"And We sent thee not (O Muhammad), but as a Mercy unto (all) the worlds" The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 21, Verse 107
Islam: Proof of Prophethood
Read through some basic facts about his life and you decide whether you would believe in Muhammad (PBUH). The decision is entirely yours!
1) Muhammad (PBUH) was born with no silver spoon in his mouth. His life began with infinitesimal support. His father had died before he was born. His mother dies by the time he was six years old. He was doubly orphaned at this tender age, his grandfather Abdul Muttalib took charge of him, but he too died within three years. As soon as he was able, Muhammad (PBUH) began to look after his uncle's sheep and goats. Contrast this poor, double orphaned Arab child with no formal education (God calls him "The Unlettered Prophet" in the Qur'an) with some of the great religious personalities that preceded him, and you must marvel at what destiny had in store for him!
2) History tells us that Muhammad (PBUH) was forty years of age when he received the first revelation in a cave some three miles north of the city of Mecca. It was the 27th night of the month of Ramadan. The Archangel Gabriel commanded him in his mother tongue: "Iqra" which means "Read", "Proclaim" or "Recite".. Muhammad (PBUH) is terrified and in his bewilderment replies: "I am not learned!" The angel commands him a second time with the same result. For the third time, the angel continues. Now, Muhammad (PBUH) grasps that what was required of him was to repeat or rehearse and he repeats the words as they were put in his mouth.
"Read! In the name of thy Lord and Cherisher, who created- Created man, from a (mere) clot of congealed blood; Read! And Thy Lord is most bountiful, - He who taught (the use of) the pen, - Taught man that which he knew not. Holy Qur'an, Chapter 96,Verse 1-5.
After the angel departed, Muhammad (PBUH) rushed home and asked his beloved wife to cover him up. When he regained his composure, he explained to her what he had seen and heard. She assured him of her faith in him and that Allah would not allow such a terrible thing to happen to him. Are these the confessions of an imposter? Would imposters confess that when an angel of the Lord confronts them with a message from on High, they get fear stricken and run home to their wives?!!
3) And the Book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I Pray thee: And he saith, I am not learned" Holy Bible Isaiah 29:12
Muhammad (pbuh) was absolutely unlettered and un-learned. No human had ever taught him a word. His teacher was the creator.
"He does not speak (aught), of (his own) desire It is no less than inspiration sent down to him: He was taught by one mighty in power." Holy Qur'an, Chapter 53, Verse 3-5.
Without any human learning, he put to shame the wisdom of the learned.
4) Whilst in the midst of the conversation with his pagan fellow tribesmen, God Almighty sends Gabriel with this admonition:
"The Prophet frowned and turned away, Because there came to him the blind man (interrupting). But what could tell thee that perchance he might grow (In spiritual understanding)? Or that he might receive admonition, and the teaching might profit him?" Holy Qur'an,Chapter 80, Verse 1-4.
The Prophet (PBUH) had naturally disliked the interruption. Perhaps the poor man's feelings were hurt. But he whose gentle heart ever sympathized with the poor and the afflicted, got new light (Revelation) from his Lord, and without hesitation, he immediately published it for all eternity! Every time he met this blind man, the received him graciously and thanked him that on his account the lord had remembered him. During Muhammad's (pbuh) absences from Medina, the blind man was made the Governor of the city twice. Such was the sincerity and gratitude of Muhammad (PBUH).
5)" A false man found a religion? Why, a false man cannot build a brick house! If he does not know and follow truly the properties of mortar, burnt clay and what else he works in, it is no house that he makes, but a rubbish heap. It will not stand for twelve centuries, to lodge a hundred and eighty millions; it will fall straight-away… speciosities are specious... " Thus spoke Thomas Carlyle of Muhammad (PBUH) in his "Heroes and Hero-Worship" Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world today. How is this happening? With the sword? Not even if we had the laser gun! The Holy Qur'an forbids us to use force as a means of converting!
"Let there be no compulsion in religion: For truth stands out distinct from error" Holy Qur'an,Chapter 2,Verse 256.
6) It goes greatly against the imposter theory, the fact that he lived in this entirely unexceptionable, entirely quiet and common place, till the heat of his years was done. He was forty before he talked of any mission from heaven. . All his 'ambition', seemingly, had been. Hitherto, to live an honest life; his 'fame', the mere good opinion of neighbors that knew him...
7) Is it possible that Muhammad (PBUH) might have claimed Prophet Hood in order to attain status, greatness, and power? The desire to enjoy status and power is usually associated with good food, fancy clothing, monumental palaces, colorful guards, and indisputable authority. Do any of these indicators apply to Muhammad (PBUH)? Despite his responsibilities as a Prophet, a teacher, a statesman, and a judge, Muhammad (PBUH) used to milk his goat, mend his clothes, repair his shoes, help with the household work, and visit poor people when they got sick. He also helped his Companions to dig a defensive trench by moving sand with them. His life was an amazing model of simplicity and humbleness.
8) On one occasion, in response to his uncle's plea to stop calling people to Islam, Muhammad's (PBUH) answer was decisive and sincere: "I swear by the name of Allah, O Uncle, that if they place the sun in my right hand and the moon in my left hand in return for giving up this matter (calling people to Islam), I will never desist until either Allah makes it triumph or I perish defending it."
9) Muhammad (PBUH) and his few followers not only suffered from persecution for thirteen years, but the unbelievers even tried to kill Muhammad (PBUH) several times. On one occasion they attempted to kill him by dropping a large boulder on his head. Another time they poisoned his food. What could justify such a life of suffering and sacrifice even after he was fully triumphant over his adversaries? What could explain the humbleness and nobility that he demonstrated? Were they not due only with Allah's help and not to his own genius? Are these the characteristics of a power-hungry or self-centered man?
Islam: The Prophet's(pbuh) youth
MUHAMMAD (PEACE BE UPON HIM) – HIS YOUTH
Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the son of Abd Allah, an Arab trader and Aminah, born in the year 570 A.D. After their marriage, Abd Allah spent several months with his wife but had to leave her and travel with one of the caravans to trade with Syria. He belonged to the well known Arab tribe called the Quraysh. On his way back to Mecca from Syria Abd Allah became ill and had to stop off in Yathrib to recover. The caravan, however, continued on its way and arrived back in Mecca without him. On hearing of 'Abd Allah's illness, 'Abd al-Muttalib sent another son, al-Harith, to bring 'Abd Allah back to Mecca, but he was too late. When he arrived in Yathrib Abd Allah was dead. Aminah was pregnant at the time and was heart-broken to lose her husband and the father of the child she would soon give birth to. Only God knew that this orphan child would one day be a great Prophet.
On Monday, the twelfth day of Rabi al-Awwal of the Islamic Calendar in the Year of the Elephant, Aminah gave birth to a son. Allah sends man many signs when one of His chosen Prophets is born. And on that twelfth day of Rabi al-Awwal in the year 570 A.D., many such signs were seen. Some were seen by Jewish scholars who had read in their scriptures of a coming Prophet. One of these learned men in Yathrib, for instance, saw a brilliant new star he had never seen before as he studied the heavens that night. He called the people around him and, pointing the star out to them, told them a Prophet must have been born. Aminah sent news of the birth to her father-in-law, Abd al-Muttalib, who was sitting near the Ka'bah at the time. He was very happy and began at once to think of a name for the boy. An ordinary name would not do. Six days came and went and still he had not decided. But on the seventh day, as he lay asleep near the Ka'bah, Abd al-Muttalib dreamt that he should give the baby the unusual name of Muhammad. And so the child was called Muhammad (pbuh), which means 'the Praised One'.
Like many other women in Mecca, Aminah decided to send her son away from the city for his early years to the desert where it was healthier. Women from the desert used to come to Mecca to collect the new babies and they would then keep them until they developed into strong children , for which they were well paid by the parents. Among the women who traveled to Mecca to fetch a new baby at the time Aminah's son was born, was a Bedouin woman called HaIimah. All the other women of the tribe to which Halimah belonged, the Bani Sa'd, found a child to take back with them, but not Halimah. The only baby left was Muhammad (pbuh). Usually the father paid the wet-nurse but Muhammad's (pbuh) father was dead. So no one wanted to take him, even though he was from one of the noblest families of Quraysh. Halimah did not want to take him either, but she did not want to be the only woman to go back to her tribe without a baby to bring up. She asked her husband whether she should take Muhammad (pbuh) or not. He advised her to do so, adding, 'Perhaps God will bless us because of him.' They started on the return journey and as soon as Halimah began to feed Muhammad (pbuh) her milk suddenly increased and she had enough for him as well as her baby son. When they were back home, everything began to change. The land became green, and the date trees, one of their main sources of food, gave lots of fruit. Even the sheep and their old she-camel began to give plenty of milk. Halimah and her husband knew that this good fortune had come because they had the new baby, Muhammad (pbuh), whom they had come to love as if he were their own son.
When Muhammad (pbuh) was two years old, Halimah took him back to his mother. She pleaded with Aminah, however, to let her keep him for a little longer and to her great joy the mother agreed. During his time with Halimah's family in the desert, Muhammad (pbuh) played with her children and together they would take the sheep out to graze. At other times, however, Halimah would often find him sitting alone.
Muhammad (pbuh) returned to live with his mother in Mecca when he was about three years old. Three years later Aminah decided to take her son to visit his uncles in Yathrib. She told her maid, Barakah, to prepare everything they would need for the long journey, and then they joined one of the caravans going there.
They stayed in Yathrib a month and Muhammad (pbuh) enjoyed the visit with his cousins. The climate there was very pleasant and he learned to swim and to fly a kite. On their way back to Mecca, however, Aminah became ill and died. She was buried in the village at al-Abwa not far from Yathrib. Muhammad (pbuh) returned sadly to Mecca with his mother's maid. He was now six years old and had lost both his father and mother. He was then adopted by his grandfather, Abd al-Muttalib, who loved him dearly and kept him by his side at all times.
It was the custom of Abd al-Muttalib to sit on a blanket near the Ka'bah. There he was always surrounded by people who had come to speak to him. No one was allowed to sit on the blanket with him, however, except his grandson Muhammad (pbuh). Two years later Abd al-Muttalib became ill and Muhammad (pbuh) stayed by him constantly. Abd al-Muttalib told his son, Abu Talib, to adopt Muhammad (pbuh) after his death, which he did. Abu Talib had many children of his own, but Muhammad (pbuh) immediately became part of his family and the favorite child.
The time came for the Quraysh to prepare a caravan to go to Syria. Abu Talib was going with them and he took Muhammad (pbuh) along. It was Muhammad's first journey to the north. After days of travel, the caravan arrived at a place near Syria where the Romans used to come to trade with the Arabs. Near this marketplace lived a monk called Bahira. His cell had been used by generations of monks before him and contained ancient manuscripts.
Bahira saw the caravan in the distance and was amazed to see that over it was a large white cloud. It was the only cloud in a clear blue sky and it appeared to be shading one of the travelers. The monk was even more surprised to see that the cloud seemed to follow the caravan but disappeared when the person it was shading sat down under a tree. Bahira knew from the scriptures that a prophet was expected to come after Jesus and it had been his wish to see this prophet before he died. Realizing that what he had just seen was a miracle, he began to think that his wish might, after all, come true.
The monk sent an invitation to the Meccans to come and eat with him. The Arabs were surprised because they often passed by and Bahira had never invited them before. When the group was all together for the meal, the monk said, 'Is this everyone?' 'No', someone said, 'a boy is left watching the camels.'
Bahira insisted that the boy should join them. The boy was Muhammad (pbuh). When he arrived Bahira said nothing, but watched him all through the meal. He noticed many things about his appearance which fitted the description in the old manuscripts. Later on he took him aside and asked Muhammad (pbuh) many questions. He soon found out how he felt about the idols in the Ka 'bah. When Bahira tried to make him swear by them, as the Arabs used to do, Muhammad (pbuh) said, 'There is nothing in this world that I hate more'. They talked together about God, and about Muhammad's life and family. What was said made Bahira certain that this was indeed the Prophet who would follow Jesus.
Then the monk went to Abu Talib and asked him how he was related to Muhammad (pbuh). Abu Talib told him that Muhammad (pbuh) was his son. Bahira replied that this could not be so because the boy was destined to grow up an orphan, and he ordered Abu Talib to watch over Muhammad (pbuh) with great care.
There are many stories told about Muhammad's youth. Some tell of how he used to take the family's sheep to graze and was always kind to them. While they grazed he would sit thinking about the mysteries of nature. Unlike those around him, he never worshipped the idols and never swore by them. He also wondered why people were always struggling for power and money, and this saddened him and made him feel lonely, but he kept his feelings to himself. He was a quiet, thoughtful boy, and rarely played with other boys of his age.
On one occasion, however, Muhammad (pbuh) went with some of the boys to a wedding in Mecca. When he reached the house he heard the sounds of music and dancing but just as he was about to enter he suddenly felt tired and, sitting down, fell asleep. He didn't wake up until late the next morning and thus missed the celebrations. In this way Allah prevented him from doing anything foolish for He was keeping Muhammad (pbuh) for something much more important.
Islam: Life before Prophethood
By the time Muhammad (pbuh) was twenty-five, he was well known for his honesty. He was respected by everyone, even the elders of Mecca. The purity of his nature increased with the years. It seemed he had an inner knowledge that other people did not have. He believed in one God-Creator of the world and he worshipped Him with all his heart and with all his soul. Muhammad (pbuh) was the finest of his people, the most kind, truthful and reliable person in Mecca. He was known among Quraysh as 'the trustworthy' (al-Amin) because of the good qualities God had endowed him with. He spent many quiet hours in a cave in Mount Hira, not far from Mecca, thinking about Allah.
Among Quraysh was a respected and wealthy woman named Khadijah. She was involved in trade and on hearing of Muhammad's reputation, sent for him and asked him to take her goods and trade with them in Syria. Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) agreed and left for Syria with one of Khadijah's caravans. With him went her slave, Maysarah, and they spent a great deal of time talking together. Maysarah soon came to admire Muhammad (p.b.u.h.). He thought he was quite different from all the other men of Quraysh.
Two unusual events took place during this journey which puzzled Maysarah. The first happened when they stopped to rest near the lonely home of a monk. Muhammad (pbuh) sat under a tree while Maysarah was busy with some work. The monk came up to Maysarah and asked, 'Who is the man resting under the tree?' 'One of Quraysh, the people who guard the Ka'bah', said Maysarah. 'No one but a Prophet is sitting beneath this tree', replied the monk.
Islam: Prophethood- The Early years
In his fortieth year, Muhammad (pbuh) left Mecca to spend Ramadan, the traditional month of retreat, in the cave. In the second half of Ramadan, Allah began to reveal His message for mankind through Muhammad (pbuh). This first Revelation occurred as follows. The Archangel Gabriel came to Muhammad (pbuh) in the cave and commanded him to 'Read'. Muhammad (pbuh) replied 'I cannot read.' At this the Archangel took Muhammad (pbuh) in his arms and pressed him to him until it was almost too much to bear. He then released him and said again 'Read.' 'I cannot', replied Muhammad (pbuh), at which the Archangel embraced him again. For the third time the Archangel commanded Muhammad (pbuh) to read, but still he said he could not and was again embraced. On releasing him this time, however, the Archangel Gabriel said: Read: In the Name of thy Lord who createth, Createth man from a clot. Read: And thy Lord is the Most Generous Who teacheth by the pen, Teacheth man that which he knew not. The Holy Qur'an Chapter: 46 Verses 1-5
Muhammad (pbuh) repeated these verses, just as the Archangel had said them. When the Archangel was sure Muhammad (pbuh) knew them by heart, he went away. Now that he was alone Muhammad (pbuh) could not understand what had happened to him. He was terribly afraid and rushed out of the cave. Perhaps the cave was haunted? Perhaps the devil had taken a hold of his mind? In a state of confusion he returned home to Khadijah. When his wife saw him she became very worried as he began to shiver, as though in a fever. He asked her to wrap him in blankets, which she did. After awhile he recovered sufficiently to tell her what had happened at Hira. Khadijah believed all that he told her and with great respect said: 'Be happy, O son of my uncle and be confident. Truly I swear by God who has my soul in His hands, that you will be our people's Prophet.' Muhammad (pbuh), the Messenger of God, was eased by her faith in him, but after all that had happened he was exhausted and fell fast asleep.
Khadijah left the Prophet (pbuh) sleeping and went to see her cousin, Waraqah ibn Nawfal, to ask him what he thought about all that had happened. Waraqah was a very wise man who had read many books and had become a Christian after studying the Bible. He told Khadijah that Muhammad (pbuh) had been chosen by God to be His Messenger. Just as the Archangel Gabriel had come to Moses before and had ordered him to guide his people, so, too, would Muhammad (pbuh) be the Prophet of his people. But Waraqah warned that all the people would not listen to the Prophet (pbuh) and some would mistreat his followers. He must, however, be patient because he had a great message for the entire world. From that day on, the Archangel Gabriel came often to the Prophet (pbuh) and the verses he taught him, the message from God to man, were later written down, and are known to us as the Holy Qur'an, also known as the Furqan, differentiator between right and wrong and Umm Al Kitaab(mother of all Books).
Khadijah was the first to believe the Prophet (pbuh) and accept as true what he brought from Allah. Through her, Allah made things easier for the Prophet (pbuh). Khadijah strengthened him, helped him spread his message, and stood up to the people who were against him. Then Revelation ceased for a time. The Prophet (pbuh) was upset and unhappy, thinking that Allah had left him, or that he might have angered Allah in some way so that Allah no longer thought him worthy of His message. However, the Archangel Gabriel came back to him and brought this surah, or chapter, of the Qur'an:
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful By the morning hours and by the night when it is stillest, Thy Lord hath neither forsaken thee nor doth He hate thee, and verily the Last will be better for thee than the First. And verily thy Lord will give unto thee so that thou wilt be content. Did He not find thee an orphan and protect thee? Did He not find thee wandering and guide thee? Did He not find thee destitute and enrich thee? Therefore the orphan oppress not, Therefore the beggar drive not away, And as for thy Lord's blessing, declare it. The Holy Qur'an Chapter: 43 Verses 1-2
The Prophet (pbuh) began to speak secretly of God's message to those who were close to him and whom he could trust. One day, when the Prophet (pbuh) was outside the city, the Archangel Gabriel appeared to him. The Archangel caused a spring of water to flow out from a hill. He then began to wash himself in the running water to show the Prophet (pbuh) the ritual ablution to be made before prayer. Then the Archangel showed him all the positions, of Muslim prayer - the various movements and things to be said with each movement. The Prophet (pbuh) returned home and taught all these things first to Khadijah and then to his followers. Since then Muslims have continued to purify themselves before prayer by performing the ritual ablution and have followed the same movements and prayers first performed by the Prophet (pbuh). The news of Muhammad (pbuh) being the Prophet reached an honest, wise, and respected merchant of Mecca called Abu Bakr. He knew Muhammad (pbuh) well and believed he could never lie, so he went to find out for himself if the story were true. The Prophet (pbuh) told him that he had indeed been sent by Allah to teach everyone to worship the one true God. On hearing this from the Prophet's own lips Abu Bakr knew it to be the truth and became a believer instantly. Later the Prophet (pbuh) was reported to have said that everyone he ever invited to accept Islam showed signs of disbelief and doubt, except Abu Bakr; when he was told of it, he did not hold back or hesitate.
Because of his wisdom, honesty, and kindness people had always turned to Abu Bakr for advice. He was, therefore, a man of some influence and through him many people came to Islam. Among these was Sa'd ibn Abi Waqqas, the uncle of Aminah, the Prophet's mother. The night before Abu Bakr came to visit him and tell him about Islam, Sa'd ibn Abi Waqqas dreamt that he was walking in darkness. As he walked he saw the moon and when he looked at it he saw 'Ali, Abu Bakr, and Zayd, the Prophet's freed slave, beckoning to him to come and join them. When Abu Bakr told him about the Prophet's religion, he understood the meaning of his dream and went at once to the Prophet (pbuh) and declared himself a Muslim. He understood that to be a Muslim means to submit oneself to Allah's Will and to serve only Him. The number of people following the Prophet (pbuh) began to grow. Sometimes they would all go out of the city to the mountains around Mecca to hear him recite the Qur'an and to be taught by him. This was all done very secretly and only a very few people knew about Islam in those early days. Three years passed and one day the Archangel Gabriel came to the Prophet (pbuh) and ordered him to start preaching openly to everyone. So the Prophet (pbuh) told the people of Mecca that he had something very important to tell them. He stood on a hillside in Mecca, called Safa, and they gathered around to hear what he had to say.
He started by asking them if they would believe him were he to say that an army was about to attack them. They answered that indeed they would, because he never lied. He then told them that he was the Messenger of Allah, sent to show them the right way, and to warn them of terrible punishments if they did not follow him in worshipping only Allah and none other. Abu Lahab, one of the Prophet's uncles who was among the listeners, suddenly stood up and said, 'May you perish! Did you call us here just to tell us this?' At this, Allah sent to the Prophet (pbuh) the following surah or chapter:
In the Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful The Power of Abu Lahab will perish, and he will perish. His wealth and gains will not save him. He shall roast at a flaming fire, and his wife, the carrier of firewood Will have upon her neck a rope of palm-fibre. The Holy Quran.Chapter 111 Verses 1-5
Then the crowd dispersed and the Prophet (pbuh) was left alone. A few days later the Prophet (pbuh) tried again. A feast was prepared in his house for all of his uncles. After the meal he spoke to them and said, 'O sons of Abd al-Muttalib! I know of no Arab who has come to his people with a better message than mine. I have brought you the best news for this life and the next. Allah has ordered me (pbuh) to call you to Him. So which of you will help me?' All the men kept silent. Then Ali, his cousin, jumped up and said: 'O Prophet of Allah! I will help you.' Then the men all got up and left, laughing as they went because only one young boy had agreed to help the Prophet (pbuh).
His message ignored by most of the people and his uncles, the Prophet (pbuh). Continued to meet his friends secretly in a house near the hill of Safa. There they prayed together and he taught them about the religion of Islam. One day, when the Prophet (pbuh) was returning home, speaking with his followers, he met Abu Jahl, a leader of Quraysh, who hated the Prophet (pbuh) and his teachings. Abu Jahl started to insult him and to speak spitefully of lslam, but the Prophet (pbuh) made no reply and went on his way. Later, Hamzah, one of the Prophet's uncles, who was a strong and brave warrior of whom people were quite afraid, heard how his nephew had been insulted. Filled with rage, he ran straight to the Ka'bah where Abu Jahl was sitting among the people and struck him a violent blow in the face with his bow. Hamzah then shouted, 'Will you insult him when I follow his religion, and I say what he says? Hit me back if you can!' Some people got up to help Abu Jahl but he stopped them saying, 'Leave Hamzah alone, for by God, I have insulted his nephew badly.' From that moment on Hamzah followed the teachings of the Prophet (pbuh) and with his conversion to Islam Quraysh realized that the Prophet. Had a strong supporter and so for a while they stopped persecuting him.
Soon, however, the leaders of Quraysh became angry again, when they saw that the Prophet (pbuh) was going ahead with his teaching. A group of them went to his uncle, Abu Talib, who had promised to protect him. They told him to ask the Prophet. to stop attacking their gods and their way of life, and in return they would let him do as he wished with his religion. After a time they saw that there was no change, so they went back to Abu Talib and this time they told him that if he did not stop his nephew, they would fight them both. Abu Talib sent for the Prophet (pbuh) and told him what had happened, saying, 'Spare me and spare yourself; do not put a greater burden on me than I can bear.' The Prophet (pbuh) thought that his uncle might abandon him and that he would no longer have his support, but nevertheless he answered, 'O my uncle, by God, if they put the sun in my right hand and the moon in my left in return for my giving up this cause, I would not give it up until God makes Truth victorious, or I die in His service.'
Abu Talib was deeply moved by this answer. He told the Prophet (pbuh) that he would support him for as long as he lived and encouraged him to go on spreading God's message. In order to get rid of the Prophet (pbuh) and his followers, his enemies started persecuting those Muslims who were poor or weak, or had no powerful friends. One such person was Bilal, the slave of Umayyah ibn Khalaf. His master would take him out into the desert, tie him up, and leave him in the sun with a large stone on his chest. Fortunately Abu Bakr was passing by one day and saw Umayyah torturing Bilal, so he bought him from his master for a large sum of money and then set him free. But not all persecuted Muslims were as fortunate as Bilal. Many suffered, but all of them endured it patiently, knowing that they were doing the right thing and that their reward in the life to come would be greater than any happiness they could find on earth.
As the number of the Prophet's followers increased so the enemies of the Muslims grew more and more angry. At last some of the Muslims decided to go to another country in order to live in peace. It was only five years since the Archangel Gabriel had first come to the Prophet (pbuh) and two years since the Prophet (pbuh) had spoken out in public. The Muslims asked the Prophet (pbuh) to allow them to leave Mecca. He agreed, saying 'It would be better for you to go to Abyssinia. The king there is a just man and it is a friendly country. Stay there until Allah makes it possible for you to return.' The Muslims prepared for the journey. They decided to wait until night so that they could leave without being seen. The first sixteen left Mecca and, after reaching the shore of the Red Sea, crossed over to Abyssinia. Another eighty-three men and nineteen women followed, all hoping to be welcomed by the king and people of that country. This was the first hijrah, or migration, in Islam.
