The Noble Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.)
An Excellent Exemplar
Makkah was a city state. It was governed by a council during the times of our beloved Prophet Muhammad(p.b.u.h.). The council consisted of the chiefs of ten tribes of the city. The city of Makkah was the heart of Arabia.
Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) was born in Makkah in 570A.D. His father Abdullah died before his birth. His grandfather Abdul Muttalib looked after his grandson.
During his childhood the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) was sent to a Bedouin family. He stayed with his foster-mother- Halimah for six years. Then he was brought back home.
Soon after, his mother Aminah took him to Yathrib to visit the grave of his father Abdullah. On their way back home, Aminah died a sudden death. At the age of eight, Muhammad(p.b.u.h.) lost his beloved grand-father. Abu Talib, his uncle, now looked after him.
Young Muhammad(p.b.u.h.) started his career as a shepherd boy. At age of ten he went to Syria with his uncle. At the time his uncle was leading a caravan.
Soon Muhammad(p.b.u.h.) reached his manhood. He was selected by Khadijah, a rich widow, to take care of her business. Muhammad(p.b.u.h.) took her goods to Syria. He earned unusual profit. Khadijah was happy at his performances. She was charmed by his honesty. She offered him her hand. Soon hey were married.
Az-Zubair ibn Abdul Muttalib formed an association called Hilf al-Fudul. This forum pledged to help the needy and the oppressed. Young Muhammad(p.b.u.h.) became an eager member of the organisation.
The Makkans believed in the notion of one Allah. At the same time, they believed that idols had the power to intercede with Him. They did not believe in Akhirah or in the life hereafter. Muhammad(p.b.u.h.) never bowed his head before idols. There were a few others who were like him.
In 605 A.D. the covering of the Ka'bah caught fire. The building was badly affected. Following a heavy rainfall its wall collapsed. It was reconstructed. Every one took part in the work of construction. Muhammad,(p.b.u.h.) too carried stones on his shoulders.
On the completion of the construction a quarrel ensued. Everyone wanted to carry the Hajr al-Aswad, the Black stone, placed in a corner of the Holy Ka'aba. Nobody was prepared to forego this honour. Some body suggested that all should accept the verdict of the man who should happen to come there first. This suggestion was accepted by all. The first man who happened to turn up, was Muhammad(p.b.u.h.) For his honesty he was know as AL-Ameen. Everyone accepted him as their judge without hesitation.
Muhammad(p.b.u.h.) listened to them. He contemplated for a while. Then he placed a sheet of cloth on the ground. He placed the Black Stone in it. He asked the chiefs of all tribes to lift the sheet of cloth together. They carried the Stone to the wall. Muhammad(p.b.u.h.) then placed the Stone in its proper place.
In his life-time, Abdul Muttalib used to retire in the month of Ramadhan to the cave of Jabal al-Noor. The cave was called the cave of Hira. Muhammad(p.b.u.h.) followed this practice of his grandfather. There he absorbed himself in meditation. One night towards the end of the month of Ramadhan an angel visited him. The angel told him that Allah had chosen him as Him messenger. The angel taught him the mode of ablution and the way of worshipping Allah. Deeply affected, he returned home. It was an event in the year 610A.D.
Muhammad(p.b.u.h.) preached the message of Islam secretly first to his friends. The he preached it to the members of his tribe. Thereafter he called upon the people at large to embrace Islam. He asked them to sincerely declare "Laa ilaha illallah Muhammadur Rasulllah"-- There is no sovereign is His messenger. He told them that man was sent on earth as 'abd'-servant of Allah.
Man, therefore, should perform all duties he had been asked to as ALlah's vicegerent on earth. He let them know that man is accountable to Allah and on the day of judgment he shall have to face Him. That day ALlah will reward the true followers of Islam. They will be allowed to live in Jannah-a place of endless joy.
Those who were in search of Truth gradually accepted the message preached by Muhammad(p.b.u.h.). He organised and trained them in an excellent manner.
Some of the Muslims fell martyrs. A number of them left their hearth and home and migrated to Habshah(Ethiopia). The opponents of Islam put pressure on Abu Talib, uncle of Muhammad(p.b.u.h.), withdraw his protection from his nephew. Abu Talib did not embrace Islam. But he refused to do any thing against his nephew. The opponents of Islam decided to take extreme measures against him and his family.
Abu Talib took stock of the situation. He wanted to avoid bloodshed. So he decided to withdraw to a valley on the eastern outskirts of Makkah. Loyal Hashemites accompanied him.
The opponents of Islam refused to have any contact with them and to sell anything to them. ABu Talib and his companions were deprived of everything including food. They suffered extreme hardship for more than two years. In the third year of boycott some leaders of the opposing camp began to feel guilty. They took courage, went to the valley and brought out the suffering group.
