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The Daily Routine of The Most Influential Man in History

Key Take-aways

  • His life structured around the 5 daily prayers.
  • He was sent to perfect good character
  • Incorporate dua (supplication) for every action that we take.
  • He begins his day with gratitude, recognizing what a gift it is to be alive for another day and reminding himself (and us) that there’s life after death which gives him drive and purpose to live the best version of himself that day.
  • He encourage mindful living and present in his daily activities.
  • Taking a nap before Dhuhr would imporve your productivity
  • Spend quality time with your family members and close companions

 

In case you are wondering who is the most influential man in history, for me, it was the Holy Prophet Muhammad SAW, the last and final messenger of the Almighty/

“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,” Michael Hurts, ‘The 100, a Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History’.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is one of the most revered & influential persons in history – yet arguably the most misunderstood as well. He would surely fit within the “misfits” description of Steve Jobs, “You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward.

He was a man whose life was recorded in minute detail, and today billions follow in his footsteps in the way they live their life, dress, eat and sleep. Yet, his life lessons are rarely translated to be made relevant to our modern day challenges.

He was a man who lived the best version of himself, yet many people who claim to follow him, rarely reflect this best self-image of him.

Among the best advice which I heard about following his footstep in term of his lifestyle and way of life, is to follow him in totality. We have no right to take pieces or bits of his life to follow blindly. Muhammad SAW is the perfect example to humanity, therefore, we need to understand the different aspects of his life and follow accordingly.

In this article, our purpose is to translate the daily routine of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) into a practical guide that will not only let you see the beauty and relevance of his life to your life but will become a blueprint for the habits and routines you need to adapt in your life to live the best version of yourself: spiritually, physically, and socially.

لَّقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ لِّمَن كَانَ يَرْجُو اللَّهَ وَالْيَوْمَ الْآخِرَ وَذَكَرَ اللَّهَ كَثِيرًا

”The Messenger of God is an excellent model for those of you who put your hope in God and the Last Day and remember Him often.” [Qur’an 33: 21]

Why should I follow the routine of a man who lived 1400 years ago?

Our daily habits and routines make a huge difference whether we live the best version of ourselves, or not. And one of the challenges each one of us faces is choosing the habits and routines that work for us and that over a lifetime, help us live a meaningful and impactful life. After all, each one of us wants to achieve success in life, and no one wants to be a failure.

The question is: what are these habits and routines? And which ones will guarantee that we’ll live a productive, meaningful life?

Usually, the quick answer is to look up successful contemporary people and try to copy their habits and routines. Just Google the term “habits of successful people,” and you’ll see millions of search results with articles and books on what do successful people do that most of us fail to do. But there are three issues with this approach:

  1. Pseudo-Truth: We only see the parts of their routine that they allow us to see. And we don’t know the person as a whole. (i.e., What are their habits and routines when they are lazy and are having a bad day?).
  2. One Dimensional: Most of the habits/routines highlighted are work-related routines, and we rarely see spiritual, physical, or social routines highlighted.
  3. The 1%: Most modern-day successful people have had a “leg-up” on the social ladder and are starting off from a solid socio-economic base or live in centers of civilization that allow them opportunities to prosper. Think of all the successful Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, it’s hard to imagine some of them succeeding at the scale they did if they started from the slums of an impoverished nation.

Contrary to the above, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was:

  • A successful person across all areas of his life – this is not by my account, but by the statement of many historians and biographers throughout history.
  • His life was recorded in detail by his family, friends, and even enemies and hence we see him in his most intimate moments as well as public moments.
  • He was successful despite being born in the deserts of Arabia (away from the Roman/Byzantine centers of culture and civilization)
  • An orphan whose father died before he was born and mother died at the age of six, living poor for most of his life.
  • He was successful with his mission despite the odds stacked against him and losing many of his family members and friends due to his message.
  • He is loved and revered by over a billion people today and his message survived over 1400 years. Just to give a glimpse of how much loved and revered he was with his companions, every single one of his companions thinks that they are his best friend and closest one to him.
  • So now, are you intrigued to know more about his daily routine? Do you wonder what those small decisions he made every day and how it led him to what he became?

“Yes, but he lived in a desert, life was simple back then, and he didn’t have Facebook!”

One of the ironies of modern life is although we’ve progressed with our technologies, we’ve regressed in our humanity. As Dr.Martin Luther King said, our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power, we’ve created guided missiles but misguided humanity.

our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power, we’ve created guided missiles but misguided humanity.

We think that because we live in the 21st century, in modern buildings with modern amenities and technologies a touch away, we’re somehow a different breed or a separate human species from people who came before us and therefore their lifestyle does not apply to ours, and their habits and routines are beneath us.

However, when we look closely into their lives, we’ll notice that they faced the same challenges we face. The challenge of finding meaning and purpose in life, balancing between their various roles, being successful in their endeavors, maintaining relationships, and leaving a legacy to be remembered. They loved, bled, cried, laughed, and lived their humanity and left us an example for us through their stories and example. And what better story to follow and learn from then the story of a man who according to his wife was a walking breathing Qur’an (the last divine message to mankind). For which I truly hope to follow, as well as I do pray that Allah SWT give us all the strength and willpower to do so.

“Fine, but he was a Prophet! Someone special, I’m not special.”

Let me ask you this: how do you think special people become special? Isn’t it through their daily habits and routines? And for Prophets, their habits and routines were divinely inspired which makes them even more vital to emulate to help us live the best version of ourselves.

Are you ready now to delve deeper into the detailed breakdown of Prophet Muhammad’s routine? Read this article with an open mind and an open heart, and it might just change the way you live your life forever.

Preamble

Before we begin, there are a few essential points to keep in mind as you read this article:

  1. Using the word “routine” might not be the best description of a typical day in Prophet Muhammad’s life. As you’ll read below, he used to adapt each day to the needs of his family and community and did not follow a strict 9-5 routine. Having said that, you’ll see a clear structure for his days (mostly surrounding prayer times) and never was a moment ‘wasted’ or not utilized at its best.
  2. The foundational piece of understanding the Prophet’s routine is his famous saying, “I was sent to perfect good character.” [Al Adab Al Mufrad] So every decision and choice he made, regarding how he spent his time, who he spent it with, and what he did on a day to day basis, comes back to this foundational piece. See if you can notice this thread as you read this article. As for myself, I do have lots of shortcomings for which I truly hope to improve.
  3. The Prophet’s primary mission and role in life were to save humanity by inviting them to the way of God. That was his full-time occupation. He was also a father, grandfather, husband, father-in-law, brother-in-law, and leader of his community. Again, keep this in mind as you read about his day to day routines and habits.

وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلَىٰ خُلُقٍ عَظِيمٍ

“And indeed, you are of a great moral character.” [Qur’an 68: 4]

Below we describe the Prophet’s daily routine based on a typical day during the latter part of his life, in the city of Madinah, when things started to settle down, most of his enemies embraced Islam, and he was in a position of strength and influence.

The Prophetic Morning Routine

Close your eyes and imagine for a moment that you’re zooming into the humble dwelling of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). It’s almost time for Fajr (Dawn) prayer, and Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is either awake praying/remembering God or taking a brief nap after a long night in prayers.

Bilal, his friend and African Muethin (caller of prayer), calls the Madinan community to worship with his beautiful voice and the Prophet (peace be upon him) rubs his eyes, picks up his Siwak (a natural toothbrush made from the Salvadora persica tree (known as arāk, أراك, in Arabic)) and upon completing purifying his breath, utters the words “All praise is for Allah who gave us life after having taken it from us and unto Him is the Resurrection.” He sits up listening intently to the call to prayer, repeating the words of the Muethin (Bilal) , then he gets up to prepare himself for prayer.

He prays a couple of rak’aahs (units of prayer) in his home and lies on his right side waiting to be called to lead the prayers. If his wife is awake, he might spend these calm, precious moments speaking to her lovingly, staying present and nurturing his relationship with her. Perhaps during these moments, he might reflect on what he told his companions that Whoever among you wakes up physically healthy, feeling safe and secure within himself, with food for the day, it is as if he acquired the whole world” [Sunan Ibn Majah].

Whoever among you wakes up physically healthy, feeling safe and secure within himself, with food for the day, it is as if he acquired the whole world” [Sunan Ibn Majah].

When Bilal (may Allāh be pleased with him) would see that the people have gathered for prayer, he would come close to the Prophet’s house and say: “Prayer, O Prophet of God.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) would come out of his house, look up to the sky, then say: In the name of Allah, I place my trust in Allah, and there is no might nor power except with Allah. O Allah, I take refuge with You lest I should stray or be led astray, or slip or be tripped, or oppress or be oppressed, or behave foolishly or be treated foolishly.

Then he enters the masjid (mosque) with his right foot and supplicates: In the name of Allah, and prayers and peace be upon the Messenger of Allah. O Allah, open the gates of Your mercy for me. I take refuge with Allah, The Supreme and with His Noble Face, and His eternal authority from the accursed devil.”

When Bilal (may Allāh be pleased with him) sees him entering the Masjid (Mosque), he would call an iqama (a particular call signifying the start of prayer) and the Companions would stand in neat straight rows behind the Prophet (peace be upon him) who would lead them in a long, serene dawn prayers.

After the prayers, the Prophet (peace be upon him) would spend time remembering God with special early morning supplications, then he’ll turn and face his congregation behind him.

During these early moments, when people are fresh from their sleep and refreshed with prayers, he would converse with them. Sometimes he’d share moving teachings that would make them cry. Sometimes he would ask questions to provoke curiosity and creativity. Sometimes he’d share a dream he had or will ask if any of them saw a dream so he might interpret it for them. And sometimes he might just sit and listen to his companions as they discussed life matters among themselves. He would stay present in their company until the sun rises.

After sunrise, the Prophet (peace be upon him) would go back to his home. He would enter his home with his right foot saying: “In the name of Allah we enter and in the name of Allah we leave, and upon our Lord, we place our trust.” As soon as he enters, he would use the siwak again, and greet his whole family, asking how they are and praying for them. During his visits, he might ask if there’s any food available that day; if there is, he will eat, and if there’s none, he would say “Then, I’m fasting.”

‘He begins his day with gratitude, recognizing what a gift it is to be alive for another day and reminding himself (and us) that there’s life after death which gives him drive and purpose to live the best version of himself that day.’

Reflections on the Prophetic Morning Routine:

Think about these first few steps? How do they compare with our first actions when we wake up?

  • He wakes up at dawn (i.e., before sunrise) for the morning prayers. And every successful person will tell you that the secret to productivity and success is to wake up early. In fact, one of Prophet Muhammad’s famous saying is “The early hours are blessed for my nation” [Tirmidhi] meaning there are blessing and goodness in these early hours.
  • He’s mindful & present during these first few moments of waking up, conscious of his first few actions by cleansing his mouth, expressing gratitude to God, intently listening to the call to prayer. Compare this with our addiction to checking our phones as soon as we wake up and the impact it has on our focus and mindset.
  • He begins his day with gratitude, recognizing what a gift it is to be alive for another day and reminding himself (and us) that there’s life after death which gives him drive and purpose to live the best version of himself that day.
  • He’s present in every step (entering the mosque with his right foot, leave with his left, entering his home with his right) and blesses every transitions with a supplication or prayer (there are numerous recorded supplications of the Prophet for practically every transition/action a person might go through in a day, from supplications to entering/ leaving home, to supplications for putting on clothes/taking off clothes, to even supplications before entering/leaving the bathroom). These supplications serve the purpose of keeping someone spiritually conscious and aware throughout his/her daily activities.
  • His first primary “task” is the morning prayers and staying focused on remembering his purpose of life. What is our first major “task”? Responding to emails? Rushing to get kids to school because we woke up late?
  • He nurtured his relationships before sunrise, asking about his family/companions, engaging with them in meaningful conversations (and not act too busy to be involved in their lives).
  • He was easy going – if there’s food, he’d have breakfast. If there’s no food, he will fast. Compare this with the obsession most of us have for our morning cup of coffee or some particular breakfast item that “we can’t start our day without!”

