What is the wisdom behind Hz. Muhammad (pbuh)'s being chosen as the most distinguished individual among all creatures?
"By appointing our Holy Prophet (PBUH), who was adorned with perfection and moralistic beauties from head to toe, to prophethood, Allah elevated him to the position of being the most distinguished and eminent individual among human beings. Thus, an extant law of the universe meaning, “every species has a distinguished and superior constituent that is the pride and joy and source of admiration for its kind”, which also applies to the circle of humanity."
“One of the names of Allah among asma al-husna is the greatest; similarly, there needs to be a perfect man among Allah’s creatures; Allah gathered and assembled all kinds of perfection that had been dispersed in the Universe in him, and made him His pride and joy."
"That perfect entity had to be a living being."
"Since the most impeccable creation among every species in the universe is a living being. That being had to be a conscious being since a conscious being is the most glorious among every species. That entity that had no and will not have a replicate had to be a person since humans have the unlimited ability to advance among conscious beings."
“That human being had to be Muhammad (Peace and Blessings be Upon Him) since not a single historical account, from the beginning of Hazrat Adam till now, shows nor can show an individual who is similar to him; that remarkable individual has encompassed half of the Earth and one out of five types of people under his holy dominion, has continued to rule his dominion with his spiritual sultanate for 1350 years (now it has been 1,400 years), and has attained the authority of being the Ultimate Master."
“By uniting his friends and enemies, he attained the highest degree in good manners and challenged the entire world at the beginning of his prophethood. This individual, who has shown more than a 100 million people the Quran (whose declaration leaves everyone weak) at every given minute, was without a doubt the most distinguished being among all creatures; it cannot be anyone else other than him. “He is both the seed and fruit of this universe.” (see Badiuzzaman Said Nursi, Mektûbat, p. 284-285.)
How was the Prophet (pbuh) able to enter Makkah after returning from Taif?
After his return from Taif, a group of jinn became Muslims upon hearing our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) recital of the Quran. He resided in Batn Nahl for a period of time and then he headed towards Mecca. He knew that the Quraysh would not allow him to easily enter the city. For that reason, he had to acquire patronage from someone so he could enter Mecca in accordance with the tradition of the time.
Therefore, when he reached Hira, he sent someone to ask for the protection of Mut’im b. Adiyy, the polytheist. Mut’im accepted his wish, armed his sons and went to Hira together with them; then, he took the Prophet to Makkah. 1
The polytheists were angered by Mut’im’s actions but did not say anything.
The Pride of the Universe (PBUH) circumambulated the Kaba amid the polytheists’ glares that were filled with much enmity, prayed two rakahs there; then, he went to his home from there.
Throughout their lives, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) and the rest of the Muslims never forgot this kind gesture practiced by Mutim bin Adiyy, who was a polytheist. Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) even reminisced of this incident upon the Muslims’ victory against the polytheists in the Battle of Badr.
Mutim’s son, Jabir, came to Madina to speak on behalf of the slaves that were captured during Badr. After listening to Jabir’s request, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) said:
“If your father Mut’im had been alive and made a request on behalf of these men, I would have undoubtedly handed them over to Mut’im.” 2
1. Ibn Sa’d, ibid, V. 1, p. 212; Balazuri, Ansab, V. 1, p. 237.
2. Bukhari, Sahih, V. 4, p. 83.
How did Hz. Uthman become a Muslim?
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) had not yet announced Islam openly to the public. During this stage, Hazrat Abu Bakr was very enthusiastic and took immense efforts in explaining Islam to his close friends.
One day, he mentioned Islam in one of his conversations with Hazrat Uthman and took him to our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) presence. Our Holy Prophet (PBUH), whose bright face always had a smile, said to Hazrat Uthman,
“Favor heaven, which is Allah’s beneficence. I was sent as a guide to you and all of the humanity!”
It was as if Hazrat Uthman had lost himself (but in reality, had found himself) in the face of our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) simple, sincere, and miraculous words, as the testimony of faith spilled from his lips:
“Ashhadu anlaa ilaaha illallaahu wa ashhadu anna muhammadar-rasulullah!”1
Afterwards, he explained a dream that he had previously seen while returning from Damascus: He said,
“Oh Messenger of Allah, during the time in which we were in between Muan and Zarqa sleeping, a town-crier shouted, “Oh those who are sleeping! Wake up! Ahmad (PBUH) has appeared in Mecca!” And we heard about you once we arrived in Mecca!”2
The joining of Hazrat Uthman, who possessed a gentle nature, good manners, modesty, and generosity, in the ranks of Muslims bothered the polytheists immensely. Individuals from his tribe strived to torment and oppress him. However, he stood up to every kind of anguish and torment and did not show the slightest deviation.
His uncle, Hakam bin Abu'l-As, would tie him with a rope to a pole and while beating him would say:
“So, you have forsaken your forefathers’ religion and have taken interest in a new religion? I swear I will not free you until you return to the religion of your forefathers.”
Hazrat Uthman, who was a model of fortitude, answered:
“By Allah, I will never leave the religion of reason and truth!”
He was left to face this torture and persecution for days on end. However, he did not make the slightest concession from his faith. At last, his uncle was humiliated in the face of Hazrat Uthman’s greatness and fortitude and was left with no other choice but to free him.3
Hazrat Uthman, who was of medium height, heavily built, tan skinned, and had a very handsome face and a thick beard, was a pure and upright person in nature. He forbade himself from drinking alcohol during the Age of Ignorance. He was one of the fortunate people who felt deep joy in spending his wealth for Allah’s sake. He was a hafiz (one who had memorized the Quran.) During the nights, he would finish reciting the entire Quran in his prayer (salah).
Hazrat Uthman, who was one of the ten companions who was given the good tidings of Paradise, was at the same time, our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) son-in-law. Initially, he married our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) daughter Ruqiyyah, but when she passed away, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) made him marry his daughter, Umm Kulthum. For that reason, he had acquired the nickname, “Zinnurayn”, “Possessor of Two Lights.
1. Ibn Sa'd, Tabaqat: 3/55
How did the Prophet (pbuh) make his first marriage after the death of Hz. Khadijah to Hz. Sawda bint Zam'a? What is the wisdom behind his marriage to this quite old woman?
Hazrat Sawda was Sakran bin Amr’s wife. She was among the first Muslim women and had migrated to Abyssinia with her husband. They returned to Mecca much later. After returning, Hazrat Sawda saw a dream in which the moon glided towards and then descended upon her. When she explained what she had seen to her husband, she received this response:
“If your dream is true, I will die soon. You will marry after me!”
Indeed, Sakran got ill after a while and died. Hazrat Sawda was a widow.
Lady Hawla, whom our Holy Prophet (PBUH) had sent, told her,
“Allah’s Apostle has sent me to ask your hand in marriage.” Upon hearing this, Hazrat Sawda was immensely happy. However, she had one concern: Would our Holy Prophet (PBUH) accept her five small children?
Due to her worries, she did not immediately respond. Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) wanted to honor and reward a mujahid (warrior) who had possessed the courage and devotion to leave her home, country, and family for the sake of her religion. For that reason, when our Holy Prophet (PBUH) did not receive a response he went to speak with her personally.
“What keeps you from marrying me?” he asked.
Hazrat Sawda said,
“By Allah, O Messenger of Allah, there is no important reason that prevents me from marrying you but I fear that my children will disturb you by whining; therefore, I hold back!”
Upon this, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) replied,
“May Allah show compassion to you! The most favorable of women are those who encounter difficulties due to their small children,” expressing that she had no need to worry.
Afterwards he said, “Arrange for someone within the tribe to marry us.”
Hazrat Sawda chose her former brother-in-law Hatib bin Amr. He married Hazrat Sawda to our Holy Prophet (PBUH) during the 10th year of the Islamic calendar. At that time, Hazrat Sawda was 55 years old. 1
As it is seen, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) married this elderly woman only due to the devotion and loyalty she had towards Allah and her faith and through such means, he was taking her under his protection and allowing her to attain the honor of being “a mother of the believers.”
1. Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, V. 8, p. 52-53; Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Musnad, V. 6, p. 211.
What kind of effect did the interruption of the revelation called, “the suspension of revelation” have on the Prophet (pbuh)?
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) faced an incident called “the Suspension of Revelation” a short time after the first revelation.
It was evident that our Holy Prophet (PBUH) was greatly saddened and distressed by this break in the deliverance of revelation, an incident whose wisdom we cannot fully grasp and which has been explained somehow. Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) was so distressed that the earth was becoming too tight for him and he wanted to be saved from its restraint. During this time, either Jibril (Gabriel) or Israfil appeared to our Holy Prophet (PBUH) in order to console him. 1
The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) was faced with sadness for an exact forty–day period.
Since the world is a center that is composed of an indefinite number of Divine wisdoms, everything that takes place within it undoubtedly has a purpose. Sometimes it is possible or impossible to catch the purpose behind these kinds of circumstances with the tiny measuring scales in our minds. However, not knowing their Divine wisdoms and reasons is not by any means proof that they are without wisdom and reason. Above all, it is not possible for a duty like prophethood, in which everything has been specially programmed by the pen of wisdom, to be insignificant. For this reason, there were many wisdoms and reasons behind the delay in the deliverance of revelation. However, we are not aware of them.
Nevertheless, there are many scholars who interpret this situation in various ways. Here is a summary of some of these views:
1) Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) greatly panicked in face of the first revelation and the heaviness of the situation had jolted his soul. This incident occurred so that his soul could find some peace, be rested and prepared for the forthcoming revelations.
2) Our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) soul was being prepared for the burdens and tribulations that he was about to face.
3) The deliverance of revelation was delayed so that our Holy Prophet (PBUH) could long more deeply for the next revelation.2
- How did our Holy Prophet (PBUH) explain the resumption of the deliverance of revelation?
After a hiatus of forty days, revelations continued to be sent down to our Holy Prophet (PBUH). He explains its resumption as follows:
“One day, while walking, I suddenly heard a sound in the sky. When I raised my head and looked at the sky, I saw the angel who came to me (Jibril, Gabriel) seated on a throne that was in between the ground and the sky. I shuddered and collapsed to the ground. I returned to my home and said, “Cover me! Cover me!” Upon this, Allah the Exalted sent down this revelation:
“O thou wrapped up (in a mantle)! Arise and deliver thy warning! And thy Lord do thou magnify! And thy garments keep free from stain! And all abomination shun!”3
“From then on, the revelations began to come and there were no interruptions after that.”4
The discomfort in our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) ceased when revelation continued to be sent down; his inner realm reached peace and tranquility.
1. Tajrid Translation, 1/13
2. Abdullatif as-Subki, al-Wahyu Ilar-Rasul Muhammad (pbuh) , p. 89
3. al- Muddaththir, 1-5
4. Bukhari, 1/7; Muslim, 1/98; Musnad, (h. 2846); Tirmidhi, 5/592
How did Allah allow the tortures, persecution and slanders inflicted upon the first Muslims? What is the divine wisdom behind it?
The torture, persecution, insults, difficulties, and obstacles that the first Muslims were afflicted with were also tests sent by God. For example, it did not just end by saying, “I have testified to faith.” The amount of loyalty, sincerity, and patience in faith had to be measured as well.
There had to be an excessive level of difficulty, persecution, and torture so that those who truly carried the desire of belief in their hearts would testify without paying attention to such inconveniences, whereas those who did not sincerely carry this desire would be separated from the true believers.
As a matter of fact, the following Quranic verse indicates this issue:
"We did test those before them, and God will certainly know those who are true from those who are false." (Surah al-Ankaboot, 29/3)
Thus, the most important measure of one’s sincerity in faith is not bowing before the difficulties, torture, cruelty, and persecution that he/she may face.
Such unbearable persecution, torture, cruelty, and insults could not break the courage of those genuine Muslims who submitted to God and His Messenger (PBUH) in the truest sense. The polytheists could not hinder them from standing their ground in the circle of guidance or prevent others from running to that circle. The torture, persecution, and insults were like the wood that caused the fire of Islam to burn more strongly and to shine more brightly. As the polytheists continued with their acts of torture and persecution, the Islamic cause was developing at a greater speed, being spread, and continuing to reign with its light over hearts.
Undoubtedly, tyranny and violence have never been able to continuously overcome and suppress the truth in any era, nor have they been able to muffle or enslave it. On the contrary, the truth has been able to defeat tyranny, cruelty, and darkness and has annihilated them on many occasions.
The incomparable courage, immense patience, and magnificent amount of fortitude the Muslims showed against the persecution and cruelty during the Era of Bliss are full of lessons for today’s Muslims to learn from and they possess such a high level of sublimity that can bring those who truly possess prudence and a sense of justice to tears.
Even Leone Kaitano, an Italian writer, historian, and a staunch enemy of Islam, could not contain himself from making this confession:
“What is bewildering is that there was not even a single apostate among them!”
Actually, what is bewildering is that a writer who makes this type of confession can continue being hostile towards Islam instead of submitting his heart and pen in the way of Islam and continues to close his eyes amid broad daylight so as not to see the sun.
When and with how many people did the second group migrate to Abyssinia?
7th Year of the prophethood (Year 616)
The king of Abyssinia welcomed the first procession of Muslims in a very fine manner. The Muslims finally had the opportunity to freely worship in a state of peace.
When the Master of the Universe (PBUH) heard this, he suggested that the remaining Muslims in Mecca emigrate as well.
The second procession that set off headed by Hazrat Jafar, the son of our Holy Prophet’s uncle, Abu Talib, was much more crowded than the first one. A group of 92 people, ten of them being women, left Mecca for Abyssinia for the purpose of safeguarding their faith and being able to worship in peace.
While the Muslims emigrated, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) remained in Mecca despite everything. He continued to stand up against the torture and persecution that were continuously committed by the polytheists. He pursued his holy and sublime duty under Allah’s protection and grace. 1
1. Ibn Hisham, Sirah, V. 1, p. 345-346; Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, V. 1, p. 207; Tabari, Tarikh, V. 2, p. 222.
After which incident did the Prophet (pbuh) give Hz. Abu Bakr the name "Siddiq"?
Among the Meccan community, there were those whose hearts had warmed up to Islam; however, they were puzzled when they heard about the Miraj. Upon hearing this news, they immediately ran to Hazrat Abu Bakr and said,
“O Abu Bakr! Are you aware of the news regarding your friend? He says that last night he went to the Baytu’l Maqdis, prayed there and returned to Mecca.”
Hazrat Abu Bakr asked, “Did you hear this from him?”
They replied, “Yes, we directly heard it from him.”
Hazrat Abu Bakr responded, “By Allah, if he said this then it is undoubtedly true. Do not be at all surprised by this!”
Afterwards, he got up and went straight to our Holy Prophet (PBUH) and asked him,
“O Allah’s Apostle! Did you tell the community that you went to the Baytu’l Maqdis last night?”
When our Holy Prophet (PBUH) replied “yes,” Hazrat Abu Bakr said “You speak the truth, I testify to you being Allah’s Apostle.”
Upon this, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) responded, “O Abu Bakr, you are Siddiq (The Truthful) in any case.” (1)
From that day forward, Hazrat Abu Bakr was referred to as “Siddiq.” Siddiq means being undoubtedly and completely truthful…
1. Ibn Hisham, Sirah, V. 2, p. 40; Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, V. 3, p. 170.
How did the incident of a group of jinn becoming Muslims take place when the Prophet (pbuh) returned from Taif?
Before returning to Mecca, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) rested in a place called Nahla for some time. When he started to perform a prayer, a group of Nusaybin jinn became Muslims upon hearing our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) recital of the Quran. Afterwards, they returned to their tribe and invited their kin to testify to faith. (1)
The Quran informs us of this incident:
“And when We inclined toward thee (Muhammad) certain of the jinn, who wished to hear the Qur'an and, when they were in its presence, said: 'Give ear!..' and, when it was finished, turned back to their people, warning. They said: O our people! Lo! we have heard a scripture which hath been revealed after Moses, confirming that which was before it, guiding unto the truth and a right road. O our people! respond to Allah's summoner and believe in Him. He will forgive you some of your sins and guard you from a painful doom.” (2)
1. Ibn Hisham, ibid, V. 2, p. 60-63; Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, V. 1, p. 122.
2. al-Ahqaf, 29-31; see al-Jinn, 1-15.
How did the Prophet (pbuh) get engaged with Hz. Aisha?
The Holy Prophet (PBUH) felt lonely after the death of our mother, Hazrat Khadija. Both our Holy Prophet (PBUH) and his companions were aware of this situation.
One day, Hazrat Uthman bin Maz’un’s wife, Lady Hawla, came to the presence of our Holy Prophet (PBUH) and said,
“O Allah’s Apostle! When I came to your presence I suddenly sensed Khadijah’s absence.”
To which our Holy Prophet (PBUH) replied,
“Yes, she was the mother of my children as well as the guardian of my home,”
signifying that Hazrat Khadija’s transition to the eternal world had left a gap. Upon this talk of the (pbuh), Hawla binti Hakim said,
“Oh Allah’s Apostle! Would you like to get married?”
The Prophet said, “Whom?”
“To Abu Bakr’s daughter, Aisha, or Sawda bint Zama…”
After this dialogue, the Messenger of Allah said to Hawla, “Go and talk to both of them on behalf of me!”
Upon this, Lady Hawla rushed to Hazrat Abu Bakr’s home. Umm Ruman, Hazrat Aisha’s mother, was there.
“O Umm Ruman, do you know what blessings and benevolence Allah has granted you?”
Lady Ruman asked, “What?” Lady Hawla replied,
“Allah’s Apostle (PBUH) has sent me to ask for Aisha’s hand in marriage”.
Since Hazrat Abu Bakr was not at home at that time, Umm Ruman did not give any answer to Hawla. She said,
“Wait till Abu Bakr comes home.”
When Hazrat Abu Bakr came, Hawla asked in the same manner,
“O Abu Bakr, do you know what blessings and benevolence Allah has granted you?”
Abu Bakr replied,
“What are they?”
“Allah’s Apostle has sent me to ask for Aisha’s hand in marriage.”
After thinking for some time, Hazrat Abu Bakr asked,
“Considering that Aisha is his brother’s daughter, would it be permissible for him to marry her?”
Hawla immediately returned to our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) presence and explained the situation to him. Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) answered:
“Return to Abu Bakr. Tell him that “me being your brother and you being mine (does not include siblinghood through blood and milk) is brotherhood in Islam. For that reason, your daughter is lawful for me.”
When Hawla returned and made this known, Hazrat Abu Bakr’s worries were lifted. He engaged and wed his daughter Hazrat Aisha to our Holy Prophet (PBUH) in the month of Shawwal. However, the wedding was postponed until a later date. (1)
1 Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, V. 8, p. 58; Bukhari, Sahih, V. 2, p. 329; Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Musnad, V. 6, p. 211.
What kind of a divine warning did the Prophet (pbuh) receive about Umm Maktum?
One day, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) was explaining the belief and the Quranic truths to Islam’s most ardent enemies which included Walid bin Mughira, Utba bin Rabia, Umayya bin Khalaf, and many other leading figures from among the Quraysh.
From time to time, he would ask, “How is it, it is beautiful, right?” in order to enliven his audience’s attention.
During that period, a lover of Allah came forth. This individual, whose eyes were blind yet whose heart could see, was Abdullah bin Umm Maktum, Hazrat Khadijah’s maternal uncle. However, he did not know whom our Holy Prophet (PBUH) was addressing and said,
“Oh Allah’s Apostle, guide me, teach me how to recite the Quran, teach me what Allah has taught you.”
He repeated his request a few times since he had not realized that our Holy Prophet (PBUH) was fully focused on explaining Islam to Quraysh’s leading figures.
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) felt disturbed and annoyed, and he did not pay much attention to Abdullah bin Umm Mektum since had the opportunity to come and learn about Islam from our Holy Prophet (PBUH) at anytime. However, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) might not have received the chance to gather Quraysh’s leaders in one place again. If they converted to Islam or if they stopped their enmity, it would mean that Mecca as a whole would convert along with them.
For that reason, the Master of the Universe (PBUH) did not want to be distracted and consequently made that obvious.
A revelation was sent just as our Holy Prophet (PBUH) had finished speaking and as he was getting up. He closed his eyes and went into another state of consciousness. Surah Abasa was then revealed. 1
The surah mentioned our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) behavior:
“The (Prophet) frowned and turned away. Because there came to him the blind man (interrupting). But what could tell thee but that perchance he might Grow (in spiritual understanding)? Or that he might receive admonition, and the teaching might profit him? As to one who regards himself as self-sufficient, To him dost thou attend; Though it is no blame to thee if he grow not (in spiritual understanding) But as to him who came to thee striving earnestly, And with fear (in his heart) Of him wast thou unmindful. By no means (should it be so)! For it is indeed a Message of instruction: Therefore let who will, keep it in remembrance.” 2
Yes, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) was not responsible for those who did not want to rinse the filth of disbelief from their hearts, who had no desire to listen to the Quran, who did not convert to Islam, and those who did not purify their egos. His duty only required him to duly deliver Islam’s message. Nevertheless, such a warning was needed.
In essence, Allah stated the following in the verses that He sent down:
“You are abandoning someone whose eyes cannot see in the physical sense, yet loves guidance and whose ears and heart are open, and you are exerting your efforts on those who don’t want to hear the truth!” 3
After this incident and warning, whenever our Holy Prophet (PBUH) saw Abdullah Ibn Umm Maktum he would treat him with immense respect and kindness, would ask him if he needed anything, and would pay him compliments by saying,
“Hello, the person who was the reason behind the address and warning that my Lord gave to me!” 4
1. Ibn Hisham, Sirah, V. 1, p. 198; Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, V. 4, p. 208-209, Tirmidhi, Sunan, V. 2, p. 232.
2. Abasa, 1-12.
3. M. Hamdi Yazır, Hak Dini Kur’an Dili, V. 7, p. 5576.
4. Ibn Sa’d, ibid, V. 4, p. 209; Ibn Kathir, Tafsir, V. 4, p. 470-471; M. Hamdi Yazır, Tefsir, V. 7, p. 5571.
Who was the first Companion who shed blood in the history of Islam and how did this incident take place?
It took place at a very crucial and most difficult period for the Muslims on account of the continuous persecution and torture the polytheists inflicted on them.
Hazrat Sa’d was praying in the Abu Dubb valley with some of the other Muslims who were among the first to embrace the glorious faith. Abu Sufyan, a leading figure among the polytheists, came to them with a few other unbelievers by his side. When the polytheists made the claim that the Muslims’ form of worshipping was a groundless practice, the two sides went at each other’s throats. With the bone of a camel’s chin that he held in his hands, Hazrat Sad wounded the head of one of the polytheists. When the other polytheists saw this, they lost their audacity and began to run away. And the Muslims chased them until they exited the valley.
In this way, Hazrat Sad had become the first companion to shed blood in the way of Allah. This was also the first instance in the history of the Islam in which blood had been spilled.
At the same time, Hazrat Sad bin Waqqas, who was immensely generous, was one of the ten companions who had been given the glad tidings of Paradise. He participated in all of the holy wars during our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) time. During the Battle of Uhud, he devoted his body as a shield for our Holy Prophet (PBUH) and threw arrows at the polytheists in such a manner that allowed him to become the recipient of an address that no other creature has ever had the honor of receiving:
The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said to him, “Oh Sad, do not stop shooting your arrows, may my mother and father be sacrificed for you!”1
Hazrat Ali would say:
“On the day of the Battle of Uhud, Allah’s Apostle (PBUH) only addressed Hazrat Sad with the words, “Fadaka Abi wa Ummi”2 (May my mother and father be sacrificed for you).3
During the same battle, Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) would say, “Oh Lord, this is your arrow” each time Hazrat Sad shot one and would pray for him in this manner:
"O Lord, direct his shooting and respond to his prayer."4
It is through our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) decree, “O Lord, respond to his prayer” that he was able to attain wealth with the acceptance of his supplications alongside his heroism, bravery, arrow-shooting skills, and. Just as the enemies of Islam feared his sword and arrows, the Muslims feared his supplications for the same reason. They would be extremely hesitant to hurt his feelings.5
Hazrat Sad, who at a young age became a Muslim during the era of secret conversions and the springtime of Islam, continued to spend his entire life in the service of Islam thereafter. He was appointed as the commander of the army that marched to Iran during Hazrat Umar’s reign. And by leading this army to victory in the Battle of Qadisiyya, he conquered the country of Kisra and incorporated it into Islamic territory. Therefore, he was given the title “the Conqueror of Iran”.
1. Ibn Sa’d, ibid, V. 2, p.139.
2. The expression, “Fadaka Abi wa Ummi” should not be taken literally since it is used in its customary context. These words express a state in which someone is highly pleased and content. The individuals who uttered these words were highly praised.
3. Muslim, Sahih, V. 7, p. 125.
4. Ibn Sa'd, Tabaqat: 3/141
5. Badiuzzaman Said Nursi, Mektûbat, p. 149.
How did Hz. Khadijah become a Muslim?
The Master of the Universe, Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH), understood that he had been privileged with a divine mission at Hira and that he had been appointed to prophethood. However, this heavy and massive duty had many responsibilities that had to be fulfilled. He knew that this was a matter that would not be easy to fulfill in the society that he lived in.
From that moment on, our Master (PBUH) went one-on-one with the world and was going to convey the message that he received from Allah to the general public. Of course, this could not be seen as a simple task.
Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) estimated from where and how he would begin his holy and honorable duty to humanity very well.
He first explained the situation to his wife, Hazrat Khadija, who was closest to him. Hazrat Khadija unhesitatingly believed in him and attained the honor of becoming the first Muslim.
Afterwards, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) taught her the manner of ablution that he had learned from Hazrat Jibril (Gabriel) and led her in two rakah prayer which he had also learned from Hazrat Jibril.
This two rakah prayer that our Holy Prophet (PBUH) performed 1 was the first prayer that he led as an imam; he performed that prayer a Monday.2
1. At the beginning, it was obligated as 2 rakahs of prayer to be performed twice a day (the timing of the prayers resembled the timing of our morning and early evening prayers-fajr and maghrib). Much later, tahajjud was added to this. After 5 rakahs of prayer were determined during the ascension (Miraj), the obligation of the night prayer (tahajjud) was changed to supererogatory prayer for the ummah (community of believers). Nevertheless, it continued to be an obligation for our Holy Prophet (PBUH).
2. Tahirü’l-Mevlevi, Müslümanlıkta İbâdet Tarihi, p. 25.
How did Hz. Hamza become a Muslim?
(The 6th year of the prophethood)
The voice of Islam was becoming more and more resonant as it passed from ear to ear. The establishment of this divine atmosphere that freshened the hearts unsettled the polytheists. None of their applied schemes or plans could get in the way of this waterfall of faith that gushed happiness; the polytheists were withering in a state of hopelessness and devastation.
Their spiritual aches doubled due to Hamza, who was included in the circle of happiness.
Hazrat Hamza, who was our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) paternal uncle as well as his foster brother, was a hero who could not tolerate injustice no matter where it came from. He possessed a high esteem among the Quraysh.
It is never apparent where and how one will attain the blessings of faith. Hazrat Hamza attained the blessings of faith at an unexpected time.
One day, he was returning from a hunting trip (it was what he liked to do best). While he was walking towards the Kaaba from Mount Safa, he came across Abdullah bin Juda’s freed handmaiden who said,
“Oh Umara’s father, if you had seen what happened, you would not have been able to bear what Abul-Hakam bin Hisham (Abu Jjahl) and his friends did to your brother’s son, Muhammad!”
Staring solemnly at the handmaid, Hazrat Hamza asked her, “What did Abul Hakam bin Hisham do to him?”
“He tortured Muhammad in a variety of ways and insulted him. He left afterwards. Muhammad did not say anything to him.”
Hazrat Hamza asked, “Did you see what you have told me with your own eyes?”
The freed handmaiden replied, “Yes, I did!”
Without stopping at his house, Hazrat Hamza, who had become immensely furious, was carrying his bow, arrow, bag, and hunting supplies with him as he went straight towards Abu Jahl and his friends, who were sitting around the Kaaba. Without asking any questions, Hazrat Hamza severely wounded Abu Jahl’s head by whopping an arrow on it amid the assembly. He spoke afterwards,
“Are you the one that swore at Muhammad? I am from his religion, too. I say what he says. If you have enough strength, then try doing whatever it is that you have done to him.”
Abu Jahl began to defend himself so as to justify the actions that he had committed:
“But he regarded us as stupid. He insulted our idols and chose a separate path from what our fathers chose.”
Hazrat Hamza gave a decisive and firm answer:
“You worship something other than Allah by calling it a deity. Who is more stupid than you? I testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is His Messenger!” 1
Abu Jahl and those around him did not respond nor act in the face of Hazrat Hamza’s decision. In fact, Abu Jahl even admitted to his guilt,
“The truth is that I swore at our brother’s son in a very ugly manner. I deserve it.”
The Whisperings of Shaytan
When Hazrat Hamza, who had suddenly and unexpectedly entered the circle of happiness, returned to his home, he was left to deal with the shaytan’s whisperings in his mind:
“You are a reputable person among the Quraysh. You have forsaken your religion by following Muhammad. You did not act wisely!”
When Hazrat Hamzah sensed that he was being exposed to the inculcations of shaytan in both his mind and heart, he went straight to the Kaaba and prayed,
“O Allah, if this road that I have chosen is correct then have my heart affirm it; please provide me a solution in this matter!”
After a day passed, he went to our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) presence and explained what he had experienced; Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) then gave him advice. Hazrat Hamza’s heart then found the confidence and level of faith it had been searching for,
“I testify to your truthfulness, oh my brother’s son, explain your religion to me.”
While Hazrat Hamza’s conversion to Islam made our Holy Prophet (PBUH) and the Muslims immensely happy, it instilled a great sense of sadness and fear in the polytheists’ hearts. They were also obliged to forgo committing a portion of the cruel and tortuous acts that they used to inflict upon our Holy Prophet (PBUH).
1. Ibn Hisham, Sirah, V. 1. p. 311; Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, V. 3, p. 9-12; Ibn Abdi’l-Barr, al-Istiab, V. 1, p. 270.
Some questions that can come to the mind about the miracle of Miraj (Ascension): Why is the great Ascension peculiar to Hz. Muhammad (pbuh)? A plane can go up to one or two kilometers with a lot of difficulties.
Why was this mighty Ascension special to Muhammad the Arabian (Peace and blessings be upon him)?
Firstly: Despite numerous corruptions in the texts of Holy Scriptures like the Torah, Gospels, and Psalms, in recent times even, an exacting scholar like Husayn Jisri extracted one hundred and fourteen good tidings of Muhammad’s prophethood (PBUH), which he set forth in his Risale-i Hamidiye. 1.(Husayn al-Jisri, Risale-i Hamidiye 4 vols. Turk.tr. Manastırlı İsmail Hakkı (Istanbul: 1308); Suyuti, al-Khasa’is al-Kubra, i, 26, 73.)
Secondly: It has been proved historically that there were many predictions accurately forecasting the prophethood of Muhammad (PBUH), like those of the two soothsayers Shiqq and Satih, which, a while previously to his prophethood, gave news of it and the fact that he was to be the final prophet. 2.(Ibn Sayyid al-Nas, ‘Uyun al-Athar, I, 29; Qadi Iyad, al-Shifa’, i, 364-6.)
Thirdly: There were hundreds of extraordinary happenings, famous in history, called irhasat, that is, signs forewarning men of a coming prophet, like, for example, on the night of Muhammad’s (PBUH) birth, the idols in the Ka’ba fell from their places and the famous palace of Khosroes the Persian was rent asunder. 3. (Qadi Iyad, al-Shifa’, i, 366-8; Bayhaqi, Dala’il al-Nubuwwa, i, 126.)
Fourthly: History and the Prophet’s biographies show that he satisfied the thirst of an army with water flowing from his fingers, that in the presence of a large congregation in the mosque, the dry wooden support against which Muhammad (PBUH) was leaning moaned like a camel and wept on being separated from him when he ascended the pulpit, and that he was distinguished by close on a thousand miracles attested to by the verses of the Qur’an, such as, And the moon split, 4 (Qur’an, 54:1.) referring to the splitting of the moon, and verified by those who investigated them.
Fifthly: Anyone who considers the facts and is fair and just cannot hesitate to agree that, as is unanimously agreed by friend and foe alike, good moral qualities were to be found at the highest degree in his personality, and that, in accordance with the testimony of all his dealings and actions, attributes and character of the greatest excellence were apparent in the way he performed his duties and proclaimed Islam, and, in accordance with the fine qualities and conduct enjoined by the religion of Islam, laudable virtues of the highest order were to be found in the law he brought.