The Meccans were furious when they discovered that these Muslims had secretly left the city for among them were the sons and daughters of many of the leading families of Mecca. The anger of the Meccans was even greater when they found out that the Muslims had been warmly welcomed in Abyssinia. The leaders of Quraysh decided to send two men to the Abyssinian king in hopes of persuading him to send the Muslims back. These were 'Amr ibn al-'As, a very clever speaker, and 'Abd Allah ibn abi Rabi'ah. Before they met this king, they gave each of his advisers a gift, saying: 'Some foolish men from our people have come to hide in your country. Our leaders have sent us to your ruler to persuade him to send them back, so when we speak to the king about them, do advise him to give them up to us.' The advisers agreed to do what the Meccans wished.
'Amr ibn al-'As and 'Abd Allah ibn abi Rabi'ah then went to the king and presented him also with a gift, saying: 'Your Highness, these people have abandoned the religion we have always followed in Mecca, but they have not even become Christians like you.' The royal advisers, who were also present, told the king that the Meccans had spoken the truth and that he should send the Muslims back to their own people. At this, the king became angry and said, 'No, by God, I will not give them up. Those who have come to ask for my protection, settled in my country, and chosen me rather than others, shall not be betrayed. I will summon them and ask them about what these two men have said. If the Muslims are as the Meccans say, I will give them up and send them back to their own people, but if the Meccans have lied I will protect the Muslims.
'Amr was very upset by this for the last thing he wanted was for the king to hear what the Muslims had to say. The king then sent for the Muslims. When they entered, they did not kneel before him as was the custom of the Abyssinians. 'Why do you not kneel before our king?' they were asked by one of the advisors. 'We kneel only to Allah', they replied. So the king asked them to tell him about their religion.
Ja'far ibn abi Talib, Ali's brother and a cousin of the Prophet (pbuh), was chosen to speak for the Muslims. He replied, 'O King, at first we were among the ignorant. We and our ancestors had turned from the faith of Abraham, who, with Ishmael, rebuilt the Ka'bah and worshipped the One True God. We used idols in our worship of God; we ate meat that had not been killed in the right way; we did not respect the rights of our neighbors; the strong took advantage of the weak. We did terrible things of which I dare not speak. This was our life until Allah sent a Messenger from among us, one of our relatives, whom we have always known to be honest, innocent, and faithful. He asked us to worship the One True God, and to give up the bad customs of our forefathers. He asked us to be truthful and trustworthy, to respect and help our neighbors, to honor our families, and to put a stop to our bad deeds and endless fighting. He asked us to look after orphans. He ordered us not to slander or speak evil of women or men. He ordered us to worship the one true God alone and not to worship anyone or anything else alongside Him. He ordered us to pray, to give alms, and to fast. We believe he is right and therefore we follow him and do as he has commanded us. The Meccans began to attack us and come between us and our religion. So we had to leave our homes and we have come to you, hoping to find justice.'
The king, who was a Christian, was moved by these words. 'Amr had to think quickly of a way to win the argument. Cunningly he said to the king, 'These people do not believe in Jesus in the same way as you'. The king then wanted to know what the Prophet (pbuh) had said about Jesus. Ja'far replied by reciting a surah or chapter from the Qur'an which tells the story of Jesus and his mother Mary. These are a few of the lines he recited: In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful And make mention of Mary in the Scripture, when she had withdrawn from her people to an eastern place, And had chosen seclusion from them. Then We sent unto her Our spirit and it assumed for her the likeness of a perfect man. She said: Lo! I seek refuge in the Beneficent One from thee, if thou fearest God. He said: I am only a messenger of thy Lord, that I may bestow on thee a faultless son. She said: How can I have a son when no mortal hath touched me, neither have I been unchaste? He said: ' Even so thy Lord saith: It is easy for Me. And (it will be) that We may make of him a revelation for mankind and a mercy from Us, and it is a thing ordained. And she conceived him, and she withdrew with him to afar place. Then she brought him to her own folk, carrying him. They said: O Mary! Thou hast come with an monstrous thing. Oh sister of Aaron! Thy father was not a wicked man nor was thy mother a harlot. Then Mary pointed to the child (Jesus); But they said, , How can we speak to one who is still in the cradle, a young child?' He said, 'Lo, I am Allah's servant; He has given me the Book, and made me a Prophet.
He has made me Blessed, wheresoever I may be; and He has enjoined me to pray, and to give alms, so long as I live, and likewise to cherish my mother; He has not made me arrogant, unblest. Peace be upon me, the day I was born, and the day I die, and the day I am raised up alive!' The Holy Qur'an,Chapter 19,Verse 16-33
When the king heard this, his eyes filled with tears. Turning to his advisers, he said, 'These words have surely come from God; there is very little to separate the Muslims from the Christians. What both Jesus and Muhammad, the Messengers of Allah, have brought comes from the same source.' So the Muslims were given the king's permission to live peacefully in his country. 'Amr was given back the gift he had presented to the king and the two Meccans returned home, bitterly disappointed. The leaders of Quraysh became increasingly worried about the way the people of Mecca were being divided by the Prophet's teachings. Finally, 'Umar ibn al-Khattab, one of the nobles of Mecca, decided that the only way to silence the Prophet (pbuh) was to kill him. Having made up his mind, he set out at once to look for him.
On his way he met a man who saw at once what 'Umar was going to do and said: 'Why don 't you look a little closer to home before going to kill Muhammad? Don't you know your own sister Fatimah is a Muslim?' 'Umar was shocked. He could not believe this was true. He went at once to his sister's house. When he arrived outside the house he heard Fatimah and her husband SaId reading aloud surah Ta Ha, a chapter from the Qur'an. Hearing her brother's voice at the door, Fatimah quickly hid the scroll with the surah written on it among the folds of her dress. 'Umar stormed into the room and demanded, 'What is this nonsense I heard?' Fatimah denied everything. 'Umar then lost his temper and attacked Fatimah's husband shouting, 'They tell me that you have joined Muhammad in his religion!' Fatimah tried to defend her husband and 'Umar hit her too. Then she admitted, 'Yes, we are Muslims and we believe in Allah and His Messenger and you can do what you like!' Seeing her faith and courage, 'Umar suddenly felt sorry for what he had done and said to his sister, 'Let me see what I heard you reading just now so that I may understand just what it is that your Prophet has brought.'
Fatimah gave the scroll to him after he had washed to make himself clean and pure before touching it, and had promised to give it back to her afterwards.
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful Ta Ha We have not revealed unto thee (Muhammad) this Qur'an For thee to be distressed, but only as a reminder Unto him who fears, a Revelation from Him who created the earth and the high heavens; the Beneficent One Who is established on the Throne; To Him belongs Whatsoever is in the heavens and the earth And all that is between them, and All that is underneath the soil. If Thou speakest aloud Be thou loud in thy speech, yet Surely He knows the secret (thought) And that yet more hidden. Allah There is no god but He to Him belong the Most Beautiful Names. The Holy Qur'an,Chapter 20,Verse 1-8
As he read, 'Umar suddenly knew that these were the most beautiful words he had ever heard and that this religion must be the true one. With his sword still in hand, he went straight to the Prophet's house and knocked loudly at the door. One of the Prophet's closest followers looked out. There stood 'Umar who was known for his courage and strength. When he saw 'Umar so excited and with his sword in hand, he was afraid for the Prophet's life. But the Prophet (pbuh) asked him to allow 'Umar to come in and to leave them alone together. The Prophet (pbuh) asked 'Umar why he had come, to which he replied: 'I have come to swear that there is no god but Allah and that you, Muhammad, are the Messenger of Allah. ' As he spoke these words, his hand still held the sword with which he had intended to kill the Prophet (pbuh). This same sword would now be used to defend the Prophet (pbuh) and the faith of Islam. At that time, whenever Muslims wanted to perform the ritual encircling of the Ka'bah, known as tawaf, they had to do it secretly and in fear. 'Umar, however, was very courageous. As soon as he had declared his faith, he went directly to the Ka'bah and in broad daylight made the circling of the Sacred House before the astonished people of Mecca. No one dared to say anything. But now the leaders of Quraysh became even more alarmed and began to see Islam as a threat to the whole life of the city of Mecca. They grew more and more furious as the numbers of Muslims increased until finally they, too, decided as 'Umar once had, that the Prophet (pbuh) would have to be killed.
On hearing of these plans, Abu Talib, the Prophet's uncle, immediately sent a message to all the sons of' Abd al-Muttalib, asking them to protect their nephew, and this they agreed to do. When Quraysh realized that they could not kill the Prophet (pbuh) because of this protection, they decided instead to avoid him and his followers completely. A declaration to this effect was hung at the Ka'bah. It stated that no one in the city was allowed to have anything to do with the Prophet (pbuh) and his people, or even to sell them any food or drink whatsoever. At first the Muslims found some support among the Bani Hashim, the branch of Quraysh to which the Prophet (pbuh) belonged. Some of these people were not Muslims but showed loyalty to their kinsmen by suffering along with them. However, life grew more and more difficult and food was scarce. The hatred of the rest of Quraysh for the followers of the Prophet (pbuh) grew so great that when his companions tried to buy supplies from a caravan passing near to Mecca, Abu Lahab, one of the Muslims' worst enemies, offered ten times the price of the goods to the merchant. By doing this he managed to stop the Muslims from buying what they desperately needed.
During the years of this terrible treatment, a wonderful thing happened. Instead of Islam becoming weaker, it grew stronger. Allah sent more and more Revelations. It was as though the Muslims were being strengthened and cleansed by the hardships they suffered and were being tested in their faith. Each year, at the time of the pilgrimage to Mecca, people came from all over Arabia. These pilgrims saw the terrible cruelty and injustice of Quraysh towards the Muslims, and many of them were sorry for the Prophet's followers. Quraysh began to feel ashamed of their harsh treatment, especially as many of the Muslims were their cousins and close relatives. Finally, at the end of three years, they were convinced that the time had come to put an end to the persecution of the Muslims, and they decided to take down the notice hanging at the Ka'bah.
Islam: Year of Sorrow
The Prophet (pbuh) and his followers went back to a normal way of life but the years of hardship had made Khadijah very weak. She became ill and soon afterwards she died. Thus, the Prophet (pbuh) lost his beloved wife and friend, the first person to accept Islam and support him. She had been a refuge from all his troubles and, through her good-heartedness, the best company in his suffering. He had loved her very much. This happened in 619 A.D., the year which became known as the 'Year of Sorrow'.
Soon after this, the Prophet Muhammad's uncle and protector, Abu Talib, also died. Abu Talib had been one of the most respected men in Mecca-one of the elders of Quraysh. Even though he had never been a follower of Islam, he had protected the Prophet (pbuh) against his enemies. Not only was this a sad occasion for the Prophet (pbuh) but also a dangerous one. According to Arab custom anyone who is under the protection of another is safe so long as his protector lives. Now, with the death of his uncle, the Prophet's protection was gone. The Prophet's enemies rejoiced to see him so sad, without a wife to console and comfort him, and without his uncle to protect him. They began to treat him worse than ever before. Even small children insulted him. One young man actually threw some filth on the Prophet's head, but the Prophet (pbuh) went home without making anything of it. When one of his daughters rushed, weeping, to wash it away, he comforted her saying, 'Do not weep my little girl, for God will protect your father.'
ONE night as the Prophet (pbuh) lay sleeping in the same spot where' Abd al-Muttalib used to sleep, next to the Ka'bah; he was woken by the Archangel Gabriel. Later the Prophet (pbuh) described what happened: 'I sat up and he took hold of my arm. I stood beside him and he brought me to the door of the mosque where there was a white animal for me to ride.' The Prophet (pbuh) told of how he mounted the animal and, with the Archangel Gabriel at his side, was transported from Mecca to the mosque called al-Aqsa, in far away Jerusalem. There the Prophet (pbuh) found Abraham, Moses, and Jesus among a group of Prophets. The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) acted as their leader, or imam, in prayer. Then he was brought two jugs, one containing wine and the other milk. He chose the milk and refused the wine. At this, the Archangel Gabriel said, 'You have been rightly guided to the fitrah, the true nature of man, and so will your people be, Muhammad. Wine is forbidden to you.' The Prophet (pbuh) also related how they passed through Heaven's gates and saw countless angels. Among them was Malik, the Keeper of Hell, who never smiles. Malik stepped forward and showed the Prophet (pbuh) a view of Hell and the terrible plight of those who suffer in that place. Then the Prophet (pbuh) was taken up by the angels, through the seven Heavens, one by one. Along the way he again saw Jesus, Moses, and Abraham, and the Prophet (pbuh) said that he had never seen a man more like himself than Abraham. He also saw John, called Yahya in Arabic, Joseph or Yusef, Enoch, that is Idris, and Aaron. At last he reached the Lote Tree of the Uttermost, the sidrat al-muntaha, where no Prophet had been before. Here the Prophet (pbuh) received a Revelation of what Muslims believe.
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful The Messenger believeth in that which hath been revealed unto him from his Lord and (so do) the believers. Each one believes in Allah and His Angels and His Books and His Messengers- We make no distinction between any of His messengers - and they say: We hear, and we obey. Grant us Thy forgiveness, our Lord. Unto Thee is the homecoming. The Holy Qur'an,Chapter 2, Verse 285
Then he was taken into the Light of the Divine Presence of Allah, and was instructed that Muslims should pray fifty times a day. The Prophet (pbuh) recalled: On my way back I passed by Moses and what a good friend to you he was! He asked me how many prayers had I been ordained to perform. When I told him fifty, he said, 'Prayer is a serious matter and your people are weak, so go back to your Lord and ask Him to reduce the number for you and your community.' I did so and He took away ten. Again I passed by Moses and he said the same again; and so it went on until only five prayers for the whole day and night were left. Moses again gave me the same advice. I replied that I had been back to my Lord and asked him to reduce the number until I was ashamed, and I would not do it again. He of you, who performs the five prayers faithfully, will have the reward of fifty prayers.
On the morning following these events and the Prophet's return to Mecca, he told Quraysh what had happened. Most of them said, 'By God! This is ridiculous! A caravan takes a month to go to Syria and a month to return! Can you do that long journey in a single night?' Even many Muslims were amazed by this and wanted the Prophet (pbuh) to explain. Some ran with the news to Abu Bakr who said, 'By Allah, if Muhammad (pbuh) himself has said so, then it is true. Remember, the Prophet tells us that the word of Allah comes to him directly from heaven to earth at any hour by day or night, and we believe him. Isn't that a greater miracle than what you are now doubting?' Then Abu Bakr went to the mosque and listened to the Prophet's detailed description of Jerusalem. He commented, 'You tell the truth, O Prophet of Allah!' From then on, Abu Bakr was honored with the title 'al-Siddiq', which means 'he who gives his word to support the truth'. Others also began to believe the Prophet's story when he went on to describe two caravans he had seen on his way back to Mecca. He told the doubters where he had seen the caravans, what they were carrying and when they would arrive in Mecca. All that the Prophet (pbuh) had said was borne out when the caravans arrived at the time he said they would, carrying all that he had described.
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful Glory be to Him, who carried His servant by night from the Holy Mosque to the Far distant place of worship, the Neighborhood which We have blessed, that We might show him some of Our signs, He, only He is the All-hearing, the All-seeing. The Holy Qur'an,Chapter 17,Verse 1
By the Star when it setteth, Your comrade is not astray, neither deceived, Nor does he speak of his (own) desire. This is naught but a revelation revealed, Taught him by one mighty in power, very strong; he stood poised, being on the uppermost horizon, Then drew near and came down, two bows'-length away, or nearer, Then revealed to His servant that which He revealed. His heart lies not of what he saw; What, will you then dispute with him what he sees? Indeed, he saw him yet another time By the Lote- Tree of the utmost Boundary Near which is the Garden of Abode When there covered the Lote- Tree that which covered; his eye turned not aside, nor yet was overbold. Verily, he saw one of the greatest signs of his Lord. The Holy Qur'an,Chapter 53,Verse 1-18
Islam: Plot to kill Muhammad(pbuh)
IN Yathrib there were two main tribes, the Aws and the Khazraj. Both were very powerful, they were always at war with one another, and both worshipped idols. Also in Yathrib were many Jews who, unlike the Arabs at that time, knew that there was only One God, and worshipped Him. They had told the Arabs many times that a Prophet would be coming to them. The time came for the pilgrimage to the Ka'bah, and several people from Yathrib were going, among them six men from the tribe of Khazraj. They had heard about the Prophet Muhammad's preaching and thought that this must be the Prophet the Jews had told them about. So they decided to go and speak to him during their stay in Mecca.
They met the Prophet (pbuh) at a spot known as 'Aqabah, near Mecca, and he invited them to sit with him. He explained to them what Islam meant and recited to them from the Qur'an. When they heard the Qur'an recited it touched their hearts so deeply that they became Muslims and on leaving Mecca they promised to return the following year. When they reached Yathrib carrying Islam in their hearts, they told their relatives and friends what they had heard from the Prophet (pbuh) and many more people became Muslims. The Muslims in Mecca were still suffering. The Prophet (pbuh) therefore told his friends and followers to go to Yathrib where they would be safe, and most of them took this opportunity to leave. AFTER his companions had left for Yathrib, the Prophet (pbuh) stayed in Mecca, waiting for permission from Allah to leave the city. Abu Bakr and 'Ali stayed with him. There were also some Muslims whom Quraysh had not allowed to leave. Abu Bakr kept asking the Prophet (pbuh) to allow him to go to Yathrib, but the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) kept saying, 'Do not be in a hurry; it might be that Allah will give you a traveling companion.'
The leaders of Quraysh assembled in the house of their ancestor, Qusayy, as was customary when they had an important decision to make. They had to find a way of getting rid of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), before he was able to join his friends in Yathrib. Each leader then started to put forward ideas about what should be done, but none of them could agree about which was best, until Abu Jahl told them his plan. This was that each clan should provide a strong, young warrior, each of whom would be given a sword. All the young warriors would then wait outside the Prophet's house and together attack him as he came out. In this way they would be rid of him but as the blame for killing him would fall on all the clans, the Prophet's family would not be able to seek revenge. The leaders of Quraysh then left to carry out their plan to murder the Prophet (pbuh).
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful And when the unbelievers plot against thee, to confine thee, or kill thee, or to drive thee out, they were plotting, But Allah was (also) plotting; and Allah is the best of plotters. The Holy Qur'an,Chapter 8,Verse 30
Before the night fell, on which Muhammad (pbuh) was to be killed, the Archangel Gabriel came to him and said, 'Do not sleep tonight in your own bed.' The Prophet (pbuh) understood what was going to happen, so he told 'Ali to lie in his bed and wrap himself in the blanket that the Prophet (pbuh) normally used, promising that no harm would befall him. With the coming of darkness the young men of Quraysh had gathered outside the Prophet's house, waiting for him to come out. After he had made sure that 'Ali was safe, the Prophet (pbuh) left the house. At that very moment, Allah took away the sight of the warriors so that they could not see the Prophet (pbuh), who took a handful of dust, sprinkled it on their heads and recited these verses:
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful Ya Sin By the Wise Qur'an, Thou art truly among those sent On the straight path; A Revelation of the All-mighty, the All-wise, That thou may warn a people whose fathers were never warned, so they are heedless. The Word has already proved true of most of them, yet they do not believe. Lo! We have put on their necks collars of iron up to the chin, so that they are made stiff-necked. And We have put before them a barrier; and We have covered them so they do not see. The Holy Qur'an,Chapter 36,Verse 1-9
The young men waited the whole night and were furious when, in the morning, they saw 'Ali instead of the Prophet (pbuh) coming out of the house. They realized that their plan had failed completely.
In the meantime, the Prophet (pbuh) went to Abu Bakr's house and told him, 'Allah has told me that now is the time for us to leave Mecca.' 'Together?' asked Abu Bakr. 'Together', the Prophet (pbuh) replied. Abu Bakr wept for joy, because now he knew that the traveling companion he had been promised was the Prophet (pbuh) himself. Then he said, 'O Messenger of Allah, these are the two camels which I have kept ready for this.' And so, the two of them left for a cave in Thawr, a mountain to the south of Mecca where they intended to hide. When they were out of the city the Prophet (pbuh) looked back and said, 'Of all Allah's earth, you are the dearest place to Allah and to me and if my people had not driven me out I would never have left you.' When Quraysh found out that the Prophet (pbuh) and his companion had gone, they set out after them, searching in every direction. Three days later they finally reached the cave where the Prophet (pbuh) and Abu Bakr were hiding, but a strange and wonderful thing had happened. A spider had woven its web right across the entrance to the cave and a dove was nesting with her mate nearby. As the Meccans stood in front of the cave, with only the spider's web separating them from the fugitives, Abu Bakr began to fear for their safety. He whispered to the Prophet (pbuh), 'they are very close. If one of them turns we will be seen.'
But he was comforted by the Prophet's reply: 'What do you think of two people, who have with them, Allah as their third?' Grieve not, for verily Allah is with us. The Holy Qur'an,Chapter 9,Verse 40 After a few moments the search party decided that no one could have entered the cave recently, or the spider's web would not have been complete and the dove would not have nested there, and so they left without searching inside. Three days later the Prophet (pbuh) and Abu Bakr thought it safe to leave the cave. Abu Bakr's son, 'Amir, had arranged for three camels and a guide to help them continue their journey to Yathrib. 'Amir would ride behind his father.
The leaders of Quraysh, meanwhile, returned to Mecca and offered a reward of one hundred camels to whoever captured the Prophet (pbuh). Among those who went in search of him was a famous warrior. He was, in fact, the only one to catch up with him, but whenever he came close; his horse would suddenly sink up to its knees in the sand. When this had happened three times, he understood that the Prophet (pbuh) was protected by a power stronger than anything he had known, and so he went back to Mecca. On arriving there he warned everyone against continuing the search, relating what had happened to him. In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
If you do not help him, still Allah has helped him already, When the unbelievers drove him forth, the second of two, When the two were in the Cave, when he said to his companion, "Grieve not; surely Allah is with us." Then Allah caused His peace and Reassurance to descend upon him, And helped him with hosts you cannot see, And He made the word of the unbelievers the lowest; While Allah's word is the uppermost; Allah is All-mighty, All-wise. The Holy Qur'an,Chapter 9,Verse 40
The Prophet's journey from Mecca is called the hijrah, or migration. It was really the first step towards the spread of Islam throughout the entire world, and Muslims begin their calendar from the year of the hijrah.
WHEN the people of Yathrib heard that the Prophet (pbuh) had left Mecca and was on his way to their city, they anxiously awaited his arrival. Each morning they would go to the edge of the city to see if he were coming. Finally, on Monday, September 27, in the year 622 A.D., someone saw him in the distance and shouted to everyone, 'Here is Muhammad! (pbuh) The Messenger of Allah has arrived!' All the Muslims went out to greet him, shouting, 'Allahu Akbar! Allah is Great! Muhammad the Messenger of Allah has arrived!' The women and children sang songs to show how glad they were to see him. The Prophet (pbuh) entered the city with his friend Abu Bakr. Most of the people there had not seen him before and as they gathered around they did not know which of the two was the Prophet (pbuh), until Abu Bakr got up to shield him with his cloak from the burning sun. Yathrib would now be called al-Medina, which means, The City.
The Messenger of God (pbuh) stayed in Quba', which is a place at the entrance of Medina, for three days. On the first Friday after his arrival the Prophet (pbuh) led the congregation in prayer. After this many of the wealthiest men invited him to come and live with them and share their riches. But he refused and, pointing to his she-camel, Qaswa', said, 'Let her go her way', because he knew that his camel was under Allah 's command and would guide him to the spot where he should stay. They let the camel go until she finally knelt down beside a house belonging to the Bani an-Najjar, the tribe to whom the Prophet's mother was related. This house was used as a drying-place for dates and belonged to two young orphan boys named Sahl and Suhayl. They offered to give it to the Prophet (pbuh) but he insisted on paying them for it, and so their guardian, As'ad the son of Zurarah, who was present, made the necessary arrangements. The Prophet (pbuh) ordered that a mosque and a place for him to live be built on the site. All the Muslims worked together to finish it quickly - even the Prophet (pbuh) joined in. It was here that the Muslims would pray and meet to make important decisions and plans. The building was quite plain and simple. The floor was beaten earth and the roof of palm leaves was held up by tree trunks. Two stones marked the direction of prayer. At first worshippers faced Jerusalem, but soon after the direction of prayer was changed towards the Ka 'bah in Mecca. After the building of the mosque, the Prophet (pbuh) wanted to strengthen the relationship between the people called the Muhajirah or Emigrants, who had left Mecca with him, and the people of Medina, who were known as the Ansar, or Helpers. Each man from Medina took as his brother a man from Mecca, sharing everything with him and treating him as a member of his own family. This was the beginning of the Islamic brotherhood.
In the early days of Islam, the times for prayer were not announced and so the Muslims would come to the mosque and wait for the prayer so as not to miss it. The Prophet (pbuh) wondered how to tell the people that it was time for prayers. He discussed it with his friends, and at first two ideas were put forward; that of blowing a horn as the Jews did, and that of using a wooden clapper like the Christians. Then a man called' Abd Allah ibn Zayd came to the Prophet (pbuh) and told him he had had a dream in which he had seen a man dressed all in green, holding a wooden clapper. He had said to the man, 'Would you sell me your clapper in order to call the people to prayer?' The man had replied, 'A better way to call the people to prayer is to say: " Allahu Akbar, Allah is Most Great!" four times, followed by "I bear witness that there is no divinity but Allah, I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, Come to prayer, come to prayer, Come to salvation, come to salvation. Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar! There is no divinity but Allah " When the Prophet (pbuh) heard this, he said it was a true vision from Allah. He sent for Bilal, who had a beautiful, strong voice, and ordered him to call the people to prayer in just this way. Bilal did so and soon after 'Umar came out o fhis house and told the Prophet (pbuh) that he had seen exactly the same vision himself. The Prophet (pbuh) replied, 'Allah be praised for that.' The adhan, or call to prayer, which came to 'Abd Allah ibn Zayd in his dream and was performed by Bilal on the instruction of the Prophet (pbuh), is the one we still hear today being called from the minarets of mosques all over the world.