The Prophetic Day

After he visits his family, he would go back to the masjid (mosque) and pray two rak’ahs (units of prayer), then he would sit in the masjid (mosque), and the companions would gather around him.

This was a known time for everyone in Madinah to come and see the Prophet (peace be upon him) if they wanted to spend time with him, ask him anything or needed anything from him.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) would spend this time teaching and share from the knowledge that Allah has given him as well as take care of the political and social affairs of his community.

This was the time that the Prophet (peace be upon him) would also receive delegations from nearby and far lands. Either newly converted tribes to his faith, or friendly tribes that did not embrace his faith but nevertheless came to pay their respects. He would greet his guests, honor them and ask about their news and how he can help them.

At these gatherings, the Prophet (peace be upon him) never had a particular seat or clearly marked symbol, to the point that when strangers would come to the gathering, they would have to ask who among them is the Prophet! (Only later in his life, did the Companions insist on making a special raised area for him and the Prophet agreed).

Sometimes food would be given as a gift at this gathering, and the Prophet and everyone around him would eat together communally. Even if the food is little, there’d be enough for everybody, a sign the companions took to be the barakah (blessing) of having the Prophet amongst them.

During these morning hours between sunrise and just before noon, the Prophet (peace be upon him) would also go to visit some of his relatives and companions. He will visit his daughter Fatimah (may Allāh be pleased with her) and spend time with his grandsons playing with them and be their playful granddad, or he will visit his friends who were sick, or lost a loved one.

Also, during these hours he would walk through the Madinah market, greeting the passersby with his beautiful smile, talking with young children and asking about them, and if a person stops him (whether male or female, young or old), he would stop and listen to them and see how he can help them. Sometimes he would walk alone, other times with his Companions.

Before Noon, the Prophet (peace be upon him) would go to his house, and as soon as he enters, he would first use the siwak, say salam to his family and pray some rak’ahs (units) of an optional (forenoon) prayer called Duha. Then sometimes if there’s food he eats, and if there isn’t he would continue his fast if he started fasting that morning.

Usually, at this time, the women of Madinah would come and visit the Prophet (peace be upon him) and ask questions about faith and rituals which they might be embarrassed to ask in a crowded mosque.

This is the time when he would also be helping his family, serving them, repairing his shoes and clothes, milking the sheep or goat, and supporting himself and his family with daily chores. He would also spend quality time with his family, talking, smiling and laughing with them.

Sometimes while at home, his close Companions would visit him at this hour such as Abu Bakr (may Allāh be pleased with him), Umar (may Allāh be pleased with him) and Uthman (may Allāh be pleased with him).

Then he would take a nap until close to the Dhuhr (Noon) prayer.

When Dhuhr (Noon) time comes, and Bilal (may Allāh be pleased with him) calls for prayer, the Prophet (peace be upon him) would wake up from his nap if he’s still asleep, and would perform wudhu (ablution) then pray in his home four units of prayers before the main Dhuhr (Noon) prayer. He’d wait for the salah (prayer) in his house, then he’d come out to the Masjid (Mosque), and Bilal (may Allāh be pleased with him) would call for the prayer to start.

After the Dhuhr (Noon) prayer, he would sometimes use this opportunity to address his congregation about an important spiritual or social matter. Afterward, he would return home and pray two units of voluntary prayers after the noon prayer then he’d go out with his Companions to fulfill specific duties needed in the city, or he’d stay in the mosque until Asr (Afternoon) prayer.

Once he returns from the masjid (mosque) after Asr (afternoon), he would spend quality time with his entire family in a relaxed, joyful atmosphere; he would ask his family questions, or they’d ask him questions, and the Prophetic house would learn and grow in understanding of the Divine revelation.

‘He was easy going – if there’s food, he’d have breakfast. If there’s no food, he will fast. Compare this with the obsession most of us have for our morning cup of coffee or some special breakfast item that “We can’t start our day without!

Reflections on the Prophetic Day

This part of the Prophet’s day might seem all over the place, and hard to draw specific routines that we can implement in our lives but consider the following:

  • He had designated “office hours” in the morning where people knew where to find him, and they could ask their questions. If you’re a leader and executive, being available and present for your team is extremely important.
  • He napped! The most influential man in history, the man whose task was to save humanity, and the man who has over a billion followers today, took time to nap. Let this sink in for a bit. Don’t tell me you’re too busy or important to nap.
  • His day was interjected with prayers and more prayers. Barely a few hours pass in his day before you see him praying. As if he’s recharging his batteries and taking a “break” from the world with prayers.
  • He went out to see his family and community and didn’t expect people to visit him. This was the leader of his community, the most beloved and respected person in town. You probably expect people to come and visit him all the time. Yet he took time out of his day to go in the market, visit the sick, spend time with the poor. A powerful lesson in servant leadership.
  • Whenever he was home. He spends quality time with his family. One of most powerful testimonies to his character was that we never hear any family member, or friend, or community member complaining to the Prophet saying “You’re always busy! You never give me enough time”. How many of us can honestly say they haven’t heard that complaint in their life at least once?
    Narrated Al-Aswad that he asked `Aisha (wife of the Prophet) “What did the Prophet (ﷺ) use to do in his house?” She replied, “He used to keep himself busy serving his family and when it was the time for prayer he would go for it.” [Sahih Al Bukhari]

The Prophetic Evening Routine

When the Maghrib (sunset) call to prayer was made, he would go to the mosque and lead his Companions in a short prayer.

This was dinner time in Madinah so he wouldn’t give a talk or sermon after this prayer. Everyone is hurrying home to cook and eat their meals before the last prayer of the day.

He would come home and pray two optional (units) rak’ahs of prayer after Maghrib, then he’d have his dinner. Sometimes he used to invite some of his friends over to have dinner at his place if there’s food; sometimes he’d come home and find nothing except dates and water. Sometimes days would pass, and food wouldn’t be cooked in the house of the Prophet (peace be upon him).

When there was food, his food was placed on the floor for him, and he never ate on a table. When the food is brought to him, he would say “Bismillah” (In the name of Allah) and eat from what’s next to him, and he would eat with three fingers (thumb, index finger, and middle finger) with his right hand. He never complained of whatever was presented to him: he either ate it or would leave the food if he didn’t like it.

If he were eating with one of his wives, he would make this quality time for her, to the point of feeding her sometimes or eating from the same spot where his wife ate from or drinking from the same place in the cup where his wife drank from.

If he sat with his friends, the dinner meal never went by without a pleasing talk, or teaching manners or spreading knowledge.

After he finished eating, the Prophet used to lick his fingers and praise his Lord abundantly for the food given no matter how little. He would then wash his mouth.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) would remain in his home until the call to prayer for Isha (night) is called, and he would typically not hasten this last prayer of the night. If the Companions are gathered early, he will start the prayer; if the Companions are delayed, he will delay the prayers.

He would rarely speak or give a talk after this prayer because the people are tired and they need their sleep.

Then the Prophet (peace be upon him) would return to his home and pray two optional rak’ahs (units) of prayer after Isha (night) prayer. He would then spend some time talking to his family and enjoying their company. Sometimes he would go to his close Companions’ houses and spend time with them.

Sometimes on his way back from one of his friend’s house, he might pass by someone reciting Qur’an beautifully, and he would stand there and listen. Or he would enter the masjid (mosque) and talk to whoever is there, as the mosque always had the poor spending their nights there.

When he enters his home, he prepares himself for sleep, hangs his clothes and comes into bed with his wife, sharing a blanket and a pillow together. His bed was made of animal skin stuffed with fiber, and his pillow was made of similar material – needless to say, these left some marks on his skin as he slept but that didn’t bother him. He would place his siwak close to his head so that he’d use it as soon as he wakes up.

He would sleep on his right side, and place his hand under his right cheek, then recite some supplications before sleeping.

Then he would sleep, and if he turns during sleep, you’d hear him remembering God, his heart always connected to Him. and he would continue sleeping until midnight.

When the night reaches midnight, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) wakes up and sits, wiping the sleep from his face, and he’d take his siwak and brush his teeth with it, then he would look up to the sky and recite the last 10 verses of Chapter 3 in the Quran. He would then get up and make wudhu (ablution), put his clothes on and start his night prayer either at home or in the mosque.

If you were to observe the Prophet (peace be upon him) praying at night, you’d feel that he’s genuinely immersed in another world and he’s in no haste to finish. He gathers all his emotions, feelings, and callings and pours them into his prayers and calling upon his Lord. He would read hundreds of verses, verse by verse. If he passes by a verse that has mercy in it, he would ask Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) for His forgiveness. If he moves by a verse that has punishment in it, he will seek Allah’s subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) refuge from the punishment. And if he passes by a verse that glorifies his Lord, he would praise his Lord.

Not only were his recitations lengthy, but even his bowing and prostration were almost as long as he’s standing, to the point that one day one of his Companions joined him for the night prayer and was about to quit because it was getting too difficult for the companion to continue.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) remained in this state of praying, supplicating, glorifying, reciting, bowing and prostrating from midnight until there was nothing left of the night except a sixth of it. He would then wake his wife to join him for the final 3-units of prayer (known as Witr prayer), and they’d pray together.

Sometimes during the hours between midnight and Dawn, the Prophet (peace be upon him) would leave his house and go to the nearby cemetery and pray for the deceased from his family, friends, and followers.

When the night was about to end, and the last sixth was remaining, the Prophet (peace be upon him) would take a short nap and rest his body until Fajr (Dawn) prayer before beginning a new day.

‘He’s present in every step and blesses every transition with a supplication or prayer. These supplications serve the purpose of keeping someone spiritually conscious and aware throughout his/her daily activities.’

Reflections on his evening routine:

  • You can see how the Prophet was winding down; praying, spending time with his family, and getting to bed early. His humanity came through in these moments when he was tired and needed sleep like all of us.
  • However, he also got up for the night prayer which was his spiritual way of recharging for his mission. These prayers weren’t a chore or burden on him, he genuinely enjoyed them and found solace and peace in them. It’s as if the Prophet discovered his “me” time and “self-care” time in these night prayers, away from the demands of his family and community.
  • He was loyal to his family and friends even after they passed away. How many of us sincerely would remember our deceased loved ones in the middle of the night, and perhaps also go to the cemetery to pay our respect at that hour. If you’re a leader, to what extent will you go to show loyalty to those who follow you?

Final Thought – What drove the Prophet?

As I was writing this, I was reflecting on what “motivated” prophet Muhammad to live the best version of himself, every single day. Many of us if we were to establish a healthy routine, find it very difficult to stay consistent with it. What made Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) stick to his routine and be the best version of himself: spiritually, physically, and socially. It’s easy to dismiss the question and say “well, he’s the Prophet and he got special qualities”. That is true, but there might be something deeper. Perhaps the key to the Prophet’s motivation and living the best version of himself was Love:

  • His love for God made him conscious of Him all the time through prayers, supplications, even being conscious about his breath before uttering God’s name.
  • His love for his family made him spend quality time with them and be intimate with them and not ignore their needs.
  • His love for his companions made him reach out to them, teach them, pray for them even after they died
  • And his love for humanity made him persevere in pushing for his message despite the challenges and achieve success for generations to come.

What thoughts came to your mind as you were reading the Prophet’s daily routine? What part of it will you be able to focus on and implement in your life? Share in the comments below and invite your friends and family to read the account of the most influential man in history.

Reference: Productive muslim

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Muhammad Part 11 : Stories of the Prophets

The Eleventh Year of Hijrah

The eleventh year of the hijrah, being the last year of Muhammed’s life, was spent at Medina. There he settled the organization of the provincial and tribal communities which had adopted Islam and become the component parts of the Muslim federation. More officers had to be deputed to the interior provinces for the purpose of teaching their inhabitants the precepts of the religion, administering justice, and collecting zakat. Muadh Ibn Jabal was sent to Yemen. On his departure to that distant province the Prophet enjoined him to use his own discretion in the event of his being unable to find express authority in the Qur’an. Ali was deputed to Yamama in the southeast of the peninsula. To him the Prophet said: “Never decide between any two parties who come to you for justice unless you first hear both of them.”

