lah con­tin­ued to recite the Qur’an the nobles of Quraish asked one anoth­er What is he say­ing?” Then one of them said He is read­ing part of that which Muham­mad has brought!” So they all sprang up and began to strike him about his face, all the while he con­tin­ued to recite this chap­ter to them until he felt that they had heard enough.

The Quraishy, lead­ers of Makkah, took the Prophet’s preach­ing with hos­til­i­ty. The most hos­tile and clos­est to the prophet was his uncle, Abu Lahab and his wife. Ini­tial­ly, they and oth­er lead­ers of Quraish tried to bribe him with mon­ey and pow­er includ­ing an offer to make him king if he were to aban­don his mes­sage. When this did not work, they tried to con­vince his uncle Abu Tal­ib to accept the best young man of Makkah in place of Muham­mad and to allow them to kill Muham­mad. His uncle tried to per­suade the Prophet to stop preach­ing but the Prophet said : O uncle, if they were to put the sun in my right hand and the moon in my left hand to stop me from preach­ing Islam, I would nev­er stop. I will keep preach­ing until Allah makes Islam pre­vail or I die.”

The Mus­lims from well-to-do fam­i­lies were phys­i­cal­ly restrained in their homes with the con­di­tion that if they repent they will be allowed free­dom of move­ment. The Prophet(P) was pub­licly ridiculed and humil­i­at­ed includ­ing fre­quent throw­ing of filth on him in the street and while he prayed in the Ka’abah. In spite of great hard­ships and no appar­ent sup­port, the mes­sage of Islam kept all Mus­lims firm in their belief. The Prophet(P) was asked by God to be patient and to preach the mes­sage of Qur?an. He advised Mus­lims to remain patient because he did not receive any rev­e­la­tion yet to retal­i­ate against their persecutors.

When the per­se­cu­tion became unbear­able for most Mus­lims, the Prophet(P) advised them in the fifth year of his mis­sion (615 CE) to emi­grate to Abyssinia (mod­ern Ethiopia) where Ashabah (Negus, a Cop­tic Chris­t­ian) was the ruler. Eighty peo­ple, not count­ing the small chil­dren, emi­grat­ed in small groups to avoid detec­tion. No soon­er had they left the Ara­bi­an coast­line, the lead­ers of Quraish dis­cov­ered their flight. They decid­ed to not leave these Mus­lims in peace, and imme­di­ate­ly sent two of their envoys to Negus to bring all of them back. How­ev­er, Negus allowed them to stay under his pro­tec­tion after he inves­ti­gat­ed Mus­lim belief and heard the rev­e­la­tions about Eesa and Maryam (peace be upon them both), which appears in Chap­ter 19, enti­tled Sura’ Maryam (Mary), of the Qur’an. The emi­grants were allowed free­dom of wor­ship in Abyssinia.

The Quraish then made life even more dif­fi­cult for the Prophet(P) by imple­ment­ing total ban on con­tact with the Prophet’s fam­i­ly (Bani Hashim and Mut­tal­ib). The ban last­ed for three years with­out the desired effect. Just before the ban was lift­ed, the Prophet was con­tact­ed by the lead­ers of Quraish to agree to a com­pro­mise under which they should all prac­tice both reli­gions (i.e., Islam and Idol­a­try). Upon hear­ing this, the Prophet recit­ed a rev­e­la­tion (Qur’an, 109) he had just received and which ends with the words : “… For you your reli­gion and for me mine.” The ban was lift­ed when lead­ers of Quraish dis­cov­ered that 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 Your Name, O Allah.” The effects of the three-year boy­cott left the Prophet with more per­son­al sor­row when he lost his beloved wife Khadi­jah (ra) and uncle Abu Tal­ib soon after the ban was lift­ed. This year is called Aamul huzni” (The Year of Sadness).

