The Prophet Muhammad's (Peace Be Upon Him) Life In Makkah From Brith To Prophethood ...
‘ABDALLAH AND AMINA
‘Abdul Muttalib, chieftain of the Quraysh, had ten sons who were all worthy and outstanding, but ‘Abdullah was the noblest and most prominent among them. ‘Abdul Muttalib wedded him to Amina, the daughter of Wahb Ibn ‘Abdu Munaf, who was the leading man of Bani Zuhra. She (Amina) was the most excellent woman among the Quraysh in birth and stature at that time.
Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) was born after the death of his father. Before his birth, Amina witnessed many an omen foretelling a great future for her son.
BIRTH OF THE PROPHET (Peace Be Upon Him)
The Prophet(Peace Be Upon Him) was born on Monday, the 12th of Rab'i-ul Awwal in the year of the Elephant. Certainly, it was the most auspicious day in the history of mankind.
Thus, Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) was the son of ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Abdul Muttalib, Ibn Hashim, Ibn ‘Abdul Munaf, Ibn Qusayy, Ibn Kilab, Ibn Murra, Ibn Ka’b Ibn Lu’ayy, Ibn Ghalib, Ibn Fihr, Ibn Malik, Ibn al-Nadr, Ibn Kinana, Ibn Khusayma, Ibn Mudrika, Ibn Ilyas, Ibn Mudar Ibn Nizar Ibn Ma’add, Ibn ‘Adnan.
The parentage of ‘Adnan is further traced to Ismail Ibn Ibrahim (Peace Be Upon Him) by Arab genealogists. After the birth of Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) Amina sent someone to inform his grandfather. He came, looked at the baby lovingly and took him to the K’aba where he praised Allah and prayed for the infant. ‘Abdul Muttalib then gave him the name Muhammad, which means, ‘He who is praised’. The Arabs were surprised at the unfamiliar name given to the newborn babe by ‘Abdul Muttalib.
THE SUCKLING PERIOD
Thuwaybah, a bondwoman of the Prophet’s uncle Abu Lahab, suckled him momentarily for a few days while ‘Abdul Muttalib continued to look for a wet-nurse to nurture his favorite grandson. It was customary in Mecca to place the suckling babies under the care of a desert tribeswoman, where the child grows up in the free, chivalrous air away from the cramp, contaminating atmosphere of the city, and learn the wholesome ways of the Bedouins. Those were the days when the chaste, unaffected and natural expression of the desert people was considered as the finest model of grace and elegance of the Arabic language. Together with the milk of a bedouin woman, the babies imbibed the fluent language that flew across the desert.
The people from the tribe of Bani S’ad were known for the gracefulness of their speech. Halima S’adiya, a member of this tribe, ultimately came to have the precious baby under her wings. This was a year of famine wherein Bani S’ad had been rendered miserable. The tribe came to Mecca to look for children to be suckled, but no woman to whom the Prophet of God (Peace Be Upon Him) was offered, agreed to take the child because none expected a goodly return for nurturing or nursing an infant whose father was already dead. They said, “An orphan! What will his mother and grandfather give in return?” At first, Halima also declined the offer but suddenly she felt a craving for the baby. She had also failed to get a charge for her and, therefore, before going back home, she returned and finally took the baby back with her. Halima found before long that her household was blest with luck, her breast overflowed with milk, the udders of her she-camel were full and everything seemed to bring forth happiness. The women of Halima’s tribe now spread out the rumor: “Halima, you have certainly got a blessed child.” They began to feel envious of her already.
Halima weaned the baby when he was two years old, for it is customary upon the foster-children to return to their respective families at such an age. Besides, the boy was also developing faster than the other children, and by the time he was two, he was already a well-grown child. Thus, Halima brought the Prophet of God (Peace Be Upon Him) back to Amina but begged her to be allowed to keep the boy for some extended time as he had brought her luck. Amina agreed and allowed Halima to take Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) back with her.