False Prophets

A force was now being prepared under Usama, Ibn Zaid, whose father was killed at Muta, against the Byzantines, to exact the long-delayed reparation for the murder of the envoy to Syria. However, the news of the Prophet’s sickness and failing health caused that expedition to be stopped. This news was soon noised abroad and produced disorder in some districts. Three pretenders had arisen who gave themselves out as prophets and tried by all kinds of imposture to win over their tribes. The most dangerous of these pretenders was known as Al Aswad. He was a chief of Yemen and a man of great wealth and sagacity, as well as a clever conjurer. He soon succeeded in gaining over his tribesmen and, with their help, reduced to subjection many of the neighboring towns. He killed Shahr, whom the Prophet had appointed as Governor of Sana in the place of his father Bazan, who had just died. Bazan had been the viceroy of Yemen under Chosroes of Persia; after he had adopted Islam he was allowed by the Prophet to remain as Governor of Yemen. He was able to convert to Islam all the Persian colony in that province. Al-Aswad, the conjurer, had now killed Shahr, but soon after he was massacred by the Persians of Yemen.

The other two pretenders, Tulayha and Haroun by name, were not suppressed until after the death of the Prophet, during the reign of Abu Bakr. Haroun, better known as Mussaylamah, addressed to the Prophet a letter which ran as follows: “From Mussaylamah the Prophet of Allah, to Muhammad the Prophet of Allah. Peace be to you. I am your partner. Let the exercise of authority be divided between us. Half the earth will be mine, and half will belong to your Quraish. But the Quraish are too greedy to be satisfied with a just division.” To this letter the Prophet replied as follows: “From Muhammad the Messenger of Allah, to Mussaylamah the liar. Peace be to those who follow the right path. The earth belongs to Allah. It is He Who makes to reign whomsoever He pleases. Only those will prosper who fear the Lord.”

Muhammad’s Last Prayer

The health of the Prophet grew worse. His last days were remarkable for the calmness and serenity of his mind. He was able, though weak and feeble, to lead the public prayers until within three days of his death. He requested that he might be permitted to stay at Aisha’s house close to the mosque during his illness, an arrangement to which his other wives assented. As long as his strength lasted, he took part in the public prayers. The last time he appeared in the mosque he addressed the congregation, after the usual prayers were over, in the following words: “0 Muslims, if I have wronged anyone of you, here I am to answer for it; if I owe anything to anyone, all I may happen to possess belongs to you.” A man in the crowd rose and claimed three dirhams which he had given to a poor man at the request of the Prophet. They were immediately paid back with these words: “Better to blush in this world than in the next.”

The Prophet then prayed and implored Allah’s mercy for those who had fallen in the persecution of their enemies. He recommended to all his followers the observance of religious duties and the leading of a life of peace and goodwill. Then he spoke with emotion and with a voice still so powerful as to reach beyond the outer doors of the mosque: “By the Lord in Whose hand lies the soul of Muhammad as to myself, no man can lay hold on me in any matter; I have not made lawful anything excepting what Allah has made lawful; nor have I prohibited anything but that which Allah in His Book has prohibited.”

Then turning to the women who sat close by, he exclaimed: “0 Fatimah, my daughter, and Safia, my aunt, work you both that which will procure your acceptance with the Lord, for verily I have no power to save you in any wise.” He then rose and re-entered the house of Aisha.

The Death of Prophet Muhammad

After this, the Prophet never appeared at public prayers. A few hours after he returned from the mosque, the Prophet died while laying his head on the bosom of Aisha. As soon as the Prophet’s death was announced, a crowd of people gathered at the door of the house of Aisha, exclaiming: “How can our messenger be dead?” Umar said: “No, he is not dead; he will be restored to us, and those are traitors to the cause of Islam who say he is dead. If they say so let them be cut in pieces.”

But Abu Bakr entered the house at this moment, and after he had touched the body of the Prophet with a demonstration of profound affection, he appeared at the door and addressed the crowd with the following speech: “0 Muslims, if any of you has been worshipping Muhammad, then let me tell you that Muhammad is dead. But if you really do worship Allah then know that Allah is living and will never die. Do you forget the verse in the Qur’an: Muhammad is no more than a Messenger, and indeed (many) Messengers have passed a way before him. If he dies or is killed, will you then turn back on your heels (as disbelievers)? And he who turns back on his heels, not the least harm will he do to Allah, and Allah will give reward to those who are grateful.” Surah 3: 144 Upon hearing this speech of Abu Bakr, Umar acknowledged his error, and the crowd was satisfied and dispersed.

The Burial of Prophet Muhammad

Al-Abbas, the Prophet’s uncle, presided at the preparation for the burial, and the body was duly washed and perfumed.

There was some dispute between the Quraish and the Ansars as to the place of burial; however, Abu Bakr settled the dispute by affirming that he had heard the Prophet say that a prophet should be buried at the very spot where he died. A grave was accordingly dug in the ground within the house of Aisha and under the bed on which the Prophet died. In this grave the body was buried, and the usual rites were performed by those who were present.

Thus ended the glorious life of the Prophet Muhammad. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.

 

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Muhammad SAW : The Final Sermon

Muhammad’s Last Sermon

On the return of the sacred month of pilgrimage, the Prophet, under the presentiment of his approaching end, determined to make a farewell prilgrimage to Mecca. In February 632, he left Medina with a very considerable concourse of Muslims. It is stated that from ninety thousand to one hundred and forty thousand persons accompanied the Prophet. Before completing all rites of the pilgrimage, he addressed the assembled multitude from the top of Mount Arafat in the following words:

“0 people! Listen to my words, for I know not whether another year will be vouchsafed to me after this year to find myself among you. Your lives and property are sacred and inviolable among one another until you appear before the Lord, as this day and this month are sacred for all; and remember, you will have to appear before your Lord Who will demand from you an account for all your actions. 0 people, you have rights over your wives, and your wives have rights over you. Verily you have taken them on the security of Allah and have made their persons lawful unto you by the words of Allah. And your slaves, see that you feed them with such food as you eat yourselves, and clothe them with the stuff you wear, and if they commit a fault which you are not inclined to forgive, then part with them; for they are the servants of the Lord and are not to be harshly treated. 0 people, listen to my words and understand them. Know that all Muslims are brothers. You are one brotherhood; but no man shall take aught from his brother, unless by his free consent. Keep yourselves from injustice. Let him who is present tell this to him who is absent. It may be that he who is told this afterward may remember better than he who has now heard it.

The Prophet concluded his sermon by exclaiming: “0 Lord, I have fulfilled my message and accomplished my work.” The assembled multitude, all in one voice, cried: “Yea, verily you have.” The Prophet again exclaimed: “0 Lord, I beseech You, bear witness to it.”

Having rigorously performed all the ceremonies of the pilgrimage, that his example might be followed by all Muslims for all succeeding ages, the Prophet returned with his followers to Medina.

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Muhammad Part 10 : Stories of the Prophets

The Battle of Hunain and Other Small Battles

At this time the tribes of Hawazin and Thakif showed unwillingness to render obedience to the Muslims without resistance. They formed a league with the intention of attacking the Prophet, but he was vigilant enough to frustrate their plan. A big battle was fought with this new enemy of Islam near Hunain, a deep and narrow defile nine miles northeast of Mecca. The idolaters were utterly defeated. One body of the enemy, consisting chiefly of the Thakif tribe, took refuge in their fortified city of Ta’if, which eight or nine years before had dismissed the Prophet from within its walls with injuries and insults. The remainder of the defeated force, consisting principally of the Hawazin, sought refuge at a camp in the valley of Autas. This camp was raided by the Muslim troops. The families of the Hawazin, their flocks and herds with all their other effects, were captured by the troops of the Prophet. Ta’if was then besieged for a few days only, after which the Prophet raised the siege, well knowing that the people of Ta’if would soon be forced by circumstances to submit without bloodshed.

Returning to his camp where the prisoners of Hawazin were left safely, the Prophet found a deputation from this hostile tribe who begged him to set free their families. The Prophet replied that he was willing to give back his own share of the captives and that of the children of Abdul Muttalib, but that he could not force his followers to abandon the fruits of their victory. The disciples followed the generous example of their teacher. The hearts of several members of the Thakif tribe were so influenced by this that they offered their allegiance and soon became earnest Muslims. The Prophet now returned to Medina fully satisfied with the achievements of his mission.

The Ninth Year of Hijrah

The ninth year of the hijrah is known as the Year of Embassies, as being the year in which the various tribes of Arabia submitted to the claim of the Prophet and sent embassies to render homage to him.

These tribes had been awaiting the issue of the war between Muhammad and the Quraish; but as soon as that tribe – the principal of the whole nation and the descendants of Ishmael, whose prerogatives none offered to dispute – had submitted, they were satisfied that it was not in their power to oppose Muhammad. Hence their embassies flocked into Medina to make their submission to him. The conquest of Mecca decided the fate of idolatry in Arabia. Now deputations began to arrive from all sides to render the adherence to Islam of various tribes. Among the rest, five princes of the tribe of Himyar professed Islam and sent ambassadors to notify Muhammad of the same. These were the princes of Yemen, Mahra, Oman, and Yamama.

The People of Ta’if Accept Islam

The idolaters of Taif, the very people who had driven the Messenger of Islam from their midst with violence and contempt, now sent a deputation to pray forgiveness and ask to be numbered among his followers. They begged, however, for temporary preservation of their idols. As a last appeal they begged for one month of grace only. But even this was not conceded. The Prophet said Islam and the idols could not exist together. They then begged for exemption from the daily prayers. The Prophet replied that without devotion, religion would be nothing. At last they submitted to all that was required of them. They, however, asked to be exempted from destroying the idols with their own hands. This was granted. The Prophet selected Abu Sufyan and Mughira to destroy the idols of Ta’if, the chief of which was the notorious idol of Al-Lat. This was carried out amidst cries of despair and grief from the women of Ta’if.

The conversion of this tribe of Ta’if is worthy of notice. This tribe, which hitherto had proved hostile to the new faith, was noted among the Arabs for its idolatrous priesthood. A small detachment under Ali was sent to reduce them to obedience and to destroy their idols. The prince of the tribe was Adi, the son of the famous Hatim, whose generosity was spoken of all over Arabia. On the approach of the Muslim force, Adi fled to Syria, leaving his sister with his principal clansmen, to fall into the hands of the Muslims. These were conducted by Ali with every sign of respect and sympathy to Medina. When the daughter of Hatim came before the Prophet, she addressed him in the following words: “Messenger of Allah, my father is dead; my brother, my only relation fled into the mountains on the approach of the Muslims. I cannot ransom myself; I count on your generosity for my deliverance. My father was an illustrious man, the prince of his tribe, a man who ransomed prisoners, protected the honor of women, fed the poor, consoled the afflicted, and was deaf to no appeal.”

The Prophet replied: “Your father had the virtues of a true Muslim; if it were permitted to invoke the mercy of Allah on any whose life was passed in idolatry, I would pray to Allah for mercy for the soul of Hatim.” Then, addressing the Muslims around him, he said: ‘The daughter of Hatim is free, her father was a generous and humane man; Allah loves and rewards the merciful.” With the daughter of Hatim, all her people were set at liberty. She proceeded to Syria and related to her brother the generosity of Muhammad. Adi, touched by gratitude, hastened to Medina, where he was kindly received by the Prophet. He professed Islam and returned to his people and persuaded them to abandon idolatry. They all submitted and became devoted Muslims.

The Majority of Mecca Becomes Islamic

Hitherto no prohibition had been enforced against idolaters entering the Holy Ka’ba, or performing their abominable rites within the sacred precincts. Towards the end of the ninth year of the hijrah, during the month of pilgrimage Ali was delegated by the Prophet to read a proclamation that ran as follows: “No idolater shall after this year perform the pilgrimage; no one shall make the circuit of the Ka’ba naked (such a disgraceful custom was practiced by the pagan Arabs); any treaty with the Prophet shall continue in force but four months are allowed to every man to return to his territories; after that there will be no obligation on the Prophet, except towards those with whom treaties have been concluded.”

