League of History

Sacrifice Behind Dawn of Guidance

A little before sunrise, a soft light starts appearing from the east. As stated previously, the entire world was engulfed in the darkness of ignorance and disbelief. When the time came for the end of the dark night, the dawn broke to give glad tidings of the rising sun. Arabia which was then the center of darkness and whose deserts were facing the storms and evils of paganism gradually began to show signs of the sun of Prophethood coming out and a stream of guidance gushing forth.

Nations of Arabia were living the life of moral depravity, ignorance, and deviation. But right from the birth of the Prophet SAW Arabian tribes began to show signs of noble sentiments and the dislike of evil. Waraqah bin Naufal bin Asad bin Abdul-Uzza, Uthman bin AlHuwairith bin Asad and Zaid bin Amr bin Nafil-the uncle of Umar bin Khattab, and Ubaidullah bin Jahsh assembled at a place and began to think over their beliefs and actions. At last, each one of them showed disgust at the worship of idols and stones and set out to various places in search of the religion brought by Ibrahim. Waraqah bin Naufal accepted Christianity and went through the Torah and the Gospel with rapt attention. Ubaidullah bin Jahsh found himself unshaken in the quest for religion seeking the worship of one God till Islam appeared and he earnestly embraced it. Then he migrated to Abyssinia and became a Christian. Uthman bin Huwairith joined Caesar of Rome and accepted Christianity. Zaid bin Amr neither accepted Judaism nor Christianity nor continued to tread the path of idolatry. He acknowledged as unlawful the use of blood and dead animals and gave up bloodshed and severing of ties with relatives. On inquiry, he would say that he worshipped the Lord of Ibrahim decried idolatry, and counseled his people to desist from evil acts. He would often say: “O Allah, had I been aware of the manner of worshiping, I would have worshipped none but You Alone and sought Your Pleasure.”

Saying this he would fall down in prostration. Even the soothsayers and astronomers began to say that a grand Prophet was about to be born in Arabia. Both Jews and Christians populated Arabia. Thus, scholars of both religions gave the people glad tidings from the Torah and the Gospel of the coming of a great Prophet.

The King of Abyssinia had captured Yemen for a very short period. During the lifetime of Abdul Muttalib, Yemen was under the rule of the King of Abyssinia. In those days Abrahah Ashram was the governor of Yemen on behalf of the king. He built a temple in Yemen and persuaded the Arabs to perform Hajj at the temple of Yemen instead of the Kaaba. He was not crowned with success in his movement. Moreover, an Arab, in order to put him to disgrace, was defecated in the temple. Abrahah grew so furious that he invaded Makkah with the intention of destroying the House of Allah-the Kaaba. He also used elephants in his attack, so the people of Makkah called them the people of the Elephant and the year came to be known as the year of the Elephant. When the Quraish came to know of the attack, they were filled with fear, as they were no match for such a large and strong army. They jointly requested their chief, Abdul Muttalib to go to Abrahah and explore a way to avert the battle. When Abdul Muttalib presented himself to Abrahah, he was greatly impressed and held him in high esteem. Abdul-Muttalib stated that Abrahah’s army had captured two hundred camels, which belonged to him. Thereupon Abrahah remarked that he took him to be a wise person but he obviously was mistaken. He (Abdul Muttalib) was quite aware that Abrahah had come with the sole purpose of demolishing the House of Allah-the Kaaba. But, intentionally ignoring the topic, he only spoke of his camels instead of saving the Kaaba. Abdul Muttalib said: “I am merely the owner of the camels, but this House also has an Owner and He will save it.”

The answer enraged Abrahah and he burst out in anger saying he would see if the Lord of the House would save it. His army was destroyed and left like an empty field from which all the corn has been eaten up and only the straw with stalks and stubble was left. The complete rout of Abrahah’s forces after the daring reply of Abdul Muttalib was a very significant event for Arabia which put great fear of I Allah in their hearts.

After that fateful event, the rule of Yemen went out of the hands of the I Abyssinian king and Saif bin Dhi Yazin captured the country. Abdul Muttalib took some nobles of Quraish and went to congratulate Saif on his victory. Saif bin Dhi Yazin gave Abdul-Muttalib glad tidings that the I last Prophet would be raised from his (Abdul-Muttalib’s) offspring. This prophecy found wide currency and fame. All the members of the delegation thought that the last Prophet would be raised from their progeny. Each of them contacted the soothsayers and monks hoping for good news but returned disappointed.

On the occasion of an important Prophet or Messenger’s birth or declaration, the stars in large number would be seen shooting in the sky. Thus close to the birth of last  ‘ bright flames appeared in the sky and the scholars of the Scriptures foretold that the time of the birth of the last Prophet was near. Thus on Rabi’ Al-Awwal, in the year of the Elephant, corresponding to April 22, 571 CE on Monday, the last Prophet was born at dawn before sunrise.


The well of Zamzam originated for the sake of Ismail, when he and his mother Hajira (Hagar) were overtaken by thirst, Allah the Almighty caused a stream of water to flow in the empty desert. Hajira contained the flowing water by building a mound around it and it turned into a well. At the time of leaving Makkah, the Jurhum tribe covered it with dust and so for a long time, it became traceless. When the task of giving water to the pilgrims was entrusted to Abdul Muttalib, he started searching for it along with his elder son Harith, but their efforts proved fruitless.

Father of Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him)

 One day Abdul Muttalib saw in his dream the location of the well of Zamzam and started digging for it. In that spot two idols, Isaf and Nailah were being kept. The Quraish resented this disturbance and became hostile and ready to fight. Although they were only two, father and son, they dominated the scene and continued digging the well. Realizing his isolation Abdul Muttalib invoked Allah the Almighty that in case He gave him ten sons, he would sacrifice one of his sons in the name of God. After a short period, the well appeared and he was also blessed with ten sons.

The appearance of the Zamzam well established the prestige of Abdul Muttalib over the Quraish and all of them acknowledged his leadership and virtues. When his sons had grown, he got ready to fulfill his vow. He went to the Kaaba along with all his sons and drew lots before Hubal. By chance, the arrows of chance chose his youngest son, Abdullah who was very dear to Abdul Muttalib. Since Abdul Mutallab was adamant in fulfilling his vow, he left for the altar along with Abdullah.

All his brothers, sisters, and chiefs of the Quraish tried hard to hold Abdul Muttalib back from implementing his plan but he remained unshaken. After much discussion, they turned to Saja’, a famous soothsayer. She pointed out that blood money for their (Abdul Muttalib’s) clan was ten camels. Thus they should put Abdullah on one side and ten camels on the other and then draw the lots.

In the case that the camels were chosen they would be slaughtered, but if Abdullah is chosen they should add ten more camels and draw again. They should keep adding to the number of the camels until the camels were drawn. This exercise went on until the number of camels reached one hundred. Abdul Muttalib drew the lots twice more for his personal satisfaction but each time it fell upon the camels. Hence one hundred camels were slaughtered and Abdullah was saved. Since that time, the blood money of one killed was fixed at one hundred camels.


The divine scriptures are God’s beacons to the world. Surely God offered His trust to the heavens and the earth, and the hills, but they shrank from bearing it and were afraid of it. And man undertook it.
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