After Khadi­jah’s death in 620 CE, the Prophet mar­ried a wid­owed Mus­lim woman, Saudah(R) who was fifty years old. She and her hus­band had emi­grat­ed to Abyssinia in the ear­ly years of per­se­cu­tion. After her hus­band died, she came back to Makkah and sought Prophet’s shel­ter. The Prophet, rec­og­niz­ing her sac­ri­fices for Islam, extend­ed his shel­ter by mar­ry­ing her. Lat­er in the same year, the Prophet upon receiv­ing the divine com­mand in a dream, after approval of Saudah, con­tract­ed mar­riage to A’ishah, the daugh­ter of his dear com­pan­ion Abu Bakar. She joined the Prophet in Med­i­nah, com­plet­ing the mar­riage con­tract. Saudah and Aishah(R) were the only wives until he was fifty-six years old.

The Dis­ap­point­ment at Ta’if

After the death of his uncle Abu Tal­ib, the Prophet(P) went to Ta’if (about 50 miles east, south­east of Makkah) in search of the pro­tec­tion of the tribe of Thaqeef and with the hope that they might accept his mes­sage. He pre­sent­ed his mes­sage to Ibn Abd-Yalayl ibn Abdu Kulal and the nobles of Al-Ta’if. They, how­ev­er, met him with curs­es and abuse. They then roused the cit­i­zens and enflamed their pas­sions against him till they stoned him out of their city and he fled from them into a farm belong­ing to Utba and Shai­ba the sons of Rabeea. These two watched him from a dis­tance as he sat below one of their grape arbors and sup­pli­cat­ed to Allah.

Sir William Muir comments :

There is some­thing lofty and hero­ic in this jour­ney of Mahomet to Tayif ; a soli­tary man, despised and reject­ed by his own peo­ple, going bold­ly forth in the name of God, like Jon­ah to Nin­eveh, and sum­mon­ing an idol­a­trous city to pepent and sup­port his mis­sion. It sheds a strong light on the inten­si­ty of his belief in the divine ori­gin of his calling.” 

When Muham­mad(P) saw that the peo­ple of Ta’if had left him alone and returned to their dai­ly lives, with a heavy heart he lift­ed his hands towards the heav­ens and prayed : O my Lord, unto you I bewail my weak­ness, inabil­i­ty, and dis­re­gard of mankind towards me. O Most Mer­ci­ful of the mer­ci­ful, you are the Lord of the weak and my Lord. Unto whom shall you deliv­er me ? Unto one who is dis­tant and shall glow­er at me, or unto an ene­my whom you have giv­en author­i­ty over me ? If you are not angry against me then I do not care [what befalls me], but your [gifts of] well being are more com­modi­ous for me. I seek refuge in the light of your face that has over­come all dark­ness, and through which all mat­ters of this life and the here­after have been estab­lished in jus­tice, that your ret­ri­bu­tion should fall upon me, or your dis­dain should befall me. Unto you is [all] appease­ment until you are appeased, and no one has pow­er or abil­i­ty except in You.”

As Utba and Shai­ba watched Muham­mad(P) they felt pity on him and sent to him their slave boy, Addas, to col­lect a bowl of grapes and take it to him. Addas col­lect­ed the grapes and took them to Muham­mad plac­ing them in his hand. He then said : Eat.” As Muham­mad was about to eat he began with the words In the name of Allah” (which all Mus­lims say before eat­ing or drink­ing). Addas was a Chris­t­ian and when he heard these words he said to Muham­mad Ver­i­ly, these are not the words of the peo­ple of this land.” Muham­mad asked him from which land he came and Addas replied From Nin­wa’.” Muham­mad said : From the land of the pious man Jon­ah the son of Amit­tai.” Addas mar­veled : And how do you know Jon­ah the son of Amit­tai?” Muham­mad (pbuh) respond­ed : He is my broth­er. He was a mes­sen­ger and I am a mes­sen­ger.” Upon hear­ing these words Addas took to kiss­ing the hands, head and feet of Muhammad.

When Urwa and Shai­ba saw this they said to one anoth­er : Ver­i­ly, he has quite cor­rupt­ed our slave boy.” When Addas returned to them they said to him : Fie upon you Addas ! Why did you kiss the man’s head, hands and feet?” Addas replied : O mas­ters, there is noth­ing in this earth bet­ter than this mat­ter. He has told me of a mat­ter which is only known to a mes­sen­ger” They rebuked him say­ing : Fie unto you Addas ! Do not allow him to divert you from your reli­gion. Your reli­gion is far bet­ter than his!”

