League of History

The Birth of the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him)

Only a few days before the year of Elephant, Abdul Muttalib married his son, Abdullah to Aminah bint Wahb belonging to a noble family of the Quraish in Yathrib (Al-Madina). Abdullah was then 24. On the same occasion, Abdul Muttalib himself married Halah bint Wuhaib, a relative of Aminah. Hamzah was born from his marriage to Halah bint Wuhaib.

A few days after the marriage, Abdul Muttalib sent Abdullah to Syria along with a trade caravan. On his return, Abdullah fell sick and stayed in Yathrib (Al-Madina) with his relatives and sent his father news about his illness. Abdul Muttalib sent his son Harith to bring Abdullah back to Makkah under his care and protection. But Abdullah died before Harith reached Al-Madina and was already buried in the graveyard of his relatives, Banu Najjar.

Harith came back to Makkah empty-handed and gave Abdul Muttalib this soul-shattering news. Abdullah had left behind a few camels, goats, and a slave-girl, Umm Aiman. Aminah was then pregnant and so the Prophet became an orphan while still in the womb of his mother.

He was born 52 or 55 days after the event of the year of Elephant. His mother had dreamt of an angel telling her that the baby to be born had been named Ahmad. Thus she named him Ahmad, while Abdul Muttalib named his grandson Muhammad. According to the report of Abul-Fida, when the people asked Abdul Muttalib as to why he gave his grandson a new name, setting aside all the names current in his family, he replied: “It is because I have a longing that my grandson should be praised and commended by one and all in the world.”

Childhood Days

Initially, after his birth, Thuwaibah, the freed slave-girl of Abu Lahab bin Abdul-Muttalib suckled him for · seven days. She had suckled Hamzah, the uncle of the Prophet also. Thus both Masruh bin Thuwaibah and Hamzah were his foster brothers. According to the custom of the Arab nobles, on the eighth day he was entrusted to lady Halimah of the Banu Sa’d clan of the Hawazin tribe to suckle him and bring him up. The nobles of Arabia would entrust their babies to bedouin women so that they would become healthy and strong in the open and free climate of the desert. Besides, it would help develop eloquent speech, because the language of the bedouin was more pure, graceful, and eloquent than those living in urban areas.

Halimah Sa’diyah would come to Makkah twice a year to show him to his mother and grandfather. Halimah Sa’diyah suckled him for two years and he remained with her for four years altogether. His mother summoned him to Makkah at the end of four years. When he was six, his mother took him to his relatives in Al-Madina (Yathrib). On the return journey after a month, she passed away. Abdul Muttalib took upon himself the responsibilities of looking after the boy. According to other narrations, he remained with Banu Sa’d for five years. He was five years of age and he was out grazing goats along with his foster brother and sisters and other boys of the same age when the event of the opening up of his chest occurred.

According to a narration of Seerat ibn Hisham, Halimah bint Abu Dhuaib relates this event in these words: “One day both of my children came fearfully to me and said that two cleanly dressed persons seized our Quraishi brother and split open his chest. I went to the spot along with my husband (Harith bin Abdul-Uzza) and saw that he~ was sitting there with his face turned pale. Upon inquiry, he stated that two cleanly dressed persons came to him, laid him down with his face up, took out his heart, and extracted something from it.” But Halimah found no trace of any injury or spot of blood. Having thought that the boy was affected by a jinn or something, she brought him to Makkah without loss of time and related the whole event to his mother. But his mother instead of being afraid of what had happened, spoke with all the confidence at her command that her son would achieve a very distinctive place in the world, and would surely remain safe from all calamities. She told that when he was in her womb, she heard many things from the angels and noticed many uncommon happenings. Imam Muslim reports from Anas bin Malik that one day when he was playing with the boys of Makkah, Jibril (Gabriel) came to him, split his chest, took out a black drop from it, and said: “It was the portion of Satan.” Following that he! washed his heart in a tray of gold with Zamzam water and then put it in its place.