Some months after his return to Bani S’ad, two angels seized the Prophet of God (Peace Be Upon Him), opened up his chest and extracted a black drop from it. Then they thoroughly cleaned his heart and healed the wound after putting his heart back in its place.
The Prophet of God (Peace Be Upon Him) tended the lambs with his foster-brothers in the boundless wilderness of the desert, far away from the pretensions, hypocrisy, pomp and pride of the city, rendering his thoughts dry and clear like the desert air. His life was as simple as the sand and he learnt to endure with the hardships and dangers of the wilderness. And with the people of Bani S’ad, his ears became accustomed to the rhetorics and eloquence of the pure and classical language of the Bedouins. The Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) often used to tell his companions: “I am the most Arab of you all for I am of Quraysh origin and I was suckled among Bani S’ad Ibn Bakr.
DEATH OF AMINA AND ‘ABDUL MUTTALIB
When the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) was six years old, his mother took him to Yathrib to pay a visit to her father. She also wanted to call on the grave of her late husband, but while on her way back to Mecca, she died at a place called Abwa. The Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) must have felt lonely and sorrowful at the death of his mother in the middle of his journey. Incidents of such nature had been a common fixture in his life since birth, perhaps as a divine dispensation for his upbringing in a particular way, one which is reminiscent of the great role that he has to play in the future. Finally, the Abyssinian bondwoman, Umm Ayman Barkah, brought him to his grandfather in Mecca. ‘Abdul Muttalib loved the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) so dearly, making him the apple of his eye and never allowed him to be distant from his sight. He would make the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) sit beside him on his bed in the shade of the Ka’ba and caress him to show his affection.
After reaching eight years of age, ‘Abdul Muttalib also passed away. The Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) was now left behind, alone and abandoned. He had never seen his father, and would have had no recollection of him, but the death of the adoring grandfather must have been too depressing and inconsolable to bear.
ABU TALIB BECOMES THE GUARDIAN
Following the death Of ‘Abdul Muttalib, Abu Talib took the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) under his care for he and ‘Abdullah, the Prophet’s father, were brothers by the same mother. Abdul Muttalib had also been insisting upon Abu Talib to take care of the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) himself. Accordingly, Abu Talib took the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) under his protection and even treated him with more care and affection than his own two sons, ‘Ali J’afar and ‘Aqil.
Once, when the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) was nine years old, (As related by authentic Traditions) Abu Talib planned to go on a merchant caravan to Syria. Knowing this, the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) approached his uncle, and nestling close to him, insisted on accompanying him in the journey. Abu Talib was moved and agreed to take Muhammed (Peace Be Upon Him) with him to Syria. When the caravan reached Busra in Syria, it broke the journey for a short stay and while there, they met a monk by the name of Buhaira who lived in his cell. He came out against his practice, to welcome the merchants and made a great feast for them. The caravan found favor with Buhaira, so they say, because of something that he had seen while he was in his cell. When Buhaira saw Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), he observed in him the signs of the Prophethood that he had known and advised Abu Talib: “Return to your home with this youth and guard him from the Jews; for great dignity awaits your nephew”. Abu Talib immediately took the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) back to Mecca by virtue of Buhaira’s advice.
Heavenly Host had made special arrangements for broadening the mind of the holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) and had taken particular care to shut off the faults and failures of the pagan past from him. Since early youth, the reserved and unassuming young man was known for his gentle disposition and grave purity of life as well as for his candidness, honesty and integrity and his stern sense of duty. His was the straight and narrow path and none could find the slightest fault with him. The faircharacter and honorable bearing of the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) won for him, in the pinnacle of his youth, the title of Al-Amin, meaning the Trusty, from his fellow populace.
Evil were the ways of young men in Mecca, and no misconduct brought anybody into jeopardy or accountability. But God helped His Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) abandon the pleasures of life familiar to everybody in there. Such that on the contrary, he was rather kind to his kinsmen, alleviated the sufferings of others and spared or minimized expenses to meet their needs. Moreover, he entertained guests, was ever willing to join hands with anybody who had a noble and virtuous task and prefered to earn his livelihood by toiling hard for it even if it meant living a simple life to the point of austerity.