Sixthly: As is alluded to in the Second Indication of the Tenth Word, it is a requirement of wisdom that Divinity be manifested. And this desire of Divinity to be manifested is met at the highest level and most brilliantly by the comprehensive worship performed by Muhammad (PBUH) in the practice of his religion. Also, wisdom and truth require that the Creator of the world displays His beauty in its utter perfection through some means. And the one who met that wish, and displayed and described His beauty most perfectly was self-evidently the person of Muhammad (PBUH).
"It was also clearly Muhammad (PBUH) who, in response to the desire of the world’s Maker to exhibit and attract attentive gazes towards His perfect art within infinite beauty, heralded that art with the loudest voice."
"Again it was necessarily Muhammad (PBUH) who, in response to the desire of the Sustainer of All the Worlds to proclaim His unity in the levels of multiplicity, announced all the degrees of unity, each at the greatest level of unity."
"And, as is indicated by the utter beauty in beings and as is required by truth and wisdom, the world’s Owner desires to see and display in mirrors, His infinite essential beauty and the subtleties and qualities of His exquisiteness. And again it was self-evidently Muhammad (PBUH) who, in response to that desire, acted as a mirror and displayed His beauty in the most radiant fashion, and loved it and made others love it."
"Also, in response to the desire of the Maker of the palace of this world to exhibit His hidden treasuries, which are filled with the most wonderful miracles and priceless jewels, and through them to describe and make known His perfections, it was again self-evidently Muhammad (PBUH) who exhibited, described, and displayed them in the most comprehensive fashion."
"Also, since the Maker of the universe has made it in such a way that He adorns it with different varieties of wonders and embellishments and has included conscious creatures in it so that they might make tours and excursions and ponder over it and take lessons, wisdom requires that He should desire to make known the meanings and value of the works of art to those who observe and ponder over them. And it was again self-evidently Muhammad (PBUH) who, in response to this desire of the universe’s Maker, by means of the All-Wise Qur’an, acted as guide in the most comprehensive fashion to jinn and man, indeed, to spirit beings and angels."
"Also, the All-Wise Ruler of the universe wishes, by means of an envoy, to cause all conscious beings to unravel the obscure talisman containing the aims and purposes of the change and transformations in the universe and to solve the riddle of the three perplexing questions: “Where do beings come form?”, “What is their destination?”, and, “What are they?” And again it was self-evidently Muhammad (PBUH) who, in response to this wish of the All-Wise Ruler, by means of the truths of the Qur’an, unravelled the talisman and solved the riddle in the clearest and most comprehensive fashion."
"Also, the All-Glorious Maker of the universe desires to make Himself known to conscious beings by means of all His fine artefacts and to make them love Him through all His precious bounties, and, most certainly, to make known to them by means of an envoy His wishes and what will please Him in return for those bounties. And again it was self-evidently Muhammad (PBUH) who, in response to this desire of the All-Glorious Maker, by means of the Qur’an, expounded those wishes and things that please Him in the most exalted and perfect fashion."
"Also, since the Sustainer of All the Worlds has given to man, who is the fruit of the universe, a comprehensive disposition which encompasses the universe and has prepared him for universal worship, and since, because of his faculties and senses, multiplicity and the world afflict man, the Sustainer desires to turn man’s face from multiplicity to unity, from transience to permanence. And again it was self-evidently Muhammad (PBUH) who, in response to this desire, by means of the Qur’an, acted as guide in the most comprehensive and complete fashion, and in the best way, and carried out the duty of prophethood in the most perfect manner."
"Among beings the most superior are animate beings, and among animate beings the most superior are conscious beings, and among conscious beings the most superior are true human beings. So the one among true human beings who carried out the above-mentioned duties at the most comprehensive level and in the most perfect manner would rise through an all-embracing Ascension to the distance of two bow-lengths, knock at the door of eternal happiness, open the treasury of Mercy, and see the hidden truths of belief. Again it would be him."
"Seventhly: As is plain to see, beings are made beautiful with the utmost degree of fine embellishment and adornment. Such an embellishment and adornment clearly demonstrate that their Maker possesses an extremely strong will to make beautiful and intention to adorn. The will to make beautiful and adorn demonstrates that the Maker necessarily possesses a strong desire for and holy love towards His art. And among beings the one who displayed altogether in himself the most comprehensive and subtle wonders of art, and knew them and made them known and himself loved, and who appreciated the beauties to be found in other beings, declaring: “What wonders God has willed!”, and was most beloved in the sight of his Maker, Who nurtures and loves His art, would most certainly be him."
"Thus, the one who, declaring: “Glory be to God! What wonders God has willed! God is most Great!” in the face of the exquisiteness that gilds beings and the subtle perfections that illuminate them, causes the heavens to ring out, and who, through the strains of the Qur’an, causes the universe to reverberate, and through his admiration and appreciation, his contemplation and display, and his mentioning of the Divine Names and affirmation of Divine unity, brings land and sea to ecstasy, is again self-evidently that one (PBUH)."
"And so, according to the meaning of ‘the cause is like the doer,’ it is pure truth and sheer wisdom that the one in whose scales shall be found the equivalent of all the good deeds performed by his community, and whose spiritual perfections draw strength from the benedictions of all his community, and who, as a result of the duties he discharged in his messengership, received immaterial recompense and boundless emanations of Divine mercy and love, should advance by the stairway of the Ascension as far as Paradise, the Lote-tree of the farthest limit, the Divine Throne, and the distance of two bow-lengths."
-“Man is only able to ascend to a height of one or two kilometres with a thousand difficulties by means of the aeroplane. How then could someone come and go bodily within a few minutes covering a distance that would normally take thousands of years?”
"According to your science, in its annual rotation a heavy body like the earth cuts a distance of approximately one hundred and eighty-eight hours in one minute. In one year it covers a distance of approximately twenty-five thousand years. Should an All-Powerful and Glorious One, then, Who causes its regular motion and revolves it like a stone in a sling be unable to convey a human being to His Throne? Should a wisdom that causes the body of the earth, which is extremely heavy, to travel around the sun through a dominical law known the sun’s gravity like a Mevlevi dervish be unable to raise a human body to the Throne of the All-Merciful One like lightning through the gravity of that All-Merciful One’s mercy and the attraction of the Pre-Eternal Sun’s love?"
- All right, so he could ascend there, but why did he and why should he? Would it not have been enough if he had gone just in heart and spirit like the saints?
"Since the All-Glorious Maker wished to display His wondrous signs which lie in both the outer aspects of things and in their aspects that look directly to Himself, and to make the workshops and sources of the universe spectacles to be gazed upon, and to point out the results of man’s actions in the hereafter, it was necessary to take together with his heart and spirit as far as His Throne Muhammad’s (PBUH) eyes, which were like the key to the world of visible objects, and his ears, which perceived the signs in the world of sound. Furthermore, it is required by wisdom and reason that the All-Glorious Maker should have taken as far as His Throne his blessed body, which was like the machine of his spirit comprising different members and components, by means of which be performed his duties. Just as in Paradise Divine wisdom makes the body accompany the spirit, because it is the body that is the means by which the duties of worship are performed and the means of innumerable pleasures and pains, so did his blessed body accompany his spirit. Since the body goes to Paradise together with the spirit, it is pure wisdom that He should have made the blessed body of Muhammad (PBUH) accompany his self, which ascended to the Lote-tree of the farthest limit, which is the trunk of the home of Paradise."
- Is it not impossible to traverse a distance of thousands of years in several minutes?
"The motion in the different works of the All-Glorious Maker’s art varies to the utmost degree. For example, it is well-known how different are the speeds of light, electricity, spirit, and imagination, and that of sound. And, as has been established by science, the speeds of the motion of different planets are so different that it astounds the mind. How then should the motion at the speed of spirit of his subtle body, which followed his exalted spirit during the Ascension, seem contrary to reason? Furthermore, it sometimes happens that on sleeping for ten minutes you are subject to a year’s-worth of different states. And even, if the words spoken and heard during a dream lasting one minute were collected together, for them to be spoken and heard in the waking world, a day or even longer, would be necessary. That means a single period of time is relative; it may seem like one day to one person and like a year to another."
"Consider the meaning of this by means of a comparison. Let us imagine a clock which measures the speed of the movement displayed by man, cannon-balls, sound, light, electricity, spirit, and imagination. The clock has ten hands. One shows the hours while another counts the minutes in a sphere sixty times greater. Another hand counts the seconds in a sphere sixty times greater than the previous one, and yet others each count regularly decreasing fractions to a tenth of a second in vast spheres that regularly increase sixty times. Let us suppose the circles described by the hand counting hours was the size of our clock, so that of the hand counting tenths of a second would have to be the size of the annual orbit of the earth, or even larger."
"Now, let us suppose there are two people: One of them is as though mounted on the hour-hand and observes according to its motion while the other is on the hand counting tenths of a second. There will be an enormous difference, as great as the relation between our clock and the annual orbit of the earth, as regards the things observed by these two individuals in the same period of time. Thus, since time is like a hue, shade, or ribbon of motion, a rule that is in force in motion is also in force in time. And so, although the things we observe in the period of one hour would be equalled in amount by the conscious individual mounted on the hour-hand of the clock, like the one mounted on the hand counting tenths of a second, God’s Noble Messenger(Peace and blessings be upon him) mounted Buraq of Divine Assistance and in the same space of time, in that specified hour, like lightning traversed the entire sphere of contingency, saw the wonders of the outer aspects of things and the aspects which look to their Creator, ascended to the point of the sphere of necessity, was honoured with Divine conversation and favoured with the vision of Divine beauty, received his decree, and returned to his duty. It was possible for this to happen, and it did happen."
- And again it comes to mind that you would say: “Yes, so it could happen, it is possible. But everything possible does not occur, does it? Is there anything else similar to this so that it can be accepted? How can the occurrence of something to which there are no similar cases be posited through only probability?
"To which we would reply: There are so many similar cases to it that they cannot be enumerated. For example, anyone who possesses sight can ascend with his eyes from the ground to the planet Neptune in a second. Anyone who has knowledge can mount the laws of astronomy with his intellect and travel beyond the stars in a minute. Anyone who has belief can, by mounting his thought on the action and pillars of the obligatory prayers, through a sort of Ascension, leave the universe behind and go as far as the Divine presence. Anyone who sees with his heart and any saint of perfection can, through his spiritual journeying, traverse in forty days the Divine Throne and the sphere of the Divine Names and attributes. And certain persons, even, like Shaykh Geylani and Imam-i Rabbani, truthfully recorded their spiritual ascensions as far as the Throne, which lasted a minute. Furthermore, there is the coming and going of the angels, which are luminous bodies, from the Divine Throne to the earth and from the earth to the Throne in a short period of time. And the people of Paradise ascend to the gardens of Paradise from the plain of resurrection in a short space of time. Of course, this many examples demonstrate that it is pure wisdom, completely rational, and an occurrence about which there can be no doubt that the person of Muhammad (PBUH), who is the Lord of all the saints, the leader of all the believers, the head of the people of Paradise, and is accepted by all the angels, should have had an ascension which was the means of spiritual journeying, and that it should have been in a form appropriate to his rank. (see. Badiuzzaman Said Nursi, The Words, The Thirty-First Word)
- What are the fruits and benefits of the Ascension?
"We shall mention only five, by way of example, of the more than five hundred fruits of the Ascension, which has the meaning of the Tree of Tuba."
This fruit has brought to the universe and mankind a treasury, a gift of pre-eternal and post-eternal Light, which is to see with the eyes the truths of the pillars of belief and to behold the angels, Paradise, the hereafter, and even the All-Glorious One. It raises the universe from an imaginary state of wretchedness, transitoriness, and disorder and, through that Light and fruit, shows its reality, which is its consisting of sacred missives of the Eternally Besought One and being a beautiful mirror to the beauty of Divine oneness. It has made happy and pleased the universe and all conscious beings. Furthermore, through this Light and sacred fruit, it shows that man is not merely bewildered, wretched, impotent, impoverished, with endless needs and innumerable enemies, ephemeral and impermanent, which is like the state of misguidance; it shows man in his true form of being a miracle of the Eternally Besought One’s power on ‘the most excellent of patterns,’ a comprehensive copy of the Eternally Besought One’s missives, an addressee of the Pre-Eternal and Post-Eternal Monarch, the special bondsman, the admirer and friend of His perfections, the lover bewildered at His beauty, and a beloved guest appointed to eternal Paradise. It has filled all human beings who are true human beings with infinite joy and infinite longing.
This fruit has brought to jinn and man as a gift the fundamentals of Islam, and first and foremost the prescribed prayers, (Bayhaqi, Dala’il al-Nubuwwa, iii, 406; al-Sunna al-Kubra, iv, 362.) which constitute those things pleasing to the Sustainer, the Ruler of Pre-Eternity and Post-Eternity, Who is the Maker of beings, Owner of the universe, and Sustainer of all the worlds. To discover the things that please Him brings such happiness it cannot be described. For how eager is everyone to find out, from a distance, the desires of a powerful benefactor or generous king, and if they find out, how delighted they are. They say longingly: “If only there was some means by which I could communicate with that personage directly. If only I could learn what he wants of me. If only I knew what would please him that I could do.” Man, then, should understand just how necessary it is to be desirous and eager to discover the wishes and pleasure of the Ruler of Pre-Eternity and Post-Eternity. For all beings are in the grasp of His power, and the beauty and perfections to be found in all beings are but pale shadows in relation to His beauty and perfection, and being needy for Him in innumerable ways, man constantly receives countless numbers of His bounties.
Thus, as a direct fruit of the Ascension, Muhammad (PBUH) heard with utter certainty what it is that pleases the Monarch of Pre-Eternity and Post-Eternity, behind seventy thousand veils, and returning, brought it as a gift to mankind.
Indeed, how curious is man to learn the conditions on the moon. If someone was to go there and return bringing news of it, both what self-sacrifice he would display, and, if he was to understand the conditions there, how he would be overcome by wonder and curiosity. But the moon is merely touring in the domain of a Lord of such dominion that it encircles the globe of the earth like a fly, and the globe flies round the sun like a moth, while the sun is one lamp among thousands and is just a candle in a guest-house of that Glorious Lord of All Dominion. Thus, Muhammad (PBUH) saw the works and wonders of art and treasuries of mercy in the everlasting realm of this All-Glorious One, and he returned and informed mankind. And so, if mankind does not listen to him with complete wonder, curiosity, and love, you can understand how contrary to reason and wisdom is their attitude.
Muhammad (PBUH) saw the treasury of eternal happiness, obtained the key, and brought it as a gift to jinn and men. Yes, through the Ascension, he saw Paradise with his own eyes and witnessed the eternal manifestations of the All-Glorious and Merciful One’s mercy; he understood eternal happiness with absolute and utter certainty and brought as a gift to jinn and men the good news of its existence. If wretched jinn and men imagine themselves and all beings to be in the soul-searing situation of an unstable world amid the upheavals of decease and separation, being poured with the flood of time and motion of particles into the oceans of non-existence and eternal separation, it cannot be described how precious and enheartening such good news is in the ears of ephemeral jinn and men, who thus supposed themselves to be condemned to eternal annihilation. If, at the moment he is to be executed and sent to non-existence, a man is pardoned and given a palace in proximity to the king, what great joy this would cause him. So, gather up all such joy and happiness to the number of jinn and men and then evaluate this good news.
Just as he himself sampled the fruit of the vision of Divine beauty, so did he bring to jinn and men the gift of this fruit being attainable by all believers. You may understand from the following how delightful, pleasing, and exquisite a fruit this is. Everyone of fine perception loves one who possesses beauty and perfection and is benevolent, and his love increases proportionately to their degrees; it reaches the degree of worship and a pitch whereat he would sacrifice his very life. On seeing that person only once, his love becomes such he would sacrifice the world. However, in relation to the beauty, perfection, and benevolence of God Almighty, the beauty, perfection and benevolence of all beings are not the equivalent of even a few tiny sparks in relation to the sun. That is to say, if you are a true human being, you may understand how delightful and fine a fruit it is and what happiness and joy it brings to receive in eternal happiness the vision of the All-Glorious One of Perfection, Who is worthy of boundless love, infinite longing, and being gazed upon eternally.
Man’s being the precious fruit of the universe and the petted beloved of the Maker of the universe was understood through the Ascension, and he brought this fruit to jinn and men. This fruit raises man, an insignificant creature, a weak animal, an impotent conscious being, to an elevated rank of pride above all the beings in the universe. It gives man indescribable pleasure and joyful happiness. For if it is said to an ordinary private: “You have been promoted to the rank of field marshal,” how delighted he will be. But wretched man is an ephemeral, impotent ‘rational animal’ who constantly suffers the blows of decease and separation. If then he is told that not only will he make excursions and tours with the speed of imagination and breadth of the spirit in an eternal never-ending Paradise within the mercy of an All-Compassionate and Generous Merciful One, and journey in the mind in accordance with all the desires of his heart in both the outer dimensions of things and those dimensions that look directly to their Creator, but that he will also behold the vision of Divine beauty in eternal happiness, you can imagine what a profound joy and true happiness a human being who has not fallen from the level of humanity would feel in his heart. We shall show you through two short comparisons the great value in one or two further fruits.
For example, you and I are together in a certain country. We see that everything is hostile to us and to each other, and is strange to us. Everywhere is full of ghastly corpses. The sounds to be heard are the weeping of orphans and the lamentations of the oppressed. So if someone appears when we are in that situation bringing good news from the king of the country by which those of his subjects who were strange to us assume the form of friends and the enemies turn into brothers, and the ghastly corpses are seen to be worshipping and praising and glorifying in deep humility and submission; and if the piteous weeping becomes praise and exaltation and cries of “Long live the king!”, and the deaths and plunder and pillage are transformed into demobilizations and release from duty; and if we join the general joy to our own joy, you will certainly understand how joyful and happy that news is. Thus, when the beings in the universe are considered with the eye of misguidance, as they were before the light of belief, which is one fruit of the Ascension of Muhammad (PBUH), they are seen to be strange, menacing, troublesome, dreadful, terrifying corpses the size of mountains, while the appointed hour is severing people’s heads and casting them into the pit of eternal, never-ending nothingness. Although misguidance interprets all the voices as being lamentations occasioned by separation and decease, the truths of the pillars of belief, which are fruits of the Ascension, show you that just as beings are brothers and friends to you and praisers and glorifiers of the All-Glorious One, so are death and decease a demobilization and discharge from duties; in reality those voices are all glorifications of God.
The Second Comparison: You and I are in a place resembling a vast desert. There is a sand-storm in the sea of sand and the night is so black we cannot see even our hands. If suddenly, without without friend or protector, hungry and thirsty, we were despairing and giving up hope, a person was to pass through the curtain of blackness and approach us bringing a car as a gift; and if he was to seat us in it, and then instantly install us in a place like Paradise where our future was secure, food and drink ready prepared, and where we had a most kindly and sympathetic protector, you can understand how pleased we would be.
Thus, that great desert is the face of this world. The sea of sand consists of beings and wretched man, who are tossed around by the force of the flood of time and the motion of particles within events. All human beings see the future with the eye of misguidance, enveloped in terrifying darkness, and their hearts are harrowed with anxiety. They know no one they can make hear their cries for help. They are infinitely hungry, infinitely thirsty. However, when this world is seen in terms of things pleasing to God, which is a fruit of the Ascension; that is, it is seen to be the guest-house of Someone exceedingly generous, and human beings are seen to His guests and officials, and the future to be as delightful as Paradise, as sweet as mercy, as shining as eternal happiness, you will understand what a delightful, exquisitely sweet fruit it is. (see. Badiuzzaman Said Nursi, The Words, The Thirty-First Word).
Did any Christians in Abyssinia become Muslims thanks to the Muslims who migrated to Abyssinia?
The lifting of the boycott allowed our Holy Prophet (PBUH) and his Companions room to breathe. During this time, many were converting to Islam in succession.
There were 20 Christians among those inclined towards Islam. Upon what they heard from the Muslims that migrated to Abyssinia, they came to Makkah to research about the Prophet and Islam.
They met with our Holy Prophet (PBUH) by the Kaaba and asked him many questions. They were very happy upon receiving the perfect answers.
Much later, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) invited them to testify to the Oneness of Allah and recited the Quran. Their hearts were overwhelmed with love in the face of the Quran’s magnificence. In the midst of their tears, all twenty of them converted to Islam at once.
The polytheists were immensely angry at this situation. While they were trying to thwart the idol worshippers from becoming Muslims, here, the Christians had come by their own will and were converting to Islam.
With Abu Jahl at the forefront, a group of polytheists blocked their way and after insulting them in numerous ways they said,
“May God curse you! You came here to learn what this man says; you have consorted with and are following him! This is just downright stupid.”
However, the fortunate ones, who had been honored through their conversion to Islam, did not pay any attention to the polytheists’ insults and answered them with a tactful reply,
“We will not treat you in the ignorant manner in which you treat us.”
Verses 51-55 in Surah Qasas refer to these honorable individuals. 1
1. Ibn Hisham, Sirah, V. 2, p. 32.
What are the extraordinary incidents that were witnessed by the people during the birth of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) nearby him?
From the narrations by his mother…
The reverend mother, Hazrat Amina, who was deemed worthy of such a unique honor that no other mother ever was, describes that blissful moment as follows:
“Someone came towards me in my dream in the sixth month of my pregnancy and said:
“O Amina! Know that you are pregnant to the most decent person of the universe. When you give birth to him, name him Muhammad and do not tell about it to anyone!”
“Then the time for birth came. My father-in-law, Abdulmuttalib, was away, performing Hajj. I was at home. Suddenly I heard a voice. I felt as if I would melt with horror. It was there. A white bird appeared and came to me; and it patted my back with its wing. I did not feel any fear or anxiety from then on.”
“I had a look around. They were serving me syrup in a white jug. As soon as I drank it, I was covered with a sea of light.”
“And Mohammad was born...”
The reverend Mother tells about afterbirth as follows:
“I saw a flag in the east, a flag in the west and a flag on the Kaaba. The birth was over. I looked at the baby. He was in sajdah (prostration) and his finger was raised up towards sky. Then a white cloud came down and swaddled the baby. I heard a voice:
‘Show him around the east and the west, show him the seas, so that creatures will know Muhammad with his name, his attributes and his face’”
Then the cloud disappeared.”
Also at the same night, Hazrat Amina saw a divine light and in the brightness of that light, she watched palaces and mansions in Damascus.
Observations by Midwives Shifa and Fatima
At the time the Master of the Universe (Prophet Muhammad) was born, Shifa who was Abdurrahman bin Awf’s mother and Fatima who was Uthman bin Abul’l As’s mother were together with the reverend mother. Shifa, who was one of the midwives, described her observations at that time as follows:
“I was there when the Messenger of Allah was born. I quickly came there for help. I heard a voice: “May Allah’s mercy be upon him.” The distance between the east and the west was filled with divine light. And I saw some palaces of Byzantine in that light. Then I took the Messenger of Allah in my arms and started to suckle him. I started to tremble and almost fainted. The baby disappeared in front of my eyes. A voice asked: ‘Where has he gone?’ Another one replied: ‘They took him to the east.’
“I never forgot those words: Therefore, as soon as the Messenger of Allah declared his prophethood I went to him and accepted his faith together with the first Muslims.”(1)
Fatima said that the house where the birth took place was filled with divine light and the stars in the sky seemed as if they would fall into the house. (2)
Another specialty of Prophet Mohammad was that he was born circumcised and his umbilical cord was already cut off. (3) There was “the seal of prophethood” between his shoulder blades on his back, just on the line with his heart. It was formed by hairy, raised and reddish freckles which looked like pearls and it was in the size of a partridge egg. The seal was a sign indicating that he was the last prophet being awaited for a long time.
Saib bin Yazid, one of the Companions, tells “about the seal” as follows:
“When I was a child, my aunt took me to the Prophet (PBUH) and said:
‘O Messenger of Allah, there is a pain in my nephew’s foot.’”
“The Messenger of Allah patted my head with his hand and prayed for me. Then, he took ablution. I drank from the ablution water. Then I stood behind him and I saw the seal of prophethood between his shoulders; it was as big as the huge buttons of the tent (or a partridge egg).”
Describing the Messenger of Allah, Hazrat Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The distance between his shoulder blades was large and it was obvious that he was the last prophet from the seal of prophethood between his shoulder blades.”
1. Qastalani, Mawahibu’l-Ladunniya, 1/122.
2. Qadi Iyad, ash-Shifa, 1/267
3. It is narrated that Hazrat Adam, who was the first human being and the first prophet, was also born circumcised. Moreover, sources record that the prophets Seth, Enoch (Idris), Noah, Moses, Solomon, Shuaib (Jethro), John (Yahya) and Hud (Eber) were also born circumcised.
Why was the method of secret call to Islam preferred in the first years of Islam and why was Islam not declared openly?
Allah has attributed everything in the universe to the law of gradualness. Those who do not submit to and abide by this law will undoubtedly become unsuccessful in due time.
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) complied with this law upon receiving a mandate from Allah. He did not openly inform the people of his prophethood and Islam for a period of three years. He was incredibly cautious and prudent in delivering his message and explained the situation only to those he fully trusted.
We see that his decision was the cause for Islam’s success. Within the three-year period of the Era of Secret Conversions, many people took their place within Islam and strengthened his cause.
After the three-year period ended, there was no further reason for this invitation to remain a secret. The polytheists of the Quraysh had more or less heard everything and the Islamic cause had garnered much strength through many people. By virtue of this, the time had come for the call to Islam and the realities of Tawhid (the doctrine in the belief of God’s oneness) to be openly announced to the entire world.
How did the Prophet (pbuh) declare his prophethood and call his relatives to Islam in the first phase of his prophethood and how did his relatives react to this?
A religion that would address all of humanity and embrace the entire world was not going to remain a secret for too long. Since this religion was being sent as the means through which humanity could attain both worldly and spiritual peace, it was necessary to openly convey this message to the people.
Allah has attributed everything in the universe to the law of gradualness. Those who do not submit to and abide by this law will undoubtedly become unsuccessful in due time.
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) complied with this law upon receiving a mandate from Allah. He did not openly inform the people of his prophethood and Islam for a period of three years. He was incredibly cautious and prudent in delivering his message and explained the situation only to those he fully trusted.
We see that his decision was the cause for Islam’s success. Within the three-year period of the Era of Secret Conversions, many people took their place within Islam and strengthened his cause.
After the three-year period ended, there was no further reason for this invitation to remain a secret. The polytheists of the Quraysh had more or less heard everything and the Islamic cause had garnered much strength through many people. By virtue of this, the time had come for the call to Islam and the realities of Tawhid (the doctrine in the belief of God’s oneness) to be openly announced to the entire world.
The Invitation to his Close Relatives
Allah informed our Holy Prophet (PBUH) through revelation on where he should begin to openly deliver the invitation:
“And admonish thy nearest kinsmen” 1
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) knew that this undertaking would not be easy. For this reason, he did not leave his house for some period of time. During this period, he called Hazrat Ali and said to him:
“Oh Ali, Allah orders me to warn my closest relatives of the punishment in the hereafter and this is very difficult for me. I know very well that I am going to see them attempt to make accusations against me in regards to something that I do not like once I mention this matter to them.”
We see that our Holy Prophet (PBUH) was worried that he would be subjected to accusations made by his relatives once he began to openly explain his cause to them. For that reason, he deemed it appropriate to stay in his home for some time and think everything through. When Hazrat Safiyya saw that he had been absent and had not left his home for a long period of time, she went to go visit him along with his other aunts to learn about his condition. Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) said to them,
“I have no complaints about anything and I am not ill. However, Allah has commanded me to warn my closest relatives of the punishment in the hereafter. I want to gather the Sons of Abdulmuttalib and invite them to testify to Allah.”
His aunts answered, “Invite them, but never dare try to invite Abu Lahab because he will never accept.” Following this, they said, “After all, we are women” and left.
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) then said to Hazrat Ali,
“Prepare a meat dish that is enough for only one person and fill a cup with milk. Then gather the Sons of Abdulmuttalib, I want to talk with them. I am going to notify them with what I have been commanded to say.”
Hazrat Ali immediately fulfilled his order. When morning came, all of our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) uncles, including Abu Lahab, who had not been invited, and two women amounting to a total of 45 individuals, convened in Abu Talib’s home.
The meat in the pot was only enough to fill one person, and so was the cup filled with milk. The Pride of the Universe (PBUH) broke the meat into pieces and said to those who were attending the feast,
“Bismillah (In the name of God, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate), help yourselves!
Everyone at the feast ate from those pieces of meat until they were full. Lo and behold! What did they see? The meat remained in its place with very little missing from it. They were amazed and began to drink from the cup filled with milk. They drank till they were satiated and they saw that the milk had not decreased. They were astonished!
After the meal was completed and just as our Holy Prophet (PBUH) was about to speak, Abu Lahab intervened and addressed the crowd:
"We have not seen such an instance of black magic until now. Your friend has cast a great spell upon you all.”
Afterwards, he went as far as to affront the Master of the Universe (PBUH) and bellowed loudly so as to disrupt the crowd.
The crowd dispersed before our Holy Prophet (PBUH) had the chance to speak.
After that inconclusive feast, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) arranged another event and gathered his relatives through the means of Hazrat Ali. He rose to his feet after the meal finished and said:
“Praise should only be given to Allah and I praise Him. I only seek help from Him. I believe and trust on Him. Just as I am undoubtedly aware of this fact, I also make known to you that there is no god other than Allah. He is One and there is no being similar to Him.”
Afterwards, he disclosed his purpose:
“Surely a person who is sent to go look for pasture would not lie to his family. By Allah, even if I were to have lied to the rest of humanity, I still would not have lied to you. Even if I were to have deceived everyone else, I still would not have deceived you.
"I invite you to testify to Allah who is the Only True God. I am His Messenger, who has been specifically sent to you, the community, and all humanity.”
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) continued to speak:
“By Allah, just as you fall asleep, you will also die, and just as you wake up from your sleep, you will also rise and be accounted for all of your actions. You will be rewarded for your good deeds and punished for your bad deeds. As a result, you will stay forever either in Paradise or Hell. You are the first from among the people that I have frightened with the fear of punishment in the hereafter.”2
When our Holy Prophet (PBUH) finished speaking, Abu Talib rose to his feet and said,
“We will help you lovingly and sincerely. We have embraced and accepted your advice and have affirmed your words. Those who have gathered here are the sons of your grandfather. Consequently, I am one of them. I swear that the person to run the quickest among all those who run to fulfill your goals will be no other than me."
"Continue doing what you have been commanded to do. By God, I will not refrain from surrounding and protecting you for the slightest moment. However, my soul does not obey me to abandon the religion of Abdulmuttalib. I will die as a follower of his religion.”
His other uncles also affirmed his words and did not say anything to displease our Holy Prophet (PBUH). There was only one exception, and that was Abu Lahab, who had opposed to the Islamic cause from the very beginning. He leaped forward and said,
“Oh Sons of Abdumuttalib, by God this is a misfortune. Dissuade him from this before others hinder him. If you are to obey him being, you will be subjected to mortification and defamation; if you try to defend him, you will be killed.”
The brave answer to the most savage enemy of Islam came from Hazrat Safiyya:
“O, brother! Does it suit you to leave your brother’s son and his religion helpless? By Allah, the living scholars say that a prophet is to emerge from Abdulmuttalib’s progeny. He is that Prophet!”
Abu Lahab arrogantly replied to his sister’s noble words:
"I swear that this hope is in vain. Besides, a woman’s words are at the level of an obstacle and a chain that is attached to a man’s foot. When the families of Quraysh and the entire Arabs riot together, what power will we have to resist them? By God, we are like a morsel that can be easily swallowed for them.”
Abu Talib was immensely annoyed by Abu Lahab’s words.
“O coward” he said, “By God we are going to help and protect him as long as we live.”
Afterwards, he turned to our Holy Prophet (PBUH) and said,
“Oh my brother’s son, let us know when you want to deliver the invitation so we can be armed and emerge together with you!”3
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH), who had only listened to all that was being said up until that point, rose to his feet and said:
"Oh Sons of Abdulmuttalib! By Allah, I do not know anyone else from among the Arabs who has brought something that is more auspicious and superior than that what is most beneficial for both your life here and in the hereafter, which I have brought to you. I invite you to testify to two words that are easy on the tongue and that weigh heavily on a scale: "Ashhadu anlaa ilaaha illallaahu wa ashhadu anna muhammadar-rasulallah" (There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger.)
Then, he asked, “In that case, which one of you accepts to become my helper and vizier by following me on this path?”4
Nobody uttered a sound. All heads were bowed towards him. They were unable to find the strength to look at Allah’s Apostle (PBUH). However, there was only one person who looked very carefully into our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) eyes. And that person was Hazrat Ali, who was only 12-13 years old at the time. He rose. However, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) told him to “sit down.”