Islam: The Battle of Badr
THE Muslims, who had gone to Medina, had left all their belongings behind in Mecca and these had been taken by their enemies. Thus, when the Muslims heard that Abu Sufyan, one of the leaders of Quraysh, was on his way back to Mecca from Syria with a large caravan of goods, they decided that the time had come for them to retrieve some of their losses. The Prophet (pbuh) gave the Muslims permission for this attack and everyone began to get ready for the raid, for it had been revealed: In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
Permission to fight is given unto those who fight because they have been wronged; and Allah is surely able to give them victory; The Holy Qur'an,Chapter 22,Verse 39
The Revelation had mentioned that a thing most serious with Allah was
...to turn (men) from the way of Allah, and to disbelieve in Him and in the Holy Mosque, and to drive his people from there . . . for persecution is worse than killing. The Holy Qur'an,Chapter 2, Verse 217
The retrieval of their goods, however, was not their only reason for wanting to attack the caravan. The Muslims did not think they should simply remain safely in Medina; they wanted to spread the message of Islam. They thus felt that if Quraysh wanted freedom to trade in safety, then the Muslims must also have freedom to believe in Allah, to follow His Messenger (pbuh), and spread His Word. It was, therefore, thought that the best, and only way to get Quraysh to understand this was to attack what was most important to them -- a caravan. Abu Sufyian, in the meantime, heard about the Muslims' plan and quickly sent a message to Quraysh in Mecca, telling them that the caravan was in danger and asking for help. As a result nearly all Quraysh came out to help him defend the caravan. There were a thousand men and two hundred horses. The women also went along to cheer the men on with their singing. Unaware of this, the Prophet (pbuh) set out with his followers. It was the month of Ramadan and the Muslims were fasting. There were only three hundred and five of them, most of them Ansar, men from Medina. With them they had three horses and seventy camels, on which they rode in turns.
They arrived in the area of Badr , some distance from Medina where they made camp and waited for news of the caravan. Then they heard that Quraysh had set out from Mecca with a strong army. The situation had suddenly changed. They were no longer going to make a raid on a caravan they were going to have to fight Quraysh. The Prophet (pbuh) gathered his men around him to find out what they wanted to do. First Abu Bakr, and then 'Umar, spoke for the Muslims who had come from Mecca. They said they would obey the Prophet (pbuh). But the Prophet (pbuh) wanted to hear the opinion of the Ansar, because he did not want to force them into doing something they did not want to do. Sa'd ibn Mu'adh, one of the leaders of the Ansar, got up and said, 'We believe in you and we swear before all men that what you have brought is the truth. We have given you our word and agreement to hear and obey. So go where you wish, we are with you even if you should lead us into the sea!' The Prophet (pbuh) was greatly encouraged by these words and so it was agreed to fight.
Abu Sufyan learned where the Muslims were camped. He changed the course of the caravan and quickly took it out of their reach. He then sent word to Quraysh telling them that the caravan was safe and that they should return to Mecca. But the leaders of Quraysh were proud and stubborn men. They refused to return as they had made up their minds to show everyone how powerful they were by destroying the Muslims. Now there was a wadi, or valley, at Badr, with wells on the side nearest Medina, and it was here that the Muslims took up position facing the valley with the wells behind them. Quraysh meanwhile placed themselves on the other side of the valley. The Muslims then dug a reservoir, filled it with water from one of the wells, and made a barrier around it. Then they stopped up the wells. In this way the Muslims had enough drinking water for themselves, while the Meccans would have to cross the valley and fight the Muslims in order to get water.
The night before the battle, while the Muslims slept peacefully, a heavy rain fell. In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
When He made the slumber fall upon you as a reassurance from Him and sent down water from the sky upon you, in order that He might purify you, and remove from you the fear of Satan, and strengthen your hearts and make firm (your) feet thereby. The Holy Qur'an,Chapter 8,Verse 2
On the morning of Friday, the 17th of Ramadan, 2 A.H., (March 7th, 623 A.D), the two armies advanced and drew closer to one another. The rain had been heavier on the side of Quraysh, making the ground soft and movement difficult. On the side of the Muslims, however, the rain had packed the sand down hard, making it easy for them to march.
The Prophet (pbuh) preferred the men to fight in ranks. As they prepared to march he noticed that someone had stepped out in front of the others. The Prophet (pbuh) prodded him in the side with an arrow, saying, 'Stand in line!' The man, Sawad, exclaimed, 'You have hurt me, 0 Messenger of Allah! Allah has sent you to be just and good.' The Prophet (pbuh) lifted his shirt and said, 'Then do the same to me.' The man approached and kissed him on the spot instead, saying, '0 Messenger of Allah, you see what is before us and I may not survive the battle. If this is my last time with you, I want the last thing I do in life to be this.' Shortly after he went into battle, Sawad died a martyr.
Having examined the ranks, the Prophet (pbuh) then went to a shelter made of palm branches from which he could command the battle. Abu Bakr stayed with him, while Sa'd ibn Mu'adh, with several of the Ansar, stood outside guarding the hut. When the Prophet (pbuh) saw the enormous Quraysh army descending the hill into the valley, with all their banners and drums, he began to pray for the help which Allah had promised him. These were some of his words. '0 Allah, here come Quraysh full of vanity and pride, who oppose Thee and call Thy Messenger a liar. 0 Allah, if this little band (the Muslims) perishes today, there will be none left in the land to worship Thee.' In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
When ye sought help of your Lord and He answered you (saying): I will help you with a thousand of the angels, rank on rank. Allah appointed it only as good tidings, and that your hearts might thereby be at ease. Victory cometh only by the help of Allah. Lo! Allah is Mighty, Wise. The Holy Qur'an,Chapter 8, Verse 9-10
At first the battle began in single combat when one of Quraysh swore that he would drink from the Muslims' reservoir and then destroy it, or die in the attempt. Hamzah, the Prophet's uncle, came forward to face him and killed him. Three of the most important men of Quraysh then stepped forward and gave out a challenge for single combat. The Prophet (pbuh) sent out 'Ali, Hamzah, and 'Ubaydah ibn al-Harith, to face them. It was not long before Hamzah and 'Ali had killed their opponents. As for 'Ubaydah, he had wounded his enemy but was wounded himself, and so his two companions killed the wounded Meccan and carried 'Ubaydah back to the safety of the Muslim ranks. After this, the two armies attacked each other and fighting broke out all around. The sky was filled with arrows. The Muslim army held its ground against the great army of Quraysh and even though the Muslims were much fewer in number, they gained a great victory, destroying the Meccan army and killing most of its leaders. Among the leading Meccans who died were Abu Jahl and Umayyah ibn Khalaf, who was killed by his former slave, Bilal. Seeing that their leaders were nearly all dead, the remainder of Quraysh retreated.
The Prophet (pbuh) sent word to Medina to tell them of the victory. He then gathered up the spoils of war and divided them equally among the Muslims. Some of the Meccans had been taken prisoner and the Prophet (pbuh) gave orders that they should be treated well until their relatives from among Quraysh came to fetch them. In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
Ye (Muslims) did not slay them, but Allah slew them. And thou Muhammad threwest not when thou didst throw, but Allah threw, so that He might test the believers by a fair test from Him. Lo! Allah is All-hearing, All-Knowing. The Holy Qur'an,Chapter 8,Verse 17
Islam: The Battle of Uhud
WHEN the survivors of the defeated Quraysh at Badr returned to Mecca, they gathered to speak with Abu Sufyan. They said, 'Muhammad has killed our best men, so help us to fight him so that we may avenge those we have lost.' In order to do this it was agreed that everyone who had had a share in the caravan should put his profits towards the cost of a new army, which would be three times as big as the one at Badr. Among those who joined the new army was an Abyssinian slave called Wahshi. Who was known for his accuracy with the spear. His master, Jubayr ibn al-Mut'im, said to him, 'Go with the army and if you kill Hamzah, the uncle of Muhammad, in revenge for my uncle's death, I will set you free.' When Hind, Abu Sufyan's wife, heard about this she sent a message to Wahshi to say that she would clothe him in gold and silk if he would carry out his master's wish, for she, too, wanted Hamzah dead because he had killed both her father and brother.
While the Meccans made their plans, the Prophet's uncle, 'Abbas, one of the few Muslims still living in Mecca, sent a letter of warning to the Prophet (pbuh) in Medina. He told him that Quraysh were setting out with a huge army for Uhud, a place just outside Medina. On receiving this timely warning, the Prophet (pbuh) gathered his companions around him to discuss what they should do. He thought it would be better to wait for the enemy inside the city rather than go out to meet them, because it would be easier to defend Medina from inside the city walls. But the young Muslims were eager to go out and face Quraysh. They said, '0 Prophet of Allah, lead us out against our enemies, or else they will think we are too cowardly and too weak to fight them.' One of the rulers of Medina, 'Abd Allah ibn Ubayy, however, agreed with the Prophet (pbuh) and advised him to remain in the city, saying, 'Whenever we have gone out to fight an enemy we have met with disaster, but none has ever come in against us without being defeated.'
But when the Prophet (pbuh) saw that the majority were in favor of going out to meet Quraysh, he decided to do so, and after the Friday prayer he put on his armor. The Muslims then set out with one thousand men in the direction of Mount Uhud which overlooks Medina. The enemy was camped on the plain below the mountain where they were laying waste the crops of the Muslims. 'Abd Allah ibn Ubayy was angry that the Prophet (pbuh) had not followed his advice and after going part of the way, turned back for Medina, taking one third of the entire army with him. This left the Prophet (pbuh) with only seven hundred men to meet the enormous Meccan army, which numbered three thousand.
The remainder of the Muslims went on until they reached the mountain of Uhud. There the Prophet (pbuh) ordered them to stand in ranks in front of the mountain, so that they would be protected from behind. He then positioned fifty archers on top of the mountain, giving them the following order: 'Keep the Meccan cavalry away from us with your arrows and don't let them come against us from the rear, whether the battle goes in our favor or against us. Whatever happens keep to your places so that we cannot be attacked from your direction, even if you see us being slain or booty being taken.' When the Muslims were in position, the Prophet (pbuh) held up his sword and said, 'Who will use this sword with its right?' This was a great honor and many men rose to claim it, but the Prophet (pbuh) decided to give it to Abu Dujanah, a fearless warrior. Then the battle commenced.
The Muslims were well organized and had the advantage, because although Quraysh had more than four times as many men, they were tired from their journey and thus not ready to fight. As a result, the Muslims were able to make a surprise attack, led by Abu Dujanah, who was wearing a brilliant red turban. As the fighting increased the Quraysh women, led by Hind, began to beat their drums to urge their men on. They called out poems to encourage their men to be brave. 'If you advance, we hug you, spread soft rugs beneath you; if you retreat, we leave you. Leave and no more love you.' Abu Dujanah said: 'I saw someone urging the enemy on, shouting wildly, and I made for him, but when I lifted my sword against him he screamed and I saw that it was a woman; I respected the Apostle's sword too much to use it on a woman.' That woman was Hind.
As usual, Hamzah, the Prophet's uncle, fought with great courage, but while leading the Muslims in a fierce attack, which nearly defeated the Meccans, he was suddenly and cruelly struck down by the slave Wahshi. Later, Wahshl told how it happened: 'I was watching Hamzah while he was killing men with his sword. I...aimed my spear until I was sure it would hit the mark and hurled it at him. He came on towards me but collapsed and fell. I left him there until he died, then I came and took back my spear. Then I went back to the camp because I did not want to kill anyone but him. My only aim in killing him was to gain my freedom.' The Quraysh warriors were soon scattered and forced to retreat. It looked as though they had been defeated! Seeing this, forty of the fifty Muslim archers on top of the mountain ran down from their position to collect booty, for the Quraysh army had left many of their belongings behind. The archers rushed to take what they could, forgetting the Prophet's orders.
Khalid ibn al-Walid, Commander of the Quraysh cavalry, saw what was happening and quickly turned his men around and ordered them to attack the Muslims from behind. The Muslims were taken completely by surprise. The Quraysh then began attacking from both sides at once. Many Muslims were killed and instead of winning they began to lose the battle. To add to the confusion, it was rumored that the Prophet (pbuh) had been killed. When the Muslims heard this they were at a loss to know what to do. Then a man named Anas called out, 'Brothers! If Muhammad (pbuh) has been killed what will your lives be worth without him? Don't think about living or dying. Fight for Allah. Get up and die the way Muhammad (pbuh) died!' and on hearing these words the Muslims took courage.
There had been several cavalry attacks on the position held by the Prophet (pbuh) and his companions and the Prophet's cheek had been badly gashed. As the Meccans closed in again he called out, 'Who will sell his life for us?' At this, five Ansar got up and fought until they were killed, one by one. Their places were soon taken, however, by a number of Muslims who drove off the attackers. Amongst the defending Muslims was Abu Dujanah who put his arms around the Prophet (pbuh) and made himself into a human shield. Throughout the remainder of the battle he held on to the Prophet (pbuh), but as the fighting drew to a close he suddenly let go. Abu Dujanah was dead, killed by the many arrows in his back that had been aimed at the Prophet (pbuh). With the defeat of the Muslims, Quraysh were at last avenged. As they left the field of battle Abu Sufyan called out to his men, 'You have done well; victory in war goes by turns-today in exchange for Badr!'
When he heard this, the Prophet (pbuh) told' 'Umar to answer him, saying, 'Allah is Most High and Most Glorious. We are not equal. Our dead are in Paradise and your dead are in Hell!' The Muslim soldiers then followed the departing Quraysh part of the way to make sure they were not going to attack Medina. After the enemy had left, the Prophet (pbuh) made his way around the battlefield to see the extent of the Muslim losses. Many of the most faithful Muslims had been killed. Among the dead, the Prophet (pbuh) found the body of his closest friend and uncle, Hamzah, who had been killed by the slave, Wahshi. At the sight of this, the Prophet (pbuh) said, 'There will never be a moment as sad for me as this.' Hamzah's sister, Safiyya, came to pray and ask forgiveness for her brother, saying 'We belong to Allah and to Allah we are returning.'
After the Prophet (pbuh) had prayed over the many dead, he said, 'I tell you that no one has been wounded in Allah's cause but Allah will remember him and on the Day of Resurrection will raise him from the dead. Look for the one who has learned most of the Qur'an and put him in front of his companions in the grave.' They were buried where they had fallen as martyrs. Of them Allah says: In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
Do not Think that those, who were killed for Allah's sake are dead. Nay, they are alive. With their Lord they have provision. Jubilant (are they) because of that which Allah hath bestowed upon them of His bounty, rejoicing for the sake of those that have not yet joined them because they have nothing to fear or grieve over. The Holy Qur'an,Chapter 3,Verse 169-70
It is said that the Prophet (pbuh) swore that no Muslim who had died for his beliefs would want to come back to life for a single hour, even if he could own the whole world, unless he could return and fight for Allah and be killed a second time.
The Muslims realized that their defeat had been caused by their disobedience to the Prophet (pbuh). The Qur'an tells us that the Muslims had been tested by Allah at Uhud and had failed but that Allah forgave them their weakness. In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
Some of you there are that desire this world, and some of you there are that desire the next world. Then He turned you from them, that He might try you ; and He has forgiven you; and Allah is bounteous to the believers. The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 3,Verse 145
People living nowadays should learn from the lessons learned by the early Muslims at Uhud. Disobedience to the Prophet (pbuh) and love for the things of this world caused their defeat. The same can happen to us as well. Even if we have no battle like Uhud to fight, we can still die for Allah's sake by fighting what is bad in ourselves. When the Prophet (pbuh) came back from a battle he said to his men, 'We have returned from the lesser war to the greater war.' He meant by this that the struggle that goes on within every human being to become a better person is the more difficult battle.
Islam: The Battle of the Trench
WHEN the Prophet (pbuh) first arrived in Medina, the Jews who were living there had welcomed him. The Prophet (pbuh) had returned their greeting, as he wished to be on good terms with them. An agreement was also reached between the Muslims and the Jews, which gave the Jews the freedom to practice their religion and which also set out their rights and their duties. Among these duties was that in the case of war with Quraysh, the Jews would fight on the side of the Muslims. Despite this agreement, however, some of the Jewish tribes, who resented the Prophet's presence in Medina, soon began to cause trouble amongst the Muslims. They tried to set the Muslim Emigrants from Mecca and the Ansar against each other. The troublemakers were given many warnings but they continued to be a nuisance. In the end, the Muslims had no choice but to drive them from Medina. A new agreement was offered those Jews who remained but the trouble did not end there. One of the Jewish tribes, the Bani Nadir, plotted to murder the Prophet (pbuh) but their plan was discovered and they, too, were exiled from the city.
Knowing that they could not defeat the Muslims themselves, some of the leaders of the exiled Jews secretly went to Mecca to enlist the help of Quraysh. Knowing what the Meccans would like to hear, they pretended to believe in the same things. They said that they thought that the old Arab tradition was better than the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and that they believed that the Quraysh religion of worshipping many idols was better than the Prophet's with only one God. Then the Jews told them that if all the Arab tribes attacked Medina, the Jews inside the city would help to defeat the Prophet (pbuh) and Islam once and for all. The leaders of Quraysh were pleased to hear all this and seizing on what seemed to them a very good opportunity, agreed to the plan and began to gather together a formidable army. In the meantime in Medina, only one Jewish tribe, the Bani Qurayzah, refused to betray the Muslims.
Eventually the Muslims learned of the preparations being made for war in Mecca and of the plotting of the Jews within Medina itself. The betrayal of the Muslims by the Jews did not surprise the Prophet (pbuh), who said of them: 'The hearts of the Jews have become closed to the truth. They have forgotten what Moses taught them long ago-that there is only one God.' In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
The likeness of those who are entrusted with the Law of Moses, yet apply it not, is as the likeness of the ass carrying books. Evil is the likeness of the people who deny the revelations of Allah. And Allah guideth not wrongdoing folk. The Holy Qur'an,Chapter 62,Verse 5
The Muslims wondered how they could defend Medina. They heard that Abu Sufyan was coming to attack them with an enormous army which included many other Arab tribes, as well as Quraysh. What were they to do with only a single week to prepare? The Prophet (pbuh) and his men knew that it would be impossible for them to fight off all these tribes! The only thing they could do was to stay inside the city and try to defend it as best they could. Now among the people of Medina was a Persian named Salman, who had come to live in the city some time before the Prophet's arrival there. As a convert to Christianity he had traveled to Medina after Christian sages had told him that a Prophet would be born in Arabia. On arriving in Medina he was, however, sold into slavery by the merchants with whom he had traveled. Later he became a Muslim, gained his freedom and became a member of the Prophet's household. When the people gathered to discuss a plan of action against the approaching enemy, Salman was present and it was he who suggested that they should dig a trench around the city. The Prophet (pbuh) thought this a good idea, so the Muslims set to work, although it was in the middle of winter. They worked day and night, digging the trench as quickly as possible. The Prophet (pbuh) himself carried rocks and when the men were tired he gave them the will to carry on. Someone later recalled how beautiful he looked, dressed in a red cloak with dust upon his breast and his dark hair nearly reaching his shoulders.
There was little food at this time and the men were often hungry as they worked. On one occasion, however, a little girl gave some dates to the Prophet (pbuh), which he spread out on a cloth. The men were then called to eat and the dates kept increasing in number until everyone had been fed. Even after everyone had eaten their fill, the dates continued to increase so that there were more than the cloth could hold. Similarly, there is the story of the lamb that has come down to us from one who was there:
'We worked with the Apostle at the trench. I had a half-grown lamb and I thought it would be a good thing to cook it for Allah's Messenger. I told my wife to grind barley and make some bread for us. I killed the lamb and we roasted it for the Prophet (pbuh). When night fell and he was about to leave the trench, I told him we had prepared bread and meat and invited him to our home. I wanted him to come on his own, but when I said this he sent someone to call all the men to come along. Everyone arrived and the food was served. He blessed it and invoked the Name of Allah over it. Then he ate and so did all the others. As soon as one lot were satisfied, another group came until all the diggers had eaten enough, but still there was food to, spare.'
On March 24, 627 A.D., Abu Sufyan arrived with more than ten thousand men. The Muslims numbered only three thousand. Quraysh and their allies surrounded Medina but between the two armies was the long, wide trench. The Prophet (pbuh) and his men stayed behind this trench for nearly a month defending the city against their more powerful enemy. Many times enemy warriors tried to cross the trench and enter the city, but each time they were pushed back by the Muslims. The Muslims were afraid that if any did manage to cross over, the Jews inside Medina would join forces with them and the Muslims would be beaten. The Jewish tribe of Bani Qurayzah, who had stood by the agreement with the Muslims, were pressed by a Jewish emissary from the enemy without, to break their promise. Eventually they agreed to do so and when the news of this reached the Prophet (pbuh) and his Companions they were greatly troubled. Sa'd ibn Mu'adh, the leader of the tribe of Aws, was sent by the Prophet (pbuh) with two other men to find out if this were true. When they arrived in the part of Medina where the Jews lived, they found that things were even worse than they had previously thought. Sa'd ibn Mu'adh, whose tribe was closely allied with the Bani Qurayzah, tried to persuade their leader not to break the treaty with the Muslims, but he refused to listen. This meant that the Muslims could not relax their guard for one moment, for they were now threatened not only by the enemy beyond the trench, but by the Bani Qurayzah, within the walls of the city.
Things became more difficult for the Muslims day by day. It was extremely cold and food began to run out. To make matters worse, the Bani Qurayzah began openly and actively to join forces with the other Jews and cut off all supplies to the Muslims, including food. The enemies of Islam then planned how to capture Medina. The situation looked desperate and the Prophet (pbuh) prayed to Allah to help the Muslims defeat their enemies. That very night a sandstorm blew up which buried the tents of Quraysh. The storm continued for three days and three nights making it impossible for the enemy to light a fire to cook a meal or warm themselves by. On one of these dark nights the Prophet (pbuh) asked one of his men, Hudhayfah ibn al-Yaman, to go on a dangerous mission. The Prophet (pbuh) told him to make his way across the trench to the enemy camp where he should find out what they were doing.
With much difficulty Hudhayfah crossed the trench and made his way to a circle of Quraysh warriors talking in the darkness. He sat near them, but as there was no fire, no one noticed him. He then heard Abu Sufyan 's voice: 'Let us go home!' he said. 'We have had enough. The horses and camels are dying, the tents keep blowing away, most of the equipment has been lost, and we cannot cook our food. There is no reason to stay!' Shortly after hearing this Hudhayfah made his way quickly and quietly back across the trench and the next morning the Muslims rejoiced to find that what he had overheard had come true-Quraysh and their allies had gone away! The siege of Medina had ended in a great victory for Islam. But this was not to be the end of the difficulties, for the Archangel Gabriel came to the Prophet (pbuh) and told him that he should punish the Bani Qurayzah for betraying him and the Muslims. On hearing this, the Prophet (pbuh) ordered the Muslims to march against the Bani Qurayzah as they hid in their fortress. The Muslims besieged them for twenty-five days until they finally gave in. On surrendering, they asked the Prophet (pbuh) to let someone judge their case, and he agreed. He also allowed them to choose who would give the ruling.
The man chosen to judge the Bani Qurayzah was Sa'd ibn Mu'adh, leader of the Aws, a tribe which had always protected the Qurayzah in the past. Sa'd ibn Mu'adh, who had himself been wounded in the battle, decided that the Jews should be tried by their own Holy Law , according to which anyone who broke a treaty would be put to death. As a result all the men of the Bani Qurayzah were executed and the women and children made captive. If the Jews had succeeded in their pact, Islam would have been destroyed. Instead, from that day on, Medina became a city where only Muslims lived. Very soon after peace had been restored to Medina, Sa'd ibn Mu'adh died of his wounds. It was said that the Archangel Gabriel came in the middle of that night and said to the Prophet (pbuh) 'O Muhammad, who is this dead man? When he arrived, the doors of heaven opened and the Throne of Allah shook.' The Prophet (pbuh) got up as soon as he heard this, but found that Sa'd was already dead. Although he had been a heavy man, the men who carried his body to the grave found it quite light. They were told that the angels were helping them. When he was buried, the Prophet (pbuh) said three times 'Subhan Allah!' (Glory be to Allah!), and' Allahu Akbar!' (Allah is Most Great!) When asked why he did this, he replied, 'The grave was tight for this good man, until Allah eased It for him.' This is one of the rewards that Allah gives to martyrs and good Muslims.