Muham­mad(P) then depart­ed and returned home prac­ti­cal­ly over­whelmed with exces­sive sor­row. On his way home he stopped in Qarn ath-Tha’al­ib, as he looked up, he saw a cloud shad­ow­ing him and he saw the angel Gabriel in it. Angel Gabriel then addressed him say­ing : Allah has heard what your peo­ple said to you, and how they have replied to you. Allah has sent the Angel of the Moun­tains to you so that you may order him to do what­ev­er you wish to these peo­ple.” The Angel of the Moun­tains then called out greet­ing him and then said, O Muham­mad ! Order what you wish. If you like, I shall cause al-Akhshabayn (two moun­tains sur­round­ing Al-Taif) to fall upon them.” The Prophet (pbuh), replied No, for I hope that there shall be among their chil­dren those who will wor­ship Allah alone, and will wor­ship none besides Him.” It was on the return jour­ney from Ta’if that the vers­es from Sura’ Al Jinn (72) were revealed. It indi­cat­ed that the Qur’an is a book of guid­ance to both the Jinns and Humankind.

The Event of al-Isra’ and al-Mi’raaj

Soon after the ter­ri­ble dis­ap­point­ment at Ta’if, the Prophet(P) expe­ri­enced the events of al-Isra’ and al-Mi’raaj , which hap­pen on the night of 27 Rejab (621 CE). In the Al-Israa, Gabriel took the Prophet from the sacred Mosque near Kaabah to the fur­thest (al-Aqsa) mosque in Jerusalem in a very short time in the lat­ter part of a night. Here, Prophet Muham­mad met with pre­vi­ous Prophets (Abra­ham, Moses, Jesus and oth­ers) and he led them in prayer. After this, in Al-Miraaj, the Prophet was tak­en up to heav­ens to show the signs of God. It was on this jour­ney that the five dai­ly prayers were pre­scribed. He was then tak­en back to Kaa’bah, the whole expe­ri­ence last­ing a few hours of a night. Upon hear­ing this, the peo­ple of Makkah mocked at him. How­ev­er, when his spe­cif­ic descrip­tion of Jerusalem, oth­er things on the way, and the car­a­van that he saw on this jour­ney includ­ing its expect­ed arrival in Makkah turned out to be true, the ridicule of the non-believ­ers stopped. The event of Israa and Miraaj is men­tioned in the Qur’an — the first verse of Chap­ter 17 enti­tled Al-Isra’, The Night Journey”.

Soon after the event of Isra’ and Mi’raaj, the time of the hajj, the Arab clans from the whole of Ara­bia came to Makkah. Among them were the men from Yathrib. The Prophet s.a.w expound­ed his Mes­sage to them and 6 of them became Mus­lims. They com­mend his mes­sage as from Allah and promised to pro­claim it when the returned to their city. A year lat­er, in the 12th year of the Prophet­hood of Muham­mad(P), they met again in secret at Awabah. This is the place where they made a bai’at (pledge) on the fun­da­men­tals of Islam ; that they will not take no oth­er gods beside Allah, they would not steal, they will not com­mit adul­tery, they will not kill their chil­dren, they will not slan­der and they will not dis­obey the Prophet(P). This pledge is called Bai’at­ul Aqa­batil Ula (The First Pledge of Aqabah) or is also known as Bai’atun Nisa.

A par­tic­i­pant narrates :

I was present at the first Aqa­ba. There were twelve of us and we pledged our­selves to the Prophet after the man­ner of women [i.e. with­out blood­shed] and that was before war was enjoined, the under­tak­ing being that we hsould asso­ciate noth­ing with God ; we should not steal ; we should not com­mit for­ni­ca­tion ; nor kill our off­spring ; we should not slan­der our neigh­bours ; we should not dis­obey him in what was right ; if we ful­filled this par­adise would be ours ; if we com­mit­ted any of those sins it was for God to pun­ish or for­give as he pleased [cf. Sura 60:12].” (Ibn Ishaq, Sir­at Rasul­lah, p. 199

