Meanwhile a strange scene was being enacted at the Mosque. Shortly after the Prophets death, Omar entered the apartment and raising the sheet that covered the body, gazed earnestly on the Prophets features, which looked as of one peacefully sleeping. Softly replacing the covering, he started up and exclaimed: The Prophet is not dead, he hath gone to his Lord as aforetime Moses did and remained forty days absent. He will yet return among us again. Brandishing his sword he exclaimed, I will cut off the head of him who dares to say that the Prophet is dead. He was haranguing the people in a similar strain when Abubakr appeared. He listened to the words of Omar for a moment and passed on to see the Prophet. He entered, and, lifting the sheet that covered the body, stooped down and kissed the forehead. Then taking the head upon his hands, he slightly lifted it and minutely scanned the features. Replacing the head gently on its pillow, he exclaimed: Yes! Sweet thou were in life and sweet thou art in death. Alas, my Master! Thou art dead indeed. Covering the body, he issued forth and proceeded at once to the spot where Omar was brandishing his sword and haranguing the people. Be quiet Omar! Sit thee down, cried Abubakr. But Omar would not listen to him. Turning therefore to the assemblage, he addressed them thus: Do ye forget already the verse which was revealed to the Prophet after the battle of Ohad?

Muhammad is but a man with a Mission, verily other Apostles died before him; what then! If he were to die or to be killed, would ye turn upon your heels? Again, know ye not the verse revealed to the Prophet, Verily O Muhammad! Thou shall die, and verily they shall die; Verse XXXIX-3 1; continuing he said: whosoever worshippeth Muhammad, let him know that Muhammad is indeed dead; but whosoever worshipeth God, let him know that God is immortal, He liveth and dieth not. The truth now being known, the assemblage sobbed aloud. Omar on hearing these verses, trembled and dropped down, and then he knew of a certainty that the Holy Prophet was indeed dead.

In the afternoon there appeared a friend who came run­ning hastily to Abubakr and Omar, and informed them that many a chief of Media had assembled at Saqifa Bani Sada and that they were proceeding to choose Sad b. Obada as their leader. If ye have a desire to secure the Supreme Authority, said he, ye should not lose a minute to reach thither before the matter is settled and opposition becomes dangerous. Receiving the intel­ligence, Abubakr and Omar hurried to Saqifa, in company with Abu Obeida and several others.

Meanwhile Ali, regardless of the movement outside was busy inside the apartment with preparation for the bathing of the Prophets body, in company with Abbas, his two Sons Fazl and Qutham, Osama and Saleh. Having closed the door of the apartment they took the body in for bathing. 5Ali was the only man named by the Prophet to bathe his body, (as predicted by him while he was giving the first bath to Ali at the time of his birth) as he had said that any one, other than Ali that looked upon his nakedness would forthwith turn-blind. So Ali bathed the body and others helped him with their eyes bandaged.

After bathing the body, they laid it out, putting on it the garments in which he died. Two sheets of fine white cloth were wound over the garment, and then it was wrapped in a sheet of striped Yemen. Then came the parties for praying over the dead body. First the relations and next to them the followers and companions of the Prophet entered the apartment in batches of ten at a time and prayed over him. Thus the body remained till the time of burial.

Opinions differed as to where the burial should take place! Ali settled the matter, who said that he had heard the Prophet saying, that at whatsoever spot a Prophet dies, he should be buried there. Accordingly the grave was dug, and the burial took place on the night of Tuesday or early in the morning on Wednesday. The body was lowered into its last resting place by the same near relations who had bathed and laid it out. Ali was the last person to leave the interior of the grave, weeping bitterly. He was never seen to cry like that before or after that occasion. When he came out of the grave, he lifted his hands in supplication and said, Lord! He was Thy first creation, his apparent death is not a sign of his mortality, he lifted the gloom prevailing before creation started, he was the proof of Thy Glory, and was our guide towards that Realm. His soul was the Emblem of Thy Supreme Might, his body was a master-piece of Thy Creation and his mind was Thy Treasure House.



more post like this