Islam: The Treaty of Hudaybiyah
QURAYSH had tried to destroy Islam but had failed. The number of Muslims grew and their armies increased from three hundred at the battle of Badr, seven hundred at the battle of 'Uhud, to three thousand at the battle of the Trench. After the annual fast of Ramadan, the Prophet (pbuh) had a dream which indicated that the Muslims should go to Mecca for the pilgrimage. One thousand and four hundred Muslims got ready to go with him on the Lesser Pilgrimage called 'the 'Umra'. They dressed in white and went unarmed to show Quraysh that they had come to make the pilgrimage and not to fight. When Quraysh heard that the Prophet (pbuh) was on his way, they sent troops with Khalid ibn al- Walid to stop the Muslims from entering the city. To avoid meeting this small army the Prophet (pbuh) changed his route and led the men through rugged mountain passes. When they reached easier ground he told them, 'Say, we ask Allah's forgiveness and we repent towards Him.' At Hudaybiyah, south of Mecca, the Prophet's camel knelt down and refused to go any further. The Muslims thought she was either stubborn or tired, but the Prophet (pbuh) said: 'The same power that once stopped the elephant from entering Mecca is now stopping us!' He then ordered them to make camp, which they did, although they all hoped they would travel on to the sacred Ka'bah the following day.
On setting up camp, the believers were dismayed to find that the springs were almost dry. When he heard this the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) instructed a man called Najiyah to take the bowl of water in which he had performed his ablutions, pour it into the hollows where the small amount of spring water lay, and stir it with his arrows. Najiyah did as he was told and the fresh water gushed up so suddenly that he was hardly able to get out of the way in time. Messengers were sent to Quraysh to tell them that the Muslims had come only for the pilgrimage, to worship Allah at the Holy Ka'bah, and that they wanted to enter the city peacefully. But Quraysh took no notice. Finally, the Prophet's son-in-law, 'Uthman ibn 'Affan, a wise and respected man, was chosen to go, and the Muslims settled down to wait and see what news he would bring back. After they had waited a long time, the Muslims became very worried. At last they decided that he must have been killed. A state similar to that of Revelation then came upon the Prophet (pbuh). He gathered the Muslims around him under an acacia tree and asked them to swear their allegiance to him, which they did. This pact, which is mentioned in the Qur'an, became known as the Treaty of Radwan (which means Paradise). Shortly after, 'Uthman ibn 'Affan returned and the Muslims were relieved to see that no harm had come to him.
Some Meccan warriors tried to attack the Muslim camp but were captured and brought before the Prophet (pbuh), who forgave them when they promised to stop attacking the Muslims. Soon after this, official messengers came from Quraysh and talks began for a peaceful settlement. A man called Suhayl ibn 'Amr was sent by the Meccans to work out a treaty. When the Prophet (pbuh) asked 'Ali to write 'In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful', on the top of the page, Suhayl objected, saying 'Write only: bismik Allahumma (in Thy name, O Allah). I don't know him as al-Rahman (the Most Gracious), al-Rahim (the most Merciful).'
The Prophet (pbuh) agreed and dictated: 'This is a treaty between Muhammad the Messenger of Allah and Suhayl ibn 'Amr.' 'Stop!' cried Suhayl, 'I don't believe that you are Rasulallah (the Messenger of Allah). If I thought you were Allah's Messenger, I wouldn't be fighting against you, would I?' Calmly, the Prophet (pbuh) agreed that he should be referred to in the treaty as Muhammad', son of 'Abd Allah. The Muslims were very upset at this, and 'Umar furiously cried out, 'Are you not Allah's Messenger, and are we not Muslims? How can we accept such treatment when we are right and they are wrong? This will make people laugh at our religion!' But the Prophet (pbuh) knew what was best and the Treaty of Hudaybiyah was signed.
In this treaty the two sides agreed to stop fighting for a period of ten years. It was also agreed that the Muslims should go back to Medina immediately but that they could return the following year for the pilgrimage. This pilgrimage would last three days. In addition, the treaty allowed Muslims wishing to leave Islam and return to Mecca to do so. It also permitted Meccans to leave and become Muslims provided they had the permission of their guardians. The Muslims agreed to send any Meccan who did not have their guardian's permission back to Mecca. Suhayl's son had come with his father with the idea of joining the Prophet (pbuh) but when the treaty was signed he was, of course, forced to return to Mecca. He cried bitterly. The Prophet (pbuh) said, '0 Abu Jandal, be patient and control yourself. Allah will provide relief and find a way out for you and others like you.' The majority of the Muslims were very disappointed when they heard the terms of the agreement and thought that it should not have been accepted. They did not realize that this was in fact a great victory for the Prophet (pbuh), which Allah would later confirm in a Revelation. The agreement made sure that the following year they would enter Mecca peacefully, and in time would result in Muslims becoming stronger and more respected throughout Arabia. At the time the treaty was signed the Muslims could not have foreseen that the number of people who would travel to Medina to become Muslims in the following year would be greater than in all the years before.
Before the Muslims departed, they followed the Prophet's example of making sacrifice and either shaving or cutting their hair. Even though they were unable to visit the sacred mosque, their pilgrimage was accepted by Allah because it had been their true intention. On the return journey to Medina, the 'Victory' chapter of the Qur'an was revealed to the Prophet (pbuh). It begins: In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
Surely We have given thee (0 Muhammad) a clear victory, That Allah may forgive thee of thy sin That which is past and that which is to come, And may complete His blessings upon thee, And may guide thee on the right path, And that Allah may help thee with mighty help. The Holy Qur'an,Chapter 48,Verse 1-3
Now most of those who left Mecca to join the Prophet (pbuh) without the consent of their guardians and were turned back by him as agreed, did not in fact return to Mecca, but lived instead in groups along the seashore. There they were joined by others who had left Mecca but these groups began to endanger Quraysh caravans which were passing by and disrupted their trade. Because of this, Quraysh told the Prophet (pbuh) that if he wanted to take these new Muslims, they would not ask for them to be returned. The young men, therefore, joined the Prophet (pbuh) and the people in Mecca and Medina grew more at ease with one another. The young men from the seashore were shortly followed by those Muslims who were still living in Abyssinia, and soon the numbers of believers in Medina had doubled.
About this time, Khalid ibn al- Walid, the great warrior who had defeated the Muslims at Uhud, set out from Mecca for Medina. Along the way he met 'Amr ibn al-'As, the clever speaker who had pursued the Muslims when they fled to Abyssinia. 'Amr, who had attempted to find asylum in Abyssinia, had just returned from that country, the Negus having urged him to enter Islam. He asked Khalid, 'Where are you going?' Khalid replied, 'The way has become clear. The man is certainly a Prophet, and by Allah, I am going to become a Muslim. How much longer should I delay?' 'Amr ibn al-'As answered, 'I am traveling for the same reason.'
So they both traveled on to Medina to join the Prophet (pbuh). The two men were, however, worried about meeting the Prophet (pbuh) because of having fought against the Muslims in the past. Therefore, when 'Amr came before Allah's Messenger he said, 'O Prophet, will my past faults be forgiven and no mention made of what has gone before?' The Prophet (pbuh) replied, ''Amr, Islam wipes away everything that happened before, as does the hijrah.' A year after the signing of the Treaty of Hudaybiyah, the Prophet (pbuh) was able to lead two thousand pilgrims on the 'Umra. Quraysh vacated Mecca and watched the rites from the hills above the city. The agreed period of three days was observed, after which the Muslims returned to Medina.
Islam: Inviting others to Islam
THE peace which the Treaty of Hudaybiyah guaranteed for ten years, meant that people could travel from all over Arabia to visit the Prophet (pbuh) and a great many came to declare their Islam. Also, during this period the Prophet (pbuh) decided that the time had come for his message to be taken to other countries, so he sent trusted companions with letters, telling of his message, to the leaders of the most powerful nations of the day. It is recorded that he said, 'Allah has sent me as a mercy to all men, so take the message from me that Allah has mercy on you.' It is also recorded that some time before, when the Prophet (pbuh) was digging before the Battle of the Trench, three flashes of lightning had blazed forth from a rock he had been striving to remove. These flashes had shown him the fortresses of the civilizations to the South, East, and West which were soon to come into Islam. Now at the time the Prophet (pbuh) sent out his message, Abu Sufyan and some other members of Quraysh were trading in Syria, a province of the Eastern Roman Empire (later to be called Byzantium). Also, at about this time the Emperor Heraclius, ruler of this Empire, had a dream, and sadly told visitors to his court in Syria: 'I saw our Empire fall and victory go to a people who do not follow our religion.' At first he thought this must refer to the Jews, and he even had it in mind to kill all the Jews living under his rule. But then an envoy from the governor of Basra arrived with a message for the Emperor: '0 Emperor Heraclius, there are some Arabs in the city who are speaking of wonderful happenings in their country', and he then told of what he had heard about the Prophet (pbuh).
On hearing this Heraclius commanded his soldiers: 'Go and find me someone who can tell me more about this.' The soldiers, however, did not find those who had been talking about the Prophet (pbuh), but instead found Abu Sufyan and some of his companions and brought them before the Emperor. Heraclius asked, 'Is there anyone among you who is a close relative of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)' Abu Sufyan replied, 'I am.' So the Emperor addressed all the questions to him, thinking he would know the Prophet (p,b.u.h.) best. He said, 'Tell me what is the Prophet's position in your tribe?' Abu Sufyan said, 'He is a member of our most respected family.' 'Did anyone before him say the kinds of things he says?' the Emperor went on. No', was the reply. 'And was he ever accused of lying or cheating?' 'Never.' And then the Emperor asked: ' And what about his ideas and opinions, and his powers of reasoning?' 'No one has ever had cause to doubt him or find fault with his reasoning', replied Abu Sufyan. 'Who follows him, the proud or the humble?' 'The humble.' 'Do his followers increase or decrease?' 'They increase', said Abu Sufyan, 'none of his followers leave him.'
The Emperor then turned to other matters and asked: 'If he makes a treaty, does he keep it?' 'Yes', Abu Sufyan replied. 'Did you ever fight against him?' enquired the Emperor. To which Abu Sufyan answered: 'Yes. Sometimes we won, sometimes he won, but he never broke his word in any agreement.' The Emperor then asked: 'What does he say people must do?' 'To worship one God', said Abu Sufyan. 'He forbids people to worship as their fathers worshipped, and says they must pray to Allah alone, give alms, keep their word, and fulfil their duties and responsibilities.' Abu Sufyan had spoken the truth even though he was an enemy of the Prophet (pbuh), and did not become a Muslim until the very end of his life. But he was afraid to lie before the members of his caravan who were also there with him. The meeting ended with these words from the Emperor, 'I see from this that he is indeed a Prophet (pbuh) You said that his followers do not leave him which proves they have true faith, for faith does not enter the heart and then go away. I knew he was coming and if what you say is true, he will surely conquer me. If I were with him now, I would wash his feet. You may leave now.'
It was not long after this that the messenger, Dihyah, arrived at the Syrian court bearing the Prophet Muhammad's letter which said, 'If you accept Islam you will be safe, and Allah will give you a double reward. If you do not, you will have to live with the results of your decision.' Heraclius grabbed the letter. He was so upset he could hardly control himself. He said to Dihyah, 'I know your master is a true Prophet of Allah. Our books tell of his coming. If l were not afraid that the Romans would kill me, I would join Islam. You must visit Bishop Qaghatir and tell him everything. His word is more respected among the people than mine.'
So Dihyah related the message to the Bishop and when he heard it, Qaghatir said, 'Yes, your master, whom we call Ahmad, is mentioned in our scriptures.' He then changed from his black robes into white ones and went and spoke to the people gathered in the church. '0 Romans, a letter has come to us from Ahmad, in which he calls us to Allah. I bear witness that there is no divinity but Allah and that Ahmad is his slave and messenger.' (Ahmad is another name for the Prophet Muhammad.) But on hearing this the crowd grew angry and attacked Qaghatir, beating him until he was dead. Heraclius was afraid that the same thing would happen to him, so he spoke to his generals from a balcony saying, '0 Romans! A man has written to me calling me to his religion. I believe he is truly the Prophet we have been told to expect. Let us follow him so that we can be happy in this world and the next.' The Romans cried out in anger when they heard this, so Heraclius quickly said, 'I was only pretending; I wanted to see how strong your faith was. I am pleased to see that you are true to your religion.' Heraclius then suggested that they pay a tax or give land to the Muslims in order to maintain peace, but the Romans refused. Realizing that he could do no more, and knowing that one day Islam would conquer Syria, Heraclius left the province and returned to Constantinople, the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire. As he rode away he turned around to look back and said, 'Goodbye for the last time, 0 land of Syria!'
Meanwhile, another of the Prophet's messengers arrived at the palace of Chosroes, the Shah (or King) of Persia, where he was told by the royal guard: 'When you see the Shah, you must bow and not lift your head until he speaks, to you. To this the Prophet's messenger replied, 'I will never do that. I bow only to Allah.' 'Then the Shah will not accept the letter you bring', they said. And when the time came for the messenger to see him, the Shah was indeed very surprised to see the man holding his head high and refusing to kneel respectfully before him like everyone else. Nonetheless, the Shah still read out the letter:
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Most Merciful from Muhammad, Messenger of Allah to Chosroes, Shah of Persia. Peace be upon those who follow the truth, who believe in Allah and His Prophet and who testify that there is no divinity but Allah and that Muhammad is His Messenger. I ask you in the Name of Allah, because I am His Messenger, to warn your people that if they do not accept His Message, they must live with the consequences. Become Muslim and you will be safe. If you refuse to tell them you will be to blame for the ignorance of your subjects.
The Shah was furious when he read this and tore the letter into little pieces. When the messenger returned to Arabia and told the Prophet (pbuh) what Chosroes had done, the Prophet (pbuh) said, 'May Allah also tear his kingdom into little pieces. 'And several years later it happened just as the Prophet (pbuh) had said it would. As with Syria and Persia, a messenger was also sent to the Negus (or King) of Abyssinia, with the following letter: Peace. Praise be to Allah, the King, the All-Holy, the Peacemaker, the Keeper of Faith, the Watcher.
He is Allah, there is no divinity but He, the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One, the All-peaceable, the Keeper of Faith, the Guardian, the Majestic, the Compeller, the All-sublime. Glorified be Allah from all that they associate with Him. The Holy Qur'an,Chapter 59,Verse 23
And I testify that Jesus, son of Mary, is the spirit of Allah and His Word which He cast to Mary the Virgin, the good, the pure, so that she conceived Jesus. Allah Created him from His Spirit and His Breath as He created Adam by His Hand and His Breath. I call you to Allah, the Unique, without partner, to His obedience, and to follow me and to believe in that which came to me, for I am the Messenger of Allah. Peace be upon all those who follow true guidance. The King of Abyssinia was a very wise man, and was thought by the world to be a good Christian. He had, of course, already heard of the Prophet (pbuh) and his religion from the Muslims who had sought refuge in his country years before. He was deeply moved by the letter and when he came down from his throne it was not just to show his respect but also to declare that he was already a Muslim. He answered the Prophet's letter with one of his own.
To Muhammad the Prophet of Allah from the Negus al-Asham, King of Abyssinia. Assalamu aleikum O Prophet of Allah wa rahmatullah wa barakatuhu There is none like Him who has guided me to Islam. I received your letter, O Messenger of Allah. Some of your followers, as well as your cousin Ja'far, still live here. I believe you are truly the Messenger of God and reaffirm the pledge of allegiance I made to you some time ago before your cousin Ja'far, at whose hand I joined Islam and surrendered to the Lord of the Worlds. A fourth messenger had, in the meantime, traveled by boat to Alexandria to meet the Muqawqis, the ruler of Egypt, who was a Coptic Christian. In his letter, the Prophet (pbuh) invited the Muqawqis to accept Islam, because a Christian who believed in the message of Jesus should also believe in him, for he had come with the same message from Allah.
It read: In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Most Merciful, from Muhammad, son of 'Abd Allah to the great Copt. Peace be upon whoever follows the Truth. I beseech you to accept Islam. Become a Muslim. Allah will reward you twice. If you refuse, you will carry the blame for not allowing your people to share in this blessing. The Muqawqis showed respect for what the letter said. He treated the messenger well, and sent many presents with him for the Prophet (pbuh), but he did not become a Muslim. Although only Abyssinia responded to the Prophet's call to Islam, all was not lost, for a few years later Persia, Syria and Egypt all became Muslim countries.
Islam: The Entry into Makkah
DESPITE the improved relations between Mecca and Medina after the signing of the Treaty of Hudaybiyah, the ten-year peace was to be broken by Quraysh who, with their allies, the Bani Rakr, attacked the Khuza'ah tribe. Now Khuza'ah were allies of the Muslims and when the Prophet (pbuh) heard of the attack he immediately ordered his men to prepare for war. When they were ready he told them that their destination was Mecca and, as he did not want any fighting within the walls of the city, he told them they must move quickly and take the enemy by surprise. In this way the Meccans would not have time to prepare for war and, being surrounded would have to surrender. The Muslims would then be able to take the city without injury or loss of life to anyone. When the Muslim army, which numbered ten thousand, set out for Mecca, it was the month of Ramadan in the eighth year of the Hijrah. Many of the men kept the fast, even though they were not obliged to because they were traveling. Everyone was jubilant because they were going to Mecca, especially as some of them had not seen their homes in the city for eight long years.
In the meantime, the Prophet's uncle, al-'Abbas, had decided that the time had come for him and his wife to leave Mecca and join the Prophet (pbuh) in Medina. They did not, however, have to go far as after a distance of only twenty-five kilometres they came across the Muslim camp. When the Prophet (pbuh) saw them he said, 'Uncle, your emigration is the last emigration. My prophecy is the last prophecy.' Al-'Abbas then joined the army and his wife went on to the safety of Medina. Night fell and the Muslims made fires to light their camp. The Meccans, looking out of the city, were amazed to see the many fires, and Abu Sufyan went all over Mecca trying to find out whose camp it was. Suddenly he saw al-'Abbas riding towards him from the direction of the fires. He was returning as a messenger of peace from the Prophet (pbuh) and said to Abu Sufyan, 'The Muslims have come with a large army. They do not wish to fight, only to enter the city. It would be better to surrender and not fight. Come under my protection and meet the Prophet (pbuh).'
Abu Sufyan agreed, and got up behind al-'Abbas, who was riding the Prophet's white mule. It was still night as they entered the Muslim camp. Each time they passed a fire, someone would call out, 'Who goes there?' None of them recognized the stranger as the leader of their enemy but all knew al-'Abbas and so let them through. As they passed by 'Umar, however, he immediately recognized Abu Sufyan and yelled out, 'Abu Sufyan! The enemy of Allah!' He ran after them intending to kill his enemy but al-'Abbas made the mule go faster. They reached the Prophet's tent just before 'Umar, who rushed in after them quite out of breath. 'Umar begged the Prophet (pbuh), 'O Messenger of Allah, let me end the life of Abu Sufyan, this enemy of Islam, who has led the Quraysh armies in their attacks on us!'
Al-'Abbas interrupted, saying, 'I have sworn to protect him during his time here', whereupon the Prophet (pbuh) told his uncle to take Abu Sufyan to his tent for the night. In the morning Abu Sufyan was taken to the Prophet (pbuh) who said, 'Abu Sufyan! Have you not yet realized that there is no divinity but Allah?' To this Abu Sufyan replied, 'If there had been another he surely would have helped me by now.' 'Shame on you, Abu Sufyan', responded the Prophet (pbuh), 'it is time you realized that I am truly Allah's Messenger.' After a moment or two, Abu Sufyan, who remembered how 'Umar had not been allowed to kill him, replied: 'I can see you are a generous and forgiving man but I still cannot be sure of that.' At this, al-'Abbas, who had been standing nearby turned to him and said: 'Believe, as I do now.' Abu Sufyan stood quietly for a moment, then in a calm, clear voice swore in front of everyone, 'There is no divinity but Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.'
The Prophet (pbuh) then told Abu Sufyan to go back to Mecca and tell the people that the Muslims would enter the city the next morning. Before he left, however, al-'Abbas suggested to the Prophet (pbuh) that as Abu Sufyan was a proud man, it would be good to give him an honorable position. The Prophet (pbuh) took this advice, saying to Abu Sufyan, 'Tell the people that when we enter, anyone seeking refuge in your house will be safe.' This was a great honor for Abu Sufyan. In addition, the Prophet (pbuh) told him to assure the Meccans that those who remained in their own homes or at the Ka'bah would also be protected. Abu Sufyan returned quickly to the city. He made straight for the hill Hagar had climbed in her search for water and from which the Prophet (pbuh) later spoke, and called upon Quraysh to come to him. Abu Sufyan then spoke to the people, '0 people of Mecca, the fires we saw all around us were the camp fires of Muhammad and his men. He has come with a strong army and there are too many for us to fight. It is best, therefore, to surrender. Anyone who stays in my house, or in his own home, or at the Ka'bah will be safe.'
Early next day, the Muslims entered Mecca from all sides. They had been ordered to cause no harm unless anyone tried to stop them entering. When the Prophet (pbuh) arrived, he got off his camel, bowed down on the ground and thanked Allah for this victory. When the unbelievers saw this, they knew that the Prophet (pbuh) had come in peace. People began leaving their homes and running towards the Ka'bah. When they arrived there, they found the Prophet (pbuh) performing the ritual encircling of the Ka 'bah, the tawaf, on his camel, surrounded by the Muslims. When he had finished, he said, 'There is no divinity except Allah and He has no partner. Men and women of Quraysh, be not proud for all are equal; we are all the sons of Adam, and Adam was made of dust. ' Then he recited this verse to them: In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
O mankind! Lo! We have created you male and female, and have made you nations and tribes so you may know each another. Surely the noblest of you, in the sight of Allah, is the best in conduct. Lo! Allah is All-knowing, All-aware. The Holy Qur'an,Chapter 49,Verse 13
After this he said to them: 'O Quraysh, what do you think I am going to do to you?' The people thought carefully before answering because they knew that according to the laws of war they could all be taken prisoner. They also knew, however, that the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was generous, so they replied, 'You will treat us as a kind nephew and a generous brother would.' To this he' replied with the words used by the Prophet Joseph when his brothers came to Egypt: 'God forgives you and He is the Most Merciful of the Merciful.' Later the Prophet (pbuh) went to the hill of Safa and there the crowd followed him and surged forward, taking his hand one by one, to declare themselves Muslim.
He then turned to the Ka'bah and, pointing his staff at the three hundred and sixty-five idols which were placed there, recited from the Qur'an: In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.
. . Truth has come and falsehood has vanished away. Lo! Falsehood is ever bound to vanish. The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 17,Verse 81
At this, each idol fell over onto its face. Together with his followers the Prophet (pbuh) then proceeded to purify the Ka'bah, after which he ordered Bilal to climb on top of it and perform the call to prayer. Since then the call to prayer has been heard five times a day in Mecca. The Ka'bah, the House of Allah, has served the purpose for which it was built by Abraham thousands of years ago, as a sanctuary for the worship of Allah, our Creator, and Mecca continues to be the spiritual centre of Islam. On the day Mecca was conquered, the Prophet (pbuh) addressed the people, saying:
'Allah made Mecca holy the day He created heaven 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 for anyone before me and it will not be lawful for anyone after me. Indeed it is not lawful for me except at this time, only Allah's anger against his people makes it permissible. Mecca has now regained its former holiness. Let those here now go forth and tell others.'
NEWS of the growing power of the Muslims, as more and more of Arabia followed the Prophet (pbuh), eventually reached Heraclius, Emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire. The Romans saw the uniting of the Arabs in Islam as a possible threat to their Empire and the Emperor's advisors and generals, therefore, decided that the best thing to do would be to attack the Muslims from the north and east at the same time and destroy Islam once and for all. Two years had passed since Heraclius had told them of the Prophet's letter asking them to submit to Islam, but just as then, they were in no mood now to listen to such ideas.
When the Prophet (pbuh) heard of the Romans' plans, he decided that it would be better to meet the Roman army in Tabuk, some 500 kilometres from Medina on the route to Syria, than to await an attack on Medina. One reason for this decision was that the Prophet (pbuh) felt that if the Muslims were defeated at Medina, the city as well as the army would be taken, which would mean the end of Islam. This was a very hard decision for him to make because not only was Tabuk a very long way away, but it was also harvest time and a particularly hot year. Added to this was the fact that the enemy had an enormous army.
Now at this time there were some people living in Medina who were not true believers. They were called 'hypocrites' because they pretended to believe but hid what was truly in their hearts. When the Prophet (pbuh) called everyone to war, these hypocrites tried to create fear and doubt among the Muslims, saying 'How can we hope to defeat the Romans whose great empire stretches over vast areas of the world? And even if we could, we will not get the chance because the long journey and the heat will defeat us first. In any case, our crops and fruits are ready to be harvested; how can we leave them? We will be ruined if we do!'
All that the hypocrites said severely tested the Muslims. Who would continue to fight for his religion against such odds? Who would have the courage to give his wealth to help equip an army? This test of faith would indeed show who the true Muslims were. On this question, Allah revealed the following verse:
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
O you who believe! What aileth you that when it is said unto you: Go forth in the way of Allah, you are bowed down to the ground with heaviness. Do you take pleasure in the life of the world rather than in the Hereafter? The comfort of the life of the world is but little in the Hereafter. The Holy Qur'an,Chapter 9,Verse 38
To form and equip an army the Prophet (pbuh) needed a great deal of money and despite all that the hypocrites had said, many Muslims, especially the Prophet's close friends, were willing to help. 'Uthman ibn 'Affan, for instance, generously provided horses and arms for ten thousand soldiers and Abu Bakr gave all that he had in the world. 'Umar, too, gave a great deal, and in this way the Prophet (pbuh) was able to equip an army of forty thousand soldiers.