The vast multitude who had listened to the above declaration returned to their homes, and before the following year was over the majority of them were Muslims.

The Tenth Year of Hijrah

During the tenth year of the hijrah, as in the preceding one, numerous embassies continued to pour into Medina from all parts of Arabia, to testify to the allegiance of their chiefs and their tribes. Teachers were sent by the Prophet into the different provinces to teach the new converts the principles and precepts of Islam. These teachers were invariably given the following injunctions when they were about to depart on their mission: “Deal gently with the people, and be not harsh; cheer them, and do not look down upon them with contempt. You will meet with many believers in the Holy Scriptures, who will ask you: ‘What is the key to heaven?’ Answer them that it (the key to heaven) is to bear witness to the divine truth and to do good.”

Muhammad Accomplishes His Mission

Thus, the mission of the Prophet Muhammad was now accomplished; the whole work was achieved in his lifetime. Idolatry with its nameless abominations was entirely destroyed. The people who were sunk in superstition, cruelty, and vice in regions where spiritual life was utterly unknown were now united in one bond of faith, hope and charity. The tribes which had been from time immemorial engaged in perpetual wars were now united together by the ties of brotherhood, love, and harmony. Henceforth, their aims were not confined to this earth alone; but there was something beyond the grave – much higher, purer, and diviner – calling them to the practice of charity, goodness, justice, and universal love. They could now perceive that Allah was not that which they had carved out of wood or stone, but the Almighty Loving, Merciful, the Creator of the Universe.

 

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Muhammad Part 9 : Stories of the Prophets

Muslims Defeat the Jews of Khaibar

In the same year the Jews of Khaibar, a strongly fortified territory at a distance of four days’ journey from Medina, showed implacable hatred towards the Muslims. United by alliance with the tribe of Ghatfan, as well as with other cognate tribes, the Jews of Khaibar made serious attempts to form a coalition against the Muslims. The Prophet and his adherents were apprised of this movement and immediate measures were taken in order to repress any new attack upon Medina. An expedition of fourteen hundred men was soon prepared to march against Khaibar. The allies of the Jews left them to face the war with the Muslims all alone. The Jews firmly resisted the attacks of the Muslims, but eventually all their fortresses had to be surrendered, one after the other to their enemies. They prayed for forgiveness, which was accorded to them on certain conditions. Their lands and immovable property were secured to them, together with the free practice of their religion. After subduing Khaibar, the Muslims returned to Medina in safety.

The Believers’ Pilgrimage to Mecca

Before the end of the year, it being the seventh year of the hijrah, the Prophet and his adherents availed themselves of their armistice with the Quraish to visit the holy Kaba. The Prophet, accompanied by two hundred Muslims, went to Mecca to perform the rites of pilgrimage. On this occasion the Quraish evacuated the city during the three days which the ceremonies lasted.

Sir William Muir, in his book, Life of Mohammed Vol. III comments on the incident as follows:

It was surely a strange sight which at this time presented itself at the vale of Mecca, a sight unique in the history of the world. The ancient city is for three days evacuated by all its inhabitants, high and low, every house deserted, and, as they retire, the exiled converts, many years banished from their birth-place, approach in a great body accompanied by their allies, revisit the empty homes of their childhood, and within the short allotted space, fulfill the rites of pilgrimage. The outside inhabitants, climbing the heights around, take refuge under tents or other shelter among the hills and glens; and clustering on the overhanging peak of Abu Qubeis, thence watch the movements of the visitors beneath, as with the Prophet at their head, they make the circuit of the Kaba and rapid procession between Essafa and Marwah, and anxiously scan every figure, if perchance they may recognize among the worshippers some long-lost friend or relative. It was a scene rendered possible only by the throes which gave birth to Islam.

In accordance with the terms of the treaty, the Muslims left Mecca at the end of three days’ visit. This peaceful visit was followed by important conversions among the Quraish. Khalid Ibn Al-Walid, known as the Sword of Allah, who, before this, had been a bitter enemy of Islam and who commanded the Quraish cavalry at Uhud; and Amr Ibn Al’As, another important character and warrior, adopted the new faith.

Retribution for the Killing of a Muslim Envoy

When the Prophet and his followers returned to Medina, they arranged an expedition to exact retribution from the Ghassanite prince who had killed the Muslim envoy. A force of three thousand men, under the Prophet’s adopted son Zaid, was sent to take reparation from the offending tribe.

Khalid Ibn Al-Walid was one of the generals chosen for the expedition. When they reached the neighborhood of Muta, a village to the southeast of the Dead Sea, they met with an overwhelming force of Arabs and Romans who were assembled to oppose them. The Muslims, however, resolved resolutely to push forward. Their courage was of no avail and they suffered great losses. In this battle Zaid and Jafar, a cousin of the Prophet, and several other notables were killed. Khalid Ibn Al-Walid, by a series of maneuvers, succeeded in drawing off the army and conducting it without further loses to Medina. A month later, however, ‘Amr Ibn Al-As marched unopposed through the lands of the hostile tribes, received their submission, and restored the prestige of Islam on the Syrian frontier.

Conquest of Mecca

The Muslims Decide to Conquer Mecca

About the end of the seventh year of the hijrah, the Quraish and their allies, the Bani Bakr, violated the terms of the peace concluded at Hudaibiya by attacking the Bani Khuzaah, who were in alliance with the Muslims. The Bani Khuzaah appealed to the Prophet for help and protection. The Prophet determined to make a stop to the reign of injustice and oppression which had lasted so long at Mecca. He immediately gathered ten thousand men to march against the idolaters and set out on our 1 January, 630.

Abu Sufyan Accepts Islam

After eight days the Muslim army halted and alighted at Marr Az-Zahran, a day’s journey from Mecca. On the night of their arrival, Abu Sufyan, who was delegated by the Quraish to ask the Prophet to abandon his project, presented himself and besought an interview. In the morning it was granted. “Has the time not come, 0 Abu Sufyan,” said the Prophet, “for you to acknowledge that there is no deity save Allah and that I am His Messenger?” Abu Sufyan, after hesitating for a while, pronounced the prescribed formula of belief and adopted Islam. He was then sent back to prepare the city for the Prophet’s approach.

The Muslims Win Control Over Mecca

With the exception of a slight resistance by certain clans headed by Ikrima and Safwan, in which many Muslims were killed, the Prophet entered Mecca almost unopposed. The city which had treated him so cruelly, driven him and his faithful band for refuge among strangers, the city which had sworn his life and the lives of his devoted adherents, now lay at his mercy. His old persecutors were now completely at his feet. The Prophet entered Mecca on his favorite camel Al Kaswa, having Usama Ibn Zaid sitting behind him. On his way he recited Surah Al-Fat-h (Victory), the first verses of which may be interpreted thus: Verily We have given you (0 Muhammad) a manifest victory. That Allah may forgive you your sins of the past and future, and complete His Favor on you, and guide you on the Straight Path; and that Allah may help you with strong help. Surah 48: 1-3

The Muslim army entered the city unpretentiously and peacefully. No house was robbed, no man or woman was insulted. The Prophet granted a general amnesty to the entire population of Mecca. Only four criminals, whom justice condemned, were proscribed. He did however, order the destruction of all idols and pagan images of worship, upon which three hundred and fifty idols which were in the Sacred House of Kaba were thrown down. The Prophet himself destroyed a wooden pigeon hung from the roof and regarded as one of the deities of the Quraish. During the downfall of the images and idols he was heard to cry aloud: “Allah is great. Truth has come and falsehood has vanished; verily falsehood is fleeting.” The old idolaters observed thoughtfully the destruction of their gods which were utterly powerless.

After the Prophet had abolished these pagan idols and every pagan rite, he delivered a sermon to the assembled people. He dwelt upon the natural brotherhood of man in the words of the Qur’an: 0 Mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily the most honorable of you in the Sight of Allah is that (believer) who has At-Taqwa i.e. one of hte Muttaqun i.e. pious and righteous persons who fear Allah much (abstain from all kinds of sns and evil deeds which He has forbidden), and love Allah much (perform all kinds of good deeds which He has ordained). Verily Allah is All-Knowing, AllAware. Surah 49: 13

The Muslims’ Entry into Mecca – Long Version

Narrated Hisham’s father: When Allah’s Messenger set out (towards Mecca) during the year of the Conquest (of Mecca) and this news reached (the infidels of Quraish), Abu Sufyan, Hakim Ibn Hizam and Budail Ibn Warqa came out to gather information about Allah’s Messenger. They proceeded on their way till they reached a place called Marr-az-Zahran (which is near Mecca). Behold! There they saw many fires as if they were the fires of Arafat. Abu Sufyan said: “What is this? It looks like the fires of Arafat.” Budail Ibn Warqa’ said: “Banu Amr are less in number than that.” Some of the guards of Allah’s Messenger saw them and took them over, caught them, and brought them to Allah’s Messenger. Abu Sufyan embraced Islam.

When the Prophet proceeded, he said to Al-Abbas: “Keep Abu Sufyan standing at the top of the mountain so that he would look at the Muslims. So Al-Abbas kept him standing (at that place) and the tribes with the Prophet started passing in front of Abu Sufyan in military batches. A batch passed and Abu Sufyan said: “0 ‘Abbas who are these?” ‘Abbas said, ‘They are (Banu) Ghifar.” Abu Sufyan said: “I have got nothing to do with Ghifar.” Then (a batch of the tribe of) Juhaina passed by and he said similarly as above. Then (a batch of the tribe of) Sad Ibn Huzaim passed by and he said similarly as above. Then (Banu) Sulaim passed by and he said similarly as above. Then came a batch, the like of which Abu Sufyan had not seen. He said: “Who are these?” Abbas said: ‘They are the Ansar headed by Sad Ibn ‘Ubada, the one holding the flag.” Sad Ibn ‘Ubada said: “0 Abu Sufyan! Today is the day of a great battle and today (what is prohibited in) the Kaba will be permissible.” Abu Sufyan said. “0 Abbas! How excellent the day of destruction is!” Then came another batch (of warriors) which was the smallest of all the batches, and in it there were Allah’s Messenger and his companions, and the flag of the Prophet was carried by Az-Zubair Ibn Al-Awwam. When Allah’s Messenger passed by Abu Sufyan, the latter said (to the Prophet): “Do you know what Sad Ibn ‘Ubada said?” The Prophet said: “What did he say?” Abu Sufyan said: “He said so-and-so.” The Prophet said: “Sad told a lie, but today Allah will give superiority to the Kaba and today the Kaba will be covered with a (cloth) covering.” Allah’s Messenger ordered that his flag be fixed at Al-Hajun.

The Muslims’ Entry into Mecca – Short Version

Narrated Urwa: Nafi Ibn Jubair Ibn Mutim said: “I heard Al-Abbas saying to Az-Zubair Ibn Al-Awwam, ‘0 Abu Abdullah! Did Allah’s Messenger order you to fix the flag here?’ “Allah’s Messenger ordered Khalid Ibn Al-Walid to enter Mecca from its upper part from Kadaa while the Prophet himself entered from Kudaa. Two men from the cavalry of Khalid Ibn Al-Walid named Hubaish Ibn AlAshar and Kurz Ibn Jabir Al-Fihri were martyred on that day.

Many People Become Muslims

Now great multitudes came to adopt Islam and take the oath of allegiance to the Prophet. For this purpose an assembly was held at As-Safa Mountain. Umar, acting as the Prophet’s deputy administered the oath, whereby the people bound themselves not to adore any deity but Allah to obey the Prophet to abstain from theft, adultery, infanticide, lying and backbiting. Thus was fulfilled the prophecy embodied in the Surah Al-Fat-h in the Qur’an.

