Allah’s Messenger, (pbuh), was born on Monday the twelfth of Rabi’ al-Awwal, in the Year of the Elephant. This was a time, when peace prevailed over Mecca after its people celebrated victory over Abraha’s army.
Amina bint Wahab felt her heart overflow with joy and she began to look up at the sky. She remembered the vision she had seen a few days earlier.
She was standing alone in the desert when suddenly, a light emanated from her, filling the sky and illuminating everything from the East to the West. Continue reading
It was the custom among the Arab nobility to send their young with wet nurses who came to Mecca to take children and raise them in the desert. This strengthened their bodies and made them resilient, as well as perfected their Arabic.
When the wet nurses came to Mecca, they all rushed to obtain a child from a prosperous family who would be able to pay the fees. Each woman selected the child she desired, except Halima al-Sa’diyyah (the fortunate).
While Muhammad, peace be upon him, was playing with ‘Abdullah, the son of Halima, Gibreel, an angel sent by Almighty Allah, came and threw Muhammad to the ground. He cut open his chest and removed a black spot from his heart. He said, “This is Satan’s share of you”. Then he washed the heart and returned it to its place by the power of Allah, who is able to do all things. When Halima learned about this from two servant boys who were playing with Muhammad, she became afraid, and returned him to his mother.
The lesson that I have shared with you today is that the Messenger, peace be upon him, was chosen by Allah from among His creation in order to guide humankind. He chose his name for him and protected him from faults when he removed Satan’s share from his heart. Continue reading
After that Muhammad stayed with his mother. She gave him the best care and upbringing a mother could give her child. And when he was six she went with him to Medina, at the time called Yathrib. She wanted him to visit his uncles (her brothers) as well as the grave of his father, Abdullah. Muhammad’s grandfather, Abdul-Muttalib, accompanied them on that journey, along with Umm Ayman, Amina’s maid-servant.
And on their way back to Mecca, something happened that no one expected.
A strong, hot sandstorm began to blow. Amina fell seriously ill, and soon afterwards she died on the return journey. Continue reading
Muhammad kept away from his people and their idol worship. He spent most of his time herding goats to help his uncle. Many people related stories about kindness to birds and animals. When pigeons pecked at his food, he left it to them out of sheer love and pity.
He was a shepherd until the age of thirteen. Then his uncle took him on a camel caravan on a trading journey to Damascus. And here, another strange thing happened.
Not far from Damascus there was a monastery in which a monk named Bahira lived. When the caravan stopped nearby, Bahira, in accordance with Arab custom, went to welcome them and show his hospitality. Continue reading
When Muhammad turned twenty-five, he set out on a trading journey to Damascus. The merchandise he was to sell belonged to a notable businesswoman by the name of Khadija. Khadija sent her servant with him, a youth named Maisara.
Maisara: Yes, indeed. I went with Muhammad. He’s a great man. He doubled the profit that my mistress could get from selling her merchandise. And such a kind man as well! He was ever so gentle with me throughout the journey and he taught me a great deal. I told my mistress all about him– his good manners, his gentleness, and his wisdom. And now she is eager to have him for a husband.
Mecca is an old, old place. In it, stands the Kaaba, the House of God built by Ibrahim and his son Ismail, may Allah’s peace be upon them. Pilgrims used to flock to Mecca from all over Arabia to visit the Kaaba. But with the passage of time, people forgot that the purpose of going there was to worship God and they started to worship idols. At one time, there were as many as three hundred and sixty idols and statues in and around the Kaaba.
Mecca was a mercantile city, that is, a city of merchants. The aristocrats of Quraysh were businessmen, who traded north and south, winter and summer. Their caravans were always on the move. In the winter they headed to Yemen in the south; in the summer to Damascus in the north.
The Prophet used to frequent the cave of Hira’. This was a cave in Mount Nour, near Mecca. He would spend the month of Ramadan there, and would help the needy and the poor if they came his way. In the blessed solitude of the cave, the prophet would meditate and reflect on all that surrounded him on Earth, on the universe, and on the might and power that had created all of it. And then– in that cave, one Ramadhan night, came the call!
It happened all of a sudden. The Angel Jibril came to the Prophet. He was startled. The Angel approached swiftly, and seized him in a tight embrace!
“I cannot read” was the answer of the Prophet. Continue reading
The Holy Prophet went through hard days. When he received the first revelation, he was perplexed and unsure of himself. He did not know what to think of what had happened to him.
That’s how it was at first. But when revelation came again and again, the Prophet, may God’s peace and grace be upon him, became sure that it must be a divine call. He realized that he was entrusted with some great responsibility: the duty to proclaim the message to all men and women. When we are troubled, we tend to open our hearts to people nearest and dearest to us. Such is human nature. And so the Prophet began to tell the news to his close relatives and intimate friends. His wife, Khadija, was the first to believe in him; then his cousin Ali ibn Abi Talib and his friend Abu Bakr. I too was one of the first to believe in him and become a Muslim. Continue reading
The leaders of the Quraysh became more fearful about the threat of Muhammad’s message. They continued to try to stop people from entering Islam. But many of them knew in their hearts that the message being told by our Prophet was a revelation from God.
Despite all of the difficulties, the number of Muslims grew and they became strong. The leaders of Quraysh began to fear the new religion more than before and they devised an unexpected trick to stop it from spreading.
The disbelieving Quraysh clamped down on the Meccan believers even more when they realized the extent of Muhammad’s commitment to his message. They almost eradicated the Muslims completely when Muhammad thought of a solution to save them from this dreadful punishment and rescue the call to Islam from destruction. Continue reading