Finally everything was ready but just as they were about to leave, seven more men came to the Prophet (pbuh) to ask if they could go with him. Unfortunately, he had to refuse because there were no animals for them to ride. The seven men were so upset that they wept as they left. With nothing more to be done, the army moved off, but just then several spare camels were found. On learning of this, the Prophet (pbuh) sent for the seven men, who were overjoyed to find that they could join him in his fight.
By now the Romans had heard that the Muslims were coming out to meet them. They felt even surer of victory when they heard this because they believed that it would be quite impossible for an army to cross a waterless desert in the scorching summer sun. Even if by some miracle the Muslims succeeded, they would be so exhausted that it would be easy to defeat them.
As it happened, the heat was so intense and the journey so difficult that several Muslims did turn back. The Prophet (pbuh) and most of the others, however, continued until they finally ran out of water. The expedition now seemed hopeless as the men grew thirstier and thirstier. The Prophet (pbuh) prayed to Allah for help and, as he finished his prayer, the first drops of rain came splashing down. The rain continued to fall until all the Muslims had drunk their fill. That night they slept soundly for the first time in days, refreshed by the water and confident that Bilal would wake them as usual for the dawn prayer. But Bilal slept so deeply that he did not wake up. It was the first time that the Muslims had missed a prayer and they were very upset. The Prophet (pbuh), however, was not angry with Bilal and told the Muslims that they need not be upset because they had not intentionally missed the prayer.
The Prophet (pbuh) and his army continued their trek across the desert and finally arrived at the oasis of Tabuk. When they got there, however, they were surprised to find that the Roman army had retreated in fear on hearing of the miraculous crossing of the desert by the Muslims. The Prophet (pbuh) waited at the oasis for a while but when it became apparent that the Romans were not going to fight, he gave the order to return home. The enemy was not pursued because the Prophet (pbuh) only fought when attacked.
The long march to Tabuk had been yet another test of faith for the Muslims. Even so, there were still some among those who made that heroic journey who were hypocrites, pretending to be sincere while being enemies of Islam in their hearts. No one could have suspected that anyone who had made that journey across the desert with the Prophet (pbuh) would be an enemy of his. Realizing this, several hypocrites plotted to kill the Prophet (pbuh) by pushing him off the top of a high, rocky passage that ran between the mountains at 'Aqabah.
Before the army reached this rocky passage, however, Allah warned the Prophet (pbuh) about this wicked plan. The Prophet (pbuh), therefore, ordered the entire army to travel through the valley while he and his two guards went by way of the cliff. As the plotters approached, he shouted to them so that they could see that he knew of their plan, whereupon they quickly ran back to the army and tried to hide among the rest of the soldiers.
Later, the Prophet (pbuh) gathered his followers around him and told them what had happened. He picked out the men who had plotted against him and even told them the exact words they had spoken to each other. Some of the Prophet's companions said that these men should be killed, but the Prophet (pbuh) forgave them.
As soon as he arrived back in Medina, the Prophet (pbuh) went to the mosque and prayed. Many of the hypocrites and the lukewarm who had not gone with him to Tabuk came to give their reasons for not having done so. Three men of spiritual value who had not joined the army were subjected by the Prophet (pbuh) to the discipline of waiting for Allah's forgiveness. For fifty days no one spoke to them. Finally, Allah revealed a verse to the Prophet (pbuh) which declared that these three men were forgiven:
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
Allah hath turned in mercy to the Prophet, and to the Muhajirin and the Ansar who followed him in the hour of hardship. After the hearts of a party of them had almost swerved aside, then He turned unto them in mercy. Lo! He is full of Pity, Merciful. And to the three also (did He turn in mercy) who were left behind, when the earth, vast as it is, was straitened for them, and their own souls were straitened for them till they understood that there is no refuge from Allah save toward Him. Then He turned unto them in mercy that they (too) might turn (repentant unto Him). Lo! Allah! He is the Relenting, the Merciful. O you who believe! Be careful of your duty to Allah, and be with the truthful. The Holy Qur'an,Chapter 9,Verse 117-119
Islam: The Prophet's(pbuh) death
ONE NIGHT, shortly after his return to Medina, the Prophet (pbuh) woke up at midnight and asked his servant 'Abd Allah to saddle his mule. They then left the house and went to the Baql al-Gharqad, the burial ground of the Muslims. There the Prophet (pbuh) stood in front of the graves and, as though he could see the Muslims buried in them, spoke to them and prayed over them. Later, 'Abd Allah reported, 'The Prophet (pbuh) told me that he was ordered to pray for the dead and that I was to go with him.' After the Prophet (pbuh) had prayed he turned to 'Abd Allah and said, 'I can choose between all the riches of this world, a long life, and then Paradise, or meeting my Lord and entering Paradise now.' 'Abd Allah begged him to choose a long, rich life, followed by Paradise, but the Prophet (pbuh) told him that he had already chosen to meet his Lord now rather than remain in the world.
The following morning the Prophet (pbuh) awoke with a terrible headache, but despite this he led the prayers at the mosque. From what he said afterwards to the people assembled there, they understood that his death was near. The Prophet (pbuh) praised his best friend, Abu Bakr, who had begun to weep, and told everyone that he knew they would all meet again at a pool in Paradise. He added, however, that although he was sure they would always worship Allah alone; he feared that the pleasures of the world would attract them, and they would begin to compete with one another for material possessions, forgetting spiritual things. Soon after, the Prophet (pbuh) requested that he be moved to the room of 'A'ishah, one of his wives. As the days passed his fever grew worse, until one day he was so ill that he could not even get to the mosque, which was next to where 'A'ishah lived. The Prophet (pbuh) told 'A'ishah to tell the Muslims to let Abu Bakr, her father, lead the prayer, which made them very sad for this was the first time anyone had taken the Prophet's place.
Later, on the 12th day of Rabi al-Awal, in the 11th year of Islam (June 8th 632 A.D.), the Prophet (pbuh) heard the voices of the people in prayer. With great effort he got up and looked from his door at all the Muslims who were assembled in rows behind Abu Bakr; he smiled with great satisfaction. Abu Bakr saw him and stepped back to give the Prophet (pbuh) his place. The Muslims were happy, thinking he was going to pray with them as before, but the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), who looked radiantly beautiful that day, signaled to them to continue on their own. He prayed in a sitting position at the right of Abu Bakr, after which he went back inside and lay his head on 'A'ishah's lap. He was in such pain that his daughter Fatimah cried out in pity. Then the Prophet (pbuh) said, 'There is no pain for your father after this day; truly, death has appeared to me. We must all suffer it till the Day of Judgement.' As he lay there, 'A'ishah remembered that he had once said, 'Allah never takes a Prophet to Himself without giving him the choice. 'Then she heard the Prophet (pbuh) speak. His last words were, 'Nay, rather the Exalted Communion of Paradise.'
'A'ishah then said to herself, 'So, by Allah, he is not choosing us!' When the people in the mosque heard that the Prophet (pbuh) was dead, they were filled with grief. 'Umar could not, and would not, believe it, and exclaimed that it was not true. Abu Bakr then went out and spoke gently to the people, saying 'All praise belongs to Allah! O people, whoever worshipped Muhammad, Muhammad is dead. But for him who worships Allah, Allah is living and never dies. ' He then recited this verse from the Qur'an which had been revealed after the battle of Uhud:
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful Muhammad is but a messenger, messengers (the like of whom) have passed away before him. Will it be that, when he dies or is slain, you will turn back on your heels? He who turns back does no hurt to Allah, and Allah will reward the thankful.
No soul can ever die except by Allah's permission and at a term appointed. Whoso desires the reward of the world, We bestow on him thereof; and whosoever desires the reward of the Hereafter, We bestow on him thereof We shall reward the thankful. The Holy Qur'an,Chapter 3,Verse 144-45
After this the people pledged their loyalty to Abu Bakr, whom the Prophet (pbuh) had chosen to lead the prayer. Abu Bakr accepted and concluded what he had to say with these words: 'Obey me so long as I obey Allah and His Messenger. But if I disobey Allah and His Messenger, you owe me no obedience. Arise for your prayer, Allah have mercy upon you!' The people rose and asked him: 'Where will the Prophet (pbuh) be buried?' Abu Bakr remembered that the Prophet (pbuh) had said, 'No Prophet dies who is not buried on the spot where he died. ' And so the Prophet (pbuh) was buried in a grave dug in the floor of 'A'ishah's room, in the house next to the mosque. The spot became known as the Haram al-Nabawi and Muslims from all over the world go there to pray and to give their blessings and greetings of peace to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
And Lo! thine verily will be a reward unfailing. And Lo! thou art of a tremendous nature. The Holy Qur'an,Chapter 68,Verse 3-4
You Must Know Him
You may be an atheist or an agnostic or you may belong to any of the religious denominations that exist in the world today. You may have been a Communist or a believer in democracy and freedom. No matter what you are, and no matter what your religious and political beliefs, personal and social habits happen to be— YOU STILL MUST KNOW THIS MAN!
He was by far the most remarkable man that ever set foot on this earth. He preached a religion, founded a state, built a nation, laid down a moral code, initiated numberless social and political reforms, established a dynamic and powerful society to practice and represent his teachings, and he revolutionized the worlds of human thought and human action for all time.
His name was Muhammad (peace and blessings of Almighty Creator be upon him)—and he accomplished all these wonders in the unbelievably short span of twenty-three years. Muhammad (pbuh) was born in Arabia in 570 CE, and when he died at the age of 63, the whole of the Arabian Peninsula had changes from paganism and idol worship to the worship of One God; from tribal quarrels and wars to national solidarity and cohesion; from drunkenness and debauchery to sobriety and piety; from lawlessness and anarchy to disciplined living; from utter moral bankruptcy to the highest standards of moral excellence. Human history has never known such a complete transformation of a people or a place before or since.
The Encyclopedia Britannica calls him "the most successful of all religious personalities of the world." Bernard Shaw said, "if Muhammad (pbuh) were alive today, he would succeed in solving all those problems which threaten to destroy human civilization in our times." Thomas Carlysle was amazed as to how one man, single-handedly, could weld warring tribes and wandering Bedouins into a most powerful and civilized nation in less than two decades. Napoleon and Gandhi never tried of dreaming of a society along the lines established by this man in Arabia fourteen centuries ago.
Indeed no other human being ever accomplished so much, in such diverse fields of human thought and behavior, in so limited a space of time, as did Muhammad (pbuh). He was a religious teacher, a social reformer, a moral guide, a political thinker, a military genius, an administrative colossus, a faithful friend, a wonderful companion, a devoted husband, a loving father—all in one. No other man in history ever excelled or equaled him in any of these difficult departments of life.
The world has had its share of great personalities. But these were one-sided figures who distinguished themselves in but one or two fields, such as religious thought or military leadership. None of the other great leaders of the world ever combined within himself so many different qualities to such an amazing level of perfection as did Muhammad (pbuh).
The lives and teachings of other great personalities of the world are shrouded in the mist of time. There is so much speculation about the time and the place of their birth, the mode and style of their life, the nature and detail of their teachings and the degree and measure of their success or failure that it is impossible for humanity today to reconstruct accurately and precisely the lives and teachings of those men.
Not so this man Muhammad (pbuh). Not only was he born in the fullest blaze of recorded history, but every detail of his private and public life, of his actions and utterances, has been accurately documented and faithfully preserved to our day. The authenticity of the information so preserved is vouched for not only by faithful followers but also by unbiased critics and open-minded scholars.
At the level of ideas there is no system of thought and belief—secular or religious, social or political —which could surpass or equal ISLAM—the system which Muhammad (pbuh) propounded. In a fast-changing world, while other systems have undergone profound transformations, Islam alone has remained above all change and mutation, and retained its original form for the past 1400 years. What is more, the positive changes that are taking place in the world of human thought and behavior truly and consistently reflect the healthy influence of Islam in these areas.
It is not given to the best of thinkers to put their ideas completely into practice, and to see the seeds of their labors grow and bear fruit in their own lifetime. Except of course, Muhammad (pbuh), who not only preached the most wonderful ideas but also successfully translated each one of them into practice. At the time of his death his teachings were not mere precepts and ideas straining for fulfillment. They had become the very core of the life of tens of thousands of perfectly trained individuals. At what other time or place and in relation to what other political, social, religious system, philosophy or ideology—did the world ever witness such a perfectly amazing phenomenon? Except of course, ISLAM, which was established as a complete way of life by Muhammad (pbuh)himself. History bears testimony to this fact and the greatest skeptics have no option but to concede this point.
In spite of the phenomenal success which crowned his efforts, he did not for a moment claim to be God or God's incarnation or Son —but only a human being who was chosen and ordained by the Creator to be a teacher of truth to mankind and a complete model and pattern for their actions.
He was a man with a noble and exalted mission —and his unique mission was to unite humanity in the worship of the One and only God and to teach them the way to honest and upright living in accordance with the laws and commands of God. He always described himself as a Messenger and servant of God, as indeed every single action and movement of his proclaimed him to be.
A world which has not hesitated to raise to Divinity individuals whose very lives and missions have been lost in legend and who, historically speaking, did not accomplish half as much—or even one tenth—as was accomplished by Muhammad (pbuh), should stop to take serious note of this remarkable man's claim to be God's messenger to mankind.
Today, after the lapse of some 1400 years, the life and teachings of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), have survived without the slightest loss, alteration or interpolation. Today they offer the same undying hope for treating mankind's many ills which they did when Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was alive. This is our honest claim and this is the inescapable conclusion forced upon us by a critical and unbiased study of history.
The least YOU should do as a thinking, sensitive, concerned human being is to stop for one brief moment and ask yourself: Could it be that these statements, extraordinary and revolutionary as they sound, are really true? Supposing they really are true, and you did not know this man Muhammad (pbuh) or hear about his teachings? Or did not know him well and intimately enough to be able to benefit from his guidance and example? Is it not time you responded to this tremendous challenge and made some effort to know him? It will not cost you anything but it may well prove to be the beginning of a completely new era in your life.
Come, let us make a new discovery, the life of this wonderful man Muhammad (pbuh), the like of whom never walked on this earth, and whose example and teachings can change YOUR life and OUR world for the better. May God shower His choicest blessings upon him!
Written by S. H. Pasha
Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon them) in the Bible and the Qur'an (P1)
All praise is to the One to Whom all dignity, honour and glory are due; the Unique with perfect attributes, Who begets not, nor is He begotten. He has no equal but He is the Almighty, Omnipotent. He sent His Messengers and Prophets to guide humanity towards Monotheism; to worship Him Alone, the only One Worthy of worship, and to warn them of the eternal dire consequences of polytheism, associating partners with One Allah and the worship of creatures. Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon all the Prophets and Messengers, especially on Muhammad, the last of the Prophets, and on all who follow him in righteousness until the Day of Recompense.
Biblical evidence of Jesus being a servant of God and having no share in divinity
Jesus and the Devil in the Bible
In the New Testament of the Bible, in the fourth chapter of the Gospel according to Matthew, the sixth and seventh verses clearly indicate that Jesus is an obedient mortal and God is the Master and Lord according to his saying in the seventh verse:
"It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord, thy God."
In this chapter we read that the Devil actually carried the Messiah, and took him from place to place. How can the Devil carry God? Glory be to Allah; He is above such blasphemy!
Then the Devil orders him to prostrate before him and worship him, even temptng him with worldly possessions. How can the Devil even dare such an audacity with God? When the Devil wanted Jesus to comply with his orders, he (Jesus) replied by saying that it was written (in the previous Books): "Thou shalt worship the Lord, thy God; And Him only shalt thou serve." Matthew 4:10
Children of God
Jesus never called himself Son of God as far as I know - but he used to call himself the 'Son of Man' (Mark 2:10) although he heard himself being called by that name he did not object as assumed in the Bible - and he did not consider the title exclusively for him. According to the Biblical term in the Old and New Testaments, every God-fearing righteous person is called "Son of God". In Matthew 5:9 we read:
"Blessed are the peace-makers, for they shall be called the children of God."
In Matthew 5:45 -
"That ye may be children of your Father which is in heaven..."
God the Father
In Matthew 5:48 -
"Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."
In Matthew 6:1 -
"...otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven..."
In Matthew 7:21 -
"Not every one that sayeth unto me (Jesus), Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doeth the will of my Father, who is in heaven." N.B. The word 'Lord' here was translated as Rabb in the Arabic version of the Bible so that people may be convinced that Jesus is God! But if one studies the rest of the verse, one will note that the verse bears testimony to the subservience (to God's Will) of the Messiah (Jesus). Therefore the correct translation should be: "Not every one that sayeth to me, O my Master, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." It is obvious from the above readings from the Bible that the term 'Father' is used for God in numerous places in the Bible. It is never used exclusively for Jesus.
In Matthew 11:25 -
"At that time Jesus answered and said, 'I thank Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent and has revealed them unto babes.' "
Jesus the Worshipper
Matthew 14:23 -
"And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray..."
I say: If Jesus is God or a part of God then why did he pray? In fact, prayer is always from a submitting, needy and dependent one for the Mercy of Almighty Allah as mentioned in the Qur'an:
"O mankind! it is you who stand in need of Allah. But Allah is Rich (Free of all needs), Worthy of all praise." The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 35, Verse 15
And in Chapter 19, Verse 93 of Qur'an:
"There is none in the heavens and the earth but comes unto the Most Gracious (Allah) as a slave."
A Biblical Story
Mathew 15:22-28 -
"And behold a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts and cried unto him, saying, 'Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David: my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.' But he answered and said, 'I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Isreal.'
The came she and worshipped him, saying , 'Lord help me.' But he answered and said, 'It is not meet to take the childred's bread and to cast it to dogs.'
And she said, 'Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their master's table.'
Then Jesus answered and said unto her, 'O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.' "
In this story about a woman from Cannan there are noteworthy points:
1) Lack of mercy and love charged against Jesus (if the incident is reported correctly).
2) Degraded discrimination in regard to the uplifting of his tribe and not for the others.
3) An ignorant polytheist woman debated with him and won him over.
Jesus a Prophet of Allah
Mathew 19:16-17 -
" And behold, one came and said unto him, 'Good master, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?' And he said unto him, 'Why callest thou me good? (There is ) none good but one (i.e) God, but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.'"
In the above verses we note this acknowledgement of his submissiveness (to God's Will)
Mathew 21:45-46 -
"And when the chief priests and pharisees had heard his parable, they perceived that he spoke of them. But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared teh multitude because they took him for a Prophet."
Here it is proved that all those who believed in Jesus during his lifetime did not believe in him being God or the Son of God or one in the doctirne of Trinity; but they believed in him as being a prophet only. This is indeed one of the strongest points of evidence against those who believe in teh Divinity of Jesus (Incarnation of God) if only they pondered.
Jesus: a Servant of Allah
Mathew 23:8 -
"But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your master, even Jesus, and all ye are brethren."
Here it is clearly proved that Jesus was servant of Allah, and that there is only One Master and He is Allah. In the Arabic version of the Bible this verse has been translated so that Jesus is meant to be the master whereas the English renderingis nearer the original sense.
Mathew 23:9 -
"And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father which is in heaven."
From this you will note that fatherhood and sonship is meant to be the relationship between the Lord and His servants: it is meant in a general sense and not specifically for Jesus.
Mathew 24:36 -
"But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no , not the angels of heaven, but my Father only."
This is a definite proof that the Final Hour is unknown to any but Allah, thus Jesus knowledge is imoerfect like all the other men; Allah Alone is All-Knowing, Omniscient.
Mathew 26:39 -
"And he (Jesus) went a little farther, and fell on his face and prayed, saying, 'O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not is a servant of Allah. He (Allah) Alone can cause the change.'"
The Compilation of the Bible
"And they took counsel and bought with them the potter's field to bury strangers in, Wherefore that field was called the Field fo Blood, unto this day."
From these verses we understand that the Bible (theNew Testament) was not written during Jesus's lifetime but long after the occurrence of the events described, having been retained in the memory of the prople.
Mathew 27:46 -
"And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, 'Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? (My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?')"
This is according to their (Christians') assumption that Jesus cried in a loud voice saying the above words while he was being cricified.This is a great insult as such words could only come from unbelievers in Allah. Further, it is incredible that such words should come out form a Prophet of Allah, because Allah never breaks His Promise and His Prophets never complained against His Promise.
Jesus:Preacher of monotheism (tawheed)
John 17:3 -
"And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou has sent."
Mark 12:28-30 -
"And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, 'Which is the first commandment of all?' And Jesus answered him : 'The first of all the commandments is: hear O Isreal, the Lord thy God is One Lord: and thou shalt love the Lord, thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment."
Mark 12:32 -
"And the scribe said unto him, 'Well Master, thou hst said teh truth: for there is One God; and there is none other but He.'"
Mark 12:34 -
"...he (Jesus) said unto him, 'Thou art not far from the kingdom of God...'"
In these verses, Jesus (PBUH) himself had testified that Allah is the One God, there is none other than Him, and that whoever believes in His Oneness, he is near the Kingdom of Allah. Therefore whoever associates partners with Allah or believes in the Trinity is far away from the Kingdom of Allah, and whoever is far away from the Kingdom of Allah he is the enemy of Allah.
Mathew 24:36 -
"But of that day and hour koweth no man, no not the angles of the heaven, but my Father only."
I say: A similar text was quoted from S.Mathew which is exactly as proclaimed by the Qur'an in that none knows when the Hour will come except Allah. This extablishes the face that Jesus was subservient to Allah and that he had no share in Divinity: that he was an incarnationof God, was an innovation by the people of Canaan.
John 20:16 -
"Jesus said unto her, 'Mary'. She turned herslef, and sayeth unto him, 'Rabboni', which is to say, Master, Jesus saith unto her, 'Touch me not: For I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God.' Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she has seen the Lord, and that He had spoken these things unto her."
In the above narrative Jesus clearly testifies that Allah is his God and their God, making no difference between him and them in the worship of the One Allah. Whoever believes that Jesus is God has indeed blasphemed against Allah and betrayed Jesus and all the Prophets and Messengers of Allah.
Formerly Professor of Islamic Faith and Teachings,
Islamic University, Al-Madinah Al-munawwarah
Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon them) in the Bible and the Qur'an (Part II)
Biblical prophecy on the advent of Muhammad (PBUH)
"If you love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father and He shall give you another Comforter that he may abide for you forever."
Muslim theologians have said that "another Comforter" is Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah; and him to "abide forever" means the perpetuity of his laws and way of life and the Book (Qur'an), which was revealed, to him.
"But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning."
"But now I go my way to Him that sent me and none of you asketh me 'whither goest thou?' But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled you heart. Nevertheless I tell you the truth; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and approve righteousness and judgment."
"I have yet many things to say unto you, but you cannot bear them now. How be it when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak; and he will show you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and he shall show it unto you."
" A little while and ye shall not see me: and again a little while, ye shall see me, because I go to the Father."
Muslim theologians have stated that the person who is described by Jesus to come after him – in the above verses – does not comply with any other person but Muhammad (PBUH) the Messenger of Allah. This 'person' whom Jesus prophesied will come after him is called in the Bible 'Parqaleeta' This word was deleted by later interpreters and translators and changed at times to 'Spirit of Truth', and at other times, to 'Comforter' and sometimes to 'Holy Spirit'. The original word is Greek and it's meaning is 'one whom people praise exceedingly.' The sense of word is applicable to the word 'Muhammad' (in Arabic).
Formerly Professor of Islamic Faith and Teachings,
Islamic University, Al-Madinah Al-munawwarah
The several marriages of the Prophet
Islamists among orientalists have been critical of the Prophet's private life on three accounts:
1.That his marriages were quite numerous.
2.That he married Aishah when she was only ten or eleven years old.
3.That he married Zaynab bint jahsh, a divorcee of his adopted son, Zayd Ibn Harithah.
The bonds of marriage helped to consolidate the Prophets social and political position in Madinah. And again, some of his marriages were the means the Prophet used to accommodate and provide for families, which had lost their providers because of either Hijrah(s) or of Jihad wars. The argument that self-indulgence was the motive behind these marriages is plainly (aside from being false and disgraceful) absurd and preposterous.
As to the several marriages of the Prophet, polygamy was customary among the Arabs, and the Semitic peoples in general in those times. Among many prophets and Apostles of ancient tribes of Israelites and Hebrews, polygamous marriages were widespread. Some of those Prophets of the Old Testaments were reported to have married tens of wives. However, an examination of the circumstances and manner in which the Prophet practiced polygamy shows that sexual appetite was never the dominant factor.
1. With the exception of Aishah, all the women whom he married were widows or divorcees.
2. A number of those women were quite advanced in age.
3. A number of Prophet's marriages were obviously prompted by motives of compassion.
1. Sawdah bint Zam'ah:
She migrated twice to Abyssinia. Her husband was one of the pioneering Muslims who, after his return from Abyssinia, died in Makkah. Marrying her was a way of honoring her sacrifice, and early Hijrah to Abyssinia. It was also a way of consoling and providing for her.
She was the daughter of Abu Sufyan, the archenemy of the Prophet and the leader of the Quraysh opposition. Ramlah became a Muslim, despite the attitude of her father consequence. Then her husband, who was a Christian before he converted to Islam, reverted to Christianity, divorced her and deserted her with his little baby in her arms. Thus she was indeed in a very difficult situation living out these moments in a strange land, thousands of miles from her hometown, Makkah.