Islam Continues to Spread Universally

During his stay at Mecca, the Prophet dispatched his principal disciples in every direction to preach Islam among the wild tribes of the desert and call them to the true religion of Allah. He sent small detachments of his troops into the suburbs who destroyed the temples of Al ‘Uzza, Suwaa and Manat, the three famous idols in the temples of the neighboring tribes. The Prophet gave strict orders that these expeditions should be carried out in a peaceable manner. These injunctions were obeyed in all cases, with one exception. The troops under Khalid Ibn Al-Walid, the fierce newly-converted warrior, killed a few of the Bani Jazima. When the news of this wanton bloodshed reached the Prophet, he was deeply grieved and exclaimed: “Oh, my Lord, I am innocent of what Khalid has done.” He dispatched a large sum of money for the widows and orphans of the slain and severely rebuked Khalid.

 

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Muhammad Part 8 : Stories of the Prophets

Muhammad Establishes a Contract with Christians

It was about this time that the Prophet granted to the monks of the Monastery of St. Catherine, near Mount Sinai, his liberal charter by which they secured for the Christians noble and generous privileges and immunities. He undertook himself, and enjoined his followers, to protect the Christians, to defend their churches and the residences of their priests and to guard them from all injuries. They were not to be unfairly taxed; no bishop was to be driven out of his diocese; no Christian was to be forced to reject his religion; no monk was to be expelled from his monastery; no pilgrim was to be stopped from his pilgrimage; nor were the Christian churches to be pulled down for the sake of building mosques or houses for the Muslims. Christian women married to Muslims were to enjoy their own religion and not to be subjected to compulsion or annoyance of any kind. If the Christians should stand in need of assistance for the repair of their churches or monasteries, or any other matter pertaining to their religion, the Muslims were to assist them. This was not to be considered as supporting their religion, but as simply rendering them assistance in special circumstances. Should the Muslims be engaged in hostilities with outside Christians, no Christian resident among the Muslims should be treated with contempt on account of his creed. The Prophet declared that any Muslim violating any clause of the charter should be regarded as a transgressor of Allah’s commandments, a violator of His testament and neglectful of His faith.

The Treaty of Hudaibiya

Six years had already elapsed since the Prophet and his Meccan followers had fled from their birthplace. Their hearts began to yearn for their homes and for their Sacred House the Kaba. As the season of the pilgrimage approached, the Prophet announced his intention to visit the holy center, and numerous voices of his disciples responded to the call. Preparations were soon made for the journey to Mecca. The Prophet, accompanied by seven or eight hundred Muslims, Emigrants and Ansars, all totally unarmed, set out on the pilgrimage. The Quraish, who were still full of animosity towards the Muslims, gathered a large army to prevent them from entering Mecca and maltreated the envoy whom the Prophet had sent to ask their permission to visit the holy places.

After much difficulty, a treaty was concluded by which it was agreed that all hostilities should cease for ten years; that any one coming from the Quraish to the Prophet without the permission of the guardian or chief should be given back to the idolaters; that any Muslim persons going over to the Meccans should not be surrendered; that any tribe desirous of entering into alliance, either with the Quraish or with the Muslims, should be at liberty to do so without disputes; that the Muslims should go back to Medina on the present occasion and stop advancing further; that they should be permitted in the following year to visit Mecca and to remain there for three days with the arms they used on journeys, namely, their scimitars in sheaths. The Treaty of Hudaibiya thus ended, the Prophet returned with his people to Medina.

Heraclius, Emperor of the Romans

The Muslims Spread Islam Universally

About this time it was revealed to the Prophet that his mission should be universal. He dispatched several envoys to invite the neighboring sovereigns to Islam. The embassy to the king of Persia, Chosroes Parvis, was received with disdain and contumely. He was haughtily amazed at the boldness of the Meccan fugitive in addressing him on terms of equality. He was so enraged that he tore into pieces the Prophet’s letter of invitation to Islam and dismissed the envoy from his presence with great contempt. When the Prophet received information on this treatment, he calmly observed: ‘Thus will the Empire of Chosroes be torn to pieces.”

The embassy to Heraclius, the Emperor of the Romans, was received much more politely and reverentially. He treated the ambassador with great respect and sent the Prophet a gracious reply to his message.

Another envoy was sent to an Arab prince of the Ghassanite tribe, a Christian feudatory of Heraclius. This prince, instead of receiving the envoy with any respect, cruelly murdered him. This act caused great consternation among the Muslims, who considered it as an outrage of international obligations.

Abu Sufyan and Heraclius Meet

Narrated Abdullah Ibn Abbas: Abu Sufyan Ibn Harb informed me that Heraclius had sent a messenger to him while he had been accompanying a caravan from Quraish. They were merchants doing business in Sham (Syria, Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan) at the time when Allah’s Messenger had a truce with Abu Sufyan and Quraish infidels. So Abu Sufyan and his companions went to Heraclius at Ilya (Jerusalem).

Heraclius called them in the court and he had all the senior Roman dignitaries around him. He called for his translator who, translating Heraclius’s question, said to them: “Who among you is closely related to that man who claims to be a Prophet?” Abu Sufyan replied: “I am the nearest relative to him (amongst the group).”

Heraclius said: “Bring him (Abu Sufyan) close to me and make his companions stand behind him.” Abu Sufyan added: “Heraclius told his translator to tell my companions that he wanted to put some questions to me regarding that man (The Prophet) and that if I told a lie they (my companions) should contradict me. By Allah! Had I not been afraid of my companions labeling me a liar, I would not have spoken the truth about the Prophet.”

Abu Sufyan’s narration continues:

“The first question he asked me about him was:

“What is his family status among you?”

I replied: “He belongs to a good (noble) family amongst us.”

Heraclius further asked: “Has anybody among you ever claimed the same (i.e. to be a Prophet) before him?”

I replied: “No.”

He said: “Was anybody amongst his ancestors a king?”

I replied: “No.”

Heraclius asked: “Do the nobles or the poor follow him?”

I replied: “It is the poor who follow him.”

He said: “Are his followers increasing or decreasing (day by day)?”

I replied: “They are increasing.”

He then asked: “Does anybody amongst those who embrace his religion become displeased and renounce the religion afterwards?”

I replied: “No.”

Heraclius said: “Have you ever accused him of telling lies before his claim (to be a Prophet)?”

I replied: “No.”

Heraclius said: “Does he break his promises?”

I replied: “No. We are at truce with him but we do not know what he will do in it.” I could not find opportunity to say anything against him except that.

Heraclius asked: “Have you ever had a war with him?”

I replied: “Yes.”

Then he said: “What was the outcome of the battles?”

I replied: “Sometimes he was victorious and sometimes we.”

Heraclius said: “What does he order you to do?”

I said: “He tells us to worship Allah and Allah alone and not to worship anything along with Him, and to renounce all that our ancestors had said. He orders us to pray, to speak the truth, to be chaste and to keep good relations with our kith and kin.”

Heraclius asked the translator to convey to me the following: “I asked you about his family and your reply was that he belonged to a very noble family. In fact, all the Messengers come from noble families among their respective peoples. I questioned you whether anybody else among you claimed such a thing; your reply was in the negative. If the answer had been in the affirmative, I would have thought that this man was following the previous man’s statement. Then I asked you whether anyone of his ancestors was a king. Your reply was in the negative, and if it had been in the affirmative, I would have thought that this man wanted to take back his ancestral kingdom. I further asked whether he was ever accused of telling lies before he said what he said, and your reply was in the negative. So I wondered how a person who does not tell a lie about others could ever tell a lie about Allah. I then asked you whether the rich people followed him or the poor. You replied that it was the poor who followed him. And, in fact, all the Messengers have been followed by this very class of people. Then I asked you whether his followers were increasing or decreasing. You replied that they were increasing, and, in fact, this is the way of true faith, till it is complete in all respects. I further asked you whether there was anybody, who, after embracing his religion, became displeased and discarded his religion. Your reply was in the negative, and, in fact, this is (the sign of) true faith, when its delight enters the hearts and mixes with them completely. I asked you whether he had ever betrayed. You replied in the negative, and likewise the Messengers never betray. Then I asked you what he ordered you to do. You replied that he ordered you to worship Allah and Allah alone and not to worship anything along with Him, and forbade you to worship idols, and ordered you to pray, to speak the truth and to be chaste. If what you have said is true, he will very soon occupy this place underneath my feet and I knew it (from the scriptures) that he was going to appear but I did not know that he would be from you, and if I could reach him definitely, I would go immediately to meet him and if I were with him, I would certainly wash his feet.”

Heraclius then asked for the letter addressed by Allah’s Messenger which had been delivered by Dihya to the Governor of Busra, who forwarded it to Heraclius to read. The contents of the letter were as follows: “In the name of Allah the Beneficent, the Merciful. (This letter is) from Muhammad the slave of Allah and His Messenger to Heraclius the ruler of Byzantine. Peace be upon him who follows the right path. Furthermore I invite you to Islam, and if you become a Muslim you will be safe, and Allah will double your reward, and if you reject this invitation of Islam, you will be committing a sin by misguiding your subjects. (And I recite to you Allah’s Statement:) Say (0 Muhammad): ‘0 people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians): Come to a word that is just between us and you, that we worship none but Allah, and that we associate no partners with Him, and that none of us shall take others as lords besides Allah.’ Then, if they turn away say: ‘Bear witness that we are Muslims.'”

Abu Sufyan then added: When Heraclius had finished his speech and had read the letter, there was a great hue and cry in the Royal Court. So we were turned out of the court. I told my companions that the question of Ibn-Abi-Kabsha (the Prophet Muhammad) had become so prominent that even the King of Bani Al-Asfar (Byzantine) was afraid of him. Then I started to become sure that he (the Prophet) would be the conqueror in the near future till I embraced Islam (i.e. Allah guided me to it).

Heraclius’s Hatred of Islam

The sub narrator (of the Abu Sufyan story) added that Ibn An-Natur was the Governor of llya (Jerusalem) and Heraclius was the head of the Christians of Sham. Ibn An-Natur narrated that once while Heraclius was visiting Ilya (Jerusalem), he got up in the morning with a sad mood. Some of his priests asked him why he was in that mood. Heraclius was a foreteller and an astrologer. He replied: “At night when I looked at the stars, I saw that the leader of those who practice circumcision had appeared (become the conqueror). Who are they who practice circumcision?”

The people replied: “Except the Jews, nobody practices circumcision, so you should not be afraid of them (Jews). Just issue orders to kill every Jew present in the country.’

While they were discussing it, a messenger sent by the king of Ghassan to convey the news of Allah’s Messenger to Heraclius was brought in. Having heard the news, he (Heraclius) ordered the people to go and see whether the messenger of Ghassan was circumcised. The people, after seeing him, told Heraclius that he was circumcised. Heraclius then asked him about the Arabs. The messenger replied: “Arabs also practice circumcision.”

(After hearing that) Heraclius remarked that sovereignty of the Arabs had appeared. Heraclius then wrote a letter to his friend in Rome who was as good as Heraclius in knowledge. Heraclius then left for Homs (a town in Syria) and stayed there till he received the reply of his letter from his friend, who agreed with him in his opinion about the emergence of the Prophet and the fact that he was a Prophet. On that, Heraclius invited all the heads of the Byzantines to assemble in his palace at Homs. When they assembled, he ordered that all the doors of his palace be closed. Then he came out and said: “0 Byzantines! If success is your desire and if you seek right guidance and want your empire to remain, then give a pledge of allegiance to this Prophet (i.e. embrace Islam).”

(On hearing the views of Heraclius) the people ran towards the gates of the palace like onagers but found the doors closed. Heraclius realized their hatred towards Islam and when he lost the hope of their embracing Islam, he ordered that they should be brought back in audience.

(When they returned) he said: “What was already said was just to test the strength of your conviction and I have seen it.” The people prostrated before him and became pleased with him, and this was the end of Heraclius’s story (in connection with his faith).