After this, Muham­mad sent a close com­pan­ion named Mus’ab bin Umair, to teach them the Qur’an. The spread of the new faith in the city was extreme­ly swift, and the fol­low­ing year, Mus’ab returned with 73 men and 2 women and took the sec­ond pledge of Aqa­ba (Bai’at­ul Aqabah Ats Tsaaniyah). A wit­ness said :

We have lis­tened to what you have said : had there been some oth­er ideas in our mind would have expressed it. We mean to ful­fill (our promis­es) and want truth, and we are ready to sac­ri­fice our lives for the Apos­tle of Allah, may Allah bless him.“4

In 622 CE, the lead­ers of the Quraish decid­ed to kill the Prophet and they devel­oped a plan in which one man was cho­sen from each of the Quraish tribes and they were to attack the Prophet(P) simul­ta­ne­ous­ly. Gabriel informed the Prophet of the plan and instruct­ed him to leave Makkah imme­di­ate­ly. The Prophet, after mak­ing arrange­ments to return the prop­er­ties entrust­ed to him by sev­er­al non-believ­ers, left with Abu Bakr in the night he was to be assassinated.

Muham­mad(P) set out with Abu-Bakr towards Yathrib. When the two reached the cave of Thor at the edge of Makkah, Abu Bakr said : Wait O mes­sen­ger of Allah while I inspect it [for dan­ger­ous crea­tures].” Once he had inspect­ed it he asked Muham­mad(P) to enter. While they were inside the cave, the dis­patch­ment of Quraish reached them.

As they walked about all around the cave Abu Bakr became ter­ri­fied and said :

O Mes­sen­ger of Allah, if one of them were but to look beneath his feet he would see us.”

Muham­mad(P) turned to him and said :

O Abu Bakr, what shall you think of two [men] the third of whom is God ? [through guid­ance and pro­tec­tion]” In this regard the fol­low­ing vers­es were lat­er revealed :

If you help him not [it mat­ters not], for Allah helped him when those who dis­be­lieved drove him forth, the sec­ond of two ; when they two were in the cave, when he said unto his com­rade : Grieve not. Ver­i­ly ! Allah is with us. Then Allah caused His peace of reas­sur­ance to descend upon him and sup­port­ed him with troops you did not see, and made the word of those who dis­be­lieved the nether­most, while Allah’s Word is the high­est. For Allah is Exalt­ed in Might, Wise.” (Qur’an, 9:40)

Muham­mad(P) and Abu Bakr(R) remained inside the cave for three days while Abdul­lah the son of Abu Bakr brought them news of the plot­ting of Quraish. Abu Bakr’s daugh­ter, Asma, would also bring them food every day. Ibn Sa’ad writes :

A spi­der span a cob­web, some parts of which cov­ered oth­ers [which cov­ered the entrance to the cave]. The Quraysh made a fran­tic search for the Apos­tle of Allah, may Allah bless him. They even came to the entrance of the cave, but some­one among them said, Ver­i­ly, spi­ders haunt this place from before the birth of Muham­mad ; and they returned.“5

After three days, they took a guide by the name of Abdul­lah ibn Arqat and set out for Makkah. At times Abu Bakr would walk behind Muham­mad(P) and at oth­ers he would walk in front of him. Final­ly, Muham­mad(P) asked him about that and Abu-Bakr explained that at times he would fear that an attack would come at Muham­mad from behind, so he would walk behind Muhammad(P) to pro­tect him. At oth­er times he would fear an attack from in front of them so he would walk in front of him for the same rea­son. When Quraishy real­ized that Muham­mad had elud­ed them, they announced a reward of one hun­dred camels for any­one who would cap­ture him and return him to them. Suraqa ibn Malik ibn Ju’ushum heard of this reward and set out in pur­suit of Muham­mad(P).