Muhammad(p.b.u.h.), lost his uncle Abu Talib. Soon after Khadijah, his wife and first Muslim breathed her last.
Muhammad,(p.b.u.h.), went to the city of Tai'f, sixty miles south-east of Makkah, to propagate the message of Islam. He met the tribal leaders there. They refused to stand by him. Wicked urchins were set on him. They pelted stones at him. He was bleeding. He returned to Makkah. That year, during the pilgrimage season, he converted a few people from Yathrib. They swore allegiance to him. They returned to Aqabah in 621. 12 delegates of the two principal tribes of Yathrib told Muhammad(p.b.u.h.) that their people were willing to accept Islam. The following year delegation of 75 persons came to Aqabah from Yathrib. The members of the delegation pledged o defend Islam even at the cost of their lives.
Muhammad(p.b.u.h.), asked those who had come back from Habshah and other new converts to migrate to Yathrib. Quietly they started to move out. In a few months, more than hundred families reached Yathrib.
Muhammad,(p.b.u.h.), Abu Bakr and Ali stayed behind in Makkah. The enemies kept an watchful eye on them. One night Muhammad(p.b.u.h.), accompanied by Abu Bakr left the city and reached a cave a few miles south of Makkah on Mount Thawr. They stayed there for three days and then rode off to Yathrib. This migration is called Hijrah. It took place in June 622 A.D.
Muhammad(p.b.u.h.), was chosen as the head of the city state of Yathrib which was now called Madinat-al-Nabi- the city of the Prophet. After 13 years of struggle he found a favorable base in Madinah for his future operation.
He built there a mosque. This mosque was the centre of all activities of the Islamic state of Madinah. The new state put in practices all the dictates of Al-Qur'an. This state was completely free from all social distinctions, political oppression, economic exploitation and cultural degradation.
The makkan enemies of Islam felt disturbed. They decided to crush the Islamic state of Madinah in its infancy.
In the second year of Hijrah, the Makkans led their army towards Madinah. News was soon brought to Muhammad(p.b.u.h.). He organised a battalion of fighters. This battalion consisted of 313 men only. In the other hand the Makkan army consisted of one thousand warriors.
The battle occurred in the field of Badr, located south west of Madinah. The enemies of Islam were defeated. The cause of victory of the Muslims lay in great faith in Allah, their superior leadership and their unique discipline.
One year later, the enemies of Islam again marched on Madinah. Muhammad(p.b.u.h.), moved to engage them. Both armies met on the slopes of Mount Uhud. The Muslim force had to retreat for certain strategic mistakes. Muhammad(p.b.u.h.), was seriously wounded. But he managed to save his small army. Abu Sufian, commander of he Makkan forces shouted, "Uhud is for Badr; we call it even. We will meet again next year."
Two years later,the Makkans raised a large army,They moved on Madinah and laid a siege. Muhammad(p.b.u.h.),introduced new defence tactics- digging trenches and raising barricades. The enemies grew tired of prolonged siege.Moreover,a sudden and sever dust storm hit them.Their morale gave in.They broke camp.
IN the sixth year of Hijrah, Muhammad (p.b.u.h.), wanted to perform umrah. He moved in force towards Makkah. The Makkans stood on his way at Hudaibia. Altercations followed. Finally a treaty was signed between the two parties.
Muhammad (p.b.u.h.), agreed to postpone his Umrah till the following year. In the seventh year of Hijrah Muhammad(p.b.u.h.) and two thousand followers entered Makkah and performed Umrah in an admirable manner. The spectators were impressed. Conversion to Islam increased many times.
In the eighth year of Hijrah (639A.D.), the Makkans violated their treaty obligations. Muhammad(p.b.u.h.), marched on Makkah with ten thousand men. The Makkans could not face them. Muhammad(p.b.u.h.), declared amnesty to the whole population. No house was looted, no women dishonoured. Standing near the Ka'aba Muhammad(p.b.u.h.), went on saying, "Truth has come, and falsehood has fled away."
Muhammad(p.b.u.h.) returned to Madinah. Now different tribes of Arabia sent their delegations to him. They professed the faith of Islam the whole of Arabia came under the sway of the Islamic State of Madinah.
In the tenth year of Hijrah(632 A.D.) Muhammad(p.b.u.h.), made his last pilgrimage(Hajj). He made a historic speech on the occasion. At the end of speech he recited the revelation, "This day I (Allah) have perfect the code of life for you and have chosen Islam for you as the code of life." He fulfilled his mission. His close companions felt his end was near.
On his return to Madinah, he did everything to consolidate the Islamic state. Soon he fell ill. Within a few days of his ailment, he breathed his last. (We belong to Allah and to Him is our Return). The Ummah-the Muslim community lost him in the year 632 A.D.
Muhammad(p.b.u.h.), left behind a vast state. He also had left behind a group of able leaders who efficiently led the Ummah for decades to come.
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