 

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Muhammad Part 7 : Stories of the Prophets

The Battle of Badr

History

Towards the second year of the hijrah, the idolaters of Mecca began a series of hostile acts against the Muslims of Medina. They sent men in parties to commit depredations on the fruit trees of the Muslims of Medina and to carry away their flocks. Now came the moment of severest trial to Islam. It became the duty of the Prophet to take serious measures to guard against any plot rising from within or a sudden attack from without. He put Medina in a state of military discipline. He had to send frequent reconnoitering parties to guard against any sudden onslaught.

No sooner did the Prophet organize his state than a large well-equipped army of the Meccans was afield. A force consisting of one thousand men marched under Abu Jahl, a great enemy of Islam, towards Medina to attack the city. The Muslims received timely notice of their enemies’ intention. A body of three hundred adherents, of whom two thirds were citizens of Medina, was gathered to forestall the idolaters by occupying the valley of Badr, situated near the sea between Mecca and Medina. When the Prophet saw the army of the infidels approaching the valley, he prayed that the little band of Muslims might not be destroyed.

The army of the Meccans advanced into the open space which separated the Muslims from the idolaters. According to Arab usage, the battle was begun by simple combats. The engagement then became general. The result of the battle was that the Meccans were driven back with great loss. Several of their chiefs were slain, including Abu Jahl. A large number of idolaters remained prisoners in the hands of the Muslims. They were, contrary to all usage and traditions of the Arabs, treated with the greatest humanity. The Prophet gave strict orders that sympathy should be shown them in their misfortune and that they should be treated with kindness. These instructions were faithfully obeyed by the Muslims to whose care the prisoners were confided. Dealing with this event, Sir William Muir, in his book Life of Muhammad, quotes one of the prisoners saying: “Blessing be on the men of Medina; they made us ride, while they themselves walked; they gave us wheaten bread to eat, when there was little of it, contenting themselves with dates.”

The Battle of Badr – Qur’anic

Almighty Allah said: And Allah has already made you victorious at Badr, when you were a weak little force. So fear Allah much abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds which He has forbidden and love Allah much, perform all kinds of good deeds which He has ordained that you may be grateful. (Remember) when you (Muhammad) said to the believers, “Is it not enough for you that your Lord (Allah) should help you with three thousand angels; sent down? Yes, if you hold on to patience and piety and the enemy comes rushing at you; your Lord will help you with five thousand angels having marks (of distinction). Allah made it not but as a message of good news for you and as an assurance to your hearts. And there is no victory except from Allah the All-Mighty the All-wise. That He might cut off a part of those who disbelieve, or expose them to infamy so that they retire frustrated. ” Surah 3: 123-127

A Little Insight on the Battle of Badr

The remarkable circumstances which led to the victory of Badr and the results which followed from it made a deep impression on the minds of the Muslims: the angels of heaven had battled on their side against their enemies. The division of the spoils created some dissension between the Muslim warriors. For the moment, the Prophet divided it equally among all. Subsequently, a Qur’an revelation laid down a rule for future division of the spoils. According to this rule, a fifth was reserved for the public treasury for the support of the poor and indigent, while the distribution of the remaining four fifths was left to the discretion of the Chief of the State.

The Battle of Uhud

The Battle of Uhud – First Day

The next battle between the Quraish and the Muslims was the battle of Uhud, a hill about four miles to the north of Medina. The idolaters, to revenge their loss at Badr, made tremendous preparations for a new attack upon the Muslims. They collected an army of three thousand strong men, of whom seven hundred were armed with coats of mail, and two hundred horses. These forces advanced under the conduct of Abu Sufyan and encamped at a village six miles from Medina, where they gave themselves up to spoiling the fields and flocks of the Medinites. The Prophet, being much inferior to his enemies in number, at first determined to keep himself within the town and to receive them there; but afterwards, the advice of some of his companions prevailing he marched out against them at the head of one thousand men, of whom one hundred were armed with coats of mail; but he had no more than one horse, besides his own, in his whole army. With these forces he halted at Mount Uhud. He was soon abandoned by ‘Abdullah Ibn Ubai, the leader of the Hypocrites, with three hundred of his followers. Thus, the small force of the Prophet was reduced to seven hundred.

At Mount Uhud the Muslim troops passed the night, and in the morning, after offering their prayers, they advanced into the plain. The Prophet contrived to have the hill at his back, and, the better to secure his men from being surrounded, he placed fifty archers on the height in the rear, behind the troops, and gave them strict orders not to leave their posts whatever might happen. When they came to engage, the Prophet had superiority at first. But afterward, his archers left their position for the sake of plunder, thus allowing the enemy to attack the Muslims in the rear and surround them. The Prophet lost the day and very nearly lost his life. He was struck down by a shower of stones and wounded in the face by two arrows, and one of his front teeth was broken. Of the Muslims, seventy men were killed, among whom was the Prophet’s uncle Hamza. Of the infidels, twenty two men were lost.

The Quraish were too exhausted to follow up their advantage, either by attacking Medina or by driving the Muslims from the heights of Uhud. They retreated from the Medinite territories after barbarously mutilating the corpses of their dead enemies.

Allah’s Message to the Believers at the Battle of Uhud

Almighty Allah said: So do not become weak (against your enemy), nor be sad, and you will be superior (in victory) if you are indeed (true) believers. If a wound (and killing) has touched you, be sure a similar wound (and killing) has touched the others. And so are the days (good and not so good), We give to men by turns, that Allah may test those who believe, and that He may take martyrs from among you. And Allah likes not the Zalimeen (polytheists and wrongdoers).

And that Allah may test (or purify) the believers (from sins) and destroy the disbelievers. Do you think that you will enter Paradise before Allah tests those of you who fought (in His Cause) and (also) tests those who are patient? You did indeed wish for death (Ash-shahadah – martyrdom) before you met it. Now you have seen it openly with your own eyes. Surah 3: 139-143

Allah’s Message to the Cowards – Qur’anic

Allah the Exalted also said: We shall cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve, because they joined others in worship with Allah for which He had sent no authority their abode will be the Fire and how evil is the abode of the Zalimeen (polytheists and wrong-doers). And Allah did indeed fulfill His Promise to you when you were killing them (your enemy) with His Permission; until (the moment) you lost your courage and fell to disputing about the order, and disobeyed after He showed you (of the booty) which you love. Among you are some that desire this world and some that desire the Hereafter. Then He made you flee from them (your enemy), that He might test you. But surely He forgave you, and Allah is most Gracious to the believers.

(And remember) when you ran away (dreadfully) without even casting a side glance at anyone, and the Messenger (Muhammad) was in your rear calling you back. There did Allah give you one distress after another by way of requital to teach you not to grieve for that which had escaped you, nor for that which had befallen you. And Allah is Well-Aware of all that you do.

Then after the distress, He sent down security for you. Slumber overtook a party of you, while another party was thinking about themselves (as how to save their ownselves, ignoring the others and the Prophet) and thought wrongly of Allah – the thought of ignorance. They said, “Have we any part in the affair?” Say you (0 Muhammad): “Indeed the affair belongs wholly to Allah.” They hide within themselves what they dare not reveal to you, saying: “If we had anything to do with the affair none of us would have been killed here.” Say: “Even if you had remained in your homes, those for whom death was decreed would certainly have gone forth to the place of their death,” but that Allah might test what is in your breasts; and to Mahis to test, to purify to get rid of that which was in your hearts (sins), and Allah is All-Knower of what is in (your) breasts. ” Surah 3: 151-154

Muhammad’s Orders His Army

Narrated Al-Baraa’ Ibn Azib: ‘The Prophet appointed Abdullah Ibn Jubair as the commander of the infantry men (archers) who were fifty on the day (of the battle) of Uhud. He instructed them: ‘Stick to your place, and don’t leave it even if you see birds snatching us, till I send for you; and if you see that we have defeated the infidels and made them flee, even then you should not leave your place till I send for you.’ Then the infidels were defeated. By Allah I saw the women fleeing lifting up their clothes revealing their leg-bangles and their legs. So, the companions of ‘Abdullah Ibn Jubair said: ‘The booty! 0 people, the booty! Your companions have become victorious, what are you waiting for now?’ Abdullah Ibn Jubair said: ‘Have you forgotten what Allah’s Messenger said to you?’ They replied: ‘By Allah! We will go to the people (i.e. the enemy) and collect our share from the war booty.’ But when they went to them, they were forced to turn back defeated. At that time Allah’s Messenger in their rear was calling them back. Only twelve men remained with the Prophet, and the infidels martyred seventy men from us.

The Prophet and his companions caused the Pagans to lose one hundred forty men, seventy of whom were captured and seventy were killed. Then Abu Sufyan asked three times: ‘Is Muhammad present among these people?’ The Prophet ordered his companions not to answer him. Then he asked three times: ‘Is Ibn Abu Quhafa present amongst these people?’ He asked again three times: ‘Is Ibn Al-Khattab present amongst these people?’ He then returned to his companions and said: ‘As for these (men), they have been killed.’

Umar could not control himself and said (to Abu Sufyan): ‘You told a lie, by Allah! 0 enemy of Allah! All those you have mentioned are alive, and the thing which will make you unhappy is still there.’ Abu Sufyan said: ‘Our victory today compensates for yours in the Battle of Badr, and in war (the victory) is always undecided and is shared in turns by the belligerents. You will find some of your (killed) men mutilated, but I did not urge my men to do so, yet I do not feel sorry for their deed.’ After that he started reciting cheerfully: ‘0 Hubal, be superior!’ On that the Prophet said (to his companions): ‘Why don’t you answer him back?’ They said: ‘0 Allah’s Messenger! What shall we say?’ He said: ‘Say, Allah is Higher and more Sublime.’ (Then) Abu Sufyan said: ‘We have the (idol) Al-Uzza, and you have no ‘Uzza.’ The Prophet said: (to his companions): ‘Why don’t you answer him back?’ They asked: ‘0 Allah’s Messenger! What shall we say?’ He said: ‘Say Allah is our Helper and you have no helper.”

Various Disbelievers Slander Islam

The moral effect of this disastrous battle was such as to encourage some neighboring nomad tribes to make forays upon the Medinite territories, but most of these were repelled.

The Jews also were not slow to involve in trouble the Prophet and his followers. They tried to create disaffection among his people and slandered him and his adherents. They mispronounced the words of the Qur’an so as to give them an offensive meaning. They also caused their poets, who were superior in culture and intelligence, to use their influence to sow sedition among the Muslims. One of their distinguished poets, called Ka’b, of the Bani An-Nadir, spared no efforts in publicly deploring the ill-success of the idolaters after their defeat at Badr.

By his satires against the Prophet and his disciples, and his elegies on the Meccans who had fallen at Badr, Ka’b succeeded in exciting the Quraish to that frenzy of vengeance which broke out at Uhud. He then returned to Medina, where he continued to attack the Prophet and the Muslims, men and women, in terms of the most obscene character. Though he belonged to the tribe of Bani AnNadir, which had entered into the compact with the Muslims and pledged itself both for the internal and external safety of the State, he openly directed his acts against the commonwealth of which he was a member.

Another Jew, Sallam by name, of the same tribe, behaved equally fiercely and bitterly against the Muslims. He lived with a party of his tribe at Khaibar, a village five days’ journey northwest of Medina. He made every effort to excite the neighboring Arab tribes against the Muslims. The Muslim commonwealth with the object of securing safety among the community, passed a sentence of outlawry upon Ka’b and Sallam.

Jewish Tribes Break the Medina Contract

The members of another Jewish tribe, namely Bani Qainuqa, were sentenced to expulsion from the Medinite territory for having openly and knowingly infringed the terms of the compact. It was necessary to put an end to their hostile actions for the sake of maintaining peace and security. The Prophet had to go to their headquarters, where he required them to enter definitively into the Muslim commonwealth by embracing Islam or to leave Medina. To this they replied in the most offensive terms: ‘You have had a quarrel with men ignorant of the art of war. If you are desirous of having any dealings with us, we shall show you that we are men.” They then shut themselves up in their fortress and set the Prophet and his authority at defiance. The Muslims decided to reduce them and laid siege to their fortress without loss of time. After fifteen days they surrendered. Though the Muslims at first intended to inflict some severe punishment on them, they contented themselves by banishing the Bani Qainuqa.