The Master of the Universe (PBUH) asked his question thrice. And only Hazrat Ali replied each time:
“O Allah’s Apostle, I will help you although I am much younger than them all.”5
Some pursed their lips upon hearing these words, some were amazed, and some jeeringly smiled. Afterwards, they left the meeting without taking the meeting seriously.
Hazrat Ali’s heroism and bravery at a young age made our Holy Prophet (PBUH) immensely happy. He was not sad or in despair since he could not get the result he had wished from the meeting. Only Allah could give guidance.
1. Surah ash-Shuara, 214
2. Tabari, Tarikh: 2/217; Ibn Kathir, Sirah: 1/457-459
3. Halabi, Insanu'l-Uyun: 1/285
4. Tabari, Tarikh: 2/217; Ibn Kathir, Sirah: 1/459
5. Tabari, Tarikh: 2/217; Ibn Kathir, Sirah: 1/459
How did the first spread of Islam take place?
Abu Bakr’s conversion garnered many secret conversions to Islam at a much greater speed. Those who had attained the fortune of becoming Muslim wanted to share this happiness with their families and those who were close to them. They were struggling to save them from the tortures of disbelief and the immorality of the Age of Ignorance.
We see that Hazrat Abu Bakr was ahead in this matter. The following are the names of a few people who embraced Islam by his means during the period of secret call to Islam:
Uthman bin Affan, Zubair bin Awwam, Abdurrahman bin Awf, Sa’d bin Abi Waqqas, Talha bin Ubaydillah (Radiyallahu Anhum). (Ibn Hisham, Sirah, V. 1, p. 268-269.)
These five companions would then take their place among the ten people that were given the good tidings of Paradise.
While new names were being added to the list of Muslim men, the light of Islam was being spread among the women day by day. After Hazrat Khadija converted to Islam (she was the first person and woman to do so), we see that Ummu Fadl, the wife of our Holy Prophet’s uncle Hazrat Abbas who had not converted to Islam at that time, Hazrat Abu Bakr’s daughter Asma, and Lady Fatima, the sister of Hazrat Umar who also had not converted to Islam at that time, took their place among the first women to have embraced Islam.
The invitation to Islam was now being passed through two channels. The men and women were continuing to spread the light of Islam to the members of their own sex with love and zeal. It should be mentioned that the women were being drawn to the appeal of faith more quickly. This could be due to their susceptible nature that is more easily affected.
The polytheists did not stay put in the meantime. They began to slander, insult, and look down upon those who had been guided to the truth. However, none of these tactics could scare those fortunate and happy people of the Age of Happiness whose hearts were engraved with their faith in the reality of Allah, nor could they turn them away from His cause. In fact, they could not even render the slightest shred of doubt. The people’s threats and scare tactics were weak and feeble like a dust particle amid wind or like waste in the wake of a flood when compared to the believer’s faith in and fear of Allah.
How did the first attempt of assassination planned to kill the Prophet (pbuh) fail?
A group of disbelievers from the Sons of Mahzum among whom were such fierce enemies of Islam as Abu Jahl and Walid bin Mughira came together and decided to kill the Noble Prophet (pbuh) after lengthy discussions. Walid bin Mughira was to do it.
When the Prophet Muhammad, (pbuh) started to recite from the Holy Qur’an in the namaz (stated prayer), Waleed came very near to him. His ears heard his voice reciting from the Qur’an, but his eyes could not see him around.
Walid became bewildered. He went back to his friends to tell about the incident. Then they all went there. Yet again, they could see nothing. When they were in the back, the voice came in the front, when they were in the front; the voice came from the back. Finally, they left there astonished.
The Prophet, who had risen like the sun of mercy in the universe, returned home due to those insulting acts of the polytheists. He covered himself and lay down in order to relieve his sorrow.
How did Talha bin Ubaydullah become a Muslim?
Hazrat Talha bin Ubaidullah followed Hazrat Uthman’s tracks by embracing Islam.
He went on a journey for the purpose of trade. While he was at the Busra fair, a priest who lived there shouted,
“Is there anyone here who is from Mecca?”
Hazrat Talha answered, “Yes, I am a Meccan.”
“Did Ahmad appear?” asked the Priest.
Hazrat Talha then asked, “Who is Ahmad?”
The priest answered, “He is the son of Abdullah bin Abdulmuttalib. Mecca is the city from which he will emerge. He is the final Prophet and will arise from the Harem ash-Sharif. He will be obliged to migrate to a rocky and barren place that is a date grove.”
The priest’s words captured Talha’s attention and as soon as he arrived in Mecca,
he asked the people if there was “any news?”
They replied, “Yes, Abdullah’s son, Muhammad-al-Amin (Muhammad the Trustworthy) claims that he is a prophet and Abu Kuhafa’s son, Abu Bakr, has become his follower!”
Upon hearing this, he immediately went to Abu Bakr and asked,
“Have you subjected yourself to Muhammad?”
Hazrat Abu Bakr answered,
“Yes. I have and you should go and subject yourself to him! He is inviting the people to the truth and reality.”
They quickly went to our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) presence after Hazrat Talha explained what he had heard from the priest to Abu Bakr. When Hazrat Talha, who had instantly become a Muslim, explained what the priest had said, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) smiled.1
The polytheists could not stand the fact that a virtuous person like Hazrat Talha had become a Muslim. Nawfal bin Adwiya, one of the Quraysh’s fiercest wrestlers, tied him to a rope and tortured him.
Hazrat Talha, who had embraced Islam at a young age, was one of the ten companions that had been given the good tidings of Paradise. In respect to him, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) said,
“One who wants to see a martyr should look at Talha.”2
He was an immensely generous and brave companion. His fingers were crippled due to holding the arrows that were shot at our Holy Prophet (PBUH) during the Battle of Uhud. He did not separate from our Master’s (PBUH) side despite having been afflicted with nearly 80 wounds in the same war.3
1. Ibn Sa'd, Tabaqat: 3/214-216; Ibn Hajar, Isaba: 2/220-221
2. Bukhari, 2/107; 4/211-212
3. Ibn Sa'd, Tabaqat: 3/219; Ibn Hajar, Isaba: 2/221
How did Hz. Umar, the fortieth Muslim, become a Muslim?
(6th Year of the Prophethood, month of Dhulhijjah / 616)
The joining of Hazrat Hamzah, an incomparable hero, to the ranks of Muslims and the immigration of a group of Muslims to Abyssinia caused the polytheists of Quraysh to become lost in deep thought. A great worry and fear started to consume their lives.
They all had the same decision set in their minds: to solve the matter regarding Abu Talib’s orphan, Muhammad, once and for all.
The Quraysh organized their talks on this matter at Daru’n Nadwa. After their fiery and intense discussions, Abu Jahl’s proposal was accepted: “to annihilate Muhammad’s body.”
Who could dare to attempt such a fearsome murder? A possible vendetta administered by the Sons of Hashim was also a point of matter to be considered. Some were even making bold promises. For example, Abu Jahl promised,
“Whoever kills Muhammad will receive 100 red and black camels, this much gold, this much silver, etc from me.”
Nobody could find the courage to commit this appalling deed. However, there was someone from among them who did; he was tall, had an imposing build, and never bowed before anyone, He came forward and said,
“I will do it.”
At one moment, all eyes turned towards this fearless man, who had come forth. They saw that he was Umar, the Son of Hattab. The Qurayshis were confident that Umar was more than capable; thus, they all said,
“Yes, only you can do this. Let us see what you can do!” in unison.
Umar was fixed in his decision: he was going to go straight to Darul Arqam, find our Holy Prophet (PBUH), and execute his decision.
After Umar looked around in a furious manner with his eyes that had become bloodshot red, he went directly towards the Kaaba and circumambulated it. Afterwards, he walked towards Darul Arqam with deep feelings of animosity and aggression.
It was very obvious that he was on a mission to fulfill some goal. On his way, he encountered Hazrat Nuaym bin Abdullah, a relative who had become Muslim but concealed his faith. Hazrati Nuaym could not help asking questions when he noticed the apparent change seen in Hazrat Umar’s attitude:
“Where are you going, O Umar?”
Hazrat Umar replied without showing any need to conceal his purpose, “I’m going to eliminate Muhammad, the one who has instilled disunity among the Quraysh!”
Hazrat Nuaym went cold all over upon hearing this dreadful decision and looked for ways to dissuade him from this idea.
“By Allah, you are embarking on a very difficult affair. Muhammad’s companions never leave his side for the slightest moment. It is very difficult to find a way. Let us say that you were able to find a way and killed him. Do you think that the Sons of Abd al-Manaf would allow you to roam freely on the face of the Earth?”
Umar looked at his addressee sternly and asked “Or are you on his side as well?” However, he received an unexpected answer:
“O Umar, forget about me; return to your family and community. Your brother-in-law and uncle’s son, Said bin Zayd and his wife, your sister, Fatima, have submitted to Muhammad’s religion. Go and deal with them first!”
Hazrat Umar was bewildered and worried. He did not want to believe what he had heard. In fact, it looked as if he did not even find the need to investigate. However, he could not overcome the doubts that filled him; he changed his mind halfway down the road and went straight towards his sister’s home.
In the meantime, the altruistic Companion, Habbab bin Arat, was reciting the chapter Taha, which had just been revealed, to Hazrat Said and Hazrat Fatima. Hazrart Umar heard this sounds when he neared his sister’s home. He furiously knocked on the door once or twice. When no one opened the door, he pushed against the door with his shoulder and rushed into the house with rage.
Hazrat Fatima had understood that the one furiously knocking on her door was her brother Umar; thus, she put away the pages of the Quran while Hazrat Habbab hid in a corner. Hazrat Umar asked in a tone filled with much displeasure,
“What was it that you were reading?” When his brother-in-law replied with nervousness and worry,
“It was nothing, we were just talking among ourselves”, Hazrat Umar’s anger and rage increased thoroughly. He held his brother-in-law, who innocently stood there, by his neck and said,
“So that means what I have heard is true; you also converted to Muhammad’s religion, didn’t you?” as he hurled him to the ground. Hazrat Fatima attempted to save her husband. She also found herself on the ground after receiving a harsh punch.
Hazrat Fatima understood that there was no point in concealing her faith any longer. She rose to her foot and shouted,
“Do whatever you can, Umar! My husband and I are now Muslims. We have testified to Allah and His Messenger (PBUH).”
She followed by reciting the Kalima ash-Shahada, the affirmation of faith, and the room instantly rang with the magnificence of this oath.
It was an exemplary and heartbreaking sight. How could someone cruelly hit his sister and leave her drenched in blood for saying, “My Lord is Allah”? What hardened heart would not soften and what conscience would not come to reason in the sight of a person who continues shouting her cause despite being in a welter of blood?
Umar was suddenly taken aback. He felt as if his heart was fluctuating. He could not stand on his feet any longer; thus, he sat down. After thinking deeply for some time, he said,
“Bring me what you were reading so that I can see what Muhammad says.” At first, Hazrat Fatima was hesitant. She was afraid that her brother would attempt to defame the pages of the Holy Quran. However, Umar ceased her worries by saying, “Do not be afraid.”
Yet, she could only give the pages of the Quran to those who were purified and because Umar was still an adherent of polytheism, he was not considered to be spiritually clean. Therefore, Hazrat Fatima said,
“My Brother, you are not considered to be clean because you are an adherent of a faith that associates partners to Allah. Only those who are clean can touch it. Rise and wash yourself.”
Hazrat Umar rose and bathed himself by performing a full ablution (ghsul) over his body. Upon this, Hazrat Fatima took the pages of the Quran with the utmost respect and handed them to him.
Hazrat Umar was a scribe; therefore, he knew how to read and write (not many people during his time had these skills.) He began reading the page he held in his hands from the beginning to its end:
“Ta Ha. We have not sent down the Qur'ân unto you (O Muhammad SAW) to cause you distress, But only as a Reminder to those who fear (Allâh). A revelation from Him Who created the earth and the heavens on high.” 1
Hazrat Umar both read and reflected upon these verses. He was baffled in the face of the timeless and literary eloquence of the Holy Quran. It was as if he was not the same Umar, who had firmly grasped the handle of his sword, intending to kill our Holy Prophet (PBUH). The insensitivity in his heart and the anger seen on his face had both disappeared. His eyes that had been bloodshot were now gleaming with light. His inner being was smiling along with his face. When he read the verse,
"Verily I am Allah: there is no god but I: so serve thou Me, (only) and establish regular prayer for celebrating My praise” 2 of the chapter, he shouted:
“This is such a beautiful, honorable, and sublime remark! No remark can be sweeter and more beautiful than this!”
This expression was proof that his heart had attained both guidance and luminance. Hazrat Habbab, who had heard Hazrat Umar’s words, came out from his hiding spot and said,
“Glad tidings, O Umar. I hope the prayer that Allah’s Apostle (PBUH) made on your behalf will come true. Last night he prayed, “My Lord, strengthen Islam through either Abu’l-Hakam bin Hisham (Abu Jahl) or Umar bin Hattab.”
Umar bin Hattab and Abu’l-Hakem Amr bin Hisham (Abu Jahl): One of them (Abu Jahl) had proposed for the Master of the Universe (PBUH) to be murdered since that would have been the only way through which the Islamic cause could be hindered, whereas the other, Hazrat Umar, had accepted this proposal and rose to carry out this decision. The negative perceptions that Hazrat Umar had previously held about Islam and our Holy Prophet (PBUH) had now completely shifted. He wanted to go to our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) presence and feel the warm embrace of his light as soon as possible. He asked,
“Where is Allah’s Apostle?”
When he learned that our Holy Prophet (PBUH) was at Darul-Arqam, the outskirts of Mount Safa, he immediately set off on his way with Hazrat Habbab. A watchman informed our Holy Prophet (PBUH) that Hazrat Umar had come with a sword on his waist. An air of worry and nervousness beset upon everyone with the exception of Hazrat Hamza. This great Islamic hero grasped his sword and said,
“Let him come. What is there to be scared of? If he has come with good intentions, then we will welcome him with benevolence. If he has come with bad intentions, then we will dispose of him with his own sword.”
Smiles appeared on the Master of the Universe’s (PBUH) face as he watched the scene before him. He had received news that Umar’s heart had been embraced by the light of guidance. Without getting worried or nervous at all, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) said,
“There is nothing to be worried about, let him come. If Allah desires beneficence for him, then He will deliver him in the right direction.”
The door opened upon this command. Umar, who was waiting in front of that door, entered with his imposing appearance and weapon. There was not a trace of anger that could be seen on his face; instead, his face radiated with a glisten of love. His eyes were searching for the light of both truth and reality. At one moment, he came eye-to-eye with our Holy Prophet (PBUH). It was as if he was going to pass out in the face of our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) grandeur. He forgot about everything. Our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) light-filled glances had deeply grasped Hazrat Umar under their influence.
After they looked at one another for some time, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) disrupted Hazrat Umar’s air of nervousness, silence, and worry by asking,
“Why did you come, O Hattab’s Son, Umar?” Afterwards, he extended his hand and held his sword by its handle and prayed,
“O My Lord, this is Hattab’s Son, Umar. My Lord, strengthen the religion of Islam with Umar, Son of Hattab (Umar bin Hattab).
Hazrat Umar’s soul had given rein to the Sun of Guidance. He answered our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) question by saying,
“I have come to testify to Allah and His Apostle and what he has brought.” Afterwards, he recited the Kalima ash-Shahada, the oath of faith, and became a Muslim. 3
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) and his companions were immensely happy. In unison, they all recited the Takbir loudly: "Allahu Akbar… Allahu Akbar!" (God is Great, God is Great!) These sounds of Takbir that were heard on the streets of Mecca rang in the horizon and from there, rose to the skies as waves filled with light.
Hazrat Umar had become a Muslim, in fact, he became the 40th Muslim. From thereon, his bravery, courage, and strength were no longer in the way of disbelief. He was going to exercise these qualities for the sake of Islam. Umar, who had run forth to kill our Holy Prophet (PBUH) upon the decision of the polytheists, was now like a fan circulating around him. Now that Hazrat Umar had a perpetual power, which resulted from having faith, added to his valor, he would challenge and intimidate the polytheists from thereon. By receiving light and illumination through our Holy Prophet (PBUH), he would be known by the title, “Umar, the Just” in the world history.
Entering Masjid-al-Haram in Ranks
Hazrat Umar, whose real source of courage resided in his faith, could no longer stay put in his place. He asked our Holy Prophet (PBUH),
“O Allah’s Apostle, whether we die or live, are we not in the true religion?" When our Holy Prophet (PBUH) replied,
“Yes, I swear by Allah in whose hand is my soul that you are”,
Umar said, “In that case, why do we continue to conceal out faith? I swear by Allah Who has sent you with the religion of truth that I will bravely go to every assembly of polytheism and announce Islam without fear and hesitation.”
Upon this, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) set towards the Kaaba from Daru’l-Arqam, with Hazrat Umar on his right, Hazrat Hamza on his left, and the other companions (sahaba) following them from behind. They entered the Masjid al-Haram with dignified steps.
The polytheists, who were expecting our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) head, were surprised when they saw this sight. They were looking at Hazrat Umar and Hazrat Hamza with scared and nervous glances. They were able to gather their courage and ask,
“O Umar, what is behind you? What did you come with?”
Hazrat Umar replied, “I came with La ilaha illalah Muhammadur Rasullulah. Nobody should move from his place or else I will cut his neck.”
The polytheists became silent. It was as if their tongues were tied. Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) circumambulated the Kaaba and prayed freely. The Muslims were also able to pray openly.
Hazrat Umar said,
“It was then that Allah’s Apostle (PBUH) gave me the name, “Faruq” for separating truth and falsehood.” 4
Hazrat Hamza’s conversion to Islam followed by Hazrat Umar’s ensured Islam’s development, enabled Muslims to worship freely, and saved Muslims from the constraints imposed by the polytheists. In this regard, Hazrat Umar’s joining of ranks with the Muslims held an important place in Islamic history. One of the companions, Hazrat Abdullah bin Masud made note of this importance,
“When Umar became a Muslim, it was a conquest for Islam, an honor as well as a glory for the Muslims, His migration to Makkah was a victory, and his Caliphate was a mercy. Until Umar became a Muslim, we could not openly pray in the Kaaba’s courtyard.”5
1. Taha, 1-4
2. Taha 14
3. Ibn Hisham, Sirah, 1/366-371; Ibni Sa'd, Tabaqat, 3/267-269; Suhayli, Rawdu'l-Unf, 1/216-219
4. Ibn Sa'd, Tabaqat: 3/270
5. Ibn Sa'd, Tabaqat: 3/270; Suhayli, Rawdu'l-Unf: 1/219
How was the Prophet welcomed in Taif, where he went to call people to Islam? What happened when he returned from Taif?
The polytheists considered the deaths of Abu Talib and Hazrat Khadijah as an opportunity to do as they wished. It was as if they were waiting for this day; they tortured and abused our Holy Prophet (PBUH) at far greater levels than they had before. Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) was unable to deliver his message as a result of the immense cruelty, insults, and torture to which he was subjected.
The polytheists’ ruthless attitude was affecting our Holy Prophet (PBUH) greatly. For that reason, he decided to go to Taif. He intended to invite the city’s inhabitants to follow Islam and to seek patronage from the Thaqif Tribe that resided there.
Taif was one of Arabia’s important places. Its gardens were famous. Furthermore, Bani Sayed, the tribe to which our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) wet-nurse Halima belonged, lived close-by. Naturally, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) was hopeful that the inhabitants of this region would feel partial to and convert to Islam. If his hopes were realized, he would have acquired a great force against the polytheists of the Quraysh.
The date was the 27th of Shawwal, 10th year of the prophethood.
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) and Hazrat Zaid bin Harith left Mecca in secrecy and later arrived in Taif. He invited its inhabitants to Islam. He explained that he had come to request their alliance against those who were opposed to him and attacking him within his tribe. However, he did not attain any positive results within the 10 days of his visit. In fact, they replied with insults and mocked him. Our Beloved Prophet (PBUH) also faced several accusations.
One of the chiefs went as far as to arrogantly say,
“Could Allah not have found someone else to send as a prophet instead of you?;”; this comment greatly saddened his holy heart.
Someone else said,
“By Allah, "I do not want to talk to you, for if you are in fact a Prophet, then to oppose you is to invite trouble, and if you only pretend to be one, why should I talk with an impostor?". 1
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) understood from their words and behavior that no good would come from the people of Thaqif and was saddened as a result.
He was worried that the polytheists would hear about this situation and become more audacious. For that reason, as he was leaving Taif, he said,
“At least keep this between us! No one else should hear what has happened.”
However, the inhabitants of Taif, who lived in a state of utter disbelief, did not comply with this request either. They were afraid that the youth would take interest in Islam thus they said to our Holy Prophet (PBUH):
Go wherever you want to go but just leave our country! You came to us when your tribe and countrymen rejected what you have said! By Allah, we are going to stay as far away from you as we can and will not accept your wishes.” 2
The people of Thaqif, who competed with the Meccan polytheists in their worship of Lat and Uzza did not stop there. They provoked their hooligans, street youth, and slaves against our Holy Prophet (PBUH), who was a guest in their region.
These raving and ill-mannered fools lined both sides of the street to stone the Master of the Universe (PBUH) and Hazrat Zaid. Our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) holy feet were completely drenched in blood; the wounds he had received from these strikes prevented him from walking. From time to time, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) would have no choice but to sit down. Nevertheless, these remorseless fools continued to stone his feet each time he lifted them from the ground, which he did with great difficulty. While our Holy Prophet (PBUH) was being tortured, their strikes, jeers, and cackles only further increased.
Hazrat Zaid thought nothing of his own life as he willingly used his body as a shield for our Holy Prophet (PBUH.) He was trying to hinder the rocks from reaching the Master of the Universe (PBUH.) However, his efforts were futile. He too was drenched in blood.
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) was only able to escape this despicable attack by throwing himself in an orchard. The owners of this orchard were two brothers by the name of Utba and Shayba bin Rabia who were our Beloved Prophet’s (PBUH) distant relatives.
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) threw himself under a grapevine in a state of extreme exhaustion. After slightly recovering from the trauma of this shameful incident, he made this sorrowful appeal:
“My Lord! I only express and complain to you about the feebleness of my strength and about being held in contempt among the people.
“Oh Allah, Most Merciful of all those capable of showing mercy! You are the Lord of the weak. Only You are my Lord. You possess enough compassion not to allow me to fall into the hands of an ill-mannered and shameless enemy.
“My Lord! As long as I do not encounter Your wrath I will endure what I am given. However, Your mercy is expansive enough to not allow them to do this to me.
“I seek refuge in Your Divine light that illuminates darkness, puts the affairs of the afterlife in place; I seek refuge from acquiring Your wrath and not receiving Your consent!
“My Lord, I seek Your forgiveness until You are pleased!
“My Lord! Every power only exists through You!” 3
Addas, the Slave
The two brothers turned their feelings of sympathy into fruition after observing from afar the vile and atrocious attacks to which our Holy Prophet (PBUH) was subjected. They sent grapes to our Holy Prophet (PBUH) by means of their slave Addas.
Addas brought a plate with grapes to our Beloved Prophet (PBUH.) When the Master of the Universe (PBUH) said, “Bismillah” (in the name of Allah) and began eating, Addas paid close attention. He said to himself,
“By Allah, the people of this region do not know nor utter these words.”
The Master of the Universe (PBUH) asked,
“O Addas, which religion do you follow?”
Addas replied, “I am from Ninova and I am a Christian.”
“So you are a compatriot of the Prophet Yunus ibn Matta?”
“How do you know Yunus Ibn Matta?”
“He is my brother. He was a Prophet. I am also a Prophet.”
Upon this, Addas could not contain himself; he kissed our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) head, hands, and feet. One of the owners of the vineyard who was watching this scene from afar said to the other,
“Your man broke the slave’s creed right before your eyes.”
When Addas returned, they both suddenly scolded him.
“Shame on you, Addas! How could you kiss that man’s head, feet, and hands?”
“There is no one on Earth who is more auspicious than him! He told me something that only a Prophet could know.” 4
Our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) Compassion and Mercy
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) left the orchard and sadly proceeded on his way since he had not reached any positive terms with the Thaqif tribe. There was a distance of a span of two palaces left until Mecca when he noticed a cloud shading him. After glancing carefully, he noticed that this cloud held Hazrat Jibril within.
“Undoubtedly, Allah has heard what the tribe has said to you. He sent you the angel in charge of these mountains. You can command him to do what it is that you want for that tribe.”
At that moment, the angel of the mountains came forth and said he was willing to follow our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) commands and that he could have the Abu Qubais and Quayqan mountains come crashing upon the polytheists if our Holy Prophet (PBUH) wanted.
However, the wishes of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), who was a fountain of compassion and mercy, were different. He replied:
“No, I do not want that. I only hope from Allah that the descendants of these polytheists will worship Allah without associating any partners to Him.” 5
Yes, our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) purpose was not to eradicate others with his malediction nor was it to devastate them with troubles and calamities. On the contrary, his purpose was to have others attain faith, guidance and eternal happiness. His every step, action, and undertaking was in line with the realization of this goal. For that reason, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) spent his every minute performing various acts of worship and his every moment elapsed into time as a bright episode.
1. Ibn Hisham, Sirah, V. 2, p. 61; Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, V. 1, p. 211.
2. Ibn Hisham, ibid, V. 2, p. 61; Ibn Sa’d, ibid, V. 1, p. 211; Tabari, Tarikh, V. 2, p. 26.
3. Ibn Hisham, ibid, V. 2, p. 61-62; Ibn Sa’d, ibid, V. 1, p. 212.
4. Ibn Hisham, ibid, V. 2, p. 63.
5. Ibn Hisham, Sirah, V. 2, p. 60-63; Bukhari, Sahih, V. 4, p. 83.
What are the views about the belief of Abu Talib, the uncle of the Prophet (pbuh)? Did he die having an acceptable belief?
There are many views regarding Abu Talib’s faith. Scholars from among the Shia believe that he left with faith whereas most Sunni scholars say that he left without having testified. Furthermore, it can be understood from some of his poems that he would frequently praise our Holy Prophet (PBUH) and had testified to him through his heart.
Badiuzzaman Said Nursi explains the issue as follows:
“But what occurs to my heart is this: Abu Talib loved most earnestly, not the Most Noble Messenger’s (Upon whom be blessings and peace) messengership, but his person and his self. That - most earnest- personal love and tenderness of his surely will not go for nothing. Yes, Abu Talib sincerely loved Almighty Allah’s Noble Beloved and protected and supported him; it was because of, not denial and obduracy, but feelings like shame and tribal solidarity that he did not believe in him in acceptable fashion. If due to this he goes to Hell, He may create a sort of particular Paradise for him, in reward for his good actions. Like He sometimes creates the spring during winter in some places, and for people in prison transforms by means of sleep the prison into a palace, so too He may turn a particular Hell into a sort of particular Paradise...” 1
1. Badiuzzaman Said Nursi, Mektûbat, p. 398-399.
When and how did the miracles of Isra and Miraj, which are among the greatest miracles of the Prophet (pbuh) take place? How did the Prophet (pbuh) narrate this incident?
The Isra* and Miraj**, one of our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) greatest miracles, occurred on the 27th night of the month of Rajab, a year and a half before the migration (hijra.)
Jibril came that night and took our Holy Prophet (PBUH) from the Masjid-al-Haram*** to the Masjid-al-Aqsa**** on Buraq. Then, he was ascended to the skies so that he would be shown the wonderful activities and the signs that indicate the power of Allah Almighty one by one. He was allowed to meet all of the prophets in the layers of the sky. Then, the Messenger of Allah was taken to the station of Sidra al-Muntaha (Lote Tree). Then, he went up to the station of Two Bows’ Length (Qab Qawsayn) in "the middle of possibility and obligation." He was shown many weird and bizarre things. He heard the speech of Allah Almighty, who is free from time and place, in a form that we cannot know or understand; and he saw His face. On the same night, he returned home.
Allah Almighty narrates this miracle, which is related to the personality of His beloved Messenger, as follows in the Quran:
“Glory to (Allah) Who did take His Servant for Journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the Farthest Mosque whose precincts We did bless― in order that We might show him some of Our Signs: for He is the one Who heareth and seeth (all things)”1
This verse also declares the wisdom behind the miracle Isra and Miraj.
The section regarding the Miraj in Badiuzzaman Said Nursi’s work entitled “The Words” states:
“The Ascension is a question that results from the essentials and pillars of belief, and follows on after them, a light that draws strength from the lights of the pillars of belief. For sure, the Ascension cannot be proved independently to irreligious atheists who do not accept the pillars of belief, because it cannot be discussed with those who neither know Allah, nor recognize the Prophet, nor accept the angels, and who deny the existence of the heavens. Firstly those pillars must be proved.” (Badiuzzaman Said Nursi, The Words)
Our Beloved Prophet’s (PBUH) Explanation of the Isra and Miraj:
Since the miracle of Isra and Miraj is a tremendous miracle of the Messenger of Allah full of secrets about material and spiritual realm outside the conditions of time and space, it was reported from the Prophet (pbuh) through various ways by distinguished Companions. According to the narrations of these distinguished Companions,
One night when our Holy Prophet (PBUH) was sleeping at the Hatim section of the Kaaba, Hazrat Jibril came and slit his chest. After washing our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) chest with zamzam water, Hazrat Jibril filled his chest with wisdom and restored it to its previous state. Afterwards he brought a white mount, (Buraq), had our Holy Prophet (PBUH) climb upon it, and escorted the Master of the Universe (PBUH) on the journey.
Buraq’s leaps went beyond what the eye could see. Along with Hazrat Jibriil by his side, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) went to the Bayt-al-Maqdis. He saw all the prophets gathered there. He led them in prayer as they all prayed in congregation.
By leading them in prayer, it showed that our Holy Prophet (PBUH) was the inheritor of the origin of their Sharia (divine law.) 2
Three Cups That Were Offered
Three cups, one full of milk, the second full of sherbet, and the third full of water, were presented to our Holy Prophet (PBUH.) During this offering, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) heard a voice saying,
“If he chooses the cup filled with water, then both he and his ummah will be free of any needs and will be content. If he takes the cup filled with sherbet, then he and his nation will fall into deprivation. If chooses the cup filled with milk then he and his nation will be given guidance.”
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) took the cup containing milk and drank from it. Upon this Hazrat Jibril said,
“O Muhammad, you have chosen the true and natural way. You have been given guidance, and so has your nation.” 3
The Ascension to the Skies and the Meeting with the Prophets
During the Miraj, a staircase was built so that our Holy Prophet (PBUH) could ascend to the high stations in the Baytu’l-Maqdis. Both our Holy Prophet (PBUH) and Jibril (Gabriel PBUH) were placed upon it and they ascended together. They finally reached the Earth’s skies. Hazrat Jibril knocked on its door:
Someone asked, “Who is it?”
“Who is next to you?”
“Has he been sent for?”
Upon this, the sky’s door opened and they ascended upon these skies. Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) saw someone seated there who had sets of shadows to his right and left. He laughed when he looked to his right and cried when he looked to his left. He said to our Holy Prophet (PBUH),
“Welcome, O Noble Prophet, O Noble Son!”
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) asked Hazrat Jibriil (PBUH),
“Who is he?”
Hazrat Jibril answered,
“He is your father, Adam. The shadows to his right and left are the souls of his children. The ones on his right are destined for Heaven and the ones on his left are destined for Hell. When he looks to his right, he laughs. When he looks to his left, he cries."4
They ascended to the second station from there. The door opened and our Holy Prophet (PBUH) encountered Hazrat Yahya and Hazrat Isa (Jesus PBUH).
Hazrat Jibril said, “The men you see here are Yahya (John the Baptist PBUH) and Isa. Greet them.”
They exchanged greetings; Hazrat Isa and Hazrat Yahya said,
“Welcome Noble Prophet, Noble Brother,” to our Holy Prophet (PBUH.)
Afterwards our Holy Prophet (PBUH) met Hazrat Yusuf (Joseph PBUH) on the third level, Hazrat Idris (Enoch PBUH) on the fourth, Hazrat Harun (Aaron PBUH) on the fifth, Hazrat Musa (Moses PBUH) on the sixth, and Hazrat Ibrahim (Abraham PBUH) on the seventh level. They all welcomed him and congratulated him on his miraj.
Jibril (PBUH) took our Holy Prophet (PBUH) and rose from the seventh level. Afterwards, the Sidra- al -Muntaha’s (the seventh heaven) court opened.
“Here, this is Sidra-al- Muntaha. I will burn if I move forward by the length of a finger tip,” said Hazrat Jibriil and did not take one step forward.”
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) saw Sidra-al-Muntaha’s four rivers flowing.
Furthermore, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) again saw Jibriil (PBUH) in his true shape and form. Before, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) had seen Hazrat Jibril covering the skies with his majestic wings in the spot called Jiyad in Mecca where a revelation was revealed.
