The prophetic biography
MAKKAH AND THE QURAYSH:
After a long journey, Ibrahim (Alayhis salam) approached Makkah, which lies in a valley between desolate mountains. As there was no water, crops could not grow and human life could not be sustained there. Accompanied by his wife Hajar and his son Isma’il, Ibrahim was fleeing from the cult of idol-worship which had spread throughout the world. He wanted to establish a centre in which Allah alone would be worshipped and to which people could be called. It would be a beacon of guidance and a sanctuary of peace, radiating true faith and righteousness.
Allah accepted Ibrahim’s intention and blessed the spot. After Ibrahim had left the inhospitable territory, water flowed from a spring to provide his small family with the means to survive. Hajar and Isma’il dwelt in this arid place far away from other people. Allah blessed the spring of Zamzam and, to this day, people continue to drink its water and to take it with them to all corners of the globe.
While Isma’il was growing up, Ibrahim visited his family. He wanted to sacrifice Isma’il, who was still only a child, in order to show that his love of Allah was greater than his love for his son, just as Allah had commanded him to in a dream. Isma’il also agreed to Allah’s command that he should be sacrificed. But Allah saved him and provided a ram from Paradise as a ransom to be sacrificed instead. Isma’ils survival meant that he would be able to help his father in calling people to Allah and to become the ancestor of the last Prophet of Allah, His exalted Messenger. Continue reading
After the Prophet (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) of Allah, Isa ibn Maryam, there was a long period without a Prophet. Light and knowledge disappeared. Christianity fell into disrepute and became a matter of sport for the corrupt and the hypocrites. From the very beginning, Christianity had been subjected to alterations by extremists and to interpretations by the ignorant. The simple teaching of the Messiah was buried beneath the transgressors’ evil behaviour.
The Jews had become a society obsessed with rites and rules lacking all life and spirit. Apart from that, Judaism a tribal religion, did not carry a message to the world nor a summons to other nations nor mercy to humanity at large.
The Magians were devoted to fire-worship. They built altars and shrines to fire. Outside the shrines they followed their own pursuits. Eventually, no difference whatever could be discerned between the Magians and those with no religion or morality.
Buddhism, a religion widespread in India and Central Asia, was transformed into outright paganism. Altars were built and images of the Buddha set up wherever it went. Continue reading
THE DECISIVE BATTLE OF BADR:
The Great Expedition of Badr took place in Ramadan, 2 A.H. Allah called this battle ‘The Day of Distinguishing.’ Allah says, ‘if you believe in Allah and what We sent down on Our servant on the Day of Distinguishing, the day the two hosts met.’ (8: 41)
The Messenger of Allah had heard that Abu Sufyan ibn Harb, who was extremely hostile to Islam, was coming from Syria with a large trading caravan belonging to the Quraysh. They were carrying a vast quantity of wealth and merchandise. War had been declared between the Muslims and the idol-worshippers and the Quraysh had been spending their wealth on fighting Islam. Their cavalry would occasionally reach the borders of Madinah and the grazing areas used by the Muslims’ animals.
When the Messenger of Allah heard about this caravan, he sent Muslims to attack it. He did not attach much importance to the confrontation and did not issue a compulsory order to wage war.
When Abu Sufyan heard that the Messenger of Allah was coming towards him he sent to Makkah for help from the Quraysh to protect him from the Muslims. When this plea reached the people of Makkah, they decided that it must be serious. They prepared themselves quickly and departed. All of their nobles, apart from Abu Lahab, went to help and he appointed a man to take his place. Continue reading
When Surah an-Nasr was revealed the Companions rejoiced with the glad tidings of help and victory from Allah. The chapter depicts a most pleasing scene of people embracing the religion of Islam in large crowds, fulfilling the prophecy of the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), that Islam would spread across the Arabian Peninsula. Abu Bakr alone, wept uncontrollably. He declared,“May my mother and father be sacrificed for you, O Messenger of Allah!”. For he alone understood that this chapter was not only foretelling the near victory that the Muslims would soon enjoy, but it was in fact foretelling the passing away of the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). Ibn Abbas later explained this chapter in the gatherings of the senior companions who witnessed Badr by saying, “This was a sign for the Prophet to know his time of death.” Continue reading
Bilal was a black slave belonging to ‘Umayyah ibn Khalaf. He was tall, thin and slightly hump-backed. Thick grayish hair crowned his head. He moved about silently – speaking only in reply. He was born to two slave parents, making him a slave. He used to travel to ash-Sham for ‘Umayyah’s trading caravan, braving the bitter cold of winter and the extreme heat of summer. His only recompense was a handful of dates each day that he ate to strengthen his body. At his master’s house he would serve the guests while going hungry. He was overworked and mistreated as were ‘Umayyah’s other slaves. Continue reading
The Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam chose the station of al-‘ubudiyyah (slavery and servitude) over and above the station of kingship. Once – on the day of the conquest of Makkah – a man stood-up (out of reverence) for the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, who, being shocked, said to him:
“Do not trouble yourself! Indeed I am not a king. Rather I am merely the son of a Qurayshi woman who eats dry meat.”
“O People, lend me an attentive ear, for I don’t know whether, after this year, I shall ever be amongst you again. Therefore listen to what I am saying to you carefully and take these words to those who could not be present here today.
O People, just as you regard this month, this day, this city as sacred, so regard the life and property of every Muslim as a sacred trust. Return the goods entrusted to you to their rightful owners. Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you. Remember that you will indeed meet your Lord, and that He will indeed reckon your deeds. Allah has forbidden you to take usury (interest), therefore all interest obligation shall henceforth be waived … Continue reading
Question: Is it permissible for Muslims to celebrate in the Masjid with dhikr and readings from the Seerah (Biography) of Prophet (r) on the night of the 12th of Rabee’-ul-Awwal, especially on the Prophet’s birthday without making it a day of Eid? There is some differing between us as to whether it’s Bid’ah Hasanah (good innovation) or not. Continue reading
“We have sent you as a mercy for all the worlds.” (Quran 21:107)
The recipients of this quality were not limited to just the Muslim nation, but it also extended to non-Muslims, some of who spent all their effort trying to harm the Prophet and his mission. This mercy and forgiveness is clearly demonstrated in the fact that the Prophet, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, never took revenge on anyone for personal reasons and always forgave even his staunch enemies. Aisha said that the Prophet never took revenge on his own behalf on anyone. She also said that he never returned evil for evil, but he would forgive and pardon. This will, God willing, become clear after a deep analysis of the following accounts of his life.