She gave herself to the Prophet and whished to be his wife. He honored her wish, accepting her as a wife, and she was devoted to him.
The Prophet married her out of sympathy for her plight, her Jewish father having been killed in the Khaybar battle. She had no one to care for her.
The Prophet married her out of regard for her father, who was his aide and minister and enjoyed his love and appreciation for services rendered to the cause of Islam, Hafsah was not particularly young or attractive. But she was deeply religious, steadfast in prayer and fasting. When she became a widow, her father Umar, tried unsuccessfully to persuade some of his close friends and brothers in Islam to marry her. The noble hearted Prophet was moved by the anguish of his close aide and friend 'Umar and offered to marry her himself.
6. Umm Salamah:
Her husband was seriously wounded in the Battle of Uhud, and died as a martyr a month afterwards. The Prophet married her, in his fatherly compassion for her numerous children and to honour her as well. Initially she politely declined his marriage offer, apologizing that she would be too senior to him, being so advanced in age, and with so many children. As, however, the Prophet insisted, the marriage did take place.
The Prophet married Zaynab, who had been married to Zayd, his adopted son. Critics have dramatized the Prophet's marriage to Zaynab in the most obnoxious way. When the life became untenable between Zayad and Zaynab, they were divorced. The Prophet was then commanded by the Qur'an to marry her, so as to abrogate an outmoded custom that fathers of adopted sons many not marry the divorcees of their adopted sons.
From the Muslim point of view, the whole affair was divinely ordained. The Holy Qur'an itself supports this view. In a noble revelation, directly referring to the episodes of Zaynab, God Almightly said:
"When you say to him, upon whom Allah has bestowed His favours, and you have also favoured, keep your wife to yourself; and fear Allah. And you conceal in you heart what Allah is to make public, and you fear that people but Allah is more worthy to be feared by you. And after Zayd had ceased (relations) with her (by divorcing her) we gave her to you in marriage, so that there may be no sin for the believers, in respect of (marrying the former) wives of their adopted sons, after the latter have ceased (relations) with them." The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 33, Verse 37
In summing up, it may be said that the only 'ordinary' marriage the Prophet ever enjoyed was that with Khadijah. She was 15 years his senior. She died after remaining with him for more than 20 years. The Prophet cherished her memory all his life. All his other marriages were urged by some or other necessities.
His marriage to Aishah was motivated by dreams, which were shown to him in two or three nights. In those dreams, he saw the Archangel Gabriel descending with her picture and saying: " This is you wife, in this life and in the world to come. Marry her, because she has some qualities of Khadijah. Since Aishah was but a little girl, the Prophet said to himself, " If those dreams were from God, this marriage would take place".
Had it been the case that he was sexually overactive, this would have become more apparent in his early manhood, not after he had passed the age of fifty. Marriage bonds were used by the Prophet to improve and strengthen his relationships with his people. By using this means, which was familiar to them, it was possible for that message to be heard by every clan and tribe in the vast Arabian Peninsula. The bonds of marriage helped also to consolidate his social and political position in Madinah. And again, some of his marriages were the means the Prophet used to accommodate and provide for families, which had lost their providers because of either Hijrah(s) or of Jihad wars. The argument that self-indulgence was the motive behind these marriages is plainly (aside from being false and disgraceful) absurd and preposterous.
"Sunshine at Madinah"
The Prophet(pbuh)'s last sermon
O People, lend me an attentive ear, for I don't know whether, after this year, I shall ever be amongst you again. Therefore listen to what I am saying to you carefully and TAKE THESE WORDS TO THOSE WHO COULD NOT BE PRESENT HERE TODAY.
O People, just as you regard this month, this day, this city as Sacred, so regard the life and property of every Muslim as a sacred trust. Return the goods entrusted to you to their rightful owners. Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you.
Remember that you will indeed meet your Lord, and that He will indeed reckon your deeds. ALLAH has forbidden you to take usury (Interest), therefore all interest obligation shall henceforth be waived...
Beware of Satan, for your safety of your religion. He has lost all hope that he will ever be able to lead you astray in big things, so beware of following him in small things.
O People, it is true that you have certain rights with regard to your women, but they also have rights over you. Remember that you have taken them as your wives only under Allah's trust and with His permission. If they abide by your right then to them belongs the right to be fed and clothed in kindness. Do treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers. And it is your right that they do not make friends with any one of whom you do not approve, as well as never to be unchaste.
O People, listen to me in earnest, worship Allah, say your five daily prayers (Salah), fast during the month of Ramadhan, and give your wealth in Zakat. Perform Hajj if you can afford to. You know that every Muslim is the brother of another Muslim. YOU ARE ALL EQUAL. NOBODY HAS SUPERIORITY OVER OTHER EXCEPT BY PIETY AND GOOD ACTION.
Remember, one day you will appear before Allah and answer for your deeds. So beware, do not astray from the path of righteousness after I am gone.
O People, NO PROPHET OR APOSTLE WILL COME AFTER ME AND NO NEW FAITH WILL BE BORN. Reason well, therefore, O People, and understand my words which I convey to you. I leave behind me two things, the Qur'an and my example, the Sunnah and if you follow these you will never go astray.
All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again; and may the last ones understand my words better than those who listen to me directly. BE MY WITNESS, O ALLAH, THAT I HAVE CONVEYED YOUR MESSAGE TO YOUR PEOPLE."
This Sermon was delivered on the Ninth Day of Dhul Hijjah 10 A.H in the Uranah Valley of mount Arafat
Muhammad - the Most Influential Person in History
From The 100, a ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History by Michael H. Hart
My choice of Muhammad to lead the list of the world's most influential persons may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others, but he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular levels.
Of humble origins, Muhammad founded and promulgated one of the world's great religions, and became an immensely effective political leader. Today, thirteen centuries after his death, his influence is still powerful and pervasive. The majority of the persons in this book had the advantage of being born and raised in centers of civilization, highly cultured or politically pivotal nations. Muhammad, however, was born in the year 570, in the city of Mecca, in southern Arabia, at that time a backward area of the world, far from the centers of trade, art, and learning. Orphaned at age six, he was reared in modest surroundings. Islamic tradition tells us that he was illiterate. His economic position improved when, at age twenty-five, he married a wealthy widow. Nevertheless, as he approached forty, there was little outward indication that he was a remarkable person. Most Arabs at that time were pagans, who believed in many gods. There were, however, in Mecca, a small number of Jews and Christians; it was from them no doubt that Muhammad first learned of a single, omnipotent God who ruled the entire universe.
When he was forty years old, Muhammad became convinced that this one true God (Allah) was speaking to him, and had chosen him to spread the true faith. For three years, Muhammad preached only to close friends and associates. Then, about 613, he began preaching in public. As he slowly gained converts, the Meccan authorities came to consider him a dangerous nuisance. In 622, fearing for his safety, Muhammad fled to Medina (a city some 200 miles north of Mecca), where he had been offered a position of considerable political power. This flight, called the Hegira, was the turning point of the Prophet's life. In Mecca, he had had few followers. In Medina, he had many more, and he soon acquired an influence that made him a virtual dictator. During the next few years, while Muhammad s following grew rapidly, a series of battles were fought between Medina and Mecca. This was ended in 630 with Muhammad's triumphant return to Mecca as conqueror. The remaining two and one-half years of his life witnessed the rapid conversion of the Arab tribes to the new religion. When Muhammad died, in 632, he was the effective ruler of all of southern Arabia. The Bedouin tribesmen of Arabia had a reputation as fierce warriors. But their number was small; and plagued by disunity and internecine warfare, they had been no match for the larger armies of the kingdoms in the settled agricultural areas to the north. However, unified by Muhammad for the first time in history, and inspired by their fervent belief in the one true God, these small Arab armies now embarked upon one of the most astonishing series of conquests in human history. To the northeast of Arabia lay the large Neo-Persian Empire of the Sassanids; to the northwest lay the Byzantine, or Eastern Roman Empire, centered in Constantinople. Numerically, the Arabs were no match for their opponents. On the field of battle, though, the inspired Arabs rapidly conquered all of Mesopotamia, Syria, and Palestine. By 642, Egypt had been wrested from the Byzantine Empire, while the Persian armies had been crushed at the key battles of Qadisiya in 637, and Nehavend in 642.
But even these enormous conquests-which were made under the leadership of Muhammad's close friends and immediate successors, Abu Bakr and 'Umar ibn al-Khattab -did not mark the end of the Arab advance. By 711, the Arab armies had swept completely across North Africa to the Atlantic Ocean There they turned north and, crossing the Strait of Gibraltar, overwhelmed the Visigothic kingdom in Spain. For a while, it must have seemed that the Moslems would overwhelm all of Christian Europe. However, in 732, at the famous Battle of Tours, a Moslem army, which had advanced into the center of France, was at last defeated by the Franks. Nevertheless, in a scant century of fighting, these Bedouin tribesmen, inspired by the word of the Prophet, had carved out an empire stretching from the borders of India to the Atlantic Ocean-the largest empire that the world had yet seen. And everywhere that the armies conquered, large-scale conversion to the new faith eventually followed. Now, not all of these conquests proved permanent. The Persians, though they have remained faithful to the religion of the Prophet, have since regained their independence from the Arabs. And in Spain, more than seven centuries of warfare finally resulted in the Christians reconquering the entire peninsula. However, Mesopotamia and Egypt, the two cradles of ancient civilization, have remained Arab, as has the entire coast of North Africa. The new religion, of course, continued to spread, in the intervening centuries, far beyond the borders of the original Moslem conquests. Currently it has tens of millions of adherents in Africa and Central Asia and even more in Pakistan and northern India, and in Indonesia. In Indonesia, the new faith has been a unifying factor. In the Indian subcontinent, however, the conflict between Moslems and Hindus is still a major obstacle to unity.
How, then, is one to assess the overall impact of Muhammad on human history? Like all religions, Islam exerts an enormous influence upon the lives of its followers. It is for this reason that the founders of the world's great religions all figure prominently in this book . Since there are roughly twice as many Christians as Moslems in the world, it may initially seem strange that Muhammad has been ranked higher than Jesus. There are two principal reasons for that decision. First, Muhammad played a far more important role in the development of Islam than Jesus did in the development of Christianity. Although Jesus was responsible for the main ethical and moral precepts of Christianity (insofar as these differed from Judaism), St. Paul was the main developer of Christian theology, its principal proselytizer, and the author of a large portion of the New Testament. Muhammad, however, was responsible for both the theology of Islam and its main ethical and moral principles. In addition, he played the key role in proselytizing the new faith, and in establishing the religious practices of Islam. Moreover, he is the author of the Moslem holy scriptures, the Koran, a collection of certain of Muhammad's insights that he believed had been directly revealed to him by Allah. Most of these utterances were copied more or less faithfully during Muhammad's lifetime and were collected together in authoritative form not long after his death. The Koran therefore, closely represents Muhammad's ideas and teachings and to a considerable extent his exact words. No such detailed compilation of the teachings of Christ has survived. Since the Koran is at least as important to Moslems as the Bible is to Christians, the influence of Muhammed through the medium of the Koran has been enormous It is probable that the relative influence of Muhammad on Islam has been larger than the combined influence of Jesus Christ and St. Paul on Christianity. On the purely religious level, then, it seems likely that Muhammad has been as influential in human history as Jesus. Furthermore, Muhammad (unlike Jesus) was a secular as well as a religious leader. In fact, as the driving force behind the Arab conquests, he may well rank as the most influential political leader of all time. Of many important historical events, one might say that they were inevitable and would have occurred even without the particular political leader who guided them. For example, the South American colonies would probably have won their independence from Spain even if Simon Bolivar had never lived. But this cannot be said of the Arab conquests. Nothing similar had occurred before Muhammad, and there is no reason to believe that the conquests would have been achieved without him. The only comparable conquests in human history are those of the Mongols in the thirteenth century, which were primarily due to the influence of Genghis Khan. These conquests, however, though more extensive than those of the Arabs, did not prove permanent, and today the only areas occupied by the Mongols are those that they held prior to the time of Genghis Khan. It is far different with the conquests of the Arabs. From Iraq to Morocco, there extends a whole chain of Arab nations united not merely by their faith in Islam, but also by their Arabic language, history, and culture. The centrality of the Koran in the Moslem religion and the fact that it is written in Arabic have probably prevented the Arab language from breaking up into mutually unintelligible dialects, which might otherwise have occurred in the intervening thirteen centuries. Differences and divisions between these Arab states exist, of course, and they are considerable, but the partial disunity should not blind us to the important elements of unity that have continued to exist. For instance, neither Iran nor Indonesia, both oil-producing states and both Islamic in religion, joined in the oil embargo of the winter of 1973-74. It is no coincidence that all of the Arab states, and only the Arab states, participated in the embargo. We see, then, that the Arab conquests of the seventh century have continued to play an important role in human history, down to the present day. It is this unparalleled combination of secular and religious influence which I feel entitles Muhammad to be considered the most influential single figure in human history.
A ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History by Michael H. Hart.
Rank Name Religious Affiliation Influence
1 Muhammad Islam Prophet of Islam; Hart recognized that ranking Muhammad first might be controversial, but felt that, from a secular historian's perspective, this was the correct choice because Muhammad is the only man to have been both a founder of a major world religion and a major military/political leader.
2 Isaac Newton Anglican (rejected Trinitarianism, i.e.,
Athanasianism; believed in the Arianism
of the Primitive Church) Physicist; Theory of universal gravitation; Laws of Motion
3 Jesus Christ Judaism; Islam Prophet of Islam; Most revered figure amongst the Christians
4 Buddha Hinduism; Buddhism Founder of Buddhism
5 Confucius Confucianism Founder of Confucianism
6 St. Paul Judaism; Christianity Founder, proselytizer of Christianity
7 Ts'ai Lun Chinese traditional religion Inventor of paper
8 Johann Gutenberg Catholic Developed movable type; printed Bibles
9 Christopher Columbus Catholic Explorer; Led Europe to Americas
10 Albert Einstein Jewish Physicist; Relativity; Einsteinian Physics
11 Louis Pasteur Catholic scientist; pasteurization
12 Galileo Galilei Catholic Astronomer; Accurately described heliocentric solar system
13 Aristotle Platonism / Greek philosophy Influential Greek philosopher
14 Euclid Platonism / Greek philosophy Mathematician; Euclidian geometry
15 Moses Judaism; Islam Major prophet of Judaism; Christianity; Islam
16 Charles Darwin Anglican (nominal); Unitarian Biologist; Described Darwinian evolution, which had theological impact on many religions
17 Shih Huang Ti Chinese traditional religion Chinese emperor
18 Augustus Caesar Roman state paganism Ruler
19 Nicolaus Copernicus Catholic (priest) Astronomer; Taught Heliocentricity
20 Antoine Laurent Lavoisier Catholic Father of modern chemistry; Philosopher; Economist
21 Constantine the Great Roman state paganism; Christianity Roman emperor who completely legalized Christianity, leading to its status as state religion. Convened the First Council of Nicaea that produced the Nicene Creed, which rejected Arianism (one of two major strains of Christian thought) and established Athanasianism (Trinitarianism, the other strain) as "official doctrine."
22 James Watt Presbyterian (lapsed) developed steam engine
23 Michael Faraday Sandemanian Physicist; Chemist; Discovery of magneto-electricity
24 James Clerk Maxwell Presbyterian; Anglican; Baptist Physicist; electromagnetic spectrum
25 Martin Luther Catholic; Lutheran founder of Protestantism and Lutheranism
26 George Washington Episcopalian (Deist) First president of United States
27 Karl Marx Jewish; Lutheran;
Atheist; Marxism/Communism Founder of Marxism, Marxist Communism
28 Orville and Wilbur Wright United Brethren inventors of airplane
29 Genghis Khan Mongolian shamanism Mongol conqueror
30 Adam Smith Liberal Protestant economist; expositor of capitalism; religious philosopher
31 Edward de Vere
a.k.a. William Shakespeare Catholic; Anglican literature; also wrote 6 volumes about philosophy and religion
32 John Dalton Quaker chemist; physicist; atomic theory; law of partial pressures (Dalton's law)
33 Alexander the Great Greek state paganism conqueror
34 Napoleon Bonaparte Catholic (nominal) French conqueror
35 Thomas Edison Congregationalist; agnostic inventor of light bulb, phonograph, etc.
36 Antony van Leeuwenhoek Dutch Reformed microscopes; studied microscopic life
37 William T.G. Morton - pioneer in anesthesiology
38 Guglielmo Marconi Catholic and Anglican inventor of radio
39 Adolf Hitler Nazism; born into but rejected Catholicism; allegedly a proponent of Germanic Neo-Paganism conqueror; led Axis Powers in WWII
40 Plato Platonism / Greek philosophy founder of Platonism
41 Oliver Cromwell Puritan (Protestant) British political and military leader
42 Alexander Graham Bell Unitarian/Universalist inventor of telephone
43 Alexander Fleming Catholic penicillin; advances in bacteriology, immunology and chemotherapy
44 John Locke raised Puritan (Anglican);
Liberal Christian philosopher and liberal theologian
45 Ludwig van Beethoven Catholic composer
46 Werner Heisenberg Lutheran a founder of quantum mechanics; discovered principle of uncertainty; head of Nazi Germany's nuclear program
47 Louis Daguerre - an inventor/pioneer of photography
48 Simon Bolivar Catholic (nominal); Atheist National hero of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia
49 Rene Descartes Catholic Rationalist philosopher and mathematician
50 Michelangelo Catholic painter; sculptor; architect
51 Pope Urban II Catholic called for First Crusade
52 'Umar ibn al-Khattab Islam Second Caliph; expanded Muslim empire
53 Asoka Buddhism king of India who converted to and spread Buddhism
54 St. Augustine Greek state paganism; Manicheanism; Catholic Early Christian theologian
55 William Harvey Anglican (nominal) described the circulation of blood; wrote Essays on the Generation of Animals, the basis for modern embryology
56 Ernest Rutherford - physicist; pioneer of subatomic physics
57 John Calvin Protestant; Calvinism Protestant reformer; founder of Calvinism
58 Gregor Mendel Catholic (Augustinian monk) Mendelian genetics
59 Max Planck Protestant physicist; thermodynamics
60 Joseph Lister Quaker principal discoverer of antiseptics which greatly reduced surgical mortality
61 Nikolaus August Otto - built first four-stroke internal combustion engine
62 Francisco Pizarro Catholic Spanish conqueror in South America; defeated Incas
63 Hernando Cortes Catholic conquered Mexico for Spain; through war and introduction of new diseases he largely destroyed Aztec civilization
64 Thomas Jefferson Episcopalian; Deist 3rd president of United States
65 Queen Isabella I Catholic Spanish ruler
66 Joseph Stalin Russian Orthodox; Atheist; Marxism revolutionary and ruler of USSR
67 Julius Caesar Roman state paganism Roman emperor
68 William the Conqueror Catholic laid foundation of modern England
69 Sigmund Freud Jewish; atheist; Freudian psychology/psychoanalysis founded Freudian school of psychology/psychoanalysis (i.e., the "religion of Freudianism")
70 Edward Jenner Anglican discoverer of the vaccination for smallpox
71 Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen - discovered X-rays
72 Johann Sebastian Bach Lutheran; Catholic composer
73 Lao Tzu Taoism founder of Taoism
74 Voltaire raised in Jansenism;
later Deist writer and philosopher; wrote Candide
75 Johannes Kepler Lutheran astronomer; planetary motions
76 Enrico Fermi Catholic initiated the atomic age; father of atom bomb
77 Leonhard Euler Calvinist physicist; mathematician; differential and integral calculus and algebra
78 Jean-Jacques Rousseau born Protestant;
converted as a teen to Catholic;
later Deist French deistic philosopher and author
79 Nicoli Machiavelli Catholic wrote The Prince (influential political treatise)
80 Thomas Malthus Anglican (cleric) economist; wrote Essay on the Principle of Population
81 John F. Kennedy Catholic U.S. President who led first successful effort by humans to travel to another planet
82 Gregory Pincus Jewish endocrinologist; developed birth-control pill
83 Mani Manicheanism founder of Manicheanism, once a world religion which rivaled Christianity in strength
84 Lenin Russian Orthodox;
Atheist; Marxism/Communism Russian ruler
85 Sui Wen Ti Chinese traditional religion unified China
86 Vasco da Gama Catholic navigator; discovered route from Europe to India around Cape Hood
87 Cyrus the Great Zoroastrianism founder of Persian empire
88 Peter the Great Russian Orthodox forged Russia into a great European nation
89 Mao Zedong Atheist; Communism; Maoism founder of Maoism, Chinese form of Communism
90 Francis Bacon Anglican philosopher; delineated inductive scientific method
91 Henry Ford Protestant developed automobile; achievement in manufacturing and assembly
92 Mencius Confucianism philosopher; founder of a school of Confucianism
93 Zoroaster Zoroastrianism founder of Zoroastrianism
94 Queen Elizabeth I Anglican British monarch; restored Church of England to power after Queen Mary
95 Mikhail Gorbachev Russian Orthodox Russian premier who helped end Communism in USSR
96 Menes Egyptian paganism unified Upper and Lower Egypt
97 Charlemagne Catholic Holy Roman Empire created with his baptism in 800 AD
98 Homer Greek paganism epic poet
99 Justinian I Catholic Roman emperor; reconquered Mediterranean empire; accelerated Catholic-Monophysite schism
100 Mahavira Hinduism; Jainism founder of Jainism
Source of list of names: Hart, Michael H. The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History, Revised and Updated for the Nineties. New York: Carol Publishing Group/Citadel Press; first published in 1978, reprinted with minor revisions (reflected above) in 1992.
The Arabic word Sunnah denotes the way Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) lived his life. The Sunnah is the second source of Islamic jurisprudence, the first being the Qur'an. One cannot practice Islam without consulting both the Qur'an and the Sunnah.
Following are some of the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad(pbuh). The source is given below each saying.
The believers, in their love, mercy, and kindness to one another are like a body: if any part of it is ill, the whole body shares its sleeplessness and fever.
Sahih Muslim #2586
The most perfect of the believers in faith are the best of them in morals. And the best among them are those who are best to their wives.
Musnad Ahmad #7354
None of you believes (completely) until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.
The merciful are shown mercy by the All-Merciful. Show mercy to those on earth, and God will show mercy to you.
Smiling at your brother is charity...
A good word is charity.
Sahih Muslim #1009
Whoever believes in God and the Last Day (the Day of Judgment) should do good to his neighbour.
Sahih Muslim #48
God does not judge you according to your appearence and your wealth, but He looks at your hearts and looks into your deeds.
Sahih Muslim #2564
Pay the worker his wage before his sweat dries.
Ibn Majah #2443
A man walking along a path felt very thirsty. Reaching a well, he descended into it, drank his fill, and came up. Then he saw a dog with its tongue hanging out, trying to lick up mud to quench its thirst. The main said,"This dog is feeling the same thirst that I felt." So he went down into the well again, filled his shoe with water, and gave the dog a drink. So, God thanked him and forgave his sins. The Prophet(pbuh) was asked, "Messenger of God, are we rewarded for kindness towards animals?" He said : There is a reward for kindness towards to every living animal or human.
Sahih Muslim #2244
The Quba Mosque
It was the first mosque built by Allah's Messenger (pbuh) in Al-Madinah when he arrived there as a emigrant and Allah has mentioned it in the Glorious Qur'an:
"Verily, the mosque whose foundation was laid from the first day on piety is more worthy that you stand therein (to pray)." The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 9, Verse 108
The Quba Mosque
When the Prophet(pbuh) migrated to Al-Madinah, he stopped in Quba at the house of Kulthum bin Al-Hadm and he took his camel-pen and built a mosque and he took part in the building of it with them and he prayed therein and it is confirmed that it is the first mosque in which he prayed with his Companions openly in congregation.
The Qibla of the Quba mosque was, at first, towards Jerusalem, until Allah (swt) commanded His Messenger to pray towards the Ka'bah, so they wished to rebuild the mosque and the Prophet(pbuh) came to them and marked the Qiblah and participated with them in the building of it.
The Quba mosque has received much attention from the muslims and their rulers. The mosque now has 56 small domes and 6 large domes and 4 minarets and can hold twenty thousand worshippers.
The Noble Character of Muhammad(pbuh)
Many biased historians and bigots in the media even today portray the Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) as a bloodthirsty, ruthless person with a big harem. This could not be any farther away from the truth. The nobility of his character and the truthfulness of his mission is plain for all to see if one is prepared to face up to the facts with an open mind discarding all pre-concieved false ill notions.
Referring to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) Allah(swt) says,
And you (stand) on an exalted standard of character. The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 68, Verse 4
Ye have indeed in the Messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern (of conduct) for any one whose hope is in Allah and the Final Day, and who engages much in the praise of Allah. The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 33: 21
Let us focus on some of the incidents which took place in his life and analyze his nature by his actions in different circumstances.
Once the Prophet was so badly stoned by his enemies that he was bleeding all over his body. This happened when he went to Taif, to call them to Islam. Instead of listening to his words of wisdom, they set the street urchins upon him, who kept chasing him till nightfall. Even at that point, when he was utterly exhausted and bleeding from head to foot, all he said was: O my Lord, guide my people along the true path, as they are ignorant of the truth.
Muhammad(pbuh)'s own example was testified to by Anas ibn Malik, who served Muhammad(pbuh) for ten years. He said that Muhammad never once rebuked him. "When I did something, he never questioned my manner of doing it; and when I did not do something, he never questioned my failure to do it. He was the most good-natured of all men."