After that, the Messenger of Allah reached the station "indicated by qab qawsayn (distance of two bow lengths) between imkan (possibility) and wujub (necessity)" without Hz. Jibril. Then, he was honored by the talk and vision of the Owner of Majesty (Allah), who is free from space.
Hazrat Sulayman Chelebi, the author of the “Mawlid” describes this incident very clearly:
While talking with Jibriil
A Heavenly Mount came before him and saluted him.
It took the King of the World then
From Sidra and left quickly
At that moment, a space was seen
There was neither place, nor the Earth nor skies
That place was neither empty nor full
The mind cannot understand that situation
Seventy thousands curtains were opened
The light of oneness drew the curtain on his face
Whenever he passed a curtain,
He was summoned, “O Muhammad, come here”
He proceeded after seeing all of them
He reached that High Personality
That Lord of Majesty, who is free of six directions
Showed him His face in an indescribable manner
Anyway, the Sultan who saw everything truly
Looked at Allah Almighty carefully
He saw the Lord of Majesty clearly
His ummah will see him like that in the hereafter
Without any letters or sentences, the Sultan
Said to following to him
The 5 Daily Prayers are Made Obligatory:
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) witnessed many Divine manifestations, received many compliments, and was addressed several times with many kinds of titles. He saw with his eyes the realities of the pillars of faith; he witnessed the angels, Heaven, Hell, and the manifestation of Allah’s Self.
Furthermore, the order to pray five times a day was given that night. At first, Allah gave the order to pray 50 times a day. However, as our Holy Prophet (PBUH) was leaving, he stopped by Hazrat Musa (Moses), who asked,
“What did Allah enjoin upon your nation?”
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) answered,
“Allah decreed them to pray 50 times a day.”
Hazrat Musa responded:
“Your followers cannot do that; Go back so that your Lord may reduce it for them.”
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) returned and begged Allah and Allah reduced the daily prayers by ten.
When our Holy Prophet (PBUH) came back to Hazrat Moses he said,
“Allah reduced 50 daily prayers by ten.”
Hazrat Moses responded,
“Your followers cannot do that either; Go back and beg your Lord.”
Our Beloved Prophet (PBUH) returned to Allah again and begged. Allah reduced 10 more daily prayers.
Upon the reduction, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) returned to Hazrat Musa and said "Allah reduced 10 more prayers."
Hazrat Musa reiterated his words:
“Your followers cannot do that either; Go back and petition to your Lord.”
Allah’s Apostle (PBUH) begged Allah again and Allah reduced 10 more prayers. Until the daily prayers were reduced to 10, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) continued petitioning.
When it was reduced to 10, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) went to Hazrat Musa and explained what had been said. Hazrat Musa repeated his words:
“Go back and beg your Lord! Your nation will not be able to fulfill this.”
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) went back and begged once more. Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) went back to His Mighty Lord and pleaded. Allah then decreed:
"O Muhammad, the Laws that come from My station do not change! They are five daily prayers. There are ten rewards for each prayer, and this equals to 50 rakahs."
Upon this, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) returned to Hazrat Musa who asked,
“What were you appointed with?”
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) replied, “I was appointed with five daily prayers”
Hazrat Musa (Moses) said,
“Your ummah cannot perform five daily prayers. I tried people and Sons of Israel before you; I know it. Return and ask your Lord to decrease it.”
Nevertheless, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) answered,
“I pleaded too much. I feel ashamed now of repeatedly asking my Lord for reduction.” (Sira, 2/50)
In this manner, the five daily prayers were made obligatory and our Holy Prophet (PBUH) presented them as a gift from his miraj to the jinn and humanity.
* “Isra” means night walk or travel.
** Miraj: Is a name derived from the word “ascension.” Miraj also means “ladder”. With this in consideration, the Miraj signifies the means through which our Holy Prophet (PBUH) ascended to the high stations of the skies. A hadith describing the Miraj states that our Holy Prophet (PBUH) had ascended; therefore this miracle is called the Miraj.
*** Masjid-al- Haram: The masjid of Mecca encompassing the Kaaba, the spot where the tawaf (circumambulation) takes place today. This holy area is called the Haram-ash-Sharif. It is called the “Haram” to demonstrate that it is “wajib” to honor this zone.
**** Masjid-al- Aqsa: The Masjid of Quds, its other name is Bayt-al-Maqdis. The Kaaba was the first building to be built on Earth and the Masjid-al-Aqsa was the second. It takes a month to get to the Masjid-al-Aqsa from Mecca by foot.
1. al-Isra, 1
2. Badiuzzaman Said Nursi, The Words
3. Ibn Hisham, Sirah: 2/38
4. Muslim: 1/102
What are the saddening incidents that took place in the life of the Prophet (pbuh) in the year called "the Year of Sorrow"? (the deaths of Abu Talib and Hz. Khadijah)
Sad events followed the happiness that came with the lifting of the boycott. The first chain of a series of saddening events was the death of our Holy Prophet’s four-year old son, Qasim.
Our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) heart, which was a fountain of compassion, was greatly saddened by his oldest son’s death. As he was walking to his beloved child’s funeral in a deep woeful state, he said to the Kuaykian Mountain that stood upright before him,
“O Mountain! If what has befallen upon me had befallen upon you then you would not have been able to bear it and would have crumbled.”
Another painful event occurred while our Holy Prophet was still in deep mourning over his eldest son’s death: the death of his other son, Abdullah.
The Master of the Universe (PBUH), who is the ultimate example of what it means to submit to the will of Allah, was unable to hold back his tears.
Hazrat Khadijah asked about her beloved children whom she had rendered to Allah,
“Oh Allah’s Apostle! Where are they now?”
Allah’s Apostle (PBUH) answered,
“They are in heaven.”
Due to these painful circumstances, our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) heart was mournful and his eyes were continuously filled with tears. The Muslims also shared his sadness while the polytheists were elated. They did not pay any condolences nor exhibit any sense of human integrity as they tried to further upset our Holy Prophet (PBUH) in whatever way they could. Savages like As bin wail and Abu Jahl took their cruelty to a whole other level by arrogantly saying,
“Muhammad is now abtar, his progeny has been cut off. He does not have any sons left to continue his lineage. When he dies, his name and fame will be forgotten.” 1
Allah, Who never refrained from helping and consoling His beloved, revealed Surah al-Kawthar, which consoled our Holy Prophet (PBUH) and caused the polytheists to gag:
“Verily, We have granted you Al-Kawthar (2) (a river in Paradise). Therefore turn in prayer to your Lord and sacrifice (to Him only). For he who hates you (O Muhammad) he will be cut off.” 2 (Surah al-Kauther, 108/1-3)
Yes, in reality the Abu Jahls and Abu Lahabs were the ones whose names and fame fell from grace whereas our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) name and cause have continued to prevail for centuries and will continue to wave like a flag in the believers’ hearts till the Day of Judgment.
Abu Talib’s Death
The Muslims were immensely happy after having been rescued from this harsh boycott, which lasted three years. A common feeling of happiness spread across Mecca. However, this joy did not last long. Other painful events and tribulations occurred within a very short time.
Abu Talib fell sick and passed away during the tenth year of our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) Prophethood. Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) was immensely saddened by the death of his beloved uncle who had embraced him at a young age, who compassionately took him under his wing and raised him, and risked all sorts of dangers in order to protect our Holy Prophet (PBUH.) At the same time, the Master of the Universe (PBUH) sincerely yearned for Abu Talib to become a Muslim so that his uncle could attain eternal happiness.
As time passed, Abu Talib’s illness had gotten worse. The polytheists noticed this and again decided to appeal to Abu Talib to surrender his nephew to them. Utba bin Abi Rabia, Shayba bin Rabia, Abu Jahl, Umayya bin Khalaf, Abu Sufyan and many others came to him and said:
"Oh Abu Talib, you are one of our elders. We are now worried seeing that you have fallen on your death bed. You know what has happened between us and your brother’s son. Call him and be a judge amongst us. Have him separate from us and we will separate from him. Let us not struggle with one another. Have him not interfere with our faith and we will not interfere with his.”
Abu Talib sent for our Magnificent Holy Prophet (PBUH). Allah’s Apostle (PBUH) came and sat amid his uncle and those who were present.
Abu Talib addressed the Master of the Universe (PBUH), “Oh my Brother’ Son. These are the leading figures of the tribe. They came here to discuss your matter. They are going to give you what they offer to give and will take what they want to take.”
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) answered, “Alright, my Uncle. I have one word that I want them to take and accept from me. With that one word, they can rule over all the Arabs and non-Arabs.”
Abu Talib was amazed, “only one word?”
“Yes, only one word” replied our Holy Prophet (PBUH). Everyone was curious; what could this word be?
Abu Jahl came forth and arrogantly said, “Tell us what that one word is so we can add ten more words to it.”
The Master of the Universe (PBUH) announced the one word that everyone was so curious to hear:
“Say La ilaha illallah and throw away all the idols that you worship!”
The polytheists all clapped their hands and said, “Oh Muhammad, do you want to make all these gods just one God? We are surprised.”
Afterwards, they spoke amongst themselves:
“By God, this man is not going to give us what we want. Let us go, until God issues His judgment, let us firmly follow the religion of our forefathers.” 3
Allah notifies us of their action in the Holy Quran as follows:
"Has he made the gods (all) into one God? Truly this is a wonderful thing! And the leaders among them go away (impatiently), (saying) "Walk ye away, and remain constant to your gods! For this is truly a thing designed (against you)! 4
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) Invites His Uncle to Islam
Following the discussion they had with the polytheists, Abu Talib said to our Holy Prophet (PBUH),
“By God, my brother’s son, I do not see your request as being far from the truth.”
When he heard this, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) was happy and hopeful that his uncle whom he dearly loved and respected would become a Muslim,
“O Uncle! Say ‘La ilaha illalah’ so I can intercede for you on the Day of Judgment.”
Unfortunately, the Uncle of the Master of the Universe (PBUH) did not provide a joyous answer:
“Oh my nephew, I swear by God that if I was not afraid of them claiming that my conversion was due to having been afflicted with dementia at an old age and of them continuously mentioning this to you and the sons of your forefathers after my departure from this world, then I would say what it is that you want me to say and would submit to you; The Quraysh is going to think that I uttered those words because I fear death; that is why I am not going to say them.”
However, despite this, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) did not refrain from encouraging his uncle to convert to Islam. His holy heart was pounding with the fear of the frightful aftermath that his beloved uncle would face in the event that he did not convert. Therefore, he continuously said,
“Oh Uncle, say 'La ‘ilaha illallah’ so I can intercede for you in the hereafter.”
On some other occasion, while our Holy Prophet was (PBUH) inviting Abu Talib to testify to faith, Abu Jahil and Abdullah bin Abi Umayya were present. They both said,
“Oh Abu Talib! Are you going to turn away from Abdulmuttalib’s people and his religion?”
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) did not pay attention to their words and persisted in inviting his uncle to recite the shahada (testimony of faith.) They also continued to repeat their own words in the same manner. At last, Abu Talib said (by referring to himself) “he was a follower of Abumuttalib’s faith. 5
Despite this, our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) holy heart was greatly distressed with the fear that his uncle, who loved him dearly, would share the same frightful fate as the polytheists who had subjected our Beloved Prophet (PBUH) to all sorts of insults and cruelty. He said,
“O Uncle, know that that I will continue to ask for you to be forgiven until Allah takes your soul.” 6
Eventually, Abu Talib died at the age of 87 without attaining an acceptable belief. 7 Upon this, Allah revealed a verse that addressed our Holy Prophet (PBUH) and the Muslims at the same time:
“It is true thou wilt not be able to guide everyone whom thou lovest: but Allah guides those whom He will and He knows best those who receive guidance.” 8
Our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) holy and delicate heart was immensely saddened by his uncle’s death. His eyes were filled with tears and he said,
“May Allah forgive his sins and offer His benevolence.”
At the time of Abu Talib’s death, Hazrat Abbas was at his brother’s bedside. When Abu Talib was dying, Hazrat Abbas saw his lips moving and heard him say, “La ilaha illalllah.” He turned to our Holy Prophet (PBUH) and said,
“O my Brother’s Son! By Allah, I heard my brother Abu Talib utter the testimony that you had wanted him to say.”
Amid his tears our Holy Prophet (PBUH) said,
“I did not hear it.” 9
We should state that Hazrat Abbas was not a Muslim, then.
At his uncle’s funeral, our Holy Prophet (PBUH), who was greatly saddened and whose heart was a trove of compassion for all of humanity, prayed for him,
“May Allah bring you to the presence of His compassion and reward you with benevolence.” 10
During this time a verse related to this matter was revealed, providing the Muslims with an unchangeable measure:
“It is not fitting, for the prophet and those who believe, that they should pray for forgiveness for pagans, even though they be of kin, after it is clear to them that they are companions of the Fire.” 11
The death of his uncle both saddened our Holy Prophet (PBUH) and caused him to think deeply. He was the one who had been our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) guardian in the physical sense and had tried to protect his nephew from the dangers posed by the polytheists.
He never refrained from safeguarding his nephew under the most difficult and harshest conditions and continued to risk facing harsh enmity from his relatives. Due to this protection, the polytheists were unable to fully interfere with our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) work.
Now Abu Talib was gone. There was no one left to protect (visibly) our Holy Prophet (PBUH) against the polytheists’ excessive animosity and resentment. However, Allah continued to be His Beloved Messenger’s (PBUH) true protector without leaving the need for a material guard and protector.
Hazrat Khadijah’s Death
A short while after Abu Talib’s death, about three days later, our Holy Prophet’s beloved wife, Hazrat Khadijah, passed away, at age 65, during the holy month of Ramadan.
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) led the prayer at her funeral and while they were burying her in the Hajun graveyard, he watched the dark soil that now covered her with tears in his eyes.
These painful events that took place one after the other greatly pained and saddened our Holy Prophet (PBUH.) Hazrat Khadijah was our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) greatest supporter and sympathizer due to her loyalty, the strength of her faith, compassion, faithfulness, submission, her heart’s tenderness, and virtue. While everyone was an enemy to him, she was the first to testify to his Prophethood. And while everyone distanced themselves from him, she opened her heart to him and had her love deeply buried in her tender heart. She was his only source of comfort during all the times he was most distressed.
Our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) exceptional love for Hazrat Khadijah undoubtedly and greatly contributed to his immense grief. He never forgot about her after her death and would praise and speak about her with great reverence and love when the situation arose. He would help her relatives and never withheld his compassion and mercy from them, which reflected his love for her.
One day, when he heard the voice of Hazrat Khadijah’s sister, Halah, he mentioned the name of his beloved wife. Hazrat Aisha witnessed this and said, “Allah has given you younger and more beautiful wives.”
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) made it obvious that he was bothered by her words and mentioned Hazrat Khadijah’s kindness and virtue. Intending to make up for what she had said, Hazrat Aisha, who was very perceptive, said with the fullest sincerity,
“O Allah’s Apostle! I swear by Allah Who has sent you as a Prophet that I will always want you to mention Khadijah’s stories from now on.” 12
We learn that our mother Hazrat Aisha was jealous when our Holy Prophet (PBUH) would continue to frequently praise and mention Hazrat Khadijah with love through her own words:
"I did not feel jealous of any of the wives of the Prophet as much as I did of Khadijah though I did not see her, but the Prophet used to mention her very often, and whenever he slaughtered a sheep, he would cut its parts and send them to the women friends of Khadijah. When I sometimes said to him,
"(You treat Khadijah in such a way) as if there is no woman on earth except Khadijah," he would say,
"Khadijah was such-and-such a woman, and from her I had children." 13
When our Holy Prophet (PBUH) frequented Hira, our mother Hazrat Khadijah would take food to him. One day Hazrat Jabrail came and said,
“O Allah’s Apostle! The one who comes directly to you from afar is Khadijah. She is carrying a container that holds food. When she comes to you greet her on behalf of her Lord and me! Tell her that a castle in heaven has been made from pearls to be given to her and that it possesses no work and commotion.” 14
Hazrat Ali heard our Holy Prophet (PBUH) say:
“Maryam, the daughter of Imran, was the best woman of her time. The best woman in my ummah (community) is Khadijah.” 15
Due to the deplorable incidents that took place one after the other and due to the sorrow and pain they caused, the Messenger of Allah named the tenth year of the prophethood as “Sanatu’l-Huzun [Year of Sorrow]”
The polytheists escalate their torture and insults
While our Holy Prophet (PBUH) and the Muslims were grieving Abu Talib’s death, the polytheists were very happy. The chief of the Sons of Hashim was no longer there to support our Holy Prophet (PBUH.) They saw this as an opportunity to give rise to their insults and cruelty.
One day, when our Holy Prophet (PBUH) was walking on the road, one of the polytheists threw dust and dirt at him. The Master of the Universe (PBUH) did not respond and returned to his home. Hazrat Fatimah could not hold back her tears when cleaning her father. Her heart was already shattered by the loss of her mother and seeing her father in this condition only made matters more difficult. It was as if those tears were falling straight from her heart and soul as opposed to her eyes.
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH), the most compassionate in all of creation, was once again able to gather his composure amid this unbearable scene. He once again put his fullest trust in and turned to his Lord; he wiped his beloved child’s tears with his holy hands and said,
“My daughter, do not cry, Allah will protect your father.”
He added thoughtfully, “the polytheists had not dared to insult and inflict this kind of cruelty upon me until Abu Talib’s death.” 16
In this period, the cruelty and insults posed by the polytheists had left the bounds of humanity to such an extent that it agitated Abu Lahab, one of Islam’s greatest enemies, and caused him to say he would support our Holy Prophet (PBUH) if the situation continued in this manner.
Upon Abu Lahab’s words the polytheists left our Holy Prophet (PBUH) alone for a period of time. Nevertheless, the superficial patronage that stemmed from Abu Lahab’s feelings of kinship did not last long. His tolerance and “partisanship” for his nephew dissolved in the face of the invitation that our Holy Prophet (PBUH) extended to the community, summoning all to come to Allah. He not only declared that he had renounced his patronage but also allowed the torture to resume with the same severity. He continued with his enmity for the rest of his life.
 Ibn Hisham, Sirah, V. 3, p. 34; Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, V. 1, p. 133.
 The “Kawthar” is a pool in heaven. Our Holy Prophet’s ummah (community of believers) will come and drink from it. However, it also means a lot of good deeds, including “prophethood,” “Sharia,” and “the Quran.” The word “Kawthar” means many good deeds. Knowledge and good deeds are deemed honorable in both worlds. According to one of his hadiths, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) said, “It is a river in heaven which my Lord has promised me. It holds many good deeds. Its water tastes of honey and is whiter than milk, colder than snow, and softer than cream. Its two sides are of emerald. Its cups are made from silver. The one who drinks from it will not feel thirst.”
According to some scholars, the word“Kawthar” signifies our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) children, followers, the scholars from his ummah, or the Holy Quran. (See: Hasan B. Çantay, Kur'ân-ı Hakim ve Meâl-i Kerîm: 3/1226.)
 Ibn Hisham, Sirah, V. 2, p. 57; Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, V. 1, p. 211-212.
 Sad, 5-6.
 Bukhari, Sahih, V. 2, p. 326; Tabari, Tarikh, V. 2, p. 219-220.
 Bukhari, ibid, V. 2, p. 326; Tabari, ibid, V. 2, p. 219-220.
 Ibn Hisham, ibid, V. 1, p. 60.
 al-Qasas, 56.
 Ibn Hisham, ibid, V. 1, p. 59.
 Suhayli, Rawdu’l-Unf, V. 1, p. 260.
 at-Tawba, 113.
 Bukhari, Sahih, V. 2, p. 315; Muslim, Sahih, V. 7, p. 138; Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Musnad, V. 2, p. 58.
 Muslim, Fadail al Sahaba, 74; Tirmidhi, 62.
 Muslim, Fadail al Sahaba, 71
 Muslim, 69; Tirmidhi, 62.
 Tabari, Tarikh, V. 2, p. 229.
What is the wisdom behind the miracle of Miraj? Why did such a miracle take place?
“The wisdom of the Ascension is so exalted that human thought cannot comprehend it. It is so profound that human thought cannot reach it, and so subtle and fine that the intellect cannot see it by itself. But even if the reality of the instances of wisdom in the Ascension cannot be comprehended, their existence may be made known through certain indications. For example, as follows:
“In order to demonstrate the light of His Unity and the manifestation of His Oneness in these levels of multiplicity, the Creator of the universe took an eminent individual as representing all creatures from the furthest levels of multiplicity to the source of Unity by means of an Ascension that was like a link. And there, addressing him as representing all conscious beings, He explained to him the Divine purposes and made them known through him, and observed through his gaze the beauty of His art and perfection of His Dominicality in the mirrors of His creatures, and caused him to observe them. Moreover, according to the testimony of His works, the Maker of the world possesses infinite beauty and perfection. The two of them, both beauty and perfection, are loved for themselves. Since this is so, the Possessor of that beauty and perfection has an infinite love for His beauty and perfection. That infinite love of His is manifest in many different ways in His works of art. He loves His works of art because He sees His beauty and perfection within them. The most lovable and elevated among the works of art are animate beings. And the most lovable and elevated among animate beings are conscious beings. And by reason of their comprehensiveness, the most lovable among conscious beings are to be found among human beings..."
"The most lovable individual among human beings is the one who has most fully developed his potentiality and displayed the samples within it of the perfections manifested in all creatures, and spread among them. Thus, in order to see at one point and in one mirror all the varieties of His love spread through all creatures and to display, through the mystery of His Oneness, all the varieties of His beauty, the Maker of beings will take a person who is at the degree of being a luminous fruit of the tree of creation and whose heart is like a seed containing the essential truths of that tree, and will demonstrate the belovedness of that individual, who represents the universe, through an Ascension that is like a thread linking the seed, which is the origin, with the fruit, which is the end. He will draw him to His presence and honor him with the beauty of the vision of Himself. And, in order to cause him to spread that sacred state to others, He will favor him with His Word and entrust him with His Decree..."
“In order to look at this exalted wisdom, we shall observe it through the telescope of "two comparisons".
"First Comparison: As is explained in detail in the story-comparison in the Eleventh Word, there was an illustrious king who had vast treasuries and in those treasuries many varieties of jewels were to be found. He had much skill in strange crafts, comprehensive knowledge of innumerable curious arts, and erudition and learning in numberless wondrous sciences. And, in accordance with the mystery that every possessor of beauty and perfection wants both to see and display his beauty and perfection, of course, that skilful king, too, wished to open an exhibition and to set up displays within it in order to reveal to the people's gazes the majesty of his sovereignty, and to manifest both the glitter of his wealth and the wonders of his art and the marvels of his knowledge. He wished to do this so that he might observe his own transcendent beauty and perfection in two respects. The first was so that he himself might see with his own eyes, which were cognizant of reality, while the other was so that he might look through the gaze of others. As a consequence of this wisdom, he began to build a huge, splendid, extensive palace. It was magnificently divided into apartments and mansions. He adorned it with every sort of bejeweled treasure from his coffers, and decorated it with the finest and most gorgeous arts of his own handiwork. He ordered it with the greatest refinements of his knowledge and science, and decked it out and completed it with the miraculous works of his learning. Next, he spread tables with varieties of bounties and the most delicious of foods worthy for each group and prepared a general banquet. Then, in order to display his perfections to his subjects, he invited them to the banquet and to behold the perfections. Then he appointed one of them as the highest ranking general, invited him up from the lower levels and mansions to tour sphere after sphere in the levels rising one after the other. And, showing him the successive machinery and workshops of his wonderful art and the storehouses for the produce coming from below, he brought him to his own particular sphere and private apartment. There, he honored him through showing him the blessed person that was the source of all those perfections and taking him into his presence. He informed him of the true nature of the palace and of his own perfections. He appointed him as guide to the other spectators and sent him back to describe to the people the palace's Maker by means of its contents, inscriptions, and wonders, so that he should inform those who entered the palace of the allusive meanings of the inscriptions within it, what the works of art signified, and what the harmonious and well-proportioned inscriptions and works of art in its interior were, and how they pointed to the perfections and skills of the palace's owner. And so that he should teach them the correct behaviour and formalities in seeing the exhibition and describe the protocol and ceremonies which were in accordance with the pleasure and desires of the learned and skilful king, who did not appear..."
“And in exactly the same way, and Allah's is the highest similitude, the All-Glorious Maker", Who is the Monarch of Pre-Eternity and Post-Eternity, desired to behold and display His infinite perfections and boundless beauty. So He made this world in such a fashion that each being utters His perfections with numerous tongues and points to His beauty with many signs. The universe shows through all its beings how many hidden immaterial treasures there are in each of His Most Beautiful Names and how many veiled subtleties in each of His sacred titles. And it shows this in such a way that, since the time of Adam, all sciences together with all of their laws have studied this Book of the Universe. But of that book only a tiny proportion of the meanings and signs which state and point to the Divine Names and perfections have been read. Thus, the wisdom of the All-Glorious One of Beauty, the All-Beauteous One of Glory, the Maker Possessing Perfection, Who opens the palace of the world as though it was an exhibition in order to see and display His own transcendent beauty and perfections, requires that He should inform someone of the meaning of the palace's signs so that they do not remain vain and without benefit for conscious beings on the earth. His wisdom requires that He should cause one of them to travel in the higher worlds, which are the sources of the wonders in the palace and are the treasuries of their results; that He should elevate him above all others, honor him with His close presence and cause him to tour the worlds of the hereafter, and entrust him with numerous duties, such as teacher to all His servants, herald of the sovereignty of His Dominicality, announcer of those things pleasing to Himself, and expounder of the signs of creation in the palace of the world; that He should mark out his pre-eminence by conferring on him the decorations of miracles, and should make known through a decree like the Qur'an that that person is the truthful personal interpreter of the All-Glorious One..."
“And so, by way of example, we have demonstrated through the telescope of this comparison one or two of the many instances of wisdom in the Ascension. Others may be thought of in the same way..."
“If a knowledgeable and skilful person was to compose and write a miraculous book, and on each page of the book were as many truths as would fill a hundred books, and in each of its lines as many subtle meanings as would fill a hundred pages, and in each of its words as many truths as would fill a hundred lines, and in each of its letters as many meanings as would fill a hundred words, and if each of the meanings and truths of the book were to look to and point to the transcendent perfections of its miracle-displaying writer, he most certainly would not leave such an inexhaustible treasury closed and thus worthless. He would surely teach it to some others so that such a valuable book would not remain meaningless and vain; and so that his own hidden perfections become apparent and find their perfection, and his transcendent beauty be seen; and so that he too should be pleased, and that he should make himself loved. Moreover, he would cause someone to go through that wonderful book from the first page to the last and teach him all its meanings and truths so that the person would then teach them to others."
“And in exactly the same way, in order to display His perfections, His beauty, and the truths of His Names, the Pre-Eternal Inscriber has written the universe in such a way that all beings set forth and state His infinite perfections, Names, and attributes together with their innumerable facets and aspects. Of course, if a book's meaning remains unknown, its value is reduced to nothing. But a book such as the universe each word of which contains thousands of meanings cannot lose its value or be made to do so. Since this so, the book's Writer will certainly make it known and explain a part of it to each group according to their capacity. And He will instruct in all the contents of the book the individual who has the broadest and most comprehensive view, the most universal consciousness, and the greatest ability. Wisdom requires that He should take the individual on a most elevated journey in order to teach him all the contents of such a book and its universal truths. That is, He should cause him to travel from the furthest extreme of the levels of multiplicity, which is the first page, to the sphere of Divine Oneness, which is the final page. Thus, through this comparison, to a degree you can look at the exalted instances of wisdom in the Ascension.” (see. Badiuzzaman Said Nursi, The Words, The Thirty-First Word)
What kind of measures did the Muslims take against the tortures and pressures that increased day by day?
The fifth year of the prophethood of the Messenger of Allah… Year 615…
The pressure, torture and trouble of Quraishi polytheists (mushriks) on Muslims increased day by day. Muslims had faced a circumstance in which they could not worship comfortably.
A safe place was needed to worship and to learn Islam and the teaching of the Faith. The Messenger of Allah himself searched for that place and found it. It was the house of, Arkam bin Abil Arkam bin Asad, one of the first Muslims, located in a narrow street in the east of the hill ‘’Safa’’. That house was suitable for entering and going out secretly and for controlling the street.
The Master of the Universe, our Prophet (pbuh) was the teacher and the first Muslims were students there. They informed the other Muslims about what they had learned there within possibilities. In this sense, we can regard Arkam’s house the first Islamic school, the first university that the Prophet had taught.
Till Umar’s acceptance of Islam, the Messenger of Allah carried out the duty of teaching and informing about Islam there. A lot of people including Umar were became Muslims there.
Arkam Bin Abil Asad left his house to his son on the condition that it would not be sold and passed by inheritance to anybody.
This house, which has a great importance in the history of Islam, is now called “Daru’l-Khayzuran”; it is opposite the Kaaba and is used as a religious school today. 1
1. Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, V. 3, p. 267; Abu’l-Walid al-Azraqi, Kâbe ve Mekke Tarikhi, Trns., p. 426; Prof. Dr. Muhammed Hamidullah, İslam Peygamberi, V. 1, p. 80.
How did the Prophet (pbuh) marry Hz. Zaynab bint Jahsh upon the order of Allah? What is the wisdom behind this marriage?
(The month of Dhulqada in the 5th Year of the Migration)
Hazrat Zaynab bint Jahsh was the daughter of Umayma bint Abdulmuttalib, the aunt of the Prophet. She had married Hazrat Zayd b. Haritha, the adopted child of the Prophet. The Messenger of Allah himself wanted her to marry Zayd.
Zaynab and her family did not want that marriage but they gave consent to it when the Prophet insisted.
Zayd did not regard his wife Zaynab, who was dignified, equal to him spiritually. This caused lack of harmony in their marriage. As a matter of fact, Zayd went to the Prophet at the end of the first year of their marriage and said to him “O Messenger of Allah! I want to divorce my wife.”
The Messenger of Allah said to him, “Live with your wife; do not divorce her! Fear Allah!”
However, Zayd felt through his foresight that Zaynab had a high ethics and that she had a nature that could be a wife of the Prophet. He did not regard himself equal to her in nature to be her husband; therefore, he divorced her.
The Prophet became very sad due to the end of the marriage between Zayd and Zaynab because of “spiritual lack of harmony”. For he had wanted this marriage to take place. It was necessary to do something and to soften Zaynab’s relatives, who got sad due to this divorce.
The iddah (the period a woman has to wait after divorce) of Zaynab ended.
One day, the Messenger of Allah was sitting together with Aisha and talking to her. Meanwhile, he received some revelation. Allah Almighty stated the following in the verses He sent down:
“Then when Zaid had dissolved (his marriage) with her, with the necessary (formality), We joined her in marriage to thee: in order that (in future) there may be no difficulty to the Believers in (the matter of) marriage with the wives of their adopted sons, when the latter have dissolved with the necessary (formality) (their marriage) with them: and Allah's command must be fulfilled.
There can be no difficulty to the Prophet in what Allah has indicated to him as a duty. It was the practice (approved) of Allah amongst those of old that have passed away, and the command of Allah is a decree determined.”
When the revelation ended, the Prophet smiled and said, “Who will go and give Zaynab the glad tidings that Allah married her off to me in the sky?”
As it is clearly understood from the verses, Allah Almighty ordered the Prophet to marry Zaynab. The Prophet married Zaynab as a result of this order. The statement, “We joined her in marriage to thee” in the verse indicates clearly that it was a heavenly marriage. That is, this marriage took place beyond the traditional and apparent acts and as a result of the decree of qadar; the Messenger of Allah obeyed the decree of qadar. It has nothing to do with bodily desires.
An Important Reason of This Marriage
The marriage established between the Prophet and Zaynab contains an important aspect of Islamic law and an aspect that interests all believers and is beneficial for them. It is stated in the following part of the verse: “in order that (in future) there may be no difficulty to the Believers in (the matter of) marriage with the wives of their adopted sons”.
When a person adopted a child during the Era of Jahiliyya, people called him/her as if he was the real child of that person; and that child had the right to be an inheritor to that person. Naturally, that person could not marry a woman that his child divorced; it was forbidden.
Thus, the Prophet married Zaynab based on the command of Allah, showing that this belief and custom of the Era of Jahiliyya was wrong. It is stated by the verse that it would not be a sin for believers to do so.
The Gossips of the Munafiqs
When the Prophet married Zaynab, the munafiqs, who were eagerly waiting for opportunities to plot mischief and cause sedition among Muslims, started to talk against it a lot. According to the belief of Jahiliyya, it was haram for a man to marry a woman that his adopted son divorced; thus, they used it as means of gossiping against the Messenger of Allah, saying, “Muhammad rendered it haram fo a person to marry his son’s wife but he himself married the woman that his son Zayd divorced.”The verse that was sent down settled the issue:
“Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but (he is) the Messenger of Allah, and the Seal of the Prophets: and Allah has full knowledge of all things.”