Death of Abdul-Muttalib

After being brought up for two years under the care and guardianship of Abdul Muttalib, he reached eight years of age when Abdul Muttalib passed away. When Abdul Muttalib’s funeral procession was proceeding, he joined it with tearful eyes. However, Abdul Muttalib had entrusted him to his son Abu Talib before his death, stressing the utmost care and protection for the boy. Despite having several other sons, Abdul-Muttalib was wise enough to give him to I the care of Abu Talib because he and Abdullah, the father of the boy, were born of the same mother. The assessment of Abdul-Muttalib came true and the nephew became Abu Talib’s favorite.

Support of Abu Talib  

Abu Talib took special care of his nephew and held him.·dearer than his own sons. He made him sleep on his own bed. He passed his childhood days in a manner quite strange for the Arabian society. Instead of playing with children of his age group, he felt disgusted with their company and preferred to be in solitude. Allah the Almighty had kept him aloof from every kind of debasement and depravity. A few boys of Quraish forced him to enjoy a marriage celebration where there was dance and music too. But as he reached the spot he was overtaken by sleep and kept sleeping the whole night and got up only when the assembly had dispersed at the end of the celebration. He was thus saved from the undesirable and forbidden activities of the marriage ceremony.

He was, perhaps, seven years old when the Quraish started rebuilding the Kaaba which had suffered damage from a flood. During the construction work, he joined the party of workers carrying stones and giving them to the masons. He was wearing Izar (waist sheet) which was causing him some trouble doing the work. The nakedness of a boy of seven was not then considered something improper. So, his uncle Abbas grabbed hold of the waist sheet and pulled it so violently that he became naked. He grew shameful to the extent that he fell down unconscious. At last, the people felt the gravity of the situation and put his waist sheet back on and he recovered.

First Journey to Syria

He was twelve years old when Abu Talib planned to go with a merchant caravan to Syria leaving him behind in Makkah. But he was so used to the company of Abu Talib that he could not bear separation from his uncle. Abu Talib felt moved and agreed to take him to Syria. When the caravan reached Busra, the southeastern part of Syria, a Christian monk named Bahira saw and recognized him as the Last Prophet. He came to Abu Talib and let him know that his nephew was set to become a Prophet as he had noticed with him all the signs of Prophethood written in the Torah and the Gospel. He then advised Abu Talib to hurry back with his nephew. Abu Talib acted upon the advice.

Harb AI-Fijar, First Participation in Battle

A great fair was regularly held at Ukaz. This fair would organize a number of programs including horse races, wrestling, demonstrations of the art of combat, and poetic competitions. AJI the tribes of Arabia were highly belligerent by nature and drew swords against one another at the smallest incident.

Once, in the course of the fair at Ukaz, the Hawazin and Quraish tribes challenged each other due to a slight provocation. At the outset, some wise and sober people stood in the way and put the matter right. But some mischief-mongers worsened the situation which led to large-scale fighting and killing on both sides. The war was known as arb· Al-Fijdr because it took place in the month of Dhul-Qa’dah when fighting was altogether forbidden. This war was based on a series of our wars in which three firsts were small and the fourth war Happened to be more fierce than the preceding one as all the tribes joined the Hawazin tribe while all the tribes of Kinanah came to the help of the Quraish. Thus this war developed to become a war between the Qais and Kinanah tribes. The fourth and the last war was so terrible that some of the chieftains had their feet chained so they couldn’t leave from the field of battle.

The Prophet joined this fourth war for the first time armed with weapons. Among Banu Kinanah, every tribe had its separate commander. Thus the commander of Banu Hashim was Zubair bin Abdul-Muttalib, an uncle of the Prophet while Harb bin Umayyah was the commander of all the troops of Banu Kinanah. Muhammad (peace be upon him) as than fifteen or twenty years of age. He was entrusted with the service of picking up the arrows for his uncles. However, he was saved from combat action. At the outset, Banu Hawazin seemed to be dominating, but at last, Banu Kinanah turned the table against the Banu Qais, and the war ended on a peace treaty.

President

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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