While the Hudaybiyah treaty was being drafted with the Makkans, they engaged in a number of extremely provocative acts. For instance, the agreement mentioned Muhammad(pbuh)'s name as "Muhammad the Messenger of Allah." They insisted that the phrase "the Messenger of Allah" be taken out and replaced by "son of Abdullah." Muhammad accepted their unreasonable condition and deleted the appellation with his own hands. Similarly, they made the condition that if they could lay their hands on any Muslim, they would make him or her a hostage, but if the Muslims succeeded in detaining any non-Muslim, they would have to set him free. Muhammad even relented on this point.
A Hadith recorded by Bukhari: A funeral procession passed us and the Prophet stood up for it. We said, but Prophet of God, this is a funeral of a Jew. The Prophet responded, rise.
The time came when Muhammad and his Companions entered Makkah victorious and the Quraish surrendered to them. On that glorious day, Muhammad(pbuh), once again, had the opportunity to retaliate for the painful years of persecution and oppression in Makkah, but once more, he showed an outstanding ability to forgive and overlook. He simply pardoned them forgave their past misdeeds.Thus, Makkah was conquered without a single drop of blood being shed.
One day, Fatimah accompanied her father to the Masjid al-Haram. He stood in the place known as al-Hijr facing the Kabah and began to pray. Fatimah stood at his side. A group of Quraysh gathered about him. They included Abu Jahl ibn Hisham, the Prophet's uncle, Uqbah ibn Abi Muayt, Umayyah ibn Khalaf, and Shaybah and Utbah, sons of Rabi'ah. Menacingly, the group went up to the Prophet and Abu Jahl, the ringleader, asked: "Which of you can bring the entrails of a slaughtered animal and throw it on Muhammad?" Uqbah ibn Abi Muayt, volunteered and hurried off. He returned with the obnoxious filth and threw it on the shoulders of the Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace, while he was still prostrating. The noble Prophet raised his head on completion of the prostration and went on to complete the Salat. He then said: "O Lord, may you punish the Quraysh!" and repeated this imprecation three times. Then he continued: "May You punish Utbah, Uqbah, Abu Jahl and Shaybah." (These whom he named were all killed many years later at the Battle of Badr)
The Prophet's uncle, known in the Qur'an as Abu Lahab, threw stones at him and forced his sons to divorce their wives who were two of Muhammad's daughters. Abu Lahab's wife, apart from shouting profanities at him, used to tie bundles of firewood and thorns and throw it in Muhammad's path. Neighbors threw goat dung on his back while he prayed. In all cases Muhammad would never return abusive language, slander or ridicule any of them. He would invoke God for help and justice, and in many cases ask God to guide them to Islam.
Muhammad(pbuh) once said: A traveler who was thirsty saw a well on the way. He got inside the well and when he came out he saw a dog licking mud because of thirst. The man thought to himself that the dog should be as thirsty as he was and so he got into the well again, filled his leather sock with water and carried it out holding it with his teeth. And thus he quenched the dog's thirst. Allah was pleased with this act of kindness and pardoned his sins. The Companions asked, "O Messenger of Allah, is there recompense in the matter of beasts and wild animals also?" Muhammad replied: There is recompense in regard to every creature that has a living heart.
These are little glimpses from the life of Muhammad(pbuh) which show his truthfulness and compassion. Verily, those who portray him in bad light are only those who earn God's anger and those who have gone astray.
MUHAMMAD (pbuh) - The Greatest
'My parable with the other Prophets is like a man who built a house, which was perfect except for one missing brick. People would go around the house, staring in awe of its perfection and saying: 'Had it not been for this space!" I am that brick. I am the last of the Prophets.' [Muhammad, in Bukhari]
'If greatness of purpose, smallness of means and astounding results are the three criteria of human genius, who could dare to compare any great man in modern history with Muhammad? The most famous men created arms, laws and empires only. They founded, if anything at all, no more than material powers which often crumbled away before their eyes. This man Muhammad moved not only armies, legislations, empires, peoples and dynasties, but millions of men (and women); and more than that the altars, the gods, the religions, the ideas, the beliefs and the souls. On the basis of a Book, every letter of which has become law, he created a spiritual nationality which blended together peoples of every tongue and of every race… The idea of the unity of God, proclaimed amidst the exhaustion of fabulous theologies, was in itself such a miracle that upon its utterance from his lips it destroyed all the ancient superstitions… Philosopher, orator, apostle, legislator, warrior, conqueror of ideas, restorer of rational beliefs, of a cult without images: the founder of 20 terrestrial empires and of one spiritual empire, that is Muhammad. As regards all standards by which human greatness may be measured, we may well ask, is there any man greater than he?' (Lamartine, Historie de la Turquie, 1854)
Those who follow the Messenger, the unlettered Prophet whom they find written in the Torah and the Gospel with them, he enjoins upon them that which is virtuous and forbids them that which is evil; he allows them all that is good and forbids for them all that is foul. And he releases them from their burdens and from the shackles that were upon them. So it is those who believe in him, honour him, assist him and follow the light which has been sent down with him, it is they who will be successful. (The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 7, Verse 157)
Muhammad, son of Abdullah, was born in Mecca, Arabia, in 570, into a simple household. Since his father died before his birth and his mother died when he was only six years old, he was raised an orphan by his grandfather and then his uncle. Muhammad had always detested the cruelty, decadence and idolatry of Meccan society and, as he grew, he was labeled 'the trustworthy one' for his honesty, integrity and noble character.
And verily you (O Muhammad) are on an exalted standard of character. (The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 68, Verse 4)
At the age if 40, whilst meditating in the mountain cave of Hira, Muhammad was suddenly visited by the Angel Gabriel. It was a terrifying experience. The angel squeezed Muhammad tightly and compelled him: 'READ!' Muhammad, unlettered, said: 'I cannot read!' Again, the angel pressed him: 'READ!' and again Muhammad appealed: 'I cannot read!' Finally, Gabriel recited:
Read! In the name of your Lord Who created; Who Created man from a clot of blood. Read! And your Lord is Most Generous; Who taught man the use of the pen, Taught man that which he knew not.
(The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 96, Verses 1-5)
And so, a little over 600 years after the ascension of Jesus, God had once again spoken to man. Muhammad had just become a Prophet. Deeply afraid, he hurried home to his wife, Khadija, who consoled and reassured him, saying: 'Allah will never disgrace you. You keep good relations, bear the burden of the weak, help the poor and the needy, entertain your guests generously and endure hardships in the path of truthfulness.' Khadija then accompanied Muhammad to see her learned Christian cousin, Waraqa. 'This (Gabriel),' said Waraqa, 'is the same one who keeps the divine secrets, whom Allah had sent to Moses…Anyone who came with something similar to what you have brought was treated with hostility, and if I should remain alive till the day when you are turned out (by the disbelievers), I would strongly support you.' (Bukhari)
For days, Muhammad was grief-stricken, terrified, unable to come to terms with what was happening to him. Then, one day, as the Prophet recalled: 'While I was walking, I heard a voice from the sky. I looked up and, surely enough, it was the same angel who had visited me in the cave of Hira. He was sitting on a chair between the earth and sky. I was afraid of him and fell to the ground (before) I went home (to Khadija) saying: "Cover me up! Cover me up!" (Then) Allah revealed to me the verses:
O you that is covered up! Arise and deliver warning. And your Lord, magnify. And your clothes purify. And shun the idols. And do not give in order to get more. And be patient for the sake of your Lord (for what you are about to endure). (The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 74, Verses 1-7)
With this new revelation, the doubts were dispelled. Muhammad accepted he was chosen and began calling people away from the worship of false gods to the worship of the One True God, Allah.
Say (O Muhammad): 'I am but a mortal like you (people, but) it has been revealed to me that your god is One (True) God. So whoever hopes in meeting his Lord (Allah), let him work righteousness and associate none (as partner) in the worship of his Lord.' (The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 18, Verse 110)
As a result of his call, Muhammad and those who believed in him, his disciples or 'Companions', were persecuted by the disbelieving Meccans. For the next 13 years they suffered taunts, beatings, torture, murders and social boycott. Hardest hit was Muhammad's own family. Abu Talib, the Prophet's pagan uncle and childhood guardian, pleaded with him to cease drawing the hostility of the Meccans by opposing their idols and to instead accept their offer of kinship. Seeing the great strain his protector was under, the Prophet, his eyes welling up with tears, said: 'O my uncle! If they placed the sun in my right hand and the moon in my left that I should renounce my message, I would not – until Allah made manifest His cause or I died in the attempt.' In these most trying times, the Prophet was consoled only by the revelation of the Qur'an.
These are Allah's Verses, We recite them to you in truth. And surely you are one of the Messengers. (The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 2, Verse 252)
Even when his relations ran him out of Taif, pelting him with rocks till his sandals were soaked in blood, the Prophet turned his grief to prayer: 'O Allah! I complain to You of my weakness, my inability and my insignificance before the people. O Most Merciful of those who are merciful. O Lord of the weak and helpless and my Lord too. To whom have You entrusted me: an estranged relative who receives me with hostility or an enemy who controls my affair? As long as You are not angry with me, I do not care. Your pardon is much enough for me. I seek refuge in the light of Your Face by which all darkness is dispelled and every affair of this world and the next is set right – lest Your anger or displeasure descend upon me. For there is no power or might except with You.' (Ibn Hashim) Then, when an angel offered to crush Taif between two mountains, the forgiving Prophet refused saying: 'Perhaps Allah will bring from their progeny those who will worship Him alone?' (Bukhari)
By the grace of Allah, you are gentle towards the people; if you had been stern and hard-hearted, they would have dispersed from round about you. (The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 3, Verse 159)
Eventually, in 622, Allah ordered the Muslims to emigrate to the northern city of Medina. This was a turning point. A watershed in world history so monumental that it marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar. For Medina had elected Muhammad its ruler and it was there where he established his Islamic state, nurturing the community under the shade of divine revelation and propagating Islam from a position of strength to many near and distant lands. Eight years later, Muhammad set out to conquer Mecca at the head of an army of ten thousand believers. As the army marched, they passed a litter of puppies. The Prophet ordered that the animals not be disturbed and posted a sentry to see his order through. Proof, if needed, that even the Prophet's military expeditions were ultimately founded on mercy. Mecca surrendered without battle.
Despite suffering years of oppression at Meccan hands, the victorious Prophet declared a general amnesty and forbade any revenge. To those whose cruelty had forced him to flee his birthplace, only for them to then incite armies to destroy him at his Medinan refuge, the Prophet's response was only to say: 'Go! You are free!' His chastisers soon became his champions.
Repel (the evil of your foe) with what is better: then lo! the one between whom and you was enmity (will come to you) as if he were a dear friend. (The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 41, Verse 34)
In 631, during Hajj, the Prophet, aware of his impending death, delivered his farewell sermon. After praising and thanking Allah, he said: ' O people! Lend me an attentive ear, for I know not whether after this year I shall be amongst you again. Therefore listen to what I say to you very carefully and take these words to those who could not be present here today. O people! Just as you regard this month, this day, this city as sacred, so regard the life and property of every Muslim. Return the goods entrusted to you to their rightful owners. Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you. Remember, you will indeed meet your Lord and He will indeed reckon your deeds. Allah has forbidden you to take usury; therefore all interest obligation shall henceforth be waived. Your capital, however, is yours to keep. You will neither inflict nor suffer inequity… Beware of Satan for the safety of your religion. He has lost all hope in his leading you astray in great things, so beware of following him in small things. O people! It is true that you have certain rights with regards to your women, but they also have certain rights over you. Remember that you have taken them as your wives only under Allah's trust and with His permission… Do treat your women well and be kind to them. For they are your partners and committed helpers… O People! Listen to me in earnest; worship Allah, perform your five daily prayers; fast the month of Ramadan, give alms and make the Hajj if you are able. All humanity is from Adam and Adam is from clay. There is no superiority for an Arab over a non-Arab, nor for a black over a white; except through piety. Know that every Muslim is a brother to every other Muslim and that the Muslims are one community… Remember, one day you will appear before Allah and answer for your deeds. So beware! Do not stray from the path of righteousness after I am gone. O people! No prophet or apostle will come after me and no new faith will be born. Reason well therefore, O people, and understand the words that I convey to you. I leave behind me two things, if you follow them you will never go astray: the Book of Allah (the Qur'an) and my Sunna (example). All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those shall pass on my words to others and those to others again; and may the last ones understand my words better than those who listen to me directly. Be my witness, O Allah!, that I have conveyed Your Message to Your people.'
It is He (Allah) who has sent His messenger with the Guidance and the Religion of Truth that He may make it victorious over all other religions. And sufficient is Allah as a witness. (The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 48, Verse 28)
At the death of the Prophet Muhammad in 632, a greater part of the Arabian Peninsula had embraced Islam. Within a century, the faith had spread at phenomenal speed to Spain in the West and as Far East as China, establishing the same monotheistic religion that Muhammad's ancestor, Abraham, had espoused many centuries earlier. The reason for the success of Islam was and continues to be the simple truth of its message and the utterly impeccable character of its messenger. As Muhammad lived and died in the full light of recorded history, that character, not to mention his sayings, deeds and tacit approvals, were all meticulously noted for posterity by his Companions.* Even the Prophet's physicality, like every other aspect of his life, is known more about than that of any other historical figure.
The Prophet was of a slightly above-average height. Uncannily, in gatherings, he would appear taller than those actually taller than him. In complexion, he was white with a rosy tinge; pale, but not excessively so. His hair was jet black and wavy, but stopped short of curling, and was kept between his earlobes and shoulders. Sometimes he would part his hair at the middle. Other times, he would wear it braided. He had the physique of a powerful man. He had broad upper-back and shoulders with an apple-shaped birthmark between his shoulder-blades: the Seal of Prophethood. He had long muscular limbs, large joints and a wide girth, giving him heavy – though silky-soft – hands and feet. His lean stomach never protruded out past the profile of his chest. He looked radiant, 'as if the sun were following its course across and shining from his face,' said one Companion. His neck was silvery white; his forehead, prominent; his pupils, large and black; his eyelashes, long and thick; his nose, high-tipped with narrow nostrils. At the time of his death, he had exactly 17 white hairs shared between his temples and the front of his thick, fist-long beard. He had hair on his forearms and shins and a line of fine hair also ran from his chest to his navel.
The Prophet would walk briskly with a forward-leaning gait, moving with strength of purpose and lifting each foot clearly off the ground. His pace was such that fit men would tire trying to keep up. When he turned, he would turn his whole body, giving full attention to the one addressing him and showing complete concern to what was being said. When he pointed, he would use an open hand so as not to offend. Likewise, when he criticised a person's behaviour, rather than name and shame, he would simply say: 'Why do people do so and so?' He would laugh only to the extent that the gap between his front teeth would become visible. He would become angry only to the extent that his face would turn red and the vein between his fine, bow-shaped eyebrows would bulge. He once said: 'I am the master of the descendents of Adam and I do not say so out of pride.' (Tirmidhi) That freedom from pride was obvious even to children, who would playfully lead the Prophet through the streets of Medina whilst grasping his finger. Indeed he had said: 'He who does not show mercy to our young, nor honour our old, is not from us.'
* These records of the Sunna are the hadith narrations collected by Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, Ibn Maja, Nisai and so on.
(Allah has sent you) a Messenger who recites to you the Clear Signs of Allah that He may take out those who believe and work righteousness from the (many) darkness' to the (one true) light. (The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 65, Verse 11)
The Prophet said: 'I have been favoured over all other Prophets with six: I have been given the conciseness of (weighty) speech, fear is instilled in the hearts of my enemy, the spoils of war have been made lawful for me, the whole earth has been made a place of prayer and a means of purification, I have been sent to the whole of mankind, and I am the last of the Prophets.' (Muslim)
Ali, cousin and son-in-law to the Prophet, said of Muhammad: 'He was the Last of the Prophets, the most giving of hearts, the most truthful, the best of them in temperament and the most sociable. Whoever unexpectedly saw him would stand in awe of him, and whoever accompanied him and got to know him would love him. Those describing him would say: "I have never seen anyone before or after him who was comparable to him."'
The Prophet's beloved wife, Aa'isha, said of her selfless husband: 'He always joined in the housework and would at times mend his clothes, repair his shoes and sweep the floor. He would milk, tether and feed his animals and do household chores.' (Bhukari) She also described his character as: 'The The Holy Qur'an (exemplified).'
Indeed in the Messenger of Allah you have an excellent example to follow for whoever hopes in Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah much. (The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 33, Verse 21)
Though the The Holy Qur'an is the lasting and greatest of the Prophet's miracles due to its inimitability, its prophecies and its science then-unknown, Muhammad was granted many others. Like his night 'flight' to Jerusalem and ascension to Heaven where he met past Prophets and spoke directly with Allah. Also, his sweat was a sweet fragrance; his spittle, a medicine. Water flowed from his fingers and quenched the thirsty, whilst his meals glorified Allah. With eyes front, he could see those praying behind him, and perceive and overpower demons besides him. A palm tree once wept for him. A wolf once spoke of him. The earth expulsed an apostate's corpse for him. The moon, Allah split in two for him. So supremely triumphant was his life, so successful was his prophethood, so completely did he fulfill his mission, so faithfully did he serve His Lord God; so was Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah.
And have We not raised high your fame?! (The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 94, Verse 4)
'I have studied him – that wonderful man – and in my opinion far from being an anti-Christ, he must be called the saviour of humanity. I believe that if a man like him were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world, he would succeed in solving its problems in a way that would bring in the much needed peace and happiness: I have prophesied about the faith of Muhammad that it would be acceptable to the Europe of tomorrow as it is beginning to be acceptable to the Europe of today.' (Sir George Bernard Shaw, The Genuine Islam, 1936)
And We have not sent you (O Muhammad) except as a mercy to the worlds. (The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 21, Verse 107)
The Finality of Prophethood
God sent many prophets(pbut) to every nation with the same message of Islam. They preached the same message of One God. That same message was given to our beloved Prophet Muhammad(saw) to teach us. All previous prophets were sent to specific nations whereas Prophet Muhammad(saw) was sent to all of Mankind. He brought the same message in its final form - the final Book - Quran. Prophet Muhammad(saw) was the Last and Final Prophet of God and after him no new prophet will be sent.
It is mentioned in the Quran in as clear as possible words that Muhammad(saw) is the last prophet:
"Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but (he is) the Messenger of Allah, and the Seal of the Prophets: and Allah has full knowledge of all things." (Quran 33:40)
The message in this verse is further made clear by Prophet Muhammad(saw):
Narated By Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle said, "My similitude in comparison with the other prophets before me, is that of a man who has built a house nicely and beautifully, except for a place of one brick in a corner. The people go about it and wonder at its beauty, but say: 'Would that this brick be put in its place!' So I am that brick, and I am the last of the Prophets." (Sahih Bukhari Vol 4, Book 56, # 735 and Sahih Muslim Book 30, # 5673) This hadith is also narrated by Jabir bin Abdullah in Sahih Bukhari and Muslim.
It is necessary for every Muslim to know and to believe that Prophethood has ended. There is no way that another prophet from Allah(swt) will be sent because Allah(swt) himself has ended Prophethood as seen from the verse of the Quran above. Prophet Muhammad(saw) himself has made this very clear in his sayings and the Quran itself testifies regarding whatever Prophet Muhammad(saw) spoke:
"He does not speak from his hawaa (desire); it is nothing except Wahee revealed to him." (Quran 53:3-4)
Further in Sahih Muslim it is recorded:
It has been narrated by Abu Huraira that the Holy Prophet (may peace be upon him) said: Banu Isra'il were ruled over by the Prophets. When one Prophet died, another succeeded him; but after me there is no prophet and there will be caliphs and they will be quite large in number. His Companions said: What do you order us to do (in case we come to have more than one Caliph)? He said: The one to whom allegiance is sworn first has a supremacy over the others. Concede to them their due rights (i.e. obey them). God (Himself) will question them about the subjects whom He had entrusted to them. (Sahih Muslim Book 20, # 4543)
Abu Huraira reported that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: I have been given superiority over the other prophets in six respects: I have been given words which are concise but comprehensive in meaning; I have been helped by terror (in the hearts of enemies): spoils have been made lawful to me: the earth has been made for me clean and a place of worship; I have been sent to all mankind and the line of prophets is closed with me. (Sahih Muslim Book 4, #1062)
Prophet Muhammad(saw) also warned his Ummah and told us about the Grand Liars that will come and claim prophethood and declare that they have been sent by Allah(swt). In one of his sayings, he(saw) said:
Narated By Abu Huraira : Allah's Apostle said, "The Hour will not be established.... (2) till about thirty Dajjals (liars) appear, and each one of them will claim that he is Allah's Apostle...." (Sahih Bukhari Vol 8, Book 88, #237) The part quoted is also reported in Sahih Muslim Book 041, #6988
This is a very long Hadith and talks of the signs of the Last Day. In order to save space I have quoted only the concerned part. The reference is given for anyone to check the complete Hadith.
Indeed over a period of time, we have witnessed many such Dajjals who have come forth and proclaimed to be prophets of Allah(swt). Their claims are baseless and against the teachings of the Quran and the sayings of Prophet Muhammad(saw). Their claims are based on Kufr and have nothing to do with Islam.
Surely only a liar can claim to be a prophet of Allah(swt) as no new prophet will be sent from Allah(swt). Such people are Satanic rather than Islamic.
The Quran further is very clear on this matter and informs us in clear words:
This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion. (Quran 5:3)
And our beloved Prophet(saw) in his last sermon reminded us in clear cut words:
"People, no prophet or apostle will come after me and no new faith will be born. Reason well, therefore, O People, and understand words which I convey to you. I leave behind me two things, the Quran and my example, the Sunnah (Hadith), and if you follow these you will never go astray."
The verse and the Last Sermon also eliminate the idea of any new prophet in the future. The religion is perfected and the favor is completed. We are given the Quran and the Sunnah to follow. And we need to follow that till the Last Day. Since Islam has already been perfected, we do not need any messenger, to come and warn us or show us some miracles, and claim that he is a messenger or a prophet.
The Quran and Prophet Muhammad(saw) have both been very clear regarding this matter. There are no loopholes anywhere. The evidence regarding the Finality of Prophethood is unlimited and it is impossible to cover up all the evidence in this article. There is a unanimous opinion amongst scholars that Prophet Muhammad(saw) is the Last and Final Messenger of Allah(swt) sent to all Mankind. People who claimed prophethood have been declared through a unanimous decision as being disbelievers. Such people are not in the fold of Islam neither are they Muslims. In 1974 the Muslim World League, in Mecca, declared one such group, following a fake prophet as disbelievers.
I would like to end this with yet another hadith:
Narated By Isma'il: I asked Abi Aufa, "Did you see Ibrahim, the son of the Prophet ?" He said, "Yes, but he died in his early childhood. Had there been a Prophet after Muhammad then his son would have lived, but there is no Prophet after him." (Sahih Bukhari Vol 8, Book 73, # 214)
There is no doubt regarding this matter. The truth stands clear from falsehood. Many have tried to twist and turn the meaning of the verses in the Quran and Allah(swt) is well aware of such people and says the following:
There is among them a section who distort the Book with their tongues: (As they read) you would think it is a part of the Book, but it is no part of the Book; and they say, "That is from Allah," but it is not from Allah. It is they who tell a lie against Allah, and (well) they know it! (Quran 3:78)
• Ebrahim Saifuddin
A Mercy to Mankind
"And We have not sent you except as a mercy to mankind" (Surah Al-Anbiyah 21:107)1
The year is 570 CE, five years after the death of the Roman Emperor Justinian. An army of men, horses and elephants ruthlessly march towards the city of Makkah, intending to wipe it out of existence. This is the army of the Abysinnian warlord Abraha, who after conquering Yemen is now advancing towards the sacred city of Makkah. One of the notables of Makkah, Abdul-Muttalib, has ordered all the women and children to go up into the mountains and take refuge there whilst the men go and fight. However, the men of Makkah are of no match to the deadly Abysinnian lancers who soon crush their resistance on the borders of the city.
Victory seems imminent for Abraha. Yet when the army advances to the fringes of the city, headed by its lead elephant, the creature stops unexpectedly and refuses to go any further towards the direction of Makkah. No amount of budging will make this beast go towards the direction of conquest, yet when the army turn it around, it is more than willing to go back. Suddenly from the distant horizon, a huge flock of birds is seen. Ominously it makes its way to the scene of the battle. In their beaks and claws the birds carry with them stones. Like lightning do they descend upon the confused army of Abraha and pelt them viciously with the stones. The stones start to cut and tear away at the bodies of these aggressors and reduce them to helpless wretches. The army of the tyrant are sent back in humiliation. It is no less than a miracle which has saved this sacred city.2
This event was to be remembered by the Arabs as the year of the elephant and was to hold great significance in the balance of power in Arabia. But it was the event which occurred fifty days later in the same year which was not only to be remembered, but would also change the course of history forever. It was on the 12th day of the month of Rabi-al-Awwal3, that in the house of Abdul-Muttalib a child was born. It was the child of Amina, the wife of Abdullah, the son of Abdul-Muttalib. This was the child who would change the way of life of all those around him. This was the child who would unite all people under one way. This was the child who would bring the great empires of the world to a standstill.
This child was Muhammad, the last and final messenger of Allah to mankind.