Suraqa was a skilled track­er and Muhammad(P) and Abu Bakr had spent three days in the cave before depart­ing, even­tu­al­ly he caught up with them. How­ev­er, as he began to close in on them his horse tripped and fell. He then got up and mount­ed his horse, and again it tripped and fell. When this hap­pened a third time his horse began to sink into the ground and a strong wind began to blow. When Suraqa saw this he real­ized that he would not be allowed to cap­ture them. So he called out to them : I am Suraqa ibn Ju’ushum. Will you allow me to speak to you ? By Allah, I promise not to harm you” They asked him what he want­ed and he replied : I want you to write a pact for me that shall be a sign between me and you.” Muham­mad(P) com­mand­ed that this pact be writ­ten and Suraqa took it and left. As he depart­ed, Muham­mad said to him : con­ceal our loca­tion” and they part­ed ways. 

Suraqa nev­er spoke to any­one about what had hap­pened until many years lat­er, after the Mus­lims cap­tured Makkah. At that point, Suraqa returned to Muham­mad(P) with the pact in his hand and embraced Islam. When Muham­mad(P) drew near Al-Mad­i­nah, he came upon the city of Quba (two miles away from Al-Mad­i­nah). Ever since the begin­ning of the emi­gra­tion of the Mus­lims to Al-Med­i­na, the cit­i­zens of the city had been wait­ing with the utmost antic­i­pa­tion for his arrival. They had received word that he had left Makkah and was en route to them. Every day a par­ty of them would go out to the out­skirts of the city at day­break and look for him, they would stay there wait­ing for him until the mid­day heat would force them indoors.

Muham­mad(P) and Abu Bakr first arrived on Mon­day, 12th of Safar (the third lunar month). Muham­mad was fifty three years old at the time. When they arrived the cit­i­zens had already returned home for the after­noon. The first per­son to see him called out at the top of his lungs announc­ing his arrival. Muham­mad(P) and Abu Bakr were men of sim­i­lar age. Most of the cit­i­zens of Al-Mad­i­nah had nev­er seen Muham­mad(P) in per­son, so they could not tell which one was him. When Abu Bakr real­ized this he stood over Muham­mad(P) and shad­ed him with his coat where­upon the peo­ple rec­og­nized Muham­mad(P).

It is esti­mat­ed that about five hun­dred peo­ple greet­ed them on that day and the peo­ple clam­ored on the roof tops try­ing to get a glimpse of him and cry­ing : Which one is him ? Which one is him?” while the chil­dren and the slaves filled the streets shout­ing God is great ! God’s mes­sen­ger has come ! God is great ! Muham­mad has arrived!”

The peo­ple then joined togeth­er in singing :

    >The full moon [Muham­mad] has risen upon us
    From the direc­tion of Thaniyy­at al-Wada’a”
    And all thanks [to Allah] is incum­bent upon us
    So long as a caller calls to Allah
    O you who were sent among us
    You have come with a heed­ed command
    You have brought favor upon the city
    Wel­come, O best of callers.

This event is known as the Hijra (migra­tion) of the Prophet(P)and the Islam­ic cal­en­dar begins with this event. The peo­ple of Aus and Khazraj in Mad­i­nah greet­ed him with great enthu­si­asm in accor­dance with their made at Aqa­ba less than a year ago dur­ing the annu­al pil­grim­age. One by one those Mus­lims (men and women) of Makkah who were not phys­i­cal­ly restrained, and who could make a secret exit, left for Med­i­nah leav­ing behind their prop­er­ties and homes.

To ensure the peace and tran­quil­i­ty, the Prophet(P) pro­posed a treaty defin­ing terms of con­duct for all inhab­i­tants of Mad­i­nah. It was rat­i­fied by all — Mus­lims, non-Mus­lim Arabs and Jews. After his emi­gra­tion to Mad­i­nah, the ene­mies of Islam increased their assault from all sides. The Bat­tles of Badr, Uhud and Allies (Trench) were fought near or around Mad­i­nah. In these bat­tles until the year 627 A.D., the non-believ­ers with encour­age­ment from Jews and oth­er Ara­bi­an tribes attacked the Prophet and Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ty. The Mus­lims while defend­ing their city and reli­gion lost many men, which result­ed in many wid­owed Mus­lim women and numer­ous orphaned children. 