When the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) was around fourteen or fifteen years of age, the sacrilegious war, known as the Harb-ul-Fijar, broke out between the Quraysh and the tribe of Qays. The Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) was present at this event such that he picked up the arrows that the enemy had shot and gave them back to the Qurayshite fighters. This was to mark his first experience of military operations.
Now that the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) was coming into grips of his own life, he turned his attention to scouting a means of livelihood. Like other lads of his age, he took a shot at the tendering of sheep and goats. It was not deemed a disgraceful occupation in those days, rather, it helped one to be watchful, alert and quick, kind and considerate besides allowing an opportunity to inhale the freedom of Arabian air and the power of its sand. More than that, it had been the convention of all the prophets of old which complied with his future prophetic task. The Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) after all used to say: “Verily, there has been no prophet who has not tended the flocks of goats.” On being asked again whether he had also performed the work of a shepherd, the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) affirmed. “Yes I did.”
The Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) was not completely new to the job for in his childhood days he used to accompany his foster-brothers in tending their flocks and herds. The reports in the Saheeh show that the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) used to watch the goats upon the neighbouring hills and valleys for a meager payment from their owners.
MARRIAGE WITH KHADIJAH (Allah be pleased with her)
The Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) married Khadijah (Allah be pleased with her) when he was twenty-five years of age. Khadijah (Allah be pleased with her), daughter of Khuwaylid, was noble and intelligent, wealthy and was respected for the quality and integrity of her heart. A widow whose age was then forty years, her late husband was Abu Hala. She carried out on their business and like other merchants of Mecca she also used to hire men to transport her merchandise outside the country on a profit-sharing scheme. Khadijah (Allah be pleased with her) had an experience of the Prophet’s truthfulness, trustworthiness and honorable character and had also heard about the strange events that had taken place when the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) traded her merchandise to Syria. Although Khadijah (Allah be pleased with her) had turned down several offers for her hand by some of` the eminent chiefs of the Quraysh, she expressed her desire to marry the Prophet Peace be upon him). Hamza, an uncle of the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him), conveyed the message to him for which he readily agreed. Abu Talib recited the wedding sermon and the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him), united in wedlock with Khadija, commenced his marital career. All the offsprings of the Prophet Peace be upon him) except Ibrahim who died in infancy, were born to Khadijah (Allah be pleased with her).
RECONSTRUCTION OF THE KA’BA
In his thirty-fifth year, the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) made a difficult decision about a matter that provoked the Quraysh and threatened to plunge them into another sacrilegious war. The Quraysh wished to rebuild the Ka’bah and furnish it with roofs, for it was made of loose stones, and its walls were only a little higher than a man’s height. So, the walls were demolished and the work of reconstruction was taken up, but when it was time to rebuild the Ka’bah as far as the position of the Black Stone was concerned, the question arose as to who should place the sacred relic into its place. Every tribe claimed the honor, an imminent collision was bound to happen. The grounds that led to wars of attrition during the early days of paganism in Arabia were nothing but inferior or insignificant when compared to the grave issue that was made as the focal point of honor on this occasion.
Banu ‘Abdul Dar brought a bowl full of blood; then they and Banu ‘Adiy pledged themselves to fight unto death by thrusting their hands into the blood. The conflict appeared to be the starting point of a furious struggle which might have swallowed up the whole of Arabia in another of their oft-recurring wars. The dilemma continued for a few days until it was agreed that whosoever is the first man to enter the gate of the mosque would be made as the umpire of the matter under dispute. And so the first man to enter came, but he was no other then the Prophet of God (Peace Be Upon Him). “This is Muhammad”, they said as soon as they saw him coming, and further added: “He is trustworthy and we will abide by his decision.”
The Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) asked them to bring a cloth, took the Black Stone and put it inside the fabric, then afterwards asked each tribe to take hold of an end of the material and then simultaneously raise it to the required height. When the people lifted the stone in such manner, the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) placed it in its position with his own hands, and the building went on above it.
The wisdom displayed by the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) on this occasion, one which saved the Quraysh from measuring the might of their swords with that of the others, strikingly illustrates his sound judgement apart from divulging sparks of his genius. The sagacity of the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) foretold how bloodshed is taken as a divine harbinger of peace. The incident foreshadowed the signs of` the Prophet’s (Peace Be Upon Him) prudence, profoundness of his teachings, his thoughtfulness, cool temper and the spirit of his friendliness and altruism; in fact the cardinal virtues of one who was to become the ‘Mercy for the Worlds”. These were the qualities through which the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) transformed a people, unruly and ferocious, continuously at war amongst each other, into a closely-knit fraternity by proving and submitting himself as a Merciful Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) before them.
It was during this period that the Quraysh came to agree upon one of the noblest covenants made in which the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) played a prominent part. It so happened that a man from Zabid (A town in Yemen) came to sell his merchandise in Mecca. One of the Quraysh chieftains in the person of Al-As Ibn Wayel purchased the whole of it but paid nothing in return. Because of this, Zabid approached several influential Quraysh leaders but none of them agreed to confront Al-As Ibn Wayel. Having been turned down by those that he had previously asked for help, Zabid called upon the people of Mecca exhorting every bold and fair-minded young man to come to his rescue. At last, many of them, moved by embarrassment, assembled in the house of ‘Abdallah Ibn Jad’an who entertained everyone that came to his house. Thereafter, they formed a pact, in the name of Allah, for repression of acts of lawlessness and restoration of justice to the weak and the oppressed within the walls of Mecca. The covenant was called Hilful-Fudul wherein all its members finally approached Al-As Ibn Wayel and forced him to return the merchandise of Zabid.
The Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) had been one of the prominent movers of the pact and he always made it a point to express his satisfaction over the execution of this agreement. Once he remarked: “I had a hand in making such an arrangement in the house of ‘Abdullah Ibn Jad’an to which if I were invited again to help even after the advent of Islam, I would have undoubtedly participated once more”. Thru such Hiful Fudul, they had agreed to restore upon everyone what is due of him and to protect the weak from the exploits and manipulations of the oppressors.”
A MYSTIFYING UNREST
Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) was now approaching his fortieth year. He felt a mystifying internal unrest, yet he did not know the rationale behind it. He was himself not aware what the inexplicable confusion meant to him; nordid the idea that God was about to honor him with revelation and prophethood ever crossed his mind. This was how the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) felt, as has been attested by God in the Qur’an:
“And thus We have inspired in
thee (Muhammad) a Spirit of Our Command. Thou knewest not what the
Scripture was,nor what the Faith. But We have made it a light whereby We
guide whom We will of our bondmen. And Lo! thou verily dost guide unto a
At another place, the inability of the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) to know the reason for his internal unrest has been demonstrated in these words:
“Thou hast no hope that the
Scripture would be inspired in thee; but it is a mercy from thy Lord, so
never be a helper to the disbelievers.”
It pleased the Will of God, All-wise and All-knowing, that His Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) should remain a stranger to the arts of reading and writing. His contemporaries could thus never accuse him of himself editing the divine revelations. This, too, has been subverted by the Qur’an to settle the matter as evidenced by the following verse:
“And thou (O Muhammad) was not
a reader of any Scripture before it, nor didst thou write it with thy
right hand, for then might those have doubted, who follow falsehood.”
That is why the Qur’an calls him an 'unlettered prophet' (Peace Be Upon Him).
"Those who follow the
messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write, whom they will find
described in the Torah and the gospel (which are) with them—He commands
them for Al- Maruf (monotheism & all that Islam has ordained) and
forbids them from Al- Munkar (disbelief & all that Islam forbids)”
The Lessons And Examples Can Be Taking From This Period As Follows: