Muhammad before Taking Office of Prophethood
Muhammad (PBUH) is the son of Abdullah, son of Abdul Muttaleb, of the Arab clan of Banu Hashem of the tribe of Quraish, one of the ancient, noblest and most dignified tribes of the land. It was known for its valour, hospitality, influence and eloquence. Muhammad’s nobility derived its roots from both his father’s and his mother’s lineage. He is a descendent of Adnan. And the grandson of Ismail, son of Ibrahim. No one of Ismail’s progeny became a prophet except Muhammad.
The Imam Moslem quotes the prophet Muhammad, on the authority of wa’ilah ibn al-Asq’. As having said: “Allah has singled out Kenanah from the progeny of Ismail: the Quraishites from Kenanah: the Banu Hashem from the Quraish: and myself from the Banu Hashem“.
Muhammad, may Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him, was born in the “Elephant Year“, during which time Abraha the Abyssinian, ruler of Yemen, was delegated by the Negus to go to Arabia to destroy the Ka’bah. But it was this man and his army who were destroyed instead in an unprecedented manner. Describing this incident Allah says: “Seest thou not how thy Lord dealt with the companions of the Elephant? Did He not make their treacherous plan go astray? And He sent against them flights of birds, striking them with stoner of backed clay. Then did He make an empty field of stalks and straw, [of which the corn] has been eaten up.” This was an indication that a new prophet would be raised and that the Ka’bah will be the place towards which he and his nation should turn their faces in prayers. Muhammad (PBUH) was the sole son of his father Abdullah; and this was decreed so that upon him alone should the blessing of his two grand-fathers, Ibrahim and Ismail, should be bestowed
Mohammed’s father died when he was still an embryo in his mother’s womb. When he was five years old, he lost his mother while both of them were on their way back to Makkah after a visit they paid to his paternal uncles, the Banu Adiy bin al-Nijar in Madinah. The mother died at a place called al-Abwa. Asma, daughter of Rahm,quotes her mother, as reported by Al-Zohari, as having said: “ I have seen Amna, the mother of the prophet . in her illness in which she died. Muhammad (PBUH) was five years old, and he was sitting all the time at her head. Lookinatherself, Amna would say: “Every living is to die; and every new thing will wear out. I shall pass away, but my name will last. I am leaving behind me goodness, and I had given birth to a pure. After saying this, she died”.
Muhammad (PBUH) was then brought up in the loving care of his grand-father Abdul Muttaleb, the leader of Quraish. And when Muhammad (PBUH) was eight years old, the grandfather died, after which the boy was brought up his uncle Abu Taleb, who took the lead of Quraish.But despite the fact that Muhammad (PBUH) was brought up in orphanhood, he was active, energetic, weary of mean things. He was of a high spirit, of good behavior, and was serious in managing matters. He never indulged in children quarrels or noisy games, and never had he behaved like anyone of his age; he was reared in the institution of Allah, the Merciful, the Beneficent, Who decreed that Muhammad (PBUH) was to be the last in the line of prophets and messengers.
All his life, Muhammad (PBUH) remained under the guard and care of Allah, always blessed with His favor and benignity. Once, his nurse, Halimah, of the tribe of Banu Sa’d, took the lad to spend sometime amidst her kin. Though they were suffering a season of drought, the land, unexpectedly, turned into a fertile space, with plenty of crops coming out everywhere. Herds returned from grazing with full stomachs and much of milk, while the sheep of their neighbouring lands remained hungry, with no milk in their udders, And it happened that even when the other people’s sheep grazed on Halimah’s pasture, they still failed to produce milk.
Ibn’Asaker quotes Jalhamah ibn Arfatah as narrating the following story: “Once I visited Makkah at a time of scarcity. The Quraishites approached Abu Taleb, saying: O,Abu Taleb; the valley has become barren and the young children hungry. Go forth and pray for water for the people’ .Abu Taleb headad for the Ka’bah, taking with him a young boy [Muhammad], who was radiant in face like a sun. Abu Taleb made the boy stand with his back close to the Ka’bah , The boy lifted his his hinger towards the sky, which was cloudless. But soon clouds appeared in the sky and rains fell down heavily. The valley became fertile and crops were harvested later”.
Muhammad (PBUH) accompanied his uncle Abu Taleb on two journeys to Syria, once when he was twelve years old, and secondly, when he was eighteen. On both the journeys, significant indications and unusual things were observed. Of all the travelers it was Muhammad (PBUH) alone who was overshadowed by a cloud. All inanimates used to greet him wherever he passed them. When he was seen by Bihairah, the monk, he embraced him, declaring that he was the prophet of whom the Torah had foretold; and the monk asked the boy’s uncle to protect him from the Jews.
Muhammad (PBUH) was known amongst his people for his truthfulness, honesty and prudence. And for these qualities he was called by them “Al-Amin,” the Trusty. Being so known among the Arabs, he was given by Khadijah the charge of a caravan conveying merchandise to Syria. On this journey, he was accompanied by Khadijah’s servant, Maysarah, who, being close to Muhammad, saw for himself the nobility of his behavior and the supernatural phenomena that he had never seen the like before On Muhammad’s return, Khadijah, who was of noble lineage and wealthy, was so pleased with his successful management of her business, was so attracted by his nobility, of character, reports about which she heard from her old servant who had accompanied Muhammad (PBUH) on his journey, that she offered the young man her hand, Muhammad (PBUH) then went with his uncle Abu Taleb to Khadijah’s uncle Amr ibn Asad to finalize the procedures of marriage.
All Muhammad’s sons were mothered by Khadijah except Ibrahim who was born to his other wife Maria, the Copt.
When Muhammad (PBUH) reached thirty-five rears of age, the Quraish re-constructed the ka’bah but a dispute arose among the tribe’s chieftains as to who was to place the Black Stone in is proper place in the ka’bah. The dispute lasted four nights, and it threatened to plunge the different clans of Quraish into war. The eldest chief amongst them was Abu Umayah ibn al-Mughira, of Banu Makhzoum, the uncle of Khaled ibn al-waleed, and he proposed that the dispute should be settled by arbitration. They accepted the idea and proposed that the first man to enter the Ka,bah should be the arbitrator. And the man was Muhammad; and because he was popularly known for his equity, good reasoning and honesty, all the chiefs accepted the Amin to be the arbitrator. They had sought his decision on several matters before, and he was always just, fair and unprejudicial. He stretched his robe and asked each clan to hold one of its sides after placing the Stone on it. When the garment was lifted up by them, he took the Stone by his hands and inserted it in its place. And thus the sagacious arbitration of Muhammad (PBUH) saved the situation and settled the dispute to everyone’s satisfaction. Even after he had been entrusted with the Divine Message, his opponents, who rejected the Meassage, could not deny his good qualities. One of Muhammad’s arch-enemies, Al-Nadr ibn al-Harth, of Banu Abdul Darr, could say nothing to the pilgrims but to chant the praises of the Prophet. He went further and rejected the plea that he was an enchanter.
When Hercules, King of the Romans, asked Abu Sufyan once: Did you charge Muhammad (PBUH) as a liar before he brought you the Message? The man said: No Hercules said: If he has never lied to men, how could he then tell lies about Allah?
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