In these cir­cum­stances, Prophet Muham­mad mar­ried sev­er­al women dur­ing fifty-sixth year up to the six­ti­eth year of his life. He did not con­tract any mar­riage in the last three years of his life, fol­low­ing the rev­e­la­tion lim­it­ing the num­ber of wives up to a max­i­mum of four. This is the first time in the his­to­ry of revealed scrip­tures that a lim­it on the num­ber of wives was imposed and the terms of con­duct were spec­i­fied. The Prophet was instruct­ed not to divorce any of his wives after this rev­e­la­tion (Qur’an, 33:52). All of the ladies he took as wives were either wid­owed or divorced, except Aishah.

The Prophet mar­ried Umm Salamah(R) in 626 A.D. Her hus­band had died of wounds inflict­ed in the Bat­tle of Uhud (625 CE). When the Prophet(P) asked her for mar­riage, she replied : O Mes­sen­ger of God, I suf­fer from three short­com­ings. I am a very jeal­ous woman, and I am afraid this might cause me to do things that you dis­like. Sec­ond­ly, I am an old woman. Final­ly, I have many chil­dren.” The Prophet answered : Regard­ing your jeal­ousy, I pray to God to remove it from you. As for your age, we are sim­i­lar in age. As for the chil­dren, your chil­dren are mine.” Thus it was that she agreed to mar­ry the Prophet(P). The Prophet’s mar­riage con­tract with Ummul Habibah(R) was sol­em­nized, by proxy, by Negus, King of Abyssinia, in 628 A.D.

Two of his wives, Juwayr­i­ah and Safiyyah, were pris­on­ers of war. Both belonged to the fam­i­ly of the chief of their tribes and were set free by the Prophet ; they then glad­ly accept­ed Islam and were pleased to become the Prophet’s wives. The Prophet’s mar­riages pro­vid­ed secu­ri­ty to women who would have oth­er­wise remained unmar­ried, unpro­tect­ed, or felt humil­i­at­ed. His mar­riages were also a means of trans­mit­ting impor­tant teach­ings of Islam. The Prophet’s wives, called the Moth­ers of the Believ­ers” (Qur’an, 33 : 6 and the last part of verse 53) showed them­selves as exam­ples of prop­er Mus­lim wom­an­hood. All his wives, espe­cial­ly Aishah, trans­mit­ted many hadith (say­ings, deeds and actions) from Prophet Muhammad.

The Treaty of Huday­biyah and the Open­ing of Makkah

A year after the Bat­tle of Allies (Trench), the Prophet and fif­teen hun­dred of his com­pan­ions left for Makkah to per­form the annu­al pil­grim­age (628 A.D.). They were barred from approach­ing the city at Huday­biyah, where after some nego­ti­a­tions a treaty was signed allow­ing for them to come next year. This treaty, known as Shul­hul Hidaibiyah” (The Treaty of Huday­biyah) facil­i­tat­ed exchange of ideas among the peo­ple of the whole region with­out inter­fer­ence. Many del­e­ga­tions from all regions of Ara­bia came to the Prophet(P) to inves­ti­gate the teach­ings of Islam, and a large num­ber of peo­ple accept­ed Islam with­in a cou­ple of years. The Prophet(P) sent many of his com­pan­ions (who mem­o­rized the Qur’an by heart) to new com­mu­ni­ties to instruct them about the prac­tice of Islam. More than fifty of them were mur­dered by non-believers.

A few weeks after Huday­biyah the Prophet(P) sent let­ters to sev­er­al kings and rulers (includ­ing two super­pow­ers — Byzan­tines and Per­sians) invit­ing them to Islam. Negus, the king of Abyssinia and the Ruler of Bahrain accept­ed Islam, and Emper­or Her­a­clius acknowl­edged Muham­mad’s Prophet­hood. Among rulers who accept­ed Islam but with­out any ini­tia­tive from the Prophet was Chakrawati Far­mas, a Hin­du King of Mal­abar (locat­ed on the south­west coast of India). About two years lat­er at the end of 629 A.D., the Quraish vio­lat­ed the terms of the Treaty of Huday­biyah by help­ing Banu Bakr in the sur­prise attack on Bani Khuza?ah (Jews, and non-Mus­lim at that) who were allied with the Prophet. Some of Bani Khuzaah?s men escaped and took shel­ter in Makkah and they sought redress. How­ev­er, the lead­ers of Quraish did noth­ing. They then sent a mes­sage to the Prophet(P) for help.