The name Muhammad was given to the child by his grandfather Abdul-Muttalib. The name was one which was known amongst the Arabs at that time but was not common. The literal meaning of Muhammad is 'the praised one', and it is reported that upon being asked why Abdul-Muttalib had named his grandson so, he replied: "I did so with the desire that my grandson would be praised by Allah in Heaven and by men on earth"4. It seems as if the desire of Abdul-Muttalib came true, for it was the name of Muhammad (saws) which was to be uttered and praised more times than that of any person in history5. In fact it is not only men who praise this remarkable man, but also the Creator of the Heavens and the earth, Allah, and the inhabitants of the heavens, the angels:
"Verily Allah sends blessings upon the prophet, and his angels ask Allah to bless him. Oh you who have believed ask Allah to send blessings upon him and greet him with peace" (Surah Al-Ahzab 33:56)6
The grandson of Abdul-Muttalib was destined to become the greatest man ever to live.
The early life of Muhammad (saws) before his prophethood, is unknown to most people. His life is highlighted by his sublime character and noble manners. The world of Muhammad (saws), was a world of idolatry, a world in which women and slaves had no rights whatsoever, a world in which men would cheat each other for a few dirhams.7
However Muharnmed (saws) was not like those around him. He was not known to swear or talk in a vile manner, nor was he known to drink or gamble. His honesty surpassed that of all others and he was known with the title of 'Al-Amin' (The trustworthy). In fact it was this quality of honesty which attracted so many people to his noble message.
The nature of the Arabs at the time of Muhammad (saws) was very barbaric and they would fight over the smallest of things, such as one tribes camel grazing on the land of another tribe. This would often result in wars which would last for years and take thousands of lives. In the year 605 CE the Kaabah was accidentally burnt down and a massive reconstruction programme had to be initiated. Many people were involved in it's rebuilding. However, upon its completion, the issue of replacing the black stone in its original place, the south east corner of the Kaabah, arose. Each of the major tribes and clans wanted the honour of placing the black stone in its proper place. Civil war loomed over the Arabian peninsula. It was then suggested by Abu Ummayah al-Mughira, one of the elders of Makkah, that the way to settle this dispute was to let the first person to come through the masjid gate the next morning, decide the fate of the matter. Lo and behold the first man to enter the masjid the next morning was indeed Muhammad (saws). Upon seeing him some of the Arabs exclaimed with joy, "here is the trustworthy one, we shall agree to his decision - he is Muhammad". Muhammad (saws) asked for a sheet or a robe to be brought to him and to have the black stone placed in the middle of it. He then asked the elders of each of the major tribes to lift up the sheet from each of the corners. The elders did as they were instructed and took the black stone over to the south east corner. Muhammad (saws) then took the stone and placed it firmly in its resting place And so it was Muhammad (saws) who with wisdom and honesty saved the Arabs from self-destruction.8
Muhammad's (saws) early life was wrought with unhappiness as he never saw his father Abdullah who died before he was born. At the age of six his mother, Amina passed away and he was entrusted into the care of his beloved grandfather Abdul-Muttalib. However, at the age of twelve, Abdul-Muttalib also passed away and Abu Talib, the uncle of Muhammad (saws), took charge of him. With such distress and heartache so early on in life, one would imagine that this boy would grow up to be rebellious and troublesome, as is the case in so many of our societies today9. But this was obviously not to be.
It was Abu Talib who then reared and brought him up. Abu Talib was a trader and businessman and he sometimes took his nephew along with him on his trade journeys. It was these trade journeys which eventually formed the alliance between Muhammad and his future wife Khadija (RA). Khadija was a wealthy widow from Makkah who was known for her noble character and morals. Soon Muhammad (saws) was working for Khadija as a manager for her trade caravans. It was his honesty and efficiency which led to Khadija's proposal, and soon after Muhammad (saws) had returned from a trade journey to Syria, they were married.
It was in the year 610 CE that the prophet Muhammad (saws) received the first revelation. It was the practice of Muhammad (saws) that he would often go up to the cave of Hira to meditate and pray to Allah alone. One night during the month of Ramadaan10 while he was meditating, an angel appeared before him. This was the angel Jibraeel (Eng. Gabriel), the very same angel who had brought down revelation to the earlier prophets of Allah such as Jesus (as) and Moses (as). ln a thundering voice the angel commanded him "READ" . "I cannot read", 11 replied Muhammad honestly. The angel grabbed hold of him and squeezed him so hard that Muhammad thought he would die of suffocation. "READ", the angel commanded again. Muhammad's reply was the same. So the angel squeezed him again and again, each time harder than the previous, and Muhammad replied the same, each time thinking that he would die of suffocation. The angel then released him and spoke the words which would be remembered as the first words of the final revelation to mankind:
"Read in the name of you Lord, Who Created. Who Created man out of a clot of blood. Read, and your Lord is the Most Bountiful. It is He who has taught man the use of the pen. Taught man that which he did not know." (Surah Al-Alaq 96:1-5)12
This was the start of the revelation from Allah to humanity. It was the final incorruptible message by which mankind would have to live by and worship according to. And it was Muhammad (saws), the son of Abdullah who was chosen to spread this good news.
His Noble Character
It is the character of the prophet Muhammad (saws) which was one of the main reasons for the spread of his noble message. As mentioned before, he never swore and he never spoke vilely about anyone. But after his appointment as a prophet of Allah, he not only observed these excellent qualities for himself, but also ordered all the Muslims to live their lives according to these noble traits. This is why we find that lying and cheating are totally forbidden in Islam, and about lying the prophet (saws) said: "Lying leads to obscenity and obscenity leads to the fire of hell" 13. For the Arabs to stop cheating and lying it would mean that the whole of their lives would have to be turned upside down. Cheating and lying during business transactions was a regular practice for the Arabs, and it was from this behaviour that the racist slogan "you cheating Arab!" was derived. Backbiting and slandering one another were totally forbidden and the prophet (saws) was instructed by Allah to inform the people that backbiting another Muslim was like:
". . . eating the dead flesh of your brother" (Surah Al-Hujjarat 49:12) 14
Muhammad (saws) was known to laugh very little, if at all. Rather when he was happy he would express his delight by smiling and he is reported to have said: "Too much laughter kills the heart" 15. Likewise when he was angry, he would not fly off the handle or start a tantrum, but rather the complexion of his face would simply turn red.
The generosity of Muhammad (saws) was so great that one of his companions, Ibn Abbas described his huge generosity as being like ". . . the blowing wind" 16. To give charity during those days was outdated and those who gave charity were very rare in that troublesome society. But the trends of society were nothing to this man, who simply wished to attain the pleasure of Allah by helping those who were less fortunate then himself. In fact his giving of charity often meant that he had to sacrifice the pleasures of life for himself and his family. His wife Aisha (RA) reported that ".... three consecutive days would not go by without the family of Muhammad not eating their fill" 17
The relationship between Muhammad (saws) and women has been subject to vicious attack by many western writers. He has been accused of being sexually immoral and depraved by his enemies. Many a feminist has accused him of depriving women of their rights. Yet the reality of this man is unknown to many of these ignorant people. When Muhammad (saws) left the cave of Hira, trembling and shaking like a leaf, who was the first person that this alleged male chauvinist turned to? When spreading the message of Islam who was the first person to respond to this so called "patriarchal" 18 religion? The answer is Khadija, his wife, a woman. It was Khadija who comforted him during these initial days of anxiety. It was Khadija who reassured him of his role by accepting his message. And it was Khadija who gained so much respect and admiration from this remarkable man.
Pre-Islamic Arabia was characterised by the evil crime of burying baby girls alive because they were seen as a shame to the family. Yet it was this man Muhammad who spoke out vehemently against this great social crime. In fact he stated the great blessing and reward of having and rearing female children : "Whomsoever brings up two girls upon this religion, then me and him shall be like this in paradise [and he joined his forefinger with his middle finger]"19. His conduct with women was not like that of the men today, rather he treated the women as they deserved to be treated. He did not openly parade women about like cattle20, as was done before the coming of Islam nor did he seek to please them by showing off his masculinity. Rather he as described as being "......more shy than a virgin behind a veil"21. For a man who achieved so much in his lifetime it would be expected (by corrupt western standards!) that Muhammad would abuse his power with regards to women. Yet we do not find a single instance in his life in which he went out raping and destroying the honour of the women folk who were captured. Rather it was the women of Arabia who came forward in their droves to accept the message of this man, who came to liberate humanity from the oppression of this world22.
By the time of his death in the year 632 CE almost the whole of the Arabian peninsula had been conquered. A million square miles lay at his feet. Yet such was the humble nature of this man that he would mend his own shoes, sew his own clothes and milk his own goats. Such behaviour has become awe inspiring for millions of people and has thus led them to the beauty of this religion. As a leader for his people he was a great example of humility and mercy. When his companions walked past his house they could hear him crying in his prayer, so much so that it was like a "... boiling pot"23. He would continuously pray during the nights to such an extent that his feet would swell up. Upon observing this his wife Aisha (RA) asked him "..why do you pray so much, when your Lord has forgiven your past sins and your future sins?" and the reply from the prophet (saws) was "should I therefore not be a grateful servant of my Lord (by praying at night)"24.
The famous conquest of Makkah is an event which shall be remembered for the justice and mercy which were shown that day. Even though he had the option to punish those who were guilty of oppressing the Muslims, Muhammad (saws) issued a general amnesty by which many people were forgiven. It was this behaviour which saw the amazing acceptance of Islam by almost the whole population of Makkah literally overnight.25
With leadership and conquest comes fame but fame did not affect this man whose only aim was to establish the religion of Allah on earth. His position as a messenger of Allah was not exaggerated. His insistence on being a mere mortal like others was firm. And his desire to single out Allah alone for worship was stressed wholeheartedly. It is for this reason that he ordered his followers not to make any pictorial representations or statues of him. Before his death he condemned the ". . .Jews and Christians for taking the graves of their prophets and pious people as places of worship"26. By implication this made it haram (prohibited) for the Muslims to take the grave of Muhammad (saws) as a place of worship. For all those who call the Muslims 'Muhammadans'27, then this is the response which we as worshippers of Allah bring forward. Throughout history leaders of nations, ideologies and empires have often ended up becoming objects of worship. We find statues and pictures of Marx, Lenin, Caesar, Jesus, St Paul, Hitler, Napoleon, Confucius and so many others. Yet despite all the reminders of these people, it is still this man Muhammad (saws) who has had the most influence upon history, despite the fact that we find no 3-D visual image of him 28. This is indeed a mercy from Allah.
The world of the 7th century was a crumbling place. The empires of Rome and Persia were locked in constant battle. The Chinese and Indian civilisations were in moral decline. Christianity, Zoroastrianism and Judaism were all religions which were fast losing momentum. The case of the Arabs was clear to everyone and they were regarded as being at the bottom of this decaying pit. It was among this decadence that Allah sent Muhammad (saws). He was like the light to this world of ignorance. Like a lamp did he shine in this abyss of darkness. From the confines of Arabia it was his light that would reach the farthest regions of the earth and release the people from their burdens:
"O' prophet. Verily We have sent you as a witness and a bearer of glad tidings and a warner, and as one who invites to Allah by His Permission, and as a lamp spreading light" (Surah Al-Ahzab 33:45-46)29
"Be thankful for small mercies" goes the saying of old. But the mercy which we have been given is far from small. Rather the greatness of this mercy will enable us to live and die upon a way of success and contentment. This mercy is the Sunnah (way) of the prophet Muhammad (saws) and through it we -by the will of Allah- will enjoy an everlasting life to come.
"Indeed in the messenger of Allah you have the most beautiful pattern of conduct for him who hopes in Allah and the last day, and remembers Allah much" (Surah Al-Ahzab 33:21)30
1 The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 21, Verse 107
2 This incident is the subject of Surah Al-Fil (The Elephant) the 105th chapter of the Qu'ran
3 The 3rd month of the Islamic calendar
4 The History of Islam and the Muslims - Iqbal Mohammed, Vol 1 p. 138
5 This fact is even attested to by the non-Muslims, e.g. see the Guinness book of Records.
6 The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 33, Verse 56
7 This was one of the forms of currency in Arabia at that time
8 The History of Islam and the Muslims - Iqbal Mohammed, Vol 1 pp. 163-166
9 In modem western societies much of the social problems are as a result of dysfunctional families.
10 The 9th month of the Islamic calendar and the month in which fasting is obligatory.
11 Muhammad (saws) could not read or write - This is one of the many proofs to show that he could not possibly have made the Qur'an up by himself.
12 The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 96, Verses 1-5
13 Reported in Saheeh Muslim (Eng. trans Vol. 4 p.1375 No.6307)
14 The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 49, Verse 12
15 Reported by At-Tirmidhee and Ahmed
16 Reported in Saheeh Muslim (Eng trans Vol. 4 p.1241 No.5718)
18 Male dominated
20 In pre-Islamic Arabia women were subjected to intolerable humiliation, and they were often paraded naked during the festivals which were held by the pagan Arabs.
21 Reported in Saheeh Muslim (Eng trans Vol. 4 p.1244 No.5739)
22 Despite the constant barrage of distortion against Islam, it is a fact that more then 70% of those people who become Muslim in the west, are women.
23 Abu Dawud (Eng Trans Vol. 1 p.230 No.903)
25 How different is this behaviour from that of the non-Muslim conquerors such as the crusaders, who upon the conquest of Jerusalem; raped, looted and burnt their way to success.
26 Reported in Saheeh Al-Bukhari (Eng trans Vol. 1 p.255 No.427)
27 This was the name used for Muslims during the middle ages. It means one who worships Muhammad (saws). Unfortunately through their ignorance many westerners still know Muslims by this name.
28 This fact has even been attested to by Christians, such us professor Michael Hart in his book "The 100: The most influential men in History". Despite the fact that professor Hart casts doubt upon the source of the prophet's law, he still cannot help but admit that this man exercised more influence on humanity then anyone else. It is for this reason that he places Muhammad (saws) in the No.1 position, even ahead of his lord Jesus, whom he places 3rd just behind St Paul
29 The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 33, Verses 45-46
30 The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 33, Verse 21
• Invitation to Islam newsletter, Issue 1, May 1997
The Prophet(pbuh) was of a slightly above-average height. He was fair in complexion with a rosy tinge. His hair was black and wavy but stopped short of curling and was between his ear lobes and shoulders. Sometimes he would part his hair at the middle while at other times he would keep it braided. His face was radiant "as if the sun were following its course across and shining from his face" said one companion.
The Prophet(pbuh) had the physique of a powerful man. He had long muscular limbs, large joints and a wide girth. The Prophet(pbuh) would walk briskly with a forward-leaning gait, moving with a strength of purpose. Men would tire trying to keep up with him. When he spoke, he would turn his whole body giving full attention to the one addressing him and showing complete concern to what was being said.
He was free of pride and children would playfully lead him through the streets of Madinah whilst grasping his finger.
He(pbuh) said: "He who does not show mercy to our young, and honour our old, is not from us." (Abu Dawud)
Ali(ra), cousin and son-in-law to the Prophet(pbuh) said of him: "He was the last of the Prophets, the most giving of hearts, the most truthful, the best of them in temperament and the most sociable. Whoever unexpectadly saw him would stand in awe of him, and ever accompanied him and got to know him would love him. Those describing him would say: 'I have never seen anyone before or after him who was comparable to him.'"
Aishah(ra) said of him: "He always joined in household chores and would at times mend his clothes, repair his shoes and sweep the floor. He would milk, tether and feed his animals." (Bukhari)
"Indeed in the Messenger of Allah you have an excellent example to follow for whoever hopes in Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah much." (The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 33, Verse 21)
Abu Bakr As-Siddiq(ra)
Abu Bakr(ra) was born in Makkah two years after the birth of the Prophet(pbuh). His parents belonged to the clan of Banu Taim. Even before entering Islam, Abu Bakr(ra) was well known for his manners, knowledge and wisdom. The Prophet(pbuh) said: "Whenever I invited anyone to accept Islam, he argued with me and rejected my words at the outset except the son of Abu Quhafah (Abu Bakr). He accepted it immediately and stayed steadfast in it."
The assistance given by Abu Bakr(ra) to the Prophet in Allah's cause created a strong bond between them.Many muslims had migrated to Madinah to escape the persecution in Makkah. Abu Bakr(ra) expressed his wish to migrate (Hijrah) to Madinah but the Prophet(pbuh) always asked him to wait a while. The Prophet (pbuh) said: "Do not do so yet. May be Allah will send a companion to be with you when you migrate." The companion of Abu Bakr(ra) during migration would be none other than the Prophet(pbuh) himself.
Abu Bakr(ra) settled with the Prophet and other migrants in Madinah. Abu Bakr(ra) had accepted the Prophet's (pbuh) proposal to marry his daughter, Aishah (ra) after the death of the Prophet's (pbuh) wife, Khadija (ra).This marriage added to the strong relations between the Prophet(pbuh) and Abu Bakr(ra). Abu Bakr(ra) fought alongside the Prophet(pbuh) in the battles of Badr, Uhud, Khandak and the peaceful conquest of Makkah. His support to the cause was steadfast throughout his life.
During his illness, the Prophet(pbuh) ordered all doors leading to the mosque to be closed except the door of Abu Bakr(ra). He said: "I found no one best among my Companions other than Abu Bakr(ra). However my relation with Abu Bakr(ra) is that of a close friend, Islamic brotherhood and faith until Allah raises us together."
Unlike other muslims who were shocked by the news of the death of the Prophet(pbuh), Abu Bakr(ra) remeained calm and stressed the fact that would live forever, even the Prophet(pbuh).He reminded them of the following verse in the Holy Qur'an, "Muhammad (pbuh) is no more than a messenger: many Were the messenger that passed away before him. If he died or were slain, will ye then Turn back on your heels? If any did turn back on his heels, not the least harm will he do to Allah; but Allah (on the other hand) will swiftly reward those who (serve Him) with gratitude." The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 3, verse 144. On hearing this, the muslims came back to their senses and the situation was brought under control.
After the Prophet's(pbuh) death, Abu Bakr(ra) was chosen as the Caliph. All the people supported electing Abu Bakr(ra) as the Caliph. Abu Bakr(ra) said the following words, setting the rule for his government.
"O people! I swear by Allah that I never wanted to be a Caliph or wished to be so. It is a big task that you put on my shoulders. Obey me as long as I obey Allah and His Prophet(pbuh). When I disobey Him and His Prophet(pbuh), do not obey me."
During his Caliphate, he quelled the rebellious people who tried to break away from the Ummah (Muslim Coummunity) and reassert their former ways thereby completing the unification of the Ummah. Abu Bakr(ra) was known to be a very tender hearted man who was merciful even to the enemies of Islam. He loved his family but the cause of Islam was dearer to him than anything else which is evident by several incidents couple of which are mentioned below.
After taking over the Caliphate, Abu Bakr(ra) went to market to sell some clothes for his living. Seeing this, Umar(ra) took him to the public treasurer and set him an annual salary to cover his needs.
It is reported that his wife once asked him to increase his share of sugar because she wanted to make some pudding to which Abu Bakr(ra) refused. therefore, she tried to save some quantity out of the monthly lot to fulfill her desire. When she had fulfilled that desire, she brought him the pudding. He immediately told the treasurer that his lot of sugar should be reduced because the quantity spared was not needed.
No one among the Companions of the Prophet(pbuh) excelled Abu Bakr(ra) in terms of support of Islam. He usually gave the larger portion of his wealth for the cause of Islam. May Allah bestow his mercy on Abu Bakr(ra) for the services he rendered to Islam and the muslims.
Ali bin Abu Talib (ra)
During Ali's caliphate, Ibn At-Tayyah once came to him and said, "O Leader of the Believers, the Muslim Treasury is filled with gold and silver."
"Allah is the greatest," was Ali's reply. He (ra) then ordered Ibn At-Tayyah to gather the people of Kufah. When everyone was present, Ali began distributing the wealth, all the while saying, "O yellow (gold) and white (silver), deceive someone other than me."
When all was said and done, Ali (ra) had finished distributing all of the wealth that was in the treasury. He then ordered for the inside of the treasury to be cleaned; and after this task was performed, Ali (ra)entered inside and performed two units of prayer.
After Ali (ra) died, Muawiyah bin Abu Sufyan (ra) said to Dirar bin Damrah," Describe Ali to me."
"Will you not excuse me from answering you," said Dirar.
"No, describe him," insisted Muawiyah (ra).
"Please, excuse me from doing so," said Dirar.
"I will not," said Muawiyah.
"I will do so, then," said Dirar with a sigh. "By Allah, he was (far-sighted) and very strong. He spoke with a truthful finality, so that, through him, truht became distinguished from falsehood. He ruled justly, and knowledge gushed forth from him, as did wisdom. He felt an aversion to the world and its (pleasures). By Allah, he would cry profusely (from the fear of Allah); long durations would he spend in contemplation, during which time he would converse with his soul. "
" He showed a liking ( for religious reasons, of course; to train his soul to be patient and abstemious) to coarse garments and lower quality food. By Allah, it was as if - in his humbleness - he was one of us: when we asked him a question, he would answer us; when we would go to him, he would initiate (the greetings of peace); and when we would invite him (to our homes), he would come to us. Yet, in spite of his closeness to us, we would not speak (freely) with him, because of the dignity and honour that he exuded if he smiled, he revealed the likes of straight and regular pearls (i.e. his teeth). He honoured religious people and loved the poor. The strong person could not hope to gain favours from him through falsehood. And the weak person never lost hope of his justness. I swear, by Allah, that on certain occasions, I saw him in his place of prayer when the night was dark and few stars could be seen; he would be holding his beard and crying the way a very sad person cries; and I would hear him saying, "O world, O world, are you offering yourself to me? Do you desire me? Never! Never! Decieve someone other than me. I have divorced you for the third time, so that you cannot return to me. O world, your life is short, the existence you offer is base, and your danger is great. Alas for the paucity of sustenance (i.e. good deeds), the great distance of the journey, and the loneliness of the road!"
Upon hearing this description, Muawiyah's eyes swelled with tears, and not being able to hold them from gushing forth, he was forced to wipe them with his cuffs; and the same can be said for those who were present. Muawaiyah (ra) then said, "May Allah have mercy on the father of Al Hasan, for he was, by Allah, just as you described him to be." He (ra) then said, "O Dirar, describe your sadness at having lost him."
"My sadness," began Dirar, "is like the sadness of a woman who cannot control her tears or allay her grief after her child, while in her lap, has just been slaughtered." Dirar then stood up and left.
A Message to the Muslims
I came across this letter from the blessed Prince, Salahuddin Ayyubi, in an excellent book about the Crusades titled 'Muslim Heroes of the Crusades' by Shahnaz Husain printed by Taha Publications, UK. I request all my Muslim brothers and sisters to read such books which will pep up their Eeman and will show us how our predecessors dealt with past problems.
From Salahuddin Ayyubi – The Liberator of Jerusalem
"We hope in Allah1 Most High, to Whom be Praise, Who leads the hearts of Muslims to calm what torments them and ruins their prosperity.
Where is the sense of honor of the Muslims? The pride of the believers? The zeal of the faithful?
We shall never cease to be amazed at how the disbelievers for their part have shown trusts, and it is the Muslims who have been lacking in zeal. Not one of them has responded to the call. Not one intervenes to straighten what is distorted; but observe how far the Franks2 have gone. What unity they have achieved! What aims they pursue! What help they have given! What sums of money they have borrowed and spent! What wealth they have collected, distributed and divided amongst them! There is not a king left in their lands or islands, not a lord or a rich man who has not competed with his neighbors to produce more support and rival his peers in strenuous military efforts. In defense of their religion they consider it a small thing to spend life and soul; and they have kept their infidel brothers supplied with arms and champions of war; and all they have done and all their generosity has been purely out of zeal for him they worship in jealous defense of their faith.
The Muslims on the other hand are weak and demoralized; they have become negligent and lazy, the victims of unproductive stupefaction and completely lacking in enthusiasm. If, Allah forbid, Islam should draw reign, obscure her splendor, blunt her sword, there would be no one, east or west, far or near, who would blaze the zeal for Allah's religion, or choose to come to the aid of truth against error? This is the moment to cast off laziness, to summon, from far and near all those men who have blood in their veins;
But we are confident (he speaks about himself and the small group of believers who began with him and then began a large group); we are confident, thanks to Allah – Alhamdulillah3 – in the Help that will come from Him and entrust ourselves to Him in sincerity of purpose and deepest devotion.
Inshallah4, the disbelievers will be defeated and the faithful have a sure deliverance"
Abu Shamma, Kitab Ar-Rawadatayn
1. Allah – God Almighty
2. Franks – Christians
3. Alhamdulillah - Praise be to God
4. Inshallah - God Willing
• Abdul Mateen
Mujhe jannat say zyada masjid mein bethna acha lagta hai
kyun ke jannat mein mera nafs khush hoga,
jab ke masjid mein mera rabb khush hoga
. Jab tum namaz na padho to matt socho ke waqt nahi mila, Balke ye socho ke tumse kaunsi galti hui ke, ALLAH ne tum ko apne saamne khada karna pasand nahi kiya.............
. Har koi chahta hai k mujhey KAMIYABI mil jaye, lekin jab masjid sey din main 5 dafa awaz ati hai "HAYYA ALAL FALAH",, "Aao Kamiyabi ki Taraf".... to us taraf janey ki hum zehmat nahi kertey... afsos k jis cheez ko wo sari zindagi har jagah talash kar k bhi hasil nahi ker saka, wo to khud usey apney paas bula rahi hai .......