Prophets look at and address their ummah like a father due to their duty of prophethood not due to their human personalities. Therefore, it cannot be mentioned that it is inappropriate for them to marry their daughters. The Quran spiritually states the following in order to eliminate the questions that could come to the mind:
“On account of Divine mercy the Prophet has compassion for you, he deals with you in fatherly fashion, and in the name of prophethood you are like his children. But in regard to his human personality he is not your father so that it should be inappropriate for him to take a wife from among you! And if he calls you “Son,” in respect of the rulings of the Shari’a, you cannot be his children!”
The believers who have foresight and prudence will definitely notice, through our explanation, that the people who want to blame this pure and decent marriage, which has many wisdoms and lead to good things, in order to cast a shadow upon the high personality of the Messenger of Allah, act with bad intentions and deliberately.
Wedding Feast and a Miracle
It was a custom of the Messenger of Allah to give a feast to his Companions when he married. This custom has been going on as sunnah among Muslims.
When the Messenger of Allah married Zaynab, Umm Sulaym, the mother of Anas b. Malik, sent him some fried Madinah dates. The dates she sent were in a small bowl and they were barely sufficient for the Prophet and Hazrat Zaynab.
Anas b. Malik, who is well-known as “Khadim an-Nabawi” (the Servant of the Prophet) narrates the incident as follows:
“The Prophet (pbuh) accepted what I brought and said, ‘Call Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali (may Allah be pleased with them)’; he also mentioned the names of several people. I was surprised because the Messenger of Allah ordered me to call many people for a small amount of food. However, I could not act contrary to the command of the Prophet. I called all of them.
Then, he said to me, ‘Go to the mosque and invite all of the people in the mosque.’ I did so. I said to the people praying in the mosque, ‘the Messenger of Allah invites you to his wedding feast.’ They all came.
Eventually, the hall was full.
The Prophet said to me, ‘Is there anybody left in the mosque?’
I said, ‘No.’
He said, ‘Go outside and invite whomever you see.’
I called them. The rooms were full, too.
He asked, ‘Is there anybody left?’
I said, ‘No, O Messenger of Allah!’
He said, ‘Bring me the bowl.’
I brought the bowl to him.
He put his hand on the bowl and prayed for abundance. Then, he said, ‘Let everybody sit in circles of tens and eat what is in front of them.’
The guests sat and ate as they were ordered. Thus, all of the guests came in groups, ate and left.
I was looking at the oil and dates in the bowl. The people in the hall and the rooms ate from the bowl until they were full. What was left in the bowl was as much as I had brought.
The Messenger of Allah said to me, ‘O Anas! Put it away.’
I took the bowl and went to my mother. I told him all about the incident.
My mother said to me, ‘No need to wonder! If Allah had wished all of the people of Madinah to eat from it, all of them would have eaten and been full’.”
Since the religion, call and prophethood of Hazrat Muhammad was universal, he was given all kinds of miracles. He showed many miracles regarding the increase of food. We quoted this miracle here due to its relevance to the issue. We pray as follows:
“O Lord! Give abundance to the material and spiritual sustenance that you grant us for the sake of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh)!”
1. Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, Vol. 8, p. 101.
2. Ibn Sa’d, ibid, Vol. 8, p. 101; Tirmidhi, Sunan, Vol. 5, p. 354; Ibn Kathir, Tafsir, Vol. 3, p. 491.
3. al-Ahzab, 37-38.
4. The custom of the Era of Jahiliyya regarding adopting children was abolished by the following verses of the Quran: “...Nor has Allah made your adopted sons your sons. Such is (only) your (manner of) speech by your mouths. But Allah tells (you) the Truth, and He shows the (right) Way.
"Call them by (the names) of their fathers: that is juster in the sight of Allah but if ye know not their father's (names, call them), your Brothers in faith, or your Mawlas. But there is no blame on you if ye make a mistake therein: (what counts is) the intention of your hearts: and Allah is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful..” (al-Ahzab, 4-5).
5. Tirmidhi, Sunan, Vol. 5, p. 352.
6. al-Ahzab, 40.
7. Badiuzzaman Said Nursi, Mektûbat, p. 28-29.
8. Muslim, Sahih, Vol. 2, p. 1051.
How did the Muslims who migrated to Abyssinia return?
Despite the fact that Muslims were saved from the persecution and torture of the polytheists and attained the opportunity to freely fulfill their religious duties, they were still living in a foreign place that was far from their motherland in which they were born and raised. This situation saddened them.
About three months after the last procession, they received news that a few of the leading figures from the Quraysh had become Muslims. The conversion of the leading figures meant that the polytheists had submitted to Islam as a whole.
Upon hearing the news, with the assumption that Mecca was no longer a place in which they would be persecuted and insulted, a procession of 39 individuals, six of them being women, set off to return to their motherland. However, when they neared Mecca, they learned that this news was groundless. However, turning back would be very difficult.
In order to enter Mecca, they would have to be under the protection of their polytheist relatives and friends or they would have to ensure that no one could see them. Openly entering the city meant being submitted to the hands of the merciless enemy. Taking this into consideration, some of them preferred being under the sanctuary of their relatives and friends temporarily whereas some others entered the city in secrecy without the need to seek refuge.
Some of them returned to Abyssinia and remained there until the other Muslims migrated to Madina. Some joined the Muslims in Madina after the Hijra while the other Muslims remained in Abyssinia for a long period of time.
Those who returned to Mecca did not leave Mecca until the Hijra to Madina occurred; their faithful hearts shielded them, and helped them zealously persevere with the polytheists’ persecution and torture.1
1. Ibn Hisham, Sirah, V. 2, p. 3; Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, V. 1, p. 207.
What was the attitude of the polytheists toward the miracles of Isra and Miraj?
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH), who entered "the station in the middle of possibility and obligation", which was marked with Qab- al-Qawsayn” and who witnessed Allah’s vision and heard His words, returned to his home that same night.
The following morning, he wanted to inform the Quraysh of what he had seen during his holy journey. However, Ummuhani, the daughter of our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) uncle Abu Talib, clung to our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) clothing while pleading,
“O Allah’s Apostle! Do not explain this to the community. They will deny your words and will upset you.”
However, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) said, “By Allah I am going to explain it” and went amid the people to inform them of the Miraj. The Qurayshis were shocked; thus, they asked,
“O Muhammad! What is your proof of this having happened? We have not heard anything similar to this until now.”
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) explained the following:
“My proof is that I encountered the camels of so-and-so’s sons’ in the valley of this-and this place. Their camels had escaped and they were looking for them. I directly guided their camels and went towards Damascus.
“After my return, I was in Dabhanan, I came across the caravan of so-and-so’s sons and his community was sleeping. I opened the covered water-cup belonging to them and drank from it. I covered it as it had been before.
“My other proof is that: I encountered a caravan belonging to you all on Tanim hill. There was a blackish camel at the front. It was carrying two sacks, one was black and the other was multicolored.” (1)
The community was curious; with great speed, they went to Thaniyya. Sometime later a caravan came. Like our Holy Prophet (PBUH) had said, a blackish camel at front. They asked the other incoming caravan about its cup filled with water. The members of the caravan said they had filled the cup with water and then covered it. The polytheists looked at the water cup; it was covered like theirs was, however it did not hold any water. The polytheists were puzzled and said, “It is just as he said it was.” (2)
The polytheists investigated the other information that our Holy Prophet (PBUH) had provided and everything was just as he said. Despite all this, they did not testify to our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) cause.
The polytheists did not refrain from asking proof after proof in regards to this matter. Many of them said, “It takes a month to go to Damascus from Mecca with a camel and it takes a month to return. How could Muhammad go there and return to Mecca in one night?” Those who had journeyed to Damascus and who had seen Masjid-al--Aqsa came to our Holy Prophet (PBUH) and asked,
“Could you describe Masjid-al- Aqsa to us?”
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) said,
“I went there and I can describe it.”
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) reported it as follows:
I was very tired of their denial and questions. In fact, I had not experienced such difficulty until that moment. Just then, Allah showed me the Baytu’l Maqdis. While looking at it, I described every detail one by one. They even asked me, “How many doors does the Baytu’l Maqdis have?” however, I had not counted its number of doors. When I saw the Baytu’l Maqdis across from me, I began to look at it, count each of its doors and told them the number.” (3)
Thereupon, the polytheists said,
“By Allah, you perfectly and correctly described it.” Nevertheless, they still did not become Muslims.
Hazrat Abu Bakr Unfalteringly Affirms our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) account
Among the Meccan community, there were those whose hearts had warmed up to Islam; however, they were puzzled when they heard about the Miraj. Upon hearing this news, they immediately ran to Hazrat Abu Bakr and said,
“O Abu Bakr! Are you aware of the news regarding your friend? He says that last night he went to the Baytu’l Maqdis, prayed there and returned to Mecca.”
Hazrat Abu Bakr asked, “Did you hear this from him?”
They replied, “Yes, we directly heard it from him.”
Hazrat Abu Bakr responded, “By Allah, if he said this then it is undoubtedly true. Do not be at all surprised by this!”
Afterwards, he got up and went straight to our Holy Prophet (PBUH) and asked him,
“O Allah’s Apostle! Did you tell the community that you went to the Baytu’l Maqdis last night?”
When our Holy Prophet (PBUH) replied “yes,” Hazrat Abu Bakr said “You speak the truth, I testify to you being Allah’s Apostle.”
Upon this, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) responded, “O Abu Bakr, you are Siddiq (The Truthful) in any case.” (4)
From that day forward, Hazrat Abu Bakr was referred to as “Siddiq.” Siddiq means being undoubtedly and completely truthful.
1. Sirah, V. 2, p. 43-44.
2. ibid, V. 2, p. 44.
3. Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, V. 1, p. 215; Muslim, Sahih, V. 1, p. 108.
4. Ibn Hisham, Sirah, V. 2, p. 40; Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, V. 3, p. 170.
How did the Prophet (pbuh) declare his prophethood and the religion of Islam openly on Safa Hill When the verse "expound openly what thou art commanded" was sent down to him?
The circle of conveyance was expanding gradually. Happiness caressed the souls that had testified to Islam while the hearts that had not saved themselves from polytheism were in a state of panic.
“Therefore expound openly what thou art commanded.”1
When the Divine mandate came, naturally, the Master of the Universe (PBUH) could not stay still. He wanted to show his countrymen the path to spiritual and worldly happiness as soon as possible.
During this time, he slightly expanded his circle and notified the Meccans of his prophethood and the religion of Islam on Mount Safa.2
Allah’s Apostle (PBUH) went on top of a high rock on Mount Safa and called out to the Meccans in a loud and resonant voice:
"O Sahaba! (O Community of Quraysh, come here and convene, I have important news for you!)
The Meccans were puzzled. Who was shouting? Were they in the face of danger? Had an enemy invaded their land or was an important message to be forwarded to them?
They did not delay in responding to this call and gathered on Mount Safa at once. What had happened? The person making this call was Muhammad-ul Amin (Muhammad the Trustworthy.) What did he want? What news did he bring? What was he going to say?
With great curiosity they asked,
“O Muhammad, why did you gather us here? What are you going to announce?”
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) did not lag in his response. At a moment when all minds fully gravitated towards him, when all eyes filled with looks of curiosity were directly focused on him, when all ears paid full attention, and at a moment when everyone was anxiously waiting, he delivered this eloquent response that was filled with several logical proofs:
"O Community of Quraysh! Our similarity is like a man who sees the enemy and runs to his family and shouts “O friends!” since he is afraid that the enemy will harm and reach his family before he does.
"O Community of Quraysh! If I were to tell you there were enemy horsemen on the other side of this mountain and that they were about to attack you in the morning or towards the evening, would you believe me?”
They had never heard Muhammadul-Amin (Muhammad the Trustworthy PBUH) tell a lie nor say something that had surpassed the truth. In unison they all replied,
“Yes, we affirm your honesty because we have not seen anything but propriety from you. You are not a person who makes false allegations.”
After addressing the public, the Holy Prophet (PBUH) called each of the Qurayshi tribes by their own names and continued speaking:
“In that case, I inform you of a great punishment that is ahead. Allah the Exalted has commanded me to 'warn my closest kin of the punishment in the hereafter.' I invite you to say, “Allah is One, there is no god.” I am His servant and Messenger. If you accept what I have said, then I guarantee that you will enter heaven. Also know that I cannot be of service to you in this world nor in the hereafter unless you say, “Allah is One, there is no other god but He.”3
Abu Lahab was baffled in the face of these words that addressed the mind, heart, and soul. He took a rock in his hands and threw it straight towards the Master of the Universe (PBUH) and shouted,
“'May you perish for this! Is this what you have summoned us here for?”
Nobody else said anything in dissidence among those who were listening. They only dispersed into whispers of conversation among themselves.
With his actions, Abu Lahab now deserved Divine punishment and enmity. He would pay dearly for his violent hostility, lasting grudge, and hate that he had towards Allah’s Apostle (PBUH). Allah heralded his frightening aftermath in Surah al-Lahab:
“Perish the two hands of Abu Lahab and perish he! His wealth and what he has earned shall avail him naught, Soon shall he burn in a flaming fire; And his wife, too, bearer of slander. Round her neck shall be a halter of twisted palm-fiber…” (Lahab: 111/1-5)
Regardless of whoever spoke out in dissidence, Allah would continue to complete our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) light.
For that reason, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) was neither afraid of nor shaken by the ugly allegations made against him and was able to continue on his path in an immensely dignified and serious manner.
1. al-Hijr, 94.
2. The Messenger of Allah had thought about how to inform all of the Makkans about Islam and his prophethood. In the end, he found it appropriate to stand on Safa Hill. He planned to address people from that hill; everybody would come and listen to him. It was a common habit among Arabs of that time to walk up to the top of a hill, mountain or a high place and to shout “Ya Sabahah” when a person feels a danger or an enemy that will attack unexpectedly or a sniper. Upon this call, people would take measures and get ready to face the enemy. (see Abu’l-Hasan an-Nadwi, as-Siratu’n-Nabawiyya, p. 87; Tajrid Translation, V. 9, p. 246).
3. Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, V. 1, p. 199-200; Bukhari, Sahih, V. 3, p. 171: Muslim, Sahih, V. 1, p. 133-135; Tabari, Tarikh, V. 2, p. 216.
How did the polytheists despise the Muslims when the Persians defeated the Byzantines, which caused the chapter of ar-Rum to be sent down? How did Hz. Abu Bakr and Ubayy ibn Khalaf place a bet upon this chapter?
Eastern Rome and Persia (modern day Iran) were the two largest powers during the time in which the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) was sent. In 613 AD, these two neighbors and rival countries entered into a bloody battle. Khusraw II ruled Iran and Heracles ruled the Eastern Roman Empire.
The Persian armies followed the Roman powers until they drove them into water and captured every holy city in Syria. During 614 AD, they invaded all of Palestine and Jerusalem. During this invasion, all churches and religious buildings were destroyed and ruined. The 26,000 Jews that joined ranks with the Persians killed more than 60,000 Christians. The palace of the Persian King was adorned with the skulls of the dead people which amounted to 30,000!
This hurricane of an invasion did not end here. It had swept into Egypt as well. In 616 AD, they reached Alexandria after having occupied the Nile River and invaded all of Anatolia; they had even come to the shores of the Bosporus. They were seen across Constantinople (Istanbul), the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire. In this way, they had captured Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Egypt, and Anatolia.
In 616, the Eastern Roman Empire was ultimately destroyed.
The Romans were from among the People of the Book; in other words, they were Christians whereas the Persians were fire-worshippers who did not follow any holy books and did not believe in the afterlife.
When this news reached Mecca, the polytheists were happy while the Muslims were saddened. The polytheists used this incident as a means to disturb the Muslims,
“You and the Christians are the People of the Book. We and the Iranians are illiterate. Our Iranian brothers have prevailed over your Roman siblings. We would defeat you if we entered into battle with you.”
Thereupon, Allah sent down Surah ar-Room, which would be considered as one of our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) miracles, and relieved the Muslims from sadness:
“Alif Lam Mim. The Roman Empire has been defeated― In a land close by; but they, (even) after (this) defeat of theirs, will soon be victorious. Within a few years. With Allah is the Decision, in the Past and in the Future: on that Day shall the Believers rejoice― With the help of Allah. He helps whom He will, and He is Exalted in Might, Most Merciful. (It is) the promise of Allah. Never does Allah depart from His promise: but most men understand not.” (Surah ar-Room: 30/1-6)
When these verses were revealed, the Roman Empire was in such devastation that its government had been dissolved due to the number of rebellions that took place; its army had been dispersed; and its treasury was emptied; Emperor Heracles was even planning to abandon Istanbul and escape to Carthage. In their drunken state of victory, the Persian commanders made the following demand: That the Emperor would give the Persians everything they wanted! This included a thousand loads of gold, a thousand loads of silver, a thousand loads of silk, a thousand horses, and a thousand women.
The Roman Empire accepted these burdensome and vile conditions and sent deputies to sign this agreement. When these deputies went to Persia, King Khusraw haughtily said,
“This is not enough! Emperor Heracles must come to me in chains and worship fire and the sun in place of his God.”
It was unfeasible to imagine that the Romans could revive within a couple of years and succeed again after such a great turmoil.
The above Quranic verses informed our Holy Prophet (PBUH) that the Romans would triumph again within a few years.
Hazrat Abu Bakr and Ubayy bin Khalaf
As soon as Hazrat Abu Bakr heard these verses from our Holy Prophet (PBUH), he recited them loudly on one side of Mecca. Afterwards, he said to the delighted polytheists,
“The Romans will certainly prevail over the Persians in a few years.”
The polytheists were puzzled. How could the aforementioned empire, which was in such a disastrous state and which had completely fallen from grace, revive and prevail over the Persians!?
Ubayy bin Khalaf was one of those who could not fathom the possibility of this situation; he said,
“You are lying. Come on; choose a time-frame so that I can bet against you.”
Hazrat Abu Bakr accepted. They betted ten camels and agreed on three years. Hazrat Abu Bakr came and informed our Holy Prophet (PBUH) about the situation. Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) said,
“What is meant by bid’a (a few) in the verse is from three to nine.” Increase the number of camels and extend the length of time.”
Upon this, Hazrat Abu Bakr left and encountered Ubayy. Ubayy said,
“You must be regretful.”
Hazrat Abu Bakr said,
“No. Come on; let us increase the amount of our bet and extend the length of time. Let us say nine years and agree upon 100 camels.”
“Come on, let us do it”, he said.*
During the period in which Hazrat Abu Bakr was planning to leave Mecca, Ubayy bin Khalaf got a hold of him and said,
“I am worried that when I win the bet that you will not pay off the camels as you will be gone from Mecca. Show me a warrantor.”
Hazrat Abu Bakr showed his son Abdurrahman as his warrantor. When Ubayy bin Khalaf wanted to participate in the Battle of Uhud, Abdurrahman went to him and said,
“By Allah, I will not release you until you show me a warrantor.”
Ubayy bin Khalaf showed a warrantor and then set off to fight in the Battle of Uhud. Ubayy bin Khalaf died from a wound that he received from the strike of our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) sword.
Nine years after their defeat, the Romans greatly defeated the Persians with an unexpected and unsuspected attack. The Muslims were very happy upon hearing this whereas the polytheists were immensely upset.
Hazrat Abu Bakr took the hundred camels from Ubayy bin Khalaf’s warrantor and inheritors and brought them to our Holy Prophet (PBUH).
“Gave them away as charity”, ordered the Master of the Universe (PBUH).
Upon the realization of this incident, which was foretold in the Holy Quran and was considered as one of our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) miracles, some of the polytheists became Muslims. 1
* The divine decree that prohibited gambling had not been sent down to the Prophet yet.
1. Tirmidhi, Sunan, V. 12, p. 66-71; Tabari, Tarikh, V. 2, p. 141-142; M. Hamdi Yazır, Hak Dini Kur’an Dili, V. 5, p. 3795-3800.
How did the incident of splitting of the moon, one of the most important miracles of the Prophet (pbuh), take place?
Despite the fact that polytheists witnessed all sorts of miracles that confirmed our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) cause, they continued their denial and stubbornness; they did not accept his truth. They were only deceiving themselves and other people by desiring to find faults with and belittling every miracle they saw as well as attempting to make these miracles seem small and simple. From time to time, they would make seemingly impossible requests, with the intention of troubling our Holy Prophet (PBUH).They would say, “If you truly are an appointed prophet of Allah, then do this-and-this and show this-and-that so that we can see.”
Their intention was not to testify to truth when making these requests; it was to cause difficulty for our Holy Prophet (PBUH). Nonetheless, Allah never left His Beloved Messenger (PBUH) in a quandary and never ceased protecting and assisting him.
One day, a group from among the leading figures that included Abu Jahl and Walid bin Mughira came to our Holy Prophet (PBUH) and said,
“If you truly are a Prophet that has been appointed by Allah, then split the moon in half. Let it be in such a way that one half will appear over the Mount Abu Qubais and the other half will be seen over Mount Quayqan.”
“If I am able to do this then will you become Muslims?” asked our Holy Prophet (PBUH) to which they replied,
“Yes we will.”
It is a prophet’s duty to request to show a miracle in order to prove the truth and justness of his cause whereas Allah is the One Who creates this miracle.
It was a full moon, meaning that it was on the 14th night, when the moon is in its most beautiful state. The Master of the Universe (PBUH), who acted in accordance with the will and orders of Allah, pointed towards the moon with his index finger. This prophetic indication sufficed to split the moon in half in such a way that one half stood over Mount Abu Qubais and the other half was seen over Mount Quayqan just as the polytheists had wanted.
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) shouted, “Bear witness! Bear witness!” to the crowd that was present. 1
The polytheists did not forgo their stubbornness in the face of such a conspicuous miracle. They further tried to deceive and comfort themselves by making a groundless misinterpretation, “This is one of the spells of Abu Kabsha’s Son.” 2
Of course, they could not deny an incident that happened right before their eyes. Since they were unable to deny it, they were obliged to say that it was a “spell”!
Those Who Came From the Surroundings Reported the Same Circumstance
The polytheists, who called one of our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) conspicuous miracles a spell so as to disaffirm his cause, spoke with one another:
“If Muhammad cast a spell, then it could not have covered the entire world! Let us ask the wayfarers who came from the surrounding areas if they saw what we saw.” 3
They asked those who came from the surrounding areas. They admitted that they had seen same thing. Despite all this, the polytheists whose souls and hearts had decayed from the filth of disbelief did not believe although they had promised to become believers. They did not go to the source of eternal happiness and instead said,
“Abu Talib’s orphan affected the sky with his spell!” 4
Upon the denial of this bright miracle of the Prophet by the polytheists, Allah Almighty stated that it took place and that they insisted on being unbelievers and liars as follows:
“The hour (of Judgment) is nigh, and the moon is cleft asunder. But if they see a Sign, they turn away, and say: 'This is (but) transient magic.' They reject (the warning) and follow their (own) lusts but every matter has its appointed time.” 5
1 Muslim, Sahih, V. 8, p. 132; Tirmidhi, Sunan, V. 5, p. 397; Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Musnad, V. 1, p. 447.
2 Ibn Kathir, Tafsir, V. 4, p. 262.
3 Tirmidhi, ibid, V. 5, p. 398; Qadi Iyad, ash-Shifa, V. 1, p. 238; Ibn Kathir, Tefsir, V. 4, p. 262.
4 Qadi Iyad, ibid, V. 1, p. 238.
5 al-Qamar, 1-3.
What offers did the polytheists who could not succeed through tortures and pressures make through Abu Talib in order to make the Prophet (pbuh) abandon his cause?
Complaint to Abu Talib
None of the applied acts of torture and persecution could restrain our Holy Prophet (PBUH) from delivering his message. Furthermore, his uncle, Abu Talib, did not object to anything he said or did and would protect him instead.
This time, the polytheists tried something else. Ten individuals from among the leading figures came to Abu Talib and said,
“O Abu Talib, your nephew has cursed our idols, has decried our religious practices, said we were stupid, and continued saying that our fathers and forefathers were on the wrong path.
Now, you need to detain him from saying and doing such things or you will have to move out of the way.”1
What could Abu Talib do in the face of such an ultimatum? On one side, there were his tribe’s customs and traditions and on the other side, the genuine love that he had for his nephew! Which one would he prefer? At last, he was able to dismiss the committee through his soft and kind words.2
The polytheists made another offer to Abu Talib when they received no results following their first complaint.
“O Abu Talib, you are among one of our elders and are one of our leading figures. We petitioned you to dissuade your nephew from his actions. However, you did not comply with what we wanted. By God, we will no longer put up with his disapproval of our fathers and forefathers, his allegations that we are stupid, and his insults against our idols. Either you will dissuade him from doing this or we will continue fighting both of you until one of the parties is eliminated.”3
Abu Talib realized that he was facing a very dangerous situation. He did not want to be abandoned by his tribe but he could not abandon his nephew, the Master of the Universe (PBUH), either. What could be done in this situation? After thinking very deeply for some time, he called forth our Holy Prophet (PBUH) and begged:
“O, my brother’s son, the leading figures have petitioned me and repeated what you had said to them. Please feel sympathy for yourself and for me! Do not put upon us a load that we cannot carry. Give up saying words that displease the tribe.”4
This was a very delicate situation. Until that day and in some way, Abu Talib had been his sole protector from among his tribe. Was he going to forgo his protection? Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) was downcast upon hearing this proposal and thought deeply for some time. Afterwards, in the comfort of knowing that Allah was the true Guardian, he replied with an answer that was as sharp as a sword:
“O Uncle, know that if they put the sun in my right hand and the moon in my left in return for my giving up this cause, I would not give it up. Either Allah will make this religion dominant, or I will die in His service."5
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH was concerned that his own uncle would abandon him, thus he burst into tears while saying these words. It was as if his holy tears were trickling upon his uncle’s heart. How could his uncle leave him alone after seeing him in this state? How could he abandon his nephew whom he loved personally and very dearly?
Abu Talib understood that his nephew, who possessed indestructible willpower, would never give up exclaiming his cause, therefore he hugged him and said:
“My Nephew, continue your work, do whatever you want. By God, I am not going to surrender you to anyone for any reason whatsoever.”6
After making this promise, the polytheists absolutely understood that Abu Talib would not leave his nephew alone and would continue to protect him despite everything.
Another Offer Made to Abu Talib
The polytheists could not tolerate seeing so many people running to attain Divine Guidance right before their eyes. They thought of some other maneuver. They appealed to Abu Talib once more and made the following offer:
"O Abu Talib!, let us give you Umara bin Walid, the strongest, toughest, most handsome, and the most intelligent youth from among the Quraysh for you to adopt as your own son. You will benefit from his intelligence and help. In return for this, you will give us your brother’s son; we will kill him! A man in exchange for another man, what more could you want?"
Abu Talib responded to this senseless offer, “First, give me your own sons so that I can kill them. Only then will I give him to you.”
The polytheists reacted to this offer: "But our children are not doing what he is doing!”
Abu Talib did not leave these words without an answer as he replied in a stern manner: “By God, Muhammad is much more auspicious than your own children. And you are making me this ugly offer? How can this be? You will give me your own son for me to raise and then take mine so that you can kill him? I will never permit this to happen!"7
The polytheists’ spite and hatred came to a head. These bad feelings were no longer directed towards our Holy Prophet (PBUH) and the Muslims alone; they had now shifted towards Abu Talib as well.
Fate had a strange twist; the negative attitude the polytheists struck towards Abu Talib helped the Sons of Hashim take our Holy Prophet (PBUH) under their wing. There was only one individual who avoided protecting him: Abu Lahab.
During this time, Abu Talib gathered the Sons of Hashim and warned them to be careful in protecting our Holy Prophet (PBUH). Abu Talib’s action led the polytheists to finalize their decision to kill Allah’s Apostle (PBUH)!
They convened at the Masjid al-Haram to execute their inauspicious plan. Abu Talib heard this and gathered the youth from among the Sons of Hashim. He immediately went to the Kaaba with them and threatened the polytheists once he arrived there:
“By God, if you kill my nephew, Muhammad, know that none of you will remain alive. We will not stop following you until we and you perish in this path.”
The polytheists did not utter a single word against Abu Talib’s threat and they quickly dispersed. At the end of his speech, Abu Talib spoke about the Master of the Universe (PBUH) as follows:
“How could this person, for whose sake the clouds were invoked for rain, be abandoned? He possesses such kindness; the orphans depend on him just as the widows and the poor trust in him. The destitute from among the Sons of Hashim take refuge in him."
“O Community of Quraysh! I swear to the Baytullah that you are mistaken for disclaiming him and that you are overcome with empty dreams. Do you think that your assassination of Muhammad will take place without a fight as we all circle around him? We will not release you until we all die around him, until our children cause us to forget about, and until we stop defending him.”8
After all this, the polytheists of the Quraysh understood that our Holy Prophet (PBUH) would not succumb to their inflicted torture, force, and tyranny.
For that reason, they continued to contrive new plans and tried to invent imputations and slanders against him. Their goal was to belittle his exalted character (God forbid), to have the people think poorly of him, and to hinder the people from hearing about his sublime purpose and goal.
They gathered around Walid bin Mughira, one of their elders whom they highly respected and regarded in this matter. They began to talk about our Holy Prophet (PBUH), the representative of the thriving Islamic cause that was bestowing immense happiness within the hearts of its followers.
Walid bin Mughira, one of their founding fathers, spoke to his friends, who circled around him and whose faces reflected the ugliness of disbelief,
“O Qurayshis, the Hajj season has arrived. The Arab tribes are going to flood our territory. Surely, they have heard of Muhammad’s situation. They are going to ask you a series of questions. For that reason, we must share and agree upon some idea regarding him so that we will not fall into some conflict.”
This was a sly idea. Separate and differing ideas would surely put them in a situation in which their words would be unbelievable and unreliable. Thereby, they would not be very influential upon the influx of people.
The Qurayshis wanted to hear Walid bin Mughira’s opinion on how to take precaution in this matter. They said, “Tell us about your ideas, thoughts and precautions regarding this matter too so that we can make the same claims and behave in the same way.
However, Walid wanted to hear their ideas first.
The polytheists proposed their ideas, “We will call him a soothsayer.”
Walid did not agree with this idea and said,
“No, by God, he is not a soothsayer. We have seen soothsayers and what he recites is not what the soothsayers mutter and invent. A soothsayer will tell both the truth and will lie. However, we have not heard a single lie from Muhammad!”
The polytheists then said, “In that case, we will say that he is mad.”
Walid objected to this as well, “No, he is not mad, either. We have seen mad people and know what insanity is. His state does not resemble that of an insane person at all.”
The polytheists made a third offer, “Then we will say he is a poet.”
Walid did not deem this option as appropriate, “No, he is not a poet. We know of every kind of poems and his recitations do not resemble any kind.”
The polytheists made one last offer, “We will call him a magician.”
Walid did not deem this option as acceptable, either.
“No, no! He is not a magician. Besides, we have seen their spells and the magicians themselves. His recitations are not what the magicians recite and blow, nor is it what they knot and tie.”
The polytheists, whose every offer had been rejected transferred the burden to Walid, “Then tell us what to say, Father of Abdushshams.”
Walid’s response was surprising:
“By God, there is a completely different kind of sweetness in his words. No words can be sweeter than his. He is a light. He possesses such sweetness; he is like a date tree with lush fruits whose roots have grown in very fertile land and in water-filled gardens and whose branches extend to its surroundings.”
The polytheists were alarmed upon hearing this expression. Had Walid, one of their “masterminds” from whom they sought advice, become a Muslim? Walid left them and went to his home, which further increased their worries; they even began to say, “Walid has left his religion.”
However, Walid had not left his religion. He had withdrawn to his home to think about what kinds of slander and accusations would be most suitable. After he made his decision, he came back to the polytheists and said:
“Out of all of the options that you have mentioned, which are all bound to be proven to be lies and as being completely groundless in a short time, saying that he is a magician is the most plausible one. He has arrived with such a captivating message that it is driving a wedge between children and their fathers, brothers, husbands and their wives, as well as clans and their tribes.”9
They all agreed upon this view. From now on, they were going to call our Holy Prophet (PBUH) a “soothsayer” (God forbid) and attempt to keep him away from the community by spreading this allegation and slander.