The Bani An-Nadir had now behaved in the same way as Bani Qainuqa’. The had likewise, knowingly and publicly, disregarded the terms of the Charter. The Prophet sent them a message similar to that which was sent to their brethren, the Qainuqa’. They, relying on the assistance of the Hypocrites’ party, returned a defiant reply. After a siege of fifteen days, they sued for terms. The Muslims renewed their previous offer, and the Jews of An-Nadir chose to evacuate Medina. They were allowed to take with them all their movable property, with the exception of their arms. Before leaving Medina, they destroyed all their dwellings in order to prevent the Muslims from occupying them. Their immovable property and arms which they could not carry away with them were distributed by the Prophet with the consent of the Ansar and the Emigrants. A principle was henceforth adopted that any acquisition not made in actual warfare should belong to the state and that its disposal should be left to the discretion of the ruling authorities.

The Division of War Booty – Qur’anic

Almighty Allah said: (And there is also a share in this booty) for the poor emigrants, who were expelled from their homes and their property seeking Bounties from Allah and to please Him. And helping Allah (i.e., helping His Religion) and His Messenger (Muhammad). Such are indeed the truthful (to what they say); – And those who, before them, had homes (in Al-Madina) and had adopted the Faith, – love those who emigrate to them, and have no jealousy in their breasts for that which they have been given (from the booty of Bani An-Nadir), and give them (emigrants) preference over themselves, even though they were in need of that. And whosoever is saved from his own covetousness, such are they who will be the successful. Surah 59: 8-9

Blocking Attacks After the Battle of Uhud

The expulsion of the Bani An-Nadir took place in the fourth year of the hijrah. The remaining portion of this year and the early part of the next were passed in repressing the hostile attempts of the nomadic tribes against the Muslims and inflicting punishment for various murderous forays on the Mdinite territories. Of this nature was the expedition against the Christian Arabs of Dumat Al-Jandal (a place about seven days’ journey to the south of Damsacus), who had stopped the Medinite traffic with Syria and even threatened a raid upon Medina. These marauders, however, fled on the approach of the Muslims, and the Prophet returned to Medina after concluding a treaty with a neighboring chief, to whom he granted permission of pasturage in the Medinite territories.

The Third Major Battle with the Quraish

In the same year, the enemies of Islam made every possible attempt to stir up the tribes against the Muslims. The Jews also took an active, if hidden, part in those intrigues. An army of ten thousand well-equipped men, marched towards Medina under the command of Abu Sufyan. They encamped near Mount Uhud, a few miles from the city. The Muslims could gather only an army of three thousand men. Seeing their inferiority in numbers on the one hand, and the turbulence of the Hypocrites within the town on the other, they preferred to remain on the defensive. They dug a deep moat round the unprotected quarters of Medina and encamped outside the city with a trench in front of them.

They relied for safety of the other side upon their allies, the Quraiza, who possessed several fortresses at a short distance towards the south and were bound by the compact to assist the Muslims against any raiders. These Jews, however, were induced by the idolaters to violate their pledge and to join the Quraish. As these Jews were acquainted with the locality and could materially assist the raiders, and as the Hypocrites within the walls of the city were waiting for an opportunity to play their part, the situation of the Muslims was most dangerous.

The siege had already lasted for twenty days. The enemy made great efforts to cross the trench, but every attempt was fiercely repulsed by the small Muslim force. Disunion was now rife in the midst of the besieging army. Their horses were perishing fast, and provisions were becoming less every day. During the night, a storm of wind and rain caused their tents to be overthrown and their lights extinguished. Abu Sufyan and the majority of his army fled, and the rest took refuge with the Quraiza.

The Muslims, though they were satisfied with the failure of their enemies, could not help thinking that the victory was unsatisfactory so long as the Quraiza, who had violated their sworn pledge, remained so near. The Jews might at any time surprise Medina from their side. The Muslims felt it their duty to demand an explanation of the violation of the pledge. This was utterly refused. Consequently, the Jews were besieged and compelled to surrender at discretion. They only asked that their punishment should be left to the judgment of Sad Ibn Muadh, the prince of the tribe of Aws. This chief, who was a fierce soldier, had been wounded in the attack and, indeed, died of his wounds the following day. Infuriated by the treacherous conduct of the Bani Quraiza, he gave judgment that the fighting men should be put to death and that the women and children should become the slaves of the Muslims. The sentence was carried into execution.

 

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Muhammad Part 6 : Stories of the Prophets

The Mi’raj

The Miraj – Brief Description

In the twelfth year of his mission, the Prophet made his night journey from Mecca to Jerusalem, and thence to heaven. His journey, known in history as Miraj (Ascension), was a real bodily one and not only a vision. It was at this time that Allah ordered the Muslims to pray the five daily prayers.

Almighty Allah has said: Glorified (and Exalted) be He (Allah) above all that (evil) they associate with Him, Who took His slave Muhammad for a journey by night from AlMasjid-al-Haram (at Makka) to the farthest mosque (in Jerusalem), the neighborhood whereof We have blessed, in order that We might show him (Muhammad) of 0ur Ayat (proofs, evidences, lessons, signs, etc.). Verily He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.” Surah 17: 1

The Miraj – Full Description

Abbas Ibn Malik reported that Malik Ibn Sasaa said that Allah’s Messenger described to them his Night Journey saying: “While I was lying in Al-Hatim or Al-Hijr, suddenly someone came to me and cut my body open from here to here.” I asked Al-Jarud, who was by my side, “What does he mean?” He said: “It means from his throat to his pubic area,” or said, “From the top of the chest.” The Prophet further said, “He then took out my heart. Then a gold tray of Belief was brought to me and my heart was washed and was filled (with Belief) and then returned to its original place. Then a white animal which was smaller than a mule and bigger than a donkey was brought to me.” (On this Al-Jarud asked: “Was it the Buraq, 0 Abu Hamza?” I (i.e. Anas) replied in the affirmative. The Prophet said: ‘The animal’s step (was so wide that it) reached the farthest point within the reach of the animal’s sight. I was carried on it, and Gabriel set out with me till we reached the nearest heaven.

“When he asked for the gate to be opened, it was asked, ‘Who is it?’ Gabriel answered, ‘Gabriel.’ It was asked, ‘Who is accompanying you?’ Gabriel replied, ‘Muhammad.’ It was asked, ‘Has Muhammad been called?’ Gabriel replied in the affirmative. Then it was said, ‘He is welcomed. What an excellent visit his is!’ The gate was opened, and when I went over the first heaven, I saw Adam there. Gabriel said (to me): ‘This is your father, Adam; pay him your greetings.’ So I greeted him and he returned the greeting to me and said:’You are welcomed, 0 pious son and pious Prophet.’

Then Gabriel ascended with me till we reached the second heaven. Gabriel asked for the gate to be opened. It was asked: ‘Who is it?’ Gabriel answered: ‘Gabriel.’ It was asked: ‘Who is accompanying you?’ Gabriel replied, ‘Muhammad.’ It was asked: ‘Has he been called?’ Gabriel answered in the affirmative. Then it was said: ‘He is welcomed. What an excellent visit his is!’ The gate was opened. “When I went over the second heaven, there I saw John (Yahya) and Jesus (Isa), who were cousins of each other. Gabriel said (to me): ‘These are John and Jesus; pay them your greetings.’ So I greeted them and both of them returned my greetings to me and said, ‘You are welcomed, 0 pious brother and pious Prophet.’

Then Gabriel ascended with me to the third heaven and asked for its gate to be opened. It was asked: ‘Who is it?’ Gabriel replied: ‘Gabriel.’ It was asked: ‘Who is accompanying you?’ Gabriel replied, ‘Muhammad.’ It was asked: ‘Has he been called?’ Gabriel replied in the affirmative. Then it was said: ‘He is welcomed, what an excellent visit his is!’ The gate was opened, and when I went over the third heaven there I saw Joseph (Yusuf). Gabriel said (to me): ‘This is Joseph; pay him your greetings.’ So I greeted him and he returned the greeting to me and said: ‘You are welcomed, 0 pious brother and pious Prophet.’

Then Gabriel ascended with me to the fourth heaven and asked for its gate to be opened. It was asked: ‘Who is it?’ Gabriel replied, ‘Gabriel’ It was asked: ‘Who is accompanying you?’ Gabriel replied: ‘Muhammad.’ It was asked: ‘Has he been called?’ Gabriel replied in the affirmative. Then it was said: ‘He is welcomed, what an excellent visit his is!’ “The gate was opened, and when I went over the fourth heaven, there I saw Enoch (Idris). Gabriel said (to me): This is Enoch; pay him your greetings.’ So I greeted him and he returned the greeting to me and said: ‘You are welcomed, 0 pious brother and pious Prophet.’

Then Gabriel ascended with me to the fifth heaven and asked for its gate to be opened. It was asked: ‘Who is it?’ Gabriel replied: ‘Gabriel.’ It was asked: ‘Who is accompanying you?’ Gabriel replied: ‘Muhammad.’ It was asked: ‘Has he been called?’ Gabriel replied in the affirmative. Then it was said: “He is welcomed, what an excellent visit his is! So when I went over the fifth heaven, there I saw Aaron (Harun), Gabriel said (to me): ‘This is Aaron; pay him your greetings.’ I greeted him and he returned the greeting to me and said: ‘You are welcomed, 0 pious brother and pious Prophet.’

Then Gabriel ascended with me to the sixth heaven and asked for its gate to be opened. It was asked: ‘Who is it?’ Gabriel replied, ‘Gabriel.’ It was asked: ‘Who is accompanying you?’ Gabriel replied: ‘Muhammad.’ It was asked: ‘Has he been called?’ Gabriel replied in the affirmative. It was said: ‘He is welcomed. What an excellent visit his is!’ “When I went (over the sixth heaven), there I saw Moses (Musa). Gabriel said (to me): ‘This is Moses; pay him your greeting. So I greeted him and he returned the greetings to me and said: ‘You are welcomed, 0 pious brother and pious Prophet.’ When I left him (i.e. Moses) he wept. Someone asked him: ‘What makes you weep?’ Moses said: ‘I weep because after me there has been sent (as Prophet) a young man whose followers will enter Paradise in greater numbers than my followers.’

Then Gabriel ascended with me to the seventh heaven and asked for its gate to be opened. It was asked: ‘Who is it?’ Gabriel replied: ‘Gabriel.’ It was asked: ‘Who is accompanying you?’ Gabriel replied: ‘Muhammad.’ It was asked: ‘Has he been called?’ Gabriel replied in the affirmative. Then it was said: ‘He is welcomed. What an excellent visit his is!’ “So when I went (over the seventh heaven), there I saw Abraham (Ibrahim). Gabriel said (to me): This is your father; pay your greetings to him.’ So I greeted him and he returned the greetings to me and said: ‘You are welcomed, 0 pious son and pious Prophet.’

Then I was made to ascend to Sidrat-ul-Muntaha (i.e. the Lote Tree of the utmost boundary). Behold! Its fruits were like the jars of Hajr (i.e. a place near Medina) and its leaves were as big as the ears of elephants. Gabriel said: ‘This is the Lote Tree of the utmost boundary.’ Behold! There ran four rivers; two were hidden and two were visible, I asked: ‘What are these two kinds of rivers, 0 Gabriel?’ He replied: ‘As for the hidden rivers, they are two rivers in Paradise and the visible rivers are the Nile and the Euphrates.’

‘Then Al-Bait-ul-Mamur (i.e. the Sacred House) was shown to me and a container full of wine and another full of milk and a third full of honey were brought to me. I took the milk. Gabriel remarked: ‘This is the Islamic religion which you and your followers are following.’