The Prophet(P), after con­firm­ing all the reports of the attack and sub­se­quent events, marched to Makkah with an army con­sist­ing of three thou­sand Mus­lims of Med­i­nah and Mus­lims from oth­er Arab com­mu­ni­ties that joined him on the way total­ing ten thou­sand Mus­lims. Before enter­ing the city he sent word to cit­i­zens of Makkah that any­one who remained in his home, or in Abu Sufyan’s home, or in the Kaa’bah would be safe. Who enters the house of Abu Sufyan will be safe, who lays down arms will be safe, who locks his door will be safe.” The army entered Makkah with­out fight­ing and the Prophet went direct­ly to the Kaa’bah. He mag­ni­fied Allah for the tri­umphant entry in the Holy city. The Prophet point­ed at each idol with a stick he had in his hand and said, Truth has come and False­hood will nei­ther start nor will it reap­pear.” (Qur’an, 17:81). And one by one the idols fell down. The Ka’bah was then cleansed by the removal of all three hun­dred six­ty idols, and it was restored to its pris­tine sta­tus for the wor­ship of One True God (as built by Prophets Ibrahim and Ismail).

The peo­ple of the city expect­ed gen­er­al slaugh­ter in view of their per­se­cu­tion and tor­ture of Mus­lims for the past twen­ty years. While stand­ing by the Ka’abah, the Prophet(P) promised clemen­cy for the Makkans, 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 for­gave them all, say­ing : I will treat you as Prophet Yusuf (Joseph) treat­ed his broth­ers. There is no reproach against you. Go to your homes, and you are all free.” The Prophet also declared : Allah made Makkah holy the day He cre­at­ed heav­ens and earth, and it is the holy of holies until the Res­ur­rec­tion Day. It is not law­ful for any­one who believes in Allah and the last day to shed blood there­in, nor to cut down trees there­in. It was not law­ful to any­one before me and it will not be law­ful to any­one after me.”

The peo­ple of Makkah then accept­ed Islam includ­ing the staunch ene­mies of the Prophet. A few of the staunchest ene­mies and mil­i­tary com­man­ders had fled Makkah after his entry. How­ev­er, when they received the Prophet’s assur­ance of no retal­i­a­tion and no com­pul­sion in reli­gion, they came back and grad­u­al­ly the mes­sage of Islam won their hearts. With­in a year (630 A.D.), almost all Ara­bia accept­ed Islam. Among the Prophet’s close com­pan­ions were Mus­lims from such diverse back­ground as Per­sia, Abyssinia, Syr­ia and Rome. Sev­er­al promi­nent Jew­ish Rab­bis, Chris­t­ian bish­ops and cler­gy­men accept­ed Islam after dis­cus­sions with the Prophet.

One night in March 630 A.D., the Angel Gabriel vis­it­ed the Prophet and addressed him as : O’ father of Ibrahim.” A few hours lat­er, the Prophet received the news of the birth of his son from his wife, Mari­ah and the Prophet named him Ibrahim. He was the only child born after the six chil­dren from Prophet’s first wife Khadi­jah. Ibrahim died when he was ten months old. On the day of Ibrahim’s death, there was an eclipse of the sun. When some peo­ple began to attribute it to the Prophet’s bereave­ment, he said : The sun and the moon are two signs of the signs of God. Their light is not dimmed for any man’s death. If you see them eclipsed, you should pray until they be clear.”

The great change in Ara­bia alarmed the two super­pow­ers, Byzan­tines (Romans) and Per­sians. Their Gov­er­nors, par­tic­u­lar­ly the Byzan­tines, react­ed with threats to attack Med­i­nah. Instead of wait­ing, the prophet sent a small army to defend the north­most bor­der of Ara­bia. In the remain­ing life of the Prophet, all of the major bat­tles were fought on the north­ern front. The Prophet did not have a stand­ing army.Whenever he received a threat, he called the Mus­lims and dis­cussed with them the sit­u­a­tion and gath­ered vol­un­teers to fight any aggression.