In the verses that Allah Almighty sent, the cunning plan of Walid b. Mughira was referred to as, “Woe to him! how he plotted!”; Allah informed us about the end of him as follows:
"And, woe to him! how he plotted!― Yea, woe to him! how he plotted!― Then he looked round; Then he frowned and he scowled; Then he turned back and was haughty; Then said he: "This is nothing but magic, derived from of old;" "This is nothing but the word of a mortal!" Soon will cast him into Hell-Fire! And what will explain to thee what Hell-Fire is? Naught doth it permit to endure, and naught doth it leave alone!―"10
The Master of the Universe (PBUH) was not a soothsayer as the polytheists had said he was since a soothsayer’s words are based on estimation and are ambiguous. Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) spoke the truth and of reality which every sound mind would affirm. His words were far from being ambiguous and based on estimation since they had very clear and definite meanings.
He was not crazy as they had claimed since his friends were not the only ones who witnessed the excellence of his intelligence; his most unruly enemies also testified to this truth when the occasion arose.
He was not a poet as the polytheists had claimed since the bright, luminous truths that he mentioned were far from needing the ornamentation of poetry.
Allah Almighty sent a verse that addressed our Holy Prophet (PBUH) following the allegations, slander, and planning the polytheists had devised:
“Therefore, remind (mankind of Islamic Monotheism, O Muhammad). By the Grace of Allah, you are neither a soothsayer, nor a madman…”11
1. Ibn Hisham, Sirah, V. 1, p. 283-284; Ibn Kathir, Sirah, V. 1, p. 473.
2. Ibn Hisham, ibid, V. 1, p. 284; Tabari, Tarikh, V. 2, p. 218; Ibn Kathir, ibid, V. 1, p. 473.
3. Ibn Hisham, ibid, V. 1, 284; Tabari, Tarikh, V. 2, p. 218; Ibn Kathir, ibid, V. 1, p. 474.
4. Ibn Hisham, ibid, V. 1, 284; Tabari, ibid, V. 2, p. 220.
5. Ibn Hisham, ibid, V. 1, p. 285; Tabari, ibid, V. 2, p. 220; Ibn Kathir, ibid, V. 1, p. 474.
6. Ibn Hisham, Sirah, V. 1, p. 285; Tabari, Tarikh, V. 2, p. 220; Ibn Kathir, Sirah, V. 2, p. 475.
7. Ibn Hisham, ibid, V. 1, p. 285; Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, V. 1, p. 202; Tabari, ibid, V. 2, p. 220; Ibn Kathir, ibid, V. 1, p. 475.
8. Ibn Hisham, ibid, V. 1, p. 295.
9. Ibn Hisham, Sirah, V. 1, p. 288-289; Qadi Iyad, ash-Shifa, V. 1, p. 512-513.
10. al-Muddaththir, 19-26.
11. at-Tur, 29.
How did Bilal al-Habashi, who was a slave when he accepted Islam, become a Muslim and what kind of tortures were inflicted upon him?
One of the first figures who embraced Islam during the period in which many secret conversions took place and as a result, faced cruel persecution by the polytheists was Hazrat Bilal Bin Rabah (he was also known as Bilal Habashi).
Hazrat Bilal attained the honor of becoming a Muslim by means of Abu Bakr while he was enslaved to Umayya b Khalaf, one of the most merciless enemies of Islam.1
The light of faith that surrounded Hazrat Bilal’s heart became an unlimited source of courage for him at once so much that as a slave, he did not shy away from openly declaring his faith in defiance of all sorts of torture, coercion, and persecution inflicted by his master and the other polytheists.
The heart in which faith has not entered is harder than a rock and a conscience in which the fear of Allah cannot be found is more insensate than a boulder. It is futile to search for compassion and mercy in a person who possesses this kind of heart and conscience. A person is considered as a beast in the spiritual sense when he/she is under this condition.
Like all the other merciless enemies of Islam, Umayya bin Khalaf also possessed this kind of heart and conscience and Hazrat Bilal was enslaved to a master who was void of compassion and mercy. In the eyes of this merciless man, it was a serious crime for Hazrat Bilal to testify to Allah who is One and who was his Creator and to be loyal to the Prophet of this Creator, Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH)! For that reason, Hazrat Bilal was subjected to inhumane torture. Sometimes, he was starved and left thirsty for 24 hours and at other times a chain was attached to his neck and children were hired to pull him in the streets of Mecca.
Nevertheless, Umayya bin Khalaf’s efforts were all fruitless. Hazrat Bilal had testified to faith and had submitted to Allah. His heart became a rose garden with the love that he had for our Holy Prophet (PBUH). For that reason, even while he was groaning bitterly under all this torture and cruel persecution, he did not give up shouting his cause at the polytheists’ faces:
“Ahad! Ahad! Allah is one!
After Umayya bin Khalaf rubbed and burnt the back of Hazrat Bilal, who did not make the slightest concession against his faith despite facing all kinds of torture, against the sands and stones that burned fiercely under the scorching heat and put a morsel of meat that had dried under the sun into his mouth, he would have a portion of a boulder placed on Hazrat Bilal’s chest and would say:
“I swear that I am not going to give up torturing you until you disaffirm and reject Muhammad and his religion and worship Lat and Uzza!”
However, along with every cell in his body, Hazrat Bilal would become a monument of faith and by risking his life, he would shout:
“I do not accept Laz and Uzza. Allah is One! Allah is One!”2
Umayya bin Khalaf would lose his temper altogether upon hearing these words and would increase the torture until Hazrat Bilal fainted and then would walk away. Afterwards, Hazrat Bilal would regain consciousness at a much, much later time.
The only point of endurance for Hazrat Bilal in the face of all of this unbearable torture was his exalted and magnificent faith. Having faith in Allah, Who holds the universe under His possession, means having confidence in His endless power and a standing point that does not falter or collapse for a believer. In this brave manner, he was declaring this reality to the whole entire world: “Faith is both light and power. A person who attains true faith can challenge the universe”.
On another day, Hazrat Abu Bakr was passing by and saw that Umayya bin Khalaf was subjecting Hazrat Bilal to continuous torture.
“Are you not afraid of Allah? Until when are you going to continue torturing this poor man?” asked Hazrat Abu Bakr.
Umayya answered, “You are the one who has corrupted his belief. Purchase him if you want him to be saved.”
Hazrat Abu Bakr said,
“Oh Umayya, I have a slave who is of your faith. He is stronger and more powerful than Bilal. Will you accept if I exchange him for Bilal?”
“I accept”, replied Umayya. Then afterwards, he laughed and said, “But I want you to give me his wife, too.”
“Alright” replied Hazrat Abu Bakr.
Once again, Umayya laughed slyly and said,
“I want you to give me both the slave’s daughter and wife.”
Hazrat Abu Bakr answered, “Alright” upon this request.
However, it seemed as if this unruly polytheist, Umayya, wanted to drive this matter to a slope. This time, amid his treacherous cackles he requested:
“In addition to them, I also want 200 dinars!”
Hazrat Abu Bakr was angered and furiously replied, “You are a shameless man. You continue to lie.”
This time, Umayya said, “No. I swear to Lat and Uzza that if you do what I have requested then I will fulfill my promise.”
Upon this, Hazrat Abu Bakr replied, “They are all yours” and saved Hazrat Bilal from that cruel man.
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) asked Abu Bakr, who had purchased Hazrat Bilal,
“Oh Abu Bakr, are you going to have any rights over him?”
Hazrat Abu Bakr then replied, “No, oh Rasullulah, I have freed him.” 3
Some time later, Hazrat Abu Bakr, purchased and freed Hazrat Bilal’s mother, Hamama, who was also a slave.4
Hazrat Bilal Habashi was our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) personal muezzin. He never wanted to separate from our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) side for even a second. When the Master of the Universe (PBUH) passed away to the afterlife, Hazrat Bilal could not bear staying in Madinah al-Munawwarah due to the immense love that he had for our Holy Prophet (PBUH) as a person and for his high moral conduct and felt obliged to move away. When Hazrat Abu Bakr, who was the caliph during this period, insisted that he stay by his side, Hazrat Bilal said,
“Oh Abu Bakr, if you purchased me for yourself then keep me by your side! But if you purchased me for the sake of Allah then release me so that I can partake in jihad in the way of Allah.”
Upon this, Hazrat Abu Bakr consented to his departure. Hazrat Bilal went to Damascus and there he participated in the military campaigns on behalf of Islam during Hazrat Abu Bakr’s reign as a caliph.5
1. Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, V. 3, p. 332.
2. Ibn Hisham, Sirah, V. 1, p. 340; Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, V. 3, p. 232.
3. Ibn Hisham, Sirah, V. 1, p. 340; Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, V. 3. p. 238; Halabi, Insanu’l-Uyun, V. 1, p. 299.
4. Ibn Hisham, Sirah, V. 1, p. 340; Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, V. 3. p. 238; Halabi, Insanu’l-Uyun, V. 1, p. 299.
5. Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, V. 3, p. 238; Ibn Hajar, al-Isaba, V. 1, p. 169.
How did Hz. Abu Bakr become a Muslim?
Hazrat Abu Bakr had been one of our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) closest friends for a very long time. They would get together and meet with one another in a very sincere fashion.
His most striking feature was that the ugly customs, bad manners, and lifestyle of the Age of Ignorance had not corrupted his disposition and that disbelief had not contaminated his mind, heart, and soul. He was a renowned merchant. The tribe’s leading figures always benefited from his ideas. He was the one who had solved the blood feuds of the Quraysh. Another one of his important characteristics was that he knew the ancestries, pedigrees, strengths, and flaws of the families of Quraysh very well.
Our Master (PBUH) had just begun to openly deliver his invitation. However, his cause had spread from ear to ear and it was heard by the leading figures of the Quraysh.
Hazrat Abu Bakr had just returned from his journey to Yemen. Abu Jahl, Ukba bin Abi Muayt, and some of the Quraysh’s leading figures went to his home to welcome him.
Hazrat Abu Bakr asked,
“What happened while I was away from Mecca? Is there any important news?”
They answered, “Oh Abu Bakr, there is a huge affair! Abu Talib’s orphan, Muhammad, has claimed to be a prophet. We deemed it suitable to wait until you returned from Yemen. Go to your friend and do whatever is necessary.”
Hazrat Abu Bakr immediately went to the home of the Master of the Universe (PBUH):
“Oh, Aba’l Qasim! Is it true that you claim to be a prophet, and that you have separated from the tribe, and have rejected and have reviled the religion of your forefathers?”
At first, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) smiled at the words of Abu Bakr, who he had been friends with since childhood. He said,
“Oh Abu Bakr, I am Allah’s Messenger who has been sent to you and all humanity. I invite humanity to the one true God (Allah). You should testify as well.”
At one moment, lightning flashed in the realms of Abu Bakr’s mind and heart. He was hearing these words from the Muhammad the Trustworthy (PBUH), his friend whom he had known very well since childhood, the person whom he sincerely loved and respected, and the one from whose lips he never heard a word that contradicted truth. Without hesitating, he immediately embraced Islam and became a Muslim.1
Our Master (PBUH) considered Abu Bakr’s not showing any sign of hesitation in the face of this invitation as a huge virtue by saying:
“Everyone whom I invited to Islam, with the exception of Abu Bakr, paused, hesitated, or was astonished. However, when I explained Islam to him, he neither paused nor hesitated.”2
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) was extremely happy that his esteemed friend had become a Muslim. In regards to this matter, our mother, Hazrat Aisha, related the following:
“No event has made our Holy Prophet (PBUH) happier than Hazrat Abu Bakr converting to Islam in the world.”
A dream that Hazrat Abu Bakr had seen beforehand at a much earlier point in time came true in the following way: In his dream, he saw that a moon had descended to Mecca. It then split into segments and spread to the homes in the city. Afterwards, he saw the reassembling of the pieces and the entering of the moon into its own home.
At that time, some scholars among the people of the book interpreted the dream. They said the awaited prophet would arise from Mecca very soon and that Abu Bakr would follow him and take his place among the fortunate.3
Hazrat Abu Bakr did not hesitate to openly disclose that he had become a Muslim.
His conversion to Islam caused a great echo among the Quraysh since he was an esteemed, reliable, sound individual who was always true to his word. His amiability and sweet nature had made him beloved to the tribe.
Hazrat Abu Bakr represented the first link on the chain of Muslim men that were free. Due to his conversion to Islam, this chain of faith slightly widened, the roads expanded further, and the fortunate that walked on the straightforward streets increased. Including Hazrat Bilal-Habashi, the following were the first representatives in the various classes to have become Muslims:
From the women, it was Hazrat Khadija, From the children, it was Hazrat Ali, From the free men, it was Hazrat Abu Bakr, From the freed slaves it was Zayd bin Kharisa, From the slaves it was Hazrat Bilal-Habashi (Radiyallahu Anhum).
1. Ibn Hisham, Sirah, V. 1, p. 268; Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, V. 3, p. 171.
2. Ibn Hisham, Sirah, V. 1, p. 269; Ibn Athir, Usdu’l-Ghaba, V. 2, p. 206.
3. Suhayli, Rawdu’l-Unf, V. 1, p. 165.
What did the Qurayshi polytheists do in order to be able to take back the Muslims who migrated to Abyssinia? How did the king of Abyssinia answer this demand of the polytheists'?
The polytheists of Quraysh panicked when the Muslims migrated to Abyssinia in succession. They did not intend to stop following the Muslims who were living abroad. They worried about the spread of Islam in these kinds of countries and about this glorious faith coming to a state in which it would be insurmountable. Nevertheless, for as long as the Muslims were under the asylum of the King of Abyssinia, it would be much easier for Arabia to be under Islam’s bosom. In this way, the barriers they attempted to place before Islam would be razed to the ground.
The dissatisfied and worried polytheists spoke among themselves and decided to request from the King of Abyssinia that he return the Muslims who had migrated. 1
They assigned Amr bin As and Abdullah bin Abi Rabia as their envoys. Their plan was this: They were going to take valuable gifts to Najashi (the King of Abyssinia) and the other leading figures. The gifts would first be given to the government officials and the polytheists’ wishes would be presented. Afterwards, they would present their gift to the King.
Their purpose behind their plan was this: By presenting their gifts to the government officials first, they would receive support from the government officials; thus, no chance would be given to the King to talk to the Muslim refugees.
When the envoys went to Abyssinia, they applied their plan. As they presented their gifts to the government officials, they said:
“Some members of our youth have separated from the path of their forefathers. They have not converted to your faith; they have emerged with a brand new religion. Currently, they are under the sanctuary of your King. We were sent by our tribe to request their return. When we convey our wish to the King, help us by not allowing a chance for the King to speak with the Muslims. Support us in the matter of their surrendering and say: “They obviously know more about and are better acquainted with those who are from among them. They can see their faults better than anyone else.”
The courtiers were deceived by the valuable gifts and promised to support the polytheists. The envoys went to the presence of the King and expressed their wish:
“O, King! These people, who have left us and have ruined our working order, have come here to damage your religion, country, and society. We came to warn you regarding this matter. They do not recognize Jesus, the Son of Mary, as God’s son. They do not bow down before you when they are in your presence. Return them to us and we will deal with them.” 2
As is seen, the envoys expressed their wish in a very sly manner. They knew the King was a Christian and for that reason, they tried to win the King over through this point by saying, “They do not recognize Jesus, the Son of Mary, as God’s son” so that he would be angered.
The courtiers supported what the emissaries said in accordance with plan:
“O King, they speak the truth. Of course, they are better acquainted and know them better than anyone else. They can see what faults they have more clearly. Let us surrender the Muslims to them so that they can take them back to their own homeland and tribe.”
While the government officials were sanguinely expecting the King to say, “yes” to their request, Najashi angrily said,
“By God, no," "I will not surrender those who are helpless, who have settled in my country, and have preferred me to others. I will not make my decision without first talking to them. If the matter is as the envoys say it is, then, I will surrender them and have them return to their homeland. If it is just the opposite, then I will protect and look after them in the best manner.” 3
Later, Najashi invited the Muslims to come by sending an inviter. The refugees chose Hazrat Jafar as their representative and went to the palace all together.
The priests that Najashi had invited were inside along with the representatives of the Quraysh. Hazrat Jafar greeted Najashi when he went amid his presence; however, he did not prostrate before him.
When the courtiers asked Hazrat Jafar, “Why did you not bow down before the King?” he answered,
“We only bow before Allah.”
“Why?” they asked again.
“Allah has sent His Messenger to us and His Messenger has prohibited us from bowing down before anyone other than Allah.”
Upon this, the representatives said, “O King, had we not explained their condition to you?”
Najashi turned to the Muslims and asked,
“Why did you come to my country? What state are you in? You are not merchants and you do not seem to want anything. In that case, why did you come to my country? What kind of state is your Prophet in? Explain me why you do not greet me like your countrymen do.”
Before answering these questions, Hazrat Jafar said,
“O King, I am going to say three things. If I speak the truth, then affirm what I say; and if I lie, then disaffirm my words. Firstly, command one of these representatives to speak and the other to remain silent!”
Amr bin As was the representative who chose to speak. Upon this, Hazrat Jafar addressed Najashi,
“Ask this man if we are slaves who are to be returned to our masters?”
Najashi asked, “O Amr, are they slaves?”
Amr replied, “No, they are dignified free men.”
This time, Hazrat Jafar said, “Ask this man whether we have shed anyone’s blood unjustly and if we are to be given back to those whose blood we have shed?”
“O Amr, have they shed anyone’s blood unjustly?” asked Najashi.
Amr responded, “No, they have not shed a single drop of blood.”
Hazrat Jafar turned towards Najashi once more, “Have we taken goods from the community unjustly, do we have any goods that we are obliged to pay for?”
Najashi said, “O Amr, if these poor men have any debt amounting to one qantar (about 50 kg) of gold then I will pay it off.”
Amr replied, “No, they do not have a carat’s worth of debt!”
Upon this, Najashi asked, “In that case, what do you want from these men?”
Amr responded, “We used to follow the same religion. They left our faith and have submitted to Muhammad’s religion.”
This time Najashi turned to Hazrat Jafar and asked,
“Why did you leave a thing that you were committed to for another? Considering that you have separated from the religion of your tribe and do not follow my religion or that of another people’s, what is this religion that you have joined?”
Hazrat Jafar deemed it more suitable to start explaining from the beginning,
“O King, we were an ignorant people. We used to worship idols and eat carrion. We used to commit any kind of wrong deed that comes to the mind. We would break off ties with our parents and relatives, harm our neighbors, and oppress the weak."
"While we were in this state, Allah sent us a Prophet from among ourselves. A prophet whose progeny, integrity, trustworthiness, honor, and purity we knew of."
"He called us to believe in the existence and oneness of Allah, to worship Him, and to abandon the idols that both we and our forefathers worshipped."
"He commanded us to be forthright, to deliver all that has been entrusted to us to their rightful places, to protect the rights of our relatives, to get along with our neighbors, and to avoid sins and bloodshed. He prohibited us from fornication, lies, encroaching upon the rights of orphans, and slandering honorable women."
"We have testified to him and his cause. We have submitted to what he brings from Allah and makes known to us. For that reason, our tribe has treated us like an enemy and has tortured us. They inflicted all kinds of torture and persecution to dissuade us from our religion, hinder us from worshipping Allah, and to make us worship their idols."
"Due to all of these reasons, we abandoned our homeland and homes and came to your country. We sought shelter from you and preferred you to others. We hope not to face torture and injustice in your presence.” 4
Afterwards, Hazrat Jafar responded to the King’s question as to why he did not bow down before him:
“When it comes to the matter of greeting you, we have greeted you with the greeting of Allah’s Apostle. We always greet one another in this manner. We learned from our Prophet (PBUH) that those who will enter Paradise will greet one another in this fashion. For that reason, we have greeted you in this way."
"When it comes to the matter of prostration, we prostrate before Allah and we take refuge in Allah from bowing down before anyone else.” 5
Hazrat Jafar’s words had a very deep impact on Najashi. The polytheists just stood there in silence. After thinking for some time, Najashi turned to Hazrat Jafar and said,
“Do you have anything with you with regards to what you have mentioned?”
“Yes, we do” replied Hazrat Jafar and he followed by reciting the first portion of Surah Maryam:
"Kaf. Ha. Ya. `Ayn. Sad. (This is) a recital of the Mercy of thy Lord to His Servant Zakariya. Behold! He cried to his Lord in secret. Praying: "O my Lord! Infirm indeed are my bones, and the hair of my head doth glisten with grey: but never am I unblest O my Lord, in my prayer to Thee!” 6
The verses that follow explain how Hazrat Maryam became pregnant to Hazrat Isa (Jesus), how Hazrat Isa came into this world, one of his miracles in which he spoke in his cradle, and how he was sent as a Prophet by Allah.
The verses that were read had enough influence over Najashi’s inner world to cause tears to fall from his eyes. In fact, his falling tears ended up soaking his beard. The priests who were present could not help crying, either.
After Najashi’s spirit, which had been affected by the spiritual charm of the Holy Quran, soothed, he said,
“By God, this is a Light that emanates from the same lamp with which Moses and Jesus came.” 7
After making this truthful confession, he turned to the polytheists,
“By God, I will not submit them to you nor will I think badly about them in anyway.” 8
The representatives did not have any choice in the face of Najashi’s unexpected decision but to leave the palace in a state of disappointment.
Despite this, the representatives, Amr bin As in particular, said they were not going to give up and decided to apply new tactics.
The next day, he came to Najashi’s presence and explained that the Muslims had said strange things about Hazrat Isa. The King once again deemed it suitable to talk to the Muslims and invited them to his presence. He asked Hazrat Jafar,
“What do you think of Hazrat Isa?”
Thus he replied:
“We say whatever our Prophet (PBUH) has brought from Allah and made known to us regarding Hazrat Isa. He is a servant of Allah, a Messenger, and a soul that Allah has sent. He is one of Allah’s words given to Mary, a virtuous virgin who renounced men (meaning that he was born through Allah’s command, “Kun.”)The glory and state of Jesus, the Son of Mary, consists of this.” 9
The knowledge the Muslims had on Hazrat Isa made Najashi very happy. He took a stick in his hands, drew a line on the ground, and said,
“The difference between your religion and ours is as much as this line. Besides, we do not view the matter any differently than what you say.” 10
The deputies were left bitterly disappointed as they had been expecting Najashi to retract his asylum. Najashi turned to the Muslims and said,
“I congratulate you and the individual whom you follow for he is God’s Messenger. Besides, we had read about his qualities in the Bible. Mary’s son, Jesus, had also given good tidings about this Messenger to humanity. I swear to God that if he was found in my country that I would carry his shoes and wash his feet.” 11
After his words that accepted the prophethood of Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh), the Negus, who saw and understood the truth, stated the following about his attitude toward Muslims from then on as follows:
“Go! Live peacefully and safely in the area of my country that remains untouched and is secure from invasion. Whoever harms you will be perished. (He repeated this three times.)"
"Even if I knew that I could attain a mountain’s worth of gold for hurting the feelings of one of you, I still would not make such an attempt.” 12
The deputies did not have any other choice but to return to Mecca after Najashi’s decisive and conclusive words. In fact, the King even returned the gifts they had brought.
When the polytheists of the Quraysh heard this, they were greatly distressed. It could be considered that their fears came true!
1.Ibn Hisham, ibid, V. 1, p. 356; Tabari, Tarikh, V. 2. p. 225.
2. Ibn Hisham, ibid, V. 1, p. 358.
3. Ibn Hisham, ibid, V. 1, p. 359.
4. Ibn Hisham, ibid, V. 1, p. 359-360; Ibn Kathir, Sirah, V. 2, p. 20-21.
5. Ibn Kathir, ibid, V. 2, p. 19.
6. Maryam, 1-4.
7. Ibn Hisham, ibid, V. 1, p. 360; Ibn Kathir, Sirah, V. 2, p. 21.
8. Ibn Hisham, ibid, V. 1, 360; Ibn Kathir, ibid, V. 2, p. 21.
9. Ibn Hisham, ibid, V. 1, p. 261.
10. Ibn Hisham, ibid, V. 1, p. 261.
11. Isfahani, Dalail, p. 207; Insanu’l-Uyun, V. 1, p. 341.
12. Ibn Kathir, ibid, V. 2, p. 22.
What are the two miracles that Abu Ruqana, who was a unique wrestler, saw from the Prophet (pbuh)?
Rukana bin Abd-i Yazid, was an unrivaled wrestler from among the polytheists who had never been defeated. Unfortunately, Rukana, who could easily throw down all of his opponents, somehow did not want to have the honor of being a true wrestler by overcoming the severe resentment and enmity he felt towards our Holy Prophet (PBUH.)
One day, this famous wrestler encountered our Holy Prophet (PBUH) on one of the valleys of Mecca. His eyes were raging with sparks of anger.
Allah’s Apostle (PBUH) asked,
“O Rukana, are you not afraid of Allah, to whom I call you to testify?”
“If you prove that your words are true then I will submit to you.”
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) again asked,
“If I knock you to the ground, then will you believe what I say is true?”
“O Muhammad, if you are able to defeat me, then I will believe you.”
Upon this, the Master of the Universe (PBUH) said,
“Rise, let us wrestle.”
As soon as the haughty Rukana rose, he found himself on the ground. He did not realize what had happened; he was confused. He immediately rose once more and offered our Holy Prophet (PBUH) another match. Allah’s Apostle (PBUH) accepted and Rukana found himself on the ground for the second time.
Rukana, whose confusion and amazement had increased, offered our Holy Prophet (PBUH) to wrestle once more. Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) again accepted and effortlessly pushed him to the ground.
Rukana who had promised, “If you are able to defeat me then I will believe you”, continued disbelieving despite having been defeated for the third time and said,
“O Muhammad, you are undoubtedly a magician. To tell you the truth, I am bewildered by this wrestling match.”
In this way, he tried to pass off the miracle he had seen as a magic spell.
(Note: During the conquest of Makkah, Rukana became a Muslim and settled in Medinah.)
This time, Rukana, who continued disbelieving, witnessed another miracle of our Holy Prophet (PBUH).
When he said, “To tell you the truth, I am bewildered by this wrestling match” Allah’s Apostle (PBUH) replied,
“There are many others to be bewildered about. If you would like, I can show you another. Fear Allah, accept my invitation.”
“What is it, this bewildering thing?”
The Apostle of Allah (PBUH) replied,
“Let me call this gum tree here. You’ll see that it’ll come to me.”
Rukana replied, “Alright, call it to come forth.”
Allah’s Apostle (PBUH) commanded the gum tree,
“By courtesy of Allah, come to me!” in front of the unruly polytheist.
The gum tree adhered to the order; it cleaved the ground as it came forth and stood before the Master of the Universe (PBUH.) Rukana’s heart was still closed although his eyes were wide open. He continued to stubbornly disbelieve and said,
“Honestly, I have never seen a spell as big as the one I have seen today in my entire life.”
Afterwards, he requested that our Holy Prophet (PBUH) command the gum tree to go back to its spot. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) ordered,
“By courtesy of Allah, go back.” The tree immediately went back to its spot.
Afterwards, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) again invited Rukana to become a Muslim. However, he persisted disbelieving and did not accept the invitation. Upon this, the last words of Allah’s Apostle (PBUH) were:
“Shame on you!”
Rukana returned amongst the community in a state of amazement and bewilderment and after he explained what he had seen, he said,
“O Sons of Abd Manaf, you can cast a spell upon the entire world with your clansman. By Allah, I have never seen a more skilled magician than him.” 1
Those who continued to be stubborn in not accepting the truth, despite everything, always tried belittling Islam with accusations so as to comfort themselves. However, they only belittled themselves each time.
According to a narration, Rukana became a Muslim around the time of the conquest of Mecca. 2
Yes, as it can be seen in the example, the trees knew our Holy Prophet (PBUH); they testified to his prophethood and listened to his commands. In that case, would those who call themselves human yet do not recognize our Holy Prophet (PBUH) as Allah’s Apostle and do not testify to him not hold less importance and worth than a dry tree and be deserving of hellfire?
1 Ibn Hisham, Sirah, V. 2, p. 31; Balazuri, Ansab, V. 1, p. 155; Ibn Hajar, al-Isaba, V. 1, p. 506.
2 Ibn Abdi’l-Barr, al-Istiab, V. 1, p. 51.
How did Khalid bin Said become a Muslim and what kind of tortures were inflicted upon him?
The era of secret call to Islam was continuing.
During this period, another eminent figure from the Quraysh joined the ranks of Muslims: Khalid bin Said. Hazrat Khalid was a leading figure of the Quraysh and belonged to a rich family.
One night, Khalid bin Said, who had extensive knowledge of Arab literature, saw in his dream that our Holy Prophet (PBUH) rushed to save him when his father wanted to throw him into the pits of Hell.
He woke up screaming. Hazrat Khalid understood that such a clear dream could not be meaningless. He said, “By Allah, this dream is true”, and without losing time, he quickly ran to Hazrat Abu Bakr.
Hazrat Abu Bakr said,
“I hope the best for you. The Messenger of Allah is going to save you. Quickly go and subject yourself to him! You are going to follow him, convert to Islam, and then be with him. And he is going to save you from falling into Hell as you saw in your dream.”
Hazrat Khalid quickly went to our Holy Prophet (PBUH) and asked, “Oh Muhammad! What do you call people to do?”
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) said, “I call people to believe in Allah, who is One and does not have a partner, to believe that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger, and to forgo worshipping certain pieces of rock that cannot hear, cannot see, cannot benefit nor harm, and are unaware of those who worship and who do not worship them.”
Hazrat Khalid carefully listened to these words with respect and immediately recited the testimony of faith (shahada): “I testify that you are Allah’s Messenger!”1
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) was immensely happy that this individual had entered the circle of Islam.
Hazrat Khalid began to mention Islam to other people in his family and around as soon as he became Muslim. A while later, his wife Umayna, also joined the ranks of Muslims.
When Abu Uhayha, one of Quraysh’s leading and wealthy figures, heard that his son had become a Muslim, he became exceedingly furious. One day, he heard that Hazrat Khalid was praying (performing salah) on a desolate spot in Mecca. He sent his other sons to bring Hazrat Khalid before him and angrily said,
“So, you have chosen to follow Muhammad despite seeing that he opposes your tribe and he has insulted the tribe’s gods and its past fathers, is that right?”
Afterwards, he said many things so that Hazrat Khalid would abstain from practicing Islam. However, Hazrat Khalid, whose heart had been enlightened with the light of faith, did not have the slightest hesitation and did not feel any regret. He responded to his father who looked at him with his frowning brows:
“By Allah, Muhammad (PBUH) tells the truth. I have subjected myself to him and will run the risk of death; however, I will never leave his religion.”
Abu Uhayha, who was severely angered by these words, hit his son with the staff that he was holding until it broke. However, his efforts were in vain! The faith that was a source of strength and perseverance had occupied and comforted Hazrat Khalid’s heart. Torture and persecution did not invoke the slightest amount of negativity in the face of this faith.
When his cruel father saw that beating him was in no way effective, he told him to “go” and said, “I am going to cut off your sustenance and livelihood; so, go wherever you please.”
Hazrat Khalid knew that Allah was the One that provided for his livelihood; so once again, he did not mind his father’s words. Instead, he said, “Oh my dear father, if you cut off my livelihood then Allah will provide me with all that is necessary to get by.”
This time, Uhayha imprisoned him and threatened the community:
“If one of you decides to speak with him, I will ruin you.”
Hazrat Khalid was left hungry and thirsty for days on end. 2
It was pointless to continue living with a father who committed such torture and cruelty on account of his son’s religion; so, upon finding an opportunity, he was able to escape from his father’s hands. He did not come into his father’s sight until the second emigration to Abyssinia. 3
Together, with his wife, he joined the procession that departed from Mecca to Abyssinia.
Hazrat Khalid was among the scribes that could write perfectly during the Age of Ignorance. According to a narration, Hazrat Khalid was the scribe of the letter that our Holy Prophet (PBUH) had sent to the King of Yemen and of many other treaties. 4
1. Ibn Sa'd, Tabaqat: 4/94; Ibn Hajar, Isaba: 1/406
2. Ibn Sa'd, Tabaqat: 4/95
3. Ibn Sa'd, Tabaqat: 4/95; Halabi, Insanu'l-Uyun: 1/282
4. Ibn Sa'd, Tabaqat: 1/262; Ibni Abdi'l-Barr, Istiab: 2/421
How did Sa'd bin Abi Waqqas become a Muslim and what kind of tortures were inflicted upon him by his mother due to his belief?
Sa’d bin Abi Waqqas was only a 17 year old young man filled with excitement and energy. During this period, he saw a dream:
While he was in pitch-black darkness, a bright moon rose instantly and he began to follow a moon-lit road. Afterwards, on the same road, he saw that Zaid bin Harith, Hazrat Ali, and Hazrat Abu Bakr were walking ahead of him.