Then the prayers were enjoined on me: they were fifty prayers a day. When I returned, I passed by Moses, who asked (me): ‘What have you been ordered to do?’ I replied: ‘I have been ordered to offer fifty prayers a day.’ Moses said: ‘Your followers cannot bear fifty prayers a day, and by Allah I have tested people before you, and I have tried my level best with Bani Israel (in vain). Go back to your Lord and ask for reduction to lessen your followers’ burden.’ So I went back, and Allah reduced ten prayers for me. Then again I came to Moses, but he repeated the same as he had said before. Then again I went back to Allah, and He reduced ten more prayers. When I came back to Moses he said the same. I went back to Allah, and He ordered me to observe ten prayers a day. When I came back to Moses, he repeated the same advice, so I went back to Allah and was ordered to observe five prayers a day.

“When I came back to Moses, he said: ‘What have you been ordered?’ I replied: ‘I have been ordered to observe five prayers a day.’ He said: ‘Your followers cannot bear five prayers a day, and no doubt, I have got an experience of the people before you, and I have tried my level best with Bani Israel, so go back to your Lord and ask for reduction to lessen your followers’ burden.’ I said: ‘I have requested so much of my Lord that I feel ashamed, but I am satisfied now and surrender to Allah’s Order.’ When I left, I heard a voice saying: ‘I have passed My order and have lessened the burden of My worshippers.”‘

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Muhammad Part 5 : Stories of the Prophets

The Death of Khadijah and Abu Talib

Towards the beginning of the tenth year of the mission, a reconciliation was concluded between the Quraish and the two families of Hashim and Abdul Muttalib through the intermediation of Hisham, Ibn ‘Umar, and Zobeir, Ibn Abu Umayya. Thus, the alliance against the two families was abolished, and they were able to return to Mecca.

During the period the Prophet and his kinspeople passed in their defensive position, Islam made no progress outside; but in the sacred months, when violence was considered sacrilege, the Prophet used to come out of his temporary prison to preach Islam to the pilgrims. In the following year, both Abu Talib and Khadijah died. Thus the Prophet lost in Abu Talib the kind guardian of his youth who had hitherto protected him against his enemies, and in Khadijah his most encouraging companion. She was ever his angel of hope and consolation.

Muhammad Preaches in Ta’if

Prophet, weighed down by the loss of his amiable protector and his beloved wife, without hope of turning the Quraish from idolatry, with a saddened heart, yet full of trust, resolved to exercise his ministry in some other field. He chose Ta’if, a town about sixty miles east of Mecca, where he went accompanied by his faithful servant Zaid. The tribe of Thakif, who were the inhabitants of Ta’if, received Muhammad very coldly. However, he stayed there for one month. Though the more considerate and better sort of men treated him with a little respect, the slaves and common people refused to listen to his teachings; they were outrageously indignant at his invitation to abandon the gods they worshipped with such freedom of morals and lightness of heart. At length they rose against him, and bringing him to the wall of the city, obliged him to depart and return to Mecca.

Muhammad Converts Some Jews

The repulse greatly discouraged his followers; however, the Prophet boldly continued to preach to the public assemblies at the pilgrimage and gained several new converts, among whom were six of the city of Yathrib (later called Medina) and of the Jewish tribe of Khazraj. When these Yathribites returned home, they spread the news among their people that a prophet had arisen among the Arabs who was to call them to Allah and put an end to their iniquities.

 

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Muhammad Part 4 : Stories of the Prophets

The First Hijrah

Persecution by the Quraish grew fiercer every day and the sufferings of the Prophet’s disciples became unbearable. He had heard of the righteousness, tolerance, and hospitality of the neighboring Christian king of Abyssinia. He recommended such of his companions who were without protection to seek refuge in the kingdom of that pious king, Al Najashi (Negus). Some fifteen of the unprotected adherents of Islam promptly availed themselves of the advice and sailed to Abyssinia. Here they met with a very kind reception from the Negus. This is called the first hijrah (migration) in the history of Islam and occurred in the fifth year of the Prophet Muhammad’s mission, A.D. 615. These emigrants were soon followed by many of their fellow sufferers, until the number reached eighty-three men and eighteen women.

The Quraish Fail to Get the Emigrants Back

The hostile Quraish, furious at the escape of their victims, sent deputies to the king of Abyssinia to request him to deliver up the refugees, that they might be put to death for adjuring their old religion and embracing a new one. The king summoned the poor fugitives and inquired of them what was the religion which they had adopted in preference to their old faith. Jafar, son of Abu Talib and brother of Ali, acted as spokesman for the exiles.

He spoke thus: “0 king, we were plunged in the depth of ignorance and barbarism, we adored idols, we lived in unchastity, we ate dead bodies, and we spoke abominations, we disregarded every feeling of humanity and sense of duty towards our neighbors, and we knew no law but that of the strong, when Allah raised among us a man, of whose birth, truthfulness, honesty, and purity we were aware. He called us to profess the Unity of Allah and taught us to associate nothing with Him; he forbade us the worship of idols and enjoined us to speak the truth, to be faithful to our trusts, to be merciful, and to regard the rights of neighbors; he forbade us to speak evil of the worship of Allah and not to return to the worship of idols of wood and stone and to abstain from evil, to offer prayers, to give alms, to observe the fast. We have believed in him, we have accepted his teachings and his injunctions to worship Allah alone and to associate nothing with Him. Hence our people have persecuted us, trying to make us forego the worship of Allah and return to the worship of idols of wood and stone and other abominations. They have tortured us and injured us until, finding no safety among them, we have come to your kingdom trusting you will give us protection against their persecution.”

After hearing the above speech, the hospitable king ordered the deputies to return to their people in safety and not to interfere with their fugitives. Thus the emigrants passed the period of exile in peace and comfort.

Muhammad Continues Preaching to the Quraish

While the followers of the Prophet sought safety in foreign lands against the persecution of their people, he continued his warnings to the Quraish more strenuously than ever. Again they came to him with offers of riches and honor, which he firmly and utterly refused. But they mocked at him and urged him for miracles to prove his mission. He used to answer: “Allah has not sent me to work wonders; He has sent me to preach to you.”

Thus disclaiming all power of wonder-working, the Prophet ever rested the truth of his divine mission upon his wise teachings. He addressed himself to the inner consciousness of man, to his common sense and to his own better judgment. Say (0 Muhammad): ‘lam only a human being like you. It is inspired in me that your Ilah (God) is One Ilah (God – Allah), therefore take the Straight Path to Him (with true Faith – Islamic Monotheism) and obedience to Him, and seek forgiveness of Him. And woe to Al-Mushrikeen: polytheists, pagans, idolaters, and disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah etc., those who worship others along with Allah or set up rivals or partners to Allah etc.. Surah 41: 6

Muhammad is Asked for a Sign

Despite all the exhortations of the Prophet, the Quraish persisted in asking him for a sign. They insisted that unless some sign be sent down to him from his Lord, they would not believe. The disbelievers used to ask: “Why has Muhammad not been sent with miracles like previous prophets?” The Prophet replied: “Because miracles had proved inadequate to convince. Noah was sent with signs, and with what effect? Where was the lost tribe of Thamud? They had refused to receive the preaching of the Prophet Salih, unless he showed them a sign and caused the rock to bring forth a living camel. He did what they asked. In scorn they cut the camel’s feet and then, daring the prophet to fulfill his threats of judgment, were found dead in their beds the next morning, stricken by the angel of the Lord.”

There are some seventeen places in the Qur’an, in which the Prophet Muhammad is challenged to work a sign, and he answers them all to the same or similar effect: Allah has the power of working miracles, and had not been believed; there were greater miracles in nature than any which could be wrought outside of it; and the Quran itself was a great, everlasting miracle. The Qur’an, the Prophet used to assert to the disbelievers, is a book of blessings which is a warning for the whole world; it is a complete guidance and explains everything necessary; it is a reminder of what is imprinted on human nature and is free from every discrepancy and from error and falsehood. It is a book of true guidance and a light to all.

The Bedouins Become Muslims

When the Prophet spoke reproachfully of the sacred gods of the Quraish, the latter redoubled their persecution. But the Prophet, nevertheless, continued his preaching undaunted by the hostility of his enemies or by their bitter persecution of him. And despite all opposition and increased persecution, the new faith gained ground. The national fair at Okadh near Mecca attracted many desert Bedouins and trading citizens of distant towns. These people listened to the teachings of the Prophet, to his admonitions, and to his denunciations of their sacred idols and of their superstitions. They carried back all that they had heard to their distant homes, and thus the advent of the Prophet was made known to almost all parts of the peninsula.

The Quraish Address Abu Talib

As to the sacred idols, so much honored and esteemed by the pagan Arabs, the Prophet openly recited: They are but names which you have named – you and your fathers – for which Allah has sent down no authority. Surah 53: 23

The Meccans were more than ever furious at the Prophet’s increasing preaching against their religion. They asked his uncle, Abu Talib, to stop him, but he could not do anything. At length, as the Prophet persisted in his ardent denunciations against their ungodliness and impiety, they turned him out from the Kaba where he used to sit to preach, and subsequently went in a body to Abu Talib. They urged the venerable chief to prevent his nephew from abusing their gods any longer or uttering any ill words against their ancestors. They warned Abu Talib that if he would not do that, he would be excluded from the communion of his people and driven to side with Muhammad; the matter would then be settled by fight until one of the two parties was exterminated.

Abu Talib Asks the Tribes to Protect Muhammad

Abu Talib neither wished to separate himself from his people, nor forsake his nephew for the idolaters to revenge themselves upon. He spoke to the Prophet very softly and begged him to abandon his affair. To this suggestion the Prophet firmly replied: “0 my uncle, if they placed the sun in my right hand and the moon in my left hand to cause me to renounce my task, verily I would not desist therefrom until Allah made manifest His cause or I perished in the attempt.” The Prophet, overcome by the thought that his uncle and protector was willing to desert him, turned to depart. But Abu Talib called him loudly to come back, and he came. “Say whatever you please; for by the Lord I shall not desert you ever.”

The Quraish again attempted in vain to cause Abu Talib to abandon his nephew. The venerable chief declared his intention to protect his nephew against any menace or violence. He appealed to the sense of honor of the two families of the Bani Hashim and the Bani Muttalib, both families being kinsmen of the Prophet, to protect their member from falling victim to the hatred of rival parties. All the members of the two families nobly responded to the appeal of Abu Talib except Abu Lahab, one of the Prophet’s uncles, who took part with the persecutors.

Umar Adopts Islam

During this period, ‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattab adopted Islam. In him the new faith gained a valuable adherent and an important factor in the future development and propagation of Islam.

Hitherto he had been a violent opposer of the Prophet and a bitter enemy of Islam. His conversion is said to have been worked by the miraculous effect on his mind of a surah of the Qur’an which his sister was reading in her house, where he had gone with the intention of killing her for adopting Islam. Thus the party of the Prophet had been strengthened by the conversion of his uncle Hamza, a man of great valor and merit; and of Abu Bakr and Umar, both men of great energy and reputation. The Muslims now ventured to perform their devotions in public.

The Quraish Split into Two Parties

Alarmed at the bold part which the Prophet and his followers were now able to assume, and roused by the return of the deputies from Abyssinia and the announcement of their unsuccessful mission, the Quraish determined to check by a decisive blow any further progress of Islam. Towards this end, in the seventh year of the mission, they made a solemn covenant against the descendants of Hashim and Muttalib, engaging themselves to contract no marriage with any of them and to have no communication with them. Upon this, the Quraish became divided into two factions, and the two families of Hashim and Muttalib all repaired to Abu Talib as their chief. Abu Lahab, the Prophet’s uncle, however, out of his inveterate hatred of his nephew and his doctrine, went over to the opposite party, whose chief was Abu Sufyan Ibn Harb, of the family of Umayya. The persecuted party, Muslims as well as idolaters, betook themselves to a defile on the eastern skirts of Mecca. They lived in this defensive position for three years. The provisions which they had carried with them were soon exhausted. Probably they would have entirely perished but for the sympathy and occasional help received from less bigoted compatriots.