What kind of a divine warning did the Prophet (pbuh) receive about Umm Maktum?

The Details of the Question
What kind of a divine warning did the Prophet (pbuh) receive about Umm Maktum?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

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.

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