He asked them, “When did you all come here?” and they responded, “Now.”1
Three days after his dream, Hazrat Abu Bakr, who showed remarkable exertion and zeal during the era of secret conversions, mentioned Islam to him. Afterwards, Hazrat Abu Bakr took him to our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) presence and after receiving knowledge on Islam from the Master of the Universe (PBUH), he immediately became a Muslim.2
Both his mother’s and father’s pedigrees were connected to our Holy Prophet (PBUH). Since the family of Hazrat Sad’s mother belonged to the Sons of Zuhra, Hazrat Sad was considered to be our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) maternal uncle. For that reason, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) paid Hazrat Sad a great compliment by saying, “Here is my uncle, Sad. If anyone has an uncle like him, then he should show me.”3
Hazrat Sa’d and his Mother
Hazrat Sad’s mother was not pleased by her son’s conversion to Islam. How could her son abandon the religion of his forefathers and follow a new religion without her consent? Hamna was aware of the respect and attachment that her son had towards her. She was determined to dissuade him from Islam and have him return to idolatry. One day she said to him:
“Are you not the one who says that God commands you to take care of your relatives and to show continuous kindness to and do favors for your parents?”
“Yes”, replied Hazrat Sad.
Upon hearing this response, Hamna expressed her true purpose with the following words:
“By God, until you disavow what Muhammad has brought forth, I am not going to put anything into my mouth until I die from thirst and hunger. The people are going to blame you for murdering your mother.”
Until that day, Hazrat Sad had submitted to all of his mother’s wishes and had always pampered her. However, he had now testified to Allah and had submitted to His Messenger (PBUH) with the fullest sincerity in his heart. And of course, everything was going to be ranked in accordance with his faith.
When Hazrat Sad saw that his mother was refraining from eating and drinking, he went by her side and said,
“Oh mother, even if you had 100 lives and were to sacrifice each one so that I would denounce Islam, I would still keep firm with my faith. Now, if you wish, you can eat or choose not do so.”4
Upon hearing this answer, Hamna’s stubbornness melted against Hazrat Sad’s steady faith in the truth; she quickly began to eat and drink. Once again, disbelief and polytheism were crushed and defeated by faith and the greatness of Tawhid (the doctrine of Oneness of God).
Allah presented an eternal criterion for the believers by sending down the eighth verse of Surah al-Ankabut upon this incident that took place between Hazrat Sad and his mother:
“We have enjoined on man kindness to parents: but if they (either of them) strive (to force) thee to join with Me (in worship) anything of which thou hast no knowledge, obey them not. Ye have (all) to return to me, and I will tell you (the truth) of all that ye did.”5
This time, Hamna made another attempt to turn her son away from Islam: One day while Hazrat Sad was praying in his home, his mother called the neighbors to imprison him by having them all shut the door. In the meantime, Hamna, whose heart had been so hardened by polytheism that she could torture her own beloved child, shouted:
“He will either abandon the religion that he has entered or die!”
By looking at this example, it is possible to understand that a mother can torture her own son when her heart has been darkened from disbelief and wickedness and when it is devoid of compassion and mercy!
Every attempt that had taken place had counteracted Hamna’s interests since Hazrat Sad’s son, Amir, had followed his father’s tracks and became Muslim...
This time, Hamna, who had become completely ill-tempered, took Amir by the scruff of his neck:
“I am not going to rest under the shade of this date tree nor am I going to eat and drink until you leave the religion you are following!”
As soon as he heard his mother’s vow, Hazrat Sad, who had experienced the unbounded pleasure of having faith in Allah and submitting to His Messenger (PBUH), went to his mother and said:
“Oh mother, do not you dare rest under the shade nor eat and drink until you reach the station of hellfire.”6
Hamna could not manage to do anything but keep silent in the face of this phenomenal amount of faith and unwavering perseverance and willpower.
1. Ibn Athir, Usdu'l-Ghaba: 2/292
2. Ibn Hishm, Sirah: 1/266; Ibn Sa'd; Tabaqat: 3/139; Tabari, Tarikh: 2/216
3. Ibn Hajar, al-Isaba, V. 2, p. 33; Ibn Athir, ibid, V. 2, p. 291.
4. Ibn Hajar, al-Isaba, V. 2, p. 31; Halabi, Insanu’l-Uyun, V. 1, p. 280.
5. According to the decree in this verse, the child (offspring) is obliged to adhere to his/her parents’ commands that do not go beyond the bounds of Islam and are legitimate. This kind of obedience is required of the offspring/child. Otherwise, if a parent commands and encourages his/her child to commit deeds that are illegitimate and that go beyond the bounds of Islam, then it is incumbent on one to not obey because: “Servants are not to be obeyed and their commands are not to be met when they advocate something that necessitates disobedience to Allah.” (Nasafi, Tafsir: 3/251)
6. Ibn Athir, ibid, V. 2, p. 292.
What offers did the polytheists make in order to make the Prophet (pbuh) abandon his cause?
The circle of guidance was expanding. The lights of faith and of the Quran were continuing to enlighten souls with their majesty and brightness.
The state of panic and worry that the polytheists were in was at a critical measure. They were completely bewildered by Hazrat Hamza’s unexpected conversion to Islam since they deemed him as a hero. The newer and gretaer losses in the castle of the polytheists led them to make new and different plans and schemes with each passing day.
One day, Utba bin Rabia, one of the leading figures from the tribe of Quraysh, said to a group of polytheists,
“O, Qurayshis! How would it be if I were to go to Muhammad and make some offers to him? Hopefully, he will accept those offers and we will fulfill his wish. In this way, he might quit what he has been doing to us.”
The group accepted the offer. Upon this, Utba went to the Masjid al–Haram, where our Holy Prophet (PBUH) was alone and began to speak:
"O my Brother’s Son! You know that you are much more fortunate and advanced than all of us in terms of honor and ancestry. However, you brought a great trouble to your tribe. You have separated their unity with this cause and have told them that they were stupid. You have decried their idols and religion and have considered their forefathers as unbelievers. If you listen to me, then I will have a few offers for you. I want you to consider them and perhaps you will accept some of them!”
When our Holy Prophet (PBUH) replied,
“Explain, O Walid’s Father! I’m listening to you”, Utba began to list his offers:
"If your purpose is to acquire wealth and property through this cause that you propose, then we will allot our wealth so that you will be the wealthiest of us all."
"If you are in the pursuit of fame, then we will make you our chief."
"If the condition that has befallen upon you is a delusion that you do not have enough strength to overcome or if it is an illness or spell that came from your fairies and jinn, then let us bring a doctor and treat you. We will not avoid spending our wealth and property until you are saved.”
Utba made his offers and then became silent. It was our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) turn to speak,
“O Walid’s Father, have you finished speaking?”
When the Messenger of Allah received the answer “yes” from Utba, he said,
“Now, you listen to me.” He uttered basmala and recited verses 1-36 of the chapter Fussilat solemnly:
“Ha Mim. A Revelation from (Allah) Most Gracious, Most Merciful―A Book, whereof the verses are explained in detail― a Qur'an in Arabic, for people who understand―Giving Good News and Admonition: yet most of them turn away, and so they hear not.”
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) recited the Surah until its verse of prostration and then prostrated. Afterwards, he turned to Utba and said,
“O Walid’s Father, you heard what I have read. Now, think about the rest!”
The concision of the Quranic verse and the sweetness in its meaning suddenly changed Utba’s sour face causing the Qurayshis to notice it. They told one another
“By God, Abu-Walid is returning with a change in his countenance!”
When he came near them they asked,
“What have you brought?”
“By God, I heard an utterance that is not similar to what I have heard before in my life. I swear that is not a poem, a spell, or a prophecy!” And he continued to say:
“Oh the Community of Quraysh! Listen to me, stop pursuing this task and leave this man alone for my sake! Stay far away from him and do not touch him! I swear that the words I have heard from him is great news. It will be much better if you leave him to the Arab tribes who are not from among you so they can hinder him. If he prevails over those Arabs, it means that his sovereignty and glory is yours as well. You will be the happiest and most fortunate of all people.”
Utba’s speech displeased the Qurayshis; thus they reacted by saying,
“Oh Walid’s Father, he has casted a spell on your tongue.”
Walid saw that they were not listening and said; “In that case do as you please!” then distanced himself from them. 1
Thus, the polytheists were facing defeat upon defeat against our Holy Prophet (PBUH). Their solutions and measures against Islam were running out one by one. Every plan and measure they applied was going against their favor since Allah had promised:
“I will complete My light even if the nonbelievers and polytheists don’t want for it to happen.”
His order to His Messenger was this:
“O Messenger! proclaim the (Message) which hath been sent to thee from thy Lord. If thou didst not thou wouldst not have fulfilled and proclaimed His Mission: and Allah will defend thee from men (who mean mischief). For Allah guideth not those who reject Faith.” 2
For this reason, Allah’s Apostle (PBUH) was continuing his duty to invite the community to Islam without fear, weariness, and hesitation. He was doing his best to wave the Flag of Tawhid over the hearts of the people. As a result, the ranks of Muslims were increasing and becoming much stronger.
The polytheists of Mecca now understood that torturous acts, persecution, as well as offers for high stations, status, and wealth could not cause our Holy Prophet (PBUH) to waver in his cause for the slightest moment. For that reason, new options were beginning to sprout.
One day, they said to our Holy Prophet (PBUH),
“Pray to your Lord to convert Mount Safa to gold so that we can testify to you!”
Of course, the fulfillment of such a wish is beyond the powers and strength of ordinary men. However, it is a simple phenomenon for Allah’s power. The polytheists were trying to console themselves by making requests that no ordinary man could accomplish. They wanted to say,
“Here you go, he was unable to fulfill our wish. Why should we testify then?”
Despite our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) response to the other requests and offers made by the polytheists was that accomplishing such things was not amid his duties and that they could only be realized through the will of Allah, he did not answer them in the same way; he said,
“Will you really do it if your wish is fulfilled?”
In unison, they all replied, “Yes, we will.”
Upon this our Holy Prophet (PBUH) opened his hands and began to beg Allah, Whose powers are infinite. Of course, the prayers of the Master of the Universe (PBUH) would not be left unanswered. Jabrail (AS) immediately appeared and said,
“Allah greets you and says, ‘if you want, I can turn Mount Safa into gold for them. However, if any of them disaffirms, then I will inflict a kind of punishment that I have never before bestowed upon any of my creatures. Now, if you would like, I can open the doors of repentance and compassion for them.”
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH), who was sent to the universe as the means of compassion, was left with two options to choose from. Despite Allah’s promise to do whatever His Messenger (PBUH) wanted, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) felt compassion for his tribe that distressed him, he said:
No, my Lord! Do not fulfill their wish. Leave the doors of compassion and repentance open for them.”3
Yes, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) was sent as "a mercy to the whole universe." His heart and conscience was the source of compassion, and mercy. He even forgave and felt sympathy for those who tortured, persecuted, and insulted him. He never sought revenge for his own sake. He always wished for those who tortured him to attain the guidance and bliss that came with faith.
He captured the hearts of the people with his immense compassion, mercy, profound level of forgiveness and tolerance and had these hearts encircle around his heavenly light like a fan. Despite our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) rejection of every offer that was placed before him, the polytheists continued to make new requests. One day the leading figures went to our Holy Prophet (PBUH) and said
“Let us provide you with an amount of wealth that will result in you becoming the wealthiest man among us. Let us marry you to whichever woman you want as long as you forgo decrying our idols. Then, they spoke as follows: If you do not accept and do what we say, then we have another offer for you. It is auspicious for both you and us.”
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) asked, “What is that auspicious offer?”
The polytheists replied, “Worship our idols, Lat and Uzza for one year, and we will also worship your Allah for a year.” 4
This was both a game and a trap. They figured they could trick our Holy Prophet (PBUH) with such an offer. However, the Master of the Universe (PBUH), whose life purpose was to strive against polytheism and unbelief, would not fall for such a trap. Thus, Allah directly sent down the chapter "al-Kafiroon" upon this incident:
“Say: O ye that reject Faith! I worship not that which ye worship, Nor will ye worship that which I worship. I will not worship that which ye have been wont to worship, Nor will ye worship that which I worship. To you be your Way, and to me mine.” (al-Kafiroon: 109/1-6)
When our Holy Prophet (PBUH) recited this Surah to them, the polytheists understood that these offers were also in vain and lost all hope in attempting such tactics.
The three questions of the polytheists
The polytheists who had been withering in a state of hopelessness in the face of our Holy Prophet ‘s (PBUH) cause came up with a new idea: To learn about our Holy Prophet (PBUH) from the Jewish scholars.
With this purpose in mind, their representatives set off to Madina to speak with the Jewish scholars.. When they arrived, they described our Holy Prophet ‘s (PBUH) words and actions. Afterwards, they said,
“You are a people that hold the Torah in your hands. We have consulted you so that you can inform us of this man.”
The Jewish scholars answered:
“Ask him, “What amazing adventures did a group of young men experience in the past? Who is the individual that went back and forth from the east to the west on the face of the Earth and what is his tale? What is the essence of the soul?” If he answers these questions, then be assured that he is a Prophet of God and submit to him. If he can not answer them, then, that man is a liar and you can do whatever you want to him.”
The representatives went back to Mecca and explained the situation to the other polytheists. The happy and hopeful polytheists ran to our Holy Prophet (PBUH) and asked these three questions. The Pride of the Universe (PBUH) requested a respite by saying,
“I will let you know tomorrow.”
However, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) forgot to say “Inshallah” (God-willing (when saying those words). According to one narration, a revelation was not sent for three days while it was fifteen according to another. Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) could not stay put as he was so discomforted. The polytheists began to gossip,
“Muhammad requested a respite for one day. Much time has passed and he still has not informed us of anything.” Thus, our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) level of discomfort increased so much that he could not speak to anyone.
However, the distress of Allah’s Apostle (PBUH) did not last for much longer and a revelation finally arrived. An answer was given to the questions posed by the polytheists:
“Or dost thou reflect that the Companions of the Cave and of the Inscription were wonders among Our Signs? Behold, the youths betook themselves to the Cave: they said "Our Lord! Bestow on us Mercy from Thyself, and dispose of our affair for us in the right way!” (al-Kahf, 18/9-10)
These verses answered the first question asked by the polytheists and stated that the group of young men was the Ashab al-Kahf and the following verses explained their adventures.
This next verse was the response to their second question:
"They ask thee concerning Dhul Qarnayn. Say I will rehearse to you something of his story." (al-Kahf, 18/83)
The verses of this chapter that followed indicate that Allah gave Dhul Qarnayn power, provided him with many resources with which he advanced towards the west, that he encountered a tribe during his journey and invited them to commit good deeds. Afterwards, he proceeded towards the west again and met with another tribe once more. They state that he encouraged them to commit auspicious deeds as well.
An answer to the third question posed by the polytheists was given with this following verse:
“They ask thee concerning the Spirit. Say: The Spirit (cometh) by command of my Lord of knowledge it is only a little that is communicated to you (O men!)” (al-Isra, 17/85)
The polytheists received the perfect answers to their questions.
Instead of testifying to our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) cause, they distanced themselves from following him and continued to live in a state of excessive unbelief. However, by turning their faces away from the truth and reality, they were only dragging themselves towards disaster. As they resisted, the Islamic cause was continuing to capture even more hearts with its glory and exaltedness.
Allah warns our Holy Prophet (PBUH) in the same Surah as follows:
“Nor say of anything, "I shall be sure to do so and so tomorrow"― Without adding, "So please Allah!" And call thy Lord to mind when thou forgettest, and say "I hope that my Lord will guide me ever closer (even) than this to the right road." (al- Kahf, 18/23-24)
After this warning, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) made it a principle to say “Inshallah” throughout his entire life after everything that he planned to do.
1. Ibn Hisham, Sirah, V. 1, p. 313-314; Tabari, Tarikh, V. 2. p. 225.
2. al-Maida, 67.
3. Ibn Hisham, Sirah, V. 2, p. 35-36.
4. Ibn Hisham, ibid, V. 1, p. 368; Tabari, Tarikh, V. 2, p. 225-226.
What kind of tortures were inflicted upon Yasir family and Ammar by the polytheists? Who are the first martyrs of Islam?
Yasir had come to Mecca from Yemen. Here, he was under the protection of Abu Huzayfa bin Mughira who was from the Sons of Mahzum. Afterwards, Abu Huzayfa wed him to his slave, Sumayya and two sons entered the world through this marriage: Ammar and Abdullah…
The polytheists, including the Sons of Mahzum who were at the forefront, did not cease subjecting this family, whose every member had become Muslims to unbearable torture and intolerable persecution.
The Sons of Mahzum would torture the family on a stony area that had become as hot as hellfire, so to speak, during a time in which the sun’s heat was scorching so that they would abandon their faith.
One day, while the polytheists were cruelly persecuting the Yasir family, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) appeared. When he came across this heartbreaking situation, he advised them to be patient by saying,
“Be patient, O Yasir Family! Be patient, O Yasir Family! Be patient, O Yasir Family! Your reward is heaven; be patient, O Yasir Family!”
Yasir, who was suffering on account of this torture, asked,
“Oh Allah’s Apostle, how long will this last?”, to which our Holy Prophet (PBUH) answered with a prayer:
“My Lord! Do not withhold your compassion and mercy from the Yasir Family.”
Some time after this situation, Hazrat Yasir gloriously surrendered his soul to His Creator under the unbearable torture that he faced. In this way, he had attained the honor of being "the first martyr” among the Muslim men.
Sumayya, Yasir’s wife, a rather old, weak, and frail woman, was handed over to Abu Jahl to be tortured.
Abu jahl would audaciously say, “You have testified to Muhammad because you have fallen in love with the beauty of his physical appearance!” to this old, physically weak, and lonely woman whom he continuously tortured. When Hazrat Sumayya, an example of a true believer, retorted with the harshest remarks that could be said to a polytheist, Abu jahl further became furious and stabbed her with his spear; she was the first martyr among the women.
What Befell Ammar
What Ammar suffered was heartbreaking: He would be forced to wear an iron casing and would be taken outside when the sun scorched the entire face of the Earth with its full heat and as a result, his bone marrow would melt in the iron casing.
When Ammar was relieved from being tortured for a brief moment, he rested next to our Holy Prophet (PBUH) and awaited some consolation. He expressed his state by saying,
“We have experienced every kind of torture, O Allah’s Apostle.” (PBUH). Once again, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) provided advice and offered a supplication:
“My Lord, do not have anyone from the Ammar family experience hellfire.”
Being branded with fire was another kind of torture that Hazrat Ammar was subjected to. On another day, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) came upon him while he was suffering such torment. He placed his holy hands on top of Hazrat Ammar’s head and said to the fire
“O Fire, just as you were cool and safe for Ibrahim (PBUH), be so for Ammar!” Afterwards, he informed Ammar of this news:
“O Ammar, you are not going to die from this torture but you are going to live for a long time. Your death will be at the hands of a wild crowd.”1
By granting Hazrat Ammar a long life, Allah verified the news that His Beloved Messenger (PBUH) provided. Hazrat Ammar was killed in the Battle of Siffin at a much later time. Hazrat Ali argued that Muawwiya’s adherents were rampageous. However, Muawwiya refuted. Amr bin As said, “The ones who are rampageous are his murderers; generally, we are not.” 2
On another day, Ammar was crying because of the torture that he faced. When our Holy Prophet (PBUH), the Example of Compassion, saw Ammar in this state, he wiped his teardrops and said,
"Did the disbelievers capture and push you into water? If they capture you again, say this-and-this to you, and then continue to torture you, say what they want you to say so you can be freed.”
This permission was given to Ammar so that he could save his life from the hands of the cruel polytheists!
Awhile after this permission was given, Ammar was again captured and continuously tormented by the polytheists. While he was being tortured, the following offer was made to him:
“We are not going to cease torturing you until you curse at Muhammad and say that worshipping Lat and Uzza is more favorable than his religion!”
Poor Ammar was desperate; thus, he uttered the polytheists’ words. The oppressors achieved their goal and released him. Ammar went straight to our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) presence. When our Holy Prophet (PBUH) said,
“It can be seen from your face that you have been freed” Ammar responded:
“By Allah, I have not been freed!”
“Why?” asked our Holy Prophet (PBUH.)
Ammar answered: “I was forced to abandon you. They forced me to say that the religion of Lat and Uzza was more favorable than yours.”
Ammar was sad and confused. He was standing straight in front of our Holy Prophet (PBUH) in a state of nervousness and fear as if his entire world had come crumbling over his head. He had been saved from the torture and persecution that the polytheists subjected him to but now he had come face-to-face with another danger!
“How was your heart when you uttered the polytheists’ words?” asked our Holy Prophet (PBUH).
Ammar replied with an answer that came straight from his heart:
“I found that the comfort and contentment that is in and the loyalty that I have towards my faith is stronger than steel.”
Upon this, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) said, “There is no sin upon you, O Ammar! If they capture you again and want you to repeat this, then repeat what they say and be freed.” 3
Ammar’s heart was overwhelmed with relief when he heard these words. Upon this incident, Allah, the Exalted, sent down the 106th verse of Surah an-Nahl:
“Anyone who, after accepting faith in Allah, utters unbelief― except under compulsion, his heart remaining firm in Faith― but such as open their breast to unbelief― on them is Wrath from Allah, and theirs will be a dreadful Penalty.” 4
In that case, permission is given to a believer whose heart is determined to accept faith. When he/she comes across a situation in which his/her life or an organ of his is in danger of being eliminated by an enemy, it is permissible for him/her to utter words of unbelief with the tongue alone. However, it must be remembered that this is only permissible when the heart is filled with belief. Besides, it is best to take the chance of becoming a martyr by saying the truth and protecting the dignity/honor of Islam and not to utter a single blasphemous word, even if it is only through speech. In this matter, it is considered more virtuous to perform one’s religious duty to the fullest extent than to exercise this privilege.5
1. Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, V. 3, p. 248.
2. See: Badiuzzaman Said Nursi, Mektubat p 110.
3. Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, V. 3, p. 249.
4. an-Nahl, 106.
5. Hazin, Tafsir, V. 3, p. 136; M. Hamdi Yazır, Hak Dini Kur’an Dili, V. 4, p. 3132.
How did Abu Dharr al-Ghifari become a Muslim?
The Everlasting Light of Islam (PBUH) continued to secretly enfold and capture hearts. The first Muslims were trying their best to learn about and live in accordance with the Divine cause with the fullest sincerity in their hearts.
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) had not yet announced his cause openly; however, despite this, there were those from many places outside of Mecca who had received news on the awaited appearance of the Last Prophet (PBUH). One of these individuals was Abu Zarr who belonged to the Ghifar Tribe.
During the Age of Ignorance, Abu Zarr despised idol worship. He had been searching for the truth for many years and was a distinguished poet among the Arabs. At first, upon hearing the news, he told Unais, who was his brother and a better poet than him,
“All right, go to the person who has appeared in Mecca. Meet him and then inform me of whatever you learn about him” so that he could determine whether or not this person was the Luminous Guide he had been searching for.
Upon his brother’s instructions, Unais went to Mecca, spoke with our Holy Prophet (PBUH), and then returned. Abu Zarr asked, “What news did you bring? And what does the community say about him?”
Unais replied, “The person I saw recommends the community to do good unto others, to refrain from committing harm, and has excellent manners.” Then, he continued:
“The people say that he is “a poet, a soothsayer, and a magician.” However, I have heard the sayings of soothsayers before and what he says is by no means the words of a soothsayer. I have compared what he has said to all sorts of poems and I did not find any similarities between them. His words go beyond and completely differ from poetry. From now on, it is not fitting for anyone to call him a poet.
In brief, I swear that Muhammad (PBUH) is loyal. Those who attempt to make various allegations against him are the liars themselves.” 1
Abu Zarr said to his brother,
“You did not provide me with much news to comfort me. Yet I have to go and see him for myself.”
Unais warned him, “Go, but watch out for the Meccan community since they have formed an enemy front line against Muhammad.”
Afterwards, Abu Zarr set off on his journey with a staff in his hands, a waterskin on his back, and a leather pouch that was filled with his provisions. He crossed the desert and went straight to the Kaaba upon reaching Mecca. He searched for Allah’s Apostle (PBUH) but could not find him since he did not know nor recognize him. He did not dare to ask anyone and did not deem it suitable to do so since his brother had said there was a severe struggle between the polytheists and the Muslims in Mecca and the Muslims were living in a very critical time period.
He did not have any choice but to stay in the Masjid al-Haram; so that was what he did; and he overcame his hunger by drinking Zamzam water.
At one point, Hazrat Ali saw him crouching over in a corner in the Masjid al-Haram. When he passed by him, Hazrat Ali said to himself, “I believe this man has come from a faraway place” to which Abu Zarr replied, “Yes, I have come from afar.”
“Come, let us go to our home” said Hazrat Ali, and took Abu Zarr to his home as a guest. They both behaved cautiously and with discretion; and for that reason they spent the night without opening up to one another.
When the morning came, Abu Zarr went to the Masjid al-Haram again to ask about and look for our Holy Prophet (PBUH). However, he was once again unable to receive any information regarding our Master (PBUH) from anyone. And once again, Hazrat Ali went by his side while Abu Zarr hopelessly waited in a corner and said out loud to himself,
“Has the time not come to learn where this poor man is headed?”
When Abu Zarr heard this, he replied, “No…”
In response to his answer and in the same manner as before, Hazrat Ali said, “In that case, let us go home” and took Abu Zarr to his home as a guest. This time, they opened up to one another. At first, Hazrat Ali asked, “Why and from where did you come?”
“If you promise to keep it a secret, then I will explain,” responded Abu Zarr.
When Hazrat Ali replied, “You can be sure of that”, Abu Zarr disclosed his true purpose:
“I am from the Ghifar clan. I heard that an individual who has announced that he is a prophet has risen from here. I want to meet him; that is why I came.”
Hazrat Ali understood his sincerity,
“You made the right decision by telling me. I am now going to the Messenger (PBUH). Follow me and go in from where I enter. If I see someone on the road whom I fear will harm you, then I will stop by a wall as if I am about to straighten my shoe. In that situation, do not wait for me and continue walking.”
They left Hazrat Ali’s home. Hazrat Ali was in the front and Abu Zarr was following him from behind. They were able to reach the Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) presence without having to face any abnormal circumstances.
Abu Zarr said, “Peace be Upon You, O Allah’s Apostle.” It is Abu Zarr who saluted like this for the first time in Islam.
After our Holy Prophet (PBUH) said, “May the Compassion of Allah be upon you”, he asked, “Who are you?”
Abu Zarr replied, “I am from the Ghifar Tribe.”
“How long have you been here?” asked the Holy Prophet (PBUH).
“I have been here for three days and three nights”, answered Abu Zarr.
“Who is feeding you?”
“The zamzam water was my only food. I put on some weight and I did not feel any thirst or hunger.”
Upon this, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) answered, “The zamzam is a holy and filling food.”
Then, Abu Zarr said, “Oh Allah’s Apostle, tell me about Islam.”
When our Holy Prophet (PBUH) defined Islam, Abu Zarr immediately recited the shahada (testimony of faith) and became a Muslim.2
He declared that he became a Muslim
The piece of advice that our Holy Prophet (PBUH), who never let down his guard and never threw his caution to the wind, offered Hazrat Abu Zarr, who had now been honored through his conversion, was:
“O Abu Zarr, for now, keep this a secret and return to your homeland. Come back when you hear that we have openly made our announcement.”
Hazrat Abu Zarr, who was now enthusiastic and excited, replied,
“O Allah’s Apostle, I swear by Allah Who has sent you as a Prophet of Truth that I am going to openly declare my faith here in front of the polytheists.”
Then, he stood up and ran straight to the Kaaba where he fearlessly shouted before the polytheists:
"O the Community of Quraysh! I testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is His Messenger!”
This brave exclamation infuriated the polytheists. They all descended upon him at once and beat him until he fainted. They would have killed him if Hazrat Abbas, who had not converted to Islam at the time, had not come and explained that Hazrat Abu Zarr belonged to the Ghifar Tribe which controlled the trade route to Damascus!
However, Hazrat Abu Zarr was not intimidated by this intense attack since his faith gave him the courage and passion. On the second day, he fearlessly shouted about Allah’s oneness and His existence and that Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) was His Messenger before the polytheists in the same manner and at the same place. Once again, he was subjected to the polytheists’ heavy blows and Hazrat Abbas intervened:
“Shame on you all! Do you want to kill someone from the Ghifar Tribe? Do you not know that they are to be found on your trade route?”
By saying these words, he was able to save Hazrat Abu Zarr from the polytheists’ merciless blows.3
After this incident, Hazrat Abu Zarr returned to his homeland so that he could invite his clan and tribe to the true religion and he remained there until the sixth year of the Hijra (migration). For this reason, he did not join the Battles of Badr, Uhud, and Khandaq. Nonetheless, he did not separate from our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) side in the battles that were to follow.
1. Ibn Sa’d, Tabakat, V. 4, p. 224; Muslim, Sahih, V. 7, p. 153-154.
2. Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, V. 4, p. 224-225; Muslim, Sahih, V. 7, p. 153-154.
3. Ibn Sa’d, ibid, V. 4. p. 255.
How did Habbab bin Arat become a Muslim and what kind of tortures were inflicted upon him due to his belief?
Habbab bin Arat was the freed slave of a woman by the name of Umm Anmar, who was also an enemy of Islam. He was a blacksmith who made swords. He had been in contact with our Holy Prophet (PBUH) for a long time. He became a Muslim during a time in which our Holy Prophet (PBUH) had not yet settled in Darul Arqam.
During those days, becoming a Muslim and openly declaring one’s faith meant risking one’s own property and life. Despite this, Hazrat Habbab bravely declared and revealed that he had become a Muslim without showing the slightest sign of fright.
The polytheists of Quraysh tortured and persecuted him when they heard that he had become a Muslim. It was as if Umm Anmar had gone mad due to her rage. She had him tied and branded his head with heated iron. Hazrati Habbab was now being tortured through the means of his livelihood! However, it was all in vain! His heart had already been ignited with the love of faith.
One day, he came to the presence of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) and complained about Umm Anmar and the pain on his head. Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) prayed,
“Oh Allah, help Habbab!”
Immediately after his prayer, Umm Anmar became afflicted with a severe headache. She would consistently moan due to her intense pain. At last, someone suggested that she have her head branded with fire. As a result, Hazrat Habbab branded her head for some period of time.
Hazrat Habbab was in Fire and Flames
One day, the polytheists who were devoid of compassion and mercy lit a huge fire in front of Hazrat Habbab. They laid him on top of the fire, stepped on his chest, and left him there for some time. 1
Many years later, Hazrat Umar became the Caliph of Islam. In one occasion when Hazrat Habbab was next to him, Hazrat Umar mentioned the accounts of hardship and cruelty that they had faced by saying:
“There is only one person on the surface of this Earth who is more worthy of this congregation.”
Hazrat Habbab was curious and asked, “O, Caliph (Head of the Muslims), who is this person?”
Hazrat Umar responded, “It is Bilal.”
Hazrat Habbab replied, “O, Caliph! He was not tortured as much as I was since there was someone to protect Bilal from the the polytheists’ infliction of cruelty. Whereas I did not have a guardian then; nor do I have one now”.
Afterwards, he continued to explain how the polytheists laid him inside of a fire:
“One day the polytheists held me and lit a fire. They placed me on my back inside the fire. Then one man stepped on top of my chest and did not leave me until the floor cooled!”
After he spoke these words, Hazrat Habbab opened his chest which had been mottled due to the burns of the fire.
Hazrat Habbab Applied to our Holy Prophet (PBUH)
Despite having been inflicted with all kinds of torture and persecution, Hazrat Habbab did not make the slightest concession from his faith and did not refrain from displaying his unceasing love for Allah and His Messenger (PBUH).
He was a slave and was not in a position to overcome the polytheists. He did not have any choice but to apply to our Holy Prophet (PBUH) regarding the torture and persecution he faced. And that was what he did. One day, he went to our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) presence and said,
“O, Allah’s Apostle, will you not pray for us so that we can be saved from this torture, to which we are subjected?”
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) provided the following answer which is filled with many lessons and glad tidings:
“There were certain individuals among the communities that came before you whose entire skin and flesh was peeled and shaved off with an iron comb and even this kind of torture did not turn them away from their religion."
"Of course Allah will complete this mission (Islam) and will make it superior to all other religions in such a way that an individual who rides his animal alone from San’a to Hadramut will fear no one but Allah and his sole earthly worry will be of wolves attacking his sheep."
"However, you are all in a hurry.”2
His Response to As bin Wail
As bin Wail, one of the most savage individuals among the polytheists, had an important debt that he owed Hazrat Habbab. One day Hazrat Habbab went to ask for his payment. This savage polytheist replied,
“I am not going to pay my debt until you disbelieve Muhammad.”
“I will abandon everything yet I will never deny him; neither in this world nor after I die”, answered Hazrat Habbab.
Upon this As bin Wail arrogantly said, “Will I be resurrected after I die? In that case, be patient. I will pay the debt I owe you on the day I am resurrected and once I am reunited with my property and children.” 3
Upon those words of As b. Wail, Allah Almighty stated the following in the verses He sent down:
“Hast thou then seen the (sort of) man who rejects Our Signs, yet says: "I shall certainly be given wealth and children"? Has he penetrated to the Unseen, or has he taken a promise with (Allah) Most Gracious? Has he penetrated to the Unseen, or has he taken a promise with (Allah) Most Gracious? Nay! We shall record what he says, and We Shall add and add to his punishment. To Us shall return all that he talks of, and he shall appear before Us bare and alone.”4
Just as Habbab would risk every type of danger by declaring that he had become a Muslim, he would also be preoccupied with teaching and instructing new Muslims on how to read the Holy Quran.
When Hazrat Umar furiously entered the home of his sister and brother-in-law with his sword drawn, this self-sacrificing companion was reciting and teaching them the verses that had been recently sent.
1. Ibn Sa'd, Tabaqat: 3/165
2. Bukhari: 4/238-239
3. Ibn Sa'd, Tabaqat 3/164-165
4. Surah Maryam, 77-80
What kind of torture was inflicted upon Hz. Abu Bakr by the polytheists?
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) was sitting in Darul Arkam amid many of the first Muslims. With Hazrat Abu Bakr at the forefront, they were all fervently longing to explain the doctrine of Tawhid to the polytheists. They requested permission from our Holy Prophet (PBUH) to actualize their wish. However, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) did not want to relinquish his habit of precaution since such an undertaking would require the passing of some time. He said,
“We are small in number, we will not be enough for this task.”
However, these new Muslims were so enthusiastic and zealous in their faith that they were unable to stay put in their place. At last, the Master of the Universe (PBUH) went with them to the Masjid al-Haram. They all sat on one side; a group of polytheists was also there.
Hazrat Abu Bakr, who burned with his love for Allah and His Messenger (PBUH) could not suppress his desire to proclaim the truths that he carried in the depths of his heart to the people; so, he turned to the polytheists and shouted about the exaltedness and holiness of having faith in Allah and about the wretchedness of idolatry. The polytheists who were filled with enmity and hatred towards the Muslims attacked Hazrat Siddiq and injured him, leaving him with blood flowing. He was only saved when a few people from his tribe, the sons of Taim, intervened.
Hazrat Abu Bakr became unconscious after having been subjected to the pounds of the polytheists’ shoes with iron nails. They took him back home while he was in this unconscious state. He remained unconscious for an entire day and regained his consciousness during the evening.
It was as if he had not received so many beatings and that it was someone else’s eyes and face that was drenched in blood since the first words that spilled from his mouth were:
“What is Allah’s Apostle (PBUH) doing? What kind of state is he in? They had insulted him”
These words were just an example of the immense and magnificent amount of loyalty that Hazrat Abu Bakr had towards our Holy Prophet (PBUH). Without looking at the bloody state that he was in and without minding the pain of his bruises and wounds, he wanted to learn of the Master of the Universe’s (PBUH) condition. Moreover, he asked about him amid the presence of those who strongly opposed our Holy Prophet (PBUH).
They offered him food and water and said,
“You were left hungry and thirsty, do you not want to eat and drink?”
Whereas he kept on asking, “What state is Allah’s Apostle (PBUH) in, what is he doing?”
His mother did not know of our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) cause. At that time, she was among those who had not attested to faith. In any case, she was bound to learn about the condition of Allah’s Apostle (PBUH). Hazrat Abu Bakr said to his mother,
“Go and ask Hattab’s daughter, Umm Jamil and bring news about Allah’s Apostle (PBUH) to me”.
Umm Jamil was a fortunate woman who had become a Muslim. Nonetheless, she acted with discretion and prudence due to what she had learned from our Holy Prophet (PBUH). When Hazrat Abu Bakr’s mother said to her,
“Abu Bakr asks you about the condition of Abdullah’s son, Muhammad”,
Umm Jamil replied, “I do not know anything but if you like, we can both go to your son.”
Actually, Umm Jamil knew of our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) condition. However, she had answered in this manner because she was taking into account that she may be in the wake of a trap.
When Umm Jamil saw that Hazrat Abu Bakr’s eyes and entire face had been severely bruised, her heart became deeply saddened and she could not contain herself from shouting,
“A tribe that deems this fitting for you is undoubtedly savage and aberrant. I pray to Allah that He takes your revenge on them.”
Despite having learned from Umm Jamil that our Holy Prophet (PBUH) was safe, Abu Bakr’s heart was still not at ease and so he said to his mother,
“By Allah, I will not eat or drink until I see Allah’s Apostle (PBUH)!”
She had no other choice but to take him to our Holy Prophet (PBUH). However, how could he go in this condition? How could he walk to Darul Arkam? When there were few people around, he went to our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) presence by tottering and leaning on his mother and Umm Jamil. Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) and Hazrat Abu Bakr embraced one another like two close friends who had not seen each other for years. After he saw our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) condition with his own eyes, he said,
“May my mother and father be sacrificed for you, O Messenger of Allah! I am only saddened that that savage and aberrant man (Utba bin Rabia) dragged and rubbed my face against the ground and brought it to an unidentifiable condition; however, I am not upset about anything else.” 1
At that moment, Hazrat Abu Bakr’s heart was burning ablaze with his love of being in the service of Islam. He presented his mother to our Holy Prophet (PBUH) and said,
“This is my mother, Salma. I desire that you pray to Allah on her behalf and hope that Allah will save her from hellfire for your sake.”2
This sincere wish conjoined with a severe prayer and right there at that moment, Lady Ummul Khayr Salma joined the ranks of the fortunate (the Muslims.)
1. Halabi, Insanu’l-Uyun, V. 1. p. 275.
2. Halabi, Insanu’l-Uyun, V. 1. p. 276.
What kind of tortures and slanders were inflicted upon the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) by Qurayshi polytheists after he declared his prophethood openly and called people to accept Islam on Safa Hill?
After our Holy Prophet (PBUH) declared his prophethood and invited the community to Islam on Mount Safa, the polytheists of the Quraysh tortured him and targeted insults at him, and their abuse continued to increase.
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) invited them to the doctrine of “Tawhid” (oneness) whereas they insisted upon idolatry and polytheism, which they called “the religion of their fathers.” Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) invited them to the path of virtue and happiness both in this world and the hereafter whereas they tried to keep away from virtue and happiness just as a bat tries to flee from the light.
The Master of the Universe (PBUH) invited them to live humanely and to exhibit dignified behavior while they gallivanted by exhibiting ugly and dishonorable behavior and trampled over human dignity and honor with their feet.
He wanted them to enter Paradise and invited them to commit deeds that would earn them these incomparable blessings whereas they continued to commit deeds that would lead them to eternal punishment and hellfire.
Through his invitation, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) wanted to save them from falling into asfal as-safilin (the lowest of the low) and elevate them to a’la illiyyin (the highest of the high places), ranks of worth, and stations that would empower them to execute sublime duties. Nonetheless, they continued preoccupying themselves with worthless activities that would result in their entrance to the bottom pits of hell (asfal as-safilin.)
Of course, the polytheists who exhibited such desires and behavior would oppose our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) invitation, would struggle against him without mercy, would try to make him ineffective through all their means and break his perseverance, fortitude, courage, and zeal. For that reason, they attempted to commit all kinds of torment, persecution, insults, and murder attempts.
Undoubtedly, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) was not the only one who faced such circumstances. Every prophet who has been sent was treated harshly, held in contempt, and subjected to torture and persecution by his tribe and community. Alongside these commonalities and other traits that all of the prophets shared, these prophets did not refrain from explaining their cause and did not make any concessions from their faith despite the torture, insults, persecution, and murder attempts they faced. As the amount of torture and persecution that they were afflicted with increased, their love, enthusiasm, and seriousness in their mission in working towards having the truth heard grew even more.
Abu Lahab and his wife, Umm Jamil, were among the leaders of those that tortured and persecuted the Master of the Universe (PBUH). Aba Lahab would continuously stalk our Beloved Prophet (PBUH), would strive to get the crowd to stop listening to him, and would attempt to instill doubts and apprehensions in their minds.
That day, Allah’s Apostle (PBUH) was inviting the crowd to testify to the Oneness of Allah and his own prophethood at the Ukaz Fair:
“O people! Say 'La Ilaha Illallah' so that you can save yourselves,” our Holy Prophet (PBUH) said to the crowd.
Abu Lahab came from right behind and shouted, “O people! He is my nephew; he is lying to you, stay away from him.” 1
This was an example that is and was filled with many lessons: His nephew was inviting the crowd to the path of happiness and to have faith in Allah whereas he, the paternal uncle, was opposing his own nephew by yelling at the crowd to not listen!
Abu Lahab did not stop there. One day, he threw rancid filth at the front of the door of our Holy Prophet (PBUH), who was his neighbor. At that moment, despite not yet having become a Muslim, Hazrat Hamza caught up and spilled the filth and the rancid substances upon Abu Lahab’s head.
All that our Holy Prophet (PBUH) said in the face of his neighbor’s ugly action was, “O Sons of Abd Manaf! What kind of neighborliness is this?” as he swept away the filth in front of his home.
This man, who the Quran mentions will burn in the fierce fires of Hell, would sometimes stone our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) home just to bother him.
Abu Lahab did not want to be alone in torturing and persecuting the Master of the Universe (PBUH). One day, he commanded his son, Utaiba, to harass our Holy Prophet (PBUH). Utaiba went to our Holy Prophet (PBUH), who was reciting Surah an-Najm during that time. Upon hearing this, Utaiba remarked,
“I swear by the Lord of an-najm (the star) that I denounce your prophethood” and arrogantly spat toward the Master of the Universe (PBUH).
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) only replied to him with this invocation:
"O my Lord! Subject him to the power of a dog from among Your dogs."
His (PBUH) prayers were never left unrequited; thus, his imprecation was answered sometime after the above incident. While Utaiba was sleeping among his friends in Hawran, a place that was in the vicinity of Yemen, a lion came and tore him to shreds!
The acceptability of his prayers is just one aspect of our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) many miracles.
Umm Jamil was the wife of Abu Lahab, the most violent opponent and enemy of the Islamic cause. This woman, referred to as the “wood carrier of Hell” in the interpretation of the Holy Quran, had become so mad and so wild in the face of the Islamic cause that she would sprinkle hard, spiked shrubs every day on the path that our Holy Prophet (PBUH) walked without showing the slightest sign of boredom; in fact, she derived great pleasure from this action.
While our Holy Prophet (PBUH) was on Mount Safa and openly delivering the Divine invitation to the Quraysh for the first time, she and her husband, Abu Lahab scolded him and even affronted him. Abu Lahab shamelessly said, “'May you perish for this! Is this what you have summoned us here for?” and hurled a rock that he had lifted from the ground towards our Holy Prophet (PBUH). Upon this incident, Allah revealed Surah Tabbat, which mentions the ugly behavior and aftermath of Abu Lahab and his wife.
Umm Jamil could not contain herself once she heard this surah. She carried a rock and went to the Masjid al-Haram. Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) was sitting there with his loyal friend, Hazrat Abu Bakr. Umm Jamil saw Hazrat Abu Bakr but did not notice our Holy Prophet (PBUH), who was sitting there right next to him. She said to Hazrat Abu Bakr:
"O, Abu Bakr! Where is your friend? I heard that he has satirized me. I am going to smash his mouth with this rock when I see him.”
Since Umm Jamil’s eyes could only see Hazrat Abu Bakr and failed to notice our Holy Prophet (PBUH), she had no choice but turn back since she could not achieve her goal.2
Of course her eyes could not see!! How could a wood carrier of Hell dare to see our Holy Prophet (PBUH), who was under Allah’s protection and grace?
Abu Jahl also had a similar experience. One day, he made a promise to his tribe:
“By God, if I see Muhammad prostrating I will smash his head with this rock!”
The next day, he carried a huge rock that was difficult to lift. Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) was in prostration. Abu Jahl’s arms stiffened and froze in the air right as he was lifting the rock and about to hit our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) head. They stood there until the Master of the Universe (PBUH) finished his prayer… When his prayer finished, Abu Jahl’s arms loosened; 3 since there was no longer any need for them to remain frozen.
Despite everything, Abu Jahl did not cease his attempts at disturbing our Holy Prophet (PBUH); and on another day, he swore,
“By God, if I see Muhammad in prostration, I will step on his neck and rub him against the floor.”
Right then, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) appeared. When Ibn Abbas explained the situation to him, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) became angry and without waiting to go through the door, he climbed (jumped) over the wall to enter the Masjid al-Haram. He recited Surah al-Alaq till the very end and prostrated.
Those who were around him immediately said to Abu Jahl, “O Abu Jahl there is Muhammad!”
As soon as Abu Jahl started to walk toward our Holy Prophet (PBUH), he returned. Those who were watching were puzzled and asked, “What happened? Why did you return?”
Abu Jahl responded in an even more puzzled manner: “Do you not see what I see?” and then added, “By God, an enflamed rift opened between him and me.”4
In this manner, Allah protected His Beloved Messenger (PBUH) from the torture and murder attempts made by the polytheists’ leading figures! The torment, insults, and murder attempts that the Quraysh polytheists subjected upon our Holy Prophet (PBUH) took place in various forms.
One day, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) was praying in the Kaaba in a very reverent manner. A group of polytheists had gathered around the Kaaba and were talking with one another; Abu Jahl was also in this group. He leaped forward and asked the group,
“Which of you will go and bring the stomach of so-and-so’s slaughtered camel and bring its rumen and placenta in their bloody state and place them on top of him while he is prostrating?”
Uqba bin Abi Muayt, who had been blinded with rage, came forward, said “I will do it” and left. Sometime later, this man, whose soul had been darkened, appeared next to our Holy Prophet (PBUH) with a camel’s rumen in his hands.
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) was unaware of anything and had already gone into prostration.
The raving Uqba placed the camel’s rumen between our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) shoulder blades. The polytheists, whose souls and consciences were buried in darkness, watched the scene as they laughed loudly.
Hazrat Fatima came running when she heard that her Honorable Father (PBUH) was being subjected to the polytheists’ despicable cruelty. She held the rumen and tossed it towards the group of polytheists.
When our Beloved Prophet (PBUH) completed his prayer the words, “My Lord, I leave the Quraysh to you” spilled from his holy lips and were repeated thrice.
Afterwards, he recited the names of the ringleaders individually and referred them to Allah, who is the Possessor of Infinite Power.5
Hazrat Abdullah bin Amr explained another instance in which the polytheists insulted and troubled our Holy Prophet (PBUH):
“One day the leading figures of the Quraysh gathered in a place called Hijir and I was also there. The Quraysh were talking about Allah’s Apostle (PBUH) and said:
“We have never shown as much patience to anything as we have to this man’s mission. This man accuses you of stupidity. He has insulted our fathers and grandfathers, has condemned our religion, has ruined our unity, and has defamed our idols. We have been patient with all that he has done.”
“While the Quraysh were discussing this, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) suddenly appeared. He came walking and kissed the Hajar al-Aswad. Afterwards, he walked by them to circumambulate the Kaaba. In the meantime, the Quraysh were dissing at him. Allah’s Apostle (PBUH) was greatly saddened. I noticed his sadness from the immediate change of color that was seen on his face."
“When Allah’s Apostle (PBUH) walked by them for the third time, the Qurayshis continued to diss at him in the same manner. Upon this, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) stopped and said to them:
“O Qurayshis, do you hear my words? I swear by Allah, Who possesses my existence in His powerful hands, that a disaster is going to befall upon you.”
"Our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) address deeply influenced the crowd. No one moved from his spot. At last, even those who initially spoke against our Holy Prophet (PBUH) the most and provoked their friends (primarily Abu Jahl) tried to please him by saying:
“O Abal Qasim! Go in peace. By God, you are not among the ignorant or among those who do not know themselves.”
Allah’s Apostle (PBUH) walked away.
The next day, the Qurayshis gathered at Hijir again and I was among them once more. In the same manner, the leading figures were talking about Allah’s Apostle (PBUH) and said:
“You keep talking about what Muhammad has done to you and the news that has been brought regarding him. However, when he stands in front of you and says bad things to your face, you let him free and do not touch him.”
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) appeared while they were talking. The Qurayshis quickly sprung up from where they were sitting and surrounded him. They cited his words regarding their idols and religion and asked, “Are you not the one who made these comments about us?”
The Holy Prophet (PBUH) answered, “Yes, I am the one who said them.”
And they all pounced on him upon hearing this answer. Someone clung to his throat. In the meantime, someone ran and notified Hazrat Abu Bakr and he rushed to the Haram ash-Sharif. Amid his tears, he shouted at the polytheists:
"May Allah damn you! Do you want to kill an individual who says, “My Lord is Allah?”
When our Holy Prophet (PBUH) heard this he said, “Leave them alone, O Abu Bakr! I swear by Allah, Who possesses my existence in His powerful hands, that I will deal with them all.”
The Qurayshis got scared, quickly dispersed, and released our Holy Prophet (PBUH) upon hearing these words.”6
The ugly acts our Holy Prophet (PBUH) were inflicted because he said, “My Lord is Allah” and invited the community to this Divine reality did not end here. On another day, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) was found praying near the Kaaba again. As soon as he placed his forehead on the ground before the presence of his Supreme Creator, the savage Uqba bin Muayt took his cloak, coiled our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) throat, and squeezed it with all of his strength in order to choke him.
During that time, Hazrat Abu Bakr was able to catch up and save our Holy Prophet (PBUH) from this savage. Then, he recited the following verse from the Quran as if he wanted the entire universe to hear:
"Would you kill a man because he says: 'My Lord is Allah', and he has come to you with clear signs (proofs) from your Lord? And if he is a liar, upon him will be (the sin of) his lie; but if he is telling the truth, then some of that (calamity) wherewith he threatens you will befall on you." Verily, Allah guides not one who is a Musrif (a polytheist, or a murderer who shed blood without a right, or those who commit great sins, oppressor, transgressor), a liar!"7
1.Ibn Hisham, Sirah, V. 1, p. 287.
2. Ibn Hisham, ibid, V. 1, p. 381-382; Qadi Iyad, ash-Shifa, V. 1, p. 684.
3. Ibn Hisham, ibid, V. 1, p. 319-320; Qadi Iyad, ibid, V. 1, p. 688; Badiuzzaman Said Nursi, Mektûbat, p. 164.
4. Qadi Iyad, ibid, V. 1, p. 690-691.
5. Muslim, Sahih, V. 5, p. 180.
6. Ibn Hisham, Sirah, V. 1, p. 309-310; Tabari, Tarikh, V. 2, p. 223.
7. al-Mu’min, 28.
What were the items of the boycott applied by the polytheists in order to frustrate the Muslims? How was the boycott lifted?
It was 617 AD, the seventh year of the prophethood.
Until this date, all of the polytheists’ attempts to thwart Islam’s development had failed. Moreover, Islam was developing at a quicker pace. The number of Muslims was increasing daily despite the presence of all kinds of violence and resistance. In fact, the light of Islam was beginning to embrace the tribes outside of Mecca.
Heroes like Hazrat Umar and Hazrat Hamza had joined the ranks of the Muslims. Hazrat Umar completely changed from his prior state by striving in the way of Islam with all of his strength and rigor and as a result became Islam’s right hand man. While this situation provided courage and morale for the Muslims, it greatly rocked the polytheists and caused them to think deeply.
On the other hand, Qurayshi polytheists could not retrieve the Muslims that took refuge in the land of the Negus. Ashama, the King of Abyssinia, did not only refuse to give them back but he also promised that he would protect them.
This forced and compelled the polytheists to make new plans and decisions.
The polytheists understood that torture and violence would not cause anyone to abandon his/her religion and they could not hinder Islam’s spreading and development. How was it that not one Muslim denounced his/her religion despite all the torture and cruelty they faced!
In that case, they had to implement different policies and that was what they did. They came together immediately. After thinking deeply and consulting with one another for a while, they decided to cut off all of their ties with the Sons of Hashim regardless of whether or not they were Muslims.
They wrote down the conditions of this decision that they had all agreed on together as follows:
1) They would not wed any women from the Sons of Hashim and Muttalib.
2) They would not give any women to the Sons of Hashim and Muttalib to wed.
3) They would not sell anything to the Sons of Hashim and Muttalib.
4) They would not purchase anything from the Sons of Hashim and Muttalib.1
They thought that hanging this agreement, which was written on a sheet of paper, on one of the Kaaba’s walls would attach a tenor of holiness. Furthermore, they swore they would not act against this agreement. 2
This boycott was aimed at eliminating the Sons of Hashim and Muttalib and excavating their roots. In this situation, the families of the Sons of Hashim and Muttalib could no longer live in separate cities or scattered from one another. With the exception of Abu Lahab, the Sons of Hashim and Muttalib all moved to Shib (District) Abu Talib, which was located in the northern part of Mecca. 3
The polytheists cut off all of their ties with the residents of this neighborhood. Those who went there by accident were badly scolded. The polytheists did not allow any food or drink to enter this area. They only allowed the Muslims to leave during the time of Hajj (the pilgrimage) to go shopping, but this was only a façade. It was a façade since they would follow them and attempt to hinder them in all kinds of ways from purchasing anything. In fact, they would occasionally threaten the merchants to prevent them from selling anything to the Muslims. Sometimes, they would apply all sorts of schemes and tricks to seize the merchants’ goods so that nothing would be left for the victims of this cruel boycott to purchase.
Despite the fact that Abu Lahab was from among the Sons of Hashim, he openly wanted his own siblings, kinsfolk, and relatives to die from starvation and did everything he could in this matter. On the outskirts of the city, he would greet the caravans carrying food to Mecca by saying,
“Oh merchants! Do not sell anything to the Sons of Hashim! Make your prices high so that they cannot purchase anything from you. You know that I am wealthy. Whenever I make a promise, I will always be sure to fulfill it. Raise the prices of your edible and wearable goods. I will purchase remaining goods!”
He caused the Muslims to go home empty-handed to their children who screamed out of hunger.
The polytheists’ ears and hearts were plugged in the face of the heartbreaking and sorrowful screams of the hungry children. They derived unparalleled pleasure from hearing these screams that had the potential to shatter stones. This is a lesson-filled example as to how disbelief, denial, and blasphemy can make people merciless and cruel even against their fellow humans.
Those who were subjected to this boycott were left to face a harsh scarcity and endure starvation since they were not able to purchase anything. This situation was so extreme that some began to eat leaves when they were unable to find anything else as well as any dry leather pieces they could find to roast over an open fire.
However, there were still some who felt compassion for the Muslims. One day, the son of Hazrat Khadija’s brother, Hakim bin Hizam, tried to save his aunt, Hazrat Khadija from despair by sending a camel load of flour.
On another occasion, he loaded wheat on the back of his slave to take to his aunt. He set off on the road with his slave and coincidentally bumped into Abu Jahl on the way. Abu Jahl said to him,
“You are taking groceries to the Sons of Hashim, is that right? By God, you cannot go. If you attempt to go then I will disclose this action of yours to all of Meccans and humiliate you.”
At that moment, Abu’l Bahtari came and chided Abu Jahl,
“What’s happening to you? It is not right to hinder a person from taking some flour to his aunt.”
However, Abu Jahil did not forgo his stubbornness and persistence. Upon this, he engaged in a physical fight with Abu’l Bahtari. Abu’l Bahtari wounded his head with the bone of a camel’s chin and then later pounced on Abu Jahil while punching him.
Hisham bin Amr bin Harith was someone else who did not withhold his help from the Sons of Hashim and the Muslims out of his feelings of kinship. He had taken food with his camels to Shib a few times without the polytheists knowing.
Followed by Abu Talib and Hazrat Khadijah, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) was the first to spend his belongings to fulfill the needs of those who were subjected to this boycott. Nonetheless, they still could not save them from starvation.
A frightening state of hunger reigned in Shib.
Why was this all being done?
For only one thing: to make our Holy Prophet (PBUH) surrender.
The polytheists thought they could reach their goal in this way; however, the situation turned out to be different from what they had expected and hoped. The Muslims and the Sons of Hashim were immensely careful in guarding our Holy Prophet (PBUH) against any possible dangers. In fact, Abu Talib took our Holy Prophet (PBUH) by his side at nighttime or had others guard him by virtue of the possibility that our Holy Prophet (PBUH) could be assassinated.
This boycott that began in 617, the seventh year of the prophethood, at the beginning of the month of Muharram went on for three years. The starvation, despair, and famine the polytheists put the Muslims through could not hinder Islam’s development. Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) continued to duly deliver the message he had been appointed with and did not stop teaching Islam to his relatives and the Sons of Hashim for the slightest moment.
The Boycott was Lifted
It was the third year of the boycott... Allah set a worm to go eat the sheet that the polytheists had hung on the Kaaba’s wall and notified His Messenger (PBUH) of this situation through a revelation. Only the writing, “Bismika Allahuma” (Allah, I begin with your name)" remained on the sheet.
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) explained the situation to his uncle, Abu Talib. Upon this, Abu Talib went to the polytheists and made the following offer:
“According to the news that my brother’s son has brought, Allah set a worm on the paper that you had hung on the Kaaba’s wall and this worm ate everything on this paper-your terms of cruelty, cutting ties with relatives, and slander, except for the expression regarding Allah’s name."
"Go to the Kaaba and look at the sheet. If what I am saying is true, then forgo your cruelty and bad treatment of the Muslims. If he has, may Allah forgive me for saying this, lied, then I will surrender him to you. You are free to kill or keep him alive.”4
The polytheists went to the Kaaba and saw the situation exactly as Abu Talib described. Despite being amazed, they did not accept our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) miracle and turned their eyes away from the light by saying "this is also a magic".
This circumstance slightly lessened the intensity of this boycott. In 619 AD, when a few reputable people came forth, this practice, which stemmed from disbelief and a boundless level of stubbornness, was lifted. The community heard that this agreement had now been abolished; thus, they ripped and threw away the sheet containing the boycott’s terms.
In this way, the polytheists were turning away from the heresy and cruelty they had characterized as “an irrevocable decision.” This openly declared the victory of faith over disbelief once more.
The three-year blockade was so harsh and grueling that our Holy Prophet (PBUH) never forgot this situation even after the passing of many years. When the time came for Muslims to conquer Mecca and as they were going toward the city from Mina, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) reminded his companions of those difficult days by saying,
“InshAllah (By God), the place that we are going tomorrow, the homeland of the Sons of Kinana, that is Muhassab, where the Qurayshis and sons of Kinana had agreed on unbelief and denial" 5
1. Ibn Hisham, Sirah, V. 1, p. 375; Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, V. 1, p. 208-209; Balazuri, Ansab, V. 1, p. 229-230; Tabari, Tarikh, V. 2, p. 225.
2. Ibn Hisham, ibid, V. 1, p. 375; Ibn Sa’d, ibid, V. 1, p. 209; Balazuri, ibid, V. 1, p. 230.
3. Ibn Hisham, ibid, V. 1, p. 376; Ibn Sa’d, ibid, V. 1, p. 209; Tabari, Tarikh, V. 2, p. 225.
4. Ibn Hisham, Sirah, V. 2, p. 16-17, Ibn Sa’d, ibid, V. 1, p. 209-210.
5. Bukhari, Sahih, V. 3, p. 62.
How did Hz. Ali become a Muslim? How was the reaction of his family to this since he was a child?
Hazrat Khadija’s conversion to Islam in an unhesitant fashion made our Holy Prophet (PBUH) extremely happy and increased his enthusiasm. There was someone in this world that had accepted and had attested to his cause.
The second person whom our Holy Prophet (PBUH) invited to Islam was again one of the closest to him; and that person was Hazrat Ali. He was under our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) discipline since he was four or five years old. As a result, he had incomparable manners and a higher sense of wisdom and morality than his peers.
One day, he saw our Holy Prophet (PBUH) and Hazrat Khadija praying. He looked at them in awe and after they finished praying, he asked,
“What is this?” Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) answered,
“Oh Ali, this is the religion that Allah loves and that He has chosen. I invite you to believe in Allah, who is One and to refrain from worshiping Lat and Uzza, who can neither benefit nor harm humanity.”
Hazrat Ali paused for a moment and looked towards the ground with his sweet, childlike glance. He then replied,
“This is something that I have not seen or heard until now. I cannot say anything without first consulting with my father, Abu Talib.”
However, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) had not received permission to openly declare his cause. For this reason, he warned Hazrat Ali,
“Oh Ali! If you choose to follow what I have said then do so, but if you choose not to, then keep what you have heard and seen a secret. Do not say anything to anyone.”1
Hazrat Ali promised to keep this a secret upon hearing our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) warning. He spent the night thinking. Together with the sunrise, a sense of enlightenment arose in his heart. He went before our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) presence,
“When Allah created me, He did not ask Abu Talib for permission; therefore, I will seek Allah’s advice so that I can worship Him” and he became Muslim.
Hazrat Ali, who attained the honor of being “the first child to become a Muslim”, was ten years old at the time.2
Taking precautions is always favorable. However, it is especially favorable when a new cause is beginning to spread. By telling Hazrat Ali not to recount what he had seen and heard to anyone for the time being, Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) was taking precautions, acting wisely, taking gradual measures, and setting an example for us. Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) was always careful to apply precautions and took timing and conditions into consideration very seriously; such conduct was vitally importance during his prophethood.
Zaid bin Haritha, who our Holy Prophet (PBUH) had adopted, followed Hazrat Khadija and Hazrat Ali by converting to Islam.
After their conversion, the ties that Hazrat Ali and Hazrat Zaid had towards our Holy Prophet (PBUH) were strengthened and renewed. From then on, they would not separate from our Master’s (PBUH) side and they performed their prayers and worshipped with him.
From time to time, Hazrat Ali would go to the Kaaba with our Holy Prophet (PBUH) and perform his prayers there.
Before Afif Kindi became a Muslim, he had gone to Mecca with the intention of shopping and saw our Holy Prophet (PBUH), Hazrat Khadija, and Hazrat Ali praying. After he became a Muslim, he related the account with envy:
“I really wish I had become a Muslim at that time and that I had been the fourth person among them!”
Despite our Holy Prophet (PBUH) not having openly declared his cause to the public at that time, the unbelievers were not pleased that they were praying at the Kaaba and did not want the two to worship differently from them. For that reason, at a later time, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) and Hazrat Ali deemed it more suitable to pray in the fields and valleys.
Hazrat Ali’s parents were after him
This condition of Hazrat Ali, in which he did not separate from our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) side and followed him like a shadow, caused his parents to panic and worry. Lady Fatima, in particular, was overly worried. She said to her husband,
“Your son is wandering with Muhammad too much. Be careful that nothing happens to him.”
Abu Talib was an understanding person. He wanted to learn the situation directly from our Holy Prophet (PBUH). One day, he followed our Holy Prophet (PBUH) and Hazrat Ali. He found them praying in one of the valleys in Mecca. He asked the Master of the Universe (PBUH),
“Oh, my brother’s son, what religion is this?”
Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) replied,
“Oh, Uncle, you are among those whom I invite to the truth. You are supposed to be among the first to accept this invitation since you are the most deserving out of everyone! Abandon the practice of idol worshipping and believe in the One True God.”
Abu Talib was absorbed in thought for some time and at last he said,
“I cannot separate from my old religion. However, continue to practice this religion that you follow! By God, I swear that while I am alive, no one can hinder you from completing your mission and do to you anything that you do not like.”
Afterwards, he turned to his son and asked,
“Oh, my dear son, what is this religion that you follow?”
Hazrat Ali replied,
“My dear father, I too have testified to Allah and His Messenger and have attested to every message that he has brought from Allah. I followed him and prayed together with him.”
Upon this, Abu Talib said,
“Oh son! It is befitting that you enter the religion of your uncle’s son willingly.” He will only invite you to beneficence. Submit to him!”3
By saying these words, he made our Holy Prophet (PBUH) and Hazrat Ali happy. He then walked away from there.
When he returned home, Lady Fatima hastily said to him in a harsh tone,
“Where is your son? My servant saw him praying with Muhammad on the site of Jiyad. Do you approve of your son changing his religion?”
Abu Talib replied,
“Be quiet! By God, it mostly falls upon the uncle and the father to support and help.” By saying these words, he expressed that there was no need to worry and concern. Afterwards he said, “If my ego complied with my wish to leave Abdulmuttalib’s religion, then I would subject myself to Muhammad since he is gentle, trustworthy, and pure.”4
1. Ibn Kathir, Sirah, V. 1, p. 428.
2. Ibn Hisham, Sirah, V. 1, p. 262.
3. Ibn Hisham, Sirah, V. 1, p. 264.
4. Ibn Hisham, Sirah, V. 1, p. 264; Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, V. 8, p. 18; Tabari, Tarikh, V. 2, p. 214.