The Last Pil­grim­age and His Passing

The Prophet(P) per­formed his first and last pil­grim­age in 8 Zul­hi­j­jah 10AH, cor­re­spond­ing with 7 March 632 A.D. One hun­dred twen­ty-thou­sand men and women per­formed pil­grim­age that year with him. The Prophet gave his last ser­mon and received the last rev­e­la­tion dur­ing this pil­grim­age. Two months lat­er, Prophet Muham­mad(P) fell ill and after sev­er­al days died on Mon­day, 12 Rabi al-Aww­al, the eleventh year after Hijra (June 8, 632 A.D.) in Med­i­nah. He is buried in the same place where he died.

Prophet Muham­mad(P) lived a most sim­ple, aus­tere and mod­est life. He and his fam­i­ly used to go with­out cooked meal sev­er­al days at a time, rely­ing only on dates, dried bread and water. Dur­ing the day he was the busiest man, as he per­formed his duties in many roles all at once as head of state, chief jus­tice, com­man­der-in-chief, arbi­tra­tor, instruc­tor and fam­i­ly man. He was the most devot­ed man at night. He used to spend one- to two-thirds of every night in prayer and meditation. 

The Prophet’s pos­ses­sion con­sist­ed of mats, blan­kets, jugs and oth­er sim­ple things even when he was the vir­tu­al ruler of Ara­bia. He left noth­ing to be inher­it­ed except a white mule (a gift from Muqawqis), few ammu­ni­tion and a piece of land that he had made a gift dur­ing his life time. Among his last words were : We the com­mu­ni­ty of Prophets are not inher­it­ed. What­ev­er we leave is for charity.” 

At the end of his mis­sion, the Prophet(P) was blessed with sev­er­al hun­dred thou­sand fol­low­ers (men and women) of Islam. Thou­sands prayed with him at the mosque and lis­tened to his ser­mon. Hun­dreds of sin­cere Mus­lims would find every oppor­tu­ni­ty to be with him fol­low­ing five dai­ly prayers and at oth­er times. They used to seek his advice for their every­day prob­lems, and lis­tened atten­tive­ly to the inter­pre­ta­tion and appli­ca­tion of revealed vers­es to their sit­u­a­tion. They fol­lowed the mes­sage of the Qur’an and the Mes­sen­ger of Allah with utmost sin­cer­i­ty, and sup­port­ed him with every thing they had. The most excel­lent among them are Abu Bakr, Umar, Uth­man, Ali, Tal­ha, Zubair, Abdur Rah­man ibn Auf, S’ad bin Abi Waqqas, S’ad bin Zaid, Abu Ubei­dah, Hasan, Hus­sain, and sev­er­al dozen oth­ers. They faith­ful­ly car­ried the mes­sage of Islam after the Prophet, and with­in nine­ty years the light of Islam reached Spain, North Africa, the Cau­ca­sus, north­west Chi­na and India.Endmark

Cite this arti­cle as : Mohd Elfie Nieshaem Juferi, The Life and Times of Muham­mad (P),” in Bis­mi­ka Allahu­ma, Sep­tem­ber 19, 2005, last accessed Feb­ru­ary 28, 2024, https://​bis​mikaal​lahu​ma​.org/​m​u​h​a​m​m​a​d​/​h​i​s​t​o​r​i​c​-​j​o​u​r​n​ey/
  1. Sahih Mus­lim ; vol. 1, p. 97[]
  2. (Sahih Bukhari ; vol. 6, pp. 417 – 418[]
  3. Sir­at Rasul­lah, p. 145[]
  4. Ibn Sa’d, Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir ; vol. 1, p. 257[]
  5. Ibn S’ad, Kitab al-Taqa­bat al- Kabir ; vol. 1, p. 265[]

Comments

2 responses to “The Life and Times of Muham­mad (P)”

  1. Online Quran Tutor Avatar

    You will be able to learn the rules of Tajweed in schools. This is because most schools offer Islam­ic lessons as part of their curriculum.

  2. Islamic knowledge Avatar

    May Allah reward you for this great arti­cle. May Allah bless to all. Islam is the fil­er to achieve­ment par­adise. We should apply this in every time in life.

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